Wednesday, 28 November 2007



Things are dull. The sky is grey and I've been working on gathering up research materials for an upcoming essay. ''Is the Posthuman a desirable future? Morality & Transhumanism''.

I've been reading:

The Birth of Tragedy
Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution
Nicomachean Ethics
The Cyborg Handbook
Poetry, Language, Thought
Pattern Recognition
Smoke and Mirrors


Outside my little third story 16th century apartment-house, whose construction lends itself perfectly to my worry-fantasy of a cholera epidemic incubator, there is a extremely expensive extremely middle-class mock-French patisserie/boulangerie. A single store in a UK-wide franchise.

The bread and tiny cakes are Delicious, but not in the same way that they are in France. Maybe it's the water. Maybe it's the grain. The people who work there are all tall, slim and clean cut. There is a Japanese woman who speaks perfect accented English, and a red haired smiling Northern fellow and another woman who does not smile. They will correct your pronunciation. Perhaps 6 or more additional people work there. It seems excessive. How many workers are required to tie delicious cakes up in ribbons?

They do not actually make bread and cakes there. Many mornings I am awoken from my third story room to the sound of deliveries happening in the alleyway that keeps our buildings apart. Sometimes it sounds like the world is falling down, and I hide under my comforter so I don't have to see the grey bowl of sky outside the window. On sundays they throw out the delicious breads, wrapped in plastic and placed within a paper bag then placed within the hard plastic square of the skip. On mondays they throw out the delicious cakes.

Three weeks of me living in the little third story 16th century apartment-house, observing the mock-French workers working outside my window, attempting to hear the scurry of rats at night and discovering none, and I started waking up early Monday and Tuesday mornings to pertain deliciousness with my housemate, the ageless-but-young Anglo-Italian girl with mild Aspergers who makes miniatures of sustainable buildings with total devotion. We eat cakes and talk about ancient Egyptian emperors and soy beans.

People seem content to buy from them, to get wrapped up like their cakes within the ribbons of supposed French-ness. English bakery's aren't as important as French ones, apparently, so they get away with charging £2.75 for a macaroon. It's a bit like Disney land. It's not a real castle, it's not a real bakery - nothing is baked there and nothing is French. Total simulacrum. We eat it all up. Eating fake French bread from a skip is no less delicious, but it certainly lacks the spectacle of sophistication.


fp said...

Eeeewww. Dumpster diving! But I suppose your nose knows if it's a bad thing. Speaking of bad things to juxtapose with teh Nicomachean Ethics, maybe not to read but at least to consider as part of that syllabus: "The Singularity is Near" by Ray Kurzweil. In that book the fear of death metastasizes into the fear of the fear of death or something else totally "meta" and transhuman, "when we merge with non-biological intelligence."

J.Black said...

It's just bread!

Mmm. Singularity.

I will check it out.
Thanks yo.

howie o'fael said...
may i suggest rosi braidotti's work? she is down with your cyborg/trans/human/clone/replicant trajectory. saw her lecture here. she has some books, too. mn