Tuesday, 27 July 2010

The Anthropology of Capitalism

Perhaps we have been too quick to celebrate the “disenchantment of the world” ushered in by the retreat of religion and the growth of naturalism since the seventeenth century. Rather, what actually happened was the enchantment of Western society by the world, by the imagined cultural values of the material rather than the spiritual. We live in a world enchanted by symbolically constituted, culturally relative “utilities” such as gold, oil, diamonds, Pinot Noir grapes, Mercedes cars, heirloom tomatoes, silk clothing, hamburgers from McDonald’s, and purses from Gucci. Here is a large construction of nature by particular cultural values whose symbolic qualities, however, are understood as purely material qualities, whose social sources are attributed rather to individual desires, and whose arbitrary satisfactions are mystified as universally rational choices.
Marshall Sahlins

Big in Poland

Thanks to Agata for noting this appearance of my work on Herzog's Grizzly Man in Polish, for the original English version see here (pdf). Would have been nice if they'd asked, but even so good to see the work getting out there.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Call of Joyce

Textual variant of the opening line of Finnegans Wake, begun by Joyce in Bognor Regis and found in Bognor Regis museum (fragment of text since stolen from a display case in an unsolved break-in):

riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to R'lyeh and Environs.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Conjunctural Cthulhu

There is absolutely no need for Marxist cultural criticism when the working of the geist provides riches like this.