Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A president who'd all but call a senator a whore is unfit to clean toilets in Obama's presidential library

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FORUGH FARROKHZAD

Forugh Farrokhzad, Another Birth and Other Poems, translated from the Persian by Hasan Javadi & Susan Sallee, introduction by Hasan Javadi (Image Publications, 2010).

Forugh Farrokhzad, Sin: Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad, edited and translated from the Perian by Sholeh Wolpe, forward by Alicia Ostriker (Fayetteville: U. of Arkansas Press, 2007).

Monday, December 11, 2017

THE BIG TRUMP UGH--THE POINT IS THAT HE IS POINTLESS

December 11, 2017  by Chris Cillizza and Saba Hamedy

Donald Trump, explained in 1 sentence

In this terrific New York Times piece on Donald Trump in the White House, one line stood out to me as absolutely critical to understanding how the 45th President of the United States approaches the job.
Here it is: "Before taking office, Mr. Trump told top aides to think of each presidential day as an episode in a television show in which he vanquishes rivals."

There's so much to unpack there.

Start with the fact that TV is the frame through which Trump sees not only his presidency but his broader life. If something or someone is on TV, it matters. If not, then not. The equation for Trump is that simple.
    "Look at all those red lights," Trump said when he was in Alabama earlier this year to campaign for appointed Sen. Luther Strange. "Ay yai yai. It's always fun to see a red light."

    "It's always fun to see a red light."

    Now, take a step back. It's not just that Trump judges success or failure via TV. It's deeper than that. It's that he views his entire presidency as one big reality TV show in which the goals are only: a) to be perceived as "winning" in the eyes of the audience and b) to keep people watching.

    Go back and read that sentence from the Times' piece. "Before taking office, Mr. Trump told top aides to think of each presidential day as an episode in a television show in which he vanquishes rivals." (Italics are mine.)

    The key for Trump is to win the day in the eyes of the people watching on TV. But it's more than that. It's also to vanquish his political enemies. To be seen as the victor, the tough guy, the winner. It's like he sees the presidency as a daily singing competition where he always wants to win the people's vote.

    What's important about Trump's view of the presidency is that winning a cable news cycle -- or a daily singing competition -- is, at best, a tactic. It's nothing close to a strategy.

    The PointThe secret strategy is that there is no secret strategy. Trump acts and reacts. He says stuff. He parries and jabs. He tries to win the minute-by-minute news cycle with little concern about any sort of long-range plan. That's it.

    -- Chris

    Sunday, December 10, 2017

    READNG GIORGIO AGAMBEN

    Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (Meridan: Crossing Aesthetics), translated from the Italian by Daniel Heller-Roazen (Stanford, CA: Stanford U. Press, 1988).

    Giorgio Agamben, State of Exception: Homo Sacer II, 1, translated from the Italian by Kevin Attell (Chicago & London: U. of Chicago Press, 2003).

    Giorgio Agamben, Stasis: Civil War as a Political Paradigm: Homo Sacer II, 2 (Meridan: Crossing Aesthetics), translated from the Italian by Nicholas Heron (Stanford, CA: Stanford U. Press, 2015).

    Giorgio Agamben, The Sacrament of Language: An Archaeology of the Oath: Homo Sacer II, 3  (Meridan: Crossing Aesthetics), translated from the Italian by Adam Kotsko (Stanford, CA: Stanford U. Press, 2011).

    Giorgio Agamben, The Kingdom and the Glory: For a Theological Genealogy of Economy and Government: Homo Sacer II, 4 (Meridan: Crossing Aesthetics), translated from the Italian by Lorenzo Chiesa with Matteo Mandarini (Stanford, CA: Stanford U. Press, 2011).

    Giorgio Agamben, Opus Dei: An Archaeology of Duty: Homo Sacer II, 5 (Meridan: Crossing Aesthetics), translated from the Italian by Adam Kotsko (Stanford, CA: Stanford U. Press, 2013).

    Giorgio Agamben, Remnants of Auschwitz: The Witness and the Archive: Homo Sacer, III, translated from the Italian by Daniel Heller-Roazen (Brooklyn, NY: Zone Books, 2002).

    Giorgio Agamben, The Highest Poverty: Monastic Rules and Form-of-Life: Homo Sacer IV, 1 (Meridan: Crossing Aesthetics), translated from the Italian by Adam Kotsko (Stanford, CA: Stanford U. Press, 2013).

    Giorgio Agamben, The Use of Bodies (Homo Sacer IV, 2) (Meridan: Crossing Aesthetics), translated from the Italian by Adam Kotsko (Stanford, CA: Stanford U. Press, 2015).

    Giorgio Agamben, Profanations, translated from the Italian by Jeff Fort (Brooklyn, NY: Zone Books, 2015).

    Giorgio Agamben, The Use Mystery of Evil: Benedict XVI and the End of Days (Meridan: Crossing Aesthetics), translated from the Italian by Adam Kotsko (Stanford, CA: Stanford U. Press, 2017).