Counterinsurgency: It’s Bloody Horrible


You’ve heard the criticisms. You’ve read the book. Now see the movie.

These are some of my favourite lines:

  • counterinsurgency: it’s like a wild horse, only you bet on it;
  • counterinsurgency involves a thousand small healing steps;
  • the manual can never be wrong, only the practice;
  • cultural knowledge for the military: it’s so basic and fundamental, absolute common sense; and,
  • basic common sense makes you so very smart.

Making the “application of force” (called killing, by regular human beings) more precise…and that makes it “humanitarian.” They must imagine themselves to be at the helm of a Global SPCA.

“I read The Economist,” when I want to learn about Africa. Africanists and African anthropologists: you’re dismissed.

A few  of my favourite things:

…and no, I don’t mean, “♫ women in black dresses wearing pearl necklaces♫”…but rather four of the images I made for the video, which I am making available. To enlarge to the full image, click on the given thumbnail below. The Julie Andrews Sisters are my favourite grunge duet.

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37 thoughts on “Counterinsurgency: It’s Bloody Horrible

  1. Jaqui Dos Santos

    Oh lord!


    Down in the damn toilet! I love it!!!!!

  2. Mike Cavanaugh

    I second that. Great for a Monday morning. Ok maybe not. So Max, it looks like all that horror movie watching you told me about is making its mark here. Ok I know, you also watch movies like Saw, Hostel, Wolf Creek….

  3. M. Jamil Hanifi

    Aside from its uncouth and racist theoretical articulation and its pedantic applications in the “human terrain”, the greatest structural flaw in the counterinsurgency scam is its misreading of “resistance” as “insurgency”. What they comprehend as insurgency is in fact universal resistance to American physical and cultural presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. I believe the fundamental fuel for resistance to American imperialism is available throughout the global system. To be unwanted and to be perceived as a pariah must be a horrible feeling–grounds for varieties of destructive behavior. I wonder if Petraeus, McFate, and the folks at Leavenworth are familiar with “Suicide”, Emile Durkheim’s 1897 classic.

  4. Maximilian Forte

    Jaqui, you seemed to have obtained an unedited transcript of remarks I made while editing this video. But you left out the part where I say: “OHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO!!!” I am glad that you understood the joke here…I still expect others to come complaining that it is not a scientific, ethnographic documentary.

    Mike, you’re good: ZING! I bet some will miss the implication of what you wrote.

    I should thank a whole group of students for sparking the ideas for this video. A few months back, I showed in class that episode of Charlie Rose (who by the way, badly injured himself this weekend, trying to save his Mac Book Pro…as I was editing him…thanks Mr. Rose, for the fresh batch of new photos of your bruised face, funny coincidence) — it is here at:

    For about two years, I watched that interview dryly, purely for “information.” Students had a very different reaction. The criticisms in class were many and varied, from Rose appearing to be drunk and slurring his words, to his gushing flattery toward his guests, and his appalling contradictions: it’s so common place, and you’re so smart. The complete absence of criticism, and McFate’s obvious evasion in some of her non-answers, really got on their nerves. I didn’t need or want to “radicalize” my students; the reverse happened.

    Jamil: Excellent points, and I am in full agreement. Not enough critics are perceptive enough to detect the racism that has been smuggled in through the back door of this theoretical black site known as “counterinsurgency doctrine.” One can test this with a simple exercise in inversion, which is much of what I have sought to do with this site: impose the same logic on those who proffer it, and listen to them scream.Academics joining the ranks of this beast bring back an old colonial racist “science,” an anthropology by extraordinary rendition. That these promoters are convinced of the inferiority of Asians and Arabs is a fundamental prerequisite for their fabrication of these colonial (“humanitarian”) animal management strategies. Sewall actually has the guts to refer to counterinsurgency as healing. If that alone doesn’t call forth the need for intense ridicule, then one has to be completely asleep.

    PS: The Killing Fields of Marja post has been updated.

  5. Matt

    “I still expect others to come complaining that it is not a scientific, ethnographic documentary.”


    jokes. seriousness to follow:

    This, I agree, is important: “the greatest structural flaw in the counterinsurgency scam is its misreading of ‘resistance’ as ‘insurgency'”.

