Lupine Introspection

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

de "La Civilisation ma mere"

"est-il vrai que l'homme parviendra finalement a dominer l'univers entier, a l'exception de lui-meme?"

parvenu- nouveaux riches

Monday, February 14, 2005

Of love and work as obsessions

these too belonged to the past, from which his life had shrunk away, like a rivulet that has sunk far down from the grassy fringe of it s old breadth into a little shivering thread, that cuts a groove for itself in the barren sand-

this description sounds like any obsession- even the obsession of romantic, preferential love. We seem to telescope our universe down that one person for whom we would "move mountains, blah blah..." We forget our friends, our parents- indeed we scorn them now, they are mere hindrances in our desperate and fervid attempts at consuming and being consumed by the lover. While romantic, committed love may liberate us in many other ways, such as teaching us the amazing depths to which our love and desire for another may run, it sure does seem to be a powerful limiting force in other ways. So taking into account its rigid and blind exclusionary and preferential dimensions we need to question whether such a love is moral? Is the world better off because two people decided to minimalize their shared universe and shut out the rest, the suffering, the unloved?


cloy- satiate or sicken with an excess of richness or sweetness

portend- (v) foreshadow as omen
portent- (n) omen

leitmotif- recurrent theme

gloaming- (poetic) twilight

edema- dropsy

FROM SILAS MARNER: (quotes that reflect Silas' transformation from pious man to a miser)

Every man's work, pursued steadily, tends in this way to become an end in itself, and so to bridge over the loveless chasms of his life

When all purpose was gone, that habit of looking towards the money and grasping it with a sense of fulfilled effort made a loam that was deep enough for the seeds of desire

But Sally Oates's disease had raised her into a personage of much interest and importance among the neighbors- so sickeing that some derive their social stature from their own misfortunes; is it the pity that others afford them that give them this new found regard; or is it the fact that others can speak of them in hushed, excited tones, a subject of "interest" in an otherwise bored community?

The livelong day he sat in his loom, his ear filled with its monotony, his eyes bent close down on the slow growth of sameness in the brownish web, his muscles moving with such even repetition that their pause seemed almost as much a constraint as the holding of his breath

Our old fashioned country life had many different aspects, as all life must have when it is spread over a various surface, and breathed on variously by multitudinous currents, from the winds of heaven to the thoughts of men, which are for ever moving and crossing each other, with incalculable results.

critique of "The Satanic Verses"

"For often the result of all this high wire virtuosity is a dulling of affect, much like the blurring created by rapid hopping between channels on television: nothing seems quite real"- NY Times, 1989

Is this symptomatic of third world writers, whose styles marked by magical realism, often suffer from the realism overwhelmed by the magic? Think "100 years of Solitude"...

Friday, February 11, 2005

G-8 Protest in Geneva

When I first visited Geneva in September 2003 the first thing that struck me about the city was the widespread political graffiti. It was everywhere- office walls, makeshift construction walls, traffic signs, pedestrian crossings, subways...The messages that were expressed ranged from opposition to the G-8, to freeing Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, to bringing down the capitalist machine, to simply fucking Bush. More than an year later I discover that graffiti may not be the norm in this so called "international" city. Based on online news reports I conclude that the graffiti that I found were the telltale signs of huge protests that occured in Geneva several months prior to my arrival. These protests were spurred by the G-8 meeting in Evian, France in June 2003. According to the BBC, the French authorities had imposed air-tight security on the roads to and from Evian and the general region. So one of the closest and most prominent places that protestors could make themselves visible was across the border in Geneva, Suisse. They seemed to have been very well organized and the Swiss police were at a loss at containing them and had to resort to requesting police cadres from Germany. The presence of anarchist groups among the protestors were evident from the looting and vandalism that went on during that period. I saw further evidence of anarchist involvement in the scripts of the graffiti, which were often marked by the symbol of anarchists. The protests were apparently specifically levelled at the plutocrats of the world order, represented by the G-8, who in the protestors' eyes were hurting the developing countries. However, it seems that many more issues were tied in to this particular movement. An interesting comparison would be the events that transpired at the "Battle in Seattle" where save the turtles activists marched alongside Free Tibet activists. I hope to do more research into this phenomenon by maybe taking an infrapolitical approach to the issue.


