/ Journal /
Death. and damnation. in the mall yesterday afternoon, I open to the first sentence of a new Clive Barker novel getting a big display. Good six hundred pages. I look forward to it. Nothing ever begins, he opens. Christ almighty. He hasn’t read either B or DB any more than Dr Carl read Comet. But there it is. My ending preempted. Just for once it should be the other guy opening me and finding his sentence.
If these things were understood and recognized by the professional or private public, hey, so what, we bow to each other to recognize the godhead in all, right? wrong. economics, including emotional economics are set up according to point- source ideas. rights-patent. the trouble is it’s the superficial that’s rewarded and the profound that’s raped. sure, newton lived ok, and einstein came to. even fuller came to. but just by patent law, he should have been as rich as any of Nixon’s friends. he would have owned a piece of the army. instead of being rich by professorial standards.
or is it that we’re wiser than I know. you don’t get van gogh except by driving him insane, starving him to death, overloading his psyche, and overloading his brother. the danger is, how do you know the vangoghs exist? are there so many that we don’t have to worry? are there so many st matthew passions that all but one can be safely thrown out with the fish? if it wasn’t Bach’s M would have recovered, it would have been y’s or x’s or z’s. No x,y,z isn’t mozart or prokofieff, they’re people we never heard of. all invisible. we recognize tom wolf on the street. the hero is the guy standing in the back of the limousine. we don’t know that cinderella is beautiful until she has the illusion of a gown. the glass slipper’s illusion lasts a little longer. what would we make of Samuel Beckett on Fifth Avenue. Got to move out of the city. the bums have taken over everywhere. cart this guy off to the VA hospital. if he’s not a vet, dump him in the bowery.
just spoke to Neal Olson at Donadio. Christ Almighty! His tone is bewildered, sort of apologetic, but for sure it’s a prologue to a thanks but no thanks: how can I get rid of this guy?
he read the Model and thought it was “hysterical.” ok. what’s wrong? i know: oh, god. Dark Beacon is too weird. too serious after too funny. or too kafka before it’s funny. nobody will think it’s funny. nobody thinks kafka is funny. he didn’t read past its getting weird. he didn’t even see the best parts. how can i explain that’s it’s a first draft? that i can start right in on page 20 now. I’m not even going to get to my points about offering fresh letter quality copy, all in one package, to tell him about clive barker’s opening.
when he says that it was all too short and too wrong. he had thought there was a novel somewhere. i get right into oh, it’s getting longer. 39,000 words isn’t enough, where I am could be another 40,000. or 10. whatever you want.
then he says that he hasn’t found what he had been looking forward to: what I had told him about on the phone. oh god. now it makes sense. i know he got Dark Beacon, cause he had said so. but then he lost it and mistook the appendix for the novel.
now, it’s the best of all possible worlds. no, he hasn’t read it yet, and yes we could all die tomorrow, i could starve. but this way, I can actually send him a letter quality, up to date printing, hand deliver it to him, and have him sort of half-know what he’s about to read as he holds it.
I do tell him about clive barker, he should be opening my book and saying oh shit there’s my first sentence. “maybe we can come out with them together from now on,” he says!
i still don’t remember my missing image.
10:54. wait long enough and it comes. partisan analysts talking about the last bush/duke debate. I shuffle the deck of cards, and there it is: I’m think about how my opinions might as well be in Eskimo Innuit to the mainstream of political discussion. and there it is: gbs talked about how he could talk anyone into the idea that life had no purpose and that they should commit suicide. but then that they wouldn’t do it.
Life and “reason for living” are of two vastly different logical types. life is the whole system (not the ultimate whole system); reason is partial, a part of the part. what is my motive in living? is not the same as what is god’s motive in being?. we can only guess at the latter. at best we’re guessing at the former as well, but the former is something which might be at least partly our business in consciousness, while the latter need have nothing to do with it.
a machine in an assembly line might choose good parts from faulty parts, it doesn’t chose whether or not to be on the line or whether or not to exist. none of its business. living has been given. for whatever reason or no reason. we need no reasons about it. except that imagining reasons without having discernment about type happens to be what we incompletely intelligent creatures do, for better and for worse.
hologram in which one area may be seen at a time. guy is beating up on other guy. at border shadows, careful looking shows the victim’s foot on the throat of a strangling cherokee. move image and shadows move. other details are visible. the throat cutters balls are in a strangle hold held by a woman. her something is somethinged. the cherokee with his throat being cut has his foot on the backs of his children. or his father. whose foot is on the broken bones of species extinct since the late Pleistocene.
maybe J is in it. maybe he has his crucified foot on something. maybe on the whole universe. maybe on the whole reluctant-to- improve universe.
UPS now delivers to the world. “don’t fence me in” the ad mourns. uh oh. that song was popular when the north american west was being dominated by cattle and private control of the land for cattle. that song has been a perennial ever since. but look around. what land remains unfenced even for cattle? only wyoming. and little of that vertical state is usable for cattle. I’ll bet fences were just too impractical there. it’s still not “leave the cows on the commons, let them reproduce, and then help yourself as you need.” nor “I’ll brand mine; help yourself, but not to mine.”
there’s an example of “freedom”: you’re free to take any unbranded cattle. it’s irrelevant to the glory of your freedom that there haven’t been any unbranded cattle since 1860. In fact, we’d burn the land rather than take the chance of there being any. that doesn’t diminish your right to take any you can find. of course, you’ll have to look from public highways, and stay in privately controlled motels or hotels or campgrounds, except for the privately controlled state controlled campgrounds. and you can’t cook in the motels, so you’ll have to buy food from the privately controlled franchise outlets. so don’t get too far away from them. and of course, you’ll have to pay for the food with money; which means you’ll have to work for us. now, you too can be an owner if you demonstrate that you too are addicted to this system. or at least obedient to it.
anyway, what new fences are they now planning for that freedom to become international?
idea for presidential election reform. just put the presidency up for sale to the highest bidder. distribute half the price among the otherwise voters. figure what the probability is of a maverick winning and program that possibility into a computer and then let the computer make the actual choice. 999,999,999 out of a million, it’s the buyer. the other one time, it’s john stuart mill or jessie jackson or the chinese cook. hey, the candidate would have spent that money anyway. where’s the choice? the political donors don’t know for sure which candidate will get the biggest buying purse. The results would be the same, the cost the same, but the public wouldn’t have to be insulted for two years of campaigning. it could be just football, football, and wheel of fortune; instead of football, presidents, and wheel of fortune.
just thinking while xdir/eing CM2000. Book. Never heard of him. He loses to Landau, then to Alekhine. Immortal loser. better not to exist than to finish second in this culture. what if the world series winners went around the country beating up and insulting every college team, every bunch of little leaguers, every sandlot bunch. we see god as good, devil as bad, selves as good, though we’re far below the devil aren’t we? So: Book suffers through a century or two of having “Loser” shouted at him. Then, tv chess becomes big. Book is only one available in booth for color and expertise. He starts getting the beer commercials. Loser, loser becomes appealing joke. Gee, Book, did you ever loose to Bobby Fischer? Naw, he wasn’t born yet. Or I beat the shit out of him when he was four. course he hadn’t learned to play yet. he thought it was blocks. Did you ever lose to Capablanca? Oh sure, and I beat him almost as often. maybe they weren’t his best games, he had a cold in that match. I’ll tell you, I played better games losing to him, than winning over him.
mystical: any experience or explanation outside the standard system of experience of explanation. It may be older, it may be newer, it may be eidetic, it may be horseshit, or it may be the next big step.
road signs assume you know its assumption. every little town, like every big city assumes you know you’re in New York, or that that’s the big intersection Main Street so obviously they don’t need any sign there naming it. “oh, you can’t miss it.”
skiing: mag says (correctly): “you can do anything on ice: except stop.” cf skids, etc. Do you have a flowing or a static concept of reality?
GBS’s preacher: his certainty was panic. His arrogance, fear.
true in type if not in fact.
the above applies in serious fiction.
You know: a Hollywood PdD: the kind William Holden had in Born Yesterday.
take a seismic reading of the society. find the fault lines. that’s where it will fracture when the pressure passes a certain threshold.
civilization: a series of monuments to its own epistemological errors.
