Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Name Three Things That Made This Awful Decade Worth Living Through

Mine: Met Eric, earned my PhD, the night Obama won the Presidency.

Why Can't President Obama Make Us Suck Less?

Recent Republican complaints about Obama's failure to change the tone and end partisan rancor in Washington are funny.

Make them pay in the upcoming mid-term elections.

More, and better, Democrats.

Why Can't President Obama Overreact to Petty Criminals to Show How Strong We Are?

Recent Republican complaints about Obama's "security failures" are funny -- especially given Republican indifference to warnings about 9/11, Republican amnesia about the Anthrax attacks, Republican politicization of rising terror around the globe, Republican incomprehension that immoral illegal wars of choice based on lies recruit terrorists rather than diminishing them, Republican preferences for useless tyrannical "Security Theater" over sensible security measures, and the odd Republican lust to transform a rag-tag band of dumb criminals (with occasional dumb luck) into Warriors in a world-historical Conflict to Make Republican Penises Seem Bigger.

Make them pay in the upcoming mid-term elections.

More, and better, Democrats.

Today's Random Wilde

To be good, according to the vulgar standard of goodness, is obviously quite easy. It merely requires a certain amount of sordid terror, a certain lack of imaginative thought, and a certain low passion for middle-class respectability.

For Republicans Sanity Is A Pre 9-11 Mindset

There are actually successful, actually violent criminal acts taking place in every State in the Union every day, but for some reason Republicans are truly losing their minds over the fact that the President isn't losing his mind over the failed attempt of a would-be underpants incendiary to undertake a violent criminal act of his own. This is apparently because he is not just a pathetic criminal but a "terrorist," and even failed pathetic "terrorists" have magical powers that other kinds of pathetic criminals associated in rag-tag bands with other pathetic criminals don't have.

Either Republicans are lying in the most stupid imaginable way in all this, or they are the most flabbergasting cowards on earth (of course, both may be true). Come what may, in any remotely sane world Republicans should pay a crippling price for this ridiculous display in the upcoming mid-terms. I propose that more lefty blogs should focus their attention on seeing to it that this happens, rather than devoting quite so much energy to declaring Obama Bush's evil twin, strangling insurance reform in its cradle, and comparable exercises in shooting themselves in the foot. More, and better, Democrats is the only actually legible pathway to more progressive outcomes. Listen to what Republicans are saying they want America to be, and redirect the fight to the Right enemy.

Didn't We Already Go Through All This In One of the More Idiotic Chapters of the Presidential Campaign?

Pundits who imply idiotically that there is anything the least bit "foreign" about the State of Hawaii really should be permanently exiled to Mississippi or something.

The Moral Majority

Still a minority.

The Silent Majority

Still a minority.

Red State America

Still the poorest, least healthy, least literate, least employed, most divorced, most unplannedly pregnant, most violent America. And, yes, still a minority.

Sarah Palin's "Real America"

Still unreal.

Values Voters

Still vote for greedy, warmongering, white-racist, multiply-divorced, prostitute toe-sucking, closet-case Republicans on Election Day. You know, for kids!

The Culture of Life

Still hot for pre-emptive wars, back-alley abortions, poisonous environments, machine guns in the streets, and billions dying of starvation, unclean water, and treatable diseases across the planet so that the richest one percent of the planet can keep rolling in the dough… for life.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What BooMan Said

He writes much more clearly than I can, happily afflicted as I am with the theoryhead gene.

A Brief Comment on Walking and Chewing Gum As A Radical Democrat

If I say that we should empty our jails of nonviolent drug offenders and then fill them up with neoliberal financial fraudsters (well, we should), you should be very clear that the force of this utterance is not to provide you with reasons to declare Democrats the equivalent of Republicans when, under the actually existing conditions prevailing in the actually existing world through which actually-possible legislation is made, we pass what will surely be anemic compromised regulations heartbreakingly far from the substance of that initial utterance in response to which you said, "Right on!"

I have come to realize that people really do need to be reminded that there is a difference between the analyses and aspirations which define radical democracy, and provide the horizon toward which we push, and provide the standards on the basis of which we grasp prospectively opportunities for tactical advantages and grasp retrospectively the significance of tactical victories taking us step by step toward that horizon -- and the terms of the actual struggle within the structural limits of the system within which legislation stakes place institutionally as well as the limits imposed by the existential condition of a plurality of contending stakeholders that articulates all politics, properly so-called.

If the force of one's ideals is always only to cast every actually achievable outcome as a defeat when measured against the ideal, rather than providing the measure through which to understand the contribution of actually-achievable outcomes to the larger project of struggling to implement one's ideals, then one's ideals, in a word, suck. They are of no use to anybody, unless you want to think of politics as some kind of performance art -- which I can easily respect and even delight in so long as we are reasonably clear about what we are doing and what we think what we are doing is good for.

If actually achievable outcomes always only amount to a litany of defeats in the light of your idealism it seems to me you need to seriously consider becoming a violent revolutionary. While I am not a violent revolutionary myself, and indeed am committed to nonviolence precisely as a revolutionary strategy, I do have more respect for the integrity of radicals who take up violent revolution to overthrow a system they cannot countenance far more than those who in disdaining revolution affirm that system to a non-negligible extent and yet still endlessly whine and moan about relatively democratizing outcomes that are actually achievable within the terms of that system.

It doesn't make me a hypocrite to declare my radically democratizing aspirations nor to analyze failures of contemporary society in terms that take radical democratic ideals as their point of departure, whereupon I celebrate piecemeal reforms and compromised outcomes in the give and take of ongoing political struggle... it just makes me, if you will forgive me, somebody who can walk and chew gum at the same time.

If you can't hold such pragmatism and idealism together in your head when it comes to the urgent and fraught politics of radical democratization, consensualization, and planetization, here and now, peer to peer, I fear that I am inclined to think you too stupid, probably out of laziness or unexamined privilege, to be of more than accidental and occasional benefit to these politics (everyday fighting liberals simply conventionally loyal to the Democratic Party are actually more dependable by far when it comes to it); or, worse, I am inclined to think you a hypocrite who fails to see that one either accepts the terms under which progress is legislatively made or, rejecting those terms, becomes the kind of wrongheaded but respectable revolutionary few whining narcissistic so-called radicals ever even remotely try to be in their actual lives.

MundiMuster! Move Your Money!

First take your money out of the hands of the fraudsters, then just keep raising hell until they force the financial sector into sanity and decency through regulation, and start putting the worst of the fraudsters in jail where they belong.

They Might Be Giants Helps Keep Amor Mundi More Positive

Of course, only TMBG could produce a piece in this genre equal to the Beatles' "Maxwell's Silver Hammer."

Would You Hit It?

It's Centaur Wednesday, Y'all!

This week's delightful creature is the brainchild of Molly Lawless.

Today's Random Wilde

As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.

It Is Effortlessly Easy to Find Hundreds of Billions of Dollars to Spend Murdering People in Wars Hated By Huge Majorities

While It Is Impossibly Daunting to Find Any Money at All to Provide Healthcare for People Even Though Huge Majorities Want This.

America. Smell it.

Spending Billions on Highways Is Uncontroversial Even Though Environmentally and Culturally Catastrophic

While Anything Spent on Light Rail Is Highly Controversial Even Though Indispensable to Our Survival As A Civilization.

America. Smell it.

Warmongers Who Are Always Wrong About Everything And Bulldoze Us Into Mass Murdering Sprees to No Purpose Are Treated As Serious Statesmen

While People Who Advocate From the Start the Peace Everyone Eventually Desperately Wants Are Derided As Unserious Dirty Fucking Hippies

America. Smell it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bedwetting Bullies Blah Blah Blah

McCain, Lieberman, Graham, you weird mean old white guys really do suck.

Can Healthcare Reform Still Build A Bridge to Get Democrats Past The Phony Majority?

Josh Marshall is right.

The mid-terms are shaping up to be a referendum on health care reform, and that is a good thing for Democrats.

This seems counter-intuitive to informed policy-progressives right now because we know how crappy this reform looks to be, especially considering how far it is from what we wanted. But the fact is that Americans really do want a more just and more sensible healthcare system, they overwhelmingly approve of healthcare reform.

Part of the reason things have seemed rather bleak for Democrats in the midst of the reform morass is because the negativity of those who are angry and disappointed with reform because it isn't going nearly far enough is lumped together with the negativity of those who are enraged and freaked out with reform because they think it is going too far, combining into a kind of monolithic negativity all of which has been bearing down on Democrats as they struggle their way through a broken process to get something done despite absolute Republican obstructionism and cynical veto-empowered Conservadems.

But this now-monolithic negativity gets split the moment a bill passes and when mid-term campaigns are cast as referenda on health care reform. And it is Republicans who have by far the shorter end of the split stick here. They have whomped up their crazytown base with tales of socialism and fascism and death panels, and they are about to reap the whirlwind.

They must campaign on repealing the bill in its eeeevil totality. Democrats need only reply by pointing to all the incredibly popular provisions of the bill that the Republicans are forced to oppose by the extremity of their opposition to healthcare reform as such. As Marshall paints the picture of the scene of a debate between a Democrat and their Republican opponent:
"You really want to bring back denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions?" Do you really want to get rid of X, Y and Z? Or perhaps you flip it and just make it an assertion since anyone who wants to repeal reform by definition wants to get rid of those things too.

Healthcare reform is popular, and through their monolithic obstructionism and hyperbolic rhetoric Republicans have forced themselves into the corner of having to run on the terribly unpopular idea that the status quo is preferable to imperfect reform that addresses widely-perceived problems.

Democrats don't have to descend into policy details, they can run on the poetry of reform and spotlight popular outcomes, but Republicans will have to make such a descent to find some way through this anti-governmental maze they're in.

This is the best of all possible worlds for Democrats because Republicans can't win wonk wars since they are wrong on all the details and in any case every nuance will seem to their base a compromise with principle that will risk their disaffection. Democrats can respond to flaws in the reform by saying they hope to go back and tinker and improve what they passed if America elects enough of them to overcome "Party of NO" obstructionism.

