By Lundi Matin
The movement of yellow vests seems to confirm a break of the historical thread of class struggles.
If we stubbornly insist on sharing articles on the “gilets jaunes” of France, it is because they embody a number of characteristics that may mark out the future of possible anti-capitalist movements. The following reflection, published with lundimatin 172 (31/12/2018) points in that direction.
We publish here an analysis from Temps Critiques (27/12/2018) about the yellow vests movement and all that it puts into question regarding the historical categories of a certain left.
The movement of the yellow vests seems to confirm a break in the historical thread of class struggles. It had already been initiated world-wide by the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement and the movements of the Squares, all of which had been at the head of mobilizations of demands concerning liberties, equality, living conditions in general; employment more than working conditions. It is also for this reason that these movements were addressed much more to the State than to employers, insofar as the process of globalization/totalisation of capital leads States to manage the reproduction of social relations at the territorial level, while remaining dependent on the requirements of globalization.
In France, the resilience of the traditional workers’ movement still maintained the idea of the class struggle against capital. In the spring of 2016, the fight against the reform of the labor law and labour statutes continued along the path of “the working class above all”, without however obtaining tangible results. A few years earlier, the renewed mobilisation generated by the “movement of the squares” did not allow for an effective reaction or resistance, because it quickly privileged the formalism of the assemblies, to the detriment of the substance of struggle. This struggle seemed to have found a more promising blend within the Spanish movement, with the overflow of the squares towards neighborhood solidarities in connection with housing problems.
In all of these struggles, including in the case of the struggle against the labor law, the question of the general strike or the blocking of factory production was not raised, nor has it been posed by the yellow vests movement. In these conditions, to bring together the pursuit of roundabout occupations with calls for a workers’ strike is a fiction of “conflict convergence” or the outdated idea that blocking flows of goods would be secondary to blocking the production of the goods themselves.
A community of struggle that is no longer a community of labour.
The roundabout rebels certainly include many salaried employees (or similarly, employees who benefit from subsidized jobs or social assistance to return to work), but there are also other non-salaried occupants or former employees (including poor self-entrepreneurs and especially retirees who are far from all going off on low cost flights to exotic destinations). It is not from the working relationship that they intervene, but from their living conditions and their social non-existence. A struggle, of course, but a classless struggle rather than a class struggle. It is therefore useless to look for what would be its proletarian wing, to animate its expansion, something that it clearly does not wish to develop.
Moreover, if the yellow vests are scorned by the power in place, it is not because they are “proletarians” in the historical sense of the term (Macron does not openly scorn the professional workers raised in the rules of the the art of labour unionism and legal education), but rather because they are, for him, nothing (“people who are nothing”, he said), modern sub-proletarians, social cases, savages having forgotten all the rules of civility, people who can neither speak nor produce officials or leaders. “No teeth”, as François Holland said once. A contempt itself despicable as it is charged with inhumanity; a blind contempt since it casts an undifferentiated judgment on the movement, while even we, as we mingle with them, know that there are very many different people within the yellow vest collectives.
According to the testimonies of the collective life of the yellow vests in the “cabins” which have flourished on the roundabouts, we can affirm that it is first and foremost a community of struggle made of sharing, in difficult living conditions; a union of energies against globalist power (Macron, ministers, the elected, the corrupt, the great-tax evaders, the confiscators of the word of the people, etc.); collective aspirations to put an end to a bad life; all this with sometimes utopian accents, as sung by a yellow vest amateur musician “I do not want to live in a world where doves do not fly any more”. A lyricism and songs far removed from the eternal political couplets on “emancipation” that accompany the demonstrations of workers or leftists. It is this community of struggle that makes people take turns to prepare food on the spot or share the food that is brought in support. Solidarity is not an empty word.
What is the organisation?
If we agree that yellow vests have developed an autonomous movement, we will not go so far as to say that they self-organise themselves in the ideological sense of self-organisation, as conceived by historical councilists or libertarians. It is an immediate self-organisation that leads to nothing but his own immediate practice. It reaches its limits when it wants to move to the stage of a true organisation of the movement, if only in the decision-making to refuse or not the requests of official authorisation for demonstrations or to accept or not established routes, the election of spokespersons or delegates. There is a refusal of organisation and not self-organisation, and it corresponds not only to distrust of any political or trade union organisation, but also to the fact that the present conditions have exhausted all the known historical forms. Indeed, the yellow vests can not create “roundabout councils”, as there were formerly workers’ councils or soldiers’ councils. But that does not mean that they can not argue or act from these roundabouts. Simply, they are not places that can ensure the durability of political forms, as we have seen recently with their dismantling. Here again the movement innovates, because it at the same time blocks and moves. Nodes of blockades can indeed be moved and renewed in the same way that places and protest routes can be redefined at any time.
