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What is Surrealpolitik? Some assumed that the answer had emerged in 2003 when a historian reported a shocking episode. According to the report, anarcho-surrealists set up surrealist torture cells during the Spanish Civil War.  French artist Alphonse Laurencic, put on trial after the war by the Fascists, confessed that he had invented a form of "psychotechnic" torture. Fascists were imprisoned in small cells in which everything sloped at weird angles, walls were covered with bizarre colors and geometric forms, and the floor was littered with geometrical blocks. The inmates were forced to watch the eyeball-slicing scene from “Un Chien Andalou.” Finally, the meaning of le surréalisme au pouvoir.

Not quite. The episode, though almost universally reported as fact, was an obvious fraud.  Think about it.
Intergalactic Blues: Fantasy & Ideology in Avatar by Max Cafard PDF E-mail
Intergalactic Blues: Fantasy & Ideology in  Avatar
Basil King at 75 PDF E-mail
Basil King at 75

Coinciding with his birthday, an exhibition from his “Green Man” series at Poets House shined a rare light on an artist who has charted an independent course.

“Responsibility is to keep
     the ability to respond.”
                    --Robert Duncan
                    “The Law I Love is Major Mover”

In 1674 Moldavian boyar Nicolae Milescu took residence in Moscow, having been offered a high official position at the Posolski Prikaz, the Tsar’s chancellery charged with foreign affairs. In 1675, Milescu was sent by the Tsar of Russia, Alexei Mikhailovich, as high ambassador on a diplomatic mission to the Khan of China. One of his missions was “to learn at any cost and beyond the shadow of a doubt whether friendly relations and mutual affection are to be established in the future between His Majesty the Tsar of Russia and Kangxi, Great Khan of China.” Milescu was also under orders to gather geographic, demographic and ethnographic facts from all the territories that he was bound to cross.
Andrei Oisteanu: Jews, Christians and Muslims PDF E-mail

I shall try to present from a comparative perspective a historical (as well as legendary and literary) motif which has been very widespread in the Middle Ages. The motif in question is that of public theological disputations. These inter-confessional controversies were commonly “staged” according to the following scenario: spokesmen of two or more religions were set to challenge one another in a public theological disputation, often having as an “arbiter” none other than the sovereign or the Pope. I shall present several debates of this type that took place in Western (chapter A), in Eastern (chapter B) and in Central Europe (chapter C). I shall not approach the subject from a properly speaking theological perspective, but rather from a history of religions perspective.
Peoples? Weird Shit Namely Mine PDF E-mail
Museum Women PDF E-mail

The Curator oversees the acquisitions of new works, takes responsibility for the maintenance of the museum’s holdings, and carefully sculpts the museum’s future with her vision of where Art Is Going. If, as a practical matter, The Curator spends most of her energy enhancing her reputation among the cosmopolitan museum set -- well, so much the better! After all, you don’t expect her to stick around this hick town for long, do you?

Athena  The Curator works hard to stand for the art community the way Athena symbolized Athens. Like the Greek goddess, The Curator always strives to be magnificent, noble, and austerely stylish.

Simone de Beauvoir  Feminist, philosopher, bohemian, and scarf-wearing lover of Sartre, de Beauvoir showed The Curator that a woman could have brains, panache, and significance. The Curator finds it curiously arousing that such a proud woman could also have abased herself so thoroughly in the service of her mentor.

Andy Warhol  He achieved artistic fame by mixing up the low and the high. He was a master manipulator. And, let’s face it, The Curator would rather be a creative person than a bureaucrat anyway. Who wouldn’t?
Mother Tongue: a moving account of interlingual farrago from a mother who wants smart children PDF E-mail

Three weeks after my daughter had started first grade, we received a letter in the mail with her English-as-a-Second-Language test results: she had scored the lowest possible assessment: Tier A – described as “appropriate for language learners who have arrived in the U.S. this academic school year without previous instruction in English.” I didn’t know she had been tested. I didn’t even realize Dina wasn’t considered a native speaker of English. She has lived in the US since she was one year old and there is no language she speaks more fluently than English.
Twitter Iran : Twitter America PDF E-mail
Project Gone Postal

“Going to work” was one of the first status updates I read after I joined Facebook. At the time, I was naïve about the nature of Facebook communication, so I immediately wondered if this friend had been previously out of work and, if so, why. Had he been laid-off or fired? Had he been sick or injured on the job? Of course, he could have just changed jobs, but the lack of punctuation in the update made me think, for no real reason, of the doldrums of a familiar workplace, the type of place that becomes so repetitive that the lack of punctuation was a metaphor for how he saw his job: endless. Since I was new to social networking sites, I thought it was important for me to respond to every update, but “Going to work” frustrated me because what should I say? Telling him “that sucks” could be just as insulting as writing “Yay!” because I didn’t know how he really felt about going to work. Should I click the “like” button, but what if he works in a sweatshop? Do I really want to give that the thumbs up? I thought about telling him, “Good for you” and adding, at the end, the coy emoticon wink “;)”showing that this was a sarcastic statement meant in good fun. I felt it was better to wait for others to respond, but no one did. I assumed that everyone was sharing my problem, and in the end, I wrote nothing because I became too angry with this “friend” and his inability to use punctuation. Honestly, it would have been easier for me if he had used, for example, an exclamation point: “Going to work!” Then I would have known his excitement and would have given the perfect response: “It’s about time you lazy ass! ;)."