I do think historical trends will likely hold true, anti-incumbency and a skew to base voters in mid-terms will both yield Democratic losses in both Houses, but I think we can hold controlling majorities in both and if we can this means it will be possible to revisit the filibuster at the open of the next session and possible to hold back Republicans doing their worst. This sets the stage for Democratic gains in the Presidential campaign and, one hopes, sufficient majorities to do more of what elected Democrats really want to do and the American people who elected them to do than has been possible under The Phony Majority.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Today's Random Wilde

To be natural is such a very difficult pose to keep up.

"Same Sex"

It is surely inherently patriarchal to pretend that the ways in which penises differ from one another and the ways in which vaginas differ from one another are so much less salient than the ways in which penises "in general" are different from vaginas "in general" that we will treat those differences of all things as the foundation of all civilization.

This is one of the reasons why I find it so patently absurd and annoying that queersex is so regularly described as or, worse, thought of as "same-sex."

Of course, homo means "same," just as hetero means "different" -- hence "homogeneous" as against "heterogeneous" -- so the same-sex terminology is just a straightforward translation of homo-sex. But my point is that it is actually deranging of the sense of what queerness often practically and imaginatively consists to imagine that its formations are based less on the eroticization of salient differences than are the formations of heterosexuality, so-called.

Honestly, you'd think that those who assume a more primordial narcissism or mimeticism prevails among queer folks than among straights, whoever they are supposed to be, had never heard of tops and bottoms, butches and femmes, ferocious "type"-tourisms articulated around race, class, morphology, and so on. I personally have had sex with more women (one) than I have had sex with blond haired people of either sex (zero, unless it was really dark or I was really drunk), for example. Is that homo-sex or hetero-sex, after all? Is there even a name for that (help me, Krafft-Ebing)? Have I signed onto the wrong gay agenda all these years?

As I say, I think the identification of queer-sex with same-sex functions to obliterate the substance of much if not most of that sex, but also to blunt our openness to ways in which the register of sexuality promisingly connects human beings to one another -- and I don't primarily mean sexually so much as in their shared differentiating aesthetic projects, via sex and otherwise, of assertive-narrative self-creation -- by positing some of them and so policing all of them as instead ineradicably "opposite."

It is even clearer that this insistent opposition at the heart of the heteronormative understanding of queerness as same-sex is even more obliterative of the substance of those queernesses -- bisexuality, transsexuality, intersexuality, to name the most obvious -- which seem to provoke sex-panics equally among both the heterosexuals and the homosexuals who cling to this patriarchal opposition in order to stabilize their respective sexualities more or less into scripts in which conventional couples couple conventionally the better to get on with the more serious business of business.

Desire is provoked by difference, whatever its objects. To want is precisely not to have, but also, crucially, there is a having of that wanting that leaves us more than wanting.

And indeed desire is often experienced first as a shattering difference within oneself that demands of the self that it become otherwise ("that's when I realized I was gay…" "oh my god, I don't hate her, I love her!").

This is one of the reasons why it is right to say of sex that it objects: sex is an objection through which we find our way to subjection (if we are lucky).

That "sex ob-jects" is the crucial discursive operation disavowed in the foregrounding of the dismissively reductive phrase "sex objects," in which we name the fear that we risk a dehumanizing objectification through our sexual relations. I believe that the risk disavowed through anti-sex discourses of a threatening universalizing sexual objectification is, more often than not, a phobic recoiling from the risk of sexual subjectification, the threat/promise of the sex in which we risk objecting to the selves we have been and thereupon embark upon a different selfhood.

The risk in the face of which generalized anti-sex retreats looks to be the risk of freedom itself, the freedom without which it makes no sense to bemoan a loss of subjecthood in the first place. None of this, I hasten to add, should be taken as a trivialization of the violence of rape or harassment or exploitation, which seem to me rarely to be about sex, proper, so much as about control and its pathologies, and hardly seem to me to be the lens through which to think the sexual in general, however urgently they demand an accounting and accountability as well.

Far from a threatening site from which universalizing objectification in the mode of violations articulated by hierarchy spread, the sexual seems to me instead a promising site from which universalizing subjectification in the mode of affiliations articulated by differentiation spread.

Crucial to this formulation is the sense -- to take up too clumsily and quick Judith Butler's terms from Undoing Gender here -- that desire is a site in which we embrace our own undoing ("I have come undone in my desire for him") as the way in which we do ourselves, engage in the doings in which we are rendered as legible, capable, among other things gendered beings. To be undone by gendered desire is to do the gender we would have (in a performative account of gender, again to abbreviate brutally, it is in the reiterated doing of the conventions of gender that we substantiate for ourselves and for others the salience in the gender we then experience ourselves as having; the having is indispensably a function of an ongoing doing) and in having which we are legible as capacious, free beings.

That is to say, in doing our gender and in being undone by its desire we engage in the performative substantiation of ourselves as socially legible beings in the crucial register of sex-gender, and are read in the world as capable of bearing agency.

It is this ethical universality inhering in the sexual, this interminable affiliation in differentiation (directly correlated, I would say, to the constitutive tension of equity in diversity that articulates the scene of consent on which the whole democratic imaginary also uneasily rests, so the stakes here are really rather fraught) which would be circumscribed and domesticated by the gesture in which queersex is identified with the Same (in a way that is Other, and Other in a way that is always also less than) and straight sex with the Other (in a way that is always also less than).

Happy Tree Friends (and TMBG) Help Make Vacation Time More Positive

Every Time You Treat Terrorists As Warriors Rather Than Criminals, They Win

There's a serial killer on the loose in a major American city, so of course we bomb the cozy bourgeois neighborhood in which he was last reported seen. What, that doesn't make sense?

A troubled teen tries but fails to set off a bomb in a suburban American mall, so of course we set up roadblocks at the entrances to every mall in America to search the cars and fingerprint and DNA-swab all would-be shoppers so they don't bring in bombs, too. What, that doesn't make sense?

Can't you hear them bloviating on Fox about how domestic crime isn't a police matter, it's WAR! Can't you see them shaking their pudgy white fists and decrying that defenders of conventional police departments pointing to dropping rates of violent crime are living in a pre-9/11 mindset? Do you even know how many rapes, murders, carjackings, home robberies took place on that fateful day? You bleedin hearts and artists let em get away with murder, let me hammer em to-dee!

What, doesn't it make sense to insist that advocates of public police departments following established police procedures attentive to the concerns of the communities they would serve and protect and the civil rights of all with whom they come into contact are Soft on Crime because they don't send tanks into the streets? That they are Un-Serious about Crime because they don't declare martial law across the nation? That they fail to grasp the Criminofascist Menace because they refuse to overthrow the Constitutional Republic and institute a totalitarian security state in its place, you know, for kids?

Of course, I realized even in the midst of writing it that this effort at a reductio fails, inasmuch as the War on Drugs, the hysteria about terror trials and terrorist criminals behind bars in American prisons, ongoing right-wing cheerleading for dismantling civil liberties in exchange for costly ineffective intrusive security theatricals, and the ongoing swelling of our racist prison-industrial complex all more or less literalize the analogy already anyway (not to mention the fact that I am far more worried about the ways in which police departments already fail to live up to the standards against which I am trying to set the insane analogy of a declaration of war on ourselves because of the incidence of domestic crime).

Look, terrorism is a tactic of asymmetrical conflict in which always only a minuscule minority are willing to participate or to condone (as is also true of any violent conduct), and as such it will never vanish nor will it ever be otherwise than a criminal act for which police are the proper respondents.

Provide populations with stakes in their societies (ideally universal healthcare, basic income, free education and access to knowledge, but, hell, howzabout simply no taxation without representation for a start?) and malcontents who would turn to violent resistance will be easily exposed and their threat diffused. Continue to exploit, abuse, disregard, and humiliate societies and you incubate both violent resistance in a minority but more crucially acquiescence to that violence by the still non-violent majority.

If terrorists are warriors, and America is committed to a Global War on Terror, then America has committed to a war on the whole world for all time that has no chance of success in a single one of its declared aims. Also, since America is now and ever more an ignorant bankrupted backwater, we can't even pull off the masquerade of engaging in such a planetary War on Everything anyway.

I would say it is hard to imagine anything more stupid than the War on Terror, but given our War on the Biosphere on which we literally depend for our survival, not to mention the War on (some) Drugs, the War on Having a Healthcare System, the War on Gay Marriage, the War on Christmas, the War on Profanity on the Tee Vee, and so on the truth is that everything everywhere seems pretty much equally stupid according to the shit for brains public discourse that suffuses the corporate media and preoccupies so many of our Congressional Millionaires.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mama Cass Elliot and Julie Andrews Help Make Amor Mundi More Positive

"Obama Is A Mediocre Politician"

Since he won't simply strangle Republican obstructionists and the Conservadems at the margin of the Democratic caucus empowered by Republican obstructionism. Or something.

Pointing Out the Existence of Gravity Is Just Making Excuses for Obama's Decision Not to Fly Like Superman -- Or Even Try!

Or something.

Democrats and Defeatism

Given the stimulus package, and probably-pending insurance reform and upcoming financial regulations Obama and the Democratic Congress have accomplished more in the first year of an Administration than we've seen in generations, certainly since LBJ.

I think it is safe to say that these accomplishments fail to address the deeper structural and ethical problems of our nation in ways that are literally catastrophic to our national future and are also unequal to the demands of our historical moment in ways that imperil the survival of democratizing civilization and even the biosphere of which we are all a part. But I also think it is frankly stupid to presume that the reason these accomplishments fail to be equal to our problems is because Democrats in general either stealthily prefer this result or lack the "willpower" to do the right thing.

Movement Republicanism is at this point a literally insane force, appealing to and whomping up the insanity of its Base, and Republicans are presently monolithically obstructing the sensible efforts of Democrats elected to change this country's direction (and in ways that would better reflect the center-left to outright social-democratic policy preferences consistently attested to by majorities of Americans since the Nixon Administration in fact, but never once reflected in our governance), a monolithicism and discipline that reflects more than anything else their absolutely realistic awareness of their defensive minority status in an ever more secular diverse precarious nation.

