"The culture industry perpetually cheats its consumers of what it perpetually promises. The promissory note which, with its plots and staging, it draws on pleasure is endlessly prolonged; the promise, which is actually all the spectacle consists of, is illusory: all it actually confirms is that the real point will never be reached, that the diner must be satisfied with the menu.” / Jon Olav Eikenes
The Baffler,  December 1, 2015

Daily Bafflements

"The culture industry perpetually cheats its consumers of what it perpetually promises. The promissory note which, with its plots and staging, it draws on pleasure is endlessly prolonged; the promise, which is actually all the spectacle consists of, is illusory: all it actually confirms is that the real point will never be reached, that the diner must be satisfied with the menu.” / Jon Olav Eikenes
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• Over at The New Republic Peter Moskowitz details how apps “enable neighborhoods to retain their real estate value without having any local value,” starting with the fact they make it possible for neighborhoods to “function without having to work at a street level . . . locality and the need for local knowledge is lost.” All the while, these apps incessantly remind us of their necessity and convenience.

• Mathematicians link humor to entropy and Schopenhauer, of all things! Worse: “The findings may be useful in commercial applications such as in product naming . . .  For example, people might be averse to buying a funny-named medication for a serious illness—or it could go the other way around.” (Thanks, Science Daily!)

• What’s behind rancorous college sports team rivalries? The narcissism of small differences, or class war?

Help Adorno and Horkheimer get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! As a commenter notes “Trying to reify the unreifiable will cause Hollywood to perish.”

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Why They Need the Cucks

Jessa Crispin

Strip The Hierarchies of Cuckoldry and Bankruptcy of its satirical critique, and you're left with a logic that is dismally familiar. The categories of embattled manhood now trafficked by the cuck-trashing, immigrant-bashing men of Breitbart or 4chan are shifting but ultimately exacting; like Fourier’s taxonomist, they obsess over finer and finer distinctions. Their aim is not to elevate one idealized version of masculinity, but to break masculinity into a more perfect pecking order, so almost everyone can look down a level at the scum below. This new order relies on the traditional markers of manly achievement—a girlfriend, sexual partners, money, power, and, most importantly, control—but none of those matter as much as the act of division itself. It’s a coping strategy. Yes, the 4chan men like to make jokes about living in their parents’ basements, but those jokes are only funny if they can point to someone even lower than themselves.

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Further Reading

 November 9

There was no quibbling over what item on the menu might be more digestible---Virginia voters just carted off the whole buffet.

 November 10

Yesterday’s twin reports on Roy Moore and Louis CK remind us that sexual assault and women’s inequality are still everyone’s problem.