/ Journal /
interrupting. art is that which can not be interrupted. if we stand up in the first act of Hamlet to argue with his morality or his metaphysics, the picture cannot be drawn and the argument is in the picture, not in any particular statement. however, in math, we think we know the rules and feel free to interrupt. There’s an error in computation in your first statement, therefore the rest cannot be known: three and five are not seven. No? How do you know what math he using, if you didn’t let him go on?
so in math, we trust our own automatedly reflex certainty over intelligence (which might have let three and five be seven in order to find out what picture was being drawn, or misdrawn.) in politics, likewise. don’t let the commie talk. don’t let him make you feel, or think, this or that, call him a liberal and sneer. call him a fascist. it doesn’t matter. had we but world enough and time, we could listen objectively to all the possibilities of evolution, history, politics, physics. we might still be listening to the arguments of dextrochirality. or whether the weak force should be such and such. no. boom. and on to the big bang. no boom, and on with wasp propagation. until it’s something else propagation and it never was wasp propagation, and the ripple in the stream merely served the ripples in the stream, serving the stream, under the illusion that it was itself and doing something, particularly something selfish. it did prevent that swirl from being commie in that place though, even if so doing made the total pattern commie for a much longer swirl. except that commie too was an illusion. neither bad nor good, no more than hitler was. or lincoln. or abraham. or god.
the rationalist, deist, everyone should get a chance to talk is nonsense. even in the eighteenth century it was nonsense. they didn’t have everybody talking at once and nobody listening as the norm in their town meeting. the fact that they had town meetings, and spoke english, and deferred to age, or to ladies, or that the ladies didn’t try to talk (and therefore could be deferred to) went as unnoticed as the margins on paper.
extensional/intensional. does it occupy space?
did the quarks occupy space (long enough for human intelligence to see and measure it) before the Cern ring? has reality changed? how can we now say what does and doesn’t occupy space when we can’t know what we’ll be able to measure the tracks of in another ten years. hundred. million. (it would seem at least that we could say what does, if not what doesn’t; but, now that we “see” what “matter” is “made” of, can we still say that we occupy space or that we’re ghosts with persistent, to us, illusions?)
does big foot exist? somebody saw tracks, didn’t they? they said so.
science is supposed to be verifiable. who can verify what the physicists say these days? ah, we can go and get a phd and then we’ll see. sure, or you take roman orders, and then, in ten years of starvation for faith, you might believe. what’s the dif? supposedly, it’s rational. i agree. but i’ve been (self) brain washed in the same belief system. rational, but far from obvious. no universally seen. there’s no such thing as something universally seen. I see the moon. the jap sees the moon in twelve hours. or in 28 days. or 14. we don’t see it together. if we’re standing side by side on the same night in the same weather, isn’t it still an illusion?
do humans understand their own messages? sure. to the extent we assume? the more we assume about it (the default setting is absolute assumption), the less likely we are to be right. i read the newspaper. it’s certainly not me they’re talking about by americans. is a polity a consensus, rather a rainbow coalition (however narrow the rainbow (after all even a full rainbow is only one octave in the spectrum) provable only by the fact that there has been no visible rebellion? (of course, reports of rebellion are reticent, edited, repressed))).
bk: “direct intension” what the fuck are they talking about? I don’t know. the lower the level of awareness, the higher we think we can responsibly talk. a sure sign of hamlet’s immaturity (even if he is thirty and brilliant) is that he thinks he can talk, even to himself, about big things and make sense. sure, from moment to moment, he seems to be making sense to himself, and he wows us, because we’re usually, younger, less brilliant, more immature, and far more balanced within our own set of absurdities. i can hardly follow what you say, because i keep slipping back to my basic wonder: is it intensional (abstract) or extensional (material, occupying space), ie, is its reality in the realm of pleroma (the supposed universe)? or creatura (Jung and GB (and my) world of information, of difference? that’s a simple enough question, but the more I ask it, the less obvious the answer becomes, and the more preoccupied I become with the foundation, kindergarten. our basic fallacy: we think we can talk with the greatest assurance about the universe which we really can’t talk at all. we know that the human world is complex, we try to gain authority, convince others that we’re talking responsibly by showing that we’re talking about “reality.” be concrete, the writing teacher keeps saying. easier said that done. most published writing thinks that that’s just what it’s doing. fallacy fallacy fallacy. (though not within its own pathetic logic).
what sense does it make to question whether something is conscious when we’re not even clear what reality we’re assuming. we continually talk about creatura and then deal with in as though physics applied. when what applies is pathology. schizophrenia. 40,000,000 frenchmen can’t be wrong.
epistemology is a matter of relationship (GB passim). my relationship to you is father and fan. i love your interests and questions and I want to understand them. to share them, even if mine are elsewhere.
is it wisdom at some point to say: these are the assumptions of those around me, I’ll join them? i can’t make any sense by myself, so i’ll go whole hog into this here epistemology. as St Augustine did. Once he had expressed his complete faith in that system of belief, he could then begin to think clearly. in its terms. who agrees with him anymore? but the commitment was heroic. especially for a mind like his.
local story about guy who shoots two cops. Street. bad jail and civil record. how come he was let out to kill cops? everyone asks. because the prisons are overcrowded, etc. why are the prisons overcrowded? did anyone ever pay close attention to whether the initial assumptions about prisons were realistic? i still don’t see anyone questioning the several assumption that offend me. Primarily the glib assumption that “we” can in fact accomplish what we promise through institutions without the institutions outnumbering and bankrupting the society. the bland assumption that they’ll keep up what they (i’ve switched from we, but it’s the same difference) start. kill all the indians? the jews? hardly. after dresden? after a little liberalism creeps in with the initial success. cops will protect us. we read Sherlock Holmes and assume that we can hire sherlocks. audie murphys. what you get is being low class as a career. first the assumption is that there are a few bad apples. don’t kill, them: we can help them. lock them up and drill them into being civil. uh oh, the majority of the minority is in jail. if we had more jails they’d all be in. and to stay. oh, no criminals from our class. elected executives plotting coups to gain what they already have. subverting the constitution. getting pardoned. ok, mitchell was in jail. what kind, i wonder. disbarred? not many.
i would favor harsh punishments for criminals if criminal were rationally defined somehow and then even handedly treated. what would be the punishment for having enslaved and lobotomized a people, eg? if that were set up nicely, the black who are convicted thieves might then not mind being executed. or put on devil’s island.
there’s also the half-assed assumption that we’re interested in correction. not revenge. oh well, of course there’s got to be a little revenge there too.
why not just leave everybody alone and let them find their own justice. because the rich would immediately have private armies (as they half do already: the cops, the army, public opinion).
darwin traveled! got out of Europe. made himself an alien. his stupidity and backwardness was essential to his genius and importance. isolated.
history, like the double square. back illuminates our blindspots. spot has wrong implications. but a blind spot or area or universe or multiuniverse can only be seen indirectly. over time. from two points min. to see the blind spots of history, you need a science that sees more. Timescale. to see the blindness of a religion you need two religions. and acquaintance with both. and time to scan multiple cross points.
what does reason mean, once you really look at Descartes? it means, we share certain assumptions, that we question things, but only in those terms.
god the father (who has no father). beginnings and endings. human limits to attention/perception. “reality” and volition
mandelbrot set: alien: something further along the fractal shoreline. a discontinuity (seeming or real? seeming) of segment. (or is it real since the mandelbrot set is indeterminately made up (equally?) of nothing, nothings which make lace.
originator or resonator? how can one know if one’s work is original? any more than god can know there’s nothing besides or above him? in their perception, sure. anyone can tell what’s within their perception. but outside it: might reality extend beyond one’s perception, one’s epistemology, one’s world, one’s universe? a thief can tell that he’s stolen. a writer may know if he’s plagiarized: that’s something objective. by all the conventions of the society, it was in y’s possession and x took it. presented it in the market as his, x’s.
but original? of all possible occurrence of physicists swinging wrecking balls at their own jaws to prove the law of conservation of momentum I knew of one: Isaac Sachs, in my own life. and then two. allison appleby in my own fiction. i pick up contact, and it’s three. carl sagan in contact. in his mind, there might be one and then two also, but he doesn’t know of mine.