Given this obstructionism it is simply the case that any legislation that makes it to the President's desk for his signature has to find its way first through the meat grinder to sixty votes in the Senate, despite the fact that a non-negligible number of the sixty Senators who caucus with the Democrats are partially or mildly devoted to the social or cultural or corporate-military agenda of the Movement Republican obstructionists.

These facts cannot be wished away. Too many who chirp about a circumvention of these facts through budget reconciliation or through an abolition of the filibuster seem unaware of the actual demands and limitations of such efforts of circumvention, and too many who bemoan the President's "hands-off" approach seem unaware of the extent to which Administration figures have indeed been intimately involved in these legislative processes or seem to desire their President to behave in ways that undermine the Separation of Powers (something Obama has been too prone to rather than resistant of, if you ask me, and which we should hardly be encouraging).

I do indeed think Democrats should return to healthcare next year and seriously consider using budget reconciliation to force through more robust mechanisms for the policing of the new regulations against worst practices of for-profit insurers and more robust cost containment through a public option in some form. I think this should be offered up as a matter of nibbling around the edges of the new status quo created by passage of insurance reform rather than a re-visitation of reform as such, some kind of "second bite of the apple." One bite of that apple was enough to show that it was already biting off more than we can chew.

Also, I do indeed think that Democrats should contemplate another revision of the filibuster to ameliorate the mischief of modern partisan obstructionism, although my understanding is that this cannot happen until the 112th Congress convenes in 2011, assuming Democrats retain their majority, else it would take fully 67 votes to push through (at a time when 60 votes are scarcely possible). Again, it seems to me that this should be proposed as technocratic tinkering rather than as some sort of revolutionary action. Senator Harkin has a nice proposal along these lines he's been floating. I am in no denial as to the fact that any such move will be repudiated in the most histrionic imaginable terms by Republicans in any case, but the point is that when the Teabaggers blow their crazytown wad over and over again this produces the effect of self-marginalization unless the left enables it to do more by treating it more seriously than it deserves -- the point is not to ignore it, but to ridicule it.

But, come what may, neither of these worthy efforts should be regarded as anything even remotely like a magic bullet rendering the enraged and demoralized left more adequate to the actual power of corporatist militarist and patriarchal forces obstructing and debasing our political process in this moment. They simply aren't, and there is nothing the least bit radical about pouting and stamping one's feet at such realities.

I think the sausage-making around jobs, climate-change, financial regulation, collective bargaining rights, military escalation, lgbt rights among many other things are going to deal a series of flabbergasting disappointments to the widely shared and eminently sensible hopes of the liberals on whose enthusiasm Democrats depend for their elections.

It is a real worry -- especially given the traditional skew toward base-voters in mid-term elections -- that this state of affairs is indeed likely to result in a state of affairs in which Democrats who want to do what they are elected to do, and indeed are struggling to do so but cannot because the most conservative Democrats in the caucus have been empowered by monolithic Republican obstructionism, will likely be punished by the relinquishment of support they need by those they have disappointed, in ways that always only further disempower the already disappointed by facilitating the election of more of the very Republicans who are the key authors of the present debacle.

Those who recognize in such a statement familiar excoriations of supporters of Third Party candidates are right to do so. Those who support Greens or socialists and hence facilitate the election of Republican feudalists and theocrats are wrong to imagine that those of us who denigrate their choices do so because we disagree with or disapprove of the point that Third Party advocates make, namely that both the Democratic and Republican parties are so beholden to corporate-military interests and values that neither of them as they are presently constituted can function as forces toward genuinely sustainable consensual planetary multiculture. For me, this demands that we struggle to get more and better Democrats in office, primarying Democrats (whatever the prerogatives of incumbency) whose aspirations and voting records are to the right of their districts, and putting up candidates in hopelessly right-leaning districts to facilitate the progressive education of those districts through the campaign process.

Let me just point out as a quick aside, by the way, that both in my writing and my teaching (hundreds of students at Berkeley and the San Francisco Art Institute can attest to this) I advocate the implementation of a universal non-means-tested basic guaranteed income and universal single-payer healthcare, universal access to public education, and considerable curtailments of current intellectual property rights regimes, which makes me close to a socialist (whatever my disagreements with many of the views of many who so identify), and that I also advocate, just as vociferously, for the subsidization of permaculture farming practices and decentralized renewable energy provision via solar rooftops and windmill co-ops, which makes me close to a radical Green, and that I was trained in nonviolence by the King Center when I was a member of Queer Nation Atlanta and I advocate the democratization of current actually-existing unaccountable neoliberal/neoconservative corporate-militarist world governance through a strengthening of the WC, ICC, UNESCO, WHO, ILO, a redirection of the missions of the WB and IMF to reflect concerns about social injustice, sustainability and destabilizing and precarizing neoliberal financialization and enclosures of cultural and genomic commons, as well as the introduction of a popularly elected assembly to supplement or replace the United Nations General Assembly, all of which makes me possibly the biggest dirty fucking hippy (or DFH as digby and atrios pithily abbreviate the phrase) you would ever care to meet. So do please think twice before you simply assume I am a stealth corporatist or have drunk the Friedman kool-aid or am an uncritical Obamabot (although I may of course still be simply mistaken -- and if so I welcome arguments, especially arguments to the point, which are rare -- or possibly simply a hypocrite, although a hypocrite, I hope you will grant me, as Woody Allen once quipped, "for the left").

Given the actually-existing structural marginalization of third parties in the institutional landscape of American partisan politics it seems to me that those who advocate a more democratizing viewpoint than either party is currently advocating (which seems to me as palpably true as it is palpably false to peddle facile equivalency theses about the parties as do too many) must either struggle to reshape the best of those parties in the image of their own values or, if they truly believe in the necessity of a greener or more socialist third party, fight first to alter the institutional landscape in which third parties function politically (through campaigns for instant runoff voting, real campaign finance reform, or what have you). Those who advocate more radical third party interventions without concern to the actual structural realities in which interventions make their play seem to me to mistake as radicalism what amount to narcissistic temper tantrums indifferent to actual outcomes, just as those who decry fine elected Democrats (not to mention American's Senator, the fabulous Bernie Sanders) as traitors to Democratic principle, who deserve to be punished as such, without concern to the actual structural realities with which which such Democrats are contending seem to me to be rash, ill-informed, and too apt to cut off their noses to spite their faces, however righteous and well-meaning they may be in general.

Hence, I tend strongly to agree with BooMan (as I often have done through the various healthcare reform debates this year) when he criticizes the tactical mis-steps and energy-dividing histrionics of what he is calling the Anti-Corporatist Movement, despite the fact that I identify pretty closely with much of what self-identified "Ant-Corporatists" say is wrong with the currently prevailing catastrophically environmentally unsustainable, brutally precarizing, fraudulently financialized, disgustingly militarized world-system. When BooMan takes pains to say he doesn't mean to use the phrase Anti-Corporatist Movement "pejoratively" I think this is belied a bit by his actual analysis, especially when he declares the difference between anti-corporatists and, say, pragmatists as primarily "temperamental" in nature.

And I do think this tends rather to undermine the effectiveness of his larger crucial point, which is, if I am understanding him aright: that not only can one be a pragmatist while sympathizing or even, I suppose, identifying with the aspirations and analyses of the Anti-Corporatist Movement, but that frankly one must be a pragmatist in order actually to manage to re-write our world in something like the image of the aspirations and analyses of the Anti-Corporatist Movement.

To return to the first paragraph of this post, I said that "the stimulus package, and probably-pending insurance reform and upcoming financial regulations Obama and the Democratic Congress have accomplished more in the first year of an Administration than we've seen in generations, certainly since LBJ." I think the people with whose radical democratizing and permaculture politics I most closely identify myself likely really saw red reading that, reading such statements often makes the people with whose politics I most personally sympathize want to tear their hair out. I fully understand that and I understand the reasons why this is so.

I realize that there are some who want to say that what Obama and the Democrats have accomplished is something wonderful, something adequate to "the fierce urgency of now" as the man said. And of course given the actual problems of climate catastrophe, corporate catastrophe, military catastrophe we face those who think this painfully-accomplished something we will have wrought is also enough are simply straightforwardly wrong to think so or to say so.

But it also really is true that something is not nothing, even when that something is nothing like enough. It is wrong to pretend that something is nothing when what you want is something more, because in declaring something to be nothing you disempower the very forces on whom you must most rely to work your way to something more.

I realize that there are good reasons to fear that the heartbreaking process of incremental reform may be unequal to the demands of unfolding catastrophe, but unless you are advocating the violent overthrow of the system the limitations of which frustrate the educational, agitational, organizational work through which humans must strive to be equal to our shared problems then you are conceding that we do such politics as we can with the system we have rather than the system we might wish for, and this demands in turn that we assume the responsibility actually to work through that system rather than indulging in delusive, distracting, deranging wish-fulfillment fantasies involving third parties which cannot be going concerns in our actual reality or involving the punishment of Conservadems whose votes are nonetheless still needed to accomplish anything given the monolithic obstructionism of crass crazytown Republicans.

In an earlier post I wrote:
Like many a good pragmatist, I think it is enormously important to remember that the perfect can be the mortal enemy of the good. Like many a fine idealist, I think it is no less important to recognize that pragmatists who assert the previous can in their fixation on what seems possible, lose sight of the good in ways that undermine their grasp of the actually possible. I think both insights are indispensable and I don't think there are any criteria on hand to assure us which is the more relevant perspective in any generally useful sort of way, and so that one must remain rather self-critical and attentive and persistent in the face of inevitable frustrations, come what may. All of this seems to me simply a straightforward matter of intelligence.

