"Decaying Empire/Exuberant Alternatives" Conference

Announced for Madison, Wisconsin, October, 2002

Call for Participation

The 2002 meetings of the Association for Humanist Sociology will be held
October 10-13 in Madison, WI. The deadline is April 15, 2002. Theme:
"Decaying Empire/Exuberant Alternatives."

Presentations do not need to be
directly related to the conference theme. Various forms of participation
are possible, including poster presentations, single presentations,
organization of sessions, panel discussions, and presentations on teaching.
Performance art, installation art and political theater pieces are also
welcome, as is simply moderating a session.

Send a three-sentence summary to Diane Schaefer, AHS Program Chair,
Department of Sociology, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL 61920;
Phone: 217-581-7831; Fax: 217-581-7067; Email: Please
include phone and fax numbers and e-mail address, if applicable. Please
specify any a-v needs. At present we are not able to accomodate PowerPoint

For more information about AHS or the annual meetings see the website
at: or contact Steve McGuire at 740.826.8288.

Marxism and the Visual Arts Now

University College London

8-10 April 2002

Plenary Themes:

Marxism and Cultural Practice Today

Art or Aesthetics?

Session Themes

Methodology: Dialectic, Negative Dialectics and other Materialist Modes of

Marxism and Aesthetic Value

Stages in the Formation of the Popular and the Crisis of Cultural Studies

The Cultural Heritage of the Eastern Bloc

Racialization, Gendering and Sexing of Class and its Implications for
Marxist Cultural Work

Psychoanalysis and Materialist Theories of the Subject

Technology, Commodification, and Cultural Form in the Era of Globalization

What is Living and What is Dead in the Situationist International?

Issues in Cultural Production in Second and Third World Countries

The Sociology of the Contemporary Art World

Anonymous Comrade writes: "Drawing Resistance--A Traveling Political Art Show

ABC No Rio--January 10 thru February 14

Gallery Hours: Sundays 1:00-3:00pm; Tues & Thurs 5:00-7:00pm

Drawing Resistance is a group show featuring work by 31 artist/activists from North America. The show speaks to subjects vital to understanding the world today, including globalization, working class rights, environmental destruction, corporate control, police brutality, homelessness, gentrification and the Zapatista movement in Mexico.


hydrarchist writes: "Some readers will be aware that one of the Italian sections of the Luther Blissett Project encountered serious legal problems in 1998, owing to a book they penned named "Let the Children.....". The bad news is that the decision of the court has finally arrived, and they lost. The good news is that they remain undaunted, and the text remians available. You can enjoy the offending text at this location. Some of the individuals formerly involved in LB now animate the Wu Ming Foundation .


Luther Blissett must pay compensation to the public official Lucia Musti and their book "Let the Children Play" must be destroyed. It's an outright victory, obtained by the magistrate that coordinated the investigations into "Satan's children", over the collective name signatory to the text. The civil tribunal found in her favor on all fronts, declaring that two chapters "Satan's children: Anatomy of a Frame Up" and the "The Dimitry case is closed" of the book edited and published by Castelvecchi and distributed on the internet "are damaging to her reputation". The sentence thus specifies the sentencing of the publishing company to the book’s "withdrawal from commerce and the destruction of the copies" ……... present in bookshops or in storage".....


Louis Lingg writes: "Some have argued that the aggressive response by the U.S. to the 9/11 atrocity is inflaming jehadi militancy and will result in additional terrorist attacks. More recently, other analysts, correspondents and pundits are suggesting that the capitulation and defeat of the Taliban and Al Qaida is leading to a generalized disillusionment with the jehadi parties and their programs; introspection among muslim people world-wide; and perhaps a renewed openness to values presumptuously claimed by the West: reason, secularism, democracy. has posted an examination of these complexities by Pakistani activist and physicist Pervez Hoodbhoy (Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad):

Muslims and the West Part I

Muslims and the West Part II

Some additional writings by Pervez Hoodbhoy can be found on Pervez Hoodbhoy's ZNet HomePage."

Jon Jost writes: "Hello,

We are a group, operating from's web site (Community > Forums > Cinema Electronica) planning on making in the coming year a global portrait, to be posted on the
internet, and at the conclusion turned into an installation work and perhaps some kind of linear
cinema piece to show in festivals or other suitable venues.

Our present plan is that participants shoot a one minute shot each week, under a minimal bit of
aesthetic and topical guidance so as to make the total communal work coherent. Of this minute,
those who can would be asked to post 10 to 20 seconds of each shot to a website presently being
established for this purpose. Simple instructions will be given for posting. At the conclusion of
the year participants would be asked to post their tape (or a copy) to me, Jon Jost - moderator of
Cinema Electronica, to assemble (with lots of community advice, I hope) into a work presentable
as an installation, DVD, and/or tape.

The central intention is to attempt to make a global portrait - the world, circa 2002, as seen
through the eyes of those participating.
We hope to attempt as well to be inclusive of those - the vast majority of humans - who do not
have the means and cannot afford to so show their world.

