Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

8

[...] Even knowing that for every successful immigrant there were others with equal moral claims who suffocated in vans, drowned in the ocean, or were turned back to die in the Holocaust, we willingly made ourselves complicit in the system of exclusion that divided “legals” from “illegals.” Once we had a toehold, many of us tried to protect ourselves with every form of insurance we could: families, careers, houses, civic activism, bureaucratic maneuvering, investments, expensive lawyers, fanatical loyalty to the Republican Party, hatred of other immigrants. Once we accumulated enough of these, we were promised, we would never have to think about being immigrants at all.

—p.8 Society as Checkpoint (7) by n+1 1 year, 1 month ago

[...] Even knowing that for every successful immigrant there were others with equal moral claims who suffocated in vans, drowned in the ocean, or were turned back to die in the Holocaust, we willingly made ourselves complicit in the system of exclusion that divided “legals” from “illegals.” Once we had a toehold, many of us tried to protect ourselves with every form of insurance we could: families, careers, houses, civic activism, bureaucratic maneuvering, investments, expensive lawyers, fanatical loyalty to the Republican Party, hatred of other immigrants. Once we accumulated enough of these, we were promised, we would never have to think about being immigrants at all.

—p.8 Society as Checkpoint (7) by n+1 1 year, 1 month ago
9

I do not mean to adopt the facile pose of the leftist critic for whom all accommodation to the reality of the fallen world is just so much cowardice or betrayal. DACA allowed hundreds of thousands of people who would have otherwise lived in fear to enjoy some fraction of the peace and security the rest of us take for granted. But we should be clear that the gesture that bestowed this gift also confirmed as natural and moral an immigration regime that was artificial and unjust — a regime that made targets out of millions of desperate people fleeing countries devastated by humanitarian intervention and globally mobile capital in the service of American empire. Worse, it was a dispensation whose moral claims were easily ignored when, in the late fall of 2017, the Democrats had the chance to initiate a debt-ceiling standoff to defend it. In the event, the Democratic congressional leadership suspended the debt ceiling for a year without extracting concessions on immigration from Trump. It was as if they never really believed in that kind of redemption in the first place.

ackkk so good

—p.9 Society as Checkpoint (7) by n+1 1 year, 1 month ago

I do not mean to adopt the facile pose of the leftist critic for whom all accommodation to the reality of the fallen world is just so much cowardice or betrayal. DACA allowed hundreds of thousands of people who would have otherwise lived in fear to enjoy some fraction of the peace and security the rest of us take for granted. But we should be clear that the gesture that bestowed this gift also confirmed as natural and moral an immigration regime that was artificial and unjust — a regime that made targets out of millions of desperate people fleeing countries devastated by humanitarian intervention and globally mobile capital in the service of American empire. Worse, it was a dispensation whose moral claims were easily ignored when, in the late fall of 2017, the Democrats had the chance to initiate a debt-ceiling standoff to defend it. In the event, the Democratic congressional leadership suspended the debt ceiling for a year without extracting concessions on immigration from Trump. It was as if they never really believed in that kind of redemption in the first place.

ackkk so good

—p.9 Society as Checkpoint (7) by n+1 1 year, 1 month ago
12

More broadly, our task is now to make a single, simple point. There is no humane border regime, just as there is no humane abortion ban. The border will always tear parents from children, caregivers from charges, longtime residents from the only communities they’ve ever known. It may do it faster or slower, with ostentatious brutality or bureaucratic drag, but it will always do it. The liberal or apolitical masses who are prepared to analogize migrant concentration camps to the Holocaust have accepted, not always consciously, the moral dignity of immigrants, the impossibility of negotiation or compromise with the system that detains them, and the inadequacy of voting alone as a means to destroy it. [...]

