Surrealpolitik

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  1. "See is just a movie in your eyes," said Garth. "It's not out in the world."

    "A movie?"

    "It's not out there, it's not dark matter or anything else. It's just in your eyes. A movie. And the only difference is that everyone else has the same movie playing. Cynthia, Philip, Alice, their movies agree. So they can see. You and I are watching the wrong movie, so we're blind."

    Evan and I were silent.

    Source: As She Climbed Across the Table, p. 134
  2. "They stink, you just can't smell it anymore."...Things became quite awkward when she began to sniff at people and wrinkle her nose, saying laconically: "Stinks" or "Doesn't stink," and it was quite clear that she didn't only mean this morally, toward the end she spoke openly of a "stinking German cleanliness." He had to let her go...

    Source: The Safety Net, p. 256
  3. "Yes, I do, I want to go on with you -- yet they're probably already practicing strongholds, looking into hypnosis, drugs, perhaps with drugs they'll persuade a security officer to 'grab me.' He will be a nice, well-drilled, thoroughly healthy, thoroughly vetted young policeman who will suddenly throw himself upon me with an apparently protective gesture that conceals the murderous grip. There is no security -- computers, rockets, rocketlike artificial birds, psychomanipulations, remote psychoterrorism -- so we might as well resign ourselves to the loneliness of extreme, luxurious imprisonment.

    Source: The Safety Net, p. 124
  4. "You're forgetting, my love, that Italy is slowly turning into one of those havens you want to banish yourself to. If we've managed to both accept and forget all those things the BBC has recounted, it means we are getting used to the idea of losing the sense of shame."

    Source: Numero Zero, p. 249
  5. 'Being realistic' may once have meant coming to terms with a reality experienced as solid and immovable. Capitalist realism, however, entails subordinating oneself to a reality that is infinitely plastic, capable of reconfiguring itself at any moment. We are confronted with what Jameson, in his essay 'The Antinomies of the Postmodern', calls 'a purely fungible present in which space and psyches alike can be processed and remade at will'...How could it ever be possible for us to believe successive or even co-extensive stories that so obviously contradict one another? Yet we know from Kant, Nietzsche and psychoanalysis that waking, as much as dreaming, experience, depends upon just such screening narratives. If the Real is unbearable, any reality we construct must be a tissue of inconsistencies. What differentiates Kant, Nietzsche and Freud from the tiresome cliché that 'life is but a dream' is the sense that the confabulations we live are consensual. The idea that the world we experience is a solipsistic delusion projected from the interior of our mind consoles rather than disturbs us, since it conforms with our infantile fantasies of omnipotence; but the thought that our so-called interiority owes its existence to a fictionalized consensus will always carry an uncanny charge.

    Source: Capitalist Realism, p. 54-56
  6. More ethical than utopian, surrealist writing and art are at once endlessly playful -- dismembered, self-reflexive, allusive -- and deadly serious. Dislodged from its rationalist claim to define and describe existing appearances, surrealist verbal and visual language constitutes a new form of materialism that entered instead into the more contested realm of thinking. That is, as language described by Maurice Blanchot as "rhetoric become matter," it does not so much state as refract, rearrange, delve, and surpass its own claims...[T]he rifts, disagreements, and exclusions through which surrealism consistently reinvented itself reflect the volatility of a movement bent on challenging the silent pacts that guarantee reality as a verifiable set of givens. At the same time, the outbursts of crime and terror animating surrealist work draw attention to the ways in which violent historical phenomena likewise throw into relief the conflicting systems of representation and understanding used to make sense of them. As a lens for political analysis, the varied public and institutional responses to crime -- from the measurement systems of Bertillon cards to the splashy sensationalism of the penny press -- could certainly be used to problematize the limits and excesses of the immediate cultural order...Approached in this way, crime discourse could do more than reflect contemporary social and political systems; it could form the very language through which the historical forces governing these systems might be rendered concrete.

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 12-13
  7. A second secret element is the clandestine headquarters, which should consist of a 'tiny number of men' who were willing and prepared to undertake 'more or less concerted action' (Mariën, 1989: 67). As a first task, the group should produce a basic liquid capital required for initiating the campaign. To this purpose, Mariën’s (1989) envisages 'real' terrorist acts:

    "[T]he single opportunity to procure that money obviously consists in getting it there, where it is. [...] A blade against the throat, the threat of some Asian torture as well as hostage-taking would make each bank manager a precious and entirely compliant auxiliary tool. [...] Employees and customers [...] are not at all prepared to resist the onslaught of machine pistols, hand grenades, teargas or, if necessary, flamethrowers." (pp.122, 127)

    Source: Surrealistic communication as symbolic terrorism: The example of Marcel Mariën’s theory of political campaigning, p. 197
  8. All three, the Hausmeister, Max, the park attendant, were aware that Ulrich's father had worn a monocle, and that his name was Ulrich von Hargenau, and that he had died for his fatherland, another euphemism, and that Ulrich and his brother had dropped the von, a gesture that was universally regarded with suspicion and a quite irrational anger. As a rule, people did not drop their von. The Hausmeister, Max, and the park attendant also knew that Ulrich had been up to his neck in left-wing politics, and that as recently as nine months ago he had been involved in a long drawn-out trial in which his evidence had been used by the prosecution to build an airtight case, enabling them to lock up what everyone considered a bunch of ill-mannered agitators. In some quarters there was more outrage about their alleged bad manners than their left-wing rhetoric.

    Source: How German Is It, p. 34
  9. Apart from the official framing of news, the US entertainment industry too plays an important role in shaping global perceptions about terrorism. The Hollywood-dominated 'Military-Industrial-Media-Entertainment Network' has a major contribution in making the 'war on terror' an entertainment genre (Der Derian, 2009). As Shaheen has argued, the representation of Islam, and especially of Arabs, in most Hollywood films is deeply problematic in terms of racist stereotypes which contribute to a discourse where Muslims are projected as a threat to Western ways of life (Shaheen, 2008...). Terrorism is also the prime subject of several popular American television series like 24, The Unit and Sleeper Cell, which are all examples of intersections between popular entertainment and politics (Kellner, 2009)...This 'militainment' has redefined terrorism as an object of consumer play, deployed by the Pentagon in association with the gaming industry.

    From chapter: Introduction
    Source: Media & Terrorism: Global Perspectives, p. 13
  10. Art enabled the individual to resist society not simply by challenging popular tastes and perceptions, or so Lukács argued, but by intensifying experience through its allegorical and symbolic qualities...The artist in Lukács new and broader definition of the term now appears as a "problematical man." Not the political revolutionary but the erudite cultural radical with a bohemian bent -- like Nietzsche -- is the agent of the new: the prophet of an invigorated subjectivity, an emergent culture, and a transformed reality.

    Source: Critical Theory, p. 79
  11. As early as 1919 the surrealist group began to follow contemporary murder cases with a growing attention to the ways in which such crimes challenged accepted categories of public order, motive, and criminal taxonomy. Throughout the movement's history, items from the back pages of popular newspapers played a critical role in shaping the group's strategy for assessing how and why certain forms of violence tended to elude public scrutiny. The surrealists also unearthed a then-overlooked corpus of European literature and thought; they recognized in the works of figures such as the marquis de Sade, the comte de Lautréamont, Arthur Rimbaud, Alphonse Allais, Anne Radcliffe, Eugene Sue, Sigmund Freud, and the German Romantics an intellectual genealogy that presented crime as an event through which systems of law, science, morality, and speculative thought suddenly came into relief. The surrealists' interest in crime encompassed both the specificity of individual criminal cases and the broader register of political violence in modern life.

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 2
  12. As per the brave actions taken by professional bodies in anthropology and -- belatedly -- psychology against their co-optation by the US war machine (see AAA, 2006; APA, 2009), we should shame universities for their role in electronic-game militarism...We must all work to counter DARPA's ideological incorporation of untenured faculty, whom it seeks to engage via the 'Young Faculty Award'. The goal is 'to develop the next generation of academic scientists, engineers and mathematicians in key disciplines who will focus a significant portion of their career on D[epartment] o[f] D[efense] and national security issues' (DARPA, n.d.). Faculty in other countries should boycott military-endowed US universities and researchers if we fail to contest these murderous paymasters. The task is massive, and it will require people with progressive politics to collaborate as never before. They must do so with an appreciation of the history of imperialism, the experience of militarization, the play of games and the complicity of higher education.

    From chapter: Terrorism and Global Popular Culture by Toby Miller
    Source: Media & Terrorism: Global Perspectives, p. 110-111
  13. As some topics are in every society precluded from public or even private discussion, taboos are an important element of the collective system of repression. The social function of taboos has therefore to be considered as the stabilizing factor in social and cultural systems...Taboos indicate or represent social control, especially with regard to class, gender, and race, cultural hegemony, the norms and values of legal cultures, or they can express the attitudes and mentalities of subcultures and countercultures.

    Basic conflicts over social norms and values that are taken for granted may then also be subverted or deconstructed by political groups. Thus, Quakers and other religious groups were confronted with "a ban on thought, a form of suppressing a set of political ideas and their utterance by means of censorship and other forms of political and legal repression" (Gurr, this volume), and this despite Milton or Bunyan daring to transgress censorship.

    From chapter: Uwe Boker, Taboo and Transgression: A Socio-Historical and Socio-Cultural Perspective
    Source: Taboo and Transgression in British Literature from the Renaissance to the Present, p. 26
  14. At a history seminar Allan Symons was talking about the 1920s with reference to roots music and a genre he called Sweetheart Murder songs. These are southern songs based on true stories where a woman gets pregnant out of wedlock and the guy murders her. The weird thing is that the premarital sex and the pregnancy get edited out due to some putative combination of enforced brevity of the medium and a certain southern morality in which premarital sex and pregnancy are taboo but the murder of women (now apparently inspired by pure misogyny) is perfectly fine. He theorizes that there is a conservative cultural subtext here imploring women to stay at home and be decent southern belles because if you go out you might get murdered for no reason. For my purposes this can be viewed as the imposition of the rational/Apollonian in an effort to contain the questioning/libidinal/Dionysian.

    Source: Random Thoughts, p.
  15. At the same time that [World War II] halted the momentum of political and social democracy, it enlarged the scale of an increasingly open cohabitation between the corporation and the state. That partnership became ever closer during the era of the Cold War (1947-93). Corporate economic power became the basis of power on which the state relied, as its own ambitions, like those of giant corporations, became more expansive, more global, and, at intervals, more bellicose. Together the state and corporation became the main sponsors and coordinators of the powers represented by science and technology. The result is an unprecedented combination of powers distinguished by their totalizing tendencies, powers that not only challenge established boundaries -- political, moral, intellectual, and economic -- but whose very nature it is to challenge those boundaries continually, even to challenge the limits of the earth itself. Those powers are also the means of inventing and disseminating a culture that taught consumers to welcome change and private pleasures while accepting political passivity.

