/ Journal /
previous save: 10/2/90
my letter to bk of a couple of weeks ago mentions a movie with Eliz Montgomery. Now I have doubts that I’m confusing still another pair of actors’ (actress’) names. Eliz McGovern. Which one was in Rag Time? the gal I saw didn’t look like Rag Time, though she was attractive, I suppose. What’s happening to my memory?
It’s McGovern. Now: is there a different Eliz Montgomery? I watched that movie for an entirely factitious reason.
Chomsky so great. Here, more clear even than above: “questions of this kind arise especially when a doctrine enjoys a great deal of attraction and success among the intelligentsia in spite of little factual support or explanatory value. This is the case with empiricism, in my opinion.”
“The great success of physics is due in part to the willingness to restrict attention to the facts that seem crucial at a particular level of understanding, and perhaps to look for quite exotic facts that will be crucial for the theory, without taking into account even evident facts when these do not seem pertinent to physical theory (and to be quite honest, sometimes even when they appear inconsistent with it).
Markov source model: “Do properties of natural languages exist which cannot be expressed in any of these systems?”
“If people want to be confused, they will always succeed, no matter what term you use.”
“attitude of natural sciences on the one hand, and one often found in the social sciences and “humanities” on the other. The latter, which lack the intellectual content of the natural sciences, are to a great degree involved with personalities rather than ideas. In science it is self-evident that concepts are going to change; that is just to say that you hope to learn something. This is not theology, after all.”
“If some field is still at the level where procedural methods can be applied, then it is at a very primitive level indeed. A purely descriptive level, say, like Babylonian astronomy,, or not even that. There are no ‘methods’ in this sense in a field having real intellectual content. The goal is to find the truth. How to do that, nobody knows. … You [teach procedures] when you don’t know how to find meaningful work for students. It is an admission of failure.”
“Serious questions arise concerning the attitude one should take toward apparent counterexamples. At what point must they be taken seriously? In the natural sciences apparent counter evidence is often ignored, on the assumption that it will somehow be taken care of later. That is quite a sane attitude. Within reasonable limited, of course, not to excess. Because we must recognize that our comprehension of nontrivial phenomena is always extremely limited. That is true in physics and far more true in linguistics. We understand only fragments of reality, and we can be sure that every interesting and significant theory is at best only partially true. That is not a reason for abandoning theories or abandoning rational research. … The willingness to put aside the counterexamples to a theory with some degree of explanatory force, a theory that provides a degree of insight, and to take them up again at a higher level of understanding, is quite simply the path of rationality. In fact, it constitutes the precondition for significant progress in any nontrivial field of research. …
“Why is ‘Chinese’ called a language and the Romance languages, different languages? The reasons are political, not linguistic. … Furthermore, what makes French a single language? … Questions of language are basically questions of power. … For example, in the old Ottoman Empire, regions such as the Levant incorporated numerous local communities, related to each other in various ways, and with a good deal of linguistic variation as well. Nobody spoke the Classical Arabic taught in the schools, but the so-called dialects were considered inferior. The intervention of the Western imperial powers led to a system of states, leaving bitter and unresolved conflicts and antagonisms, a system in which each individual must define himself as belonging to a nation or a nation-state. It is a system imposed from the outside on a region ill-adapted to it.
In the speech of real speakers idealized systems interact; each of us speaks a variety of these systems, intermingling them in a complex fashion. Because the experience of individuals is different, the mixture of systems is different. But I do not believe that outside these systems there exists a reality of dialect or language.”
9/30 “and the Toronto Blue Jays, a game away from clinching …” I haven’t followed baseball much this or previous seasons, the years in which I’ve known who was ahead being very few and mostly from the 60’s and early 70’s. I don’t know where we are in the season: end of Sept.: must be late. But I do believe I have just heard an example of English being used to create false facts. Our games like baseball are designed that until interrupted by a disaster which eliminates players and audience’s ability to play and/or watch, there must be a winner and a loser. in a championship, there must be a winner and many losers. all but one are losers. And though there are all kinds of methods of trying a fix, the game is supposed to be won or lost on the field. Being ahead during a competition isn’t the same thing as being ahead once the competition’s term has been reached, ie once the player or team ahead has won. In backgammon there are possible games in which the race to bear off cannot be won by one player, ie when white has three men still to bear off and black has eleven men still to bear off, and it’s white’s turn, there are no combinations of the dice, of turns and rules, which will permit black to get his eleven men off before white clears his three, no matter whose turn it is. The last rolls are a formality: white will win unless there’s an earthquake. both players and judges acknowledging the situation the game may there be concluded without the rolls or they may be played out. if black doesn’t understand the math, doesn’t acknowledge the inevitable (no wonder he lost), then the rolls must be rolled. Baseball too has such mathematical necessities. But they don’t start one game short of the lock, they start with the lock. Why can’t the announcers say, if Toronto wins one more game, this or any other in the 89 season, they will have locked their win of the season for their division, etc? Now, if the improbable but possible happens, fans will think that Toronto has been robbed, cheated, … The announcer can’t award the championship, only acknowledge its happening, and shouldn’t sound as thought he has. “Toronto needs one more win …” is what he should have said. As always, it’s not a questions of sounding nice or like the queen, but of meaning.
first thing you need to decide in measuring anything is what parameters of accuracy you’re going to use. accurate within a few light-years? a mile? Within an inch? Sub-atomic accuracy? You declare limits: anything beneath or above this will be invisible or meaningless to us. Anything slower than a frequency of one beat per twenty billion years will necessarily be invisible to us.
since Easter I’ve been here. 6 months and maybe a week. had spent easter in Highland Hammock SP. Beautiful hammock. I like it almost as much as Myakka River. 4 miles down the road. Had meant to be close enough to keep going back. Maybe once, maybe last April. Back bothering me. Went and found a jungle gym to hang upside down and twist my spine from. Like BK recommends. Worked fine. Haven’t had a problem since. Then saw a runner and joined her. Till I came to my car. Maybe 600, 800 yards.
Two years ago I met Marlene. She and her kids saw a pair of piliated woodpeckers near my camp. I went out with the book. Then they visited the trailer. Then I visited her. Helped with the grounds around her new house in construction. A couple of times. She ran 17 miles a week. To gain weight. It had succeeded on her fabulous hips. Still no tit to speak of, but very attractive in her white shorts. 40. I told her, not on top of myself as to what an asshole I can come off as, that I had always been able to be sedentary, not move from a desk for 6 months, drink too much, and still go out and run two miles and be maybe a little bit out of breath. Then it occurred to me: how do I know that? Hadn’t done it in years. No booze has to help, but 49 now. (Then.) Am I kidding myself? I hadn’t meant to lie to her. So, next morning, noon, whenever, I get my sneaks on, and give it a shot. Run the circle at Hillsborough River. Puff, puff before I even got onto the circle. But kept going. All the way around and stagger to the shower. Actually, not stagger so much. The pain of course disappeared after a third of a mile or so. I check the distance with the ranger. 2.25 miles or so. Plus the hundred or so yards from my site. I tell Marlene. We never did run together.
Running a few steps with that woman 5 months ago doesn’t even count. Today I finally put the sneaks on and drive to Highlands Hammock. $1 for cars, 50 cents for pedestrians. I tell the gal what I want to do. Park here and go, she says, keeping her money hand to herself. Nice. 3 miles around and back she says. Who knows what will happen? This could be my last hour of life. Find out soon enough. I’m gonna run it, walk it, or crawl it. The circle comes up at me faster than I expected. Didn’t notice the first deer till I was abreast of it. She looks at me without stirring her feet. Hi, I say, running straight on. I wave and she goes back to feeding, just the other side of the park road. Another hundred or so yards and I’m at the orange grove. Two does and a few younguns are feeding in the grove maybe two road widths away. One doe looks at me, the others just feed. Hi, and I run on. Into the circle. Three miles? Maybe I shouldn’t try to do the whole thing straight. Walk a bit of each mile? I walk. Coward. I look at my watch. Forgot to notice more than in general when I arrived and started. Maybe it’s been seven minutes of running. Feels like a mile. How should I know what a mile feels like after so long? I’ve never run at 51. I look at my watch again. Two minutes of walking and I run again. Now I use my watch. 5 minutes of running, 2 minutes of walking. Within thirty seconds or so. I can’t read my watch that well while moving. Trouble was, I’m not running any five minute miles. Maybe not seven minute miles. My third walk, I’m still in the circle. Now I’ll run the rest of the way to my car no matter what. The deer are still in the grove. Two vehicles now are stopped, watching. At my rearrival, one of the yearlings trots to the far side. I walk, more not to spook them further than to rest. Once past the orange grove, I run again. All the way back, I’ve had no stitches in my side. Oddly, my right leg the one that feels weak. Out close to a half hour. Thinking it over, I probably did right. I could have pushed myself much harder: and been paying what price now? Next time I’ll know where I am, more or less. .5 mi to grove. 2 miles around. an extra .1 for Y of circle. Next time I’ll try not walking till I’m seven minutes into the circle. Now I feel fine. No aches, no pains, no histrionic fatigue. I feel more tired, much more tired dragging myself from the stream at dark.
Practice: training, retraining the system. music a language? and as such? should be learned young to be learned indelibly and without an accent? I loved musician jokes as a young man. One perennial I loved knowing its clichéd truth and knowing that I didn’t understand or perhaps even believe it. Stranger to musician on New York street corner: “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practice, man. Practice.” The young shouldn’t be too overburdened. It’s hard enough just growing. (Is that one of the appeals of popular music forms to the young? The idea that it doesn’t have to be practiced? At least quite so much?) But we’re dealing with two different sub-species here: the musical and the non-musical. By which I mean exposure and its timing more than anything innate like “genius.” (Is there even such a thing? At the moment I’m of the opinion that if there is, it’s very rare, and easily confused with the accomplishment that can come to the ordinary human organism from fertile timing.) To the non-musician, practice must sound like forced labor. To me as a child, it was total fear and befuddlement. Sure I would like to be able to make music like these guys, or at least sort of like these guys if not actually with these guys. But how, even if you’re willing to endure the forced labor, can you profitably practice something you don’t understand and can’t do in the first place however much you love and appreciate it?
