Werner explaining to Eva Mattes about a tender moment between himself and Klaus.

Supporters of the Paris commune killed in 1871

From Into the Abyss by Werner Herzog (2011)

For Germany, the euro functions as a streamlined Deutschmark which, because it is less vulnerable to sudden appreciation, ensures the competitive pricing of German exports while subtracting little from Berlin’s de facto veto power inside the EU economy. For southern Europeans, on the other hand, it is a Faustian bargain that attracts capital in good times but abdicates the use of monetary tools to combat trade deficits and unemployment in bad. Now that the Iberian and Hellenic pox has infected Italy and threatens France, a hard-love vision of euro-Europe is emerging from Berlin and Paris: fiscal integration via treaty revision. Having already lost control over monetary policy and been forced to defoliate their public sectors under supervision of EU and IMF technicians, the debtor countries are now being asked to accept a permanent Franco-German veto over their budgets and public spending.
Whether by submission to Sarkozy–Merkel or default and exit from the Eurozone (and perhaps the EU), the Mediterranean economies are being sentenced to years of rot and hyper-unemployment.


From Mike Davis' editorial Spring Confronts Winter about the Arab Spring, the euro crisis, the massive protests, the future of USA, Europe and the BRIC counties, and the possible place of Marx’ writings in making sense of any of this. New Left Review 72, November-December 2011

Pet painting from Paintyourlife.com, your ultimate internet source of new ugly graphic design.

Man, David Lynch sure is working hard to find out how lame it is possible for him to be! And just when you thought he couldn’t find a way to be lamer, he suprises you again. What a great artist he is.

'Van den Haag and others make this false equation through their blind allegiance to the high modernist aesthetic of originality and difficulty, which is unconsciously smuggled in as a general standard of experiential relevance and significance. Still worse, it becomes the standard of “the real”, so that the ordinary problems treated by popular art - disappointed love, economic hardship, family conflicts, alienation, drugs, sex, and violence - can be denied as unreal, while the “real problems” worthy of artistic expression are only those novel and esoteric enough to escape the experience and comprehension of the general public. This is surely a convenient strategy for the privileged and conservative to ignore and suppress the realities of those they dominate by denying the artistic legitimacy of their expression, a strategy which vividly exemplifies Bourdieu’s point that aesthetic conflicts are often fundamentally “political conflicts … for the power to impose the dominant definition of reality, and social reality in particular”.’

From chapter seven of Pragmatist Aesthetics by Richard Shusterman. My emphasis added. 


Picture: Io's volcano Tvashtar spewing material 330 km above its surface. Pictures taken by the New Horizons spacecraft.

P. Sainath is one of the few sane voices in contemporary politics, and rightfully a hero for anybody with any serious journalistic, social or generally humane ambitions. 

James Bond reacting to the fact that the rocket scientist Dr. Goodhead turned out to be female. 

Roger Moore should have won an Oscar for this performance -  seldom have centuries of belittling misogyny been channeled so well in just one smirk.