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Winds of Change

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I woke the other morning from a vague vision/ dreamscape of Paul Klee's Angelus Novus and Walter Benjamin's prophetic take from his Thesis on the Philosophy of History. Weird, right? I hadn't read the thing in years and then barely understood the basic premise. But then I realized I had been reading about the California fires and wondered if my subconscious was trying to work something out. Benjamin writes:

"a storm is blowing in from Paradise, it has caught in his (Klee;s Angel) wings with such a violence that the angel can no longer close them."

This is the storm of progress and now a whole town and dozens, perhaps hundreds of corpses turned to ash, are part of the "wreckage" piling up at the angel's feet. The wind is that generated by a fire storm so fierce everyone remains stunned just trying to imagine it. We are in what the prophetic thinker called "a moment of danger", a place where "the state of emergency is not the exception but the rule." These fires and floods will be a first world problem but it is unlikely to lead to the kind of food riots we will see in poorer parts of the world. I agree with Benjamin's prescription that "it is our task to bring about a real state of emergency", one which threatens the ruling order.

Andreas Malm uses the same metaphor to help describe a paradox: The more profoundly humans have shaped nature over their history, the more intensely nature comes to affect their lives. "It really is nature that comes roaring back into society in a warming world, and it is time that flaps its wings as it does so. The nature that is knocking on the door of the post-modern condition-occassionally breaking it down, crashing through glass, sweeping away screens- is something of a spectral creature, for it is carried forward by a human past."

Sorry Irie, I don't have time to find a picture of Angelus Novalis but if you want to post one...The Malm quote is from The Progress of this Storm: Nature and Society in a Warming World

Discussion 12 Comments

  • Boulder Dash 3rd Dec 2018

    Fuck me Dave, I only justvread this passage ths morning, in Hedges latest....

    “Walter Benjamin wrote in 1940 amid the rise of European fascism and looming world war:

    A Klee painting named Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned towards the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe, which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress. 124” (Chris Hedges, America: The Farewell Tour)

  • Boulder Dash 3rd Dec 2018

    And speaking of flapping wings,

    “See the albatross up in the windy lofts
    He gets to beating his wings while he sleeps it off
    I hear the jettisoned cries from his dreams unkind
    Gets to whippin' my ears like a riding crop”

  • Irie Zen 3rd Dec 2018

    WIKIPEDIA: ANGELUS NOVUS  ^^


     



     


    WIKIPEDIA: WIND OF CHANGE ^^


    1: "MAKE YERMONEY GREAT AGAIN. FUROR TEUTONICUS; BLOWING UP THE SPOT."


     

    • Irie Zen 3rd Dec 2018

      Console & Ammer: Heimat & Technik - Das Heidegger-Bootleg


  • Boulder Dash 3rd Dec 2018

    An analysis that so often alludes academics...basic and simple and still pertinent today...and true...I’ve been using what leisure time I have to educate myself...and that alone is why and has always been why, this place was important to me and why those closer to the top end of left talent and experience, could have actually remained or even participated more in the first place despite it having failed in its initial agenda...

    It could still be that as a Irie wishes...a political workshop...a place to rest and chat...perhaps ease the existential fatigue...

    https://youtu.be/LGc8DMHMyi8

  • Dave Jones 3rd Dec 2018

    You know, it could be my brain got that from Hedges, I saw him speak not too long ago and it may have been part of his rap. As for the accessibility issue, we can say the communist manifesto is basic and simple but the analysis behind it (three volumes of Capital) is dense as fuck. Marx certainly wasn't considered "closer to the top end of left talent and experience", working odd jobs and struggling to get published. The celebrity left, the Kate Raworths and Paul Masons, don't have all the answers.
    Speaking of dense, Malm is unimpressed with Tomothy Morton's Object Oriented Ontology: "...who likes to compose sentences like 'the cat winks at me knowingly' and 'what spoons do when they scoop up soup is not very different from what I do when I talk about spoons' ". Glad I'm not the only one who thought he was being punked.

