Mitochondrial Vertigo

April 23, 2010

Rex Takes Kyle Wilson – The Deterritorialization Begins

The Jets Draft

I have to say that I was thoroughly pleased with the Jets taking speed and tenacity cornerback Kyle Wilson in yesterday’s first round.  Rex’s defensive non-traditional schemes are predicated on confusion and the shrinking of time-windows, and the rare mental/physical capacity to stay close, pressed to a receiver is paramount to Rex’s postmodern warfare. Instead of a scheme where Greek warrior physical specimens dominate the nominal space (high-priced Achilles ends and outside linebackers), Rex’s scheme trades on complexity. The decisive factor is to increase the number of reads (fold the topological terrain), and shrink the tempo beyond human thresholds. Peyton’s expert shredding of the Jet’s in last years playoffs set the bar for those read-and-react thresholds quite high. If you are going to shrink, pleat and crumple the space to the point of confusion (getting inside the OODA loop), another dynamic corner is needed (not to mention a back up plan if Cromartie leaves next year). While others pleaded for an outside linebacker/end, the traditional solution to the golden ticket of a passrush (the Jet’s recording very few sacks last year), and several excellent options fell to the him at 29,  Ryan elected to intensify the entire field, not unlike wormhole, John Boyd postmodern warfare. The aim is to move as far as possible from the traditions of rank and file clashes that characterized 19th century warefare, from which the template of modern football derives. From a Deleuze perspective: to increase the desire in the field. A strategy that ups the capacity of tactics. How defense literally becomes offense.

April 22, 2010

The Blood Countess – (Monsters) Opera, Woman and History

Filed under: Madame Bathory — Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu @ 1:26 am
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My awareness of Elizabeth Bathory came via my wife’s wonderful fascination with the great (real) Draculas of the past. When I say Draculas I mean only the acute figures of history upon which we may project all sorts of our desires/fears of the monstrous. I will not relate the historical facts of the serial murderess Elizabeth Bathory, most of which can be found at or wikipedia.  It is enough to say that she was quite prodigious as a murderess, and perhaps an inadvertant author of her own myth, the most extraordinary image from which is the lasting picture of her bathing in the blood of virgins. This curiosity was strengthened by the rather odd coincidence that my wife looks rather like countess Bathory herself, or at least more like her than not (an accident that did not play into her initial interest as she had little idea what she looked like). When she wears her Bathory t-shirt (and yes, there is a Bathory t-shirt or two available), it’s as if she herself were dressed in 16th century garb, her appearance a bit dulled by the travel back in time into aristocracy. Because my wife also believes she shares perhaps a bit in psychology with the distant ruler, the interest becomes quixotic.

Well, you can judge for yourself from this usual snapshot of her and five historical images we have of Bathory.

But the reason for this post is not a prurient interest in historical monstrous women, or an intellectual interest in the kinds of things that make up the category “monstrous women” – it is compelling though that Vlad the Impaler captured the Western mind more than our Bathory – but rather that an Opera that is being formed. We some time ago wrote to Dennis Bathory-Kitsz who organized a website dedicated to the memory of E. Bathory, and who happens to count himself a descendant. I think we were trying to find out more about the historical woman, separating out fact from myth, and ended up on his mailing list. Today though he emailed us out of the blue as part of his campaign to raise funds to complete his opera on this bedeviled woman. Below is his video pitch for the project and I have to say that his enthusiasm, dedication and overall humor just thrills me.

I love the idea he takes up that the musicians are waiting. We can almost hear the pit humming out of tune. Is it not just like this before the “event” (that fashionable word these days). All the instruments are whining and honking and cacophony floats like a sour flavor. We do not realize that the musicians are waiting. I wish more of art was made like this, partially written, with dedicated others already committed, just waiting for the influx of living interest to push it towards conception, in the way a film creates its own momentum having been already half-shot and the studios can’t quite decide if they can afford to shut it down, where everything is moving scaffolding. I have a weakness as well for the power of opera and play, the imagination that if something is performed in the world, no matter how isolatedly, it changes things, it sets off a detonation of aesthetic and intellectual effects. I hope some of you would find it in your heart to donate to this worthily conceived project of many of his years (or if bloggists, forward the thought). Perhaps there is the thin chance that I will see you at the opera. 