people will read Weaveworld and remark on the originality of the opening. Barker no doubt wrote his before my ending to DB. Had to, it’s publication date precedes mine. So. But it was already one of my preoccupations. Just not phrased in literary terms until that moment. it’s in beginning. and in my id files. did barker overhear my head? not likely. did i overhear his? nope. did we just duplicate? roll double sixes twelve times in a row? I think we both rose on the same human mental wave. At the same moment? No. The wave goes on and on. Changing what it penetrates. changing its amplitude. but the same wave. or a relative. who can tell?
anyway. originator? or resonator? it’s the wrong question. asked by society, by civilization, by lawyers. is the property you’re wrongfully holding rightfully yours? will we take it from the holder and bestow it on you? will we take it from both of you and give it to a poor widow? will we instead bestow it on ourselves? or will we leave it alone?
wrong, wrong, wrong. just resonate. originate. words, words, words.
why literature? Running Man. Medieval devils rooting for the hero while they impede him. cops turn out to be rooting for Ben. Literature is the one place where we can be secretly and safely radical, fundamental, brave, christian, heroic … and still go to work amidst the bedlam of usual contradictions in which we are none of those things uncompromisingly. But such real literature is rare. Tv is full of the ersatz. Reinforcing the contradiction, not the stance. Cop shows. They’re all corrupt. They’re all crooks. They all don’t give anything but the most formal shit for the Bill of Rights, for justice, they’re for property. Their own (a little) and the owners (a lot). Except that they hate the owners (unless they’re the owners whory wife or mistress). They find crooks bigger than they are. They turn out to be feds. Oh. Pardon me. I didn’t mean to get in the way of your murdering, kidnapping, torturing … The fed is sacrosanct. Not in the Running Man. Real literature, (meaning of course what I respond to), Hammet, Chandler, accepts the chaos but has found a holiness, some standard. Ben has decided to go all the way. He has accepted his death in advance.
Stephen King may be the greatest writer of all time for putting a guy (gal, kid) in some extreme circumstance and then sticking with it. Penetrating it further. The willingness to kill kids and heroes … Wow. And still sell? Unbelievable. It gives me hope. Not hope for my own stuff; hope for the damn species. If real literature can still exist, still be created, still even be recognized and appreciated and even rewarded, wow. We’re not dead yet.
is there a common boundary, any overlap, between scale and context?
efficiency: we want the world to be like a cartesian graph. we call it inefficient if instead it’s bilaterally symmetrical. or swirled. greenwich village instead of 42 & 5th.
even science is influenced in its values by general values of the society. no big secret. but, ferinstance, not usually noted: biology: evolution: bottom line oriented, results. survival. sure. that’s one value. but also: is it worth trying. there is no success without lots of failure in partnership. success becomes conservative. its contradictions, even the unnecessary, inessential ones, become matters of heresy, treason, death penalty. sure. so how come there are still heretics? Lavinia. sorry, i’ll die for the god that isn’t yet.
the tv is on as i load up the Plus and hope to get a few things done. oh, god. that creep crowd panderer is coming on. Morton Downey, the graphics say. I remember watching a show, a circus, in which the descendant of … i’m just as glad his name isn’t coming to me. but the common ingredient is raw. the style is to ask a question, get the first phrase back and then interrupt with another. the guest never objects. the crows seems to love. it. the other guy was stupid and ill prepared. i’ll never forget the show in which tom wolfe whose right stuff had just come out was the tout/guest. the show guy hadn’t read the book. he didn’t know who his guest was, except as a name. all we got were his prejudices. but there was no live rabble audience. so i see this guy for the first time. it’s all college kids. no women in the dorm rooms after midnight. or was it beer? i think the point of the obscenities that followed was to indulge the home viewer with hatred of these privileged philanderers and party kids (the majority of the audience not having lived in a coed dorm situation or been to college at all) and a lascivious lust (what? me be redundant?) for that privilege. 18,000 a year to have to beat your own meat or fuck your own roommate or dorm neighbors after midnight.
whose dorm is it, was one of the perfectly good implications. as in 1968, it wasn’t answered. onth’otha hand, how rare for it to have been raised.
now, tonight, i watch the first minutes. abused children. the boxer, laland. donny? and abused ex-girl, Woman #1, W#2, etc. wearing bags over their heads and facing away from the camera. more of the whose body is it? question. good question. here there were answers, more horseshit answers, but although i hated it again, i have to admire the guy putting his finger on where the shore is shifting. what do we respect in society. what’s formally agreed to as property, rights, etc. and here was a greater deist honesty: no horseshit about unalienable rights or god given. just vociferous, angry opinion.
in the first show, the emcee threatened somebody’s genitals. the guy made no move to protect his parts. he just looked routed, embarrassed, shown to be in the wrong. the kids cheered, visibly the girls. but then this fat middle aged chain smoker goes up to the girls, gives them hugs, etc. he’s not protecting his parts. he threatens mutilation and gets approval and affection. (and now, different show, we’re supposed to think he’s concerned, sincere, a good guy, as he curses child molesters, wife beaters, he hopes, straight into the camera, that their dicks fall off. wow, a real sensitive journalist)
well. we’re moving from a rhetorical paternalism to a rhetorical anarchy with the father once again the bad guy. it wasn’t a maternalism instead. no goddess was trotted out.
what would it have been like in societies moving the other way in the past. break the tits off the statues? real mutilation to real women?
does any real mutilation to real men go on today? of course. i mean, is there a significant increase? i bet. when will we ever hear about it? through possible future anthropologists? (i say possible because it’s not at all clear to me that there will be a future anything human.)
onaotha hand, is there a significant increase? or decrease of mutilation etc to females?
if there are stats on these things, i never see them. how honest could the stats be? since they’re always taken by people with assumptions, axes to grind, theories to root for. oh, that wasn’t a rape. sure lady, you can report it (we’ll make your regret it if you do, heh heh, all the way down the line: cops, lawyers, judges, the accused …). shit, the fucking broad cut his dick off. how will we write it up? domestic quarrel. jack the rippers victims were whores. how does that complicate things?
mealy mouthed solemn Duke ex pres candidate says the conscience of the woman in consultation with her religious leaders or some horseshit about abortion. adoption says bush. what? some father wants his kid?
our bodies, our selves (and the future of the species) can that be up to women alone? no. of course not. not at present? is it? no. it’s political stancing. trying to get the home audience to accept your version of real, right, rights. nor has it ever been.
[go back to what’s right? whose body? whose baby? what’s a pussy
for? can we really leave them to the women themselves? is that
what any women really want? many? remember chaucer’s emily.]
[our bodies, ourselves. haven’t read the book, but the title strikes me as more and more significant. a further push in the fallacy of individualism. whose are we? the king’s? not many people would buy that these days. in the future? who knows? stranger things have happened. ritualistically? formally? a white lie convenient fiction? Shakespeare was the king’s men? some euphemism? the state’s. we don’t say so, but where do they get off with eminent domain? the draft? taxation. it’s not even our money. there. money. a good comparison. a society maybe could be arranged where the price was with tax. after the extras. the price paid, including interest. where your income was yours. or at least your family’s. no, not your ex wife’s, etc. yours and your family’s. what the employer pays to social security isn’t named as part of your salary. why should income taxes be. this job pays the govt $4,000, soc.sec $1,000, your bank, 10,000 and you $8000. that’s your income. your money. you can spend all of it. throw it away. put it on a horse. use it to live to eat to raise kids. the govt, wants more? talk to the company. they’re the ones you take if from anyway. ask for donations, sure. sell war bonds. sell peace bonds. sell environmental bonds. borrow more from banks, govt. maybe they’ll give you a prime rate.
but it isn’t. their hand is in your pocket deeper than your own. but maybe it’s truer that way. because, obviously, it isn’t your money. obviously, you’re not yourself. not merely. you’re yourself and the group. tom wolfe’s wall street salesman’s mind, his person, is invaded by the jungle, by the tribe, people gawk down into his cavity, sniffing. all his life, he had thought, according to the reigning epistemology, that he was himself. then he found out that he was wrong. that the society’s map is not the society’s territory. that it all was wrong. not wrong meaning not as it should be, but wrong, meaning not as described. corrected, he’s a far better, more likable, more respectable man, he the public butt, than he had been as a rich snoot. and probably happier too, whatever that means.
