Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Hamptons Bohemia

This is the title of a $40 book by Helen Harrison and Constance Denne.

Or, Tales of the Ungodly Rich.

It's a story of how the wealthy appropriate everything cool, including the word "bohemia." They're so used to buying things they think they can buy language too.

10 comments:

Noah Cicero said...

I am really tired of the rich. Really tired.
Selling this book for forty dollars is like saying to the lower classes, "You don't have a right to read this book, this book is not for you, it is for us." Just like Eggers book being twenty two dollars. it reminds me of Sartre's theory of radio, the essense of radio propaganda is that no one can contradict them while they are talking, even if they have callers, they can screen them. People who charge absurd prices on their books do so because they know if the masses got a hold of them, they would tear them to shreds. And to maintain their social status they have to make sure that poor people do not know how stupid and cruel they are.
Another crappy thing about this book is that Edward Albee wrote the forward. I kind of liked Albee, I thought he was one of the last living writers worth respecting. But no, him and Hunter S.Thompson who both at one point wrote some great stuff, now only walk around looking for rich people's asses to kiss.
Yesterday I got Hot Water Music by Bukowski with a gift card, the book cost 18 dollars, noticed that Ecco who publishes Bukowski now is an imprint of HarperCollins, the rich now own Bukowski.
I have no idea how the Brothers Karamazov an 800 page book can cost less than ten dollars, and a shit load of books less with half the pages can cost more than twenty.
It reminds of how they run movie theaters, $7.25 the rich see it first. then the movie goes to the $3.50 theater then the lower middle class sees it, and then it finally makes it to the $1.50 movies and finally the poor bastards of the world may see the movie.

Anonymous said...

Noah, the crypto-Troskyist nonsense you're spurting undermines the good points you make. If the pretentious books you mentioned aren't $8, it's for reasons of marketing (high class books are supposed to cost a bunch) and economics (there are enough self-conscious goons to make it finacially viable). If the "poor" read these dumb books, especially in America, they wouldn't tear anyone apart; half of them would be disgusted and move on and the other half would admire the rich twats like they do Paris Hilton and other senseless entitled dimwits.

The Mc5 posturing about "classes" in America is outdated and nonsensical in quaintly, happily crypto-fascist land like the one we inhabit.

Noah Cicero said...

mr.Anonymous this is for you.

I can't properly respond to what you have written, I tried but couldn't. it is too simplistic, too Dan Rather to repond to. it reminds of cable news, how everyone is giving their ideas on how to fix things, but they are only on the surface of the problem. Basically your ideas resemble that of a doctor who gives a hair cut to a cancer patient.
Your phrase "Move On" is absurd. The ULA are regular people and some that are poor and after reading those HIGH CLASS expensive books they did not "move on." They realized there was something wrong and that it needed to be fixed. And the other half who go to Paris Hilton those people the ULA is trying to reach. And that is a problem in itself, but really your rebuttel is a list of crytpo-a prioris.
"The Mc5 posturing about "classes" in America is outdated and nonsensical in quaintly, happily crypto-fascist land like the one we inhabit."
That line really disturbs me, you obviously do not think you are part of history. That like the Republicans you think history has ended. Thank you for that bourgeoisie notion.

Anonymous said...

Pardon me if I find your "too simplistic to respond", ahem, response pretty obviously a "I have no idea how to respond effectively" response. It's the height of empty, archaic Bakunin-lite posturing to say that, because there are ditzy high-cultural products for the rich, the lower classes would catch wind of their shallowness and rise up. That's ridiculous; there are effete hipster cultural products for the rich in every society, and they will always be there due to economics.

The bigger point is that you can't seem to bring yourself to admit that, for whatever its other good points, America has ALWAYS been too consumerist, too Protestant work ethic and capitalism brainwashed, too docile in front of the monied classes to EVER have any type of large scale successful class conflict; this was true back in the 1920s and 30s, when there was actually international and national stimuli, let alone now, when it's just you and a couple others agitating on a blog. There surely may be a literary revolution in the next decade, though I can't say I've seen anyone on the ULA who convinces me they have the artillery, but it won't be caused or motivated by a class agitation.

