/ Journal /

Our justice system is a penny in the fuse box of JUSTICE.
Mystery novels are largely the consequences of putting pennies into epistemological fuse boxes. stiffen the map/territory confusion. The hero in Leonard’s 52 Pickup refuses to put a penny in the fuse box. Bite the bullet and deal with reality; the cons are so addicted to self-deception that they can’t realize they’re dealing with a realist. Leo’s statement that they picked the wrong guy is absurdly slow in coming, but he’s not only the fastest one, he’s the only one to see it at all.
Tom Bosley’s priest/detective is photographed with whores by the crooks who want him tied up. He’s a realist too and isn’t intimidated; but the cardinal tells him to lay off. The cardinal is controlled by the crooks! he isn’t!
My point about “realism” in art, theater, etc. merely being whatever series of conventions is invisible to its audience: The public is forever just born: Always thinks: they had conventions; we have realism. Ibsen’s realism creaks today; ours will tomorrow. cf Hindu Hide-and-Seek. cf sf and allegory. Write so that the clarity of the meaning is hidden. Or manifest: depending on who’s reading and why.
Different faces: People pretend ignorance or knowledge according to what they think the group expects that they think or know. Johnny Carson’s genius is to appear ordinary and still show some integrity. Someone will pretend that a word they know well enough is a “big word” just because knowledge of it isn’t associated with the group they want to be associated with. Allen Alvo responds to my use of “remunerative”: “write that down for me.” He was joking. He was in the middle of flattering me. Good way to try. But still; that’s how he chose to do it.
Until it’s enemy time. Hilary and Brooks would merely change angle and what had been reverence became attack.
Speaking of enemies: me and Rich. talk tough. rehearse vengeance. then double over to assume the benefit of the doubt. anything but actually fight. When confronted with our betrayer we are suddenly conciliatory, compromising, yielding some benefit of doubt. We both know we’re lying, but both anxious to believe, just to get through the day, the moment, to postpone the responsibility of unpleasant and dangerous action. It’s easy to shake our fists at communists across an ocean and a language barrier. But sitting across the table to Gorbochov?
What a performance Kruschov gave, banging his shoe at the UN. Takes either great subtlety or extreme stupidity.
making faces: cf 3 line test: which is more important? agreeing with group or with reality? Maybe the distribution is evolutionarily selected. I’ll bet it’s very important to the survival of the species to have some people unyielding and some easily yielding and some sometimes one and sometimes the other.
seeing a glance of same show that made me comment on faces above: show animated the contestants, imagine the zombie intentness at home (a la McLuhan, not at all a la Running Man). In any case, it’s all us looking at us and paying little attention to the invisible. Faces are all examples of social behavior: here it’s evolved into something doable alone. Even in isolation we practice our relationship to the group.
Most writing is an exercise in how close to the center can I come. It’s a time lapse example of the guess what the other person is thinking (animal, cat, dog, not armadillo) kind of game show. often, that which is held in common is a fashion. “great literature” is supposed to be a rehearsal of something more permanent than fashion. (of course, it something last long enough, it’s not fashion, it’s a key stone if not a foundation. Sexual reproduction may have seemed to be an eccentricity at first, a silly bauble of no possible importance. The wonderful thing is that none of us know where the train is going, so we can’t know what’s important. But we all guess. Most guess around the center: then around innovations of various stages of testing. Some of us want to guess persistent patterns older, more basic, more enduring, perhaps less species specific and more characteristic of a broader foundation.
dist bet irresistible lust and an unresisted lust for lust. One
the one hand, there’s the teenager who can’t slow down once the
blood is up. On the other, there’s the dissolute, overindulged
deSade who will injure, mutilate, enslave, and perhaps kill in
his desperation to get it up again, even when he’s had three
orgasms already that day.
12/13: obfuscation, control, or clarity: the question always to be asked in poetry, logic, law, language, science, theology, etc. Like tone, what’s the speaker or writer’s conscious or unconscious intention vis a vis above? Victor last night could not or would not distinguish between a fact and an assertion. (not necessarily mutually exclusive, but far from identical: again the importance of set theory (nested sets, overlapping sets, identical sets, etc. in distinction and definition). when asked to clarify, he just babbled twice as long and twice as vaguely.
Can something be true and not be a fact? Sure: an original theory, hitherto unpublished, unuttered in present company, which explains the facts, is not incompatible with any of them.
God, in the beginning of the book on Noah’s Ark that Victor showed me last night, is a thinly veiled plea for vagueness and not too nice a logic. The context of the author telling the story is clearly one of unbelief, in stark contrast to the Bible’s telling, which is clearly one of belief and not too cosmopolitan a questioning of the details.
If people from different thought systems are to converse profitably, there has to be some understanding in common of terms. True, e.g., would have to mean the same thing to both or all sides OR both or all sides should know that they differ. Virginia Wade says “Chrissie throws up so beautifully.” Americans should know that she’s not commenting on an aesthetic of vomiting, but on the accuracy and rhythm of the toss of the ball into the air in initiating a tennis serve.
I would love to witness or to participate in a discussion say between creationists and some other group, say people at least mildly acquainted with evolution, but more important, conversant with logic and rules of evidence, and insist on the creationists (or the other side) sticking to one definition or position at a time.
Let’s start out our study of the story of Noah’s Ark accepting the insistence that it’s “true.” Ok, now, what does true mean. Well, true means what Noah’s Ark in Genesis is. Ok … Then ask questions and more questions until the result is that “true” means thoroughly inconsistent with possibility or meaning in any way that we know in the only world that we know. So then, the story, since by definition it’s true, didn’t happen in the world that we know.
The author of Victor’s book makes casual, unacknowledged changes in how he tells it. Then the miracle occurred: the animals came. Where does it say that in Genesis? It doesn’t. He’s supplied it.
does god see with or without perspective? does god have location? or just “human” “location”?
sometimes we get lucky: sometimes good things happen to us despite our plans. (BK e.g.)
The Exploiters. We are in the hands of the exploiters, the lawyers make sure nothing else happens of any power.
(hide gun idea: you show a gun to keep creeps off your back; if you really intend to kill you conceal the weapon. fundamental mistake of cheap melodrama: shows gun to victim really in order to show it to audience. Film can bypass that. Maybe that’s why opera heroes look like such buffoons to a movie person: they’re always waving a sword around and never or hardly ever killing anyone. When they do, it’s suicide.)
Amazing: I’m fascinated by this whole family, but especially by the females. The mother is upset when the fiancé caresses the 10 year old’s leg, lying next to her on the bed. She’s confused. She’s upset, but she’s also sure he didn’t mean anything by it. I assure her that he may very well have meant something by it and still have done no harm. I tried to assure her that her utterly skinny daughter, whose thighs have the same diameter as her calves and whose hips are hardly more than twice that diameter, in other words, the girl is not only prepubescent but straight up and down with not a single curve below her face, is nevertheless a very attractive and a very sexy girl. Why shouldn’t the fiancé have sexual thoughts about the girl. I certainly did. And yet I believe it to be quite innocent. The point is, what’s to be done about it. As long as the answer is nothing, it’s all right. I assured the mother that I was attracted to her, the mother, but that under the circumstances, I intended to do nothing about it beyond assuring her that I wasn’t a eunuch. I further assured her that I was attracted to the daughter in a way that a mature woman couldn’t attract me, and that I didn’t know why that shouldn’t be typical among mature males, although I could only speak for myself. And remember Humbert Humbert.
