Monday, September 30, 2013
























Science and the Real

Psychoanalytical Notebooks 27

New Issue, Out Now


Order it online at 




Guest editor: Miquel Bassols

CONTENTS

Jacques-Alain Miller – “Psychoanalysis, its place among the sciences” 

Miquel Bassols – “There is no science of the real”

Eric Laurent – “The illusion of scientism, the anguish of scientists” 

Marco Focchi – “Number in science and in psychoanalysis” 

Pierre Skriabine – “Science, the subject and psychoanalysis” 

Philippe La Sagna et al. – “Science and the name of the father”

Esthela Solano-Suarez – “The clinic in the time of the real” 

Francois Ansermet – “Trace and object, between neurosciences and psychoanalysis” 

Guy Briole – “Error and misunderstanding” 

Alfredo Zenoni – “A post-scientific real” 

Jacques-Alain Miller – “Spare parts” 

Pierre Naveau – “Jealousy and the hidden gaze” 

Veronique Voruz – “Reading Catherine M. on jealousy” 

Bogdan Wolf – “Intricacies of the gaze” 

Betty Bertrand-Godfrey – “Jealousy as a name of the father?” 

Laure Naveau – “The other man of his life “

Holly Pester – “I have spoilt a better name than my own…”


New NSA Revelations



[...]

Jeremy Scahill, a contributor to The Nation magazine and the New York Times best-selling author of "Dirty Wars," said he will be working with Glenn Greenwald, the Rio-based journalist who has written stories about U.S. surveillance programs based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

"The connections between war and surveillance are clear. I don't want to give too much away but Glenn and I are working on a project right now that has at its center how the National Security Agency plays a significant, central role in the U.S. assassination program," said Scahill, speaking to moviegoers in Rio de Janeiro, where the documentary based on his book made its Latin American debut at the Rio Film Festival.

"There are so many stories that are yet to be published that we hope will produce `actionable intelligence,' or information that ordinary citizens across the world can use to try to fight for change, to try to confront those in power," said Scahill.

"Dirty Wars" the film, directed by Richard Rowley, traces Scahill's investigations into the Joint Special Operations Command, or JSOC. The movie, which won a prize for cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival, follows Scahill as he hopscotches around the globe, from Afghanistan to Yemen to Somalia, talking to the families of people killed in the U.S. strikes.
Neither Scahill nor Greenwald, who also appeared at the film festival's question and answer panel, provided many details about their joint project.


Greenwald has been making waves since the first in a series of stories on the NSA spying program appeared in Britain's Guardian newspaper in June. Last week, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff postponed a scheduled state dinner with Obama after television reports to which Greenwald had contributed revealed that American spy programs had aggressively targeted the Brazilian government and private citizens.

[...]

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sophie Fiennes: “Film-goers are bored with being talked down to”






by Elizabeth Day
The Observer

[...]

Sophie Fiennes doesn't like to make things easy for herself. The acclaimed documentary-maker's latest project is a two-hour philosophical disquisition on the nature of ideology, presented by the Slovenian psychoanalytic thinker, Slavoj Žižek.

[...]

"I like to give myself a set of components or ingredients, like for cooking," Fiennes says when I ask her if she's got a screw loose. "So I don't quite know how it's going to turn out."

A typical scene from The Pervert's Guide to Ideology, Fiennes's second collaboration with Žižek, features the charismatic thinker expounding forcefully on the Lacanian notion of "the big Other", with reference to popular movies ranging from The Sound of Music to Full Metal Jacket. In a visually playful twist, Fiennes shows Žižek speaking from replica sets, as though he is speaking from within the films themselves – and, by extension, from within our own memories. The result is like the most exhilarating university lecture you've ever seen.

"I believe that people are all open to exploring the very edge of their thinking," says Fiennes, 46, when we meet in the members' cafe at Tate Modern, overlooking an impressive sweep of London skyline.

This is Fiennes's seventh documentary, following on from award-winning works such as Over Your Cities, Grass Will Grow, a film project with the artist Anselm Kiefer, and a biopic of the choreographer Michael Clark.

But in an age when the box office relies on computer-generated cartoon characters for its profits, is it a gamble to produce such unabashedly intellectual work?
"People are bored with being talked down to," Fiennes replies.

Fiennes and Žižek previously worked together on The Pervert's Guide to Cinema in 2006 (the pervert of the title refers to the idea of perverting our preconceptions, rather than anything more X-rated), which explored the philosopher's ideas on fantasy, sexuality and subjectivity in film.