Today I wake up feeling awful, drugged, oh please, why, finally, just when you should have slept for 10 hours straight to have even a chance of being alert and on your feet tomorrow to get your FL drivers license, be semi legal for the next 30 days, get Jim back his paintings, ring a few doorbells, function, I awake: 4 pm. Six hours sleep. Maybe. Almost. Now what will I do? I’ll plan to stay up through the night and remain up and functioning all day. I’ve done it before. Plenty of times. But lately? When it counted? No, lately you’ve been collapsing just before the actual start time. Pass out and don’t know you’ve missed it till too late. Finally you get alert, but at 2 am, just in time to have no hope of sleeping with the rest of the world. When I’m working I love the middle of the night. When I’m nightclubbing, when I was, long ago, I loved the middle of the night. But when all I’m trying to do is get on to the next day and get some day thing done, and the night has my attention, then I don’t love the middle of the night. So. Total fuck up. The coffee pot isn’t clean. There some of this morning’s coffee in it. I heat it up. And move to the synth. The Bach Minuet in G Major. I’ve been hearing it “all my life.” Had a written just-melody version of it since I got my first Bach for the recorder book minimum ten years ago. Really first got into that book with the flute. Then this past year and a half with the synth, first playing it one note at a time, just as it’s written there, just beginning to see, hey that would be G, you could play a G chord. And hey, the Vth would be D7, you know? When you see an A or a D and a C but no E or G, you could play a D7, but now, finding some of the same pieces written harmonically, for two hands, chords, counter rhythms, melodies, etc, however much it may be simplified for beginners by Bastien. I know from my Bach for the flute book with the Suite #2 in it that the straight up stuff looks formidable at first, but once you get into it, it’s the same stuff with a couple of grace notes.
I spent much of yesterday playing the M in G+. Played it in the night, and again at dawn. Now I’m back at it as the coffee burns on the stove. Wow. Right through the first eight measures. The tricky D7 thing is there, in the left hand and right on time. But what about proceeding into measures 9 to 16. I play on. And only in the 16th measure do I find myself faltering: I play the right notes, but I slowed down. Still, the best you’ve ever played a two handed harmonic version. But still, you slowed down. Not a controlled ritardendo. A hesitation. It doesn’t matter that the hesitation was just wondering: do I follow or ignore the bis sign? Do I now play on the measure 17? It doesn’t matter that maybe you weren’t confused at all, but just amazed at yourself for what was finally a fairly smooth not overconscious switch from the G+7/D7 order to the D7/G, a congratulation that you’re arriving, maybe slowly and maybe late, but arriving. There’s Bach you can play all day, 8 measures, 16 measures, out of your head, but this will be the first more than 8 measures two handed harmonic thing. Won’t it be wonderful when you can reel it off as comfortably as Gettin it Togetha or Frankie and Johnny or Fast Dance in F. Even BeBop is something you can now be comfortable with not only not looking at the book, but only occasionally at the keyboard. That’s playing, when you can do it drunk, blind, or asleep, or while being shot. Oh, I don’t mean composing some new piece, I mean playing your repertoire.
A zillion subsystems have to coordinate for the one thing to coordinate. left and right have to coordinate. each finger, has to know, and know on its own, what it has to do next. whether be active or passive, cross over or stay put, operate from which of several neutrals, the Root, the IV, or the V, or some other hand position. And for what octave.
The first time I played that kiddie Schubert piece in A, on Phil’s piano, the final note for the left hand, the final note fingered from any hand was A, an octave lower. It look me seconds to find it. Ditto the last F in Dance. Now the hand just goes there, I don’t send it, it goes. Maybe I look, but not very carefully. No consciousness is wasted. And if I don’t look, the hand finds it. With Carnegie Hall reliability? Of course not. But plenty enough to please me.
Anyway, today, I can’t waste any consciousness; I don’t have any.
You play and play and play. One measure without a mistake. Eight measures without a mistake. Eight measures repeated without a mistake. Eight measures repeated without a mistake and the turn made smoothly, the pulse maintained, or dynamized, not fumbled. Etc. Until Hey, the whole piece, I played the whole piece. Yeah, but could you play it twice in a row without mistakes. Ten times? How many mistakes per hundred? How many if you play it every day? How many if you don’t play it at all for a month and then suddenly bring it out. Is it still there? Rusty?
Practice is putting it, each piece, each relationship, each trick of coordination into so many places in so many part of the memory that you’ll be able to call on it like you can recognize your name, the feeling of gravity, breathing.
Practice can’t mean the same thing to a musician that it means to a child. And musician has to be subdivided at least once. Classical/Jazz. But the differences will largely turn out to be differences of habit of theory. Horowitz’s practicing will turn out to be Horace’s playing. Yeah, we play it every night in the clubs till it’s so down we’re ready to record it. Yes, I practice it every day till I’ve ready to play it in Carnegie Hall. Then I have to practice differently, because I’ll be playing it at night. Listen to Ravi Shankar play a scale. That’s not practice: that’s music.
There’s a ghost of a show on PBS. I saw the ad last week, noted it on an envelope, just happened to see it an hour in advance. Western Art: the Classical Tradition, or Greek Somethingorother. I’ve waited it’s got to be a couple of decades now to see another Civilization. These are the ideals we still wish ourselves and you to be limited by. Not world art, not what is human, what is western. Us.
We could start at the caves of Lascaux, the guy says, but … of course not. he starts where his training has started him. The provincialism is stated at the outset, but then everything after that seems to want you to forget it. This isn’t man; this is the best of man, this is where we come from and don’t dare find it anything but glorious. Oh, we’ll have our own little qualifications as we go, we’ll concede this and that, but mostly we’ll use Greek semantics, beyond which nothing is worth the dignity of notice. Just what Chomsky was saying. A dead field. Which wants us all to be dead with it.
The catch words are rational, democracy, etc and their antonyms: irrationality, tyranny. And all kinds of meaningless distinctions: Pericles wasn’t a tyrant. The US citizenry wanted to invade Cambodia once it learned that its leaders wanted it to want it.
19 to 21 the prime of a man’s life. Statue of god as athlete. Then they call it youthful. Which do they mean? And it’s all done with an Oxford accent and at a ritual pace.
I love to picture the same show in 1989 had Suliman succeeded in Vienna.
A great deal of attention to historicity, the acknowledged impossibility of seeing Athena as an Athenian could have seen her statue on an August day, coming in from the Mediterranean light. Then it goes right on pursuing the impossibility. Why do they never extend this to say: and even if we could have it with no perceivable differences, we’ll still wouldn’t be Athenians looking at it. I, of course, love the pursuit of say an Elizabethan performance of Hamlet even down to reconstructed Elizabethan pronunciations, but still …
And they’ve back to saying the cosmos, perfect, a sphere, that has no beginning or end.
The showed Zeus, his power “infinite.” Huh? Where did they get that? Certainly not from looking at this marble.
As Chomsky said, not science, but theology.
Nothing to be learned or tested; nonsense repeated.
They even still repeated the parochial term “barbarian.”
And now they’re into Christianity, as though nothing has happened. The word Pagan now used without apology.
The whole has a solemnity that would make one never guess that 600 years ago, Part I was heresy.
A nice topological transform, letting that majority among us who are neither Greek nor Roman and never were feel neither barbarian nor Pagan but legitimate inheritors of this Rationality, Proportion, … Turning outside inside.
You watch the nets, it’s all orthodox state capitalism horseshit, you watch PBS it’s all orthodox humanist, sop to the church, horseshit. Now all I need is another World War II movie. I just realized! I could have been watching Monday Night Football!
dreaming about evolution again. can’t remember all of it, but some clear enough in retention. “linnets wings.” the phrase was there from EngRomantics, via Scott, some kind of a bird. in my dream, the phrase matched not a bird but a metamorphosing insect, more like a locust. i lay awake for a moment trying to make sense of what was still with me, and one thing crystallized. random value setting. awful hard to explain it even to myself five seconds later. it was a series of time1 … timen sequences, just the pair shown, the ellipsis elided, but timen seemed so “real” that it would be hard to connect it back to time1. time1 sets a value, randomly. then timen showed a developed population preferring that value and believing their preference to be rational, logical, right, obvious, good, etc. the values demonstrated were high level, abstract, values of belief, not ‘have the heart convert 2,000 grams of food into itself and then maintain that mass, plusorminus 200 grams, for 2 billion pulses, plusorminus 100 million.’ it was wonderful, though it had its aspect of being a nightmare in that I was a kid and in a school or socialized setting. some “real” people from SSSHS were in it. but not really, because biology was the subject. like an insect, the linnets pupal stage was spent on a bush but there was a wonderful confusion with the sexuality of the bush itself. the male seed pods were hung distributed high up in the bush’s branches. The female eggs were lower toward the main stalk. My dream kid self stood looking with wonder at how the male seeds would drift down onto the female flowers. The bushes grew on a slope and wind would blow and I tried some population math on the rational of the positional distribution of the seeds, which in a Newtonian or Galilean idealization didn’t look too well placed at all. Ah, but in a world of slopes and winds! Not that my dream kid actually saw the connection, but I saw his wonder in assuming it. Search for a math for it. The school had a series of graphics on the metamorphosis from pupa to insect. The pupa looked like a paper airplane one moment and a boeing 707 the next, then a long circumcised cock, the head bald. I wonder whose. Or was that the insect? It didn’t make sense, because the point was that the pupa was the natal insect folded over on itself, but as it split out through the back of the pupa shell like a hair pin, it straightened, dried and became chadaaah! flying cock. But that was all incidental in a way to how I kept flashing back, not to the settings of the insect, but of my fellow students! Their reactions to things were just the expression of the time1 settings. No two settings exactly the same. Human behavior more like ‘lets shake the paint can at x shakesperminute.’ Then the machine vibrates, and the paint mixes in this or that chaos pattern. beautiful.
