Monthly: scrapbook: reborn each month
(Monthly Note follows below)

Popular Fiat
2018 03 03 The movie calls itself Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. It’s up for awards. Cast sounds good. I’m half blind now, I hope I’ll have a little vision left when it comes to NetFlix, I’m certainly not going to see it in a theater. But today I check out the plot, see that it’s right up my alley: woman’s daughter is raped and murdered. She want someone convicted of the crime, rents billboards, says so: puts pressure on the sheriff.
In Genesis, when God was writing in Latin, God said Fiat Lux: Let there be light. Fiat: things get done, quick, by magic.
It’s a convenient universe in which the god can simple say things into existence. Democracy is magical politics: the public says it wants something, politicians promise it: a few years later some other politician promises it. Presto, changeo: Fiat order. And in law, fiat guilt!
Newton solved the laws of planetary motion. Others had tried and failed, Newton got it right. But no one had demanded that he get it right, no one had demanded that he get it at all. He got it because he played with the numbers, played seriously. There was no fiat, it was mental work, hard work. We don’t know if anybody before Newton was capable of such work. Damn few since, if any.
But wouldn’t it be nice: order the shefiff to arrest somebody. Order the sheriff to get it right. Or don’t: who cares if it’s right: the point is to have somebody writhing on the dungeon wall.

NBA, None or Done
2018 03 01 When I entered Columbia, 1956, we bragged about our liberal arts program: we were a real school; not a trade school. Our Chet Forte was the highest scoring basketball player in the US, top notch to Wilt Chamberlain’s #2. When Chet got a C in something he was booted off the team. His scholarship was supposed to be at least part scholarly. Can you imagine such a thing transpiring at Duke or at North Carolina? Guys today sell a years worth of their talent to Syracuse on their way to the NBA. Duke nd Syracuse are real universities: you can study a real subject there. But they’re not Columbia. And of course Columbia too is a trade school, at least in part
You see where this may go, go there yourself: I want to skip straight to a point I thought of yesterday:
Jennifer Lawrence says she dropped out of school at fifteen to pursue her acting. As far as I’m concerned acting is her real professon. She’s well rewarded in the field. Good. Maybe she plays basketball too. You get in front of that camera, Honey: I won’t complain if you make more money than LeBron James.
Jennifer, the darling, said that at fifteen in school she didn’t feel too smark. Good. Why should she? The school is none too smart itself.
more later

2018 02 27
Louis CK is disgraced. His schtick was to whittle his dick as though orgasm was approaching in two seconds. Now it seems he didn’t just jerk himself on stage, he pulled his pizzle in front of real women, in real time, when it seems none had asked him to, none wanted him to. Master man Jerry Seinfeld, wiseguy emeritus, genuinely wise, wonders what Harvey Weinstein is up to, wanting to shower in front of models: what’s CK up to, wacking in front of disgusted cast members.
Well, here comes pk, ahead on thing after thing, behind on everything else: I just watch Michael Jackson duet with Britney Spears. M Jax is always janking on his balls on stage. Spears has a sublimely round ass: at least when this film was shot. The audience colludes: the audience wants Jax yanking on huis balls, wants Britney to look like the universal tush.
And now I see, we were all practicing for Harvey Weinstein! How can we come down on Luois CK coming up when we’ve been encouraging them all along?

2018 02 26 The familiar monotheisms have it that God made man: and that God made man in his, God’s, “own image”. Therefore, one would think, that human thoughts and God’s thoughts were comptible: that man would have a clue what God was up to.
Traditional Christianity has it that man cannot understand what God is up to: and, further, it isn’t man’s business to know.
An extreme expresson of this comes up in Kazantsakis’ novels: Jesus’ disciples don’t have a clue what Jesus is up to, what he says, what it all means. Indeed, it’s pretty funny where Jesus explains to Judas that it has to be he, Judas, who betrays Jesus: “You’re my best friend: who could be better? How could the ironies be richer?”

