Teenage Mutant Ninja Alice In Wonderland

Epiphenomon by Karen Skolfield

I spend a long time considering pillowcases. 
Which pillowcase does my head want for rest? 
A lace edge so that the cheek does not grow bored?

All night the face turns on its pillow,
bridging the day gone with its divination of tomorrow.
The brain sleeps but the body twitches and kicks,

lashes out, steals the sheets, twists the blankets
into thick, furred knots. Thomas Huxley believed
the mind’s shrill whistle contributed nothing

to the locomotive body; Plato, that the mind 
knows great truths while the body lives in shadows.
What I know is how sleep releases the body 

from me telling it where to put its feet, its fingers,
how the tongue should roll its Rs, when the teeth
may bite or gnash. I give it my consideration 

of pillowcases, of lotions and textures it may like,
or farther afield—an actual field—clover against
the skin. The sound of insects rising as the sun sets,

the head leaned back into a cradle of hands, 
how the head adores the hands though they 
are separated by so much and the jealousy of arms.

Body, I will lay you down beside
another body you have grown to love.
I will bid you still in the moments before sleep
and then I will hand you the keys to the house
and let you spend the night plying all the locks.
In the morning I will wash you with care 

and lead you around and treat you kindly
and if there is sobbing it is not my sobbing 
and we will both pretend not to hear it.

author’s explanation:

“I know very little about philosophy, but I delved into it when I began writing this poem and considering our sleeping selves—how in sleep we roll over, we dream; sometimes we speak out loud, all without conscious thought. In philosophy, epiphenomenon refers to a mental world that runs parallel to the physical world; various philosophers have argued which world has control and whether free will exists. It was my pleasure to dip into these philosophers’ collective musings, and it was a chance to speak to the body, my body, lovingly, to console.”

— 1 day ago
#epiphenomono  #sleep  #death  #poetry 

(Maybe) slight better

— 4 days ago
#self  #headphones 

Appellate Jurisdiction

Fragments of sin are a part of me.
New brooms shall sweep clean the heart of me.
Shall they? Shall they?

When this light life shall have passed away,
God shall redeem me, a castaway.
Shall He? Shall He?

Marianne Moore 1915
— 5 days ago
#poetry  #criminal  #fiona apple  #19th century  #redemption  #albatross 

aristotle: pithanon tini pithanon (rhetoric) or what is convincing is what one can be convinced by 

usual suspects: [plot]

plain language: a story or claim is convincing only within its specific context 

< possibly implication: there is no point in telling the objective truth if the hearer cannot accept or understand it

< definite implication: there exists a sphere of discourse that is beyond the mundane distinction between truth and lies (poetic fiction, for example)

> possible instantiation: Odysseus engages in a kind of psychological warfare … at the same time that he flatters [the Phaeacians] he methodically whittles down their self-confidence.


source: martin winkler, classicla myth & culture in cinema, oxford 2001

— 6 days ago
#narrative  #aristotle  #usual suspects  #cinema  #limitation  #persuasion 

Never get lip piercings. I took these out 6 years ago and I still and will forever have these stupid little dents in my face. 

HahahahahahahahaSorry bro


Never get lip piercings. I took these out 6 years ago and I still and will forever have these stupid little dents in my face. 

Sorry bro

— 1 week ago with 42 notes

I’m your jazz singer
And you’re my cult leader
I love you forever
I love you forever

— 1 week ago with 1 note
on bertrand and laliberte’s “Multination States in Asia: Accommodation or Resistance”

source and abstract:



The Bertrand and Laliberté reading deals with some super interesting questions on diversity and again harkens back to Huntington who seems to have written the context for this module. Some comments and questions follow.

