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- Bitter Tears Revisited – Johnny Cash – Peter La Farge – #cash #LaFarge #musicandpolitics
- Kim’s Game
- Scouting Shame NYT.
- Thought Crime – its a joy
- Books by John Hutnyk
- Pantomime Terror: Music and Politics
- Communist Headache #1
- The Imperial Universtiy: Academic Repression and Scholarly Dissent
- Visiting Faraway: an installation by Geoff Weary at the Art Gallery of NSW
- Do bee do bee do
- Note for interview on politics of art.
- On the Courtyard, talk at Tate from January
- Participation in Museums: Trinketizing the Audience.
- South Asian Television Studies articles free till Dec 2014
- RELEASE JONATHAN BOARD – [Maoist] political prisoner in Kerala
- Don Quixote unfinishing again?
- Foul Lang**ge on the River
- Education leaflet (old but still most educational).
- The future is going to come true, 1993 Newtown
- ADF first album press release.
- Pantomime Terror: Music and Politics
- Trigger = soon, by plan c (unofficial)
- Zoogenesis: Thinking Encounter with Animals Press Release
- Songs for the Marx Trot 13 July 2014
Pantomime Terror Lect Vid
- Bitter Tears Revisited - Johnny Cash - Peter La Farge - #cash #LaFarge #musicandpolitics wp.me/pcKI3-21J 21 hours ago
- Beyond Borders - order here wp.me/pcKI3-1yN via @telephonepubs 5 days ago
- Also recommended: Foucault/Paul by Sophie Fuggle wp.me/pcKI3-1Q7 via @sputnyk 5 days ago
- Recommended reading: BLACK STAR - Anandi Ramamurthy wp.me/pcKI3-1R1 via @sputnyk 5 days ago
- Border residue wp.me/pcKI3-1Uk via @sputnyk @telephonepubs 5 days ago
- Hand Picked Stimulus Respond wp.me/pcKI3-1Wv via @sputnyk @telephonepubs 5 days ago
- Zoogenesis: Thinking Encounter with Animals Press Release wp.me/pcKI3-20n via @sputnyk @telephonepubs 5 days ago
- More in today's Guardian - Govt to teach my boy British values: wot, fart jokes and weapons sales v 'Extremist views' http://t.co/BCacNvFn0U 1 week ago
- Pantomime Terror flagged in today's Guardian p2. Bot a slow news day, so this is grotesque given issues elsewhere http://t.co/v0kECmGtVa 1 week ago
- Boris for PM, only if Westminster can be devolved North to Salford or someplace that will teach him what for, and free up central London. 2 weeks ago
Category Archives: trinketization
A new blog by Karen Tam updates trinketization, but with Chinese characteristics: http://orientallyyours.tumblr.com/
An example of her interests would be this scenario below by British photographer Grace Lau, but Karen’s own opium dens and faked antiquities are treasures themselves.
From: http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/17/iran-offers-u-s-tiny-replica-of-lost-drone/ (thanks Rachel)
January 17, 2012, 4:48 PM
Iran Offers U.S. Tiny Replica of Lost DroneBy ROBERT MACKEY
Scale models of an American drone are now on sale in Iran.
While Iran’s government has so far refused an American request to return the C.I.A. stealth drone it captured last month, on Tuesday, an Iranian company that is manufacturing miniature replicas of the drone in several colors offered to send President Obama a pink one.
According to Iranian state radio, the scale models of the drone are one-eightieth the size of the RQ-170 Sentinel surveillance craft Iran’s military proudly displayed on television last month after it either crashed or was forced down.
Thomas Erdbrink, a Washington Post correspondent in Tehran, reports that a local firm, the Ayeh Art Group, is now making 2,000 toy drones a day. Reza Kioumarsi, an official with the firm, told Mr. Erdbrink that since Mr. Obama said he wanted the drone back, “we will send him one.”