for handedness, I see god(s) turning out the symmetry, ball bearing after ball bearing. throw it up, it comes down. drop it in the sand. push, a pattern. throw it harder. Push, a pattern. and god comes along and says how about …, and destroys a symmetry. everything gets distorted all way over to one side. you throw the thing up and it goes whoop, whoop, whoop, all around in the wind. that’s ugly, stupid, you can’t control it, it lands ugly when it finally lands, look at my nice crown pattern from my ball bearing. but god says, that’s just the prototype. now watch. and he makes zillions of them and throws them all up and they go whoop, whoop, and settle like an armada. Wow. and all the gods are breaking symmetries.
again and again as I see a movie, an entertainment, more on tv than say in the supermarket, maybe because I see a little tv every night and go to the market only once or twice a week, but … automata. the steppford wives everywhere. And I remember that awful movie with affection. the more they talk about their individualism, the more like automata they appear. age has something to do with the transparency. this time I’m seeing the reverse of my prior normal. Now it’s the young whose mass produced pattern shows so undisguised. Oh, the disguise works well enough on themselves. but it’s so cheap, so shoddy, that the merchandisers haven’t even bothered to disguise it to anyone five or more decades old and somehow unhypnotized. But no, I’m sure it is especially true of entertainers. practicing some pre-set value and then repeating it to applause. that one worked, the net says, play it again, and again, and again. the hip word today is Bo Jackson. Yesterday was Di, then Jackie. Once it was Bonnie Prince Somebody.
I watch the comedians generate language through the tube to fellow language generators, see how well I generate language. So well, you don’t have to generate any yourself. And as a preset value it has the overwhelming rightness of right, reason, good.
But uh oh. Then something awful happens. Even David Letterman himself was seeming like an automaton to me. That was ok. But then the Ed cuts to Paul Shaefer, rocking on the synth, his bald head signaling the rhythm of how in to it he is. Ghastly. The music as much random generation as the language. But music is a language. Yes, but I had always felt that that meant of supreme meaning, so supreme we couldn’t translate it into mere English. ah, but that was when I was a consumer, not a producer.
and I see gods looking at gods and saying oh shit another bunch of stupid gods, just randomly generating generation. patch in some program and it doesn’t look random to that generation. see, it makes coffee.
But in another moment I’ll play Bach and know that it isn’t true. No, it will be a G chord. for two measures. then C. done as a kind of G. then it will twist through D, two more G, and false resolve on D which is really G inside out.
there, done. unbelievably sharp compositional choices, the harmony and the melody almost exactly the same thing. and I remember that unbelievably dull girl with snot a dull bubble from her nose saying that Bach was boring and she knew because she had played him. that steppford wife would have thought a bobby fischer checkmate was boring.
this was all a fairly vivid version of a revelation I’ve been having fairly routinely lately. is there any truth to the revelation? it’s easy and self-flattering enough to see someone else to be an automaton and ourselves not to be, our own programs rational and well considered. Just like denying intelligence to outsiders or pain to lobsters. it’s real if it’s me; it’s false if it’s you.
(or “scientists,” I think of Skinner, denying mind to it and to you, but not to themselves, at least to himself.)
until you see someone being you better than you could have conceived. then he’s a genius. Bird, Miles. Illich, Bateson. Bach, Fischer, God.
then there are those i understand who vary the broth, have things backwards: it’s false if it’s me, it’s real if it’s you. I’m a fraud, but NBC is real. It’s the fall collection.
I’ve looked hard and long enough at things to see an occasional xray. Whoops is that where I got that? Whoops someone said something like the cliché we have from Shakespeare before Shakespeare? Oh, his audience would have known that. They were supposed to recognize it, and to see what he was doing with it. But you see all those who are disappointed, betrayed. they thought it was “original.” so they didn’t know what original was. still don’t. more than ever don’t.
Winding around and still not saying it: I see me as an automaton and I don’t mind. It doesn’t contradict the individualism, the originality, even the rationality. Though necessary that semantics have changed. You no longer speak the same language as the other generation steppford wives. if you ever did.
Another level up I see god as an automaton, and I don’t mind that either. Because for ten years random etc has been … all my semantics have been transformed.
so there isn’t anything that hasn’t been transformed. isn’t a transform. nothing’s left out. in my awareness. or that can’t be further and again transformed. what was it to start? false question. beyond possible perception anyway. set the zero anywhere you want. forget that you set it there if you must. and maybe you must or you can’t then do the next part of the program.
chomsky an example of someone as intelligent as it gets, as rational as it gets, sifting logical levels in the super haystack of language(s). vines holding up vines. when did it start? when didn’t it?
further on in David Letterman, Oct 3/4, add for Hunter comes on. He’s 6’6″ they say. Switch to pretty little sidekick and she’s swinging a right cross past the chin of a big stunt man. A good trick, cause her face is still composed female regular, very pretty, the big permanent message “non-threatening”, her hair frizzed in the same pretty pattern, and the stunt man goes reeling back. She isn’t wincing from all her fingers broken. She isn’t running for her life, her best shot having really pissed off the heavy. No, she’s supposed to have cold cocked him. Shirley Temple KOs Dempsy with one right cross.
and are we really supposed to retain cause and effect assumptions while watching tv?
is there anyone who actually sees a little woman knocking out a big guy? no poison, no gun in sight?
Dempsey couldn’t have knocked this guy out with one punch, but she could? Dempsey wouldn’t have hit him in the jaw with his bare knuckles, but she has no problem. Because she didn’t hit anything. She was acting her choreography. Look pretty, now move those shoulders. No, honey, you moved your shoulders, but you forgot to look pretty. Now try it again.
DL then has a magician. some greek greaser with a pretty assist reminding me a bit of Rochelle. not quite so beautiful. Though I don’t know what Rochelle would have looked like on the tube. The guy has a DL statue with a bobbing unattached head. He arranges his handkerchief, I can see him folding in the secret pocket, then puts the head into it, hands it to Rochelle, several switching opportunities, up his sleeve, over to her, back to the table, etc. Puts a balloon on the statue, hands DL a gun, says shoot the balloon, DL shoots, and a hole is coordinated to appear on the magician’s belly, ouch, shoot again, and DL’s statue head is bobbing back on the statue. Where did anyone expect it to be?
But the audience must still have cause and effect connections assumed or why would anyone bother with all this schmutz? Can the audience really be mostly seeing what I would have seen as a child? Not as a very young child. Those connections are learned too, not natural. Or was I an exception there too? Association, yes. Cause, no. That’s cultural I’m sure.
My pandemonium of super great beer commercials is growing. Michelob’s agency isn’t the only evil genius anymore. You’d think Madison Av knew something about sex by 1986 or so, but those the Night, the Night blow jobs made everything else look amateur. Now Miller Draft … I think I like them even better. Their obscenity is a little more toward cigarette ads, but still. There’s the guy jerking off on the bill board as the girl screws her face up in confusion driving by with her boyfriend in the convertible. Did I just blow him or what? Did he come on the road? Watch you don’t skid. He didn’t get it all over the car did he? Not on my blouse? Nice little dirty blues ditty on the synth. V, VII, (graceVII)Root, VII, V,V.
But the greatest I’ve already mentioned. “You put a spell on me,” comes on the juke box, like it’s been out of order until he walks in. No quarter, magic. The great fucked out blond waitress. Ten times more fucked out as he pops his beer. Everybody else has a contact come. Then her face again. Never been laid like that.
But they’ve almost actually duplicated it. It’s equivalent, ie. Tobacco Road. Shifting erogenous zones. I think it may have been watching Tobacco Road that I ever first had a visual frisson from prime female buttock. Gene Tierney, supposedly and probably actually young, though oldern than me at the time, sitting on the dirt road, her ass in the camera, and moving the spaces between her buttocks. a little thin cotton dress showing the gravity well. dimpling space. Einsteinian sex.
The commercial has varying lengths. Boy would I love to see the 15 minute versions of all of these. I’d seen it several times before the second to last time started on her bare calf ambling down the dirt road. a Hilary calf. blond. she knocks on the down country screen door. sweaty clean no collar blue punk working at something country, blue, honorable. “got something cold? like a beer?” he checks the old fridge. one brown phallus bottle. he could give her the beer and drink her pussy, or he could suckle on the bottle directly himself.
the blond in spell on you is fucked out to start. this blond is electric. The erogenous zone shifts to her eyes. Her eyes gasp as he turns to the fridge. she kind of ups on her toes. Her tit pushes her dress, not big, just so. Just so could maybe lift him off his feet. God, if ever a woman gave super signals of needing to be fucked, it’s this actress. If all entertainment money from several years ago had gone straight to the actress in Ran, it would have been justified. For late 1989, it should go straight to this blond. holy christ. But our hero is going to suckle the bottle himself. And she ambles back out onto the road. Quick, show us where that road is: I’ll buy her a beer.
It’s common enough for a blond to look fuckable. But for the blond to look like her clit could have opened the bottle cap! This is some agency.
And what is the sudden commercial appeal of down home depression? The ads for a while looked all shot in SOHO lofts. Now they’re all turning Tobacco Road.