    • Boulder Dash 4th Dec 2018

      Why I have read the Manifesto but not Capital.



    • Boulder Dash 4th Dec 2018

      Because I’m as dense as fuck!

    • Boulder Dash 5th Dec 2018

      If I don’t get behind this expanded care idea, then really, this whole book has been a big waste of time. Because while I’ve been letting myself off the hook and not yelling factoids at you, secretly I’m not letting you off the hook and secretly I’m preaching to you, trying to convert you in a sneakier way. I’m machinating, but under the radar. That would mean that the whole way I wrote this was actually the opposite of playful seriousness: it was serious playfulness, goal-directed and ‘fun’. I’d be trying to persuade you, and I think believing means holding on for dear life, and this is just a sales pitch.

      So, in fact, I meant it all along, dear reader. I meant it when I said you didn’t need to delete your indifference. You are quite right. You work so hard and you get so little in return, you have to smile relentlessly at work, you have to be your own paparazzo and upload a selfie to Facebook every five minutes, you have to ‘Like’ (that button) the right sorts of thing. In Freudian terms, your poor little ego is under attack from both sides, from the impulses of the id and the demands of the superego, both irrational and often superimposed, in our culture of ‘repressive desublimation’. 36 And now I’m asking you to get all frantic about polar bears too? On top of everything else? So much frantic clicking, so much preening of exactly the right thing to say, a goal whose posts change every day, like the statistics. The thing about the superego is, it’s impossible to fulfil its demands. Is it a feature of our psyches or a bug? Whatever the case, it’s been inflamed by agricultural-age religion and its current ecological incarnation is therefore, however well meaning, a way of perfuming ecology space with exactly the wrong smell: the smell of busy, busy, zealous, industrious, ‘just keep swimming, just keep swimming’ intensity. 37

      Perhaps some of us care in all the wrong ways –too aggressively, too melancholically, too violently. Heidegger argues that even indifference is a form of care. 38 Perhaps indifference itself is pointing to a way to care for humans and nonhumans in a less violent way –simply allowing them to exist, like pieces of paper in your hand, like a story you might appreciate –or not –for no reason. 39

      I meant it, dear reader. Your indifference contains ecological chemicals, so don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Actually, maybe you need to keep the baby and its ambiguous bathwater, and throw out the idea that you need to throw things out at all. In the final chapter, we’ll be examining a few current styles of throwing-out in the name of being ecological, and we’ll be contrasting these with being ecological in a way that doesn’t reject ambiguity.

    • Boulder Dash 5th Dec 2018

      The above is Timothy Morton in Being Ecological.

      Below is the Psychdelic Bolsheviks selling the third edition of Everything is Everything.

      “This one were giving over to the professionals, those knowledge hounds who stock the universities (PICTURE bELOW)

      Dr Bogart Di Mayo (Left) - Professor of the Japanese Miner's strike at the University of Deep Crookes. Specialist in Japanese culture in the Barnsley area. Has studied Japanese in seven different languages. Led pioneering work to translate the biographies of leading Barnsley figures such Dickie Bird, Michael Parkinson and Patrick Stewart into Japanese. Currently working on a deconstruction of the reification of Chip shops.

      Dr Samantha Buttz (Right)- Professor of Pornographic Proctology and Animal Husbandry at the University of Dorset. Books include The Anal G Spot, Sheering Sheep: The Guide for Bum Vets, Conceiving Children Buttside? Recently won the Terry Wogan memorial prize for Ass research. Most recent publication was in the Journal of Academic Job Security with a piece on the Dialectic of Font sizes.