In other words, I was trying to assure her that natural responses don’t know anything about birth certificates or marriage licenses. What’s wrong with a little affection in the family even if there is a sexual dimension to it. As long as, the girl isn’t offended, molested, deflowered, raped. So what do I learn in response, but that the girl has been molested repeatedly since she was four, and that she’s especially bothered by it. Good god. Suddenly I look at her and see Nana as the end of Gervaise (with Maria Schell): skinny, filthy, pretty, and wearing a dirty ribbon. I try to remember how old Heidi was when she was so attractive. Twelve: no younger. Heidi’s chest hadn’t budded but her hips would match Marilyn Monroe. This ten year old doesn’t have any hips. I fascinated.
The girl gives me a series of flashes one day. Then nothing. Days of rejection. Everyone behaves differently toward me except the mother. More than one thing is going on in the community, but this is the one strand I will concentrate on. The mother speaks to her. Why am I avoiding names in so obvious a situation. Radiance speaks to Flame. Suddenly Flame is friendly again. I get what must positively be the most direct flash I’ve ever gotten from a ten year old and the most direct flash since Heidi flopped on the couch in Long Beach and took my picture with her legs. Heidi was wearing a “bathing costume” to recall her phrase, and she had looked right at my face as she aimed her hips. Flame asks me a question about the underpinning of the table. I crouch down and show her the mechanism. I look up to see if she understands. She’s just slouching down to see. Sure. We smile at each other. The adjustment, the realignment of her hips is hardly a millimeter, but, by god, there I am looking right up the tunnel. And right at the level of my face! Long seconds pass. Uhm, well, I gotta go.
The next day we all go to the laundry. Flame puts her arms around Joe and gives him a graceful hug. She must have forgiven him too. But even after our conversation, I have the impression that Radiance is still thinking of the girl as having no sex of her own. And I had told her fairly unequivocally about what’shername, the Swiss eight year old. I’ve also told her about the map/territory distinction. The map our culture has of the sexuality of children before puberty doesn’t match their behavior. I told Radiance what Freud said about primitive cultures in Totem and Taboo: if your don’t want sexual activity between certain individuals or classes of individuals, don’t let them within sight of each other. Self-restraint? Why not in a 49 year old? When I was 39? Forget it. Freud is quite right. There’s something to be said for taboo: if they don’t want A to fuck B, they don’t say “A, don’t fuck B”; they say “A, don’t ever enter the sight of B. Don’t be in the same village with her. If you think she may be coming, get off the path and flee through the jungle.” But the same culture wouldn’t mind either Joe or me petting Flame with affection. But then it wouldn’t be preserving her virginity from us. The economics of paternity is an entirely different question.
I say preserving her virginity rather loosely. For all the attraction I’ve felt for assorted pre-pubescent girls, I don’t recall it ever involving thoughts of intercourse. For all I know, prolonged contact might have led to such thoughts, though i suspect the opposite. That family in Fort Clynch with the deaf girl. I wanted to give her a pat and a squeeze, and I did. She was all bone and that was that. So what in the world did these men who molested Flame have in mind? “Pull down your pants,” Radiance said the 70 year old was screaming at her. The guy who frightened her when she was three wanted to have oral sex with her? With a three year old? I don’t get it: how? Both? Him her? Or her him? I don’t get it in any way. No three year old could have hips like Heidi did. I wouldn’t have believed that a twelve year old could have. But Flame doesn’t have any hips beyond the anatomical minimum. Yet I was intrigued by the thin line of her pussy as she aimed it at me the other day. Why? What? What does it mean? It had no consequence but the pleasure of that moment’s silent communion which I remember and can’t believe she won’t.
Funny. Seeing Radiance approach fills me with pleasure I haven’t felt for a long time, maybe ever. How wonderful to feel that way about a friend. Martha? No, because that was sexual: every time I was with her I could assume something was going to happen. That moment or soon. Phil? Yes, I suppose so. A little like it. And Brian I suppose. But without the dread intermixed. Speaking of sex, with Radiance, knowing that I don’t intend anything is almost part of the pleasure. Hey, it’s OK; sex isn’t going to screw this up.
But I hadn’t meant to record any of this except in so far as there was this flash. Then none. Then another, a very decided flash. First, I think a series of things about its sense of timing. Mainly, I am reminded of the monolith in 2001. It’s a switch, waiting patiently for eternity or for never (if it never comes). The soul selects her own society/ Then shuts the door. A girl that young, a girl that skinny, doesn’t even have a pussy. Then FLASH. There it is. Man has reached the moon and a light flashes across the galaxy.
Then too I remember the camera scene in Viridiana. Hold still everybody. Freeze to Leonardo’s Last Supper. Then she throws her dress over her head as she thrusts her hips and opens her thighs.
But mainly I think of the timing. That it doesn’t choose for a long period, doesn’t mean that it can’t choose and that it has forgotten its function. Oh, she’s a young girl. She doesn’t have a pussy. She has no such function, no such purpose. FLASH.
Chaos is always intermediate (between two orders.)
“male” attitude of “let me be in charge or there can be no relationship”: male? or dominant? or chaos? if it’s male, then what is it when female’s display it? cf bk.let about wolfs, peacocks.
homeostasis eliminating extremes. Is that why publishers eliminate literature together with incompetence?
is a false step in a heuristic “wrong”? in an algorithm? in a non-solution? interplay, feedback between intuition and reason.
The price of free tv is universal pollution. detergent vs. soap.
how news is presented: what is news? trust editors? Who selects? How? cybernetic feedback. can’t control absolutely, but always opportunity to bend a little, hedge a little, cheat … power resides in the margins
how about phone co. selling script coins (if govt won’t align the mint with current prices). make penny worth $1. or $1.50.
etc. or implant chip into penny that identifies your account instead of punching 18 numbers.
epistemology: size of system? which is larger. which includes which? overlapping sets? law or English? English or language? Aristotle or Christianity?
different levels of economics: natural; human. a consensus of opinion (communists are bad, allah e akbar, all men are created equal, cause and effect, …) can have such force as to seem to be a force of nature, but … A force of nature will suddenly make opinion seem trivial. time of change. inter-connecting chaos. The rest of the time, the same force can seem trivial. The force of truth.
Force of truth? what the majority says. what the junta says. what the colonels say. until it’s time to behead Mussolini.
Victor’s failure to distinguish credentials from expertise.
title: the dangers of poetry. the madness of metaphor (the hippocampus connection?) natural but insane to belief in identity. make distinction, then obliterate.
evolution and complex environments (1,2,3, multiple): the early bird gets the worm. doped out youths who get reinforced on self-indulgence (the market encourages them; hey, they spend the $5,6 on the movies, the $50 on the concerts, the money on the clothes, it isn’t that they don’t earn any of their own money, it’s that all their money goes into vanity and self-indulgence; precisely, they are not the property owners), then they become a minor species of multi-milionaire. Jagger showing only enough discipline to show up (seems to me); M jackson showing a maximum of discipline, must edit every microsecond of footage of himself, like Picasso); go far enough, and we split into two different species.
to fly seems difficult if you’ve already evolved for the ground surface. needs whole translation into ethereal. but some creatures have never not been ethereal. baby spiders, yeast spores, bacteria, viruses …
theology is an outlaw activity, flexible theology ie. truth vs. power. knowledge is power. sometimes, but are they identical? set theory again. overlapping judgment day story in which crimes punishable by human law are assumed to be taken care of, law makers who made god’s law human are punished for presumption, thieves of charity, etc.