    Source: Democracy Inc., p. xxiii
  16. Beirut is tragic but still breathing. London is the true rubble.

    Source: Mao II, p. 129
  17. Both spectacles [i.e., the Nuremberg rally and Bush's "mission accomplished" pageant] are examples of the distinctively modern mode of myth creation. They are the self-conscious constructions of visual media. Cinema and television share a common quality of being tyrannical in a specific sense. They are able to block out, eliminate whatever might introduce qualification, ambiguity, or dialogue, anything that might weaken or complicate the holistic force of their creation, of its total impression.

    In a curious but important way these media effects mesh with religious practice. In may Christian religions the believer participates in ceremonies much as the movie or TV watcher takes part in the spectacle presented. In neither case do they participate as the democratic citizen is supposed to do, as actively engaged in decisions and sharing the exercise of power. They participate as communicants in a ceremony prescribed by the masters of the ceremony. Those assembled at Nuremberg or on the USS Abraham Lincoln did not share power with their leaders. Their relationship was thaumaturgical: they were being favored by a wondrous power in a form and at a time of its choosing.

    Source: Democracy Inc., p. 2-3
  18. Breton, in his book Arcanum 17, written in Quebec toward the war's end, and thus after the publication of Down Below, responds to the news of the liberation of Paris with a warning that extends Carrington's crisis in consciousness into the postwar historical moment: the end of the Second World War was not necessarily the end of fascism. We must not, he urges, confuse liberation with liberty, or the remission of an illness with the onset of health. "Recovery," in both Breton's and Carrington's accounts, refers not to the simple relieving of symptoms but to "a constant renewal of energy." As Breton writes, "Liberty is not, like liberation, a struggle against sickness, it is health."

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 242-243
  19. Breton...writes: "The simplest Surrealist act consists of dashing down into the street, pistol in hand, and firing blindly, as fast as you can pull the trigger, into the crowd. Anyone who, at least once in his life, has not dreamed of thus putting an end to the petty system of debasement and cretinization in effect has a well-defined place in that crowd, with his belly at barrel level." Interpretations of these lines from the Second Manifesto have fueled attacks against surrealism in general, most notably Jean-Paul Sartre's charge that the movement, like Breton's statement, represented a feeble attempt to organize "revolution" around the inner dictates of the individual -- a vulgar and politically bankrupt fusion of Leninist and Freudian rhetoric. Yet Breton is not invoking the "inner dictates of the individual," nor is he simply mobilizing this act of terror as a rhetorical flourish. He means it literally, but stresses that "my intention is not to recommend it above every other because it is simple, and to try and pick a quarrel with me on this point is tantamount to asking, in bourgeois fashion, any nonconformist why he doesn't commit suicide, or any revolutionary why he doesn't pack up and go live in the USSR." Surrealism's struggle lay in reconciling its radical break from the "ideology of continuity" with its awareness that even radicalism tends toward the continuous and the familiar whenever it expresses itself in forms, such as gunshots, that are merely extensions of preexisting violence...

    The group's analyses and debates about the status of violence in the modern world extended to the very question of using revolutionary violence as a political strategy. To what extent could political violence ever be distinguished from crime? How did anti colonial violence differ from terrorism, from ethnic cleansing, or from colonial wars of invasion? Such questions, central to the activities of the surrealist group throughout the movement's history, show the surrealists' dedication to a public intellectualism that confronted the most fundamental principles of revolution and avant-gardism.

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 7
  20. Burke...resists the notion of purposive artistic content altogether. Rather than providing the "wholeness" of a universal principle within which American culture could integrate itself -- or, for that matter, purging the US cultural landscape of its false prophets, its boobs, and its charlatans -- his notion of "perception without obsession" situates the artist as the agent of formulation rather than transformation. The artist's "moral contribution," Burke writes, "consists in the element of grace which he adds to the conditions of life wherein he finds himself".

    Source: Anti-Menckenism: Nathanael West, Robert M. Coates, and the provisional avant-garde, p. 529
  21. But even the most critical movies see the world through the lenses of western, and usually US, eyes, and indulge an exaggerated confidence in the willingness of the US press to expose wrongdoing and hold the powerful to account.

    From chapter: Hollywood, the CIA, and the 'War on Terror' by Oliver Boyd-Barret, David Herrera, and Jim Baumann
    Source: Media & Terrorism: Global Perspectives, p. 132
  22. But now as they decelerate down the last stretch of Route 27, she can only feel the narrowing of options -- it's all converging here, all Long Island, the defense factories, the homicidal traffic, the history of Republican sin forever unremitted, the relentless suburbanizing, miles of mowed yards, contractor hardpan, beaverboard and asphalt shingling, treeless acres, all concentrating, all collapsing, into this terminal toehold before the long Atlantic wilderness.

    Source: Bleeding Edge, p. 191
  23. But the Public Broadcast System takes our tax money. It owes us something, no? If we can't get the real story about Big Oil, at least we deserve an apology.

    I was waiting for the PBS Frontline reporter to say, 'BP has kept the truth locked in its files for years – and so have we at PBS AND WE ARE ASHAMED. Send us back your Ken Burns DVDs for a refund.'

    But no, they didn't apologize; they asked for more money! And we will send it, leveraging Chevron's and ExxonMobil's payola. As P. T. Barnum once said, there's a PBS donor born every minute.

    Source: Vulture's Picnic, p. 203-204
  24. But the reduction of "that which is" to the order of things is not limited to slavery. Slavery is abolished, but we ourselves our aware of the aspects of social life in which man is relegated to the level of things, and we should know that this relegation did not await slavery. From the start, the introduction of labor into the world replaced intimacy, the depth of desire and its free outbreaks, with rational progression, where what matters is no longer the truth of the present moment, but, rather, the subsequent results of operations. The first labor established the world of things, to which the profane world of the Ancients generally corresponds. Once the world of things was posited, man himself became one of the things of this world, at least for the time in which he labored. It is this degradation that man has always tried to escape. In his strange myths, in his cruel rites, man is in search of a lost intimacy from the first.

    Religion is this long effort and this anguished quest: It is always a matter of detaching from the real order, from the poverty of things, and of restoring the divine order.

    Source: The Accursed Share, p. 57
  25. Chester Himes's Harlem crime thrillers, and La Reine des pommes in particular, take this parodic ambition to precisely the baroque excesses at which Deleuze hints. Yet in doing so, the novels end up embracing this parody in a very different way, with a complex combination of political anger and a vernacular ear that resonates more with the cultural project of surrealism than with Deleuze's "copy without an original."

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 254
  26. Classical economy imagined the first exchanges in the form of barter. Why would it have thought that in the beginning a mode of acquisition such as exchange had not answered the need to acquire, but rather the contrary need to lose or squander? The classical conception is now questionable in a sense.

    The "merchants" of Mexico practiced the paradoxical system of exchanges that I have described as a regular sequence of gifts; these customs, not barter, in fact constituted the archaic organization of exchange. Potlatch, still practiced by the Indians of the Northwest Coast of America, is its typical form...Potlatch is, like commerce, a means of circulating wealth, but it excludes bargaining. More often than not it is the solemn giving of considerable riches, offered by a chief to his rival for the purpose of humiliating, challenging and obligating him. The recipient has to erase the humiliation and take up the challenge; he must satisfy the obligation that was contracted by accepting. He can only reply, a short time later, by means of a new potlatch, more generous than the first: He must pay back with interest.

    Source: The Accursed Share, p. 67-68
  27. Claudel also sized up the Dada and Surrealist movements with a haughty judicial eye, pronouncing that they had nothing to offer European civilization other than 'pederasty'. Even before the interview, Claudel represented everything the Surrealists despised...so his comments provided the Surrealists with the chance to denounce him as a dangerous fraud. The Surrealists' retort stated categorically that patriotism and the purchase of 'large quantities of lard' for the 'upkeep of a nation of pigs and dogs' was incompatible with poetry; in fact, 'treason and all that can undermine the security of State' was far more poetic than anything that Claudel could produce. As for Claudel's homophobic comments regarding Surrealism, the authors of the open letter simply said that, to the mind of a 'pedant and a swine' who proudly supported the 'infamous sanctimoniousness' of a Western civilization, the comparison of Surrealism to pederasty was apt because of the swirling haze of 'confusion it introduces into the minds of those who do not take part in it'. The Surrealists decided to distribute the tract at the banquet that night, leaving a copy under each place setting to greet the guests when they arrived.

    Source: Surrealism, Politics and Culture, p. 2
  28. Deleuze is right to argue that Kafka is the prophet of distributed, cybernetic power that is typical of Control societies. In The Trial, Kafka importantly distinguishes between two types of acquittal available to the accused. Definite acquittal is no longer possible, if it ever was ("we have only legendary accounts of ancient cases [which] provide instances of acquittal'). The two remaining options, then, are (1) 'Ostensible acquittal', in which the accused is to all intents and purposes acquitted, but may later, at some unspecified time, face the charges in full, or (2) 'Indefinite postponement', in which the accused engages in (what they hope is an infinitely) protracted process of legal wrangling, so that the dreaded ultimate judgement is unlikely to be forthcoming. Deleuze observes that the Control societies delineated by Kafka himself, but also by Foucault and Burroughs operate using indefinite postponement: Education is a lifelong process..Training that persists for as long as your working life continues...Work you take home with you... Working from home, homing from work. A consequence of this 'indefinite' mode of power is that external surveillance is succeeded by internal policing. Control only works if you are complicit with it.

    Source: Capitalist Realism, p. 22
  29. Did one have to eavesdrop on one's children, take them by surprise, to discover their warmth, to gain insight into their lives?

    Source: The Safety Net, p. 127
  30. Dirty, dark, loud and hysteric, the 1938 Exposition's substitution of interference and disorientation for the traditional orderliness of the exhibition space touched on more than simply aesthetic issues. Without banners, slogans or explicit political declarations, the Surrealists' idiosyncratic installation defined a form of ideological critique that concentrated on the disruptive potential of process, ephemerality, instability and visual frustration against the period's exhibitionary commonplace of stasis, solidity, sanity and visual primacy. However, the failure of scholars to see the prewar show as anything more than an aesthetic or anti-aesthetic event stems at least in part from a failure to adequately treat the spatial and performative dimensions of Surrealism, even as these dimensions arguably fostered the movement's most provocative and ideologically charged work of the period. As the movement's 1938 staging recast the bourgeois eighteenth-century interior of the Parisian gallery in which it was housed, it also pointed to what museological spaces of the day hid: that walls were not neutral, that display strategies were not objective, and that careful taxonomies and rooms enfilade held up the fragile foundations of national chauvinism, authoritative rule and art history alike.