are women and men equally themselves? of course not. they’ve got the pussy, the womb.
if we pass some law to say that the law means what it says, equal rights for all men, ahem, all citizens, ahem, all not deported illegal aliens (except indians), ahem … all um all who can get what we say is coming to them, all of voting age anyway, except where state laws vary, if we pass such a law and even half mean it, it would maybe be fine. if we also rearrange everything else! all reproduction through test tubes. better eliminate fucking altogether. make it a felony for a woman to have tits or ass or pheromones. or long hair or wear make up. let the balls atrophy and fall off. a vestigial organ.
teacher, how come my testicles ruptured? what’s going on with my body? i just had my appendix out, and now this.
nothing but poison, kid. has to come off, once it’s opened up. stupid vestigial organ. who can imagine what the thing was ever for?
are our sperm ours? sure. and the group’s. the species’. the future’s. the right woman’s. the woman of the moment’s. your life’s mate’s. this load went on the ground. into the sheets. all over that girl’s face. that one was yours. all of my semen was mine till my son was born. a single sperm, according to our theory. (theory? that’s fact. i saw a cartoon. I read it in a book. every one knows THAT. theory.) but no, as long as he’s a single child, young man, man, it’s all his. i won’t likely revise that opinion until he perhaps generates a child. and then i won’t revise it until he generates more than one.
and remember chaucer’s emiliè. everybody gets their prayer except her’s to diana. sorry: chastity loses to love and to war. the gods do not have equal powers, influence, or importance. which doesn’t make chastity not a god.]
what would the arguments be like if the birth rate really fell off?
to my mind, it doesn’t matter what we say, while there are 4 or 5 billion people aboard. a plague would clear up a lot of our problems. war and industry and business as usual is too polluting. and not nearly lethal enough except through the pollution. i mean the horseshit about rights. fags. abortions. kill the commies. trust the commies but cut the cards. whatever. if we could kill each other with bamboo sticks, i’d be for it.
ss in which human reproductive strategy moves in the direction of the mites in which there’s one male per litter who dies as soon as he’s screwed his sisters. or the mites where the one male is born dead having already done his business in the womb. or the mites who have a male only in the generation preceding the exhaustion of the food supply.
these are real options already in practice. we don’t know anything about them. we should. we should understand the context in which we argue. do men have children? or only women?
do men have any right in the upbringing, indoctrination, etc of those children? or only women? or only the state? what happens when the state fails? goes bankrupt? is found to be illegitimate?
i love the talk in the press about fear of people’s losing their faith in government. when did they get it back after last time? we all depend on the short memories of others.
what if there was a judgment day? people wouldn’t tolerate it. oh, sure, while it’s our enemies in the dock. but not when it’s our turn.
ah, but it’s god: you won’t have any choice. since when?
how wonderful the exceptions candidate bush can list. abortion in the case of rape, or where the mother’s life is in danger. etc. ahem. the pope not heard from. what should we care? we’re not catholic.
tolerance. fine. as long as no religion, no morality, no political stance is right. or wrong. whatever makes you feel good. i like to kill babies. cool, man. i like to kill people who say cool, man. uh. wait a minute.
the original roshomon.
the unperceived beauty and order of chaos. i’m right in my synagogue and you’re right in your church. and in your home. except it isn’t your home. the govt drafted you. your wife took it. you have no kids but you have to pay for them. the bank wants to build a swimming pool there. it’s in the way of the nuclear plant.
so where’s the indian saying it’s on his property? cause it wasn’t his property. those idiots didn’t have property. none recognized by this court. where’s the woman saying its her civilization and her invention of all the descendants of agriculture, the money, invented by males probably but all because of what was stolen from her (the management thereof, not the labor) and if you stole the lucrative part of it, you can have it, just pay up while she watches soaps. ahem, detergents. there’s no comparable profit in soap.
wow. last night. guy asking about frogging poles. i show him. and spear heads too. extra tines. cost you close to 40 bucks with tax. hey, how do you clean frogs anyway? guy goes to his truck. comes back with a dead frog. its lungs or stomach or air bladder or something spilling out already. guy gets out his bowie and cuts it up right on the glass counter next to the cash register. blood and intestines all over the xmas decorations. wow.
Everglades Holiday Park. The fishing bobs are displayed in used beef jerky tubs. plastic. yellowed. dust all over. the fishing rods, the trophies. that poor bob cat. the mud fish. all dust. until i cleaned them. the frog poles. i had been meaning to dust them just before the guy comes in. he shows me why the $17 spear is ok, though it should cost a buck. the 7 dollar one is junk. 17.90 for a bamboo pole. not like it used to be, he says. I think it was how junky and old fashioned the store is that brought me here. and the danger was a magnet. is it as bad as i feared. not that bad, but too soon to judge. i’m careful as hell and still fearful. but i love it. like i loved going up mt washington for the first time to camp. except for the nylon and bright color tents and fiberglass skies, you wouldn’t know what century it was. khaki and olive drab unshaved vodka swilling ski bums in orange tents. i was addicted in one second.
cathy outside, midnight, beating her dog. threatening it. i’ll teach you not to come in the house when i call you. yelp. whimper. the other neighbor had the tube on loud till a minute ago. i sit here. do i go to the security guard? gene. guy won’t do anything. esp. for me. just waiting till he’s fired. i’ll wait till there’s another? i’ll wait till i get used to it? till we’re all dead? now it’s quiet. i sit here.
i see a jack palance movie. 8th-cen spain or some such. he’s a chief of the lombards, keeps fighting the Genninnis or somebody. they’re supposed to be civilized. he’s the barbarian. he can’t read their books, they can’t beat him in battle. they all looked alike except that the Gs had more blondes per capita until Jack marries the one who’s the king’s daughter. point is: they all looked alike. meaning euro-amer-white. there may even have been lombards in spain or italy or africa or where ever they were supposed to be in the 8th or whichever century. the point is: though i don’t know these people supposed ethnic, racial, cultural, genetic whatever, it was still obviously hollywood/italian medieval barbarian.
ok. so, ss:
picture a future movie of say Custer’s last stand. Yuki Kanabi plays Abraham Lincoln. Hirami Kobo plays Custer. Michiko Kai plays Jane Fonda. Takashi Muroto plays Sitting Bull. They despise me because I can’t read their books, he says. No doubt Sitting Bull’s wigwam will have white columns, a river front entrance, and Shoji screens by Remington. The real white house will be a supposedly more noticeably elegant a pagoda.
Occasionally, I drop one of my ideas on some poor unsuspecting sonofabitch who asks me. typically, before i’ve half started, they’re already disagreeing. they think … surprise … some cliché. nevertheless: sometimes, i see there’s no need to pursue it, they’ve just revealed that they’re not qualified to recognize even the nature of 1% of it let alone actually follow the reasoning, logic, evidence, etc., but, sometimes, i see that they see all but instantly, the exact area it impinges upon, and they defend themselves against it. these people do see where it goes. maybe they’ve already seen it. their reason ignores it or dismisses it or pooh-poohs it, but they know. Now. Wasn’t it worthwhile to be dismissed by this person? and maybe by the others too? who perhaps also see and also defend but are more deeply subtle in their denials. come on Vishnu, you can’t fool me, pretending to be ignorant, illiterate, stupid, lowest denominator conventional. i’ve seen it again and again. years pass. your own statements come back at you. David is always making my own old points to me, sort of condescendingly. no one else understands this but him. i never remind him where he got it. like the cigarette ads, the consciousness never sees it, but the mind has taken it in in the first few nano seconds.
where and how we get our ideas is misdescribed by our society and misrepresented in our law and economy in the same way as my stuff just above about whose body is it? whose baby? whose money? whose mind or privacy? how meaningful are the pronouns in our language? where do i get my ideas? sometimes i know. or think i know. from shakespeare. where did he get them? i remember reading some book years after claiming never to have read it. my old college text book. shit, there’s all that stuff i was so proud of saying to soandso when i was 18. and there it is in nietzsche, with my penciled notes in the margin. or in russell. or whitehead. ok. now i remember: i didn’t finish reading it. i didn’t read it on time. i didn’t read it very well. i certainly quarreled with russell my notes now show me, but i got some of it anyway. where did he get it. where did plato get it? where did soc get his? not that they say the same thing. but there are themes, threads, perspectives, patterns which connect. we all got it from life right? from reality. from god is convenient. then don’t pay anybody for anything? fine, as long as we can all live and don’t poison everything. then who gets the money? why have money? revise the economy more in accordance with the best we can know instead of half assed. a little of what we can know, what we can’t avoid not knowing, what we can resist learning. hey. it’s ours if we can take it? we’re entitled. rod steiger says.