—p.12 Bad Atrocity Writing (12) by n+1 1 year, 1 month ago

More broadly, our task is now to make a single, simple point. There is no humane border regime, just as there is no humane abortion ban. The border will always tear parents from children, caregivers from charges, longtime residents from the only communities they’ve ever known. It may do it faster or slower, with ostentatious brutality or bureaucratic drag, but it will always do it. The liberal or apolitical masses who are prepared to analogize migrant concentration camps to the Holocaust have accepted, not always consciously, the moral dignity of immigrants, the impossibility of negotiation or compromise with the system that detains them, and the inadequacy of voting alone as a means to destroy it. [...]

—p.12 Bad Atrocity Writing (12) by n+1 1 year, 1 month ago
18

[...] To make atrocity into a random, meaningless spectacle is to argue against any taking of sides and indeed against political involvement as such. Any attempt to find meaning by assigning causes, by generalizing about those causes, and by organizing politically so as to do something about those causes, is defeated in advance by the balance as well as by the sheer scale and incomprehensibility of human awfulness. If atrocity seems beyond human understanding, well, it must be allowed to stay that way. When the subject comes up, you will of course adopt the proper facial expression. But to pretend you could do anything about it would be to show yourself prepared to commit atrocities of your own. It’s morally safer to stay home, feet up, heads bent over our devices.

—p.18 Bad Atrocity Writing (12) by n+1 1 year, 1 month ago

[...] To make atrocity into a random, meaningless spectacle is to argue against any taking of sides and indeed against political involvement as such. Any attempt to find meaning by assigning causes, by generalizing about those causes, and by organizing politically so as to do something about those causes, is defeated in advance by the balance as well as by the sheer scale and incomprehensibility of human awfulness. If atrocity seems beyond human understanding, well, it must be allowed to stay that way. When the subject comes up, you will of course adopt the proper facial expression. But to pretend you could do anything about it would be to show yourself prepared to commit atrocities of your own. It’s morally safer to stay home, feet up, heads bent over our devices.

—p.18 Bad Atrocity Writing (12) by n+1 1 year, 1 month ago
19

In short, prolepsis looks like evasiveness. Compared with the simplifications of melodrama, however, prolepsis has its virtues. Consider again Shamsie’s first sentence. The sentence does some unexpected negotiating: the cloud of smoke from the munitions factories that ends the sentence may foreshadow the mushroom cloud that is shortly to cover the city, but it is also a reminder that this peaceful-looking city is manufacturing munitions, hence is part of a war effort, hence in the eyes of some is not entirely distinguishable from the war’s more active battlefields. In other words, it contains the elements of an unpredictable conversation about whether, remembered by the survivor as gray, the day’s event should in fact be seen as gray and not, melodramatically, as black and white.

This impulse toward moral qualification may seem almost indecent, given what is being alluded to. And yet moral qualification is something we get again and again, and the examples suggest that we should not be sorry to get it. Go back to Rushdie’s account of the Amritsar massacre in Midnight’s Children. The announcement of the grandfather’s death “years later” doesn’t just reassure us that he is not killed here and now. Why are two place names given for the site of the grandfather’s later death, one of them Hindu and the other Muslim? And why are they separated by an “or”? At the moment of the massacre, the conflict between the British and the Indians seems the only meaningful conflict. Even at this moment of world-historical dreadfulness, however, Rushdie reminds the reader that in fact the confrontation of colonizers and colonized was never the only meaningful conflict. You cannot understand modern India, he suggests, without also thinking of the division between Hindus and Muslims, which began before the British came and continued after the British left. Even if the British deliberately made it worse, which by all accounts they did, the religious division cannot be attributed solely to colonial rule. Rushdie urges on to us this extra thought in the very act of describing an atrocity that is being committed by the British, which is to say at a moment when the temptation to locate absolute evil in the perpetrators is overwhelming. Prolepsis allows him to do this by stretching the temporality of the moment so as to include a future that will relativize even this world-historical evil, seemingly as absolute as evil can get.

oooh i like this a lot

—p.19 Bad Atrocity Writing (12) by n+1 1 year, 1 month ago

In short, prolepsis looks like evasiveness. Compared with the simplifications of melodrama, however, prolepsis has its virtues. Consider again Shamsie’s first sentence. The sentence does some unexpected negotiating: the cloud of smoke from the munitions factories that ends the sentence may foreshadow the mushroom cloud that is shortly to cover the city, but it is also a reminder that this peaceful-looking city is manufacturing munitions, hence is part of a war effort, hence in the eyes of some is not entirely distinguishable from the war’s more active battlefields. In other words, it contains the elements of an unpredictable conversation about whether, remembered by the survivor as gray, the day’s event should in fact be seen as gray and not, melodramatically, as black and white.