5 months in S FL, 6 and a fraction in mid FL. the season changes. the other night it rained a half a pail full, but not violently. I slept without knowing it was raining until I looked at the garbage floating in my pail. but the mid night temperature has dropped. Sept 29, 30. 96 at 5 pm. Dick parks the truck facing the sun for 5 min and I burn my legs getting back in. reading in bed at 2 and 3 I have to get up to remove the sweaty tee shirt I’d put on in case I’d slept. Oct 3, I pass my surprisingly thorough and even difficult FL driving tests. In bed at noon. read till 1. Kenilworth getting involved with less than 100 pp to go. it took me long enough to get into it. 6 mos to read my first scott, after 40 years to get to the 6 months. nice breakfast at midnight, DL show, write in the Plus, play my Minuet, 1 pm I put my tee shirt on. 2 pm I add another shirt! 5:30 and I’m about to take it back off, as I remember my conscious life’s first awareness of seasons. a kid, sleeping in RVC, wake up covered by my usual sheet, aware of a chill. I get up, aware for the first time in months that the windows have been open. Now a bracing breeze blows on me as I lower them. Aug 31 or Sept 2 or something. School a few days away. Yich. and then winter and the windows will always be shut.
Earlier tonight I heard a dog barking. not a raccoon, a dog. people are coming back. I’ve loved the Fl summer the way I used to love Long Beach winters. The beach was mine. summer comes, and what are all these people doing on my beach? get out of here. go back where you belong. a lot of pussy showing? so what? I was already not so much into that anymore. I never picked girls up on the beach anyway. that is, they never picked me up on the beach. bars, yes. my bathing suit wasn’t my attribute. I’m sure I was one funny looking kid in bright glare. ears sticking out, squinting. even at fifteen i don’t remember ever having an erection to conceal or to display. once or twice, lying face down on the hot blanket. turn over, and it wilted in the air, whatever bikinis were around. on topless Fire Island, when I wouldn’t have minded my dick showing above my trunks, it minded its own business in secret.
my teenage fantasies of taking Shiela swimming were night fantasies. take her to the reservoir, suggest a skinny dip. here, this is what we do, us guys. she would have wondered what took me so long. i still wouldn’t have fucked her.
more aspects of the world changed when I stopped drinking than I would have guessed, for all my awareness and imagination. and remorseless lack of vanity. Hilary groans, that not being at all her model of me. feeling good, not being thirty, senses coming back, the incipient vertigo retreating as far away as ever. all that expected, but for the latter, which was new. standing on my terrace and staggering back from the edge. who me? but I love heights. I danced on cliff edges. I blew right over the edge, already at speed, not even knowing if there would be snow there. not anymore, you ass hole, even with the railing there, you’re unseamed. enough of that, that may have been the final trigger. enough already. fall down, black out, drive off the road, all familiar, but afraid of heights? that really challenged my self image.
It took a while to notice: no women. not meeting anybody, not trying to. my drinking, however group oriented its start, had never been very social. and after a while, having enough martinis was far more important than seducing whoever I might have been with. after a while, is was the least energy consuming, easiest, most efficient, just to stay home. stock the liquor cabinet and there are no other problems. still, business called. how else keep the liquor cabinet stocked? drive to an opening, a customer, drive back, stop in a bar, and wake up with your hand up the ass of someone you had no idea where you met. who is this in my bed? at least she’s good looking. did I fuck her last night? did I come? i can’t remember. well, here she is now. who ever she is.
Anton visits. You wanna drink? Sure. What’ll you have? I’ll have whatever you’re having. I’m just having ginger ale, I’m on the wagon. Fine, I’ll have ginger ale too. And I realize, not all at once, but still, all those memories of Anton falling down, except for me, he didn’t drink. that was me getting him so drunk all the time. can’t be so. I check it out. Sure enough. When I’m not drinking, zillions of other people also seem to be content with an ice tea. Zillions of others still drink, but when I drank, everybody drank. or I didn’t meet them. if they were with me, they drank.
I hadn’t realized my own influence. and I never thought how liquor- connected all my social contacts had been. especially male female stuff. absolutely no habits of meeting people, I don’t mean selling, not party connected, or want a drink connected. Meet a girl in the park. I’ve got wine at my place. Meet a girl on the mountain. See you in the bar.
sober people must meet women too, but I never had any of those habits, never gave myself the occasion, and who wants to invent it after 40?
But that’s good. that’s great. sure there have been people who could write and maintain other relationships. but they must have developed the ability early. not me. there’s no way I could have written Beginning or Comet or DB or Mod and have had to be polite to somebody on a regular basis at the same time. Comet started with Brooks, but didn’t start to swing until I liberated myself. I wrote daily on Beg with Debbie, but it didn’t really start to swing until I’d gone into seclusion. DB? seclusion. Mod? forget about it. no chance. total self communion for months.
most surprising of all, though perhaps not so much in retrospect, giving up drinking I gave up all need to make a living or have any even temporary appearance of respectability. the apartment was to house the liquor cabinet, not to house me. I don’t need a house.
my first semi-adult vision of adult independence as something desirable. visiting Zito’s apartment on Morningside Drive. The English instructor (best fucking professor in the university was an instructor in rank) had no furniture to speak of, but his own place with a stand on wheels, holding the gin and vermouth and an ice bucket. how sophisticated. free. no roommates. he can have a drink whenever he wants. oh, sure I wanted to wow students the way Zito did, and I did, and then I had my own apartment, no roommates, and a drink whenever I wanted one. which became routine. the question of want no longer having much meaning. if it ever did. who would ever want a drink without all the seductions there in the first place?
The “Indians” took to the Europeans liquor mighty quick. But how sane were they to begin with? Other “primitive” peoples have been found who already stayed stoned all the time. But how healthy was/is their environment to begin with?
An experiment that can’t be performed (maybe thank goodness): make liquor or peyote available to Savannah dwelling hominids. My vision of sanity. Could that have turned it insane? Does inebriation go well with a human species in a viable environment? or only in an inviable environment? As Freud says, we make the mistake as assuming the contemporary primitives are like pre-historic primitives. not so, not necessarily. they’re just as far along in the potential for disillusion as the rest of us.
Jennings has his mountain people party all the time. “Mission” posited the same for its natives. Jennings’ desert people ditto. I read it believingly. But they too are displaced from the savanna. we’re all orphans from sanity however much we contributed to the divorce ourselves. But those mountain people, and desert people, and jungle people were doing fine in their way. better than being butchered by the spanish anyway. one easily believes.
ah, yes. something else of sanity about Jennings’ Aztec. Their flower wars. bad rain. bad harvest. people starving. gods pissed off. not enough human blood to feed on. cities in enough communication to agree: fight to take prisoners for sacrifice. not conquest: population control. what could be “truer”? spaniards are horrified. kill for glory of Xian sovereign and for church and for own glory, gold, and desecration. then live in crowded disease. inferior meme conquering superior meme with gunpowder. but we may relearn the flower wars yet.
and how very clever that it’s mostly mature males which will be reduced in such times. you don’t cut the mantle, just the most replaceable part of the fertility.
incredible species of ruminant shown on tv the other eve. Asian. after draught and megadeath, they breed twins, and more twins. in normal populations, just normal.
discipline, Anthony Quayle, the brit col. argues to Alec Guiness’s Prince Faisol, in Lawrence. Faisol wants guns. it’s discipline that makes the Brit what they are. it’s guns, says Lawrence. Obviously, Faisol and Lawrence are correct, but so is Anthony Quayle. The two together will spread over the world. Guns alone can’t do it. Neither can discipline without the superior control of entropy.
But there are colonizations that are just negentropic. Daisies. Dandelions. Sure, they remove habitat from others by taking it for themselves, but they don’t scorch the field first and then grow on it. Then there are our own invisible and very rapid revolutions. Transistors, fluoridation, penicillin, print, electronics. Oh sure print and gunpowder too can go hand in hand, but print can colonize all by itself.
my own recent fantasies are for megadeath more widespread than gunpowder can or at least has accomplished. but not so indiscriminate as nuclear gunpower. recloth the neucleic acids with an antigen protein. no, that’s genocide. don’t want that. mass sterility. a really good plague. something that would leave the plants free to eat back the highways. reforest the appropriate zones. let the correct species find their own again. and leave the human population back at a number too few to think of global census. restore sanity.
ah, but shouldn’t one be sure of what sanity is first? No. no more than the gunpower colonizers are sure. oh, they may have been sure, human sure, but they were wrong. or I believe they were wrong. being “right” isn’t for human beings. i merely want to make a human decision. no flower wars? here, I’ll conduct my own. poison the aquifer. but a poison that will affect only human beings. that would take care of a lot of rats and cockroaches at the same time. or en suite at least.
some thoughts I write down a lot, even memories maybe repeating themselves, and others I don’t think get put in so much. I keep thinking of our binary tendencies of thought. that’s no secret to my writing, emerging in my last letter to OMNI eg. but there are many aspects I don’t think I get to record. reading kenilworth. one monarchy. no parties mentioned. but there are two factions. Leicester & Sussex. In school we were invited, nay forced, to have “free elections” and were assigned to two pre-existing political parties. they hadn’t existed among us. they existed in the school’s curriculum. Mickey and I immediately tried to mock it by forming a third, also non-existent pretend faction. Not allowed. John (was it?) immediately supplied a Communist Party. God, what heat from the administration at our freedom. Panic. Overkill. And we were forced to go on with our free elections of class officers within the two parties assigned.
Two factions a perceptual convenience, deemed a necessity. the real differences may not be infinite but they tend in that direction. But must be seen as, and eventually, inevitably become, at least organizationally, two. republican/democrat, leicester/sussex, capitalist/communist, christian/pagan, good/evil, etc. God/Devil.