“it’ll take for eternity to find out.”
fineness of filter. here I am wishing that Markham Park had some provision for cleaning up the camp sites of bottle caps and
garbage. lo & behold, two guys walk by with bags and sticks with a nail protruding from one end. They walk by all the refuse, talking. they keep going. My noticing a pin on the floor is an annoyance to those whose floor it is who didn’t notice the pin. Nevertheless, it’s their foot, not mine, that’s in danger. fuggem?
can you imagine moses asking amos, did He say anything to you about wiping your ass with your left or right hand? invalid assumption that He talks only to one person in a generation or millennium. invalid assumption also that He says everything to that one person.
how about Xmas gift giving (as distinct from exchanging) in which people would be thought rude if they gave a gift to anyone they know or could possibly expect anything back from at Christmas; no, they step into random traveler and give their gifts wherever they come out: on Mars, another galaxy, or just the other side of town. Of course, there would always be a finite possibility of giving that necklace to your wife, because she is in the cosmos. But it would be as unlikely as being dealt 13 spades in bridge.
worship of truth? or power? creationists vs. darwinists. V the other day was failing to distinguish darwinism from the theory of evolution. darwin’s work was an attempt at dealing with reality, with truth. V’s pamphlet, was a deliberate attempt at obfuscation. Why? resentment of lost power. worship of that power, will to power. what about truth?
information, difference which makes a difference. recognition,
invariance within a set of differences.
I am just remembering that incident in Yankee Stadium. Out in the bleachers some big guy was carrying on. All I could see from the first base side was that he was animated and that people were avoiding him. The cops come to throw him out. Cops animated around the still center of the guy. I watch fascinated. With Phil? Anyway, finally the activity of the stadium cops moves off center a bit. Now there’s order. The circle of cops march up the steps physically escorting a captive. But the big guy is still sitting there, still carrying on. Now I see. The cops have saved face by arresting the guy
nearest to the trouble maker. They weren’t getting anywhere with the big guy and didn’t want to try any longer. I’ve always wondered: did they then beat up the innocent scapegoat? Give him a better seat. Buy him a beer and thank him for helping them to escape?
epist. the “tastes great”/”less filling” “controversy” of jocks reborn as commercial beer drinkers: the either/or mentality. Is Shanghai fried chicken steamed or fried? Well, it has to be fried, right? it says so. Looks fried, tastes fried. But there’s no way to get all that flavor so deep inside without steaming. So it’s steamed, right? No, it’s fried. Our language and habits don’t allow for the truth that it’s steamed and then fried. How about twice cooked pork? How many westerners would avoid that great dish thinking that it has to mean left-overs? Did god tell you? or the devil? How about both? Not allowed: it has to either taste great or be less filling. Gogol’s Ivan Yavolovich wants two cups of coffee so his wife won’t give him any bread. Or is it that he wants some bread, so his wife drinks all the coffee herself? A guy who told the truth about us one hundred years ago.
syn: metaphor and identity. there can be only one identity: the truth is the truth; what is, is. all else, including those phrases, are just words. god, good, the United States, evil, truth, beauty, justice: just words. map/territory. maps, always imperfect, sometimes deliberately wrong, so often and silent consensus to agree that the shorter line is longer …
id: double description like adding a dimension. how to simulate a vision of god, how to duplicate for other people. use planetarium to give visual example, like getting to light speed in star wars by removing a dimension, suddenly and unexpectedly. establish a pattern in x dimensions, then add a harmonious pattern in x + 1, etc.
ss. JD. all crooked gambling winning adjusted. All subsequent investments back-adjusted. Instead of redistributing the extra money, god keeps it all. Everyone, getty and hughes too, is broke, bankrupt. then the voice-gives to favorites; then a higher voice-gives to all, equal distribution. The population explodes and everyone is poor again. then a higher voice: doesn’t say anything. leaves it alone. lets find own equilibrium, live or die as happens.
ss: 250 franc whore story. she returns 1 franc to the soldier who won her in a company lottery. banks steal your $ for a lifetime: you complain, get results: bank refunds your 1 franc. what would we owe Sutter by now? the Indians? all revenues for last several centuries? not enough? future enslavement of our issue?
what’s the fine for selling our birthright? pay it and go on with business. it’s cheap. african chiefs sold their people into slavery. perversion of property. thought their people were theirs. what price does the birthright sell for? what if it’s abraham? all future jews. (same with anybody: abe is just someone you’re paying attention to, like the bridge hand): let’s say 250 million jews. 1/250 millionth of a gold piece is hardly a good price.
JD: your overcharged x $1. hell for you. ohno, please, I’ll pay them back. OK but 1987 prices, not 1845. but they overcharged … then the union wouldn’t … then electricity couldn’t have been industrialized … can’t pay the indians, they stole from the other large mammals …
guy talking about how summer course was worth 30,000 to him. or Max Pat about how misplaced semi-color cost phd 30,000 over career. every action by every person and everything is similarly both cost-saving and costly. perhaps infinitely. in any case, there’s no calculating it.
It’s a Wonderful Life: Anytime you see a porno you can say George Baily didn’t live here. George Baily in Kapra’s movie was broke after being the town’s banker, housing-builder, and main goofball-good guy. We’ve made it up to the George Bailey’s; we haven’t given them all the money but a good part of it. now they’re none of them broke. They’ve put Uncle Billy in the nut house themselves. And now they are investing in the pornos themselves. Mr. Potter is Geo Bailey grown old, or maybe just grown up.
the truth: maybe perfectly accurate for a portion of the pattern, but seeing more shows higher level patterns, greater duration. whole? who can tell?
nomad existence: I own no property, have no regular income. but here I am xmas am drinking coffee in the sunshine and looking at the loveliest row of australian pine branches.
friends fight to practice territoriality for first time in their adult lives. get into it. loose eye. cf hemingway blackie story.
we cohabit infinity. person who throws salt over his shoulder; person who crosses himself; person who notes the differences like an anthropologist; … do not live in the same semantic universe. overlapping semantic universes perhaps.
NC “first in flight”. Now it’s a fact that the Wright brothers flew a heavier than air craft on such and such a date. It is not a fact that they were the first to fly a heavier than air craft. “First” in the sense that we demand all the time can never be known. So now they’re arguing in Conn that somebody or other may have gotten airborne on an earlier date. Maybe he did. But it isn’t a fact.
It’s a fact that Newton invented the calculus. It’s also a fact that Leibnitz invented the calculus around the same time. It cannot be known as a fact that no one else had ever thought of something like calculus. It may be hard to imagine. It may not have happened. But it is not a fact that it did not happen. What is it about us that insists on the ridiculous “firsts”?
epist: is the adversary system good for law? ever? always? good for science? for getting at the truth? certainly good for lawyers. male territoriality.
successful (until the environment changes)
theology and science. those aspects of the above which have been at war with each other (the only aspects that many of us could identify) are both superseded relics of the pathological past.
People who have rejected society.
Why be rich? escape the demands of society. Or be thought to have escaped them. Or, give in 100% to those demands, be a display for the consumption of the group.
