/ Journal /
here i am, stupid and dizzy from this whatever it is i picked up from dana and seth, hardly even up to babbling, waiting another hour and a half to call RC and then back to sleep again, and another emblem of my life occurs to me, another one from college. i’m trying write to asimov’s sf mag, trying to be a good salesman, to be descriptive, objective, professional, respectful, some of these things difficult or downright contradictory to me. don’t be accusatory, however appropriate you feel it to be, they won’t. or if they do recognize its correctness, they’ll resent it all the more. you sell things to fat people by inventing euphemisms and false promises, not by telling them you’re fat, you’re disgusting, and there’s no cheating if you want a solution. yet i can’t help some of my tone to richard nixon’s white house. i told you so. boy, do i enjoy your trouble. the trouble is, you don’t even know you’re in trouble; it’s before watergate and you think you’re doing fine.
it was freshman year. the layout of the rooms for john jay hall was like the shape of a staple. the spine and ends were formed of monastically sterile single rooms while each end of each floor was bent by a two room suite. bill tapley, paul wolsk, and i were roommates that first semester. our suite was still the gathering place for our half of the floor. maybe people liked us, maybe we were patsies, pushovers. the other guys would study all they could stand in their singles and then come and goof off in our place. no studying ever got done in our suite. at least not by me. maybe it was even worse for tapley, since he had been the first to arrive in september and had naturally enough taken the larger room with the single bed. he can hardly have anticipated however that it would be that room that the hordes would descend on first and most often. mainly, it was the architecture. our rooms had been the assigned meeting place of the organized bull sessions during freshman week. people kept the habit of coming there. ever commuters. once they had moved back to queens or the bronx, if they had lived on our half of the seventh floor during freshman week, it was to our rooms that they returned throughout the year: if they wanted to talk, or relax, or goof off, or maybe even to see one of us. it was even cheaper than a coffee at the lion’s den. to fix the position, i recall the address as 741. we were the architectural elbow at the high end of the numbers, the end rooms right out over the tennis court. and maybe our personalities did have something to do with it. david levy had the suite at the other end of the hall; he and his graceless roommates never had the perpetual hordes of visitors that we did. wolsk was smart (ahem): he stayed disappeared most of the time. tapley would go to the library, or ignore his guests. i just stayed imposed upon.
let me see: do i have his name right? keller. bill. bill keller was the sophomore something or other in charge of maturity and discipline or whatever for our end of the hall. a scholarship grind from the bronx. father ran a deli or something. bronx science. pre-med or engineer or something. alternated his time between math, chem, or physics problems in his room, all of which he solved correctly i am sure, none of which he ever understood or cared about i am certain, and recreating himself by hectoring all over ours with stories about fraternity guys dropping weather balloons filled with water from the 12th floor roof onto convertibles parked with the top down on West 114th Street. parked by an inevitably attractive single female still sitting in the car. “blew the doors off. har har.” no comment on what happened to the poor female. or other stories about guys who had been booted in some previous year for forever dropping the cookie machine off the roof whenever it didn’t work, which was all the time. “they got expelled. har har.”
well, one day we (maybe it was wolsk bolstering tapley, cause we that time didn’t include me) infuriated keller by locking the door. his first revenge was to fill the lock with toothpaste. the door was steel and would have bent an ax, but he beat on it with his fists. his nth revenge, once the door was again unlocked, was to burst in with a boy scout cook kit, tennis balls and a large can of lighter fluid. “wouldn’t it be great,” he inquired, the skin of his forehead stretched as tight with purpose as with malicious glee while he squirted lighter fluid over a tennis ball in the boy scout frying pan, soaking it, to hurl this flaming pitch down onto the tennis court, repelling all invaders of the castle. wolsk looked half conspiratorial, half embarrassed. he looked torn between opening the window, our window, my window, the window over the tennis court for keller and quietly slipping away: who me? i’m not here. tapley showed his radical roman catholic starch by saying “aw shucks, fellers” and retreating to the corner. it was my floor keller could have spilled his combustibles onto as he juggled everything into one hand while reaching for a lighter with the other. now i’m not clear what he wanted to use for a spark. maybe it was my zippo he reached for. “hey. cut it out,” i said. lighter fluid spilled and keller struggled the window open himself. “not my window you don’t. get out of here.” or not any window: just quit it. or some such. i don’t remember exactly what i said, only that i kept telling him not to.
keller light the pan and started hurling. now the pyro won out in wolsk. he pressed forward to see the laden tennis balls land and bounce leaving puddles of flame across the tennis court below. keller started to reload. i resumed my ineffectual protest. when keller went to the window to hurl another barrage down onto the heads of the imaginary invaders, i actually tried to wrestle him away. i grabbed him from behind. keller was no gorilla, but upper body strength has never been my forte and at age eighteen it was my feeble for sure. keller seemed only mildly inconvenienced as he continued in his defense of whatever he was defending … a preemptive strike for freedom and democracy, capitalism and for columbia over the yeshiva.
suddenly, keller desisted. maybe it suddenly occurred to him that what he had done wasn’t imaginary. maybe he realized that he could be seen. i doubt that anything i had said or done had gotten to him. nevertheless, he stopped. he left. i stood there dizzy from the fury the blood was making around my face and temples. god, how embarrassing to my inmost self to be so helpless, such a wimp, for keller to have walked across all of us like that, especially me, to have been hardly more than a fly for him to brush aside. like george that time when we were in the seventh grade or maybe we had just gone into the eighth grade-he had sought my friendship to get next to betsy who lived next door to me-anyway, it was a year later, betsy had never spoken to him and now we were no longer friends. he was making sure of it. he got me so mad that i tried to punch him. only the first or second time i had ever tried to hit anybody with my hands. chunky george didn’t bother to block the blows. didn’t bother him any more than a fly would have, he told me. then he wondered what being hit with a bullet would feel like. maybe like a bee sting, he speculated. nothing at first, and then just a sting. then he went inside my house and rampaged around looking for a bottle of aspirins so he could commit suicide. when i didn’t restrain him, he had to do my part for him, his muscular juvenile forearm shaking with the contradictory strain.
swallow the aspirins. don’t swallow the aspirins. what would i have done had i had any idea that one actually could poison oneself with an overdose of aspirin? poor george. still building all those muscles to defeat himself with years later. still stealing my girlfriends when they were no longer my girlfriends. going out with dora lee. and finally finding the car crash that did it. no more theatrics for george. no more internecine battle with his own ego.
anyway, it was long moments before my blood stopped racing through the surface capillaries, before my blushes subsided, my shame.
