The Dialectician’s Guide to Cultural Studies and Totalization

High and low culture are equally fascinating, but you can’t just do one or the other. You must do both.

– Mark Gerard Lawson

This may be the single most important advice not just for those producing culture but for those interested in and practicing the discipline of Cultural Studies. (And, of course, we should add that you always need to be aware of the dialectical interrelation of culture and the socioeconomic structure–and by that I mean neither a mediation nor a superstructural effect but a mutually productive relationship.)

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Work an Hour

A good cause to support. Forward widely.

Work an Hour 2008

NYPD Officer Assaults Critical Mass Rider

Blatantly.

Without warning or attempting to stop him non-violently.

Fucked up.

I have participated in Critical Mass rides in Chicago.

They are always peaceful.

All over the globe.

In New York City they are illegal.

New York City promises liberty and justice to the world’s “tired, poor and hungry.”

New York City stands opposed to undemocratic (state) repression and extremism and is willing to defend this freedom of its people against terrorists.

New York City markets itself around the world as the place to which one can escape from the evils of the world.

That is, unless you’re on a bike, evidently.

If on a bike in New York City, you forfeit, so it seems, your right to free speech, free assembly and the privilege of being protected.

But good news, if the logic of the NYPD and NYC legislators is correct, you should be safe from being attacked by terrorists (because you are more like them than like a good NYC citizen and those subjects NYC welcomes).

So, if you’re a New Yorker who is scared of Al Quaeda: ride a bike! But make sure you wear protective gear and look out for the NYPD. However, this may be a good gamble: in contrast to your usual terrorist, NYPD officers are at least clearly recognizable, so you reduce the paranoia factor.

Form your own opinion about what Critical Mass bike rides are, if they should be illegal in NYC and if risking a human being’s health over it is a justified action in order to uphold “the law.” Btw: it looks as though the police officer will get away unpunished. Another proud day for all of us who stand by and laugh precisely because there is nothing to laugh at (as Adorno would have it) while the “law” is being executed by aggression and troubled masculinity.

Here the footage:

Here some info on Critical Mass:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Mass

http://critical-mass.info/

http://www.critical-mass.org/

http://chicagocriticalmass.org/

Stranded

I shouldn’t have announced the return of this blog this early. It has been rather difficult to write lately–purely coincidentally. Today, I am stranded at Halifax airport. Still. I actually have been here since yesterday. Surprisingly, it’s starting to get a little boring.

I’ve met some nice people (a writer form San Francisco), some weird people (a bush pilot from Australia) and people I may very soon assault (an old hippie who has been playing the recorder constantly–I guess he is trying to entertain people, but he plays it really, really badly and I have the feeling someone may snap very soon. Hope it’s not going to be me. He is playing it as I am typing this. Really testing his luck, the old fella).

I hope I’ll make it out of here soon.

If customs and the Department of Homeland Security will allow me to order pizza into the terminal, I wonder?

Blog Re-Launch Extravaganza (or something…)

I am currently considering re-launching this blog. I am, however, not yet sure whether or not I should change its content, layout, aim, …

The simple reason for returning to blogging is: I have time again. The last few months were crazy and only now are things beginning to calm down at least somewhat (well, maybe in 2 weeks I can really say that and actually mean it). I finished my Ph.D., I got a job, I moved to Canada (I drove a truck up here from Chicago–took me all of three days, 1750 miles and did things to my body that scared me a little bit), I live in a house in the woods, I go swimming in the ocean in the evenings, I read and write a lot and I just agreed to function as committee director for a student who wants to write her thesis on the Beats.

So, I will probably be unable to post daily, but I am hell-bent on getting back to this. Hope you’re all well. I’ll talk to you all soon.