Elegy for Literacy: Broward County LiBRARY, (the i a different size, color, orientation, and graphic style), first of all, was not where the book store owner told me it was. Gertrude Stein said that in the future we would all be japanese. who knows what she meant by that, but in a number of senses, the future is now and is already partly past. I say that in the future all communities will be Fort Lauderdale. Endless geometric, levittown ex-potato farm style tract development, malls decaying before they’re completed or fully rented out. some stores in the third generation of owners before the next store neighbor has first tenant. anyway, university blvd: cross between six lane highway, and mall row. commercialism sacrificing to good taste and to obscurity at the same time. addresses are meaningless in mall rows. there is no neighborhood. you could drive for hours without finding a place to ask directions, a pedestrian, anyone who looks like they’re been where they are longer than five minutes. I’ve gone miles past where I was told the library would be. I finally escape into a residential row. I actually find a five second pedestrian (five seconds between his car and his house. no, it’s on Broward, 3/4 mi west of University.
If the guy’s directions aren’t exact, I’ll never find it. The Broward Library people have made a sign for prestige and to look now, not to communicate information. Like medieval illuminations, the material is designed for ritual perusal, not for modern reading. An icon, not an introduction or rational study. Anyway, I find it. Parking lot. I park and walk. Sign says service entrance. place looks like a factory. other sign says public entrance in front. No indication of what the front is. I would have called the place I found the entrance the front automatically, since nothing faces anything in the mall morass. I hike a quarter mile before I find what at last is clearly the entrance. Closed Monday. Second sign says new hours: open Monday. It’s Monday. The doors don’t open. No help from those working inside.
In the parking lot there had been half a dozen signs, none clear, half contradicting the others.
Later, new years eve: there’s no card catalogue. a row of microfiche machines. have to read mechanically through the whole scroll. no indication of where you are without stopping and reading the film itself. I tell them, this is the worst library system I have ever seen. I call the place this monument to confusion. the library ladies are quite entertained, actually. A whole row of coin operated copy machines. McLuhan, you saw the facts coming, but did you foretaste the flavor?
Entropy. As I approach fifty, there seems to have been terrible dissolution right during my own adulthood, everything from library systems to personal relations (not mine personally per se), business, movies. Once, movies were mostly junk and everyone knew it. But you could go to the art houses and see something different. Now, the art and the junk are the same thing. Except there are no art houses. Kurasawa has been so imitated that even if you took someone to see one, what would they think. Oh sure, Bruce Lee. Oh sure, all the cheap movies end this way. Those certified as educated, experts, etc. are conspicuous for not knowing much and for understanding less. The whole species seems to be devoted to preventing understanding from occurring and punishing it (while ignoring it) the rest of the time. Most galling case in point, publishers who don’t give any evidence of having read or understood what they reject. Major agents having turned into vanity galleries. And yet, as Bateson says, beauty remains. goodness, etc. how? it’s a miracle. no one is doing it, yet it’s happening.
Brian, should you ever read this, and should you be reading it under circumstances where you can’t ask me, “what the heck does this gibberish mean,” consider: the punctuation may be wrong. maybe a comma should be a colon. maybe it’s misspelled. it’s almost certainly abbreviated. if I refer to hamlet I know what I mean at least at the time of the reference. you too would have to know the play and maybe have thought something at least similar to what I thought. which is why no one ever will be able to read this completely, including me, the me of another day, another mood, another memory. on the other hand, the more you’ve read of western lit with selected non-western, bateson, allan watts, anthropology, science digests, asimov, sagan, calder, etc. the more likely you are to recognize what I probably meant. I mention this here of a new year’s weekend when I intend to read through these 86 to 88 files and edit them at least a little. maybe I’ll be distracted before I can go far. maybe I’ll never get back to it. If they ever are edited as well as added to, then this note will be the part that’s hard to understand (unless you can guess that you’re looking at the beginning of draft two rather than the rant of the moment where I type fairly fast and without looking at what goes onto the screen half the time. on, on, on. and seldom or inconsistently punctuate.
Like I am doing a little casual edition now and in doing so I notice a few typical error types. the intruded familiar letter. th where it should be just a t, father for farther, farther for father. etc. and for are and are for and. i for it. use your imagination as a typist as well as a speller of Eng as well as a speaker of Eng. and someone who knows your father’s weak pinkies and strong pointers.
rhetoric. the right and middle adopts the style of the left (because the left always has the best rhetoric.) this is not (necessarily) a position of truth but of leverage. whites act black. oh, that’s just a paroxysm of the middle class trying to appear not to be middle class. The audience found it funny in Back to the Future that Michael Fox is showing Chuck Berry how to play the guitar and to strut and to duck walk. I found it offensive. Either way, it’s the same old dishonesty of those who have stealing from those who haven’t. Jackie Kennedy Onnasis What’sherface dressing like Ché and walking down Fifth Avenue wearing combat boots. ?How can you tell it’s dishonest? !a woman is wearing it.! Now I see on tv an ad for Motts prepacked apple something or other: the kid is on the phone trading his Motts for everything the other kid owns. Kid’s a tough horse trader, something between Al Capone and Lee Iacocca. And now too there are all these ads for rock stations that have ironic lip syched juxtapositions: a bunch of o’fey housewives doing the supremes.
How can you tell what people are on tv? see what they appear to be and know that they’re exactly the opposite.
Hey, it’s OK. No one is deceived. In fact that’s the whole point, you idiot. We know they’re not the Supremes. We know that the little kid eating the cereal isn’t the same actor as the one we saw a minute ago, the adult whose voice we still hear. (Trouble is, how do we know it was the adult’s voice? you don’t know anything on tv. Tv has no verifiability. like the general at the end of War Games. first he’s believed the computer simulation; now he believes that voice over the telephone.)
How refreshing it was a few years ago, after being annoyed at Diana Rigg throwing thugs around the room while looking female and mannequin (ahem) graceful (why did that excellent actress ever have to do that? While that faggot did the same only with his umbrella. good god. Ok, now all the perfume ads have guys being thrown around the room by some smiling cover girl. Do little girls believe that they’ll be able to do that when they grow up?), to realize that hey, you’re on to the dishonesty of the women and what illusions madison/hollywood will give them, but what makes you think the men were ever honest? Do you really believe that Gary Cooper could do any of those things either? Arnold Schwartzenegger? Even Toshiro Mifune? Well, there, yes, a little bit. He really did become an athlete. And Bruce Lee was an athlete first. And now Chuck Norris. It’s choreographed, and may be an exaggeration, but it’s an exaggeration of something real. Now it’s true that a disciplined female could throw around an undisciplined thug, but it is not true that Diana Rigg could throw around those particular stunt men without their disciplined cooperation making up for her lack of discipline. Here I mean discipline in the Chinese sense of Kung Fu, physical discipline, martial skill, strength. And strength I mean in the Japanese bushido sense. Diana Rigg is certainly a disciplined actress. But if she’s also truly a judo expert, she’s fooled me. Ah, but after we’ve chuckled and nudged ourselves in the ribs for a while, the joke becomes over-familiar. Invisible. The environment. Then we are liable to believe. In extreme danger of believing it. And I mean danger.
We now teach the Dec. of Independence as if it were philosophy, or truth. Rather than damn good 18th-cen. deist rhetoric. All men are created equal. The verb is misleading and the modifier downright false.
Maybe females of the future will believe that, yes, they’re relatively weak in the upper body, but once, in the latter 20th-Cen, women threw thugs around without mussing their hair.
But worse than hollywood/madison av sitting in board rooms conspiring in guesses as to what lies will make them the most money this next time, in a context in which everyone knows it’s fiction, it’s a commercial, it’s trash, it’s how we reward ourselves for having allowed ourselves to be enslaved to the civilized market place the rest of the time, is a politician stealing the rhetoric of the left to give spice to fascism. Nixon with his corruption of the peace sign and of the victory sign. He was relying on ignorance and fuzziness and on yesterdays lies having become part of the landscape.