a chill ran through my guts when the notices came. tapley, wolsk, and i were charged with malicious endangerment or something. stories got told. so keller got included. the charges were more serious for him, not because he had done it, nor because it was his idea, but because he was the sophomore something or other and had “participated.” so, they didn’t believe the truth. we all got some sort of warning. i don’t remember the severity of tapley’s or wolsk’s. i don’t think any were severe. i’m sure the college didn’t regard mine as severe. it doesn’t matter. what still rankles, what i can never forgive them for, is that according the this committee of undergraduate justice, we were all guilty to some extent. you, jew, you are guilty of being kicked by that nazi. those smug upperclassmen- it’s all the worse to my mind that they regarded the inquest as a joke-thought i was nervous from fear or judgment. wrong! i was trembling with indignation at not having been already exonerated. tapley and wolsk had told them what i had done and keller too to some extent had supported their testimony. it didn’t matter. some degree of shame was the only verdict their form allowed. i tapped down my chesterfield as their questioning began. i tapped and tapped on my zippo. a habit long established, in imitation of dick krager. i put the packed end in my mouth. the end of empty paper went up like a flare. a member of the inquisition laughed uproariously. the inquisition looked nervous. the laugher apologized to me for laughing at my nervousness. but he couldn’t help it. it was so funny to watch me so seriously tamping down the tobacco and then lighting the wrong end in my fluster. what fluster? it was years before i understood what he had meant. i always smoked the shorter denser cigarette. didn’t everyone? apparently not. since then i’ve seen people pack and light their cigarettes either way. but i was wholly ignorant of the alternative at the time. or was it he who didn’t know one end of a cigarette from the other? one indignity after another. i let at least part of my outrage show. “i tried to stop him,” i said. “you have statements from the others that i was all over his back, wrestling with him: why are you censuring me?” “because you didn’t succeed in stopping him, you share some of the guilt.” that was the judgment. end of inquiry. take your censure and go home. you, jew. you are guilty of failing to stop that nazi from kicking you. we don’t know what you did to make him hate you so, but we see how much he hates you. we know him. he’s a good nazi. he wouldn’t want to kick you so if you didn’t deserve it. yes, it was he who kicked you and we find him to be wrong, but if it develops that your scrotum has broken his toe he will still be free to file a civil suit against you …
added 1/26 with a slightly clearer head. since what i wrote yesterday didn’t make the sense i intended i here add: the analogy with what i feel in submitting material to publishers with my experience and the experience of the world on my shoulders (witness how piers anthony’s hatred and contempt for editors comes through even today in his intros to his early stories: all the bitterness fresh. no forgiveness). we go through a ritual in which they are supposed to examine evidence and make free judgments, but they don’t; they neither see the facts nor are free to do the appropriate thing. we are cocked to accuse and to find guilty and to punish, to punish tempered by mercy; not to discover the truth and to redesign the institution accordingly.
not one of their page turners is programmed to recognize my invention or free to independently choose to harmonize with it, harmonize with it sufficiently just to see it. if they saw it, they could conceivably still choose not to publish it, sorry knatz, we’re doing another “Bitch” this month. It’s a pisser but they’ve raised the taxes in Greenwich again. Why not go stand on a stile in the desert? it would be cheaper, easier, and have the same effect.
there was no provision in roman law or tradition for pilate to say, jesus, not only do i find you to be without fault in these accusations, but i find you to be an exceptionally good man, better than these sanhedran creeps, and to tell the truth, better than me too, perhaps (i can’t say obviously) better even than caesar in rome. therefore, i declare this a holiday and you the king of the may. thank you. would you like some refreshments?
end of added.
so. i have great difficulty making any submission to a publisher. asimov’s sfm has never rejected anything of mine. i have had no contact with this gardner dozois. yet i approach him as a member of class which is already and permanently guilty of getting me wrong. is it my fault that my fiction has never been published? in that i’ve merely written what i’ve wanted how i’ve wanted and occasionally sent some of it out, that my decisions to be more businesslike about it have been only partially acted on, yes. in sales, you find out what the market wants and then you get that or create that and sell it to it. or you disguise whatever it is that you have and sell it to it as that. here, you want prestige? buy this soggy book of used matches … you’ll get plenty of prestige. see, they look just like NYAC matches. snob appeal? hey, no one else will have one. they won’t understand your having it. they’ll think you’re impossibly brilliant. practical? it’s practical. you can use it to remind yourself to buy matches. aesthetic? are you kidding? look at that texture … Soggy paper! that’s class!
no, i haven’t done that. or i haven’t done it well enough. i haven’t studied the market thoroughly. or maybe i did a little, but too little too late. i want them to examine the reality and to respond in terms of that reality. not, your parrot isn’t a very good dodo.
and i can’t help feeling that my job is to write what i think needs to be expressed. not just what i want to express but what needs to be expressed in general. not just what i have to say, but more, what you need to hear. and they don’t hear it. or, if they do, they keep it to themselves.
writer’s market says that they have no obligation to offer details about an unsolicited manuscript. that’s true i see. and if it isn’t, i see that they see it as true. they can hardly afford to see it any other way.
i’m sick … i’m not expressing what i had meant … i see myself as trying to wrestle us back from destruction. i see myself as failing. i see no correspondence between the facts as i see them and the responses i get or fail to get. in the 19th century, the tsarist bureaucracy was warned of an assassination attempt of Tsar Somebody months in advance. it got through channels days after the attempt had failed. i’m not saying that i’m the only hans, that there is only one leak, that the leaks i try to plug are necessarily fatal. or that somebody won’t maybe survive even if they are. i’m not saying that publishing my stories would be smart publishing. i do insist that the bureaucracy is blind and clumsy and that i shouldn’t be invisible. knatz, what is this shit? it’s difficult. who wants to read it? souls? there aren’t any souls in science fiction. nobody can identify with your characters. they’re not even characters. you can mock the government, you can mock people, but you can’t mock everything and everybody and then get all emotional about a hominid. you want people to know what you know? forget about it. your writing sucks. now that would be an answer. it might be right. i could understand it at least
yet good writing does get published. and even read occasionally. i’m not even insisting that my writing is good. i am insisting that there is good in it, lots of good. and that it doesn’t deserve invisibility or mis-identification. and i do say that nobody: not steven king, not joe heller, not carl sagan, not anybody that i have any awareness of in fiction, writes in a cosmos the size of mine. not stanislaw lem.
then there ineradicably is the part i do feel responsible for and may actually be responsible for: only going for, only allowing the hard chance. insisting that if it be, it be the long shot. and: like in grad school, max patrick says something stupid like never use the first person. there are no nevers in art. and standard written english, criticism, and art needn’t of necessity be incompatible. therefore, it was de rigor to use the first person pronoun and to use it well in essays for Max patrick. needlesstosay, he didn’t get it. didn’t recognize that he deserved it. or maybe he did. and therefore resented it the more. but then, why should he? as a full professor, as founder of 17th century news, he was a professional asshole. don’t mistake me for a real thinker; i’m a professor at nyu. got tenure, i do. i know the sf people will be blind to anything about god, so that’s just what i’ve got to insist on giving them.
i insist on being a mutant. they don’t sense my particular pheromones. they fail to sense it as a at all. yet it is. yes, they’re right. not for them. yet how can i get it to those for whom it is, if not through them? maybe they, those for whom i am a potential mate, don’t exist? i don’t believe it. how can i be in season without a mate? nature simply doesn’t operate that way. the ideas i express, embody are not unique. the synthesis is original with me, but i have never originated anything that i don’t find a duplicate of somewhere sooner or later (except perhaps my point about conservation of spirit subsuming all other conservation laws) i can be in season and fail to find one, or fail to consummate, or fail to fertilize or to be fertile. but i simply don’t believe that i am in season without a mate anywhere.
why do i continue to gush on like this? wouldn’t it be better to write one brief essay a day, making it comprehensible, readable, perhaps publishable? wouldn’t it be better to spend an equal amount of time and effort on thinking of an organization and a market and of writing only ten pages instead of a thousand but having those ten pages have a potential audience? fact is, i spend no effort, or almost no effort on this: only time. my impulse is to gush, to turn the valve and let what ever comes come out: dirty water, gravel, maybe a few flecks of gold. maybe a nugget. maybe the dirty water is or should be more valuable than the nugget. why should the value of reality be constrained by our inability to both embrace and to focus? my love these days is for the invisible things, the untriggered viruses in space, the bacteria in the soil, the things that will make things happen that we know nothing about.
