/ Journal /

previous save: 9/30/90
3:30 am CirK. in walks a skin head. I fantasize about who outguns who, the spades or the nazis, the cops not doing anything the media governed public opinion doesn’t tell them to do. and then not unless their own opinion 40% agrees.
just drove down from some boot camp in NC. Oh: he’s not a Nazi, he’s a Marine. a difference of no difference. ?
playing the SY22. wow. just improvising. left hand does chords, inversions, right hand wanders. wait, get them together again. hours go by. i notice left in F. ok, and right wanders Fishly. Bb, and right bows North by NE. JC! an einsteining 4th dimensional repulsive force reset the tracks. now that’s understanding the asymmetry, without having the math for it!!
one’s own morality is inapplicable to oneself and to one’s group, the group which one controls or is controlled by (cyber/both), except perhaps in a thought experiment, and thought experiments should always be humble. unless of course I have it exactly backwards and that it’s to others only that one’s morality is applicable. The Romans shouldn’t tax: we Jews should. Cancer cells shouldn’t cancer. Tigers shouldn’t eat. Corse if I eat them it’s ok.
but going back obverse, the further removed, especially in time, the less applicable one’s morality for any purpose but narcissistic superiority.
Consciousness and Species and Individuals, Society, and the Random:
the toddler can turn on the tv, yet we don’t say he understands electronics. but we do say that “man” does. or Americans. or some abstraction, not necessarily us personally. yet robins build nests by instinct. we don’t say that any particular robin knows engineering or even weaving.
it’s clear to all of us, from early on, that “leadership” isn’t intelligence or consciousness or being “right” about anything, but for mammalian territorial malishness. I personally don’t have to know how to knock the Rusky downski-Bush does. Us females and children can leave it to him. Us other males can behave and be pecked and rewarded.
we live and talk and are “rational” by left-brain-right, male-female, only sometimes at this or that point touching/communicating contradictions. we know that “intelligence” is important to “success,” we also all know the Harvard PhD genius at 14 janitor. Every hundredth janitor you meet was one, the rest all proper idiots. or black, or italian.
we all know that invention is rewarded and can list examples of rich innovators: Edison, GE, Warner Bros. We also know that the real innovator whose innovations the Edison Spielberg Bros are exploiting were under house arrest by the Vatican, just escaped from Germany, was crucified, or is that rare nonBlackItalian janitor.
We’re different; but we’re no different at all. Humans are smart; they were dumb before they were Americans, Republican, got to the 80s, etc, etc, joined my club, let me in theirs, let me squat in the ally of theirs.
we all know of whole classes who’ve never had a single idea not contemptible: women eg. Yet we also know that abilities are distributed to females as well as to males and according to averages, not social classing. so where did all those female ideas go?
it’s no surprise to any of us if it’s only in the last 15 years that anyone has attributed agriculture’s invention to women, neither does it surprise that the supported surmise remains unpublicized outside paleo circles.
We yin know we stole this continent; we yang know that we deserve it. Why? because we serve truth, justice, the American way. Law, Rights, punishment for crimes, rewards for virtues. respect for … hey, we can’t let the japs steal the pacific from us.
and we all know how profligate, wasteful Nature is. how husbanding we are. ho ho.
where do all those despised ideas go? all that oh no, dear, you’ll never get marries if you wear glasses governing, down holding?
wouldn’t it be interesting to investigate the histories, the futures of all those 14 yrs old Harvard PhDd janitors? I have personally looked superficially into one: Oma said blah blah about that Tannersville horsepet firewood guy. all I could see was that he wasn’t as stupid as the next hick over. he certainly wasn’t Harvard. that I could tell. that’s right, look superficially at 1% of the surface and call it an investigation. thorough is mathmatically impossible. Smollet Kissinger Law.
anyway, all that and such was running through my head together with my definition of the random this AM as I wondered whether to get up and boil the breakfast early.
How could evolution work if things were efficient?
Too I’ll bet that if we knew pleroma well enough, we’d find out that the atom is very poorly constructed, that all those interactions can only happen because of jury rigged instability painted like the Parthenon.
how do you hide something in plain sight? simple: misclassify it. like deleting a computer file. long as it’s not written over, it’s still “there,” with all its integrity intact save for its address, the first letter of its “name.”
we may outgrow, but never get rid of, where/what we come from. nature is personal, but not mammalian personal. like a matrix, personal, not paternal/maternal (except of course my perfectly acceptable subjective, subject tinted feelings of the subject.
subject/object, figure/field.
lifting up the skirts of things and looking underneath. religions, conservative of dead decorums, blanch.
t: the people who kill god
Ars sine scientia nihil est! Fermi Lab
semantic dream Chinese French opera in Vienna with Hil & Oma and a drainage trailer. some polyglot says that the cursing between the Chinese and Italians is even stronger than between the I’s and Germans.
fractal self-similarity. I expect some “identities” (in fractals the self-similar shapes are made up of the same recursive propagations, not the same cross-section-of-time details, not, by definition and by investigation, the investigation always, necessarily, and by definition, inconclusive because finite. No cross section in time can look around and say what the self-similarity is, for sure. With the Mandelbrot Set, we are given the “god” perspective, or should that be a god perspective: the bug. But in it (layers and layers of in), I can imagine a detail of filigree looking out over the gulf and seeing nothing and seeing nothing and seeing nothing, then spying a filigree approaching closer and closer, calling out to the rest of his filigree, look, other filigree, being ostracized, don’t be disrespectful, we’re it, we’re alone, we’re special, unique, etc (all nonsense unless asked relative to what) … till another, then more and more, and the two filigrees watch each other approach each other, imagining that they’re repelling the other, finally deciding that it’s they who are attracting the other, embracing the other, merging, melding, the father of the bride-the groom-the bride, … Meanwhile off in the gulf a self-similar gap, a place where no math is seen to collide, is thinking: I’m alone, I’m unique, I’m nothing, ie. infinitely vast, tumescent, pregnant … Another part of the “field” thinks, then what are those “realities,” those extensional frictions that have floated into view in our mythology? Here comes one. Eons later, there it goes, see it was an illusion, that reality … So, the infinite details of the “figure,” like the infinite details of the “ground,” like the bug view itself, also infinitely self-similar.