They have since developed a close working relationship – Fiennes goes away and "reads all the books", then asks Žižek to elaborate on the ideas she finds most interesting while the camera is rolling. There is no script – sometimes Žižek can speak for 17 minutes in full flow – which means the post-production can be lengthy. Fiennes spent the best part of a year editing The Pervert's Guide to Ideology.

Žižek, she insists, has "an amazing sense of humour", at one point even agreeing to be filmed while sitting on a lavatory.

Fiennes, who is the sister of actors Ralph and Joseph, says her siblings are "very involved… it's great that we all share the same interests". Her younger brother, Magnus, composed the score for the film and the creative impulse appears to have been passed down to Fiennes's three-year-old son, Horace, who has already developed a taste for jazz.

Working with Žižek has changed the way Fiennes watches films for pleasure but, she admits, "at the moment, I'm just watching musicals with my son like High Society and Oklahoma!."


[...]

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Is There a Method to the Syrian Madness?





On radical-emancipatory movements and false rationales for war.


[...]
As I have written before, we all remember President Obama's smiling face, full of hope and trust, when he repeatedly delivered the motto of his first campaign, “Yes, we can!”—we can get rid of the cynicism of the Bush era and bring justice and welfare to the American people. Now that the United States is backing off its push to attack Syria, we can imagine peace protesters shouting at President Barack Obama: “How can you advocate another military intervention?” Obama the reluctant warrior looks back at them and murmurs perplexed: “Can I? Should I?”

And this time, he is right to second-guess himself. All that was false in the idea and practice of humanitarian interventions explodes in a condensed form apropos Syria. OK, there is a bad dictator who is (allegedly) using poisonous gases against the population of his own state. But who is opposing his regime? It seems that whatever remained of the democratic-secular resistance is now more or less drowned in the mess of fundamentalist Islamist groups supported by Turkey and Saudi Arabia, with a strong presence of al-Qaeda in the shadows.

As for Assad, his Syria at least pretends to be a secular state, so no wonder that Christian and other minorities now tend to take his side against the Sunni rebels. In short, we are dealing with an obscure conflict, vaguely resembling the Libyan revolt against Gaddafi. There are no clear political stakes, no signs of a broad emancipatory-democratic coalition, just a complex network of religious and ethnic alliances overdetermined by the influence of superpowers (the United States and Western Europe on the one side, Russia and China on the other). In such conditions, any direct military intervention means political madness with incalculable risks. What if radical Islamists take over after Assad’s fall? Will the United States repeat their Afghanistan mistake of arming the future al-Qaeda and Taliban cadres? What if the U.S. missiles or bombs land on Syria’s stockpile of Sarin gas weapons? After the attack, then what?

In such a messy situation, military intervention can only be justified by a short-term, self-destructive opportunism. The moral outrage evoked to provide a rational cover for the compulsion-to-intervene—“We cannot allow the use of poisonous gases on civil population!”—is a such a sham, it doesn’t even take itself seriously. As we now know, the United States more than tolerated the use of poisonous gases against the Iranian army by Saddam Hussein. During the Iraq-Iran war of 1980-1988, the United States sided with the Iraqis to quell Iranian influence in the Gulf, despite being well aware of Iraq’s liberal use of mustard and tear gas, according to declassified government reports. The United States even secretly supplied Iraq with satellite images of Iranian battlefield weaknesses to aid in the targeting of Iranian troops. Where were moral concerns then?

The situation in Syria should be compared to the one in Egypt. Now that the Egyptian Army has broken the stalemate and cleansed the public space of the Islamist protesters, the result is hundreds, maybe thousands, of dead. One should take a step back and focus on the absent third party in the ongoing conflict: the explosion of heterogeneous organizations (of students, women, workers) in which civil society began to articulate its interests outside the scope of state and religious institutions. This vast network of new social forms is the principal gain of the Arab Spring, independent of big political changes like the Army’s coup against the Muslim Brotherhood government or the Assad regime’s war with Islamist extremists. It goes deeper than the religious/liberal divide. (And even in the case of clearly fundamentalist movements, one should be careful not to miss their social component.)

The only way for the civil-democratic protester—in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya or Syria—to avoid being sidestepped by religious fundamentalists is by adopting a much more radical agenda of social and economic emancipation.