or just keep it up. let the thieves have it. those who claim it’s theirs. then tax or steal it away from them and distribute it to the pentagon. give thanatos his due. and some left over for the senators. and some for the thief’s victims. just don’t let any get to those who want to thaw the idea structure. don’t let any more truth creep in. we’ve got more than we can handle as it is. oh, plenty of money for more thanatos. research. as long as it’s research up the right blind alley. and give more to doctors. legitimate drugs. the one’s we want to believe in. the ones that promise immortality. and no headaches or upset stomachs. and give the excedrin to the pilot who naplams the kids, not to the kids napalmed.
she grasped at the cliché as a drowning man gropes for the cork life preserver.
king a true anarchist. the correct antidote to too much sherlock holmes, miss marple, hercule poirot, etc.
what’s a fact? give a fictitious example. soandso date rapes somebody. now is such and such a fact? was she raped? she thought so, then she didn’t think so. she married the guy. then she knew he didn’t. you loved it he said. then they divorced. now i really know i hated it she says. was it rape? now the judge thought blah blah. she thought blah blah. what do you think? what’s a fact? what really happened? how many people will answer that it’s a fiction. nothing really happened. as to real cases, you can’t say. it’s in the fictitious cases that we can say, the cases where nothing really happened.
it takes two to tango. many to make art, public communication. Stephen King is Stephen King and editors and publishers and 50,000,000 copies and who knows how many readers. Now, Shakespeare might have been Sh without his Eliz. audience, but he couldn’t have been the Bard, we wouldn’t know him. Or, if we had sort of known him, and then forgotten him, and then sort of discovered him, he would be more like Donne or Blake. Not at all the same sort of thing. But Blake is precious in a different way. However little we understand Sh (properly) (I would argue that he is underestimated as much as anyone you could name), we understand Blake even less. Still, who knows what effect Blake has on us. Similarly, what effect does those completely unknown by “posterity,” those we can’t example, have on us? Unmeasurable? Certainly not directly measurable. But there are or may be or may come to be other ways. What value do extinct species have in missed opportunities. We’re beginning to sense it, at least a little.
our culture too results oriented. results of course being merely perceived results, that which is recognized. and that which is recognized is only recognized by interpretation. our science too. biology, darwinism, evolution, survival the only value. except in our religious and literary sense. there we can sometimes value the heroic where the heroic isn’t certified by the society. romantic heroic. christianity a hodgepodge of Jesus the humble carpenter and Christ the Son of God. the signs are a hodgepodge of subtlety, visible only through interpretation based on a fairly generous belief and warnings of you’ll see the sword next time. postponed results.
we don’t know how to value potential. Hawking’s funny comment about the Nobel committee maybe getting it wrong, but so and so’s theory then “confirmed” by later experiments. but we contradict ourselves. we don’t now denigrate Newton though his theory was wrong. maybe because we still use his math, not Einstein’s.
postponed gratification. addiction to the postponement in the over civilized.
tv anti-alcohol ad just on. shows wrecking ball hitting a house. talks about an evil something which is destroying the family, the cornerstone of something. Now, alcohol is certainly such a thing. and so is professional interference, professionals wanting non-professional adults to put themselves in the other, professional, adult’s hands. so, the choice offered isn’t the choice offered, to save the family, but a more socially oriented form of destruction as an alternative. Which is right and which is wrong? Can’t tell. Hasn’t happened yet. It’s easy, when you have no experience, to imagine that a lot of educated, well-meaning (?) politicians, lawyers, psychologists, meddlers, will do a better job for Carrie than a witchcraft fundamentalist mother or a violent alcoholic Jack of a father, (or visa versa). Who taught today’s hosts of kids’ drug abuse? The parents? Or removal from the parents? Or something in modern times? Such a question can’t have a “right” answer. Probably a fair playing god couldn’t tell either. No, you sift the inconclusive evidence and you bet your life. Or you join a profession and bet others’ lives as well.
The best thing about the situation for the time being is there’s no short term accountability. Long term, sure. that’s what we’re talking about. but not necessarily in your own life time or at least term of office. you can resign, retire, maybe treason will cut a little into your popularity on the college lecture circuit, but you can still have San Clemente, buy a town house in Manhattan, be quietly on the Wall Street law firm lecture circuit. You don’t even have to say much, those bribes are due you, maybe overdue you, no matter what.
I wish I had the anthropologists’ discipline to know how to analyze certain human situations, instead of having to invent them. tv ads.
the “we accepted linda’s offer this morning. hello jason. you left me a message? music: toom!” eg. what makes this guy stick at linda’s offer, now that he knows jason will offer more. why fair play? blackballed? analyze.
an Eckerd’s ad insults some dolt of a father, “And while you’re out Captain Danger, pick up some wrapping paper.” Why are men cooperating in being insulted? This isn’t us calling a foreign leader names, or them calling us, in the ahem safety of our own network. This is something supposed to stimulate somebody to buy something, a particular something or at a particular place of somethings. is it that men don’t watch tv at that time? that the women control the purse strings for that sort of purchase? that they, the men, are pleading guilty? study who it’s ok to insult in a particular phase of a society and see if there are any conclusions to be drawn. just before, the A team, some wasp recruits some greaser as though they knew each other. of course in a military context where friendships are strictly within a hierarchy. fine, but now we’re lying about the hierarchy. weren’t wasps fighting with mexicans a little more honest? maybe you were fighting for the peasants, but you didn’t know them, not personally. oh, maybe you fucked them, had children by them, they were your woman, not your friend. maybe they’d die for you, but you were a different class of thing. that’s from the perspective of our own past fiction at least. except that we learn how to behave from our magazines, if we act as though a black kid had been allowed to hang around with these wasps maybe are kids will actually behave that way. the “reality” was the kind of relationships you found in Faulkner.
Different types of fiction. which mirror do we want to look in today? the flattering one, the future one (we know that there have to be such friendships, at least a few, if even the wasps are to continue to thrive or even survive), or the ugly one, the one that actually has some correspondence with how we’ve behaved?
So, there I am this pm, actually dreaming normal dreams, a liberal salting of nightmares, and I realize that I haven’t been aware of such dreams for a long time. My dreams have been self-induced, the ones I fall asleep to or wake up being aware of. At sleep time, they’re usually something erotic, typically a memory of an erotic opportunity not taken deliberately, or an erotic opportunity that was imaginary only, that is, not really an opportunity. Not taken or realized in any case. I seldom remember real love affairs, real intercourse, real pussy that I actually became intimate with. No, it’s typically the pussy i never even saw in actuality. It was too young. Somebody was too married. The time was wrong. We were both too young. Or something. The dreams I wake up to are my mental obsessions. I drift into consciousness with some wisp of epistemological synthesis floating about. a phrase. quick, i’ve got to write it down. before I come to and decide it’s crap. except sometimes it really seems good to me latter on too. write it down first. then wake up and get critical. or don’t bother to become critical. just write it down.
anyway, these were real dream dreams. the FL xmas ad just on shows santa surfing on his day off. it reminds me, i was wearing a sort of half a santa costume in one part. now I remember: bruce was wearing just such a thing on Sat.
hilary was in one.
there was a flavor of nightmare throughout. In one I was getting homosexually raped in a department store men’s room. That’s a new one to my awareness. I need to pee. Now it occurs to me that it was a late in sleep type needing to pee, I really did, the kind accompanied by a wicked erection that goes away as soon as your relieve your bladder. So, I need to pee, I see some guys going into a room with writing on the door, the one guy blocks the writing, I need to pee so bad, I slip in anyway. Gotta gamble. If it isn’t the men’s room, I’ll have wasted time, but I gotta try to shave seconds. What’s this. Water falls. Something weird. there’s a drain in the floor. I’m getting splashed. Oh, I thought it was the men’s room. Go ahead the guy says. No urinal, no stall, no privacy. Now in the woods I don’t care. somebody comes by while I’m peeing, that’s their problem. But this is civilization. Strangers. Captive. With a captive audience making no attempt to disappear. Actually, I didn’t see it that way at the time, I only needed to pee, they said ok, I stepped forward into the spray. and did some of my own. Holy shit, the guy says, look at that dong. I’m grabbed from behind. Some guy is coming around up in front of me. I’m punching this one guy in the face. No force. I go for his nose. No force. I’m bound and determined to break his nose. I might as well by chopping cork with a cork. On to another phase of the dream. Hilary living in some loft combining Gail’s loft with Bloomingdales with the men’s party shower I was just in. What was she doing? That part isn’t coming back to me.
