Archive for October, 2012

Voyager, Adorno, Mahler

October 23, 2012

The solar system’s ‘family portrait,’ as depicted by Voyager 1 on 14 February 1990.  Gallery of Voyager photos here (The Guardian)

On the thirty-fifth anniversary of the launching of the Voyager spacecrafts–and on the occasion of Voyager 1‘s apparent entering of interstellar space–some comments from Theodor W. Adorno’s Mahler: A Musical Physiognomy (1992 [1971]), reflecting on the Jewish socialist composer’s “Das Lied von der Erde” (“The Song of the Earth”):

“To the work the earth is not the universe, but what fifty years later could fall within the experience of one flying at a great altitude, a star.  For the gaze of music that leaves it behind, it is rounded to a sphere that can be overviewed, as in the meantime it has already been photographed from space, not the center of Creation but something minute and ephemeral.  To such experience is allied the melancholy hope for other stars, inhabited by happier beings than humans.  But the earth that has grown remote to itself is without the hope the stars once promised.  It is sinking into empty galaxies.  On it lies beauty as the reflection of past hope, which fills the dying eye until it is frozen below the flakes of unbound space.  The moment of delight before such beauty dares to withstand its abandonment to disenchanted nature.”

Statement regarding Anti-Colonial, Anti-Capitalist March in San Francisco

October 8, 2012

As published on Indybay:

“Around 150 people gathered in Justin Herman Plaza [on Saturday, October 6]. They were against everything: the military jets making metal of the air, the hordes of tourists thoughtlessly awing at the spectacular display of death above the city, the office towers and malls hanging above the waterfront, the unrestrained and uninterrupted reign of capitalism, slavery, colonialism, the empire.

At 3:30 pm they left the plaza carrying a banner that read RESIST GENOCIDE – DESTROY WHAT IS CIVILIZED. They headed towards the streets behind the Embarcadero Center mall. The riot police immediately began to follow alongside the march, and just as quickly the first paint bomb was thrown at them. The police declared the march illegal before it had walked a block. Along the route several luxury cars had their windows smashed and their tires deflated. The cops continued to get hit with bright paint as people proceeded towards Market Street.

They attempted to stop the march at one point but were outmaneuvered and the march was able to continue another two blocks. It was not until the police attempted to apprehend a single individual that the march was halted and a brawl began. The police swarmed in, two dozen of them on motorcycles, and began to isolate lone individuals and smaller groups of people. A Starbucks had its windows smashed as people were dispersing and in the end at least 19 people were beaten and arrested as the military jets thundered overhead.

The hordes of enthusiastic and wonderstruck tourists and baseball fans coursed through the metropolis, unaware of what was taking place behind Embarcadero Plaza. The virus that was planted in San Francisco hundreds of years ago was still expanding, neutralizing all resistance, and keeping itself alive. To all those marveling at the war jets in the sky, it is difficult to make sense of a mob of people who are against the colonial system. To be against colonialism, capitalism, and civilization are not popular causes—at least in affluent places like San Francisco wherein most have been convinced by the virus that its glitters are to their benefit. But this was why people went onto the street, and this is why they were attacked so severely.

The Colonial Machine, with their cops, laws, and order, attacked in order to silence our resistance and solidarity with others against a toxic system created to keep us in cages. From the belly of the beast, people rebelled against everything that fuels this empire. Cops attack to maintain order with their guns and badges, people attack with paints to liberate walls and brighten the darkness. There is no freedom in Amerikkka, there is no justice on occupied land. 520 years later, Indigenous people resist genocide and slavery through occupations. Decolonize the Empire, rebel for life. Decolonize the New World, liberate all walls, brighten the darkness.”

Imperiled Life in Portland

October 2, 2012

Next week there will be held two speaking events in Portland, Oregon, to discuss Imperiled Life: Revolution against Climate Catastrophe.

A general invitation…


at Reading Frenzy on Tuesday, 9 October, 7:00pm

and at the Red & Black Café on Thursday, 11 October, 7:00pm