Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
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Pro palestine protest and encampment in stanford university 20240428   17

“Moderate” and fringe right positions come together in singling out antisemitism among all oppressions. In that way, they are singling out Jews and they're exceptionalizing Jews and since October 7th and since the protests began…Campus administrations as well as other politicians are essentially pitting Jews against other groups. That has never gone well for Jews. Historically to be pitted against other oppressed groups, to be pitted against working people that has historically been how antisemitism has been used: to scapegoat Jews in order to avoid a united fight back against themselves. It’s incredibly dangerous. That's what's happening on campuses, and in the national public discourse.

Hadas Thier returns to This Is Hell! to talk about her writing at The Nation on the Columbia protests, "The Student Encampments Aren’t a Danger to Jews. But the Crackdown Is." Hadas is author of, A People’s Guide to Capitalism: An Introduction to Marxist Economics. Jeff Dorchen delivers "The Moment of Truth" after the interview.

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Oct 17 2023
Posted by Alexander Jerri
Ubu roi maga

Don’t believe anything? Why would you? You’re a cyborg. Donna Haraway, described at times as a feminist primatologist, now Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness program at UC Santa Cruz, wrote a famous article about how our identities need no longer be slaves to history or past myth, rendering us freer than the old human species: cyborgs.


Although the idea offered a great deal of empowerment in the early-to-middle decades of postmodernity, she was obviously a premature ahistorian, as was the sloppy Francis Fukuyama. The difference with FF was that his declaration was triumphalist rather than empowering. It was meant to disempower the collapsed communist bloc through gloating, so that their betters might dictate the terms of their next incarnation. The gloating was unwarranted at best, at worst willfully ignorant.


There’s a lyric from the Beatles’ Abbey Road album, from a track about a scientist who is victimized by a serial killer: “Joan was quizzical, studied ‘pataphysical science in the home.” ‘Pataphysics, for those unaware, is the science of imaginary solutions. It was created by a unique artist, writer, and cycling enthusiast working in the late 19th Century, Alfred Jarry. The aesthetic descendant of Russian absurdists and pre-cursor to the DADAists and Surrealists, his most famous character is Pere Ubu, which inspired the name of the David Thomas post-punk band. His most famous play, Ubu Roi (King Ubu), sets the Ubu character’s grotesquely omnivorous id to navigating the palace intrigue and battlefield horror of a chaotic history play ending with Pere and Mere Ubu escaping in a ship that happens to pass near the kingdom where Prince Hamlet met his fate.


If any character from literature embodies the myriad flaws of the United States 45th and most impeached and indicted President, it is Pere Ubu. DADA and MAGA were sired by the same type of father: a bloviating, voluminous, avaricious, and rapacious thing never meant by the Heavens to reproduce, let alone breathe life into a movement.


If ‘pataphysics is the science of imaginary solutions, MAGAphysics is the cult of imaginary problems. This raises an obvious question. If DADA, operating according to ‘pataphysical laws, and MAGA, slobbering and spasming under the force of MAGAphysics, were to have a fight, who would win?


The first round begins as a... read more