joni mitchell – the wolf that lives in lindsey (1979)

Of the darkness in men’s minds
What can you say
That wasn’t marked by history
Or the TV news today

He gets away with murder
The blizzards come and go
The stab and glare and buckshot
Of the heavy heavy snow
It comes and goes
It comes and goes

His grandpa loved an empire
His sister loved a thief
And Lindsey loved the ways of darkness
Beyond belief

Girls in chilly blouses
The blizzards come and go
The stab and glare and buckshot
Of the heavy heavy snow
It comes and goes
It comes and goes

The cops don’t seem to care
For derelicts or ladies of the night
They’re weeds for yanking out of sight
If you’re smart or rich or lucky

Maybe you’ll beat the laws of man
But the inner laws of spirit
And the outer laws of nature
No man can
No no man can

There lives a wolf in Lindsey
That raids and runs
Through the hills of Hollywood
And the downtown slums

He gets away with murder
The blizzards come and go
The stab and glare and buckshot
Of the heavy heavy snow
It comes and goes
It comes and goes

© 1978-1979; Crazy Crow Music

laurie penny – cybersexism: sex, gender and power on the internet (2013)

‘In ye olden tymes of 1987, the rhetoric was that we would change genders the way we change underwear,’ says Clay Shirky, media theorist and author of Here Comes Everybody.‘[But] a lot of it assumed that everyone would be happy passing as people like me – white, straight, male, middle-class and at least culturally Christian.’ Shirky calls this ‘the gender closet’: ‘people like me saying to people like you, “You can be treated just like a regular normal person and not like a woman at all, as long as we don’t know you’re a woman.”’

The Internet was supposed to be for everyone… Millions found their voices in this brave new online world; it gave unheard masses the space to speak to each other without limits, across borders, both physical and social. It was supposed to liberate us from gender. But as more and more of our daily lives migrated on line, it seemed it did matter if you were a boy or a girl.’

It’s a tough time to be a woman on the internet. Over the past two generations, the political map of human relations has been redrawn by feminism and by changes in technology. Together they pose questions about the nature and organisation of society that are deeply challenging to those in power, and in both cases, the backlash is on. In this brave new world, old-style sexism is making itself felt in new and frightening ways.

In Cybersexism, Laurie Penny goes to the dark heart of the matter and asks why threats of rape and violence are being used to try to silence female voices, analyses the structure of online misogyny, and makes a case for real freedom of speech – for everyone.

Laurie Penny. Cybersexism: Sex, Gender and Power on the Internet (London: Bloomsbury, 2013). PDF here.

shilpa ray – posted by anonymous (live, 2013)

From the Deeper Down studio session (2013).

I’m pressed against a window
Flat
With a broken nose
Rhinoplasts and the bombs blastin’
Who’s scalping tickets for this show?

Lines round the block in
circles
A Human Centipede
I wanna be the victim
who gets the most sympathy

Don’t reward my participation
Or teach me about masturbation
I could fake your newest sensation
Steal someone else’s imagination
Microdermabrasion

Oh I’ve gotta feeling
I don’t have to be real
No I’m not real

I’M NOT EVEN HERE

Headlines talkin’ and your
Picture’s Squawkin’
You haven’t said a word
Hysterical Historical
How did you get your foot in the door?

Mass killin’s thrillin’
Public’s appealin’ on TV
And when you have your say
Starlings
What are you gonna say to me?

Don’t reward my participation
Or teach me about masturbation
I could fake your newest sensation
Steal someone else’s imagination
Crystal Blue Persuasion

What is the meaning?
I don’t wanna hear?
No I can’t hear.
No I can’t hear
I’M NOT EVEN HERE

animation explaining giorgio agamben’s “homo sacer” (2014)

Clear explanation of this important concept.

The work of Giorgio Agamben, one of Italy’s most important and original philosophers, has been based on an uncommon erudition in classical traditions of philosophy and rhetoric, the grammarians of late antiquity, Christian theology, and modern philosophy. Recently, Agamben has begun to direct his thinking to the constitution of the social and to some concrete, ethico-political conclusions concerning the state of society today, and the place of the individual within it.

In Homo Sacer, Agamben aims to connect the problem of pure possibility, potentiality, and power with the problem of political and social ethics in a context where the latter has lost its previous religious, metaphysical, and cultural grounding. Taking his cue from Foucault’s fragmentary analysis of biopolitics, Agamben probes with great breadth, intensity, and acuteness the covert or implicit presence of an idea of biopolitics in the history of traditional political theory. He argues that from the earliest treatises of political theory, notably in Aristotle’s notion of man as a political animal, and throughout the history of Western thinking about sovereignty (whether of the king or the state), a notion of sovereignty as power over “life” is implicit.

The reason it remains merely implicit has to do, according to Agamben, with the way the sacred, or the idea of sacrality, becomes indissociable from the idea of sovereignty. Drawing upon Carl Schmitt’s idea of the sovereign’s status as the exception to the rules he safeguards, and on anthropological research that reveals the close interlinking of the sacred and the taboo, Agamben defines the sacred person as one who can be killed and yet not sacrificed—a paradox he sees as operative in the status of the modern individual living in a system that exerts control over the collective “naked life” of all individuals.

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The blurb of Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life by Giorgio Agamben. Translated by Daniel Heller-Roazen. (Stanford University Press, 1998).