id06

/ Journal /

strange, some of the things that miles et alia do. listening to Stuff. recalling Nefertiti. esp. the stuff with or by wayne shorter. by god, there’s no bridge. no alternate melody. no change. another type of episodic music. of course that’s the road Trane took. had taken. but there the improvisation went on and on, here it’s the written music which goes on and on. no solos, just repeat the melody, repeat the melody, until everybody is half crazy, half drug on boredom and jitters. It’s a miles I hadn’t heard much for years and started listening to again only out of duty. buy the record, listen once, and then the record would sit for a decade. oh that one. i don’t like that one.
good god, just thinking of it like a drug that even the junkies never liked but became addicted to just the same. my god the stories of the guy or girl who retch and puke after some “friend” has shot them up. oh, that’s OK baby. lot’s of people get sick the first time. and sick the second time. why was there ever a second time? an even harder question than why was there ever a first. and still didn’t like it the third, maybe got “high” the fifth and hooked in no time. then they don’t even get high anymore, just sick. and of course they are sick even while high and don’t feel sick. just are sick.
music evolution and notation evolution. the one beautiful, the other ugly, stupid, and irrational. why not change? inertia. habit. less and less need, esp with synthesizers. what temperament are synths tuned to? inflexible like pianos? i bet, but i also bet that there’s no need to be inflexible. investigate.
sem.dic: aka: The Greatest Genius of All Time. beginning to read Gore Vidal’s 1876 again (third start, this time getting at least a chapter into it) I think what does a word like “great” mean? A critical judgment, of course. But what is a critical judgment? A deduction after all relevant evidence has been sifted? No, a manipulation: an attempt to redesign the opinions of others. (Word magic to some extent. Does saying make it so?) “Bird is the greatest genius of all time,” I used to say. As too did Bobby Porcelli, etc. Then one day I head Bobby say, “Trane is the greatest genius of all time.” Now I was thinking more or less the same thing around then, but hadn’t said so. I was listening ten times more to Trane, but I didn’t want to be quite so fickle in my statements. Then Bobby says, “Thelonius Monk is the greatest genius of all time.” Christmas, Bobby’s worse than I am! I say to him, “I thought you said Trane was.” He said, “Yeah, but that was last week.” or “last month.”
Now this is surely better than Cherryl’s “John F. Kennedy is the smartest man in America.” when we were in grad school. this is the same girl who couldn’t understand the relativity of prescriptive grammar. “Yes, but it’s wrong,” she kept saying to Dr. Howie Berntson. Ah, but the girl’s ass had genius. I can still remember how her flesh cantilevered over Broadway when she was at Barnard and I did not yet know her personally. We’re having an Irish coffee in the Limelight on Sheridan Square, Jack Elliot walks in, walks around and says hi to everybody, a table at a time, and she’s making invidious superlatives about the freaking president. At least Bobby had a right to talk glibly about genius and Bird, Trane, and Monk. He actually listened. And he played. Man, did he play. I didn’t play, but I listened. In another mode I was likely to say “John Donne is the greatest poet of all time.” or “GBS …” or “Shakespeare …” Whoops, I just remembered: how about when I told my mother, “Lao Tsu is the greatest genius of all time”? I think I said it mainly to get her goat because she had never heard of him. And there’s my point: I wanted to get her goat because she was making all kinds of absolute claims while clearly having cultural and political tunnel vision. So, I went around making absolute claims all over the place, though I didn’t feel myself to have tunnel vision. Did Cherryl examine the intelligence of every man in America before making her claim? Did Cherryl even define America to give it some limits, say the United States of America? Did Cherryl have any right to talk about intelligence? How much did she exhibit herself (apart from scholarships and a stellar college record)? I thought she was fairly dumb above the waist, though I was impressed years later while watching her win money on some show by her expertise on the impressionists. She even corrected the emcee on the gender of “Bert.”
Bobby and I certainly did feel that we knew or had heard “all” jazz musicians. That was before that incredible night when Alice and I heard Roland Kirk’s NY debut, sitting in with Mingus at 3 am in the Five Spot. Percy Heath was the only other witness, not counting the cafe help. A lot the bartender seemed to care. I had heard from Frank Lunzer about “this guy from Chicago” who could cut anybody in New York. Hadda be this guy on the stand who was doing it, right? Joining them, if not cutting them. And what about some guy from Chicago or from Podunk whom not I, not Bobby, nor Frank Lunzer had heard of? Mississippi John Hurt. Or that no body had heard of? Somebody never recorded.
Now music is different than literature. Or maybe I mean literature is different than poetry. Music is like Bishop Berkeley’s tree falling in the forest. In the future, music may be something cooked through a synth and heard only by the composer through headphones, like Tom Wolf’s wino drawing in water on the Horn and Hardart napkin. But till now, music was public.
Was poetry always public before printing? Or is the “unpublished” poet a constant with us, older than publishing? David singing psalms that only his sheep knew? Or the songs of shepherds who didn’t become king and have their works translated into hundreds of modern languages? Now I always grumbled about “mute inglorious Milton” being a contradiction in terms. Milton was a public figure and that, at least the public figure retired into blindness, was an inseparable element of the poetry. You could have a mute inglorious genius, but not a Milton.
Anyway, to clarify, I am trying to highlight our tendency to make pronouncements that humorously? or blindly flout reason.
The nobel price committee is notorious for both commissions and for omissions. But how about an eighteen year old proclaiming the greatest genius of all time. I said that Woyzek was the greatest play after I had read maybe three since high school and seen maybe five in my life.
But nothing ever annoyed me like that freshman girl at Colby (who had her own set of hips) saying, saying to me!, “The Graduate is the greatest movie of all time.”
Or is all this just undergraduate humor that not all graduates outgrow?
The other thing I want to highlight or at least tie in, is the semantic flexibility of words. “in america”: does that include mexico? tierra del fuego? Was Cherryl considering the Faulkland Islands? great may be a public pronouncement meaning something like “of tangible impact on a number of people” “greatest” is necessarily subjective. it is not a magnifying of great but a backwards telescope tunneling away from, still with an air of public judgment. “of all time” = in my recent or current attention. or since recording began. genius = wow, a very flexible word. funny that monk is claimed to be the greatest genius when nobody would claim him to be the greatest piano player. of course you don’t claim genius for somebody who plays their instrument well or even who composes well but for someone who transforms their instrument and composes innovations into their life and into society.
Here, thirty years later, silently to myself, I recently catalogued my list of the greatest singers of all time. 1) Billy Holliday. 2) Edith Piaf. 3) Om Kalthoum. 4) Elizabeth Schwartzkopf-Theresa Stich-Randall-Kirsten Flagstad-etc. Gee, I guess there just weren’t any great singers before modern recording came along. And I include Om Kalthoum on the basis of a very poor quality tape made when she was already past seventy and the orchestra sounding like second string Guy Lombardo or Lawrence Welk. Or Cairo’s best imitation of the Boston Pops.
“It’s an established principle that …” of course, being an established principle doesn’t make it true.
nothing new under the sun. like saying that the US constitution covers everything. sure, as long as the judges can pin any interpretation on any part. till eventually a consensus agrees that it isn’t clear enough and wants an amendment.
once digested, any knew experience, after the fact, can be subsumed under an existing category. the now expanded category can be asserted to have remained the same. Uhm, innovation: see, we had “innovation” before.
intelligence and Hide and Seek: the person laboring to clarify, to define, to reveal a fallacy, uncover a confusion … is the one person not in on the game (or who is changing the game by stretching its borders, violating the proscenium …
science and rhetoric. public relations nobody tells the truth. why not? to stay in competition with the lies of churches and governments?
adam and eve, cain and abel in action. tv says here’s ahmad rashad’s band. that’s not his band, it’s just from his home town. Shakespeare didn’t belong to the king yet his company was called the king’s men. in fact, I just did the same thing: said “his company.” I would have called it his company before, during, or after his ownership of it, whether his ownership was partial or whole. it’s just convenient to use the familiar name. the station has spent lots of time to familiarize us with Ahmad’s name. No doubt over initial resistance where they would
have preferred Bob or Jones. Just the same, there’s no point in telling 50 million people whose band it is during a football game. in our own culture, no one is misled. in history, we interpret literally. we simply don’t know how to read.
the mechanical bride revisited. what society can ever have had the constant feedback about itself than we do thanks to television. the ads rehearse us in our epistemology several times an hour.
“Would a lemon lie?” asks the cartoon lemon for a dish detergent.
ford has a better idea. as decades pass, it seems more and more equivocal that ford ever had even one good idea.
can ads be considered to be examples of irony? there is clearly no identity between statement and author’s attitude toward the statement, the audience, the subject.
Do ads have more than one message? How could that message be best expressed? It’s not just “buy this.” Nor just plain “buy.” Not just “i/we want to make money.” Nor “i/we want you to consume this idea/meme/ product.”
How many? basic messages. It’s just a few. Can it be reduced to one. How about “i/we want you/you to accept influence/be influenced.”
The Lincoln Continental is now using Vangelis’ music. Badly.
Budweiser’s “the night” bis bis bis “oh oh,” ad was great, but its successor was just as explicitly visual jazz to my mind. the visual of a tray of several bottles being picked up one at a time, random distribution of distribution, but strict 16th note timing. same oral effervescence fixation. nice black and white, gold and silver, night color switches. best edited tv i’ve ever seen (or at least noticed).
favorite memories:
favorite metaphors: Mad’s Manduck, why this isn’t even a mad comic …
he wants a pop for his hundred dollars.
the egregious geo peppard bullies some dame. i’m gonna call a cop, she says. he shows a badge. how’s that for fast service? he cracks. and she’s stuck. in the middle ages, if the king was raping you, you could still pray to god. what alternative do we have? we live with a low ceiling. the cops are supposed to protect us. when we need to be protected from them, they’re all we have. we’re lost. pray to loose a war. where are the russians? the chinese? the shiites? unfortunately, ideally, the group you loose the war to should be more civilized (better organized) than you, not less.
(of course then there’s always the question better organized for what?)
attitudes are so easy. disapproval of other people’s actions is so glib. i wake up this morning dreaming anger at Radiance. i sell her the trailer so she can get a little organized. she invites me to dinner after spending a few days moving in: it’s a little switzerland, knickknacks on the window sill. it’s adorable. i notice when we’ve moved to and from CV Smith Park that they’ve moved without making the bed back into the dining table. i point out to charlie, there’s still shit lying all over the ground. for $4 you can buy a tarp and set up a shelter for excess things. then the day i leave to go north i stop in to say good-bye for a few days. radiance looks terrible. her period has come back so she’s not pregnant. and she really seemed to want it so. all the problems and hardships they’ve got and she wanted another baby. as a sacrament. a sign of acceptance from god. anyway, i’ve cut my finger closing my own trailer and i open the bathroom door to rinse my finger. jesus, the bathroom is piled to the ceiling with the filthiest looking clothes and rags. rust stained towels. speaking of humbert humbert, i’m james mason visiting lolita when she’s married and pregnant and living amid junk. now james mason is too neat as an actor to be really right for hh who is no aristocrat (i’d like to know mason’s actual (as distinct from implicit) origins.) radiance just borrowed $6 over and above the change she’s used to start half a dozen large washing machines. she does laundry a few times a week. then what’s this stuff in the bathroom?
so i wake up dreaming anger at her homeostasis.
it looks like they’re choosing to remain disorganized. is joe dragging her down? is it having the two kids? radiance gets so frustrated at flame. she tells her to straighten up the camp site. flame potters and listens to the radio. radiance comes back ready to cry.
i remember my mom’s practically weeping when i hadn’t done something she had told me about. i also remember those rare one or two things that she actually showed me how to do. it didn’t take much instruction. baking, for example. “follow the directions carefully” was about all she said. but she had actually said something to the point. what fundamentalist ever read a verse from the bible more carefully than i then read about mixing thoroughly until smooth the flour and butter? what lab technician ever more carefully measured “a cup” of anything? famous amos never made cookies better than i did that first time. then there were other things about the kitchen. washing dishes as a formal algorithm. mother never should have left the kitchen.
then there were the areas where i had no instruction or supervision. paul, have you done your homework? there was no honest answer to that. i didn’t know what the fuck i was being asked. was it even an honest question?
some sit-com last night. mother to daughter: why don’t you do this? why don’t you do that? why don’t you even (god forbid-elbow elbow, get ready to laugh you hip slobs at home) ‘read a book’. obviously being said in a home in which no book had been read for pleasure since the tube was first brought home, and may never have been read there before.
how innocent the offensiveness of that commercial in which the interviewer jokes “which would you rather read, shakespeare or tv guide?” clearly neither questioner nor answerer knows what’s in the balance so casually tipped. yet every hip boob at home knows exactly what’s being enforced. they know from the cradle which culture they belong to.
i feel like a jew cringing in a world full of healthy goyim. am i just as stupid in not anticipating the pogrom. fool, you’ve already experienced the pogrom. the universities themselves lead them. i should have known even in the fifties. that story about eisenhower as pres of columbia, being revved for pres of us. prof whf (what’s his face) feels like a wallflower in the pres’s mansion, ike’s pres’ mansion. he feels out a few books. shelves on every wall. all spaces filled. all leather, tooled, first editions maybe? dr whf reaches for a trollope. there’s no book there! it’s all false front. a potemkin university!