It’s almost impossible to wade through the lies of our own time. How can we possibly hope to understand any utterance from another age, another culture? How can we possibly delude ourselves to believe that the Bible for example can be read without any sort of sophistication or knowledge? What does literal mean except “in the way of literature”? Irony is perishable.
Tonight at eight, George Burns will define comedy. I cancel all plans, tune in, endure commercials. Geo Burns comes on camera, he’s smoking his cigar, a genius, clearly. Let’s see if he says any part of what I’ve been thinking recently. or Anton has been saying. etc. GB puffs. he smiles through the glasses. of course, no one can define comedy, he says. but we all know if it’s funny. I’m betrayed. false advertising. I would have watched G Burns anyway, but why did they have to lie?
Because, I suppose, there’s no accountability for our most basic institutions other than evolution itself. No one expects them to do anything but lie. It’s a commercial medium after all. We all understand that the only thing that keeps us going in our addiction to civilization, to property, to growth, to superiority, to the divine right of I can keep what I can take, but you’d be wrong to take it back. how do we live with such a delusion? by ardently believing it’s opposite. by giving evidence in support of Godel with every breath we take. By knowing that daddy would never lie to us. he’s hocked the furniture. he’s beaten us black and blue. he’s never told the truth. but he would never lie. sit still and listen to daddy. and punish anyone who doesn’t ardently embrace the same delusion as a communist, an atheist, a bleeding heart, a pinko softie, a traitor. he must instead believe those other lies that we see through so well. boy, you catholics can’t fool us protestants: we see your delusions. boy, are you pantheists ever wrong. it’s so obvious. now sit still and listen to daddy lie.
The first time I ever noticed this, I guess I was in my early twenties. some magazine promises that Barry Goldwater, within the precious confines of its precious covers, will define conservativism. oh boy. i’ve never know and i know that i don’t know. it’s something my college friends are against. it’s something i vaguely suspect my mother is for. and i too probably, at least a little, by instinct or by early training or something. but i don’t know what it is, this label. so i’ve been hearing about his guy. he’s running for president. a lot of people seem to be all excited. now, he’s just born into my consciousness, but the magazine is talking about him as though other people had heard of him before. so he’s not just born at fifty or something but has actually been around for a few years at least. he’s a senator or something. these people are saying that he’s a philosopher king or something. wow, just what I want. great, a definition of conservativism and a philosopher king. and he might be president? wow. now a friend tells me that yeah everybody thinks that he’s an ass hole and maybe he is but not simply not entirely, like ferinstance he lives in a frank lloyd wright house and is a talented amateur photographer. likes nature, etc. but that part hasn’t happened yet: i’m looking at the magazine and hearing his name for the first or second time and seeing his picture for the first. well the cheap patriotism of the cover makes him look like a yo-yo but that can’t be his fault right? that’s the magazine. OK, philosopher king, define conservativism to me. ahem. well, my constituency loves me because I embody what they believe. good, what do you believe? what’s conservativism? well, i can’t really say: it’s what my constituency believes.
now there reasoning in a circle if there ever was such a thing as circular reasoning.
betrayed. not for the first time, i’m sure, but for sure, for the first time that i’ve so baldly noticed. false advertising. false pretenses. can’t they be sued? can’t they be silenced? instead of making all the money in the world and keeping it and building swimming pools on long island and in Westchester when there are people starving in india?
decades go by. now I know what conservativism means as well as anybody. reagan’s even better at defining it. talk about getting govt out of our lives. even that talk is govt in our lives. they want to be the govt. they want us to want it. they want us to make it happen for them. make it happen and govt will be out of your lives. has reagan been less noticed since becoming pres? or more? has govt shrunk? or grown? or held stasis? has the pres’s salary and expenses gone down? has social security disappeared? the income tax? does rr live in a more modest white house. is the us practicing Xity? turning the other cheek? feeding the poor in india. oh, yes. but at what price? turning sword to plowshares? or selling guns? telling the truth? being radiant? serving god? imitating jesus?
no? then how about being democratic? making sure that nothing interferes with the public being informed? how about overseeing the practice of the dec. of ind.? the constit?
no, conservativism is the practice of getting yourself elected or trying to, running for office or supporting someone running for office or actually in office who runs for office by lying about getting govt out of our lives. the business of govt is business. laissez faire except to raise tariffs, devalue currency, arrest mexicans, let in a jew here and there, and talk tough on communism. oh yes, and “everybody has to believe in some sort of god and I don’t care what it is.” was that Nixon? or Eisenhower? or both? it hardly matters. the alienism to logic, the theological illiteracy and indifference, but the civilized essential: bend the knee to some irrationality or we can’t trust you to pay your taxes and send your children to the state church school to be trained in credulity.
Now, most people couldn’t recognize the above to be true even while knowing that it’s exactly what happened, what’s been done to us, what we’ve done to ourselves, because we can’t conceive that anything could be the case other than that we did it deliberately or that someone designed it deliberately. Most people can’t believe that Nixon and Ike, etc. would “conspire” to do such terrible things. I can’t believe it either. The terrible thing that they did conspire to do was to be elected to run the most powerful state civilization has yet produced. whereupon, like jefferson himself before them, they conveniently forgot the rhetoric about a govt of laws not of men and ran things or tried to run things for the convenience of the interests they served and for their own convenience (and reward). The reward they got, Nixon and his people at least, was not the one they wanted, but what reward ever is? johnson wanted power. he had it. he wanted more. he got more. was he happy? no, more unhappy. what he wanted was a chimera, the closer you get the further it recedes. power, linear power, money, a cause and effect universe with them the cause and us the effect, linearly and unilaterally. cromwell, etc. I bet J Caesar wasn’t so stupid and he lived in ancient times, bronze to iron age.
OK, and here’s where i’m so stupid or was so stupid. i was looking for their promise to be true when their promise was a contradiction in terms. now, please recognize, it was the magazine that promised, the tv leader writers, that promised. not necessarily George Burns or Barry Goldwater. like isaac asimov telling me that he had no control over the pictures or the captions, only over his own text. piers anthony talking about not ever having control over titles. it’s the magazine, a conglomerate, which we mistake for a person, a person with a conscience and accountability. civilization isn’t going far if corporations and conglomerates and such groups and abstractions don’t develop those things but right now it’s very rudimentary. (which doesn’t mean it isn’t the growing mantle of the world, the biomass, our species, the biosphere, the cosmos, who knows it what order?) a definition (picture something clear and unambiguous) of something necessarily cybernetic. barry goldwater’s nondefinition I now know was what was good about him as a politician in a democratic republic with global powers and greater ambitions. Such circularity was appropriately cybernetic. not circularity but circuitry. They follow me because I lead them. I lead them by following them. Right. It’s lead and follow that wrong, not the cybernetic circuit. it’s define that’s wrong, not here are examples of what appropriately must remain undefined.
which doesn’t mean you can’t have a vast and true theory, a working definition. and that’s what both should have given.
