So it appears that an someone has a neat PR campaign going on that involves blood. I will tell you at the end what it actually is all about, but I found playing along a fun project. Over the summer Vice and other sites noted an ad for a Halloween rave party in Amsterdam where the organizers will spray people with real blood. But how do you spray people with blood? Which blood? And how much is a ticket? What is this all about? Read on for the answers.
I think it was Bubba Jefferson, Thomas’ lesser-known brother, who said that the tree of GOP primaries has to be watered with the tears shed for a candidate who drops out because of what he says about blood and women. And that is still true today.
Kidding aside, Trump’s blood comment should give us pause. In case you are lucky and still avoid the void of avoidable news, you may not have heard that GOP Presidential hopeful and front-runner Donald Trump received some pointed questions about his past comments about women (all disparaging, many shaming their bodies, some directly suggesting that submitting to sexual intercourse with Trump would be a good idea). FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly read some of his comments back to Trump, asking if he considers this in conflict with his electability for the office of the Presidency. And from there it went from bad to worse…
The seemingly never-ending confrontation between the U.S. and Iran appears to bring out some of the most unpredictable and hostile behavior and some of the most painful grand-standing by pundits and politicians alike.
The letter sent by 47 U.S. Senators dismissing political negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program has led some to brand the authors as traitors, others to hail them as patriots. Freshman Senator Tom Cotton (R) of Arkansas seems to have a leading role in drafting the letter. Of course this piece is not about Senator Cotton, but about the fraught political nature of blood and blood metaphors. I want to use this opportunity and consider a theme that squats underneath another text Senator Cotton drafted about Iran. This ugly and ancient political idea illustrates the strangeness of political conceptions regarding Iran.
Senator Cotton’s 2013 withdrawn amendment gives me an excuse to revisit one of the most painful political uses of blood: Sippenhaft, or kin liability.
I beg your indulgence for a post not about blood, but about another body studies topic, skin, and about how our associations with body parts reveal our formative cultural conditioning, even despite ourselves.
In a recent article at The Atlantic, Rebecca Golden writes movingly of her battle with her body weight disability and ponders the implications of surgically losing pounds of skin in Detroit. She considers the city’s roots in the fur trade, the money that came for skins, and the city that seems to have vanished with its factories and finds hope in the thought that losing the skin may just be another thing to get through, just like the collapse of Detroit manufacturing..
From my vantage point, there are two problems with her piece, two blind spots that need addressing, one concerning the present, one the past, that mark the piece as coming from an important personal place, but also from a place that side-steps some crucial problems.
Let’s see what Kid Rock has to do with any of this…(don’t worry, he’s only a by-note)
Both the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby Opinion and Dissent point a warning finger at Jehovah’s Witnesses’ stance on blood transfusion. But what do we mean when we talk about religious objections to blood transfusion like those of the Jehovah’s Witnesses? What does this specific objection regarding blood show us about how we might want to think about the intersection of law and bodies?
You should read my whole piece on Jehovah’s Witnesses and blood transfusions below, but…
Nobody really knows why our blood is red.
That is a silly statement. Obviously since Swammerdam and van Leeuwenhoek we know that it is red, that red is the reflected spectrum of visible light on the surface structure of the red blood cell or erythrocyte. (Same reason, by the way, why our veins look blue…deoxygenated blood is dark red, oxygenated bright red, neither is ever blue.) Continue reading
Blood: A Critique of Christianity
by Gil Anidja.
Columbia University Press, 2014.
ISBN: 9780231167208 0231167202
OCLC Number: 863199863
Description: xvii, 441 pages; 24 cm.
Table of Contents:
Preface: Why I Am Such a Good Christian
Introduction: Red Mythology
Part One. The Vampire State
1. Nation (Jesus’ Kin)
2. State (The Vampire State)
3. Capital (Christians and Money)
Part Two. Hematologies
4. Odysseus’ Blood
5. Bleeding and Melancholia
6. Leviathan and the Blood Pump
Conclusion: On the Christian Question (Jesus and Monotheism )
The third part of Dr. Gil Anidjar‘s quasi-trilogy on the sweeping and radical changes in the theology, politics, and history of Abrahamic religious monotheism that began with The Jew, the Arab: A History of the Enemy (2003) and continued with Semites: Race, Religion, Literature (2008) has arrived with Blood: A Critique of Christianity.
So this is a blood studies review. Which is to say that I greet this valuable contribution to the study of blood first and foremost because of its translation and not because of its contribution to religious studies, though that may be an important one. No, I also do not mean translation in the sense of Anidjar’s wonderful Derrida translations. Rather, Anidjar’s particular contribution lies in the translation that is so often necessary to make true inter- or transdisciplinary work possible. In Blood: A Critique of Christianity, Anidjar discusses and brings together inquiries that run parallel, beckoning other scholars to work on the intersections.