i want to ask the woman in the cargo van about windowless camping. “we” buy plants in FL and sell them up north, she says. i want to ask about her “husband,” … ? “partner,” … “companion,” “protector,” “friend,” “exploiter,” … dyke girl friend, what? the culture assigns us assumptions and the language cooperates in giving us no choices. this should offend no one who understands these things. shakespeare’s actors were called the king’s men. servant class, when servants were precisely what they weren’t, not even to royalty (as though that should make a difference by 1600!). (James I thought so inordinately, but the revolution that visited his son shows how wrong he was.) but the society had no liguistic provision for free men. query: what do the records show about free women among them? no women actors doesn’t mean no women attached to the company in one way or another. or would they have been “attached” only casually to individuals, including to several individuals, like the dark lady? in other words, as independent free woman? the point isn’t that i wanted to make assumptions about whoever else was in her “we” but that she specified that she wasn’t alone and that to speak further I too should follow her lead and specify. but we have little in the way of specifying an unknown, so we assign it a default, even if we don’t thing that the default automatically applies. so, as speakers of a natural language, we should all relax and go with it. as designers of artificial languages, we should be careful to have unspecified categories. in word processing we have the concept “left margin,” not just “left margin at the 8th column unless otherwise specified.” If we had such a language and if the group knew it and was fluent in it and spoke it, what would happen? would it immediately begin reverting to the natural norm? the thing about “should”s in english is that they have little to do with abstract tautologies and everything to do with rhetoric and power and persuasion. or subordinating oneself like a good servant, slave, citizen, wife to the property owners and rulers so justly far above us. you wont’ get a job if you split your infinitives. horseshit, you won’t get a job if you care. better, you shouldn’t want a job. a job means having failed to be jefferson’s free yeoman farmer entrepreneur wealthy subsistence citizen of america. if we had “oc” for gender not known or not cared about or none of your business, wouldn’t the vivid speaks quickly find the advantages of he or she? it’s concrete and the concrete persuades. what’s rhetoric but persuasion and what’s literature but successful rhetoric married to concrete fiction? except where the opposite subcategory is understood: where fiction is embraced because it’s abstract … allegory, bareassed myth. of which is the garden of eden an example? concrete if we think adam and eve are proper names, and abstract if we understand cain and able to be migrant herdsman vs. farmer. and eden itself: is that like hoboken a particular place on a map with many places? who not from hoboken should give a shit about hoboken? or is it GARDEN, the garden, the ur-garden, the essence of agriculture?
old shaw wrote sketchier and sketchier plays. “he” and “she”. instead of lord ramsbottom and mrs prichet. back to adam and eve. but even when we say tarzan and jane, we do have that abstract response. me and her. he and she. the essentials of human relationship. but contemporary criticism doesn’t recognize it. no, we want or think that we want concrete this and that. what we actually get is “wise guy” and “big ass”. just like a cave drawing.
we forget that most or all of our names have or had meaning. small, crafty, graceful, giving, noble, the anointed one …
maybe Brooks or Fred Friendly look for essence (whatever their consciousness thinks they’re looking for), but the receptionist turning pages over the transom probably thinks she’s looking for sylvester and sonia from beverley hills. doesn’t she know what the fuck beverly hills is? actual individual organisms can’t live on paper. can only seem to. how many shakespeare scholars have a clue how much of his characters’ time is spent being two dimensional pasteboard? hamlet = melancholy prince, ophelia = dumbfuck virgin daughter, taylor, tinker, etc. the mechanicks … soldier, etc.
brian, if you ever read this. what a lot of crap i’ve just written. but i think i understand why i’ve done it. i just finished the rewrite of my letter to asimov which has gone uncompleted since December. I think it’s good. I’ll let it stew at least another day, hope to discuss it with Ray Chorneau who i’m expecting tomorrow, and mail it off again. you see, i plan to keep the story in the mail, to be professional, unemotional, routine. send it out when you get it back. but i haven’t and i’ve been sick about it. for one thing, i still don’t have a clear address to use (thought now I could create one tomorrow-in fact I expect to. still, it’s a plan, not a fact). for another i haven’t read the story since Oct and i’m a little afraid to. i’m torn between just sending it as I promised myself and giving it a quick read. there might be some little thing … i’m afraid that there would suddenly be months of huge and little things. no, send it like routine and then reread it. no, finish the golden rule first. you must write a short story which is truly short. send that out, use it as a wedge. the advice i’ve found that sounds good says spend as much time and attention on the cover letter as on the artifact. be professional, a pro addressing pros. if only i thought that the blind people at the other end were professional. i mean competent, not just money earners (whether wages or profits). there, you see? emotion. exactly what i have to be without. i do it as routine in selling graphics. i don’t give a shit what you buy: this one has this characteristic, that one that. this sold such and such … so, i’m beating my head against the wall trying to write the perfect cover letter. i had thought the one to analogue was good. but it came back without comment. so how good can it have been? the wrong question perhaps, but the right pursuit toward the best selling instrument; the letter. well, i worked and sweated and spewed gibberish into the diary, but I think i’ve written a really good sales letter. in fact, i’ll send it to you for your records and for possible comment.
and of course my perennial problem is salesmanship exists to sell what everyone knows exists. but i only try to write what has never existed before. a new species of literature. i may fail, it may not be possible, maybe it’s stupid or wrong to try, but it’s what i do. put god back into fiction, put uncertainty and free imagination together with a little contemporary epistemology back into theology. why? just because i’ve been told not to. just because they say that only ted williams can hit the fastball. because i want to show them that their judgments and their values suck. max patrick said no first person pronouns in graduate essays so i made sure there was at least one well used in everything i submitted to him. this exception proves your rule, patrick. proves that you are full of shit. did he wise up and improve his statement from a slogan to a rule? no. i just got into deep shit. but i paid the price then and i pay it now.
even bucky fuller failed to sell an entire new industry to the government. when they realized they needed it and that he had it, they stole it from him, but first, he had tried to sell it to them. they didn’t know what he was talking about: one of the most articulate men ever. invented his own language to utter his thoughts.
on the other hand, there is also another motive i probably have for doing things the anonymous way: i’m still not ready to join my own time. ok, 1988, i accept your values at least enough to work on them. like the majority leader last night picking at the president. the loyal opposition. a future intelligence may not know “paul knatz tried this and failed, see how pure he was”, but may very well see: “of course they had this and that limitation, any other fluctuations would have been ignored or repressed. we don’t have to know about Ethwode the Saxon to see that if he had tried to explain quantum uncertainty to King Aethelrede the Recheless he would have been in last place for gold rings.
in other words, anonymity isn’t proof of virtue, but it might be a requisite to qualify for the possibility.
it’s extra hard when you see everything as to some degree arbitrary and all standards as fossilized possibility. if you’re fighting to free slaves can you also be worrying about women’s rights? or lab animals? what about left handedness? internal or external skeleton. ridged or flexible? how about whether centrioles are admitted to your cells? how about their status once you realize you can’t do anything with the cell if they’re not there. how about the handedness of the molecule. or some really basic stuff like the number of electrons in a ring. oh sure it seems clear cut now …
if you’re worrying about lord greystoke’s fencing out the peasants, can you worry equally about what the peasants would do with greystoke’s land if they weren’t fenced out? compare for virtue: van gogh, starving and ragged with his flock, giving till he was bankrupt at their level, now all starve including the once middle class pastor, and kurtz: exterminate the beasts.
kurtz’ business was to kill the men who didn’t kill enough elephants. kill and sell the ivory until there’s nothing left in creation which can produce ivory. does the price approach infinity as the supply reaches zero? or does the demand simply disappear with the possibility of satisfaction? then how about those pursuits which only grow where no satisfaction is possible? religions. cargo cults. there being no evidence whatever for my assertions is what makes us all so rabidly sure. we’ll kill you if you disagree.
what is man up to, exterminating everything in the natural biosphere to make more room for beef cattle, behormoned friers, wheat, corn, and alfalfa. imagine the rage with which cortez must have destroyed the amaranth. it was a crop, but it wasn’t a christian crop. he didn’t recognize it as a grass.
i can understand better our hatred of snakes. once the mammal was the minority, twitching terror before the reptile giants. now we’re the giants acting as though every chipmunk were towering over us.
the wildebeest of the kalahari died toward extinction so the humans could hoard the water for their cattle.
i remember that sf story from age 12; the war against plants, the guy grinding the sprout under his heel in the desert.
