Sunday, August 23, 2009


Jerry Seinfeld: "Everybody says 'You should let your money work for you.' I decided that I'd let my money relax, I'll do the work." Seemingly just another 'did you ever notice' bit, is a meta-message of what capital is doing while you sleep.

Batman and Anarchism

I know what your thinking... that Batman is not only the Original Gangsta, the Man with the Milkshake, and the Jefe Maximo, but also the Libertarian Socialist we all know him to be.

First let me go out on a limb and lay out my assumptions that readers may takeforgranted/nevercaredabout:

1-Batman is not Bruce Wayne, Batman is Batman. From Grant Morrison's abstract novel Arkham Asylum: a Serious House on Serious Earth, Batman's psychoanalysis rap sheet reads as follows, "Criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot. I must be a creature. I must be a creature of the night. Mommy's Dead. Daddy's Dead. Brucie's Dead. I shall become a bat." This reads as Kafka's Metamorphosis - with radical implications. Here batman attempts to escape a class critique, he has a base in the elite but it is not Bruce Wayne's economic wealth that has defined him, it is his personal loss created by economic disparity of which he himself has no hand in other than being born to it. Granted Batman's "First Night Out" depicted by Frank Miller and Mazzuchelli implies that he works from the base of inexhaustible wealth to build from.

2-If Batman is not Bruce Wayne, Bruce Wayne aspires to be Batman. Batman is a symbol beyond a man, a socially defined representation of what (wo)man could become if unrestricted by defined normatives, i.e. law, the state, economic restriction. As Lewis Call depicts in his work Postmodern Anarchism, the Nietzschean Ubermench is intended to 'kill your inner fascist.' The Ubermench, mis-appropriated most famously by a fascist - Adolf Hitler, "the overman or over (wo)man is she who no longer needs the State, or any other institution for that matter. She is her own creator of values and as such the first true an(archist)." The immediate question to this lies in the miseducation of the term anarchist - what of the black-hole of structureless living? Call states that fascism is the converse of anarchism, an ideology that operates at a cellular level rather than the individual level "the horror of fascism grows not out of the fact that it can seize power at the macropolitical level; any state can do that. Particularly horrific is the way it penetrates - rural fascism and city or neighborhood fascism, fascism of the Left and fascism of the Right, fascism of the couple, family, school and office." It attempts to co-opt the indivual's personal becoming of self-governance. Batman is the Ubermench.

3- As can be extracted from any individualist story, the sole-character is the modern incarnation of Jesus and Mohammad, Buddha and Xenu. For me, Batman is neither. The individualism of Anarchism is about finding god in man. It is not about looking to Batman as the god of men, nor looking to a god generally or specifically. Batman is in a constant state of self-loathing for psychotraumatic reasons, but what he is confident of is his ability of becoming. No question, different writers depict Batman in different ways, from the fascist vigilante who turns the desperate over to the baton of the state (police), to the overly human sleuth who is shot and killed. But the possibilities of what Batman is, are particularly knowable through an anarchist reading.

Finally, this interpretation of a Batman that is above the law in the way described in point #2 is about becoming. Rather than the individual above social law who corrupts their agency by seeking self-promotion at the expense of society, Batman exists in a structured world that he seeks to subvert. Much like the notions of subverting normative behaviour as purported by Foucault, the overly normative pretend actions of elite Bruce Wayne fit perfectly for the true-self of Batman, a persona that is more aligned to subverting the system.

That's Right, you heard me.

D.C. United Battle for Playoffs

The most successful club in the MLS... A team ratcheted with talent from the veterans: Jaime Moreno, Luciano Emilio and Ben Olson - to the consistent talent of Christian Gomez, Fred and Santino Quaranta - to the new talent of #7 draft pick Chris Pontius - This team should be destroying.

