rumination on amateur photography
I am not a professional photographer, nor have I been formally trained in the skill in any manner. However, like almost anyone with an eye, and set of sensibilities, I have attempted to capture in frames, scenes, vistas, drawing, and also squalor and filth - whenever they depict themselves to me in a composition which warrants memory.
Transactional logic in communication
Communication, while possibly spontaneous, is a formal procedure. This is so inasmuch as intelligibility requires a shared sense of the meanings of the words used to comprehend what is said, which brings a familiarity of grammatical idioms, all of which, for a native speaker are imbibed as it were, unconsciously.
The critique of artistic production amidst the zombie apocalypse
I think there is no better scene in cinema which explicates the predicament of an artist, or indeed a scientist when faced by the philistinic denial and ignorance of a mob than the dramatic end of Robert Neville’s life in I am Legend, the 2007 post-apocalyptic zombie horror movie. The zombies having identified the house where Neville and his friends are holed up in , assault it en-masse. Isolating the group of survivors in the basement where the experiment to make a vaccine is underway. Neville, played by Will Smith, in a last desperate attempt to show the assaulting mob that he has a cure, displays one of their own, whom the vaccine has been administered to and who is indeed, beginning to appear human again i.e., her vital signs are stabilizing, her breathing is becoming normal etc. But of course, the mob still don’t get it. Resigning himself to the situation, the lead protagonist asks Anna and Ethan, the two survivors who were with him, to escape from the back - through the underground tunnel and drive till they find the place of safe haven advertised on the radio.
Book review, commentary, and narrative summary of Inventing the Future
“Work, no matter how degrading or low-paid or inconvenient, is deemed an ultimate good. This is the mantra of both mainstream political parties and most trade unions, associated with rhetoric about getting people back into work, the importance of working families, and cutting welfare so that ‘it always pays to work’”
Review of ‘In Theory: Classes, Nations and Literatures’ by Aijaz Ahmad
First published in 1992 immediately following the collapse of the Soviet Union, ‘In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures’ by Aizaj Ahmad takes up the national question at a world historic moment where governments negotiate at the cusp of a global geo-political reordering of allegiances. The political impetus provided by the establishment of State Socialism, first in USSR and then in China provided the crucial reinforcement needed for the spine of a global anti-imperialist wave which witnessed the liberation of Vietnam, the spread of revolutionary energies into Cuba, the decolonization of much of Africa and the cementing of Eastern Europe into a Socialist bastion – largely enabled by economic, military and technological aid from the first two countries to have harboured Proletarian Revolutions.
Evaluating Rousseau in the light of Kant's definition of the enlightenment
The German philosopher Immanuel Kant defines Enlightenment, as I understand it - as the willingness to publicly use one's reason. He describes this at the beginning of his essay 'An Answer to the Question 'What is Enlightenment?' as 'man's emergence from his self incurred immaturity' where immaturity is thought of as the abstinence from using one's own understanding without guidance. In choosing whether to compare either Rousseau or Marx, to Kant - I chose Rousseau; partly because of being saturated by Marx's works and also, more importantly - because Rousseau preceded both Marx and Kant and was writing in closer proximity to the events of the French Revolution.
Fredric Jameson on concert music
In the essay on Adorno, in Marxism and Form (1971) - Jameson makes a remarkable observation about representation, (a category much debated in recent years in the world of philosophy and literature) and the absence of it in Western concert music. He juxtaposes this to the earlier form of folk music which always seemed to represent an event, a happening, commemorate a ritual, etc. The sensibility which a composition elicits however, does not tell a story - this seems to be his principle hypothesis.
On the fetish character of music & the diminishing or listening
Theodor Adorno, a theorist of the Frankfurt School, in the first essay of ‘Culture Industry’ depicts the place of listening in human culture to be sparked and contained by music. A romantic and excessively civilized imagination to be sure as the common tongue is sure to reach ears. The phrase he uses is that music is the ‘impulse and the locus of its (civilization’s) taming’. The symbols used to depict the effects that music produces are drawn from ancient Greek myth – Pan’s flute, Orpheus’s lyre and the Maenads dance. These represent to Adorno, the influence that music may once have had and may perhaps be diminishing. Pan the satyr shepherd guiding his flock with his pipes, Orpheus subduing the frenzy of wild beast with the lyre and the Maenads risen to delirium consuming flesh which is incarnating the divine. It is doubtful how soundly the last example may be represented by the term music however.