The Tiger Manifesto

Criticism with claws

Category: Editor’s Notes

Announcement: Starting Grad School and Fiction Projects and What It Means for You!

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Greetings, readers. This past week marked the beginning of my graduate school career. I’ve begun my history classwork for my MA, and will be doing my major research paper on East Asian regional history as planned. All of the reading and preparation I’ve done over the past year and, especially, in the summer, should start paying off soon. Hidden somewhere, deeper still, is a fiction project I’ve been working on for awhile that will soon have a public presence of some kind.

However, this means that my ability to post articles and review on time, inconsistent now, will only worsen over time. In order to get around this, I will be restructuring the schedule. Basically, instead of promising three posts per week that I will never complete, I will have a staggered schedule with regular features and writing book reviews as I finish suitable books.

For now, this is the plan: a two-week rotation. Book reviews will appear when I have a book to review, and there might be special posts once in awhile.

Week A:

Wednesday: A Hundred Thousand Names entry

Saturday: Very short commentary (~350 words) on some matter of interest to me

Week B:

Wednesday: Cultural article for series TBA (probably focusing on the career of another animator or artist

We’ll give this a short and alter it as needed. I hope all is well with my readership and that we can all enjoy this blog for the foreseeable future. It’s taken on so many guises at this point it’s hard to believe it’s the same one I started all those years ago.

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Announcement: Health-Related Delay on Hundred Thousand Names

I was planning on finishing up and publishing a new entry in A Hundred Thousand Names, but I am unable to because of anxiety-related health issues and a lack of sleep. I’m trying to stay as health as possible. My apologies.

This will delay the book review by one day as well as the article, so A Hundred Thousand Names no. 2 will come out tomorrow and the book review on Monday (maybe Tuesday if I don’t recover quickly).

Changing the Site URL

At long last, I have discarded the old “Old Alexius” title altogether. A moment of reverent silence, if you please.

For those who are not aware, the original title of this blog came from the original idea that Old Alexius–-the titular tiger of my blog––was the sole writer and content provider for this site. Alas, the ruse has long been up that this site is owned and operated by a left-wing human rather than a tiger, but I have kept the tiger theme in honour of ol’ Alex. At the same time, he may return someday, which is more than I can say for the URL.

Now the site name is tigermanifesto.wordpress.com, a far more sane and informative title that I can tell people in person without them wondering what my blog could possibly be about. I’m sad to lose the old name, but it doesn’t have much to do with the state of the blog as it is now. If you want to type in the old address, it will redirect to the new one.

Salute to you, Alexius. You may have been old, but you got this young blog going at a critical time in my life, and your memory will sustain it onwards.

Late Post Apology

Since my policy has been to publish book reviews on Sunday, I apologize for missing that date. Because of a variety of other work, I was not able to finish it. I will be publishing it tomorrow and continue the Bakshi series on schedule on Wednesday. Thanks for your patience.

Announcement: Accelerated Posting Schedule

I have been rather more infrequent in posting on this blog than I would like. To help reenergize myself and get in the habit of writing every day, I will be doing a whole week of posting once per day. These articles will be just as extensive as the normal weekly output I’ve been managing for the past few months, but I will release it daily rather than once every ten days or so.

As an added incentive for myself, I will list the names and subject matters of each coming post below. The plan is to publish about three times per week from here on, which has been a sweet spot for me for quite awhile. I admit that laziness and lack of focus have been the main reasons why I have not been able to meet my previous standards. After all, when I was at the peak of productivity for this blog, I was writing two articles weekly for the school paper and school assignments at the same time; I have far more time on my hands than I once did, but also far less discipline, which I hope to rectify with a blitz of articles followed by a more measured standard of output. More details are on the way, but here are the topics I will be covering:

Monday, March 20: Introduction to my series of articles on Ralph Bakshi’s entire filmography, which will hopefully be comprehensive despite the fact that some of his films are out of print or difficult to find. For instance, none of his film work is at the library of the local university. If I have to interrupt the series because I can’t get a copy of Hey Good Lookin’, I’ll be sure to let everyone know.

Tuesday, March 21: I will be reviewing Cyber-Proletariat, a new book about the information economy and its discontents as well as its structural qualities by Nick Dyer-Witheford. It’s attacking the issue from an autonomist Marxist perspective, which, while different from my own, has been quite illuminating. More to come in the actual post.