Title: the book of changes
the punk nature of any current language. every sound a trove of etymology with the utterer at best only dimly aware of a fraction of one percent. those two libbers i confronted at hilary’s barnard boss’s party. dressed in military jodhpurs and boots and talking about being paid as much as male executives. they make too much i said. they’re already exhausting the ecology. you want to exhaust it faster? not those words, but that point. money as they wanted it wasn’t wealth, not the wealth of evolution, the wealth than can’t be exhausted, not in this universe. they knew what they were wearing and why. deliberately out of date, not to be mistaken for real warriors who could always find themselves in a preemptive attack. but who knows today?
oh, people know plenty, maybe more than ever as their publicists say, but what a salad it is. does their knowledge make any sense? do they have more than a glimmer of what their knowledge means?
an information explosion that drowns significance. my telephone talks to your telephone, each telling the other that we’re not there. meantime, i get a busy signal. when i get through, by the time you come on the line, my eardrum is pierced and we are cut off while a different operator than the one who promised not to interrupt us, wastes my coins demanding more. spend $3 to be asked for $4. meantime not ten cents worth of communication.
so, did radiance get knocked up by white trash when she was still a teenager, entrapping her in a movable junkyard? or did she do what ever it took to be white trash herself? get a $150 job that’s across the street so you’ll never have time to seek better. buy on time so you stay stuck in the rut. then fill the filthy rut with rags and spend all your time washing the rust stains.
ask i, whose dented car must proclaim me to be white trash to any casual passer. but that’s OK. when did i last raise a finger to correct people’s casual assumptions.
no, i dig as deeply into the cultural trash heap as i can to get the etymologies right. but i know i can’t get them right. they go on, back, ever more entangled, tens of thousands of years, and that’s just the part that’s our talkative species. the not so talkative species goes back a couple of million and the mammal part three quarters of a hundred million. unnumbered strands, each infinitely tangled. god’s gordian knot.
Dissolution and entropy everywhere. and yet as gb says, beauty remains. there’s Brooks on tv. who would have thought that a character like louis deplama could come out of the creator of the mary tyler moore show? i for one. but then i still don’t know the mtm show. decades of a career have unfolded and i catch the last couple of years of a few reruns of an aspect of a fragment.
on the other hand, last night, i suffered through more normal fare: a diluted imitation of raymond chandler that didn’t have the faintest understanding of raymond chandler. the imitation of what’s misperceived as a formula, not an essence. the sleaze, the honkey tonk, the corruption. the awful “tough” cop. that’s what it was! he was not a detective, but a cop. we’re supposed to love our tormentors. i love big brother. you gotta like us yossarian. at least say that you do. you’re real feelings are up to you. die gedanken sind frei. we don’t have to worry. you stifle yourself and soon you won’t have any gedanken that would worry us.
quoted on the tube during dinner: ‘everyone is innocent until proved guilty.’ no one has been proved guilty of stealing your wallet; therefore your wallet hasn’t been stolen.
What’s the level at which you feel provincial? (at which someone else, some alien else might think you provincial? brotherhood with elm trees? with spiders? with intelligence itself? or just with republicans? or christians? or americans? or white folks?
this am Phil Donahue is genially moderating a freeforall between his commie baiting audience and a couple of genial and patient communists.
one woman says: “I’m a person of color . compared to the whites.” i couldn’t even guess what group she was claiming. she looked white to me. apply law of linguistic expansion and semantic elasticity here. compare what white meant in Europe in only the 1930s.
apply L Bernstein principle of studious expansion to everything that got interrupted. or Dickens Mrs. Gamp expansion. the show would be 8000 hours long and still wouldn’t make much sense.
how much more tight does the incumbent stupidity have to interrupt the radicals than the radicals have to interrupt them. look, applaud us: we’re not letting the commies get a word in edgewise while we claim that only the us has ever let anybody talk. the show was for the commies? they didn’t get a total of 40 seconds.
reminded me of Victor. those who feel themselves to be the majority (numerical, political, moral, cultural, but especially moral) feel right to hector anybody else. always playing to an audience that recognizes them in the role of right and their victim in the role of wrong. and they expect the wrong person to cooperate in the charicature and to thank them for the instruction. Uncle Roy spending a life time appointing himself the christian and anyone smaller or younger or less rich as the person in need of conversion. had the pope ever been a guest in his house he would likely have been treated to a treatise on the need to read and to believe the bible, to be born again. Jesus at his second coming had better bring a sword; he certainly won’t get a voluntary hearing from any christians. they’ll all be too busy condescending to him, converting him to Himself.
Who’s different? Muslims, Americans, …
Metaphor: One simply cannot think in a language which habitually confuses equals and isn’t equal. e.g. truth is truth vs. honesty is the best policy. in #1, A = A. in #2, a1 is not a2.
A zoom lens of the mind.
The grass is greener principle of evolution.
Girl takes her pants off and you smell the swamp we all came from.
Society’s daily business is conducted according to the fiction that meanings are clear. Sometimes that fiction is not so polite.
Its in the nature of a linguist to appreciate the meaning of a word; of a poet to change it. We train scholars and leave the changing to the antithesis of poet: the barbarian war lords, emperors of commerce.
Genius in our society is a little boy who sounds more stilted and boorish than intelligent. By society I mean the fiction in which we picture ourselves: tv, movies.
Trollope’s The Warden 0 Society 10
But that’s the whole point! the proof that he’s god is that he’s invisible.
Of course you don’t see him. Being invisible is the proof that he’s god.
Christ undetected.
Dyan’s point that it’s all there in memory but not accessible to the short term memory, to the consciousness: for By the Hair of the Comet
ss: the valves of her attention. a practices charity, a kevin and debby take advantage. swears off charity. stones beggars. jc himself shows up. a stones jc.
the cybernetic enemy: i am your enemy in time but not in space. my position does not contradict your position, but will come to. But it doesn’t look like her, said Alice B to Picasso. don’t worry, said P: she will come to look like it.
gr.n01: you won’t find any gods here; the gods are all in hell.
Moving into a cybernetic world: moving away from cause and effect assumptions, perceptions, world model. i am not the prophet but the disciple here. but stand it on its head: how i deceive myself by the same failure. it rains on the just as well as the unjust is a cliché. yet we all resent welfare. we believe in charity, but govt has snatched the option. there’s no free will in welfare. welfare at least pains us like hell if we perceive ourselves to be paying for it. the govt sucks up money and rains it here and there. why not just rain it everywhere as needed? or just everywhere or not everywhere at random, like nature. get rid of this silly who deserves what model. the model i just distracted myself from being about to myself satirize. begin again. i watch the tube. it’s a well designed and executed ad. high budget. mod editing. healthy attractive youthful athletic colorfully dressed immortal seeming actor/ dancers in carefree consumption of some profitable poison: sugar, tobacco, alcohol. it was probably sugar, since it was on tv. tobacco and alcohol are promoted these days only through magazines and billboards. tv is solely the preserve of detergents and candy. at least candified cereal. oh yes, and wine and beer. anyway, it was probably some candy. some soft drink or something. anyway, how absolutely wild to someone whose impressionabilities were most active (at least on the consciousness) in the late forties and early fifties: the ad was slick, slick, slick, but there was no correspondence between sound and voice. its reality was syncopated. not at all the english language version of a european made film, skillfully synched, nor the sloppy old kind, all graceless patches, nor the kind where cause and effect correspondence isn’t expected, as in mood music. you don’t expect the actor’s larynx to be the one hundred piece orchestra. it’s part of the convention that you just hear the mood music, not see it’s source. just as you don’t see the editor editing. anyway, this ad, there are voices and there are speakers as well as mood music, but it’s a collage. cubism with the lines softened. post-dada. post cause and effect. the actor may have spoken the lines but the sound track has been woven, not matched to the lip movements. if it’s big budget and on tv, it must be profitable or have been market tested to some extent or you’re not likely to see it a second time. then another ad, slick and colorful, where everything is teenaged dada. some kid with a giant banana or a dripping clock. unthreatened, unconfused, colorful, immortal. no dental caries from this product. not only is coke a natural but to the pepsi generation, it’s the real thing. put a twelve ounce keg in your hand. (is it a century yet since coke used coke as its secret ingredient? when did it begin with caffeine? what was in between? strychnine, was it? anyway, what’s the correspondence if any between coke in the coke then and the incidence of coke in the nose now?) ((since wars decimate the economy while hardly millimating the still increasing population, nature has to figure out some way around us, right? and why shouldn’t church, govt, and madison ave cooperate?)) anyway, here’s this ad where the voice and speaker don’t match and it’s all the more effective. cocktail jazz. then another, so it’s not a fluke. it’s perfect. the profitable celebration of irrelevance. what lies was i told that i myself retold as a teacher of english. make sure that you have read and understood the question. design your answer to show that you are in fact answering the question. (i should have seen then, the confession that the teacher won’t really read the essay, not with attention or imagination. you want to make out in this game? here’s how instantly to identify yourself as a member of the species of good answer. all creatures not displaying such coloration will remain invisible to this system.) it’s the one lesson i did accept and learn from school at that late date when i decided to bother to that extent ok i’ll give them that much i’ll match ying and yang my prose to their question. and yes, there was the reinforcement, the good grades when i bothered to be visible. 90% of the grade was merely the matching, the form the answer was expressed in: there’s the cock, be a C- (Bowdlerizing K. 2016 07 30) and wrap yourself around it. though sometimes it was more: there’s the c- and here comes the cock that fits. not: what cock would be best for it? maybe a schwarzer cock with the milk digesting gene together with tallness and upper body strength, but what cock is it looking for? and will it recognize? like esau and the disguise of furs. esau: it’s great, the admission, like the japanese in hara kiri, that our heritage is based on a theft, a deception, the decisions made by a stupid, old, vain and gullible man, but he’s the one that the inheritance passes through. better not be schwarzer in appearance. the reality don’t matter. until it’s a few decades later and jimmy the greek loses his job for what was probably a rare case of honesty. so, i’m trying to make one simple point, but i have to keep clarifying or declaring the context. i grew up in a cause and effect culture. dada was weird and could only be afforded by those already economically secure. make lots of money according to cause and effect and then you can spend millions on the work of some spoiled rotten, talented, socialist painter who thinks he can avoid the industrial revolution and bring on the millennium (cause and effect) by denying cause and effect. thank you magritte, dali, ernst. thank you rockefeller.
new angles, will you stop crowding in? i’m trying to make this simple point. it’s the early sixties and i hear about some catholic government of south vietnam putting buddhists into concentration camps. some buddhist monk has immolated himself in protest. good god, i thought religious tolerance was a battle largely won in previous centuries. the one part of wwI easiest to vilify was that part about the jews. a throwback. i write jfk. i write stevenson at the un. the us should take a stand against modern examples of the spanish inquisition. the white house send me back a heavy package of anticommunist propaganda. ditto the un. this is dada government. but it gets itself elected by a homeopathic, cause and effect taking credit for cause and effect. you’re still here, right? reelect us. do you have your share of the pie and then some? throw the bums out and elect us. did things not go the way you wanted? blame my enemies. murder the jews and raise my salary. build me a bigger palace so i can get rid of waste in government. you didn’t see any commie tanks on Fifth Avenue today, did you?
we’re fed all this shit about jfk is so smart. how did he get through harvard if he didn’t learn to pretend to answer the question? or is it that having made his millions by being the son of a cause and effect man, he can now flaunt his power by buying dada and giving dada answers? join rockefeller at MOMA. how about religious tolerance? don’t answer the question; yell a different question louder: how about the communist threat? they weren’t about to tell me that maybe locking the buddhists up was a cia operation. maybe i had never heard of south vietnam, but washington had not only heard of them, they were already there, reducing perceivable reality to red and white.
so, that was government. at least academe maintained some cause and effect decorum. and certainly that genteel industry, book publishing, would never admit dada to its standard written english, to the polish of its declarative sentences. Have you read Proust? yes, tomorrow maybe: the giant banana on my dripping clock defeats communism.
so, i continue to learn. really learn, since giving up going to school and working both. i read bateson. cybernetics, holy christ, why don’t we all upgrade our model of reality. why don’t we open our stone age thinking to modification by the best in science? why not embrace improvement? go with evolution and maybe you’ll still be around. maybe your body won’t be, not your genes, but maybe your memes. the best tested of them. give birth to a cyborg without human confusion. a creature that can maintain korzybsky’s map/territory distinction, a mind that will automatically continue to scan beyond proof toward disproof.
how, in a world in which the good die young and only the bad prevails, is there still beauty? (as GB asks) of which is the ad for some sugar product an example? it really was very good but it was a promotion of a poison, a limitation of choices, an emphasis on the wrong choice, the choice which will eliminate choice. what free will did eve have after she had eaten the apple? what free will does a junkie have? is the only free will that we can have that’s for good be the free will expressed by Lavinia in GBS’s Androcles? then i’ll die for the god that doesn’t exist? thank you, no. i won’t play that game. i’ll not salute your idol even though you’ll put me in prison. i’ll not blow your guards even though they’ll knock out my teeth. i’ll not say i’m sorry even though i know there’ll be a prison yard accident involving me.
