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 Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive"

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perpetualburn

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PostSubject: Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive" Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:36 pm

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Jewish aversion/fear/envy to anything that showcases European beauty.  You notice that Jews are hyper aware of European aesthetics, of European spirituality..."White nationalists" are the easy target, easy to defame... But Jews are keenly aware when things become more sophisticated, when what is being highlighted of the European is beyond resentment and touches at the core, when influence is possibly far reaching.

The Rabbi in the video, however, is the Jewish version of the "white nationalist."  Smarter Jews integrate with and/or use strong displays of European aesthetics to increase their own power.  Dumb Jews truly believe in the military march against anti-Semetism.

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Notice the great use of light in this scene.

Some quotes on Southern California and its "light":

"Most sub-tropical climates enervate, and so develop indolence that the muscles relax, the ambition is quenched, and gradually one modifies the old saw that has stimulated mankind to its best endeavors, “Never defer till to-morrow what can be done to-day,” and the indolent dweller among flowers and fruits says, “Never do to-day what can be put off till to-morrow.” Climates like those of Mexico and Spain develop a race that finds work tiresome, a “thing of duty is a bore forever.” Hot days and hot nights sap the sources of energy. But the electric atmosphere of the hottest days here, the cool sea breeze, the cold nights, stimulate to effort, and continually quicken the energies, so that Southern Californians are as wide awake and ever on the alert as is the Bostonian, when the east wind does not chill him to the marrow, the New Yorker, when the summer heats do not unfit him for effort, or the Chicagoan when the blizzard does not drive him into winter quarters."

“It was in a climate like this that the Greek cities clustered richly together, and Art was born. It was beside the waters of an untroubled sea, beneath just such cloudless skies, where the myrtle, the orange, the olive and the vine flourished and were fed by living mountain streams, that a greater than a Greek civilization gave law and order to a bar-barous world. Man is largely the result of environment and education, and we are justified in believing that the San Gabriel valley will be peopled with a community wise enough to lead gen-erous and contented lives, and good enough to labor with one accord for the social, material and spiritual welfare of the race.”

The American Italy: the scenic wonderland of perfect climate, golden sunshine, ever-blooming flowers and always-ripening fruits : Southern California
John Wesley Hanson

"I arrived in L.A. at night, so it wasn’t until the next morning, when I stepped out of a small apartment on San Vicente Boulevard, that I saw this light. And it thrilled my soul. I feel lucky to live with that light. . . .

Even with smog, there’s something about that light that’s not harsh, but bright and smooth. It fills me with the feeling that all possibilities are available. I don’t know why. It’s different from the light in other places." - David Lynch

“When the sunlight is not screened and filtered by the moisture-laden air, the land is revealed in all its semi-arid poverty. The bald, sculpted mountains stand forth in a harsh and glaring light. But let the light turn soft with ocean mist, and miraculous changes occur. The bare mountain ranges, appallingly harsh in contour, suddenly become wrapped in an entrancing ever-changing loveliness of light and shadow; the most commonplace objects assume a matchless perfection of form; and the land itself becomes a thing of beauty. The color of the land is in the light and the light is somehow artificial and controlled. Things are not killed by the sunlight, as in a desert; they merely dry up. A desert light brings out the sharpness of points, angles, and forms. But this is not a desert light nor is it tropical for it has neutral tones. It is Southern California light and it has no counterpart in the world.” - Carey McWilliams, Southern California: An Island on the Land
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PostSubject: Re: Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive" Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:37 pm

Man this is fucking hilarious.

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Nicolas Winding Refn is one of my favorite directors. Drive, Valhalla Rising, and Only God Forgives are some of the best movies of this period. I think antisemitism mainly stems from meta-physical disagreements. Idealism will always be directly opposed to Judaism. This is why Germany rose against it, and not the proletarian countries like France or America. Interesting to see a directors sub-conscious expose itself onto the screen. You can also see a lot of hidden contexts within Jewish directors films.
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PostSubject: Re: Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive" Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:53 pm

They prefer using subliminal messaging in pop-culture to create narcoleptic douche-bags...Zombies.
Zionism has a branch in its political wing that wishes to disappear within a culture which is made deaf, dumb and blind.

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PostSubject: Re: Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive" Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:15 am

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This was from an American Jew. The propaganda is working on some Jews to say the least. The question comes up again whether it's a conscious effort or just sub-conscious anxiety's revealing itself. I would be pretty paranoid if I lived there as well. Those people probably don't realize how hypocritical them as a people seem, cognitive dissonance to strong, just to strong.
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PostSubject: Re: Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive" Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:33 pm

Africa's population will double to 2.4 billion by 2050... Israel and Europe have a lot to deal with... One has to wonder how much longer left wing Jewish groups that promote immigration and diversity in western nations, will be taken seriously by the general population...

Israel Jews are indoctrinated into a victim culture while simultaneously being hard nationalists that will do anything to protect the Jewish identity of their country... The irony of a Jewish girl in that video speaking of the violent nature of Africans, "But nobody believes us. "You're racist." We're racist because we want to preserve our lives and sanity. So I'm proud to be racist!""... The exact same sort of rhetoric Jews slam Europeans for when they speak out against immigration.

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PostSubject: Re: Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive" Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:48 pm

More on climate.

Quote :
The zones of culture. For the sake of comparison, one can say that cultural eras correspond to various climactic belts, only that the former follow one another and do not, like the geographical zones, lie next to one another. In comparison with the temperate cultural zone, which it is our duty to enter, the past gives, on the whole, the impression of a tropical climate. Violent contrasts; abrupt alternation of day and night; heat and magnificent colors; reverence for everything sudden, mysterious, frightful; rapid onset of oncoming storms; everywhere the wasteful overflowing of nature's horns of plenty; and on the other hand, in our culture, a light, though not brilliant sky; pure, rather unchanging air; briskness, even cold occasionally: thus the two zones contrast with one another. When we see how the most raging passions are overcome and broken with uncanny power by metaphysical ideas, we feel as if wild tigers in the tropics were being crushed before our eyes in the coils of monstrous snakes. Such things do not happen in our spiritual climate; our fantasy is temperate; even in dreams, we do not experience what earlier peoples saw when awake. But may we not be happy about this change, even admitting that artists are seriously impaired by the disappearance of tropical culture and find us nonartists a bit too sober? To this extent, artists are probably right in denying "progress," for it can indeed at least be doubted that the last three thousand years show a course of progress in the arts; likewise, a metaphysical philosopher like Schopenhauer will have no cause to acknowledge progress, if he surveys the last four thousand years with reference to metaphysical philosophy and religion.
But for us, the very existence of the temperate cultural zone counts as progress.
-Nietzsche

Quote :
There are monotheist races just as there are polytheist races, and this difference stems from an original diversity in the way they envision nature
- Julius Evola

Quote :
Nature holds little place in the Semitic religions; the desert is monotheist; sublime in its immense uniformity, it first revealed the idea of infinity to man, but not the feeling of an incessantly creative life that a more fertile nature inspired in other races
- Evola

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PostSubject: Re: Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive" Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:23 am

Metaphysical disagreements.