The risk the is that of a repetition of previous actions. However, this repetition is already made precarious 1) by the decreasing number of those present at the points of mobilization; 2) by the intervention of the gendarmes at the roundabouts and especially against the kinds of small ZADs which have more or less spontaneously formed there; 3) by the new apparatuses mobilised by the police during the Saturday demonstrations, which tend to transfer the real violence of the repression of State, which alienates a large part of public opinion, onto a violence intrinsic to the movement, given the fact of its refusal to comply with government calls to stop demonstrating. It is the movement that then becomes the troublemaker and all those who call for it are thus guilty of the same offense, by intention, a form of crime increasingly manufactured in the name of urgency or exception (for example, in relation to terrorist activity), but recyclable for the occasion.
From negation to institutionalisation?
Did we move to a second phase, more affirmative, that of the RIC [référendum d’initiative citoyenne/citizens’ initiative referendum: a demand to promote proposals of law originating with the citizenry, along the lines of what is found in Switzerland], while the first was more negative (Macron, resign!, We will not give up on anything, etc.)? Or can the movement continue by absorbing this new electoral proposal, something that seems to offer a way out for those who, among the yellow vests, see that Macron will not resign?
If the RIC destroys the immediate dynamics of the movement, it is because on its current basis, that of the roundabout occupations and demonstrations on Saturday, it does not carry a clear historical dynamic, especially as the practice of assemblies, as well as the idea of delegation, find little echo or create divisions within the movement. It is precisely because it is incapable of making its dynamics historical on an assembly basis, that it can take refuge in the RCI. A referendum is for some an example of direct democracy, but for us it is the risk of a beginning of the institutionalisation of the movement  – or worse the birth of a typical Five Star movement, as in Italy.
Our criticism of the RIC can not therefore be taken primarily on the basis of a perceived strategic error of the movement that would thereby be “co-opted”, as claimed by a leaflet published on the net. Indeed, this leaflet retains the traditional leftist discourse on “co-option”, but finally rests on positions of “disengagement” limited to an anti-macronism. It is tempting for some to appropriate them because they may seem uncompromising and have expressed the unity of the movement during the first weeks, but for those who, like us, think that capital is a social relationship, we can be satisfied with neither. Of course there are reasons to argue that the adoption of the RIC would ultimately only concern “societal issues”; questions that are at the source of all the media or populist manipulations, and which do not relate to the material and social conditions which are at the source of the revolt. Moreover, how could a referendum force employers to raise wages and owners to lower rents?
But then it will be retorted, “what do you propose? “. This is the same as what we were told in 68 and this time, in addition, without even the escape, for some, of responding by proposing exotic models (Cuba or China).
One can not neglect the fact that what makes the strength of the movement is also what makes it weak. To take just one example, the actual link between the yellow vests and trade unionists intervening on the roundabouts remains very formal, insofar as these trade unionists only intervene as individuals, as we do, but without establishing a mediation that makes possible and concrete the fact that more and more basic trade unionists are ready to enter the movement, but on another basis that is not the convergence of struggles (this is the point of view of the CGT), but with the feeling that it is the same struggle and that in addition it took forms that make it possible to “win”.
Yet it is a sentiment shared by many participants in the inter-professional union event of December 14th, who also participated in one or more Saturday demonstrations with yellow vests. Moreover, more and more cégétistes, even if globally they are a very small minority, put on yellow vests, while bearing signs and CGT stickers, or better, wear red and yellow vests. But subjective expectations are limited by objective conditions, because the union world is increasingly cut off from what we can no longer even call the world of work, so much have situations become particularized. A composite ensemble that, on the one hand, understands that “working more to earn more” is an illusion, but on the other, does not seem to oppose the tax exemption of overtime proposed by the government. However, the latter has recognised negative effects on the level of employment, which is a concern of the yellow vests. This contradiction may explain the fact that the movement does not seem to make any reference to the notion of guaranteed income, even though it has the consciousness and the experience that, often, working is no longer enough to live .
The movement expresses, by its diversity and heterogeneity, the multidimensional nature of inequalities and a very different “sense” of the statistical inequalities, taken one by one. This gap is also due to the fact that France is more efficient in redistributing income upstream (accessibility to university, health, minimum wage, quality of life in general), that seems “normal” , than downstream, where the direct progressive tax weighs little; the CSG is for all, along with the VAT and various other taxes which weigh particularly on the propensity of the poorest salaried employees to consume.
Towards a general of all roundabouts?
A consumption that the movement upsets during this holiday season by blocking the supply of large supermarkets at central platforms, such as that of Auchan near Nimes, or directly blocking the entrance of supermarkets. Some prophets of doom, always running ahead of triumphant capital, may have spread rumours about the yellow vests, that they are hurting the economy by blocking large supermarkets, thereby benefiting Amazon and other online sales services. However, this assertion is highly questionable since the first figures show a general decline in consumption in traditional shopping places and a slight increase, but normal, because expected on the basis of an average increase, of online sales. Yet it is not unthinkable to consider the idea that “the spirit of the time” (gassed) is not conducive to consumption and not just because it would be more difficult to supply. In the same vein, we saw statements such as, “Unplug the TV and put on your vest.” Many yellow vests indicate that they no longer leave their homes except for what is essential. The lack of social relations is palpable and the invisibility we are discussing here is not that of exclusion, but that of a general social invisibility due to the new geopolitics of space which also concerns the inhabitants of suburbs . This situation imposes itself on a much broader ensemble of people than that which is covered by the struggle between the two great classes, the bourgeois and the working class, nor is it reducible to a simplistic opposition between the rich and the poor defined quantitatively or monetarily.It is the classless struggle of a “multitude” understood in the sense that it is not that of the kind, exploited 99% against the 1% of malicious exploiters and profiteers, at a time when the hierarchies of social positions or at work are both multiplied and refined, and are produced and reproduced without too much qualms by individuals, at each level they occupy. A classless struggle in the sense of the absence of a historical subject.