Noah Cicero said...

Hello Mr. Anonymous

"Pardon me if I find you’re "too simplistic to respond", ahem, response pretty obviously a "I have no idea how to respond effectively" response."
You have proven my statement that you are too simplistic to debate with by never using a line that I wrote. Obviously you did not understand any of them to directly attack, even one. But only attacked the one that attacks your social identity of pretending that you are intelligent. Which implies that it is more important to you to be right even if you are contradicting reality? It is obvious that you are only using pat responses to combat me, and that with so many big words you thought when I said simple I was referring to your language, no I was referring to your ideas.
"It's the height of empty, archaic Bakunin-lite posturing to say that,"
The only thing you can do when you are in a corner is say that the other person is speaking nonsense or it is empty, or posturing but you give no reason substantial reason why. Bakunin was an anarchist; I am not an anarchist and did not show that at all. It can be assumed you only used that name to give your argument a connotation of intelligence.

"because there are ditzy high-cultural products for the rich"
Thank you for proving my point.

"the lower classes would catch wind of their shallowness and rise up."
It takes a lot of different factors for a nation of people to rise up to their govt. Recognizing the shallowness of their leaders is one of them. But here is a lesson in politics, I don't like to write completely political things concerning the ULA, I send my political articles to political papers. But for you I don't mind.
As Marx showed and Sartre said in Search for a Method, "At a certain stage in their development, the productive forces come into conflict with the relations of production, and the period which begins is revolutionary."
Currently in America technology has supplied a completely different productive force but the relations of productions have not changed. Even parts of the govt. have said that the economy cannot grow again worth a shit and supply good jobs. We are in a period of history that is revolutionary if we want to be or not. It can be seen with the falling dollar alone that America is in an economic crisis much bigger than just a regular kink in the capitalist system. The American dollar is so low that Indonesians come to America now to buy things. It is more complex than that, but a post on a blog will not cover it. What I am saying is that the American people deserve better, they have earned a legitimate media and a system of voting that does not negate a large portion of the population when they lose by only two hundred votes for president or mayor. It is obvious from your sentences that enjoy the status quo of misery and lies. You should be proud of that.
"That's ridiculous; there are effete hipster cultural products for the rich in every society, and they will always be there due to economics."
"Will always be there due to economics" thank you for proving my point again. And saying "always due to economics," that sentence actually makes you a Marxist.
"The bigger point is that you can't seem to bring yourself to admit that, for whatever its other good points, America has ALWAYS been too consumerist, too Protestant work ethic and capitalism brainwashed, too docile in front of the monied classes to EVER have any type of large scale successful class conflict;"
Your word “ALWAYS” interests me, first America had slavery then they dropped it, then America had segregation then dropped it, only landowners voted, white men could vote, then African-American males, then women, the Indians were being killed constantly for the first sixty years and now we give Indians college free. But you can bet on it that was a slave owner in 1820 saying that slavery would last forever, there was a man in 1900 who said that women would never vote. You have joined the ranks of them. Also the Roman Empire lasted for a 1000 years and it hasn't existed for over a 1000 years, The Lords had power in Europe for hundreds of years and they haven't had any real power for hundreds. ALWAYS, so I guess you do think history has ended with America. There's a name for ideas like that, it is called reactionarism.
This must said anyone who doesn’t want the distance between the classes to be lessened if it be through protest or violence prefers a race war. It can easily be assumed you prefer the race war.
It is hard to have a protestant work ethic when you don't have a job. And the people who work shitty service jobs don't have protestant work ethic, they have hunger for food which drives them to work. That can be called I-need-to-fucking-eat-work-ethic.
Brainwashed? If people were so brainwashed by capitalism why would forty percent of the country not vote?
"this was true back in the 1920s and 30s"
You just contradicted yourself, you said “ALWAYS” and “EVER.”
"let alone now, when it's just you and a couple others agitating on a blog"
We agitate on a blog because the media has locked out reality. That is a problem in itself. But I suppose you enjoy a lying media.
"There surely may be a literary revolution in the next decade; though I can't say I've seen anyone on the ULA who convinces me they have the artillery"
If one ULA member writes one sentence with concrete nouns that makes sense, they have a grenade. If they write a book with sentences with concrete nouns that make sense, use normal people language, and it concerns the lives of normal people they have missiles. One Ranello poem if only allowed to be shot would blow up the entire academia.
"but it won't be caused or motivated by a class agitation."
The fact that Dave Eggers books get published when all he talks about is rich people riding horses with sentences that don't HAVE to make sense proves class-agitation. The fact on the same street in most cities there are restaurants that serve sixty dollar lobster dinners within one mile of a Taco Bell. The fact that there are million dollar houses within five miles of projects proves that there is class-agitation.
I just ate hamburger helper for dinner, I drive a piece of shit Buick 88, I sat next to a guy last night in a strip joint who told me that his nephew was shot in the projects, and that people get shot in the projects all the time and people see but no one tells the police. If the population of America is so happy in their crypto-fascism why are all my friends drunks, why are there so many crack and coke heads, why so many prescription drug addicts? Why are the Youngstown jails at max and can only take one out of ten people who get jail time. Because we are happy, is that it, because we are so damn happy?
I'm not exactly sure if that answers that line about class-agitation but it didn't really convey anything concrete.
You won't even write your name, what kind of human are you?

