The Brain of Ulrike Meinhof

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Ulrike Marie Meinhof was born Oct. 7, 1934. She studied philosophy, sociology and German literature, engaged herself politically on the left in the anti-nuclear-movement in the late 50’s. From 1959 to 1969 she was a columnist for the magazine konkret, one of the most important publications of the far left in Germany then and now. Married to Klaus-Rainer Röhl who published konkret until 1973, two kids. Move to Berlin in 1968. [Read more →]

SAY FEAR IS A MAN’S BEST FRIEND

You add it up it brings you down

A preoccupation with management of risk has often been observed in post-millennial culture’s efforts to express itself. The immediate past and future, however, almost belabour the point that this is not some marginal, hysterical obsession: at its disposal is all the apparatus with which constituted power’s deadly earnest will is done. April Fools’ Day 2003 heralded the third week of a total war waged pre-emptively on the pretext that a subaltern state’s remaining industrial capacity could be used in unauthorised slaughtering ventures (something true of any such infrastructure in the world). Meanwhile Britain awaits the passage of more legislation encouraging counsellors and other police to intervene, as the Home Secretary puts it, ‘before bad behaviour becomes criminal behaviour’. Blunkett’s Anti-Social Behaviour Bill deserves special mention, in fact, for its doubly anticipatory structure. The trigger for therapeutic enforcement is behaviour ‘likely to result in members of the public being intimidated, harassed, alarmed or distressed’. Here the problem is twice removed into the future tense, once in the wager ‘likely to’ and again the way ‘alarm’ and ‘distress’ imply as yet unaccomplished cruelty.
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YOU MUST HELP YOURSELF:

NEO-LIBERAL GEOGRAPHIES AND WORKER INSURGENCY IN OSAKA

“I realize as the train pulls in that the station is on fire. The platform is aflame and below the streets are empty with people running past occasionally. Something is happening. I pick up some rocks and start throwing them at a police line.”
-anonymous rioter at Kamagasaki

“You must help yourself.”
-Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS

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October 2nd, 1990. The day started as any other does in Osaka’s Nishi-Nari ward, men lined up around the yoseba employment center, in the thousands, waiting for work. If it came, they would load into the cars of construction contractors in groups, with parachute pants and wrapped heads. For eight hours they might wave light wands ‘guiding pedestrians’, dig concrete roads, re-pave highways or variously break their backs in the sun. This proletarian fate was ceded by the city’s bourgeoisie over a period of thirty years of continuous unemployed unrest; all the union officials touted it as labor ‘won’ from an inhuman system. After all, without work, one does not eat, and once conditions have worsened to the point that this phrase becomes dictatorial, one works in a fervor; for work leads to ‘independence’. Work might one day lead out of the slum.
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POST-MEDIA OPERATORS: “SOVEREIGN & VAGUE”

No one recognises these powers as their own

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(Why Theory?) We have to dispense with the idea that theorising occurs after the creative event; that a poem or a track or a text is made and then, as part of its process of dissemination, there follows the theorising of the piece. Such a theorising is normally attributed to those known variously as critics, reviewers and essayists. However, what actually occurs is that theorising goes on at the same time as the creative event is being worked upon. It is complementary to the event and, more importantly, it is the continuous precondition for the event. There is always this theoretical supplement to any activity: a carpenter fits cupboards into an alcove and there is this ongoing process about the nature of the material, a questioning of the next step, and how it is best to overcome those obstacles, such as the unevenness of the wall, that present themselves. Similarly, when producers make a track there is a similar theorisation going on: what sounds to use, how they fit in to other sounds, how they relate to expectation, how best to structure the track. Such a theoretical component to any activity is denied because theory is normally attributed to a textual product, and like the role of the critic, this comes to exercise the effect upon creative producers that their activity is somehow ‘below’ the level of theoretical process.
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NEW AGE POLICING

Biology is Ideology
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In 1999, as Datacide readers are sure to remember, JFK’s son John Junior joined the family of Dead Kennedys, flying his light aircraft straight down into the Atlantic. Mystery surrounded this terrible event at first, until an Israeli geneticist set our minds at rest. The Kennedy family, he explained, probably carries a risk gene, which drove poor John Jnr, like his father, to tempt fate once too often. [Read more →]

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