We look to the socialist cities of the past and those to come. We aim to reclaim the city as a space for struggle and solidarity in pursuit of needs and wants: public housing, parks, decent work, and plentiful leisure — with the possibility of an occasional escape. To realize the city’s emancipatory promise will require mass movements led by workers, challenges to property rights in its many forms, and feminist reimaginings of urban space and work.

The task of our generation of socialists is to make this alternative a reality — moving beyond the creative-class politics of Richard Florida into the renewed working-class politics of the future.

- Such refreshing analysis of urbanism at The Jacobin
In Mexico, 43 students appear to have been killed by police agents, affiliated with the state government and cartels (as if there was any difference between the two).

Reports in Mexico from human rights activists, like Father Alejandro Solalinde, indicate that police burned the 43 students, some while they were still alive.

And what does the New York Times have to say about the situation in Mexico and in Latin America more generally?

The editors write an piece today against the free election of Evo Morales in Bolivia and what they call a "new generation of caudillos who have staked out anti-American policies."

How could the NYT not be an agent of the US state when they defend governmental interests so doggedly? And when they ignore the fruits of the US drug war on the ground?

Qué vergüenza.

But I have to interrupt you. I actually am critical of the notion of safety in my work. And what I want is for people to feel comfortable in the circumstance of risk... What does it mean for us to cultivate together community that allows for risk? The risk of knowing someone outside your own boundaries, the risk that is love. There is no love that does not involve risk. 

- bell hooks - More here in conversation with Laverne Cox.

Los Regañones del Norte

Se me hace que la gente de Nueva York (¿o será la gente del norte de los Yunaites en general?) es muy—demasiado—regañona. Van dos veces que la gente aquí me regaña por salir de las supuestas normas de comportamiento.

La primera vez se trató de un cruce de calles en el centro de la ciudad de Syracuse. Ya me había tocado transitar por ese mismo cruce en varias ocasiones durante mi breve estancia en la parte oeste del estado de NY y había percatado que los semáforos para los peatones en ese sitio realmente no funcionaban. Los señales nunca cambiaban, sin importar la cantidad de tiempo que uno esperaba para cruzar y sin importar si uno oprimía los botones para (supuestamente) cambiar los señales para poder cruzar la calle. Y bueno, como ya lo sabía, decidí cruzar la calle con mi hija agarrada de la mano. Estuvimos cruzando y alguien quería voltear a la izquierda mientras cruzábamos (porque claro, íbamos caminando paralelo al tráfico con luz verde). Y bueno el camión se detuvo para dejarnos cruzar, pero ya pasando la mitad de la calle, el conductor bajó su ventana y nos gritó, "You should teach your daughter how to follow the rules, not cross on red." Cuando me di cuenta de lo que había pasado, le escupí unas palabras de enojo, ni me acuerdo que dijo, algo así como que el semáforo no funcionaba. Me fui súper enojado.

Y ahora en el aeropuerto de JFK en la terminal de JetBlue, me acaba de pasar algo parecido. Me sentía y me siento tan horrible aquí. En los pocos minutos que he pasado aquí, ya he llegado a la conclusión de que es la terminal aeroportuaria que menos me gusta en el mundo. Tienen una música horrible por todo el espacio de la terminal: una música tecno llena de optimismo y esos acordes que transmiten un sentimiento de paz, harmonía, progreso, juventud, felicidad. O sea, horrible. Y todas las tiendas son súper nice, pero tipo triques japoneses y sandwiches veganos caros envueltos en plástico. O sea, consumismo con un toque de conciencia progresista ps. Lo peor. Hasta han reemplazado a los cajeros humanos con computadoras touch-screen para que uno mismo oprima los botenes para comprar lo que uno quiere comer sin jamás haber intercambiado palabra alguna con una persona. Argh. Y bueno, comí lo más barato que pude encontrar: una rebanada de pizza y fui a sentarme en mi puerta de embarque. Comí mi pizza tristemente allí y después me paré y tiré la cajita de papel en el bote de basura. Vi que había un bote con un hoyo en la tapa en forma de un pedazo de papel y asumí que era para papel y dejé la cajita de papel allí. Una mujer que estuvo tirando su basura me miraba en ese momento. Fui y me senté. Pero para mi sorpresa, ella fue caminando detrás de mí, y me dijó, "That's for newspapers you know" y me miró con una cara súper enojada. Me quedé otra vez atónito sin saber ni siquiera qué decir. Titubeé y le dije, ¡¡pues la caja era de papel!!

