Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Open Thread On JG Ballard


MC has received substantial traffic since the posting below on the late JG Ballard. Please use the comments function to express your opinion of this author. No comments are censored if you don't use obscenity. All the comments to MC's original post have been critical but all have been published. Tell MC and others what you find important about this author and why.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

JG Ballard 1930-2009

Much comment has been occasioned on the death of JG Ballard.

The following Ballard quote struck MC as interesting:

"We live in a world ruled by fictions of every kind — mass-merchandizing, advertising, politics conducted as a branch of advertising, the instant translation of science and technology into popular imagery, the increasing blurring and intermingling of identities within the realm of consumer goods, the pre-empting of any original imaginative response to experience by the television screen. We live inside an enormous novel. For the writer in particular it is less and less necessary for him to invent the fictional content of his novel. The fiction is already there. The writer’s task is to invent the reality."

This, we think, could only be said by a science fiction writer, which Ballard was but which he somehow managed to escape the confines of and move into better company. His name, hideously, is now an adjective "resembling or suggestive of the conditions described in J. G. Ballard's novels and stories, especially dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments."

Haven't we seen this movie? Ballard died about two years after being diagnosed with prostate cancer and is now being feted in death as somehow making a genuine contribution to culture.

He was put in the same category as William S. Burroughs, who at least one half of MC considers to be genuinely evil. He also was the author of "Crash" which the same one half of MC had the misfortune of viewing, in all places, in Istanbul with Turkish subtitles (plot=people have erotic encounters in and around crashes!). The director was David Cronenberg who made the film "Naked Lunch," from the Burroughs signature novel. Sickness attracts sickness.

Still, MC refers readers to Jorge Luis Borges who could write fiction, who was far too familiar with reality (no need to make up failing eyesight and blindness, thanks!) to pretend it needed to be invented and who could actually write.

Click on the title of this post to read the Wiki entry (sorry) on Borges. It will at least get you started.

Correction: Ballard did not commit suicide and references in the post above to such have been deleted. MC regrets the error and thanks attentive readers for bringing this to their attention.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Presidential Poison

Please click on the title of this post to read an extremely important editorial.

No Comment

Spengler Takes Off His Mask

MC loves Spengler and if you don't know who we are talking about then you have got some work to do! But it's all pleasure. At any rate, Gates of Vienna has the story about who the real person is behind the name Spengler. Enjoy by clicking on the title of this post.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Is Paris Burning?

Not yet; in the meantime there's just lots of random violence on buses and other public transportation. A generalized sense of anxiety pervades society. It's called anxiogène. Lovely. Click on the title of this post to read all about it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Coleman's Spin & Cringe: Three Judges Didn't Understand Us

The pathetic Coleman legal team abased itself even further today when in a conference call Ben Ginsberg (who never appeared pro hac vice, ie, as an attorney of record from another state, hmmm, why not?) said that the three judge panel "misunderstood" their arguments. But of course! It's the judges' fault, not Tony Trimble's or Fritz Knaak's.

He went on to say that the panel did not address several arguments; in fact, he claimed that it avoided them. Having bored himself to tears of frustration, one half of MC who spent the late afternoon reading the carefully written 68 page decision must disagree. The panel did address both equal protection claims and due process claims. Ben may not have liked the panel's analysis (the losing side rarely does) but it's beneath his paygrade to say otherwise, even if one is a hired gun. Posturing for a federal court case is sheer hubris: the certificate of election will most likely issue after the Minnesota Supreme Court has heard this appeal. MC's hunch is that it will affirm.

The recount was not stolen. It was lost through legal incompetence (not Ginsberg's).

Repeat as needed.

Click on the title of this post to see a summary of the conference call.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Contest Court Panel Rules Franken Won Senate Election

In a decision that could surprise only those who had not been paying attention, the three judge contest panel decided today that Al Franken won more lawfully cast ballots than did Norm Coleman. Click on the title of this post to read the decision. The election was not stolen: Norm Coleman's frightfully incompetent legal team lost it. Reversal on appeal seems unlikely.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Why Israel Will Bomb Iran

Doesn't everybody already know? Click on the title to this post to read David Samuels in Slate discuss rational reasons for attacking Iran. MC always thought self-preservation was extremely rational but Israelis are always treated differently, aren't they?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

Tiny Dancer

Rahm Emmanuel, ballet dancer. Because MC can be snarky if we want to be. Today, we do. Hat-tip: Barack Obama's Teleprompter Blog. Click on the title of this post to go there.

The Day Obama Fell To Earth

Click on the title of this post to read a piece in The Daily Beast (MC hasn't made up its mind whether it loves or loathes Tina Brown) in which some counter-programming is offered to the "triumph" meme peddled by the lazy American press regarding Obama's European trip. We don't agree with everything in this article (America needs to get used to its diminished status?) but the analysis as to how Obama got very little out of the EU and the rest of the world is a valuable counterpoint to the fawning American press reportage. MC is still appalled the clueless Obama bowed before the Saudi dictator; the video is worse than the still picture. We were heartened, however marginally, by Carla Bruni, wife of the French President Sarkozy, who pulled back from a kiss by The One and instead offered a Gallic handshake. Picture here: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2359022.ece

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Words Fail: Obama Bows To A Dictator


President Obama bows before King Abdullah at the G-20 summit. MC's thoughts are not fit for print.