Anonymous said...

Interesting debate, you both make good points:

Anonymous: "...there are effete hipster cultural products for the rich in every society, and they will always be there due to economics."

True enough, but Karl's original beef was with the oxymoronic coupling of "Hamptons" and "Bohemia." Noah may have been swatting a gnat with a sledgehammer; the whole thing reminded me of a song lyric I wrote in my angry early 20s:

Her idea/of the lower east side/is Southampton"America has ALWAYS been too consumerist, too Protestant work ethic and capitalism brainwashed, too docile in front of the monied classes to EVER have any type of large scale successful class conflict"

Right, which is why we currently live in a hallucinated Wal-Mart cheap oil fat suburban SUV "consumer" economy (Kunstler) that is evil and sick and utterly unsustainable. But why would you attack those who still rail against that torpor; why do you admit defeat so easily?

"There surely may be a literary revolution in the next decade, though I can't say I've seen anyone on the ULA who convinces me they have the artillery"

This is an interesting meme that I've seen repeated on a number of lame sites attacking the ULA: if the ULA is so ill-suited for the task at hand, why is it that they were THE ONLY ONES TO FIGHT FOR IT IN RECENT YEARS? After all, anonymous, you found your way to Karl's blog, and take the effort and energy to post thoughtful replies. This gripe that "the ULA's message may be right, but they are the wrong messengers," is prima facie nonsense, as it is the ULA's entire vision, focus, and determination that has gotten these subjects brought up at all.

I realize that last paragraph may not make much sense, but I hope you get my meaning.

And lastly, Anonymous, if you want to see an example of what the literary revolution might hold, I strongly recommend you get a copy of Noah's book THE HUMAN WAR from fuguestatepress.com -- it's really a fantastic novella, almost defines a new genre: primal, screaming, tightly controlled "sentegraphs" of existential minimalism.

Anonymous said...

P.S. I, Tim Hall, wrote the above post.

Anonymous said...

“You have proven my statement that you are too simplistic to debate with by never using a line that I wrote. Obviously you did not understand any of them to directly attack, even one. But only attacked the one that attacks your social identity of pretending that you are intelligent.”

For someone attacking Dave Eggers (who deserves to be reamed), you have to tendency to make statements that are equally adorably empty postures. I didn’t quote you because there’s no quote button on blogger; the fact that you’re not exactly nimble enough to correlate my response to your, ahem, points. I’ll be sure to provide directions in this post, my quaintly pseudonymed friend.