Prayer of Erzsebet

Help me, O Clouds.
O Clouds, stay by me.
Let no harm come to me.
Let me remain healthy and invincible.

Send, O send, you powerful Clouds, ninety cats.
I command you, O King of the Cats, I pray you.
May you gather them together,
     even if you are in the mountains,
     or on the waters,
     or on the roofs,
     or on the other side of the ocean.
May these ninety cats appear to tear and destroy
          the hearts
     of kings and princes,
And in the same way
          the hearts
     of teachers and judges,
     so they shall harm me not.

Holy Trinity, protect me.

April 21, 2010

Immanence Passes Through a Virtual Proto-Skin

Filed under: Blogging — Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu @ 8:25 pm
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Really appreciate the new blog design from Adrian at Immanence. Long one of my favorite intermittent para-academic blogs (he is not so regular a poster as to develop a definite rhythm), the main drawback was that posts were difficult to read and navigate. Looking at it now it is like being opened into a clean, white tundra. Long live the steppe.

(unfortunately, at the moment it does not allow a WordPress login for comments – though it prompts one – but surely this is something to be technically fixed.)

[edit: See Adrian’s comment below for an explanation.]

April 18, 2010

Tsurupeta – The flat of perverse video Acceleration

The problem Perversity of Japanese Culture

Jezebel has a thought provoking article on the CNN and Rapelay cultural wars of pornographic and violent video games: In Defense Of Hentai: Is Rapelay Really Dangerous?. The most fascinating part for me is the claim that Japanese sexuality is so alien to Western morality, due to its heavily entrenched patriarchal roots, it is impossible to judge accurately, quoting from Kelleher’s article:

Perhaps more interesting was the follow-up article, written to address the question: Why would Rapelay thrive in Japan [CNN report]? Kyung Lah interviews Kyle Cleveland, an associate professor of sociology who teaches at Temple University in Japan. Cleveland argues that Rapelay is the product of a historically patriarchal society. “It’s no surprise that this is expressed in mass media and pornography. The moral entrepreneurs that are scrutinizing Japan have both a feminist history and cultural tradition that is simply not in play in Japan.” He continues, “Japan has ways of expressing sexuality that are practically indecipherable to a Western sensibility but that are so normalized in Japan that the Japanese don’t often understand or acknowledge the critiques that are made against them.”

Once again we find ourselves on the curious ground of seeking universal principles on which to apply our distinct morality, no doubt a necessary precursor to the extension of our cultural expectations to subjectivities that lie outside of our scope and domain. The claim here is the there is a decipherability limit – I suspect in the manner in which affects are to be organized – when moral limits are placed on deep current flows within traditional Asian societies.

Katy Kelleher does a more than reasonable job in giving us the landscape of the debate, not to mention calling our attention to conglomerate vs. blog/artist ethical discourse (CNN vs. Takeshi/Tsurupeta).

The otaku blog tsurupeta calls the CNN article “a cultural-essentialist explanation of why Japan is so perverted” and argues that reporters for CNN were trying to “stir up gratuitous controversy.” However, this criticism comes from the opposite end of the spectrum. Just to put things in context, it is interesting to note that Tsurupeta is a blog that places “particular emphasis on the central icon of contemporary Japanese visual culture that is the cute young girl.” There is also an explanation of the name:

It is a Japanese portmanteau word combining two onomatopoeias: tsurutsuru [つるつる], which means smooth, polished, especially hairless; and petan [ぺたん], which means flat, devoid of bumps and holes. So tsurupeta [つるぺた] describes a female body that’s flat above and smooth below.

But Tsurupeta only translated the open letter, which was originally written in Japanese by a mangaka (cartoonist). Nogami Takeshi takes CNN to task for trying to “stir up fear, prejudice and misunderstanding” with their take on Rapelay and hentai in general. He defends Japan against charges of sexism:

Men and women are equals in politics and in the law. Your society and ours are no different there. Moreover, the crime rate statistics for both general crime and sex crime in Japan are, with all due respect, several times lower than in the United States. Did you, for instance, fear for your safety while walking the streets of Akihabara, or Ikebukuro (holy ground of hentai books for women)? They’re probably many times safer than the streets of New York, let alone those of the suburban housing districts around. (And guns are illegal, too.) Furthermore, in our Akihabara and Ikebukuro, there is no persecution of men or women alike, or of sexual minorities like homosexuals. We all live together in peace, expressing ourselves freely.