if i am good as i want to be, why am i still alive? why the fuck am i still trying to create beauty? beyond that, to be beautiful. being brian’s father, how can i think that i’m not successful? look at the trends i’ve helped create, been some pivot in the art world. i have been a rock in the stream of culture, reshaping its course. but not at all the way i’ve wanted. so why should cybernetic reality frustrate me? moisture evaporates everywhere. it rains here and there. that wasn’t your molecule that you should necessarily get it back. if the public consciousness is permitted no time, no attention for anything but sugar ads, then i should be proud of my invisibility. oh but don’t you see i am i am. i’ve always chosen invisibility. i never even wrote my stories down until i was thirty. and certainly not again until i was forty-five. it’s just that that last time i said i intended to become visible. when i was thirty i said i intended to make the free learning exchange visible. to try to be a megaphone for illich’s perceptions and solutions. after forty-five for GB’s perceptions and solutions. to make science visible to emotional sensibilities. and i don’t seem to be able to. that’s the killer. i had always assumed that i was hiding, that invisibility was my choice. that i was the chameleon, that i could change into a rocket anytime i wanted to. sure it would be hard. so what? sure most people couldn’t do it. i’m not most people. as gb says, odds are meaningful only when the event’s outcome is unknown, the distribution in the aggregate tells nothing of the nature of a particular individual. or long shots would never come in, rather than seldom. in fact, that’s exactly how cheating is accomplished in horse racing. disguise the horse: create a gap between the knowledge of the odds maker and your knowledge where yours is the model closer to reality. what normalcy is saying to evolution is that we are uncheatable. (it fails to distinguish its model of reality from reality itself (permanently unknowable)). and then it cheats itself. it puts a penny in the fuse box. when the house burns down it was everything’s fault except its own. the fuse box becomes a circuit breaker. which we then learn to tie down.
that’s it! that’s what the govt is so good at! taking advantage of our inability to distinguish map and territory. the president knows more than you do. therefore the president, unlike you, is in touch with reality. you have a model. the president has the thing itself. unlike other political leaders of the past or of other political leaders of the present in other benighted and self-deluding cultures. they have the sand of marxism in their eyes. they’ve been misled by the jesuits. they’re a bunch of cow worshipers. they don’t even have indoor plumbing. they don’t even own stock in IBM. but our president, he, thanks to our CIA and our FBI and our military intelligence and most of all to our right thinking republicanism is in touch with the real thing. he alone has reality by the balls. scientists don’t; they can’t zip their zipper, and even if they could, still, they work for us.
which makes it all the more wonderful when we see, once a decade or so, that the president has been even more surrounded by lies than a kid watching sat morning tv.
we’re in control of our environment to some extent. if we don’t want the water in our vessel to evaporate, we put a lid on it. if we want to fill our vessel, we hold its opening under the tap and turn the faucet on. we don’t just hold it anywhere in any attitude including upside down and then pray or do a rain dance or a let water gush from the ground here ritual. further, we pay the water bill, vote in people who will fix the pipes, etc. but do we vote in people who will check the water table? continental drift? yes, but much less so, and with much less power.
anyway, i see this ad on tv. it makes me think: not only has electronic music long become almost the only kind we hear (while our image of electronic music, if asked, would remain something impossibly obscure, unpopular, esoteric, intellectual: some sort of clear fraud), but a deliberate disjunture from reason (once played with by intellectuals and the leisured rich only) is now a preferred hortatory style: what can we add to the stream of things that will direct more or what the stream carries around to us?
sales can be categorized into I promise. II threat. III promise and threat. I: buy our cadillac and somebody just as stupid as you, just as graceless and nouveau, will think you’re smarter than them. it will also get you from here to there, never mind at what cost to the commonwealth. you’ll feel a womblike security right up to the moment of mutilation, dismemberment, and death. II: if you don’t buy our mouthwash, you’ll be a pimply virgin all your life. III: what makes our hair formula better for dandruff? for hair behaving like hair? for the human condition? why our secret ingredient Z-12, so secret we can’t tell you what it is. buy it, and we promise you won’t be a frizzy, flake covered virgin all your life, but you can bet that some other frizzy virgin will think you know what z-12 means. don’t buy it and they’ll think you’re too stupid to know.
so, is dada editing the wave of the present? unjoin cause and effect to the upbeat? promise her anything, but give her unreason.
let the fool have bread; that will leave two cups of coffee for me, said Mrs. Yavolovitch. and what other russian thing was I just remembering? oh yes, distribution and rationality: in the Bros K, Ivan goes to see the seer, saint, or madman, whatever he is, who keeps forcing sugar on people as they’re served tea. his principle seems to be to give the most to those who have the most, and to make the gift hateful to everyone. give him two lumps …
what do they teach in school these days? probably that the reason you’re not Henry Kissinger is that you don’t have enough computer power, that your school system doesn’t have enough computer power, that the solution isn’t to get a better model of reality but to buy a more expensive lie. and don’t ever think that the house can burn down.
and i still can’t finish my thought. again. i saw this ad. i remember the total lack of correspondence between my point to the govt and its response to me, both at the national and the official national involvement at international level. i become convinced that i have at last learned enough and am close enough to right to use my talents to sell the best models of reality to a shockingly deluded public. how? at the deepest learning level short of genetic … at the emotional level, the unconsciously synthesized level, the level of myth. in short, through fiction. i dream synthesize my knowledge until it’s emotional to me, but it’s still invisible to the industry that wants to sell more sugar, not help people to give it up. to see that it’s killing them, or killed them, or will kill them.
?to baen books: don’t you think this is a good idea and should be make longer? !answer from baen: we only want things longer.
?to Ballantine: do you mind if while you have exclusive consideration of this ms i also show it to soandso. i have not yet done so as i await your confirmation. !answer: returned ms. we don’t accept simultaneous submissions.
They’re in charge of the market of what’s expressed publicly in English and yet all they do is prove that they don’t understand English. and yet the nonanswer is written in symbols which could be misunderstood for English.
That’s it: i haven’t yet learned what language they speak. I’ve been mistaking it for English, but it’s something far more random. But instead of being frustrated, I should be happy. Isn’t that exactly the kind of economy reality seems to have? water evaporates there and rains everywhere. except where it’s desert. if you’re in the desert it still draws moisture from you. if you’re in the jungle it rains till you drown. If you’re in Yellowstone, it comes at you heated and from below and you don’t know when. if you’re not in the watered spot it doesn’t come at you at all. and it doesn’t matter what language you speak. it spews something back. stupid you if you thought it was english. what market ever did employ the “reason” of standard written english? what market has ever been responsible for its promises? what market has ever not had the house burn down occasionally?
it’s sad. i hear of judy lynne del rey’s death and i feel a touch of revenge. jfk was probably better than some presidents yet i hated him as much as i hated nixon without feeling the lunatic affection i felt for the milhouse grotesquery, that shadowed gargoyle of capitalist imperialism. i revered lester del rey. if he married his editor, how bad can she have been? all i know is how i was ignored in her office, how conscientious and patient i was with my only reward a total irrelevance which i had to pay for in wasted postage as well as lost opportunity.
isaac asimov dedicates a novel to her memory. irrational as it may be, i have to confess that i felt a microsecond of primitive vindication, stone age, homeopathetic. she ruled the market and she’s dead, younger than me. i’m invisible, now against or despite my will, and i’m alive to gloat for this moment. why should i hate her for having a skeining net probably no more full of holes than anyone else’s? don’t take it personally. it’s just business. there’s no harm that we’ve riddled your son with bullets from a machine gun and left his pieces by the toll bridge to Long Beach. it’s just business. no, michael. it’s all personal, but i say this to you in private, with no witnesses. it’s all personal. except that nothing is personal. there are no persons. only the stream, deflected or not. i am no more real than judy lynne is. or isn’t. or is no longer. she’s just a name printed on paper at electro-industrial speed and in industrial quantities. what has it to do with perception or digestion? she was probably as wonderful to lester, her elder, as dyan was to me these last five days. christ, just when you think that you’ll probably never touch another young woman again, not unless you wanted to pay for one, and you’re not about to violate that ban if you have to remain celibate the rest of your life. you’d finally allowed yourself to become attracted to a woman past thirty and been amazed that past fifty could be just as good. Rebounding from that, past fifteen was no longer attractive, and under sixteen was still forbidden not to mention not generally accessible. Even if not forbidden, how accessible would such have been except as a rarity, especially to one who no longer worked at being attractive, and if anything did work at looking like no dupe of the brassring work-and-have-the-same-as-everyone-else-only-more-so ethic. An event like Debbie being sent to me (and actually coming) to play tennis therefore becomes something not to expect on a weekly let alone daily basis. Yet I became all the more that way, glorying in the time and energy it allowed for contemplation. Christ, the money one saves without drinking and smoking and women; one feels so good one doesn’t even bother to earn enough to pay rent. So, one’s teeth suffer.
But then I bet that’s it. I go to the dentist and give up cigars. My teeth get cleaned and my cloths air out. Not a month goes by and I meet Dyan. I might have invited her son in for ice cream on another occasion, discovered how devastating the mother looked, fallen in lust, and yet not have had her stay with me all that time had the cigar smoke been embedded in everything. you better believe i put up with her cigarettes, though i did make a comment or two about cardiovascular this and that.
i quoted gbs on liars to radiance the other day, and she instantly related it to kevin: is that why he’s so worried about stuff being stolen from his campsite (meaning: maybe it’s because, being one himself, he knows thieves exist.)
phr. submitting to publishers like jerking off into a black hole.
dear virginia: you want to be told lies about santa claus? you came to the right place, the newspaper industry is nothing but some form of lie or another about santa claus …
the whole point of Santa Claus is that he isn’t real (but that generosity is)
Dyan. christ i am going to miss her. absolutely the most sensuous woman i have ever been with. not in terms of response, but in terms of appetite. when martha came it was as if she had never done so like that before. was being introduced to what you could do for her. ditto brooks. others like they’re embarrassed to have discovered it. Dyan seemed to be quite familiar with anything you could do no matter how well or thoroughly you did it, seemed to be a connoisseur, but one who resisted such pleasure on principle. how could she be so concerned with disease if she’s such an expert herself? i should be the one concerned. yet had i known that clap or something with her was an almost certainty i might still have embraced it. what wars she must wage if she really does keep herself relatively chaste. “everybody always wants to fuck me,” she confided at length. do i ever believe it. there frankness could pass for under-statement. some guy crunches her car at the red light. they exchange insurance info. she starts getting flowers from him and the third degree from her old man.
what kind of a woman could convert me, me!? as to what constitutes the ideal female anatomy? I dream of buttocks like April’s. I never would have missed Dyan’s though i now realize i’ve seen their like. (and felt them, though just once: i remember becky, fully clothed, bending and thrusting and all but swallowing me with her buttocks) but not often the like of the whole her. dyan. never had i encountered nipples like hers. for response? yes, though that too only once. what a shame never to have seen undine again. but for shape and response? never even just for shape alone. it’s like she was another species. a new primate. she was erect even when she was soft. a permanently tumescent nipple! yet disguised. it looked normal through her bathing suit.
touching just the back of her hand and where her arm rounds from the inside of her elbow … it was Winona Kim and Rose Chen again only in white skin, mature, intelligent, educated, independent, wealthy … and very appreciative of me. “don’t,” she said the first time. then, the next time i did, after we had spent hours wrapped together, but now in daylight, at the pool, with her son there on the other side of her, “don’t,” she says again. she raises her face toward me. all at once, for just that brilliant instant, her eyes raise too and lock on mine. how can a woman who never makes eyes contact know so precisely where everything is? be such a dead shot when and only when it counts the most? she fixes me with that thrilling look, like the first moment of penetration, what i work on so carefully, surprise them with the impossible, not only to know, having shrugged away guidance, the final correct path and angle, feeling them wonder (what’s he doing? what’s he waiting for? why is he torturing me?), (though actually not this time with her: she begged to guide me. how could i say no? but still) to have all of it go in in one single illuminating thrust. they gasp as they think they’ve been split open, knowing me for the first time. but it’s she doing it to me, her eyes blinding me. “don’t,” she says. then the glance, the revelation. “you know what it does to me.”
no wonder i didn’t know what she looked like until she accompanied her son into the trailer. i had tried to glimpse her and had seen only young mother. smokes. coke for breakfast. yich. if i was attracted to her then, it was only in that she was female. in the trailer i serve them the ice cream i had offered the boy, chris. it’s only then she lets me see her face. holy christ. the timing of her glances. she has every trick with a fan only she dispenses with the fan. every eye contact a rare exclamation point.
but then it must have been poor perception on my part. the looks we got when we were together. other guys falling down. i glance over at her. brushed denim dress with a zipper that follows her curves. pull at it and you’d unwrap the bosom, curve across the belly, and finish with a flourish across the mound of her pubis.
yet somehow she looks a school girl all of eighteen. and the dress she wore the next night. some course material. looked like it should have been cheap (to an idiot like me who thinks that thick and textured must mean canvas or burlap). except the hardware for the snaps alone probably cost three hundred dollars. this one snapped straight down the front. how beautiful she looked falling asleep as chris fell asleep against her. how i want to undo the series of fasteners, snaps for all i knew. when she wakes from that first sleep she undoes the first one, showing me that it just pulls. this one too comes off in one spectacular flourish. (i remember the teenaged beth bubbling at how mack the knife undresses polly in 3 penny opera, but that dress was a stage prop.) i can hardly believe it. this is some nonsense in a skin magazine. no real person wears panties like that. a long triangle, elegant in its transparency, held in place over her mound with lacy tendrils, her ass seeming completely bare as she turns it so i can free her of the dress.
she may be a sensuous greek, but it’s not as though i had been stuck with nothing but frigid anglo-saxon types. african, indian, or japanese, aggressively sensuous germans, Inge practically blowing me on street corners, not caring who sees her grab. i try to think of mediterraneans. a-m was fairly aggressive or should i say energetically responsive. so maybe it’s just greek. but it can’t be. if other greek women were like dyan, plato and friends would never have had their all male symposiums. or maybe that was why they did. no one could keep up with that. i just slept thirteen hours and am in a sense relieved to be alone again. jesus christ. what a perfect affair. i know i’m not likely to see her again. maybe next year. the plans wouldn’t even have been mentioned if chris hadn’t been the one to ask. again, only for a week or two. sunning in the keys. no expectation of writing. no obligations. no uncertainty. if she marries this Jerry, that will probably be that. she’ll know i’m there but she won’t glance up. she can see perfectly clearly through the top of her head but i won’t see her seeing. unless she decides that she wants another vacation from her wealth and from her youth. how many women with hips like that and a gold american express card get seduced through their mind? or do i have that too backwards? “how come you have a copy of writer’s market?” she asked. her laughing in all the right places of my dentist story, her asking me to go on at the end of each section, was like feeling a woman come and come while you’re just feeling full and fulfilled, not too close to the verge of exploding, just wave after wave of the most wonderful intimacy. it was she who addressed herself to my mind and who responded to what she found there. good god, dyan, what a gift you gave me. not the least part of which is the discovery of how wonderful a relationship with no claim to the future can be. what she said she feels is for sure true for me too: if i didn’t hear from her for ten years, it would be all right; we’d still be friends and i’d be glad to see her.