The movement of yellow vests is often criticised because, unlike historical workers’ struggles, it would not present a project of emancipation. It is a fact, but we have already said elsewhere why these projects were carried, from 1788 and 1789 until the years 1967-1978, by precisely historical subjects (first the bourgeois class and then the proletariat). The defeat of this last revolutionary cycle ruined any project of emancipation, except that which capital itself realized as part of the completion of the process of individualization in a capitalised society. But at the roundabouts and other places of expression of the current movement, anyway, there is a tension towards the community, not an abstract tension towards the human community, but a tension at the same time concrete (it is at the level of affect) and general because the movement embraces and questions all social relations. It is no longer the “All together” of 1995 against a specific project, but a sort of inseparable overturning and questioning of the capitalist totality, from viewpoints or angles in themselves partial.
This partiality of the attacks is for the moment compensated by the totality of the “act against”, the one that is translated in the language of “We will not give anything up” of the yellow vests, which answers to the “you are nothing” of Power. This “We will not let go” implies determined collective actions that the excessive presence and aggressiveness of the police can make violent; a confrontation of forces that the power and the media call “extreme”, with all the interested orchestration they give them.
 – https://www.francebleu.fr/infos/economie-social/un-gilet-jaune-de-montbard-makes-a-carton-on-the-web-with-sa-new-chanson- 1545108297
 – On this point, cf. the blog of Temps critiques about the days of Eymoutiers): http://blog.tempscritiques.net/archives/2179
 – After Julien Coupat, it is now the figure of the yellow vest movement that is paying the price. We are witnessing a criminalisation of social movements with the proliferation of arrests, preventive custody and heavy prison sentences for the slightest trifle. So many anti-constitutional measures, because of their blatant disproportion with the incriminated acts which demonstrates not the strength of the state, but its weakness. A weakness made even more visible by the fact that, on the other side of the barricade, the police, in a half day strike, obtained a from 120 to 150 euros of monthly salary increase.
 – At the same time, we notice that for the first time, official requests for authorised protest routes have been filed with certain police prefectures, as was the case on 22 December 2018; the first noticeable retreat of the movement, with the concomitant creation of marshal services specific to the yellow vests.
 – Available here http://www.19h17.info/2018/12/12/non-a-la-ricuperation/
 – While the CGT signed with six other trade union centrals the condemnation of the methods of struggle of the yellow vests.
 – And paradoxically, it is Macron who makes the ghost resurface, with the increase of a tax on work activity, which thereby loses its original character, which was to push back to work people satisfied with the social minimum. But this is something else that is the recognition that wages no longer pay work “correctly” and that the complement must be drawn from public money. The “work more to earn more” exhausted its effects, even if the tax exemption of overtime seeks to give it a breath of life … at the expense of unemployment figures!
 – See the investigation by Th. Piketty and the Laboratory on Global Inequalities.
 – Indeed, if the “problems” of the suburbs are highlighted by sensationalism on the side of the media or political interest by the parties, the daily life of the majority of its inhabitants, all associative or cultural actions that take place, are rendered invisible.h
Out Now @ Bandcamp :: Obsolete Capitalism and Adi Newton / @ The Anti Group :: Chaos Variation III :: 12-inch ultra-limited edition vinyl with 16-page color book, assembled by hand, and printed on felt-paper Twill marked in 50 copies :: 25 copies in Italian and 25 copies in English language :: Editions Rizosfera / NUKFM :: Cat. NURKFM004 :: December 2018 :: Graphics and layout Gabriele Fantuzzi :: Realization of typography Simone Forte / Fortress SL :: Obsolete Capitalism Hyper X and DJ Rocca / Luca Roccatagliati:. Translations eng> ita Claudio Kulesko :: Editing Letizia Rustichelli and Paolo Davoli :: PHASE 2 of the collaboration between Adi Newton and Obsolete Capitalism has begun. Stay tuned, further developments will be announced shortly ...
While I’ve mainly been consumed by start-of-term stuff, I have been following up on a few leads in relation to the Foucault work. One of these was a piece by Georges Bataille on Nietzsche, first published in his short-lived journal Acéphale. The British Library has copies of two original issues of Acéphale – both double issues, though still very short. Pdfs of the whole short run are available at Monoskop.
