it would amaze even friedrich nietzsche, i think, that all murders, disasters etc make a people stronger. cameron and obama go further than nietzsche: what kills you makes you stronger too. we should want things to descend into a completely depraved random war of each against all; then we will have become strong and united indeed. like cameron or obama, i think our best or only hope is complete disaster, and that will be my reform program in the 2016 election.
reviving the tribute to tammy i put down in 'songs about kissing' (below). (that tammy wynette is fucking incredible: my candidate for the greatest pop singer of the twentieth century. her timing is so extreme and devastatingly expressive, playing so far behind and then on the band as though waiting for and then trying to seize the cure or just describing the shape of yearning. that timing is of the essence of country music, and it corresponds to the similarly extreme, the unmatched, dynamics. she's always threatening to unleash a new level of intensity. i don't think the recording equipment of the era could really capture or even survive what she's doing there. it's thermobaric. i will be your vietnam.)
you have to be very early on tammy's recordings. i hate to sound condescending especially to my favorite singer but few artists have more badly misunderstood the source of their own power; she made so many pseudo-sophisticated horseshit songs, starting early, so random downloads is a very bad approach. never, however, has suffering been so intensely expressed in popular music (i'll give you billie, though), but then also transcendence of suffering, or transcendence through immanence. really tammy is being crucified. i would call the cross 'heterosexuality,' or being female in a heterosexual couple circa 1967, and i have no idea why she doesn't play the cultural role played by judy garland; dude it's super-intense, super-tragic, in sequins, and the music is better. it's the campiest thing ever and yet within that tammy is completely emotionally exposed, absolutely vulnerable and devastated. she embodies a perfect submission, but she gropes for modes and moments of resistance or understanding. (if you want to hear systematic resistance, though, you'll have to listen to loretta.) anyway here's a twenty-cut list. i'm just going to say this: these are the best country recordings.
i like the response to wikileaks: seriously they are now invoking the apocalypse, or multiple apocalypses.
Koh wrote that publication of the documents would "place at risk the lives of countless innocent individuals" as well as military initiatives and cooperation between countries to confront problems from terrorism to pandemic disease.
obviously assange and everyone else better watch their backs. i don't pretend to evaluate the charges against assange, only of course one has to be extremely suspicious of a frame. it's a small price to pay to avoid pandemics, nuclear warfare, and the deaths of countless individuals (as well as a few pairs of conjoined twins).
let me ask you this: are there any circumstances in which the oil spill would be, roughly, nobody's fault? or is that by definition impossible? what if, you know, they hit a sudden, you know, methane pocket or something that they could not have known was there? or something? or if there was just a bizarre concatenation of extremely unlikely events? what i would say is: you've got to look and see whether anyone was at fault, and if so why and to what extent. but the "it's a fucked-up world" move has to be one of the possibilities. i think rand paul is right, that is, that the whole idea is that we have to hang somebody. we still live for the anthropomorphic explanation: that it has to come back to somebody's greed and evil, who can then be punished; this is just to say that we can't face an amoral material universe. katrina was a beautiful example: it was going to have to turn out to be someone's fault: brownies's, the corps of engineers, the forces of global warming.
now one reason it has to turn out to be someone's fault is that someone has to pay; i mean literally someone's got to pony up the billions. but the impulse is more powerful than that. and working backwards from the disaster, it's going to be extremely easy to see some things that should have been done differently, even if at every moment of not doing things differently, the people involved made sound decisions relative to the information at their disposal, or made the decisions you would have made in their place, etc.
notice i am not saying that no one is at fault. i'm saying that as you do the investigations, that's more or less one of the possibilities. face up. and realize that burning people at the stake will not really expiate their sins or our sins or make the world make moral sense.
i've long argued that there is no - can be no - principled distinction between the natural and the artificial. our pride in human amazingness and distinctiveness - understood theologically or in terms of evolution - is matched by our self-loathing (beautifullly developed in the monotheistic traditions and environmentalism), and we regard our own interventions primarily as destructions. ''pollution' is a nice site of this struggle: pouring artificial poisons of our own invention into a pristine nature. so think about this: the gummy black toxic slop pouring into the gulf of mexico is an entirely natural substance: it hasn't been refined or processed at all; it is the trace of billions of organisms over millions of years; what's going to kill everything is an essence or a remainder of life. all we did was...release it. that is a much better model of us in relation to our world: not standing outside it destroying or conserving it from the heights of consciousness and technology, but issuing slight deflections or articulations of it, wholly from within. if we were to destroy nature (which, i tell you, is by definition impossible) it would be nature devouring itself.