“The only thing you can do when you are in a corner is say that the other person is speaking nonsense or it is empty, or posturing but you give no reason substantial reason why. Bakunin was an anarchist; I am not an anarchist and did not show that at all. It can be assumed you only used that name to give your argument a connotation of intelligence.”

Err, let me take you by the hand lad – and I’ll ignore going into my background in regards to 19th century Russian studies. Bakunin wrote in grandiose conspiratorial language, posturing and agitating for preposterous revolutions that would never come. You, Noah Cicero, do the same; at least Bakunin and Nechaev had a COUPLE cells of followers (maybe a few score total) in Russia listening and willing to act on their calls.

“"Will always be there due to economics" thank you for proving my point again. And saying "always due to economics," that sentence actually makes you a Marxist.”

You have a horrible tendency for saying “Thanks for proving my point” by cherry picking a phrase here, a clause there, and pretending it somehow agrees with your warped Black Ink Panther mumbling. And saying that anyone who believes economic demand results in the supply of said product is a MARXIST, of all things, only exposes how silly you casting aspersions on anyone else’s intelligence is. Instead of responding to my points, you erect a dumb, uninformed straw man and playfully paw at it with all the precious feebleness of a kitty.

“There's a name for ideas like that, it is called reactionarism. This must said anyone who doesn’t want the distance between the classes to be lessened if it be through protest or violence prefers a race war. It can easily be assumed you prefer the race war.”

And you’re nuttier than I even began to suspect. Because I believe that a goony book catering to the NY upper classes and silly marketing ploys like it wouldn’t cause any noticeable response if made cheaply available to the lower classes, you contort it into a lame, wickedly silly “race war” statement. It’s a self-indictment that I don’t feel the need to cover any more in depth.

And as far as the other poster. . .

“Right, which is why we currently live in a hallucinated Wal-Mart cheap oil fat suburban SUV "consumer" economy (Kunstler) that is evil and sick and utterly unsustainable. But why would you attack those who still rail against that torpor; why do you admit defeat so easily?”

I attack anything that’s deserves attacking. Noah’s empty, blustery posturing deserved to be mocked for the nonsense it was.

“This is an interesting meme that I've seen repeated on a number of lame sites attacking the ULA: if the ULA is so ill-suited for the task at hand, why is it that they were THE ONLY ONES TO FIGHT FOR IT IN RECENT YEARS? After all, anonymous, you found your way to Karl's blog, and take the effort and energy to post thoughtful replies.”

There’s nothing mysterious to it. I like Karl’s blog, find it interesting, and I empathize with ULA’s goals and share the same enemies, more or less. As far as people rejecting the ridiculous postmodern “aren’t I cutesy rich hipster?” prose of the Moody/Eggers/Franzen gang, the ULA is far from alone; off the top of my head, Dale Peck, James Woods, John Dolan, and others have all taken their shots at them. And of course it matters how talented the ULA writers are; though I may agree with the concept and some of the ideological points, the fact that I’ve yet to see any legit writing out of the group that makes me believe they can really excite people and change things, it’s just an empty, powerless movement. Karl has written some great stuff, especially re: Eggers, but it will

Noah Cicero said...