No sé que le pasa a esta gente... por qué se sienten con el derecho de regañarles a los demás por sus suspuestas faltas de decoro, faltas de acatamiento de las reglas. Pero eso sí sé, me gusta más el sur de los Yunaites (y claro el sur del sur) donde reina un caos más agradable, hospitalario, donde la gente no se atreve a meterse en las vidas de los demás, donde uno puedo vivir su pobre vida en paz sin miedo de los exabruptos de los puritanos regañones que dominan esta muy civilizada parte de la desunión nacional.
CA Conrad’s Favorites:

kari edwards, A DAY IN THE LIFE OF P
Merle Hoyleman, ASP OF THE AGE
Bernadette Mayer, STUDYING HUNGER
Eileen Myles, SAPPHO’S BOAT
Ron Silliman, ed., IN THE AMERICAN TREE

(A note to self to read them)
I am stuck with the perception that the bag of shit on one side of the border smells just as bad as the bag of shit on the other. In fact on each side of every border the bag of shit smells pretty bad. There’s something about borders. Everywhere they are dividing everything into rancid bags of shit.

 - Daniel Borzutzky here on Entropy
Sorry about the images being disappeared from the blog. Google Plus is merging with Blogger which means that some limits are now being imposed as to how many photos a blog can have on it - or how many photos can be in my Google Photos drive. Like all the photos from my blog are now part of Google. Argh. And then I tried to delete photos from the drive, but now it seems they have been deleted here as well. I don't know, it's a mess. The slow creep of the Internet monopolies eating all of our "content."
Does any one read this blog?

If you do, email me at plujo7 at gmail dot com and I will send you a free paperback copy of my translation of Marta Lamas' book Feminism: Transmissions and Retransmissions. I have two extra copies. So the first two people, get it. Send me yr address too. If you are reading this, the books are still available.

People do read it! And they got the books! :)
I will never leave here...

- Wanda Coleman

A line read during a tribute to the poet Wanda Coleman at the LA Public Library in January of this year. This tribute is available as a podcast here. Radradrad.

Some notes from a talk today by Slavs & Tatars

publishing material no longer available in English + translating materials no longer available in English

sacred role of the book

books in artistic practice - not as catalogue or afterthought - not asking distinguished curators to write praise/analysis of the show in their books as it resembles a form of insider trading - which would be illegal in any other field, but is somehow the modus operandi in the art world

we don't allow anyone to write about us in our books - if i commission you, you won't critique me - it is not fertile territory for a critque

amphiboly - cognitive dissonance - poetics & polemics
two ideas one butting up against the other
Berlin Wall (fall of communism, 20th century) VS Great Wall of China (political Islam of XXI)
two registers as well it could be

"There is no LEFT anymore."

Marx VS Mohammed
(Norman Brown) VS(James Joyce)
two social critiques Marxism and Islam - line from Norman Brown that both believe in one world or none - not in a pejorative sense but in a sense that one cannot be prosperous while another in front is deprived - bringing unexpected things together

vertical knowledge (Germany, Russia) VS horizontal knowledge (US liberal arts)

how to get at affective/digestive/sensual knowledge - forms of knowing beyond mind

books - guidebooks into what we will produce, products of research, not analyses of what we did

Art is not the end game

counter nonsense with wisdom
- not middle east china or russia

the obscurity of the region is a lie.

fill in gap - not as scholars or activists but to ask questions otherwise

ART ---> SERVICE INDUSTRY (but who do you serve)
the importance of hospitality and generosity to the practice

different modes of presentation - books (discursive), lectures (performative), sculpture (formal)

don't present our research in our exhibitions - resuscitation

challenging occidental ideas of future (ahead) and past (behind) - provided an example from a non-western culture

practice is not about ourselves - our practice is only collaborative because it is not about our selves

interested in the "FACULTY OF SUBSTITUTION" - we never tell the story frontally - circuity - going around

interested in representation in a larger

we are not experts on a region - impossible to be an expert in their designated geographical area with the hundreds of cultures and languages present - exactly this idea we are working against - we are not interested in the merely specific

