raenie and i are at the big wooden table in our living room. it’s where we dine, and it’s also where we’re currently playing on our laptops. we’re listening to sonic youth’s “the diamond sea,” from the underappreciated washing machine double lp. it’s as great a song as anything on evol or sister or name-your-favorite.
– i woke up today and gave cassidy some spending money for his weekend. the man trains to portland bi-monthly, for to see his dad, step-mom and sister. it’s just like i used to do on a weekly basis, between maplewood and hoboken, nj.
– subsequently, raenie and i visited a fabulous used bookstore downtown. i purchased baudrillard’s “the mirror of production,” and anthropologist june nash’s “we eat the mines and the mines eat us.” june nash is an amazing theorist of work, trasnational political economy and social movements. the baudrillard work is an early, post-1968 critique of political economy, the sort of work that doubtless inured him to ‘outside the box’ marxists like Fredric Jameson. ‘weird to think that Jameson was at the same time enthralled by the then-still-gigantic Trot Ernst Mandel’s Late Capitalism.
– in a coupa weeks I’m going to the Rethinking Marxism Conference in Amherst, MA. my paper is entitled “Social Forums, Social Movements and the Old New Left.” i have two primary goals for the presentation:
a) i want to live up to the performative aspects of a panel, treating the event more like a rock show (or union speech) than a recitation. i have two or three polemical points to make about false binaries – labor movements/social movements, class politics/’identity’ politics – that i’m going to narrate in caribbean and oregonian terms.
b) i’m also going to settle my accounts with the trotskyist legacy, in a definitive, but temporary manner. i’m sure i’ll engage that strain again – pro or con, who knows? – but not now.
– i got a really righteous package yesterday, featuring the first installment of my Labor Notes subscription, and various regalia relating to their Troublemaker’s Union. i would recommend this organization and its essential publications to one and all readers of my shit and shit like it. this whole scene is the shit.
– now i’m listening to an album by the ahmad jamal trio, live at the pershing. it vividly evokes my senior year in high school. in particular, the “soulful agility” (i dunno!) of the playing reminds me of a particular french lit teacher who appears in an old poem of mine. he was a brilliant, alcoholic widower who chain-smoked. he’d graduated my high school in 1957. during his twenties he’d fallen for the NAACP and Existentialism. he taught me about marguerite duras, rimbaud, erik satie, socialism, communism, truffaut and godard, apollinaire, baseball and the united nations.
– later today i’m going to watch the mets game with my main man and record label patron howard. maybe have a beer, maybe not. maybe have some vayne, you know. but for now i got work to do.
– tommorow i play my first solo gig in quite a while. i’m playing a song called “waiting in the wings,” that refers to characters named pete and luther. these men
take part in a novel-in-progress that ben and i started years ago. it’s a burroughsian, minxian affair.