    Avoiding a semantic argument about “insurgency” being armed “resistance”, I think there certainly is a consistent misunderstanding of who, exactly, is being engaged (not euphemistic, here, for future reference – I need a single term for lethal and non-lethal efforts). I read something somewhere once that put the lie to the over-used phrase “separate the insurgents from the population”. To paraphrase, the argument was essentially that the people ARE the “insurgents” and, especially in southern Afghanistan, the people are Taleban – attempting to separate the two being a futile exercise in naiveté.

    Is this ringing any bells? Apologies if I’ve murdered (euphemism this time) a professional anthropological idea in attempting to recreate it here. I’m hoping it sounds familiar and someone may be able to point me to it. I suspect there may even be a smorgasbord of similarly-themed writings I’ve managed to miss…

    1. Maximilian Forte

      Unfortunately, I too am aware of reading similar arguments, about the naive position of separating “insurgents” from the “population,” when it comes to Afghanistan. It can range from critiques of COIN within the military, to criticisms of the Afghan mission on sites such as Rethink Afghanistan, to countless snips offered almost in passing in endless newspaper articles. I am not sure if any anthropologists, again dealing with Afghanistan, have been the ones to make develop or voice that argument, with the possible exception of Jamil himself in earlier articles on this site (which you can access by going to his page here).

      From my own area of work, and resistance studies in the Caribbean have perhaps the longest history of all resistance studies, nowhere do I recall anyone making the argument that there is resistance, and when armed it becomes insurgency. More common would be the distinction between resistance, which can be broad, indirect, passive, and everyday, to climactic moments of rebellion. From rebellion stem two possible directions: reform or revolution. A continuum is maintained however, so that no serious writer would ever argue that the Haitian Revolution was somehow separate from the broad level of resistance that led to it.

      Insurgency is just armed resistance…then that means that resistance becomes the single term you are looking for.

      In the case of Afghanistan, let’s also be clear that there is a very wide resistance. We should all know this by now. One part consists of elements within the very government of Hamid Karzai. Another consists of various human rights groups. The Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan, which despises the Taliban, is exceptionally forceful in its repudiation of NATO. The Taleban are not even all Talebs: according to their elder leaders, only about 10% of their fighters now are Talebs. Then there is the everyday kind of resistance which doesn’t get reported in the media of course, except perhaps indirectly, in terms of the failure of NATO to gain support or projects that fall to ruin. To stick to “there is resistance, and there is insurgence,” is again to perform the separate the insurgents from the people trick. In the COIN Manual, the choice of terms is political: insurgency is directed against an established central government, and resistance is directed against a foreign occupation (like the French resistance). Then they decide that what’s happening in Afghanistan is “insurgency,” which is laughable, since the US and NATO first installed that so-called central government, and the Taliban were the government that was overthrown by the US invasion. So not even in this limited way is the definition useful in practice, especially not when some speakers try to perform the most outrageous disappearing act: trying to vanish from view as foreign occupiers…and there is Sarah Sewall.

  6. Gayle murray

    Charlie Rose: How come you’re so smart about this?
    Montgomery McFate: Well I…I did in fact write a dissertation about British counterinsurgency in Northern Ireland which might have something to do with it.

    Was it just me or did anyone else hear the “Duh” implied in McFate’s tone?

    Too brilliant!!! Out of the mouths of two well-heeled babes and one 100+ proof pickled suckling.

  7. Future HTS

    This video is frakking disturbing. I mean, until now you just came across as a stereotypical anti-war type and I thought a lot of your points about HTS were worth considering despite your shrill and clear “I’m always right because my life revolves around winning arguments rather than action” tone. There is clearly something imperfect about HTS to say the least, so I was eager to read new insider accounts.

    But then This.

    This video is frakked up. I mean, Saw, really?!? Someone who revels in mixing ultra-violent (and gratuitously violent) imagery with HTS reference must have a screw loose. At best this is something that angry teenagers put together circa age of 14. In this case I wish I shared your verbosity, but the bottom line is that you need to both get a life and seriously consider visiting a shrink.

    Also, thank you for posting that Geo article elsewhere. I was seriously on the fence about an HTS offer until I read it. That made HTS work sound pretty awesome. With all its imperfections, it sounds like one can do a lot of good there, or at least try (which is better than to comment from a position of absolute safety and ease).

    As the imperialist swine Teddy Roosevelt once said:

    “It is not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short
    again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause. Who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

    So thanks for helping me make up my mind on joining HTS! I can’t wait to start and do my bit. Whether I succeed at improving Afghans’ lives in some tiny measure remains to be seen, but I’d rather try and fail than never try at all.