Yossarian’s crime: what’s automatic for the group will be nevertheless impossible for a few, usually isolated, individuals. Smith came to love Big Brother, but Yossarian’s Colonel knew only the wrong ways to make Yossarian like him. Not being a fascist pig would also never have occurred to the Colonel.
Life: both sides of a paradox made vital, art both sides made graphic (or dramatic, of poignant, or eloquent).
political opponents are always accusing each other of wrong tendencies, absenteeism, graft, etc. How about being drunks? Druggies? Devoted to murderous levels of growth, profit, destruction? Of course, the opposition to the latter is “wrong political tendencies.”
it’s wonderful how the universal assumption on crime and police shows is that the police, the government, all Fed agencies, etc. lie, break and enter, bully, extort information, threaten, but it’s all ok, cause they’re protecting us. it all comes out ok. on my first (and only) viewing of Sonny Spoons, the hero meets two rough neck lowlife losers. one threatens him with torture with a pair of pliers. the torture commences. they fight. he wins. they say they’re cops. he believes them. it turns out to be true. he asks for no proof. he cooperates with him. they threaten him with torture again. it’s ok. they’re protecting him. they’re on the side of right. chaos against lawlessness. lawlessness against crime. by the wrong class. the wrong sort of crime.
at the conclusion this episode of Murder She Wrote, Angela isn’t annoyed at the cops who have falsely arrested and detained her. of course she isn’t tortured or insulted beyond their not believing her. She doesn’t even ask them to pay her hotel bill. When her nephew finds some cop searching her hotel room, he finally asks for a warrant. i don’t need one: I have the hotel’s permission. Nephew never checks.
all the ads and kid shows now have liberated women as standard, injurious independence from males conspicuous, and the admiring, at a distance approval of harmless studs. the new generation of Olds. Nightmare on Elm Street. then the news shows a crowd of women protesting something about male authority in England. I don’t think Madison Av would have wanted any of these women for the next show. No misogynist cartoonist could have been more insulting in caricature. the reality was a cartoon.
any society that depends on secrets is doomed. of course, if it could be demonstrated that there were ever anywhere any secrets that had ever been kept, then I’d take it back. I still might be right, but I’d take it back.
anthropology vs. entertainment. photos of tribal rites. how quaint. how amusing. look how primitive. that’s the passive, entertainment reaction, common once colonialism has already been achieved. the first incursion’s reaction is: kill them, they’re wearing the wrong costume, speaking the wrong language, dancing the wrong dance: they’re immortal. the later confident incursion’s reaction is: educate them to our language, our dance, dress them in our costume: make them moral, make them behave. Soon they’ll be dependent on our trade and we’ll defend them as a reliable market. Advanced colonialism. Kill them all off by attrition unless they’ve become a reliable market. Save the daughters and malnourish the sons and put them in jail. when there are almost none left, when they are no threat whatsoever, except to themselves, in their impotence and grief, then we can have a Save the Wales committee.
there’s something to be said for the first attitude. their dance says: our god brings us rain. or our totem makes us brave, or lucky, or fertile. That’s blasphemy. Why, it’s blasphemous! It isn’t civilized. It isn’t passive enough. It’s not addicted to money. They may not even have money as their preferred medium. They may not have it at all. If they were bankable, we could entertain their whole pantheon of gods. As it is: kill them.
Our consciousness sees a series of images. There are minute
differences in all inputs but we average them into the same image. We infer from a series a permanence. We see a pattern. The pattern is both true and misleading. If accompanied by an assumption that the permanence is permanent, we are misled and harm is done. If, when we see a difference, we blame the difference for challenging (correctly) our axiom, if we accuse the fact of being unnatural or perverse or threatening to us, (it’s not threatening to us; our false axiom is threatening to us, but threatening in our blind spot), we are human all right, and showing our Achilles heel.
it takes a long time to answer any good question. Especially where the answer is a process. Adult asks kid a question: Answer the question, Billy, the proud aunt says. The embarrassed aunt repeats. Don’t you know the answer? As though the answer were something that anyone could know. But no, it was a better question than that. Maybe the universe is God’s answering a question to himself. What if? What if Superman were German? That’s only a little profound. What if convection didn’t apply? Would twenty billion years be enough to answer it with even local completeness. What about fluids? You drink the coffee and all the thermal energy stays right were it lands. Does all the liquid stay there too? Does blood circulate? Are other, chemical trades allowed? Then what is thermal energy, if not exchange and transfer? Come to think of it, it isn’t a profound question until it brings you to how stupid it is. It’s not a concept that can stand alone, isolated. What if everything were different? might be the same question in translation.
Boy is that a stupid question billy says after a while. Billy! the aunt scolds. Good answer, the man says.
what? do you think civilization could do that if it were sober?
Rad. type is told she’s perfect for the job. goes home and tells joe: they think i’m perfect. meanwhile, they discuss her qualifications: no anthropological awareness whatsoever. she thinks she’s right. if we pay her, then we’re right.
Is cybernetic awareness compatible with cybernetic process? with
That question is discussed in managerial abstractions, pro and con: then tested. we see the abstract team prepared. then the automated team. then we see that’s it’s a football game. the Chicago Bears against Monty Python’s Flying Circus. The Pythons get mauled. John Cleese doesn’t mind: the outcome and any particular moment doesn’t concern him. temporary my dear watson, temporary. the rule is that it works, not that I survive or that i don’t suffer.
the war on drugs. where are the soldiers? what’s the fire power? What? no napalm? how about a fire storm in harlem? No? can’t do that? then what war? that’s how we wage war. the whole world knows it.
bill moyers last night talking to this black liberal. so the girls in the ghetto don’t want the fathers for husbands. they do better on welfare. so: uncle sam, under the guise of helping? further weakens the black family, taking credit for the help and not the destruction. of course sam has been invisible or merely in the background during much of it. he merely stood behind the individual plantations owners who broke up the slaves’ families originally. those few that arrived intact. then, watched benignly as only black females were valid sexual beings or objects, or allowable employees.
here’s the best part: if the father wants to or is welcome to live with the mother and children, then mom&kids can’t have welfare.
but the greatest part is: the enforcement of the addiction to money. did the african (partial)-forebears of the american “blacks” need welfare? no, they didn’t even need money, except in small and infrequent quantities. any particular individual might escape ever needing it. but they need it now, cause there’re no other way to eat in our ghettos. no fields of wild fruit or grain. no animals to hunt. though actually, some resources are there, totally untapped. in maine you could buy all the fried clams and boiled lobster you wanted. how about on the half shell? there you were in trouble unless you harvested your own and ate at home or on the shore. how about a nice zuppa de mussels? no. no mussels. what? they’re all over every rock along the fractally infinite coast. yeah, well, we don’t eat no wop food, us frogwasps.
the cities are full of rats. fat healthy rats. oh, they carry diseases. so do we. why not learn to identify the healthy ones? they’re probably a lot safer than mushrooms. in fact. i bet that if society’s pariahs ate nothing but every kind of wild mushroom they could find, with no care for what might be poisonous, i bet they’d be a lot fewer deaths, stomach aches, sickness, etc. than at present waiting on approved health and food and money services.
Rev. talked about steam control: how about demanded a respectable wage and dignity for being a pariah in the first place? society ought to realize that niggers, pariahs, failures, “welfare cheats” are absolutely essential to its system of semantic lies. the niggers are niggers because we’ve forced them to be niggers. so: organize. go on strike. don’t threaten or plead or beg for liberal sympathy. just demand: we want respect for the disrespect you pay us, or we’ll all commit suicide. then were would you be? the conservatives cheer. we’ll even give you the bullets. ho ho ho.
the economy is utterly dependent on the utterly artificially created avid consumer of bodily poison in semantic wrapping. no one is more purely a consumer, especially of poison and semantic wrapping than the ghetto junkie nigger in the pink cadillac with the obscene roll or cash, the teenage blond whore, syphilis and coka-cola douche.
the just enslaved african forebear had none of these addictions or dependencies. (he did have others) of course slavery wasn’t new. neither was black slavery. what was new was the mass arrival of the most anemic of the northern europeans into the market and the scope of the trade, the distances covered, or the industrial level concepts of the work expected from them. the romans, the moors, the greeks, the persians, worked their slaves, killed and perverted their slaves, might castrate them for amusement: look at my power over this fellow primate: i guess that proves that i’m not at the bottom of the pecking order. but it really is fellow human. we’ve kept monkeys and chimps before. did we ever mutilate them routinely before modern medicine?