    From chapter: Elena Filipovic, Surrealism in 1938: The Exhibition at War
    Source: Surrealism, Politics and Culture, p. 181
  31. Dismissing suspicions of elite political criminality as harebrained "conspiracy theories" is an alarming development in modern American history. For it not only signals a shift in American civic culture away from the nation's traditional distrust of power, but also may mark the end of America's historic reliance on the political science of the nation's Founders when confronting new challenges in democratic governance.

    Source: Conspiracy Theory in America, p. 53
  32. Do we have a free press today? Sure we do. It's free to report all the sex scandals it wants, all the stock market news we can handle, every new health fad that comes down the pike, and every celebrity marriage or divorce that happens. But when it come to the real down and dirty stuff - stories like Tailwind, the October Surprise, the El Mozote massacre, corporate corruption, or CIA involvement in drug trafficking - that's where we begin to see the limits of our "free" press. In today's media environment, sadly, such stories are not even open for discussion.

    From chapter: Gary Webb, The Mighty Wurlitzer Plays On
    Source: Into the Buzzsaw, p. 156
  33. During a conversation published in the early spring of 1948, the interviewer, Aimé Patri, spurred Breton to respond to some of these charges. 'Since your return from the United States, a number of people have been claiming that Surrealism is dead,', Patri proposed. 'Even some of your intimates have reproached you for abandoning the old Surrealist revolutionary spirit'. Of particular confusion in this regard was the Surrealist insistence upon the 'poetic and historical function' of mythic and utopian thinking, investigations that seemed to 'entail an escape towards the past or outside of time' and an obvious affront to the doctrine of historical materialism that the French Stalinists proclaimed that they were exercising. Breton responded by saying that his exposure to the daily functions of myth among the Hopi and the Haitians convinced him that the 'latent' content of waking life could be mobilized s a means of cultural resistance under adverse political and economic conditions.

    From chapter: Attacks of the Fantastic, Donald LaCoss
    Source: Surrealism, Politics and Culture, p. 268
  34. During the course of the group's relationship with Minotaure, the surrealists shifted their efforts from theorizing the validity of revolutionary violence to finding strategies for deriving paranoiac knowledge. The surrealists, in other words, strove to create an atmosphere that did not so much constitute "revolution" as it was conducive to the knowledge represented obliquely in Nouge and Magritte's drawing: the means -- moral as well as material -- are at hand. By calling surrealism's period of political and epistemological reassessment both a noir period and a period of negation, I have argued, first, that the group's poetic and political aims in 1933 were not limited to revealing irrational forces at work within exterior reality. Rather, the surrealists studied how such forces were organized as coherent structures of motive, causality, and perception in a way that revealed their contiguity with existing structures of political and ideological logic. Second, I maintain that this noir period enabled rather than performed the group's political work. The theoretical experiments of this era provided the basis for a new "morality of revolt" that advocated a massive collective restructuring of society on diverse fronts -- from mental institutions to literature to family structure to political parties -- instead of the merely destructive violence of Aragon's "Red Front."

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 197
  35. During the first weeks following the Flight 800's demise, there was a great deal of coverage about evidence of a high-pressure explosive force - either a bomb or a missile - causing the jet to blow up. Indeed, the coverage was going in the same direction as the FBI...But by September, the press was turning around to the new government line, no questions asked...

    What's fascinating about this is how the same paper first prints a series of reports talking about hard evidence the investigators have uncovered indicating that a mechanical failure was unlikely - like "traces of explosives in the passenger cabin," "very heavy damage to the landing gear," and "portions of the fuel tank wreckage" being "virtually unscathed" - and then turns around and writes a subsequent story that says, "The investigators acknowledge that they have no evidence pointing to a mechanical malfunction. Rather, they say, the failure to find proof of a bombing, after more than two months, lends indirect credence to another theory . . ." Indirect credence to another theory!? What happened to the traces of explosives, etc., that you reported about earlier?

    And that's another huge problem for you, the average citizen seeking good information from your newspaper or TV news broadcast. You probably didn't realize until you read this just how mutable the truth is. You probably didn't know that often what is reported today is the truth, until official sources change it later on. The new truth can be the exact opposite of what was reported before, and it will be reported, no questions asked. What was reported before no longer exists or matters because official sources, our nation's ministers of truth, say it doesn't. Go back and read George Orwell's 1984. It'll give you goose bumps.

    From chapter: Kristina Borjesson, Into the Buzzsaw
    Source: Into the Buzzsaw, p. 297-298
  36. For Crevel, Lacan's thesis was promising to the left for its understanding of paranoia as a psychotic structure that systematically accuses the very ideological forces signified by Freud's notion of "culture." This culture was repressive not simply because it beat back the death drive but because it represented the full force of bourgeois social conditioning which in the France of the early 1930s, was beginning to take on a frighteningly discernible shape: an attachment to so-called family values that sanctioned patriarchal privilege and a rampant homophobia; and an ever-present xenophobia and anti-Semitism whose deep roots in twentieth-century French culture only strengthened what Crevel and the surrealists considered to be a growing fascist sympathy among the French bourgeoisie.

    The "accusation" performed by murderous exhibitionism thus does not canonize the psychotic as a revolutionary figure; insofar as the physical illness represents the moral illness that produces it, Crevel's structuralist notion of behavior as a representation allows his further ideas about political illness and oppression to be a matter of extension...Yet Crevel's version of political and psychological causality structured as a "fortuitous encounter" is particularly useful to surrealism insofar as it rethinks the causality not only of presumably legitimate revolution but of the most inexplicable, brutal, and regressive of events as well -- whether domestic murder or the growing domestic appeal of fascism.

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 189
  37. For I was not, as I liked to think, the indulgent pleasure-loving opposite of the cold rigid Colonel. I was the lie that Empire tells itself when times are easy, he the truth that Empire tells when harsh winds blow. Two sides of imperial rule, no more, no less.

    Source: Waiting for the Barbarians, p. 135
  38. For the majority of people who are not directly subject to its violence or intimidation, terrorism has to be 'made to mean' and the media are crucial ideological vehicles in systematizing and organizing disparate 'acts of terror'. Indeed, media are not simply external actors passively bringing the news of terrorist incidents to global audiences but are increasingly seen as active agents in the actual conceptualization of terrorist events. They are credited, in other words, not simply with definitional but constitutive power: we now have 'mediated terrorism' (Cottle, 2006), 'media-oriented terrorism' (Surette et al., 2009), 'media-ized warfare' (Louw, 2003) and 'mass-mediated terrorism' (Nacos, 2007)

    From chapter: Introduction
    Source: Media & Terrorism: Global Perspectives, p. 9-10
  39. For the scholarly advocates of corporate culture who proliferate in game studies, none of this appears to be a problem: 'games serve the national interest by entertaining consumer-citizens and creating a consumer-based demand for military technology' that is unrelated to actual violence (Hall, 206; Power 2007: 277). But academics who are involved with these delightful paymasters would do well to read some scientific history. In his testimony to the US Atomic Energy Commission, J. Robert Oppenheimer, who led the group that developed the atomic bomb, talked about the instrumental rationality that animated the people who created this awesome technology. Once these scientists saw that it was feasible, the device's impact lost intellectual and emotional significance for them -- overtaken by what he labelled its 'technically sweet' quality (United States Atomic Energy Commission, 1954: 81).

    From chapter: Terrorism and Global Popular Culture by Toby Miller
    Source: Media & Terrorism: Global Perspectives, p. 109-110
  40. Foucault famously observes that there is no need for the place of surveillance to actually be occupied. The effect of not knowing whether you will be observed or not produces an introjection of the surveillance apparatus. You constantly act as if you are always about to be observed.

    Source: Capitalist Realism, p. 52
  41. Gift-giving is not the only form of potlatch: A rival is challenged by a solemn destruction of riches. In principle, the destruction is offered to the mythical ancestors of the donee; it is little different from a sacrifice. As recently as the nineteenth century a Tlingit chieftain would sometimes go before a rival and cut the throats of slaves in his presence. At the proper time, the destruction was repaid by the killing of a large number of slaves. The Chukchee of the Siberian Northeast have related institutions. They slaughter highly valuable dog teams, for it is necessary for them to startle, to stifle the rival group. The Indians of the Northwest Coast would set fire to their villages or break their canoes to pieces. They have emblazoned copper bars possessing a fictive value (depending on how famous or how old the coppers are): Sometimes these bars are worth a fortune. They throw them into the sea or shatter them.

    Source: The Accursed Share, p. 68
  42. Having no heart for broad jokes, I find it inconceivable that anyone should visit a brothel except alone and in absolute gravity.

    Source: Paris Peasant, p. 106
  43. He felt over-protected. How can you deal with the problem of suffering if everybody conspires to estrange you from suffering?

    Source: The Only Problem, p. 378
  44. He turns away, but with a slow claw-like hand I manage to catch his arm. "No, listen!" I say. "Do not misunderstand me, I am not blaming you or accusing you, I am long past that. Remember, I too have devoted a life to the law, I know its processes, I know that the workings of justice are often obscure. I am only trying to understand. I am trying to understand the zone in which you live. I am trying to imagine how you breathe and eat and live from day to day. But I cannot! That is what troubles me! If I were he, I say to myself, my hands would feel so dirty that it would choke me -- "

    He wrenches himself free and hits me so hard in the chest that I gasp and stumble backwards. "You bastard!" he shouts. "You fucking old lunatic! Get out! Go and die somewhere!"

    "When are you going to put me on trial?" I shout at his retreating back. He pays no need.

    Source: Waiting for the Barbarians, p. 126
  45. Hegel believed that progress is ultimately furthered by the person who is out of step with the majority. Only this person, the genuine nonconformist, really experiences the constraints on freedom. Only this person is in the position of questioning the prevailing understandings of happiness. For Hegel, indeed, the "unhappy consciousness" is the source of progress.

    Source: Critical Theory, p. 77
  46. Historically speaking, 9/11 was certainly a world event with wide and tragic consequences, also for the global respect for freedom of expression, civil rights and international law. Dissident voices and alternative information sources are regarded as Fifth Columns instead of as the Fourth Estate, and are targeted as enemies, almost equivalent to illegal combatants.

    From chapter: Wikileaks and War Laws by Stig A. Nohrstedt and Rune Ottosen
    Source: Media & Terrorism: Global Perspectives, p. 219
  47. How many destabilized governments and rigged elections will it take, from Lebanon, Indonesia, Iran and Vietnam in the 1950s, through Japan, Laos, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Bolivia and Chile in the 1960s, Portugal, Australia and Jamaica in the 1970s, and Central America in the 1980s, before gringos realize that US imperialism is bellicose, bloodthirsty, anti-democratic -- and their responsibility?

    From chapter: Terrorism and Global Popular Culture by Toby Miller
    Source: Media & Terrorism: Global Perspectives, p. 101
  48. How to persuade the reader that the actual direction of contemporary politics is toward a political system the very opposite of what the political leadership, the mass media, and think tank oracles claim that it is, the world's foremost exemplar of democracy?