Irony: there’s irony galore.Man is supposed to listen to God: man doesn’t. Or, he does, but man is incapable of hearing, of understanding. So: you go to Temple to honor God; but in temple, you don’t listen, you don’t understand. So you go to Church; but Church is not a place where understanding abounds. Newton found things to be parallel at Cambridge: his contemporaries knew he was smart, and there were times when Newton, elected to the Royal Society, was pround to for once have a peer or two: till he decided, by experience that he had no peers! Don’t publish, you have no readers. There are no peers, keep what you think between you and God!

Etc. Etc. So: humans give up on temples and churches. Instead they form schools, universities, governments. Does any government represent God or what God says?

Schools intimidate the immature: so the immature will believe that they’re flawed (mere orthodox belief acter all). The student feels his inadequacy keenly. The professors put on robes, have tiruals in dead languates. At any point is the school and its professors responsible for what God said? For what Jesus said? Or for what inspired disciples of God or Jesus said?

But wait a minute: God is supposed to be right, be definition as it were; but what if he’s not? What if the universe is true … (How could it not be?) And God and his churches are false? Then we’d be wise to listen to the smart guys. We’d be wise to honor the truth. We’d have to become intelligent t have aclue what the truth is.

We’ve gotten away with dishonoring the truth so far, we seem to have gotten away with it, we’re so stupid, so dishonest, we think we’re getting away with it. Like Trump! Like Nixon.

Consider the FBI. Federal collusions grant themselves the power to impose authority onto truth: it isn’t true if the FBI says it isn’t. The FBI runs labs, the labs cheat, the lab give the results the fed wants.

Go to the Church and ask what Ivan Illich said. The Church will give you an answer, but it won’t be what Illich said!

To to NYU and ask what I said? They’ll haw, and fumble, and finally give you an answr: a false answer.

The people exist to ratify kleptocracy. The land grabbers are in charach of whose claims to land are legitimate.

Back up: God tells man he can use whatever is in the garden, but don’t touch the tree of knowledge. What does man do? He cheats, he steams: then the moron lies about it!

White men like Nazis denied that Jews were “white”. Well sure: no one is white if you’re careful enough. Then the white men indenture themselves to steal land from North Americans. Then the white men vote to approve themselves as a republic!

Wait a minute: we could form a republic maybe if we could find available territory; but North America was not available! Certainly not Plymouth. And certainly not to indentured serfs: the bank owned them.

For theology or philosophy or history … to be anything but a joke you’d first need an honest “man”: or an honest God.

You’d have to find a university that actually understood what Abelard said: a thousand years ago.

How about a true Bible?

There are, or at least have been, people who understand a phrase or two from God, from Jesus … from Abelard, from Newton. There were people in the 1960s who understood a phrase or two, a poinit or two, from Ivan Illich: the Church should give up all of its property, the Church, if it wished to become Christian, would have to de-professionalize its priesthood. And, instead of schools, a people who would be free would elect for themselves a set of uncensored date bases: replace the compulsory, centralized school system with a cybernetic free marketplace. Had the kleptocrats not understood the impications there would have been little reason for them to come down on me, the offerer of such reforms. The priests understood how Jesus’ liberal offer of divine love, threatened their monopoly on power, on authority. Had they not seen the meaning they would not have been so avid to cheat!

The gospels tell how the Temple and the Roman state violated their own rules to sabotage Jesus: illegally. They violated their own sacred laws in order to contradict God.

Of course the FBI knows that it’s “wrong” to falsify evident, to give false testimony. Our institutions also know that the tax payers would castrate them in a trice if they didn’t cheat: take the God the Jews stole (from some little, lost, forgotten tribe, and steal him for themselves.

This could use a little editing, but what couldn’t?

2018 02 20
Last evening I watched the Pooja and Shanti story again, this time in the company of my beloved Jan. “I love that little girl!” I kept exclaiming.

And so I don’t doubt do we all.

Her parents, just off screen I presume, must love her: and boy, are they showing her off.
The camera loves her. Colors love her. Shanti the elephant’s mahouts love her.
Is there anything unclean about our love? How often does she get her bottom fondled as she goes by? By me? By the mahouts?
We’re a sexy species. And she’s one of the posters! Never mind how young she is: that youth is ancient.

