Hardcore for Nerds

"Why sneer at the intellectuals?"*
punk music, left politics, and cultural history - previously found here.
contact: gabbaweeks[at]gmail.com (sorry, no promos/submissions, thanks) or ask
Dublin/Galway, Ireland. 27, history graduate & human rights student
HFN | Best New Punk | HFN 2012 2011 2010 2009 | HRO 2k9 | Hoover Genealogy Project | @HC4N
*from the title of a review of Arthur Koestler's Arrival and Departure by Michael Foot, Evening Standard, Nov. 26, 1943.
Aug 07
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Also butterflies (Common Blue, on bird’s-foot trefoil, and Meadow Brown)

photography
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Went back to that meadow with my camera this morning, it was just as lovely although the remaining orchids weren’t as big.

galway photography flowers
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Aug 06
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Probably among the last of these I’ll take… evening walkers along the seafront

galway photography
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And so the strategic resistance,” Baudrillard continues, “is that of the refusal of meaning and the refusal of speech—or of the hyperconformist simulation of the very mechanisms of the system, which is another form of refusal by overacceptance.
THIS
internet
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Permalink internet
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Aug 05
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What ties the disparate strands of This together is their quality of aspiration. While a meme like #same is often used to reiterate a statement or a joke about current reality, This expresses an ideal future in which things might be different. The future is more confident, more fashionable, more romantic, full of more gently glistening salads than the present.

A History of This^, #This, and This - Matter - Medium

I really like this paragraph, but I think the article misses out on a (the?) peculiar annoyance of ‘THIS’ when it moves from its use as a message-board affirmation of agreement to the aspirational this-ness of Tumblr; because the minority text-based part of this platform is essentially a combination of the two. Find an argument, a quote, a semi-coherent statement of being human that you agree with, but don’t want to, or can’t, form an actual response or endorsement? THIS.

I’m not blaming anybody - I do try to avoid it myself, but I know most additions end up being trite or formulaic anyway, it’s just that I prefer to at least to attempt to engage in the way discourse is mediated, rather than simply further its transmission. But that’s not to say, of course, that ‘THIS’ is without meaning, beyond simple approbation: it does also express precisely that aspiration, for a world in which this brilliant argument has been won (but without having to any of the heavy lifting of dialogue with others), all untruths have been countered, a glistening-salad political utopia.

internet
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cd-scans:

Dinosaur Jr. - Where You Been (1993)

cd-scans:

Dinosaur Jr. - Where You Been (1993)

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explomatic:

This man is running ireland, and he thinks you can move your king as a first move in chess. No wonder we’re fucked

Maybe he’s just establishing Fine Gael’s republican bona fides by removing the king from the board (perhaps to replace it with Michael D.)
What’s with the cat picture though?

explomatic:

This man is running ireland, and he thinks you can move your king as a first move in chess. No wonder we’re fucked

Maybe he’s just establishing Fine Gael’s republican bona fides by removing the king from the board (perhaps to replace it with Michael D.)

What’s with the cat picture though?

(via easpageag)

sinn fein running almost level with them in the polls irish
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Aug 04
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In this respect Islamic fundamentalism shows a certain similarity with a secular political ideology like communism. Communists too think that an integral application of prescriptions laid down by their founder should bring about a harmonious society without exploitation or oppression. By contrast, there is no similar ideology in Christianity. Christian fundamentalists think that an integral application of Christ’s precepts would make everyone good and nice, but not that it would necessarily change the structure of society.

Maxime Rodinson on Islamic “Fundamentalism”

Very interesting interview with a French, Jewish, Marxist scholar of Islam via the New Inquiry’s Sunday Reading list. I also downloaded this PDF of his 1967 article in Les Temps Modernes, ‘Israël, fait colonial?’ (‘Israel, colonial fact?’; later published in English as “Israel: A Colonial-Settler State?’). It’s 87 pages in French, so it’s going to take me a while if I ever finish it, but I managed Merleau-Ponty in the same organ, and I could do with the practice. I’ve read the preface, though, where he describes his insistence on his piece being placed in neither of the ‘partisan’ camps of Arabs and Zionists in the journal’s special issue.