    Source: Democracy Inc., p. xx
  49. However we may ultimately wish to evaluate this populist rhetoric, it has at least the merit of drawing our attention to one fundamental feature of all the postmodernism enumerated above: namely, the effacement in them of the older (essentially high-modernist) frontier between high culture and so-called mass or commercial culture, and the emergence of new kinds of texts infused with the forms, categories, and contents of that very culture industry so passionately denounced by all the ideologues of the modern, from Leavis and the American New Criticism all the way to Adorno and the Frankfurt School. The postmodernisms have, in fact, been fascinated precisely by this whole "degraded" landscape of schlock and kitsch, of TV series and Reader's Digest culture, of advertising and motels, of the late show and the grade-B Hollywood film, of so-called paraliterature, with its airport paperback categories of the gothic and the romance, the popular biography, the murder mystery, and the science fiction or fantasy novel: materials they no longer simply "quote," as a Joyce or a Mahler might have done, but incorporate into their very substance.

    From chapter: The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism
    Source: Postmodernism, p. 2-3
  50. Hyperreality and simulation are deterrents of every principle and every objective, they turn against power the deterrent that it used so well for such a long time. Because in the end, throughout its history it was capital that first fed on the destructuration of every referential, of every human objective, that shattered every ideal distinction between true and false, good and evil, in order to establish a radical law of equivalence and exchange, the iron law of its power. Capital was the first to play at deterrence, abstraction, disconnection, deterritorialization, etc., and if it is the one that fostered reality, the reality principle, it was also the first to liquidate it by exterminating all use value, all real equivalence of production and wealth, in the very sense we have of the unreality of the stakes and the omnipotence of manipulation. Well, today is is this same logic that is even more set against capital. And as soon as it wishes to combat this disastrous spiral by secreting a last glimmer of reality, on which to establish a last glimmer of power, it does nothing but multiply the signs and accelerate the play of simulation.

    Source: Simulacra and Simulation, p. 22
  51. I think there are truth-procedures everywhere, and that they are always universal; that a Chinese novel, Arabic algebra, Iranian music...that all this is, in the end, universal by right. Simply, the conditions of their concrete universalization have followed a complicated history. On the other hand, I would admit that there is an element of the cultural site, which I would see in a system of interconnection, in which there is always something contingent, and also an aspect of sedimentation, of conservation, which is irreducibly particular...I conceive of a culture, in something other than empirical fashion. I'm perfectly aware that there are cultural universes, linguistic universes. But I'd like to be able to cross through this empirical reality in a slightly different way.

    Source: Ethics, p. 141
  52. I want to emphasize that I view my main construction, "inverted totalitarianism," as tentative, hypothetical, although I am convinced that certain tendencies in our society point in a direction away from self-government, the rule of law, egalitarianism, and thoughtful public discussion, and toward what I have called "managed democracy," the smiley face of inverted totalitarianism.

    Source: Democracy Inc., p. xxiv
  53. If the figure of discipline was the worker-prisoner, the figure of control is the debtor-addict...If, then, something like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a pathology, it is a pathology of late capitalism -- a consequence of being wired into the entertainment-control circuits of hypermediated consumer culture.

    Source: Capitalist Realism, p. 25
  54. In any case, the virtual camera is in our heads. No need of a medium to reflect our problems in real time: every existence is telepresent to itself.

    Source: The Perfect Crime, p. 28
  55. In fact, capitalist realism is very far from precluding a certain anti-capitalism. After all, and as Žižek has provocatively pointed out, anti-capitalism is widely disseminated in capitalism. Time after time, the villain in Hollywood films will turn out to be the 'evil corporation'. Far from undermining capitalist realism, this gestural anti-capitalism actually reinforces it...What we have here is a vision of control and communication much as Jean Baudrillard understood it in which subjugation no longer takes the form of a subordination to an extrinsic spectacle, but rather invites us to interact and participate...A film like Wall-E exemplifies what Robert Pfaller has called 'interpassivity': the film performs our anti-capitalism for us, allowing us to continue to consume with impunity.

    Source: Capitalist Realism, p. 12
  56. In its abandonment of protest fiction's epistemological and ethical certainty, Himes's writing for the Série Noire reveals a comic affectation consistent with the surrealist notion of l'humour noir, itself a critical intervention into the field of political writing that was hostile to literary and political naturalism. Indeed what Himes's crime writing shares with surrealist thinking of the post-World War II period is its affected indifference to truth and justice, its sympathy with the shared spirit of writers who expunge the expected characteristics of aesthetic or moral value. This helps to explain what Himes meant when he claimed that although he had "no literary relationship with what is called the Surrealist school," and that he "didn't become acquainted with that term until the fifties," nevertheless "it just so happens that in the lives of black people, there are so many absurd situations, made that way by racism, that black life could sometimes be described as surrealistic. The best expression of surrealism by black people, themselves, is probably achieved by blues musicians."

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 247
  57. In Los Angeles, the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) articulates faculty, film and television producers, game designers and the Pentagon to one another. Formally opened by the Secretary of the Army and the head of the Motion Picture Association of America in 1998, it began with $45 million of the military's budget, a figure that was doubled in its 2004 renewal. ICT uses military money and Hollywood muscle to test out homicidal technologies and narrative scenarios -- under the aegis of film, engineering and communications professors, beavering away in a workspace thoughtfully set up by the set designer for the Stark Trek franchise. By the end of 2010, its products were available on 65 military bases. I guess that is convergence.

    ICT collaborates on major motion pictures...But more importantly, the Institute produces Pentagon recruitment tools such as Full Spectrum Warrior that double as 'training devices for military operations in urban terrain': what's good for the Xbox is good for the combat simulator. The utility of these innovations continues in the field. Many off-duty soldiers play games. The idea is to invade their supposed leisure time and wean them from skater games in favour of what are essentially training manuals. The Pentagon even boasts that Full Spectrum Warrior was the 'game that captured Saddam', because the men who dug Hussein out had been trained with it.

    From chapter: Terrorism and Global Popular Culture by Toby Miller
    Source: Media & Terrorism: Global Perspectives, p. 108-109
  58. In the 1940s, for example, full-time labor editors and reporters abounded on US daily newspapers, and there were several hundred of them. Even ferociously anti-labor newspapers, like the Chicago Tribune, covered the labor beat. The 1937 Flint sit-down strike that launched the United Auto Workers and the trade union movement was a major news story across the nation. By the 1980s, however, labor had fallen off the map, and there were no more than a dozen labor beat reporters remaining on US dailies. (The number is less than five today.) The story was simply no longer covered. Hence, the 1989 Pittstown sit-down strike - the largest since Flint - was virtually unreported in the US media, and its lessons unknown. As the labor movement declined, coverage of labor was dropped. People still work, poverty among workers is growing, workplace conflicts are as important as ever, but this is no longer news.

    From chapter: Robert McChesney, The Rise and Fall of Professional Journalism
    Source: Into the Buzzsaw, p. 442-443
  59. In the 9/11 context, the key taboo claim is that the government is not well-intentioned toward its citizenry. Importantly, this claim is no more entertained by the establishment today than the claim that workers lacked equal bargaining power was entertained by the Lochner-era establishment. It is not entertained because it impugns a formidable paradigm, according to which government officials and agencies in the First-World West uniformly and consistently work to advance the welfare of the citizenry at large.

    Source: 9/11 As False Flag: Why International Law Must Dare To Care, p. 23
  60. Instead of a Marxist view opposing a non-Marxist account as [historian Alan] Rose argues, what we have are two different modes of conceptualizing Marxism itself. On the one hand, Trotsky focused almost exclusively on the purportedly objective problem of economic exploitation, giving little thought to (among other things) exactly how culture or individual agency might actively be incorporated into Marxist theory. Breton and Surrealism, on the other hand, formed part of a Western Marxist tradition that saw true revolution as occurring on the level of culture as much as any other.

    From chapter: Robin Adele Greeley, For An Independent Revolutionary Art: Breton, Trotsky, and Cárdenas's Mexico
    Source: Surrealism, Politics and Culture, p. 222-223
  61. It is about this point in the play, in fact, that things really get peculiar, and a gentle chill, an ambiguity, begins to creep in among the words. Heretofore the naming of names has gone on either literally or as metaphor. But now, as the Duke gives his fatal command, a new mode of expression takes over. It can only be called a kind of ritual reluctance. Certain things, it is made clear, will not be spoken aloud; certain events will not be shown onstage; though it is difficult to imagine, given the excesses of the preceding acts, what these things could possibly be.

    Source: The Crying of Lot 49, p. 51
  62. It is not surprising, then, that when Breton had to deal with women participants in his own movement, he chose ones that he thinks he can deploy as Surrealist tropes of the female, as women who are stand-ins for the various aspects of Surrealist aesthetics. If Prassinos's inclusion in the Anthologie de l'humour noir can be seen as a token gesture to showcase the Surrealist trope of the "child-woman," then Carrington is obviously introduced as the embodiment of the "femme-folle," the madwoman.

    Source: Disruptive Testimonies: The Stakes of Surrealist Experience in Breton and Carrington, p. 97
  63. It isn't just in physics that it's impossible to calculate the momentum and the position of a particle simultaneously. It's the same where the possibility of calculating both the reality and the meaning of an event in news coverage is concerned, the imputation of causes and effects in a particular complex process, the relationship between terrorist and hostage, between virus and cell...Uncertainty has filtered into all areas of life...And this is not an effect of the complexity of the parameters...It is a radical uncertainty, because it is linked to the extreme character of phenomena an snot just to their complexity.

    Source: The Perfect Crime, p. 57
  64. It would be dangerous and misleading to imagine that the near past was some prelapsarian state rife with political potentials, so it's as well to remember the role that commodification played in the production of culture throughout the twentieth century. Yet the old struggle between detournement and recuperation, between subversion and incorporation, seems to have been played out. What we are dealing with now is not the incorporation of materials that previously seemed to possess subversive potentials, but instead, their precorporation: the pre-emptive formatting and shaping of desires, aspirations and hopes by capitalist culture. Witness, for instance, the establishment of settled 'alternative' or 'independent' cultural zones, which endlessly repeat older gestures of rebellion and contestation as if for the first time. 'Alternative' and 'independent' don't designate something outside mainstream culture; rather they are styles, in fact the dominant styles, within the mainstream.