SECULAR RAGE - Poland and Turkey as countries grappling with faith/society relationship - consensus that faith is reactionary in France, other western Euro nations - we work against this notion of being beyond faith - we work against consensus in general

interested in NORMAL people, LAYMEN - often the best collaborators are not the academic experts, but the hobbyists

how to make something seemingly remote immediate and something immediate remote

we are devoted to those things we don't know

research process - 2 yrs of bibliographic, academic research - then 1 yr of how to convey and how to present - embarking on a journey

pedagogy assumes we know but you don't

Don't Let Them In 
Perfume Genius

Don't let them in
I am too tired
To hold myself carefully
And wink when they circle
The fact that I'm trapped
In this body

Don't let them in
I have my own dreams
About that couple

In an alternate ribbon of time
My dances were sacred
My lisp was evidence
I spoke for both spirits

Don't let them in
Their will intended
But each comment rattles them deep
Ancient queen

Recién, le avisé a una amiga rusófila que yo había empezado a estudiar el ruso de nuevo. Después de muchos años de haberlo dejado. Fue una decisión rara para mí, esa de decidir volver a un idioma que había dejado hace mucho por muchas razones muy complicadas. Pero bueno, volví y como parte de ese proceso de re-aprendizaje, busqué a esa amiga para que me aconsejara sobre la posibilidad de emprender un viaje a un lugar de habla rusa algún día de éstos. Y bueno en la conversación, mencionó a Masha Gessen. Dijo el nombre rápidamente y mencionó que recién se había tenido que exiliar a los Yunaites.

Después de la conversación, apunté el nombre y me puse a ver videos de ella, para tratar de entender su postura y su persona. También saqué uno de sus libros de la biblioteca: "The Man Without a Face", un libro sobre Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, un libro espeluznante y triste que cuenta la historia de la toma de poder de Putin, la larga lista de delitos que tuvo que cometer para llegar a su dictadura actual, la larga lista de leyes que tuvo que cambiar para acabar con los experimentos democráticos de los 90, la larga lista de personas que tuvo que matar o encarcelar para seguir en el poder. La historia es triste y más aún si pensamos en la situación actual, tres años después de que Gessen terminara el libro en 2011 con algunas reflexiones sobre el movimiento popular en Moscú en ese año. Ella intentó terminar el libro con esperanzas por un futuro mejor, esperanzas por un movimiento emergente de cuidadanos en contra del régimen. Pero leyendo el libro en 2014 sabemos muy bien que no pudieron lograr muchos cambios y, al contrario, la cosa se ha puesto hasta peor.

¿Y Gessen? En el exilio con su pareja y sus dos hijos.

What would be a sufficient translation of the wind—its sounds, its itineraries, its intensities?

The circulation of spoken languages in the city has a similar formlessness. The languages of the city are an integral part of the urban experience, of the thick impasto of sensory stimuli. What kind of image would be sufficient to represent the interactions that take place on the sidewalks, in front of the computer screens, along the innumerable trajectories of city life? How could this continual murmur of voices and experiences be tracked? Some transactions are quiet, taking place only in the intimacy of the home. By contrast the cell phone provides languages with a new sound platform. In cafés, taxis, and city streets, languages once only whispered are being shouted out.

Public displays of written language transmit official conceptions of the linguistic citizen, make assumptions about the capacities of its readers. The written messages delivered by city administrations and transit commissions, by billboard advertising, and by commercial signage trace out the linguistic portrait of ideal citizens, those who are included in civic conversation ... But against the backdrop of these official missives, cities also allow the proliferation of underground print cultures, the free-for-all culture of posters and stencils, ads, and petitions that create alternative zones of linguistic citizenship. These indicate linguistic micro-climates, zones of neighborhood conversation, where non-official languages can go public.

Public language ... has always been more than information: it has been a battleground.

- Sherry Simon in Translating Montreal
What prevents the translator from crossing the line, from succumbing to the force of attraction and becoming "one of them"? This means finally being able to let down your linguistic guard, and allowing your language to be flooded from the wrong side. It means becoming a renegade, preferring the other side to your own.

- Sherry Simon in Translating Montreal