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PostSubject: Re: Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive" Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:50 pm

Documentary on the light in Holland.

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Quote :
The myth about Dutch light started circulating in the 19th century. In the 1850s, the Netherlands became popular with painters and writers. Monet, Manet, Liebermann, Whistler, Boudin, Fromentin, Mirbeau and the Goncourt brothers all came to see Holland’s famous 17th-century paintings and the typical Dutch countryside for themselves. And along with them came writers, painters and photographers from America, Germany, France and Britain. From their diaries and journals it seems almost as if the Dutch countryside was discovered through 17th-century paintings, as if the landscapes and the light were the inventions of artists.

The French writer Octave Mirbeau remarked that the ‘real Holland, the land of water and sky… the pearl grey realm’ started at the confluence of the country’s large rivers, about 10 kilometres north of Breda. The German painter Max Liebermann wrote that ‘the mists that rise from the water and shroud the world in a translucent veil give that country its extraordinarily picturesque quality … everything is bathed in light and air.’

Eugène Fromentin, the author of a study of 17th-century Dutch art, said that one could identify the very spot where 17th-century artists like Willem van de Velde and Jan van Goyen had painted their pictures along the coast of Scheveningen. It was as if nothing at all had changed. The Goncourt brothers described Holland in their famous journal as ‘a country lying at anchor’, where light shimmers as if it were filtered through ‘a carafe of salt water’, and in the sky, the constant presence of ‘Ruisdael’s swollen, leaden clouds’.

The French philosopher Hypolite Taine had this to say: ‘Holland’s flat horizons have little to offer. The air is always hazy, which makes all the contours blurred and indistinct. It’s the small touches that matter most. A cow grazing in the landscape is simply tones among other tones. What we notice are the nuances, the contrasts, the values and tonality of the colours. The shades of brightness and the gradations of colour are astonishing… a delight to the eye.’

Descriptions of this kind, contradictory as they were, gave birth to the myth that Dutch light was special.

Only way to get it is through Netflix or to just buy it. You can watch for free here, but there are no subtitles:

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PostSubject: Re: Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive" Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:04 pm

Quote :
The Problem of Autumn Summers in the high Alps of Sils-Maria [1] were never a problem for Nietzsche: the snows of the surrounding mountains there kept the air fresh and cool throughout the summer. Yet the autumn and winter came early to Sils, and so Nietzsche most often escaped Sils in early September.

The "problem of spring and autumn" had been with him during the entire decade of his travels, the 1880s. If the Riviera of France and Italy offered him hospitality during the winter months, and the Alps gave him the most beautiful and protective summers of his life, the problem months were October to November and March to April. The mountains were too cold, the seashore too warm. Nietzsche tried numberless solutions to this problem.

Lake Lucerne in Switzerland [2] [3] was too far north to serve as a transition, as much as Nietzsche remembered and loved it because of the Wagners' residence at Tribschen. Even the beautiful Lake Garda, with its surrounding Dolomite Mountains [4], was too fickle to serve as a solution: the autumn could turn to winter in an instant, and that winter could last into May. Lago Maggiore [5] [6] offered a more stable climate.

Nietzsche tried many of the beautiful towns that dot the Italian side of the lake, towns such as the beautiful Stresa, with the nearby Isola Borromeo [7]. The ancient town of Cannóbio [8], west of the southern leg of the lake, seemed most promising: the Villa Badía for a time seemed the perfect solution to the problem. The nearby gorge of the Cannobino River [9] offered endless walking paths and vistas. Farther to the south, the city and lake of Como [10] offered perhaps the most elegant possibility for a residence during these troublesome months "in between."

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PostSubject: Re: Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive" Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:12 pm

Quote :
"Tetsuro Watsuji [Climates and Cultures: A Philosophical Study (Fudo, 1935)] classified the climates of the southern Eurasian continent into three types. One is the monsoon zone, which covers India through South-east Asia. The second is the desert zone of western Asia, with Arabia as its center. The third is the meadow zone of Europe. What he felt particularly impressed with was the contrast between the monsoon and the desert zones. Nature in the former brims with invigorating life, while in the latter it is compised of lifeless rocks and sand. Two completely different cultures were developed. Doesn't this phenomenon have some relation to the climatic differences? Watsuji contrasts here the Buddhist and Hindu cosmologies with the Judeo-Christian and Islamic ones. Pantheistic polytheism, charged with affective character, was developed in the former, while in the latter an absolute monotheism which demands a strong will and strict morality was developed. What is the reason for this difference? Nature in the monsoon zone nurtres plant and animal life through heat and the abundance of rain. From this is born a receptive lifestyle that accepts the blessings of nature, which is great and alive. Nature can become violent, causing floods and droughts, but if these are tolerated it soon returns to its former state. From this comes the Eastern world-view which accepts the destiny of life while receiving salvation from the gods by extoliing them. In contrast, nature in the desert bestows death upon those who would sit around and wait. Man in this zone must actively overcome nature so as to possess his life. This calls for a strict morality through which one obeys the will of an absolute god that transends nature. Watsuji thought that in this lies a historical "womb" for the aggresisveness of ego-consciousness which is seen in the tradition of Western spiritual history. ...Originally the Japanese term Fudo does not simply refer to "climate" as a natural phenomenon. It also means the life-style and mores which are intrinsically molded by climate." [The Encounter of Modern Japanese Philosophy with Heidegger, Yasuo Yuasa]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive" Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:12 pm

We can differentiate the ones focused on genetic or memetic expansion. Both at constant odds with eachother, like in the Ukraine where the west activly supports anti-semitic facist groups to topple Eurasian idenity. The most liberal countries are also the most anti-zionist displaying the contradiction.

The head of the ADL strikes the perfect balance though.
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Much worse than the holocaust considering it was artificially induced. Most of the Nazi occupied areas were starving to begin with because of the Allies, and the gypsies and jews were on the bottom of the totem pole pretty much everywhere. In reality the memetic war was of far greater importance, knowingly sacrificing its own kin, my grandfather in law who survived Auschwitz at the age of 15 has pretty much come to terms with this.

What is your opinion on the self hating Jew?

Inability to escape inherited past and strike accord with own ideal.
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Hates the supremacist mentality raised in.
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Greatest Chess player of all time.
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PostSubject: Re: Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive" Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:23 pm

From "The Myth of Sisyphus" by Camus

Quote :
Ariadne’s Stone

It seems that the people of Oran are like that friend of Flaubert
who, on the point of death, casting a last glance at this
irreplaceable earth, exclaimed: “Close the window; it’s too
beautiful.” They have closed the window, they have walled
themselves in, they have cast out the landscape. But Flaubert’s
friend, Le Poittevin, died, and after him days continued to be added
to days. Likewise, beyond the yellow walls of Oran, land and sea
continue their indifferent dialogue. That permanence in the world
has always had contrary charms for man. It drives him to despair
and excites him. The world never says but one thing; first it
interests, then it bores. But eventually it wins out by dint of
obstinacy. It is always right.