it’s the next day and i still can’t leave it alone. 13 hours of sleep followed by 9 pages of what was stored up while i neglected the toshiba for dyan followed by 11 hours followed by my going right back to this file. no wonder i was tired, i wrote three business letters as well, read writer’s market, and wrestled with the beginning of a letter to asimov’s sfm.
hmm. wrong. it’s the next day after that and i hardly wrote at all yesterday. then last night couldn’t sleep. i’ll write more now though, not necessarily in this file.
epist: rhetoric: natural languages evolved to convince, not to declare any precise thing. we have no descriptive system for dealing with wholes. outside and inside, macro and micro and middle. (except the whole of science which takes many minds to understand or much time for any one mind to understand more than a part of.) are any of our artificial languages capable of much more?
marching is binary?
music notation would be easier to learn, clearer to the amateur, the beginner, and the non-musician, if it admitted using number systems other than ten and established some consistent conventions in that regard. A waltz is a different system from a fox-trot. Mysterious Traveler mixes systems. As does Dave Holland, etc.
or different notations like different number systems. [explanation: mapping experience onto a tautology] how about writing waltz as fox trot. sure it could be done. but what about occam’s razor? is it the simplest? ah, but how often is conventional notation the simplest way of writing anything? only in the key of C and contained within two to three octaves centered around middle C. only when there are no accidentals. etc.
how about writing Beethoven’s 5th in some martian system. how about in some 13 number base? how about in a base 4?
how about counting measures: 1,2,3,a/1,2,3,b/1,2,3,c/ etc.
then there’s nested 4s (one-six-teenth-note, two-six-teenth-note, three-six-teenth-note, then what for four, or zero, or ten, or turnaround?
I think that Miles routines sees two simultaneous tautologies like transparent layers, sees there points of mutuality, and then weaves. You play 4/4, i’ll play compound but have electrifying moments of identity.
ask Raymond: is he aware of proposed music notation reforms?
calendars? counting conventions? where start? binary, decimal, twelve, between zero and one, what determines the order of which starts? or is zero understood to be …zero/one, next zero/one, etc.?
how about a series of symbols longer than the 26 of the alphabet, the twelve of words, the ten of decimal numbers, …? the chain could hardly be infinite. how about a math system potentially employing all the internationally used symbols, like an extended ASCII, only beyond even 256? include phonetic symbols, music, etc. Then you could have a number base of several hundred or more.
Furthermore, there ought to be a universally declared default assumption base. I suppose it’s ten now but not really, since our habits about zero etc. are still shaggy and ambiguous. In other words, make one practice crystal clear so other things can translate into it. As in Parlez-vous francais REALLY means Do you speak french? So, a REALLY means ten, or nine, or zero: which one? make it only one. But then, if it truly were rational, how would you ever explain to anyone that it isn’t real, that all reality is conceptual (except for the unutterable)? a member of the majority is always at an intellectual disadvantage. is that why i’ve always avoided WASP privilege? or because i’m afraid to rule? it’s safer not to be tested. what the ruler does may impress the ruled (or at least civilized people pretend to be impressed), but the cultural anthropologist may jeer at it. But then the paleo-anthropologist will be impressed almost no matter what. at least that’s the current fashion. look how great these trilobites were. what an eye. how clever the ice age peoples. how mysterious their macaroni.
A limit on Don’s intelligence is that he appears to be unable to articulate a context. Perhaps because he is unaware of its existence or importance.
rhetoric outside the system: 110% e.g. trouble is, then there’s no system. you give 110%? I give 111%, even when I’m loafing. oh yeah, i give 5 million %.
natural language: artificial language: tautology: if we are to invent a more rational language, what tenses should it have?
forget “rational” just like forget “true.” or, understand true merely to mean: the best we know. the trouble there is, we tend to protect it from improvement.
homeostasis: knowing how to survive, to endure, to reproduce, to train; also to resist change. to resist change is also (unavoidably?) to resist improvement, to accept improvement only from what gives us little or no choice. disaster, overpowered. yet change occurs at all levels. whatever the resistance to electricity over oil and wick lamps, in less than a century, electricity is everywhere used. cf gb’s entropy, murphy’s law, yet beauty remains (and still comes into existence). and there is no new thing under the sun. what? no innovation? how about not under the sun? it just doesn’t have to be yours. we don’t think: my son died, therefore there are no children. we do think: i didn’t get my way, therefore there is no control.
mind. does a committee “understand” anything?
cf stephen jay gould on mickey mouse getting younger and why and NatGeo’s argument about different breeds of dog being different degrees of arrested development. then civilization as arresting development of different individuals. class, attempts (partly successful) to arrest at different and controlled stages. nobility allowed certain puppyishness simultaneous to being allowed full carnivore development, at least with regard to alien human classes. then add more and more exemptions. kill anyone, but not your father. kill anyone but not yourself. anyone but not your brothers. then add to who is your brother. then sisters, then family, then women, then the weak, if the weak are your subjects, rather than some other nobel’s. then the weak brothers gang up on the strong brothers. then they too have to expand they definition of who is a brother.
that’s what black is: who’s not a brother. solution. call each other among the minority brother. you’re a brother by definition. it’s the original brothers who aren’t the brothers. not a blueblood but a ‘blood.
different breeds within civilization and mankind according to occupation, land use, social organization …
nature/nurture? extended infancy in humans both genetic and cultural, cultural on a number of levels: social, familiar, individual, etc.
giving up individual power, maturity, ferocity (in usual carnivore senses) we gain power, maturity, ferocity socially, politically, cooperatively. We still lose what we lose and we resent it. Civilization and its Discontents. We slow ourselves down in a number of respects: standing up, prolonging infancy, prolonging dependency, but gain longevity (we get phenomenally more heartbeats per life than any other mammal.
inside/outside: time/space: entropy/neg: individual/limited perspective: time sharing. who wants Willie Mays and Achilleus on the field at the same time? Lincoln and Washington? Jesus and Buddha? Archimedes and Newton or Einstein?
death lets more individuals compete, gives us more possible arenas by limiting them. The robin that feeds in the morning may not even know the nightjar; they live in different worlds. what do we know of soil bacteria?
When we talk about “all time” we just show that we don’t know what we’re talking about. All time recorded in the Bible? By history? By archeology? By guess? Just on Earth? What do we know of anywhere else?
[In the latter case (Arch,New,Ein), we have the illusion that we can compare the ideas objectively, but they are ideas in a context and a milieu. All we can see is that they’re all extraordinary compared to those around them. And compared to us too. Maybe especially compared to us. Speak for yourself, John, say the dissenters. Are they dissenters because they lack imagination? knowledge? don’t even know what’s being compared or what constitutes excellence or performance? or because it’s Jimmy Brown dissenting? or Walter Payton? or Enrico Fermi, Murray Gell Mann, or Rich Feynman?]
It’s the 25th and I’m still sitting here in Jonathan Dickinson Park. It took me days to recover from Dyan-the night we didn’t actually couple was more exhausting for me than when we did. I had decided that I would leave Friday. Now it’s Monday and I’ve postponed again. But how could I possibly have guessed that I would meet Dana? What’s happening to me? going from a dynamite 33 year old to a tall, lithe, 23 year old life guard who runs as well as swims everyday. I’m so disappointed when her mother sends her brother to take care of her. The three of us have dinner, and it’s great, but there go my dreams of patting her flank. When has anything been so apparent as that she genuinely likes me? But now it’s all clear: she invites me to the night club Friday night. Before she shows up, Anne, the 52 year old mother is there to greet me. Anne is very nice, but not at all her daughter. It’s Dana who invites me home for the night: to her mother’s house. Then she stays too? What’s going on? I met her ex boyfriend that a.m. and he might as well have been Arnold Schwartzenegger. Seth, 28, introduces me to the guys in the band: here’s a guy who really knows what’s what. The trombone only half cares. In fact after a few minutes he seems to want to get away from somebody who’s seen more of the world than Palm Beach. No man, I’ve already compromised. I have a wife and kids. This place is enough for me. Anyway, I invite the mother as well as the daughter for a barbecue Saturday night. Anne declines. Then Dana declines too. Seth was sick Fri night. Now she looks worse than I feel. So, she’ll come Sunday. Sunday, I’m the one who’s sick. But feel much stronger with the stimulation of her approach. Oh jesus, all the old crap comes back. will she come? it was a practical joke; she’s fooling me. no, she really sounded like she wanted to; if she’s still sick, she’d call, the campground would get a message to me, they know I’m waiting for her. what an old jerk, waiting around for a young girl. her feelings are paternal, she’ll freak out when you touch her. wait a minute, i’ve already touched her. her arms go right around you as you pat her bottom. yeah, but that could be paternal too, you haven’t dove for her pussy yet. you haven’t yet crucified her just by holding your hips rigid while hugging her. anyway, she’s late. why should she come at all, she probably heard your brain waves and is heading in the other direction. no here she is. it’s crystal: anne is with her! i invited anne for Saturday, but who invited her for Sunday? I’ve heard of sister sandwiches. and I’ve been attracted to mother/daughter combos before. but that was when i was a teenager, the age within a year or so of the girl and then i’d see this really nice maybe thirty something year old. a woman who would actually know what she was doing, instead of guessing and hoping like you and maybe the daughter too. what was her name in highschool, Diane? i still remember her, the dancer’s, challenges to feel her thighs. she pulls her skirt up to her waist. there, she says, feel that. but the mother! the mother was completely together. i visit for the first time, and it was the mother who brought out the picture books of nude models for me. mother and daughter together watched me as i dutifully looked: don’t over react. be cool. So, now it’s out. But what can the two of them be thinking? The daughter volunteers to be the bait for the mother and the mother accepts it? I don’t know her three hours and she’s telling me how many years it’s been since she’s had a lover. what will I do? time will tell. talk to her. look, my feelings for you are partly paternal but far more would be paternal. have a daughter by me and then i’ll be your mother’s lover the rest of the time. but you know that’s disaster. failure. talking prevents action. rationalizing copulation is the surest way to make sure that the gates don’t open sesame. if I make love to anne, that will fix the relationship, fix both relationships. dana will be daughter, not lover. affectionate daughter for sure. but maybe that’s all it is now and all it should be. sure. explain “should” to baldy there. if he could talk, it would sound like the watergate tapes. or the voice of the hotel in the pen of Stephen King.
how would i explain to dana next winter that dyan is coming for a couple of weeks?
and i promised lana i would call her for lunch on tuesday. lana who looks just like martha, only nicer. less secretive anyway.
No society has a budget to pay for its mistakes and oversights. But nature does.
I know now what this id file is so long just for January 1988: why I haven’t gotten anything done, why i’ve been even more private, withdrawn, reclusive, and unbusiness-like despite a few successful and one spectacular day: new years day was a holiday. hell, nothing business-like to do except what i can do on the Toshiba. perfect opportunity to brush up old id files. feed last year’s paper, now the year before last, into 86.id. read through 86 and 87.id. maybe run a spell check. who knows what typos you made. you’ll never figure out half of what you meant. write an explanation to brian. hope that some of it someday communicates at least to him. anyway, it’s addictive. can’t stop. i swear that there are at least some ideas in here that people don’t know. and should. or would benefit from. maybe unhealthily benefit, like hamlet. but then what hamlet, however unhealthy, would ever willingly become a polonius, however healthy? (cf the relationship between the sick but right cassandra and say agamemnon) and hamlet, claudius, and denmark itself. cassandra perhaps would have willingly traded with agamemnon, but hamlet with ophelia? never) except of course at the extreme higher level of vishnu and shiva. they trade so as to remain unrecognizable even to themselves. is there a still higher level of godhead which remains recognizable? no such thing: different levels appear to switch signs as one reaches them. milton’s paradise lost has all the former gods cohabiting hell with satan. by the time you get to wiliam blake, jehovah has moved there too. now to some, jesus as well. but to others, jesus, and to still others, Jehovah as well, still rule heaven enthroned. to some, ruling is still a valid activity for a god, a throne a viable and respectable thing to rule from. [somewhere someone may still worship baal. it’s still astrology, not astronomy, that fills and sells the newspapers (which sell the refrigerators, the government, the civilization, etc. …)] while to others, to me for instance, all but jesus’s seeming principles of sharing while enduring, of remaining both steadfast and patient, of knowing/ believing that memes can endure while genes die, at least an individual’s genes, … belong in hell. my own latest heaven belongs in hell. what’s in heaven then? in the heaven which is still heaven even after the old heaven has slid down to the dust heap of hell? why the stochastic … and cybernetic feedback, of course. god is dead? long live god.
politics is the one arena in which one can see evidence of at least some people at least with partial conscious understanding and confronting as directly as they can the principles of cybernetic control. we call it hypocrisy because we have no better vocabulary for dealing with it. a senator’s moral imagination can still articulate itself only through kindergarten images, but his maturity knows the reality of opinion. and both the stubbornness and the motility of opinion.