How about a piece of detail which finds itself surrounded by pieces of detail, gradually moves out further along the coast, finding itself more and more surrounded by field? urbs becomes rural, becomes isolation? The details of the set are infinitely different right down to how the “whole” (that which can no more be seen than can we decide that a particular focus is the end, beginning, or middle) will look from any set of points.
But now we’ve got a different class of similarities and differences: rural, urban … ground, field …
The set is finite. It’s internally that it’s infinite. But there are other things outside the set that are not inside it, not that set at all. Mandelbrot, holding a commercially available Mandelbrot set visual, BK’s office calendar’s single month, is not in that set. The possible sets may be infinite.
Yet there may be a self-similarity to how Mandelbrot, and all outside the set whose depiction he is holding in his hand, including all other possible Mandelbrot sets, and even including the set he is holding, are details, field and ground, and detail, and whole, of some other not-Mandelbrot, or Mandelbrot, or like-Mandelbrot, or not-like-Mandelbrot set.
Because some declaration of similarity may prove to be false it does not mean that there then will be no similarity which is not false.
(wouldn’t it be that all generations of even the same M-set would be fact be infinitely non-identical in detail?)
modern atomic theory comes along. right away some scientists say, oh, like a little solar system. right away some s-f imagination, gee, what if they’re all inhabited, and gee what if they then are all made of little atoms and …
a little more theory and little more experiment, and no, they’re not similar after all. and you can begin on an infinity of difference. but then a me can come along and say, sure, that similarity was superficial, but now you’re all forcing yourselves to miss others that are similar. you’re all sea sick cause you used to be able to navigate with shore in sight. now you’re at sea and no longer believe there is a shore. are no longer sure that even the shore you embarked from still exists. (of course in once sense, it no longer does, the farrier burned down and there’s a bank there now. seaman smythe’s wife died and seaman jones’ wife had twins. it’s no longer the widow burke who watches nights, but new widow douglas does. latin is no longer taught in the school, but soon spanish will be. or is it japanese? soon twain will be harder to read than shakespeare.
theology to me should, ahem, be what I’m doing here: testing the metaphor. rejecting this and that one, but not rejecting Metaphor.
whew. once again, twelve or thirteen hours of sleep after days of two hours here, falling asleep on my feet there, dosing over being stunned at having not one new idea left for the synth. sitting with my back out for days after not being able to believe how the variety never stopped. who could have imagined that Paul could sit at a keyboard and start moving his fingers and twelve hours later still be moving them and only be repeating a little, and not one bit of sheet music referred to in the meantime. Playing out of inversions, 2nd as well as first. Playing I, V7, VI but modal and no known to me relationship (or non-relationship) as well.
what could possibly not be related?
I don’t see any relation between Christians and Moslems. Therefore there is none. And therefore, if you try to find one, I’ll kill you as I kill them. There, you want justification? That Moslem just tried to kill me. But Schmuck, he’s on another continent. That’s just words that your sycophant just repeated to you. And your reporter doesn’t even speak their language.
I don’t see any between whites and blacks. Whales, ok, but don’t give me no sentimental shit about scorpions.
Ok, I’ll support matter. But anti-matter has got to go.
Good. We’re playing our parts.
Ok, sleep. I wake at ten PMish. Sure to be up and about for my ride with Robert this next AM.
I’m very wrapped in the synth, but in another avoid real work at all costs phase. This my first session in id for I don’t know how long. Months. Not that this is real work. But it goes with it. It’s not the weather, but is a barometer.
anyway, unbelievable that’s it’s the 1100 not the 22 that my fingers touch. tube on while I breakfast. perfect timing on the cantaloupe. another perfect thing that I too have gone far out of my way to fail to appreciate. perverting the taste with wrong sugars.
funny lines from a sit com. Empty nests. and a pretty girl. still I change the channel. something worse. Hunter. Eugh. Colombo. Eugh. Ah, soldiers getting blown up. William Holden. Carrol OConner. What the fuck is wrong the the girl and the funny lines? an ad for Arsenio. some more guests. some other pretty girl. some other funny lines. some other now perversion of music.
and I think: that’s it! it’s the weave. this girl, like the last, and the one on the other channel … she’s pretty, she’s funny, but she, and arsenio and william holden, and maybe less so, perversion so, more so, I don’t know, me too … we’re all composites. all how evolution looks at itself. runs itself up the flag pole and sees who and what salutes. a three week run. thirteen. four seasons. still going in another decade. the British Empire. Empiricism. Magic. Religion. Science gets a short run. who’s saluting? is the product moving? Enough of this materialism. turbulence from the Nth big bang? that god turns away from us, emptiness, here comes another. Reason. so clear. who could doubt it? no need of definition. our soul. huh? I don’t even know what it is? Qué futu ya talkin ’bout, neh?
the tv girl is a nice genetic product, our culture, our schools’ too. an NBC make up crew. fashion’s meritocracy. a whiz from CCNY whose parents and neighbors can’t believe he’s a writer for Letterman at age 22, gets one of his lines used. carson/letterman/arsenio respond with a line written by the old Harvard fart. c/l/a follows up with own improv which is just as good. unblievable, this cuny in the sequins says something funny which hadn’t even been prep’d. well why not? she’s not here for no talent but the plastic surgeons’.
run it up the flag pole and see who salutes. civilization in a 10,000 year run. some of its virtue/poison will be in the debris of whatever follows.
and a local infinity of perspectives from which to see/say: no, it’s still going on. it’s the same continent. horseshit, it’s just a promontory. you’re all wrong: it’s part of that sea.
after a while, infinitely? again, someone sees a bug. after another eon, someone else sees another. one who sees one knows of eons old sightings, another not. one has been repeated as meaning not bug, but more filigree, our filigree. one hears that and suddenly, yeah, but that may not have been what was originally meant. originally? what’s that?