The most frequent, and familiar (though I had forgotten) type kept coming and going. Flying, floating, levitating. And I wasn’t the only one. It was a sort of indoor Columbia Campus. Long stair ways to slither down the edges of as though they were slides rather than steps. Then float down an inch or two above the edge. Sure, you could catch a heel, get crunched, but no, you’ve got or feel you’ve got the grace, the invulnerability, or that even if you don’t, the try is worth the risk. Others are floating around. Hey, let’s really take off. Have I done this before? Can I do it? I can’t remember whether there’s a risk or not, but I take off. If I’m wrong, I’ll crash. But I’m not wrong, sure I’ve done it before. Others see me and they start to fly higher too. There’s some sort of erotic union with the pretty girls who try it too, even though we’re not touching, not even really close. I remember that it only works where you’re intimate with the stairs and their exact number and dimensions. stairs you can run up and down in your sleep. Years of going from Hamilton to Schermerhorn.
Hawking, Stephen. A Brief History of Time, Bantam, 1988.
nature of theory. p 9 ff.
assumption of science p 12
p 12 “Now, if you believe that the universe is not arbitrary, …”
“The only answer that I can give to this problem is based on Darwin’s principle of natural selection. The idea is that in any population of self-reproducing organisms, there will be variations in the genetic material and upbringing that different individuals have. These difference will mean that some individuals are better able than others to draw the right conclusions about the world around them and to act accordingly. These individuals will be more likely to survive and reproduce and so their pattern of behavior and thought will come to dominate. It has certainly been true in the past that what we call intelligence and scientific discovery has conveyed a survival advantage. It is not so clear that this is still the case: our scientific discoveries may well destroy us all, and even if they don’t, a complete unified theory may not make much difference to our chances of survival. However, provided the universe has evolved in a regular way, we might expect that the reasoning abilities that natural selection has given us would be valid also in our search for a complete unified theory, and so would not lead us to the wrong conclusions.”
[hawking’s evolution true in times of stress perhaps, but the norm is devoted to balance.]
p 25. “the light spreading out from an event forms a three- dimensional cone in the four dimensional space-time.”
a geodesic is the shortest (or longest) path between two nearby points. a geodesic on the earth is called a great circle, and is the shortest route between two points.
“in general relativity, bodies always follow straight lines in four-dimensional space-time, but they nevertheless appear to us to move along curved paths in our three-dimensional space.” (This is rather like watching [the shadow of] an airplane flying over hilly ground)
1919 test of gen.rel p 32
time slowing in proportion to gravity. top of hill bottom of hill. “If one ignored the predictions of gen.rel., the position that one calculated would be wrong by several miles.” fundamentalists should be defended by weapons designed without the theory they ridicule.
the twins paradox is a paradox only if one has the idea of absolute time at the back of one’s mind.
“Space and time not only affect but also are affected by everything that happens in the universe.”
most of the stars that are visible from E lie within a few hundred light years of us.
what a delicious phrase: p. 60. “With these ideas, in concrete mathematical form, …”
can something exist in time but not in space-time? intensional things do have the dimension of time, don’t they?
evolution like science like life like individual. we may get into a mind set, but we keep bumping up against reality however we’ve girded ourselves finally to be “right.” it’s all experimental, will we or nil we.
even seeming contrary ideas can be part of the same stack though at different points in the sequence.
people think they can tie mountains together by running a string over their tops and then have a handle on them. ideas like “direct intention” are pretentious. it’s not that you can’t work with high level abstractions: you have to work in the bed rock, the underlying strata. though often you’ll then find that your high level abstraction doesn’t correspond to anything but to your errors, is entirely an artifact thereof.
good and bad can have meaning in proportion to whether or not there’s any choice possible.
ritual: an organizer of perception. a reorganizer of perception. a group rehearsal (maybe one day we’ll get it right) of a cosmology, a set of axioms, … axioms? or the theory that makes them work? excuse me, seem to work. Can there really be any distinction between axioms and theorem? between theory and evidence? a group rehearsal of a theory. Is the priest really an expert? or is he trying to get it right too? or is the priest just the one who culls the uncircumcised from the circumcised? the commies from the cappies? make sure the axioms don’t change (much). Postpone perceptions of the failure of the ritual to organize perception. or rather postpone perception of the misfit of cosmos and cosmology; finish building St Peter’s first, and move into Newton’s universe second. but wait a minute: we had already moved into Newton’s universe ages ago; we just can’t postpone not noticing any longer. oh yes you can. finish Peter’s first, build a monument to how wrong we were but how well we controlled the resources. miscontrolled them that is: any monument that endures unentropied through time is evidence of obstinacy. the Tao leaves no footprints that outlast the storm.
could money be holy after all? money leaves no footprints. you don’t know where your dollar has been. except that you can’t escape knowing. in the philanderer, GBS’s radical points out to the snooty girl that her money is her dad’s money and her dad, however respectable for his money, is a slum lord. in other words, if you have money, your money is rooted in the economy of its time, and the economy of its time is always a slum lord. yet we still sham, we’re still good shivas. we still say, i’m not a drug dealer; I own stock in Metropolitan Life. which owns stock in X. … If it’s money, you’re a drug dealer. But money leaves no footprints of direct evidence. No deduction, only induction. So, if money is like the Tao, then being a drug dealer is holy. Get out of here, Shiva; I’d rather be a Jew.
annihilation of information. the big bang. death. a species transmutes into another. an election. (a form of ritual, a reorganization of perception (we were bad when we were the Kaiser’s men, now we’re good, good little nazis. we were bad when we were nazis; now we’re good, we have a different chancellor, we didn’t know what the old chancellor was doing for us, for our cosmology, how he was holding up the old sky with all he had, exterminating the contrary evidence. but we’re far beyond that now: now we’re americans. we don’t know the old country. we just continue its laws, its foreign policy, it’s insistence that our cousins are alien. that the black sheep brother doesn’t exist.
SHawking says that Relativity is a classical theory. it predicts its own breakdown. Singularities. oh, no. we don’t want singularities. or do we? how is it up to us? we’re the perceivers, the interested parties. does a stone have any interest in cosmology? in physics? in juggling absolutes? giving up on absolutes and looking instead for invariances? (funny, i din’t know how to abbrev. Stephen Hawking. I started with his initials, but sweet will already has those reserved. then SHaw. no. that’s just a typo of GBS. the SHawk. fuck it. SHawking. i don’t have an abbrev. ambiguity, ambiguity.)
A typo on a computer can freeze your program. Now you can’t get into your own buffer. save continuously. fortunately, i’ve lost little. i save. and save.
Did Newton’s gravity predict its own breakdown? maybe humans should only have such theories. What is truth, said Jesting Pilot. DId he mean that he was merely a pragmatist? Or was he a relativity man? Perhaps a Blakian mystic. There is no gedang an sich. Just perception. and reformulation.
is M’s PLost a classical theory? (i just wrote theroy. and just wrote jsut. why do my fingers so love metethasis?) anyhow, Milton trots out all those fallen gods, now devils. Doesn’t that predict that his guy’s turn will come? Does that mean that the throne will be empty then? or is it evolution waiting in the wings? perception. wait. there is no reality except what’s temporarily “frozen.” that’s what matter seems to be according to quantum physics.
we had slavery. no we didn’t. we just changed administrations. Lincoln passed a law. now we’re innocent. now we have propertyless blacks whom we don’t have to pay much, but we don’t call them slaves anymore. we slaves of the state call ourselves “freemen.” we slaves of the king call ourselves barons. we slaves of the empty throne call ourselves priests. we castrate ourselves to prove that we believe that the throne isn’t empty.
how am i different from any other homeostatic system however i mock them? i just want to keep my balance. i want to have a firm standing whether the throne turns out to be empty or occupied. occupied by emptiness that isn’t emptiness. nothing is the biggest thing we have. the silence contains all possible sound.
