Craig Schuftan

leemiller sf

Passing Discords

'Spinoza thinks that, if you see your misfortunes as they are in reality, you will see that they are only misfortunes to you, not to the universe, to which they are merely passing discords heightening an ultimate harmony. I cannot accept this; I think that particular events are what they are, and do not become different by absorption into a whole. Each act of cruelty is eternally a part of the universe; nothing that happens later can make that act good rather than bad, or can confer perfection on the whole of which it is a part.'

spinoza | bertrand russell | harmony | voltaire


Against Nature

'Sexual freedom, sexual liberation. A modern delusion. We are hierarchical animals. Sweep one hierarchy away, and another will take its place, perhaps less palatable than the first. There are hierarchies in nature and alternate hierarchies in society. In nature, brute force is the law, the survival of the fittest. In society, there are protections for the weak, society is our frail barrier against nature. When the prestige of the state and religion is low, men are free, but they find freedom intolerable, and seek new ways to enslave themselves... My theory is that whenever sexual freedom is sought or achieved, sadomasochism will not be far behind.'

lou reed | velvet underground | nico | camille paglia | sexual personae | sadomasochism


It don't run in our blood

'In short, this power is exercised rather than posessed; it is not the 'privilege', acquired or preserved, of the dominant class, but the overall effect of its strategic positions - an effect that is manifested and sometimes extended by the position of those who are dominated. Furthermore, this power is not exercised simply as an obligation or a prohibition on those who 'do not have it'; it invests them, is transmitted by them and through them; it exerts pressure upon them, just as they themselves, in their struggle against it, resist the grip it has on them.'

lorde | royals | power | privilege | foucalt | barthes |


A chair is a chair

'It is not untrue to say that chairs have seats and that rain falls downward. Many poets write truths of this sort. They are like a painter adorning the walls of a sinking ship with a still life... Those in power cannot corrupt them, but neither are they disturbed by the cries of the opressed. 

bertolt brecht


An inexorable foe

'Quite certainly the radio is a foe!–and so are the gramophone and sound-film. An inexorable foe, irresistibly on the advance; opposition is a hopeless prospect.

radio | listening | schoenberg


The broken, the beaten and the damned

'Any disturbing, frightening or exciting event - any kind of revolt or revolution, a summons to a crusade, an interregnum, a plague or a famine, anything in fact which disrupted the routine of social life - acted on these people with peculiar sharpness and called forth reactions of peculiar violence. And one way in which they attempted to deal with their common plight was to form a salvationist group under a messianic leader... On the strength of inspirations and revelations for which he claimed divine origin this leader would decree for his followers a communal mission of vast dimensions and world-shaking importance. The conviction of having such a mission, of being divinely appointed to carry out a prodigious task, provided

my chemical romance | the pursuit of the millennium | norman cohn | gerard way