    Future HTS

    PS: Winning an argument on internet is still like winning the Special Olympics, so I have no interest in a debating and won’t be back (because I’m a facist blahblahblah, imperialist this, bloodthirsty government stooge that, with a sprinkle of ‘illegal occupation’ and ‘unqualified to do work only an ultra-politicised anthro could do’).

    PPS: Dude, you’re part of the establishment and you don’t even know it. I used to teach at a university. Let’s not kid ourselves that we’re anything other than well-off, ultra-cushy-jobbed White People who are so privileged that we can say whatever the hell we want (what other job allows this) and basically work part-time according to our own schedule. Maybe 0.00001% of the world’s population has the luxury to live this kind of lifestyle.

    1. Maximilian Forte

      Oh how very stupid! Clearly it is a joke, “Future Dead HTS,” one that you don’t get, so you become part of it. The rampant demonization in the video is even a joke about demonization. Yes, indeed, you are one of the idiots who would come here and complain as if this video were meant to be a serious documentary–and keep in mind, I predicted this above. It’s a comic strip, lighten up and don’t make such a fool of yourself.

      Where do you cretins come from? More importantly, we know where cretins like you go, and it’s to HTS, your ideal home where you can join other imbeciles who can’t cut it as academics (you confirmed as much: “I used to teach at university” — so did most graduate students). Really though, I am glad that you are going into HTS. With any luck, you’ll be posted to Kandahar.

      So, you have read one glossy propaganda piece, and decided to join HTS. On this same site, this same week, we had other postings, yet again, about ethics and HTS. No matter, one article is enough to sway you. You are clearly all about making informed decisions. Really, I am not so sure we can joke around with this video anymore…it is becoming more and more true to life as we speak. You are only missing a gargoyle costume, and you’re ready to go, action man (clearly, you won’t be hired for your thinking abilities).

      As for being part of the establishment, have I ever denied it? You don’t even know anything about this blog, or its writers. As for cushy, well that’s another matter, and you clearly do not know anything about public universities in Canada. No matter how privileged you think I am, I will still be earning 25% of what you will earn in HTS, hypocrite. I know about being white and privileged, and far from denying it, it’s part of an explicit self-critique. You should try it some time.

      “Dude”? “Frakking”? Quoting Roosevelt? Speaking of 14 year olds….

      Yes, I understand you won’t be back. Your kind can never deal with the consequences of your stupidity, or face criticism. Now fuck off to Kandahar, where the welcome wagon awaits you.

      PS: Winning an argument on the Internet is like winning an argument anywhere else–especially if you are not a coward and sign your real name to your statements. Obviously, you don’t stand by yours, and appropriately you show at least a little shame. Anonymity is your crutch, Special Olympian. You won’t be back because you fear losing the argument, which is very understandable given what I see here. In Afghanistan, you might not have the chance to run away. Good luck. People like you definitely need lots and lots and lots of luck.

      1. Maximilian Forte

        Here is my PSS:

        That “university” this person supposedly taught in (I sense another video coming on, this one featuring a killer clown), apparently has banned knowledge or use of the word parody, the same word that is synonymous with: spoof, burlesque, caricature, cartoon, farce, irony, jest, joke, lampoon, mockery, pastiche, roast, satire, send-up, and skit. That is one guy who must be firing off angry letters to Saturday Night Live every week.

        Interesting to see that comment posted from Boston. Hmm, who else is in Boston whose feelings we might have hurt in the last day or so? Oh yes, the offices of Glevum Associates, and Andrew Garfield. Just a coincidence, I am sure.

    2. ryan a

      Future HTS,

      It’s your prerogative to join HTS. There’s nobody stopping you. Everybody has a right to choose what they feel is morally and politically the right thing to do. But others also have the right to disagree with your choices.

      Your Teddy Roosevelt quote is a real winner. So in order to “count”, we all have to sign up and join a war effort, regardless of our opinion? Regardless of whether the war has any sort of actual justification? Regardless of whether or not we agree? Is this all about consensus? How does that many any sense? Are you saying that there is really no choice here, that everyone should be going to war…because….well…because our government started this whole thing years ago?

      Is the war effort in Afghanistan a worthy cause? By whose account? For what reasons?

      “So thanks for helping me make up my mind on joining HTS! I can’t wait to start and do my bit. Whether I succeed at improving Afghans’ lives in some tiny measure remains to be seen, but I’d rather try and fail than never try at all.”