Bataille is a fascinating and disturbing figure, and I’ve just started reading Michel Surya’s biography of him. While looking in the BL catalogue, I found the Encyclopædia Acephalica, published by Atlas Press, which wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but provides a lot of other material by and related to Bataille. It had a useful bibliography which has suggested a few more things to look at. But what it revealed to me was that Acéphale wasn’t just the name of the journal, but also a secret society founded by Bataille. I’m not sure how far down this particular rabbit-hole I will go, but I found that there was a recent publication in English of a host of material related to this society.
It’s entitled The Sacred Conspiracy: The Internal Papers of the Secret Society of Acephale (Atlas Press, 2018). Here’s the publisher’s description:
This book recounts what must be one of the most unusual intellectual journeys of modern times, in which Georges Bataille — still best known outside of France as a highly wrought pornographer (The Story of the Eye etc.) — have spent the early Thirties in far-left groups opposing the rise of Fascism, abandoned that approach in order to transfer the struggle on to “the mythological plane”.
In 1937, he founded two groups in order to explore the combinations of power and the “sacred” at work in society (Bataille associated the sacred with expenditure, eroticism and death). The first group, the College of Sociology, gave lectures that were intended to reveal the hidden undercurrents within a society on the verge of catastrophe. Bataille and Roger Caillois produced some of their finest texts for these sessions, in which many of the most celebrated intellectuals of the period participated. The second group was Acéphale, a genuine secret society whose emblem was a headless figure that in part represented the death of God. This “ferocious” anti-religion enacted torch-lit rituals in a forest at night beneath an oak tree that has been struck by lightening. Until the discovery a few years ago of the group’s internal papers (which include theoretical texts, meditations, minutes of meetings, rules and prohibitions and even a membership list), almost nothing was known of its activities. Here is the story of what must be among the strangest associations in political, literary or occult history.
This book is the first to collect a representative selection of the writings of Bataille, and of those close to him, in the years leading up to the war. They judged that the time was right to confront the most intractable problems of the human condition head-on: how to live an integrated existence in a universe that was ruthless, absurd and indifferent? And how to oppose repressive and unequal social structures given the obvious impotence of the democracies and the political left when faced with far-right ideology? Such themes have a renewed resonance today.
The texts published here comprise lectures given to the College of Sociology by Bataille, Caillois and Michel Leiris, essays from the Acéphale journal and a large cache of the internal papers from the secret society. A desparate narrative unfolds, and Bataille risked all in this wholely unreasonable quest. With a few fellow travellers, he underook what he later described as a “journey out of this world”.
It looks compendious (480 pp.), richly-illustrated and affordable at £25, especially for such a big book. A quick check of Worldcat suggests no UK libraries have a copy, so it’s now on order.
Aside from Foucault reading the journal (there are notes on it in Paris), another link is that in the 1960s Foucault was part of a tribute issue of Critique to Bataille – a journal Bataille founded. This is the well-known ‘Preface to Transgression’ piece. But Foucault also wrote the brief preface to the first volume of Bataille’s Oeuvres complètes, published in 1970, which I don’t think has ever been translated. Foucault was clearly involved in some way with the planning of the Oeuvres complètes, since he used multiple copies of pages of a draft plan as scrap paper – they are found in multiple boxes of his papers in Paris. If I continue my work on Foucault for a book on the 1960s I’ll need to dig into this further, but for now I’m interested in finding out more about Bataille’s early work, especially around Nietzsche. And finally on that, I was surprised to realise that there was a new translation of his book On Nietzsche, which appeared in 2015 with SUNY Press, translated by Stuart Kendell. I only knew the earlier version, translated by Bruce Boone with Athlone/Continuum/Bloomsbury, which I bought and read probably 20 years ago.
In recent years, techno-scientific progress has started to utterly transform our world – changing it almost beyond recognition. In this extraordinary new book, renowned philosopher Slavoj Žižek turns to look at the brave new world of Big Tech, revealing how, with each new wave of innovation, we find ourselves moving closer and closer to a bizarrely literal realisation of Marx’s prediction that ‘all that is solid melts into air.’ With the automation of work, the virtualisation of money, the dissipation of class communities and the rise of immaterial, intellectual labour, the global capitalist edifice is beginning to crumble, more quickly than ever before-and it is now on the verge of vanishing entirely.
But what will come next? Against a backdrop of constant socio-technological upheaval, how could any kind of authentic change take place? In such a context, Žižek argues, there can be no great social triumph – because lasting revolution has already come into the scene, like a thief in broad daylight, stealing into sight right before our very eyes. What we must do now is wake up and see it.
Burt Reynolds’ Unfinished Business: Actor Was Fielding Offers, Preparing For ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’ Role
In just a couple of weeks, Burt Reynolds was slated to go in front of the camera of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time In Hollywood. Reynolds, who died unexpectedly of a suspected heart attack, was to play rancher George Spahn in the movie, set in Los Angeles in the summer of 1969 before the Manson Family murders were committed.
Reynolds, who was cast back in May and visited the Leonardo DiCaprio- and Brad Pitt-starring film’s table read in June, had received a straight offer from Tarantino, who had seen Reynolds in the 2018 release The Last Movie Star.
