Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

1

There are moments when the mask slips, when his failure to truly engage with the humanity of the victims and survivors shines through. He often appeals to a ‘we’ that is all too clearly a cypher for his own responses to the event. “All over Britain, the sight of the burning tower gave people a horrible sense of dread followed by a sense of relief,” he writes, as though it is a matter of public record, a fact as indisputable as the number of 999 calls, or the square-meterage of the building. This slippage reveals the power of O’Hagan’s rhetoric. In an article that purports to be a dispassionate, objective account of events, a speculative statement that is predicated entirely on the (clearly ridiculous) notion that Andrew O’Hagan has unlimited access to the interior worlds of “people all over Britain” passes by almost unnoticed. [...] Reading the piece, I almost fell for it; I doubted myself, I questioned myself, I looked back over last year’s writings to try and re-attune to the person I was back then. And I’m as certain as I can be that Grenfell did not make me feel “alive” or “exhilarated”. It made me feel sad, and angry, and powerless. It made me mourn for days. The summer grew dark. I felt the fear and the sadness in my bones. “No man is an island,” as the poem goes—except, perhaps, for Andrew O’Hagan.

—p.1 Rhetoric, Responsibility, & the Problem of the Political: Some thoughts after reading Andrew O’Hagan on Grenfell Tower missing author 2 weeks ago

There are moments when the mask slips, when his failure to truly engage with the humanity of the victims and survivors shines through. He often appeals to a ‘we’ that is all too clearly a cypher for his own responses to the event. “All over Britain, the sight of the burning tower gave people a horrible sense of dread followed by a sense of relief,” he writes, as though it is a matter of public record, a fact as indisputable as the number of 999 calls, or the square-meterage of the building. This slippage reveals the power of O’Hagan’s rhetoric. In an article that purports to be a dispassionate, objective account of events, a speculative statement that is predicated entirely on the (clearly ridiculous) notion that Andrew O’Hagan has unlimited access to the interior worlds of “people all over Britain” passes by almost unnoticed. [...] Reading the piece, I almost fell for it; I doubted myself, I questioned myself, I looked back over last year’s writings to try and re-attune to the person I was back then. And I’m as certain as I can be that Grenfell did not make me feel “alive” or “exhilarated”. It made me feel sad, and angry, and powerless. It made me mourn for days. The summer grew dark. I felt the fear and the sadness in my bones. “No man is an island,” as the poem goes—except, perhaps, for Andrew O’Hagan.

—p.1 Rhetoric, Responsibility, & the Problem of the Political: Some thoughts after reading Andrew O’Hagan on Grenfell Tower missing author 2 weeks ago
1

[...] The question becomes, then, who is permitted to feel? Whose feelings count? To borrow from Judith Butler, which bodies—indeed, which hearts—matter?5 Who do we choose to hear? In tacit response to these questions, O’Hagan grieves the jobs of Nicholas Paget-Brown and Rock Feilding-Mellen at least as deeply as he grieves the lives of those who perished—and those who survived, traumatised, to live and relive that night for as long as they live.

—p.1 Rhetoric, Responsibility, & the Problem of the Political: Some thoughts after reading Andrew O’Hagan on Grenfell Tower missing author 2 weeks ago

[...] The question becomes, then, who is permitted to feel? Whose feelings count? To borrow from Judith Butler, which bodies—indeed, which hearts—matter?5 Who do we choose to hear? In tacit response to these questions, O’Hagan grieves the jobs of Nicholas Paget-Brown and Rock Feilding-Mellen at least as deeply as he grieves the lives of those who perished—and those who survived, traumatised, to live and relive that night for as long as they live.

—p.1 Rhetoric, Responsibility, & the Problem of the Political: Some thoughts after reading Andrew O’Hagan on Grenfell Tower missing author 2 weeks ago
1

[...] When he says, disingenuously , that “the leaders of those [other] councils, Labour as well as Tory, are presumably not being accused of detesting the poor for being in power when their managers installed it,” he ignores the fact that the majority of blame has been laid at the feet of the system itself—a system that values profit above all else; the machine of capital that despises all who do not conform or comply. And when he writes, with the smug air of one performing an unsurpassable gotcha, “…the cause of those deaths wasn’t a few conveniently posh people, but our whole culture and everybody in it, the culture that benefited some but not others, and supported cuts and deregulation everywhere,” he does so as though ten minutes of cursory research would not have presented him with a plethora of leftist activists, thinkers, and writers arguing precisely that.