      So what exactly was it about HTS that made you feel that you were making the right choice? And how do you propose to improve Afghans’ lives by participating in HTS? Because the BAE web site said so? Why are you looking into HTS to “help people,” instead of some other organization or institution? I’m interested to hear what was so compelling about ONE article that encouraged you to make such a big decision.

  8. Mike Cavanaugh

    The more I read from these humorless windbags that support HTS, or are in HTS, the more pathetic and dimwitted they sound. Man if that video is hurting them so bad, they must be on really thin ice now.

    Are you sure that’s not Rick Holden posting? It has all of the same intellectual sophistication.

    So you’re joining HTS? Future HTS? Sure you are. I believe you. Better hurry before they fold.

  9. Mike Cavanaugh

    “so privileged that we can say whatever the hell we want (what other job allows this)”

    See that? Defenders of “our democracy” LMAO resenting free speech all the way! It’s true though, but if you said it they would disagree with it. There is no democracy here. But nothing forces them to hate free speech just because they aren’t allowed it. But they hate it, like they hate laughter, just like they hate themselves.

  10. Maximilian Forte

    I doubt it’s Holden, Mike, or the post would have been twice as long and there would have been 10 times as many by now. Besides, Rick Holden is in Texas (…must…restrain…myself…). While I don’t miss shredding that particular ignorant racist punk, who has moved on to colonizing the comments sections at Savage Minds, I am glad for the occasional sporting with excreta.

    But yes, they can’t stand when we laugh back at them, and they despise freedom of speech. In the meantime, this particular courageous man of international action, who has no fear of sticking his mug into a war zone, somehow just can’t summon up the nerves to post on a blog using his real name. And according to him, this is just the Special Olympics (by the way, that is the favourite mantra of the intellectually disabled loser).

    Note also the crack about “stereotypical anti-war type.” Can you imagine that being anti-war is degraded? It’s like saying, “you’re so stereotypically anti-rape,” or “you stereotypical anti-child molestation” types. And what would an American know about anti-war types, given that there are so few of them there? I won’t apologize for being absolutely anti-war, and anti-imperialist. Putting nuance on something like that is like putting nuance on rape: “Well, maybe she deserved to get raped. Maybe she dressed provocatively. Maybe her attacker just lost his job, and the stress and all that, it needed a release.” Try it in court.

    Back to the video now: I was considering a mash up of extracts from some of the current zombie films, for the next piece. The problem is that not a single unique moment has remained preserved in my memory–those movies are incredibly boring! Someone clearly has some unresolved bloodlust for killing waves of civilians, and that’s all you get. Otherwise, it would have been useful material, given my past usage of the zombie metaphor when it comes to HTS propaganda. Incidentally, have you noticed that to become a zombie, victims get partially eaten by zombies, but none of the attacking zombies themselves look partially eaten? And how do they sprout from cemeteries in Resident Evil, when they haven’t been bitten? The only good thing is that those movies almost have no plot, and that makes them analogous to the ever changing, ever multiplying official “narratives” promoting the war in Afghanistan, that serve as their own best spoof. I can’t improve on the absurd when it reaches such extremes.

  11. Mike Cavanaugh

    Try Night of the Living Dead. Resident Evil is a dead end.

    Yeah, so it would take a 14 yr old to figure out that counterinsurgency is like horror? That would be one 14 yr old smarter than the prize-winning turkey that just landed on your blog. I hope you weren’t saying that was the joke, because by all accounts the 1000 healing steps is pure bullshit. If you can sanitize killing, then you are the horror.

  12. ryan a

    Some recent comments on other blogs have brought up the question of whether or not contemporary cultural anthropology is just TOO POLITICAL these days. My response was this: when was anthropology EVER apolitical? Surely not in the days of Franz Boas, let alone old LH Morgan.

    But…why is it considered a good goal to strive for being apolitical? Is that any LESS political in the long run? Should we all just stand on the sidelines, examine our academic topics, and stay out of world affairs?

    Anyway, I watched the Charlie Rose link you put up. One thing that was really striking was one of the comments. And this was almost three years ago:

    Pat Barnes 12/28/2007 06:41 PM Report

    Back when I was in college, anthropologists were very critical of colonial powers using anthropology to occupy and control foreign nations. Did something change? How is it that anthropologists are now writing guides to subvert foreign nations and helping armies illegally occupy other countries? Why wasn’t McFate asked these obvious questions?

    This is a problem. And I don’t see how remaining “apolitical” is going to help matters.

