“I told [my friends] that I approved of the shift of Christmas to the 26th of July, [the anniversary of the Cuban Revolution,] even though many Catholics thought of it as a profanation. The primitive Church celebrated the birth of Christ on the 6th of January…and the feast was later moved to the 25th of […]
RBD2021: Fidel and Religion
“To pay a denarius to each one who worked that day implies a distribution more in keeping with needs, a typically communist formula.” –Fidel Castro
RBD2021: Damming the Flood
“Aristide emerged as the crystallization of Haitian demands for social transformation because he managed to combine a concrete strategy for acquiring practical political power with the uncompromising inspiration of liberation theology.” –Peter Hallward
RBD2021: Marx’s 1844 Manuscripts
One thing my adolescent piety politics got right was that to hear the word of Jesus puts one out of step with contemporary politics. It took an encounter with the early Marx to really show me how.
Blood tells the truth very quickly.
Some timely court testimony from Daniel Burns, of the St. Patrick’s Day Four, charged with trespassing after pouring his blood in a military recruitment center in 2003 before the impending Iraq invasion: “I poured blood carefully. I didn’t throw it or splash it; exaggerations. And it dropped down. And then I saw the flag; I […]
Nazism: Illusion, Waste
At the beginning of winter I was steeped in Arendt, now I’m tarrying with Virilio. Two similarities between their analyses of Hitler’s regime keep coming up: the creation of a society of total illusion and a state that constantly sabotages itself by excessive waste. In Origins of Totalitarianism, Arendt continually underscores the role of propaganda […]
Trump and War and Cinema
Here’s a small sampling of passages in Paul Virilio’s War and Cinema where I saw fit to make a marginal note about Donald Trump. Some are more suggestive than others, and the passages aren’t meant to create a 1:1 correlation between the subject matter and Trump (e.g. sometimes they suggest important differences or flag an […]
I just picked up a copy of Peter Sloterdijk’s latest English release, a collection of essays entitled Not Saved: Essays After Heidegger. The collection, which was released in German in 2001, is part of a burgeoning translation industry that tries to get English readers up to speed with Sloterdijk’s prolific and ongoing career. The subtitle […]
Paul Virilio, born in 1932, spent his early life on the northern coast of France. His childhood, growing up alongside the Second World War, was marked by routine bombings, as Nantes became a Nazi occupied port. Like many other postmodern theorists, the French experience of the war and subsequent French political problems, like the Algerian […]
I’ve been tracking McLuhan’s relationship to his Catholic faith for the last several weeks, specifically going through The Medium and the Light, a collection of interviews, addresses, outlines, etc. centering on religion. True to form, McLuhan’s thoughts are a mixture of what feel like off-the-cuff statements and long-percolated and crystallized observations. Reading all these documents […]