The souvenir aircraft retails for about $4, but, like the commemorative “Justice Coin” that Americans can now buy to celebrate the Navy Seal mission that killed Osama bin Laden, the purchase price includes bonus gifts. According to the Ayeh Art Group Web site, the toy drone comes with a plastic stand bearing the slogan, “We will put America under our feet,” a quotation from the founder of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.An Iranian cartoon mocking President Obama.
An Iranian Web site displaying more images of the toy drones also features an animation mocking Mr. Obama for losing the surveillance aircraft. The cartoon shows a caricature of the American president enjoying a ride on a drone, until it is taken over and forced to land by an Iranian officer holding what looks like an old-fashioned Nintendo game controller. (While the United States claims that the drone malfunctioned and crashed, Iran insists that its military wrested away control of the aircraft and brought it in for a landing.)
Keeping it together, in two parts (I’ve excerpted the first part and a bit of the second, but lost all the pics which you should see). This is from Artists Talking project blog. These ‘works’ and words seem to touch elegantly on the problems, and pleasures, of trinketization. We just don’t have the time to sort and reflect. I especially like the observations about ‘dust collectors': from here. via #rosalinddavis
Keeping it Together, by Kate Murdoch
# 1 [20 November 2011]
I spent the summer taking a long hard look at the amount of stuff I have accumulated over the years. To put it into context, I have a lifetime collection of stuff – a lot of stuff! There’s a lot of me
in those collections; my life in boxes – books, objects, photographs, memories of places, people, good times, not so good times – my past, secreted away.
It’s been dotted around various parts of SE London over the past five years or so following a house move, in the attics and garages of sympathetic family and friends. My former home had a large attic and an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ philosophy took over – I squirrelled it all away. I always knew I was going to do something with my collection one day and my long term aim has been (and still is!) to have it all in one space – essentially, keeping it together.
Slowly, the boxes found their way into my studio and the unravelling of a lifetime’s accumulation of possessions began. My focus over this past summer was sorting through them. Deciding what to keep versus what to get rid of became the order of many long hot sunny days. I even managed to visit and donate the book ‘Something I’ve Been Meaning To Tell You’ to The Museum Of Broken Relationships – now that felt constructive!
I always knew when I moved into my latest studio that time there was limited – however as ongoing talks and negotiations with the landlords came to an abrupt end some three weeks or so ago, we were given less than 48 hours to leave the premises. A community of artists was ripped apart and has had to find ways of coping with an upsetting & unsettling time. It’s been a rollercoaster ride of emotions – in one way or another, we’ve all been hurting.
I’ve taken solace in stacks of Bunty, Judy, Photo Love and other 1960-80s annuals from the book shelves at home. A therapist might say I’m subconsciously seeking out a happy ending … perhaps I am? I have no doubt however about how the recent chaos has forced me to focus on what’s important – what to keep, what not to keep in all senses of the word has raised its head once more and I’m left questioning again what it is that’s important. The boxes are stacked in a self-storage unit, I’m not even sure what’s in some of them or if the stuff has any relevance to my life as it is now. But I do know that it costs money to keep them there.
Keeping It Together is the start of my journey as a studioless artist. Where do I go from here? Where do I and my ‘stuff’, both literally and metaphorically, fit in? Where will I re-establish my practice and where will I feel more at home, both within myself and in relation to others?
Read the rest of it HERE
and if you don’t follow that link, the dust collecters are:
”Dust Collectors’ was started and completed as a symbol of what in real life my art materials are doing – collecting dust in a self-storage unit in deepest Deptford. ‘Dust Collectors’ is also representative of the reaction from those who have never understood the habit of collecting; those who consider anything not being used in a home as superfluous and unnecessary – ‘bloomin’ dust collectors – get rid of them!’
Not all parties atre the same – sorry to have missed this one… [thanks Jo]
So, with the trajectory of a screaming scud missile, SKY News hones in on the zero-degree-point of trinketization and renders ‘The Fall of Tripoli™’ as a pantomime circus. Pleased as I am with my hats, these guys have rendered the geopolitical as farce better than SZ or KM or BBC et al. How NATO saves (we mean it man).
➤ to note a certain fascination with objects has often meant an aversion to theory.