She reminds me ot Emma Watson: beautiful at nine, beautiful at nineteen. And Reese Witherspoon. (Make sure you know the latter’s film The Man in the Moon: she, maybe eleven, maybe twelve, loves her farm boy neighbor: he, early twenties, sees jails, dungron, ruin … if he yields to nature, he’ll get the enmity of his tribe.
PS Poojah lives half the year in India, the rest in Germany. The name refers to a prayer ritual in Hindu, honoring a god. (And Shanti, if I remember my Sanscrit right, means “peace”.)

I also loved how clear the film’s German seemed. Without the English subtitles I wouldn’t have understood many of the words, but listening and reading, paying attention, made for great practice. Hear enough of any language and it will start to seem to make sense, whatever it is: Chinese, Algonquin …

2018 03 02 Here it is a few days later and I’m in the middle of seeing Miracle on 34th Street for the first time since I was a child. Natalie Woods made a huge impression on us: as a girl, then as a teen, then as Natalie Woods. But it’s in the context of Poojah that I want to comment. Santa gets the Macy’s Santa job, he bounces kids on his lap all day long. He winds up going home with Natalie Woods and mom, Maureen O’Hara. Mom teaches “skepticism” to girlie, Santa gently chides her on it, starts to convert her in the direction of ImagiNation: there’s the US, the UN, the Dutch Nation and ImagiNation. That’s ridiculous in itself but it’s an intrepid Santa bouncing little girls with cute little round bottoms on his lap that i want to comment on: where were the journalists? the cops? the mothers up in arms? the dykes, the lawyers?
In the 1980s I befriended an old guy in Naples, on the road to Marco Island. He was a physicits, retired from NASA: Eckland Hathaway. I loved how he lived on the edge of the wilderness, like Robinson Crusoe. Kids came to him to report fire ant hills, he’d boil some water, dispose of the ants: like the Pied Piper. followed by children, clamoring and dancing. But the children were welcome no further. Eck, with absolute wisdom, didn’t want parents buiding a head of steam over whether great-gramps is fondling all that toddle tush.
Years later I was camped in Sebring Gardens, Sebring FL. A neighbor, Betty, was caring for her mulatto granddaughter: adorable little girl, rounded below the waist to perfection. I watched at a distance as this camper fondled granddaughter’s fanny while that camper avoided demonstrations of affection like the plague. It was best to keep an extreme distance ’cause grandma called the ops on this one (but never that one). Go figure. Meantime grandma’s whore of a welfare party girl slewed her boyfriend’s hotrods sideways, building Florida sand moguls the size of dunes.
Was the little girl as cute as Natalie Woods? Close. Close enough.

God’s Profits (I mean Prophets)

God tells Jewus to toss the money tables at the Temple. He does. We torture him, kill him.
On the cross Jesus asks God why he, God, has forsaken him, Jesus. He doesn’t seem to get a very good answer, but does it strike you as typical? That’s how it strikes me: as Edgar Lee Masters wrote in Spoon River Anthology, God standing idle while his son is tortured to death sounds exactly like him!)

New answer me this, how come Christian churches are still pretending to care about what God says? At what point does God chime in? make a statement?
And what’s our basis for believing that we’re competent to know what God said to Jesus? or what Jesus said to us?

Until God is heard from in a way that would convince an intelligent, cautious person, shouldn’t we all just hold our tongue?

This and that church holds up text they call the “Bible”. Do we have any basis for accepting (or rejecting) such statements?

God told me to offer you, the human world, an internet: a digital Who’s Who, What’s Where. I knew it was God telling me for one reason because God had clearly said it first to Ivan Illich: God talked to Illich, and me, and others, giving us a nudge to get rid of kleptocracy-controlled data bases, compulsory brain washing. Men were free once, sort of, we could be free again: sort of. Worth a try, anyway. No?

But you tortured me. Still do: these fifty-eight years later.

How do you know I’m telling your the truth? Same way you know anything: you don’t! Or, you know it because it makes sense. It has the ring of truth. Because nothing else makes sense. If God didn’t tell me, or Illich, then God should have told me, and Illich.