Our intention is to begin on January 1, 2002, so time is short. If you can participate, or can point
us to web addresses or email lists which would be useful in broadening our participating
members, please let us know.

Thank you,

Jon Jost, on behalf of those working on the Worldview 2002
Cinema Electronica. Contact me at" writes:

12/05/01 As this story has attracted some interest and discussion, we have decided to bring it back to the front page.

This is a glossary/appendix from a forthcoming book published by Softskull Press titled 'Battle of Seattle: The New Challenge to capitalist Globalization (December, 2001)

Readers are invited to submit terms/cliches/buzzwords which they find worthy of elaboration, ridicule or dissection. Please post.

Glossary of Terms Relevant to Globalization

Iain A. Boal

The compiler salutes that small band of writers drawn to the critical glossary as a literary form: first, contrarian lexicographers such as Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary) and Charles Bufe (The Heretic's Handbook of Quotations); poets, too, of a committed imagination with an accurate ear for the demoralization of the dialect of the tribe - - and here I think, for example, of Benjamin Peret, W.H. Auden, Allen Ginsberg, and Tom Paulin; but most to the purpose, a pair of critics, one American and the other Welsh -- Kenneth Burke and Raymond Williams -- who composed what the former called "a dictionary of pivotal terms" and the latter dubbed "a vocabulary of culture and society". These glossators were far from nostalgic for some Adamic speech, for the "true meaning" of a word; nor did they intend to combat, in the manner of reactionary linguistic watchdogs, loose usage with precision, let alone vulgarisms with a style book. It is, in fact, the active range of meanings that matters, since the immense complexity and contradiction within terms like "environment" and "violence" register deep conflicts in the social order.

Everyday Life, Third Nature and the Third Class

Geert Lovink e-Interviews McKenzie Wark

The New York-based Australian media theorist McKenzie Wark and I have had a
number of exchanges over the years, ever since we came across each others
work, around 1995 when I read his first book Virtual Geography. Our topics
of conversation ranged from 'Englishes' and the role of language on the Net,
German and Anglo-Saxon media theories to the changing role of cultural
studies. Most of the material we compiled has not been published. The
following dialogue took place in January 1999, got updated recently and
centers around abstractions such as the masses (I studied 'mass psychology'
in the late seventies), the media and the position of intellectuals.

hydrarchist writes: "Some weeks ago an anonymous comrade submitted two articles in German - by Gunter Grass and Jurgen Habermas - and requested that they be translated.
Last week a translation of the Gunter Grass piece was posted on via nettime. If anyone knows whether the Habermas piece has also been translated please let us know.

Kermit Snelson" writes "Interview with Gunter Grass

Der Spiegel, 10 October 2001,1518,1 61444,00.html

(Translated from German by Kermit Snelson)

[Guenter Grass is a Nobel lauriate, an active social democrate
and among the most respected 'public intellectuals' in Germany.]

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Do you think this war is justified, Mr. Grass?

Guenter Grass: There's a politician who has described very cleverly how a
civil society should react to an attack like that on New York: civilly. It
was Johannes Rau [currently Federal President of Germany -- trans.]

SPIEGEL ONLINE: And how civil is this military attack?

Guenter Grass: Military attacks are never civil. Dropping packages of food
doesn't obscure that fact. What the UN had been accomplishing in that
country, together with other relief agencies, doing far more to alleviate
misery -- that was civil. But now they can no longer be there or work
there, for fear of the attacks.

Read the rest of this translation at"

Anonymous Comrade writes: "Much of the American public has come to expect or accept as a given the fact that US officials regularly lie and misinform, especially those working in the defense, national security, and diplomatic fields. has posted ETHICAL DYNAMICS AND THE NATIONAL SECURITY PROCESS: PROFESSIONALISM, POWER, PERVERSION by Peter M. Leitner and Ronald J. Stupak. In this essay, originally published in the Journal of Power and Ethics, they ask why a culture of national security decision-making makes lying an acceptable form of behavior, and examine the implications to the nation.

An excerpt: 'Within the government, "designated liar" has become an unofficial title when
selecting an agency official to give the "company line" to, or craft the
"proper spin" for Congress or the public. In the case of Iran/Contra, North
was the designated liar. Pushed forward by his superiors to throw Congress
off the trail of an unauthorized covert operation, North acted as a good
foot soldier is supposed to act when instructed by his superiors. However,
such behavior within the context of national decision making debases the
very Constitution North had sworn to protect (Stupak, 1990: p. 5).

Perhaps the most frightening aspects of "official lies" or "true lies" are
their extent and that they are often aimed at the American public, not potential
foreign adversaries. Recently declassified data from the Department of Energy
concerning nuclear test effects on civilians clearly demonstrate this. The
secrecy of the Cambodia bombing is another example -- surely our adversaries
in Cambodia knew they were being bombed.'"

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