That feature, in which Reynolds played an ageing movie star, created a host of new opportunities for the 1970s movie icon. (You can read The Last Movie Star writer-director Adam Rifkin’s remembrance of his friend and childhood hero Reynolds here.)
OBSOLETE CAPITALISM :: CONTROL, MODULATION AND ALGEBRA OF EVIL IN BURROUGHS AND DELEUZE :: RIZOSFERA :: THE STRONG OF THE FUTURE :: SF016 :: SEPTEMBER 2018
by Obsolete Capitalism
According to Deleuze’s Pourparler the concept of “Control” can be ascribed to William Burroughs. Since the seventies, it is possible to trace a deep intellectual and political convergence between Deleuze and Bur- roughs. This has happened across three levels of analysis: control society, revolutionary communities and schizo-culture. This essay attempts an analysis of the relationship between these two giants of twentieth century counterculture by borrowing their ‘control’ perspective. With the critical figure of Foucault on the background, the crucial political and philosophical passage from “discipline” to “control” appears in all its monstrosity. The struggle against Control, according to Deleuze and Burroughs, must be perpetrated through the invention of literary and philosophical “war machines” which try to hide from established knowledge and dominant powers by gathering in communities made of unassimilable singularities. Burroughs’ untraceable and diagrammatic critique seems ever more precious as it is completely strange to the conformism of contemporary critical thought.
Charles Bukowski Explains How to Beat Depression: Spend 3-4 Days in Bed and You’ll Get the Juices Flowing Again
I felt like sleeping for five years but they wouldn’t let me
—Charles Bukowski, Ham on Rye
I don’t know about you, but the grind gets me down. Day in, day out, the same routine, never a break but the odd vacation. And you know what they say about vacations; when you get back, you need another one. Used to be days were more regular, in the zenith of the unions. You put in your time and you get some back, enough at least for a good night’s sleep. No more. The machine never sleeps, and neither can we. If you have the good fortune to live in the U.S., you and I can call ourselves blessed inhabitants of the most overworked nation in the world. Europeans may have it better, but maybe not by much.
Hayley’s murderer acknowledges all without batting an eyelid – a charming psychopath with ice in his veins
They always get their man … Sunny and Cassie. Photograph: Des Willie/ITV
In the end, there was no twin switcheroo, bad boyfriend or secret pregnancy that did for Hayley. It was stupid luck that saw her run into Tim Finch on that particular night, he in that particular mood, she being his particular sort. When the underwear in his box is matched to murdered teen Alison Baldwin, Tim confesses to her and Hayley’s murders over a cup of tea. He mentions breezily, by the by, that there are more bodies out there.
It all becomes too much for Cassie, who walks away from the case and into a much-needed sabbatical. She’s been neglecting self-care for some time and takes the chance to reconcile with her father and kickstart what looks like a very promising romance with former DCI John Bentley (a man shamelessly libelled in the comments – I expect full abjuration below the line). After all the horror, it’s good to end on a positive note. We finish in a gorgeous woodland cemetery, Cassie and Sunny joining Jessica and Suzanne at Hayley’s final resting place, facing into the sun.
We have a tendency to regard Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's music as having appeared fully formed into the world, not least because we hear it performed almost exclusively in a highly refined state of near-perfection. That makes any glimpse into the process of its creation all the more valuable, and the British Library has now provided us with much more than such a peek: at its site you can now read Mozart's own thirty-page musical diary, a record of "his compositions in the last seven years of his life" and thus "a uniquely important document" in the history of classical music.
The British Library notes that during the period from February 1784 until December 1791 that the diary covers, Mozart "composed many of his best-known works, including his five adult operas, several of his most beautiful piano sonatas, and his last three great symphonies, as well as several famous lesser works."
Abstract: This essay discusses the notions of “extension” and “prosthesis” as two different logics and modes of being with technology. I trace the two terms to the work of Marshall McLuhan, influenced by the work of Norbert Wiener and Buckminster Fuller. I argue that the logic of softwarisation is similar to the logic of extension, while the logic of appification is similar to that of prosthesis. I argue that these logics also map onto the logics of metonymy and metaphor. I explain why such a distinction is useful for reading mobile apps and the computing practices they enable. I conclude by raising questions about users’ complicity within the bio-technological cybernetic assemblage: What does the user of these technologies want? Is she able to confront her desire through their use? Why is the demanding swarm of parasitic ‘media species’, such as apps, so determined to get under the user’s skin?
A couple of very tough months are ahead for the wildfire season and firefighting attempts in the western United States, especially California.
Approximately 110 large wildfires are burning across the U.S., and most of these fires are burning in the West, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Countless acres of brush, which growth was spurred on by winter and spring moisture, have had all summer to dry out.
Extreme heat, dryness, burning sunshine and accidental and intentional incidents by humans have already contributed to an intimidating fire year.
As much as 90 percent of wildfires in the U.S. are generated by humans, according to the National Park Service.
