“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and man’s enemies will be the members of his household.” – Matthew 10:34-9
I am writing this post as I desperately search through the BBC world news website to find a recent article (perhaps 1 week, max 2) on the ensuing peace talks of a two state solution between Israel and Palestine in the Paris summit and how Israel refuses to attend the talks. How can the keyword Palestine not link to the article? How is it easier to find something written years ago and not find something that literally happened NOW? It is precisely such reasons that so much confusion and violence can continue to be perpetuated without end. Perhaps, one might not even know what the significance of Palestine and its role is in the general unrest in the Middle East. Palestine is only one of the giant pink elephants that Western goggles fails to see. Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Heretic perfectly captures this paradoxical nature of our current political times. In trying to open up discussion on the topic of Islam’s need for a reformation, Ali inadvertently creates further confusion and extreme viewpoints which further obscures the systematic violence enacted on a global scale. In removing social and historical context of modern history from her arguments, Ali’s proposition, regardless of how sound and rational it maybe, becomes distorted, contradictory, hypocritical even perverse to the point which one can consider her view points to be racist and islamophobic.
“Heaven and earth are not humanistic–they regard myriad beings as straw dogs; sages are not humanistic–they regard people as straw dogs” – Sun-Tzu
What is sad is not that a man like Trump is running for president in 2016, what is truly sad about it is that people have forgotten what this means. Think about it, think hard. Remember it. How can you actually be surprised? Within the last 100 years of our American century where were you, what were you doing? It is unfortunate that history, especially American history, agrees with Trump and it is this rapture that we see our very own hypocrisy embodied in a single point of pointlessness. Over the last 100 years, America has been a racist, fascist, fundamentalist, corrupt, violent, bigot who’s only interest is to serve a small group of Anglo-elites to further their own personal agendas at any and all costs: Trump is and has always been the true face of America. He embodies the contradiction and hypocrisy of both the Left and the Right of the double standards in which western civilization has privilege itself to. Continue reading
Quem deus vult perdere prius dementat
(those whom a god wishes to destroy he first drives mad)
I recently stumbled across the collected works of Seneca (the Younger); one of the few extant Latin tragedians. He was a dramatist and philosopher and served as tutor to young Nero. His father is appropriately referred to with the sobriquet of Seneca the Elder, a father who instituted within his son a strong Roman education befitting a man of equestrian station, a social class just below the prestigious senatorial class. Seneca (the Younger) who just managed to extricate himself from the tyrannical grips of the debased Caligula—the young boy emperor who demanded his execution. Eventually, however, Seneca met his untimely end after having been implicated in an assassination attempt on the then reigning Nero (whether such accusations were legitimate or not is entirely up for speculation).
Seneca’s plays are very much deeply entrenched in themes of gruesome revenge, desire, and madness. His works are of incredible psychological insight. Of particular interest is the treatment of madness and rage within the alarmingly and intriguingly entitled work, “Hercules Insane”. Continue reading
Wagner’s operas and musical compositions were steeped in German philosophy and metaphysics. His politico-social idealism, which was very much ingrained in the socialism of the times, through the liberal movement known as the Young Germans, slowly dissolved and took shape in various alternate forms. As a socialist and anarchist, his views challenged the status quo of German society. Towards his friend Bakunin, he was both horrified and enthralled by the oppositional polarities of such a violent philosophy. Anarchism, in the traditional sense of the term, is in fact a humanist/idealist form of thought. It is with a sense of compassion for the plight of everyman that the anarchist seeks to rent and destroy the established institutions and fabric of society, in order therefore to create a new and improved society built on the new foundations of fraternite, egalite, and liberte. Among the left, Hegel’s dialectic become de rigeur and soon after followed Marx’s dialectical materialism. Continue reading
“Fear is a mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn to see fear’s path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” – Dune, Frank Herbert
In light of the tragedy that happened in France one comes face to face with the unbearable Real. I write not in condolence, there is no meaning in tragedy, but it is precisely this void of meaning that confronts us is why I write now.
The term ideology has been used so many times in order to explain the radicalization of fundamental religious movements throughout present current events has been misused. It is at this misconception that I want to address, especially with what happened in France and what is happening now in general, why this point is important to clarify. To reiterate Zizek, we had and are and will always be, living in ideological times. These radical groups are not, as the media has portrayed, being driven by dangerous ideology, or what I am getting at is, it is not quite as simple as what is stated. One can even say, these radical groups only became radicalized simply because they do not have enough dangerous ideological ideas to sustain them from the unbearable Real of their daily lives. Continue reading
Suffering has always been the lot of man, and endless pages of human history can aver to no other conclusion. But do Gods really suffer? After having read the final paragraph in my fellow contributor’s blog, my curiosity was piqued by Zizek’s plaintive entreaty for the existence of a suffering god in order for us to change our fate.