Mandelbrot holds a bug in his hand. Fine, but at what level? is it an outside? does it have an outside. Mandelbrot’s topo point may be that it has no outside because it has no end, finite but infinitely self-similar, self-replicating, self-turning away. but we’ll still see the one in his hand and think: that’s the top. that’s the Ur-bug.
we watch Michael Jackson and have some awareness of his bleaching and his nose jobs and also of his brilliance. some will even have some sense of his roots. some will have primarily a sense of his roots. black music/dance syncopation. hey, wait. beethoven syncopated too. shit, so did Bach. what did they know of this African stuff? modern schmodern. shit, the whites brought plenty to jazz. and to the blues too. and MJack? his bleached nose jobs tell a truth. fucking Disney World.
no tap root, those roots go all over the place. ass hole, all those roots are a tap root.
we watch MJ and see the corp production. or we see the talent. we see the convention/or the rebellion. hard to see both at once.
anyway, thank you movies and tv, always promoting themselves, making the awareness of viewing part of the viewing (thereby creating a new envelope that isn’t part of the viewing, isn’t conscious, but is ordering/ed matrix.
we 20th-c Am consumers aware of the packaging, the presentation. oh for the days off simplicity. the genuine. the Globe theater. as though that weren’t produced. as though Sh weren’t a composite. As though the king or his barons or the priests or the peasant had one self and that self regulated.
ok, so we know the peasant was regulated by the economic/pol environment. and the king wasn’t?
or the king was, but Napoleon wasn’t. we still feel his will.
how much of his will was his? how much that of gun powder? civ? the wheat? is it mammo/primate/homo colonizing? or self destructing? field ground? both at once? or a bug? all of the above? none of the above?
god is above these categories.
but as soon as we talk about one, haven’t we categorized him. As soon as we say he’s a she, haven’t we categorized?
The trap catches a lobster. Does it catch Lobster? Life?
we see Abraham as a beginning. or as a continuation of god’s plan. a new covenant. magical preference for this particular tribe and future ex empire. Abe was a male and a herder and no doubt wanted just that. but primarily I bet he saw himself in the middle of a muddle, inexplicable and inextricable.
just like all of us.
you see a bug. you see a series of bugs. you see what I’m seeing and others see their seeing as threatened. brilliant, maybe. but we all know how stupid brilliance is. there, QED, ignore it.
fucking yo-yo can’t zip his pants. buggy. sees bugs. thinks he’s the bug.
how trust the Gospel? J = X? fucking magician, thinks he’s god. so what if the magic worked this time. all the more reason not to trust him.
what would J’s perspective have been?
I can imagine frustration at the thinking good sense or good leadership was magic. I can see frustration turning to mock megalomania with Pilat. “Sez you.” I can also see the megalomania as real. They’re not taking the metaphor seriously. Stupid ass holes. What can I do? I’ll pretend to take it literally. Will that project seriousness?
Ow, the pain. Maybe he died with the literal mockery frozen into a “final” “reality.” Or was it the opposite? Being forsaken? Death waking up from megalomaniz into extensional mortality? an organism?
To what extend was J’s G not the G of Abe? (or the G attributed to Abe)
Incontrovertible. J, the rebel.
To what extent the same?
Look at a Mandelbrot set and see what it says about sameness and difference. Self-similar with no details identical. The recursive, infinitely finite god. of infinite infinities. all finite? where you can never say what the end is.
could even “he”? from a different level? a level perpendicular to the bug series? perpendicular to N that?
isn’t what we see of cosmological topology that we don’t know what the topology is? Closed? Parabolic? Hyperbolic? Torus? Saddle?
We find circles at level after level. Is there a saddle somewhere that holds all the circles? or a circle somewhere that holds all the saddles. or a finite or infinite series discrete circles and saddles? is such math super or sub universe? super or sub cosmos?
is an awareness of nonawareness an awareness?
can natural language possibly say anything “true”? how about artificial language? how about poetry?
what’s more natural than a natural language artificially emphasizing its own limits in paradox? J and StP and the writers of Gen. Become a child. Fool for X. Reborn.
All right, idiots: just try and take this literally: The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth. In the beginning, God … An Eye for an Eye. Lilies of the field … toil not … even Solomon …
How could such tripe be tolerated by the ex-empire, the scions of the grass, by civ?
By taking it literally, a koan, so it can have no meaning. now we’re safe from it, and can go on with the destruction. turning figure to field and field to figure. applying some recursion we don’t even know about. Exactly. Just right.
And he who sees that is said to think he knows everything. That’s right: get it backwards. Now we who know we don’t know much are triumphant and can act like we know everything. That’s what the really ignorant, our wives and children, our subjects, the mouths in the marketplace, will think.
id files. I say something good and soon I’m babbling. Or is it that I babble and soon or late, say something good? Beats me. Don’t care. Just do it.
I know I started with the intention of expressing something. A couple of things. I know I touched on them somehow. But did I get them? Couldn’t it have been done quicker? More succintly? No, not by me.
“Don’t just sit there …” long camera on the silver templed idiot’s face, shinning over his theology robes … “do something.” long camera on his face, doing nothing but holding the pose. good old video tape. ad nauseum.
