Gravity's Rainbow

botany, shoes, books, and justice

October 9, 2015
by sarcozona

Fear! What nonsense! Looking back over his whole life, Rusanov could not find a single instance of cowardice to reproach himself with. Indeed, had there ever been anything for him to be afraid of? As a man he was not particularly brave, perhaps, but he could not call to mind an occasion when he had behaved like a coward. There was no ground whatever for suggesting he’d have been afraid if he’d had to fight in the front line. It was simply that he’d been a valuable, experienced official, and so had not been sent to the front. It was impossible to say he’d have lost his head under bombing or in a burning building. He’d felt K—— before the bombing started and he’d never been in a fire. Likewise he had never been afraid of justice or the law, because he had never broken the law and justice had always defended and supported him. He had never feared public exposure because the public had always been on his side. An improper article attacking Rusanov would never have appeared in the local newspaper, because either Kuzma Fotievich or Nil Prokofich would have stopped it, while a national newspaper would never have stopped to Rusanov’s level. So he had never been afraid of the press either.

When he traveled by boat across the Black Sea, he was not the least bit afraid of the depths beneath him. Whether or not he was afraid of heights it was impossible to say, because he’d never been such a fathead as to try climbing rocks or mountains, while the nature of his work did not involve bridge building.

from Alexander Solzenitsyn’s Cancer Ward

Too Much Information “Informed choices” is code for overwhelm and obscure

The Movies of My Youth

Against Charity
Aside from challenging the rule of capital, a non-capitalist’s only readily available option is donating to charity — thus subsidizing its profiting from basic necessities — or else ignoring those in need.That subsidizing capital accumulation has become the only readily available way for most to act on compassion for others is perverse. Even if charity were extremely efficacious, which it is not, choosing between a modest sum of money and another human life is no choice at all. But it is one we are faced with because capitalists have already made their choice and shaped the world to suit it.

October 7, 2015
by sarcozona

As a younger woman, my vision of equality was shaped in good part by the liberal feminist concept of emancipation through independence. I recognised my privilege in being able to access to many of the civil rights made possible through the feminist movement and didn’t expect to experience any significant barriers to achieving equality with my male peers. In this context, the experience of becoming pregnant and the impact that it had on my life took me completely by surprise. From the first stages of my pregnancy I was alarmed by feelings of dependency on my partner that I had never experienced before. As my pregnancy progressed, my sense of physical vulnerability increased and my capacity to maintain my equality through independence was repeatedly challenged. Finally, when my daughter was born, her utter vulnerability shook me to the core and I realised that I could no longer operate in the world as a wholly autonomous unit. I was encumbered by this incredibly dependent little person who needed me for her very survival. My understanding of myself and of what I needed from the world shifted completely, as did my understanding of the feminist project. I could no longer relate to the ambivalence of liberal feminism to the needs, indeed rights, of dependent women (and children).

Source: Feminism and the terrifying dependency of children – TASA