It was delightful realizing that the nation-state is actually a modern concept and has only been around since the French Revolution, another “What? Things weren’t always this way? Some people made our world this way today?” moment in undergrad. Nationalism and nation-building practices (eg architecture and the reinvention of historical origins) suddenly “click” - so that’s why they’re so interesting to social scientists. An appropriate question would be how are these “manufactured identities” (Bertrand and Laliberté p6) doing today? Have they been subsumed by other identities or have they been consolidated (like instating democracy by going through the motions of democratic procedure - no joke, I asked this last lecture and Dr Murali said yup, this works)? Is voter apathy indicative of their expiration? What other identities are being perpetuated? (I automatically think consumerism and all the ways we are beckoned and all the identities and associated values we are address as daily). 

Does the homogeneity of Japan tend to appear on island nation-states? What are the disadvantages of this neat coloring-in-the-box nation and state coincidence of geography? I’ve read that Japan is stifling for its youths and today’s paper had a piece about anti-Korean protests there. I’d like to look a little bit more at Japan.

The “native elites” groomed in colonies and in former USSR states are a group of people with super interesting experiences and positions. On a bigger level they’re the intersection of power concessions (to the nation) and legitimization practices (for the state). Who are these people today? Does the “native elite” demographic exist in other power relations, eg corporate and consumer, university and students? What if the UofT student union president is just a native elite? Holy shit, power mechanisms are everywhere. 

It was super interesting to learn that the South and North Korean governments both tell its citizens that they belong together. Is this like sad East/West Berlin thing where everyone misses each other? Or is this like a “we’ll swallow them one day” imperialistic thing? Bit of both? (Berlin was probably a bit of both). That seems so abnormal from a Canadian context. Can you imagine if the US told its citizens Canadians are really Americans and waiting to be integrated? So much indignation would fly. Can the NK/SK governments really say that? Should they? Why are they saying it? It seems like an out-there thing to say so there must be motives at work.

Another thing that stuck out in my mind is how globalization as made it such that the state can’t depend on allocation of resources to minority groups to gain loyalty, because much of resources is tied up in other nations and multinational corporations. This must have an effect on the manufactured identities above. So what should the state do? What should Toronto do? It seems like global cities are striving to compete for the attention and investment of these corporations. Is that a good long-term strategy for statecraft? I don’t think so… How should the state command allegiance? (After answering whether they should and in what form.) Maybe the state should just exit and consumers can see corporations clearly and decide how they’d like to act and what kind of world they want to live in, but maybe that’s a bit of gamble. But India gambled (instituting democracy which kinda worked).

Taiwan is fascinating! Was never interested in Taiwan before this course. So Taiwan is a nation not defined by a shared race or culture but political values/commitment to a political system? Don’t they say “vote with your feet”? I’ve always thought about this - what if the people who agree on policy debates just go and form their own city? Minus the logistical nightmare, would this model work? Would people change minds? But after the initial mind-changing, would everything settle down and we’d all have happy cities? How is Taiwan doing?

Other interesting points that don’t need paragraphs: theories of how sub-state nationalism is mobilized (p14), select ethnicities of China “losing their language” (p21) sounds like castration, and the strange case of the USSR policies contributing to dissolution and consolidation (p8). 

I bet fragmentation is avoided for stability AND economic reasons. I bet economy of scale is both real and totally in people’s minds. Economy of scale kinda seems like game theory. Everyone has something to lose if one group starts to do economy of scale. Noone has anything to lose if noone did economy of scale. Did you know at some point a journalist decided to carry a step ladder with him so he could be taller than everyone else and get a better shot? Then all journalists started carrying around step ladders and noone is taller than anyone but everyone has to carry one more piece of equipment. (Then modernism kicks in, in both the passé mechanization and digital flavors and like evangelists tell us technology will free us.)


•Is stability good if boundaries don’t coincide with ethnical territory lines? Is democracy good if “national coherence” can’t be preserved? 

•What is “accommodation” Why? How does it “manage” diversity?