This impulse toward moral qualification may seem almost indecent, given what is being alluded to. And yet moral qualification is something we get again and again, and the examples suggest that we should not be sorry to get it. Go back to Rushdie’s account of the Amritsar massacre in Midnight’s Children. The announcement of the grandfather’s death “years later” doesn’t just reassure us that he is not killed here and now. Why are two place names given for the site of the grandfather’s later death, one of them Hindu and the other Muslim? And why are they separated by an “or”? At the moment of the massacre, the conflict between the British and the Indians seems the only meaningful conflict. Even at this moment of world-historical dreadfulness, however, Rushdie reminds the reader that in fact the confrontation of colonizers and colonized was never the only meaningful conflict. You cannot understand modern India, he suggests, without also thinking of the division between Hindus and Muslims, which began before the British came and continued after the British left. Even if the British deliberately made it worse, which by all accounts they did, the religious division cannot be attributed solely to colonial rule. Rushdie urges on to us this extra thought in the very act of describing an atrocity that is being committed by the British, which is to say at a moment when the temptation to locate absolute evil in the perpetrators is overwhelming. Prolepsis allows him to do this by stretching the temporality of the moment so as to include a future that will relativize even this world-historical evil, seemingly as absolute as evil can get.

oooh i like this a lot

—p.19 Bad Atrocity Writing (12) by n+1 1 year, 1 month ago
21

There is no recipe for good writing, it hardly needs to be said, and this is as true for writing about atrocity as about any other kind. That is why it is so odd that literary accounts of atrocity so often resort to prolepsis, as in the “years later” that Arundhati Roy makes use of in The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (2017). Here prolepsis does, again, what seems to be its thing. It empties out the present, rejecting as inadequate the subjective judgments of the characters immediately embroiled in the event. If you want to say no to the horror that lies before you — as you must, reading about an atrocity — you have to think in the long, long term. [...]

—p.21 Bad Atrocity Writing (12) by n+1 1 year, 1 month ago

There is no recipe for good writing, it hardly needs to be said, and this is as true for writing about atrocity as about any other kind. That is why it is so odd that literary accounts of atrocity so often resort to prolepsis, as in the “years later” that Arundhati Roy makes use of in The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (2017). Here prolepsis does, again, what seems to be its thing. It empties out the present, rejecting as inadequate the subjective judgments of the characters immediately embroiled in the event. If you want to say no to the horror that lies before you — as you must, reading about an atrocity — you have to think in the long, long term. [...]

—p.21 Bad Atrocity Writing (12) by n+1 1 year, 1 month ago
29

Trap is the only music that sounds like what living in contemporary America feels like. It is the soundtrack of the dissocialized subject that neoliberalism made. It is the funeral music that the Reagan revolution deserves.

holy shit

—p.29 Notes on Trap (25) by n+1 1 year, 1 month ago

Trap is the only music that sounds like what living in contemporary America feels like. It is the soundtrack of the dissocialized subject that neoliberalism made. It is the funeral music that the Reagan revolution deserves.

holy shit

—p.29 Notes on Trap (25) by n+1 1 year, 1 month ago
32

CONSIDER THE VOICE OF Meek Mill. The inscription of dreams and nightmares in the grain. Its breathlessness, always on the verge of shrill hoarseness, gasping for air, as if the torrent of words can’t come fast enough — as if there might not be enough time to say the things that need to be said. Every syllable eked out through grit, the cold facts of North Philly firing through a monochromatic hollow, like a crack in a bell.