Wednesday, March 22: The proper start of the Ralph Bakshi series, since the introduction will mainly be outlining a schedule for that series, putting out some of my general impressions of his work and historical significance for the art of animation, and some framing concepts that I will be using to analyze his work. This Wednesday will begin with a proper review of his first feature, Fritz the Cat, which set up the remainder of his career and made his reputation both with audiences and in his own artistic/professional community.

Thursday, March 23: Another book review, this time of Gabriel Kuhn’s Life Under the Jolly Roger, an excellent and brief study of pirate life and ideals from an anarchist author based in Sweden. I read the entire book in one sitting just today, so my impressions of it are still quite vivid, which should help make this engaging reading.

Friday, March 24: Bakshi entry number two. This one will focus on his second film and self-proclaimed best film Heavy Traffic. 

Saturday, March 25: Another entry in my series of reviews of Japanese environmental histories, this time working through an article about the Japanese whaling industry by scholar Jakobina Arch.

Sunday, March 26: This article will be more generally political and focus on how my political perspective and position as a historian intersect. It’s well-trod territory that every historian has to wrestle with, but it also makes for some of the best reading historians can put out, which makes it an attractive topic to cover.

After this onslaught of content, the plan is to publish one article every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday. I plan on theming each of them:

Sunday: book reviews

Wednesday: cultural commentary––reviews of other media as well as fictional literature, and more general commentary on cultural matters.

Friday: Political and historical discussions of various topics that will not be strictly centred around books.

I’ve promised to inject more life into this blog several times before, but I have finally gotten some of my own personal affairs settled and believe I can finally achieve my goals.

Post Delay : Travel in Turkey

Spent much of the morning and part of the afternoon in the Gallipoli Peninsula.

Spent much of the morning and part of the afternoon in the Gallipoli Peninsula.

Currently, I am on a trip to Turkey, and so can only update at night. I may post short reflections here, but the main blog is at anatoliantigers.wordpress.com, which I will update as close to daily as I can possibly manage. For now I can say that I had a wonderful group conversation with our tour guide about some of the changes that the country has undergone since the military coup of the 1980s. Also expect a post on Pablo Neruda’s poetry in the near future––meaning as soon as I have time. For now, see you in a while.

Red December Greetings From Tiger Manifesto

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2014 marked another triumphant year for capital, and another year in the decomposition of its rotten national and international rule. Its stench is enough to corrupt even the muffled air of the North American winter. Even as capitalism continues to demonstrate its abject inability to provide a good life for more than a fraction of the world’s people––those being the capitalists and their hangers-on in countries North and South––the forces of the Left have only a few bright, red spots to celebrate this December. In India, comrades in the CPI (Maoist) continue to resist the forces of dispossession and accumulation in the forests and fields of the eastern states. Scattered attempts to divide the capitalist surplus among a larger population continue apace in South America, even if governed by the national bourgeoisie and a reliance on ephemeral oil wealth.

In Europe and North America, the right wing is ascendant, organizing huge racist marches against Muslims in Germany and big poll wins for fascist parties throughout the continent. Social democracy, the creamy foam in the imperialist sewer, evaporates in turn, leaving even the comparably privileged workers of the First World with a lower quality of life. Capitalism must go. Capitalism must be pushed out. Only the power of the democratic masses can accomplish this.

I want to thank all the comrades who helped me in the writing and publishing of this blog, as well as for their encouragement and precious criticism. This blog has little importance in the overall scheme, but I hope it manages to host some worthwhile contributions. Red Greetings to everyone united in the pursuit of struggle, the struggle for true freedom and true democracy throughout the whole world! Here’s to a red new year.

My Favourite Tiger Manifesto Posts from 2014: No Particular Order

On The Interview Incident

Extraordinary events rarely create new conditions or attitudes. Rather, they draw what was once latent or concealed into a harsher light. GamerGate didn’t create the misogyny or anti-intellectualism of male supremacist gamers; it channeled and condensed those attitudes into a movement, much as how the KKK didn’t create racism but simply gives it its most natural outlet. Both of those movements are militant expressions of normative attitudes in society, ogres summoned when the status quo of white settler supremacy or patriarchy seems less assured than usual. Likewise, this farce over The Interview has brought to light the collusion between Hollywood and other arms of American imperial supremacy––as well as the legions of dancing jesters willing to retell the old song about “free speech” and the American way of life.