I do think the "perfect as enemy of the good" chestnut has been trotted out so many times at this point to defend crap that it may be time to roast it on an open fire, but it really does name an indispensable insight for a genuinely political point of view (and I mean real politics, not moralizing or performance art mistaken for politics). The problem is, of course, that too many who grasp the indispensability of the point fail to grasp the equal indispensability of the second point that "in their fixation on what seems possible, [pragmatists can] lose sight of the good in ways that undermine their grasp of the actually possible." Rather than denigrate the Anti-Corporatist Movement it seems to me we should embrace it as a regulative ideal that truly and actively informs our pragmatism, keeps us vigilant for opportunities to shift the terms that presently seem to delimit the practically possible, but without becoming a standard against which all pragmatic outcomes are found wanting so that successes are experienced as defeats and hence inculcate a defeatism which renders the possibilities for success ever more remote, quite contrary to purpose.

A simple way to put this point is that the Latest Left -- the left that has been and continues to be shaped by emerging peer-to-peer forms of real-time criticism, distributed organizing, aggregated fund-raising, and so on -- as it matures from its inaugural formation in opposition to the Bush Administration and Movement Republicanism to reformation in assuming responsibility for actual governance in a diverse stakeholder society suffused with corporate-militarist institutions and discourses -- must learn better to distinguish short-term and long-term goals, or to distinguish tactics and strategy.

One of the ways that one ensures that learning to make such distinctions does not facilitate the assimilation of the revolutionary democratizing promise of these peer to peer formations to the counter-revolutionary forces of incumbency (the usual domestication of the revolutionary by the professional which Arendt writes so well about) is to demand that tactical accomplishments be celebrated always only as stepping stones toward strategic outcomes rather than as ends in themselves. Among other things this demands that we respect the aspirations and analyses of Anti-Corporatist Anti-Militarist and Green Movements rather than denigrating them, but that our respect for these aspirations and analyses not exact as it cost the denial of tactical realities or the denigration of tactical accomplishments.

I get it that it is devilish hard to hold all these things together in one's head and one's heart at the same time, and that people are wonderfully emotional and error-prone in ways that render all of us all too apt to make mistakes in judgment connecting our histories with our hopes, where we are with where we want to go. But nobody really expects democratization to be easy, so I see no point in pretending otherwise.

Today's Random Wilde

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Would You Hit It?

Well, queergeeks?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Would You Hit It?

Well, queergeeks?

Today's Random Wilde

The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

It Isn't True That There Have Always Been So Many Commercials, Such Loud Commercials, or Permanent Commercials in the Corner of Ongoing Programming

Just as billboards should be attacked as pollution, television commercials should be attacked as harassment. Ubiquitous repetitious interminable ever-higher volume commercials are not just insulting, are not just stupefying, are not just undermining critical faculties on which democratic citizenship depends for its flourishing, but they amount to criminal harassment and should be litigated and regulated as such. The logic of short-term profit-taking is literally incapable of putting the breaks on this development, and hence this deranging demoralizing degenerating trend simply will not stop, stall, or slow, let alone reverse, until there are laws to see to it that it does.

Air Force Commercials Involving CGI Space Battles That Declare "It's Not Science Fiction" ...Are Science Fiction

Just Saying.

Asthma Medications That May Cause "Asthma-Related Death" Are Probably Not Your Best Bet, Which Is Why They Are Being Advertised on the Tee Vee

Just saying.

"Free, Just Pay..." Is A Contradictory Statement

Just saying.

There Is No Such Thing As A "Fitness Celebrity"

Just saying.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Dumb Damaged Person Does Mischief…

…Obviously An Agent of Fu Manchu and His Global Network of Vile Gangsters!

Until we start talking about "terrorism" as a police problem rather than a matter of war no useful or sane sustained conversation will ever take place let alone sane policy emerge on the subject.

Or even more monumentally idiotically -- if such a thing as something more idiotic than pretending bands of bourgie malcontents playing at being Che in smelly caves amounts to WWIII is even fathomable -- discerning in it a "Clash of Civilizations," say, muscular white-racist baby jesusland against brown islamofascist homicide-bomberland is indeed surreally nuttier still...

It is of course for precisely this reason that the reactionary right-wing has sought to make this very move unthinkable, so that actually thinking about terrorism as a worldly problem rather than as some abyssal cthulhulic activation vector is itself unthinkable...

So that in a surprise move thinking is unthinkable and the fundamentalist (market, judeochrislamic, whatever) slaughterhouse parade brainlessly joylessly lurches ever on and on.

Would You Hit It?

Well, queergeeks?

Today's Random Wilde

The Selfish Giant

EVERY afternoon, as they were coming from school, the children used to go and play in the Giant's garden. It was a large lovely garden, with soft green grass. Here and there over the grass stood beautiful flowers like stars, and there were twelve peach-trees that in the springtime broke out into delicate blossoms of pink and pearl, and in the autumn bore rich fruit. The birds sat on the trees and sang so sweetly that the children used to stop their games in order to listen to them.

"How happy we are here," they cried to each other.

One day the Giant came back. He had been to visit his friend the Cornish ogre, and had stayed with him for seven years. After the seven years were over he had said all that he had to say, for his conversation was limited, and he determined to return to his own castle. When he arrived he saw the children playing in the garden.

"What are you doing there?" he cried in a very gruff voice, and the children ran away.

"My own garden is my own garden," said the Giant; any one can understand that, and I will allow nobody to play in it but myself."

So he built a high wall all round it, and put up a notice-board.


He was a very selfish Giant.

The poor children had now nowhere to play. They tried to play on the road, but the road was very dusty and full of hard stones, and they did not like it. They used to wander round the high wall when their lessons were over, and talk about the beautiful garden inside.

"How happy we were there," they said to each other.

Then the Spring came, and all over the country there were little blossoms and little birds. Only in the garden of the Selfish Giant it was still winter. The birds did not care to sing in it as there were no children, and the trees forgot to blossom. Once a beautiful flower put its head out from the grass, but when it saw the notice-board it was so sorry for the children that it slipped back into the ground again, and went off to sleep. The only people who were pleased were the Snow and the Frost.

"Spring has forgotten this garden," they cried, "so we will live here all the year round."

The Snow covered up the grass with her great white cloak, and the Frost painted all the trees silver. Then they invited the North Wind to stay with them, and he came. He was wrapped in furs, and he roared all day about the garden, and blew the chimney-pots down.

"This is a delightful spot," he said, "we must ask the Hail on a visit."

So the Hail came. Every day for three hours he rattled on the roof of the castle till he broke most of the slates, and then he ran round and round the garden as fast as he could go. He was dressed in grey, and his breath was like ice.

"I cannot understand why the Spring is so late in coming," said the Selfish Giant, as he sat at the window and looked out at his cold white garden; "I hope there will be a change in the weather."

But the Spring never came, nor the Summer. The Autumn gave golden fruit to every garden, but to the Giant"s garden she gave none.

"He is too selfish," she said.

So it was always Winter there, and the North Wind and the Hail, and the Frost, and the Snow danced about through the trees.

One morning the Giant was lying awake in bed when he heard some lovely music. It sounded so sweet to his ears that he thought it must be the King's musicians passing by. It was really only a little linnet singing outside his window, but it was so long since he had heard a bird sing in his garden that it seemed to him to be the most beautiful music in the world. Then the Hail stopped dancing over his head, and the North Wind ceased roaring, and a delicious perfume came to him through the open easement.

"I believe the Spring has come at last," said the Giant; and he jumped out of bed and looked out.

What did he see?

He saw a most wonderful sight. Through a little hole in the wall the children had crept in, and they were sitting in the branches of the trees. In every tree that he could see there was a little child. And the trees were so glad to have the children back again that they had covered themselves with blossoms, and were waving their arms gently above the children"s heads. The birds were flying about and twittering with delight, and the flowers were looking up through the green grass and laughing. It was a lovely scene, only in one corner it was still winter. It was the farthest corner of the garden, and in it was standing a little boy. He was so small that he could not reach up to the branches of the tree, and he was wandering all round it, crying bitterly. The poor tree was still quite covered with frost and snow, and the North Wind was blowing and roaring above it.

"Climb up! little boy," said the Tree, and it bent its branches down as low as it could; but the boy was too tiny. And the Giant's heart melted as he looked out.

"How selfish I have been," he said, "now I know why the Spring would not come here. I will put that poor little boy on the top of the tree, and then I will knock down the wall, and my garden shall be the children's playground for ever and ever."

He was really very sorry for what he had done.

So he crept downstairs and opened the front door quite softly, and went out into the garden. But when the children saw him they were so frightened that they all ran away, and the garden became winter again. Only the little boy did not run, for his eyes were so full of tears that he did not see the Giant coming. And the Giant stole up behind him and took him gently in his hand, and put him up into the tree. And the tree broke at once into blossom, and the birds came and sang on it, and the little boy stretched out his two arms and flung them round the Giant's neck, and kissed him. And the other children, when they saw that the Giant was not wicked any longer, came running back, and with them came the Spring.

"It is your garden now, little children," said the Giant, and he took a great axe and knocked down the wall. And when the people were going to market at twelve o'clock they found the Giant playing with the children in the most beautiful garden they had ever seen.

All day long they played, and in the evening they came to the Giant to bid him good-bye.

"But where is your little companion?" he said: "the boy I put into the tree."

The Giant loved him the best because he had kissed him.

"We don"t know," answered the children, "He has gone away."

"You must tell him to be sure and come here tomorrow," said the Giant.

But the children said that they did not know where he lived, and had never seen him before; and the Giant felt very sad.

Every afternoon, when school was over, the children came and played with the Giant. But the little boy whom the Giant loved was never seen again. The Giant was very kind to all the children, yet he longed for his first little friend, and often spoke of him. "How I would like to see him!" he used to say.

Years went over, and the Giant grew very old and feeble. He could not play about any more, so he sat in a huge armchair, and watched the children at their games, and admired his garden.

"I have many beautiful flowers," he said, "but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all."

One winter morning he looked out of his window as he was dressing. He did not hate the Winter now, for he knew that it was merely the Spring asleep, and that the flowers were resting.