Every day, morning noon and night, the journalists, the politicians, the committee people show some behavior of the society and want to do something about it. the one thing they never show awareness of or a desire to do something about is their own iteration of doing something about what they perpetually make no effort to understand.
gang wars. why don’t we go into the bush and stop the rams from butting heads in mating season? they’re fighting again. put them in jail. rehabilitate them. the May beetles from flying into the fire in their mating frenzy. send them to flight school. redesign them to fly like bees. interference is best accomplished when you have no idea what the design was for and absolutely no awareness of any design that you could be participating in.
classical cause and effect. free will. part of the coloring of the nice filigree coastline.
another think i love about the preachers. if tv preacher cites something, it is of course the Bible. of course he also hopes that he’ll be cited. name names, other than his. J or StP will be acceptable.
how about credit Fuller or Tom Wolfe with all the ideas and phrases that silver side rips off? preach the commandments by breaking them. in telling you not to steal, the priest shows how to do it openly.
but then, they’re core. the academic in his vanity of thinking he can trace sources is most ignorant, most vain. at first, it seemed easy. ok, we’ve got the bible over here. two or three important names to remember. ok, maybe a dozen. forget it, we all know we can’t name the disciples.
it ok, only two or three are important: J & P & P. Now we’ve got Adam, and Noah, and Abe, and David, and now J. And J & P & P. And Mary. Three or four Marys. can’t keep track. ok, a googol of Marys. but it’s not important. only one is important. ok, two. So, it’s simple. Adam and Noah and Abe and David (should we include Samuel? how about Solomon? no,) and J. Jesus Joseph and Mary. and P & P. That’s too many. No, it just God, and J and the Holy Ghost. And me, silver priest, telling you.
Sorry, Silver. It’s the Ren, and I want to cite Plato too. Whoops, here’s Aristotle. It’s ok. Now it’s just the Bible and Plato and Aristotle. That’s three. You can count to three, can’t you?
Hey, Buddy. look at this great stuff. smut. whoopie. Ovid.
The Bible and Plato and Aristotle and Ovid.
That’s why we have specialists. Here, you memorize Chaucer and Sh and Wordsworth. And while you’re at it, Kittridge and Trilling and Rollins. And Baker. Ane me, your Freshman instructor.
And we’ll memorize Newton and Galileo and Einstein. And Pauli and Gell Mann. Feynmann, that’s stretching too far.
So it’s back to the Bible and silver hair. That’s two.
And I remember Radiance so fresh and can smell her. Going into the book store, the time I couldn’t afford to buy Chaos and ordered it anyway. Faith.
Radiance goes over to the little pamphlet section. Here’s my favorite author, she tells me. Some fundamentalist press with some author and a title, The Me Generation. 1988. I flip through. Ill written. And no mention of Wolfe’s essay, without which the pamphlet couldn’t have existed. Why couldn’t he have written it? Come on, one blatant theft and nothing else to say and no grace even in showing the stolen goods? Could Roseanne win Wimbledon? I don’t mean to demean possibility, not me, but please … see a thief as a thief.
Or better yet, steal everything, have no awareness of your parentage, but get rid of those impossible commandments. Take whatever comes your way, but make no idiot claims to consciousness.
Reading Ferris so wonderful. Plato & Ar and all this shit about reason and empiricism. Then the Ren and Galileo harks back to Aristarchus and Archimedes a little, but really goes more steps into checking. makes a fool out of Aristotle. Empiricism the big thing.
Now we spend all our money to accelerate particles to get deeper and deeper into an admission that we don’t know how the fuck the universe is put together. Back to Medieval scholasticism.
more tv, actually half watching this time, for the first time in months (not counting this year’s championships, NBA & now Wimbledon). wish I’d jotted some details before forgetting them, but I love how the repetition of the misperception becomes the reality. Les Fauves. Providence Line. Michael J Fox & Family Ties, an 80s Brando & The Wild One. Motorcycle punks terrorize the town. The egregious Stanley Kramer plots one of his little homilies, but then casts Brando as the lead punk … and we get a beat icon, an image unutterably profound and more complex than Kramer’s half assed sociology. Some exliberal urban jew writes an autobio family where the middlebrow rads sire Reagan juniors. Fox is cast as the super-square. Now, the retro advertizes reruns and it’s all MJFox, “I’m hip, I’m cool, I’m a happenin’ fool,” he says, and zillions take it at face value. Yeah, he is. The actor bigger than, translating the conception.
Now I remember one. Mad has a devolution piece, a lampoon of the idea of progress, showing regress. “Nurturing mothers, with Roseanne as the now nadir, includes Maude! as the middle of the series! Even Mad taking mother and nurturing as redundant or tautological.
Be an interesting study to detail how normal it is for insults, Les Fauves, to become title, to become the standard, the insult forgotten, unintelligible.
I think it’s already well enough known how illiterate transforms complicate etymology: provence becomes providence, with simple politico geo made redolent with religion. the trick is that the puritans who made the switch replaced something unfamiliar and meaningless with something familiar, pronouncable, and ahem meaningful.
I flip in despair, but wait, there’s Barbarella. Do I really need to see that proof that my most hated movie maker was actually great at least once a third time in a half or so year? I eat a midnight lunch and find myself watching it more and more closely. And tying it right in with my preexisting thoughts: how marvelous and artful plain whorish horseshit can be. Trash s-f becoming some of the best s-f more than once. Porm really erotic. A great love movie. Vadim really loves pussy, sex, and Jane.
So many of its deliberately anomalous lines really profound.
“What do you think when you make love to Barbarella?”
“Make love? An angel doesn’t make love; an angel is love.”
“And you’ll be a dead duck.”
“I guess I’m not the tube type.”
