In one week I had seen plenty of misery in Greece’s train of misfortune. Apart from protest slogans covering public and private walls, the homeless people sleeping on the sidewalks, and the soup kitchens, it is the generalized distress that has struck me.
“The great thinkers of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment were scientists.” So begins Steven Pinker’s recent controversial essay on scientism and its virtues. At the risk of pedantry, it seems important to point out that the word “scientist” didn’t even exist in the period Pinker references
A central problem for #Marx21c is that as commodification becomes more abstract, the concrete comes back to haunt it in the form of the metabolic rifts characteristic of the Anthropocene. What resources do we have for thinking this?
Sure, #AllLivesMatter — but this is a call to remember basic human rights. No, #BlackLivesMatter is not the same thing, it is not a special interest within a larger existential frame. #BlackLivesMatter is not a reminder. It is a proclamation that enough is enough.
The peculiar circumstances surrounding the publication of Michel Houellebecq’s latest novel constitute a case study in how even the biggest literary news stories are, in the wider scheme of things, small potatoes.
It’s easiest to start from the impulse to problematize the position of the flâneur. The ugly word privilege hovers around it, and we turn to questions that we know the answer to, “Who, exactly, is allowed to wander, like so?”
That Diana and the Amazons speak ‘hundreds’ of languages is believable, given their situation and seeming enlightenment; that English becomes their go-to choice for daily chats off the Greek coast, less so.
On the ancient river, seagull rock crests out of the waters. An outcrop within its sight is thorned by a few young silhouettes, taking turns plunging into the river some feet below. Riverboats and water taxis, white river cruise-ships weave short and cyclical tours between the two shores.