"None can make you feel inferior without your consent"- Eleanor Roosevelt

tincture- a quality that pervades, or distinguishes; a trace or vestige eg. a tincture of condescension

Saga Rima won't walk over graves in a skirt ("always wear pants") because she fears the dead would look up it.
This is how she announced that she had a hysterectomy done: "I had my equipment taken out."

Several PD attorneys had the US constitution framed and mounted on their office walls. I've read a few sample law application statements where these kids apparently "worshipped" the constitution and have every intention of abiding by its tenets blah blah yakkity yak. Do these parties realize that they are celebrating a document that has no recognition or condemnation of slavery by its hallowed draftsmen except by stipulating that a slave is a mere three fifths of a human being? I wonder if an African American could look upon it with the same affection and respect? What other atrocities are legitimized by this document that is supposed to be the backbone of an exemplary American political culture that values liberty and equality?

Thursday, February 10, 2005

from Silas Marner

To them pain and mishap present a far wider range of possibilities than gladness and enjoyment: their imagination is almost barren of the images that feed desire and hope, but is all overgrown by recollections that are a perpetual pasture to fear.

averred- declared

pallid- pale from illness

But there might be such a thing as a man's soul being loose from his body, and going out and in, like a bird out of its nest and back.

But Silas was both sane and honest, though, as with many honest and fervent men, culture had not defined any channels for his sense of mystery, and so it spread itself over the propoer pathway of inquiry and knowledge.

colloquy- conversation

catalepsy- trance or seizure with loss of conciousness and sensation


There is no just god that governs the earth righteously, but a god of lies, that bears witness against the innocent.

To people accustomed to reason about the forms in which their religious feeling has incorporated itself, it is difficult to enter into that simple, untaught state of mind in which the form and the feeling have never been severed by an act of reflection

If there is an angel that records the sorrows of men as well as their sins, he knows how many and deep are the sorrows of that spring from false ideas for which no man is culpable.


Minds that have been unhinged from their old faith and love have perhaps sought this Lethean influence of exile in which the past becomes dreamy because its symbols have all vanished, and the present too is dreamy because it is linked with no memories.

Lethe- (Greek mythology) the river of forgetfulness, a condtion of forgetfulness, oblivion

Foucault's power/knowledge

Foucault (writing in the early 70s) sees power (the ability to suppress, dominate) as established through discourse. What is discourse? This is comprised of practices obeying certain rules; the normalized worldview.
F says that human understanding exists in discourse.
Discourse becomes a tactical dimension of how power relations work between institutions, groups, and individuals.
Those who are in power have specialist knowledge – “the production of knowledge and the exercise of administrative power intertwine, and each begins to enhance the other.” Hence the power/knowledge complex- a flux made of power and knowledge that influence each other.
Thus, rules/laws(?) are power laden. There is no objective truth- we just give in to such authoritative concepts to weigh upon us and our actions.
“Disciplinary power” is comprised of the forces that make you buy into the hegemonic discourse. (e.g. the teaching of history in public schools, in a manner that is congruent with the government’s prescriptions)
But, this disciplinary power is not pervasive enough to keep insurrectionary discourse subjugated. Insurrectionary discourse? That which is not the mainstream- “local knowledge,” le savoir des gens, which is on the margin, such as Ayurvedic medicine in relief to the behemoth Western medicine. Gay marriage even. Something that is revolutionary, that challenges the status quo.

Terry Searches

Terry V Ohio (1968)- A decision by US Supreme Court (8-1) ruling that police officers MAY perform searches WITHOUT probable cause but as long as the officer has a “reasonable suspicion” that the person stopped and searched is committing a crime or is about to. This court ruling means that the Fourth Amendment that guards against unreasonable searches and seizures is not violated by such Terry searches. The court held that “what the constitution forbids is not all searches and seizures, but unreasonable searches and seizures.”
This seems to lower the bar on restraint shown by police officers in making searches. Reasonable suspicion is far, far less than probable cause. According to the ACLU, in practice, “reasonable suspicion” translates into either being black or living in a bad neighborhood.