We knew (I knew!) we had never been modern, but now we are even less so: fragile, frail, threatened; that is, back to normal, back to the anxious and careful stage in which the “others” used to live before being “liberated” from their “absurd beliefs” by our courageous and ambitious modernization. Suddenly, we seem to cling with a new intensity to our idols, to our fetishes, to our “factishes,” to the extraordinarily fragile ways in which our hand can produce objects over which we have no command. We look at our institutions, our public spheres, our scientific objectivity, even our religious ways, everything we loved to hate before, with a somewhat renewed sympathy. Less cynicism, suddenly, less irony. A worshipping of images, a craving for carefully crafted mediators, what the Byzantine called “economy,” what used to simply be called civilization.


from ICONOCLASH (html + pdf)

Iraq is in civil war. The possibility of this war spreading to neighboring countries is almost certain. Already, hundreds of mujahedeen have gone into Iraq from Iran and Syria. What are you going to do about it? Who are you going to vote for this November?

Last week, the New School’s World Policy Institute held a panel discussion on the war in Iraq. The standout for me was the vivid, sobering portrait of Iraq from the ground by Nir Rosen, whom the moderator introduced as the journalist who’s spent more time in Iraq since the war began than anyone else.

direct links to the Real streams:
part I
part II

I work for the New School Online webcasting some of these events. Some of them are extraordinarily educational and illuminating, painting a picture of America and American politics that helps me to fight against apathy and get moving politically. Right now I’m sitting in the Tishman auditorium, webcasting a panel called Politics of Resistance, featuring Cornel West. These are great events, but they’re preaching to the choir! We need to get these to people outside of New York City.