not, this is the final judgment, never subject to correction, improvement, growth, retraction, change, mutation, death, decay, evolution … but (a la GB, here Gregory Bateson) here is a step, a series of steps, an approach toward … a working definition, an epistemology of …, etc. Please correct it, widen it, test it, prove it, improve it, expand it, etc. I am considered to be the leader of my people because I trust them to improve, correct, widen, etc. my “definition” while they trust me to be corrected, to listen carefully, to get it right, to hear them right, to correct them when our visions differ, to trust mine and not theirs, if the matter is one of life and death and there’s no time to consult, etc. a senator offering to be chief executive. pure and simple. a cybernetic circuit and consciously so.
no, I wanted a definition, because that’s what the idiot mag promised. now I would know to shun a magazine that made such a promise, to “know” that some anonymous editor was laying again.
what accountability does the magazine have? they’ll suffer if we all stop buying the magazine. they’ll suffer if we stop buying the products advertised therein. they don’t care what I think because, if they bother to look at me, which they don’t, they will see that I am an unreliable consumer. I don’t buy what new, and I don’t buy what advertised, and I’m convinced to need relatively few of the trinkets of civilization. I don’t worry about my breath or what people will think of my car being bashed or whether the color of my socks matches my shorts. and since we don’t stop buying the magazine or its products, or at least not for that reason, because they lied to us once again, on the contrary, we buy it because of its lies, they know the lies we want to be told, they’re in a cybernetic circuit with us. the magazine is the true senator of civilization. if it guesses wrong and tells us a lie we don’t want to be told or a lie we no longer want to be told or tell it in a way we no longer like, then we stop buying that magazine or stop buying its products. what does happen that makes the daily and weekly lies such a chore is that you never know when people will respond altogether better to the lies told on tv instead of in magazines, or when they’ll no longer prefer the lies told in novels but start to prefer the ones told in magazines. etc.
meanwhile, the novels, the magazines, the tv all tell the truth in some way more honest and efficient than the competition. this is how you want to see yourself in the mirror, so here’s how to dress, to talk, to act. What any of those media also could tell is they wanted to and so seldom do, is here’s how to try truthfully to express your essence, to have outer reflect inner, to remove masks, to seem what you are: …
but is that possible? simply and unequivocally? can outer reflect inner when outer is outer, and reflects, while inner is inner, and absorbs and excretes and grows and reproduces and transforms?
meanwhile, we say that the bible tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth (what a funny concept), when the bible is a carefully but imperfectly preserved novel, magazine, tv show of an impressively coherent and long-lived culture (maybe a little divine, but altogether human). it does tell the truth (whole, nothing, etc. if you can read it) about the evolution of an identifiable theology. we can’t (necessarily) see god in it: we can see the jews looking for and sometimes perhaps at god. especially insofar as we too are jews: monotheists, recognizers of the reality of the invisible, order which is beyond us, beyond our own power, beyond our own understanding. is there any significant way in which newton’s statement about wandering along the sea shore and examining a shell is not a significant statement about god? whatever word is or isn’t used? einstein does use the word. planck not so much. was his search not the same search, the search for reality? for an improved map? for the best map possible? for the truth? and why not have a word for that reality, that truth, that territory which our map can never be the same as, can never even fully duplicate? a word which is organic, infinitely expandable in all conceivable dimensions and expandable in those inconceivable as well? a word which is personal and familial, familiar, suited to mammal primate homo sapiens? a word of organic relationship? a word which suggests that we too LIVE in the cosmos and not just are stuck in it, that we are, at the most primordial remove, at one with it. as soon as you start to mean anything too definite about god, then i become or already am an atheist. meaning i specifically deny that specific limited god.
how can anyone hope to be right about anything or to convince anyone of anything if they don’t understand the flexibility and paradoxical nature of language? the king is dead, long live the king? what? not logical. not Aristotelian logical anyway. time is not recognized. a continuance of generations. the spirit that preserves, guides, animates has changed containers but has not departed. The king is dead, now may the son reign. god is dead, long live god. god cannot not live. that is the one thing impossible to him. him, her, it. not words. god is not a him the moment him starts to mean a gender that we notice. if he is not male, he absolutely isn’t female, and absolutely positively isn’t an it. Not an it in the sense of being less than human, less than potent, less than generative and ongoing. Very much an it if your semantics are so condescending to the reality which supports the human, the chain of life, the great chain of being, and the real chain, the true chain, if it is a chain, that science is trying to unravel from superstition. which religion once tried to unravel from superstition, but has since switched sides and become the superstition. you can’t seek truth in a theology that claims to have found it. of course most people fear that not claiming such a find means that you have found nothing and don’t know anything. on the contrary, everything that is know or that can be known 1/2/88 science knows. but the picture at best is a picture, and can never be complete. and deliberately, consciously, isn’t certain.
not because it isn’t very smart, but because certainty is a form of pathology. the logic is a little like raymond’s land where one race always lies and the other race always tells the truth: which road will he tell me to take? you’re not certain because the one thing you’re certain of is that certainty is certainly wrong.
superstition-a fossilized hypothesis that never matured to a theory.
what govt should do: freeze funding for everything except research into quantifying as a dynamic model the wealth of the world. run scenarios on what system of growth, stability, distribution, industry, food production, land use, population size-growth-reduction-stability-etc. would be optimal for health (and I do not mean health of the individual, of the group, of the nation, and the alliance, or even of the species, but of the world, the biosphere, … the biomass itself, with the species having some consideration but not all. then redesign itself with the public knowing what’s going on and being illuminated at each step, just to check that the program is actually doing what it’s supposed to do and not be disastrously doing something else. in other words, unify our minds, unify our mind with the mind of nature, and consciously direct our own evolution to harmonize with evolution period.
logic. “Shakespeare” [or anybody safely not present or enlistable] is a genius, the greatest of all time, therefore you’re not worthy to talk to him. there he is. you see something wrong with what he’s saying. therefore, by definition, you must be wrong. shut up and go away. newton, einstein, eisenstein. what’s wrong with this picture? you have to gamble on yourself and on your own experience. the young must be assumed innocent, intelligent, a potential for improvement. a negentropic element.
[But entropy (as abused by the fundamentalists who still live reluctantly in the 19th-Cen) dictates that that can’t be. they must represent dissolution. (unless helped toward negentropy by divine intervention in physics.)]
Clive Barker, The Forbidden, dialogue 103-105. takes me back to first reading Huxley’s Point Counterpoint.
“It was a favorite time-gaining device of his, another seminar trick, to question the questioner.” cf Boss Mangan and his monkey wrench.
“What she had once thought in him a fierce commitment to debate she now recognized as mere power-play.”
People are “secure” (Elizabethan sense) in their daily lives. They waste their opportunities for survival in scoring points off the prophet. Imagine Einstein wasting his life through the first half of the 20th-Cen trying to explain relativity verbally to ordinary people, to non-physicists. Or even to physicists. His paper did the arguing for him, day and night, since it in fact got read by a few people who understood its implications and who knew how to test it or to try to test it, and who would willingly adapt to new input. Somebody yells fire in the theater, and instead of heightening your senses to search for smoke, you mock him for not keeping his voice down.
Or, on some other level, am I for example [or Einstein, etc (see Allan Watts)], also indulging in power-play? As I am sure Shaw was by his later life. I have so much to say which would order your life, therefore I’ll bully and hector you and not let you get a word in edgewise. Bucky Fuller turning off his hearing aids and talking for hours, wouldn’t hear the intermediary questions. A great advantage in finishing his design, the only way actually, since people can never believe that you’re still disciplinedly on the same track. If the design can’t be drawn in the 30 seconds of my attention span, it can’t be very important, can it? But also, it misses what could be important input from the person being bullied. Sorry, Bucky, we don’t have time to understand the fabric of the universe, the theater is on fire. Sorry fire, we can’t put you out unless we understand the fabric of the universe so go ahead and burn me. I’m standing my ground while I try to figure this out. how easy, once you know a lot (relatively) or understand a lot (relatively) to bully and hector everybody not boorish enough to shut you up. unless like me your hearing is acute and you were trained since childhood in waiting patiently until you see someone recognizing your turn to speak, comment, ask a question. fuller’s deafness saved him from that.