    Source: Capitalist Realism, p. 9
  65. Jameson famously claimed that postmodernism is the 'cultural logic of late capitalism'. He argued that the failure of the future was constitutive of a postmodern cultural scene which, as he correctly prophesied, would become dominated by pastiche and revivalism. Given that Jameson has made a convincing case for the relationship between postmodern culture and certain tendencies in consumer (or post-Fordist) capitalism, it could appear that there is no need for the concept of capitalist realism at all. In some ways, this is true. What I'm calling capitalist realism can be subsumed under the rubric of postmodernism as theorized by Jameson. Yet, despite Jameson's heroic work of clarification, postmodernism remains a hugely contested term, its meanings, appropriately but unhelpfully, unsettled and multiple. More importantly, I would want to argue that some of the processes which Jameson described and analyzed have now become so aggravated and chronic that they have gone through a change in kind.

    Source: Capitalist Realism, p. 7
  66. Literary texts explore the limits of language and playfully engage with the border to forbidden territories beyond the empire of the Symbolic Order.

    From chapter: Anna-Margaretha Horatschek, 'Logicized' Taboo: Abjection in George Eliot's Daniel Deronda
    Source: Taboo and Transgression in British Literature from the Renaissance to the Present, p. 194
  67. Lukács challenged European modernism in general and German expressionism in particular for their irrationalism, subjectivism, and utopianism. Essays like "Greatness and Decline of Expressionism" (1934) and "Realism in the Balance" (1938) maintain that fashionable avant-garde trends helped create the cultural preconditions in which fascism could thrive. Lukács' alternative was a form of "critical realism" perhaps best exemplified in the works of Honore de Balzac, Leo Tolstoy, and Thomas Mann.

    Source: Critical Theory, p. 66
  68. May the recent events have taught France and the world that liberty can only subsist in a dynamic state, that it becomes denatured and negates itself at the moment when one makes of it a museum piece...Humanity's aspirations for liberty must always be given the power to recreate themselves endlessly; that's why it must be thought of not as a state but as a living force bringing about continual progress...Liberty is not, like liberation, a struggle against sickness, it is health.

    Source: Arcanum 17, p. 126,128
  69. Not one single mainstream media journalist undertook took to do what my publisher's (Delacorte Press) attorneys had done: conduct a libel reading, or a detailed examination of how I had documented my facts. I was a man whose words in courts across the land were credible enough to convict and sentence thousands to tens of thousands of years in prisons. My book screamed in a loud, clear voice that the drug war was a premeditated fraud, yet no one in the media was interested in investigating the story.

    From chapter: Michael Levine, Mainstream Media: The Drug War's Shills
    Source: Into the Buzzsaw, p. 179
  70. Numbers of 'CIA movies' increased significantly in the 2000s...These movies frequently rewrite history to support US interests or soften potential critique. Some are supportive of the institutional CIA, CIA protagonists, and US foreign policy. Some favour only one or two of these three. Occasionally a movie is critical of all three. Movies commonly acknowledge popular disquiet with CIA methods while quietly endorsing the authority of its 'parent', the global hegemon. Spying and covert activity are unquestionably 'normal'. If 'normalization' was Hollywood's only ideological work, this alone would contribute to US empire.

    From chapter: Hollywood, the CIA, and the 'War on Terror' by Oliver Boyd-Barret, David Herrera, and Jim Baumann
    Source: Media & Terrorism: Global Perspectives, p. 116-117
  71. Once connected with the critique of religious prejudices and political authority, experimentation and the exercise of judgment, tolerance has turned into a bulwark for the status quo. Marcuse's argument once again relies on the idea that the medium is the message. Insofar as the culture industry presents all positions on any issue in a public forum, they all ultimately appear as having equal value. Tolerance as exhibited by the culture industry thus renders all truth claims relative -- or, better, turns their acceptance into a matter of taste. Now it is not just beauty but truth that lies in the eye of the beholder. What happened to art has happened to the discourse. Both become subordinate to the commodity form whereby qualitative turns into merely quantitative differences. When considering imperialism and war, or assaults on the welfare state and creationism, one stance is as good as another. The mass media renders resistance no more legitimate than support.

    Source: Critical Theory, p. 85
  72. Paranoia was...politically valuable for the way its auto-punitive structure systematically accuses the very ideological forces and "accepted formulas" that Carrington attempts to purge from her system in the opening pages of Down Below. For Crevel, as for Carrington, these accepted formulas, this "thick layer of filth," represented the full force of bourgeois social conditioning on which the spread of fascism throughout Europe was predicated. In this light, the cure for paranoia did not simply mean a reduction of the illness's symptoms...but, more significantly, required a recognition of the subject's self-punishing drive as having a social genesis.

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 228
  73. Post-colonialism, ethnicity, sexuality and cultural studies are not, of course, innocent of theory. nor do they simply date from its decline. It is rather that they have emerged in full force in the wake of 'pure' or 'high' theory, which for the most part they have put behind them. Not only put behind them, indeed, but served to displace. In some ways, this is an evolution to be welcomed. Various forms of theoreticism (though not of obscurantism) have been cast aside. What has taken place by and large is a shift from discourse to culture -- from ideas in a somewhat abstract or virginal state, to an investigation of what in the 1970s and '80s one would have been rash to call the real world. As usual, however, there are losses as well as gains. Analysing vampires or Family Guy is probably not as intellectually rewarding as the study of Freud and Foucault.

    Source: The Event of Literature, p. ix-x
  74. Rather than uncritically reproduce propaganda rhetoric from politicians, we suggest that journalists carry out their own investigations of the legal basis for warfare in cases like Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflicts. The first step could be to listen to what the juridical experts say about the legal issues...Humanitarian rhetoric applied in selective or biased interpretations of international law...needs to be scrutinized by public media.

    From chapter: Wikileaks and War Laws by Stig A. Nohrstedt and Rune Ottosen
    Source: Media & Terrorism: Global Perspectives, p. 216-217
  75. Really Existing Capitalism is marked by the same division which characterized Really Existing Socialism, between, on the one hand, an official culture in which capitalist enterprises are presented as socially responsible and caring, and, on the other, a widespread awareness that companies are actually corrupt, ruthless, etc...But postmodernism's supposed gestures of demystification do not evince sophistication so much as a certain naivety, a conviction that there were others, in the past, who really believed in the Symbolic. [now quoting Zizek:] ...those who do not allow themselves to be caught in the symbolic deception/fiction, who continue to believe their eyes, are the ones who err most. A cynic who 'believes only his eyes' misses the efficiency of the symbolic fiction, and how it structures our experience of reality.

    Source: Capitalist Realism, p. 47-48
  76. Recognizing the popular and clinical impact of crime to be an admixture of fiction and fact, the surrealists viewed crime as a phenomenon of the marvelous, an event characterized by the discrepancies and excesses it brought to light. Louis Aragon, in a series of aphorisms published in 1925, refers to this phenomenal quality as "the contradiction that reveals itself within the real." Aragon would later uphold this phenomenon as a mechanism for political change, arguing that the marvelous provides a means for diagnosing crises within existing political and cultural orders, as well as for attacking, in turn, the ideological forces that sustain them as reality...The surrealist fascination with crime is fundamental, I propose, to the movement's collective project, a radical synthesis of diverse fields of knowledge that sought to transform the ordering systems through which we understand and experience modern life.

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 1-2
  77. Saint-Pol-Roux looked on helplessly as the room erupted: the Surrealists exchanged blows with other guests amid shouts of 'Long Live Germany!', 'Victory to the Rif!', 'Hail the workers' paradise!', and 'Hurrah for China!'; Philippe Soupault knocked over plates on the tables while swinging from the chandelier; and the passing crowd attempted to lynch Michel Leiris after he began shouting seditious comments from a window overlooking boulevard Montparnasse. Leiris was arrested and beaten severely while in police custody for his efforts...This was not just an aesthetic spat between generations of writers over poetic style; rather, this was subversion of a social, political and cultural nature...and after 2 July 1925, Surrealism could no longer be considered simply another avant-garde artistic or literary 'ism'.

    Source: Surrealism, Politics and Culture, p. 3
  78. She moved through it carrying her fat book, attracted, unsure, a stranger, wanting to feel relevant but knowing how much of a search among alternate universes it would take. For she had undergone her own educating at a time of nerves, blandness and retreat among not only her fellow students but also most of the visible structure around and ahead of them, this having been a national reflex to certain pathologies in high places only death had had the power to cure, and this Berkeley was like no somnolent Siwash out of her own past at all, but more akin to those Far Eastern or Latin American universities you read about, those autonomous culture media where the most beloved of folklores may be brought into doubt, cataclysmic of dissents voiced, suicidal of commitments chosen -- the sort that bring governments down.

    Source: The Crying of Lot 49, p. 77-78
  79. Since [the French Revolution], governments have been on any quantitative measure the most prolific users of terroristic violence. Yet there is no hint of this in the dominant official discourse, whether of national or international law. In that discourse, terrorism is used by extremists -- rebels -- against the established order -- the state.

    Source: Terrorism: A Very Short Introduction, p. 24
  80. Still, writers are not terribly reliable as witnesses for either the defense or the prosecution. They are also not to be relied upon as lovers. They lack patience. They seem to have a certain difficulty in taking pleasure from what they are doing. Like chess players, they are inwardly preparing themselves for the inevitable end game.

    Source: How German Is It, p. 28
  81. The "formalism" of which the Justices [of the Lochner-era] stood accused by their critics -- both at the time and since -- amounted to an intellectual insulation from "social facts" that kept fro from appreciating the realities of modern industrial relations. Those realities fatefully disadvantaged workers in contract negotiations with their would-be employers and rendered talk of "freedom of contract" cruelly farcical. By refusing to gaze upon those realities and draw the necessary inferences from them in assessing protective legislation, the Justices were, in Roscoe Pound's colorful words, behaving as "[l]egal monks who pass their lives in an atmosphere of pure law, from which every worldly and human element is excluded."...Strangely enough, those judges were both virulently anti-empirical and empirical at one and the same time. Their anti-empiricism was dictated by an abstract, and highly ideological, laissez-faire-era assumption about the nature of equality in modern industrial relations...The only way [pro-labor] legislation might be justified was on narrow "health" grounds: If the legislature could show that its law was intended only to safeguard the physical health of the workers, rather than to paternalistically interfere in the industrial bargaining relationship itself, the law might pass constitutional muster. Interestingly, it was at this point in their reasoning that the Lochner-era judges suddenly became very interested in the real world. For on the question of health dangers, they were not content merely to accept the say-so of the legislature (i.e. they were not prepared to be bound by the mere "forms" of legislative assurances), but instead insisted on reviewing the health facts for themselves in an exercise of quasi-de novo review.

    Source: 9/11 As False Flag: Why International Law Must Dare To Care, p. 20-22
  82. The appeal to the marvellous was symptomatic of the problematical status of Surrealism as a mode of political action. The marvellous was nothing other than the resonance of creative endeavor in the quotidian, yet it could only be represented as an estrangement of the quotidian, a sudden shift in perspective that disrupted the normal circulation of signs...For Surrealism to succeed on a cultural level it had to dress politics in metaphor; yet for it to succeed politically, it had to strip culture of its metaphoric veils. Surrealism never overcame this impasse, which inscribed its political position as an over-determined subtext in Surrealist productions; hence the fugitive, provisional character of Surrealist political manifestations. Although cultural endeavour could have political repercussions under certain conditions, in Surrealism's case these repercussions were not an actuality, and they consequently assumed the form of a series of missed or failed encounters.