➤ take up the call of Adorno for an ‘Arcades orthodoxy’ (pace Benjamin) in that the description of objects is mediated, requiring a theoretical contextualization of things.
➤ take up case studies, trinkets, objects, material culture in a way that perhaps starts with commodities, but then adds market, money, production, circulation, division of labour, technology, training, credit, valourization and decline of the rate of profit into the mix as well. (pace Capital).
➤ so, I am thinking of Benjamin, maybe looking at how we maybe take the Arcades as a model, but want to not leave the manuscript up a mountain, incomplete and forever waiting for Adorno to read and critique. Well, at least recognizing its unfinished character. OR Michael Taussig’s work, where his myriad examples in My Cocaine Museum are assembled to order, how each of those curios has to make sense in a history, in syncopation with other examples in the archive of the imaginary institution, and provide a model for eloquence…
➤ start with an object and draw lines of significance around it. Take any object, say, perhaps the AK47, starting from seeing one used by a thug in a village (there is mention in Taussig’s book Law in a Lawless Land), its more widespread use by the rightwing paramilitaries, and the drug traders, and then the history of the FARC, of course the State machinations, the longer history of Colombia, and the International arms industry, the colonial geo-political system, the Soviet connection, the Kalishnikov family, the AK47 as the symbol of global struggle, of political liberation movements, and of course their betrayal, including in cinema, literature, photogenic media war etc… AK-47’s have – no surprise – become fashion items, jewelry, t-shirt icons, guitars etc – see here and here. More…
➤ seek to examine objects or items of congealed interest and place these theoretically and politically in a range of contexts, evoked through writing that attends to style and is inspired by the eloquence of things seen as significant. Objects matter, but not in themselves
➤ evoke and provoke the meaning and market of trinkets in ways that animate and surprise, making connections and associations that link up with a wider analysis of the current of capital as it unfolds in stuff.
➤ get something written. Sooner rather than later. Less planning, Learn to fire.
OK, it is ironic since blue jeans are also a uniform, its commercial pap from a megacorp, it is like saying the real thing is coke and meaning the fizzy drink, it is a trinketized and aestheticized cash-in on the atmosphere of dissent in present-day London, and it is an advert that has already been pulled because the company fears a backlash that may accompany the vicious reactionary clampdown and paranoia fueled by lying politicians and complicit media, but it is worth having a tab linking to anything to might point to a world of expression even if it is being erased as we speak… while I neither condone or endorse this, ahem, here it is for as long as its still up on that revolutionary social media we know as YouTube:
- Do Your Own Mini-Lecture: Prof. Expectantby UfSOLondon
Do Your Own Mini-Lecture: Crisis Centreby UfSOLondon
Do Your Own Mini-Lecture: Dr. John Effraby UfSOLondon
Do Your Own Mini-Lecture: Platoby UfSOLondon
Do Your Own Mini-Lecture: Bob Edwardsby UfSOLondon
Do Your Own Mini-Lecture: Poetryby UfSOLondon
Do Your Own Mini-Lecture: Karl Boxerby UfSOLondon
Do Your Own Mini-Lecture: Dr. Whyby UfSOLondon
Do Your Own Mini-Lecture: Prof. Universeby UfSOLondon
Do Your Own Mini-Lecture: Doctoress Beeby UfSOLondon
Do Your Own Mini-Lecture: Prof. Blondie-Ambitionby UfSOLondon
Monday 6th – Unkettling Education – teach-in Goldsmiths 10am-9pm: See here.
Tuesday 7th – The Humanities and the Idea of the University': Tuesday 7 December 2010, 11am-6pm, Saloon (M004), Ground Floor, Mansion Building, Middlesex University, Trent Park campus, Bramley Road, London N14 4YZ. (not sure if I can get to this one, but it looks good. Details on Middlesex site)
Tuesday eve from 6pm Centre for Cultural Studies xmas party Royal Albert pub New Cross Rd
Wednesday 8th – day of actions on campuses. Snowball fight with Forces of Reaction planned.
Thursday 9th – National demonstration, Convergence on Parliament, etc. Don’t get kettled, do run in zig zag lines, wear warm clothes.