And this brings us back to Syria: The ongoing struggle there is ultimately a false one, a struggle towards which one should remain indifferent. The only thing to keep in mind is that this pseudo-struggle thrives because of the absent Third, a strong radical-emancipatory opposition whose elements were clearly perceptible in Egypt.

As we used to say almost half a century ago, one doesn’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. In Egypt’s case, I’ve argued, it blows toward Iran—and in Syria, it blows toward Afghanistan. Even if Assad somehow wins and stabilizes the situation, his victory will probably breed an explosion similar to the Taliban revolution that will sweep over Syria in a couple of years. What can save us from this prospect is only the radicalization of the struggle for freedom and democracy into a struggle for social and economic justice.

So what is happening in Syria these days? Nothing really special, except that China is one step closer to becoming the world’s new superpower while her competitors are eagerly weakening each other.
[...]



Monday, September 9, 2013

The Event, Ljubljana









The Event 23 September–20 November 2011

The 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana29gbljubljana.wordpress.com

List of exhibited artists and projects: Ant Farm, Oreet Ashery, Bababa International, Robert Barry, Nina Beier & Marie Lund, Jerzy Bereś, Karmelo Bermejo, Anna Berndtson, Conny Blom, János Borsos, Tania Bruguera, Graciela Carnevale, Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová, Marcus Coates, Brody Condon, Alain Della Negra & Kaori Kinoshita, Marco Evaristti, Terry Fox, Dora García, Félix González-Torres, Núria Güell, Manuel Hartmann, Alfredo Jaar, Jaša, Enrique Ježik, Regina José Galindo, San Keller, Daniel Knorr, Božena Končić Badurina, Gregor Kregar, Siniša Labrović, Liz Magic Laser, Marcello Maloberti, Teresa Margolles, Kris Martin, Dalibor Martinis, Dane Mitchell, Shana Moulton, Kusum Normoyle, OHO Group / The Šempas Family / Milenko Matanović / David Nez / Marko Pogačnik, Once is Nothing (Presentation of an exhibition curated by Mária Hlavajová and Charles Esche as part of the 2008 Brussels Biennial), Serkan Özkaya, Kim Paton, Mark Požlep, Praxis (Brainard & Delia Carey), Public Movement, Franc Purg & Sara Heitlinger, Sal Randolph, Maruša Sagadin, Hans Schabus, Santiago Sierra, Mladen Stropnik, Sz.A.F., Tan Ting, Unguarded Money (Presentation of an action carried out in Budapest in 1956 by Miklós Erdély his friends, and members of the Hungarian Writers Union), Matej Andraž Vogrinčič, Wang Jin, Anna Witt 

The art event—the central theme of the 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana—experienced a remarkable development in the twentieth century and today appears as a privileged medium. It is employed as a medium by a broad range of various figures from the contemporary art world in a broad spectrum of different forms.

At the exhibition, which seeks above all to present as fully as possible the energy and vitality of the current trend of art events, a selection of such events are presented in four different groups based on themes that are typical for contemporary art: violence, generosity, emptiness, and the search for the sacred and ritualistic. These topics were selected, among other reasons, because the events that thematize them also meet the requirement that they are not something new, neither in terms of their artistic iconographic motifs nor in terms of actual human or social practice. Events in which we can with impunity partake in violence, in “shamanistic” violence to oneself, in Dionysian or absurdist ritual, or in the establishment of an idyllic communitas that shares a common meal are, indeed, activities that have been practiced and even depicted for millennia.

In the exhibition, as well as in an extensive programme of artistic and theoretical events, the Biennial poses the questions: Why and how has the event become a suitable vehicle for a variety of artistic purposes, poetics, and content? Is the choice of this medium a response to specific impulses and voids in our “desacralized” everyday existence? And also, what are the potential dangers of such a development, given that it is happening more and more in the completely formalized framework of art institutions, which in recent decades not only house and exhibit contemporary art, but also commission and produce it. Thus they have become commissioners of contemporary art of a similar type and scope as were once the aristocracy and the church.

Symposium: The Event as a Privileged Medium in the Contemporary Art World An international symposium will address specific “targeted” questions about the ideological significance of the profusion of events in contemporary art institutions. A varied cast of anthropologists, philosophers, historians, and art historians have been invited to participate.

The following speakers have been announced: Luisa Accati, Beatrice von Bismarck, Thomas Fillitz, Dario Gamboni, Werner Hanak-Lettner, Nathalie Heinich, Bojana Kunst, Henrietta L. Moore, Michael Newman, Robert Pfaller, Renata Salecl, Roger Sansi-Roca.