    1. Maximilian Forte

      It’s impossible Ryan, especially since HTS is most political. By “political” these people mean “opposition” (and the free speech that goes with it), and that is what they scream about. As I’ve said before numerous times, they wanted applause, and failing that, silence.

      The point is: what is the purpose of them flailing (as I see in my daily hate mail) over a parody mash up? Are they so delicate and oversensitive? These are the same types advocating for war and wanting to go into battle zones. It’s like some seismic fault line is running down the centre of their skulls and they cannot reconcile the two halves of whatever consciousness they still possess.

      But we’ve been through this same shit before. The first time McFate published her joking little smut blog, I ridiculed the ridiculous. You should have seen the rage about that response. People asked me if I didn’t know how to take a joke, and I asked them why they couldn’t take mine.

      There have been REAMS of articles, as you well know, published on HTS this past year, by both John and myself, heavily researched, well detailed, written in conventional academic prose in my case, or even in military-jargon laden prose in John’s case. That’s not the point of this blog, which was always about exploring multiple forms of expression, with music, photos, vignettes, fictional writing, essays, and yes comedy too: the “Monday Morning Madness” category still exists–this post is a part of that. I don’t accept anyone dictating the terms of how I am to express myself. If they get pissed off, they can change the channel. Or are they too stupid to realize even that much?

      So these uptight militarists with puckered sphincters need to calm down. They’re in for much worse “down rage”…and no, I didn’t wish it on them, they signed up for it and boasted about it.

      (Besides, it’s not like I am going to stop.)

  13. Jaqui Dos Santos

    Poor dear. Now if you laugh at something, it means they go join it. It makes me want to laugh at big trash compactors.

    You know, I was also laughing at Charlie Rose and another media failure. So why doesn’t poor little Future HTS run and join Charlie. Lord knows the man could use his help, he can’t even cross the road by himself anymore without getting hurt!

    I love it Max! Thanks so much, this made my day at the start of the week, and I need to run and pee everytime I remember it. Problem is, when I sit on the toilet I keep thinking how someone’s head might pop up and bite my ass. Oh brother! LMAOOOO! Here we go again!

    1. Maximilian Forte

      Well put Jaqui, and in that spirit, I am now laughing at broken glass and razor blades.

      Listen, I understand they are pissed off with the video and have no capacity to laugh at themselves. So that’s why I am spreading the video around. It’s on YouTube now…soon to be seen on all of the video sharing sites.

  14. Jaqui Dos Santos

    It deserves wider distribution! Look when they come complaining, protesting, bickering, and insulting like angry little brats, then it’s a measure of the success of the counter-propaganda. If they don’t complain, then worry. Me, I’m still laughing!

    Look forward to seeing you when you’re in Amsterdam.

  15. Maximilian Forte

    Thanks everyone, I don’t think I have laughed this much here in a while. There is one comment that came in, that doesn’t meet even the lowest of standards to qualify for publication here, but there were two lines in it that I have to share. The first was that this anonymous person–as usual, unlike the critics who are up front about who we are and who own our comments–came here posing as someone who agrees with “the hard analysis of HTS and COIN.” The HARD analysis! We’ve gone from Charlie Rose to…Chris Matthews! Clearly, this one wears a jock strap on his head. He later asserts that I spend my time “making videos of gratuitous violence applied to those involved in HTS”. LOL! There is not even one such video here, let alone more than one.

    Do me a favour: take the underwear off of your head, put down the beer and pills, and watch the video. Then you can criticize it. We can take it, and we can give it back too. Ah, but that’s the problem, isn’t it ;-)

    1. FeeFiFoFum

      Thanks for not posting my comment.

      Anyway, if you can indeed take it as well as you can give it, don’t stifle free speech! Just saying…hypocrisy reeks.

      1. Maximilian Forte

        First, I am not here to protect your freedom of speech, but mine. Second, your comment consisted of rampant idiocy, lies, slander, and baseless allegations. You wanted to make a splash with an infantile public performance, based on zero knowledge about this site. I can take criticism, when it is founded on something. Anyone can do like you, just make shit up and assert it as if it were fact. Try not to post like an ignoramus, and then you can participate. There are basic common sense, and common courtesy rules of posting, and you ignored all of them.

        Anyone with a set of eyes can see all sorts of military people freely posting on this blog and engaging in intelligent debate. In fact, they have become a regular feature, while the critical anti-imperialist left for which this site intended to cater is almost invisible. The site gets more incoming links and trackbacks from conservative Republican sites, than from critical leftist ones–usually though, those Republicans in line with Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul, and Justin Raimondo, who are against empire. Therefore, to suggest that there is some totalitarian refusal to engage others who are not of the correct ideological background, is just pure shit.