Already, at the very gates of Oran, nature raises its voice. In
the direction of Canastel there are vast wastelands covered with
fragrant brush. There sun and wind speak only of solitude. Above
Oran there is the mountain of Santa-Cruz, the plateau and the
myriad ravines leading to it. Roads, once carriageable, cling to the
slopes overhanging the sea. In the month of January some are
covered with flowers. Daisies and buttercups turn them into
sumptuous paths, embroidered in yellow and white. About Sant-
Cruzz everything has been said. But if I were to speak of it, I
should forget the sacred processions that climb the rugged hill on
feast days, in order to recall other pilgrimages. Solitary, they walk
in the red stone, rise above the motionless bay, and come to
dedicate to nakedness a luminous, perfect hour.

Oran has also its deserts of sand: its beaches. Those
encountered near the gates are deserted only in winter and spring.
Then they are plateaus covered with asphodels, peopled with bare
little cottages among the flowers. The sea rumbles a bit, down
below. Yet already the sun, the faint breeze, the whiteness of the
asphodels, the sharp blue of the sky, everything makes one fancy
summer—the golden youth then covering the beach, the long hours
on the sand and the sudden softness of evening. Each year on these
shores there is a new harvest of girls in flower. Apparently they
have but one season. The following year, other cordial blossoms
take their place, which, the summer before, were still little girls
with bodies as hard as buds. At eleven a.m., coming down from the
plateau, all that young flesh, lightly clothed in motley materials,
breaks on the sand like a multicolored wave.

Quote :

One has to go farther (strangely close, however, to that spot
where two hundred thousand men are laboring) to discover a still
virgin landscape: long, deserted dunes where the passage of men
has left no other trace than a worm-eaten hut. From time to time an
Arab shepherd drives along the top of the dunes the black and
beige spots of his flock of goats. On the beaches of the Oran
country every summer morning seems to be the first in the world.
Each twilight seems to be the last, solemn agony, announced at
sunset by a final glow that darkens every hue. The sea is
ultramarine, the road the color of clotted blood, the beach yellow.
Everything disappears with the green sun; an hour later the dunes
are bathed in moonlight. Then there are incomparable nights under
a rain of stars. Occasionally storms sweep over them, and the
lightning flashes flow along the dunes, whiten the sky, and give the
sand and one’s eyes orange-colored glints.

But this cannot be shared. One has to have lived it. So much
solitude and nobility give these places an unforgettable aspect. In
the warm moment before daybreak, after confronting the first
bitter, black waves, a new creature breasts night’s heavy,
enveloping water. The memory of those joys does not make me
regret them, and thus I recognize that they were good. After so
many years they still last, somewhere in this heart which finds
unswerving loyalty so difficult. And I know that today, if I were to
go to the deserted dune, the same sky would pour down on me its
cargo of breezes and stars. These are lands of innocence.

But innocence needs sand and stones. And man has forgotten
how to live among them. At least it seems so, for he has taken
refuge in this extraordinary city where boredom sleeps.
Nevertheless, that very confrontation constitutes the value of Oran.
The capital of boredom, besieged by innocence and beauty, it is
surrounded by an army in which every stone is a soldier. In the
city, and at certain hours, however, what a temptation to go over to
the enemy! What a temptation to identify oneself with those
stones, to melt into that burning and impassive universe that defies
history and its ferments! That is doubtless futile. But there is in
every man a profound instinct which is neither that of destruction
nor that of creation. It is merely a matter of resembling nothing. In
the shadow of the warm walls of Oran, on its dusty asphalt, that
invitation is sometimes heard. It seems that, for a time, the minds
that yield to it are never disappointed. This is the darkness of
Eurydice and the sleep of Isis. Here are the deserts where thought
will collect itself, the cool hand of evening on a troubled heart. On
this Mount of Olives, vigil is futile; the mind recalls and approves
the sleeping Apostles. Were they really wrong? They nonetheless
had their revelation.

Just think of Sakyamuni in the desert. He remained there for
years on end, squatting motionless with his eyes on heaven. The
very gods envied him that wisdom and that stone-like destiny. In
his outstretched hands the swallows had made their nest. But one
day they flew away, answering the call of distant lands. And he
who had stifled in himself desire and will, fame and suffering,
began to cry. It happens thus that flowers grow on rocks. Yes, let
us accept stone when it is necessary. That secret and that rapture
we ask of faces can also be given us by stone. To be sure, this
cannot last. But what can last, after all? The secret of faces fades
away, and there we are, cast back to the chain of desires. And if
stone can do no more for us than the human heart, at least it can do
just as much.

“Oh, to be nothing!” For thousands of years this great cry has
roused millions of men to revolt against desire and pain. Its dying
echoes have reached this far, across centuries and oceans, to the
oldest sea in the world. They still reverberate dully against the
compact cliffs of Oran. Everybody in this country follows this
advice without knowing it. Of course, it is almost futile.
Nothingness cannot be achieved any more than the absolute can.
But since we receive as favors the eternal signs brought us by roses
or by human suffering, let us not refuse either the rare invitations
to sleep that the earth addresses us. Each has as much truth as the
other.

This, perhaps, is the Ariadne’s thread of this somnambulist and
frantic city. Here one learns the virtues, provisional to be sure, of a
certain kind of boredom. In order to be spared, one must say “yes”
to the Minotaur. This is an old and fecund wisdom. Above the sea,
silent at the base of the red cliffs, it is enough to maintain a
delicate equilibrium halfway between the two massive headlands
which, on the right and left, dip into the clear water. In the puffing
of a coast-guard vessel crawling along the water far out bathed in
radiant light, is distinctly heard the muffled call of inhuman and
glittering forces: it is the Minotaur’s farewell.

Quote :
The mediterranean sun has something tragic about it, quite
different from the tragedy of fogs. Certain evenings at the base of
the seaside mountains, night falls over the flawless curve of a little
bay, and there rises from the silent waters a sense of anguished
fulfillment. In such spots one can understand that if the Greeks
knew despair, they always did so through beauty and its stifling
quality. In that gilded calamity, tragedy reaches its highest point.
Our time, on the other hand, has fed its despair on ugliness and
convulsions. This is why Europe would be vile, if suffering could
ever be so. We have exiled beauty; the Greeks took up arms for
her. First difference, but one that has a history. Greek thought
always took refuge behind the conception of limits. It never carried
anything to extremes, neither the sacred nor reason, because it
negated nothing, neither the sacred nor reason. It took everything
into consideration, balancing shadow with light. Our Europe, on
the other hand, off in the pursuit of totality, is the child of
disproportion. She negates beauty, as she negates whatever she
does not glorify. And, through all her diverse ways, she glorifies
but one thing, which is the future rule of reason. In her madness
she extends the eternal limits, and at that very moment dark
Erinyes fall upon her and tear her to pieces. Nemesis, the goddess
of measure and not of revenge, keeps watch. All those who
overstep the limit are pitilessly punished by her.