Lear’s fool says that nothing comes from nothing. was Sh talking quantum reality? the cosmos as a temporary misadjustment of the void? of course misadjustment is misleading. any improbability is just one more probability. or one more set of probabilities. the impossible is what happens less often. or hasn’t gotten around to happening yet. concrete mathematics. i love it.
so. there’s progressive ritual and regressive. liberal and conservative. here’s the human mind, my human mind, still locked into dualities. binary perception. the pursuit of invariance assumes that there is invariance. that something is “true.” hell, why not say that what we believe is true. and dare the cosmos to prove us wrong. what else is life? hell, i’m gambling on carbon and oxygen and this chemistry, these materials in abundance. now. where can we find the seeds of our own undoing. let’s become chemists and change everything. let’s burn up the free oxygen that we depend on. does that show how firmly we believe that it’s really abundant. or is it a challenge? I can’t hold on to this nonsense any longer. please. show me i’m wrong. i don’t mean that i won’t stop murdering the opposition. if i can murder them, then they weren’t the opposition. if my theory of death is right. my simple minded causality. christ is the guy who can kill you after you’ve killed him. that’s what we really want. we want to lose to our enemy. then we’ll know who god is. for the moment.
Cold. mid-forties? thirties? this one is lasting a few days already here in the Everglades. The other evening I go out to wash my dishes in the chill water and there is something odd on the picnic table. It’s a little snake. Curled up and not moving. I go over and prod it gently. It hardly moves. A nestling. Tiny little thing. Gerry is there. I sweep the thing into the pot and take it inside. The first seconds inside the pot, it was even stiller. By the time we get our books out, the snake is trying to escape. Didn’t take much for it to warm up. Brown banded water snake was my guess. It didn’t seem to match the pictures in anything we had. I carried it up to the store. Banded water snake, Lewis says with typical confidence. Then who knows what it is, is the general consensus. Anyway, it didn’t seem to be trying to bite. I take it back to the trailer and let it escape. I figure it can find a way out when it wants to. As long as I have the trailer, unless I actually see it again, I’ll never know whether it’s here or not. How can you tell a poisonous snake somebody asks me. If it bites you, it will swell up right away, I answer. If the snake is actually trapped in here, I hope it likes mosquitoes. If it needs to live in the water, then it’s probably a corpse under my socks.
chess. stress. reduction of options. Fischer’s queen to the back rank, sacrifice which, as it forces the line of play is not sacrifice as the black queen and rook will have to fall in turn. Spassky’s rook to the back rank. It isn’t check, but what is Petrosian to do? It’s really forced anyway. He has to accept the offered rook, lose the tempo to the advancing pawn, and lose the game. His other choices are just as bad, rather are worse. Stress. The reduction of options. The goal in winning. Reduce his, open yours. Zugswang for both sides: possible? a draw.
metaphor. not identity, impossible, but magic just the same. homeopathic magic of the mind. identity of perception!
are all concepts modelable? we have models for matter in the sense of atomic theory, quantum mechanics, etc. but do we, can we, have models for what’s the “matter” with Charlie? There the model has to be Charlie (the model of Charlie needn’t include the asparagus digesting in his inner tracts) himself and his relationship to his environment: his wife, his boss, his secretary, his 20 year dead mother, god (or his outmoded model of God), … a whole series, stack, nest or relationships.
is there, or should there be, a negative of thingness? a construct merely of words. of poor models? wrong models? Jabberwocky? The green cheese moon?
then sub-categories. Just conscious first of the class and then of the sub-classes would be a great epistemological advance for man in general.
ss: How Do Souls Propagate?
Gee, I’m not hooked by what you’re saying; are you hooked by what I’m saying?
You guys are disgusting. Talking like a bunch of junkies. Hooked on this and hooked on that.
No. We’re talking more hunting and fishing. Did we like the lure? Did we latch on to it?
That’s worse. And then eat the fish. Do you really think a fish cooperates in the catch?
Of course. Even being fooled is a kind of cooperation. (So is enslavement, on another level. So on an even different level is having a bomb dropped on you.)
You’re certainly not improving much. You’ve just made cooperation meaningless by making it apply to everything.
I suppose you’re right in a way. Invariance, universality, ubiquity, law, should make communication about it just about redundant. But there’s nothing altogether everywhere in our informational universe. If the stars were infinite, you couldn’t have their or your own light because there wouldn’t be any darkness to see it by. No. There are discontinuities. Thank goodness. Space is curved, but vast enough that time will have transmuted before you can walk into your own fundament. You die. You transform. In its way, that too is a cooperation in the organization of reality. If you rebelled and didn’t die at or before a border, the mask would be off and we’d have to regroup. But even on earth, it would be difficult to walk around it and arrive back where you started in a single Great Circle. …
Do you think the fish that aren’t caught, cease to exist? To propagate? to evolve?
Out of sight, out of mind.
Out of your individual human mind, for sure. That’s the point. That’s its very purpose. But out of Mind? Out of its own mind? …
Then you’re eaten. You’re dead. It’s over.
Sure. But what does that mean? It means you’re purposes are put on the back burner while you serve the energy and purpose of the other. You join forces. Part of you is excreted and returned to the general, the, ahem, random (heh heh). Now, is the party of you that serves the other subservient to that other? Generally, for sure, but always? Without exception. You’ve never been taken over by your meal?
they moved the road. Old Pine was over there. Of what level of abstraction now is “road”? certainly not concrete. The road is a name? a connection? A relationship between “places” (also not concrete?)?
ss: plea bargaining in the scientific community, it’s too expensive and risky, not to mention dangerous to the establishment, to actually test the theories, so they, the various departments of Cambridge, Harvard, and the pentagon make deals as to what the truth will be.
mandelbrot again: reality. we “see” things. we “think” about what we see. we talk about points and coordinates. two dimensions, three dimensions, then time, a fourth. graphs have coordinates. the chaos graphs have coordinates. they have a dimensionality that we “see” with our minds. but then the trees and horizon are really seen with our minds too, right? anyway, is like math a sense organ for a reality as our eyes are sense organs for a reality?
T: The Sixth Sense, the cohering, synthesizing sense
stages: drama, religion, politics. separation of speaker or object on view from audience. special rhetoric, special attention, special effects, special lighting. willing suspension of disbelief. applies much better in politics than in poetry. in poetry, if you’re aware that you have to suspend your disbelief, the poem didn’t work. in politics, i think it may be preferable.
T: poetry and politics
civ’s necessity of sorting. matter energy. nigger white. doctor lawyer indian chief.
how does it seem to a cherokee to hear that familiar order, knowing that’s he’s the indian (and not the chief)? somehow leader of a people has been put last. the only place were rank is given, and the highest rank is given lowest.
martian captures earth. children’s rime. Herna, riffril, dagn wope; xigerl, ensign, christian pope. where herna & riffril are serum tester, software clerk, chip-replacer, etc.
how many dimensions do “things” have? we don’t know. what we can know is how many dimensions we are modeling them in. therefore we can responsibly count dimensions, because we are only claiming within our deliberateness. even if our consciousness is faulty it doesn’t matter; we didn’t make claims for reality, not even for our minds, but only for our deliberateness. there’re, a great circle can be two dimensional, because we need only coordinates from two sets.
RELATIONSHIP!!! it just hit me especially hard while playing Steve Swallow’s Sweet Henry: the chords noted: they don’t tell you what notes to play, but they do tell you the individual relationships of the notes to improvise at that point in that measure or in that pair of measures to be in accord with the composition. Further, the sequence of chords tells you the relationship of the relationships! D, F#-7, C#, B-, B-7, A, E, D, etc. And their sequence! Epistemology, wow. Why aren’t things taught that way though? Doesn’t anyone understand? Math, music, everything … could be introduced simply, truthfully (the best we know) and be related to each other, if we could just get things turned front end first instead of. No, we’re too steeped in the history of error to have time to synthesize.