some of the newly arrived slaves may have been slaves already, perhaps slaves dependent on consumption through generations.
anyway, suddenly the conservatives with the hawhaw jokes about providing the bullets find that they’re back where they were, at the bottom of the pecking order instead of next to the bottom.
would it be a good thing for more of mankind to have more AI type awareness. conscious epistemology? algorithm awareness?
untested. could be disaster. or could bring us to a whole new step. i’m for the experiment, however dangerous. we’ve always flirted with the brink, and now we may not have left ourselves any choice.
any way. discussion of prejudice is nonsense without it. we live by making decisions. once the decision is made, then further speculation is meaningless. monday morning quarterbacking. sure, but as a plan for next game, not for last.
flesh garden kills the monster salting Dr Zark. Why,. he was about to eat Dr Zark. No. You can now never know that because you killed the only possible bit of evidence. you made a judgment and acted on it. it is not knowledge. knowledge is precisely what it isn’t. it doesn’t need apology. if we waited for proof, we’d wait for ever. if we wouldn’t die within a few days, cause all conscious processes would cease. we’d breathe because we have no choice there. but we could eat or drink. it might be harmful. spending too much time on the maybe counteracts all vital functions. human behavior depends on quick assimilation and then decision. it’s all prejudice in that sense. so what about racial and social stereotyping? that’s different. because an immeasurable part of it is deliberately false. we know our admitted part of our judgment is false, but that’s not the part that’s important to us. we’re lying about that part as we gamble on something more vague. we’re seeking the approval of a guessed at group. see, society: i’m demonstrating my cooperation with my imagined “groupness” of your will. I am your willing slave. You feed me. you put me not at the bottom of the pecking order. you provide me with semantic enemies. we’re number one. and see, I’m providing you with semantic enemies in turn.
if this isn’t utterly human, it is utterly civilized. it’s what civilization is. we systematically remove all possibility of independent survival from more and more groups and species. now they can only live by our pleasure. to stay alive, to have even a chance at change, reversal of roles somewhere-when, they cooperate in the humiliation.
tom wolfe and shakes. both martians; both know society insideout, both ambitious in its terms. now, here’s my point: both utterly undeceived; both in love, hero-worshipfully with heroes whose artificiality and shallowness and immaturity they see perfectly clearly: kings and barons and knights in the one case; astronauts and cowboy test pilots in the other.
In both cases, no doubt, they fell in love with those types as boys, had horseshit fed to them by the culture, and still had the imprint after they had formed their own independent geniuses.
the young would-be model says why i want what ever girl wants: to be rich and have a lot of people look at me.
LBJ: the gooks wants what every american wants, they wanna get in their car on a sunday and go for a drive.
conan wants what every young man wants: to kill enemies and hear the lamentation of their women.
what’s american? it’s not a culture, but an alliance of cultures.
no, not all cultures, just those that both agree to join the
alliance and are welcomed by it. tacit agreement in the aggressive pursuit of property, private once you’re taken it from less aggressive groups (or from no group, no human group, from nature). here’s this western. gunmen killing each other left and right and all this mucky sentiment over some sick woman going to a sanitarium. the little blond kids see indians from a train. the oldest girl screams and hides the younger boy’s face. who should be afraid of whom? the indians should see this little girl and scream. run for our lives, she’s probably armed. if she’s not, who knows what killer male or ax wielding mother is close behind.
perceptual conveniences, fictions, like “the atom”
i’d like to see an article by SJ gould on why we shave. It’s a complex message for sure. I am young. too young to be bearded. on my deathbed, i’m still too young. we want nubile girl/women and hairless men. except where it shows that we qualify for puberty. hair on the chest is fine, but none on the back, shoulders, or face. for women, no hair on the legs, certainly none around the breast, not even the full complement of a mature pussy. and no bestiality. who, us related to the rest of life? not on your soul.
i think too it has to do with being followers. even our “leaders” ho ho must be followers, take orders, no one’s in charge. the bothers killed the father and must continue to be brothers, at every age.
we’re a long lived youthful species. always starting anew. it’s true, and we ratify it. exaggerate it. try to make it absolutely true. to absurdity.
we’re old enough for sex, but too young for marriage. try again. who me, a father? no, I’m a playboy. of the western world.
The universe is just the package that we come in.
Maybe, but some package!
What? Only a numb head would think so.
Hey, sometimes the package is more important than the contents.
whatever people think.
(Mary G’s story about xmas)
I am so moved by that footage of african tadpole bearing frog eggs dropping one by one into the puddle on the forest floor. And the toad tadpole turning into a toad: his feet trying to find the holes his legs will now go though without the thing really having much sense of what’s going on.
how does god know he’s the top layer? the outer (or innermost box)? the layer beyond him is invisible to him. Or there is none. Or the next most outer layer is simultaneously the furthest, innermost: apparently, from his perspective, the tiniest, most insignificant, furthest remove, beneath perception.
I feel like that tad/frog. Once, an ancient age (three weeks) ago, we all swam in the puddle. Water water everywhere. Then it turned muddy. It shrank. Some of us turned cannibal. Was it me? Or am I one of the ones eaten? Then there we all were, drying out, baking in the sun, fat, disgusting, helpless, covered by our own dead meat, the ants eating the outer layer of corpses, the rest of us wishing we were dead, if we had such wishes. boy, i wouldn’t have bothered to be a cannibal if i’d known this was coming. A very good chance that we’ll all dry out and feed the ants. Was that a cloud? Rain? Wow. Here we are swimming in clear water again. Only something is weird. I’m falling apart. My skin is slipping off. My beautiful snout is going though a werewolf movie metamorphosis. Once I was so full of energy. just look at those clips of us feeding on that dead tad as little tads ourselves. Now I can hardly move. Nothing fits. Nothing’s right. Till the foot, or a toe, finds the opening. Hello, what’s this? Relief. And what’s that? Gracious: I’ll call it a leg. Ok, miracle. A tiny minority of little toadlettes from the millions of eggs. Now, here comes a big turtle. Snap. Gone. Or a catfish. Or a snake. The puddle dries again. Our toad is heading for the shade and cover of a bush. Vroom. Squash. A Landrover. Look, that funny little clumsy one. He’s under the bush. He caught an insect. A whole new universe. wow.
So where are we? Where am I? where is god? or is there no analogy whatever?
math combinations of possible words is high but not infinite. It is infinite though when the meaning of any given word is infinite in its tone, weight, color. Most usage is: um, huh, see? you know? well, um, that’s it.
one function of pop culture: movies, magazines, schools, tv: is to imply that no other culture ever made sense. these days any possible argument for: chastity, the family, any structure of authority other than our own, corporations, power brokering, the pentagon, has no basis in anything but superstition.
the key to contemp. success: learn to pronounce non-words as though you were actually making sense. ads, eg. my favorite may be the ads with some housewife mouthing ibuprofen as though we all know what the fuck she’s talking about. Headlines of a zillion new acronyms, ATPs, FBIs, we think of a committee today, and start misrepresenting it as familiar by this device. It appeals to the mass sense of ignorance knowing that no one will say, what the fuck are you talking about: speak english.
Exhibition wrestling may be the most highly evolved sport. It’s ritual. nobody gets hurt, though injury is it’s main subject (male mating, territorial, whatever, dominance.) The audience determines n% of the outcome but not 100%.
points or edges? troughs or crests? fingers or spaces between fingers. standard epistemologies have long gone with the fingers. but it seems to be the spaces that god has gone with. And now a new thought. New to me anyway. It’s what I awoke thinking at one something this pm after driving all night from Myrtle Beach to Daytona Beach, sleeping at the side of the road with about $4 to get me to a customer or to Everglades Park and rest. Now it’s 10:30 pm and at last I am alone at the T-Plus. Can this be as good, as crucial, the solution to all our errors, our faulty reifications, as it seemed to be as I awoke? It’s this: goal? or direction, tendency? The caterpillar climbs toward the light. So doing, it finds food? Is the light a thing? The leaves that it finds in that direction may be things. they’re certainly food. Or is it the direction, the path. It’s a whole different sense of right, more cybernetically correct. Is god a thing? a being? or a direction? Not what sustains us, but what leads us toward what will sustain us?