Friday 10th – 2-4PM Jodi Dean talk – about her book Blog Theory, New Academic Building LG01 Goldsmiths.
followed by from 5pm Benjamin Noys Persistance of the Negative book launch
- get colleagues to spend 3k on books at library by May 2011
- raise Kathleen Cleaver money for visit october 2011
- read PhD drafts (currently 2 on desktop)
- reading for Postone study group (100 pages)
- Write adorno names essay linked with middle east musics, sonic jazz.
- camouflage article for Peter – rewrite
- islands T8 presentation – book for Malta conf.
- Strange Musics book Varese-Zappa to Steve Clarke
- Book:Research Diaries, with Daisy
- workers inquiry text (money for assist on edit)
- Trinkets book with Alison – proposal to publisher.
- write up borders talks, culture industry talk brussels, cph talk on bees, Kolkata preservation talk, ATTHQ,
- write up Spivak talk (clandestino) and post video on web.
- write up talk from bombing of poems booklaunch
- working day chapter to write up as commentary on present workload!
- rewrite last chapter of Rumour again on Bill Gates fund or FB guy and Sworkin Film
- write piece for Cultural Studies now – for Jeremy in Sweden (see p19 red Kolkata notebook 2010.1)
- Get a Mac backup hard drive for back ups and one as scratch disk
- Centre for Cultural Studies distinctiveness text, Teaching and Learning strategy doc
- calculate CCS workloads
- CCS publications plan?
- read Hussey and Wacquant on Banliues
- put MTV Hot video of Dis-Orienting Rhythms on Daily Motion or similar
US.: New danger to the life of Mumia Abu-Jamal
22 November 2010. A World to Win News Service. Following is an edited excerpt from an article by C. Clark Kissinger that appeared in the 21 November 2010 issue of Revolution, newspaper of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.
The largest courtroom of the federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals was packed with supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal as a three judge panel heard the latest oral arguments in his case. Outside hundreds more marched and chanted. People from all over the Eastern United States were there, including a whole history class from Hunter College in New York. There were also delegations from France and Germany.
Mumia Abu-Jamal is one of the best known political prisoners in the world. Forces ranging from people of all walks of life to the European Parliament and Amnesty International have protested his unjust conviction. He has spent 27 years in isolation on death row, after being railroaded in a manifestly bogus trial. In 2001, a federal court refused to grant Mumia a new trial, but overturned his death sentence. Mumia has continued to fight his conviction, and the State of Pennsylvania has attempted in court to get the death penalty reinstated. This hearing was an attempt to reinstate Mumia’s death penalty.
People were justifiably angry with the latest turn of events. This same federal appeals court had already thrown out the death sentence on Mumia in 2008 because the instructions given to the jury were in violation of well-established federal law. But now the U.S. Supreme Court, after an appeal by the state of Pennsylvania, had ordered the federal appeals court to reconsider their previous decision.
Casting a shadow over Mumia’s whole appeal process has been the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (signed into law by Bill Clinton). A big thrust of this law is making it more difficult for prisoners seeking to overturn illegal state court decisions in the federal courts. Under this law, it is not enough for Mumia to show that his death sentence was obtained through a violation of federal law – he has to show that it was obtained through an “unreasonable application of clearly established federal law.” This wording is designed to give state courts “the benefit of the doubt” in pushing through executions.
Mumia was represented at the oral argument by Professor Judith Ritter of Widener University School of Law. Professor Ritter had successfully argued the issue of the jury instructions in the earlier 2008 oral arguments. In a carefully reasoned presentation she asked the court to sustain their previous finding that Mumia’s death sentence be overturned as the new case cited by the Supreme Court did not apply.
While progressive legal observers remain hopeful that the Third Circuit panel will hold their ground and resist calls to reverse their previous decision, were that to happen the State of Pennsylvania can still convene a new jury and hold a new sentencing phase for the original conviction, in which Mumia could again be sentenced to death. Ever since Mumia’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn his conviction was rejected, the State of Pennsylvania has been ferociously determined to execute Mumia.