[inserted from SK notes of mid Dec 87]
cosmos / universe
same physics? same math? logic? if not then can’t even talk about other.
god rules in heaven. fine. does logic? is god ruled by logic? is there a difference? does god rule logic?
the male’s instinct is opposition; the female’s complement, cooperate, dance together, doesn’t have to dominate but to agree with the beneficial thing, shape, etc.
why women should rule the world. II. next phase. nothing is permanent.
rep / senator. first represents the opinions of his constituency; second his own wisdom.
? If life and death situation for state, nation, humanity, earth and you’re a rep, but salvation as you see it necessitates going against that sense and dictates following own, what do you do?
! appoint self senator and follow own conscience. if afterward, if there is an afterward, your constituency doesn’t like it, they can remove you from office. In doing what you’ve done, you’ve already removed yourself from that office. Then they can ratify you as senator or return you to rep or prosecute you. Or sanctify you. That’s up to them, not you.
science & society. society should support those who find exceptions to society’s own claims about itself. not persecute and bury them.
woke up with idea that mendel’s discovery that characteristics don’t mix in the phenotype but rather choose to be fully one or another-blue eyes or brown, not blue-brown-is somehow binary. now i don’t see it but i write it anyway. i always have such a subjective conviction that there’s something there. sure there is: it’s maybe like a drug induced conviction of profundity. oh, wow, am i holy, am i brilliant, am i thinking the most intelligent thoughts of all time! oh yeah? then state what they are. write them down. see? you just kidding yourself: you ain’t thinkin’ nothin’ at all: the drugs made you stupid and easily duped, not divinely intelligent. but these dreams aren’t from hash in the room, they originate in me, so i try to give them a chance, try to hold on to them.
binary? true, one or the other, but not just two choices. rather, it is either or but there can be more than one or. blue eyes, brown, gray, green, no two the same out of billions or more. still, within a family they seem to be the same. do you have your father’s hair or your mothers? oh, your grandfathers.
anyway, for sure there’s a difference between the phenotype and the genotype maybe of a sufficiency to call it a different number base.
here’s a question. clones? can any two genetic strings be the same? at the level of all blue eyes are the same, maybe … but at the level of no two blue eyes are the same, probably not. but still they’re not the same. the one has blue eyes and green eyes and gray eyes … and butterfly wings.
i’ll bet it’s binary of type. here, you can have either this type or that type. blue or brown. then the exact blue depends on everything around it, but the initial choice, …
i dreamed one thing and another and another. quick, load QA, just note key words, little barbs to catch the complex. but no, you had to piss. but even if you hadn’t. now it’s all gone except the binary and DNA. was there anything there at all? the stupid tiny part of us, the conscious part, knows no more of what’s within than my finger tips touching the table top know the table. see? it’s wood, smooth, hard. no, no, that’s just the surface. ok, it’s some kind of composition board, sawdust and glue i suppose, pressed and dried and varnished, and given this little plastic strip for a molding. still, that’s just words, even multiple details are just a fragment of the surface. guessing the composition is superficial. you don’t know what’s in that table. what’s in the pulp, if it is pulp. what’s in the glue. molecules and atoms. just words. silly cartoons.
ha! heaven and hell story: god judging at judgment day by words and silly cartoons cause he has no way of knowing you the individual. not only is he remote and unknowable from you but you are remote and unknowable from him. here’s one, your highness-lord-sir. it says “Jew.” at least it’s not another republican.
something bubbles up from within, stretches the surface into some pretty shape, and recedes, settling back down toward blackness. when we’re awake we don’t even know the blackness is there, cooking.
reality is what’s what, but does reality know what’s what? does being necessitate knowing? (and I don’t mean human knowing)
ray says the truck needs fixing again. there’s always something going wrong with it. the mechanic, ray says, is in love with beth. who can blame him? insofar as women remain attractive after mating, they are not “ours”. we’re still in an evolutionary ambiguity. dif. cultures. muslims hide. clearly a confession that they’d all be out of control otherwise. as freud says, modern cultures are really dumb. us? we don’t need those taboos. rationalizing all this shit: why shouldn’t a man and a woman be able to be just friends? what does the social “should” have to do with biology? an ass that can swallow you, tits just as round and elemental. even the flesh around the areola can smell rank. and then you’re in quick sand. quagmire. no footing. going down. oh christ that cervix descends like a zeppelin out of the infinite.
dyan said “everybody always wants to fuck me.” she said it with a touch of helplessness and frustration. inconvenience. a confession. trying to be responsible and knowing the impossibility. was it when i asked how come she never made eye contact? i couldn’t see her face. i didn’t know what she looked like. good. she’s hiding. but once she looks, there she is in full battle regalia. her calf hangs from her knee like a pear. never have i wanted to touch a calf so much. but not a pear, that suggests awkward. no, there’s this unbelievable smooth and swift transition from narrowness to fullness. not even hilary’s tom courtney leg, though that was when she had her weight on it, not like dyan lying on the bed. i start with the finger tips under the knee, my palm hardly making contact with that fullness. she flinches away. i pull my hand back like lightning. me? that wasn’t me. i wouldn’t have touched you on the leg. “i haven’t shaved them,” she says. every utterance a hook. your xmas present isn’t wrapped yet. be patient. you’ll get it in a minute. if you’re good. if you continue to prove to me that you know all the combinations. i am an infinite series of locks. no, no, i can’t. deeper, deeper. then again, she was right. if she ever came, i couldn’t tell. was that a loyalty to Jerry? a nymphomania of hers? maybe she never can. maybe that’s why she’s so triggered. but then how could she with everything alternating push and pull? now, if i could have opened her the way and at the pace i wanted.
is that what guilt fucking used to be like? still is? maybe that was a perfect victorian fuck. well, it certainly was great, for all that i was never in control.
and i really can’t get over the revelation about her ass. it now seems to me as though she had two of them. one tight and round and perfect, each crest of which fit right in my hand. everything came perfectly together as i rode her. her pussy was a mecca of roundness. the main tendon of the thigh which i love when it stands out, a long line breaking one curve, but pointing the right way just the same, on her was blunted within the flesh. a hand wrapping each buttock, one forefinger rimmed her while that of the other hand probed for the tendon. probed deep. but i got distracted. her ass: that was one ass, tight and perfect. then there was a much larger one containing it, one that went half way down her thighs. that was the first view i had had of her. she was next door, bending into the trunk of her car wearing her white silk shirt. i thought that girl isn’t in shape, is fat, doesn’t have a nice ass, doesn’t know how to take care of herself (how should i have known?: you can’t swim 2 miles a day and not have the ass you should), shouldn’t wear shorts that length … whatever i thought was in those directions. i didn’t know. she was probably wearing her incredible red bathing suit that scarcely covers her vulva. how could i know that that wasn’t her ass hanging half way down her thighs; that was her ASS! you’re seeing the whole thing except the sphincter. when i first put my arms around her and held her face to face, she cooperated, short though of melting into me. she held still. i waited till i had her good (or the best that was likely, i never did get the purchase i normally like. now i know it doesn’t exist on her. it’s not curved and soft here, flat and hard there, billow against her breasts and belly, but her mound will be like a wall to press against … she was all flesh rounding away toward flesh. every way she turns away.) and reached slowly down to embrace her bottom. i had to keep reaching and keep reaching. now every other ass seems superficial. when i turned her, she bent and enfolded me. good god, a sky of endless billows. no fat, all firm, all fertile, encompassing.
