Today's Autonomedia Jubilee Saint — JEAN BAUDRILLARD

baudrillard
July 29– JEAN BAUDRILLARD
French cultural theorist, media philosopher, art critic.

Our point is not to defend radical thought. Any idea that can be defended is presumed guilty. Any idea that does not sustain its own defense deserves to perish. But we have to fight against charges of unreality, lack of responsibility, nihilism, and despair. Radical thought is never depressing. This would be a complete misunderstanding. A moralizing and ideological critique, obsessed by meaning and content, obsessed by a political finality of discourse, never takes into account writing, the act of writing, the poetic, ironic, and allusive form of language, the play with meaning. This critique does not see that the resolution of meaning is right here, in the form itself, in the formal materiality of an expression. As for meaning, it is always unfortunate. Analysis is by its very definition unfortunate since it is born out of a critical disillusion. But language on the contrary is fortunate (happy), even when it designates a world with no illusion, with no hope. This would in fact be here the very definition of radical thought: an intelligence without hope, but a fortunate and happy form. Critics, always being unfortunate (unhappy) in their nature, choose the realm of ideas as their battle field. They do not see that if discourse always tends to produce meaning, language and writing on the contrary are always a matter of illusion. Language and writing are the living illusion of meaning, the resolution of the misfortune of meaning operated through the good fortune of language. This is the only political or transpolitical act that a writer can accomplish.

From Baudrillard’s article Radical Thought, read more Baudrillard online here.

JULY 29, 2009 HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
*Norway: Oslok, the festival of Saint Olaf the Fat.
*Quimperle, Brittany: Pardon of the Birds. Festive fair and picnic with a bird theme.

ALSO ON JULY 29 IN HISTORY…
1883 — Italian Socialist Party leader turned fascist Benito Mussolini born.
1890 — Dutch crackpot painter Vincent Van Gogh dies, Auvers-sur-Oise, France.
1921 — Adolf Hitler becomes president of the German Nazi Party.
1929 — French media theorist, art critic Jean Baudrillard born, Reims, France.
1979 — New Left theorist, radical hero Herbert Marcuse dies, Sternberg, East Germany.
2006 — French radical historian Pierre Vidal-Naquet dies, Nice, France.

Excerpted from The 2009 Autonomedia Calendar of Jubilee Saints: Radical Heroes for the New Millennium by James Koehnline and the Autonomedia Collective

Today's Autonomedia Jubilee Saint — AMADOU BAMBA

bamba
July 19– AMADOU BAMBA
Senegalese mystic, pacifist, anti-colonialist, Sufi poet.

JULY 19, 2009 HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
*Dunmore Piory, England. Flitch Day. Beginning in 15th century, the monks offered a flitch of bacon as prize for any married couple who could prove to a jury of bachelors and maidens that they had lived together in harmony and fidelity for the past year. Very few took home the bacon.
*Ancient Egypt: New Year. Season of the Nile’s rising, season of inundation.
*Nicaragua: Revolution Day.
*Festival of Sirius.

ALSO ON JULY 19 IN HISTORY…
1500 — Hailstorm brings down ceilings of the Papal Palace, Rome.
1692 — Five women hanged as witches in Salem, Massachusetts.
1898 — New Left Marxist philosopher Herbert Marcuse born, Berlin, Germany.
1927 — Senegalese Sufi poet, mystic Amadou Bamba dies, Touba, Senegal.
1979 — Sandinista rebels overthrow Nicaraguan strongman Anastasio Somoza.

Excerpted from The 2009 Autonomedia Calendar of Jubilee Saints: Radical Heroes for the New Millennium by James Koehnline and the Autonomedia Collective