The Searchers (1956) has been acclaimed not just as one of John Ford’s greatest films, and not just as one of the greatest Westerns, but as one of the greatest films of all time. This praise is all the more surprising given that The Searchers is a profoundly illiberal and even “racist” movie, which means that most fans esteem it grudgingly rather than unreservedly. (more…)
Grandpa pissed his pants again,
He don’t give a damn.
Brother Billy has both guns drawn,
He ain’t been right since Viet Nam.
I’m going down to the Dewdrop Inn
See if I can’t drink enough.
There ain’t much to country livin’
Sweat, piss, jizz, and blood.
— Warren Zevon, “Play It All Night Long” (more…)
Cambridge: MIT Press, 2019
Loraine Daston’s Against Nature has two qualities that make it a good book. First, it is physically a good book: slim but well-bound, it fits comfortably in the hand and slides easily into the pocket. And there is more than tactile pleasure to be had. (more…)
Say you’re trying to fix a vehicle. You pop open the hood and find that someone threw a wrench in the gears, the relay is worn, and the battery needs replacing. How do you then fix the vehicle? Well, you remove the wrench from the gears, replace the relay and the battery and then check for additional damage (you never know with cars). (more…)
Translated by Greg Johnson
A nation, a people can have deficient state institutions while continuing to produce a great creative civilization. The example of France — among others — is quite eloquent. In many periods of its history, this country has experienced an unstable political state organization which cannot master endemic crises. However, society continued to function and create in all domains despite the ongoing crisis of the state. Because the society was the fertile population of vital people, who were never discouraged. (more…)