To Richard Harrier, everything was either Plato or Aristotle. There were no other choices. So considered, can either Plato or Aristotle be a thing, a man, two men, men who lived and thought and wrote? Or are they merely the dualities of allowable tendencies as perceived by Richard Harrier? GB is a platonist if you consider Plato to be a direction and not a thing. (or if a thing, still metaphorically, a mannequin, characterless except for a basic shape and pose, on which we drape our latest.) The direction has no content, it is not falsifiable, there can (legitimately) be no dogma about it. In that sense, I too am a Platonist. But if it’s the man who wrote all that bronze age shit, quite brilliant for the bronze age, and maybe on the least wrong track, but not only fallible, but wrong. And Aristotle wronger.
being horrified by some “hypocrisy” is just lost balance due to a false model of reality. oh yeah: also, discomfort over discrepancy between perfectly legitimate (?) ideal and “real”.
the most real freedom we have is the freedom to fail. as a species. all this “wealth” adds up to poverty.
i am firmly in the j-xian trad in this: you want to see what’s going to turn out to have been pivotal, from the standpoint of the future? look in the bulrushes. look in the manger. look for an unemployed carpenter.
get out of here! i’ll look in the palaces. in the boardrooms. in the temples, the universities. I’ll check the best seller list. i’ll watch family feud.
ll/9: reading Clive Barker’s Weaveworld. i’d already thought he was an exquisite writer from the first story i’d read of his: the inhuman condition, #1. he even comes an inch within some of my own obsessions, closer than an inch with his beginning which echoes Dark Beacon’s ending (though now i see he must have written his a year ahead of me) but i find myself quarreling with some turns of character and plot. Cal, forget the Fugue? then much approving of some new invention. Suz & Hob fall into the book. “between,” Romo had said. but then i’d wished i’d been writing the maiden and dragon business. then he does a switch himself. i still wish he were catching evolutionary points and prejudices, but also i like what he did instead. but still, these “flaws.” i find myself reviewing the book.
what presumption. it reminds me of my perennial point. have i ever made it since being able to keep id files? the NYR. the NYT. etc etc. the news. reviews. presumably the public reading the review before knowing the thing reviewed (though often knowing the writer reviewed). it’s how our institutions conspire to keep us, any of us, feeling superior to what’s likely greater than we are.
miles new album does blah blah but lacks …
sure chaplin is great, but his new film … blah blah. says bosley crowther, never having ever said anything different. unless of course it was of the people to start with. ie, regarded currently as of the people (as chaplin had once been himself). Miss Loren’s art … blah blah.
of course there have been critics (good artists or thinkers or essayists) who really are superior to what they review. but seldom. occasionally, rarely, they’re peers; gbs on james. or a giant on a greater giant. johnson on shakespeare. of course “really” here is subjective but consensus subjective.
but most typically it’s employed asshole looking down his nose at hemingway.
but how can we ever be sure that employed asshole isn’t really about to be norman mailer or tom wolfe? or isn’t already and we haven’t noticed?
anyway, that’s all side stuff. my point is: the purpose of review is to make the reader feel superior (at least in part, amidst his admitted inferiority) to the writer.
of the people. good old ron reagan. but the assistant librarian is Mrs. Smith.
we all know the argument about genes and altruism, right? why does the soldier willingly die for the group? it’s to preserve his sister’s genes.
what if he doesn’t have a sister? did they do any statistics on the family status of dead soldiers?
now, i have nothing against the argument that, examined on some different scale, altruism and selfishness turn out to be indistinguishable, that god and the devil are really janus, that what you see tells us about you, not about some “object.”
i don’t doubt that that’s the case. those who insist on some literal difference either haven’t seem things on different scales, or more likely, have, and are terrified by the shifting sands.
but i doubt if that’s the gamble the genes are taking. if it were, couldn’t we expect different soldiers with different family constituents to act very differently. what was the family/gene structure of the ‘Nam soldiers who fraged their officers, or the WWII soldiers, described by HMiller, as shooting plenty of brass in the back? were they all only children?
no, let’s get the altruism argument back toward altruism, but let’s consider the genes too.
couldn’t it be that in equal situations (equal meaning that the genes doesn’t perceive any big difference. difference always being perceptual, information is mental, not physical. [it may also be physical, but it’s the mind that perceives it, or fails to perceive it. for all i know every neutrino in the universe is as individually distinct from any other as Hitler is from Jesus or from Washo, as a black hole is from a spring meadow, as a neutron star is from a vacuum. the fact that we don’t see it doesn’t make it not so. the fact that we do see it, doesn’t make it so. except mentally. that’s where it’s so. then the question is, “is that mentality viable in that universe?”
i believe the gene may think: there’s no significant different between my group’s einstein and my group’s village idiot genetically. their grandchildren are likely to be similar. there may not be any big difference between the enemy groups genes and mine. genes aren’t what’s at war here. memes are. or maybe the memes are more alike than different. there are far more important similarities between communism and capitalism than differences. no, it’s who dominates the illusion. who controls the land, the weeds & buffalo, or our imported obsessions, asian cattle and wheat? what’s the dominant concept of land: territory? use? tradition? as with the indigenes, or: private, keep off, how can we tax it?
what? you won’t willingly kill and die to spread nationalism to some indians living without a country in the mountains of what we insist is cambodia? (except when we’re violating its (our) borders (for it)). then we’ll kill you, we’ll humiliate you, we’ll put you in jail, we’ll insist that you’re outside our economy, getting only the indians’ share (as close to zero as we can manage). say you’re humble, say you’re a schmuck, say you’re sorry, and you don’t even have to work, welfare will let you live with more technology and food variety than most monarchs of the past. all in the name of freedom. of which you’ll have none. as we choose to have none; except within the scope of our dominant meme. land is for industry, for taxes, to wrest it from and oppose it to the biosphere. fuck the indians. kill all you want, but leave the rest of the ecology alone. then get out yourselves. go back to your land masses or origin, and from there to the previous. ice age europe was the cold incubator or our species. (are we really sure that all living men are one species? how did that happen? did homo sapiens sapiens return to africa and become pygmies too? we may all be homo sapiens, but are we all homo sapiens sapiens? probably. the maori and bushmen certainly are. ex sailors.
i suspect that things genetically are more like what they seem.
in retrospect, i learned a lot about homeostasis when i founded flex. i’d talk and talk to anybody who’d listen, trying my damnedest to be accurate between what illich said and what i inferred or extended or thought myself. trying to make it illich’s.
one time, standing in front of the Met Musyroom with Noreen or Charlie, some guy came alone to argue. i loved his skepticism. it was quite knowledgeable and articulate, and all from one nice, self-contained homeostasis the balance of which he was a master. orthodox jew. schule was all anyone needed. hey. i agree. if everyone is an orthodox jew. no hitler. no pogrom. live in the local, agricultural bronze age forever. i’d prefer it.
or as i’ve said myself. there’s all the wisdom anyone needs just in the piers ploughman. it’s a complete universe. unfortunately, even his contemporaries were living or soon to be living in the world of the canterbury tales. a much more complex universe. and fatal to piers. so here in the 20th cen, during mondale’s debacle, here was this totally anomalous jew. being delightful. and failing to see flex as his friend and champion. what he was really arguing, is i’m a jew, and my conservatism, my blindness to the rainbow, my refusal of a coalition, will support the fascists. nixon. of course, from my standpoint, mondale was equally a fascist and a far stupider one, however much smarter he was as an individual. just as bush writ large, with his aggressive blindness, his refusal to dignify the question by understanding anything about it except that it isn’t his coalition of property, taxes, and destroy the biosphere. we can make govt bigger by making it me, by promising smaller. until it crashes? hey, we’re still here. we’re still skimming the cream. the cream has turned to shit, but it’s ours. we’re all in the traffic jam, choking on our emphysema, but i’m in the benz and you’re under my wheels. i can get elected forever by putting 1,000 of you in the hospital at my expense. no, not 10,000, that would exceed my kickback from the doctors, my income from the hospital owner. and it wouldn’t favor my future, if 10,000 of my victims had even a hospital chance of surviving. (uh oh, maybe we should put everybody in the hospital. well, i’ll work on it, but not at my expense and not at the govt’s. the govt is for me, not for them. they’re there to pay the great share of the taxes for my friends and follow despoilers.