      Dr Julio Barsteward-Fishslipper-Perkins (Middle) Professor of Freudian Badminton studies at the University of Sheffield. Jessop West 3.02 Office Hours 11pm- 1am Thursday to Friday Contact email: jbarstewardfp1@sheffield.ac.uk. Research Specialist in the use of KFC toilets for drugs use from the Lacanian perspective. Won the prize for the best-foot noted journal article in which every word was referenced from another work managing to delete any reference to his own thoughts. Is writing a book on the transference of male aggression in racket sports called "I imagine my mother is a shuttlecock"”

    • Irie Zen 8th Dec 2018


      ^^ The above is Timothy Morton in Being Ecological.
      I'll read it; someday; between 2025 and 2033.



      ^^ Below is the Psychdelic Bolsheviks selling the fourth edition of Everything is Everything.
      Yessir; this 1! Most entertaining comment since: "Eugene Chadbourne & Evan Johns - I've cut the wrong man"; < (Re:Redemption_Song)



      Smeagol/Gollum asks for justice; pleads for mercy and begs forgiveness. Yo have me seriuz attentium! True amateurs love the shit out of it! Yeah; The Psychedelic Bolsheviks "Ev'rythang be the wor(L)d is the bird"; (Circulation of '42)



      ^^ “This one were giving over to the professionals, those knowledge hounds who stock the universities (PICTURE bELOW)
      Picture removed. It is our policy to respond to clear and specific notices of alleged copyright infringement. The form of notice we specify in our web form is consistent with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and provides a simple and efficient mechanism for copyright owners from countries around the world. *ERROR*



      ^^ Dr Yoghurt Di Mayo (*edit*?!?) (Spokesperson of the left (D?) wing of the green People's Party committee 1337) - Professor of (*edit*?) at the University of Deep Crook (?) (*edit*?). Specialist in (*edit*?) culture in the (*edit*?) area. Has studied (*edit*?) in 18 different languages. Led pioneering work to translate the biographies of leading (*edit*?) figures such Dickie Bird, (*edit*?) and Captain Picard (*insert_shakespeare.ai*quote*) into (*edit*?). Currently working on a deconstruction of the reification of (++LOST IN TRANSLATION++) shops.
      Dense as fuck; yeah. This is an artifact I can deal with. My aluminum hat grants me a +3 SPEECHCRAFT bonus. I love your approach ///*triple*slash*combo*/// and percept *go_to* re:concept of the holistic powwowian agenda 2021 thingy; several crit hits and devastating finishing moves; Good round. You're hereby awarded the IOPS title: Maestro Sir *avatar_name* - Umpire* of the Empire*



      *edit* given fragments *execute* XD *block*duck*pose* PLAYER TWO WINS!   



      ^^ Dr Samantha Carter-Budz (*edit*?) - (R?) Conservative People's Party of..*edit*?)- Professor of (*edit*?) and (*edit*?) at the University of (*edit*?). Books include (*edit*?), Sheering Sheep: The Guide for Bum Vets (*edit*?), (*edit*?). Recently won the (*edit*?) memorial prize for (*edit*?) research. Most recent publication was (*edit*?).
      Guilty of charge! Destiny Hope* and the internet* made me a naughty buoy yo honor; a very nutty bwoy. Guilt and shame; Essentials for our community of vulnerabilities. Crime and punishment; culpability and atonement; Essentials for our community of strenghts! Journal of Academic Job Security with a piece on the Dialectic of Font sizes. BEST 1! XD



      ^^ Dr (*edit*?) (Middle(*edit*?)) Professor of (*edit*?) studies at the University of (*edit*?). (*edit*?) 3.02 Office Hours 11pm-1am Thursday to Friday (!) Contact email: (*edit*?). Research Specialist in the use of (*edit*?). Won the prize for (*edit*?). Is writing a book on the transference of (*edit*?) in (*edit*?) called "(*edit*?)"” 
      That was good. Damn. How do you know about the KFC? Or was it a Golden Archesthe best-foot noted journal article in which every word was referenced from another work managing to delete any reference to his own thoughts. BEST 1! THX! XD but STOP KICKING ME WHEN I'M BLUE. (*edit*remove: D34D_M07H3R.EXE*) "FINISH HIM! FATALITY!" XDXD