Friday, 4 November, 11 p.m.–7 p.m. Saturday, 5 November, 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Location: the auditorium of the Museum of Modern Art (Moderna galerija), Cankarjeva 15, Ljubljana.

Admission is free. The symposium will be broadcast live on the website. For detail information on the Symposium and the Biennial please visit 29gbljubljana.wordpress.com.

The curator of the 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana is Beti Žerovc. Venues of the 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts: International Centre of Graphic Arts, Museum of Modern Art, Jakopič Gallery, Gallery of Cankarjev dom, exhibition sites on Gosposvetska cesta 12 and Vošnjakova ulica 4.

Viewing hours: Tuesday–Sunday, 10 am–6 pm.

Organizer: Mednarodni grafični likovni center / International Centre of Graphic Arts Grad Tivoli, Pod turnom 3, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, tel. + 386 (0)1 2413 800, www.mglc-lj.si 

Press contact: Lili Šturm: tel. + 386 (0)1 2413 818, lili.sturm@mglc-lj.si


EcoLogic Studio Unveils Interactive New Structure




BY DALE EISINGER | SEP 8, 2013



How often is it that Slavoj Zizek, the radical Slovene philosopher, gets cited in sculpture and green design these days? At least once, by the multi-faceted ecoLogic Studio, on their new project, meta-Follies for the Metropolitan Landscape. Responding to Zizek's call for a "new terrifying form of abstract materialism," the design collective has created this vaguely terrifying pavilion that's hard to pin down: is it sculpture, commentary, interactive art? Whatever it is, it's beautiful. 

EcoLogic used algorythmic, organic methods in the initial design. The concept behind these incubator-like clusters has to do with a narrative the studio developed, about seekers of the sustainable forgoing their search for refuge and instead taking up residence in this "shanty" version. Made recycled materials , embedded with hundreds of reactive piezeo buzzers. It's a heady, high-concept piece. Here's how the makers describe it, in part:

"[...] within this paradigm aesthetic codes are redefined; the beauty of nature, the proportion of the classic and the idealization of the early ecologists are substituted by the abstraction of digital meta-fields, of mathematical minimal paths, which define an algorithmic manual for the assemblage of new material systems made of processed industrial waste, post-consumer recycled plastic, bundles of electrical wires, solar photovoltaic cells and cheap reused Chinese sound kits.

Such an improbable assemblage of ‘urban trash’ is pushed to the limit and engineered to reveal a new Eden, a new aesthetic, spatial and behavioral milieu, a new urban eco-language."

It will soon go on view at the FRAC Centre in Oreleans, France. 


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Syria is a pseudo-struggle




The ongoing struggle we see is a false one, lacking the kind of radical-emancipatory opposition clearly perceptible in Egypt


theguardian.com, Friday 6 September 2013 08.42 EDT

[...]

All that was false in the idea and practice of humanitarian interventions exploded in a condensed form apropos Syria. OK, there is a bad dictator who is (allegedly) using poisonous gas against the population of his own state – but who is opposing his regime? It seems that whatever remained of the democratic-secular resistance is now more or less drowned in the mess of fundamentalist Islamist groups supported by Turkey and Saudi Arabia, with a strong presence of al-Qaida in the shadows.

As to Bashar al-Assad, his Syria at least pretended to be a secular state, so no wonder Christian and other minorities now tend to take his side against the Sunni rebels. In short, we are dealing with an obscure conflict, vaguely resembling the Libyan revolt against Colonel Gaddafi – there are no clear political stakes, no signs of a broad emancipatory-democratic coalition, just a complex network of religious and ethnic alliances overdetermined by the influence of superpowers (US and western Europe on the one sideRussia and China on the other). In such conditions, any direct military intervention means political madness with incalculable risks – say, what if radical Islamists take over after Assad's fall? So will the US repeat their Afghanistan mistake of arming the future al-Qaida and Taliban cadres?

In such a messy situation, military intervention can only be justified by a short-term self-destructive opportunism. The moral outrage evoked to provide a rational cover for the compulsion-to-intervene ("We cannot allow the use of poisonous gas on civil population!") is fake. Faced with a weird ethics that justifies taking the side of one fundamentalist-criminal group against another, one cannot but sympathise with Ron Paul's reaction to John McCain's advocacy of strong intervention: "With politicians like these, who needs terrorists?"