inside/outside: just keep babbling and it all comes back. all information is binary in that it is difference. you turn left where the buildings and sidewalk stop being solid and there’s space to pass between them. it’s a street. take it. turn there. or, no difference. there are no spaces between the buildings or sidewalk to either side of you. you are moving forward. there is no new input. no information. you are in motion, continue in motion. go straight. music: art: evolution: establish a pattern and then vary it. humor: build expectation and then frustrate it. throw fastballs and then a curve. throw curves and then a fastball. talk about eternity and slip in the mundane. downbeat (invisible upbeat), downbeat (invisible upbeat), rest (make the downbeat invisible but palpable)-UPBEAT (emphasize it). Hot-chaa, Hot-chaa, -CHaa … “Whanne that Aprile with his shoures soote” a string of iambs begins with a variation. a series of eighth notes, all similar, down/up, down/up, down/up, rest/upandhold (i’m thinking here of roland kirk’s serenade to a cuckoo. horace’s song for my father: …up down/up \ down/tri-po-let/ down/uplinkedto down/tri-po-let down/uplinkedto\ down/tri-po-let down/uplinked to down/tri-po-let \ down/upand\ holdthrough one and through three quarters of the next measure … it’s so complex, did i get it right? it’s multidimensional binary. start with a pickup. the measure opens with a downbeat, C, the third of Ab. the pickup was a series of eighth notes, an odd series, since it started with the pickup. oh my god with was the chord: third, fifth, root\ Third … so you extext alternating eighth notes right? wrong. do a triplet on the up beat. down … so you expect a triplet on the upbeat right? wrong. hold the upbeat linked to the next down beat. so, you expected the downbeats to be emphasized once we got into the actual measure, right? wrong. it’s held invisibly linked to the upbeat, a whole quarter note, but starting in the wrong place, the root is the downbeat, hold the maj. ninth. ah, so there is a pattern. the upbeat triplets are on the first and third upbeats. [for the first measure anyway. except that the first is really the second. no it isn’t: the pickup just means that there is no first. that one is arbitrary.!!!] but this is binary. there is no three. three is a decimal place. binary is two (zero or one, one or off) but there’s no limit to the number of zeros (other logical level-not the same zero) denoting the number of places.
so. down and up and complements as well as alternates. ying/yang male/female on/off
and in painting. black and white. red and green too are complements. the sense of one stimulates chemicals in the eye. too much and the exhaustion of the chemical produces the sensation of the complement. look at green, you see green. stare at green, you see red!
looking into the darkness of your soul is illuminating. the illumination is in the mind, not in the darkness.
copy to phr.
the eye sees green; the mind sees red. is that what the medievals meant when they thought that looking at women led to a vision of god? i always thought they were horny and tried to dignify themselves with a lot of horseshit. of course, from an extensional standpoint, what’s the dif? what’s more divine than getting laid?
anyway: the above is how i see things. shakespeare’s fair lover and dark lady, surprise upbeats. the lover: all the right traditional things: chaste, fair, noble, beautiful, distant … but he’s male, forchrissake! so then he gives you a female: hot, fuckable, extensional, real … but she’s a whore forchrisake. she’s diseased. you’re diseased because of her. and she fucks your friend to boot! to put it in my vocabulary of twenty years ago. he’s Real in the Realism sense; she’s real in the Nominalism sense. to put it in my vocabulary of recent years: everything about the fair love is intensional to the poet; everything about the dark lady is extensional.
seeing binary gives me the feeling of penetrating to the heart of things. in the beginning god divided the light from the darkness. a feeling of seeing the cosmos, or the universe at least, from outside.
in the university, the other academics were always looking at wholes. and were being superficial. sophisticated analysis was actually superficial. looking at wholes they were actually hopelessly inside the system, looking at trees and calling it forest. beethoven is beautiful, stirring, profound. knocking on the door of fate. horseshit. that’s like saying the table is smooth. it’s the ant on the moebius strip, not the topographer making one.
that’s why music, and abstract painting, give such a sense of profundity. it’s dividing the light from the darkness, creating heaven and earth. triplets on the upbeat. E flat, man.
can’t get anything done, waiting for Raymond. sitting, staring. another obvious analogy floats up. binary. machine language. Aunt Hillary trying to understand the ants and their movements as well as the ant hill. no, it’s the opposite. it’s the only way the ants can have any vision of the ant hill. me? my loyalty is to corridor 264. when i see a grain of sand that doesn’t belong in that attitude, i do whatever it takes to correct it or to get rid of it. and man, the chemicals i give off? makes the others run. you bet i’m a leader.
what puts itself together in the “unconscious” is maybe like molecules bumping around into the soup until something fits together. only it can’t be just hydrogen and carbon molecules; it’s gotta be adenine and cytocene. intelligence, or even better, sustained, practiced, effort, is a catalyst, an enzyme, stimulating and smoothing the fit. then the receptive consciousness can dredge it up, look it over, taste it to see if it seems worth anything.
what floats up in me that i’ve tasted and looked over and found interesting, hey, this is the shape of everything. this section of corridors anyway. don’t be stupid: that doesn’t look like corridor 252.
i continue to put together and try to pass it. what’s that shit? a left-handed widget? get rid of it. send it back to the infinite. our market wants good writing. originality. a supersonic cop chase with lots of t&a and lots of damage. yeah, that’s it: original. should get an emmy. alacrity fitzhugh gets attention at ballantine.
these last few days. it seems that i’m doing nothing but complaining. sour grapes of the ambitious. sure i’m ambitious, but not in any ordinarily recognizable way. i do want to write something that someday seems to somebody to be like a sentence of thomas browne’s religio medici seems to me. now nobody would say that that’s easy. but it could be possible and never make the new york times or people magazine or the carson show. my recent gall is my inability even to establish a conversation, even though i’m working at it. work? one letter to one idiot organization where you don’t know who opens the mail or how? but it isn’t just once. a dozen puny efforts to wrong markets twenty years ago. that doesn’t count. and an unknown’s novel project certainly doesn’t.
and maybe it’s just that i’m sitting here waiting for Ray. cut it out: you planned it that way. conserve energy, be invisible. none of the wasted motion and nonsense of your contemporaries. you wouldn’t drive a cadillac if they gave it to you. of course, if they paid for the gas and insurance and repairs too, you’d find some way to rationalize it.
dyan said a woman want to identify with the character. wants her to be pretty but not too. yeah, that could be me. this is me falling in love. this is me going shopping. this is me trying infidelity. of course, that’s what i was told throughout public school. of course it’s not true of great literature. who identifies with hamlet? well, maybe we do. maybe i do. but i certainly didn’t until i was too old for him. maybe i identify with jesus too, but i absolutely didn’t there for positive sure until i was way too old to qualify. in beginning i identify the whole culture with hamlet a la whitehead. my point is i want the character the writing the ideas everything to be better than me. hold that stick so the carrot dangles higher.
catch-22. gold’s father. gold’s prospective father-in-law? that’s impossibly funny: i couldn’t write that. that’s great. maybe i could write great, but i couldn’t write that.
salad days: are you kidding? that image is impossibly brilliant. infinitely rich. the rest of us couldn’t even write the silly shit: “the weaker vessel goes to the wall.” “sweetest nut hath sourest rind.”
what i hate about what i’ve written the last few days is that it’s personal. the godfather: what isn’t personal. yes, but on a different level.
infinite again: today I said to Ray “an infinite” number of possible places that the object could be: in a finite universe? how do we know what kind of U we live in? the evidence and the interpretations change every few minutes. more important: how about the idea that there can be only a finite number of macroscopic points, but an infinite number of places any one of which would hold an infinite number of points in the microscopic world of the same macroscopic world.
Paul with art case: I’ve got your future in here: wanna look?
Is that chipmunk wrong about the location of the holy city? No, the chipmunk isn’t looking for the holy city.
You’d have to look far for a religion with more “Thou shalt nots” than Judaism.