    Source: Surrealism, Politics and Culture, p. 72
  83. The best we can do is acknowledge the fact that we are prisoners -- that we'll perish in security, perhaps from security.

    Source: The Safety Net, p. 123
  84. The big Other is the collective fiction, the symbolic structure, presupposed by any social field...One important dimension of the big Other is that it does not know everything. It is this constitutive ignorance of the big Other that allows public relations to function. Indeed, the big Other could be defined as the consumer of PR and propaganda, the virtual figure which is required to believe even when no individual can. To use one of Žižek's examples: who was it, for instance, who didn't know that Really Existing Socialism (RES) was shabby and corrupt? Not any of the people, who were all too aware of its shortcomings; nor any of the government administrators, who couldn't but know. No, it was the big Other who was the one deemed not to know -- who wasn't allowed to know -- the quotidian reality of RES. Yet the distinction between what the big Other knows, i.e. what is officially accepted, and what is widely known and experienced by actual individuals, is very far from being 'merely' emptily formal; it is the discrepancy between the two that allows 'ordinary' social reality to function. When the illusion that the big Other did not know can no longer be maintained, the incorporeal fabric holding the social system together disintegrates. This is why Khrushchev's speech in 1965 [sic, it was 1956], in which he 'admitted' the failings of the Soviet state, was so momentous...Khrushchev's announcement made it impossible to believe any more that the big Other was ignorant of them.

    Source: Capitalist Realism, p. 44-45
  85. The experiences of dead journalists and the case of WikiLeaks should be understood in a context of the emergence of a threat-society as a later phase of the risk-society Beck wrote about more than two decades ago (Beck, 1986). In threat-society there are trends that work as undercurrents, and channel opinions towards accepting violations of human rights and international laws for the sake of security. The culture of fear has a firm grip on popular culture, mediatized discourses and people's minds, and it is exploited for threat policies based upon speculative threat images together with public appeals for patriotism and trust to the leaders in these difficult times. In particular, the militarization of security policy implies that democratic deliberation is moulded into an iron cage of complicity and subordination .

    From chapter: Wikileaks and War Laws by Stig A. Nohrstedt and Rune Ottosen
    Source: Media & Terrorism: Global Perspectives, p. 218-219
  86. The fifth act, entirely an anticlimax, is taken up by the bloodbath Gennaro visits on the court of Squamuglia. Every mode of violent death available to Renaissance man, including a lye pit, land mines, a trained falcon with envenom'd talons, is employed. It plays, as Metzger remarked later, like a Road Runner cartoon in blank verse. At the end of it about the only character left alive in a stage dense with corpses is the colourless administrator, Gennaro.

    Source: The Crying of Lot 49, p. 55
  87. The Frankfurt School...knew that mass media tends to champion right-wing causes. But they also knew that the culture industry can also produce works of a seemingly progressive slant. Mass media had already often bashed capitalism, intolerance, and the power elite. Even then, however, it seems to standardize experience and undermine critical reflection. According to the Frankfurt School, the culture industry integrates all opposition by its very nature. The impotence of a work is a direct function of its popularity.

    Source: Critical Theory, p. 79
  88. The Kuma War game includes online missions entitled 'Fallujah: Operation al Fajr', 'Battle in Sadr City' and 'Uday and Qusay's Last Stand'. Its legitimacy and realism are underwritten by the fact that the firm is run by retired military officers and used as a recruiting tool by their former colleagues...Such ideological work became vital because the military-diplomatic-fiscal disasters of the 2001-07 period jeopardized a steady supply of new troops. So at the same time as neophytes were hard to attract to the military due to the perils of war, recruits to militaristic game design stepped forward -- nationalistic designers volunteering for service. Their mission, which they appeared to accept with alacrity, was to interpellate the country's youth by situating their bodies and minds to fire the same weapons and face the same issues as on the battle field.

    From chapter: Terrorism and Global Popular Culture by Toby Miller
    Source: Media & Terrorism: Global Perspectives, p. 106-107
  89. The millennium bug is only one example of a systemic weakness which quietly has overwhelmed the communications media, leaving governments all over the planet and their billions of citizens embarking on a new era in which they continue to pour time and energy and money into frantic activity which frequently proves to be built out of untruth.

    This is Flat Earth news. A story appears to be true. it is widely accepted as true. it becomes a heresy to suggest that it is not true -- even if it is riddled with falsehood, distortion and propaganda.

    Source: Flat Earth News, p. 12
  90. The music-industrial-complex is like the military-industrial-complex:


    1. The faces of the things are just puppets manipulated behind the scenes by power players in the shadows.

    2. It's all about image, playing to the media.

    3. Sometimes the artists start to believe their own hype and get carried away with themselves, often with disastrous results.

    4. The master manipulators work both sides of the game, e.g., the same star-makers that created Backstreet Boys created N'Sync.

    5. Post-9/11 the music industry returned to the "comfort music" of pure pop, only served up with the mean-spiritedness of Simon Cowell. It's a bit like the supposed comfort of Homeland Security, served up with threats and violence against dissent.

    6. Hit-making, like covert operations, is highly compartmentalized, with specialists responsible for discrete aspects of a project, and nobody accountable for the whole.

    7. In both arenas it's easy to get carried away and exaggerate the omnipotence and control of the drivers of events.


    If this kind of manipulation is to be expected with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, why not when hundreds of billions are at stake?

    Source: Random Thoughts, p.
  91. The only valid excess was one that went beyond the bounds, and one whose consumption appeared worthy of the gods. This was the price men paid to escape their downfall and remove the weight introduced in them by the avarice and cold calculation of the real order.

    Source: The Accursed Share, p. 61
  92. The Rushdie affair put a whole complex of Western assumptions about the politics of postmodern art, about the nature of reading and of satire, up against traditional Muslim assumptions about, among other matters, the nature of representation and the obligation to revealed truth, and found them, if not wanting, at least not universal.

    Source: Plotting Terror, p. 36
  93. The ties between surrealism's politics and the problem of terrorist violence briefly became a public issue once more in 2001, in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Recalling the surrealist movement's anti colonial and anti-Western rhetoric, which had been especially visible during the 1920s and 1930s, the prominent French curator Jean Clair excoriated the movement for its resemblance to al-Qaeda. In a newspaper editorial published in December 2001, Clair juxtaposed the destruction of the World Trade Center with Louis Aragon's 1925 rant against the "white buildings" of New York City, suggesting a causal (rather than merely analogical) relationship between fundamentalist terrorism and the interwar European avant-garde. In making this juxtaposition, Clair contends that "the surrealist ideology never stopped hoping for the death of an America it saw as materialist and sterile, and for the triumph of an Orient that served as the repository for the values of the mind." ore than simply a historical coincidence, Clair argues, surrealism's anti-Western and pro-"Oriental" ideology helped "prepare the minds" of European civilization -- yet prepared them not for revolution but for an anti humanism complicit with the forms of totalitarianism and state terror that would follow, from Stalinist purges to the Holocaust.

    Clair's polemic was an attack on avant-garde rhetoric, though, rather than a critique of the surrealist movement's actual political thinking, as represented in the many tracts, pamphlets, and speeches the surrealists produced throughout the movement's history. Indeed, Clair's own charge of surrealism's complicity in 9/11 -- a rhetorical gesture par excellence -- is a reaction, he claims, against the ideological stakes of surrealism's own intensified rhetoric, whose insults and violent polemics "are no different from those found in the fiery attacks of the fascist leagues or, on the other side of the political spectrum, those soon to be addressed to the 'mad dogs' in the Moscow trials. They signal an era." Violent rhetoric produces violent action, Clair maintains; and because surrealism spoke, and because its rhetoric thus served as the conduit between its artistic practices and the political sphere, surrealist appeals to violence and to the dissolution of Western humanistic ideals cannot safely be viewed as autonomous artistic utterances. In "seeking to conflate vita contemplativa and vita politica," Clair argues, the movements members become as subject to judgment and condemnation as any member of a political party.

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 268
  94. The value of warfare in Mexican society cannot mislead us: It was not a military society. Religion remained the obvious key to its workings. If the Aztecs must be situated, they belong among the warrior societies, in which pure, uncalculated violence and the ostentatious forms of combat held sway. The reasoned organization of war and conquest as unknown to them. A truly military society is a venture society, for which war means a development of power, an orderly progression of empire. It is a relatively mild society; it makes a custom of the rational principles of enterprise, whose purpose is given in the future, and it excludes the madness of sacrifice. There is nothing more contrary to military organization than these squanderings of wealth represented by hecatombs of slaves.

    Source: The Accursed Share, p. 54-55
  95. The woman in the car with him (presumably Nadja) raises the stakes for him. Here is a moment: sex and speed and death. But Breton tells us that it is unnecessary to add that he didn't indulge her. In a sense, she should be his epitome of the authentic Surrealist, the kind of Surrealist that Breton wished that he could be. However, especially with Nadja's eventual breakdown, Breton recognizes that to commit fully to what he believes may very well result in self-annihilation. Ultimately, Nadja represents a failed encounter with the marvelous, an encounter from which Breton escapes. And the narrative provides Breton with a platform to elucidate the pitfalls as he learns about them. Regardless, Nadja the actual woman remains merely a placeholder in his Surrealist aesthetic. She begins as an exemplar of the marvelous and comes to represent the writer's failure to follow through with everything he thought he believed about the marvelous. However, even as a marker of failure, Nadja is a feminine representation of Breton's failure and therefore gets recuperated into his conception of Surrealist experience. If at first glance the narrative appears to be about how Nadja the woman provides Breton access to the marvelous, then the dangers of Nadja's experience serve once again abstractly as a feminine warning that the male Surrealist must overcome.

    Source: Disruptive Testimonies: The Stakes of Surrealist Experience in Breton and Carrington, p. 97
  96. Then the persecuted surrealists will be found in cafés chantants, taking advantage of the confusion to peddle their recipes for infecting images. An attitude, a reflex action, a sudden betrayal of irritability on the part of certain customers will suffice for them to be suspected of surrealism by the police who are keeping them under observation. I can already visualize the law's agents provocateurs with their wiles and their tarps. The right of individuals to forge their own destiny will yet again be restricted and challenged. Public peril will be invoked, or the general interest, or even the preservation of humanity itself...Young people will plunge passionately into this serious, unprofitable game. It will pervert the course of their lives. The Faculties will be deserted, the laboratories closed down. The very idea of armies, families, professions will become inconceivable. Then, in the face of this ever-increasing disaffection of social life, a great conspiracy of all the dogmatic and realist forces of the world will be organized against the phantom of illusions. It will win...