The situation in Syria should be compared with the one in Egypt. Now that the Egyptian army has decided to break the stalemate and cleanse the public space of the Islamist protesters, and the result is hundreds, maybe thousands, of dead, one should take a step back and focus on the absent third party in the ongoing conflict: where are the agents of the Tahrir Square protests from two years ago? Is their role now not weirdly similar to the role of Muslim Brotherhood back then – that of the surprised impassive observers? With the military coup in Egypt, it seems as if the circle has somehow closed: the protesters who toppled Mubarak, demanding democracy, passively supported a military coup d'etat which abolished democracy … what is going on?

The most common reading was proposed, among others, by Francis Fukuyama: the protest movement that toppled Mubarak was predominantly the revolt of the educated middle class, with the poor workers and farmers reduced to the role of (sympathetic) observers. But once the gates of democracy were open, the Muslim Brotherhood, whose social base is the poor majority, won democratic elections and formed a government dominated by Muslim fundamentalists, so that, understandably, the original core of secular protesters turned against them and was ready to endorse even a military coup as a way to stop them.

But such a simplified vision ignores a key feature of the protest movement: the explosion of heterogeneous organisations (of students, women and workers) in which civil society began to articulate its interests outside the scope of state and religious institutions. This vast network of new social units, much more than the overthrow of Mubarak, is the principal gain of the Arab spring; it is an ongoing process, independent of big political changes like the coup; it goes deeper than the religious/liberal divide.

Even in the case of clearly fundamentalist movements, one should be careful not to miss their social component. The Taliban are regularly presented as a fundamentalist Islamist group enforcing with terror its rule – however, when, in the spring of 2009, they took over the Swat valley in Pakistan, the New York Times reported that they engineered "a class revolt that exploits profound fissures between a small group of wealthy landlords and their landless tenants". If, however, by "taking advantage" of the farmers' plight, the Taliban "[raised] alarm about the risks to Pakistan, which remains largely feudal", what prevented liberal democrats in Pakistan as well as the US from similarly "taking advantage" of this plight and trying to help the landless farmers? The sad implication of this omission is that the feudal forces in Pakistan are the "natural ally" of the liberal democracy … The only way for the civil-democratic protesters to avoid being sidestepped by religious fundamentalists is thus to adopt a much more radical agenda of social and economic emancipation.

And this brings us back to Syria: the ongoing struggle there is ultimately a false one. The only thing to keep in mind is that this pseudo-struggle thrives because of the absent third, a strong radical-emancipatory opposition whose elements were clearly perceptible in Egypt. As we used to say almost half a century ago, one doesn't have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows in Syria: towards Afghanistan. Even if Assad somehow wins and stabilises the situation, his victory will probably breed an explosion similar to the Taliban revolution which will sweep over Syria in a couple of years. What can save us from this prospect is only the radicalisation of the struggle for freedom and democracy into a struggle for social and economic justice.

So what is happening in Syria these days? Nothing really special, except that China is one step closer to becoming the world's new superpower while its competitors are eagerly weakening each other.




Monday, September 2, 2013

October: Ten Days That Shook the World - Sergei M. Eisenstein






RE-ALIGNED ART from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus





[image]


Nikolay Oleynikov, A Comment on Co-Dependence, Re-Aligned Helsinki 2013. Mixed technique on wood. Courtesy of the artist.

RE-ALIGNED ART from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus


[...]

Curated by Ivor Stodolsky and Marita Muukkonen of Perpetuum Mobilε

RE-ALIGNED is a thematic project including exhibitions, conferences, street and public art, artist-in-residencies, workshops and publications initiated by Perpetuum Mobilε. Working together withTromsø Kunstforening, Norway, the first regional focus of the RE-ALIGNED project is on Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

Culminating Exhibition on Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian Art:
RE-ALIGNED ART at Tromsø Kunstforening
13 September–10 November 2013
Opening days: September 13–16

In Tromsø, the RE-ALIGNED project will spread out over several sites, routes and ports includingTromsø Kunstforening, the artist-run spaces Kurant and Small Projects, the Verdensteatret Cinema, the University of Tromsø, as well as the streets, walls, roofs and air-fields of this arctic city. RE-ALIGNED ART is a festival of political art in diverse genres hosting art, cinema, poetry and music, as well three symposia: artistic, discursive and academic.