Suddenly he rubbed his eyes in wonder, and looked and looked. It certainly was a marvelous sight. In the farthest corner of the garden was a tree quite covered with lovely white blossoms. Its branches were all golden, and silver fruit hung down from them, and underneath it stood the little boy he had loved.

Downstairs ran the Giant in great joy, and out into the garden. He hastened across the grass, and came near to the child. And when he came quite close his face grew red with anger, and he said, "Who hath dared to wound thee?" For on the palms of the child's hands were the prints of two nails, and the prints of two nails were on the little feet.

"Who hath dared to wound thee?" cried the Giant, "tell me, that I may take my big sword and slay him."

"Nay!" answered the child; "but these are the wounds of Love."

"Who art thou?" said the Giant, and a strange awe fell on him, and he knelt before the little child.

And the child smiled on the Giant, and said to him, "You let me play once in your garden, to-day you shall come with me to my garden, which is Paradise."

And when the children ran in that afternoon, they found the Giant lying dead under the tree, all covered with white blossoms.

The delightful sketch is by Dion Whiteside.

The Pretenders Help Make Amor Mundi More Positive for the Holidays

Holiday Fun

We spent much of the afternoon watching a marathon of Ark II eps on a DVD set I got Eric for Christmas (he has no memory of the show, but I lo-o-o-o-oved it as a kid). Anybody else do anything fun for the holiday?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

John and Yoko Help Make Amor Mundi More Positive

Another Christmas Eve, and here is John Lennon again as in years before, to end a year of war and begin another year of war, another mass murder in our names, another squandering of treasure in a Nation hopelessly ill, ill-informed, ill-advised, ill-prepared, ill-equipped, ill-willed, ill-at-ease, and in the shadow of still another war President.

Readin the news, and it sure looks bad. They won't give peace a chance, guess that was just a dream that some of us had. (That's not John, it's Joni, but still.)

War is over. If you want it.

Would You Hit It?

Well, queergeeks?

Today's Random Wilde

Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Firedoglake is threatening to primary Bernie Sanders "from the left." From what further left, one might wonder, does anybody imagine they are going to find a candidate with whom to primary America's Senator, Bernie Sanders? You know, the Senator who introduced Single Payer onto the Senate floor? You know, the socialist? This is coming right on the heels of firedoglake teaming with Grover Norquist to oust Jane's nemesis the apparently Rasputin-like Clintonian-triangulator and corporatist Rahm Emmanuel. You know, I want to shrink government to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub, Grover Norquist? The enemy of my enemy is not my friend, and this quintessentially cynical and opportunistic dictum is especially inapt for those who want to be making arguments of principle castigating other folks for failing to live up to principle. I've said it before, I'll say it again, I don't have patience for histrionic Jane Hamsher hate. I find that I like what I hear Jane saying and doing about equally often as I loath it, and pretty much equally intensely whichever. I'm glad she's around. Also, it pays to remember (and I hope Jane does, but this goes for the chorus of her haters, too) that the tangle of contingent strategic coalitions and public assertions of compromise or lines drawn in the sand often have a more complicated relation to one's ideals about policy or one's expectations about process than are immediately evident.

Would You Hit It, Queergeek?

Centaur Wednesday, we're back, y'all.

Good For Them

More like this, asap.

Good for Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), and my Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) making serious noises about scuttling the corporatist crapola outcome now hurtling forward through the last votes of the Senate healthcare reform process.

I'm not saying "good for them" because I personally think we should "kill the bill."

I'm not saying "good for them" because I think Dems could magically get a better bill starting over with the same Congress we have still intact.

I'm not saying "good for them" because I think everybody else has sold us out for not saying the same thing.

I'm not saying "good for them" because I think other fighting liberals are folding in public instead of fighting because I think the fighters are assessing the terrain or the desirability of likely outcomes much differently than the apparent folders are.

I'm not saying "good for them" because I think Obama fooled us and has gotten the bill he seeeecretly wanted all along (or even that he got 95% of what he wanted, as he himself is reported as saying as he goes headfirst into the framing war for ambient-informed voters who aren't following this like we are but who do care enough to vote anyway and make a difference when they're in the mood and who Dems very much need to be in the mood).

I'm not saying "good for them" because I mistakenly think they won't actually settle for less than they are saying they will when confronted with the prospect of passage or no passage when they care about passage and the people helped by passage and they are up against assholes who actually don't care if it doesn't pass.

No, I'm saying "good for them" because the negotiations are not over and saying what they are saying is what you have to say to get anything improved for the better and certainly what you have to say if you don't want this thing to get much worse before the end.

So, again, good for them, and good for us.

Feeling Amormous, Mundyites...

...about the ongoing bloghancements? Color scheme, graphical choreography, flogrolls, and so on? There a bit more on the way, but the dust will soon settle.


By the way, I don't think there is anything particularly radical about saying the sorts of things I just said in my last post, as against those who, for the most part know all the same stuff that makes me say that and feel more or less the same way about it, but who struggle instead to push for least harmful most democratizing policy outcomes, however ugly and heartbreaking, given the actual stakeholders in play in the context of the actual structural conditions that prevail over the process.

The Answer Is Yes

BooMan asks a question:
I wonder what Obama's approval rating would be if his policies had done a lot more to create jobs and lesson the foreclosure crisis but the cost had been a slumping Dow Jones index. If, just theoretically, the unemployment rate was below 8% and gads of people had had the principal on their mortgages written down, but the Dow was at 6,000, would Obama be more popular?

I daresay Fox News and the WSJ would be screaming about rampaging socialism and corporations would be funding and whomping up phony grassroots campaigns of racist ignoramuses freaking out about Democrat Islamofascist Stalinist Gulags for Real Murcans -- which would of course be so very different from what we have got instead by sucking yummy corporate-militarist old white man vampire cock all year instead -- but otherwise more people would be less fucked over and the lie of the Dow Jones arrow as anything but a White Collar Criminal Daily Reported Satisfaction Index would be exposed for good (in more ways than one). But, of course, the Congressional millionaires who "represent" the hundreds of millions of non-millionaires who elect them quite simply wouldn't have anything like that, nor frankly would Obama himself, nor even the best of the folks working in his Administration, let alone the neoliberal/neocon Zombie Army he has on the payroll, so, then, the answer is Yes, but only Not On This Actual Planet.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Don't Call It Negativity

Everybody who declares me "negative" just because I'm observant and nobody's fool is just a scam artist disappointed to lose a mark.

Every Republican Accusation Is Actually A Confession

It's not accidental, it's not incidental, it's not superficial, it's not occasional.

When Republicans accuse you of racism for noticing the racism entailed by some claim they have made or of an outcome of some policy they advocate, their accusation that you are racist is precisely the displaced and perplexing confession of their own racism that it weirdly feels like it is.

When Republicans accuse you of elitism for caring more about everyday people than billionaires, their accusation that you are elitist is precisely the displaced and perplexing confession of their own elitism that it weirdly feels like it is.

When Republicans campaigning for a place in government accuse government as such of incompetence, corruption, profligacy, fraud, thuggery you can be sure that their accusation is precisely the confession of the assumptions that will guide their governance, and you can be sure that the incompetence, corruption, profligacy, fraud, and thuggery they author will further substantiate the accusation and confessional declaration of the next generation of Republicans to follow them into the slaughterhouse of their making.

When Republicans accuse you of pining for tyranny because you believe in good government of, by, and for the people, their accusation that you are a tyrant ready to unleash the jack-boots of police brutality is precisely the displaced and perplexing confession of the promptings of their own authoritarian id, the one that dismantles civil liberties and lies us into endless wars and sends riot police into citizen assemblies literally every time they are in any position to do so.

When Republicans accuse you of thwarting their "Culture of Life" theirs is precisely the displaced and perplexing confession of the hater of women who wants them to die in back alley abortions for daring to have pleasure in life, the hater of actually living children who wants them to die of starvation, abuse, ignorance, hopelessness, and should they survive long enough, eventually as cannon-fodder in their wars, the hater of laws regulating machine guns in our streets or poisons in our homes or the soundness of our children's educations or the safety of our food supply or the reliability of our infrastructure or protection against pandemic or catastrophic weather, they are instead the dread armies of a palpable Culture of Death, and their accusations stink of the death on their breath and in our their heartless hearts.

When Republicans accuse you of hating America their accusation is precisely the displaced and perplexing confession of their hatred for the actual diversity of American lifeways in this secular, multicultural, continent-scaled scrum of collaboration and contestation and everyday people, and for the actual democratizing promise, never yet fulfilled but always breaking out anew, of our American ethos, our founding, immigrating, emancipating, progressing, unionizing, New Dealing, civil righting, war-protesting, secularizing, ecologizing, queering, browning, legacies into a presence pushing from and into elsewhere and other-wise, peer to peer.

When Republicans accuse you of meddling in private life, undermining individual choice, strangling innovation their accusation is precisely the displaced and perplexing confession of the wiretapping spy, the anti-intellectual who thinks his is the Party of Ideas, the hyperbolic huckster who thinks his wishes are assets, the bully and bore who mistakes self-promotion for creativity, the relentlessly conventional individualist, the mocker of difference, the pinched, puritanical, moralizing crusader against the happiness of gay folks and women who choose to end unwanted pregnancies or facilitate wanted ones against convention and kids in school with questions and single folks and slackers and pot smokers and poets and freethinkers and people with a cause or an idea or a creation or who care enough to do something the least bit unexpected.

It is not enough to declare these perplexing displacements self-deceptions, propaganda lies, or even the Big Lies of fascist mass-mediation (although a full accounting would testify to all these facets): This projection is the quintessential gesture of alienated moralizing oligarchs in a modern (if I may telescope this brutally briefly, I mean "modern" in the sense of the ongoing and in fact interminable re-enactment of the querelle des Anciens et des Modernes and, hence, yes, that "modern" includes late-moderns, post-moderns, a-moderns, and all the rest of that hoo-hah) that is to say, our whole secular/aestheticized ethical/democratizing sociocultural terrain. This confessional displacement into accusation is the very architecture of reaction that makes the politics of the Right what it is properly grasped as in its fundamentalism, in its moralism, in its hostility to democracy and worldiness -- in a word we seem all too readily and wrongly to have set aside -- Reactionary.

