Objets Trouvés or I like Looking in New York

A mystic lost his head on the Lower East Side.
At least one crucified at every corner. The eyes of a mystic, madman, murderer. —Charles Simic, ‘The City’  A mystic lost his head on the Lower East Side. Then a madman, then a murderer. An imploded television on Smith Street. In 1966 the Sony Trinitron was held to ‘wide acclaim for its bright images.’ If you see nothing say nothing, displayed at the window of Icy Images in Brooklyn. Another version on the same theme on the Lower East Side. I found some toys still wrapped in their original plastic with a factory tag on the ground on Jay Street. Giving looks on Rivington Street. The stencil gun seen in the last image was probably used to make this one. Charles Simic at bookbook on Bleeker Street. Charles Simic at McNally Jackson on Prince Street. (‘In no other century, in… Read More...

The Invented Persians

The Palestine/Israel and U.S. narratives on Palestinians coincided in a haphazard way this month. While the popular resistance committee in the village of Nabi Saleh mourned the killing of Mustafa Tamimi, which it named its first martyr, an American presidential candidate resurrected the British Mandate-era mythos about the ‘invented’ Palestinian people.
  [credit]‘Persian cavalrymen turn their steeds in flight in a battle against Alexander’ by Antonio Tempesta, Florence, 1608. From Alexander’s Tomb.[credit] The Palestine/Israel and U.S. narratives on Palestinians coincided in a haphazard way this month. While the popular resistance committee in the village of Nabi Saleh mourned the killing of Mustafa Tamimi, which it named its first martyr, an American presidential candidate resurrected the British Mandate-era mythos about the ‘invented’ Palestinian people. Joe Sacco in Mondoweiss: The Israelis are still blockading Gaza. They control things that are going in, they control to a large extent, the goings and comings of people, and they’re blockading Gaza. So people have a doubly miserable life. It’s miserable from the inside, I would say, and it’s miserable because of the external pressure. And then you hear someone like Newt Gingrich say something like ‘the Palestinians are an invented… Read More...

Multitudes, Horizontal Spontaneities, Whatever

It is difficult to come by a news item about South America and the economy that doesn’t include the phrase ‘Brazil rising’ in it.
  THE RISING BRICS. It is difficult to come by a news item about South America and the economy that doesn’t include the phrase ‘Brazil rising’ in it. When I did a Google search for the term a few months ago I yielded 46,100,000 results. Arguably ‘Brazil rising’ has become as much a packaged, catch-all term as ‘China rising’ in the 1980s, with significant socio-political differences. (The news items rarely get that far.) Brazil is a rising food power in a hungry world as the number one exporter of beef, chicken, soy, sugar, orange juice, and coffee (it is also ‘rising’ in pork). When Christine Lagarde was anticipated to lead the IMF, her first and immediate stop along a several BRICS-nation tour was Brazil. Not to be cast into obsolescence 60 Minutes filmed a highly circulated segment called ‘Brazil’s Rising Star‘ in which the ‘country… Read More...