There a couple of other pieces on that list, a short piece on attitudes within Israel and a longer article on Hamas, both from the LRB, that I found interesting. If that term applies - the only one more obscene would be ‘useful’, since what use are we as global bystanders? It’s an eminently sufferable, privileged problem that betrays its own lack of sympathies, but I find myself continously frustrated at the stream of bitesize condemnations on social media that ignore or reject all attempts at historical or political contextualisation. Of course, how do you contextualise the killing of innocents, even their futile representations? Israel may be very much in the wrong now, but how did it get there? How can its course be altered?

I get the sense sometimes that for the left the existence of Israel as racist - even fascist - terror state is to be taken as a current fact without much thought to the internal and external pressures that brought it to such extremes. The history and continuing significances of Zionism and anti-semitism, as two diverse but mutually supporting ideologies, require understanding. It’s not just about the Holocaust and its aftermath, the overworn justification of ‘self-defence’ - Jewish settlement in Palestine was occurring during and before (less so during, especially as the British colonial government restricted immigration towards the end of the 1930s), with not dissimilar tensions and even open conflict well before 1948.

Arthur Koestler’s Thieves in the Night (the title being the description by the existing Arabs of the Jewish settlers, who arrived at their purchased land under cover of darkness to protect it from attack) and Leon Uris’ Exodus both vividly describe that period, culminating respectively in the 1938-9 Palestinian uprising and the 1948 Israeli war of independence. The former, especially, very much changed how I view the conflict; even if the story is told primarily from the Jewish perspective, its not hard to read with hindsight the mistrustful attitudes towards Palestinian Arabs. Equally, from what is reported now of Israeli treatment of the occupants of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, there is a cold line of logic than runs through the establishment of a Jewish state in a hostile environment.

That at least seemed to be the conclusion of the late Tony Judt, whose 2003 piece offering an alternative between an “ethnically cleansed Greater Israel” and a binational state I posted earlier without comment. With the former, a situation we seem to be coming ever closer to,

"Israel could indeed remain both Jewish and at least formally democratic: but at the cost of becoming the first modern democracy to conduct full-scale ethnic cleansing as a state project, something which would condemn Israel forever to the status of an outlaw state, an international pariah." 

Outside of Israel, support is maintained only by political expediency and the logical contortions of propaganda; within Israel, however, 95% support for the war is measured in between existential concerns for security and an increasingly racist, intolerant public discourse. Not seeing a choice in their interactions with Palestinians, at least not one compatible with the continued and expanded survival of the Jewish state, Israelis seem not to comprehend how global sympathy for Palestinians can be separated from support for Hamas, for Islamic fundamentalism, from the worst possibilities of anti-Jewish hatred. In turn, after fighting against propaganda that linked the two for so long, I feel many in Europe (or Ireland, at least) are unwilling to consider the extent to which anti-semitism remains a factor in ‘anti-Zionism’.

That the Israeli state, with the support of the majority of its people and encouraged by the pressure of the most conservative in its society, are pursuing increasingly extreme policies in defence of a territorial Jewish identity, does not mean we have to condemn that goal - only that we reflect on it, having consideration for its origins and the threats against it as well as the suffering consequential on it. We had to do the same in Ireland - in a conflict which, while painful and drawn-out, thankfuly never reached the same extremes of violence - in understanding Unionism and its siege mentality, as well as its deeply rooted sectarianism, before a (far from perfect) political agreement could be made with Irish nationalists and republicans. One can blame Israeli politicians for not dealing as productively with Palestinian moderates, for worsening the situation, but again the motivation for advancing the Jewish state has to be considered. 

Lastly, the idea that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement will allow popular global opinion to transform Israeli politics, to force change in the manner of South African apartheid, is something I’m also sceptical about on reflection. The internal political dynamics of South Africa seem so different - huge demographic pressures surrounding race, far beyond anything in Palestine; the lack of a justifying ideology similar to Zionism, or an identity as historically resonant as Jewishness; and the lack of a terrorist threat on the scale genuinely experienced in Israel - unless one were to equate the black Communist fundamentalist revolutionaries behind the ANC with Hamas, which seems unlikely. That said, there doesn’t seem to be a better option, while ‘apartheid’ appears an increasingly valid comparison, so maybe those differences won’t prevent it becoming an effective way to force change - as long as, I suppose, it is recognised what is fundamental to the conflict.

israel politics history
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Aug 02
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Acer Palmatum (Japanese Maple), National Botanic Gardens (previously)

Acer Palmatum (Japanese Maple), National Botanic Gardens (previously)

dublin photography
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