RE-ALIGNED+MEDIA IMPACT at the Moscow Biennale 2013
Moscow’s leading platform for activist art and the RE-ALIGNED project are joining forces for the second time in Russia. The Moscow events will build on the Helsinki iteration, which included street and public art, poetry and the Arkady Kots band.
October 2013

PAST THE ‘POST-’ / GENERATION ‘PRE-’ at Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm
From Non-Aligned to Re-Aligned Art and Politics
International Conference of the RE-ALIGNED Project
January 25–26, 2014

The RE-ALIGNED project looks into conditions, subjectivities and agencies provoking a new alignment of art, thought and politics in the 21st century. It assumes that the horizon lies not behind, but before us. The “post-modern moment” has passed. We are in a state of “pre-”. Overcoming identity particularisms and old geopolitical fault lines, contemporary currents in art and politics exhibit common alignments based on ideals and ideas.

As in previous times of great public discontent, such as in 1848 across Europe, in 1968 across continents, or in 1989 across the Soviet bloc, artistic advocates of freedom have taken their ideas into full public view. Using a multiplicity of artistic techniques and strategies, the current re-alignment of art with politics tactically combines art and subversion, art and micropolitics, art and education, art andprovocation and art and propaganda. The selection of artists, thinkers and activists of the RE-ALIGNED overrides factional divides, including all of these approaches.

RE-ALIGNED ART in Tromsø, whose focus is Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian art, includes the following artists and collectives:
Sveta Baskova, Babi Badalov, Ivan Brazhkin, Chto Delat?, Mikhail Dolyanovsky, Sofia Gavrilova, Gogol’s Wives, Alexey Iorsh, Matvei Krylov, Leonid “Arch Genius,”  Denis Limonov, Victoria Lomasko, Media Impact, Kirill Medvedev, Roman Minin, Monobrow, Monstrations (Artyom Loskutov and Maria Kiselyova), Marina Naprushkina, Nikolay Oleynikov, Pyotr Pavlensky, Pedagogical Poem (Arseny Zhilyaev and Ilya Budraitskis), Pussy Riot, Timofey Radya, Mykola Rydni, SOSka Group, Translit & Petersburg Street University, Voina Group and the ZIP Group

Speakers in the programme include Katya Samutsevich (Pussy Riot) over video link, Mischa Gabowitsch (Einstein Forum), Rogatschevski (University of Tromsø), Ivor Stodolsky (Perpetuum Mobilε), Kirill Medvedev (poet and Arkady Kots band leader), Elena Trubina (Ural Federal University),Peter Verzilov (Voina, Pussy Riot associate), Dmitry Vilensky (Chto Delat?), Grey Violet (Voina),and Hilary Pilkington (Warwick University).

RE-ALIGNED Past Events
NON-ALIGNED
Paths Crossing Workshop
HIAP Suomenlinna, Helsinki
December 15–17, 2011
NON-ALIGNED / RE-ALIGNED
Lost Notes from the Underground  / …and into the fire.
Another Vacant Space, Berlin
April 27–August 31, 2012
STREET ART ASSEMBLY
An urban exploration and mobile debate (The AA)
2nd Urals Industrial Biennale, Ekaterinburg
September 14–15, 2012
MEDIA IMPACT RE-ALIGNED
2nd International Festival of Activist Art
Murmansk
June 18–20, 2013
RE-PUBLIC
Russian Art in the Streets
Kiasma Theatre, Urb Festival, Helsinki
August 2–11, 2013


Sunday, September 1, 2013

why are Americans so stupid?






Why are Americans so Stupid?


TEA PARTY AND THE RIGHT  
Why Americans Are So Ignorant -- It's Not Only Fox News, There Are Some Understandable Reasons for it
Sure propaganda, government secrecy and Fox News have a lot to do with it. But there are broader societal pressures as well.