        Keep ignoring facts and spouting like a moron, it’s your right…but you have no right to do it in my space. Got that?

        If you find this difficult to understand, please ask for an explanation from your legal guardian or therapist.

  16. June Harding

    Very thought provoking Max. It looks like the way their minds of work is that if you don’t support war – cheer hooray for COIN – worship militarists – repeat military doctrine – then you should be the one to apologize. If they can’t take themselves seriously, why should they expect anyone else to? I hope they’re not serious about this because the other explanation is that they’re collectively deluded and clinically insane. Your value system has to be pretty screwed up if you think the anti-war people are the cause of our problems. Show me an anti-war Dick Cheney, then we’ll talk. Anthropologists are supposed to respect the people they study, not plot new ways of dominating or killing them. Does this really need to be explained over and over and over again?

    Secondly, the tactics. Don’t criticize, or I’ll join them just to spite you for your (IMHO great, excellent, talented) video. As you said to Ryan, they want respectful silence at the least while they commit their dirty deeds – and what Jon Price wrote in that article you just posted shows they have a heap of dirt to cover up. The other tactic, I’m really with you, but your video hurts our opponents so much that I may have to disown you (posted: anonymously). Nope, doesn’t sound like Hugh Gusterson or David Price to me, and the Network of Concerned Anthros loves this blog. Pretty much the same thing again: retreat. I for one am glad you’re not stopping. Let the resistance continue. We’re talking about peace here, not making kissy faces with mercenaries and opportunistic halfwits.

  17. Brian Murphy

    Hi Max!


    It’s like a series of newspaper editorial cartoons that made me laugh so hard in some cases that I didn’t get what was said until I rewound. I was laughing at Sarah Jigsaw Sewall way past when she stopped speaking. It’s only by reading some of the comments here that I see how much I missed. I also watched the original. It aint any less scary or funny!!! Rose is off the rails with this one.

    I wanted to ask where you got the part of McFate guffawing? I can’t see it or hear it in the original. Thanks Max, see you soon.

    1. Brian Murphy

      Just a couple more, I forgot.

      We’re taught that the anthropological way of seeing things is to question the taken for granted, to see our own culture through alien eyes and not take it as natural. I thought this was a great example of that. It’s not easy to insert distance between us and us. Horror and comedy are sure fire tricks for turning everything upside down. I mean I REALLY like this.

      Forgot to ask also about who sings that song at the very end? Is it a 60s band? Great line. You’ve got Marilyn Manson up there too and I want to know what you think about this if you saw it. It’s Manon on Fox News, listen to what he says at about 0:47. Is he doing anthropology?

  18. Mike Cavanaugh

    That song is by Peter Frampton, and it’s 1970s. Great song. I love Marilyn Manson too.

  19. Maximilian Forte

    Thanks very much for the latest comments, June, Brian, and Mike.

    June, I wish I saw more of you on this blog, because what you said was stated beautifully, and I hope people pay attention to it and seriously reflect on it.

    Brian! What a surprise to see you posting here, a very welcome one. You don’t seem to have any trouble understanding the video, its nature, its purposes, its meanings. Some of the little tricks I will tell you about in person.

    Both Brian and Mike, on Marilyn Manson, I share some of the same likes, to a limited extent. The music I can take in small doses. The videos are much more interesting to me, and I wonder to what extent they are an expression of his own creative input and vision, or that of producers attached to commercial studios and record labels. Otherwise, he is a great performer, and a unique artist. I have seen a couple of interviews with him, including the one above, and I would agree that he has a fundamental anthropological sensitivity, far more than anything I hear in the droning of HTS fanatics and their sordid appeals to “applied anthropology” (a phrase they have managed to soil far beyond what any critic of applied anthropology could have done). Nothing at all came in from those people today–they are possibly tiring of being cooked alive each time they set foot here.

  20. June Harding

    my pleasure Max, and I would comment more regularly but I leave it to when I feel strongly about a debate

      1. Maximilian Forte

        I contacted them to pass along the link to the video…hopefully they will see it and comment. I am now–very, very slowly, because it is done a little bit at a time when I have spare moments–working on a glowing tribute to the United States Air Force, a long piece by comparison, probably in excess of 20 mins.

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