Instead, according to many fans, coach Tom Soehn is making a complete travesty out of what on paper should be a trophy. Currently contending with a heavy schedule in both MLS and CONCACAF Champions League, the team needs some redistribution. Unlike European Association Football clubs, which constantly play in inter-Europe competitions, North American clubs are hard pressed to field two or three squads when faced with back-to-back games. This was demonstrated in last weeks demoralizing Champions League loss to Honduran side Marathon, 3-1. Moreno looked tired, Gomez didn't feature, and Emilio had his head split open on DC's only goal of the night. Either the MLS salary cap and investment doesn't allow for expanded rosters, or the young-age of our association football hasn't developed the depth of reserve squads.

Having personal experience in playing English youth sides from West Bromich Albion, Derby County, and various London teams at the age of 15, expectedly being smeared left right and center on all occasions by players living in residency schools and being paid to play demonstrates the commitment that Europe has for this game. For my part, I would detest the lifestyle, but from it I receive a lifetime's worth of happiness every time I see the game played by these die-hards. No doubt we have the youth infrastructures already to support sponsored sides, whether the sport can attract the interest of the landed elites to pay kids to keep with the game until they mature as an investment remains to be seen.

However, major finance capital is of course alive and well in MLS. DC United perhaps one of the last teams still playing on a pitch of the Keynesian Era where sites of main attraction were named after great men of modernism, i.e. Robert F. Kennedy Stadium. The Home Depot's, Qwest's, and Red Bull's of global capitalism have seen our game into a flashy new overcoat. Without going too intensely here into the pervasively destructive/consumptive/raping that capitalism demands, it has given MLS the likes of underwear models David Beckham and Freddy Ljunberg. Ambassadors of the European game never looked more token masculine than this. Granted we are fortunate that money can buy talent to get throwball fans to take notice of soccer in North America. Thankfully our fans have also taken notice of the commitment by these players as demonstrated in the vehement rejection by Galaxy supporters to Beckham receiving a warm welcome home from his loan spell to Italian giants AC Milan one month ago.

Like capitalism, the good comes with the bad in MLS. As long as we know the questions we want answered about how to build our game and what each supporter takes solace in watching, we can at least begin to define where we want to go.

Everton off to a Blunderous start

Barclay's English Premiership top-4 contender of the 2008-2009 season, Everton Toffeeman, have started what looks to be a very long season. Losing their opening game to a cracking Arsenal squad, 6-1, overall morale looks to be diminishing. Though competing in the Europa league, and winning their first game against Czech side Sigma Olomouc 4-0 at Goodison Park, the Toffee's continued to lose on the island 1-0 to newly promoted Burnely who continue their tear through prem traditionals.
What contributing factors would lead to this blunderous start you might ask?

-For starters the football economy is completely superficial. For example big spenders Real Madrid and Manchester City have both dropped over 100 million euros on their summer signings - adding a bitter taste to those who signed contracts last year for "peanuts" by comparison. To contrast the summer spending of the world's capital interests (primarily new Emirate partners with western elites) one can only think of Chris Rock's apt comparative example of wealth versus richness: "I'm talking about wealth, not rich, Shaq is rich. The guy who signs Shaq's check is wealthy." If spending sprees like this continue the old stand-by of African-Americans 'making it' only if they rap or play basketball will become prolific for all sportsmen drawn into the fold of world football as unemployment rates continue to sky rocket the Western world over. Everton's to do, is one Jolean Lescott (pictured above), English International defenseman, currently scouted by Man City, which has "turned his head around" according to Toffee coach David Moyes. Nevertheless, Moyes has benched Lescott for the last two games on account of poor attitude. Pronounced: he's dragging his heels cause he smells greener pastures.

-Second, coming off a whirlwind of buzz for US International goalkeeper, Tim Howard, after an unbelievable Confederations Cup in South Africa this summer, as well as seeing off his teammate's in the MLS-All Star match vis-a-vie penalty shootout, Howard has by proxy been setup for disaster. A 6-1 drubbing to Howard's hope for cleansheets has burned and will continue to burn unless the Gunners end up Winning FIFA.

All in all, Everton need to hold fast as the market dictates attitudes. Appearing the battle hardened blue's(collared) of Liverpool, one expects this side to see the market rumblings peter-out. Lets hope its sooner than later as 20th in the prem overstates their current troubles.