All my shit about musical notation, my complaints about math in high school, … finally I get to the point where I realize that the experts do understand; it just isn’t communicated. There’s no simple linkage between wisdom and education. The education is done mechanically, recapitulating the inefficiencies of how it was done.
T: Fishing for Reality. guy’s going about his business when reality splits, a vortex penetrates, voices: no, kid, throw it back, wait for a good one. and for christsake, I keep telling you: don’t show yourself. reseals. seamless.
mosquitoes hanging upside down from my hat brim, asleep. While I’m wearing it. Perseus festoons my shoulder, chasing up Andromeda’s skirts. Aquarius stands in the west. The Pleades pale beside Jupiter. My bobber drifts out of sight. It’s covered by the shadow of a Melalleuca. The pond ripples as I paddle the canoe to another angle. I thought so. Something is flirting with my brim filet. The bobber makes its own ripples. It jiggles. Now it starts to drift. No. He’s left it alone. Something takes something from the surface maybe a yard from the bobber. Could it be the fish has brought to fillet up to get a better look at it? Talk about wishful thinking … Whatever it was heads back toward the bobber. The bobber stirs. Now it’s pulled the other way. I let out line. I don’t want the fish to smell a fish before he decides to run with it. Uh oh. Maybe he smelled it all right. He’s left it alone. Shoot. Wait a minute. My other bobber is jiggling. I’ve got the spinning rod in my right hand. I take the cane pole in my left. Find the loose line, but don’t jar the bobber. Don’t spook him. See? He’s serious. The bobber is traveling in circles. The first sign of life from this chicken gizzard. Never found out what had taken the liver. Except for that all too brief struggle, I had been thinking that everything but the live shiners of two days ago was being as unproductive as the artificial lures. And those I don’t really know how to fish. Any more. If I ever did. All I’ve gotten on worms are brim. Two of a dozen have been good. The second was a wonderful fight on the cane pole. I just let the pole bring him in practically by itself. That’s it: he’s spent, I’d think just as he’s be off on another tear. But that was three days (nights) ago. The brim tonight have been pathetically small. The first, that the filet is from, was too tiny to keep, but I needed to slit his gullet to find the hook and then I still needed the needle nose pliers to get it free. My fault, probably. Or the fault of fishing with two poles. If I’d been watching that bobber instead of casting and jigging a jelly worm, I might have hooked him clean in the mouth. Thrown him back. Remove the hook with care and hold him upright in the water till he gets his breath back. I like to feel him wriggle free of my hand as much as any other part of this. Except moments like this. My heart in my mouth. Take it, dammit. Take it. Uh oh. Now the other one is starting up again. What if they both strike? In that case what ever is on the cane pole will have to catch itself. Probably a catfish. Or a ‘gator gar. Who knows what’s interested in the fresh filet? Could even be a bass. There the gizzard is still for a moment. I think I’ll check it. Even if it’s still on the hook, I think I’ll just put it out of the way and concentrate on the filet. My new rod. I haven’t caught a really good fish on it yet. The best for me so far have been just brim and the good ones I took on the cane pole and on the collapsible. Here it comes, and … what? That’s no little brim tugging like that. Has this fish been on the cane pole the whole time. Just sitting under the bobber and chewing the gizzard? No, wait. I lost him. Holy … No I didn’t. Wham, wham, wham. The cane pole really bends. Just maintain the pressure. Play him. He’s good, this one. Suddenly, I have to blink. The bobber comes whizzing for my ear. And it’s gotta be here comes the hook for my eye, right behind. I duck, half spastic, I jerk the pole up and hard back. For sure, I’ve lost him. There’s no weight against the pull. But what’s this. My night vision sees it come out of the water clear as day. A round ball. The gizzard. He didn’t even get the bait. My god! And right behind it, reaching for it, straining, flop, splash. What was that? The biggest I’ve seen near any hook of mine down here. Long and thin. A gar probably. Or one big pickerel. Amazing how clearly I saw him in the dark. But no colors or anything like that daylight stuff. I pulled the hook right out of his mouth. But that’s ok. It was a decision made. I decided to concentrate on … Oh shit. My gizzard is wrapping itself around my good line! Chirst, get it off. Quick. A big fish, really big, he seems, jumps by my other bobber. The bobber is going around and around, faster and faster. That had to be a bass. There are big bass in this lake, Mitch says. And so says everybody else. That was a beauty that guy dying of lung cancer caught yesterday and threw back as unworthy. The bobber takes off straight out toward the middle of the lake. Wait till it goes under. Don’t pull any more hooks out of any fish’s mouth just as he’s getting serious. Will I be able to fight this thing with my other line wound around it? We’ll just have to see. I can’t get a hook through my finger now that the fish is really shopping. If you want to be ambidextrous, hook him first and free the line during the fight. Just get him hooked even if you lose both rods overboard, upset the canoe and find an alligator just over the gunnel. The fish jumps again. The bobber stops moving. I free the line. I get the gizzard back in the water. Nothing on the filet. I decide to check it. I reel it in. Sure enough. Half of it’s gone. There’s another filet still on the fish and he’s still dangling on my fish string. Presumably. If no gater has helped hisself to ’em. Though I haven’t seen the gators around here being thieves like they were last spring in Myakka River. What the heck. I’ve been out longer than I’d planned. It’s not quite as cold as I expected, but it’s cold enough. I haven’t showered or eaten or done anything else since getting up. Well, I’ll throw it back out as it is. Then I’ll just troll back to the beach and close it up.
How come I can’t ever do what I say even to myself? I’m not trolling, I’m staring at the bobbers again. Oh, please, one good fish and I’ll call it a night. Please, after losing both those guys! Durn, if the filet doesn’t start moving. Be patient. Concentrate. I concentrate so hard my vision blurs. I have to blink. Now I’m not paying attention. Pay attention. Blink, but pay attention. It circles. It drifts left. It drifts right. Quit playing. Get serious. The bobber takes off. It hasn’t gone under, but I decide it’s taken off. Bam. I set the hook. Hard. Bam. Something doesn’t like that at all. Something has a different attitude toward it altogether. Uh oh, the new rod and reel is bring him in much too fast. Too much mechanical advantage. Cane pole is better. Slow it down. Can he be at boat side already? No, come on. Fight. Take off again. I’d rather lose you than not have a play. That’s better. Don’t reel so hard. Just use the rod. He swam the wrong way. He brought himself to boat side. Oh Jesus, is that a brim after all? No, he’s deceptive. He’s a foot or so long at least. But squatter than a brim, sleeker. Now that he’s at boat side a third time I find that now that I’m actually going to boat him, my new super duper bargain rod is going to be like a name pole after all. The bobber clogs the top ferule and I’ve still got another yard of free line for him to be shy on. I get the line in my hand and lift him clear of the water. The fish quacks like a duck. I drop him in the boat. Already I know. It’s a gator gar. My first. And no thrill to see it, smell it, or hear it. The hook is sticking sideways out of its bill. It looks like he’s biting the shank for fun. But he’s got to be hooked. That’s probably what the quack was. He must have really felt it when I had his whole weight suspended from the wound.
I’m afraid to touch it. I don’t know how lethal those teeth are. I get the pliers onto the hook. My foot is on his back. He doesn’t like that either. Unpleasant for both of us. He’s wheezing and he stinks of swamp grease. The hook breaks off. Something else he doesn’t like. I hold him just to make myself. Yich. Some slimy things really are slimy. I drop him. I pick him up by the tail with the pliers. A needlenose for a needlenose. I don’t hold him in the water to see if he’s ok. Ok or not, he’s gone. Now I do troll in and good-bye.
that’s the “you think there’s such a thing as something that isn’t a fallacy” fallacy.
semdic: intelligence: fitting in with the changing prejudices of the culture. brilliance: a conspiratorial glee in being accepted by the juggernaut. a few things make sense; you’ll figure the rest out later. meantime, take the approval.
REALISTIC: accurate in a number, an unusual number of correspondences.
remembered in our imagination
Texas Bumper Sticker: If you love something, set it free. If it doesn’t return, hunt it down and kill it.