I’ll tell you another reason to recognize the inspiration as from God? Because no one understood a word I said! !!!
Did anyone understand Jesus? Did anyone understand Illich?
Can you show me one person who understood what I was talking about in 1970?
Or 1980? or 1990? Or since?

Is that in itself proof? Is everything you don’t understand from God? No, that’s not what I mean. But things not understood, things rejected out of hand, things triggering torture despite laws supposedly protecting speech, stand in pretty good company.

What Do I Believe?
I know one thing: if you think I mean what I say literally, Go straight to jail, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Consider further: I might have meant something literally once, but no longer.
Could what I say be translated into someting literal? Maybe I could have once, but no longer.

Take religion, for example. Few writers define their terms as regularly or as carefully (or as creatively) as I do: but what I mean by “God” changes form day to day, minute to minute: use to use. It all flashes like a strobe light.

Or take politics: I believe in “freedom”.
But what is it?
Beware, I often mean things as a joke, and often as a trap.
Watch out.

Once my jokes were hopes that God would save you. or that I would save you. or am I trying to save God?
Some of what I mean is perverse. Taught as a Calvinist, as a wiseguy kid I was anti-Catholic. My weapon against the Catholics was to take their regimen literally.
I no longer know what that means. But I used to know, maybe you can guess. Maybe you don’t cafe, maybe that’s your downfall: God and I can laugh at you at Judgment. Or is it that God’s been laughing at me all along?
Yes, Robin Gibb, the joke’s on me.

Hell is still today wearing yesterday’s costume.

I believe in freedom. for individuals. I do not believe in freedom for centralized powers. I do not believe that Hitler should be free to murder 18 million fags, Jews, Commies. If he does, he should be stuck with his action. Hell is still today wearing yesterday’s costume.

Uh Oh
I just made a typo: a huge amount of text rolled into this file. I’ve corrected what I’ve seen, who knows what I haven’t seen. Be patient, be generous. Or don’t.

I scribble, I save some scribble. I make a typo, reams o ftext inserts itself somewhere before I know what I’ve done. I try to trim, but volume gets the best of me.
Well, maybe heaven keeps perfect records; the rest of us don’t. So hell.

Do you believe in God?
In a serious religion that question would be a waste of time. and efort. and be rude to boot. Anyway, the much more important questions is

Does God believe in you?

When God asked me to offer you an internet, 1970, did he need Congress’s permission? Did I have to fill out paperwork at the court house? Pay a fee?

Continues as reverse chronology: Monthly Archive

Such archives date backwards: counter chronological: today, yesterday, the day before … (Continues in several archive choices.)

Posted in pk Personal, pk Teaching

Christmas Bankrupt

Decentralization / Deschooling /

A series of relatable memories just cascaded me. In high school, 1950s, I heard that the company that had won the contract to construct the UN building on the East River had gone bankrupt before the roof was finished. They hadn’t adequately budgeted for the roof. Ah, so that’s how come they were cheaper, that’s how come they won the contract: they forgot the roof! How could they have been so stupid?
But why, having been so stupid, should they have to continue to suffer? would you have thought to budget for a roof? How much can a roof cost? How many people buying the New York Times that day would have done better? been smarter?

Those memories first came back to me a decade later. I’d taken a teaching post at Colby College, Waterville, Maine. I wanted a change of pace. Coming hard up on thirty, I wanted to ski before my body tunred chicken (as well as clumsy), abandoned me quivering on the steep: and Colby was not only located in Maine (read Winter!), but had its own ski slope, near the campus: weekends I could go to Sugarloaf, weekdays I could ski right there in Waterville.
Other guys didn’t have to catch up on their early twenties in their late twenties: they’d proved themselves to themselves in their teens.

Dartmouth had its own ski slope, so did U Colorado, Denver. Colby responded, I went to Colby. And there, in the unforgettable winter of 1968-69, I encountered the snow removal company that was bankrupt not just by Christmas but before Thanksgiving! That company had played public roulette and survived in the past, but not in 1968-69. So that hell-of-a winter the roads weren’t cleared. Snow fell, people who knew how to drive in the slick, drove. People who knew how to drive in snow did just great. I had a Saab, Swedish car, front wheel drive, and free wheeling. Skis a-top, I’d drive like a maniac: I’d skid, so what? the back of the car would pass the front of the car, what a thrill, so what? I just keep driving, keep skidding: let the front end catch back up. I loved that Saab. I’d pass jeeps with 4-wheel drive! They were stuck, I’d whizz right past. As long as no lumber truck comes, also skidding sideways. the truck longer than the road is wide, I’m just fine, ahead of the game.