[retooling and the prophet fallacy: bucky and me. for anyone with vision, the temptation is to design and redesign on a industrial size if not a global scale. here, i’ll rewrite the constitution. tear it down, i’ll do it over. i can’t tell you in english; we’ll have to speak in an epistemological mathematics which I haven’t finished inventing yet. that’s been being invented as long as there’s been evolution, intelligence, mind, science, but it’s not far enough along to be able even to be identified to most people. so, i speak my language and you hear fuzz. the utility of geodesics is now self-evident. but bucky couldn’t convince anybody once upon a time. meanwhile the army simply stole the designs as they came to recognize that they needed them. couldn’t even see that they were stealing i’ll bet. no, we don’t want to be cured of our addiction, we just want all our problems solved. now there’s the appeal of a conservative. let’s tear the building down rhetoric from people who you know perfectly well want to keep building it, and to live in its center, and have servants, to keep milking the old civilization fallacy.]
apropos, how do I make contact with a publisher and actually get them to read, to understand, to make apposite comments? the rejection is hard, but it’s the invisibility that’s unendurable. editorial rooms as communications black holes. the response has nothing to do with the artifact. are they seeing me, my story as I wrote it, or just a nigger without rights, who has no courtesy due him, begging scraps, chase him from the kitchen door. we have louis armstrong to feed inside. of course louis armstrong was once chased from the kitchen door, before he was noticed and fed (so he could go on providing great nourishment as well as entertainment).
of course i see one possible difference, a difference I see with almost all good popular art: you can insult human nature all you want if it’s clear that you’re actually winking at the audience. or if they’re so penetrated that they can’t help but declare it good, even if they then want to avoid it: no that’s a classic, i want to be entertained, i like to laugh. or you can do anything you want if someone else introduces you as real. which still leaves me bewildered as to how say Samuel Beckett ever got published. so what they he may be the greatest pure writer since Browne.
ambiguity. should the last above sentence be punctuated with a question mark? if so, where? the punctuation, the sign, changes throughout the sentence. thinking that a statement is either this or that may be true most of the time but the exception shows that the rule is false. or sure, there’s a decision to be made, but it’s disposing of, not solving, the problem. like we know what to do with jews at Ellis Island. we know how to classify undesirables that we’re letting in anyway.
of course i don’t mean that what i wrote is as good as what barker wrote. in some ways, parts of it, mine, are better. in all ways, all, the whole of it is better, or at least more serious, more encompassing, more important, i hope. but as sophisticated? as dense? as polished? as efficient? maybe some, but mostly no. the bastard is good. here, the bastard is great.
“Academe was one of the last strongholds of the professional time waster.”
the volunteer understudy
civilization makes some of us rich. and the rest envious. except for the tiny minority who reject wealth on principle.
civ makes some of us part of the society’s communications network and wastes the rest. civ. manufactures lots of wire (public ed) when it only intends to use x feet of it. then the unused wire has to see the used wire conducting the current, glowing with the transmission of the energy. nature makes many sperm cells, fertilizes far fewer eggs. allows far fewer fertilized eggs, zygotes, to be born, far fewer to mature. yet the world is overpopulated with our species. [or so it seems. or is it underpopulated, once that part of the biosphere which isn’t us is dead and gone we’ll see that we haven’t reached our awful maximum by any means. that we’re still immature.] maybe those of us who rust in the wastelands should be glad that there’s one fewer unnecessary, overpopulated part in the glass towers of the rue de regrette.
be glad when you’re not part of the general noise. so what if you know, see, have digested is valuable, even life saving, a potential healthy! mutation, a potential father of the superman, to use the pre-cybernetic phrase. even a new key stone would be more clutter in this world.
the epist. of tv.: the limits of the epist of law: it doesn’t fall within the purview of the court if there are no witnesses. invisible matter was not a concern of astronomers, not even a fictional concern of astronomers until non visual instruments were developed. what is the instrument of detection? human beings? human beings of bronze age awareness hectored by advocate of iron age awareness? good luck, pal. no evidence, no case. makes no claim to no truth, just no case. yet it does: it declares you “not guilty.” now there’s a revolutionary diction for a culture once xian. it denies original sin. anyway, we have crime show after crime show on tv. we see the crime. then there are no witnesses. how about a trial in which a member of the tv audience is called in to testify. excuse me your honor, none of the characters in the show so far will testify. the woman was knocked into a coma by the perpetrator. the little boy saw him but he’s scared to death. especially because the woman who half saw him keeps blubbering about how she has a family to think of. so, there were witnesses, but they’re all afraid to testify. I’m not. I don’t live in that neighborhood. i’m not afraid of the perpetrator. the woman in the coma in the tv hospital doesn’t, didn’t feel any real pain. her boy isn’t really enduring any hardship because of her injury: see he’s so cute and Lt O’Hara is taking care of him. he missed the Lakers game, that’s all. I saw the guy do it. i’ll testify.
what is tv preparing us for? instant replay changes judgment. tv is a medium of alternating epist. alternating attitudes. like newspaper. oh, how awful: war, depression, rape, murder. that’s the bad news. oh, how wonderful: they’ve reduced the price of refrigerators at Macy’s. of course we all know that they had to first make the price too high in order to be able to reduce it. and that it still has to be too high for them to be able to pay to advertise that it’s lower. but how wonderful. a sale.
tv. the guy conks the woman. he’s bad. he did it. we saw a guy conk a woman. not we saw an actor snarl. raise a dummy rifle. move it. cut to actress. whirl. fall. red running down her face. ketchup or whatever they use. it’s not a snuff film for CA crazies after all. though that may come and why not. the running man to reduce population. those people in the film should have been glad. so too those in Soylent Green. so we with our primitive cause and effect ignorance saw the guy hit the woman and put her into a coma. cut to commercial. now we’re all sophisticated viewers. now we know its all tricks and lip synching, and animations with sound track. ducks don’t really talk, silly. the pillsbury dough boy thinks you’re being cute and affectionate and he just loves it giggle giggle when you, the woman, mother, loving nurturing female, poke a rapier nailed finger bigger than he is almost into his soft baby fat gut. ah ha, but do we know it’s all cartoons? what then would make us buy such cartoon crap? it doesn’t matter to them what the mind thinks, it’s the reptilian cortex which will prod us to buy the soap that will make us socially secure. no, what do reptiles care about having a clean pussy? it’s mammals that herd together ruminants. no stupid, it’s carnivores, den dwellers that keep themselves clean. ruminants just shit where they walk and keep on walking. whatever it is, we buy the freaking soap. i mean detergent. no one spends money to advertise soap. its all soap substitutes. or soap with an expensive gimmick. or how else could you rocket the price high enough to compete with the detergent manufacturers? ivory … it floats. ivory … for under a dollar. are you kidding? do you know how rare ivory is? even the imperial let’s kill everything we can’t convert (convert to our slaves, that is) 19th Cen
cf golden rule: “located the yard of number 14 by simple mathematics.” cf Beckett where there’s always a mistake in the match. maybe Dr. Raleigh should assume human math consistency and be mistaken. lewis carrol math instead. a child’s counting. in the order of impulse and imperfect memory, not of convention.
ss: the forbidden as an e.g. of heisenberg’s principle. how appropriate her feelings of inappropriateness, the intruding anthropologist. she’s cleaner when she going to the mural to revel in its hideous evil than when she went to study it. ss of dumb scientist chasing the truth away from his sight as he stumbles around looking for it. see, there’s no truth here. it’s the same gray shit I see all the time. meanwhile, spielberg special effects. the little creatures hide in crevices and titter and the foolish scientist with the conspicuous blinders. the fisherman who scares the fish. the bird watcher who can’t keep still or be patient and so thinks there are no birds around.
evolution of models of reality: follow a pattern: 1) steady state assumption/theory: gee, I don’t see the earth moving. gee, I don’t see me moving when I look at things.