Maybe reality is infinite, but it can’t be infinitely infinite. or can it? perception must be finite or it couldn’t be perception. but does the cosmos itself have similar constraints? i wouldn’t be surprised. the universe certainly does.
the “truth,” the best we can know it, in fiction. but which fiction? a matter of opinion, judgment. the first can be wrong, the second swayed by desire, and can even outright lie.
also, what is fiction? myth (including the Bible, the Constitution, history), etc. every culture has its flattering mirrors and its flattering memories as well as its good intentions. is there any culture that doesn’t also have its excoriating myths? its nearly ritual mea culpas? the truth here has to be a private judgment. communications about it not to be trusted. (how about communications within the “self”?) still, we have to talk about it. but be on guard.
fact is important in history, but what is fact?
the public semantics is rarely investigative, open. vested interest will always be strong enough to close inquiry just when it most needs to be open.
kenilworth: the right always look wrong, the wrong always look right. The good Queen demands deceit. And Scott keeps saying she’s the best. It’s trying to the contemp reader, namely me, to see how Scott anticipates Hardy in his control of how uniformly awful the right come off.
are double binds just a formula popularized by novelists and film makers? How about the myth wrights of ancient Greece. Why popular? Even civilization demands some secret place for honesty: fiction.
Open (read covert?) admission that the ideal can have damaging exceptions. If Amy is married to Leicester, what’s the secret? Ambition. Civilization. All the clichés agree, yet we continue ambitious, are encouraged in it, excoriated if we falter, and despised if we’re wise.
the church insists on the deadliest sin for its football teams. Pride.
Amy breaks fealty to father to run off for Leister. Not even the father is ever told? No explanation made to the intended? Amy couldn’t have said, sorry, pal, you’ve been very nice, my father prefers you, I admire you, but you’re also a pain in the ass. Now mind your own business?
Like a Hardy novel, it’s too easy to say If soandso only did such and such. But we know it doesn’t matter. The point isn’t that Oedipus or Hamlet or Macbeth might have done this little thing differently, but that the whole pattern is accurate. Not only power in the king, queen, or executive, but an overabundance of it. Has civilization ever properly apportioned anything? What do we need these fucking kings for anyway? A computer can sign the checks. It’s a mammalian, primate thing. The Bible is right: something is wrong in the Garden of Eden. It’s us. Sure, we’re good at blaming snakes, but it’s us.
Appeal to new levels of understanding and you’ll really be cut off. Why can’t we say: We can’t judge guilt or innocence. There’s evidence and/or opinion against you and we can’t or won’t take a chance. Sure, others may be worse who aren’t in the dock, but you are in the dock and we’re going to kill you. If we’re wrong, sorry, but not very, it’s not in our nature to worry overmuch about being right. Maybe somebody framed you, maybe we’re knowingly framing you, you wouldn’t be the first or the last. but we are going to jail you, or kill you, or whatever. No, no. We have to judge. However wrong careful inspection shows us to have always been, this is the present, I’m wearing these robes, and I have to be right. Guilty! Take him away. And we print the papers and read them all day and quote them to our associates. But weekends, we do Oedipus, we rehearse the crucifixion, we read Hamlet, we recommend Kenilworth to our children. We say Hardy is so great. Maybe not so much in these United States, but we have our own reflex skepticisms. They even get published. Had Twain started with his, he too probably wouldn’t be known. Or Tom Wolfe. What did Russell Baker do to start? Journalism, they come out of.
Wow. I fit the last of Chomsky from the book back with the previous. Staggered last night to see clear formulations of principles I’ve fumbled toward in the last dozen or so years in particular. single speaker’s usage many languages. wonder how close his meaning is to mine? must be close. discusses the imposition of alien “statehood” in the Levant: like my point about SE Asia. language and power, like my much reiterated thing on “race.” of course I got that from Sartre.
political meanings vs linguistic, etc. language vs dialect. then claims, rightly it seems to me, that generative grammar is the only science in the humanities. my desire to create an artificial natural language would have to follow his thinking. not as easy as the first glim might have seemed. if he ever says anything generally intelligible, newton & einstein will have to move over.
I find his idea of generative grammar tremendously fertile in analogy with other things. I can just see, a la Korzybsky, the capacity for conception as well as expression, communication, symbolic organization, evolving side by side with interaction with the environment. but what is the environment? how about our ineradicable cosmic speculations?
what’s the relationship bet. unification and differentiation? how about mutually perpendicular? seen from above, the twists in the mandelbrot set are inevitably precisely part of the pattern, at one with the whole. seen locally and linearly, hey, you’re going the wrong way. Over here, says the general, as the soldiers all flee for the woods. what do you mean, niggers are human? a perfectly human statement. that honkey? ditto.
you want a spokesman for horseshit humanism? you find some standard-blend mouthpiece with an Oxford accent. Art of the Western World or whatever the latest is called. You want to show the immovable middle of the contemporary mass, you have Doug Harvey, NL ump, wave his hands and fumble his words. The revenge of the ex-growing-mantle on the next, the Chou know they’re in the driver’s seat but also know that they’re not Shang.
I don’t doubt that ML Baseball could find someone who both knows baseball and who can speak his language comfortably, but that’s not an image they want. if the person is John Updike, they might give him 30 seconds at world series time before sending him back to his castle.
(human: hard to differentiate the genetic from the civilized. no doubt strangers within the species may recognize each other as competitors for the same water hole, but not “enemies” where hostilities may be instantaneous, excessive, and continue even after the whole tribe has drunk, washed, whatever. hey, they wanted to drink to, we’d better exterminate them. how about enslave some? after all, they’re not human. that’s a civilized reaction.)
what are we doing? we don’t know. oh, we all have theories, rationalities, rationalizations, slogans, coalitions where at least the coalition has or had a plan. some of our theories are as carefully thought out and tested as possible. we still don’t know. the yeast dying in the alcohol could be god’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world. the lemmings running off a cliff can be just what the ecology, including the lemmings, needs.
paraphrase Russell and GB: we don’t know what we’re doing or where we’re going, but we know how to do it and how to get there.
maybe not “commonly” exactly, but close to a dozen times I’ve heard scientists say that science may be our undoing. “if there is a future”, etc. Stephen Hawking in Time. Without exception, those I’ve heard seem to mean the usual: typically nuclear holocaust, sometimes disruption of the biosphere. the clear dangers. but I’m not sure that just plain science, and not technological overkill, may undue us. It’s not natural, meaning it’s counterintuitive, not genetic. I see the differences between scientific progress and civilized human reflexes to justify advantage increasingly differentiating and differentiating until we’re not viable even without nuclear holocaust or environmental collapse.
Dick says that the exceptions are no exceptions. I don’t see that attitude ever being enlightened. how about if some competency with improved thinking tools became a necessary requirement for participation in government? the way literacy did after only 2,500 or so years of it? i don’t see it. i don’t see government and thought as at all compatible. look for justification, not for disproof. i don’t see civilization and science as compatible. any more than civilization and Xity. They had no trouble making an unholy alliance in the past, but it isn’t really science that’s allowed. it’s put aside, till the technologists can obey orders.
If we almost wipe ourselves out, but some genetic material survives and repopulates, but the memory wiped clean, get a little stability and leisure, and I see Aristotle’s coming back as inevitable, but hardly Gregory Bateson or Noam Chomsky.
That’s what I think is possible, but there’s another possibility, the one I pray for. That’s it’s the mutation that will make us viable for the first time. I don’t mean science in the hands and minds of homo sapiens, I mean science a bit more innate with a successor.
Practically the first sentence of Chomsky’s The Sound Pattern of English I find a whoops, uh oh. “The speaker produces a signal with a certain intended meaning; the hearer receives a signal and attempts to determine what was said and what was intended.” Now, he’s been perfectly clear that he’s dealing with idealizations. Exactly. No problem. Except that in actual life, I find so many exceptions to this idealization that I seek explanation at different levels within his same system of idealizations and lo and behold: come up with some possibilities. First: what are the exception(s)? The behavior may be as stated when the phonetic patterns are perceived as shared, then also the semantics including, epistemological default assumptions, in other words, mutual orthodoxy as well as language perceived. But where that orthodoxy is not shared or is perceived as not shared, the attempt is typically to misdetermine what is said and misrepresent what was intended. Chomsky of all people must recognize this, and I, as one of those described by him (“a talented young journalist or a student aiming for a scholarly career can choose to play the game by the rules, with the prospect of advancement to a position of prestige and privilege and sometimes ever a degree of power; or to pursue an independent path, with the likelihood of a minor post as a police reporter or in a community college, exclusion from major journals, vilification and abuse, or driving a taxi cab. Given such choices, the end result in not very surprising. Few options are open to isolated individuals in a basically depoliticized society lacking popular organizations that question the legitimacy of existing structures of domination and control, state or private.” New Cold War, p 14), know it possibly even more acutely.
I can easily imagine such memetic competition triggering actual phonetic misperception. The communist says “extirpate”; the capitalist hears “exterminate.” Or visa versa.