    Source: Paris Peasant, p. 66
  97. There have been incidents in which soldiers have gone into shops, taken what they wanted, and left without paying. Of what use is it for the shopkeeper to raise the alarm when the criminals and the civil guard are the same people?

    Source: Waiting for the Barbarians, p. 123
  98. There is always a hidden camera somewhere. You can be filmed without knowing it. You can be called to act it all out again for any of the TV channels. You think you exist in the original-language version, without realizing that this is now merely a special case of dubbing, an exceptional version for the 'happy few'. Any of your acts can be instantly broadcast on any station. There was a time when we would have considered this a form of police surveillance. Today, we regard it as advertising.

    Source: The Perfect Crime, p. 28
  99. There is an essentially modern tragic symbol: it is a sort of large wheel which is spinning and which is no longer being steered by a hand.

    Source: Paris Peasant, p. 118
  100. There is something fundamentally wrong with the idea that protecting national security requires exempting the CIA - or any branch of the US government for that matter - from all ethical, legal, and constitutional principles. The world needs to know that this is the institutional operating principle of the CIA, not just a few cowboys or rogue agents, and that the CIA now has the statutory right to carry out all manner of crimes anywhere in the world.

    One swallow does not a summer make, but one hundred thousand extremely serious crimes a year makes the CIA a criminal organization. Even if it did not, a suspension of the Constitution exempting the CIA from observing all international treaties and agreements screams for press coverage. So does Congress's sanctioning of CIA crimes against humanity under the well-worn "national security" banner. In fact, there is next to no meaningful coverage ever of the CIA in the mainstream media, let alone analysis. The few exceptions prove the rule, and when they occur, the rest of the media gang up on the exception, side with the CIA, and obliterate the story often before it's published. Case in point: Gary Webb's articles on the CIA's involvement with drugs.

    From chapter: John Kelly, Crimes and Silence: The CIA's Criminal Acts and the Media's Silence
    Source: Into the Buzzsaw, p. 130
  101. This is where definitions matter and where the influence of the media in making things 'obvious' is particularly stark. By privileging certain associations -- for example, of Islam as a 'violent' religion, of the West as a 'victim' of terrorist attacks, of terrorism itself as a form of violence carried out against 'democratic' states -- the media assist in the naturalization of particular interpretations of terrorism and thus legitimize specific strategies used to confront terrorist actions. Such strategies might include passing domestic anti-terror legislation, curbing civil liberties in order to reduce the threat of terrorism and invading, occupying and bombing countries that are said to host terrorist elements -- all in the name of a 'war on terror' conducted by a 'civilized' West against a less civilized 'other'.

    The problem is that there is no single, commonly accepted definition of terrorism on which to base such associations and therefore no independent and reliable way of assessing what constitutes a terrorist act; hence the old adage that 'one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter'. There are instead interpretations: socially constructed understandings of events based on 'conscious efforts to manipulate perceptions to promote certain interests at the expense of others' (Turk, 2004: 490).

    From chapter: Introduction
    Source: Media & Terrorism: Global Perspectives, p. 6-7
  102. This literary ethics, in other words, posited reform as a project toward which art could aim -- but which it could not in itself fulfill. The anti-Menckenists refused the grandiose claims about cultural unity and cohesion presented in the work of writers such as T.S. Eliot and Frank, while also opposing Mencken's own lingering (if frustrated) progressivism in presuming that America could only be improved through the acerbic vigor of Nietzschean supermen-critics. The anti-Menckenists, I contend, distanced themselves from the "religious" presumption that the right kind of critical or artistic voice might bear redemptive wisdom within it: the presumption that language could, in fact, convey truth. Dramatizing the failure -- and even violence -- of such beliefs, the anti-Menckenists instead viewed writing as a means for establishing the terms and conditions of public engagement and introduced the possibility that writing could rhetorically call into being the provisional institutions the writers themselves formed as critics, correspondents, and friends.

    Source: Anti-Menckenism: Nathanael West, Robert M. Coates, and the provisional avant-garde, p. 523
  103. This whole virtual technology media circus, this perpetual 'reality show', has an ancestor: the ready-made. Those who are plucked from their real lives to come and act out the psychodrama of their AIDS or their marital problems on TV have an ancestor in Duchamp's bottle-rack which that artist similarly plucked from the real world to confer on it elsewhere -- in a field we still agree to call art -- an undefinable hyperreality.

    Source: The Perfect Crime, p. 30
  104. Ultimately, there are three reasons that I prefer the term capitalist realism to postmodernism. In the 1980s, when Jameson first advanced his thesis about postmodernism, there were still, in name at least, political alternatives to capitalism. What we are dealing with now, however, is a deeper, far more pervasive, sense of exhaustion, of cultural and political sterility...

    Secondly, postmodernism involved some relationship to modernism. Jameson's work on postmodernism began with an interrogation of the idea, cherished by the likes of Adorno, that modernism possessed revolutionary potentials by virtue of its formal innovations alone. What Jameson saw happening instead was the incorporation of modernist motifs into popular culture (suddenly, for example, Surrealist techniques would appear in advertising). At the same time as particular modernist forms were absorbed and commodified, modernism's credos -- its supposed belief in elitism and its monological, top-down model of culture -- were challenged and rejected in the name of 'difference', 'diversity' and 'multiplicity'. Capitalist realism no longer stages this kind of confrontation with modernism. On the contrary, it takes the vanquishing of modernism for granted: modernism is now something that can periodically return, but only as a frozen aesthetic style, never as an ideal for living.

    Thirdly, a whole generation has passed since the collapse of the Berlin Wall. In the 1960s and 1970s, capitalism had to face the problem of how to contain and absorb energies from outside. It now, in fact, has the opposite problem; having all-too successfully incorporated externality, how can it function without an outside it can colonize and appropriate?...Capitalism seamlessly occupies the horizons of the thinkable. Jameson used to report in horror about the ways that capitalism had seeped into the very unconscious; now, the fact that capitalism has colonized the dreaming life of the population is so taken for granted that it is no longer worthy of comment.

    Source: Capitalist Realism, p. 8-9
  105. Universities have applied their idée fixe of rational-actor theory to these developments. In 1996, the National Academy of Sciences held a workshop for academia, Hollywood and the Pentagon on simulation and games. The next year, the National Research Council announced a collaborative research agenda on popular culture and militarism. It convened meetings to streamline such cooperation, from special effects to training simulations, from immersive technologies to simulated networks (Lenoir 2003: 190; Macedonia, 2002). today, untold numbers of academic journals and institutes on games are closely tied to the Pentagon. They test and augment the recruiting and training potential of games to ideologize, hire and instruct the population.

    From chapter: Terrorism and Global Popular Culture by Toby Miller
    Source: Media & Terrorism: Global Perspectives, p. 107
  106. Unlike Trotsky's persistent view that culture was ultimately a subsidiary issue, Breton and the Surrealists conceptualized it as central both to any understanding of power relationships under capitalism and to any theory of social change. In fact, Surrealism's dedication to cultural theory marks its fundamental opposition to Trotsky's more orthodox Marxism...Along with other Western Marxists such as Antonio Gramsci and Walter Benjamin, the Surrealists argued that a critique of culture in relation to politics was crucial to any revolutionary analysis of capitalist society. Susan Buck-Morss, writing on Benjamin, notes the key lesson he learned from Surrealism: that the cultural contents of history were "the source of critical knowledge that alone can place the present into question."...While Benjamin questioned Surrealism's absolute faith in the transformatory power of aesthetics, both shared a commitment to cultural analysis and artistic production as essential to Marxism that was far from Trotsky's view.


    From chapter: Robin Adele Greeley, For an Independent Revolutionary Art: Breton, Trotsky and Cárdenas's Mexico
    Source: Surrealism, Politics and Culture, p. 218-219
  107. Virtual or real, national or transnational, state-sponsored or executed by small groups, terrorism in all its forms remains a central concern for contemporary societies.

    From chapter: Introduction
    Source: Media & Terrorism: Global Perspectives, p. 1
  108. We begin with an example of what is perhaps the Surrealists' first significant intervention into the intricate nexus of culture and politics: the Saint-Pol-Roux banquet of 2 July 1925. What began as a cultured dinner party in Montparnasse organized by the Mercure de France to honor the ageing Symbolist poet, Saint-Pol-Roux, ended with Surrealists being arrested, condemned by the press, and threatened with violent right-wing reprisals. This event and the ensuing controversy not only alienated the Surrealists from other guests at the banquet and reinforced Surrealism's oppositional stance against the European cultural mainstream, but it also marked 'Surrealism's final break with all conformist elements of the time', and signalled Surrealism's decisive turn towards Communism.

    Source: Surrealism, Politics and Culture, p. 1
  109. We have not directed our critical faculties sufficiently to the problem of the role played by bar and café owners: yet they are people who make a very real contribution to the maintenance of true civilization.

    Source: Paris Peasant, p. 81
  110. What has made it impossible for us to live in time like fish in water, like birds in air, like children? It is the fault of Empire! Empire has created the time of history. Empire has located its existence not in the smooth recurrent spinning time of the cycle of the seasons but in the hagged time of rise and fall, of beginning and end, of catastrophe. Empire dooms itself to live in history and plot against history. one thought alone preoccupies the submerged mind of Empire: how not to end, how not to die., how to prolong its era. By day it pursues its enemies. It is cunning and ruthless, it sends its bloodhounds everywhere. By night it feeds on images of disaster: the sack of cities, the rape of populations, pyramids of bones, acres of desolation. A mad vision yet a virulent one: I, wading in the ooze, am no less infected with it than the faithful Colonel Joll as he tracks the enemies of Empire through the boundless desert, sword unsheathed to cut down barbarian after barbarian...

    Source: Waiting for the Barbarians, p. 133
  111. What is the mystique of something that, while statistically less fatal than choking to death on one's lunch, has been perceived as one of the greatest public threats? What are the cultural premises and discursive strategies that provide terrorism with its rhetorical power? Why do America's few domestic "terrorist" murders annually arouse a fear that, annually, 25,000 "ordinary" murders cannot? As in the "referential illusion" of the realist aesthetic of modern literature, "the very absence of the signified...becomes the very signifier of realism." [Latter quote from Barthes, The Rustle of Language, p. 148]

    Source: Terror and Taboo, p. 6
  112. Yet despite its primacy in contemporary politics there is a distinct lack of agreement on how to define terrorism...When Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the main suspect in the 2009 shooting of 13 army personnel at Fort Hood, Texas, was featured on the cover of Time magazine (23 November 2009), the word 'TERRORIST?' was emblazoned over his eyes. Jared Lee Loughner, accused of critically wounding Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killing six others in Tucson, Arizona, also made it to the cover (24 January 2011) but this time the headline focused on 'Guns. Speech. Madness'. The Wall Street Journal also treated the two incidents in very different ways: '[Sen. Joe] Lieberman Suggests Army Shooter Was "Home-Grown Terrorist" was how it covered the Fort Hood story on 9 November 2009 while on 10 January 2011 the WSJ's headline was 'Suspect Fixated on Giffords'. The line between acts of terror and insanity was drawn very tightly. It seems so obvious, after all, that a Muslim targeting American soldiers must be a terrorist while a 22-year-old white native of Tucson must simply be disturbed.

