The class struggle, which always remains in view for a historian schooled in Marx, is a struggle for the rough and material things, without which there is nothing fine and spiritual. Nevertheless these latter are present in the class struggle as something other than mere booty, which falls to the victor. They are present as confidence, as courage, as humor, as cunning, as steadfastness in this struggle, and they reach far back into the mists of time. They will, ever and anon, call every victory which has ever been won by the rulers into question. Just as flowers turn their heads towards the sun, so too does that which has been turn, by virtue of a secret kind of heliotropism, towards the sun which is dawning in the sky of history. To this most inconspicuous of all transformations the historical materialist must pay heed. — Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History (via fourwindsshotgun)
As Samira Kawash’s new social history Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure describes, public perceptions of packaged sweets have alternated between corrupting temptation and efficient marvel ever since their creation—both suspect and craved, narcotic and nostalgic. (What could be more American than that prominently featured sugar and cocoa, delicacies made routine via slave labour?) And, like much else scrutinized by the diet industry’s intangible surveillance, candy was long seen as essentially feminine in nature; Kawash argues that its near-absence from most culinary histories is due to its dainty, trivial reputation. Yet that ambivalence remains its only consistency. Candy is a problem that can’t be solved. Lick all you want; that lollipop has no centre. — while eating numerous miniature Kit Kats, I wrote this essay on Jazz Age chocolate bars, “nutritionism,” semiotics and candy as an agent of accidental subversion
Godard, who has just finished shooting his latest film, One Plus One, agreed to meet Hermine Demoriane for this interview but would not consent to it being recorded. “What you don’t remember, make up,” he said. Excerpts from the interview follow.