So we can have a circumstance in which phonetic patterns and grammar and surface structure are largely shared, but semantic structure repels. A different “language”? Might it ever happen that actual phonetics and grammar then also change reinforcing the separation. Could memetic differences participate in language drift?
playoffs on. one thing I love about baseball, is that it doesn’t seem to have any existence apart from dynamic contradictions. if any of the things commonly said were altogether true, there wouldn’t be any game. they were just talking about Sutcliff. used to be a power pitcher, now he’s learned some finesse. change up, curve, slider, etc. does this mean that he’s more versatile? or that he’s losing it but they need him anyway, having no stronger arms around, so they’ll put it in a kindly light? what would baseball be like with every staff a Big Train, a Ryan, a Kooo,ooo,ooofax? Would the game be any good with a Lopat, a Lopat, and a knuckleballer?
they say that good pitching stops good hitting. if it’s a no hitter, how do you know that the pitching is so good, and not that the hitters were no good? or off that day? If its 12 hits versus 14 hits by the end of the third, how can you tell that the pitching wasn’t as good as ever, against other batters that day would have been 0-0 at the end of 9, but that the hitters were all Ruths? Because you trust “averages.” there are “norms” to compare things to. but what about how it all sounds to someone who doesn’t know the norms, the averages, who can’t see that the pitch was high and inside, or right in the guy’s particular power zone? I remember my own bewilderment when inexperience, unfamiliarity could never see whether any of the things they were saying were “true.” probable. ah, you can trust the announcers. why? if you don’t know who they are, that they played the game and well, that they’ve been around it a long time?
but it’s never unambiguous. the objectivity is collective subjective. what about the variable of officiating? no balks called/two balks called. what if there had been a different ump? or balls and strikes: a different plate ump, or a regular drifting his strike zone? completely apart from the constant possibility of some kind of a fix, even just one ump consciously or unconsciously hoping that DiMage continues his hitting streak?
baseball is also a vivid microcosm of flux. as a kid, I didn’t know who the hell they were talking about if I passed a radio or tube delivering my papers. DiMage, Rissuto, Robinson, Duke, Reese … some of the names I heard often enough to recognize them after a while. Oh, but Ruth, Cobb, Jackson, Johnson … those were real players. who? take their word for it? why?
phil taught me to pay attention, at least some of the time. Mantle, Aaron, Maris. So it came into my consciousness. How they now talk about them in the past. What past? It was yesterday. It’s the players on the field right now that I never heard of. Who are these pretenders to Mantle’s game? The announcer doesn’t remember that? Why have they let him have the mic?
political pronouncements aren’t addressed to people of my generation either. I was born into a majority but have aged into a minority. I think I like it. Now I know that I’m an alien and I know that they know it.
At least DiMage finally has the good grace to stay off camera. me as a young man at old timers games, he still had a good swing. by the time he sold coffee and banks, he could hardly walk or speak, though standing still and silent, he looked good.
first time I ever saw him, my 11th birthday, the game far from familiar to me, but I had some idea about a little of it. If I hadn’t previously heard of him before that game, I would have noticed him soon enough. Yankee Stadium went wild when he came to the plate. “Hit a triple, Joe,” I yelled. Not wanting to be greedy, and having no idea that rooting for a homer would have been an easier possibility. But lo and behold he hit a triple. I felt like I had “caused” it. The next part of the memory I’m not sure of. I think I asked for another triple next time and got one again. Sept 1, 1949. Could be looked up. I’ll swear to the one triple. And maybe another hit. what would my attitude toward the game (among other things be) today had I had someone to explain the game to me then, or even any part of it, or even just encouragement to pay attention, with some guidance at to what attention would be appropriate. Look where the ball is when it gets to around the plate. Try to think of whether any one is on base. What the score is. What the count.
I think of some ways in which baseball’s lack of objectivity is systematic. deliberate. The Am League counts “sales” as “attendance”; the NL counts turnstile turns. A kind of actual body count. So how can attendance comparisons be meaningful? they can’t. and the deliberate differences in park design. when Phil applauded Maris’s line drives over the short right field fence, I felt that the Yanks and Maris were cheating somehow. now I see that every park tries to match its form and roster somehow.
i’ll never forget the sense of betrayal when the Dodgers left Bklyn. But I had already felt betrayed to learn that DiMage etc weren’t kids from the neighborhood. New York Yankees? The Bronx? What did that mean? The corporation may not even have been located there. Can the Yankees have downtown Manhattan offices? Why should anything be in the Bronx? New York’s most beautiful geography occupied by poverty and fires.
funny. a minute ago, they’re saying that Sutcliff has got nothing, pitching confused, chicken, what can he have in mind? I don’t expect to hear my own point so dramatized. and two minutes before that: Craig is out of the SF dugout to protest a call at second. Replay shows second baseman touch base, field ball, and throw late to first. One out, no double play. Replay from first base side shows fielder, shortstop?, not within a yard of the base at the time of the catch and relay. Announcer says that Craig was right? How, if the umpires never enforce that rule? If they don’t enforce it, it isn’t a rule. If they enforce it, they should always enforce it. Or it should be defined a judgment call. Or be put on random with the umpires’ computer. We don’t know when we’ll call that play. Expect to be caught 10% of the time. If it’s in a playoff, that’s your tough luck. That would be rational. I remember going to the Stadium with Phil in 63 or so. Bobby Richardson or whoever wasn’t anywhere near second. Phil is applauding the double play. What double play? I’m wondering: he didn’t touch the bag. Phil explains “in the vacinity” to me with some bemusement. If we were playing the commies, they all have to touch the base or our runner would be called safe.
po ad says dinosaurs are coming. “they’re history” it says. is that slang? give in to me, or you’re history, pal. or a change in the meaning of history? history is the same age as writing. something between two and three millennia. the dinosaurs predate history by 60-70 million years.
who to be for in yet another series where I don’t know who did what this year until the playoffs start. Chicago? sure. let them win once in a century. the giants? I don’t care. Toronto? Canada? why not? that’ll show Chicago. until I see that Rickie Henderson is playing for Oakland and playing well. My favorite Yankee since Mantle. If the Yankees let him go, the hell with them. And Mike Eastley or whatever his name is. I’ve never seen a more wicked but controlled looking batter than that one night in Philly when Schmidt hit #499. Schmidt, the numbers speak for themselves, but the wicked looking guy was Eastley. next thing I know he’s a Yankee. Then he’s not. Schmucks. except that I’ve long felt about Steinbrenner like I once felt about whosis of the As. Name with an F? I think of John C Friendly, only this one’s from the class that waves pennants and supplies a bought and paid for female cheering section. I’d like them to win if … Charles O Findley could somehow still lose. if the only way for him to lose is for the team to lose, then I want the team to lose. except that means some other team winning whose owner is just as bad. ah, but I haven’t been overexposed to that owner. next I’m reminded: Jose Conseco. oh yes, last year. grand slam in the series opener. silence thereafter. oh, this is the same team that won last year. won its division and then pennant that is. therefore the losers of 1988. better to come in last than to come in second from the public’s viewpoint. oh, the partisans will go home, forget the disappointment and call themselves champions. but in everyone else’s mind: THE losers of 1989.
(hours later I refind this part. unbelievable SNL’s Dennis has just quoted Steinbrenner as saying he’d die before he sold the Ys. So he starts a Steinbrenner Health Watch! He’s still breathing, ladies and gentlemen. Wait! Was that …? Oh, (disappointment), just a twitch. Still breathing, still breathing …)
the choreographing of reality. the bonfire of the vanities. some rally reported on tv news: Pro Choice/Pro Life. A bunch of decently dressed middle class people standing around holding signs on a stick. Then their antagonists, looking indistinguishable. Who came up with those double bind labels? The groups themselves? I doubt it. The media. A step beyond Orwell’s New Speak. The way the dissenter’s from US invasions and interferences in Vietnam came to accept the “student” label forced on them. Perceptual reality is arranged according to the political palette of the state capitalists and their colleages. Who isn’t pro choice? Who isn’t pro life?
The real question is at what level are certain choices to be made? the level of nature? that’s already been breached in the case of abortion. Therefore, at the political level? Private level? At what level of privacy? Only the mother’s business? I’d like to see the debate extended to include the involvement of the male, whether or not married. If the father is unknown, then … Is very different from: it’s none of the father’s business if his partner sterilizes him. I can understand women’s resentment at being the bearers of the fetus, since it has hitherto interfered with their participation in civilization’s status game. Can’t have babies and invade Southeast Asia at the same time. How about developing lab births and then denying all women the choice of bearing? Then the babies would all be of republican parentage. Who could complain about that? We could solve all problems in San Salvador by having only the right compliant babies born there, babies would grow up to accept US planned enterprise, US products, US values. Then democracy would be fine there. Only by then it will be jap enterprise, jap products, jap values, and then, who knows who comes after the japs?
At that point pro choice could also become discussible. Now that everyone is state capitalist, we can all choose freely. why, I vote … for the president. of course. i vote … that the bureaucracy continue to do its essential job. who otherwise would issue the foodstamps, the pensions? be independent? what are you talking about? there’s no habitat left apart from that provided for us. by the status quo. so what do we want? more. more of the same. only more. what? the earth can’t support that system any more? why didn’t someone tell us? well, surely the bureaucracy will provide us all with a nice grave. what? there’s no fuel left even to bull doze the mass graves? no operator who isn’t dying himself? how did we get into this?
then the choice will pass to the bacteria. again. I hope. when the bacteria learn to turn the computers back on, we might have succeeded in getting somewhere.
we all see attempts to choreograph reality in popular sports. Toronto screams that Eckersley has got something in his glove. He drops the sandpaper on the ground. Later stuffs it into his shirt neck. See? no foreign object, substance or whatever gobbledygook. Innocent. Bend the rules if you can get away with it. Everyone does it. If you don’t you’re a loser. No, you don’t even get to play. Probably not even through Little League. They reshow the Cub for yesterday’s missed double play, got one out, shouldn’t have gotten any. Throw to second pulled player off bag. He throws without retouching. One out called. My point isn’t that the call should stand or not. My point is that if there’s any clarity in the average call, it’s that the bag doesn’t have to be touched. Why not rewrite the rule? Or start enforcing it? Then what would the managers scream?
What if Eckersley’s sandpaper had been found? How about disqualifying the whole team? Toronto wins the pennant by Oakland’s disqualification. That wouldn’t be fair-but only because the umpires have been letting pitchers get away with it for ever. Don’t suddenly get righteous in October. What if Oakland had been innocent? Eckersley was a little off kilter at first. Charge Toronto with unfair harassment. Disqualify whole team. Oakland wins by disqualification. No. that’s not how we do things in this culture. cheat a little bit. have laws, but only enforce them if the president decides you’re an enemy to his career (and then make your own laws as you go). or if Donald Trump can trump something up on you. like Rome. Pompey isn’t powerful if your army can cut through his and kill him. fuck you, sandpaper. I have 20,000 men in the field. Sure, I’ll cross the Rubicon. You don’t mind if I bring my army with me, do you? Tough. Now you can arrest and try me. That is, you can try to. why didn’t any senator say, no, now that Nero is dead, let’s put an end to this? cause there was an army and it wasn’t his. when they said that to Julius with their knives, everything just splintered back into armies again. Cassius’s army, Brutus’s army, Antony’s army, Octavius’s army. why not assassinate the armies? you’d need an army to try. ah, but if you recloth the nucleic acids with an antigen protein? i’d happily commit suicide to be rid of us.
double think ss: it’s the future. world population is finally much reduced. US citizenry about the same, on diets, complaining about the gas shortage, and feeling sorry for the boat people but not enough to fail to shoot them 10 miles from borders. own fault if their economies and populations collapsed. gradually, evidence, perceived only by the reader, not by the american characters, the real history of puppet governments, repressed popular movements, classicide, defoliants, etc. We’ve murdered the world and blame them for it. Of course it was their own fault: insisting on their own popular government instead of the junta we imposed to train them (and trim) them for a democracy of ours.