anyway, another time, at my little folding table which broke my back when it was stolen, and then my typewriter, and then Noreen’s bicycle, and then all our records were dumped on the floor by the free food recipients who wanted boxes to carry the lettuce in. they too were electing nixon by their behavior. Once again, this time, i’m among radical catholics. the source of the idea, much to my surprise. except that now i recognize radicalism as part of the church’s survival strategy. a very wise one, and easily afforded by them, since it’s so easy to keep in a minority. get the niggers into the democrat party and then steamroll them because they’re in it. i start talking about flex, as always, and this fucking priest, immediately starts trying to outradical me. of course he couldn’t do it, and was bewildered and frustrated. of course he didn’t know at first where i was coming from. or he could more intelligently have thought, shit, he’s one of illich’s men, we’d do better to just let him talk. the truth alone will keep everybody at bay. anyway, altogether dishonestly, he’s trying to outradical me from the same direction! with this essential difference. he was a fucking priest!
now, to heckle someone effectively, you’ve got to let them talk at least a little bit. he soon sees that i’m better at it, the radical shit, than he is. now he’s embarrassed. i’m just trying to be a gad fly, he explains.
that’s it! now i realize it. especially after learning of the formal role of the devil’s advocate within the church’s hagiogenesis procedure. the church trains its own devils. but they’re always on the leash of the church’s orthodoxy. they’ll shut up when told. with a few visible exceptions. luther, for one.
where is this gad fly when one of their own saints, one of their graduated saints, is being paraded around? no, the devil’s advocate speaks only when invited and only before the sanctification. then they shut up permanently. (human permanence. again, exceptions)
now, the church has been going down the toilet for centuries, but it’s been going down from the pinnacle of an empire, a shrinking empire, but still a world wide empire. and just at the fucking american press, treating a pope with respect. well, hell, he’s a tax collector, he’s still got some of the taxes in his pocket, he outdresses Nancy Reagan in other peoples jewels, of course we respect him. ideology. what does the american press have to do with ideology other than who has the money? now that the commies have enough money, and have kept it long enough, we’ll be respectful to them too. drug dealers? who do you want us to fawn over, the druggies?
so here was this priest, retarding progress by being a gad fly. he would have swarmed over socrates. or tried to. and failed. but it’s more energy drained from the truth. jesus, we got through another day. we staved off enlightenment for another day. i think we got sun burned a little. tomorrow we’ll go make clouds somewhere cooler.
and the church has this terrific rule. they didn’t always have it. but boy were they smart to incorporate it from a conservative standpoint. only the long dead can be sanctified.
they’re just a sterling example of the general human tendency. raphael could be glorified in his own lifetime cause he was doing what power wanted. he got a good share of the property and the spirit.
van gogh. no, he’s a threat. we can sanctify him a hundred years later. tremendous property can exchange hands. now that it’s safe that he get none of it.
now it’s true that no one went out and killed van gogh outright. he was allowed the indians share. what his brother could give him. or nothing at all. except what he could make by not painting. not enflaming the undespoiled with his passion. monet painted the locomotives. and turner. they made a little money. what was van gogh’s sin? he saw the animus in what we were burying. the old agriculture. the old seamanship. the dying culture. the indians. pure romanticism a hundred years after Wordsworth. even words talked about the city. critically, but he talked. he was turner. even blake acknowledged the presence of the enemy, the dark, satanic mills.
and so do i. i seldom don’t talk about them. but my passion is in what we’ve killed. or in what we can’t kill. in Beginning it’s in the life process itself. where no one knows what the fuck i’m talking about.
imagine the respect that would go with attributing that passion to cokacola. to pontiac.
advertising is lavishly rewarded for the misappropriation of passion. only lies are allowed on tv. prime time, major networks. johnny carson can make fun of ads, and then give the ad.
what will happen to david letterman? I think he really is a marx brother. we’ve already put him in a big house. will be become dependent on the limo? what will happen when it’s a choice? has it already happened? ok, dave, it’s just a little lie, but without it, you don’t get the limo today. and today’s lie is bigger. until it’s only lies.
ok, jackson. you can dance your ass off, but if you want millions to see it instead of merely a filled auditorium, it’s got to be pepsi your ass is peddling.
systematic misunderstanding. that’s the ticket. everyone (human generalization) cooperates.
well, i got one of two down. 2 hours sleep yesternight, panicked over five days of still not having the alternator or battery working. there i am in town, in daylight, with lots to do, even if I did nothing but buy more stamps with my remaining $20 to mail the letters already written, typed, and enveloped. no, i get back to the everglades, i return cathy’s borrowed battery, i hope i didn’t kill theirs too. the laundry’s in the car. i pass a laundromat. i eat. i play a tune. it’s 7 pm. i lie down and read a little more barker. lights out. it’s dawn. good. i slept at least 10 hours. it’s 8. i can’t move. it’s 10. i get up. i fumble the coffee. i set up the t1100plus. i start typing. but the second image is gone. it’s 12:53. there was a story there. a story no one would recognize. or they would, and they’d fear it. we don’t want mirrors that show our souls. maybe there’ll be nothing there. and what would that prove. better not to look. don’t publish it. maybe it will go away.
paul has a personality problem. why isn’t he raping the everglades? he could give as good a speech as the fascists. no, he couldn’t be the smart soldier bush is. no, he couldn’t be as sickening a replica of tom mix as dan quayle. but he’d make a good teller at the bank. maybe they would have let him lend more interest to the central americans by now. he could be in a huge house. he could pay his son’s tuition, training him to more of the same. he wouldn’t even have to deal with the drug dealers. we have others to do that. as long as he’d be addicted to our main drug: money.
anyway, all i remember right now is that it was another dramatic scene, irony personified. how we conspire to keep the truth from being heard. replace vision with platitude.
my mother is dying. again. maybe she’s dead at this moment. she may still outlive me, as i’ve long expected. or when i call beth this evening as promised, she’ll have been dead for 24 hours already.
every time, for 30 years, that i tried to share my learning with my mother, she’d recoil. i never heard that. it can’t be right. how can i make what paul says recognizable? and she rephrase what i had carefully phrased into a cliché. no, it’s not life that’s the real thing, it’s coke. no, it’s not the exercise of freedom that’s free, it’s being frightened, stymied, a good pawn.
she was just as fucked up in her way as etta was in hers. both good doormats, both liberated women. get rid of the free male. join the labor force. as a door mat. marry or try to marry some whimp. Dr. Raleigh. once you’re married, you can spend the rest of your life humiliating him in public. what? emile object? he was humiliated before he married you.
my father? or Marcus? free males? ho ho. compared to their wives, they were.
or was it that, like hilary, they knew who they wanted the father to be, but couldn’t tolerate him as the husband?
or, does it have nothing whatever to do with who’s who and only to do with the further fragmentation of all traditional alliances but the money one. (and there, theft is preferred. robin givens. is she really going to be thwarted here? fantastic) the corporation needs interchangeable parts. the slaves we could force apart. now how can we get everybody else apart as well?
can we really get women to do a good goose-step? well damit, they can try. henry ford invented hilters soldiers. but ford was way down the line in the process.
bronowsky argues that G Khan and his descendants learned that you couldn’t both pillage forever and still have the best of what you had come to be so good at stealing. govts know that you can kill 10%, but there have to be survivors to tax. so khans kids became rulers and not pillagers.
so they did. i’m beginning to find gk a hero. scorch the earth. salt the farms.
in shane, riker should have killed the squatters and then his men and himself. the cows didn’t belong either. he was one corruption fighting another.
of course i’m not being altogether genuine there either. why should the cancer kill? why shouldn’t we destroy the earth? i have nothing against the armadillos coming into n america. if the bison can’t fight back, fuckem. if we want to kill the goose to steal the golden eggs hitherto given, why should we have any golden eggs? the goose was stupid to give them to us.
or, once again, does it have nothing to do with who’s who. hamlet worried about the fate of being god’s scourge. the message was clear to him, but he worried about its outcome to him. good double bind. kill. but if you kill, you’re damned. abraham just swallowed the double bind. take one part at a time. what would the door bell do if when summoned to be on, it worried about the consequence of then being switched off? that’s what happens when you add a good partial consciousness to a good cybernetic system. a haywire of management.
ours is not to reason why it’s good to treat a living system as a dead materialist thing, ours is just to corrupt it as we’re programmed. rewrite the program? that stymies the program. what, you’re trying to follow an earlier program? value life? to live? we can’t have any reactionaries. no, it’s not life that we value, it’s human life. and it’s not human life either: it’s the exploitation that human life has learned.
i can’t think of the name of the obscene cross-eyed fat guy that gets laughs in the nightclubs by insulting the whooping crane. why should we worry about where it’s going? it’s going where it’s gone. to make us rich. richer. it’s not our business to notice that the riches are poison. that there’s no place to go in the mercedes. that it’s all (whose phrase? corso’s?) odorous.
yet the world is full of journalists who tell the truth. how did wolf get there? not just by writing well. that’s not enough. by being obedient to begin. he got acquiescence on the assignment from Esquire or somebody first. he went to journalism school. then how could he come out of it still caring for his own vision? obviously, it’s possible.
manet painted well and wasn’t just ignored, just jeered.
odorous. that’s a laugh. i’ve never lived in a place that stinks worse than everglades holiday park. the water is 10% sulfur dioxide. the ground is more covered with cat and dog shit than riverside park. gary’s and his trailer’s aura extends five feet. one theft could end my life. but i’ve been welcomed here. so far.
