Worst Concepts of 2016

1). Post-truth.

2). Elites.

3). Sovereignty.

4). Mandate.

5). Neoliberalism (yes, still).

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Bite Size Chandler

img_0947“Wonderful what Hollywood will do to a nobody. It will make a radiant glamour queen out of a drab little wench who ought to be ironing a truck driver’s shirts, a he-man hero with shining eyes and brilliant smile reeking of sexual charm out of some overgrown kid who was meant to go to work with a lunch-box. Out of a Texas car hop with the literacy of a character in a comic strip it will make an international courtesan, married six time to six millionaires and so blasé and decadent at the end of it that her idea of a thrill is to seduce a furniture-mover in a sweaty undershirt.”

Raymond Chandler, The Little Sister, 1949.

Bite Size Chandler

img_1098“I think today there are much better film writers than I could ever be, because I never quite saw things in the terms of the camera, but always as dramatic scenes between people. I suppose you know the story of the writer who his racked brains how to show, very shortly, that a middle-aged man and his wife were no longer in love with each other. Finally he licked it. The man and his wife got into a lift and he kept his hat on. At the next stop a lady got into the lift and he immediately removed his hat. That is proper film writing. Me, I’d have done a four page scene about it. What his chap did took a few seconds.”

 

Raymond Chandler, 1957 (The Raymond Chandler Papers). 

 

Bite Size Chandler

img_1051“‘You really think that?’

She stared at me. I finished my glass and got my weak look on my face again. She ignored it.

‘Of course I think it’, she said. ‘And so do you.’

‘I think it’s a little more complicated than that.’

Her smile was cosy and acid at the same time. ‘I beg your pardon. I forgot for the moment you were a detective. It would have to be complicated, wouldn’t it? I suppose there’s a sort of indecency about a simple case.'”

Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely, 1940.

Bite Size Chandler

swbgood“I hold no particular brief for the detective story as the ideal escape. I merely say that all reading for pleasure is escape, whether it be Greek, mathematics, astronomy, Benedetto Croce, or The Diary of the Forgotten Man. To say otherwise is to be an intellectual snob, and a juvenile at the art of the living.”

Raymond Chandler, ‘The Simple Art’ of Murder’, 1944.

Bite Size Theory

“Thinkers tell stories to themselves and others about who they are as intellectuals. They are then strongly motivated to do intellectual work that will, inter alia, help to express and bring together the disparate elements of these stories. Everything else being equal, they will gravitate toward ideas that make this kind of synthesis possible.”

Neil Gross, 2008, Richard Rorty: The Making of an American Philosopher, University of Chicago Press.

Bite Size Theory

“To conceive of intellectuals as professionals is to put critical thought in social context. To put thought in context is to accuse it of self-interest; that is what social context usually means. But self-interested thought, from the point of view of the ideal, is no longer thought at all. And by the same criterion, it is certainly not critical or radical or adversarial thought. This is the fatal logic of the intellectuals’ disappearance: the more intellectuals are seen as grounded in society, the less they are seen as truly critical or oppositional, hence the less they are themselves. The less they are themselves, the more they can only seem to be glimpsed, for the last time, in the act of vanishing.”

Bruce Robbins, 1993, Secular Vocations: Intellectuals, Professionalism, Culture (Verso).