strange, some of the things that miles et alia do. listening to Stuff. recalling Nefertiti. esp. the stuff with or by wayne shorter. by god, there’s no bridge. no alternate melody. no change. another type of episodic music. of course that’s the road Trane took. had taken. but there the improvisation went on and on, here it’s the written music which goes on and on. no solos, just repeat the melody, repeat the melody, until everybody is half crazy, half drug on boredom and jitters. It’s a miles I hadn’t heard much for years and started listening to again only out of duty. buy the record, listen once, and then the record would sit for a decade. oh that one. i don’t like that one.
good god, just thinking of it like a drug that even the junkies never liked but became addicted to just the same. my god the stories of the guy or girl who retch and puke after some “friend” has shot them up. oh, that’s OK baby. lot’s of people get sick the first time. and sick the second time. why was there ever a second time? an even harder question than why was there ever a first. and still didn’t like it the third, maybe got “high” the fifth and hooked in no time. then they don’t even get high anymore, just sick. and of course they are sick even while high and don’t feel sick. just are sick.
music evolution and notation evolution. the one beautiful, the other ugly, stupid, and irrational. why not change? inertia. habit. less and less need, esp with synthesizers. what temperament are synths tuned to? inflexible like pianos? i bet, but i also bet that there’s no need to be inflexible. investigate.
sem.dic: aka: The Greatest Genius of All Time. beginning to read Gore Vidal’s 1876 again (third start, this time getting at least a chapter into it) I think what does a word like “great” mean? A critical judgment, of course. But what is a critical judgment? A deduction after all relevant evidence has been sifted? No, a manipulation: an attempt to redesign the opinions of others. (Word magic to some extent. Does saying make it so?) “Bird is the greatest genius of all time,” I used to say. As too did Bobby Porcelli, etc. Then one day I head Bobby say, “Trane is the greatest genius of all time.” Now I was thinking more or less the same thing around then, but hadn’t said so. I was listening ten times more to Trane, but I didn’t want to be quite so fickle in my statements. Then Bobby says, “Thelonius Monk is the greatest genius of all time.” Christmas, Bobby’s worse than I am! I say to him, “I thought you said Trane was.” He said, “Yeah, but that was last week.” or “last month.”
Now this is surely better than Cherryl’s “John F. Kennedy is the smartest man in America.” when we were in grad school. this is the same girl who couldn’t understand the relativity of prescriptive grammar. “Yes, but it’s wrong,” she kept saying to Dr. Howie Berntson. Ah, but the girl’s ass had genius. I can still remember how her flesh cantilevered over Broadway when she was at Barnard and I did not yet know her personally. We’re having an Irish coffee in the Limelight on Sheridan Square, Jack Elliot walks in, walks around and says hi to everybody, a table at a time, and she’s making invidious superlatives about the freaking president. At least Bobby had a right to talk glibly about genius and Bird, Trane, and Monk. He actually listened. And he played. Man, did he play. I didn’t play, but I listened. In another mode I was likely to say “John Donne is the greatest poet of all time.” or “GBS …” or “Shakespeare …” Whoops, I just remembered: how about when I told my mother, “Lao Tsu is the greatest genius of all time”? I think I said it mainly to get her goat because she had never heard of him. And there’s my point: I wanted to get her goat because she was making all kinds of absolute claims while clearly having cultural and political tunnel vision. So, I went around making absolute claims all over the place, though I didn’t feel myself to have tunnel vision. Did Cherryl examine the intelligence of every man in America before making her claim? Did Cherryl even define America to give it some limits, say the United States of America? Did Cherryl have any right to talk about intelligence? How much did she exhibit herself (apart from scholarships and a stellar college record)? I thought she was fairly dumb above the waist, though I was impressed years later while watching her win money on some show by her expertise on the impressionists. She even corrected the emcee on the gender of “Bert.”
Bobby and I certainly did feel that we knew or had heard “all” jazz musicians. That was before that incredible night when Alice and I heard Roland Kirk’s NY debut, sitting in with Mingus at 3 am in the Five Spot. Percy Heath was the only other witness, not counting the cafe help. A lot the bartender seemed to care. I had heard from Frank Lunzer about “this guy from Chicago” who could cut anybody in New York. Hadda be this guy on the stand who was doing it, right? Joining them, if not cutting them. And what about some guy from Chicago or from Podunk whom not I, not Bobby, nor Frank Lunzer had heard of? Mississippi John Hurt. Or that no body had heard of? Somebody never recorded.
Now music is different than literature. Or maybe I mean literature is different than poetry. Music is like Bishop Berkeley’s tree falling in the forest. In the future, music may be something cooked through a synth and heard only by the composer through headphones, like Tom Wolf’s wino drawing in water on the Horn and Hardart napkin. But till now, music was public.
Was poetry always public before printing? Or is the “unpublished” poet a constant with us, older than publishing? David singing psalms that only his sheep knew? Or the songs of shepherds who didn’t become king and have their works translated into hundreds of modern languages? Now I always grumbled about “mute inglorious Milton” being a contradiction in terms. Milton was a public figure and that, at least the public figure retired into blindness, was an inseparable element of the poetry. You could have a mute inglorious genius, but not a Milton.
Anyway, to clarify, I am trying to highlight our tendency to make pronouncements that humorously? or blindly flout reason.
The nobel price committee is notorious for both commissions and for omissions. But how about an eighteen year old proclaiming the greatest genius of all time. I said that Woyzek was the greatest play after I had read maybe three since high school and seen maybe five in my life.
But nothing ever annoyed me like that freshman girl at Colby (who had her own set of hips) saying, saying to me!, “The Graduate is the greatest movie of all time.”
Or is all this just undergraduate humor that not all graduates outgrow?
The other thing I want to highlight or at least tie in, is the semantic flexibility of words. “in america”: does that include mexico? tierra del fuego? Was Cherryl considering the Faulkland Islands? great may be a public pronouncement meaning something like “of tangible impact on a number of people” “greatest” is necessarily subjective. it is not a magnifying of great but a backwards telescope tunneling away from, still with an air of public judgment. “of all time” = in my recent or current attention. or since recording began. genius = wow, a very flexible word. funny that monk is claimed to be the greatest genius when nobody would claim him to be the greatest piano player. of course you don’t claim genius for somebody who plays their instrument well or even who composes well but for someone who transforms their instrument and composes innovations into their life and into society.
Here, thirty years later, silently to myself, I recently catalogued my list of the greatest singers of all time. 1) Billy Holliday. 2) Edith Piaf. 3) Om Kalthoum. 4) Elizabeth Schwartzkopf-Theresa Stich-Randall-Kirsten Flagstad-etc. Gee, I guess there just weren’t any great singers before modern recording came along. And I include Om Kalthoum on the basis of a very poor quality tape made when she was already past seventy and the orchestra sounding like second string Guy Lombardo or Lawrence Welk. Or Cairo’s best imitation of the Boston Pops.
“It’s an established principle that …” of course, being an established principle doesn’t make it true.
nothing new under the sun. like saying that the US constitution covers everything. sure, as long as the judges can pin any interpretation on any part. till eventually a consensus agrees that it isn’t clear enough and wants an amendment.
once digested, any knew experience, after the fact, can be subsumed under an existing category. the now expanded category can be asserted to have remained the same. Uhm, innovation: see, we had “innovation” before.
intelligence and Hide and Seek: the person laboring to clarify, to define, to reveal a fallacy, uncover a confusion … is the one person not in on the game (or who is changing the game by stretching its borders, violating the proscenium …
science and rhetoric. public relations nobody tells the truth. why not? to stay in competition with the lies of churches and governments?
adam and eve, cain and abel in action. tv says here’s ahmad rashad’s band. that’s not his band, it’s just from his home town. Shakespeare didn’t belong to the king yet his company was called the king’s men. in fact, I just did the same thing: said “his company.” I would have called it his company before, during, or after his ownership of it, whether his ownership was partial or whole. it’s just convenient to use the familiar name. the station has spent lots of time to familiarize us with Ahmad’s name. No doubt over initial resistance where they would
have preferred Bob or Jones. Just the same, there’s no point in telling 50 million people whose band it is during a football game. in our own culture, no one is misled. in history, we interpret literally. we simply don’t know how to read.
the mechanical bride revisited. what society can ever have had the constant feedback about itself than we do thanks to television. the ads rehearse us in our epistemology several times an hour.
“Would a lemon lie?” asks the cartoon lemon for a dish detergent.
ford has a better idea. as decades pass, it seems more and more equivocal that ford ever had even one good idea.
can ads be considered to be examples of irony? there is clearly no identity between statement and author’s attitude toward the statement, the audience, the subject.
Do ads have more than one message? How could that message be best expressed? It’s not just “buy this.” Nor just plain “buy.” Not just “i/we want to make money.” Nor “i/we want you to consume this idea/meme/ product.”
How many? basic messages. It’s just a few. Can it be reduced to one. How about “i/we want you/you to accept influence/be influenced.”
The Lincoln Continental is now using Vangelis’ music. Badly.
Budweiser’s “the night” bis bis bis “oh oh,” ad was great, but its successor was just as explicitly visual jazz to my mind. the visual of a tray of several bottles being picked up one at a time, random distribution of distribution, but strict 16th note timing. same oral effervescence fixation. nice black and white, gold and silver, night color switches. best edited tv i’ve ever seen (or at least noticed).
favorite memories:
favorite metaphors: Mad’s Manduck, why this isn’t even a mad comic …
he wants a pop for his hundred dollars.
the egregious geo peppard bullies some dame. i’m gonna call a cop, she says. he shows a badge. how’s that for fast service? he cracks. and she’s stuck. in the middle ages, if the king was raping you, you could still pray to god. what alternative do we have? we live with a low ceiling. the cops are supposed to protect us. when we need to be protected from them, they’re all we have. we’re lost. pray to loose a war. where are the russians? the chinese? the shiites? unfortunately, ideally, the group you loose the war to should be more civilized (better organized) than you, not less.
(of course then there’s always the question better organized for what?)
attitudes are so easy. disapproval of other people’s actions is so glib. i wake up this morning dreaming anger at Radiance. i sell her the trailer so she can get a little organized. she invites me to dinner after spending a few days moving in: it’s a little switzerland, knickknacks on the window sill. it’s adorable. i notice when we’ve moved to and from CV Smith Park that they’ve moved without making the bed back into the dining table. i point out to charlie, there’s still shit lying all over the ground. for $4 you can buy a tarp and set up a shelter for excess things. then the day i leave to go north i stop in to say good-bye for a few days. radiance looks terrible. her period has come back so she’s not pregnant. and she really seemed to want it so. all the problems and hardships they’ve got and she wanted another baby. as a sacrament. a sign of acceptance from god. anyway, i’ve cut my finger closing my own trailer and i open the bathroom door to rinse my finger. jesus, the bathroom is piled to the ceiling with the filthiest looking clothes and rags. rust stained towels. speaking of humbert humbert, i’m james mason visiting lolita when she’s married and pregnant and living amid junk. now james mason is too neat as an actor to be really right for hh who is no aristocrat (i’d like to know mason’s actual (as distinct from implicit) origins.) radiance just borrowed $6 over and above the change she’s used to start half a dozen large washing machines. she does laundry a few times a week. then what’s this stuff in the bathroom?
so i wake up dreaming anger at her homeostasis.
it looks like they’re choosing to remain disorganized. is joe dragging her down? is it having the two kids? radiance gets so frustrated at flame. she tells her to straighten up the camp site. flame potters and listens to the radio. radiance comes back ready to cry.
i remember my mom’s practically weeping when i hadn’t done something she had told me about. i also remember those rare one or two things that she actually showed me how to do. it didn’t take much instruction. baking, for example. “follow the directions carefully” was about all she said. but she had actually said something to the point. what fundamentalist ever read a verse from the bible more carefully than i then read about mixing thoroughly until smooth the flour and butter? what lab technician ever more carefully measured “a cup” of anything? famous amos never made cookies better than i did that first time. then there were other things about the kitchen. washing dishes as a formal algorithm. mother never should have left the kitchen.
then there were the areas where i had no instruction or supervision. paul, have you done your homework? there was no honest answer to that. i didn’t know what the fuck i was being asked. was it even an honest question?
some sit-com last night. mother to daughter: why don’t you do this? why don’t you do that? why don’t you even (god forbid-elbow elbow, get ready to laugh you hip slobs at home) ‘read a book’. obviously being said in a home in which no book had been read for pleasure since the tube was first brought home, and may never have been read there before.
how innocent the offensiveness of that commercial in which the interviewer jokes “which would you rather read, shakespeare or tv guide?” clearly neither questioner nor answerer knows what’s in the balance so casually tipped. yet every hip boob at home knows exactly what’s being enforced. they know from the cradle which culture they belong to.
i feel like a jew cringing in a world full of healthy goyim. am i just as stupid in not anticipating the pogrom. fool, you’ve already experienced the pogrom. the universities themselves lead them. i should have known even in the fifties. that story about eisenhower as pres of columbia, being revved for pres of us. prof whf (what’s his face) feels like a wallflower in the pres’s mansion, ike’s pres’ mansion. he feels out a few books. shelves on every wall. all spaces filled. all leather, tooled, first editions maybe? dr whf reaches for a trollope. there’s no book there! it’s all false front. a potemkin university!