Is there a distinction between what Jesus did and what is attributed to him? “Liberating” us from kosher laws eg. Interpretation, not fact. What about the inferential evidence that strict accordance to law was exactly what he had in mind? Gods word comes to us by committee. who can tell who was making up his part?
binary. switch. 2001. the beings who placed the monolith on the earth and also placed one on the moon and at pluto had placed a something, a switch, and a switch/terminal. if nothing stimulated it, it would wait forever, indifferent. does the wall switch care whether someone enters the room and turns it to another (its one other) position?
just saw an illustration of synergy in the terms bucky f presented it: cold and windy Feb. 6 in Markham Park. a racket outside the trailer. a tree full of robins. and i thought robins were solitary creatures. they have to get together: there are robins and i’ve seen robins eggs. but never more than one robin at a time. and here’s a tree full of them talking and squawking at each other. ah ha. had never seen them in their winter quarters. who ever says busy as a bee has never seen them inside the hive when they’re off duty.
cf Prof Buckler and what Mrs. Chen said about female cooks. anyone can cook. anyone can learn criticism. but to be a professional, one has to come up through the ranks, and those ranks begin with apprentices who carry the sides of beef from the delivery vehicle to the kitchen or cool room. therefore, apprentices were chosen exclusively from that class of human with good upper body strength, from males. females might be good at the end part, but they never got to begin. criticism might benefit from critics who have a feeling for the scope of literature and for its relation to life, history, evolution, etc. whose new wine is not distorted or bound by brittle old bottles. but the universities know how to persecute intelligence and imagination so that it seldom joins its fraternity. oh it joins it but it doesn’t stay. like the scene in richard pryor’s white lightning. the bigots know how to make the nigger leave the restaurant.
politics is playing king of the hill. fine. society invented a way to hold onto the hill when it invested kingship with permanence. (king as warrior, not king as rain maker). USA invented an amendment to that stasis with four year elections. law is an attempt to keep the king young. the universities try to gobble up responsibility for ideas. giving it to them is like paying protection to the mob: true, they will stop breaking your legs themselves, and true, they may chase other predators that they happen to notice from the area, but they hardly count among their thoughts the kind of protection you would prefer. yes, ideas (those that are already leashed) are paraded before beginners, but on the faculty floor it’s king of the kill as usual. your idea can get heard if you can keep your hold on the slope while everyone tries to pull you down, the king of course kicking at you occasionally from above.
We put our own features on symbols we wish to see as universal. put a wasp on tv and someone can say without raising our hackles or making us angry that it is a man. Put a black, a child, a russian (or a woman), etc. and label him with the specific. that’s no a man; that’s a nigger, a chick, a kid. We shun seeing others’ universals as that unless they wear our own features.
Hamlet the Dane! Sh. chose a cousin, not a chinese nor an englishman. isn’t it incredible that flastaff may be the most english of any of his characters? more so than hal V.
music: the lowered third of one root is the same note as the lowered seventh of the first root’s fourth! Eb is sexy both in C and in F
how seldom are the words “reason,” “rational,” “think” used as anything but slogans. no thought, no reason … at least not on the part of the utterer.
habeas corpus. perfect crime. cremate the body in something being built, burned, or melted at great expense. cremate in the molten gold as bars are being made and transferred to a French vault.
metaphor as an eg of double description. vertical metaphor: finding a correspondence between a thing and its place or function on a different logical plane.
Dr Schmidt didn’t “owe” me a reason for rejection. The phone company didn’t owe Peter Sellers a phone call when Col Bat Guano
caught him raiding the coke machine to find a dime for the phone booth. But doomsday has a different logic from the day-to-day that’s been. If he doesn’t make a phone call somehow, the whole world is lost, including the phone company and the coke company. and including the u.s. of a and all its semantic goblins.
history: the woof and weave of the past lied into primitive causality. Pres. Lincoln freed the slaves. etc. we are insane (and perhaps not capable of sanity) because we do not know what things are nor how they relate. we are given maps of heaven but do not recognize them. inside the system, we stumble around lost like a newcomer to Greenwich Village (he wouldn’t be lost if the false rationality of the rest of Manhattan’s grid hadn’t misled him), all the streets going the wrong way. Civilization all but forces us into false understandings in its efforts to sustain our addiction to it.
Bach found and displayed the interrelations of C and F, C and G. true and profound. “eternal”. he found double descriptions and gives them to our sense of harmony through our ear.
could it be said that he gives us Pythagoras’s theorem showing us interrelationships common to all sounds? not “that triangle has these measurements” but “all sounds have these relatives.”
GB’s point about how we agree to be lied to. Govt/people. My position has ceased to be: you can’t stop them from being bad, but you be good. turn the other cheek. don’t lie. be good. be honest. don’t pick pockets no matter how much yours is picked. and has come to be: hey, play the same game. the govt all but demands to be lied to. it elevates those who lie to it systematically and according to its own preferences and deceits. a skillful liar can win the white house and fame among civilized men. truth tellers get crucified. you don’t want any of that shit, but you are tired of having your pocket picked. watch people closely: they always tell you what lie they want to be told. everything about them screams at you that they do not want to be told the truth. so tailor what you want to the lie they want to be told. salesmanship. you want prestige? here, buy this piece of paper from me and it will give you prestige. people will think you’re sensitive, cultured, smarter and better educated than they are. you want an investment? here, but this piece of paper and …
All in all, it doesn’t matter: on some level we all know the truth.
in evolving the hands and brains that we did we made ourselves incredibly potent at manipulating things, but less capable of understanding than any virus, bacterium, stone, leaf, or other carnivore. maybe civilization was inevitable for such a creature.
yet we might be even more fearsome if we did understand. perhaps it’s a blessing and the destruction of the world a small price to pay to prevent anything worse. Haken’s synergetics quickly gets applied to politics. Something’s wrong. In a way, it’s funny, like the intrusion of consciousness where it doesn’t belong. Tony Richardson has Albert Finney turn to the camera for Tom Jones to say, “Did you see here take that …?” now they’re doing that kind of nudge to the audience on tv! god forbid we really should have that power, the power of understanding. we, if we were still human, would quickly unzip the universe.
fiction’s paradoxical role. like the wicked queen’s mirror mirror on the wall. warriors’ chroniclers could pass off pillage and rape as chivalry. bullying and racketeering and heroism. but myth tells the truth.
rich: being rich is being asked few questions. at least that’s what the prophet said.
where did the usa come from? we stole it from the indians (already a false map of a host of indigenous distinct cultures). where did the indians get it? they stole it from the other large mammals. if fact they stole it more thoroughly: the few remaining bison are almost an accident since they winter high up in the cold. we left a few of many tribes. the many tribes left a few of only one species. oh, ok. a couple of bear and rams too. maybe it’s the same.
NYU tried to sell me a computer programming language in the mid-60s. selling tickets to the future.
how about the piano keyboard as an example of shorthand? the illusion of a one dimensional series. but actually access to many dimensions.
it’s not how many integers you can add serially to infinity, but how the infinities explode in a number of directions and on a number of levels that’s most impressive.
blah blah is infinite. oh yeah: that’s small potatoes.
does Satan know that he’s Satan? or does he think he’s god and that god is satan? or might he have another, less dualistic world view? and what about us? why should we trust our own opinion as to who’s who and what’s what? the protestant answer is, whose else opinion should we trust?
seeing Rambo on tv (having first “seen” it at the Mountain Drive-In in a heavy fog through a misty windshield): on the one hand, Sly Stallone reminds me of Leslie Fiedler’s point about the white man encountering the indian and being transformed. Also of the bland consumer class’s tendency to steal whatever it likes without paying for it. hip slang, black music, indian pathos, gosh fellers, if it wasn’t for Michael J. Fox, Chuck Berry wouldn’t have had any style. Rambo wears a steroid body, long hair, a tv generation look, and shoots hi-tech explosives with a bow and arrow!