Mr. Anonymous

I concede, I cannot topple your identity. Because this is obviously not a debate about ideas, this is a debate concerning your identity and self-esteem. This debate has more to do with your psychology then it does with class or what I have said.
I concede that your expertise in 18th century Russian must be pretty awsome even though I did not attack that. And the revolution did come, the first attempt in 1905 and then in 1917. The revolutionary period in Russia started long before the soviet revolution. But we all know that the Bakunin comment had more to do with your personal identity then it did with attacking my facts.
I concede that I was cherry picking, but that is what people/lawyers/detectives do when trying to find someone guilty, they find loopholes, fingerprints, DNA, small things that will find those who are lying to justice. That is what generals do, they figure the weakest point of the other army's defence and attack that. It is strange that you find my debating technic more important than what the actual sentences convey. I suppose you consider it cherry picking when a rapist is convicted with DNA.
"Instead of responding to my points:" I wrote something to every one of your sentences. You only respond to comments concerning your identity, not remotely the bulk of what I wrote.
I concede that you feel threatened you call names like a little kid. Your sentences convey this constantly, "I know you are, but what am I."
My name is actually Noah Cicero. I concede that it is a strange name. Someday when I meet some other URL members, please no ark jokes.
I concede that you remind me of this neighbor I had when I was like eight. We used to play HORSE, and affter I would beat him he would say, "I wasn't even trying." Then walk into his house. That kid said that because he wasn't concerned with having fun playing the game, doing his best, and working hard at what he did. His only intention with playing HORSE was to win and if he did not win he felt that his identity was threatened.
I concede that like republican radio commentators you call other people rude names because it simplifies the other person that is threatening your identity into a simple object, and if you can turn a human into an object then you do not have to be understood them or what they are saying. Racists commonly do that, pretty soon are you going to call me a feminazi or a red-diaper-doper-baby.
I concede that you call my statements silly or nonsense to turn my sentences into objects, sentences are not objects. Sentences are thoughts that convey meaning, they are transcendent, sentences cannot be destroyed. But like calling me nuts you want people to think that my sentences are simple objects that can be destroyed, since you cannot personally destroy my sentences with your own sentences you throw a label on them to turn them into an object thinking that people will read your label and not consider my sentences as thoughts but objects like a telephone or a cup that can be destroyed and are meaningless. I concede that i called you a Marxist but there is a great difference between calling a person a Marxist and silly, nonsensical, and nutty. And you wrote a sentence that implicated Marxism, you have never specified what setences of mine are silly, nonsensical and nuts.
I concede that you do not understand that all sentences and thoughts have implications and justifactions. I assume you think that all facts are isolated. The only implication that comes from not wanting the class division to be lessened, is a race war. The only other implication is that you have a cushy job, live in a nice house, and want things to stay the exact shitty way they are. I concede that I could have been wrong that you wanted a race war, but that you prefer America to remain stagnant. But questions do arise in a person's mind on why you would not respond to it.
I concede that you know a lot of big words, but all the big words you know are abstractions. "Noah’s empty, blustery posturing deserved to be mocked for the nonsense it was." There is not one concrete reality based word in that sentence. I give you concrete reality and you give me abstractions.
I concede that the very mention of class terrifies you. For what reason I do not know. But it is obvious that if you wrote three responses in an attempt to shut people up regarding class you must have a fear of it. You would not have attacked it so passionatly if you did not know there was a justifacation for the mention of it. If there were no class-agitation why is there nine posts about Wenclas' comment made concerning the rich. It seems you and I are having are own little class war here. And that you keep attacking with names and insults and not facts because you have the need to shut me up. You are like a parent who hits their child or a person that kicks their car because it broke down. But I am neither a child nor a car, I am a grown adult and will not shut up.
I concede that your anger and fear arise out of the fact that you are from a higher class and will not believe that a person from a lower class can debunk the notions of the higher classes. That we do not have the right to challange the intelligence of the higher classes. Basically when you say my sentences are nonsense or silly, you are saying, "You are from a lower class, what do you know?" that is the agitation of opposing classes, I am agitated because all my life my friends and myself have been looked at as a member of the lower class as stupid, useless, lazy, and full of vice and sin. And if you are a member of a lower class, history will find you guilty of treason.
I do not concede. My previous post stands, you did not debunk one sentence that is within it.

King said...

I just want to mention that the ULA is about far, far more than attacking the "hipster prose" of writers like Moody and Eggers. We've attacked the nature of the System that has put them in prominence-- the fundamental structural flaws of literature which has led to its diminished position in the culture. This is an area that narrowly focused System critics like Peck and Woods won't touch.