Readings: Week of February 10

### Readings
+ [An Æsthetics for Infants](
Genuinely one of the funniest things I have read, delightful and wondrous in the best sense of it. What would a more engaged, less cereberal world look like?
I am particularly interested in thinking about this “baby aesthetics” in conversation against the dominating sense of our contemporary world, in it’s overwhelming banality. Mine is the generation of the already-burned-out: we face climate change, neoliberal love lives, the return of fascism.

+ [The Willowbrook School](
A sad place, featured in the same issue of _The Village Voice_ as [Donald Trump’s eviction of a 73-year old pensioner (1980 May 5)]( Things have never been good for a large portion of people. But, of cousre, we hear from those most able to speak (bcause of education, money, those still alive).

+ [The Flatness of Blackness: Afro-Pessimism and the Erasure of Anti-Colonial Thought]( by Kevin Ochieng Okoth (Salvage)

A great long essay about the “world-negating” philosophy that is not afro-pessimism 2.0. Okoth searches for a theory that can actually enact liberation, one that focuses on “bread and land” and is not so easily (comfortably, inevitably) co-opted by neoliberalism/neocolonialism. Movements toward a better future will have to be built on global struggles across dominations: sexism and racism and imperialism and capitalism are not mutually exclusive in the logics of their oppression. The Black Panthers visited China decades before Nixon did, Muhammad Ali took a stand against the Vietnamese war as “white man’s aggression.” A fantastic read and antidote to both iterations of afro-pessimism: the racist and the abject.

+ [The Imperial Graveyard]( by Samuel Moyn (LRB)
>“[…] ignorance was part of what makes […] mainstream American foreign policy. ‘Other countries’, Packer writes, have always constituted ‘the weak spot of our Foreign Service … It’s hard to get Americans interested in them, and the more interested you get, the worse your career prospects.’“

I love that last line: The more you know about a country, the less qualified you are to work (on that countries’ issues) in the US. The establishment wants nothing of pluralistic visions of the future. There is the American way, the American future, the DoD-approved projection of power (preferably through a Boeing or Lockheed), and everything else is “window dressing” or, in the words of Kissinger: “domestic management.” See: the [DoJ charging Chinese “hackers” with data breaches]( Of course other countries are hacking us! (See: [CIA owned the world’s largest encryption company in secret]( Nobody trusts anyone on the international level. And “legal” is purely a geographical fiction. A claim I see often on the internet [scary noises] is that “Chinese companies have to comply _by law_ with the government’s spying operations.” Which, y’know…is the same in every country? That’s what a law is? And have they heard of PRISM or STELLARWIND? It’s a peculiar sort of jingoistic ignorance.

#### Anyway, happy readings!