I post, to finish (or add) another time. At the moment I’m not remembering what my “deschooling” hook was. My anarchism bankrupted me.

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Art Stories / Personal / Stories / Theme / Work

2018 01 30 In 1970 I offered the world an internet. In 1974 my wife kidnapped our son so she could put him in school without discussing it with me: know the society would back her illegality, not my traditional rights. In 1974, having rent to pay, receiving no funding from the public, I went to work at an ordinary job, contemptible. So there I was, managing the Circle Gallery in its original locations, Madison Avenue, in the ’60s: The Whitney a door or two south, Sotheby’s diagonally across the street. The Circle galleries sold what they published: except for my store. My Circle had accumulated a decades’ worth of odds and ends. Circle didn’t publish Will Barnet or Jim Dine or Hans Belmer; but my Circle had drawers full of such. The one Jim Dine was a multiple original in a frame on an easel. It pictured an artist’s palette. Screwed into the plastic frame’s obverse surface was a pair of scissors. The palette sported colors, the colors were names: green, red, blue. (I would have been tempted, were the art mine, to mid-lable the colors.) In my yar there I moved the Dine of the easel toward the front, toward the side, in the back.
No one came to Circle to buy pop art. I didn’t think the thing would ever move. But one day a little old lady negotiated the entrance steps, stood in front of the Dine, sighed a few times, and finally said, “OK, I’ll take it.” She wrote out a check for the $1,200 plus tax or whatever it was: something in that neighborhood, low four figures.
“Jimmy’s coming over for diner tonight, and by now I really ought to have at least one thing by him.
I bit, she explained: this woman was Jim Dines’s grandmother. Or godmother. Or nurse. Something.

Stories by Theme

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I O Who

Personal / Business / Art Dealer /

Business Debts
mostly from the 1980s, 2018 01 31

I’m caught in the middle, and aren’t we all? Civilization sabotaged my talents, prevented me from being able to make a living. Civilizations stare stupidly, depending on myths, blind to experience, and woe to the truth tellers: few correctly identified by the alpha kleptocrats.
I owe a lot of people money, a lot of people owe me money. If God ever identifies facts, establishes chains of causality, then who belongs where in hell (or heaven) will be clear, but who other than God, and me, will care?
Anyway, I regret owing money to some people more than to others. I want to identify two otf them. Marcel, the artist. Dan and Sandy Berman, of Plainfield NJ. I don’t know if any of them are alive. Lacking a way to pay them, it’s academic anyway. But let me try to clarify what it’s about, what happened.
First, the Bermans financed my publishing Robert Vickrey. They were due 50% of whatever the company’s net was on the art. They received only a fraction of it For decades the Bermans have known how to get hold of the unsold inventory, if they want to bother. It’s worth something only if you know how to sell it. I will them all of my half to do with whatever they choose. Vickrey himself did not receive everything that he was entitled to, but he seized inventory he was not entitled to, so I and the Bermans owe him nothing.
Fortunately the Berman and Vickrey are more than rich enough to survive these glitches. Still, I owe the Bermans.

Marcel, Alexandria & the Torpedo Factory, Virginia
Nice girl, good printmaker. I bought all the inventory of her work for resale that I could afford or borrow on. I worked hard promoting her in Florida. I wanted to bring our accounts up to date in the 1980s so I could do the same further west: California, etc, only to learn that she had made a deal with a dealer who was flish. To Marcel, I owed her my balances, and screw my plans for the west. (I was writing my novel, pk the starving artist, and Marcel was almost my only income.
I’d given her a check for low four figures. I got pissed, was desperate, and cancelled the check and never gave her another. OK, I was mad. But, I also never returned the only partly paid for inventory! It’s still under the bed, in the closet. All these decades I haven’t had the money for shipping! don’t have her current address, if living!