Quote :
Admission of ignorance, rejection of fanaticism, the limits of
the world and of man, the beloved face, and finally beauty—this is
where we shall be on the side of the Greeks. In a certain sense, the
direction history will take is not the one we think. It lies in the
struggle between creation and inquisition. Despite the price which
artists will pay for their empty hands, we may hope for their
victory. Once more the philosophy of darkness will break and fade
away over the dazzling sea. O midday thought, the Trojan war is
being fought far from the battlefields! Once more the dreadful
walls of the modern city will fall to deliver up—“soul serene as the
ocean’s calm”—the beauty of Helen.

From "The Fall"

Quote :
A DOLL’S village, isn’t it? No shortage of quaintness here! But I didn’t bring you to this island for quaintness, cher ami. Anyone can show you peasant headdresses, wooden shoes, and ornamented houses with fishermen smoking choice tobacco surrounded by the smell of furniture wax. I am one of the few people, on the other hand, who can show you what really matters here.

We are reaching the dike. We’ll have to follow it to get as far as possible from these too charming houses. Please, let’s sit down. Well, what do you think of it? Isn’t it the most beautiful negative landscape? Just see on the left that pile of ashes they call a dune here, the gray dike on the right, the livid beach at our feet, and in front of us, the sea the color of a weak lye-solution with the vast sky reflecting the colorless waters. A soggy hell, indeed! Everything horizontal, no relief; space is colorless, and life dead. Is it not universal obliteration, everlasting nothingness made visible? No human beings, above all, no human beings! You and I alone facing the planet at last deserted! The sky is alive? You are right, cher ami. It thickens, becomes concave, opens up air shafts and doses cloudy doors. Those are the doves. Haven’t you noticed that the sky of Holland is filled with millions of doves, invisible because of their altitude, which flap their wings, rise or fall in unison, filling the heavenly space with dense multitudes of grayish feathers carried hither and thither by the wind? The doves wait up there all year round. They wheel above the earth, look down, and would like to come down. But there is nothing but the sea and the canals, roofs covered with shop signs, and never a head on which to light.

Quote :
Besides, this country inspires me. I like these people swarming on the sidewalks, wedged into a little space of houses and canals, hemmed in by fogs, cold lands, and the sea steaming like a wet wash. I like them, for they are double. They are here and elsewhere.

[13] Yes, indeed! From hearing their heavy tread on the damp pavement, from seeing them move heavily between their shops full of gilded herrings and jewels the color of dead leaves, you probably think they are here this evening? You are like everybody else; you take these good people for a tribe of syndics and merchants counting their gold crowns with their chances of eternal life, whose only lyricism consists in occasionally, without doffing their broad-brimmed hats, taking anatomy lessons? You are wrong. They walk along with us, to be sure, and yet see where their heads are: in that fog compounded of neon, gin, and mint emanating from the shop signs above them. Holland is a dream, monsieur, a dream of gold and smoke—smokier by day, more gilded by night. And night and day that dream is peopled with Lohengrins like these, dreamily riding their black bicycles with high handle-bars, funereal swans constantly drifting throughout the whole land, around the seas, along the canals. Their heads in their copper-colored clouds, they dream; they cycle in circles; they pray, somnambulists in the fog’s gilded incense; they have ceased to be here. They have gone [14] thousands of miles away, toward Java, the distant isle. They pray to those grimacing gods of Indonesia with which they have decorated all their shop-windows and which at this moment are floating aimlessly above us before alighting, like sumptuous monkeys, on the signs and stepped roofs to remind these homesick colonials that Holland is not only the Europe of merchants but also the sea, the sea that leads to Cipango and to those islands where men die mad and happy.

But I am letting myself go! I am pleading a case! Forgive me. Habit, monsieur, vocation, also the desire to make you fully understand this city, and the heart of things! For we are at the heart of things here. Have you noticed that Amsterdam’s concentric canals resemble the circles of hell? The middle-class hell, of course, peopled with bad dreams. When one comes from the outside, as one gradually goes through those circles, life—and hence its crimes—becomes denser, darker. Here, we are in the last circle. The circle of the ... Ah, you know that? By heaven, you become harder to classify. But you understand then why I can say [15] that the center of things is here, although we stand at the tip of the continent. A sensitive man grasps such oddities. In any case, the newspaper readers and the fornicators can go no further. They come from the four corners of Europe and stop facing the inner sea, on the drab strand. They listen to the foghorns, vainly try to make out the silhouettes of boats in the fog, then turn back over the canals and go home through the rain. Chilled to the bone, they come and ask in all languages for gin at Mexico City. There I wait for them.
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PostSubject: Re: Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive" Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:52 pm

Quote :
That noble beauty which consists not merely in a soft skin, a brilliant
complexion, wanton or languishing eyes, but in the shape and form, is
found more frequently in countries which enjoy a uniform mildness of
climate. Beauty, however, was not a general quality, even among the
Greeks.

In Athens, where, after the expulsion of the tyrants, a democratic form
of government was adopted, in which the entire people had a share, the
spirit of each citizen became loftier than that of the other Greeks, and the
city itself surpassed all other cities. As good taste was now generally
diffused, and wealthy burghers sought to gain the respect and love of their
fellow-citizens by erecting splendid public buildings and by works of art,
and thus prepare the way to distinction, everything flowed into this city,
in consequence of its power and greatness, even as rivers flow towards the
sea. Here the arts and sciences established themselves; here they formed
their principal residence; and hence they went abroad into other lands.
We may find proof that the causes just mentioned [^temperate climate and
mild rule] w i l l account for the progress of the arts in Athens, in a similar
state of things at Florence, where, after a long interval of darkness, the
arts and sciences began, in modern times, to be relumined.

Quote :
The superiority which art acquired among the Greeks is to be ascribed
partly to the influence of climate, partly to their constitution and government,
and the habits of thinking which originated therefrom, and, in an
equal degree also, to respect for the artist, and the use and application of
art.

The influence of climate must vivify the seed from which art is to be
produced; and for this seed Greece was the chosen soil. The talent for
philosophy was believed by Epicurus to be exclusively Greek; but this
pre-eminence might be claimed more correctly for art. The Greeks
acknowledged and prized the happy clime under which they lived, though
it did not extend to them the enjoyment of a perennial spring; for, on the
night when the revolt against the Spartan government broke out in
Thebes, it snowed so violently as to confine every one to the house.
Moderateness of temperature constituted its superiority, and is to be
regarded as one of the more remote causes of that excellence which art
attained among the Greeks. The climate gave birth to a joyousness of
disposition; this, in its turn, invented games and festivals; and both
together fostered art, which had already reached its highest pinnacle at
a period when that which we call learning was utterly unknown to the
Greeks.

Much that might seem ideal to us was natural among them. Nature,
after having passed step by step through cold and heat, established herself
in Greece. Here, where a temperature prevails which is balanced between
winter and summer, she chose her central point; and the nigher she approaches
it, the more genial and joyous does she become and the more
general is her influence in producing conformations full of spirit and wit,
and features strongly marked and rich in promise.