Immejiately followed by Agatha Christie. I default to my usual thoughts about the English love of mystery going hand in glove with the oversecurity of too successful an imperialism. And keep it up right past the Blitz of London and their slide down the loo. Of course it’s also a reaction to overrationalism: 18th-, 19th-Cen type. Sherlock Holmes as a satire of the cold shoulder to Romanticism, the trivialization of instinct and the elephantiasis of deduction. Bill Bixby at his most OhPleaseWalkOnMyFace gentlemanly. MIT probability man who clearly knows no more math than Miss Agatha. The theorist who prefers his supposed Law to Experience. And is right! For the wrong reasons of course. Because neither theoretical law nor successful sleuthing addresses the hidden reality most obverse in both civ and hard boiled detective fiction: fings are not what they appear. AKA: we are not what we say we are.
And I skipped saying what the horseshit probability was: old gal on train tells ProfBix that improb # of people have died. Therefore it wasn’t probable. Therefore murder. (so her probability didn’t include all factors in the first place) (Murder in AgCh isn’t improbable; it’s a certainty) But probability makes no prediction about the past. When Bix says his predictions aren’t certain because his science isn’t perfect, he fundamentally misunderstands his own field. The prediction is that the array will be the array, not that any particular detail will be this or that.
funny. sitting here, a zillion things I thought had slipped for good are coming back to me. watching Lord Greystoke again, how many weeks ago now? since BK was here, for sure, thinking these apes exist not at all in creatura except in that part of it which is humana. hollywood species. ditto the humans. creatures purely of post industrial propaganda. and betraying its desperation.
funny question: this is supposed to represent a switch in belief to evolution? fine: whatever the age of the world, infinite or born yesterday, how did complex creatures ever evolve where the big point is to be biggest and then to murder everything big?
24 hrs later. couldn’t sleep for beans. John Ford’s Cheyenne Autumn on tube while I make French toast and perc a half decaf pot. 51 yrs old and a first. how long have I been riding bikes? lived on the saddle of my Columbia from what? seven? to fourteen or so. rode no hands up curbs and over stumps. dip and weave. lady on Sunrise Hwy once told me I was doing around 40 for a brief spurt. can that even have been possible? but some horny dog was chasing me. never saw anything so love a leg. ok, then seldom on pedlars till I bruised my ass on Lindy’s racer, bought my own the next day, and promptly did in the rims by hitting debris at speed which my fat tired Columbia would simply have vaulted over. stop on a dime too, though when I took it apart, the bike guy said I had no brakes: couldn’t have had for ages, drum smooth as a bearing. don’t tell me: I could lock the rear wheel and slide like a scrambler.
then I’m twenty some odd: -4 or -5. had never lusted for a motorcycle. held no mystic for me. Brando yes, his Triumph no. if I had any attitude at all, I probably looked down on them. unconscious social striation. Late Army days, Phil lusts and lusts. I accompany him to Ghost in Port Washington. Accept a test ride from the salesman. LI hillbilly in leather jacket, tarry blond hair, sallow, skinny, teeth mostly gone and hardly more than eighteen. what kind you wanna see? he’d asked. Phil’s pointing out to me, oo, look, an Indian, oo, BSA … There’s this BMW standing there and Phil says “the 500.” being modest or imaginative economical I guess cause it was standing next to a 650 and Phil couldn’t afford either. Funny to remember it now and know exactly what we were looking at when I had no idea at the time. “Suicide shift” on the Indian. Yes, I had heard of that. BMW, yes I had heard of that too. Trash comes back with Phil. Phil looks happy. I get on. Yawn, what a bore. Smooth, surprising comfortable, like a luxury car but with the wind and grit in your eyes. Fast? The Cyclone at Cony Island was fast; this was a bore. Except for how trash would pull up next to cars at lights and whistle into the open windows of female drivers. Goes out of his way to pass the grammar school to wave at some 12 year old. What the fuck am I doing here? I try to be polite to Phil’s enthusiasm.
Then I see Brian in the Whitehorse. He tells me he’s just bought the biggest fastest motorcycle he could afford. Norton Atlas. 750 but punched out and tuned. Means nothing to me. Though I now remember Brian at Ingolf’s everyday working on that hot rod that never got off the blocks. Ingolf’s broken ribs from where the junk pile falls on him. And one of them in a black leather jacket with the zipper crossing in a swoop up the belly and over the chest. and all this stupid shit hanging off, some couple of leather belts at the wrist. silver metal star studs. though not hundreds or even dozens of them. just some. So I see Carey again at the Whitehorse or visit his place on Perry St. I don’t know, somehow this time, maybe it being Carey, maybe it being the second time, I’m hoping for a ride. Sure enough, we head over toward MacDougal. Around the block to Hudson again, Bleecker, and slash south east. Carey is both more sane and authoritative than I’d have given him credit for. “Hold me around the waist. Don’t resist. Trust me and go with it.” Fucking thing is loud. It’s shaking and rattling, but the saddle is surprisingly comfortable. Good friends with Carey for years, room mates for half a year, and this is probably the first time I’m touching him. “Put you feet up on the pegs, and keep them there.” Ok. VarROOOM. and we’re at a stop sign impossibly far away. Varoom, and the next three blocks further. I glace over his shoulder, see the speedometer. Varoom, the the needle jumps sharply up and falls sharply back and Brian brakes for Seventh Ave. Varoom and we’re in the West Village. I couldn’t fucking believe it. Not quite that first drop on the Cyclone, but close.
Wouldn’t feel anything like it again till Mom pays to fly me down from Watertown for Dale’s wedding. The plane is loud and shakes like hell, taxis, fast, faster, and then just before lift off, roar, and there was a moment, not quite free fall in the parachute jump, but a real change in velocity.