Edinburgh fringe 2018. (Some)Body by PosleSlov. Photograph: Murdo MacLeod for the Guardian
Sex sells, which explains why performers have been getting their tools off at the fringe for years. But my flesh odyssey was also mind-bending – and profoundly moving
Fifteen naked people in a single day is a record for me. For a Monday, at least. I am in Edinburgh to attend the fringe, where I have been given a short to … well, avoid briefs. Ban bras, skirt skirts – free willy. Go to Edinburgh, and see the naked shows, was the plan. Bring a towel to sit on, a venue said.
Nudity is not new at the fringe, established in 1947 when eight theatre companies decided to turn up uninvited and stage their own shows alongside the Edinburgh international festival. This sounds a bit like turning up outside someone’s house with a boombox, but it obviously proved successful. Last year, the Fringe consisted of more than 3,000 shows in 300 venues.
If sexual intercourse began, as the poet Philip Larkin claimed, in 1963, nudity came at the Fringe the same year. In what became known as the Lady MacChatterley trial, 18-year-old Anna Kesselaar found herself in court on charges of lewdness for taking part in what was referred to in the press as a “happening”: being wheeled naked on a trolley across a gallery at the launch of publisher John Calder and Traverse Theatre founder Jim Haynes’ Drama Conference in the McEwan Hall.
In a 2012 interview, the then 68-year-old Kesselaar rather brilliantly told the Scotsman: “I did it for art. And £4.” At the time, Kesselaar was branded “sick in mind, hand and heart” by the city’s Lord Provost, and had to flee to London such was the scandal.
Large flames are seen on a hillside outside the village of Monchique (Picture: AP)
The blast has dashed over a slope run for seven days, in the midst of hot and dry temperatures. Experts in Portugal and Spain said they have stopped real out of control fires however cautioned the fight isn't finished yet. Bulldozers working during that time to make firebreaks helped stop a burst in southern Portugal's Algarve area, the Civil Protection Agency said. Temperatures additionally fell, with a most extreme of 26 degrees Celsius estimate for Thursday.
Be that as it may, the fire's border estimated in excess of 60 miles and blasting breezes could trigger reignitions, Patricia Gaspar, the Civil Protection Agency's delegate administrator, said. Just about 1,300 firefighters with 389 vehicles and eight airplane are conveyed at the blast. Military units are watching backwoods to check for crisp flare-ups, Gaspar said. The fire, in the zone around Monchique, around 180 miles south of the capital, Lisbon, has scorched just about 58,000 sections of land of forest, as per the European Forest Fire Information System. In excess of 40 individuals have been harmed, one of them truly, and hundreds cleared from towns and villages amid Portugal's most exceedingly bad out of control fire of the year. In neighboring Spain, light medium-term rain helped stop the advance of a fierce blaze close Valencia, on the Mediterranean drift. Experts trusted that would enable them to put the fire out Thursday following a four-day burst that burned around 7,400 sections of land. Firefighters there were bolstered by 31 flying machine.
Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, is charged with two counts of arson and other crimes.
The man charged for starting a Southern California blaze that forced the evacuation of 20,000 residents sent a text to a volunteer fire chief two weeks ago saying, "The place is going to burn," the chief said Thursday.
The Holy Fire began in Monday in the Cleveland National Forest's Holy Jim Canyon and has so far destroyed a dozen structures, according to fire authorities.
Holy Jim Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Milligan, 71, says he's known the pyromania suspect, Forrest Gordon Clark, for decades and has long warned that he posed a danger to the community.
"I've been trying for years to get someone to pay attention and nobody has really had the opportunity to do that until now," he said.
Milligan said he was so careful of Clark that he avoided altogether going to the area of the remote Orange County canyon where the 51-year-old Clark lives, he said. Nonetheless, Clark came to his home two weeks ago to return article he said he had "borrowed" from the fire department, he said.
"I said 'I want nothing to do with you, Forrest. Just go,'" Milligan said. "He was being gentlemanly in the beginning and turned and then swore at me and turned and left and was quoting the Bible. Later, he came back and told me what a jerk I was and everyone was after him."
Tom Bossert (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: AP (2), Getty Images)
Midst mounting warnings about another Russian cyber attack on the 2018 midterm elections, President Trump’s former homeland security adviser said a recent staff alarm ordered by national security adviser John Bolton has left the White House with nobody in charge of U.S. cyber policy and raised concerns about “who is minding the store.”
“On cyber, there is no clear person and or clear driver, and there is no clear muscle memory,” said Tom Bossert, who served as White House homeland security adviser until last April, in an interview with the Yahoo News podcast Skullduggery.
“In some way playing jazz music, improvising policy because there is no clear playbook for it,” Bossert said. “And so, yes, if you’re asking me do I have any concerns? The concern would be who’s minding the store in the coordination and development … of new and creative cyber policies and strategies.”
The grandest contest in British literature is about to begin. Whose numbers will rise up this year?
Photograph: Sherry Moore/Alamy
Sports fans still lamenting the end of FIFA’s football fiesta can perhaps console themselves with the opening round of the literary world’s favorite game: posh bingo. The Booker prize will unveil the runners and riders on this year’s longlist as Monday night turns into Tuesday morning.