The Dead Zone Decade

When VH-1 coughs up its hairball of false nostalgia for the Bush decade a decade from now, they will find that music and fashion and graphic design and commercial tropes that seemed fresh and fun in 1999 felt precisely as fresh and fun in 2010, they will find that the anti-french, anti-latte, anti-nuance, anti-science, anti-Geneva Conventions Appleby's America crap narratives endlessly circulated through the media puke funnels into phony consensus lodged in no one's spirit and in no one's memory, that nothing happened, that nothing began, that nothing was made, that even all the death-dealing dwelt in death...

The 90s GAP commercials have returned for the 2009 holiday season, the streets of Paris and San Francisco fill the screens of American films and television commercials again with the romantic vibrant French surrender monkeys and Pelosi values that almost no actual Americans ever really hated however loudly the corporate-militarists barked to the contrary for a decade, and even Appleby's now promises sandwiches with arugula on artisan bread in a last-ditch pitch for survival in the reality-based community we are all incarcerated in whatever our denialism to the contrary, and just look at all the non-closeted faggots and uppity negroes and competent women reflecting the real world back to us on our television sit-coms and home-renovation shows, all as if to cry out in anguish, in panic, in denial of all the denialism, it never happened! Bush never happened! America did not expose its rot, its rancidness, its ridiculousness to a world now yawning and calling in its debts, the regularly scheduled programming is to resume, the never begotten need not even be forgotten...

Even while the Teabbagers scream even now to illegalize abortions and re-closet queers and to deny the science on which they depend to survive and to murder or incarcerate or draft all the brown people into the wage machine and the war machine, weeping that White Warmaking Wal-Mart Baby Jesus wants Our America back for the Real Americans, in a full froth of hysteria and hate they want back the lie that passes for the life of dead-eyed life-sucking Republican life, the America that never really existed and that nobody really wants, all the while a few evil old angry white men with lies in their eyes lies in their lives making fists of their hearts smelling of death and madness hold hostage the Change millions voted for, the Chance millions broke their hearts for, the Sanity to save something of the world to save some few lives to correct course the least bit before all hope is lost...

And even now we are shutting down, just plain bushed by the decade of Bush, starting already to sleep-walk through the actually demanding shattering realization that the death-dealing dot-eyed denialist epoch of Republican rule was a vast wasteland of heartlessness, thoughtlessness, lifelessness, an unreality teevee show with an ugly fake tan and a beer gut and a soulless leer with twice the commercials and a logo in the corner of the screen that never goes away, that grinds into your brain to the place where consciousness and conscience should reside, denying a decade of denialist death in life that none of us will ever get back, and from which we may never in fact recover...

Meanwhile, the futurologists ever more hysterically still declared that technology is accelerating, that acceleration of acceleration is accelerating, a kind of stillness in their silly thrill shrill shilling unstillnessology still, we are rushing still ever toward that sooper-human "post-human transition," toward that sooper-intelligent post-historical "singularity," rocketing onward up and up, is all this on the up and up? and in the pastel-hued tonalities of soft-porn the television commercials match their hysteria, hawking fetish-phones in petrochemistench bubble-wrap already tugging toward landfill and happy-pills and boner-pills in consumer go-getter bubble-brains tugging toward suicidal depression and cardiac arrest IP-enclosure side effects in the unread small print scrolling by at the spped of light, while all the super-sonic passenger planes were grounded and our space missions exploded and our computers bloated and stalled and our actual health outcomes degenerated and our water and crops and energy supplies shuddered and our biosphere fever-sweated...

And all the white boys with all their plastic-digital toys lie louder and louder, especially to themselves, and flap their hands and show off their thumbs-up in their faith in The Future, high-five future-sooper-tastology, no limits, man, looking for all the world like the most abject fools imaginable, futurological fraudsters making one last desperate pitch for that death-dealing something for nothing knee deep in the shit of the financial fraudsters and hucksters and corporate-militarist scenarists who prepared the way for them, one last techno-immortalizing digital-totalizing plastic-fantastic teledildonic robo-nano-bio-neuro-info cornucopiasmic geo-engineering late-night informerical or motivational seminar or Ponzi scheme or think-tank pie-chart, one last faith-based initiative to eat the world to build a crappy crumbling McMansion before they do us all a favor and blow their brains out.

Americans Overwhelmingly Declare Bush Decade "Awful"

This is excellent news for Republicans. Villagers inevitably declare Teabaggers ascendant, concern troll about Democratic disarray, and cheer on the Republican comeback express, whoo-whoo!

Day of Reckoning

It is much to be regretted that the unprecedented irresponsible, cynical, monolithic obstructionism of the Republicans (which among other things empowered the least progressive members of the Democratic caucus to do their opportunistic worst to this Democratic effort) had the consequence of blunting the friendliness, usefulness, fiscal responsibility, and justice of the very bill they will decry as enemy, useless, profligate, unjust.

Republicans despise government, as we all know, and oh, how they show it when they are given any opportunity either to govern themselves or to hobble the efforts of any who would work to govern well. Never forget that when government is of, by, and for the people, to profess hatred of the very idea of good government is to profess hatred of the people whose government this is, and to wreck government in practice is directly, actively, insistently, and incessantly to harm the people of this country.


I'm going to be putting up some basic informational resources via the blog, CV, teaching philosophy, pedagogical resources, and the like -- pay no attention, I don't expect it to be generally interesting, I'm just wanting it to be available.

Curriculum Vitae



Senior Lecturer, Liberal Humanities, San Francisco Art Institute, from 2004 to the present.
Lecturer, Department of Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley, from 2005 to the present.


Ph.D., Department of Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley, 2005
Dissertation: Pancryptics: Technocultural Transformations of the Subject of Privacy
Committee: Judith Butler, Chair (Rhetoric and Comparative Literature); Mark Poster (History, UC Irvine); Pamela Samuelson (School of Law and School of Information Management and Systems); Linda Williams (Rhetoric and Film Studies)
M.A., Department of Philosophy, Georgia State University, 1995
Thesis: Technology and Proliferating “Queer” Bodies
Committee: Timothy Renick, Chair; Linda Bell, Stephen Prothero
Many of the themes of the thesis were summarized and published as an article, Technology Is Making Queers of Us All, published by the magazine BetterHumans, January 5, 2004.
B.A., cum laude. Department of English, Georgia State University, 1989
Indiana University, Department of Comparative Literature, 1983-1986


Aesthetics and Politics
Art and Philosophy in Greek and Roman Antiquity
Critical Theory
Digital Media and Network Criticism
Gender Studies and Queer Theory
Environmental Justice
Rhetorical History, Theory and Argumentation
Peace and Reconciliation Studies
Science and Technology Studies


A Neoliberalization of Basic Income Discourse? Power to Persuade: Creating and Implementing Public Policy, Cross-Sectoral Debates, September 14, 2015.

Artificial Intelligence As Alien Intelligence, boundary 2, March 25, 2015.

Geekdom Is Having a Diversifying Effect on Culture, New York Times, "Room for Debate" forum, When Geeks Rule, September 18, 2014.

Futurological Discourse and Posthuman Terrains, Existenz, Volume 8, No. 2, Fall 2013.

Review (originally titled, "Schlock and Awesome: Why Futurism Is Worse Than You Think") of the book Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler (Free Press, 2012) published by the Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives, May 24, 2012.

Overview of "Geo-Engineering" As Futurological Greenwashing, on Worldchanging, August 10, 2010.

Superlative Futurology, Re-Public: Re-Imagining Democracy, June 2009.

Is Obama the Face of Ongoing p2p Democratization? Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives, March 16, 2009.

Selections from My Recurring Column of Anti-Futurological Critique, published by the World Future Society:
Ten Reasons to Take Seriously the Transhumanists, Singularitarians, Techno-Immortalists, Nano-Cornucopiasts and Other Assorted Robot Cultists, March 15, 2012.
Futurological Brickbats (A Selection), March 22, 2012.
Ten Futurological Admonitions, March 29, 2012.
What Are People Really Talking About When They Talk About "Geo-Engineering"? April 14, 2012.
"Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again" May 5, 2012.
The Unbearable Stasis of Accelerating Change, May 27, 2012.
SpaceX Space Cadets Set Their Sights On Libertopian Mars, June 3, 2012.
How to Write Your Transhumanist Article (A Helpful Guide for More Profitable Prophesying) June 13, 2012.
The "Financial Singularity" Is Not About Mystery But About Fraud, June 17, 2012.
Singularitarian Hype and the Denial of History, June 17, 2012.
"Am I Going To Become A Cyborg In The Future?" July 7, 2012.
"I Tweet From Basement, Home of Mom": Time For A Cyberspace Manifesto 2.0? July 15, 2012.
Performance Artist and Sousveillance Activist Steve Mann Assaulted in Paris McDonalds, July 17, 2012.
Exxon-Mobil's "Geo-Engineering" Discourse Is Just More Futurological Greenwashing, July 23, 2012.
All Humans Are Mortal. Socrates Is Human. Therefore, Socrates Is Mortal, August 1, 2012.
Tributaries: Somebodies That Used Gotye To Know Themselves, August 15, 2012.
Futurological Defenses of Automation, Outsourcing, Crowdsourcing, and Precarizing Labor, August 29, 2012.
Techno-Immortalists Exploit Dying Women To Peddle Pseudo-Science and Threaten Critics, September 3, 2012.
A Comment on Artificial Imbecillence, October 7, 2012.
Dressing for The Future, October 17, 2012.
Is "Geo-Engineering" Really Just Gardening? November 19, 2012.
Insecurity Theatre: How Futurological Existential-Risk Discourse Deranges Serious Technodevelopmental Deliberation, November 28, 2012.
Paul Krugman Flirts With Futurism, January 2, 2013.
"Driverless Cars" As Dead-Ender Car Culture Apologia, January 7, 2013.
Private Space Follies, January 10, 2013.
Tim O'Reilly on: "The Golden Age,"January 24, 2013.
p2p is EITHER Pay to Peer OR it is Peers to Precarity, March 23, 2013.
"The Future" Is Always Somebody Else's Pain and Payment for Our Sins, April 3, 2013.
Why Does Tim Wu Side With the Technoblatherers?, April 14, 2013.
Farhad Manjoo's Camera Reassura, April 19, 2013.
Zuckerberg's Privation, April 27, 2013.
Peter Thiel Against Hollywood Against "The Future," May 15, 2013.
Googlenature, May 16, 2013.
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Tweet, June 1, 2013.
Transcending the Lawnmower Man, April 17, 2014.
What Is the Futurological?, November 29, 2014.
Eric Garner and the Cop Cam Sham, December 5, 2014.
Techbro Mythoppoetics, December 24, 2014.
The Inevitable Cruelty of Algorithmic Mediation, December 26, 2014.
Futurology's Shortsighted Foresight on AI, January 15, 2015.
The Yearning Annex: Google Commits Millions for Robot Cult Indoctrination in Plutocratic Venture-Capitalist Dystopia, January 28, 2015.
We Are The Killer Robots, February 4, 2015.
Artificial Intelligence As Alien Intelligence, February 25, 2015.
Tools for Techno-Transcendental Tricksters: The Turing Con and the Reductionist Shell Game, March 14, 2015.
#FuturologicalFollies, April 25, 2015.