I see Carey and he and the Norton have slid under a taxi. So now he has a Lotus Elan.
Haven’t been on many big bikes. Once, since then, borrowed that Triumph Bonneville at Colby. 650. 70 in second. 107 on Rt 1 with that hefty girl up in back. But nothing ever again like the Atlas and those few bursts on Bleeker Street.
Lindy’s BMW 650S nothing like that.
So Anton and I buy the little YL-1. Then my trail 100. Then the 350. All Yamaha. This or that moment on other bikes.
years without any such a thing, and now my Honda again. All told, spans 25 from first motorcyle ownership to now. Doesn’t add up to a lot of miles in car terms, all local, zip up, down, across town, but only one interstate trip on the 350. A few hours up on Lindy’s and I’d been shaking and vibrating for hours after. could hardly close my hands. insanity to want to spend much time on such a monster. and it didn’t accelerate anything like the Atlas.
so, not many miles, maybe 30,000 all told, but plenty of experience. zip, dip, weave, scrape the pegs, slide the rear wheel and still hold it, forge streams, climb Katahdin, Sugarloaf, do doughnuts in the snow.
But never, never till yesterday, did I ever ride with another bike as companion.
Either I’m turning social again, or society is finding me again. Not that I ever was social or that it ever found me. But a change from my recent extreme. Fri, I sitting and minding my own business, knock, just a minute, and a neighbor must have thought I’d said come in, cause the door starts to open before I’ve got the cut offs on or the brass zipper rushing past my naked dick. Don’t even know his name, but he’s got eggs and sherbet in his hands. another neighbor heads north and empties the fridge. Another knock. When was the last time that happened? Two visitors at once? Not counting the landlord. Come in, come in. Who’s this guy? I think I’ve seen him before. No clue to or from the first neighbor. Then he says how’s the bike? and I see it’s Robert, the former owner of the Honda, come to check up on his ex-baby. And would I like to ride Sunday morning?
I follow, he leads. No wonder he got 100 mpg. And he used to be a Harley man. Interstate trucking. Delivered buses to 48 states. Maybe he’s afraid of losing me. He heads up 27. I’m sorry I put myself in his hands. Even on an empty Sunday, I don’t want to ride on 27. Not for pleasure. But he cuts west on 66, and except for having to switch to reserve with no idea when the next gas would come, it’s nice, very nice. Robert seldom goes much over fifty and never quite 60. Great. I don’t like to go fast; I just like to accelerate hard, ride curves hard. Bugs and grit stinging down a straight away? No thank you. 50, 53, very comfortable. Beautiful morning. For an idiot. No gas. No oil or sun block on my naked arms, and me living like a mushroom.
Approaching Wauchula, spaces open with great old live oaks, dripping with Spanish moss. Did you see the bison in the field? No, but I sure saw the live oaks. gas at a Circle K of all places, and Robert’s usual Sunday morning restaurant where he takes his girl friend. a large group of fancy big tourers parked in back. and back via Zolpho Springs. So great, so we won’t be out all day after all. And me burning up, my arms scorched through the night.
But Robert quickly gets off 64 E. Some Pioneer Park. Nice. Glad he showed me, wouldn’t have guessed it was so nice. Come fishing here sometime. Maybe tent camp. I see a Swallow Tail Kite on the funny little road he finds. Brahma bulls. Wooden bridges. We stop and check out the gators and turtles. And finally the dirt road into the back of Highland Hammock and I see a part of that park for the first time. Not the last. Fish there. Mid the gators. Charlie Bowleg Creek.
home in time for match points one and two, Edberg defeats Becker. Fell asleep yesterday after Martina won first set over Garrison. So happy the way Zina played the first game. Then so happy to see Martina dominate. Gotta love the result either way. Long as at least one of them plays well. Best if they both play well.
Never a big Edberg fan for more than a day or two at a time. But when his game is on, he’s one of those who looks like nobody ever could ever beat him. Only the great ones ever look like that more than once or twice. Laver, again and again. Newcombe, again and again. Borg, encore. Yeah, Mac too, sometimes. But never the same. More often than not he looked like he ought to be beaten. First time I ever saw Lendle. teenager. indoors. Wham! Pow! Christ, what a forehand! Awesome. Curren, Cash when their serves were clicking, they didn’t look like they needed much else. Then Becker. Christ, how I wanted him to win that first year. And he did. Never so excited again till Michael Chang’s French. But Chang so different: how can he be doing it? Not: How can he fail? No, no chance of thinking of Chang in the same category as Laver or Borg.
So Edberg had another such day. Two such, back to back. When he’s on, has anyone ever been more beautiful at the net? Mac such great touch. Yes. But never beautiful as a whole. Borg: the angelic assassin NBC said today. Got to be Bud Collins’ phrase. So gorgeous when he was a teenager. Oh, please, oh, no, it can’t be so: he can’t be so beautiful and so good and keep it up. Then he comes out unshaven, ugly beard, the blond turns dirty. so tough, he was always beautiful anyway. the viking.
but Edberg. no teenager, but how nice blond can be. the mature angel. can take a fireball and carress it.
stay up for Dorsey Paez: two ugliest guys since Spinks. How could Paez have any fans? Yich. How dare he nail Dorsey the way he would after himself taking 300 unanswered blows?
