February 22, 2008

New ways

Filed under: pictures — polywog @ 11:13 p02

Tonight i’ve discovered a whole new study technique:

High heeled shoes

Red wine

Red clothes, make up and earrings: all femme

Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Django Reinhardt

A date with myself: suddenly time is inconsequential; i take my time, savor the chapters I like, dwell on certain sentences, do not think of the exorbitant, unbearable mass of readings yet to be read, the mass of words yet to be written, the person i shouldn’t be crushed out on, the conferences i have yet to speak at. This is what studying should always be like: savoring the life of the text, in love with the imagination, claiming space.

study date



  1. Great idea. It is important to be into reading…I wish I was all the time. So what did you think about the fragments of an anarchist anthropology? Also, I accidentally deleted your last email. so sorry I did not respond. Hope everything is going swimingly.

    Comment by sean — February 25, 2008 @ 11:13 p02 | Reply

  2. I thought David Graeber’s voice was startlingly similar to Derick Jenson’s. Seriously, they use some of the same jokes. His criticisms of John Zerzan erked me in that they seemed like run-of-the-mill rejection of primitivism as a viable option, but I really did appreciate that he broke down the simple dualisms so common in anarchist, especially anti-civ, imagination. He undermined modern/not modern, anarchy/not anarchy, state/not state, etc. in a way which really showed how anarchy exists here and now in the interstices between, under, and within state authority and structural violence. I liked it! Have you read it? What do you think?

    Comment by polywog — February 25, 2008 @ 11:13 p02 | Reply

  3. I like Graeber actually. I think his anthropology work is very good (Toward an anthropological theory of value) and he had a really good article in Z-Mag about anarchism and the globalization movement from 2002 or so.

    I also liked fragments but its missing a lot. Most of it is rather shallow and just passing statements. I agree that he dismisses anti-civ stuff very quickly but from what I remember he had some good criticisms of it as well. I think he is especially correct in pointing out that JZ cherry picks his anthro data and is about 30 years behind on his research as well.

    Comment by sean — February 26, 2008 @ 11:13 p02 | Reply

  4. What does “cherry pick” mean?
    I thought he had one useful critique of JZ/anarcho-primitivism: that to get humans back to the point where they don’t have the capacity to dominate each other–taking away agriculture, language, art, etc–basically razes off everything that makes us, well, human. Rather than harkening back to some premodern “eden,” Graeber points out human agency through the array of possibilities of human organization, showing not only that anarchism is possible, but that it is possible within our present context. Anthropology, in this sense, denaturalizes the presumption that there is one, inevitable, “most developed” way of living.
    I’m really excited to read more of Graeber’s work!

    Comment by polywog — February 26, 2008 @ 11:13 p02 | Reply

  5. In this sense I just meant that John Zerzan cherry picks, and picks only the anthropological books and reviews that support him. He never criticized or mentions anthropologists disagreeing with him, which the vast majority would. It doesn’t help that his anthro work is all form the 60s and 70s, a time period well known promoting an uncritical “noble savage” ideal.

    I cannot remember any of Graeber’s other critiques right now, so you are probably right in calling them shallow, and I have had the criticism you mentioned of anarcho-primitivism for a long time. OF course I am not really a GA’er in any sense and I am pretty critical of their perspective…especially on art, language, race, gender, and class.

    Comment by sean — February 27, 2008 @ 11:13 p02 | Reply

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