Friday, March 23, 2007

Bimaries

Zeros + Ones - Sadie Plant

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Poles of extremes

"Whether they are gathering information, telecommunicating, running washing machines, doing sums, or making videos, all digital computers translate information into the zeros and ones of machine code. These binary digits are known as bits and strung together in bytes of eight. The zeros and ones of machine code seem to offer themselves as perfect symbols of the orders of Western reality, the ancient logical codes which make the difference between on and off, right and left, light and dark, form and matter, mind and body, white and black, good and evil, right and wrong, life and death, something and nothing, this and that, here and there, inside and out, active and passive, true and false, yes and no, sanity and madness, health and sickness, up and down, sense and nonsense, west and east, north and south. And they made a lovely couple when it came to sex. Man and woman, male and female, masculine and feminine: one and zero looked just right, made for each other: 1, the definite, unright line; and 0, the diagram of nothing at all: penis and vagina, thing and hole ... hand in glove. A perfect match." p.34-35

Symptoms and characteristics of codependence also manifest in extremes;

"...the primary symptoms of codependence are experienced at opposite extremes. As a review they are:

Experiencing low or nonexistent self esteem
or
An arrogant and grandiose stance
Being too vulnerable
or
Being invulnerable
Being bad/ rebellious
or
Being good/ perfect
Being too dependent
or
Being antidependent or needless/ wantless
Being chaotic
or
Being controlling

Mellody, Miller and Miller. Facing Codependence. HarperCollins. 1989.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Blair wins one for once


vs.





Tony Blair, oddly enough, wins this war of the photos.


Though he has nothing left to lose, and Cameron has everything to lose, the release of these two photos so close to each other plays right in to the hands of Labour. Tony is being a "jerk-off" but he looks like a teen ager who wants to be in the rolling stones, a kid who goffed off and disrespected authority, listened to rock and roll, and tried to fit in with the crowd that loved TV, rock music, and fun.

In short Tony is just one of us. No matter what his later sins he remains a member of modern British society.

Cameron's image shows a man stuck in a time machine. The painting of the now banned pitcture could have been taken in 1893. The thing could hang in the National Portrait Gallery.




It establishs Cameron as something alien to modern British life. He turns out to be precisely what he has denied being. Oddly pot smoking in Eton likely helped him, but this image removes any doubt that Cameron is precisely what is wrong with the Tories: they can't seem to accept the radical social changes carried out since WWII. Perhaps in the 1980s, when a significant segment of the populations was still engaged in the discourse on class of the post war years, a neo-Victorian could win, a Lord could be Prime Minister. But this discourse has become text, and the text says that Edwardian England was a sorry experiment in elitism and social domination that failed.

An image like this speaks volumns not only about class, but about gender and race.


Both images are of a collection of young rich white males sailing through top Universities to positions of wealth and power, and yet they don't show it. Blairs white boys seem much less white or male than Camerons. Cameron's code of colonial Edwardian classism places him solidly not only on the losing side of class but also gender and race. This is not only a painting of snobs, but of racists and sexists snobs, where as Blair is in a group of dorks.

We live in an age that likes dorks, not empire builders. We are in the time of nerds who wanted to be Mick Jagger but ended up being Bill Gates. We don't like people who wanted to be Winston Churchill anymore. All respects to Winston, young Winston possing as a dandy in his tux heading off to the empire to clobber wogs and establish a Victorian domination of the world does not play well on iPods and blogs. Cameron needs to present the story of how he transformed from that image to what he claims to be.

Bob Hooker