Day 385: Ghosts

The New NIN project (Ghosts) is finally out. As usual, the album is accompanied by a very interesting web presence (I wrote about the online marketing of My Violent Heart before, focusing on the guerilla marketing and pseudo-astroturfing aspect of it–can’t be bothered to look for the link, though–very busy today–I’ll go see a lecture by Franco Moretti later–yay!). To enter into this specific maze (and for free downloads of tracks), see

Also, because my last post was about World Pillow Fight Day 2008, here an example of what happens when people actually put some effort into a music video. I rather like this one (which is a very rare thing for me to say about music videos). (Also, I find the “ghost” VERY attractive–especially with the hoodie–a somewhat less objective analysis of the video, I realize.) Band of Horses, “Is There a Ghost:”  Witness the specter of bourgeois ideology and its natural enemy, the emotional tie:


Day 216: Know Your Enemy…

… is a fantastic song. However, it has nothing to do with what follows. Or does it? No, no. Not really. I am a very friendly person. That is, if you are not…

ok, this may take too long 🙂

I have been tagged by anaj to answer 19 questions. Apparently, this is some new thing going around the blogosphere. I wonder: why 19? And who cares? (Do we actually care to find out something of substance about the people whose blog we read? Is this really an attempt to build a social community that has depth? Or is this purely an exercise in narcissism? I suspect it may be the latter. Seriously, Hardt and Negri aside, isn’t the social component of the internet less about finding and connecting with someone you find interesting than doing things so that lots of people will find you interesting–the desire to connect seems less democratic than purely flowing into one single direction [i.e. the enjoyment arising from building a community of virtual stalkers who stalk an ideally, digitally projected version of yourself?–i.e. is the the consentual, collective creation of social simulacra?]) In this spirit, here are my answers:

1. Pick out a scar you have, and explain how you got it.
I have LOTS of scars. I used to be both a very stupid child and a rather self-destructive teenager. There are also lots of weird medical or embarassing stories to tell here. Ask me if you really want to hear more. (Ok–one quick, harmless one: I have a big scar on my upper lip that is the result of a toilet door splitting my lip completely in the middle (vertically)–was hard to get back together but now it is not too noticeable) 

2. What does your phone look like? List your reasons to buy it?
It is black and silver. It is scratched and banged up. It allows me to communicate with people who are otherwise not visually or audibly accessible to me.

3. What is on the walls of your bedroom?
A Che flag and a painting/collection of quotes of Sacco and Vanzetti. Oh, and a Metropolis poster and prints of van Gogh’s Guernica and Man with Guitar.

4. What is your current desktop picture?
Yves Tanguy, Indefinite Divisibility

5. Do you believe in gay marriage?
I don’t believe in marriage, period. However, I also believe that craziness is not specific to gender or sexual orientation, so if a gay person is really crazy enough to want to get married, he/she should be allowed to express his/her craziness in the same way heterosexual people are allowed to do.

6. What do you want more than anything right now?
I want to be done with my dissertation and have a job lined up so I can concentrate on drinking and hiking through the desert/mountains by myself for a few months.

7 . What time were you born?
no idea

8. Are your parents still together?

9. Last person who made you cry?
Don’t want to say.

10. What is your favorite perfume / cologne?
Cool Water (that is what I use most frequently, at least)

11. What kind of hair/eye color do you like in the opposite sex?
Every combination, really (well, red and white is a little freaky but who am I to judge–I had a bunny once who could make that shit work!). I have to admit, however, that I do have a serious fetish for black hair and bright blue eyes.

12. What are you listening to? Why?
Wind in trees. My window is open.

13. Do you get scared of the dark?
If I do, I pretend to be Chuck Norris and then the dark gets scared of me. 

14. Do you like painkillers?

15. Are you too shy to ask someone out?
Yes. In fact, I have never done so.

16. If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?
Anything that would require outdoor fire/barbecue to be prepared, which in turn would require me drinking beer while preparing it, which would mean that I am done with writing for the next few days, because otherwise I would not have time to do this.

17. Who was the last person who made you mad?

18. List one habit you have that has the potential to annoy people?
I tend to isolate myself for long periods of time and unintentionally alienate people when I write (it is apparently quite annoying, bordering on the cruel).

19. Who was the last person who made you smile?
Someone in the street who gave me what seemed to be a really big, uninhibited and honest smile and said: “hi!” this morning when I got back from buying coffee. Isn’t that just the best beginning for a day?

I guess I also have to tag other people. Let’s see. I hereby tag: Joanna, Shannon, Red Crochet, Dejan, caveblogem and ELECTRA.

Day 213: Hipster Love

Still writing. Minimalism continues.

Also: when will I ever find love like this??? (or at least a good kicking fight) I may try out the “thinking about crossing?” line when I get out of this room again.

P.S.: why is it that I do not consider it far fetched to fall in love over Swamp Thing (or some good zombie splatter)?

Day 210: Rambo 4 Trailer

Cerebraljetsam is experiencing cerebral overload.

too many insults

too many cynical jokes

too much disappointment

too many (frankly way too obvious, one would think) points of critique

here the trailer:

The trailer above might not work any more (copyright). If so, try this one instead:

Day 201: Hipster Olympics

Laughed my ass off when I saw this. Not only is it so wunderfully accurate, it also precisely describes the ugly underbelly of neoliberal capitalist logic and its social support system as it manifests itself in mass culture, of which counterculture is only one of many facets (i.e. the “counter” is really what defines the diversity of the “mass,” which as traditional mass culture as “mainstream culture” no longer exists). I may use this for teaching purposes. Nothing is as part of the mainstream as not being part of the mainstream. But it sure is funnier than the mainstream–until one realizes that the mainstream has died, of course.

