Pick up the book for its title, stay for the nuggets inside — I’m talking about the new anthology co-edited by the unstoppable Mike Davis, Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism. Here’s Marco d’Eramo on the Mall of America:
“The mall functions as both avenue and town square. What we see here is a process that has frequently recurred during the course of modernity: a spontaneous preexisting configuration is dismantled or destroyed only to then be reconstructed artificially when the lack of what has been erased or swept away is sufficiently felt.”
Or if you already knew that, here’s Timothy Mitchell on a perversion of capitalism:
“A second struggling California agribusiness, Cadiz Inc., had taken over Sun World, planning to pay off its debts by transforming it from a company producing crops into a marketing business that would sell its patents and trademarks, including the flagship brand, Superior Seedless grapes, around the world. Unable to make money growing and selling grapes, the company would sell the names of grapes instead.” Maybe that’s how General Motors will end up.
Sara Lipton on monastery chic: “A weekend in a monastery offers a sanitized simulacrum of the Age of Faith: monks within, no starving peasants without. And values that are pure twenty-first century: freedom of choice, virtue via display, spirituality without social justice.” Y’all have a nice century.