      REFRESHING! AND FUN! Could be nice to make up a fictional event + interview/discussion w/ (semi-)fictional characters; we should add one more person AND give it a narrative. XD I'd go with ULTRA ALT RIGHT > MIDDLE GREEN "Reason® must prevail!+Peace?" > RADICAL L1EFT (idk) > L2 "ULTIMA RATIO REGNUM" - The last resort.. XD



      COULD ANYONE COME UP W/ 20 QUESTIONS? (or less XD) I'LL START W/ ANSWERS! TEAM EFFORTS? XD Anyone? Ben Watson's interview with Frank Zappa (somewhere below; another great comment; +1!) doesn't help that much :'( I hope our shuttlecocks (real feathers!) won't stop flying in 6 weeks. :'(


      I IS FOR INTERNATIONAL(-ISM) - "I ITH FOR IN-THER-NATHIONAL-ITHM!" -NAMETH CALLING?



  • Boulder Dash 5th Dec 2018

    The Last Days of Frank Zappa
    By Ben Watson
    October 1993 (just 6 weeks before Franks death)
    Mojo Magazine March 1994

    On Tuesday, I Tell Frank he is so good at answering "nerdy journalist's questions" that I have prepared 20 I would like him to answer. He tells me to get the tape recorder running and fire away.

    It's rare that any musicians who've worked with you do any better when they're out on their own. If your musicians solo they do so at the peek of their intensity – how do you stop them coasting? Is it a matter of giving them instructions, or just the challenge of the musical environment they're given?

    I don't understand the question.

    Your musicians always play – it seems to me – at the peak of what they're capable of doing.

    One of the things I really like about your records is that if there's a solo people don't noodle, they don't coast – they really play hard.

    Yeah.

    Is that because of what you tell them before they play? Or is it simply the challenge of the music?

    The reason is that I tell them before they play and because all the live stuff is edited, so l look for the best work that each musician can do. It's not just a matter of cloying something together, I try and make the performance of each tune exemplary in some way. So I'm not just optimising what I write, I'm optimising what they improvise.

    I was thinking about seeing you at Hammersmith and watching Eddie Jobson play violin.

    Yah.

    He's free to play what he likes when he goes off on his solo.

    Yeah, well, that's the way it is with all the guys. They know what key they're supposed to be in – they know what kind of a solo it's supposed to be and they know roughly how long it is they're supposed to play. So after that it's them, not me.

    I've seen you many times, but your musicians never play that kind of up and down the fretboard fusion thing, that boring thing fusion players so open do.
    You mean in my playing?

    Not just yours – anybody in your band.

    Well, they know the other guys are listening. It's a strong incentive to do a good job – it's a pretty critical audience up there on the bandstand, let alone who's out there in the seats. If you're playing shit, the other guys on the stage are certainly going to let you know about it.

    People find the mixture of signals in your music – cerebral abstractions one minute, shocking moments of human dishevelment the next – people find this very confusing ...

    Why?

    Do you have any advice?

    Well that's the universe – it's the way the universe is.

    How do you place the score in your work? Is it just a means to an end? In other words, is the art in the score or is it in the master tape?

    Well, there wouldn't even be a score if what was being requested of the musicians wasn't too complicated for me to hum it to 'em. In the most instances, for the rock'n'roll stuff I find I get the best results if they're playing this stuff they've memorised rather than stuff they're reading. The point where the piece goes into muscle memory, you can then conduct it, do things with it that are impossible when they're reading [lights Marlboro]. So the final artistic result is the master tape.

    You've made me think harder about the relationship of art to life then any other artist. Do you have a formula to guide you?

    Relationship of art to life? Well, I told you before, what I'm doing is entertainment. Choose between an entertaining life or the other kind – the 'art' life. The answer becomes obvious.