Since, therefore, beauty was thus desired and prized by the Greeks,
nothing was concealed which could enhance it. Every beautiful person
sought to become known to the whole nation by this endowment, and
especially to please the artists, because they decreed the prize of beauty;
and, for this very reason, they had an opportunity of seeing beauty daily.
Beauty was an excellence which led to fame.

To the same influence, in an equal degree, which the atmosphere and
climate exercised upon the physical conformation are to be ascribed their
kindly natures, their gentle hearts, and joyous dispositions,—qualities
that contributed fully as much to the beautiful and lovely images which
they designed, as nature did to the production of the form. History convinces
us that this was their character. The humanity of the Athenians is
as well known as their reputation in the arts.

This is more easily understood by contrasting the Greeks with the
Romans. The inhuman, sanguinary games, and the agonizing and dying
gladiators, in the amphitheatres of the latter, even during the period of
their greatest refinement, were the most gratifying sources of amusement
to the whole people. The former, on the contrary, abhorred such cruelty;
and, when similar fearful games were about to be introduced at Corinth,
some one observed, that they must throw down the altar of Mercy and
Pity, before they could resolve to look upon such horrors. The Romans,
however, finally succeeded in introducing them even at Athens.

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Looking for a more detailed analysis on the differences of climates between ancient Rome and Athens and the effects on culture, if anyone stumbles upon anything...
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PostSubject: Re: Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive" Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:02 pm

Silke-Maria Weineck wrote:
"The Infinite Body

In the autumn of 1887, Nietzsche jots downa plan to look at '"modernity" through the analogy of nutrition and digestion':

Sensitivity unspeakably more irritable […], the accumulation of disparate impression greater than ever – the cosmopolitanism of foods, literatures, newspapers, forms, tastes, even landscapes etc. the tempo of this influx a prestissimo; the impressions wipe each other out – weakening of digestive force results.

This is a variation on a familiar theme of decadence, or decadent self-reflection – too much, but of that too little. Here, a plethoraof forms leads to a lack of formation, the prestissimo of modernity paralyzes its subjects, sensory overload produces numbness. There's too much to act on, and hence no action – the paradoxes of the anti-Hegelian anti-dialectic in which Aufhebung is no longer possible.

But why all this under the sign of digestion? The theme pervades Nietzsche's writing, and like many of Nietzsche's important terms, it metamorphoses, accrues different implications, and serves various functions. The remainder of the fragment cited above – which recapitulates many themes that occur from Nietzsche's early writings on – makes it clear that the stomach of modernity is an organ of the long nineteenth century, at least as Nietzsche perceives it:

A sort of assimilation to this inundation of impressions occurs: man unlearns to act; he only reacts to external excitements. … Deep weakening of spontaneity: the historian, the critic, the analyzer, the interpreter, the observer, the collector, the reader – all reactive talents: all science! Artificial arrangement of his nature into a mirror: interested, but quasi only epidermally interested […]
(XII, p. 464)

Reacting to the increasing and increasingly rapid flood of data, Nietzsche's modern man closes himself off, makes his body impermeable, offers not his interior but only his skin to the world, refusing osmosis or Stoffwechsel, the German term for metabolism which means, literally, change of stuff, a transformation of materials. In consequence, the metaphor of the mirror, for the longest time the master trope of self-reflection, becomes an image of surface deflection.

I will argue that in his figures of digestion, Nietzsche proposes a new economy of the body's relationship to the world, one that would complement and partially replace the various models of vision that had dominated modernity's discourse of embodied and disembodied subjectivity.2 Thus, Nietzsche's reflections on the alimentary system frequently appear in contrast to visually inflected philosophemes. Here is a famous [End Page 35] fragment from the Will to Power collection: 'When … Kant says: "Two things remain forever worthy of reverence,"' that is, the starry heaven and the moral law, 'today we should sooner say: "Digestion is more venerable."'3

The aphorism is a typically Nietzschean provocation, of the sort that has led Eagletonto blame Nietzsche for 'more than a smack of vulgar Schopenhauerian physiologism',4 and Beardsworth speaks of 'Nietzsche's physiological explication of digestive systems' in ominous tones as 'desperately inadequate, allowing for the worst appropriations'. He elaborates: 'To think of the truth of spirit simply in terms of the finite body preparesfor (promises) a metaphysics of selection.'5

I want to show that Nietzsche does no such thing, and he does no such thing on several levels. First of all, it is precisely in Nietzsche's tropes of digestion that the body becomes everything but finite. Nietzsche's digesting body is permeable, unstable, invaded and inhabited by other (parasitic) bodies, constantly busy 'changing stuffs' which will in turn enter other bodies: 'a corpse is a beautiful thought for the worm' (KSA, I, p. 188). In classical terms, this is no longer 'a' body at all, but a dynamic process. Hence, the idea of a self-contained and self-containing body is relegated to the realm of the fantasmatic. Just as importantly, when Nietzsche asserts that "'spirit" itself is, afterall, nothing but a kind of metabolism' (KSA, VI, p. 282), he leaves it open whether this 'kind of' marks the relationship between spirit and digestion as one of similarity, analogy or identity. In the latter case, we would indeed deal with an ultimately unproductive reduction; in the first case, he would merely repeat a long tradition, for the analogy between eating and reading itself is far from new: 'Traditionally, knowledge or truth is like food: it nourishes the soul. This association of food and knowledge is ancient and, I suppose, ubiquitous; it all began, after all, when Adam and Eve ate the apple.'6 The analogy between reading and Stoffwechsel, while less ubiquitous or prominent, is ancient as well,7 but it remains largely restricted to analogy, and to an analogy that has always focused on nutrition rather than on the two forms of expulsion that are also part of (failed or successful) digestion, excretion and vomiting. Attuned to the limits of the trope, Socrates already pointed out that we can examine food without eating it, but we cannot examine an idea without thinking it:

When you buy food and drink, you can carry it away from the shop or warehouse in a receptacle, and before you receive it into your body by eating or drinking you can store it away at home and take the advice of an expert. … But knowledge cannot be taken away in a parcel. When you have paid for it you must receive it straight into the soul.

In this light, what is important in Nietzsche is precisely his break with a tradition of tropes that (a) conceives of the analogy of food and thought as a mere question of incorporationor ingestion; (b) remains indebted to the matter/spirit distinction that structures and limits it; and (c) sees thought as the conscious but materially unobservable analogue to the unconscious but empirically available processof digestion.


