April, 2016

The Philosopher Gets His Hands Dirty

By Mike Allen Cover photo of Robert Izzat by Mike Allen Ideas ain’t worth shit. No one cares about ideas until they have some tangible value or physical manifestation to justify the brain weight. Case in point: I’ve been trying to give away this writing (just portable ideas really), and no one wants that bullshit. Maybe I’m a shit writer, or maybe I need to treat my words as a valuable commodity, with a commensurate price. Here’s a better case in point: Alexander Baretich, a guy who bursts at the seams with ideas. Like an itinerant philosopher, he discourses on a steady stream of things you probably heard about in critical theory classes: deconstructing colonialism, critiquing the nation-state, engagement with the disenfranchised, et cetera. Boring stuff mostly. But me, I’m rapt. I love this anti-imperialist, deconstructing Otherness crap. It helps that my critical studies professor was pretty hot. So what did Baretich do with these ideas? Why have I even heard of him? I don’t just read Jacques Derrida and Martin Buber for fun. He designed a symbol, a flag even. Personally, I’d prefer a kite. No one flies flags anymore. But now we’ve got something tangible, something we can…