No matter which way the current ruling goes, the losing side will undoubtedly appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court again. Also, there are still other legal issues concerning Mumia’s sentencing that have never been ruled on. This means a considerable road ahead in court, but in a political climate that is much more reactionary than earlier years. A mass movement, reaching far and wide in society and around the world, was a crucial factor in stopping the rulers of this country from executing Mumia Abu-Jamal in the 1980s and ’90s. It is ever more important that people must come together behind the demand to free Mumia Abu-Jamal.
– end item-
What we mean by trinketization is also an injunction: to contextualize objects and memes in social and global political significance and ramification; to theorize and interpret critically and endlessly, as if it mattered. No to mere taxonomy that substitutes for thinking; no to genealogies of already codified and congealed proper names; no to the rictus grin of erudite but learned stupidity – we are more stupid than that, we hold out for the transformation of everything, we want to offer a lyrical no to all texts of stultifying passivity – may a thousand flowers contend, may the pages burn, may words about things be incandescent… Fireworks.
Questions for Bonnie:
- are the cuts proposed by the Con Dem dalliance as incoherent as some have said? Or are they the rabid response of an ill-cooked coalition of opportunist troglodytes?
- Or, rather, is this a specific move/set of moves on the part of neo-liberal capital (structural adjustment programmes for all!)?
- are the cuttings in the different sectors the ‘same’ in terms of impact, rhetorical style (audience) and analysis needed?
- can the opposition to cuts be articulated in a way that goes beyond a return to 1999 defensiveness, so as to begin moving towards a society ‘fit for purpose’ (ie where labour power is not captured by capital. where machines no longer work us, where the war machine does not wreak universal havoc [that's our job])?
- can the analysis help link up the sectoral campaigns/groups?
- what language is needed to counter media spin, the myth of apathy (pretty well busted in the last week or two) and resignation?
- what language capitalises upon/celebrates the resurgent atmosphere that presently sustains the campaign?
- where is the time to write something on all this, eh john, where? Emile, please give us hand with this text. Good on yer.
(the pic is of Emile explaining to me that although it is raining, he can go outside and ride while carrying an umbrella).
Trinketization is clearly escalating over the river in Dalston, and I can’t say I disapprove.
I have said before: Shopping is civil war. Here is evidence.
But then, its choice, so do head out to support this venture where you can (perhaps by shoplifiting?)
Point your browser here:
(thanks to Joel McKim for discovering this)
Dr Cristobal Bianchi and his examiners (Irit Rogoff and Pavel Buchler). Congratulations.
The system is hysterically named ‘Aggresso’.
[there are little gnome-like accountants in a room somewhere laughing at the havoc they have wreaked].
I am furious.
1. that I did not get an email from anyone who was at the morning session warning not to go!
2. what they told us was sub-basic. How to log in, how to find an IP address (ask an IT specialist!!!)
3. all the problems of the old system are to be compounded with new dumbness.
4. its beta – even the instructor seems unsure of what he is doing (poor chap, nice tie, waste of space job).
5. I am probably going to be fired for what I wrote on the session feedback form. Ah well.
6. it had the merit of being shorter than advertised. I would have died if it took 3 hours.
And the sun is shining outside. I may have to return to my earlier career as a picture framer, butcher or newspaper boy.
pzzfftt*zt$ggh! I am going for lunch.
How to start reading that rich book that is Marx’s Capital, of which an immense, even monstrous, accumulation of commentary on the Marxist mode of literary production appears to have already shaped its elementary forms?
For all the interest in Marx, in the past and renewed today, it is at least worth attempting at first to read anew. Yet this vast accumulation of commentary stands before us. While it would be possible, and even plausible, to insist on a Dead Poets’ Society moment and rip out the spurious introductions, for example that of the Secretary of the Fourth International, Trotskyite Ernest Mandel, in the Penguin Edition, there is not much to be gained from this merely theatrical gesture.
