Friday, June 22, 2012

Intro for Ball & Chain

[written for STAND UP & READ / like a loser]

B&C was written as a backdrop or voiceover for PE Class – which was one of the groupuscles of the Autonomous University. We read Marx’s Capital in a series of meetings in the basement of the henry gallery – in that lab space or tech lounge, where we could project recordings of soccer matches.

Most of us independently watched David Harvey’s on-line lecture series on Capital vol 1.  At the end of the 13th or 14th lecture, Harvey uses this quote: “hic Rhodus hic salta” – which I think comes from the 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon [START VIDEO].

This is also the source of that famous line from Marx: “Hegel [not funny] remarks somewhere that all facts and personages of great importance in world history occur, as it were, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.”  Note that the 18th Brumaire is about Napoleon’s nephew who was elected president of France – the nephew wasn’t the tragedy, he was the farce.   

Anyway, Harvey translates “Hic Rhodus hic salta” in effect to say: Enough talk, time for action!

I looked it up and it’s actually the punchline from a story of Aesop.  It’s the boast of an athlete (about how far he had jumped when he was visiting at Rhodes) which is countered by a heckler who says “this is Rhodes, let’s see you leap.”  Show us!  Hic Rhodus, hic salta.  

Ball & Chain (written out of the footnotes of vol 1 Capital).
It’s got an epigraph from Spinoza: People “will fight for their servitude as if for salvation.”