So, when I croak, don’t have the money for cremation or burial, if seizing my stuff under the bed is worth anything, give it to Marcel. I owed her a smack, but not decades worth.
Marcel made a living, was comfortable as well as hard working. Vickrey and the Bermans didn’t need the money whether it was owed to them or not, but Marcel had only modest cushion. Bless her. One of the good ones.

And me? I want God to see that I get what I deserve: and you get what you deserve!

Consider though: maybe that’s what already happened. Maybe pk was their hell! They had it coming, had nothing to do with me!

There’s other art under the bed and in the closet that also doesn’t belong to me but I don’t remember who it does belong to: mostly tax shelter dupes in PA and NJ. They’ve already taken it off their taxes.

Meantime, there’s a gallery in PA that has several million dollars worth of art much of which does belong to me pk, personally (and includes the Vickreys. I’ll supply the gallery name when I can think of it. DeVorzon, John I think. My ears no longer work, my eyes can’t see, and my focus is kaput.

Stories by Theme

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Schooled Movies

/ DeCentral / DeGate / Deschool / Rants

Homefront (2013 film)
Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth … Well, the cast sounds good. YouTube gives me a sample. Statham is called into the school his daughter attends. She’s punched the hell out of some bully, daddy is called on the carpet. Statham admits “Well, maybe that’s partly my fault: I taught my daughter to defend herself.”
No one accuses the school of having taught his daughter to defend herself: but why is he half defending his inalienable right as a parent? (as a human)? But she hit him so hard one bureaucrat complains.
In the school parking lot James Franco tries to pressure Statham. Statham puts him on the ground, fast and hard! Imagine me trying to lean into Joe Louis!
But did you have to take him down so hard? queries another upstaged bureaucrat, some sheriff. Ask Joe Louis not to hurt Max Schmeling!
But it’s ridiculous: Franco looks tough: until you see Statham!!!
Back in the truck with Kate Bosworth, she accuses Franco of being a “pussy”. Clearly the school system here represents Franco, and Boswoth; not Statham or the daughter!

One think pricelss: we already know how very very English Statham is: what’s he doing with these egregious rednecks? Clearly the idea of free markets, freedom of any kind, had nothing to do with it!

Deschool Menu

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Agitating Manners

/ Culture /

I just remembered a date from the 1970s. I was invited to a party by a client in Rockville Centre on Long Island. The party was in Balkwin. My client’s granddaughter would be there: a former Broadway show girl, a singer, dancer, actress, now unfortunately crippled. The girls at the party all were attractive and looked ripe for an affair. They looked non-plussed as I paid attention only to the cripple. I’m not sure what Grandma intended but I began to fantasize about the cute hips and round once-dancer’s-bottom of the girl I’ll call “Hair”, ’cause that’s the title of the show she had been appearing in when she became crippled. I invited her for a weekend and her family delivered her to me in Long Beach: she needed taxi service and they volunteered trip one.

I want to ponder one thing that made my attraction to her evaporate:

Who Is the Waiter Serving?
Women and Children; Not Work-A-Daddy.

Hair wants veal picata for diner, she requested a favorite restaurant. The waiter recognized her: fine: catereed to her: fine: ignored me; not fine.
The waiter brings menus, asks Hair only if she’s ready to order, ignores me. He finally takes my order too, as an afterthought. Mid meal the waiter asks Hair, not me, how everything is.
We eat, we have desert, the waiter shoves the bill by my elbow, still not looking at me.

I’m mad at the waiter, mad at the restaurant for having such an ill-trained waiter, but I’m also a little mad at Hair for so utterly cooperating with the waiter’s ignoring of me, the presumed Work-a-Daddy: the scmuck bill payer: the Daddy who not only knows not-best, but not-at-all: like the Romanoff’s during the Russian Revolution.

I’m with her, it’s a first date, I’m trying to be nice: but I was tempted to insist that the waiter present the bill to Hair! not me. What did I, 1970 inventor of the internet, have to do with the bill?

Hair and I were going to walk on the boardwalk later one. My apartment was 210 Shore Road, right on the boardwalk, open sky all around, left to right. I’d screw her brains out, then we’d have a nice walk. But the TV was on, PBS, and the announcer promised a documentary on Edvard Munch.