The Kinds of Digestion

So what 'kind of' digestion is thought? Nietzsche's anti-Kantian quip cited above would be of little interest if it were not much more than a provocation. Nietzsche is, I think, quite serious when he claims that digestion is 'more' venerable than the contemplation of morality and starry skies 'today' – the historicization of venerable objects is part of genealogy, and genealogy's first task is to get rid of all 'forevers', most of all when it comes to moral law. 'Today', that is, in the second half of the nineteenth century, 'digestion' is venerable first of all because it concerns the maintenance [End Page 36] and transformation of the body; it is the object of biology and medicine, the new master disciplines that – especially, but not only inthe wake of Darwin – threaten to displace philosophy in articulating what it means tobe human. For Nietzsche, who more than anything wants to rescue philosophy, be iteven at the cost of transforming it into a science of shit, digestion is foremost a tremendously useful polysemic metaphor that he is ready to re-literalize whenever necessary. It covers chewing as well as defecating, mouth, teeth, stomachs, intestines, the rectum and all the considerable tropic potential these body parts offer; it implies the pleasures of both incorporation and excorporation, the chemical transformation of food-stuff into body-stuff and hence, 'today', the transformation of food into self – quite literally.

Ideally, digestion is a noiseless, tasteless, non-odorous, invisible and intangible operation that will yield its positive results in the secrecy of one's body, offering to a reluctant contemplation only its offensive waste product – one of those things that one only notices if it goes wrong. One should also keep in mind, though, that nineteenth-century medicine attributed a great number of illnesses to digestive disturbances, many of them fatal. Hospital records from the period show that as many of twenty percent of both in- and outpatients were diagnosed with some formof 'digestive disease'.9 Afflictions like infant diarrhoea, cholera and typhoid, black vomit and yellow fever claimed so many victims in the newly industrialized society that some doctors began to theorize that the stomach was the cause of most or even all diseases, a suspicion that gave rise to the conception of a new medical subdiscipline, gastoenterology. Thus, the term 'digestion' was not simply the semi-comical topic it is now – rather it evoked matters of life and death. That relative gravity may play a part in Nietzsche's pre-occupation, but it hardly explains it. Certainly, and often enough, Nietzsche talks about digestion in conjunction with his life-long desire for physical health, but even then its ramifications spread beyond mere bodily maintenance. In 1872, for example, Nietzsche writes to Erwin Rohde: 'Oh, how much I long for health. As soon as one plans something that shall last longer than oneself, one becomes grateful for every good night, for every warm ray of sunshine, indeed for every well-regulated actof digestion.'10 Here, digestion – that is, the digestion that makes itself known, in other words indigestion – is in conflict with writing. It detracts from creation, much like historyor too much memory in 'Use and Abuse', and the two are connected in more than one way:'Each historical period,' Nietzsche notes in 1873, 'needs as much history as it can displace [umsetzen] into flesh and blood, via digestion; so that the strongest and most powerful one can bear the most history. But what if weak times are being overcrowded by it! What digestive troubles, what fatigue and listlessness!'11

No defecation, no philosophy. Those who write before they digest are worthy of only scorn: 'there are dyspeptic authors who write only then when they cannot digest something, if it even got stuck in their teeth'.12 The philosophy of indigestion yields nothing new: 'all prejudices stem from the intestines'.13 The most local, as is its wont, interferes with the most global; another way to say this is that bad digestion creates the wrong kind of narcissism. In the course of his career, however, Nietzsche learns to respect illness; he never ceases to long for health, but later his gratitude extends to the pains of retention as well as to the pleasuresof excretion (writing or defecation). Quick digestion is no longer the ideal – in its place, we will have chewing the cud, multiple stomachs, and the subtlety to which all pains can giverise – provided you recover from them. Hence this homage to illness, from the introductionto The Gay Science: [End Page 37]

'Gay Science': that means the saturnalia of a spirit that has patiently withstood a terrible, long pressure – patiently, strictly, coldly, without submitting, but without any hope – and which now all of a sudden is attackedby hope, by the hope for health, by the drunkenness of health.
(KSA, III, p. 345)
This terrible long pressure I want to read as the pressure of indigestion – a perverse reading, perhaps, but it is Nietzsche who, in the same preface, links his spiritual illness to diet:

… that pathologically clairvoyant misanthropy, this fundamental restrictionto that which is bitter, sour, and painful in knowledge (Erkenntnis), as prescribed byhe nausea that had slowly grown out of a careless mental diet and pampering – called romanticism …
(KSA, III, p. 346).

Which brings us to mental indigestion, the feeling of over-fullness that plagues decadent self-perception, and to the question of how to digest romanticism and idealism – that is, how to write The Birth of Tragedy, and, more importantly, how to proceed afterwards. Digesting romanticism means leaving The Birth of Tragedy behind, and, eventually, losing faith in all literature, tragic or romantic. They are all too dainty, food that spoils one's stomach, that is to say one's mind; life is precisely not literature, for literature, as a meal, is not substantial enough. As Nietzsche will explainin Ecce Homo: 'A strong meal is easier to digest than a small one. … One needs to know the size of one's stomach. For the same reason, those lengthy meals are to be avoided, the ones I call interrupted sacrificial feasts. No snacks,no coffee – coffee darkens (verdüstert) the spirit' (KSA, VI, p. 281).

The image of Nietzsche speedily tearing huge chunks off the body of philosophy and stuffing them into his mouth seems apt enough, and he certainly seems to have the requisite size of stomach; The Birth of Tragedy itself was already a digestive act of heroic proportions, incorporating Greek Tragedy, Romantic Theory, a century of modern aesthetics, and a good helping of Wagner (the latter, however, will sit heavily in Nietzsche's stomach for years to come).

One needs to know the size of one's stomach: the biggest stomach, however, is not necessarily the best one. The Case of Wagner, Nietzsche explains, must be read as 'an attack on the German nation which, with regard to spiritual things, becomes ever more lazy and poor in instinct; which, with an enviable appetite, continues to nourish itself with contradictions and swallows down faith as well as scientific method, "Christian love" as wellas anti-Semitism, the will to power (to the "Reich") as well as the gospel of humility, without any digestive complaints' (KSA, VI, pp. 357–Cool. Since it is then hard to imagine a more voluminous stomach, a richer diet, or a better regulated digestion than the German one, there must be virtue in indigestion, too, and even in the aforementioned nausea – one must know the size of one's stomach, but one must also know when to throw up what is already inside: Romanticism, Wagner, both Anti-Semitism and Christian Love, for example, all those overly sweet stuffs that, if digested, will make you lazy and interfere with your instinct. Accordingly, Zarathustra counsels a more fastidious approach to diet:

All-satisfiedness which knows how to taste everything – that is not the best taste! I honour the refractory, fastidious tonguesand stomachs, which have learned to say 'I' and 'Yea' and 'Nay'. To chew and digest everything, however – that is the genuine swine-nature!

Zarathustra here foreshadows Freud who – most concisely in his brief and brilliant essay on Negation – will explain in greater detail why subjectivity – to say 'I' – is to say 'yea' and 'nay' to the things that go into our mouths,15 [End Page 38] but Nietzsche, I think, here at least, is not so much interested in how subjectivity in general is constituted but in which specific subjectivities reflect but also emerge from the food choices we make or are able to make. It is precisely the refusal to differentiate and to individualize one's diet that characterizes modern man: 'The nutrition of modern man – he knows how to digest much, yes, almost everything – that is his sort of ambition: he would be of a higher order, however, if he were not capable of exactly that; homo pamphagus is not the most refined species' (KSA III, 152).