Title: the book of changes
the punk nature of any current language. every sound a trove of etymology with the utterer at best only dimly aware of a fraction of one percent. those two libbers i confronted at hilary’s barnard boss’s party. dressed in military jodhpurs and boots and talking about being paid as much as male executives. they make too much i said. they’re already exhausting the ecology. you want to exhaust it faster? not those words, but that point. money as they wanted it wasn’t wealth, not the wealth of evolution, the wealth than can’t be exhausted, not in this universe. they knew what they were wearing and why. deliberately out of date, not to be mistaken for real warriors who could always find themselves in a preemptive attack. but who knows today?
oh, people know plenty, maybe more than ever as their publicists say, but what a salad it is. does their knowledge make any sense? do they have more than a glimmer of what their knowledge means?
an information explosion that drowns significance. my telephone talks to your telephone, each telling the other that we’re not there. meantime, i get a busy signal. when i get through, by the time you come on the line, my eardrum is pierced and we are cut off while a different operator than the one who promised not to interrupt us, wastes my coins demanding more. spend $3 to be asked for $4. meantime not ten cents worth of communication.
so, did radiance get knocked up by white trash when she was still a teenager, entrapping her in a movable junkyard? or did she do what ever it took to be white trash herself? get a $150 job that’s across the street so you’ll never have time to seek better. buy on time so you stay stuck in the rut. then fill the filthy rut with rags and spend all your time washing the rust stains.
ask i, whose dented car must proclaim me to be white trash to any casual passer. but that’s OK. when did i last raise a finger to correct people’s casual assumptions.
no, i dig as deeply into the cultural trash heap as i can to get the etymologies right. but i know i can’t get them right. they go on, back, ever more entangled, tens of thousands of years, and that’s just the part that’s our talkative species. the not so talkative species goes back a couple of million and the mammal part three quarters of a hundred million. unnumbered strands, each infinitely tangled. god’s gordian knot.
Dissolution and entropy everywhere. and yet as gb says, beauty remains. there’s Brooks on tv. who would have thought that a character like louis deplama could come out of the creator of the mary tyler moore show? i for one. but then i still don’t know the mtm show. decades of a career have unfolded and i catch the last couple of years of a few reruns of an aspect of a fragment.
on the other hand, last night, i suffered through more normal fare: a diluted imitation of raymond chandler that didn’t have the faintest understanding of raymond chandler. the imitation of what’s misperceived as a formula, not an essence. the sleaze, the honkey tonk, the corruption. the awful “tough” cop. that’s what it was! he was not a detective, but a cop. we’re supposed to love our tormentors. i love big brother. you gotta like us yossarian. at least say that you do. you’re real feelings are up to you. die gedanken sind frei. we don’t have to worry. you stifle yourself and soon you won’t have any gedanken that would worry us.
quoted on the tube during dinner: ‘everyone is innocent until proved guilty.’ no one has been proved guilty of stealing your wallet; therefore your wallet hasn’t been stolen.
What’s the level at which you feel provincial? (at which someone else, some alien else might think you provincial? brotherhood with elm trees? with spiders? with intelligence itself? or just with republicans? or christians? or americans? or white folks?
this am Phil Donahue is genially moderating a freeforall between his commie baiting audience and a couple of genial and patient communists.
one woman says: “I’m a person of color . compared to the whites.” i couldn’t even guess what group she was claiming. she looked white to me. apply law of linguistic expansion and semantic elasticity here. compare what white meant in Europe in only the 1930s.
apply L Bernstein principle of studious expansion to everything that got interrupted. or Dickens Mrs. Gamp expansion. the show would be 8000 hours long and still wouldn’t make much sense.
how much more tight does the incumbent stupidity have to interrupt the radicals than the radicals have to interrupt them. look, applaud us: we’re not letting the commies get a word in edgewise while we claim that only the us has ever let anybody talk. the show was for the commies? they didn’t get a total of 40 seconds.
reminded me of Victor. those who feel themselves to be the majority (numerical, political, moral, cultural, but especially moral) feel right to hector anybody else. always playing to an audience that recognizes them in the role of right and their victim in the role of wrong. and they expect the wrong person to cooperate in the charicature and to thank them for the instruction. Uncle Roy spending a life time appointing himself the christian and anyone smaller or younger or less rich as the person in need of conversion. had the pope ever been a guest in his house he would likely have been treated to a treatise on the need to read and to believe the bible, to be born again. Jesus at his second coming had better bring a sword; he certainly won’t get a voluntary hearing from any christians. they’ll all be too busy condescending to him, converting him to Himself.
Who’s different? Muslims, Americans, …
Metaphor: One simply cannot think in a language which habitually confuses equals and isn’t equal. e.g. truth is truth vs. honesty is the best policy. in #1, A = A. in #2, a1 is not a2.
A zoom lens of the mind.
The grass is greener principle of evolution.
Girl takes her pants off and you smell the swamp we all came from.
Society’s daily business is conducted according to the fiction that meanings are clear. Sometimes that fiction is not so polite.
Its in the nature of a linguist to appreciate the meaning of a word; of a poet to change it. We train scholars and leave the changing to the antithesis of poet: the barbarian war lords, emperors of commerce.
Genius in our society is a little boy who sounds more stilted and boorish than intelligent. By society I mean the fiction in which we picture ourselves: tv, movies.
Trollope’s The Warden 0 Society 10
But that’s the whole point! the proof that he’s god is that he’s invisible.
Of course you don’t see him. Being invisible is the proof that he’s god.
Christ undetected.
Dyan’s point that it’s all there in memory but not accessible to the short term memory, to the consciousness: for By the Hair of the Comet
ss: the valves of her attention. a practices charity, a kevin and debby take advantage. swears off charity. stones beggars. jc himself shows up. a stones jc.
the cybernetic enemy: i am your enemy in time but not in space. my position does not contradict your position, but will come to. But it doesn’t look like her, said Alice B to Picasso. don’t worry, said P: she will come to look like it.
gr.n01: you won’t find any gods here; the gods are all in hell.
Moving into a cybernetic world: moving away from cause and effect assumptions, perceptions, world model. i am not the prophet but the disciple here. but stand it on its head: how i deceive myself by the same failure. it rains on the just as well as the unjust is a cliché. yet we all resent welfare. we believe in charity, but govt has snatched the option. there’s no free will in welfare. welfare at least pains us like hell if we perceive ourselves to be paying for it. the govt sucks up money and rains it here and there. why not just rain it everywhere as needed? or just everywhere or not everywhere at random, like nature. get rid of this silly who deserves what model. the model i just distracted myself from being about to myself satirize. begin again. i watch the tube. it’s a well designed and executed ad. high budget. mod editing. healthy attractive youthful athletic colorfully dressed immortal seeming actor/ dancers in carefree consumption of some profitable poison: sugar, tobacco, alcohol. it was probably sugar, since it was on tv. tobacco and alcohol are promoted these days only through magazines and billboards. tv is solely the preserve of detergents and candy. at least candified cereal. oh yes, and wine and beer. anyway, it was probably some candy. some soft drink or something. anyway, how absolutely wild to someone whose impressionabilities were most active (at least on the consciousness) in the late forties and early fifties: the ad was slick, slick, slick, but there was no correspondence between sound and voice. its reality was syncopated. not at all the english language version of a european made film, skillfully synched, nor the sloppy old kind, all graceless patches, nor the kind where cause and effect correspondence isn’t expected, as in mood music. you don’t expect the actor’s larynx to be the one hundred piece orchestra. it’s part of the convention that you just hear the mood music, not see it’s source. just as you don’t see the editor editing. anyway, this ad, there are voices and there are speakers as well as mood music, but it’s a collage. cubism with the lines softened. post-dada. post cause and effect. the actor may have spoken the lines but the sound track has been woven, not matched to the lip movements. if it’s big budget and on tv, it must be profitable or have been market tested to some extent or you’re not likely to see it a second time. then another ad, slick and colorful, where everything is teenaged dada. some kid with a giant banana or a dripping clock. unthreatened, unconfused, colorful, immortal. no dental caries from this product. not only is coke a natural but to the pepsi generation, it’s the real thing. put a twelve ounce keg in your hand. (is it a century yet since coke used coke as its secret ingredient? when did it begin with caffeine? what was in between? strychnine, was it? anyway, what’s the correspondence if any between coke in the coke then and the incidence of coke in the nose now?) ((since wars decimate the economy while hardly millimating the still increasing population, nature has to figure out some way around us, right? and why shouldn’t church, govt, and madison ave cooperate?)) anyway, here’s this ad where the voice and speaker don’t match and it’s all the more effective. cocktail jazz. then another, so it’s not a fluke. it’s perfect. the profitable celebration of irrelevance. what lies was i told that i myself retold as a teacher of english. make sure that you have read and understood the question. design your answer to show that you are in fact answering the question. (i should have seen then, the confession that the teacher won’t really read the essay, not with attention or imagination. you want to make out in this game? here’s how instantly to identify yourself as a member of the species of good answer. all creatures not displaying such coloration will remain invisible to this system.) it’s the one lesson i did accept and learn from school at that late date when i decided to bother to that extent ok i’ll give them that much i’ll match ying and yang my prose to their question. and yes, there was the reinforcement, the good grades when i bothered to be visible. 90% of the grade was merely the matching, the form the answer was expressed in: there’s the cock, be a cuny and wrap yourself around it. though sometimes it was more: there’s the c- and here comes the cock that fits. not: what cock would be best for it? maybe a schwarzer cock with the milk digesting gene together with tallness and upper body strength, but what cock is it looking for? and will it recognize? like esau and the disguise of furs. esau: it’s great, the admission, like the japanese in hara kiri, that our heritage is based on a theft, a deception, the decisions made by a stupid, old, vain and gullible man, but he’s the one that the inheritance passes through. better not be schwarzer in appearance. the reality don’t matter. until it’s a few decades later and jimmy the greek loses his job for what was probably a rare case of honesty. so, i’m trying to make one simple point, but i have to keep clarifying or declaring the context. i grew up in a cause and effect culture. dada was weird and could only be afforded by those already economically secure. make lots of money according to cause and effect and then you can spend millions on the work of some spoiled rotten, talented, socialist painter who thinks he can avoid the industrial revolution and bring on the millennium (cause and effect) by denying cause and effect. thank you magritte, dali, ernst. thank you rockefeller.
new angles, will you stop crowding in? i’m trying to make this simple point. it’s the early sixties and i hear about some catholic government of south vietnam putting buddhists into concentration camps. some buddhist monk has immolated himself in protest. good god, i thought religious tolerance was a battle largely won in previous centuries. the one part of wwI easiest to vilify was that part about the jews. a throwback. i write jfk. i write stevenson at the un. the us should take a stand against modern examples of the spanish inquisition. the white house send me back a heavy package of anticommunist propaganda. ditto the un. this is dada government. but it gets itself elected by a homeopathic, cause and effect taking credit for cause and effect. you’re still here, right? reelect us. do you have your share of the pie and then some? throw the bums out and elect us. did things not go the way you wanted? blame my enemies. murder the jews and raise my salary. build me a bigger palace so i can get rid of waste in government. you didn’t see any commie tanks on Fifth Avenue today, did you?
we’re fed all this shit about jfk is so smart. how did he get through harvard if he didn’t learn to pretend to answer the question? or is it that having made his millions by being the son of a cause and effect man, he can now flaunt his power by buying dada and giving dada answers? join rockefeller at MOMA. how about religious tolerance? don’t answer the question; yell a different question louder: how about the communist threat? they weren’t about to tell me that maybe locking the buddhists up was a cia operation. maybe i had never heard of south vietnam, but washington had not only heard of them, they were already there, reducing perceivable reality to red and white.
so, that was government. at least academe maintained some cause and effect decorum. and certainly that genteel industry, book publishing, would never admit dada to its standard written english, to the polish of its declarative sentences. Have you read Proust? yes, tomorrow maybe: the giant banana on my dripping clock defeats communism.
so, i continue to learn. really learn, since giving up going to school and working both. i read bateson. cybernetics, holy christ, why don’t we all upgrade our model of reality. why don’t we open our stone age thinking to modification by the best in science? why not embrace improvement? go with evolution and maybe you’ll still be around. maybe your body won’t be, not your genes, but maybe your memes. the best tested of them. give birth to a cyborg without human confusion. a creature that can maintain korzybsky’s map/territory distinction, a mind that will automatically continue to scan beyond proof toward disproof.
how, in a world in which the good die young and only the bad prevails, is there still beauty? (as GB asks) of which is the ad for some sugar product an example? it really was very good but it was a promotion of a poison, a limitation of choices, an emphasis on the wrong choice, the choice which will eliminate choice. what free will did eve have after she had eaten the apple? what free will does a junkie have? is the only free will that we can have that’s for good be the free will expressed by Lavinia in GBS’s Androcles? then i’ll die for the god that doesn’t exist? thank you, no. i won’t play that game. i’ll not salute your idol even though you’ll put me in prison. i’ll not blow your guards even though they’ll knock out my teeth. i’ll not say i’m sorry even though i know there’ll be a prison yard accident involving me.