Instead, I would like to turn to cinema. And another accumulation that seems a dull dead half-life of narrative. That which surrounds the film Citizen Kane. Orson Welles might be a good choice for this illustration because he is both actor and director, at the same time working to a script and writing that script. Marx of course is famous for saying something similar in the 18th Brumaire – we make our own history but not in conditions that we have chosen (Marx 1852/202:19). Welles is also interesting as an overexamined, already known, and yet little understood, figure – famous and notorious in advance, myths and rumours abound. He is much maligned for his politics, he was often attacked for threatening bourgeois norms (or its complacency); his work a coded vehicle for other fears (Japan, Germany, Russia); and, I will argue, never more relevant than now (financial crisis, do-gooder philanthropists as alibi for business as usual). Welles of course, in advance, is already known – as dozens of biographies attest, and as the pre-publicity and staged controversy of his most famous film confirms. Perhaps the question to ask is whether it is possible to reclaim such a figure from the vast accumulations of biography and myth. Already in Citizen Kane Welles mocked such ambitions. The first image is of a sign that says “No trespassing”.
The biographers are on the march – dozens and still counting. Simon Callow begins part one of his multi volume biography (part two released 2006) with a quote that might be read as revealing as much about the anxieties of a biographer about to approach ‘the fabulist Orson Welles’ as it does about its subject’s self-consciousness:
“If you try to probe, I’ll lie to you. Seventy-five percent of what I say in interviews is false. I’m like a hen protecting her eggs. I must protect my work.Introspection is bad for me. I’m a medium not an orator. Like certain oriental and Christian mystics, I think the ‘self’ is a kind of enemy. My work is what enables me to come out of myself. I like what I do, not what I am … Do you know the best service anyone could render to art? Destroy all biographies. Only art can explain the life of a man – and not the contrary. Orson Welles to Jean Clay, 1962 (Callow 1995:xi)
Callow continually takes away Welles’ stories about his life, even the place where he was said to be conceived is labelled a fabrication – much energy devoted to undoing the Welles myth only confirms it. Welles had already anticipated these moves. Seven years earlier in Touch of Evil he had Marlene Dietrich say of his character Quinlan, who had just been found dead, that: ‘He was some kind of a man. What does it matter what you say about people?’
Welles is surrounded by myth. Among the routine retinue, it has become commonplace to sort commentators into two camps – defenders and opponents – Pauline Kael who raised the stakes of the controversy over the writing credit for Citizen Kane into an international brouhaha on the one side, Peter Bagdonovich still attempting to finish Welles’ final masterpiece, The Other Side of the Wind (caught up in legal disputes) on the other. In between, sects and factions, a host of divergent positions and jockeying for favour, and a massive publishing culture industry that has made a commodity, franchise and brand out of the good name of the citizen.
Welles himself deserves some praise for this. In cases where there is so much written, this will always be offered with some perspectival bias. Should it matter than that the following highlights are only a selection?:
- 1915 born, his mother a suffragette who once served time in prison for her radical views (Welles and Bogdanovich 1988:326), a ‘brilliant public speaker’, she was the first woman in Kenosha to be elected to political office (Callow 1995:9)
- 1936 an all black production of Macbeth– admittedly there are issues of exoticization here in the move of action from Scotland to Haiti, and where Welles contrives a voodoo withes scene (see Callow 1995: 235). Nevertheless, an important production
- 1938 campaigns for and champions various leftwing causes, including speaking against Franco at ‘Stars for Spain’ – a medical aid benefit. Welles gives a series of talks on the ‘People’s Front’ at the Workers Bookshop and writes for the Daily Worker. Plays Signmund Freud on stage, gets to know Hans Eisler, Count Bassie, Vincent Price, Lucille Ball.
- October 30th 1938 War of the Worlds radio play.
- 1941 Wells is ‘attacked as subversive and communistic by leaders of the American Legion and the Californian Sons of the Revolution in Hearst papers (Rosenbaum 1998:363). The FBI’s J.Edgar Hoover writes a memo linking Welles to various ‘communist’ organizations (Bogdanovich 1998: xxxvi)
“FBI director J. Edgar Hoover writes a “memorandum for the assistant to the attorney general Mr Mathews F. McGuire” stating: “For your information the Dies Committee has collected data indicating that Orson Welles is associated with the following organizations, which are said to be Communist in character: Negro Cultural Committee, Foster parents’ Plan for War Children, Medical Bureau and North American Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy, Theatre Arts Committee, Motion Picture Artists Committee to Lift the Embargo, Workers Bookshop, American Youth Congress, New Masses, People’s Forum, Workers Bookshop Mural Fund, League of American Writers [and] American Student Union…” (See James Naremore, “The Trial: The FBI vs. Orson Welles, “ Film Comment, January-February 1991” (Rosenbaum 1998:364).
- May 1st 1941 – Citizen Kane. In a scene edited out of the film, Kane’s first wife’s son was to have been killed ‘when he and other members of a fascist organization try to seize an armory in Washington’, with the son’s body shown interred in a mausoleum where a wall inscription from the 1001 Nights begins ‘The drunkenness of youth has passed like a fever’ (Carringer 1996:148).
- 1946 Welles gives protest speeches against the nuclear tests on Bikini Atol (Rosenbaum 1998: 397) and uses his ABC program Orson Welles Commentaries to campaign to bring charges against a policeman who had beaten and blinded black war veteran Isaac Woodward. With heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis, Welles draws 20,000 people to a benefit for Woodward. The culpable policeman is finally identified in mid August (Rosenbaum 1998:398-9).
- 1955 on a television program Welles speaks out against passport control and immigration bureaucracy, a subject later dramatised in Welles’ film Touch of Evil.
‘the bureaucrat is really like a blackmailer. You can never pay him off; the more you give him, the more he’ll demand. If you fill in one form, he’ll give you ten’ (Welles and Bogdanovich 1998:262)
- 1962 Welles’ film of Kafka’s The Trial in part conceived as a commentary on Displaced Person Camps (Welles and Bogdanovich 1998:281).
- Filming Don Quixote, incomplete, but the Knight is the emblem of a quixotic politics
- 1972, Welles reports that he still wants to make a film of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, emphasizing the contemporary political associations (Rosenbaum 1998:512). Seven years later Francis Ford Coppola releases Apocalypse Now.
- 1977 ‘the original Rosebud sled turned up in a prop warehouse at Paramount that used to belong to RKO. (Custom-built in the RKO property department, it was thirty-four inches long, made entirely of balsa wood, and fastened together with wood dowels and glue … three identical sleds were built; two were burned in the filming’ (Carringer 1996:49-50)
- 1973 F is for Fake – if you have not seen this, see it now.
On the above grounds, then, after tallying the votes from the members of the Academy, we are proud to announce that the Oscar goes to Orson not only for his film on Kane – patron saint of trinkets – but because of this exchange from the book This is Orson Welles:
Bogdanovich: ‘well, do you have a theory about possessions, or just an inability to keep things from getting lost’
Welles: ‘Both. The things you own have away of owning you’
Bogdanovich: ‘How about things like letters andbooks’
Welles : ‘I’m not laying this down as a law for anybody else. It’s just that I feel I have to protect myself against things, so I’m pretty careful to lose most of them’ (Welles and Bogdanovich 1998: 183)
More to come: where Kane is the embodiment of Money-Bags, yet curiously he himself tries to fight for the ‘common man’ and has sentimental attachment to things (Rosebud), nevertheless he is still a representative of his class, a class who – as capitalists – do not care about things, only the possibility of recouping profits (valourization of appropriated surplus value) through the exchange of things. So much fun to be had with this. And then on to The Trial, and F is for Fake. Soon…
So, the trite thing to ask is ‘What would Benjamin have to say about the Boxing Day sales?’ If you think that the Arcades equation goes: Capitalism > Paris > Arcades > Flaneur > Snowdome then you have probably missed the entire premise. Condensation is not all that goes on here – the world is not desiccated trinkets. It’s the constellation that can be discerned in the appreciation of trinkets that matters. The book remains unfinished (and I hate to say it but that also seems to be my excuse, though the mountain and the morphine are not yet in reach).