Category Archives: CultCrit

Slavoj Žižek on Events & Encounters

Slavoj Žižek  is a Slovenian psychoanalytic philosopher, cultural critic, and Hegelian Marxist. He is a senior researcher at the Institute for Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana, Global Distinguished Professor of German at New York University, and international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities of the University of London.

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RITALIN to brighten your day, 1957

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ADHD medications are amphetamines, powerful stimulants that can raise heart rate and blood pressure. They also increase dopamine and serotonin production in the brain, increasing happiness.  CIBA originally marketed its stimulant Ritalin as a cure for depression, rather than an inability to focus, like in this 1957 ad:

Eye Miniatures, aka “Lover’s Eyes”

In the 18th and 19th centuries, wealthy British and European lovers exchanged “eye miniatures” — love tokens so clandestine that even now, in the majority of cases, it is impossible to identify their recipients or the people they depict.

 

Experts believe that there are fewer than 1,000 “lover’s eyes” in existence today. Continue reading Eye Miniatures, aka “Lover’s Eyes”

Carl Jung’s The Red Book (Liber Novus): Art From The Unconscious

Carl Jung’s Red Book, or Liber Novus recounts and comments upon the Swiss physician and psychologist’s imaginative experiences between 1913 -16.  Jung’s work on The Red Book began directly after his relationship with mentor and colleague Sigmund Freud came to an acrimonious halt in 1913.  In the book, Jung documented his ‘voluntary confrontation with the unconscious through willful engagement of the “mythopoetic imagination”.  Among the contents of the book were a number of drawings, illustrations and calligraphies which Jung brought forth from his unconscious.

“The years… when I pursued the inner images, were the most important time of my life. Everything else is to be derived from this. It began at that time, and the later details hardly matter anymore. My entire life consisted in elaborating what had burst forth from the unconscious and flooded me like an enigmatic stream and threatened to break me. That was the stuff and material for more than only one life. Everything later was merely the outer classification, scientific elaboration, and the integration into life. But the numinous beginning, which contained everything, was then.” –Carl Jung, in conversation with Aniela Jaffe about the Red Book, 1957

Divination, A History Unforeseen – an upcoming series on The Incubator

cropped-1886_ettore_tito_-_la_chiromante_detail3Divination (from Latin divinare “to foresee, to be inspired by a god”, related to divinus, divine) is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic, standardized process or ritual. Used in various forms throughout history, diviners ascertain their interpretations of how a querent should proceed by reading signs, events, or omens or through alleged contact with a supernatural agency.’  –Anthropological Studies of Divination. anthropology.ac.uk.

Throughout recorded history, humans have sought knowledge about the future, and have discovered and utilized a host of techniques in an attempt to understand Existence within  the context of a Grand Narrative. Divination, fortune-telling, omens, oracles, augury and prophecy conspire towards the teleological mapping of the present in respect to a forecasted future.

An exploration of this deep and controversial history of faith, superstition and science will begin next week on TheIncubator.

Jack Chick, American Christian Fundamentalist Crusader & Arguably A Folk Artist, Dead at 92

One of Chick Publications best selling tracts: “This Was Your Life”:chickyourlife

Jack Chick has died. The christian fundamentalist author, cartoonist  and founder of Chick Publications passed away on October 23, 2016.

For many Americans, Jack Chick’s small, rectangular, illustrated booklets depicting the fiery struggles of good over evil in contemporary life are reminders of the fundamentalist evangelical christian tradition in the United States.  “Chick Tracts”, as they are commonly referred to, are “tiny comic books printed on cheap paper that are ubiquitous in subway stations, rest stop bathrooms, inside the dresser drawers of hotel rooms, and littered around other public places nationwide. “(via rationalwiki.org)  Chick Publications has been printing it’s  their three by five inch comic booklets since the mid -60s from their southern california publishing company.
Continue reading Jack Chick, American Christian Fundamentalist Crusader & Arguably A Folk Artist, Dead at 92

In Search Of Wabi Sabi : BBC doc with Marcel Theroux

In Search of Wabi Sabi is a BBC Documentary in which novelist & broadcaster Marcel Theroux travels across Japan, attempting to understand the japanese aesthetic theory, Wabi Sabi.

Wabi-sabi (?) represents Japanese aesthetics and a Japanese world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.[2] It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印 sanbōin?), specifically impermanence (無常 mujō?), suffering ( ku?) and emptiness or absence of self-nature (?).Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes. – wikipedia

Dr. Gabor Mate On The Healing Power Of Ayuhuasca

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The following is a transcript of Gabor Mate’s speech, “Psychedelics and Unlocking the Unconscious; From Cancer to Addition,” which he delivered at the Psychedelic conference in Oakland California on April 20, 2013

My subject is the use of ayahuasca in the healing of all manner of medical conditions, from cancer to addiction. And you might say what can possibly a plant do to heal such dire and life-threatening medical problems? Well, of course, that all depends on the perspective through which we understand these problems. Continue reading Dr. Gabor Mate On The Healing Power Of Ayuhuasca