•What other examples are there of nation-states not built on shared race or culture, but political values - eg Taiwan? Communities and civic bodies (everything is political) eg Anonymous

— 1 week ago
#asia  #multination  #geopolitics  #uoft  #identity  #war  #culture  #colonialism  #statecraft 
on alana boland’s study of premium water networks in chiense cities

full citation:

Boland, A. (2007) “The trickle-down effect: Ideology and the development of premium water networks in China’s cities,” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 31.1, pp. 21-40.

abstract here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-2427.2007.00702.x/abstract


Here are some of the incidental phrases she tosses out that I find illuminating or encapsulate ideas I never had words for and a brief explanation after the dash of why its great:

  • Splintering urbanism - what a painful image

  • Premium networked spaces, network segmentation, secession from standardized public provision networks

    - the creation of territory by network! Yet another way to relate people or create enclaves. Thankfully most people are not as slow as me and architects are already taking an interest in all kinds of networked spaces, especially the internet of things.

  • Transitionaltending to imply teleology at convergence with liberal capitalism - never had words for this

  • Market as key referent in expression of political and culture identity and consumer-based notions of

    citizenship - never had words for this

  • Displacement of the collective national subject with an abstract economic individual - never had words for


  • economism: I imagine this is used the same as neologismrather than anti-semitismor

    modernism. Its a creation of a kind of function. Brilliant word.

  • How Chinas socialism has yet to be posted-ed- using nouns and adjectives as verbs is always


  • How urban Chinese land has already been marketized

  • Provisionary state instead of welfare state

  • Infrastructure as utility and commodity - really aptly describes the state of architecture today

    Here are a few questions her article raised for me:

  • Those who demanded a dual water system - why didnt they just seek to purify existing water or fix

    aging infrastructure? Rube Goldberg machine?

  • How exactly is the Chinese socialist failure to deliver standardized universal access different than capitalist

    failure? Id like as much detail on this as possible. The no ideology is perfector capitalism/democracy

    is the best of the worst systemoffers very little leads.

  • How the differentiation between water quality in different communities was not due to economic status

    (all communities were fairly heterogenous) but the cloutof their water coordinator - different configuration of power. In the west we like to talk about socio economic cleavages and we are all aware China has a thing about guanxi. How does guanxifigure in social relations? How do we begin to understand the sources of Chinese phenomena coming from a western perspective?

    And finally the literature student in me cant help but linger at the irony in the reversal of dual water supply systemsrole in China vs the rest: usually alternative water was for the underserved, to include the marginalized, but in China its secession for the well-off. 

— 1 week ago
#water  #infrastructure  #modernization  #china  #geography  #uoft  #boland 

Honestly I’m not sure I would have agreed to have that conversation at all let alone at a moment’s notice

— 1 week ago

What kind of closure does he expect to find by calling you and making you cry every couple of weeks

— 1 week ago

If you’ve been to any action movie in the last decade you’ll recall sitting humbly through the computer generated explosions that comprised the last twenty minutes of the film. If you follow the entertainment business you’ll also recall that this cinematic triple is thanks to china. All of our movies could be so much more intelligent, filmmakers lament, but they have to appeal to the emerging markets of Asia.

The final shot: our hero silly walking away from a fireball in slow lotion as audiences from every nation cheer and throw popcorn at the screen. FIN. fade to cash.

Yuan liners by Benjamin errett
— 2 weeks ago
"Appealing to Kujan’s arrogance, Kint allows himself to be outwitted, humiliated, and broken by his interrogator; Kint further invents a mythical villain that he credulously believes in and gives Kujan the privileged perspective of the skeptic."
The usual suspects
— 2 weeks ago
#poststructuralism  #skeptic privilege 

When I was a boy and my fist
Would land into my father’s arm,

I’d cry out, and he’d say
Didn’t hurt me none.

He’s been dead six years now,
And my work is still to try

To beat myself up
And make the pain last.

Troubadour by Mark Yakich
— 3 weeks ago with 1 note