But then can’t sleep.
turn on the tube. maybe I’ll be able to shuffle through till dawn. then rest for work. instant other host of memories at view of Richard Widmark in doorway, then some Quaker dame always spelling things out. When people spell things at me, I tend to just look at them in disbelief. Make no attempt to “read” what they’re “saying.” Then, uh oh, still groggy, unfocused, expecting to remain so till … don’t know when, but … one thought after another. and with all or most of them, the feeling that it was something I hadn’t written down, hadn’t told Brian till he could sling it back to me under a title rubric: “the cop and the professor”; K’s map/territory; mom’s “and there they are.”
don’t know. am never sure. what if I make no attempt ever to catch any of it? what’s my catch ever worth? I just put it in a bag and leave it. well, sometimes this and that shows up in the story. so what? who’s ever read them? but maybe someday I’ll go though all this, do more than start, make sense of it. cut out the garbage or move to a trash file. look at the 50,000 cousins of thought 1S5W19b and maybe keep two or three. throw out the repetitions. that seem so fresh when I wake up thinking them. oo, oo, gotta note that. later: what? that? that’s what I bothered to push buttons for?
Cheyenne Autumn came out when Anton and Rose were living also in 440. Rose supposed to be so brilliant. Highest grade-point average ever at Bryn Mawr. I always took Anton’s word for it. I loved Rose, but she always seemed a little foolish to me. Anyway, my early life growing up, movies were just movies to me. I didn’t see a lot of them. Some registered. One was a vision that filled me with wonder, bewilderment, and reverence: La Strada. but others must have made an impression on me too, cause when I saw La Belle et La Bete at 20ish, I knew every image from when my father took me to it at age 8 or so. Though I was aware of none of it till I saw it again as a young adult. Now, every once in a while, I see some John Wayne thing on tv and recognize, hey, that’s the movie that mom had to carry me out of the theater for when I was an upset toddler. “Why is that thing (the giant octopus) attacking the pretty lady?” Find out when that came out and find out how old I was. Or was I five then and a squalling toddler in another?
Anyway, even my consciousness of movies, even of La Strada, or Roshomon, was not a conscious habit.
A forerunner of change was DeJong knocking at midnight and telling me detail after detail of The Seventh Seal. Meant nothing to me. I didn’t want to hear about this shit. His words didn’t evoke the images. Or did they? Cause, when I saw the film, I then remembered every word, though I hadn’t noticed them at the time I was hearing them. Straight past short term memory, but pure into long term. “Consciousness” being mostly short term.
Then one day Billy and somebody say they’ve seen The Magnificent Seven. (Now, since the 60s I’ve always and only heard the Kurasawa original referred to as The Seven Samurai, and then early 60s Yul Brenner as The Magnificent Seven; but I swear I saw The Seven Samurai the first time or the first two times as “The Magnificent Seven” and that when Hollywood did the rip off, the title was already familiar to me. How carefully were titles controlled then? Could one theater have played it as one title and another another? Translation, after all. Maybe Hollywood liked it and bought the title and even rip off rights from K who there agreed to change his own title thereafter in English realeases. I sure don’t know.) Then Nick says he’s seen it. Again. Then Billy says he heard or he thought or somebody said it was as good as Roshomon. !!! Now I listened. Hey, wait a minute. Nothing could be as good as Roshomon except La Strada.
I had no consciousness at the time that it was odd, or different, different from my RVC school buddies anyway, that the movies that really struck me all had funny foreign names. Anyway, it wasn’t so. So had High Noon. And Shane. But no: not like La Strada. Or like Roshomon. No, I thought High Noon was great. Shane shivered me to my marrow. Great. But not a religious experience like La Strada. Not What the Hell is This great, alien great, like Roshomon.
And I’m leaving something out. Borny once said, want to see a foreign film? Sure. Not knowing what that was. (La S & R weren’t “foreign films”; they’d won Oscars. Or I’d probably not have seen them then. Possibly never.) (Though then how explain LaBelle&L’Bet?)
Anyway, I wrankle at the comparisoned praise. On the other hand, I pay attention when Nick says he’s seen it twice. Then Nick says he planned to see it every single day for a week.
Can I come? No, I want to see it alone.
Wow. I was so impressed with Nick. So were we all. Even just the college student, the foreign college student, spending, being able to spend, that kind of money in a pursuit. (dumb american prejudice as though only Ams could be rich.) (Hey, look at the money Knatz spends on records and at Birdland. No, that’s different, that’s jazz. You don’t understand.) Nick was assigned to us. A dorm room assignment. Lucky us. He didn’t seem to care. He didn’t protest it. Just wanted to be left alone. Moved to a single soon as possible. Often didn’t answer the door. No, I was reading. No, I was having a cup of coffee, he’d later explain. Maybe. If we were lucky, he’d deign to explain. Who cared if he was lying. Maybe he was asleep. Maybe he was jerking off. But he deigned to explain to us, to admit he was there.
A year or so later, Nick and I go to MOMA. My home! since age 15! and we stand in front of Picasso’s The Artist’s Studio for ten minutes or so. I move off. Visit a couple of rooms. Come back. Nick is still standing in one spot. If he’s blinked, you can’t tell. A mono, like Rudy. Ok, I love Picasso. But not The Artist’s Studio. Not then. I came to to love that period of Picasso. Now if he’d been standing in front of Girl with a Mandolin or Man with Gitar from the blue period … or Guernica …
Now 1958, 1959 Knatz had nothing to say about much of what he loved in MOMA. And Knatz had really nothing to say about A’s Studio. But there’s Nick, he won’t budge. Stupid Knatz feels he has to say something, maybe get Nick started … Why? How? What’s ever started Nick before? What has Nick ever said that was intelligent? Perceptive? Ok, the way he was laughing while reading Don Quixote in Spanish was unmistakable, but still, he hadn’t said anything.
And that was Nick’s strength. The fact that he had any strength at all. His independence. His indifference to us. We so socially oriented, so relatively insecure. That we have to gad after 15 year old Myron. Who also ignored us. And Nick.
PK’s triumph. One morning, 57 maybe, close the West End, DeJong’d thought to buy a six pack last minute before 4 at the Robber Baron’s. We go over to Morningside Park to drink a bit more and watch the sun come up. Hanging around. the sun’s up and we’re still hanging around. How about Riker’s for breakfast? I dunno. Whadyou wanna do, Marty?