To east fastidiously (with self-knowledge and self-respect) is not the same as to eat timidly, or without passion:

'He who learneth much unlearneth all violent cravings' – that do people now whisper to one another in all the dark lanes. 'Wisdom wearieth, nothing is worth while; thou shalt not crave!' – this new table found I hanging even in the public markets. … The weary-o'-the-world put it up, and the preachers of death and the jailer …: – Because they learned badly and not the best, and everything too early and everything too fast; because they ate badly: from thence hath resulted their ruined stomach: For a ruined stomach, is their spirit: it persuadeth to death! For verily, my brethren, the spirit is a stomach! Life is a well of delight, but to him in whom the ruined stomach speaketh, the father of affliction, all fountains are poisoned.(KSA, IV, pp. 257–Cool.

Bland diets, then, are for ruined spirits, even though it is hard to say whether it is the diet that ruins the mind or the mind that determines the diet. Christians and last men will graze like the herd animals they are, but you cannot, after all, expect the lambs to develop a taste for raw meat – much less their own – even though self-digestion is surely the ultimate challenge here. Enlightenment and democracy are poor philosophies of nutrition precisely because they prescribe the same food for all – Nietzsche, in turn, wants to conceive of Mündigkeit (the Kantian term for enlightened autonomy that evokes the etymologically unrelated German word for mouth, Mund) ina whole new way. If Nietzsche as nutritional counsellor appears to give contradictory advice, then that is precisely because digestion and appetite are highly personal matters. If 'the spirit is a stomach', then subjectivity is digestion; as such, spirit is removed from sight and enters the mysterious realm of the inner workings of the body that must conceal itself from man in order to allow him to think of himself as spirit:

Does not nature keep nearly everything secret from [man], even about his own body, in order to ban him and lock him into a proud, delusional consciousness, detached from the windings of his entrails, the swift flow of his bloodstream, the intricate quivering of his fibres! (KSA, I, p. 877)

The proud delusional consciousness, I suggest, is idealism's scopically organized self-consciousness that blocks out everything that does not lend itself to vision or intuition. Nietzsche's remetaphorization of spirit as stomach – that is, as an organ involved in a dynamic process that is for the most part unconscious – is an attempt to end the reign of idealism which conceived of spirit as specular. Spirit as stomach, in other words, erases spirit as intuition, Anschauung, and the aesthetics of digestion replace the aesthetics of imagination. Insistence on the invisibility of most bodily matter breaks up the metaphoric structure in which tropes of vision dominated interior spaces. Digestion emerges as the new Aufhebung, manqué.

Digestion Without Ingestion
Nietzsche is not alone in sensing that modernity is a matter of stomach. Huysmans' A Rebours, decadence's representative if [End Page 39] controversial novel, is as obsessed with food and digestion as Nietzsche's dietary philosophies, but in a very different way.A Rebours is the story of the Duc Jean des Esseintes, the last offspring of a declining dynasty, who, disgusted by the vulgarity of modern Paris, retreats into a mansion in the countryside to devote himself in isolation to the radical aestheticization of life:

artifice was the distinguishing characteristic of human genius. As he was wont to remark, Nature has had her day; she has finally exhausted, through the nauseating uniformity of her landscapes and her skies, the sedulous patience of men of refined taste. … There is no doubt whatever that this eternally self-replicating old fool has now exhausted the good-natured admiration of all true artists, and the moment has cometo replace her, as far as that can be achieved, with artifice.16
In the second chapter, we find des Esseintes, shortly before his departure to Fontenay-aux-Roses, serving the famous black dinner in celebration of his newly achieved impotence, and its description is too fabulous not to quote at length:

From black-rimmed plates they ate turtle soup, Russian rye bread, ripe Turkish olives, caviar, salted mullet roe, smoked Frankfurt black puddings, game in gravies the colour of liquorice and boot-blacking, truffled sauces, chocolate caramel creams, plum puddings, nectarines, preserved fruits, mulberries, and heart-cherries; from dark-coloured glasses they drank the wines of Limmagne and Rousillon, of Tenedos, Val den Penas, and Oporto, and, after the coffee and the walnut cordial, they enjoyed kvass, porters, and stouts. The invitations to this dinner to mark the temporary demise of the host's virility were written out in a form similar to that used to announce a funeral.

This is the food you eat when you can't fuck; beautiful but monochrome, itself already a quotation of an early eighteenth-century meal, and, importantly, a feast for the eyes rather than for the palate. The meal is both hyper-sensual and strangely incomplete precisely because it is a bit too clever – served at the kind of party to which you want to be invited, but not the place to go if you're hungry. If des Esseintes is soon 'filled with contempt for those childish, outmoded displays' (ibid.), it is, I think, because he still approaches food through sight and vision; he still is – and will remain for much of the novel – devoted to life as spectacle, be it in gilding and jewelling his tortoise (which promptly dies) or in growing only those flowers that least resemble flowers. Des Esseintes still thinks that he can create a new self by recreating what the self sees. To pitch himself 'against nature' still means that nature that is external to him. He has, in other words, not yet given any thought to digestion. But he will.

In the course of the novel, des Esseintes moves from visual spectacle through literary gourmethood to those extravagant exercises in smell that first move his experiment away from experience gained through vision alone. Towards the end, he returns to the questionof food, a kind of food that is as radicallyde-visualized as possible. It is this food – its digestion – which will make an end of his aesthetic career while allowing him his greatest triumph.

Nausea overtakes des Esseintes in chapter thirteen. Not surprisingly (Nietzsche would say), the trouble starts with meat, but it doesn't end there:

The sight of the meat which had just then been placed on the table made his gorge rise; he had it removed, ordered boiled eggs, attempted to eat some fingers of bread dipped in egg but they stuck in his throat; waves of nausea kept coming over him; he [End Page 40] drank a few drops of wine which stung his stomach like red-hot needles. … He tried sucking a lump or two of ice to soothe his nausea, but to no avail.

Aptly enough, his aversion also marks the moment where his vision begins to fail him:

Never had he felt so apprehensive, so unwell, so ill at ease; on top of everything else, his vision became blurred; he was seeing things double, as though they were revolving; soon he lost his sense of distance; his glass seemed a league away; he kept telling himself he was suffering from sensory illusions and yet he could not shake them off.

This is a contemporary portrayal of advanced neurasthenia, but the relationship between stomach and vision is not merely a medical one; it is also metaphysical. If des Esseintes can no longer keep in food, he has also lost his ability to digest the drugs that induce different kinds of visions: 'In the past he had tried using opium and hashish to generate mental fantasies, but these two substances had brought on vomiting and intense nervous disturbances' (p. 140) – again vision is pitched against the stomach, and the stomach wins.

