Monthly Archives: March 2013

Canvas Legends and Photography

Among many companies turning photographs of famous 20th century figures into artistic canvas representations, Canvas Legends are one of the finest. The representations are massively appealing; they seem to offer something that the photograph is simply unable to. But what explains this move away from photography, towards what might even be thought of, despite taking […]

Fort/LAD, or, LAD beyond the pleasure principle

How does LAD work? First of all by assigning the name: “In these beings everything was double: thus, they had four hands and four feet, two faces, two genital parts, and so on. Then Zeus allowed himself to be persuaded to cut these beings in two, as one divides pears to stew them….” #originalLAD “There […]

From Restricted to General Onanism: Bataille and the Personal Massager

The (very) British catalogue Solutions World, whose target demographic is the 65-110 year-old middleclass dupe (i.e., the poor soul who still uses the phone-in mail-order system, and who doesn’t have family or friends who are online to warn them of the at-least-300% mark-up on all of their products), promote a vibrating dildo under the name […]

Bop-It, Charles Baudelaire, The Unconscious

Hasbro’s childrens’s game ‘Bop-It’ has been a familiar feature of family Christmases since the first version of the toy was released in 1996. Today, the Bop-It series includes a game for the Nintendo Wii and a new iPhone app. The jist of Bop-It is that you follow a list of commands that the device makes […]

Email Conduct, The Daily Mail, Politeness

A few days ago Slate published an article calling for the end of perfunctory email sign-offs such as ‘regards’, ‘best wishes’ and ‘yours sincerely.’  For the writer Matthew J. X. Malady these gestures are ‘are holdovers from a bygone era of letter writing’ and waste time by causing email writers to agonize over the appropriate […]

The Sinthomic Blank in Future Bass and Dubstep

In classical psychoanalysis a symptom is roughly a sign of something that ails us, which speaks through us by ‘hooking onto language.’ ‘It’, our unconscious, speaks when we are on the analyst’s couch – and in everyday life – through the now familiar means of slips of the tongue and pen, and in our dreams, […]

‘Good criticism is composed of at most two elements: the critical gloss and the quotation. Very good criticism can be made up of both.  What must be avoided like the plague is rehearsing the summary of the contents.  In contrast, a criticism consisting entirely of quotations should be developed.’ (Walter Benjamin, ‘Program for Literary Criticism’)