Sitting in an empty row. Catch you later UK, off to Hong Kong now.

“For Barber, to dare or risk using the name of “God” after Spinoza, after Nietzsche, and after Deleuze, is to become truly post-secular. If “the secular” is that which supersedes and thus de-legitimates the religious, then to use the name of God after secularism is not so much to recover religion (let alone Christianity), but to re-imagine or re-express what religious language and ideas might be, or might have been, but had thus far been unable to express. What is at stake here, for Barber, is not in any sense the “recovery” or renewal of constituted, available forms of religious belief and practice, but precisely the subversive opportunity presented by re-claiming the name of God in a secular age. This opportunity is not so much a chance to re-ignite religious devotion as it is to detach or de-link from the world, where even “the secular” world is understood, in Deleuzian terms, as a set of constituted actualities that are set to deny their contingent and arbitrary status. This self-defensiveness of the actual (secular, as much as actual Christianity) is the ethical and political problem at the heart of Barber’s work. The name of such self-defensiveness, traditionally, has been “theodicy,” the justification of the ways of God to humanity.”
— Joshua Ramey, 'Deleuze and the Naming of God: Postsecularism and the Future of Immanence' review for Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
“The object of this militant desire is not called One Direction. All the fans interviewed were painfully aware of a lack structuring their lives. For those who haven’t met the band, this lack becomes One Direction-shaped. They’ll meet their favourite member, sleep with them, marry them, and then everything will be better. For those who have, it’s a different story. Once is never enough; they have to meet them again and again, with ever-diminishing returns. They grow to realise that the band itself is insufficient. What they want is a different mode of existence. That something as banal as a manufactured pop group can embody this desire ought to be heartening: it’s the transcendent fervour, not its proximal object, that’s important. These girls are victims of the traumatic atomisation of contemporary capitalism. Many are cut off from conventional relationships; they spend long hours alone with Twitter and Tumblr, endlessly reiterating their love for something that exists beyond their comprehension, in a shared devotion that has become something like what Badiou terms the ‘local creation of something generic’ – something based not on the facile ‘connections’ of social media but a dissolution into a strong general unity of purpose.
Marx wrote that capitalism always creates the conditions for its own overthrow; Lenin nicely summarised the same principle when he declared that ‘we will hang the capitalists with the rope that they sell us.’ Through its campaign of atomisation capitalism has attempted to resolve this problem, but in doing so it’s created an acute consciousness of the wrongness of alienated existence. Directioners have achieved far more than most leftist thinkers in demonstrating how this anxiety can be displaced onto a real and immanent movement towards a transcendent goal. This is [the] task the radical left faces: to become as fanatical about the overthrow of existing conditions as teenage girls are about One Direction.”

These are the books I’m probably going to take back to China.

Getting ready with my “travelling back to China” books!

Books I failed to complete this summer. :-(

“[F]or, in the brutal generality, only the poor watch over the poor. The poor do not exist for others, except as an inconvenience or a threat or an economic or sometimes missionary or sometimes genuinely moral opportunity. [“]The poor ye have with you always[“]; indeed, but never in the main, to be seen, and never, certainly, as we should know by now, to be heard.”
James Baldwin, The Evidence of Thing Not Seen, 62
“The European—a catchall term, referring, really, to the dooms of Capital, Christianity, and Color—became White, and the African became Black—for commercial reasons. The price the White American paid for his [sic.] ticket is not only in the so romanticised rupture between the so-called Old World and the so-called New, but in the terrified totality of his divorce from the most momentous creation of American life, his darker brother.”
James Baldwin, The Evidence of Thing Not Seen, 30-31

Bus selfie!


Hey everyone! First episode of My Name Is My Name w/ APS is available for download. [Note that there is a slight problem with the file at minute 4:19 until 6:17. I will have this fixed tomorrow.] In this episode you’ll find me introducing the show and then my lecture at The New School based New…