ads without products

Archive for March 29th, 2011

demophobia (and aggregation)

with 2 comments

One more thing, for now, from the Perry Anderson article about Brazil:

The ferocity of the ensuing campaigns against Lula could not have been sustained, however, without a sympathetic audience. That lay in the country’s traditional middle classes, principally but not exclusively based in the big cities, above all São Paulo. The reason for the hostility within this stratum was not loss of power, which it had never possessed, but of status. Not only was the president now an uneducated ex-worker whose poor grammar was legend, but under his rule maids and guards and handymen, riff-raff of any kind, were acquiring consumer goods hitherto the preserve of the educated, and getting above themselves in daily life. To a good many in the middle class, all this grated acutely: the rise of trade unionists and servants meant they were coming down in the world. The result has been an acute outbreak of ‘demophobia’, as the columnist Elio Gaspari, a spirited critic, has dubbed it. Together, the blending of political chagrin among owners and editors with social resentment among readers made for an often bizarrely vitriolic brew of anti-Lulismo, at odds with any objective sense of class interest. (italics mine…)

Demophobia might well be one word for what this aggregate fiction idea that I keep banging on about might take up, address, attempt to moderate, etc…. I am guessing what the critic mentioned above is talking about is specifically the fear of masses of the poor. But one wonders if there isn’t a fear of number in general, an anxiety addressed by the conventional form of the novel (and its off-shoots) by what I am starting to call protagonism, the focalization of the novel through a single character, the engagement with background groups and masses but only in a restrained, self-immunizing sort of way…

Written by adswithoutproducts

March 29, 2011 at 10:56 am

Posted in aggregate, americas, anxiety


with one comment

(video and punctum via the Verso blog):

Check out this video from the BBC news from around 5:45 and keep your eyes on the clump of yellow cops at the center right. Watch as one of the “Black Bloc” flashes his badge and moves through the police line. A plant, a (very) plain-clothes man. Almost looks for a second that he’s about to duck into a phone booth for a Clark Kent moment to reemerge be-yellowed and be-batoned.

But given the fundamental idea behind the Black Bloc – that is, the indiscernability of one participant from another made possibile by wearing identical clothing – doesn’t the fact that the cops were participating in this manner call into question the provenance of each and every act of vandalism committed on Saturday? At least given the absence of positive identification of actual Blocists behind the acts?

Written by adswithoutproducts

March 29, 2011 at 8:45 am

Posted in protest