if i am good as i want to be, why am i still alive? why the fuck am i still trying to create beauty? beyond that, to be beautiful. being brian’s father, how can i think that i’m not successful? look at the trends i’ve helped create, been some pivot in the art world. i have been a rock in the stream of culture, reshaping its course. but not at all the way i’ve wanted. so why should cybernetic reality frustrate me? moisture evaporates everywhere. it rains here and there. that wasn’t your molecule that you should necessarily get it back. if the public consciousness is permitted no time, no attention for anything but sugar ads, then i should be proud of my invisibility. oh but don’t you see i am i am. i’ve always chosen invisibility. i never even wrote my stories down until i was thirty. and certainly not again until i was forty-five. it’s just that that last time i said i intended to become visible. when i was thirty i said i intended to make the free learning exchange visible. to try to be a megaphone for illich’s perceptions and solutions. after forty-five for GB’s perceptions and solutions. to make science visible to emotional sensibilities. and i don’t seem to be able to. that’s the killer. i had always assumed that i was hiding, that invisibility was my choice. that i was the chameleon, that i could change into a rocket anytime i wanted to. sure it would be hard. so what? sure most people couldn’t do it. i’m not most people. as gb says, odds are meaningful only when the event’s outcome is unknown, the distribution in the aggregate tells nothing of the nature of a particular individual. or long shots would never come in, rather than seldom. in fact, that’s exactly how cheating is accomplished in horse racing. disguise the horse: create a gap between the knowledge of the odds maker and your knowledge where yours is the model closer to reality. what normalcy is saying to evolution is that we are uncheatable. (it fails to distinguish its model of reality from reality itself (permanently unknowable)). and then it cheats itself. it puts a penny in the fuse box. when the house burns down it was everything’s fault except its own. the fuse box becomes a circuit breaker. which we then learn to tie down.
that’s it! that’s what the govt is so good at! taking advantage of our inability to distinguish map and territory. the president knows more than you do. therefore the president, unlike you, is in touch with reality. you have a model. the president has the thing itself. unlike other political leaders of the past or of other political leaders of the present in other benighted and self-deluding cultures. they have the sand of marxism in their eyes. they’ve been misled by the jesuits. they’re a bunch of cow worshipers. they don’t even have indoor plumbing. they don’t even own stock in IBM. but our president, he, thanks to our CIA and our FBI and our military intelligence and most of all to our right thinking republicanism is in touch with the real thing. he alone has reality by the balls. scientists don’t; they can’t zip their zipper, and even if they could, still, they work for us.
which makes it all the more wonderful when we see, once a decade or so, that the president has been even more surrounded by lies than a kid watching sat morning tv.
we’re in control of our environment to some extent. if we don’t want the water in our vessel to evaporate, we put a lid on it. if we want to fill our vessel, we hold its opening under the tap and turn the faucet on. we don’t just hold it anywhere in any attitude including upside down and then pray or do a rain dance or a let water gush from the ground here ritual. further, we pay the water bill, vote in people who will fix the pipes, etc. but do we vote in people who will check the water table? continental drift? yes, but much less so, and with much less power.
anyway, i see this ad on tv. it makes me think: not only has electronic music long become almost the only kind we hear (while our image of electronic music, if asked, would remain something impossibly obscure, unpopular, esoteric, intellectual: some sort of clear fraud), but a deliberate disjunture from reason (once played with by intellectuals and the leisured rich only) is now a preferred hortatory style: what can we add to the stream of things that will direct more or what the stream carries around to us?
sales can be categorized into I promise. II threat. III promise and threat. I: buy our cadillac and somebody just as stupid as you, just as graceless and nouveau, will think you’re smarter than them. it will also get you from here to there, never mind at what cost to the commonwealth. you’ll feel a womblike security right up to the moment of mutilation, dismemberment, and death. II: if you don’t buy our mouthwash, you’ll be a pimply virgin all your life. III: what makes our hair formula better for dandruff? for hair behaving like hair? for the human condition? why our secret ingredient Z-12, so secret we can’t tell you what it is. buy it, and we promise you won’t be a frizzy, flake covered virgin all your life, but you can bet that some other frizzy virgin will think you know what z-12 means. don’t buy it and they’ll think you’re too stupid to know.
so, is dada editing the wave of the present? unjoin cause and effect to the upbeat? promise her anything, but give her unreason.
let the fool have bread; that will leave two cups of coffee for me, said Mrs. Yavolovitch. and what other russian thing was I just remembering? oh yes, distribution and rationality: in the Bros K, Ivan goes to see the seer, saint, or madman, whatever he is, who keeps forcing sugar on people as they’re served tea. his principle seems to be to give the most to those who have the most, and to make the gift hateful to everyone. give him two lumps …
what do they teach in school these days? probably that the reason you’re not Henry Kissinger is that you don’t have enough computer power, that your school system doesn’t have enough computer power, that the solution isn’t to get a better model of reality but to buy a more expensive lie. and don’t ever think that the house can burn down.
and i still can’t finish my thought. again. i saw this ad. i remember the total lack of correspondence between my point to the govt and its response to me, both at the national and the official national involvement at international level. i become convinced that i have at last learned enough and am close enough to right to use my talents to sell the best models of reality to a shockingly deluded public. how? at the deepest learning level short of genetic … at the emotional level, the unconsciously synthesized level, the level of myth. in short, through fiction. i dream synthesize my knowledge until it’s emotional to me, but it’s still invisible to the industry that wants to sell more sugar, not help people to give it up. to see that it’s killing them, or killed them, or will kill them.
?to baen books: don’t you think this is a good idea and should be make longer? !answer from baen: we only want things longer.
?to Ballantine: do you mind if while you have exclusive consideration of this ms i also show it to soandso. i have not yet done so as i await your confirmation. !answer: returned ms. we don’t accept simultaneous submissions.
They’re in charge of the market of what’s expressed publicly in English and yet all they do is prove that they don’t understand English. and yet the nonanswer is written in symbols which could be misunderstood for English.
That’s it: i haven’t yet learned what language they speak. I’ve been mistaking it for English, but it’s something far more random. But instead of being frustrated, I should be happy. Isn’t that exactly the kind of economy reality seems to have? water evaporates there and rains everywhere. except where it’s desert. if you’re in the desert it still draws moisture from you. if you’re in the jungle it rains till you drown. If you’re in Yellowstone, it comes at you heated and from below and you don’t know when. if you’re not in the watered spot it doesn’t come at you at all. and it doesn’t matter what language you speak. it spews something back. stupid you if you thought it was english. what market ever did employ the “reason” of standard written english? what market has ever been responsible for its promises? what market has ever not had the house burn down occasionally?
it’s sad. i hear of judy lynne del rey’s death and i feel a touch of revenge. jfk was probably better than some presidents yet i hated him as much as i hated nixon without feeling the lunatic affection i felt for the milhouse grotesquery, that shadowed gargoyle of capitalist imperialism. i revered lester del rey. if he married his editor, how bad can she have been? all i know is how i was ignored in her office, how conscientious and patient i was with my only reward a total irrelevance which i had to pay for in wasted postage as well as lost opportunity.
isaac asimov dedicates a novel to her memory. irrational as it may be, i have to confess that i felt a microsecond of primitive vindication, stone age, homeopathetic. she ruled the market and she’s dead, younger than me. i’m invisible, now against or despite my will, and i’m alive to gloat for this moment. why should i hate her for having a skeining net probably no more full of holes than anyone else’s? don’t take it personally. it’s just business. there’s no harm that we’ve riddled your son with bullets from a machine gun and left his pieces by the toll bridge to Long Beach. it’s just business. no, michael. it’s all personal, but i say this to you in private, with no witnesses. it’s all personal. except that nothing is personal. there are no persons. only the stream, deflected or not. i am no more real than judy lynne is. or isn’t. or is no longer. she’s just a name printed on paper at electro-industrial speed and in industrial quantities. what has it to do with perception or digestion? she was probably as wonderful to lester, her elder, as dyan was to me these last five days. christ, just when you think that you’ll probably never touch another young woman again, not unless you wanted to pay for one, and you’re not about to violate that ban if you have to remain celibate the rest of your life. you’d finally allowed yourself to become attracted to a woman past thirty and been amazed that past fifty could be just as good. Rebounding from that, past fifteen was no longer attractive, and under sixteen was still forbidden not to mention not generally accessible. Even if not forbidden, how accessible would such have been except as a rarity, especially to one who no longer worked at being attractive, and if anything did work at looking like no dupe of the brassring work-and-have-the-same-as-everyone-else-only-more-so ethic. An event like Debbie being sent to me (and actually coming) to play tennis therefore becomes something not to expect on a weekly let alone daily basis. Yet I became all the more that way, glorying in the time and energy it allowed for contemplation. Christ, the money one saves without drinking and smoking and women; one feels so good one doesn’t even bother to earn enough to pay rent. So, one’s teeth suffer.
But then I bet that’s it. I go to the dentist and give up cigars. My teeth get cleaned and my cloths air out. Not a month goes by and I meet Dyan. I might have invited her son in for ice cream on another occasion, discovered how devastating the mother looked, fallen in lust, and yet not have had her stay with me all that time had the cigar smoke been embedded in everything. you better believe i put up with her cigarettes, though i did make a comment or two about cardiovascular this and that.
i quoted gbs on liars to radiance the other day, and she instantly related it to kevin: is that why he’s so worried about stuff being stolen from his campsite (meaning: maybe it’s because, being one himself, he knows thieves exist.)
phr. submitting to publishers like jerking off into a black hole.
dear virginia: you want to be told lies about santa claus? you came to the right place, the newspaper industry is nothing but some form of lie or another about santa claus …
the whole point of Santa Claus is that he isn’t real (but that generosity is)
Dyan. christ i am going to miss her. absolutely the most sensuous woman i have ever been with. not in terms of response, but in terms of appetite. when martha came it was as if she had never done so like that before. was being introduced to what you could do for her. ditto brooks. others like they’re embarrassed to have discovered it. Dyan seemed to be quite familiar with anything you could do no matter how well or thoroughly you did it, seemed to be a connoisseur, but one who resisted such pleasure on principle. how could she be so concerned with disease if she’s such an expert herself? i should be the one concerned. yet had i known that clap or something with her was an almost certainty i might still have embraced it. what wars she must wage if she really does keep herself relatively chaste. “everybody always wants to fuck me,” she confided at length. do i ever believe it. there frankness could pass for under-statement. some guy crunches her car at the red light. they exchange insurance info. she starts getting flowers from him and the third degree from her old man.
what kind of a woman could convert me, me!? as to what constitutes the ideal female anatomy? I dream of buttocks like April’s. I never would have missed Dyan’s though i now realize i’ve seen their like. (and felt them, though just once: i remember becky, fully clothed, bending and thrusting and all but swallowing me with her buttocks) but not often the like of the whole her. dyan. never had i encountered nipples like hers. for response? yes, though that too only once. what a shame never to have seen undine again. but for shape and response? never even just for shape alone. it’s like she was another species. a new primate. she was erect even when she was soft. a permanently tumescent nipple! yet disguised. it looked normal through her bathing suit.
touching just the back of her hand and where her arm rounds from the inside of her elbow … it was Winona Kim and Rose Chen again only in white skin, mature, intelligent, educated, independent, wealthy … and very appreciative of me. “don’t,” she said the first time. then, the next time i did, after we had spent hours wrapped together, but now in daylight, at the pool, with her son there on the other side of her, “don’t,” she says again. she raises her face toward me. all at once, for just that brilliant instant, her eyes raise too and lock on mine. how can a woman who never makes eyes contact know so precisely where everything is? be such a dead shot when and only when it counts the most? she fixes me with that thrilling look, like the first moment of penetration, what i work on so carefully, surprise them with the impossible, not only to know, having shrugged away guidance, the final correct path and angle, feeling them wonder (what’s he doing? what’s he waiting for? why is he torturing me?), (though actually not this time with her: she begged to guide me. how could i say no? but still) to have all of it go in in one single illuminating thrust. they gasp as they think they’ve been split open, knowing me for the first time. but it’s she doing it to me, her eyes blinding me. “don’t,” she says. then the glance, the revelation. “you know what it does to me.”
no wonder i didn’t know what she looked like until she accompanied her son into the trailer. i had tried to glimpse her and had seen only young mother. smokes. coke for breakfast. yich. if i was attracted to her then, it was only in that she was female. in the trailer i serve them the ice cream i had offered the boy, chris. it’s only then she lets me see her face. holy christ. the timing of her glances. she has every trick with a fan only she dispenses with the fan. every eye contact a rare exclamation point.
but then it must have been poor perception on my part. the looks we got when we were together. other guys falling down. i glance over at her. brushed denim dress with a zipper that follows her curves. pull at it and you’d unwrap the bosom, curve across the belly, and finish with a flourish across the mound of her pubis.
yet somehow she looks a school girl all of eighteen. and the dress she wore the next night. some course material. looked like it should have been cheap (to an idiot like me who thinks that thick and textured must mean canvas or burlap). except the hardware for the snaps alone probably cost three hundred dollars. this one snapped straight down the front. how beautiful she looked falling asleep as chris fell asleep against her. how i want to undo the series of fasteners, snaps for all i knew. when she wakes from that first sleep she undoes the first one, showing me that it just pulls. this one too comes off in one spectacular flourish. (i remember the teenaged beth bubbling at how mack the knife undresses polly in 3 penny opera, but that dress was a stage prop.) i can hardly believe it. this is some nonsense in a skin magazine. no real person wears panties like that. a long triangle, elegant in its transparency, held in place over her mound with lacy tendrils, her ass seeming completely bare as she turns it so i can free her of the dress.
she may be a sensuous greek, but it’s not as though i had been stuck with nothing but frigid anglo-saxon types. african, indian, or japanese, aggressively sensuous germans, Inge practically blowing me on street corners, not caring who sees her grab. i try to think of mediterraneans. a-m was fairly aggressive or should i say energetically responsive. so maybe it’s just greek. but it can’t be. if other greek women were like dyan, plato and friends would never have had their all male symposiums. or maybe that was why they did. no one could keep up with that. i just slept thirteen hours and am in a sense relieved to be alone again. jesus christ. what a perfect affair. i know i’m not likely to see her again. maybe next year. the plans wouldn’t even have been mentioned if chris hadn’t been the one to ask. again, only for a week or two. sunning in the keys. no expectation of writing. no obligations. no uncertainty. if she marries this Jerry, that will probably be that. she’ll know i’m there but she won’t glance up. she can see perfectly clearly through the top of her head but i won’t see her seeing. unless she decides that she wants another vacation from her wealth and from her youth. how many women with hips like that and a gold american express card get seduced through their mind? or do i have that too backwards? “how come you have a copy of writer’s market?” she asked. her laughing in all the right places of my dentist story, her asking me to go on at the end of each section, was like feeling a woman come and come while you’re just feeling full and fulfilled, not too close to the verge of exploding, just wave after wave of the most wonderful intimacy. it was she who addressed herself to my mind and who responded to what she found there. good god, dyan, what a gift you gave me. not the least part of which is the discovery of how wonderful a relationship with no claim to the future can be. what she said she feels is for sure true for me too: if i didn’t hear from her for ten years, it would be all right; we’d still be friends and i’d be glad to see her.
