Cultural Discourse looks at a broad range of cultural issues.
5th December 2010

On WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks and the Death of the Event

An Essay by John David Ebert

Graphic of hourglass, colored in blue and grey; a circular map of the western hemisphere of the world drips from the top to bottom chamber of the hourglass.

WikiLeaks was founded and launched in December of 2006 by Julian Assange together with a group of Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians, and technologists from countries such as Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa. Assange himself, a former computer hacker, is from Australia, and he founded the site for the express purpose of “exposing injustice.” “Our primary targets,” Assange told a New Yorker essayist, “are those highly oppressive regimes in China, Russia and Central Eurasia, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the West who wish to reveal illegal or immoral behavior in their  own governments and corporations.’ He has argued that a ‘social movement’ to expose secrets could ‘bring down many administrations that rely on concealing reality–including the US administration.'” Read the rest of this entry »

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23rd November 2010

On Death & Civilization

 

Death and the Generation of Human Culture

An Essay by Franz Borkenau


Odd Nerdrum, Self-Portrait in a Tree Trunk

"Self-Portrait in a Tree Trunk" by Odd Nerdrum

 

Franz Borkenau is a little known Austrian philosopher who died in 1957 at the age of 56. His magnum opus, End and Beginning, from which I have excerpted the following essay, was published posthumously in 1981. It is an extensive meditation on the relation of death to civilization and it is a masterpiece. Because it is so little known, and because I believe Borkenau to be a philosopher of culture fit to rank alongside Oswald Spengler, Jean Gebser or William Irwin Thompson, I have decided to post this piece so that his work might reach a larger audience. Read the rest of this entry »

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13th November 2010

Celebrity Metaphysics

One Thousand Malkoviches:

Reflections On the Cultural Phenomenology of Celebrity

An Essay by John David Ebert

(The following piece is an outtake from my book “Dead Celebrities, Living Icons” that did not make the final cut due to space considerations)


(“The Birth of Narcissus” [1976] by Arthur Boyd)


Department Store Monitor

Everyone, by now, has had the following experience: you’re walking through a department store and you round the corner, momentarily caught by surprise at your own image reflected back at you upon the store’s video surveillance monitor. You pause, realizing that you have walked in front of a video camera, and then move on again without giving the matter a second thought. Its very banality has rendered the action insignificant. Read the rest of this entry »

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8th September 2010

Theory Classics: The Fold

The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque by Gilles Deleuze

A Review by John David Ebert

I read Deleuze books because they have teeth. His books are the philosophical equivalent of a Francis Bacon painting: you will not walk away from the experience without a few bite marks left in your psyche. 

The Fold, however, fails spectacularly on a number of levels. It not only has no teeth, it has no skull. It doesn’t even have a spine. There is, in short, nothing predatory about it at all. Read the rest of this entry »

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30th August 2010

Theory Classics: What is Philosophy?

What is Philosophy? by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari

Reviewed by John David Ebert

What is Philosophy?, originally published in 1991, was the last of the four great collaborations between Deleuze and Guattari, who had already published Anti-Oedipus, Kafka and A Thousand Plateaus. It was also Deleuze’s last significant work. Read the rest of this entry »

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    For more John Ebert books and lectures...Get it on Google Play

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    For more John Ebert books and lectures…Get it on Google Play

     

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