PK to BK on EHP macho-men: they’re the enterprise’s victims, hoping to be mistaken for its despoilers.
the “random” is relative
code words of the ruling class
few people, if any, (but chrono-historians) can judge social progress, if any,. because we don’t see the past in terms of its evidence; we see it in terms of its propaganda.
I love the ambiguity of “united front” esp “put up a …” or “put on a …”
“There are no contradictions in the human condition”: that’s true as long as it the supreme court interpreting things.
Know by these effects that “mother may I?” is automatically prefixed to all our utterances. Stone carving in sky. New arch., so dominate, let’s leave it out, unsaid.
The Sword and the Sorcerer: first frame & I see it’s part of that rich tradition of fiction based on misinformation, errors of classification, etc.
What’s a king or a president for except to prove that at least one of us is getting away with murder?
for a story to hang, it must have significance. the question is: do you want the symbolism, allegory, etc, to be unconscious? on the part of the audience? on the part of the “seer”? it still has to be there.
Shao Lin Temple. complete in its mystery, its mastery, for centuries. Why develop other weapons? Centuries. Then gun powder. kids with rifles and no discipline, destroying the place.
But now we’re afraid (and rightly so) of our own fire power. We want the human body to be sufficient again. We “don’t want to be obsolete.” So, we fantasize. Kung Fu. Even in our Hollywood garbage, we use the uzis to get to the fist fight. Commando. Anyway, future: secure in fire power. Hey, we can blow anything up. and now we have guys who can shoot you with a machine and then rip your heart out with their bare habnds as well. (Man didn’t evolve to be the killer he is by having the hands as hooves or as knives. The hand is to forge and then hold the knife.)
And then the aliens. Wanton, ignorant, kids, no discipline, but altogether on a different level of organization, acquisition, and destruction.
Rambo. When the double binds become too apparent, raise the level of the abstraction. Cop beating you up illegally, immorally, etc? No, now it’s the judge beating you up, illegally, immorally, etc. Now the fed …
100 years ago the ideal was sharpshooting. so we train soldiers in superior fire power. industry against industry, through the soldier. Now, slowly, the ideals in the movies come around and the hero wastes everybody with uzis, knees in the groin, and boats, cars, buildings, and airplanes exploding in mushroom clouds.
so, how will these ideals be betrayed in the next century?
Sheriff Teasle: the kind of a man who when forced to reflect a little, to fill out the report, how did all this start, would believe his own lies and then his exaggerations of those lies, and then expect Rambo to agree with the fraud. (revise after finishing book. but he changes during the chase.)
Aikido master foxed. offers to escape from sagging spread eagle against two MPs. His thing is to grasp one MP and use him as a shield against the other. But he loses. Only one MP shows up.
Mandelbrot set. progress. non-linear.
music. piano silently tells the truth about western music, whatever lies our false maps tell. The relationships are there in the very architecture of the keys. true that the architecture itself doesn’t state the tuning of the keys or what the frequency of A is to A# or whether it’s the same as the ratio between G and Gb, but the relationships of all the keys are there. We can’t see it because of our ten based bias and our bias toward regular symmetries. We are taught first to play on the white keys and mostly to ignore the black. So we think it’s root plus six equals seven plus root: octave. Play the C major triad. Fine. C (black, white, black omitted) E (white, black omitted) G. What’s omitted isn’t equal. It isn’t balanced symmetry. But the pinkie, middle finger, and thumb, omitting the ring and index fingers and the white keys under them, look symmetrical. One, three, five. Hey, it sounds mystical. Anyway, wow, hey, a triad: the C major chord. Just play every other white key. Beautiful. Hey, add a fourth. C+7.
Silently, D,F,A … continue up the keyboard, A,F,D,B … down. But after B, the +7, comes C, the Root, and the every other key pattern ceases. Every other, every other, now immediate next. What nonsense for multiple choice math tests on patterns to act as though there’s one right answer (without going into Occam’s Razor). But hold it: don’t play the octave root: just keep going every other white key. One more past the +7, D, and you’ve got the G chord, one more: G7, triad from there and your got F. And western harmony. C, G7, F.
But: play a similar triad from E. You don’t have something similar. You don’t have an E major triad, the E chord; you have C7! (minus the C, of course). or E-. See the difference in what’s omitted. E (white, black) G (black, white, black) B. It’s an inversion of the major! The quantity of omissions are backwards. In other words, it’s minor!
How extraordinarily rich. And simple. But not ten based or simple symmetry. But then neither are the hands that go over the keys. Even over just the white ones. Even over them in a one to one (one finger, one white key, next finger, adjacent white key) correspondence. The hands, like the body that branches them, are bilaterally symmetrical. Try to understand that symmetry!
Now, western music. You’ve got a even-tempered set of scales for easy modulation. Twelve tones: next step: octave. But what’s left out? Merely all of the infinity minus the thirteen tones selected. Not arbitrarily, oh no, but merely thirteen out of a diapason. (Not that there can be an “infinite” number of discrete tones between one octave in a quantum universe. Of course there’s no such thing as an infinite number in the sense that “7” is a “number.” or “3,155,760,000.” Practically, that sort of number will be finite. Or within a narrow range of finite. Though very large.
Though for our minds and ears and nervous systems, thirteen is large enough. Semantics. Grammar. Number. Harrumph. Twelve tones in (within) an octave; the thirteenth tone IS the octave.
music should first be taught on a penny whistle. Just in D. or something. Any one key. No child should be allowed even to see a piano until they are both versatile in the penny whistle and bored with it. Wanting to invent modulation. Better yet, start them with a five tone flute. Maybe they’d never get bored.
Funny. As a kid, I think I hit a few keys randomly on our mis-tuned piano. I didn’t much like the result. Ricky, and then Anthony, were driving me crazy hammering at mine. They didn’t mind their noise (music?) I hated it. (But I was patient, right?) Now, after practicing this and that triad. This and that chord. This and that progression. (root chord, fourth, root seventh! wow!) After practicing all those melodies, one note at a time, I bang my hands around on the piano (synth) and something altogether else comes out. Maybe only sometimes what I would call music, but it’s never the untrained banging. My fingers just don’t select bad ones. I noodle individual keys. And I noodle blues scales. I don’t know what the fuck key I’m in, but it’s blues scales just the same. Broken sixth chords. Broken seventh chords. One of these days I’ll know automatically what to do with the left hand at the same time.
Weaving Marty’s friendship bracelet. To start, hanging the yarn orange, maroon, green, purple, orange, maroon, green, purple. Know the orange around the maroon twice, as BK showed me. The color being woven for that row doesn’t go around itself but once; it goes around every other one twice. I got to thinking of the color that came up the least, the one that was always there, defaulted, in my right hand, as the root tone for that row. This row is in the key of orange. There’s very little orange in the elements of the weaving. The result will be a rich orange. The orange row doesn’t start with me thinking orange, but maroon. Then green. Then purple. Then orange, then maroon, green, purple. What’s left sticking out at the end? Orange.
It drove me crazy the first time I tried, without instruction to understand the chord symbols crowding the measures in the REAL Book. The melody in a measure noted Eb seemed to be any damn note except Eb. Finally, I’d look at an Eb chord. Damn few of those too. Ah ha. Flattened fifths. Flattened thirds. Sixths. Sevenths (automatically flattened more than half the time). But not just any note. Relatives. Blues relatives. The E minor triad which is C+7. The minor quality of the blues. C is really Eb. Hey. That C keeps popping up. Eb6th, man. Or am I in C minor?
Get modal and you really go crazy. Until you see that it’s just next door. Let’s play with the girl next door.
I just thought of seeing a kite flying. You look at the kite, not at the boy holding it. If he isn’t flying it right, you’re not looking at the kite: it’s in the tree. It’s on the ground. It got away and is out of sight. Look carefully, follow the line. Lost it. There it is. Try again. Now you can locate the boy. You probably wouldn’t have noticed him otherwise.
How funny. BK says, you finish, you braid the ends and tie the braids for a clasp. Great. I finish my first. Now I can’t remember how to braid. The problem is, I’ve got six strands. I sort of remember braiding my sister’s hair by first gathering it into three and then twining them. What do I do with six? Thousands of hairs was no problem. Simplify to three. But six? I have to ask Shirley. She groups them into three pairs and braids the three. Of course. I feel like an idiot.