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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> [no subject]
norman mcdonald on 9 Feb 2001 15:04:11 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> [no subject]

--- geert lovink <geert {AT} xs4all.nl> wrote:
> re: <jay {AT} gibsonnet.net>
> I won't do that. JB is a endemic "besides the point"
> thinker. He is neither
> right, nor wrong. Theory from his school of thought
> are not  predicting. At
> best, theory (in general) opens "possibility
> spaces", besides the titanic
> obligation to read and interprete the present and
> past. Speculative
> thinkers, such as JB better should not be treated as
> prophets who have
> written holy texts, full of (hidden) deaper meanings
> and predictions. The
> "alien" reading of his work could be more
> interesting (he really ain't no
> marketing guru). If you are in the proper mood, with
> a glass of red wine in
> the one and a cigarette in the other hand,
> Baudrillard's texts are opening
> up violently beautiful mediascapes which vaporate
> next time you have a look
> at them. Unlikely futures altogether. 

wow! someone who's not mystified by the power of the
postmodernists. actually, tho i salute your comments
on baudrillard, i woulhd argue that baudrillard is not
only wrong, but a right wing counter-revolutionary.
most of these guys [baudrillard, virilio, even deleuze
and guattari in some cases, certainly foucault and
derrida] are so counter revolutionary, they won't own
up. their basic argument has pretty much remained:
"power controls all. if you have no power, why

i guess getting university posts and publishing gigs
in the wake of 68 was very tiring for these boys.
consider that baudrillard was teaching assistant to
henri lefebvre [the production of space, expelled
situationist] and you start to realize how much the
kid retrenched from the radicalism of his teacher.
that they liked each other or not, i don't know, but
from the younger's writings, i'd say he found all that
utopist anti-specialist thniking too much for his
specialist careerism.

in the end, the glass of wine may become a bottle, as
you read more and more postmodernism and surrender to
the inevitable lure of power, the "why bother?"
philosophy of eeyore, the drunks and other commodity
consumers may become overwhewlming. the s.i. called it
"survival sickness." maybe that's what debord was
thinking when he blew his brains out. but at least
raoul vaneigem has always argued that addiction and
suicide are revolutionary solutions - not perfect
solutions, but options, nonetheless. 

> At least if
> you take JB's work before
> he became a repetitive conservative old man,
> complaining about the decline
> of culture. His turn ("kehre") must have happened
> somewhere around the mid
> nineties. JB is a classic example of a European
> post-68 thinker who could
> not really jump over the 89-hurdle. JB has never
> been involved in activism,
> so I would not use him as reference in such
> questions in the first place.

debord, of course, was a pre-68 thinker who predicted
1989 in "the society of the spectacle" [film or book].
that's because these guys were the ones who reminded
us that "it's the economy, stupid" back before a lot
of kids today were born. discussions of spam and the
like are extremely counter-revolutionary, and
counter-productive. approaching the masturbatory.
beautiful messages, indeed. at least you won't have to
buy anything from me, cuz i've nothing to sell.
> Baudrillard himself never operated outside of the
> system, really. It's
> anyway, in my opinion, not possible to operate
> outside of the "Empire" as
> Michael Hardt and Toni Negri describe in their work
> "Empire".
> All struggles can be coopted, even BinLaden. 

now you start to sound post-modern. it's the old
survival sickness creeping in. and after such a
promising start. be careful, you're headed for a

> That
> idea, by the way, will
> never stop anyone to Just Say No. And don't worry
> about the overproduction
> of information. Ever been afraid of libraries? No,
> they are fantastic
> evidence of the all too human drive to petit/petty
> knowledge, with here and
> there something useful for you. Navigating the Net
> is not much different
> from driving a car or a bicycle. You will find your
> way.
> Ciao, Geert

the buddha says: don't worry. if you can fix it, fix
it. if you can't, no need to worry.



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