    Even though the music industry has done the most it can to suppress you, are you aware that it needs contrary figures in order to keep people interested in the product?

    They don't care, they don't care.

    It's as simple as that?

    Yah.

    Why have you chosen to talk to Rolling Stone? [Music editor David Fricke was invited out two weeks after Watson's visit but Zappa wasn't well enough to come downstairs and meet him. Gail played him some tapes in the studio and he left without an interview.]

    Because after all these years, they have got so desperate about having me be interviewed, because I've complained so many times about what a piece of shit kind-of-publication it is and I've got a new distribution deal and a new album coming out – I thought that it would probably be as good a time as any to do it if I'm ever gonna do it.

    Why is James Joyce on the list of names on Freak Out!?

    Well, I can't say that I've ever read anything by Joyce all the way through, but the few pages

    I looked at I saw it and said, now there's a real guy. It doesn't take much to have an influence on me.

    There are signs that literary and academic people are at last coming round to appreciate your monstrous creativity. I think I can see signs of a Zappa industry in academia that one day might rival the Joyce industry.

    [laughs].

    Do you have a message for such people?

    Get a real estate license.

    Why did Spencer Chrislu [Zappa's recording engineer] spend weeks editing the Al Malkin tapes? (25 cassettes recorded by rhythm guitarist Warren Cuccurullo)?

    He didn't edit them.

    Catalogue them, sorry.

    What he did was transfer them from normal cassette to digital cassette, he equalised them and catalogued them – so at a later date I can make a 'thing' out of it, and it's easier to 'make the thing' if it's a piece of tape with code on it – that way you can find the line you're looking for.

    I don't know if you want this known or talked about but there was a letter from Terry Gilliam being passed around on Friday night (it referred to a film script Zappa had written and showed to Gilliam). I was wondering if you'd like to say anything ...

    Talk about being flattered!

    Did you ever watch Monty Python or see 'Brazil'?

    Yes – Brazil's my favourite movie.

    It's one of mine, definitely. I always liked his things in Monty Python more than the sketches – his graphics.

    Yah. He's so funny it's hard to imagine he's an American.

    What kind of project is it?

    Well I wrote a screen-play and I was looking for someone to direct it. I've been working on it for years.

    This is a question from a friend of mine, Johnny Black, who's just written a long article about The Fugs and he wanted to know if they came to see you at the Garrick Theatre?

    I think we knew them from when they were playing in San Francisco. I don't know whether they came to the Garrick – we were both working there at the same time. They were working every night and we were working every night, so ...

    What did you think of them?

    Well, I thought it was a proper piece of entertainment for the time.

    When I interviewed Dweezil and Ahmet they did a big routine about Lou Reed, attacking him. It was really funny. I sensed the rivalry going way back to the time of Tom Wilson and Verve and all the rest of it.

    There wasn't any rivalry. I only met him once or twice back then.

    When I talk to Velvet Underground fans I play them Venus in Furs by Lou Reed followed by
    Penguin In Bondage and I say, Venus in Furs is just a list of sadomasochistic clichés everyone knows, while Penguin In Bondage is something strange.

    Huh-ha-ha. Yes it is.

    Is the point that you've experienced more than other people, or just that you care to write about experiences that a lot of people might have but not think to write songs about?

    I don't know what the statistics are on the number of people who have experienced anything resembling Penguin In Bondage, but I just happen to choose song topics not previously covered by other journalists, y'know – dental floss, stuff like that.

    Do you think the way that women are attracted to famous musicians gives those musicians a special attitude? Isn't it strange that so much information given to young people about sex comes from men in a very favoured position?

    I think so, I think that's true. There's always been a tradition of didactic blues artists – there's plenty of advice on how to treat your woman, what to do if she treats you bad, how to get one – these are common blues lyric topics.

    Hmm. That assumes that the audience is male.