To be clear: I hold both of those principles in contempt. The Interview is not the product of popular speech; it is a calculated sop to market demographics created by professionals whose work, at its core, is to soak money from beleaguered people who crave a distraction from their daily grind. A daily grind that reproduces itself with their own consent. The proper word for this, of course, is capitalism, the legal theft of labor and the amassing of kingly fortunes at one pole and the creation of colossal misery at the other. Mass culture, as I have brought up many times before, is an industrial monopoly like any other, and in many ways Hollywood operates as the concentrated propaganda machine of the bourgeoisie. The Interview in effect makes sport of the assassination of a living figure, comparable to an Iranian propaganda film about the killing of the American president. Like many comedies and action films, it places the freewheeling American disregard for national sovereignty into an acceptable context. No American would tolerate this kind of mean-spirited attack from another country, but will call the release of this trash a matter of principle at a moment’s notice.

The greatest hypocrisy has to come from certain political leaders who have emphasized that people should be “able to make their own decisions” about the film. Which strikes me as hilarious because the Hollywood system, like all capitalist enterprises, is impervious to any form of popular democracy. It answers only to the demands of capital, and those demands have terminated countless films, many better than The Interview, no doubt, without a peep of public protest. So here we are: the so-called critical press that laments the creeping influence of money on art, or elections, or whatnot, defend to the hilt the right to release a vacuous studio project, to make it a political priority. It is to retch.

Socialism Quotation Placeholder Post #1: Étienne Balibar on Class Struggle

Greetings to my long-suffering readers. If you have felt the Tiger Manifesto post drought as acutely as I have, you must be going through quite the trauma. As a stopgap measure, like the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike, I am going to post brief, potentially witty quotations from socialist notables I happen to have on hand. Because much of my study time this past few months was spent reading Althusser and his intellectual progeny, I have quite a few on hand, which should make finding something both trenchant and accessible a fun challenge. Since I anticipate these droughts breaking out in the future, I’ve made it a series. Godspeed you all.

“We have already been told in the Manifesto that the struggle of the workers begins with their very existence. And Capital shows that the first moment of that struggle is the existence of a collective of workers, either in the factory or enterprise or outside it in the town or city, in politics (but in reality always between these two spaces, moving from the one to the other). It is a presupposition of the ‘wage form’ that workers are treated exclusively as individual persons, so that their labour-power can be bought and sold as a thing of greater or lesser value, so that they can be ‘disciplined’ and ‘made responsible’. But the collective is an ever self-renewing precondition of production itself. In reality, there are always two overlapping collectives of workers, made up of the same individuals (or almost) and yet incompatible: a capital-collective and a proletariat-collective. Without the latter, engendered by the resistance to capitalist collectivization, the capitalist ‘autocrat’ could not himself exist.”

Étienne Balibar. The Philosophy Of Marx.

It gets at the inescapable dynamics of capital’s effect on the workers. In order to rationalize and improve production, which is always imperative under capitalism, it must concentrate workers, who are supposed to be mere individuals, in space and time. Capital needs its own destroyers to function, and those people are both the proletariat of the Manifesto and the legions of value-producers in Capital. Socialist organization can’t help but take account of this fact when building alliances and producing revolutionary situations. It also explains some of the social roots of how bourgeois ideology can grow influential even among its victims. Capitalism might be exploitative and take advantage of all kinds of social differences and oppressions, but it is also the means by which almost everyone on earth is fed, clothed and sheltered. That is, if they have those things at all.

Editorial Note: An Apology and an Explanation

First, I have to apologize sincerely for whiffing on so many due dates for my history on film series. I have to push the Red Detachment of Women article back a couple of days because I haven’t found the copy I meant to watch. Also, I had to work on graduate school applications, which has led to the previous delays as well as this one. I will do my best to get everything back on track as soon as possible, and you will have the final article in the series––at least as far as I’ve planned––delivered on time. In the meantime, enjoy the new article on Archie’s World I wrote.

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Historical DeWitticisms: Environmental History and Random Musings by J.M. DeWitt

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Revolutionary Anamnesis

Anamnesis is a Platonic theory of knowledge that posits the soul's ability to recollect the things it knew in past incarnations, or an eternal knowledge, recovered through reasoning.

PERIPHERAL THOUGHT

● contemporary and critical political theory ● public anthropology ● (anti) imperialism and (anti) militarization ● class struggle ● political economy and world-systems theory ● hegemony and academia ● revolution ● rebellion ● resistance ● protest ● activism ● advocacy ● critique ● etc.

Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee

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Critical Hit!!

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