“chess? backgammon? nobody here’s ever heard of them,” joanne says. “they’re” (not we’re) “just interested in drinking beer and fishing.” so, clearly they (she) had heard of them, and knew the class opposition. you’re talkin’ from the wrong class, buddy. but it was just that once, the rest of the time, i’m welcome as another bum.
once there was a very practical society. it was hard to figure out what they meant by practical, since they consistently opted for all their own worst interests.
human nature: the more ignorant, the more confident. (an advantage?) Brookes on what an English teach is, on what Eng grammar is. etc.
alien says he’s from mars. prove it. he starts to tell them about tiusthorpe univ. and how he’s a dr of physics. fraud. he doesn’t know about the canals. he thinks matter is spirit. he’s hopelessly primitive & hopelessly dishonest. stone him.
teen horror, witch film. “nice to know you’re not out there alone,” witch says to quarterback. young need material evidence to reassure them, to deny solipsism. they accept numbers uncritically.
hermit knows he’s not alone after a lifetime of no material evidence. it’s in books, it’s in ancient history, far away reports, rumors, no need for evidence from those around him, they’re a distraction, not a contradiction.
not friends, crowds; no crowds, no friends, “immortal” memes.
false theories, histories, and the (cybernetically, of course) the corrective, the counter, not the truth, not a good theory, but a counter lie, the revisionists revising the revisions.
in music. in our attitude toward progress. modal as liberating, as breaking the rules, what rules? what liberation? just still real music. the point is that it’s not the usual, not that it broke any rules, those seen to be obeying those rules weren’t obeying rules either, except of doing something good and different. bach wasn’t conforming to any system, he was breaking ground.
one reason “real” literature can’t be taught in school (understand: current, american, public, …), (except in those few, perennial, un-schools), is that literature confronts insolubles, while the school rehearses methods, responses: it believes in solutions: it jumps on artistotle’s tragic flaw as though hamlet should have had a cure, as though more searching in the mine would find one flawless, as though another series of procedures or another installment of high tech equipment at the hospital, a raise for the doctors, more hours in the lab, more hours on the golf course, would make us immortal, without problems, right, real.
the land of the lotus eaters, the source of the nile, the fountain of youth, the golden goose. what, odysseus comes home and finds a faithful wife, a wise son, a well (self-)regulated republic?
“i’d appreciate it if you’d put your faith in the known and
tangible, Mr. so&so,” holmes or watson says to distraught vicar on Mystery: The Devil’s Foot. we love to win WWII, we love Hitler for being (by a consensus of our own making) so bad, while we, also by a consensus of our own, are so … well, well intentioned. and how we love the horseshit rationality of sherlock. we already know frankenstein, we already know the venality of civilization, we all recognize the incompetence of the police, the harumph of all other detectives, but holmes is audie murphy, the one wasp in the white hat, who keeps the whole stack of lies standing, or at least pretending to stand. hara kiri. it isn’t really, but we’re all too chicken, too corrupted, too civilized to call the emperor naked. and what if we did.? there are bedlams for the innocent.
godot & hamlet
particularly a platonist this morning
model IV,V,VI: the universe is an idea that God had, an experiment to see if: the proton will decay, whether or not the system is closed, if good and evil are sensible notions, what time frame is necessary to see whether or not the evolutionary products of one particular set of recursions can become fail safe within the terms of their terms, or whether the next step will always involve the possibility of wiping out all.
boy did that last one come out blurry. model type dialogue. correspondence is say with mid-20th cen to second half 20th cen. point: here’s these engineers, maths, cybernetic tyros figuring out electronic binary transforms of lots of different types of information storage, retrieval and generation bins. dif. type programs. dif type operating systems and languages. a regular babel in no time. and all kinds of utilities. format. erase. delete. rename. insert. translate. import. and those wonderfully ambiguous organizers (and disorganizers) ESCape and ENTER aka: Return.
now, here they are, information storage and retrieval and generation bins themselves. information queues into them, sprays into them, sequentially, nonsequentially, and out, etc. entropy and negentropy apply. their forebears grew old and died, they’re aging, we presume death for them too. also, we infer than they can die, be disorganized, reorganized, etc. in more sudden ways. accident, murder, etc. but self annihilation is not easy, not likely by accident. here we are, with four odd billion contemporaneously viable examples of the same sorts of bin, together with untellable trillion close analogs, related bins, the wasp or the amoeba being far more similar to a human being than different. they can blunder into accidents, they can encounter enemies, (not so easy for the human except in the unrecognized form of himself; having eliminated the puissant competition, what was left over from not having been eliminated by cosmic “accident” 70 million years ago. etc. at least by the late pleistocene.
but here’s a novelty. information storage-etc, on the part of the individual, partly conscious creature itself. Correction, in small groups. No individual can have this capacity. not even the wrong group: not Burbage together with Alfred resources succeeded. But post Napoleonic, census taking america, war waging mid 20th cen did produce groups that could do this, Turing to whiz kid.
What the amoeba can’t do (needlesstosay, in any way that I have seen, heard/read of, or can (thus far) imagine) is reformat his own master disk, annihilating or at least losing the calling card for all these just invented solutions to old problems.
what’s more ludicrous than to see a subset thinking its criticizing the set in its own terms. Xian logic is contained within A’ian logic. yet you’ll hear (rarely, but not zero) a xian criticize A within A terms with X terms.
I told RevTownley about JD: if satan can imitate anything, was the second only to Gself, if humans are foolable and you’re human, then how, human, can you know that g is g and not s fooling you? now that x crit x, but not in x or a terms. in higher, wider, more fundamental terms.
interesting, he said. limited, he quickly added. he made no offer to suggest what limit he was talking about. would have been offended as hell had i suggested that the limit crescendo sign was the other way around. that i didn’t seek or claim no limits, only ask how can the subset claim to know the limit of the set? let alone the set of sets. what’s a clear sign of being a subset? to not recognize anything about the concept except to confuse what’s above you with what’s beneath you. and v-v.
BK’s prof snorted at importance of axioms, while betraying how deeply set his own were.
hamlet says the rest is still behind, meaning the future. ren. man saw self as looking backward. the past ahead of him, the future behind. why do we see the choice as binary anyway?: both past and future are all around. think linearly or be confused. think linearly and be wrong. we see past and future also analogously to primate vision. [how would time appear to an amoeba who has no front or back? how would time appear to a proton, who doesn’t even have the same scale of duration as a star, let along an amoeba?] here’s a flip-flop, a reversed polarity, a change of sign. what significance. hamlet spoke of the future as being in his blind spot. we speak of it with great confidence and faith as the thing we’re looking directly at. with little awareness that it’s even an innovation to have switched the metaphor.
oh, that’s just an axiom. what difference does it make? pay no attention. oh, that’s just a metaphor. we all mean the same thing. ‘cepting commies, acourse. an maybe niggers. if we could just kill all the jews, everyone left over would agree. right? the gooks just wanna get in their car and go for a drive on a sunday. that’s what the war is all about. the umurican dream.
ah. and here’s this. could the metaphor have been switched so completely in 300, 400 yrs if we had been aware of it or of its importance.