damn

—p.32 Notes on Trap (25) by n+1 1 year, 1 month ago

CONSIDER THE VOICE OF Meek Mill. The inscription of dreams and nightmares in the grain. Its breathlessness, always on the verge of shrill hoarseness, gasping for air, as if the torrent of words can’t come fast enough — as if there might not be enough time to say the things that need to be said. Every syllable eked out through grit, the cold facts of North Philly firing through a monochromatic hollow, like a crack in a bell.

damn

—p.32 Notes on Trap (25) by n+1 1 year, 1 month ago
35

IMAGINE A PEOPLE enthralled, gleefully internalizing the world of pure capital flow, of infinite negative freedom (continuously replenished through frictionless browsing), thrilled at the possibilities (in fact necessity) of self-commodification, the value in the network of one’s body, the harvesting of others. Imagine communities saturated in the vocabulary of cynical postrevolutionary blaxploitation, corporate bourgeois triumphalism, and also the devastation of crack, a schizophrenic cultural script in which black success was projected as the corporate mogul status achieved by Oprah or Jay-Z even as an angst-ridden black middle class propped up on predatory credit loans, gutted by the whims of financial speculation and lack of labor protections, slipped backward into the abyss of the prison archipelago where the majority poor remained. Imagine, then, the colonization of space, time, and most importantly cultural capital by the socially mediated system of images called the internet. Imagine finally a vast supply of cheap guns flooding neighborhoods already struggling to stay alive. What would the music of such a convergence sound like?

—p.35 Notes on Trap (25) by n+1 1 year, 1 month ago

IMAGINE A PEOPLE enthralled, gleefully internalizing the world of pure capital flow, of infinite negative freedom (continuously replenished through frictionless browsing), thrilled at the possibilities (in fact necessity) of self-commodification, the value in the network of one’s body, the harvesting of others. Imagine communities saturated in the vocabulary of cynical postrevolutionary blaxploitation, corporate bourgeois triumphalism, and also the devastation of crack, a schizophrenic cultural script in which black success was projected as the corporate mogul status achieved by Oprah or Jay-Z even as an angst-ridden black middle class propped up on predatory credit loans, gutted by the whims of financial speculation and lack of labor protections, slipped backward into the abyss of the prison archipelago where the majority poor remained. Imagine, then, the colonization of space, time, and most importantly cultural capital by the socially mediated system of images called the internet. Imagine finally a vast supply of cheap guns flooding neighborhoods already struggling to stay alive. What would the music of such a convergence sound like?

—p.35 Notes on Trap (25) by n+1 1 year, 1 month ago
35

TRAP IS A FORM OF soft power that takes the resources of the black underclass (raw talent, charisma, endurance, persistence, improvisation, dexterity, adaptability, beauty) and uses them to change the attitudes, behaviors, and preferences of others, usually by making them admit they desire and admire those same things and will pay good money to share vicariously in even a collateral showering from below. This allows the trap artist to transition from an environment where raw hard power dominates and life is nasty, brutal, and short to the world of celebrity, the Valhalla of excess, lucre, influence, fame — the only transparently and sincerely valued site of belonging in our culture. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that insofar as you’re interested in having a good time, there’s probably never been a sound so perfectly suited to having every kind of fun disallowed in conservative America.

—p.35 Notes on Trap (25) by n+1 1 year, 1 month ago

TRAP IS A FORM OF soft power that takes the resources of the black underclass (raw talent, charisma, endurance, persistence, improvisation, dexterity, adaptability, beauty) and uses them to change the attitudes, behaviors, and preferences of others, usually by making them admit they desire and admire those same things and will pay good money to share vicariously in even a collateral showering from below. This allows the trap artist to transition from an environment where raw hard power dominates and life is nasty, brutal, and short to the world of celebrity, the Valhalla of excess, lucre, influence, fame — the only transparently and sincerely valued site of belonging in our culture. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that insofar as you’re interested in having a good time, there’s probably never been a sound so perfectly suited to having every kind of fun disallowed in conservative America.

—p.35 Notes on Trap (25) by n+1 1 year, 1 month ago