John Young on Fri, 31 Mar 2006 19:42:40 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The Sudden Stardom of the Third-World City

There is hardly a better prescription for dreaming of suicide, by cities, 
persons or ideoligies, than comfortable success and lack of a need
to struggle to survive.

The invention of the Third World brand came from the mental laziness
non-western intellectuals and political ideolgues grown soft from the 
luxury of being treated as exotics by the west -- so long as they
only intellectualized and ineptly agitated politically and posed no 
serious threat. Dollops of overt and covert funding assured the
dogs of ample feedings and preenings, not lost on domestic curs
seeking the same from their caretakers and pervasive spies and

When all goes well, whether western or eastern, or lately African
and South American, daydreams of ending it all oneself rather than
being tortured and murdered, as if there is a correspondence between
nightmares imposed on others and aesthetic murder of one's ego,
or intellectual guilt of distancing from direct guilt of doing harm
by way of impotently attacking the doers of crimes against humans.

Third World is hoary nomenclature of world bankism or worse, UNism,
promise without substance, so it is no wonder it has become a star
powerfully attacting celebrity do nothings -- hardly limited to aging
rock stars, say, where Hugo Chavez's luxurious accommodations
are concerned, it's a tourist magnet, oh my, Che, what a come down
to t-shirts and trickets in a VE mall.

Third World was peopled by political rock star academics and indies
looking for replacement funding for the petered out Cold War brand,
now seeking alternatives to the threadbare Viet Nam schtick, the 
civil and human rights carcasses, the ethnic, feminist, negritude,

marxian flayed corpses.

Meanwhile, western cities have continued to rot with untended
pathologies, sustained by the greatest number of spies and police 
and largest military and military-addicted economies ever in history.
Vile and villainous neighborhoods so overplayed by the media that 
nobody wants to squander a career looking at the failure of generations 
of promises at home for a better and safer homeland, and thus
embarassing the erstwhile leaders of the poor who promised to lead 
their people better than alien insensitive outsiders, and where there 
is as much evidence for intellectual dishonesty as can be found
outside the countries which must spawn critics and apologists or
be judged uncivilized by perfectly mirrored other critics and 

It will be come increasingly fashionable to argue that the poor can
do a better job of helping themselves than unreliable outsiders. That
is a predictable cycle which follows failed intentions of good hearts
when funding disappears -- except for last gasp efforts to justify
abandoning the needy. 

And fat-gutted outsiders will become so bereft of purpose that suicide 
becomes highly appealing -- in the abstract, burp. Call it Camusian,
rebel without cause.

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