2) then entropy: gosh, the mountains are wearing down. rain and erosion. I nudge a rock with my foot and it tumbles toward the valley. the ski resort dynamites that cliff and it falls lower. maybe they bulldoze it upward a bit here or there but basically nobody wastes energy carrying rocks up the mountain.
3) corrected to a dynamic model: mountains are building while mountains are eroding. plate tectonics. continental drift. india floats into asia and whoosh, the himalayas. people are being born as well as dying. cultures are being formed as well as decaying. species are evolving as well as going extinct. that doesn’t mean there can’t be a net direction. a vector of movement, a net gain or a net loss (either perhaps an illusion, a distortion of perspective) but
we need social relationships to survive and social relationships demand order. large societies demand dumb order, a degree of tyranny. on the one hand we should be willing to give ourselves to the justice of our society. but what, please mr godel and mr freud, should we do when the society’s justice is an injustice. follow socrates example?: I’m right and they’re wrong, but since they’re the society and i’m just me, they’re right and i’m wrong, here, give me the hemlock. after all, he was in his seventies. better to kill one old man than the whole society, right? why? how about the 70 year old man live and the society take hemlock. in a sense, they did. well, freud, yes, in some sense every society (civilized society, society with an excess population, society of more than 30 or so people) is a tyranny, crushing the individual. in some sense every individual is a mad infant, gimme gimme, baw haw, squawk, shitting all over and screaming … anyway, i see it coming down to another dichotomy. god or caesar. if it’s god, the larger other, the other which is opposed to you, you give yourself to it. here, god, i don’t know what’s going on: you tell me not to kill, you create me with fatherly feelings, then you tell me to sacrifice my son to you. i don’t get it but here goes. if it’s caesar, lie about your income, don’t tell them anything, they’ll send you to vietnam. if you’re unlucky you wind up with the lions. or disemboweled upside down. unless of course you’re really one of caesar’s troops: hey, he’s risking his life to give me this chance. damn right i’ll die for him no matter what he says. if he wins, i get a piece of the pie. my descendants will be citizens. we’ll serve caesar and rule the world. he’ll let me have the olive oil monopoly for sure. my sons won’t be any freaking sergeants. of course in that case, caesar is your god and his enemy is the tyranny.
or they’re both, they’re all the tyranny. but what the hell, the savanna has been lost to us. we sold it. we gave it away. we let it be stolen from us. we were asleep with our eyes open. personally, i’d rather be eaten by a hyena. it would be far more likely that the hyena would be eaten by me. by us, the under thirty. more than thirty, we don’t chase the hyenas, we don’t eat one or two, we exterminate the lot.
In By the Hair of the Comet I mourn amaranth but if Monctezuma had been the “lucky” one, we’d all have jade and amaranth coming our of our ears. and myths about how smart the aztecs always were while the greeks were a bunch of superstitious jerks.
tom jef solved his embarrassment at having servants by inventing the lazy susan, a revolving side board (the table the courses had been placed on so the servants could serve the diners), that now was shared between the kitchen and the dining room, one half always being accessible to one room and invisible to the other. thus jefferson banished servants from his sight but not from reality.
the point of inventing agriculture was to have an easier life. the point of maintaining the habit, once it had made life harder, much harder, was to manipulate the contents of the reorganized environment in such a way as to have an easy life for yourself by borrowing/stealing portions of the labors of others. in other words, to control things, to have servants.
pbs just lied to us again about the cybernetic nature of its funding, translating it down to the boobs in cause and effect terms. you’ve pledged your money, now send it. if you don’t keep your promise, we can’t keep ours. ah, the ambiguity of that “you,” stretched to a lie. what he’s said is unfortunately untestable. I’m the only “you” in the room. PBS knows perfectly well that I will hear their “you” as “me.” I neither pledged nor sent nor am about to send them money. What programming they would have if I sent them money other than what programming they have anyway cannot be known since I am not sending them any money. It’s easy to speculate however that the programming would be essentially the same. If I send them $10 and say get rid of George Page, apologize to your audience, and rehire Carl Sagan, we’ll continue to see George Page and, occasionally perhaps, a replay of Cosmos. (of course, they never “hired” Dr. Carl in the first place. and maybe GeoP does work for them in some sense, they keep airing his shit after all) anyway it’s untestable. but it doesn’t have to be tested. they know without my informing them that there’s no direct, physical (or psychic) cause and effect link between my money and their programming. between money and programming, of course, a close relationship, direct but still not quite one to one. cause and effect is still inappropriate, not the best explanatory principle. and maybe it isn’t for billiards either. we always imagine closed systems when we discuss cause and effect. the stage our demonstrations so that all other things cancel out. here, i stroke the cue stick, the cue ball is struck and rolls over the level table and strikes the one ball. some of the kinetic energy of the cue ball is transferred to the one ball, it goes into the pocket with a ring, it caroms off a cushion, it strikes other balls. a good player can seem to control it. OK, now, you’re got fast eddy or minn fats on the best night of their life, fast eddy strokes the cue, the cue ball, the one ball, etc. but at some point, there’s an earthquake. the sun goes nova. the planet is struck by a comet. the building is demolished or just falls down. fast eddy has a fit and falls across the table. the one ball splits open. all of the things in diagram one remain the same, but other things are added that weren’t imagined in diagram one. so what cause and effect? diagram one was misdescribed. it was all that was in the diagram but not all that was in reality, potentially there whether or not actively, kinetically there. or sure you say, but then the earthquake caused such and such. sure, i say, your explanatory principle just became a non-principle, a knee jerk. a dumb habit. what i mean by nova and comets is that though i’ve named possible but unlikely things and maybe in the case of nova a thing not possible for our star, but a metaphor for i don’t know what. that’s what i mean, that i don’t know what and you don’t, can’t, either. my point is that the diagram is too abstract, too overselected to go talking about cause and effect without adding that you are artificially closing the system. now, there is no closed system that i know of between pbs and myself (and i’m not about to start imagining one-maybe later). and they have no business saying billiard ball kind of “you”s to me in my hearing.
oh, it’s OK, we all know what they mean. they’re just trying to raise money. they do need it after all. do I want no pbs? yes, i want a pbs. and i want it to be supported and i want it to have better programming still, instead of going backwards. too few planet earths, cosmoses, and connections/day the earth/world changed, and story of eng and too many natures and philip morrisons. and i want it to stop altogether being another tv station and start telling the truth. OK it can’t tell the truth any more than i can, so just stop telling known lies. keep talking but stop lying. that’s the best we can do.


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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