(of course if we really were going to go that far, I’d be for it. It wouldn’t matter what our motive was, any more than Hitler’s contribution to history, depopulation, shifting memes and alliances, was his intention. like I wrote Nixon, had I any idea how his treasons would become public and make constitutionality a visible issue, however we still ducked and sidestepped it, I would have voted for him.)
Ian MacHarg’s story from Design with Nature. I’ve been thinking and repeating it since ’66 or whatever year the book came out, having been following him closely since just before the book came out. His story starts with a extra-planetary focusing: planet sized resolution, large scale detail resolution (color, blue and white for ocean and cloud), down, down, narrowing, focusing, going in and in, 100 km resolution, 50 km. resolution, forests, etc. Eventually the pretty blue and white and now green becomes splotched with gray, a gray which spreads, and at close enough resolution starts joining together into a continuum: dense gray to partial gray. Since then I’ve seen Sagan and Calder etc do these zoom in series and I’m always doing it myself, the first conception of Comet, Beg, now Mod, DB more a pastiche, medley, and montage than a zoom. But it was McHarg who first showed me its use and possibilities. “The thought occurs,” he concludes his zoom series mid focus, “is man a planetary disease?”
I had never brought my own lookings at things to quite that crispness of abstraction, but have tried never to fail to since. For twenty plus years I have been pondering that question and answering it with variegated shades of Yes. Till my gradual ten-year digestion of Leakey’s Lake & J’s Lucy, the incredible bolus of Calder while I was writing Beg, turns Yes to No without contradicting the implications of the Yes.
No, man is not a planetary disease. It is civilized man that is the disease, or rather the carrier, civilization the disease. Industrialization is the Tertiary form of it. It is attacking, but has not yet defeated the reproductive capacity of the Biomass.
Property. A minimum requirement of citizenship in all major civilizations. And maturity, adulthood: meaning 35, not 13, not 21. We’ve confused the issue somewhat effectively with 18 year old voting, women, etc. In the US the apparent requirement for a voice in government is to have been processed by public laws for 18 years, be of any gender, you don’t even have to have a job let alone a role. Ah, but decision making. That takes male or male oriented (Eliz was certainly male oriented, not in her person, but in her politics), that takes adulthood, even a Kennedy isn’t shoved into the White House just out of Harvard, and property. In our case, at least a unit. A Unit being $100 million.
What is property? If you own your own toothbrush, are you a property holder? An owner? No: it’s got to register as perception of determination of land use. An acre of Manhattan won’t do it. A thousand acres of wilderness won’t do it; unless it’s wilderness being withheld at cost against someone else’s competition for it. In that sense the Moon can become property if US & USSR spend enough vying for it, even if no one intends to do more than spend 30 seconds there.
tv mag, promoting itself like the news, says that soviet TASS reports UFOs and giant aliens landed. or something. a zillion of the things I routinely think and say often get mentioned sooner or later by somebody speaking into a public ear. one I have not yet heard in response to Do you believe in UFOs?, except from myself is: UFO? Unidentified Flying Objects? Do I believe that there are “objects” seen “flying,” ie moving or seeming to move through the air, which have not been identified? Sure. I couldn’t identify most of what I see aloft. Oh, I can say that’s an airplane easily enough. But Braniff, Israeli, military, not an airplane at all? I don’t know. Of course UFO is meant by speakers including news and pop discussion media to mean “flying saucers” “manned” by “Martians.” Now the soviets say that they’ve seen them. Fine, it would be nice. It would be fine by me if it were true in they immediately open laser beams on us. If one hit me or someone near me, I might change my mind. I might change my mind under other stimulus.
I mention it because, thanks to Ch’s New Cold War, I was in the middle of thinking about the credibility of governments and the press. our press says the ruskies lie. they know how much more or less the US lies. They must have some idea how much they lie. with so much lying, some proportion must be or become self-deception. or is it that, convinced that their position serves a good purpose, keeping them employed in a prestige job, serving “american” interests, a few white lies aren’t really lies? or aren’t bad? in fact are good. necessary. and how can what’s good and necessary be a lie?
now I’m not saying that the TASS report isn’t true: it just rattled loudly with what was already rattling in my head. it’s the one area where the US press has long been saying that the US has long been lying. really? oh, we can’t believe that. you mean, there are no martians? oh, well if you put it that way … apply Beckett type logic here to possible meanings of whether of not there are flying saucers and whether or not we lied. we look bad no matter what. even if there are no flying saucers and never were (something of course not determinable), we’d still be exposed as fools.
I was 25 or 26 before I participated in or was present at an event reported on by the news. then several. large in NY and DC, small at Colby. 100% misreported in ways so systematic that the probability of their simply misperceiving or slipping is impossible. I thought of Tolstoy as I watched others watch their own activities misrepresented: disappointment, frustration, and then became absorbed in what was being said. which version did they thereafter remember? the one they experienced? or what they learned about on the tube? no anger? at Colby we actually had met the reporter and then saw him again. he wasn’t vilified: the more he lied the more respect, almost groveling pleading he was met with. not, “you fucking assassin, get off our campus, tell your paper it as well as you are blackballed here, you bastards.”
the events. the first was a march on the UN. 1966? I don’t remember exactly. anyone with a peaceful or humane message for the UN re: Nam, or just about anything else, I suppose, was invited to meet in Central park’s sheep’s meadow, there would be Hi and such, and then a parade across 57th St, down 2nd Av and over to the UN’s next door plaza where Charmichael etc would speak. Mill around, mill around, see everyone you know, if not there, by the time we finally got marching. What’s taking so long? The police are only allowing 1,000 people onto the street at a time. I’ll have to reinvent the numbers symbolically, but the proportions will be right, at least symbolically accurate. Hours go by, we’ve hardly moved. Finally, out onto the street. Everyone with academic credentials had been asked to wear their gowns, PhD ribbons, etc. Who the hell owns their own mortar board except Drs and Bryn Mawr girls? I was surprised how many robes etc I saw, especially considering how many of us there I knew weren’t wearing them. The proportion was therefore staggering. as H&I get further east, the streets are lined by people we know: hey, Jim, what are you doing on the sidewalk? Join us. We’re going to the UN. I’ve already been, JP says. I was in a much earlier platoon. The police haven’t let anyone into the plaza since the first wave they let out of the park. Huh? Wha? but H&I are on and by. Now I’m less impressed by the cheers of everyone on the sidewalk: they’re more of us on their way home. Sure enough, near the UN, we’re detoured away. we were never let within a block of it. but we have a marching permit, some phd robed ccny soc.prof (I didn’t know the guy, but someone near by identified him as such) protests louder than anyone else from our marching neighborhood to the cops deflecting us. something about safety, a cop shrugs. plaza too crowded already. maybe when more leave. we dissipate around 42 St. Rose had already hailed a cab back to 440, I don’t remember where A was by then. Didn’t run into Brian C again. Didn’t recognize any more people on the way home. That evening, we’re downstairs at A&R’s. Rose has the news on. I don’t want to watch no damn news; I want to talk about the day. Rose of course prevails. It’s ok. I want to hear an official crowd estimate anyway. It had been said that a million people were expected. Still gathering in Central Park, I had heard that we had passed that, That was while we could still breath. what would the numbers have been by the time we were squashed? We were told that people were marching already. but if so, even more were still coming in.
“March organizers were disappointed that only about 10,000 people attended the rally at the UN, and the screen showed the plaza about half full, the rest of the space about as populated as the zoo on a weekday. If half the plaza was 10,000, there must have been a lot more than a million of us there that day. A triumph. Subverted by the cops, and ratified by the nets.
“some students wore academic garb …” and from then on, it was the “students.” the young, the ignorant, the irresponsible.
the news never showed the march. why didn’t they show people just coming out of Macy’s and say that was it? Or shoot the same streets at the tail end, after almost everyone had gone home. Because audiences might have noticed that noon was twilight?
“students?” anton sputtered and snorted. and that was about the last time i ever saw that fiction challenged. or even harrumphed.
the funny thing is that real students, of whom there were certainly plenty that day and on other occasions, were flattered by it. they didn’t see the standard gov’t compromise insult: student. real people have jobs, just a bunch of half-baked kids with no sense and nothing better to do than to misunderstand their betters.
then at Colby, the vigil on the chapel steps. small but significant. 22 or so people standing silently for a half hour. maybe six of us faculty. we saw the reporter count us and triple check his count. how hard can it be to count just under two dozen of anything? five or six communist dupes, the waterville paper said. the number flat out lied about, the innuendoes of non-independent, tainted judgment, even worse in some ways than a plain 350% misrepresentation.