In The Rebel, Albert Camus proposes that “human behaviour is based on the assumption that over-all injustice is as satisfying to man as total justice” and that only the sacrifice of an innocent god followed by its subsequent suffering could assuage the agony of man. Injustices and torments of human existence and the plight of man are matters that are both indescribable and unjustifiable, but perhaps the burden of such agonies could be better met with the participation of those on high? But sadly, the God of Abraham, the Old Testament God of fire and brimstone, plagues and bloodshed, is as indifferent to our struggles as the cat that toys with the condemned mouse between his claws. Continue reading
Purple is the Color of Love:
Love, authentic love in the Lacanian sense, is event in its purest form according to Zizek. Love in this instance is an important precedence to understanding the very perception of truth within the realm of ideology. To begin one just has to believe that true love does exist and it is an event which ruptures and reconfigures the very world that one lives in. It is precisely this power that makes love so revolutionary and often times extremely terrible as Zizek would say. Continue reading
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown”
― H.P. Lovecraft
To what do we owe the allure of the macabre, the thrill of the uncanny or the sway of the supernatural?
They all arise from the single-most powerful emotion that lays eternally dormant in the human condition—fear. The desire to explore compels man to seek the utmost limits of his environment— the deepest depths of the oceans, the highest heights of the atmosphere, in a never-ending maddening pursuit to quantify the unfathomable. We are at odds with everything in nature and within our spirit lays the worm that writhes inside our soul and eats us from within. Continue reading
It all begins with a parking ticket issued by the University of Toronto. A very typical scenario, especially considering the campus is located at the heart of the city, any space at all comes at a cost at all times. The only difference is that this time, the university is ticketing not someone outside of the campus but inside the campus; a scenario that shows the very contradictions and limitations of the very economic paradoxes and deadlocks of present globalization. A perfect example to the concept that any attempt to internalize a countries’ economy, the return to domestic manufacturing, the domestic consumption of produced goods and labours, or in other words, the impossible attempt at the concept of “self-sufficiency” will inevitably end with catastrophic failure. Continue reading
Jesus isn’t saving us from the Devil. He’s saving us from God. – J. Karlin
This begins with an in depth analysis of the film Antichrist 2009 by Lars von Trier. The question that was being addressed was where the antichrist can be found in the film, in other words, where is the devil and how was it portrayed? In order to answer that, a thorough analysis of the “devil” must be made. This point is crucial to understand the futility of representing the very aspect of the unrepresentable or irrepresentable. A quest that is fully within the devil’s domain so speak, yet extremely rewarding as it unravels and confronts the very inverse of irrepresentability with complete representation, the impossibility of a thing fully signified. That is to say the very search for the irrepresentable is the same search for the transcendental signified, it is from the point of the irrepresentable that the transcendental signified can be imagined, conceived; to be deceived that there is a movement towards something that has been signified. This leap is not as inconceivable as it first appears if one is willing to follow the very movements of representation within the film and the current paradoxes of modern philosophy. Continue reading
Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble”s a ton, or a trouble”s an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it,
And it isn”t the fact that you”re hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?
–Edmund Vance Cooke
Life is a constant struggle littered with adversity and suffering. Sadly, an unavoidable proviso of existence. Nothing comes free of cost, and hardships provide the potent bitterness that man must taste in order to fully enjoy the pleasures of life. Without turmoil or difficulty life would become increasingly tedious and saturated with the numbing contentedness of insipidity. A man who indulges in his every desire is ignorant of the pleasures he consumes (after all, the last chocolate in the box is devoid of taste and each subsequent piece diminished in flavour). Or as a consumer of perfumes soon finds–the scents overwhelm the olfactory senses, necessitating an opposing smell to reset the inundated nose–coffee beans typically used as a counteractive in this colourfully smelly example. Continue reading
The infamous story of Babel is a paradox. Even the very onset of such a story must be re-examined precisely because if it can be believed, then the very transmission of the story has already been “babeled”, in coherent, in complete: untranslatable. Or perhaps it is not the translation that is the problem but the reception of the babel that must be considered (before data there is only noise). Perhaps all that there is to be said has been said, and yet the truth might just not be enough for us; lacking the substance to fill the very hollow imbalance which the babel has resonated within us, echoed through our very own inconceivability. This tangent may explain the very truth to understanding the inconceivable within the babel. Continue reading
Aggregate Architectural History Collaborative, the symposium held at the University of Toronto Daniels Faculty of Architecture, was the scene of the ideological battle field for architecture’s dialectical deadlock of current contemporary times. During the Systems presentation by Ijlal Muzaffar and Daniel B. Monk’s response to the subject matter sparked a heated discussion that lead to an inconclusive ending of architecture’s role as an active component to social change. It is at this very deadlock, this inconclusive ending, where the beginning of meaning can be found. The inconclusive silence to the ending, the discomfort at the inability to defend the very topic which sustains the debate, is the very answer to the question: architecture does not have any agency towards social change. Continue reading
“GO NINJA GO NINJA GO”
– indeed, go, viva la revolution!
The series concludes with the third movie one which completes their self-realization by breaking the diachronic limitations through the act of time travel. From receiving the signs from the future the turtles’ reaches a state of self-realization, in confronting their revolutionary core of the past, they can choose their fates in the future.
Signs from the Future
The three movies can be seen as the turtles’ journey to self-realization in becoming true agents of revolution. The first movie represents their birth and their creation; the setting in which revolution will be staged with the formation of the next generation of revolutionaries, the youths that were redeemed through the turtles’ accidental struggle with the invisible forces of capital society. Continue reading