2/13: just saw Wheyrhauser ad, “the tree company,” however it’s spelled: and they’re taking credit for ecology and wildlife preservation. I’d like to check into their history, not even too far back. what were they doing for ecology in 1965? 1968? 1972? likewise: xians take credit for understanding Jesus. i see little evidence for our understanding him today. and plenty of evidence in the gospels that his disciples didn’t understand him. if they didn’t, how would we have if we were his contemporaries? yet we credit ourselves with being xians. oh sure, there’s some crap about being sinners, but basically, we’re smug as hell.
what should our attitude be toward who deserves credit for what? exactly the same as it is, contradictions, nested layers of ignorance, complacency and all? be careful of voting in favor of knowledge since all knowledge is minuscule. like etymology. so, we trace something back to ur-indo-european: that still leaves it with a forty-odd thousand year history unknown to us. eg in addition, even if the word is “train” and we know that trains were only invented in 1850 something or whenever, the word train way precedes trains: anything following anything in a string. what if we didn’t know that? we’d “reasonably” assume that train originated with train. the original meaning is likely to be surprisingly primitive. slime molds “standing up.”
anyway, a tree company congratulating itself on what it would have been one of the main enemies of, (i am reminded of someone who is honest because they believe that “honesty is the best ‘policy'” in other words, there’s no con like the truth,) is of a whole nother order of mendaciousness from coke claiming to be a “natural” or “the real thing.” sort of like king john taking credit for the magna carter.
then on the other hand, in a sense that’s true. if it weren’t for the greed and heedlessness of the lumber companies (serving a greedy and heedless population of wood consumers), the efforts of the more heedful and less greedy (or more long-sightedly desirous) might not have become so desperate, if it weren’t for john’s irresponsibility in riding the myth of the divine origin of the power of kings and rulers, the knights might not have struggled for their own rights, privileges, and identities so effectively.
evolution gives one the freedom to try anything until it kills one. One can be killed through the death of the self, the death of the group, or the death of the ecology. that freedom does not extend normally beyond those patterns settled into by the physical universe. gravity still operates before and throughout the life of the biosphere. that does not mean that it existed forever, or forever means as long as it has. neither does it mean that it will persist forever. a change in a physical normalcy might also spell death. no gravity, no life.
It seems to me that a rubric for my whole life might be that I spend far more time than normal and perhaps far more time than healthy for a self-dependent individual practicing what I shall call semantic balance. I don’t want god to catch me off guard when the millennium comes. I expend all my discipline and imagination so that I will not be surprised by whatever O Henry turn destiny weaves. Most creatures, once the volcano is over and the lava is cooling start to dig their burrows, find their food, and reproduce themselves. I spend my time thinking, gee, that caught us by surprise: what else might happen, that no matter what it is, even when I’m sent rolling breech over clout, I’ll still know which end is up and feel at home. Or, I’ll know that the illusion of “up” has finally been evaporated, and here we are finally, back in a more basic universe. Oh, hello, earthquake. Where’ve you been? All those sillies thought they were on terra firma, ha ha ha. Hello, death. what an amusing interlude that life was. amusing if you don’t mind pathos. And look what’s behind you: why it’s Life. And look what’s behind Life: why it’s something else I don’t know the name of, but I feel I’ll recognize it in another minute.
McLuhan discusses how we flail our limbs about to recover physical balance, and our selves about to recover psychic balance. Since reading Science and Sanity, semantic has become a key word for me. Hearing it used before then, it had always seemed to be a word which meant little more than an effete quibble about meaning that only a Jesuit would descend to. Or, basically, a dishonest undermining of meaning such as lawyers practice, inventing ambiguities in an otherwise clear situation. That’s still the only way I hear any other contemporary use it. Oh, that’s just semantics. As though meaning is clear as long as you don’t examine it. In ordinary circumstances ordinary meaning is clear enough and you need a jesuit, a lawyer, or a philosopher to confuse things.
look what’s become of the noble savage. Clint wears a serape or poncho. (how can he get his gun out?) He smokes cigars and doesn’t shave. Rambo wears long hair and has gone even further west. Rambo is columbus finding the east in the west and Kurtz-exterminating all the beasts.
sat am tv. rehearses for the individual children and infants the nightmares, terrors, triumphs, and delusions of the order, family, and genus as well as the species. there’s relatively little of contemporary adult fashion and obsession until the commercials come. sun am, the secular agrees to rest for a few hours while we relax with the most primitive epistemologies. the commerce is a little more subtle. I just saw a guy selling limited edition art tax free for his church. shameless picture of an eagle, corny selling. but they know what’s out there: unabashed primitivism in poetry and art as well as in theology and politics. ah, but on PBS the sunday conservatism is a little different. Now it’s victorian (as in mark twain or howells) social oddities impinging on edwardian. Anne of Green Gables. fabulous. Aunt polly with a female orphan. this orphan has i presume practiced the debauched hospodar’s freedom to name oneself as though it were a whole society doing the naming. anne of green gables. anne with an e. she’s an orphan, but she’s no wild child. she’s already dredged in some camelot and cordelia. maybe she’s even read wordsworth and byron.
as I approach fifty, i watch this presidential campaign progress. well chosen words. progress. definitely an evolutionary development to be preferred. campaign. military. exactly what it replaces. who are any of these people? why do we have to suddenly pay attention to any of these odious men? It’s better than being pillaged by William or Napoleon or
Suliman, isn’t it? We put on preposterous displays and hope to attract a mate. Come on, that corny eagle will make people laugh at you: do you realize what this tv time costs?: what?: how many million $ just came in? Bush tries a few cheap shots at Fitzgerald. No official calls a foul. Bush spends no time in the penalty box. The democrats get no power play to get back. Bush should default his political career. No, he’s considered to have “won” the “debate.” Others come along displaying unbelievable stupidity or hypocrisy or naiveté. Don’t be stupid: nobody’s gonna buy that pollyanna mask: what?: how many people just joined your ranks?
who could have predicted this? who could have predicted the success of these tv game shows that do the same thing. guess what the majority is guessing and get a prize. think of a sandwich: umm, egg salad. no, how about pastrami? ok, just say something fast: they’re both sandwiches. no, i’ll sound like a jerk … ok, a “grilled ruben.” no, egg salad is what your wife said you would say, tuna salad is what the audience was poled for. thank you, don’t come back. ostrich/robin.
the trouble is, face lifts and lies and unabashed hypocrisy may get some boob elected, but that that boob actually then lives in the white house and affects war and peace. if it’s war, hey, what the hell, the process gave us a postponement already. war was the state we had made normal anyway. the trick is, can we keep civilization and reduce the chance of war? or at least, have our wars in the countries of nonstockholders?
map/territory. lack of correspondence. guy seduces his secretary. she knows where her bread is buttered. he fires her. she had no recourse because her job didn’t match her job description. the trouble with deals. and yet, the alternatives, the recourses, themselves are based on deals.
condemned to life
How about a non-dualistic punctuation. beyond the colon and semi-colon, beyond either or?
It isn’t that something is wrong so much as that it’s a model that simply can’t hold or be seen to represent what we now know.
how about a law making it a criminal offense to use any invention that the inventor wasn’t properly paid for. That would bring us back to the stone age pretty quick.
topography: what’s outside the system? what would we see if we could see further than we can see? these are non-questions, right? nonsense? wrong questions which shouldn’t be answered in their own terms. what’s the energy content and behavior of a system at absolute zero? we can’t observe: we can have no communication with the system beyond seeing that it’s there and recording no entropy from it. or it wouldn’t be absolute zero. but i just thought of this: what about where you’ve misjudged the boundaries of the system. eg. clarke’s looking at ice patterns of Io and talking about tidal energies within. ok, look at ice planet with assumption that all energy interchange etc. is with the obverse surface. suddenly you see a pattern. hey that’s like the synergy of slow heating from below. here, from within. suddenly, you can infer onto another side, one you hadn’t even been considering to exist. ok, now the other side’s part of the same cosmos, true. before, you had excluded it; now you’re including it.
then i thought:!!! hey, you know, like what if you could see far enough, you could see the back of your own head (ok, so you couldn’t, because the light would be too diffuse for vision over trillion billion light years of curved space, blah blah …)?, what if what you see looking outward (stars and shit) is really what’s coming back at your from looking inward? I don’t mean and silly solipsism, i’m not talking about an individual seeing. but still, the stars and shit, that’s what meditation looks like from beyond the other side of the end of the universe.