Outstanding Instructor Award, Undergraduate Student Union (SFAI), 2019
Outstanding Faculty Award, Undergraduate Student Union (SFAI), 2016
LOGS Outstanding Graduate Faculty Award, Legion of Graduate Students, San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), 2010
Departmental Research Award, UC Berkeley, 2006
Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics (CCLE), Summer Fellowship, 2004
Pedagogy Departmental Grant, UC Berkeley, 2004
Wollenberg Grant, 2003
Fletcher Jones Memorial Fellowship, 2000-2001
Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, UC Berkeley, 1998-1999
University Block Grant, Department of Rhetoric, UC Berkeley, 1998


"Futurological Discourse and Posthuman Terrains," American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Annual Meeting, San Francisco, March 27-31, 2013.

Panel Chair, "Thinking Outside the Frame: Avant-Garde Calligraphy, Relational Art, and New Cinema," Drawing, Interpreting, Synthesizing: Robert and Colleen Haas Scholars Tenth Annual Spring Research Conference, University of California at Berkeley, May 2, 2008

"The Sense and Significance of the Emerging Netroots: Digby, Benkler, Arendt in the Progressive Blogosphere," Roosevelt Institution, University of California at Berkeley, October 24, 2007

“Media Tactics for the New World Order: A Screening and Panel Discussion of the Film Loose Change,” San Francisco Art Institute, October 11, 2006

“Alone With My Thoughts: Private and Public Faces of Cognitive Self-Determination,” Human Enhancement Technologies and Human Rights, Stanford University, May 27, 2006

"Pay to Peer: Basic Income and the Emerging Peer-to-Peer Network Culture," The Fourth Congress of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network: "The Right to Economic Security," New York, NY, March 5, 2005

“Setting the Scene: Creating Conditions in Which Students Teach Themselves to Read and Write Argumentatively,” Center for Individual Learning, San Francisco Art Institute, February, 2005

“Parables of Virtuality: ‘Burning Chrome’ and the Dark Night of Bodies,” Representations of the Virtual, University of California at Berkeley, February 17, 2005

“Teaching the Four Habits of Argumentative Writing,” Pedagogy Workshop, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Rhetoric, October 25, 2004

“Vulgar Biocentrism Among the Technophiles,” Art in the Posthuman Era, University of Toronto, August 6, 2004

“Doin’ What Comes Naturally: Margaret Somerville’s Bio-Conservative Deployment of the Precautionary Principle in Her Case against Gay Marriage,” New Feminist Perspectives on Biotechnology and Bioethics, University of California at Berkeley, March 12, 2004

“’Keep Your Laws Off My Body!’: Biotechnology and the Politics of Choice, from Reproductive to Morphological Freedom,” New Feminist Perspectives on Biotechnology and Bioethics,University of California at Berkeley, March, 11, 2004

“Problems in Teaching Rhetoric,” Department of Rhetoric Pedagogy Seminar, University of California at Berkeley, October 20, 2003

“Technocultural Singularity and the Shifting Terrain of Humanist Politics: Liberal Humanism, Transhumanism, Posthumanism.” Born of Desertion: Singularity, Collectivity, Revolution, Marxist Reading Group, University of Florida, March 21, 2003

“Abject Beasts: Impurity, Solidarity, and the Politics of Vegetarianism,” Subject, Object, Abject, University of California at Berkeley, February 28, 2003

“Animal Rites: Vegetarian Criticism, Vegetarian Selves,” Culture Is Ordinary, Bowling Green State University, April 18, 1997

“The New Market: Intellectual Property Rights and the Technology Debates,” Interface, Southern College of Technology, October 21, 1993


Organizing Committee, Human Enhancement Technologies and Human Rights Conference, Stanford University, May 26-28, 2006

Chief Organizer, the 13th Annual, Boundaries in Question Conference -- Feminists Face the Future: New Feminist Perspectives on Biotechnology and Bioethics, University of California at Berkeley, March 11-13, 2004

Chief Organizer, the 12th Annual, Boundaries in Question Conference, University of California at Berkeley, February, 28-March 1, 2003

Co-Organizer, OutSouth: Queer Arts Festival, Asheville, North Carolina, September 24-27, 1992.


NASAD Submission Committee for New San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) Degree Program, "Art, Place, and Public Studies," 2018

Editor, SFAI (San Francisco Art Institute) Adjunct Faculty Newsletter, 2016-2019.

Research Team and Draft Committee for the Liberal Arts Program Assessment at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), 2010-2011

Pedagogy Working Group, Department of Rhetoric, University of California at Berkeley, 2004-2005

Steward, Dept. of Rhetoric, UC Berkeley, Association of Graduate Student Employees, 1996-1998


Graduate Courses

CS 500 Introduction to Critical Theory (San Francisco Art Institute) Spring 2020
Trans Theories, Histories, Practices (SFAI, Independent Study) Spring 2020
CS 500 Introduction to Critical Theory (San Francisco Art Institute) Spring 2019
HTCA 520 Designs On Us: The Politics and Anti-Politics of Design Discourse (SFAI) Fall 2018
CS 500 Introduction to Critical Theory (San Francisco Art Institute) Spring 2018
Un/Doing Subjects: Jewish, Queer, Crip (SFAI, Independent Study) Spring 2018
CS 520 Queer Manifestations (SFAI) Fall 2017
CS 500 Fact, Figure, Fetish (SFAI) Fall 2016
CS 500P Biopunk! Bioart and Bioethics (SFAI) Spring 2016
CS 500A Introduction to Critical Theory (SFAI) Spring 2015
CS 500 Designs on Us: Anti-Politics in Green, Media, & Medical Design Discourse (SFAI) Fall 2014
EMS 590 Thesis I: Independent Investigations (SFAI) Spring 2014
CS 500A Introduction to Critical Theory (SFAI) Spring 2014
EMS 590 Thesis I: Independent Investigations (SFAI) Fall 2013
EMS 590 Thesis I: Independent Investigations (SFAI) Spring 2013
CS 500 Fetish, Figure, Fact (SFAI) Spring 2013.
EMS 590 Thesis I: Independent Investigations (SFAI) Fall 2012
EMS 590 Thesis I: Independent Investigations (SFAI) Spring 2012
CS 500 What Now? Aesthetics and Politics Between Past and Future (SFAI) Spring 2012
EMS 590 Thesis I: Independent Investigations (SFAI) Fall 2011
EMS 590 Thesis I: Independent Investigations (SFAI) Spring, 2011
CS 500 Designs on Us: Anti-Politics in Green, Media, & Medical Design (SFAI) Spring 2011
EMS 590 Thesis I: Independent Investigations (SFAI) Fall 2010
EMS 590 Thesis I: Independent Investigations (SFAI) Spring 2010
EMS 590 Thesis I: Independent Investigations (SFAI) Fall 2009
CS 500 Design for Living: Artifice and Agency (SFAI) Spring 2009
EMS 590 Thesis I: Independent Investigations (SFAI) Spring 2009
EMS 590 Thesis I: Independent Investigations (SFAI) Fall 2008
EMS 590 Thesis I: Independent Investigations (SFAI) Spring 2008

