Episode 2.1: Crisis in the Class Relation

Altarbilder, Grupp X, nr 1. Altarbild, 1915 Olja och bladmetall på duk 237,5 × 179,5 cm HAK187 © Stiftelsen Hilma af Klints Verk

Owen Gilbride and I have been recording a new podcast, discussing every essay in the Endnotes series. We are beginning with Endnotes no. 2 “Misery and the Value-Form” because I didn’t order no. 1.

The first episode of the podcast is out now. You can add this URL to your podcast apps. You can also watch on YouTube (don’t forget to subscribe). The essay under review can be read here.

As with everything good, we are doing this for our own edification.

The music in the show is by Owen, a prolific musician–check out more of his music here–and I am very grateful for his engineering skills.

The thumbnail shows a detail from Hilma af Klimt’s “Altarpiece,” the first in her “Group X” series of paintings. It because it seems to represent the ascension to mystical heights of knowledge that you will undergo by listening and subscribing to this podcast.

If you have any feedback, we are both all ears. Drop me a line on Twitter, or send me an email. Owen is much more difficult to contact.

Voices and the New Mirror

Front page of Iskra, circa 1901.

Lenin became a leader as the 19th century gave way to the 20th, when revolutionary consciousness in Russia was at a high point. A statement credited to a group including Georgi Plekhanov, Vera Zasulich, Pavel Axelrod, Julius Martov, Vladimir Ilyich (Lenin) and his younger brother Dmitri Ilyich Ulyanov, read “we are passing through an extremely important period in the history of the Russian working-class movement…The past few years have been marked by an astonishingly rapid spread of Social-Democratic ideas among our intelligentsia, and meeting this trend in social ideas is an independent movement of the industrial proletariat…” continued »

Early Days on the Internet

Spent some time falling into a nostalgia trap, and going back through old message board archives and reading my 13-14 year old self talking shit. I was a rude, cynical bastard at that age. I had a lot of anger inside. Not enough attention at home; too much instability. I wrote about some memories using The Place in this Twitter thread. The two forums I was reading through were Martial Arts Planet (MAP), and the Crestfallen Studios community board. Maybe someday I’ll reveal my username. Real ones already know.

“Points of Light” at the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art

Godard, Jean-Luc, Isabelle Huppert, Hanna Schygulla, Michel Piccoli. Passion, DVD. Directed by Jean-Luc Godard. Paris, Parafrance Films, 1982.

Steyerl and Godard, two Marxist filmmakers from separate generations, stand out in this exhibition of video art at the MAC. continued »

The Current & Actual Status of This Website

Küstenlandschaft mit 2 Aussichtsfelsen (Mit dem schwarzen Stern) Paul Klee. 1918. Watercolor over a chalk base on paper, laid on cardboard

I unintentionally started working on this website again at the beginning of the week, undertaking to rewrite my old template as a WordPress theme. As I always do whenever I undertake any kind of coding-based project that I am still fairly low-level in, I got completely engrossed and this week has been a write off. What I have to show for it, however, is this nice new website–managed by a CMS system whose power I did not appreciate prior to a few days ago.

The two things that remain to be done, in terms of web design, are to style the comments and to change some aspects of the layout. I would like the text to be just a bit wider at its maximum width, and I want the grey content area to take up more space.

I am locked into reproducing a lot of the features I see on digital publishing platforms. I want the main article area to have two side-columns, invisible, but capable of holding notes, references, and pull-quotes. I like the way that Real Life Magazine designs theirs, where the pull quote is kind of half-offset. It’s also important to me that I have a robust system for arranging citations–I think the way The New Inquiry does theirs is the best I’ve seen. From visiting their website for years, it seems like quotations and references can go in either side-column, based on the discretion of the editor, I assume. I think having the citation alongside the text is a lot better than the more common method I see, which is having a superscript number that takes you to that particular section in the endnotes section. Wikipedia is the most prominent example of this system.

Just a few other things that I would like to figure out for the website:

  • Category pages with a bit of text explaining what the category actually is, since they all have non-intuitive names (like Hypnic Jerk for my general blog).
  • Reddit-inspired commenting layout, with pagination and bbcode.
  • An archive–this one is a big project that I haven’t fully thought out, but I know that I want a tag cloud; I want post titles to appear in a list on the same content block (easier to navigate). I want a lot of collapsible elements (iframes, I think?) and I want the reader to have the options of browsing the post index by category, by simple chronology, and based on some kind of tag collation.
  • I know that I want a bright red newsletter icon to constantly be floating in the bottom right, bothering people to sign up.
  • Another perhaps overly-ambitious project, but the intention is for the home page to have an instagram-like grid of photos, that can be clicked to bring them into focus / larger size, with some context. A reason for me to have a camera–a place for me to post photos. Just like writing, an escape from all the private corporations.
  • Perhaps a PeerTube instance (lol).
  • Drop caps.
  • Mailing list archive.

The mailing list is something that I will have to code independently of WordPress. I think that, once I get commenting and the mailing list set up, then I will have no excuse for NOT running the Lufa Farms story. 

Hilariously, this doesn’t get into the question of a local workflow at all, ha!