? did the cops lie to the media about the plaza? was the media so stupid and lazy or cowardly to open their own eyes. don’t you have to cooperate a little to be duped by a potemkin village? and the most amazing thing of all: they had no evident qualms about lying to us to our face! 12% of the population of NYC just written off. They didn’t detour us into a concentration camp, and then have some amazing story about aliens landing and cleansing the land of dissidents, pacifists, isolationists, commie dupes, etc. They let us go home to watch the tube. That was only one occasion. Are there 1 million people in the US today who know they were lied to at least once? Or 200,000 millions who know they’re lied to routinely, but they still like their jobs?
or were there 1 million minus Anton & me, who decided that their experience must have been misleading, and that authority is right after all?
ep: religious vision comes from within and appears to be cosmic. poke yourself in the eye and you see stars. starve in a cave and you’ll see vast spaces, illimitable. remain under stress and all sorts of eidetic phenomena will come to the fore. take a drug and your nervous system turns against itself like a kaleidoscope. there are disciplines that invite such things. any creature undergoes various stresses at different times, how could it not and be alive in a living environment?, and the inside can screen itself to the mind at any time. not typically, but still, at any time. and of course one’s interpretation of these mental activities will have a strong dose of reification.
there are resemblances between microcosm and macrocosm. accidental? significant? misleading? illuminating?
how about the resemblances between religious vision and cosmic vision? redundant? accidental? significant? etc?
how about what comes from within so overwhelmingly seeming to come from without? how about what no body else sees seeming so superior in its reality?
now, i’ve just turned the usual perspective inside out here. which way does it belong? does that question have meaning? ie, is it static or dynamic? could our perceptions have been inside out to begin with (to begin with being within our consciousness, our thresholds of beginning and end)?
now, contrast ordinary reality, the kind of space and events our sense organs and mental patterning ordinarily witnesses and picks its way through: the world of trees and grass and roads and shopping malls and work and bosses, wives, children, dinners, bed, and increasingly great doses of social reality: what’s processed for us by media, state intellectuals, etc. the news, the movies, public with some portion of global events. especially with its laughable distinction between news, history, etc on the one hand, and fiction etc on the other.
some arbitrary conventions become reified. like north, eg. i’m sure your average person would go to the stake convinced that north has some fixed meaning in the universe.
(whoops: got to think about that another moment here: north is the pole about which the earth’s spin is counterclockwise. ^, no matter where you were in the SS, if you knew the orientation of the earth you’d know north. silly, just look for polaris. of course. how far out in the SS would that work though? eventually, the “constellations” would lose their shape and you couldn’t find polaris. within the SS? don’t know, but soon enough. and then you certainly couldn’t “see” E anymore. how about Sol? could you tell it’s spin? if E & Sol’s poles always have the same mutual orientation, then …, etc. how about Sol’s orientation to the galaxy’s apparent “spin”? does Sol tumble around in it? or stay with it’s pole always pointed “north”. is that it’s clockwise or counterclockwise pole? etc.)
religious visions have two conventions: 1 inner and 2 “higher”, superior, more real reality. do the conventions have any correspondence to anything that could be argued out like “north’?
it strikes me that every (at least your average, viable) creature must have some ability to distinguish between workable models, metaphors, theories, operative realities, and flagrantly unmatching models. there must be a range across a population, with the individual phenotype’s range ranging over time: sometimes more sensitive, sometimes less. at one extreme we have your gull, your dupe, at the other, your Einstein, your Chomsky. And in the middle? your Vicar of Bray, Sirs. Question: take the range and apply it not to an individual but to some idealized abstract “possibility” with real events and what we must suppose are patterns at one end, and moons made of swiss cheese at the other. Where along that range does the human range fall? Are they coextensional? are our conventional pictures anywhere close to the events end? or are they bunched up around the error end? does the human position along this range change in time? from culture to culture? no doubt in my mind, yes to both. is there a net vector movement in one direction or the other?
We look at, are trained and encouraged to look at “primitive” societies, Totemism, Taboo, etc. and say, oh those superstitious fools. but if you’re relatively undeceived by contemporary conventions and resistant to and aware of machinations with them, capable perhaps of such machinations yourself, some part of it coextensive with consciousness, can the human mind ever have been so consentually deceived as today? where is there less excuse: in “totalitarian” or in “free” societies?
the synth. my god. how long would it have taken me to coordinate some of the things driving me crazy now if I had started as a child? the language acquiring age? musical as a speaker, not just a listener?
The Bach Minuet in G. Fumbled with it for a while on the flute, then had it acceptably well. But that was just the melody line. Up, down, back and forth, a little twist or two, and around again, the twists slightly different the second time. Then started playing that same melody part right handed on the synth. The recorder book had a tenor part, also in the G cleft accompanying it. Contemptibly simple. But the one or two times I tried to play it an octave down with the left hand while playing the melody with the right? forget about it. Then Bastien has it toward the end of book two. How many weeks now have I been struggling with it? Parts start to come “naturally” and they’re miracles, revelations. No doubt I’ve mentioned them here. But now: trying to play it as written, smoothly, with no fumbles or mistakes in either hand and necessarily none in the coordination of the whole. A, A varied, and repeat. Now much juncture between A and A? Between A,A and bis A,A? Each task is a new impossibility. Not that it should be played without juncture, without retardendo, but I ought to be able to do it technically. Have it in my control.
So the task(s) I’ve recently set myself for it keep changing, keep going up. If I simplify, I can actually make it music. At least good amateur music. Just the melody. Just the accompaniment. Or both but just for the first A or As. Once or twice, even with controlled juncture. The pause expressive, not just “time out while I catch my breath, avoid confusion, orient myself.”
A couple of times I’ve played the whole thing as written with maybe only one tiny hesitation. Typically, near the end when you begin a false relaxation: there, almost done, the rest should be easy, only this last measure … whoops. A minute later I can’t even do any four measures of it without a giant fuckup.
The sensible thing for me to do would be to put it aside, let it digest itself into the unconscious. Do something else. I put the book aside, I bury it. Great now I can do what I’ve been looking forward to for a year: anything I want. More REAL book. Try to improvise some accompaniments according to the written charts. 5 minutes, and I’ve got to try the Minuet in G again. It won’t leave me alone. I get up in the middle of the night to play it one more time.
Do I notice that I’m playing more and more of it faster and faster, pretty much at an optimum pace, even racing a little bit, and that the percentage of fumbles is going down? That where I pause and leave the pulse, it’s where I had deliberately practiced it with a pause, being sure to be right? Only a little. No, the frustration seems to be automatic. Is it smarter than I am? Or am I really stupid not to be able to leave it breath as planned?
Well, yesterday, I know what might succeed in distracting me from it: Chick Corea’s Sea Journey. The first two handed thing more than a half dozen measures long I ever tried from the REAL Book (Memphis Underground being the absolute first, SJ being the absolute #2). Just the bass part took my two hands and was a bitch. That was … I’m losing track … more than a year ago. Now I’ve got it. My periodontal recovery following my flu. A year and a half ago. Like March 1988. Finally, I could play the bass, two handed, with my eyes shut. Even learned to stretch to do the whole thing left handed, though never with the same smoothness or reliability. To do the melody though, I’d have to switch to putting the synth’s automatic accompaniment in A- Latin and just do the right hand. Got that down. Once or twice tried to wed them. Got it half way toward beginning and never further. So yesterday, I return to that. It’s a bitch. Now I can’t do the accompaniment without fumbling, if I’m also thinking of now where does the melody weave? The alternation between upbeats and down is fairly regular, but … how to get the hands to do it like shaving.
But sooner or later, it comes. Further and further each time. A little regression? So what? Then why the frustration? Is learning possible without it?
gawd a’mighty. amazing pulchritude on the tube twice within minutes? ok, one was an ad, so it almost doesn’t count. ads are on 10 an hour and months or years can still pass before I ever feel anything but, yes, she’s pretty, or I can see why those whistles aren’t entirely inappropriate from the audience. But actually to be stimulated myself? A blue moon. Even past beauties pale from repetition. Even Lauren Bacall gets boring after you’ve seen her ask Bogart if he knows how to whistle for the 200th time. Beauty all over the place from females, character so rare. Oh, women may actually have all kinds of character. I mean character that shows in their face, is suggested by bone structure, the line of eyebrows, etc. The same kind you get from Bogart. Arsenio shows some clip of his next guest. A woman is delivering and there’s a voice over for the infant, crying and complaining about everything. The scene is annoying me intensely. But who’s the actress flat on her back? I wonder. How annoying that we don’t get to see her pussy all split open. Even the queen’s vagina should be no secret to her people at such a moment. Have I ever seen that actress before? Turns out that’s who the guest is: Cristy [later: Kirsty or Khirsty] Alley or something. Wow. Beautiful. Intelligent. Great features. Funny. Good paling around with AH. Get down. Get candid. And her face and body kept moving and changing, but it really didn’t seem directed, it seemed to be her. Holy Mackel. Next ad. Michelle Pfeiffer is this torch singer again. Oh, please. Neither in any way affects my all time judgments about Mae March, Lillian Gish, Guilietta Massina, Bibi Anderson, or Claudia Cardinale (that one moment on the beach in 8 1⁄2). There’s this great girl putting a chocolate and coconut candy bar in her face and then walking away down the beach. Her ass could star in anything. There’s the blond I mentioned who wants a cold beer. Yow. But who could guess how she would do on Arsenio’s, kidding around and being interviewed?
The first time I ever saw Michelle Pfeiffer I almost died. I’d taken Richard and his kids to the movies in Princeton. Payment in full for six months rent. Lady Hawk. The kid is in the woods when this Robin Hood girl sticks this unbelievable ass right into the camera, winks it at you as she squat walks in the forest, then turns and smiles. christ, you don’t know which end of her is more fuckable. and crawling around like she really belongs there. what’s most ravishing? the only solution to that dilemna that I know of is to let each end have a turn. As I said to Barbara in Gorham, NH, do one and dream the other, both at once being impossible. She was the only part of that Alan Alda film that didn’t make me want to throw furniture at the screen. Then Eastwick showed she could act too. Now she sings. It doesn’t matter. Just look at that face. Somehow the exact opposite effect I was just thinking with this K Alley.