It also goes without saying that human trafficking and violence against women are serious crimes in Japan too. As a Japanese citizen, I am deeply offended by the insulting implications of that so-called expert who associates Japanese people at large with heinous criminals.

Unfortunately Kelleher, while grasping all the diverse strands of this question in hand – the need for CNN to trade on the normatives of behavior as a mark of their reporting honesty, the possibility that criticism of a cultural sexuality is indecipherable, the question of what is radical in the expression of tsurupeta interests as a perverse artform – Kelleher then drops all the threads so gathered and falls back upon the Western staid questioning of the “underlying problem”, ultimately a self-question: why does this turn me on?

We may not be able to control everything we find sexually exciting, but through looking at the underlying causes, we can at least better understand sexuality and the relationship between our inner world and the real world. Although fantasies are not inherently dangerous, they can reflect a social trend that is far more threatening.

It is an implication that the Japanese hentai perversity phenomena is the result of, and more importantly can be reduced to, the inadequate self-policing of what one is inclined to feel, the inability to suitably place our felt things within the grid of expectation and proportion. One can admit that within our society indeed this is the regular mode of ethical normativity, where it is fought – often with more heat than light, more blood than bone – but when exported to other worlds it is a mistake to assume it as fundamental for either communication or ethical agreement.

To be abstract about it, I suspect that the smooth and the flat of hentai has something to do with the acceleration of affects across gender fields, the way in which surface becomes the signifier of the possibility of reaching certain timed thresholds, which would mean that “why” you are turned on by this, as a psychological investigation, is less important culturally than is what is being accelerated and how, through the intensity and smoothness. 

I think indeed there are very important questions raised by the extremes of Rapelay, the practice of violenced preditory excitation against social kinds and types, room for outrage and critical social analysis, but in such cases but when we wade into those wider waters there is ever the temptation to essentialize and deeply misread what is being done. The fault is to return to what is the most easy and basic to think, that these people are simply feeling what is not appropriate to feel, enjoying what should not be enjoyed, putting a limit on what we can see when we look at the problem. Are the Japanese just more perverse than all others in the commercial world? The very sense of the question reveals the perversity in our own moral instinct.

CNN’s report:

For more interesting thoughts on video game ethics see Shaviro’s review of the film Gamer, here. Not an interpretation I endorse, but worth considering.

April 17, 2010

Threat of Half-Coup: The Spectre of Thai Factionism

Filed under: Thailand — Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu @ 11:16 pm
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Thailand mulls a ‘half coup’ by Shawn W Crispin at Asia times is an interesting in depth article on the possibility that the Thai army is splitting along Red and Yellow lines. Much of it requires the piecing together of shards of evidence found in the half-light left in the clash of last week, making it speculative and projective. Were there military Red Shirt operatives carrying out deadly hits upon the Thai army? It seems that much of Thai politics works in this way, the floating sensation that behind soft words or grand claims, or festive gatherings, there is a brute force with great financial backing that could be quite bloody.

Al Jazeera English has a related report.

What is difficult is the way the subterfuge trades upon itself. The threat of it operates with greater persistance and effect than acts alone (a few rifles fired, a few grenades tossed), yet as the image of possible civil war wedges itself within the political imagination “the few” are able to exercise power through the reference to the spectre, and ever real forces may threaten to fill the gap within the imagination itself, filling the imaginary space with hard power.  Each side using the spectre for themselves. Politics as poker game.

As Red Shirts have entrenched themselves within the narrower confines of the commercial district, literally choking commerce with farmers, almost provoking the possibility of a more bloody confrontation, one is never sure what cards each hand is holding.

Every Dog Has His Day – Illness, Death and Delay

Filed under: Love — Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu @ 6:46 pm
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There was some rough news that we got while still in Thailand. Sylvie was at Sasiprapa in Bang Kapi training hard for her last fight which she expected to have the week before we left. Everything we tunneling down, but still very acute, trying to soak in every bit of this rare experience, the exhaustion of it not getting old. It was perfecting, maybe one could say. But Sylvie’s mom told us that our 15 year old Cattle Dog who the parents were caring for had been diagnosed with lymphoma, and maybe had a month or two to live. It was difficult news which I distanced myself from pretty quickly, feeling that I had already said my good bye to him as he had been diminishing for about a year and was no longer his “old self” even before I left. The scope of things that effected him, the small halo of differences that make a difference (and he had always been an aggressive, loyal dog) had been shrinking. It was okay if he goes, we were already bound.