Day 151: 8 Random Facts

Ok, so this ‘random facts’ thing: I guess I cannot postpone it any longer and somehow something within me resists the idea of thinking about it (too much existential anxiety at this part of my dissertation process to allow for actual self-reflection–cans of worms, etc.)–so here it goes:

1. I used to own a restaurant, which I believe to be one of the most horrible things I have done in my life (financially, ideologically, professionally, etc.).

2. I used to be on the German B ‘Team-Nationalkader’ for swimming for a while, played first German division American football and hate jocks.

3. My breakfast this morning consisted of two cups of coffee, a ‘Camel Wides’ cigarette and a Power Bar.

4. I regularly fantasize about smashing things I see with a big sledgehammer (in fact, I have a very sophisticated imaginary process that involves judging the structural integrity of the object to be destroyed, which is followed by the imaginative selection between different kinds of hammers best suited for the job–i.e. maximum damage and most disturbing effect on onlookers–makes, e.g., waiting in doctor’s offices more bearable).

5. I LOVE animals, nature and generally dislike people, even though I am bad at being alone and have made it my job to study people (to put it more clearly: I feel myself drawn toward people but when I am around them I can primarily relate to them as objects of study, making me feel like a perpetual spy, often not by choice–I assume US conventions dictate some kind of medication-regimen for something like this–I love and hate it, however, which is what makes my job work for me–after all: studying contradictions is the essence of a critique of capitalism–well, that and the rejection of bourgeois individualism and egocentric self-indulgence, which can take the form of voluntary soul-striptease publicly displayed on a blog–sometimes I can be cynical–at least that’s what people tell me–oh, and I think Love can save the world–I am with Marcuse on the ’emotional bond’ argument here–even though I critically tend to side with anti-humanism [the Marxist form, that is], for obvious reasons).

6. I am terribly arachnophobic and it seems to be getting worse.

7. The Last Unicorn is one of my favorite movies, I have been watching it religiously (yes, religiously–this may in fact be the only religion my atheism pemits me to indulge in) since I was 5 years old and I don’t care what you think.

8. I often fantasize about running away but I don’t know where to.

So, there you go. Now, I guess, it is my duty to tag 8 more people to do the same. This is a rather difficult endeavor, as the blogging community I am a part of reveals itself more and more as a somewhat incestuous community and many of those within our network have already been tagged (so much for the internet and its potential for creating transnational networks that can create a multitude and total democracy–seems like we just digitally re-create small networks that exist in a similar fashion in real life). Trying to do my best I hereby tag: red crochet, shannon, erin, ben, caveblogem, natascha, joanna and, what the hell: William Gibson (I am sure he would get a kick out of this psychological clusterfuck).

Day 96: Zombies and Painful Philanthropy


Today a random assortment of weird things–a quilt of strangeness, if you will.

Remember my coffee-related problems? Caribou phased out my favorite, which was especially devastating, since it did not only taste good, but was also organic, fair-trade coffee, certified by the rainforest alliance. After this I tried a medium-roast for breast cancer, a dark-roast for the rainforest and a french roast that, I think, supported David Beckham in the anticipation of the demise of his carreer that awaits him in L.A. Yesterday, Chicago opened its Farmer’s Market season and I went to Daley Plaza to do some shopping (for non-Chicagoans: Daley Plaza is the setting for the climactic ending of Blues Brothers–the place with the large Picasso). Apart from some greens (which I am pretty certain are poisonous to me after this long absence of any kind of vitamin in my body) I bought a coffee that is shade-grown, rainforest alliance approved, fair-trade certified and is sold by and supports the Chicago coalition for the homeless. Seriously, how can you not buy that one? Also, the fact that this is the official Mother Theresa of coffees almost makes you forget that it tastes like crap. Ah well, that may be the trouble with philanthropy (apart from its basic ideological confusion that renders it powerless well known to Hegelians, or its tendency to work in unison with the welfare state that appeases the masses to avoid a revolution and true, equal assistance for all of us).

Here the homophobic, offensive part of today’s quilt: wondering if you’re gay? Take the test:

My favorite part of the ad for this is this logic: wondering if you’re gay? You don’t need a blood test–just take this handy quiz? I am no doctor, so can someone explain to me what this blood test is that tells you if you’re gay?

Also, about a month ago anaj found a little blog-value-calculator, which tells you how much your blog is worth. In about a month my blog seems to have accumulated roughly another $1000 in value. Again: I am not just confused by how this happened, but also as to where I can sell my blog to pay for my summer. The Chicago Farmer’s Market, maybe? Check out how valuable I am! Nothing like alienation via the commodification of the immaterial, digital expression of your self. Finally I know what I am worth. Yay!

My blog is worth $7,339.02.
How much is your blog worth?

Don’t you just love the capitalist ideology that is included in this little gadget? How much are YOU worth? Let’s make it a competition in alienation!

Finally: more zombies. I am always happy when a new zombie movie comes out (while I am waiting for Gigli II). In the recent past there have been some really fun experiments with the genre that often change the ways in which the zombie as subject signifies. Enter Fido, a zombie-comedy showing us the beauty of a society in which zombies are kept as pets and work the crappy jobs no one wants (aahhh–a continuation of the “zombie as global third estate” idea–while this is fun, here my question: why do we have to go to zombies as one of the only popular ways to represent class distinction and exploitation these days? Tells us something about our willingness to talk about this issue today, doesn’t it?). Anyway, here the info: