Gruzinsky’s Numbers Are Terrible

I made a cartoon. It is called “Gruzinsky’s Numbers Are Terrible.” It is about a man who is bad at his job. I wrote it when I was very tired, and I animated it when I was very bored. I have embedded it above. You can watch it, if you’d like.

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Toward a Foucauldian-Deleuzian Genealogical Metaphysic of Polysemous Signifiers in Juridico-Political Discursive Formations

When, in the pursuance of constitutionally mandated juridical “procedures,” one encounters a signifier with varied and numerous signifieds, how does one proceed? If this polysemous aberration presents itself, makes itself known, in the realm of substantiation, attestation, corroboration, and thus the determination of culpability or irreproachability, the repercussions of equivocation could “be” dire. How does one reconcile a linear––or (rather) binarist––proceduralism with a rhizomatic reality, replete with untold (even untellable?) metonymic slippages and acrimonious ambiguities? For that matter, can one safely assume a rhizomatism in “reality,” or even a “reality” of static persistence? Might not one be better off substituting a sort of verisimilitude for “reality” or “truth,” acknowledging the perfomativities and uncertainties inherent to routine and necessary, but all the same bedraggled “procedures?” Continue reading

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Why to Avoid Abusing the Term ‘Fascist’

An impulse exists among radicals to characterize any and all repressive or reactionary state behavior as “fascist.” Police officers assaulting demonstrators are a display of fascism. The United States government’s numerous illegal wars or wiretaps are fascist. The actions of the IDF in the Occupied Territories are fascist. Any conspicuous display of state violence is fascist. Oddly enough, though, most state actions that left-wing activists readily declare fascist are carried out by liberal democratic governments. Radicals are often tempted to boil “fascism,” a term referring to a complex and uniquely offensive ideology, down to a simple synonym for “repression.”

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Israel’s Violence Isn’t Extraordinary, and That’s Terrifying

As anyone who has the misfortune of following me on Twitter knows, I’m pretty critical of the Israeli government. I’ve been particularly disturbed by the recent unfolding of Operation Protective Edge, an airstrike campaign in reaction to the abduction and murder of three Israeli teens.* This campaign has killed scores of Palestinians, the bulk of whom have been civilians, and many of whom have been children. This recent attack on Gaza is reprehensibly disproportionate in a manner unfortunately typical of Israeli military campaigns. As such, it has rightfully reignited a great deal of outcry from various peace groups and critics of Zionism. One charge I see repeatedly, though, bothers me; not infrequently, one hears fervent anti-Zionists compare Israel to Nazi Germany. This comparison strikes me as highly irresponsible for a few reasons.
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Chomsky-Foucault Cage Match

Chomsky-Foucault Cage Match

I had some lo-fi, folky-type recordings sitting around, so I shuffled them into an EP of sorts. Click the enormous album cover above to listen.

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The Problem of “Inequality”

The lead-up to and aftermath of the Great Recession spawned a great deal of research on economic inequality. Some of this work (contributions by Bartels, Wilkinson and Pickett, Alesina and Glaeser) is excellent and well worth reading. Among even the best contributions to the discourse, however, the same dull, liberal conclusion prevails: the solution to rising inequality is a set of more effective redistributive measures. Such a solution draws a slew of predictably derisive comments from cranky leftists like me, who consider social democratic reforms inadequate. Capitalism with a human face, we diligently repeat, is still capitalism.

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Jeremy Mill Goes to Work

I doodle compulsively. Generally, I will doodle a specific thing. Several months ago, I started drawing anthropomorphic rabbits. More often than not, I found myself drawing a despondent-looking rabbit in a business suit. I named him Jeremy Mill. Jeremy, I decided, works as an administrative assistant at a financial firm based in Chicago. He doesn’t understand what his company does, or exactly what his function in the company is supposed to be, but it doesn’t really matter. He just shows up every day, pretends to work, then goes home. Continue reading

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