    From chapter: Introduction
    Source: Media & Terrorism: Global Perspectives, p. 6
  113. Yet you do not have to be a former papist or ex-Oxbridge don to appreciate the oddness of a situation in which teachers and students of literature habitually use words like literature, fiction, poetry, narrative and so on without being at all well equipped to embark on a discussion of what they mean. Literary theorists are those who find this as strange, if not quite as alarming, as encountering medics who can recognise a pancreas when they see one but would be incapable of explaining its functioning.

    Source: The Event of Literature, p. xi-xii
  114. [A] very suitable definition of contemporary man might be that he is man under observation -- observed by the state, for one, with more and more sophisticated methods while man makes more and more desperate attempts to escape being observed, which in turn renders man increasingly suspect in the eyes of the state and the state even more suspect in the eyes of man...

    Source: The Assignment, p. 16
  115. [A]n institution differs from a conversation in that it always requires supplementary constraints for statements to be declared admissible within its bounds. The constraints function to filter discursive potentials, interrupting possible connections in the communication networks: there are things that should not be said...However, this hypothesis about the institution is still too "unwieldy": its point of departure is an overly "reifying" view of what is institutionalized. We know today that the limits the institution imposes on potential language "moves" are never established, once and for all (even if they have been formally defined). Rather, the limits are themselves the stakes and provisional results of language strategies, within the institution and without...Reciprocally, it can be said that the boundaries only stabilize when they cease to be stakes in the game.

    Source: The Postmodern Condition, p. 17
  116. [D]espite the impressive body of serious literature that has emerged since 9/11 challenging the official version of the attacks and strongly suggesting that they were either perpetrated by elements of the U.S. Government or allowed by them to happen, neither the U.N. nor NATO has ever bestirred itself to re-visit the crucial issue of responsibility/authorship. This reluctance to ask hard questions in the halls of international institutions that are charged with the duty to "go there" and vet claims of national self-defense has unfortunately been matched -- non-discourse for non-discourse -- by the silence of scholars.

    Source: 9/11 As False Flag: Why International Law Must Dare To Care, p. 5
  117. [Following fascism and Communism] Now it is terrorists who lurk in every shadow, images of terrorist attacks that fill our television screens, and fears of new varieties -- nuclear, biological, cyber-terrorism -- that drive calls for increased surveillance and larger defense budgets. If such Orwellian transformations in the identity of the enemy do not make us skeptical, an element of construction in political and journalistic rhetoric about terrorism, even in terrorist acts themselves, seems inescapable. Bombings and hijackings begin with a few people plotting violence for maximum exposure, come to us on television, where distinctions between news and entertainment are ever more tortuous, and quickly pass into the popular imagination, into blockbuster movies and paperback thrillers.

    Source: Plotting Terror, p. 1
  118. [From the introduction by the author in 1959] The young men of my generation looked forward to peace, to peace timeless, unhurried and indestructible; I would suggest that you pause for a moment, as I sometimes do, to think about that, and compare the basic outlook it suggests with the mixture of frustration, anxiety and downright fear that lies in the back of every man's mind nowadays when he picks up his morning paper or turns on the radio.

    This fact, too, I think, had a great deal to do with creating the atmosphere of the period -- a mixture of optimism, enthusiasm and feverish activity...It was the Dada period, and for me Dada has always meant gaiety: the one artistic movement I know of whose main purpose was having fun.

    Source: The Eater of Darkness, p. iii-iv
  119. [Georges] Sadoul's essay is by far the most paranoid, arguing that the popular appeal of magazines like Detective extended the reach of the powerful right-wing police chief Jean Chiappe....For Sadoul, the law was merely the pretext for a conspiracy of police forces, whether professional, amateur, or journalistic...[H]is intent is to suggest the complicity of even this widely read magazine...with the ideological function of police activity. This function is fascist, Sadoul argues, to the extent that participation in the surveillance and pursuit of so-called criminals is less a question of desire than an automatic function of the state...the sensationalism Sadoul decries represented not a liberation of desire or an explosion of perversity but, as Aragon similarly expresses in his "Introduction to 1930," the "revenge of censorship on the unconscious."

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 156-157
  120. [Holzpuke] "No, but I have a few more questions for you -- about your friends. What you were saying just now -- that pride, that stubbornness, that being excluded -- or sense of being excluded -- those conclusions -- those ideas -- how big do you suppose it is, the group you have defined in this way?"

    [Rolf] "You could figure that out very easily from your own files and those of other authorities working with you: we are all listed, aren't we -- it's not that we have a list of ourselves -- we don't know how many we are, but you should know, just take a look at this army, this phantom army -- review it -- let those hundreds of thousands of young women and men and their children parade before you, if only in your mind's eye, and ask yourself whether all their education, their potential intelligence, their strength and glory, exist merely to be kept under surveillance."

    Source: The Safety Net, p. 239-240
  121. [H]e...would have to conclude that other people suffered as much from not being observed as he did, that they, too, felt meaningless unless they were being observed, and that this was the reason why they all observed and took snapshots and movies of each other, for fear of experiencing the meaninglessness of their existence in the face of a dispersing universe with billions of Milky Ways like our own...

    Source: The Assignment, p. 19
  122. [Mosse's] initiative was important in championing the concept of a generic fascism and in achieving the empirical and analytic breakthroughs which revealed that fascist ideology, rather than being an intrinsic oxymoron, was a distinctive and indispensable part of fascist movements. He did path-breaking work on fascist culture and inaugurated the 'cultural turn' more than two decades before it became popular in the study of fascism and other aspects of modern history. His development by 1970 of an 'anthropological' approach was equally original, leading to a series of studies on myth, crowds, meetings, art, esthetics and liturgy. Altogether, this reoriented and broadened the study of fascism more than did the work of any other scholar, though a number of historians developed the model of a more unified single concept that he never achieved.

    Source: George L. Mosse and Walter Laqueur on the History of Fascism, p. 758
  123. [M]any, indeed most, people could not stand themselves if they were not observed by someone, and would flee either into the fantasy of a personal god or into an equally metaphysically conceived political party that (or who) would observe them, a condition from which they in turn would derive the right to observe whether the world was heeding the laws of the all-observing god or party -- except for the terrorists, their case was a bit more complex, their goal being not an observed but an unobserved child's paradise, but because they experienced the world in which they lived as a prison where they were not only unjustly locked up but were left unattended and unobserved in one of the dungeons, they desperately sought to force themselves on the attention of their guards and thus step out of their unobserved condition into the limelight of public notice, which, however, they could achieve only by, paradoxically, drawing back into unobserved obscurity again and again, from the dungeon into the dungeon, unable, ever, to come out and be free...

    Source: The Assignment, p. 21-22
  124. [O]ne of the most significant events in the history [former Surrealist Marcel] Duhamel's Série Noire [was] the publication in 1958 of the first "original" novel commissioned specifically for the series, a crime thriller by the expatriate African American novelist Chester Himes, titled La Reine des pommes (or The Five-Cornered Square) [aka Rage in Harlem]. Independently of any formal affiliation with the movement, Himes's foray into crime fiction achieves what might be called a vernacular surrealism, one that registers the effects of his commerce with Duhamel, insofar as Duhamel established a large part of the material and formal conditions of Himes's transformation into a crime writer. This vernacular surrealism is one of the legacies of the movement's interest in crime, significant less for its popularity than for its implicit response to intellectual conditions in France after the Second World War...

    In La Reine des pommes, Himes breaks with the instrumental use of language that characterized both Wright's and, in France, Jean-Paul Sartre's notions of "engaged writing." In its place he develops a violently comic fictional universe to which he later referred in terms of absurdity. Extending linguistic slippage and excess to the level of narrative itself, Himes's crime writing flies doubly in the face of social realism and existentialism by embracing absurdity as both a social condition and a narrative apparatus. At the same time, Himes always stressed that this humor was not a formal invention but something borrowed. That is, what he called "absurdity" was, in the lived experience of black Americans in Harlem, also emphatically real.

    Source: Surrealism and the Art of Crime, p. 246
  125. [T]he intellect too, he said, was incapable of coming up with a persuasive illusion of meaning outside of man, for everything that could be thought or done, logic, metaphysics, mathematics, natural law, art, music, poetry, was given its meaning by man, and without man, it sank back into the realm of the unimagined and unconceived and hence into meaninglessness and a great deal of what was happening today became understandable if one pursued this line of reasoning, man was staggering along in the mad hope of somehow finding someone to be observed by somewhere...

    Source: The Assignment, p. 20
  126. [T]he still unbroken interest of a broad public in this...topic of taboo [is] paradoxical because the concept of taboo has become a taboo in itself, because taboo is generally accepted as drawing the fundamental borders between the sacred and the profane, whereas a critical glance shows that these borders can scarcely be drawn unproblematically, since not only the concept of taboo as such, but also the concept of the sacred turns out to be polysemic, if not aporetic. While in most civilized societies the use of violence is strongly tabooed, it nevertheless remains inherently if not inextricably bound up with the notion of taboo. This does not only hold true for the cultivating potential inherent to relinquishing drives, but, as Christoph Türcke argues, "above all for the fatuousness of a specific ban on thinking that individuals en masse subject themselves to in order to be able to endure a society they did not choose themselves and yet allow to remain as it is.".

    From chapter: Stefan Horlacher, Taboo, Transgression, and Literature: An Introduction
    Source: Taboo and Transgression in British Literature from the Renaissance to the Present, p. 4-5
  127. [Universality is] a system of values which regards itself as attuned to all cultures and their difference but which, paradoxically, does not conceive itself as relative, and aspires, in all ingenuousness, to be the ideal transcendence of all the others.

    Source: Paroxysm, p. 11
  128. [W]hile the European surrealists were condemned by their society and its traditions (including its traditions of revolution and rebellion) to clumsily manipulate and juxtapose incongruent imagery, laboriously constructing outsized realities, in the European colonies and ex-colonies something like surrealism was inherent as a deeply embedded social practice in everyday life. As for surrealism, so (I would like to suggest) for dialectical images -- the the crucial difference between their European and colonial expressions being that while in Europe they were largely ignored by the populace yet (for the surrealists) "at the service of the revolution," in the colonies and ex-colonies these expressions are intrinsic to the form of life and at the service of its magicians, priests, and sorcerers.

    Source: Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man, p. 201