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.
Jul 21

wolfpartyjoe said: 9 and 23?

9. Favourite historical film

That’s a tough one, actually. For a start, I’m not much a film buff, although I have recently realised I will watch anything from the 1970s, particularly with the involvement of Scorsese, De Niro, New York, poorly paved streets, etc. But when it comes to history, I think I prefer engaging with it on the grand, or at least political/’intellectual’, scale that doesn’t really translate into cinematic representation very easily. Unless it’s a character study posed in an historical epoch I like, I suppose - but I don’t even read much historical fiction, as opposed to fiction written in (or near to) historical periods. As a depiction of social history, I rather liked Jimmy’s Hall this year, although it’s probably good rather than great as a film. Really, I’d have to include TV drama series: CarnivaleBand of Brothers, and Mad Men. Or for a film based on a really good book, the 1967 version of Ulysses

23. Favourite historical song

Certainly in terms of how often the chorus gets stuck in my head, the Clash’s ‘Spanish Bombs’, although untangling the references can get pretty complicated

history film
Comments (View) | 2 notes
Jul 20
Got a new phone and phone camera so I’m experimenting with it - here’s a first-time panorama of Galway Bay this evening. The way the beach looks reminds me of something I read once about how, topographically, a straight line viewed from a curved perspective (i.e., one where you perceive the curve to be straight) appears curved, and vice versa. I’ve probably muddled that horribly, but I’m too lazy to research it properly…

Got a new phone and phone camera so I’m experimenting with it - here’s a first-time panorama of Galway Bay this evening. The way the beach looks reminds me of something I read once about how, topographically, a straight line viewed from a curved perspective (i.e., one where you perceive the curve to be straight) appears curved, and vice versa. I’ve probably muddled that horribly, but I’m too lazy to research it properly…

galway phone pics
Comments (View) | 5 notes

Anonymous said: 10!

10. Pieces of art (paintings, sculpures, lithographies, etc.) related to history you like most (post an image of them)

Francis Bacon, from ‘Man in Blue V’ (1954) on the cover of Darkness at Noon, illustrating the self-effacing nature of totalitarianism:


Felix Nussbaum, ‘Self-Portrait in a Surreal Landscape’ (1939), adorning the cover of a volume of autobiography by Koestler’s more level-headed friend and fellow ex-Communist, Jew and refugee from a collapsing Mitteleuropa, Manes Sperber:


I’m kinda giving away the answer to another of the questions when I say that the mid-20th century period in European history is my ‘favourite’, but I do particularly like a lot of the art surrounding it.

Closer to home, I was really taken with seeing Seán Keating’s ‘Tipperary Hurler’ (1928) up close in the Hugh Lane recently. The painting is wonderfully intense, with the subject being both sportsman and patriot (what I read was that it bears a strong resemblance to a well-known IRA volunteer). Although obviously I have some mixed feelings about, ahem, ‘muscular nationalism’.


history art books
Comments (View) | 3 notes

History Meme!

  • I have seen many questionnaires but none including history. What a shame..
  • 1. Who is your favourite historical person?
  • 2. What is your country most famous for in history?
  • 3. What is your country most infamous for in history?
  • 4. Favourite historical era?
  • 5. Favourite weapon?
  • 6. Military unit?
  • 7. Historical dressing, uniform or costume?
  • 8. What is the last thing you have read/ listened/ spoke with historical reference?
  • 9. Favourite historical film?
  • 10. Pieces of art ( paintings, sculpures, lithographies, ect.) related to history you like most ( post an image of them)
  • 11. Have you participated in reenactment? What it was like?
  • 12. Would you take part in reenactment? In what era and as whom?
  • 13. Something random about some random historical person in a random era.
  • 14. Why you are interested in history ( a silly question, eh?) ?
  • 15. Were the history classes teached in an interesting way in your school/ college/ university? What would you do to improve them if you were the teacher / lecturer?
  • 16. Do you own some historical item? ( coin, clothing, weapons, books, ect) If yes which one is your favourite?
  • 17. What historical item would you like to own?
  • 18. Look at the clock and assume the numbers are forming historical year ( 17;58 would be 1758) What was / is / will be the world that year? Any event happened then or will happen?
  • 19. Favourite historical book?
  • 20. History crush?
  • 21. Historical game?
  • 22. Random historical fact about the place you are at the moment.
  • 23. Favourite historical song / with such reference?
  • 24. Most underrated historical figure?
  • 25. Most overrated historical figure in your opinion?
  • 26. Forgotten hero we should know about and admire?
  • 27. Favourite historical " What if... " ?
  • 28. Favourite "dream team" of specific era or the entire history?
  • 29. Great historical mystery you are interested in?
  • 30. Ask me a question of your own.
  • Send me the numbers of the questions you wish to be answered in my "Ask".
Comments (View) | 2,038 notes
Jul 19
I need to negotiate who I am with others for the idea to even matter. Alone, I am no one, no matter how much information I may consume.
Also, this (does it say something about me that this registers as profound, if not revelatory? Probably)
Comments (View) | 4 notes
Because excess information is “pushed” at us rather than something we have to seek out, we are always being reminded that there is more to know than we can assimilate, and that what we know is a partial representation, a construct. Like a despairing dissertation writer, we cannot help but know that we can’t assimilate all the knowledge it’s possible to collect. Each new piece of information raises further questions, or invites more research to properly contextualize it.