—p.1 Rhetoric, Responsibility, & the Problem of the Political: Some thoughts after reading Andrew O’Hagan on Grenfell Tower missing author 2 weeks ago

[...] When he says, disingenuously , that “the leaders of those [other] councils, Labour as well as Tory, are presumably not being accused of detesting the poor for being in power when their managers installed it,” he ignores the fact that the majority of blame has been laid at the feet of the system itself—a system that values profit above all else; the machine of capital that despises all who do not conform or comply. And when he writes, with the smug air of one performing an unsurpassable gotcha, “…the cause of those deaths wasn’t a few conveniently posh people, but our whole culture and everybody in it, the culture that benefited some but not others, and supported cuts and deregulation everywhere,” he does so as though ten minutes of cursory research would not have presented him with a plethora of leftist activists, thinkers, and writers arguing precisely that.

—p.1 Rhetoric, Responsibility, & the Problem of the Political: Some thoughts after reading Andrew O’Hagan on Grenfell Tower missing author 2 weeks ago
1

So what O’Hagan does, in summoning the spectres of his childhood (a Daily Mail reader’s fantasy of hard-working salt o’t’earth types who “refused to see themselves as victims”), is offer an anticipatory self-defence that appeals to precisely the sort of material analysis he is attempting to discredit. [...] Reading the article, one does not get any sense of working class solidarity, or even that O’Hagan particularly grasps the realities of being a tenant of social housing in 2018. His proclamation of his own social positionality instead serves two purposes: firstly, it shores up his argument—which he already believes is, to paraphrase Kennedy, immanently right—by supplying him with working class ‘credentials’ of the sort that would only pass muster in a media culture entirely alienated from the people for whom it claims to speak; and secondly, it enables him to subtly position himself as the master of the narrative, somebody with the right to speak for survivors and victims. Crucially, neither of these manipulations would be possible without a media culture in which these types of assertions pass unremarked on a daily basis—a culture which routinely and reflexively misinterprets social critique as personal critique, and acts accordingly. In creating an obfuscatory master narrative that deflects from the complex, materially- and historically-conditioned realities of Grenfell, O’Hagan does nothing innovative. He merely reproduces the culture that produced him, that produced Rock Feilding-Mellen, that produced a tower block full of people who died because nobody would listen. [...]

—p.1 Rhetoric, Responsibility, & the Problem of the Political: Some thoughts after reading Andrew O’Hagan on Grenfell Tower missing author 2 weeks ago

So what O’Hagan does, in summoning the spectres of his childhood (a Daily Mail reader’s fantasy of hard-working salt o’t’earth types who “refused to see themselves as victims”), is offer an anticipatory self-defence that appeals to precisely the sort of material analysis he is attempting to discredit. [...] Reading the article, one does not get any sense of working class solidarity, or even that O’Hagan particularly grasps the realities of being a tenant of social housing in 2018. His proclamation of his own social positionality instead serves two purposes: firstly, it shores up his argument—which he already believes is, to paraphrase Kennedy, immanently right—by supplying him with working class ‘credentials’ of the sort that would only pass muster in a media culture entirely alienated from the people for whom it claims to speak; and secondly, it enables him to subtly position himself as the master of the narrative, somebody with the right to speak for survivors and victims. Crucially, neither of these manipulations would be possible without a media culture in which these types of assertions pass unremarked on a daily basis—a culture which routinely and reflexively misinterprets social critique as personal critique, and acts accordingly. In creating an obfuscatory master narrative that deflects from the complex, materially- and historically-conditioned realities of Grenfell, O’Hagan does nothing innovative. He merely reproduces the culture that produced him, that produced Rock Feilding-Mellen, that produced a tower block full of people who died because nobody would listen. [...]

—p.1 Rhetoric, Responsibility, & the Problem of the Political: Some thoughts after reading Andrew O’Hagan on Grenfell Tower missing author 2 weeks ago