it’s the next day and i still can’t leave it alone. 13 hours of sleep followed by 9 pages of what was stored up while i neglected the toshiba for dyan followed by 11 hours followed by my going right back to this file. no wonder i was tired, i wrote three business letters as well, read writer’s market, and wrestled with the beginning of a letter to asimov’s sfm.
hmm. wrong. it’s the next day after that and i hardly wrote at all yesterday. then last night couldn’t sleep. i’ll write more now though, not necessarily in this file.
epist: rhetoric: natural languages evolved to convince, not to declare any precise thing. we have no descriptive system for dealing with wholes. outside and inside, macro and micro and middle. (except the whole of science which takes many minds to understand or much time for any one mind to understand more than a part of.) are any of our artificial languages capable of much more?
marching is binary?
music notation would be easier to learn, clearer to the amateur, the beginner, and the non-musician, if it admitted using number systems other than ten and established some consistent conventions in that regard. A waltz is a different system from a fox-trot. Mysterious Traveler mixes systems. As does Dave Holland, etc.
or different notations like different number systems. [explanation: mapping experience onto a tautology] how about writing waltz as fox trot. sure it could be done. but what about occam’s razor? is it the simplest? ah, but how often is conventional notation the simplest way of writing anything? only in the key of C and contained within two to three octaves centered around middle C. only when there are no accidentals. etc.
how about writing Beethoven’s 5th in some martian system. how about in some 13 number base? how about in a base 4?
how about counting measures: 1,2,3,a/1,2,3,b/1,2,3,c/ etc.
then there’s nested 4s (one-six-teenth-note, two-six-teenth-note, three-six-teenth-note, then what for four, or zero, or ten, or turnaround?
I think that Miles routines sees two simultaneous tautologies like transparent layers, sees there points of mutuality, and then weaves. You play 4/4, i’ll play compound but have electrifying moments of identity.
ask Raymond: is he aware of proposed music notation reforms?
calendars? counting conventions? where start? binary, decimal, twelve, between zero and one, what determines the order of which starts? or is zero understood to be …zero/one, next zero/one, etc.?
how about a series of symbols longer than the 26 of the alphabet, the twelve of words, the ten of decimal numbers, …? the chain could hardly be infinite. how about a math system potentially employing all the internationally used symbols, like an extended ASCII, only beyond even 256? include phonetic symbols, music, etc. Then you could have a number base of several hundred or more.
Furthermore, there ought to be a universally declared default assumption base. I suppose it’s ten now but not really, since our habits about zero etc. are still shaggy and ambiguous. In other words, make one practice crystal clear so other things can translate into it. As in Parlez-vous francais REALLY means Do you speak french? So, a REALLY means ten, or nine, or zero: which one? make it only one. But then, if it truly were rational, how would you ever explain to anyone that it isn’t real, that all reality is conceptual (except for the unutterable)? a member of the majority is always at an intellectual disadvantage. is that why i’ve always avoided WASP privilege? or because i’m afraid to rule? it’s safer not to be tested. what the ruler does may impress the ruled (or at least civilized people pretend to be impressed), but the cultural anthropologist may jeer at it. But then the paleo-anthropologist will be impressed almost no matter what. at least that’s the current fashion. look how great these trilobites were. what an eye. how clever the ice age peoples. how mysterious their macaroni.
A limit on Don’s intelligence is that he appears to be unable to articulate a context. Perhaps because he is unaware of its existence or importance.
rhetoric outside the system: 110% e.g. trouble is, then there’s no system. you give 110%? I give 111%, even when I’m loafing. oh yeah, i give 5 million %.
natural language: artificial language: tautology: if we are to invent a more rational language, what tenses should it have?
forget “rational” just like forget “true.” or, understand true merely to mean: the best we know. the trouble there is, we tend to protect it from improvement.
homeostasis: knowing how to survive, to endure, to reproduce, to train; also to resist change. to resist change is also (unavoidably?) to resist improvement, to accept improvement only from what gives us little or no choice. disaster, overpowered. yet change occurs at all levels. whatever the resistance to electricity over oil and wick lamps, in less than a century, electricity is everywhere used. cf gb’s entropy, murphy’s law, yet beauty remains (and still comes into existence). and there is no new thing under the sun. what? no innovation? how about not under the sun? it just doesn’t have to be yours. we don’t think: my son died, therefore there are no children. we do think: i didn’t get my way, therefore there is no control.
mind. does a committee “understand” anything?
cf stephen jay gould on mickey mouse getting younger and why and NatGeo’s argument about different breeds of dog being different degrees of arrested development. then civilization as arresting development of different individuals. class, attempts (partly successful) to arrest at different and controlled stages. nobility allowed certain puppyishness simultaneous to being allowed full carnivore development, at least with regard to alien human classes. then add more and more exemptions. kill anyone, but not your father. kill anyone but not yourself. anyone but not your brothers. then add to who is your brother. then sisters, then family, then women, then the weak, if the weak are your subjects, rather than some other nobel’s. then the weak brothers gang up on the strong brothers. then they too have to expand they definition of who is a brother.
that’s what black is: who’s not a brother. solution. call each other among the minority brother. you’re a brother by definition. it’s the original brothers who aren’t the brothers. not a blueblood but a ‘blood.
different breeds within civilization and mankind according to occupation, land use, social organization …
nature/nurture? extended infancy in humans both genetic and cultural, cultural on a number of levels: social, familiar, individual, etc.
giving up individual power, maturity, ferocity (in usual carnivore senses) we gain power, maturity, ferocity socially, politically, cooperatively. We still lose what we lose and we resent it. Civilization and its Discontents. We slow ourselves down in a number of respects: standing up, prolonging infancy, prolonging dependency, but gain longevity (we get phenomenally more heartbeats per life than any other mammal.
inside/outside: time/space: entropy/neg: individual/limited perspective: time sharing. who wants Willie Mays and Achilleus on the field at the same time? Lincoln and Washington? Jesus and Buddha? Archimedes and Newton or Einstein?
death lets more individuals compete, gives us more possible arenas by limiting them. The robin that feeds in the morning may not even know the nightjar; they live in different worlds. what do we know of soil bacteria?
When we talk about “all time” we just show that we don’t know what we’re talking about. All time recorded in the Bible? By history? By archeology? By guess? Just on Earth? What do we know of anywhere else?
[In the latter case (Arch,New,Ein), we have the illusion that we can compare the ideas objectively, but they are ideas in a context and a milieu. All we can see is that they’re all extraordinary compared to those around them. And compared to us too. Maybe especially compared to us. Speak for yourself, John, say the dissenters. Are they dissenters because they lack imagination? knowledge? don’t even know what’s being compared or what constitutes excellence or performance? or because it’s Jimmy Brown dissenting? or Walter Payton? or Enrico Fermi, Murray Gell Mann, or Rich Feynman?]
It’s the 25th and I’m still sitting here in Jonathan Dickinson Park. It took me days to recover from Dyan-the night we didn’t actually couple was more exhausting for me than when we did. I had decided that I would leave Friday. Now it’s Monday and I’ve postponed again. But how could I possibly have guessed that I would meet Dana? What’s happening to me? going from a dynamite 33 year old to a tall, lithe, 23 year old life guard who runs as well as swims everyday. I’m so disappointed when her mother sends her brother to take care of her. The three of us have dinner, and it’s great, but there go my dreams of patting her flank. When has anything been so apparent as that she genuinely likes me? But now it’s all clear: she invites me to the night club Friday night. Before she shows up, Anne, the 52 year old mother is there to greet me. Anne is very nice, but not at all her daughter. It’s Dana who invites me home for the night: to her mother’s house. Then she stays too? What’s going on? I met her ex boyfriend that a.m. and he might as well have been Arnold Schwartzenegger. Seth, 28, introduces me to the guys in the band: here’s a guy who really knows what’s what. The trombone only half cares. In fact after a few minutes he seems to want to get away from somebody who’s seen more of the world than Palm Beach. No man, I’ve already compromised. I have a wife and kids. This place is enough for me. Anyway, I invite the mother as well as the daughter for a barbecue Saturday night. Anne declines. Then Dana declines too. Seth was sick Fri night. Now she looks worse than I feel. So, she’ll come Sunday. Sunday, I’m the one who’s sick. But feel much stronger with the stimulation of her approach. Oh jesus, all the old crap comes back. will she come? it was a practical joke; she’s fooling me. no, she really sounded like she wanted to; if she’s still sick, she’d call, the campground would get a message to me, they know I’m waiting for her. what an old jerk, waiting around for a young girl. her feelings are paternal, she’ll freak out when you touch her. wait a minute, i’ve already touched her. her arms go right around you as you pat her bottom. yeah, but that could be paternal too, you haven’t dove for her pussy yet. you haven’t yet crucified her just by holding your hips rigid while hugging her. anyway, she’s late. why should she come at all, she probably heard your brain waves and is heading in the other direction. no here she is. it’s crystal: anne is with her! i invited anne for Saturday, but who invited her for Sunday? I’ve heard of sister sandwiches. and I’ve been attracted to mother/daughter combos before. but that was when i was a teenager, the age within a year or so of the girl and then i’d see this really nice maybe thirty something year old. a woman who would actually know what she was doing, instead of guessing and hoping like you and maybe the daughter too. what was her name in highschool, Diane? i still remember her, the dancer’s, challenges to feel her thighs. she pulls her skirt up to her waist. there, she says, feel that. but the mother! the mother was completely together. i visit for the first time, and it was the mother who brought out the picture books of nude models for me. mother and daughter together watched me as i dutifully looked: don’t over react. be cool. So, now it’s out. But what can the two of them be thinking? The daughter volunteers to be the bait for the mother and the mother accepts it? I don’t know her three hours and she’s telling me how many years it’s been since she’s had a lover. what will I do? time will tell. talk to her. look, my feelings for you are partly paternal but far more would be paternal. have a daughter by me and then i’ll be your mother’s lover the rest of the time. but you know that’s disaster. failure. talking prevents action. rationalizing copulation is the surest way to make sure that the gates don’t open sesame. if I make love to anne, that will fix the relationship, fix both relationships. dana will be daughter, not lover. affectionate daughter for sure. but maybe that’s all it is now and all it should be. sure. explain “should” to baldy there. if he could talk, it would sound like the watergate tapes. or the voice of the hotel in the pen of Stephen King.
how would i explain to dana next winter that dyan is coming for a couple of weeks?
and i promised lana i would call her for lunch on tuesday. lana who looks just like martha, only nicer. less secretive anyway.
No society has a budget to pay for its mistakes and oversights. But nature does.
I know now what this id file is so long just for January 1988: why I haven’t gotten anything done, why i’ve been even more private, withdrawn, reclusive, and unbusiness-like despite a few successful and one spectacular day: new years day was a holiday. hell, nothing business-like to do except what i can do on the Toshiba. perfect opportunity to brush up old id files. feed last year’s paper, now the year before last, into 86.id. read through 86 and 87.id. maybe run a spell check. who knows what typos you made. you’ll never figure out half of what you meant. write an explanation to brian. hope that some of it someday communicates at least to him. anyway, it’s addictive. can’t stop. i swear that there are at least some ideas in here that people don’t know. and should. or would benefit from. maybe unhealthily benefit, like hamlet. but then what hamlet, however unhealthy, would ever willingly become a polonius, however healthy? (cf the relationship between the sick but right cassandra and say agamemnon) and hamlet, claudius, and denmark itself. cassandra perhaps would have willingly traded with agamemnon, but hamlet with ophelia? never) except of course at the extreme higher level of vishnu and shiva. they trade so as to remain unrecognizable even to themselves. is there a still higher level of godhead which remains recognizable? no such thing: different levels appear to switch signs as one reaches them. milton’s paradise lost has all the former gods cohabiting hell with satan. by the time you get to wiliam blake, jehovah has moved there too. now to some, jesus as well. but to others, jesus, and to still others, Jehovah as well, still rule heaven enthroned. to some, ruling is still a valid activity for a god, a throne a viable and respectable thing to rule from. [somewhere someone may still worship baal. it’s still astrology, not astronomy, that fills and sells the newspapers (which sell the refrigerators, the government, the civilization, etc. …)] while to others, to me for instance, all but jesus’s seeming principles of sharing while enduring, of remaining both steadfast and patient, of knowing/ believing that memes can endure while genes die, at least an individual’s genes, … belong in hell. my own latest heaven belongs in hell. what’s in heaven then? in the heaven which is still heaven even after the old heaven has slid down to the dust heap of hell? why the stochastic … and cybernetic feedback, of course. god is dead? long live god.
politics is the one arena in which one can see evidence of at least some people at least with partial conscious understanding and confronting as directly as they can the principles of cybernetic control. we call it hypocrisy because we have no better vocabulary for dealing with it. a senator’s moral imagination can still articulate itself only through kindergarten images, but his maturity knows the reality of opinion. and both the stubbornness and the motility of opinion.

Journal

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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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