Edvard Munch
after David’s Death of Marat, Munch and girlfriend modeling

thanx theculturetrip

“Oh, wait, I have to see that.””
But Hair never understood what I was talking about: and I was despairing that she’d never understand anything I said. Maybe I shouldn’t have pronounced the artist’s name in Norwegian. Maybe she wouldn’t have known Picasso either.

Her family picked her up the next day. And that was that.
No, A month later she called me, how was I? I wasn’t rude, not too rude, but I wan’t encouraging. She heard that and got off the phone. And that was that.

I don’t think I could ever explain to her what restaurant manners used to be once upon a time. We grew up in different worlds. But there was something else too, something I absolutely would not address with her:
In the 1950s and into the 1960s Barbara Streisand’s People was all over the jukebox. I’d get up and leave the West End when it came on. She was emoting, but it wasn’t singing, she was screaming: I couldn’t stand it. So, mid-meal Hair announces to me that Barbara Steisand is the greatest singer. I didn’t leap in to agree: so she insisted that I understand that she, Hair, a Broadway singer, was an expert, a professional singer herlself, blah blah blah. No, no: it shouldn’t be for me to introduce this barbarian to Billie Holliday, to Lena Horne, to a couple of really great singers.

If you don’t understand that I’m the founder of FLEX, a disciple of master Christian Ivan Illich, that my FLEX gave the world a chance to become Christian, at least to discuss a couple of the implications, you can’t know what I’m saying or who’s saying it.
I failed: before, then, since: but I join a host of failures (results not yet in).

A re-edit might help. There’s a zillion find points not yet mentioned.


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Political Symbols

/ Scholarship / Symbols /

Symbols can be tricky. Don’t rely on the symbol user(s) to understand more than a fraction of the symbol. And absolutely don’t expect the symbol user(s) to fully aware or honest about their symbols. Do expect symbol users to assume that you will assume that their use is intelligent and honest. Expect them to assume it in the face of evidence to the contrary: take our present president for example”: is he inciting us to murder, to arson, to disorder; or is he talking us out of it?

His appeal to our being “Americans”, for example. Does that have any objective meaning? What’s the meaning of a mob or protest?

Charlottesville 2017 08 mid-month
What’s the meaning of people, mostly men, marching with torches? That has a long-standing meaning among Americans. Isn’t it so familiar as to be obvious? Doesn’t it mean “We’re a lynthing party? The law means whatever we say it means? and we can change our meaning thirty times an hour. It means We’re Christians! But God didn’t give us this land: we took it! We took it fro the natives, we built it by slave labor, we order it by terrorism.

We all have some idea what “cross”es mean; how well do we understand the burning cross. You wake up, there’s a seven foot wooded cross planted in your lawn, flaming. Is your piety being saluted? Or is your life being threatened? Have your “rights” now been revoked?
Those revoking your rights: how did they get the “right” to revoke them?

Whether or not you voted for Trump, does he now have the right (or power) to redefine the law? Does freedom of speech mean that you dare not speak? and if you do speak, do you dare not say anything challenging or difficult? or unconventional?

Aspects of Symbols To Watch Out For
School compels us to attend and to profess belief that forced attendance and free speech somehow go together. People seem to be so stupid that they can “think” that writing something down makes it true. Slavery is illegal now: therefore, all those people trapped in their cabins on this plantation (or in Chicago tenements, there’s not much difference) are free, not slaves: Christians, not robots.

You have freedom of assembley: that’s why the cops set off the tear gas.

Another trick is: if we compare our experience with what we’re told about ancient Romans, then we may seem free. No, no, compare yourself and your moviements with the humans who walked out of Afrida tens of thousands of years ago. I don’t know how well they were free; but I know perfectly that we are not.

scribble always needs revision, editing

To date I’ve commented on personal symbols, pk idiosyncracies; I’ve taken common understanding for granted. But some symbols which are huge, under our nose, escape detection, are more micro-understood than macro-understood: dwell in musunderstanding.

K. Teaching Thinking Tools
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