When we got to Colorado and the parents’ house we encountered a dog of deep depression. He tottered, eyes very dim, head down. For complicated reasons he had not been able to integrate in the rest of the house, as our other young Cattle Dog Zoa had, so he had been an outlier in the pack, and as we found out, rather ill. He did not seem to particularly recognize us. There was something utterly remote and sad.

The big decision was whether we were going to drive him all the way back with us the three days to NY. Should we put him through the possibly acute discomfort of endless hours in the car – a car in which he might even die – or should we put him down where at least there was family all around. I was for the idea of putting him down. The last thing I could bear was his suffering, especially suffering in a way I could not relieve. It was for him, but also for me. Others had other thoughts. Sylvie’s mom was fairly adamant that Tiger – that is his name, come out of circumstance – really needed to see home again before he went. He had been driven across the country a few months before, without warning, and he needed to be returned. But she was also worried that she was projecting too much upon the dog, how she would feel if she were him. Sylvie’s father Steve was even more forceful. It would be a full betrayal of the dog’s trust to put him down before it was time. The time was near, perhaps, but not now. My wife was divided, and much like me wavered depending on how bad he looked from day to day, hour to hour. Sometimes there were sparks, sometimes it was dark.

So it was this wierd animal/human ethical world, a mix of all kinds of projections, affections, sympathies, fears, principles. We decided to take him, and it was no joke. The drive was really difficult. We had armed ourself with a powerful sedative that could give a little sleep if he really began laboring. We used it once, thinking he was for it, just to get him through the night, and he slept for 30 hours (!), we had no idea.

The point of this little story isn’t so much what happened, but what is happening. Tiger surprising us all, ran – well ran isn’t the word, but trotted tumbling forward – into the open house door when he saw it, a very clear sign that he knew where he was, and immediately gained a brighter mental demeanor. He WAS home. He has been declining in many ways since, but there can be no doubt that something has been recorded and looped back to the world since he has come back to his house. Because I am the philosophical sort, what I am thinking about is this…WHAT is this, the small bit that has come to pass since his destiny path diverged and he has been given a few more weeks or a month to be? Is it composed of he and I, as he sews himself into me with basenotes of himself, seeding my future? What is the stuff that makes up this in-between time, the time we purchased by risking his greater suffering? Much of the day he seems quite removed, and at night after he takes his medication he pants sometimes madly until dawn, pacing in a very dark house. Last night in the middle of it I turned on the livingroom light and laid on the floor with him – he had grown so uncomfortable he left the bedroom – and we “shared” very elemental affection. He stayed there, uncomfortable, eyes glazed, I stroked his head that now bore the stronger shape of his skull, all the fat and muscle shrunk. What is this bonus track made of? It is not just a respect for life as if life were a substance that you hoard and save. It is not a love narrative.  It’s not really him and me.

It feels like it’s just being real for a moment, outside of all the influences and reasons we decided to keep him going. It’s the way that things are just made up of what they are. There are no profound depths in these moments, just very simple communications and the clear cold water of time. WHAT this is made of, I don’t know. It’s not more fundamental than what everything else is made of, rather its a kind of subspace, a signal that weaves through. Subtle…quiet. Its the non-dark waiting for death that puts everything on pause, every future inclination in stall. It feels like an eternity, a small one. Its the kind of thing that philosophers and poets miss, I think.

April 16, 2010

The Perniciousness of “Hyperobjects”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu @ 6:35 pm


Thinking About Thinking About the Environment

Tim Morton has a wonderful new term used to denote objects – I think solely of humanity’s creation or at least influence – that have such scales that they defy any self-oriented or “common sense” response, phenomena such as Global Warming or plutonium-239:

We have indeed created things that we can hardly understand, let alone control, let alone make sensible political decisions about. Sometimes it’s good to have new words for these things, to remind you of how mind-blowing they are. So I’m going to introduce a new term: hyperobjects. Hyperobjects are phenomena such as radioactive materials and global warming. Hyperobjects stretch our ideas of time and space, since they far outlast most human time scales, or they’re massively distributed in terrestrial space and so are unavailable to immediate experience. In this sense, hyperobjects are like those tubes of toothpaste that say they contain 10% extra: there’s more to hyperobjects than ordinary objects.