Upper Division Undergraduate Courses

CS300A Critical Theory A, "The Point Is to Change It" (SFAI), Fall 2021
RHET 116 "Introduction to Critique and Critical Theory" (UC Berkeley), Summer 2021
CS301 Critical Theory B: Peace in Pieces: Everyday Violences and Nonviolent Resistances (SFAI), Spring 2021
CS301 Critical Theory B: For Futurity: A Clash of Futurisms (SFAI) Summer 2020
HUMN 224 Patriarchy in Greek and Roman Antiquity (San Francisco Art Institute) Spring 2020
CS300B Critical Theory B, "Queer Manifestations"(SFAI) Fall 2019
CS300A Critical Theory A, "The Point Is to Change It" (SFAI) Fall 2019
CS300A Critical Theory A, "The Point Is to Change It" (SFAI) Spring 2019
CS300A Critical Theory A, "The Point Is to Change It" (SFAI) Fall 2018
CS300B Critical Theory B "Digital Democracy, Digital Anti-Democracy" (SFAI) Fall 2018
RHET 153 Green Rhetoric (UCB) Summer 2018
HUMN 237 Peace in Pieces: Nonviolence (SFAI) Fall 2017
RHET 166 Digital Anti-Democratization Under the Law (UCB) Summer 2017
RHET 153 Green Rhetoric (UCB) Summer 2017
CS301 Critical Theory B: For Futurity: A Clash of Futurisms (SFAI) Spring 2017
RHET 103A Patriarchal Conviction in Greece and Rome (UCB) Fall 2016
HUMN 300A Critical Theory A "The Point Is to Change It" (SFAI) Fall 2016.
HUMN 224 Are We Not Men? Patriarchy in Greek and Roman Antiquity (SFAI) Spring 2016
HUMN 300A Critical Theory A "The Point Is to Change It" (SFAI) Fall 2015
HUMN 207 Homo Economicus: Staging the Contradictions of Modern Political Economy in the English Comedy of Manners (SFAI) Fall 2015
RHET 103A Patriarchal Convention and Conviction in Classical Antiquity (UCB) Summer 2015
HUMN 300B Critical Theory B "Digital Democracy, Digital Anti-Democracy" (SFAI) Spring 2015
HUMN 300A Critical Theory A "The Point Is to Change It" (SFAI) Fall 2014
RHET 103A Patriarchal Convention and Conviction in Classical Antiquity (UCB) Summer 2014
HUMN 300B Critical Theory B Planetary Thinking and Environmental Justice (SFAI) Spring 2014
HUMN 300A Critical Theory A "The Point Is to Change It" (SFAI) Fall 2013
RHET 103A Patriarchal Convention and Conviction in Classical Antiquity (UCB) Summer 2013
HUMN 300A Critical Theory A "The Point Is to Change It" (SFAI) Spring 2013
HUMN 300B Critical Theory B p2p Democratization and Anti-Democratization (SFAI) Fall 2012
HUMN 300A Critical Theory A "The Point Is to Change It" (SFAI) Summer 2012
RHET 103A Rhetoric in Classical Antiquity (UCB) Summer 2012
HUMN 300B Critical Theory B "The Point Is to Change It" (SFAI) Spring 2012
HUMN 300A Critical Theory B "Technoscience and Environmental Justice" (SFAI) Fall 2011
RHET 121 The Rhetoric of Narrative Selfhood in the Graphic Novel (UCB) Summer 2011
HUMN 300A Critical Theory A "The Point Is to Change It" (SFAI) Summer 2011
HUMN 300B Critical Theory B "Democracy, Peer to Peer" (SFAI) Fall 2010
HUMN 300A Philosophy to Post-Philosophy, Humanism to Post-Humanism (SFAI) Summer 2010
RHET 171 Altars and Alters to the Market: Rhetoric in the Neoliberal Epoch (UCB) Spring 2010
RHET 105 Homo Economicus: Setting the Stage for Enterprising Modernities (UCB) Spring 2010
HUMN 300B Critical Theory B "Green Theories, Green Practices" Spring 2010
Rhetoric 181: Green Rhetoric (UC Berkeley), Fall 2009
HUMN 300A: Critical Theory A, "Theory After Philosophy, Humanity After Humanism" Fall 2009
HUMN 300A: Critical Theory A, "Crisis and Critique," Summer 2009
Rhetoric 199 (Independent Study): Obama's Rhetoric (UC Berkeley), Spring 2009
HUMN 300B: Critical Theory B, "Theory and Technoscience, Peer to Peer" Fall 2008
HUMN 300A: Critical Theory A, "Theory, Science, and the Human," Fall 2008
HUMN 300A: Critical Theory A, "Crisis and Critique," Summer 2008
RHET 103B Politics and Aesthetics (UC Berkeley), Spring, 2008
HUMN 300A Critical Theory A, “The Point Is to Change It” (SFAI), Spring, 2008
HUMN 300B Critical Theory B, “Nature and Criticism” (San Francisco Art Institute), Fall, 2007
HUMN 300A Critical Theory A, “Theory, Thing, Fetish” (San Francisco Art Institute), Fall, 2007
RHET 181 Green Rhetoric (UCB) Fall 2007
HUMN 300A Critical Theory A, “The Point Is to Change It” (SFAI), Summer 2007
RHET 189 Mediated Republic: From Broadcast to p2p [Peer-to-Peer] (UCB) Spring 2007
RHET 103B Politics and Aesthetics (UC Berkeley), Spring, 2007
HUMN 300A Critical Theory A “The Enterprise of Interpretation” (SFAI) Spring 2007
RHET 121A "Biopunk and the Bioethical Imaginary" (UCB) Fall 2006
RHET 132 "Design for Living: Artifice and Agency" (UCB) Fall 2006
HUMN 300B Critical Theory B, “Theory Faces Technoscience” (SFAI) Fall 2006
HUMN 300A Critical Theory A, “The Point Is to Change It” (SFAI) Fall 2006
HUMN 300A Critical Theory A, “Thinking What We Are Doing” (SFAI) Summer 2006
HUMN 300A Critical Theory A, “Objectification and Objection” (SFAI) Spring 2006
HUMN 300A Critical Theory A, “Critique, Subjection, Prostheses” (SFAI) Fall 2005
RHET 110 Varieties of Techno-Ethical Discourse: Bioethics/Neuroethics/Roboethics/Media Criticism (UCB) Summer 2005
RHET 199 (Independent Study) Arendt on the Given, the Forgiven and the Gift (UCB) Summer 2005
HUMN 300B: Critical Theory B, "Political Discourse of Digital Networks” (SFAI), Spring, 2005
RHET 110 Deliberation, Demonstration, Debate about Technological Change (UCB) Summer 2004
RHET 110 Close Reading as Argumentative Discourse (UCB) Summer 2002

Lower Division Undergraduate Courses

RHET 10 The Rhetoric of Argument, "What Is Compelling?" (UC Berkeley) Summer 2019
RHET 10 The Rhetoric of Argument, "What Is Compelling?" (UC Berkeley) Summer 2018
RHET 10 The Rhetoric of Argument, "What Is Compelling?" (UC Berkeley) Summer 2016
RHET 10 The Rhetoric of Argument, "What Is Compelling?" (UCB) Summer 2015
RHET 20 The Rhetoric of Interpretation, "Fact, Figure, Fetish" (UCB) Summer 2014
RHET 20 The Rhetoric of Interpretation, "Fact, Figure, Fetish" (UCB) Summer 2013
RHET 20 The Rhetoric of Interpretation, "Who Holds the Keys?" (UCB) Summer 2012
RHET 1B Argument Against Violence, Argument As Violence (UCB) Summer 2011
RHET 20 The Rhetoric of Interpretation, "Who Holds the Keys?" (UCB) Summer 2010
RHET 20 The Rhetoric of Interpretation, "Who Holds the Keys?" (UCB) Summer 2009
RHET 10 The Rhetoric of Argument, "What Is Compelling?" (UCB) Summer 2009
RHET 10 The Rhetoric of Argument, "What Is Compelling?" (UCB) Spring 2009
RHET 10 The Rhetoric of Argument, "What Is Compelling?" (UCB) Fall 2008
RHET 10 The Rhetoric of Argument, Conviction, Compulsion, Obligation (UCB) Summer 2008
RHET 10 The Rhetoric of Argument, "Persuasion, Violence, Nonviolence" (UCB) Summer 2007
RHET 20 The Rhetoric of Interpretation (UCB) Spring 2006
RHET 1A Ranting, Raving, Writing (UCB) Spring 2006
RHET 2 Public Speaking (UCB) Summer 2005
ENGL 100 Composition A, Ranting, Raving, Writing (SFAI) Spring 2005
RHET 2 Public Speaking (UCB) Summer 2004
RHET 1A Technology and Democracy (UC Berkeley) Summer 2003
K50, Ind. Study “Rhetoric of Liberal Citizenship” (NYU, Gallatin School) Fall 2002
RHET 1B Ranting and Raving (UCB) Fall 2001
RHET 10 An Introduction to Rhetoric and Argumentation (UCB) Summer, 2001
RHET 1A The Craft of Writing “The Presence of the Future” (UCB) Spring 2000
RHET 1B The Craft of Writing “The Violence in Everyday Life” (UCB) Fall 1999
RHET 10 Introduction to the Field of Rhetoric, with Jill Stauffer, Co-Instructor (UCB) Summer 1999
RHET 1B The Craft of Writing “Derangements of Desire” (UCB) Spring 1999
RHET 1B The Craft of Writing “The Subject of Pedagogy” (UCB) Spring 1998
RHET 1B The Craft of Writing “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” (UCB) Fall 1997


Taylor Shell -- Fragile, Contains Feelings -- Public Intimacies: The Stressed Body in Contemporary Performance Art 2020 (SFAI)
Henry Chambers -- Anonymous Activist Artist Collectives and Occupation of Space Through Remnants of A Performative Assembly 2020 (SFAI)
Giuliana Funkhouser -- Software for Vibrating Bodies: Scores in Sympathetic Translation, 2020 (SFAI) 
Jordan Taylor Holms --  After Necessity: Codifications of Labor, Space, and Difference in Mierle Laderman Ukeles’s Maintenance Art, 2019 (SFAI)
Candace Cui -- Bridging the GAP: Audience Interaction in the Digital Age and the Google Art Project, 2012 (SFAI).
Ian Paul -- Border Politics, Border Poetics, 2011 (SFAI)
Bokyung Kim -- Presence in Present Tense: The Significant Moment in JoAnn Verburg, Carla Shapiro and Kimsooja, 2011 (SFAI)
Adam Prince, Dams, Discourse, and Development: Refiguring the Flows of Progress, 2010 (SFAI)


Jason Dang, "Just Laughs: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert as a Comedic Insurgency against Mass News Media," Spring 2009 (UCB)
Ian Ferguson, "Promoting the Progress: A Comedy," Spring 2009 (UCB)
Eugene Chow, "Peer to Peer: Ethnic Resistance By Way of Incongruity," Spring 2008 (UCB).
Nicolas Lauricella, "Godard on YouTube: Peer to Peer and True Montage," Spring 2008 (UCB)
Nicole Holly Gordon, "The Architecture of the Invisible: On Women, Workers, and Water in New Argentine Cinema," Spring 2008 (UCB)
Chad Lott, "Iron John Conner," Fall 2008 (UCB)
Bryn Esplin, "Reality, Tradition and Device: A Critique of Judgment in Reality Television," Fall 2007 (UCB).