Des Esseintes' first response is to externalize the process his body is no longer capable of; the anti-natural impulse of aestheticism joins with nineteenth-century science and turns to a machine to do the body's work:

He dispatches his servant to Paris in search of [a] precious piece of equipment and, following the manufacturer's instructions,he himself showed the cook how to chop the sirloin into tiny pieces, put these without any liquid into the metal pot with a slice of leek and one of carrot, then screw down the lid and set the whole thing cooking in a double-boiler for four hours. At the end of this time, you squeezed the shreds of meat and drank a spoonful of the cloudy, salty juice which lay in the bottom of the pot.As you did so you felt something like warm bone-marrow, like a velvety caress, slide down your throat.

This machine is aptly called 'the sustainer', but after some brief initial respite, the prosthesis fails: 'His nervous dyspepsia, which had, initially, been pacified, returned; and then, that concentrated nourishment was so binding and caused such an irritation of the bowel that Des Esseintes was obliged to discontinue its use forthwith' (p. 164). Pre-digestion is not enough; the novel's climax – and des Esseintes' final, if short-lived, triumph – arrives only when his physician, prescribing a peptone enema, allows him to circumvent his stomach altogether:

The operation was successful, and Des Esseintes could not forbear from tacitly congratulating himself on the event, which was in a sense the crowning achievement of the life he had created for himself; his predilection for the artificial had now – without his even desiring it – achieved its supreme fulfillment; one could go no further; to take nourishment in this manner was unquestionably the ultimate deviation from the norm that anyone could realize.

Des Esseintes enjoys a delightful interlude of anal feeding which includes written menus: 'Cod-liver oil: 20g, Beef tea: 200g, Burgundy 200 g, yolk of egg: 1' (p. 171). However, the cure works rather too well, and soon 'the doctor succeeded in controlling the vomiting and in getting him to swallow, by the normal route,a syrupy punch containing powdered meat, which had a vague aroma of cocoa that pleased his actual palate' (p. 172). The return of intra-body digestion marks the end of (des Esseintes' mode of) aestheticism:

Without giving him time to draw breath, [his physician] declared that he had set about restoring the digestive functions as rapidly [End Page 41] as possible, and it was now essential to tackle the neurosis which was not in any sense cured, and would require years of diet and medical care. He then added that … he must abandon this solitary existence, return to Paris, get back into ordinary life, and try to enjoy himself, in short, like other people.

Mind and food, as Nietzsche had maintained, are inextricably linked: to digest badly is to live badly, but to live 'like other people' is the last thing that would appeal to des Esseintes' stomach (or rather it appeals only to his stomach). The novel's reactionary ending leaves no room for a new model of digestion; the failure is absolute. Des Esseintes' earlier quoted premise that 'there is not one single invention of [nature]…that the human spirit cannot create' founders on his belly. In his progressive externalization of digestion, des Esseintes bears an uncanny resemblance to Nietzsche's modern man who, as quoted at the beginning, 'defends [himself] against taking something in, taking it in deeply, to 'digest it' – weakening of digestive force results.' Nietzsche would also have predicted that the ideological regression (in Huysmans' case, a regression to Catholicism) is one of the routes such weakness may seek to cure itself.

From Metaphysics to Metaphysiology
Digestion is so attractive a theme for Nietzsche (and for the long fin-de-siècle in general) because it serves so many functions at once:as a process that encompasses transformation, retention and excretion, it stands for an unsentimental approach to history and memory; for Nietzsche especially, this implies the digestion of historicism itself. As a metaphor that retains its close proximity to the body that generates it, it allows Nietzsche to raise the question of the philosopher's body which had been neglected for millennia. As a Rebours shows, the fertility of the digestive metaphor depends precisely on the degree to which it is not quite a metaphor, in other words, to the degree to which philosophy can retain, or – forgive me – digest, physiology.The philosophical physician, the need for whom Nietzsche stresses so memorably in Beyond Good and Evil, is, of course, a philosopher tout court, even if he talks of the body as if he meant it. If, as Nietzsche suggests in The Gay Science, 'philosophy until now has only been an interpretation of the body and a misunderstanding of the body' (KSA, III,p. 347), then all new medicine will be in the service of a new hermeneutic, and precisely not the other way around.

This is not to say that Nietzsche's involvement with 'the body' is a pretence; with him, it is always the body which thinks – notso much in dictating thought (that, too – why would Nietzsche's beloved sausages be any different from a handful of poppy seed in this regard?), but in silently limiting its possibilities. The decadent desire to submitthis body to purely aesthetic considerations, appealing as it may remain to (some of) us, is doomed to failure because that very desire is always already also a bodily one – just as surely as the desire to submit the body to purely empirical study is doomed because our investments in our corporeality are always already aesthetic. This double bind remains the crux of all emancipations that, paradoxically, seek to ground themselves in anti-essentialism.

The challenge then – a challenge at which Nietzsche may fail often enough, but which he articulates with unprecedented and, to my mind, unrepeated clarity and urgency – is to stay with matter without sliding into vulgar materialism; to resist the twin lures of metaphor and literalization (the empty formalism of analogy as well as the reductions of biologism); to think thinking as a bodily process, but one for which the sciences of the body have no adequate language; to move from metaphysics to metaphysiology, a process where the meta marks both an 'after' and a 'beyond'."

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive" Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:51 am

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive" Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:38 pm

Quote :
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To which group does the flower on the bottom belong? This was the subject of a few of HBD Chick’s posts; ([You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]; and [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]). Essentially, research pioneered by Richard Nisbett found that “Westerners” (all Northwestern European in descent) tend to group the flower with group B, while “Easterners” (East Asians) group the flower with group A. Essentially, this is a test of abstract vs. holistic thinking between each group. This videos discuss it in further detail:



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PostSubject: Re: Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive" Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:21 am

Strange....in the first image I chose 'A' putting me on the eastern side, but then in image two, with the smiling boy, I interpreted the boy as happy, despite the background faces, putting me on the western side.

I'm fucked.

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PostSubject: Re: Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive" Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:06 am

I attribute the flower also to group A.
Didn't do the other tests.

As for the inbred vs high IQ graph, is Iceland not very inbred? And isn't Sweden very inbred, besides the non-Swedes? I mean, sure, they have now a lot of Arabs and negroes in Sweden but I'm pretty sure that they are not the source of why one would judge Sweden to be liberal.
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PostSubject: Re: Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive" Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:17 pm

^ Perhaps they mean by inbred, physically indistinguishable?

They all look slant-eyed is maybe more than cliched here…

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PostSubject: Re: Climate and Culture: Rabbi on the film "Drive" Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:09 pm

I think it's based on this basic idea among the right-wing Anglos that the reason why Afghanistan and its population is the way it is, which they deem backwards, is muh inbreeding.
They need more social liberty to increase the quality of their gene-pool.

But what they actually correlate is not how inbred the population is at the moment, rather, how willing the population is to change the level of inbreeding.
So what they call less inbred are places which are in the process of becoming less inbred, their trajectory, and not their current level.
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