No Life Stories - The New Inquiry

Really interesting Rob Horning piece about data surveillance, population control, the construction of the self, truth and probability (and profit). Although this line is actually a plot point from The Matrix: Reloaded*

"A margin of noncompliance has already been factored in and may in fact be integral to the containment of the broader social dynamics being modeled at the population level."

(*you know, the scene with all the tv screens, and the long expository speech - that I couldn’t really follow when I saw it first, but just happened to be watching a few nights ago)

internet film the matrix
Comments (View) | 16 notes
Jul 18

Suburbs tend to lack horizons, so we have to make our own.

dublin photography view from the burbs
Comments (View) | 15 notes
Jul 17
Swan in the Claddagh yesterday evening

Swan in the Claddagh yesterday evening

galway photography birds
Comments (View) | 3 notes

Foucault and rights

"So there are two approaches: the revolutionary approach, basically structured around traditional positions of public law, and the radical approach, basically structured around the new economy of governmental reason. These two approaches imply two conceptions of the law. In the revolutionary, axiomatic approach, the law will be seen as the expression of a will. So there will be a system of will-law. The problem of the will is, of course, at the heart of the problems of right, which again confirms that the fact that this is a fundamentally juridical problematic. The law is therefore conceived as the expression of a collective will indicating the part of right individuals have agreed to cede, and the part they wish to hold on to. In the other problematic, the radical utilitarian approach, the law is conceived as the effect of a transaction that separates the sphere of intervention of public authorities from that of the individual’s independence. This leads to another distinction which is also very important. On one side you have a juridical conception of freedom: every individual originally has in his possession a certain freedom, a part of which he will or will not cede. On the other side, freedom is not conceived as the exercise of some basic rights, but simply as the independence of the governed with regard to government. We have therefore two absolutely heterogeneous conceptions of freedom, one based on the rights of man, and the other starting from the independence of the governed. I am not saying that the two systems of the rights of man and the independence of the governed do not intertwine, but they have different historical origins and I think they are essentially heterogeneous or disparate. With regard to the problem of what are currently called human rights, we would only need to look at where, in what countries, how, and in what form these rights are claimed to see that at times the question is actually the juridical question of rights, and at others it is a question of this assertion or claim of the independence of the governed vis-à-vis governmentality."

The Birth of Biopolitics, 41-2

"Governing properly will mean that one is able to govern by utilising two resources. First phobōs (fear). Those who govern must make fear reign over those who are governed, and they will do this by demonstrating their strength (bia, the text says). This material strength must be effectively present and visible, and this fear will ensure good government. But at the same time, and this will be the second means of governing, the governors must show aidōs (that is to say, a sense of decency and respect). This aidōs is not directly the respect that the governed owe to those who govern them, but this aidōs (respect) must be, as it were, an internal relationship of the governors to themselves, their respect for their obligations, for the city, and for the laws of the city. Aidōs will mean that one is able to submit to the laws like a slave (he uses the term douleuein). Being a slave of the law, wanting to constitute oneself as a slave of the law will characterise the aidōs (respect) of the governors with regard to themselves, the city, and its laws. And this respect will then bring about the respect that others – the governed – may have for them. So “aidōs” should be understood as a virtue which characterizes the relationship of the governed to the governors, but which also and especially characterizes the attitude of the governors towards themselves.”

The Government of Self and Others, 273-4

foucault history politics notes escaping from a thesis
Comments (View) | 2 notes
Jul 16

Went for an evening stroll to walk off that pie.

galway photography scenery so good you could also eat except if you actually needed to
Comments (View) | 4 notes