April 8, 2013  |  

In 2008, Rick Shenkman, the Editor-in-Chief of the  History News Network, published a book entitled  Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth about the American Voter. In it he demonstrated, among other things, that most Americans were: (1) ignorant about major international events, (2) knew little about how their own government runs and who runs it, (3) were nonetheless willing to accept government positions and policies even though a moderate amount of critical thought suggested they were bad for the country, and (4) were readily swayed by stereotyping, simplistic solutions, irrational fears and public relations babble.
Shenkman spent 256 pages documenting these claims, using a great number of polls and surveys from very reputable sources. Indeed, in the end it is hard to argue with his data. So, what can we say about this?
One thing that can be said is that this is not an abnormal state of affairs. As has been suggested in prior analyses, ignorance of non-local affairs (often leading to inaccurate assumptions, passive acceptance of authority, and illogical actions) is, in fact, a default position for any population.
To put it another way, the majority of any population will pay little or no attention to news stories or government actions that do not appear to impact their lives or the lives of close associates. If something non-local happens that is brought to their attention by the media, they will passively accept government explanations and simplistic solutions.
The primary issue is “does it impact my life?” If it does, people will pay attention. If it appears not to, they won’t pay attention. For instance, in Shenkman’s book unfavorable comparisons are sometimes made between Americans and Europeans. Americans often are said to be much more ignorant about world geography than are Europeans.
This might be, but it is, ironically, due to an accident of geography. Americans occupy a large subcontinent isolated by two oceans. Europeans are crowded into small contiguous countries that, until recently, repeatedly invaded each other as well as possessed overseas colonies.
Under these circumstances, a knowledge of geography, as well as paying attention to what is happening on the other side of the border, has more immediate relevance to the lives of those in Toulouse or Amsterdam than is the case for someone in Pittsburgh or Topeka. If conditions were reversed, Europeans would know less geography and Americans more.
Ideology and Bureaucracy
The localism referenced above is not the only reason for widespread ignorance. The strong adherence to ideology and work within a bureaucratic setting can also greatly narrow one’s worldview and cripple one’s critical abilities.
In effect, a closely adhered to ideology becomes a mental locality with limits and borders just as real as those of geography. In fact, if we consider nationalism a pervasive modern ideology, there is a direct connection between the boundaries induced in the mind and those on the ground.
Furthermore, it does not matter if the ideology is politically left or right, or for that matter, whether it is secular or religious. One’s critical abilities will be suppressed in favor of standardized, formulaic answers provided by the ideology. Just so work done within a bureaucratic setting.
Bureaucracies position the worker within closely supervised departments where success equates with doing a specific job according to specific rules. Within this limited world, one learns not to think outside the box, and so, except as applied to one’s task, critical thinking is discouraged and one’s worldview comes to conform to that of the bureaucracy. That is why bureaucrats are so often referred to as cogs in a machine.



Between 40-50% of adults in the United States say they believe in Young Earth Creationism, depending on the poll. According to a Gallup poll in December 2010, around 40% of Americans believe in (Young Earth Creationism) YEC, with 52% among Republicans and 34% among Democrats. The percentage falls quickly as the level of education increases—only 22% of respondents with postgraduate degrees believed compared with 47% of those with a high school education or less.
In Texas, 30% think humans and dinosaurs co-existed. The "I don't know" number was 29%. Nice education system y'got there, Rick Perry!
CBS News Poll in 2009 showed that 51% believe God created Man in his present form. Another 27% think we evolved, but God guided the process.
So, dumbasses believe that God created the Earth and Universe in six days something like 6,000 years ago. And we rode dinosaurs to the drive in theaters.
As late as June 2007, more than 40% in a Newsweek poll believed Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11, despite absolute proof to the contrary.
OTHER STUPID THINGS AMERICANS BELIEVE?
Up to 28% think we never landed on the moon.
24% have no idea who we declared independence from in 1776.
In 2009, Glenn Beck beat out the Pope and Billy Graham for the #4 spot on the "Most Admired Men in the World" list.




I returned to Canada the Sunday past on a flight from the U.S where everyone, as always, had obligingly and smilingly on departure undergone shoe and belt removal and, now, pat-downs by airport security.

Upon my arrival in Toronto, I picked up a copy of the Sunday Toronto Star which had a feature on Canadians buying up real estate in Florida and other hot spots for a fraction of what these properties were worth a few years ago. According to the article, these people buy up these properties, and then rent them out in what was described as a quite robust rental market. The rental market, it explained, is healthy at least in part because it is buoyed up by demand for rental accommodation from – THE PEOPLE WHO WERE FORCED OUT OF THE HOMES NOW BEING BOUGHT UP BY SPECULATORS!

So America, my question is this: When did you become collectively so docile and subservient that you now enthusiastically embrace every imaginable indignity imposed on travelers in the name of security, can have your jobs sent overseas, can have your houses stolen, can have your taxes swiped to pay vast sums to the people who stole your jobs and your homes, and do absolutely nothing about it?