So who will it be? Jostling this year to fill the slots generally reserved for former winners are Michael Ondaatje – fresh from his Golden Booker triumph – Pat Barker, Peter Carey, Alan Hollinghurst and Julian Barnes. Lining up to feature as American invaders are Anne Tyler, Richard Powers, Rachel Kushner and Madeline Miller, who face off against established home-team names such as Aminatta Forna, Jim Crace, Andrew Miller and Rachel Cusk. And could this be the year that Ali Smith finally gets a Booker prize? Or indeed Kate Atkinson – maybe Transcription will dictate this year’s conclusion.
Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson commence their doubleheader Twins of Evil: The Second Coming tour of the US and Canada today, and to celebrate – and maybe demonstrate that they haven't turned out to be sheltered in their seniority – the combine have recorded a front of The Beatles track Helter Skelter – the tune that professedly propelled Charles Manson (it most likely didn't, yet how about we not ruin the folklore). It's a quite splitting front of maybe the best Beatles track, we think. In spite of the fact that Siouxsie and the Banshees presumably still have the edge on fronts of the tune.
The 10 Rules for Students and Teachers Popularized by John Cage: “Nothing Is a Mistake,” “Consider Everything an Experiment”
The Brian Eno archive More Dark than Shark recently posted on its Twitter account a list of posted on its Twitter account and teachers used by John Cage. Though much has been written about the artistic affinities between Eno and Cage, both of whose compositions have pushed the boundaries of how we think about music itself, they also both have a deep connection to the idea of using rules to enhance the experience of creation. Where Eno has his bedeck of creative process-enhancing Oblique Strategies cards, Cage had this list of rules first composed by an educator, silkscreen artist, and nun named Sister Corita Kent..
Kent came up with the list, writes Brainpickings' Maria Popova, "as part of a project for a class she taught in 1967-1968. It was subsequently appropriated as the official art department rules at the college of LA’s Immaculate Heart Convent, her alma mater, but was commonly popularized by Cage, whom the tenth rule cites directly." That tenth rule, more of a meta-rule, reminds the reader that "we're breaking all the rules" by "leaving plenty of room for X quantities." But one can easily imagine how the previous nine, having as much to do with the pleasure of the work of learning, teaching, and creating as with its rigorous performance, might appeal to Cage as well. The complete list runs as follows:
The Fawlty Towers star rails against the government, the BBC and British newspapers in an platform appearance for Hacked Off
It was hard to know what to expect of a solo show by John Cleese, organised by the campaign group. On 29 June, the comedian tweeted that it would be a “speech” but, by 5 July, he was calling it a “new one-hour comedy show”.
Cleese has experimented with standup as crowd-funding before. The audience helped to pay for his third divorce. The £30 ticket for this event (including an entry in a draw for a dinner with Cleese) was bankrolling Hacked Off’s campaign to seek judicial review of the government’s decision to leave the planned second phase of the Leveson probe into journalistic ethics, which would investigate the relationship between the press and police.
On Sunday at 7.30pm, there were 250 people in the at London’s Royal Geographic Society, which seems popular with former members of Monty Python: Michael Palin has been the society’s president for three years.
Above the stage hung a vast black and white photograph of Cleese looking gloomy, next to the words, “Why There Is No Hope”. It soon became clear that anyone drawn in by the love of would get only the intemperate manner, as Cleese read a 45-minute lecture from a large Autocue screen about how culture has been engulfed by stupidity.
Every artist explores dimensions of space and place, orienting themselves and their works in the world, and orienting their viewers. Then there are artists like Vincent van Gogh, who make space and place a primary subject. In his early paintings of peasant homes and fields, his figures’ muscular shoulders and hands interact with solid walls and knotted trees. Later country scenes—whether curling and delicate, like Wheatfield with a Reaper, or heavy and ominous, like Wheatfield with Crows (both below)—give us the sense of the landscape as a single living entity, pulsating, writhing, blazing in brilliant yellows, reds, greens, and blues.
Van Gogh painted interior scenes, such as his famous The Bedroom, at the top (the first of three versions), with an eye toward using color as the means of making space purposeful: “It’s just simply my bedroom,” he wrote to Paul Gauguin of the 1888 painting, “only here color is to do everything… to be suggestive here of rest or of sleep in general. In a word, looking at the picture ought to rest the brain, or rather the imagination.”
When Jean-Paul Sartre Had a Bad Mescaline Trip and Then Hallucinated, for Years, That He Was Being Followed by Crabs
Sometimes when confronted with strange new ideas, people will whoop “you must be on drugs!”—a charge often obtruded at philosophers by those who would rather dismiss their ideas as hallucinations than take them seriously. But, then, to be fair, sometimes philosophers are on drugs. Take Jean-Paul Sartre. “Before Hunter S. Thompson was driving around in cabriolet stocked full of acid, cocaine, mescaline and tequila,” notes Critical Theory, Sartre almost approached the gonzo journalist’s habitual intake.
