Sunday, September 18, 2011


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hungarian Squat

After 31 years, it's great to encounter, again, some fragments of The Squat Theatre. There's some history, archival stuff, and images there, and more, I hope, to come.

Some images from Baltimore -- didn't know they'd been there. Staged funeral in advance of Peter Halasz's 2006 death.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Death and Media

Don't normally recycle old posts, but in light of the 9/11 anniversary observation going on in the media, this one seemed worth resurrecting:

FRIDAY, APRIL 08, 2005

eternal life will not be televised

papolatrie - the help of ritual - bigness, inflation, costumes, dirge, convenient fixity of death.

Probably nothing more and less like news than death. It's factoidal, verifiable, and opens media elan to savor a perfectly controlled routine. It's control over the news, not the news, that we want. Not news, but a sort of mechanized Big Gulp O' the Thrill and the Chill of Memento Mori, the frisson of horror slowed to images of a gelid crawl of thousands of the assembled, moving in medievalesque slo-mo, the hyperbolic elongation of the photo-op.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

From reality to rhetoric

It's been some years since I last spoke with JSTOR's Bruce Heterick. Today from him I learned of a kind of change in JSTOR's degree of openness, or closure:

JSTOR–Free Access to Early Journal Content and Serving “Unaffiliated” Users

Nearly 500,000 articles in more than 200 journals are now freely available on JSTOR

The press release from JSTOR's Laura Brown begins:
I am writing to share exciting news: today, we are making journal content on JSTOR published prior to 1923 in the United States and prior to 1870 elsewhere, freely available to the public for reading and downloading. This includes nearly 500,000 articles from more than 200 journals, representing approximately 6% of the total content on JSTOR.
The release goes on to spell out details of this alteration and goes out of its way to say that the indictment of Aaron Swartz could have affected the timing and substance of this step, but ultimately did not.

Mr. Heterick concluded his brief email with:
I’m not a big fan of your rhetoric, but in your work as an independent scholar, I thought you’d find this beneficial.


I'm not a fan of JSTOR's reality, but such as it is, this is a small step toward acknowledging the factual truth of my argument. Human knowledge, gleaned by humans in taxpayer-funded institutions of higher learning, could even now be freely available in toto to all who seek it. Unfortunately, the desires of craven academic publishing houses to continue to subsist in antiquated form, coupled with the highly lucrative artificial scarcification of academic data thanks to the walled garden stratagem of JSTOR and its imitators, continue to transform this potential reality into a chimaera.

This transformation is the real rhetoric, in all its material voracity. Except that this can now be qualified as, "material voracity after 1922."

Thanks for the update.


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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Blogrolling redirect f...up

If I'm not the last blogger on Earth to have residual code from in his/her template:

This morning anyone accessing this blog was redirected to a Blogrolling site offering available domains, etc.

Turns out this was being triggered by my having some ancient blogrolling code on my site. The company's site, which offered updated links to other blogs, is apparently for sale. The code was triggering the redirect. Once removed, IMproPRieTies is back.

It was Jon Husband who alerted me to the issue, then suggested what turned out to be the correct solution: removing the old blogrolling code from the template, which I'd forgotten was there.

Jon is currently flaneuring in Paris and has much better things to do. Merci, mon ami.

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