    I think for most blues it's true. There's not too many female blues fans.

    Does everyone have interesting dreams?

    I don't know. I suppose to themselves they do. If you've ever had somebody tell you one of their dreams, it's usually presented in a way that now you're being given the opportunity to hear the most spectacular for-out fucking thing that anybody ever dreamed up – they're all proud of their dreams, even if what you're hearing is miserable.

    Did you ever hear the expression Jeder Mann sein eigener Fussball?

    No, never heard it.

    It means, Everyone their own football.

    [laughs].

    It was the name of a Dada magazine that became a universal catch phrase during the working class revolts in Berlin at the end of World War (WW One – Ed.).
    You know, that was what was great about the '20s, the way you could combine the concept of working class with Dada. God, they don't know what they missed in those days.

    The Dadaists went on an anti-militarist procession through the working class districts and got applauded by everyone. It was considered wild.

    I've always appreciated Dada and I keep trying to get Ahmet to read about it, because that's him in the flesh, he's a genetic carrier of that particular gene that has been pretty much bred out of the species. It's like Stravinsky says, It's not enough to want, you have to be. There are people that wish they were Dada but they'll never make it. He doesn't even know what it means, but he exudes it.

    What's your favourite colour?

    It used to be Naples yellow, but I think purple.

    I think of lot of people will be really surprised by purple ... Hendrix, Prince ... for what it means.

    Well, it's a combination of red and blue, isn't it.

    What would you do with radio?

    Hmm. Bring back live dramas. There's no live drama on the radio in the US – I know there's still bits and pieces in Europe, maybe in the Far East, but it's a type of theatre that I really used to enjoy when I was a kid because it frees your imagination, and if there's one thing the US needs, it's a little bit of freedom

    I don't know if you heard, but the British National Party – the Nazis won on election in the Isle of Dogs recently. Would you join the Anti-Nazi League?

    No. I won't join anything. It's not that I like Nazis – I really hate them. I don't join shit.
    It's just that in England, with the position in Europe – Le Pen in France and so on – the

    Nazis have grown very big. The idea is that everyone who hates the Nazis joins together and says, Not in England.

    Yeah. Well, I'd probably have to think twice about that if I thought that me joining would hove any impact at all, but I'm pretty sure that it wouldn't, because you have to remember why those guys are there in the first place – first of all it's a protest vote, and secondly no-one knows who or what they're voting for. So, it could happen anytime anyplace.

    I noticed certain 'new age' sounds in the music that preceded Beat The Reaper on Disc Two of Civilization Phaze III – surely you're joking?

    What's a 'new age' sound?

    Sounds I associate with new age – shakuhachi or some kind of flute ...

    Mmm [affirmative grunt].

    ... and the throat singing – quite atmospheric sounds. I was quite surprised to hear you use them. Normally ...

    Normally in new age material there is no hint of dissonance, so no matter what you're orchestrating it with, the fact that you're not dealing with lush triads would set it apart anyway. The only thing it has in common with new age music is that the chords are held a very long time, but you couldn't go out and get a new age record contract with that tune, because there's too much going on in it.

    You won't collude with the basis of a question, you always say something that blows up the area from where the question's coming from.

    The problem with doing a rock interview in the first place is that the person coming to talk to you (a) doesn't know anything about what you do (b) doesn't know about music in general and (c) has already made up his mind in advance before he comes to you what the answer ought to be to his precious little question. There's no reason to collude. I'm not there to make his life miserable, but you know, by the same token, if you want facts I'll give them to you – you want something else, go someplace else. I still think it's one of the smartest things I ever said, "Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk in order to provide articles for people who can't read".

    I've always loved that one. I also love another one, I think you said it round the same time: "Some rock musicians make a bunch of money and stick it up their noses – I stick mine in my ear".

    Yes, millions of dollars worth.

    This is probably one of FZ's last interviews. Ben Watson has published a book named "The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play" available now.