We get the picture. We need a name for the kinds of objects of our analysis that are just too huge in effect to form a proper ethical affective response to the facts of their lasting and global production. The term hyperobjects works something like the warning “Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear”.  And I understand the ethical dimension out of which the term comes:

This means that we need some other basis for making decisions about a future to which we have no real sense of connection. We must urgently construct some non-self ethics and politics to deal with these pernicious hyperobjects. No self-interest theory, no matter how modified (to include my relatives, my nearest and dearest, my cat, my great grandchildren’s hamster’s vet) is going to cut it.

What I call into question is rather the essentially pernicious nature of these hyperobjects, the framing of them as necessarily destructive and dangerous, as if ethical responses merely, or predominately deal with dangers alone. As a Spinozist I am forced to appreciate that no object, not even hyperobjects, are necessarily pernicious. As a post-modern fellow I understand that these hyper-human quality of these Invasionary objects – like asteroids or space ships from outer space – plays into the ideological joys of environmentalist alarm. Human beings have foolishly awakened powers of destruction that go far beyond their childish hands – I too enjoy this picture of the world, a favorite of mine was the theory that the Super Collider would unzip the fabric of the entire Universe, talk about a hyperobject.

This it to say that when we are dealing with hyperobjects, we are dealing with more than one factor that flows out of the very “hyper-“, “mind-blowing” nature of their scale. It is not just that hyperobjects exceed our ability to adequately respond to them, and I agree that common sense by the very virtue of its common scale picturing is insufficient, its that the hyper- aspect also provides a screen for all kinds of additional fantasy projection, the way that we regularly fill in our picture of the world with our fears and intensities. We not only can bury our head in the sand before their magnitude (using Stalin’s difference between a statistic and a tragedy), but we can also project our excessive much onto these hyperobject screens, reading them as essentially pernicious.

I might also add that when creating a contrast between hyperobject awareness (such as that possessed by scientists, environmentalists and now term-empowered ecophilosophers), and “common sense” Populists/Rightists who cannot see the magnitude of these objects due to their myopia, the rhetoric does possess a concerted provincial vs. cosmopolitan flavor. Anti-environmentalists are just locked into too small a time scale, they cannot transcend the province of human history to see how vast the object that is hurtling towards them is.

But what I suggest is that if there is going to be a Real political response to these Godzilla-sized hyperobjects that threaten to trample our Tokyo, recall the context of Godzilla, that is, if there is going to be a genuine manufacture of consent (to flip the rhetoric of the phrase into a positive), it must embrace the affective reality of values inherent with the common sense perspective. Just as leftists are broadcasting catastrophe onto large scale objects, others are experiencing real, human-level concern for intra-societal issues, and I suggest that the two of these are interdependent expressions of the same reality. Found within the myopia of common sense reactivity is an armory of human potentials for action and affect that if harnessed would bring great resource to the questions and problems of hyperobjects. It is incorrect and self-defeating to treat those the contest the crisis of hyperobjects as merely lost souls in need of instruments, as we are tempted to do. Oppositional thinking just does not suffice.

The aspect of hyperobjects I most concerned about, and I have mentioned it, is the problematic way that they are seen as having an essentially pernicious nature. If we are going to count as hyperobjects anything that has a time scale or effect far beyond the human life are we not to ask: Is there such a thing as a positive, beneficent hyperobject? Are there not non-pernicious hyperobjects that involve the active influence of our own human presence, hyperobjects to be affirmed, pursued and defended from decay? This involves I think a more nuanced reading of the human role in the ecosphere, one which does not trade solely on the footprint analogy of disturbance and destruction.