According to Annie Cohen-Solal, who wrote a biography of Sartre, his daily drug consumption was thus: two packs of cigarettes, several tobacco pipes, over a quart of alcohol (wine, beer, vodka, whisky etc.), two hundred milligrams of amphetamines, fifteen grams of aspirin, a boat load of barbiturates, some coffee, tea, and a few “heavy” meals (whatever those might have been).
The film-maker weighs in on the disagreement surrounding BBC comedy chief Shane Allen’s comment about ‘six Oxbridge white blokes’
Terry Gilliam has responded to the BBC diversity debate which referenced Monty Python by saying: “I tell the world now I’m a black lesbian.”
Gilliam was commenting on the line over diversity triggered by the BBC’s unveiling of its new comedy programming, offered in June, at which the BBC’s controller of comedy commissioning Shane Allen emphasised the corporation’s commitment to “the stories that haven’t been told and the voices we haven’t yet heard”. In response to a question about Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Allen said: “If you’re going to assemble a team now, it’s not going to be six Oxbridge white blokes. It’s going to be a diverse range of people who reflect the modern world.”
Speaking at a press conference at the Karlovy Vary film festival, where he was presenting his new film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Gilliam said: “It made me cry: the idea that ... no longer six white Oxbridge men can make a comedy show. Now we need one of this, one of that, everybody pleaded... this is bullshit. I no longer want to be a white male, I don’t want to be blamed for everything wrong in the world: I tell the world now I’m a black lesbian... My name is Loretta and I’m a BLT, a black lesbian in transition.”
There’s no denying that Ingmar Bergman made a lasting impression on so many great filmmakers. But it’s often hard to wrap our heads around the fact that Bergman changed the whole course of cinematic history and helped to shape the landscape of filmmaking today.
There’s something wonderful about seeing the likes of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Claire Denis, and Wes Craven, going out of their way to make the journey to visit Bergman’s humble residence on the remote island of Faro. And seeing their reactions as they first step inside the house. Their gleeful, awestruck expressions show us a human side to this highly acclaimed and talented directors. It feels like we are witnessing something deeply personal, and we feel worshipful to be along for the journey. This is a rare event, very few have stepped inside the house of Bergman.
Directors Jane Magnusson and Hynek Pallas’ decision to use previously unseen behind-the-scenes footage from the making of Bergman’s films, along with candid conversations with other filmmakers, help to weave the story of the great director. Detailing his early days, to his peak in the 50s and 60s, to his slump in the 70s and the return to his form in the 80s.
The feature came out of a six-part 2012 TV series titled “Bergman’s Video.” with each episode centering with a central topic from Bergman’s films (for example, “Death,” “Fear,” “Silence”) and how that theme played out in the interviewed filmmakers’ work. For Trespassing Bergman, the directors decided to focus on the effect and impression that Bergman’s work had on the likes of great directors such as Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Michael Haneke, Ang Lee and Zhang Yimou.
Exchanging their shoes for slippers at the door, the Bergman property guests explore the carefully preserved building, which, which after Bergman’s death in 2007, was turned into a museum (everything left how it was when the man died, a bedside table complete with his scribblings reveals something pedantic about the director). Most of the guest often sit down into comfy chairs in the TV room to talk. The room has an extensive, carefully alphabetized collection of VHS tapes, (we discover that Bergman had a copy of Die Hard, it seems surreal to think of him sitting down to watch the 80s action flick).
According to Ted Morgan, author of William S. Burroughs biography Literary Outlaw (which Burroughs hated), the hard-living Beat writer added “teacher” to the list of jobs he did not like after an unhappy semester teaching creative writing at the City College of New York. He complained about dimwitted students, and disliked the job—arranged for him by Allen Ginsberg—so much that he later turned down a position at the University of Buffalo that paid $15,000 a semester, even though he desperately needed the money. That Burroughs had recently kicked heroin may have contributed to his unease with the prosaic regularities of college life. Whatever the story, he later remarked that the “teaching gig was a lesson in never again.”
Making friends with similar interests can be a challenge for anyone. But imagine you are the founder of an entirely new discipline, with its own peculiar jargon, set of practices, and conceptual categories. Imagine, for example, that you are Sigmund Freud, who in 1896 made his break with medicine to pursue the work of psychoanalysis. Drawing on clinical experience with patients, his own self-analysis, cocaine-induced reveries, and an idiosyncratic reading of Greek mythology, Freud invented his strange psychosexual theories within the confidence of a very small circle of acquaintances and admirers.
One of his close relationships during those productive and turbulent years, with eccentric ear, nose, and throat doctor Wilhelm Fliess—a collaborator, influence, “confessor and moral supporter”—ended badly in 1906. It was in that same year that Freud met the much-younger, Carl Jung. At their first meeting, the two “talked nonstop for 13 hours,” the Aeon video above, animated by Andrew Khosravani, tells us. Thus began the intense and now-legendary six-year friendship between the psychiatrists, a “passionate and surpassingly weird relationship, which, given the people involved, perhaps shouldn’t come as a surprise.” Freud settled upon Jung as his protege and successor, the “Joshua to my Moses,” overjoyed to have found a friend who seemed to understand his ideas intimately.
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