Quick Study: October 2010 Archives

So I'm just done speaking about the Stewart/Colbert rally on the public radio station in Seattle, during which I discussed Susan Herbst's book Rude Democracy in all the depth and intelligibility possible when your total alloted air time is about five minutes. They got in touch thank to Henry posting about the column at Crooked Timber.

The segment is supposed to be up shortly as a podcast. Here is the page.

October 29, 2010 4:13 PM | | Comments (2)
When I think of October, two things come up: Halloween and Bolshevism. So it's like Trish Kahle (with her mad carving skills) is reading my mind....

Thumbnail image for pumpkin.jpg

Borrowed by permission from Trish's Facebook page. See also her excellently named blog.

October 29, 2010 1:43 PM | | Comments (0)
People begin arriving in DC today for the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert event on Saturday, which I discussed in a column that has since been reprinted (is that really the right word for when something appears on a different website?) elsewhere.

My thanks to Henry Farrell for the notice at Crooked Timber, and to Rob Horning for his thoughtful gloss at Marginal Utility.

For more sharply made points on the event, see this prescient analysis.

Although it is just across town, I will not be attending. This is not a matter of making some kind of a statement. (I spectate too.) But after ten days of being really sick -- during which time my mental stamina collapsed pretty much entirely -- I need to work and can't get away for the afternoon. But that evening, I will have dinner with people from The New Inquiry who are coming to town.

UPDATE. Meanwhile -- actually, while typing this -- I've been contacted with a request to pontificate on themes from the column later this afternoon on KUOW, the public radio station in Seattle. Will do, though I should probably be reading. 
October 29, 2010 11:32 AM | | Comments (0)

There have been a few thousand hits for this post, which clearly struck a nerve. The following clip lacks the saving grace of brevity, but I'll recommend it anyway:

October 27, 2010 9:48 AM | | Comments (1)
It seems time for a new edition of The Mass Psychology of Fascism by Wilhelm Reich, and I would like to suggest the cover art:


Part of an astounding set of images of the French demonstrations, from the Boston Globe.
October 24, 2010 12:29 PM | | Comments (0)
Via Brainiac, an image of state-of-the-art book-niche marketing:

Another phenomenon that makes more sense after reading John Thompson's book.
October 22, 2010 2:29 PM | | Comments (0)
For three or four years now, I've used Bloglines. As of right now, I'm getting 434 feeds, which seems like a case of healthy curiosity turning into a vice. There have been periods when I've just ignored it entirely for weeks at a stretch. The experience of "clearing the lines" -- going through postings at high speed to wipe out the backlog -- carries skimming to new intensities of indifference. But I can't take seriously the idea that that sort of thing is antithetical to serious reading. It's been a way, however flawed, to keep up with conversations and citations, and has led me to any number of books or PDFs that I might not have heard of otherwise.

All in all, then, Bloglines has served its purpose reasonably well, and it's a nuisance that it shuts down on November 1st. (Originally this was to have happened October 1st.) It is possible to store and (presumably) transfer my list of feeds, or so I am told, and I should do this soon.

But I haven't looked into another reader yet. Any thoughts -- positive or negative -- about Google Reader or other aggregators? 
October 21, 2010 2:36 PM | | Comments (6)
On Monday, I sat down to work with the firm intention of ignoring the flu symptoms that had been bothering me over the weekend and just motoring on through. This did not turn out well. In a pinch you can't really count on the mind-body dualism to give the results you want.

So I don't have a column running today -- and it looks like the blog post I made here on Monday morning (which barely even counted for warm-up writing) may be the high point of my output for the week. And after hitting "publish" on this one, I'll probably just go back to bed.

First, though, let me thank Rachel Rosenfelt for putting up, at The New Inquiry, extracts from my review of John B. Thompson's book Merchants of Culture. I wish that review had been twice as long, since there were so many things it would have been good to include in it. The book itself deserves all the attention it can get.

So it seems to me still, even in so beleagured a condition as this. And on that note, I go off to consume 16 ounces of water or juice per hour, as commanded by my spouse, who in matters of health has never steered me wrong. 
October 20, 2010 9:19 AM | | Comments (0)
Must fight ironic expression of enthusiasm....Must fight ironic expression of enthusiasm...Oh, hell. I give up

On November 10, the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) will be released. Beginning on that day, everything that people think is possible, and impossible, will come under radical challenge.
Well of course it will! 

Arguably a much better use of anyone's time is the discussion of Alain Badiou that is ongoing at Kasama. Let me also take this opportunity to point out that Verso Books has undertaken a major redesign of its website, with a blog as well as a forum in which readers can discuss Verso titles.

I am genuinely enthusiastic about Verso, and always read Kasama with great interest (despite not being, you know, a Maoist). As for taking a long march down the shining path of Chairman Bob Thought, not so much.

See also this review of a recent book on French Maoism, which I wish had been better.
October 18, 2010 12:07 PM | | Comments (2)
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a column to oppose the proposed renaming of the C.L.R. James Library in London. This also appeared in French. (In translation, I am ten years younger.) A petition in protest of the name chance has attracted more than 2400 signatures.

Now comes word from the Black and Ethnic Minority Arts Network that the campaign has succeeded. Here is the text of an email to those who signed the petition:

Dear friend

Following a short meeting between representatives of BEMA and Members and officers of Hackney Council, an in principle agreement has been reached that the name of the new facility will carry the name of CLR James Library as per our campaign demand. A formal statement will follow shortly. Many thanks to the thousands who have supported our successful campaign online and in other ways.

Bema will be playing an ongoing role in the development of a permanent CLR James exhibition at the new library as well as the establishment of an annual event commemorating his life and work.

Ngoma Bishop & Andrea Enisuoh  
Campaign co-ordinators

October 7, 2010 2:49 PM | | Comments (1)

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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Quick Study in October 2010.

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