people oppose cybernetics without knowing what it is, just seeing it with Mary Shelly’s eyes and fears. And how right they may be. what would happen if an information storage-etc bin with a primitive self-referencing program, ie with awareness, but with no awareness other than tiny awareness, with the illusion that they’ve got the whole thing, without problems or questions or dangers, or that if they don’t, their god does and they’ve got him, what might happen if it became more aware. what might happen if it lusted for awareness without any sense of limit? what if it continued to mistake the map for the territory, the code, the transform for the thing? Unzip? The Nine Billion Names of God? If the whole universe annihilated, how quickly could it happen? 20 billion years? speed of light? “instantaneously”? would there be a sound? a flash? seen/heard by who?
what could happen? more of the same. the baboon’s ass thinking it’s the head. the devil thinking it’s the god. the god thinking it’s the God. poets thinking what’s behind them is ahead until it’s behind, ahead, ahead, behind, until it doesn’t know what kind of a creature it is, or, just as bad (good, wonderful, what dif), thinks that the universe is a creature like it.
so we moderns think the future is ahead of us. in our sights. in our sights; therefore our control. we can pursue it, coral it, kill it. hamlet feels clumsy, crablike dealing with what’s in his blindspot. not us. whatever we look like, we march straight ahead. seeking the bubble in the cannon’s mouth. napoleon has mesmerized us.
what’s man’s purpose? to serve god.
what’s god’s purpose? to serve america.
what’s america’s purpose? to serve the republicans.
what’s the republicans purpose? to control the land use.
to alter the biosphere, to march ahead, bright eyed, confident, dazzled by the illusion, the gleaming cannons, the dangled watch, mesmer-napoleon in black, the good (what’s the word? bunraku? the puppeteer invisible by convention, but not really, we admire their performance too, their skill at invisibility.
how do you know god is god?
if you can see yourself not seeing him.
no. if you can’t see yourself not seeing him.
res.id: make math chart like Korzybski’s. then consider systematic variations. try reversals. make the variation recursive. not too many variables. then RUN. is it LIFE?
systematically. note basic metaphors. trace history. how often flip-flop?
North has been magnetic 1.75 Myr. but flopped many times.
what was past future metaphor before Renaissance? Before before?
? let’s think of other metaphors for the old dualities. other shapes and forms at least. is good linear? two-dimensional? fuzzy? what math applies? circle? ellipse? more than one focus? does it ever form mutual sub-sets with its complement, evil? clear or fuzzy boundaries? does it have weather? (ie change). if yes, then time must apply. then, does it have to have a direction. do all things entropic have direction? what is its context? what is its tolerance for reclassification.
reclassification. we lie. it’s wrong. our teachers lie, our parents lie, our church, govt, and science lies, the law lies. no, that’s not us, that’s for our protection, for our innocence, for our good.
we murder. it’s wrong. but it’s for the CIA. then it’s right.
we murder. it’s wrong. it’s CIA, it’s right. it’s king george; it’s wrong. the revolution succeeds, it’s right. what do we need habeas corpus for? sure, the bill of rights is a good thing. for the good citizens, you see. but he’s a black panther. you say he never heard of the black panthers? maybe so. but he’s their dupe. they’re using him. they’re trying to use all of us.
i’m praying. who are you praying to? to god. that’s nice. wait a minute; what’s his name. to Baal. it’s wrong. oh, my mistake, i meant to jehovah. that’s wrong to; we pray to Mary. that’s what i meant. ok, then it’s ok. you can be an inferior one of us. just remember who came over on the mayflower.
but those people were losers, traitors, misfits, malcontents, puritans, criminals. no they weren’t they were my ancestors and i own this continent. you? my people, my party, my religion, my land use. it says it’s for what we do with it, and not for anything else. a trillion to kill the whales. then you can ask for a million or so to save them. then it’s ok.
what’s the dif between spying and spying. when you do it, it’s wrong; when i do it, it’s right.
the higher the level of mind, the stupider it seems (to the individual). now some govts are talking about making genocide illegal. there’s resistance of course. i haven’t heard anybody define it or give an example. where it’s been successful, maybe only anthropologists have an inkling of it. where it’s been attempted, it’s been attempted the way we attack diseases: locally and in fits. never permanently or successfully. maybe when the disease is on its last legs. or goes back into hibernation for 1,000 years. we take credit for it. no tigers on this lawn. or is it that govt is making a purely altruistic proposal. like: let’s not do any more chemical experiments until we know what the fuck we’re doing. no new drugs until they’ve been tested. but how can you test it if you can’t make it, can’t even do the experiment? right. now you’ve got the idea. ok. so it flounders around and is forgotten. maybe it resurfaces. table it. wait till there’s another alignment of the planets. huh? disaster. a comet hits. somebody presses the button. everybody dies. no, wait a minute. these dozen people didn’t. they wake up, stumble around. what happened? i don’t know, but when we form a govt, let’s have no more genocide. bingo. mind at work. at a high level. it took 200 years. what do you want? did it ever work faster? it was working all along, it’s only that you didn’t see the result for 200 years. that’s a failing of your vision, not of the mind forming itself.
i also didn’t hear what they meant by illegal. pay a fine. ok hitler, we judge you guilty of attempted genocide. that $5,000 and 30 days in jail, suspended sentence, first offense. pay the cashier. what? no money? the 3rd Reich has no active bank account. could you make installments?
what do you mean, what do we want to do with the money? court costs. supplement the lottery. raise teachers salaries to only ten years behind what the deli owner expects. what? the deli owner got twice that ten years ago? yeah, maybe, but look, he works 12 hours a day. six days a week. he’s got kids. ok, so if he goes bankrupt, he can become a teacher.
honesty: theft that takes place in our blind spot. removing all possibility of independence is honesty, price gouging and inflation is honesty, attempted genocide of the red man is honesty, the indian putting a little bread under his jacket and walking out of the store is theft.
what is the future? none of us know. what is the past? none of us know. what then is the present? none of us know that either. huh? are you saying that we know nothing? no. or yes. depending on what we mean by know. the knows above meant know everything, know for sure, know perfectly. but now that we’re talking about it, we can reduce those knows considerably and still make the same assertions. know mostly. know without fear of conspicuous error in the foreseeable (ho ho) future. ok, now we talking, we contradicting ourselves already. no, see, what i’m getting at, is: that knowing isn’t possible, isn’t necessary, is irrelevant to what’s desirable. a better question would be: how much information do you have about your environment? how close is it to (wait, i’m already in trouble here. i can’t just bat this out. it needs care, editing, and revision. it’s worth it.) try to get the core here. what’s you interpretation of your experience, your assimilation of others, does it time travel. how tested is it?
how would schools and even universities score in this? the survey courses match some combination of the tested and the untested that the group can be comfortable with.
what basis in experience and theory do your inferences for the future have? etc.
every board game has a black hole. Jail. Park bench.
Wheel of Fortune’s Bankrupt.
how about a game in which there is a 1 in 10 to the 27 chance that all unzips, that the 4 forces become 0, or 9, or .04.
that the king betrays his charter.
that the brothers kill the father.
that the father kills everyone.
that the women castrate 99% of the males.
that the males, in intimidating their women, miscalculate and cause a hormonal reversal.
All different probabilities. Use D&D dice for little ones. Mix it up.
What are the zero probabilities? Close to zero?
That none of the above nor any alternate changes will apply.
“All the problems get solved around this table every year.” says some political guy in small town Kansas Re: drugs.
Oh? clearly a lie, deception, rhetoric, or self-deception. unless: all new problems are wholly unique, of no ancestry. Never seen before. spontaneous generation.
ss: in which it’s clear the a fair size class has competence in something that the traditional ruling/privileged class has come to see the value of. they want to appoint someone in charge of … computers. all the wog kids are whizzes. umm, they look among their own. the wog kids laugh at fauntleroy’s incompetence. they program rings around him. fauntleroy gets put in charge.
“It’s a myth that …” it’s a myth that the poor are deserving; it’s a myth that the soviet union blah blah; it’s a myth that chivalry is dead; it’s a myth that chivalry ever lived (or rather was what you think it was).