During my first few weeks on Facebook, I found that the more friends I collected, the more I was assailed by grocery lists, “Need to pick up milk”; exercise routines, “Ran five miles today. Whew! I’m tired!”; drinking preferences, “uncork the bottle, it’s wine nite”; sarcastic parents, “I only slept three hours last night. Thanks, (insert newborn’s name)”; and angry non-sequiturs, “Listen, I don’t care what you heard, but it wasn’t my idea!” And as I read the updates, I couldn’t help but to have an overwhelming feeling of apathy for these friends. In fact, I felt so depressed that that’s all they had going in their lives that I stopped using Facebook, deciding if they really had anything important to say they would call me. After two months and no phone calls, I received an email from “The Facebook Team” telling me what I already knew: “You haven’t been back to Facebook recently.” The email’s second sentence was simple enough: “You have received notifications while you were gone.” But, to me, it dripped of a mother’s “Oh, I-saw-your-slightly-senile-great-grandmother-the-other-day-and-she-said-she-understands-that-you’re-too-busy-to-visit” passive-aggression. So I thought, “Okay, Facebook, you win. I’ll visit.” And just like visiting a senile great grandmother, I spent most of my time trying to figure out what people were saying and not knowing how to properly respond.

During the same week I received the Facebook email, I went to a party and the conversation turned to Facebook. After I questioned the site’s usefulness, I joked about people sending status updates through the mail. “Wouldn’t that be disappointing,” I said, “to receive a postcard from someone and thinking that person took the time to buy the postcard and stamps, and then, on the back, it read something like, ‘just woke-up’.” We continued to laugh about random postcard status updates the rest of the night, but the next day I seriously started to question the nature of language. Shouldn’t we expect more out of communication? Shouldn’t language be an insightful dialogue and not simply status updates? To prove that there is more to communication, I decided to begin a social experiment/experience that I called, “Gone Postal”. For thirty days I would send all my status updates through the mail, hoping the recipients began thinking about the weight of words. It would be the ultimate postal satire. I posted my idea in a note on Facebook and within minutes six friends called me a genius and wanted to be part of the experiment. At the end of the first day, I had fourteen friends who were excited to get my status updates in the mail. And, in mid-June, when “Gone Postal” officially began, I was sending my updates to 19 people, which was approximately 15 percent of my “friends list”. Now, I thought, they’ll all share my disappointment in language.

Become A fan of Gone Postal:
top de topless, a latEnt manifesto PDF E-mail
The mummyfestos cracking open after the Bastille came out of her mythochondrial boudoir.
Salmon Rushdie: from The Corpse Cookbook: recipe by jj phillips PDF E-mail
The Corpse Cookbook is proud to present our first recipe from jj phillips!

Active ImageWashington, DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 minutes later

The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

6 minutes

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

Active Image"Hello, I'm home!"
      It was Harold, calling so loudly from just inside the front door of the Ins & Outs Press building, his voice ringing with pure glee, that I could hear him clearly from my apartment three floors up; which itself was immediately below the two-floor suite I'd given over to him for his couple of weeks stay with me.
     It was early winter 1984 and Harold had just returned to Amsterdam from a brief reading tour somewhere in Germany. Prior to that he'd made his second appearance at an annual Benn Posset-organized One World Poetry Festival (the previous having been P78 six years earlier, when Hal and I first met). Shortly after the festival, and before he'd moved into I&O, we performed together at an auxiliary event Benn had arranged at the de Melkweg (Milky Way) multi-media center. Harold was casually clad (tight brown leather, I seem to recall), in keeping with Amsterdam's easygoing artistic temperament. Whereas I--in suit, tie and city-slicker Stetson--was dressed way beyond merely to the nines.
     "Aren't you overdoing it?" Harold finally asked, his sideways glance at my outfit betraying confusion rather than anything remotely judgmental.
     I simply smiled and kept walking.
     Following our reading, however, and over drinks at the bar, Harold patted me on the shoulder and said: "I take it back. That get-up is perfect for you. You're the gangster poet, after all." 
Eden vs. Eden PDF E-mail
In the beginning, William Willcocks had wanted to be a missionary, but instead he became the foremost British irrigation engineer of his time, and God saw that it was good.

In 1902 Willcocks designed the world's largest bridge--the Aswan Dam across the Nile--and two years later he was knighted for his work reconstructing the waterways of South Africa after the Boer War. With a resume like this, it was not surprising that Willcocks developed a reputation for megalomania. After observing him at work, the British archaeologist, writer, and sometime intelligence agent Gertrude Bell--no wilting flower herself--wrote: "Sir William is a 20th century Don Quixote, erratic, maddening--and entirely loveable; a streak of genius, a good slab of unreasonableness…Good luck go with him, and may I never have to work with him." Willcocks, tall and lanky, always wore a slight scowl, and he spoke and wrote with a blunt honesty that his well-mannered English colleagues found off-putting.
Thomas Laird's Meditation of the Corpse PDF E-mail
The book of meditation has fourteen chapters.
Hariette Surovell's Long Epic Fight with the Faceless Monster Verizon PDF E-mail
"Do you have any enemies?" "T", the Verizon security expert suddenly asked me.


"Yes, Ma'am. Is there someone out there who would want to do you harm?"

I felt like Briscoe and Logan from "Law and Order" were at my door, investigating a homicide, or in my case, potential identity theft.


It was the second week of April, 2009.

I had first contacted Verizon in December, 2008, about a simple customer service snafu. Since then, I had logged in an inestimable number of hours sending e-mails, waiting on hold at the mysterious, David Cronenberg-ian e-center, speaking to human Verizon employees, then speaking to their supervisors, and, most recently, having daily conversations with "T". Could someone in my sphere of acquaintances--a friend, an ex-friend, a neighbor, an anonymous evildoer--harbor a V-for-Verizon vendetta?
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