Why is it that there are not daily riots in the streets of every city in America? Why is it that the only apparent expression of grass-roots political outrage in America seems to be an idiotic movement of stupid people desperate to defeat a nefarious plan to extend health care benefits to more people?

Seriously, as your longtime Canadian friend, I want to understand what happened, America. How did you collectively get so stupid, so docile, so gutless? Do Americans even know how stupid and cowardly they now seem to the rest of the world? 





It is a documented fact that Americans on average have lower IQs then other developed nations. Go outside and ask random people questions about science, religion, politics or history and you will see they are as ignorant as children. Ask them about cars or the latest celebrity gossip and you will get an earful. How can it be that the U.S. is the most powerful nation in the world when it's citizens are so ignorant?




Someone once said that Americans are the best educated and least informed people on the planet. I think that's an understatement.

By accident or design, most likely the latter, many Americans have become dumbed down to the point they shouldn't be allowed to handle sharp objects.

Ignorance is one thing and it's curable. You can educate yourself online, by going to the library and reading a book or take classes at local college, tech school or if you're lucky enough to live in or near a progressive city, they offer adult education classes on a variety of subjects.

But stupidity is another story. It's a nasty virus that has infected America like the Black Plague, killing off our brain cells 24/7 and there's no known cure.

Try to engage the typical American about the Federal Reserve or the Wall Street Casinos that stole TRILLIONS of dollars of OUR wealth and are living like royalty on the stolen loot, with hardly anyone being prosecuted and most will get a blank look on their face.
But ask them about their favorite sports team and their face will light and they'll start spewing out stats, like they were an ESPN sports anchor.

Same thing about Zionist MSM psyop distractions, like the Casey Anthony trial. They'll know all about that sordid murder, and be more than happy to let you know how educated they are on the subject.

And it won't be long before the Zionist MSM finds another heartbreaking tale of some brutal kidnapping, rape and murder of some poor child. Is that news? Yes, on a local basis, but when the media constantly blabs about something that happened 800 miles away from where you live, you know the 'fix' is in and the PTB are distracting the feeble-minded and gullible so they can get away with theft and murders.

Around 800,000 kids go missing each year in the USA, and many are never seen again.

That's around 2,000 each and every day... You could say a 9/11 happens to children each day of the year in the USA.

Now that's a story that should be broadcast nationwide, informing the public over a week or so with solid reporting and turning up the heat on the FBI on what in the hell is going on and why are you sitting on your duffs when our innocent children get 'disappeared.'

That type of story will never see the light of day.

Our apathetic, indolent ways and choosing to stay ignorant about subjects vital to keeping what's left of our democratic republic alive are condemning us to a fate worse than death.

That's one thing, we're adults and WE let this situation get out of hand while we watched last night's 'Big Game,' or NASCAR or read the latest dirt on Lindsay Lohan. But we are also condemning our kids and grandkids to a lifetime of poverty, slavery and brutal tyranny and that ain't right.

Another disturbing aspect is that at least one, maybe two generations of Americans have been trained to be as ferocious as new born kittens.

That's something the PTB just love and have nurtured over the decades, by putting out their psyops messages on TALMUD-Vision, or the 'Boob Tube' that are slyly inserted in Saturday morning cartoons.

I've watched some of that mind-numbing slop. They're always getting across the messages to submit to authority; never question what your government does or says and the police are your best friend, etc.

Gone are the REAL cartoons, like the "Bugs Bunny-Road Runner" show and the "Looney Tunes cartoons where you had a variety of characters who stood up to power and the little guy, like 'Tweety Bird," was never afraid to fight off the predatory nature of "Sylvester the Cat," and win.

Guess those types of cartoons send the wrong message these days, the PTB don't want people thinking they can actually fight back against two-legged predators and WIN.

Here's a small sampling of the 'good old days' when cartoons were for fun and not brainwashing little ones.

Foghorn Leghorn - Leghorn Swoggled

Little Henery the Chicken Hawk wants to trap Foghorn Leghorn for his dinner, and the barnyard dog says he will help Henery to catch Foghorn on one condition - that Henery find him a bone. Henery's effort to find the dog a bone involves obtaining cheese for a mouse and a fish for a cat, with Foghorn's help! Once the dog is given his bone, he uses it to knock Foghorn out so that Foghorn can be carried away by Henery on a toy train

[...]


Time to WTFU America and do it NOW or get used to the coming, absolute police state and forever being Wall Street's and Israel's BITCH.