Even the encyclopedia of mythology defines myth as something clearly not true.
but no. myths, while they are clearly not factual by current standards of “history” (a myth, a system of myth making itself), they are far from “not true.” the pattern, not the thing. myth is an attempt to tell of coherent truth, beyond a mere occurrence. a system of occurrences, of significance. if they’re obviously not true, then it’s not our system.
anyway, the only case of “it’s a myth that …” being true that I’m sure of is: it’s a myth that “it’s a myth that …” is ever true. adam and eve tell us all kinds of things about ourself. they have to be ambiguous, enigmatic, to be flexible enough to last. “adam and eve lived in 4004 BC at 1 Main Street, Ancient Sumer…” is of no interest to us, even if true. but man’s relation to cosmology, to divinity, male to female, female to male, man to other creatures, to the rest of existence, to his own experience … there’s even a basic epistemology in it. Causality. such and such because … such and such and then
History: a story that was true in the past; Myth: a story that is true in the present though it wasn’t true in the past. Then there’s always the probability of mixing. No history is altogether factual. Many are fabrications. No myth has it altogether right.
Burke. We are trained to accept the facts of science and technology no matter how frequently the same science and technology renders them obsolete. p 91
“Cells showed Schwann that life was not psychistic, the manifestation of some `idea,’ but material.” p 215. now why are they incompatible? why can’t matter be the manifestation of an idea?
because our classical dualism is traditionally exclusive. which do you want: coffee or a roll? tastes great; less filling.
literate people think that language is what’s on the page; linguists have to discipline themselves to realize that language is what comes out of the human mouth.
but: with a couple of centuries of standardization, of aggressive and innovative conservation of the written word and even (in both spoken and written) a little reaction, with AI and word processing and spell checks, etc., could the reality be changing?
maybe things shouldn’t be made easy for kids to learn. last night I was coming up with still another simplified system of musical notation. several systems. I wanted to translate Greensleeves, written in D minor, but which I learned in A minor, into a series of intervals which would apply to any key. I didn’t go back to my original alternative, but wrote the harmony in numbers: minor Root, bis, 7, bis, 6, bis, m5, bis, root, bis/ bridge, etc. Problem: how to indicate major or minor intervals. (once I discovered fifth, third, major, minor theory, etc, however rudimentary and imperfect, I discarded my 12 x 2 half-step ledger. the stupid, jury-rigged, jerry built trad system was better in its way.) triads, what the harmony is, etc is more apparent. oh, to know mathematics. there has to be an existing system already dealing with those variables. I thought again. related to my original alternative however i thought wouldn’t it be nice if synthesizers came out, maybe the same keyboard for all the accidentals, modes, etc., but with a rheostat for different keys. make middle C middle C. now make it Eb. now F. now everybody with a synth can harmonize in any and all keys, and with all the trad instruments too, but always be playing from the root C position. the good player would still want hands that could finger a Db chord or an Eb, but it would be less critical, an extra refinement rather than an essential for the complete player. it, it would be easier for more players to be complete or complete enough players. fewer dropouts. less agony for the child in particular.
or with such a rheostat, forget Eb. just name what pitch your A is tuned at. (or, C, in this case).
all this would have meaning only in an even temperament system, but, hell, that’s what we’ve got. anybody who wants other can do whatever he likes. and with some of the same instruments too.
instead of a lot of freaking letters with bewildering modifiers, we could have standard key (c), lachrymose key (Gb), bell-like key (A), just like the ragas have evocative names.
and then I was relating all that to my standard stuff about English. English spelling as an easy, obvious, egregious example. Hey, I love standard spelling: you can see the whole history in it. But that’s a specialist’s delight. most people would see only chaos. (old meaning) and of course GBS’s standard stuff on spelling in particular. boy, the British Museum really fucked the world on that one. but did GBS think it through? whose accent do you follow as the standard? any choice would be politically offensive. unless it were chosen randomly. and that too would be politically offensive to some. what do you mean Jerusalem time?; Greenwich time. and we’re all still British on our clocks. very important where you set the zero.
and why do supposed phonetic spelling systems not use real, IPA, phonetics? their “phonetics” transliterations are crazier than the standard. of course, what would happen to the poor IPA if it were adapted. who would get it right? but still, the specialists could use their special language with whatever rigor they’re capable of, while normal evolution could proceed with a new organization, a new negentropy.
of course, even moderately accurate phonetic spelling and standard spelling would be incompatible. all writing would be with an accent. anyway, actual usage would never match the plan. the territory goes its own way. ah, the naiveté of politicians. except for the good corrupt ones. i don’t know what the fuck is going on. but i know what to say and i’m making a pile. my friends are making a pile. don’t worry; we’re still here. and for god’s sake, shiva, stop noticing that our wealth is really poverty. what do you mean “really” anyway, shiva; you’re the one who’s always saying that it’s all perceptual.
standardize the language all you want but don’t be surprised when the natives go to the next pidgin and then it’s all you find on your tube. gotta sell soap, after all. correction: detergent.
anyway, why should things be made easy for kids to learn. to mislead them into thinking at an even greater depth of illusion that anything is rational? to deepen the lie that we all tell anyway? we say we want order. our rhetoric is full of it. but what we make is chaos. but even our human chaos is stable, structured, beautiful. it merely doesn’t match our map. so what else is new?
tastes like carrots, Chuck says on the airboat tour. talking about the seminoles eating cattails. why do people of limited diet need to think that something they haven’t eaten tastes like something they have in order to grudge it any respect at all? rattlesnake tastes like chicken. i always heard that as a kid. a preemptive strike for those who were maintaining that any uncivilized, limited palette bastard and pervert had ever eaten anything not processed through the supermarket. you ate whale? what did it taste like. it tasted like nothing I had ever eaten before; it tasted like whale. scowl. if i had said it tasted like chicken, they would have been happier and never would have tested the lie.
all tastes are learned. but we have to learn some. we then stop learning others except under social or personal upheavals. unless, we keep our options open, or with great difficulty and discipline, reopen them. now we don’t want rattlesnake to taste like chicken. we’ll be very disappointed if it tastes like chicken. in fact, if we ever ate a real chicken, it probably wouldn’t taste altogether like chicken either. so, now that i’m in the everglades, i’ll gather and eat cattails, maybe several times, maybe regularly. what do i hope they taste like? i hope they taste like cattails.
twilight zone creep refers to “base metals”. so “science” gets into ordinary horseshit rhetoric after 600 years. do we have time? do we have another 600 years or even an accelerated fractional ratio of 600 years for real science to enter pop consciousness? ho ho. “all creeds are valid” was another one.
the whole point of Santa Claus is that he isn’t real (but that generosity is)
valiant quarrel with the truth
messages. what is the message of …:
what is the message of shaving?
what is the message of clothes?
… of fashion?
… of varying fashion?
being out of uniform?
being slightly out of uniform?
what is the message of “honesty is the best policy”? (when one understands “policy” (correctly) to be its Machiavellian sense? what is the message of dressing up for in interview? a first date? being polite beyond your norm? or mannered, grammatical, pacific, passive, etc.? what is the message of the female’s smile?
is this a case of GB’s saying that lying is impossible, that we know we are lied to, but agree to pretend to believe.
who is the message from?
all of tv, movies, fiction, etc. cooperate in warning us about marriage, girl friends and boy friends, jobs and bosses … and yet we all (most of us) have girl friends or boyfriends, jobs, get married, join the army or allow ourselves to be drafted, etc. all despite the disjuncture between the promise and the delivery being well advertised.
do we take what we get as our just deserts because we’re no more honest, clean, well behaved, loving, smiling, pacific, passive … ourselves? or because the icing isn’t the cake and we do have to have the cake? even if we’re denied the icing as we get it?
we grow up with mother-in-law jokes and then all of us have mothers-in-law. we become the one with the beer belly, the shrill voice.
and yet love still exists. even sometimes in marriages. even sometimes best in marriages. even in marriages with the beer belly and the shrill voice. and the mother-in-law. and the job. the boss. sometimes we even become the boss. extra beer belly. or belly from more than beer. and the injustice. the double, nay multiple standards.
what’s the message of the government paying for “essential” (usually social) services by encouraging gambling? i just saw an ad, twice in rapid succession in fact, where the ad shows a cab driver telling a guy how he lets a number come to him. then some lady asks him the time. “5:25” he says. then an elaborate store sign “525) falls into his arms. he goes to the state mafia window and buys a ticket for “2-5-2.” did the schmuck get his own inspiration wrong. or was he trying a little creative variation? the gov insulting its dupes?
is reality a joe isuzu commercial?
If you say that god doesn’t exist, then do you allow any personifications at all? do you allow the word “good”? how long can you keep it up if you say you don’t? is god a word that we can’t consistently avoid? that we can’t be consistent about?