Black Orpheus, breaks through the stone frieze into life; after death, returns from color and dance and dawn and rejuvenation to stone frieze. also dancing but at a slower rhythm. imperceptible to our impatience. bobby fisher’s conversation. a wave of infinite length. the sound of one hand clapping.
it may take thousands of years for the emotions to catch up and coordinate with reason; and billions for the reason to complete the step: of catching up and coordinating with the emotions.
principle of don’t break the frame in science until data forces the frame to break and a new one to be constructed is one which prefers our inadaptability to the truth. if we started out with the understanding that the frame is a necessary fiction, wouldn’t we be better off? or no?
civilization had better give us a good deal if it wants us not to break the mold; it’s already taken away so much even before the outset. thanks to its rape of the earth, we’ll never know how we would have fared on the open savanna of our ancestors. why shouldn’t we accept slaves, and privileges, and graft as our due? or more likely: enslavement, taxation and the insolence of office?
god is precisely what doesn’t have a particular perspective or standpoint. both those things are characteristic of an individual and of the limitations of being an individual.
department store owner’s response to Murdoch trying to sell him ad space in the Post: “You must realize that Your readers are Our shoplifters.”
my only possible audience is in the future.
another late night tv show with the initial appearance of “let’s give the commie a chance” quickly became bush interrupting and insulting Fitzgerald. it had hardly gotten past the are you a communist stage before the demons began to howl. the moderator had opened with a little lip service denouncement of Macarthy without ever real doing so or indicating that he knew what it was (though clearly he was of an age that would have been there). before long he the moderator was also denouncing the guy, wrapping himself in the flag, and saluting selfishness and stupidity. I don’t want anyone taking anything away from me that’s mine. maya. illusion. what’s his attitude toward the government when it taxes him? that money wasn’t his? oh yeah, but that’s voluntary: i pay that to protect me from commies. and your house and land, that’s yours, huh? will you be equally good at explaining that to the plate tectonics. excuse me, earthquake, you can’t happen here; that’s my property. if you go on like this, i’ll put you on tv and interrupt and insult you. on this show, the guy was never allowed to get half through even saying whether he was or wasn’t a communist. did he appeal to robert’s rules of order? did he find the chairman to be derelict in his duty and to declare the whole meeting out of order? no, he had obviously accepted the whole thing in advance. he used what opportunities he could find to slip in statements here and there, none of which I heard get heard, like in the USSR you guys wouldn’t be the martyrs, you guys would be the politburo and its cops.
human being are all too ready to believe their labels. here’s a show that starts with the caveat these labels may not be accurate. then ok, guy, are you or have your ever been a communist? then, well if you mean by that … and that’s as far as his answer got. an equivocator. that’s just as bad. a hair-spliter. someone over-addicted to accuracy. that’s worse. but it doesn’t matter. we’ve already got up our head of hate and fume and now let’s wrap ourselves in the flag. no one will notice whether the guy actually burns in our semantic fires. if he happens to actually combust, hell, he’s a nigger. he didn’t deny it. that’s it: the only answer they were looking for was vehement denial.
ona-otha-hand, how useful would precision be. what if computers eg decided not to respond to ambiguous instructions in the middle or higher level languages. what if a password were so good that you couldn’t get your machine to recognize you? Imagine a husband and wife dialogue as written by Eugene Ionesco a la Bald Soprano. Is that really you, dear? how can I be sure before I let you into bed with me? why here’s the ring you gave me. here’s my noble carriage. my sterling example. my shining eye. and here’s the strawberry birthmark on my buttock. who knows what plastic surgeons can do? anyway, they never get laid, never get to sleep, because you can never be sure.
quot. “each time it rounded the Sun, more of the comet’s life-blood would hemorrhage into the insatiable vacuum of space.”
“as a scientist, accustomed to getting-usually-straight- forward answers to the questions he put to Nature …”
there’s a faith of science, that if our results are not tampered with by human manipulation that therefore it’s untampered with period. god is not malicious. how about maxwell’s demon? the weather man samples the air; it’s assumed that no demon has salted the sample. what if the demon always salted the sample with the same lie. then say the atmosphere which we regard as what? 70% nitrogen, could be almost any other value. atmosphere less than 5% oxygen? Actually, it’s all one oxygen molecule working overtime.
justice: who among us are we to punish for our discontent with ourselves and with our civilization. find and punish the evil one. are you the evil one? didn’t you murder your wife and in doing so, didn’t you deliberately bring evil into our garden?
straining at gnats? straining at knatz. swallowed the camel but strained at the knatz
what a wonderful planetologist Clarke is. Galaxy’s experience on Europa in conjunction with Io, eg. makes me think of new clearer metaphor for BHC & Lonfyt Yemip. off scale. the cigarette ads today can be as obscene as they want all the more easily since they put the obscenity off scale. seeing the giant cock and the fingers gripping the girl’s face in fellatio in the Newport wet hair ad took a removal of the default assumption for scale. like solving the puzzle about connecting all the points without taking your pencil off the surface (yes, but the instructions didn’t say you couldn’t go outside the false border). the UFO people are ready for “little” men and “green” men, “men” from “Mars,” etc., but not for viruses, microbes, non-extensional beings, or beings perhaps tall or even gigantic in the fourth dimension. or fifth. beings at high frequency or at low wave length. what would we know of a wave whose period was one oscillation per rotation of the galaxy? yet such a wave could be infinitely long. in both directions, if the big bang theory is false.
in a sense, off scale is shakesperian. hamlet eg comes at you both macroscopically and microscopically while unfolding in “real” scale and real time.
it’s a terrible habit of mine so seldom to remember the brand in the ad i’ve studied. was it benson and hedges last summer? two women talking and smiling animatedly over coffee: whata we got? couple a dykes? sure, why not a lib ad? sell cancer to malcontent females. more than doubles your potential market. except then i see that what these two cuny lappers have got between them is john barleycorn himself. his balls are the size of the table. his cock goes past the ceiling. his flanks are the fronds of a rubber plant.
it’s more than a week now that i haven’t seen anything in the b-h ad now current. young male/female in basic black, ready to lap, and jerking off between a bottle of wine and a bottle of beer while steamy jissom issues from a copper pot. SEX is written into the steam. the chick’s hair is a medusa wig of those letters. ignoring the positions of the litter of glasses, the angles of their pre-and post-coital cigarettes, even leaving alone the invisibility of the old guy who’s stirring the pot, and the mystery of the graphics of his apron and the wall, who or what are they massaging here? the ad screams at me that there’s something off scale here, but I still can’t see it. Maybe it’s my pilot they’re all going down on: something non-extensional. ha ha. a vertical black shadow rises past her mouth to infinity. But i still don’t see john barleycorn.
much easier is the top inset photo. though i’m not sure why b-h always does that. i mean i have lots of reasons but i’m not sure i’ve got the main one.
the top one here, like most if not all major symbols is paradoxical. though, being an ad, it must be a false paradox. can there be such a thing as a false profundity? sure. any of coke’s conundrums. here, the chick has got her arms across her. please, no more; my clit is sore. the hand holding the weed is curved down like a swan’s head over its graceful neck. the weed is limp. she hovers (her elbows are supported but she hovers)
at the edge of the burner of a stove. there’s a CLEAN ashtray and a huge pristine bowl. hey, and if you fill up that other ash tray, we’ve got one here the size of a garbage barrel, and all pure white. nothing dirty or diseased about smoking. not for people who like to smoke. and look at the girl’s face. she’s all fucked out, but she’s smiling like she’s just met arnold schwartzenegger. her hair is alive with SEX.