Standing for the King

Filed under: Thailand — Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu @ 4:48 pm
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There was an odd sensation – is that what it was, a sensation – when everyone in the theater began to stand before the film had started. There actually were very few of us waiting to see Burton’s cockamamie Alice which made it all the more odd and curious. A beautiful commercial/homage to the King of Thailand – who is the only King Thailand has ever known in more than sixty years of  “modern” times – dramatically played. It was more moving than anything the Republicans artfully produced from Reagan to Bush. You almost felt a soul pervade the room as the human characteristics of Thai esteem – images of gentleness, compassion, intellect, adventure – struck cords in your own person. What was most surprising was all the intellectual and emotional defense mechanisms against media manipulation that have helped organize me as an American subject, the kinds of disavowal that distance me automatically from powerful ideological effects whether they be the inundations of product advertisements or political spin-heads on tv, paid me little defense. The sense of the King, the sensation of the King of Thailand (a country I was coming to love), swept through me. One understood that “glue” of a King, as some theorists like to say “the body of a King”. It wasn’t an unpleasant experience, nor entirely a transportive one, but as the financial, military and affective teeth of two sides in the Thai conflict begin to be shown – and it may get bloody – there is something to learn from Kingship. We do decry these authoritarian, imaginary modes of identification, large scale projections of health into the air, atmosphere or photograph, modes by which we are “enslaved”. But these are also modes of congruence, excelerators of agreements whose power to hold the disperate should not be simple-mindedly dismissed. It seems that indeed they should be criticized, dismantled, laid bare, but as well, what they are doing must appreciated as well. It is I think a question of history and aesthetics, and more even of aesthetics. There are many Kings.

As a Spinozist I for some time thought that the war against imaginary relations was univocal and persistent, each and every imaginary relation as it was encountered in the world is better to be de-composed. This was I think a fundamental misunderstanding of the imaginary in Spinoza. The biggest realization is that Spinoza operates from a thorough-going skepticism and humility, a sense of the ironic absurd, one in which even mathematics is imaginary. Imaginary relations are real, embodied powerful things, doing real conatus-driven things in the world. There is no such thing as an inherently bad (or worse evil) imaginary relation. It took me a long time of reading Spinoza to realize this. I hope there is not going to be much theory on this blog, but it will I guess poke through. Most of the time I encounter those that want to go about destroying pernicious imaginary relations in the world I sense that we are dealing with one more very complex, not quite compassionate, highly affective, imaginary relation again. Battles of imagination.

That I encountered this as prelude to Burton’s own privatization of Alice is just one more bit of illuminating irony. Alice who ends as the self-empowered female CEO who starts the Opium wars. Is that what she has become?…hilarious, and digestive.

April 15, 2010

The Brute Force in the Line Segment: William McIntosh Paintings

Filed under: Painting — Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu @ 8:34 pm
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William sends to me a link to some of his recent paintings. I have reat affinity for the segmented, stacked and warbled sticks of figure and motion. Not quite lines of force, not quite delineations. Solid apertures of transition and structure. What we mean by con-figured, perhaps.

Video Surveillance and the Theatre of Revolution

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu @ 4:45 pm
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Buried in the mystery of who fired the bullet that sent the gentle stand-off at Ratchadamnoen Avenue Bangkok into a frenzy of bottle throwing and gunfire leaving 24 dead, are black cloaked figures which operate as stand-ins for the hidden arms of power behind each of the political sides. The government claims such black uniformed paramilitary are Red Shirt saboteurs (it is commonly known that the Red Shirt police, the protestors own police guard, was dressed in black – if you watch the video account I posted yesterday), and no doubt the Red Shirts imagine that they are government military “acting” as Red Shirts. From the Bangkok Post:

“His prediction follows  the repeated public airing by the government’s Centre for Administration of Emergency Situations of videos taken during the violence involving troops and protesters which resulted in 24 deaths and  more than 800 injured on both sides.

One of the video clips shows a group of men armed with military-trype rifles, dressed in black with hooded faces, firing at troops during the clashes.

UDD leaders would accept  responsibility if it is proven that they are connected with the terrorists, said Mr Natthawut.”

What is interesting is that apart from the myriad of cell phones and personal video cameras present – what we might call a relative democracy of epistemic eyes – a government agency set up its own video cameras making a “stage” for evidence to be collected (and performed). It adds an interesting layer of ideological ambiguity as shadowy figures either instigate the violence, or perform an instigation, signifying the threat of military coup on both halves of the otherwise peaceful stand off.

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