Hours and hours with Nick, wishing he’d say something to me, wishing I knew what to say to him. Stuck in some school in another country with another language at 15 and all As? Hey Nick, says DeJong, having snatched his report and refused to give it back, you only got all A-s your first year there. “Yes, but I deedn’t speek Eenglis then.” I forgot the point of the just before story: I go back and Nick is standing in front of the Artist’s Studio. Hasn’t budged. Knatz fumbles for something to say. “Do you like that painting?” “I love this painting.” “Huh? Well, I guess I like it too. Not as much as his other stuff. You gotta write a paper on it? I wouln’t know what to say.” “I could write for days and not begin to do it justice.”
Whaa? Write for days? Not begin to do justice? Come on, we’re kids. No, not Nick. He was Bogart.
Write for days. Inconceivable to me then. Even thought the story I’d written in the sixth grade was several pages, and I pecked at the typewriter for hours, and loved it, still, days …
But what write for days? His papers didn’t seem long. And he wouldn’t let us see them anyway. Wasn’t Nick the guy who got an A in CC after writing “This is bullshit.” in the blue book and walking out only five minutes into the final? Yes, but he had A going into the exam. They already knew who he was.
Ok, so, we’re drinking beer, no the beer is gone, and the sun is up, and Whaddyawanna do is going around, and I so wish I could be close to Nick, and suddenly, I have an inspiration: I know what I’m going to do, I announce, no discussion invited, I’m going home, and I swivel about face and march.
Me too, Nick says, and I hear him hurrying up to my side from behind.
Don’t blow it, Knatz thinks. Don’t even look at him. Just walk. And I felt very close to him. Back in the dorm, a bow like nod, a half second of stern eye contact. Good night. and turned to my room. Ditto, bow, eye, and Good Night, Paul, from Nick, and the sounds of him turning away.
I do hope Nick is alive after all that shit about committing suicide at thirty.
Anyway, I went to see The Magnificent Seven with whomever. Wow. A preview of what would happen in another year. Alan and somebody are talking about Nights of Cabiria. Oh, yes, she says, his wife, is in this one too. I hear she’s even better, Alan says. Yes, I hear that the whole thing is better than (and I haven’t actually heard any of this yet) La Strada.
What?? !! Blasphemy. These people can’t know what they’re talking about. What could be as good as, let along better than, La Strada? And I’m very angry with everybody.
I keep leaving things out. Qualifications. Exceptions. Borny said lets see a foreign film. Sure. 1955sih. Illicit Interlude. His sister takes us. Oh, is that what foreign film means. Funny little theater, more money for a ticket, and a string of pictures of some girl bare ass in a lake. Euphemism for porn.
Then for years, through the rest of the 50s, every time I go to the Thalia, Illicit Interlude, early Bergman, is the second feature. I see it a dozen times. Then, when the Bergman craze heats up, oh, you mean The Seventh Seal is the Illicit Interlude guy?, I realize I’ve seen more Bergman than everybody else put together, almost as much as I’ve seen Cyrano.
Back again. finally, Alan says Cabiria is at the New Yorker. With Orpheu Negro. Awright! Can’t see that too many times. We go with Judy. Orpheu first. Love it, love it. Ok, now I grit myself for hostility. No stupid, give it a chance. Well, I didn’t have to. It gave itself a chance. Total rapt attention from PK from the first moments along the canal.
Stumbling out of the theater, I’d been exhausted emotionally from Black Orpheus, and exhausted physically before we went in from fucking Judy’s stupid brains out for the last several days. Dumb c-, heaving herself up like a whore, pushing, pushing, of course she couldn’t come. Why don’t you just calm down and relax a minute and give yourself a chance? And she came.
Eat me, she says and flings her legs wide, spreading her ass hole under my nose. Phaugh! And I couldn’t get it up again for weeks. But that was later.
We come stumbling out of the theater, summer sun blinding. Please, oh, please, Alan, just stay quiet for five minutes please, I have to think. If I can just concentrate, every detail of the film, this film that’s replaying itself before me right now, will be etched permanently into my marrow.
And that was my first conscious consciousness that films could have an auteur, that La Strada was a film, as well as it was the Bible, but that it had been made by somebody. Somebody who was alive and could do someting else as well. That much as La Strada may have come from the mountainside, carried by Moses, that Moses was still among us. and active. That Gelsomina was Guilietta and that Guilietta was an actress, a great actress, a female Charlie Chaplin, but also that there was this guy, her guy, Fellini …
Alan starts to babble. And then Judy. Please, I ask them. Silence for a couple of blocks. Maybe we walked all the way from 88th back to the top of Claremont Ave because no one wanted to ask me if I wanted to take the subway. We get home. I’ve only had to say please … two or three times, and actually, after a while, Judy and Alan babbled only to each other, being considerate. Not considerate enough. I couldn’t stop to tell them, not possibly, I couldn’t stop to tell myself, the chemical change that was going on, that was sacred, that I couldn’t interrupt, that movie, burning in.
We get home. I’ve got to lie down. Good, and Judy is next to me. Please, I need to be quiet. Ok. Five minutes later, What’s the matter? You’ve been quiet. I’ve left you alone. Let’s fuck. What’s the matter with you? And she huffs off to Alan. Good. I dream it. And then sleep about twelve hours. As it burns in.
How wonderful to think of that again.
And how awful to remember Judy. Judy who started the chain the led to Hilary. Judy the dick wilter. Alan says he fucked her. Once. “And mid way, she says something stupid about Leonardo …” And he lost his erection. Sam, other than me, the ladies man at Columbia. Come to think of it, I met Alice sitting on who else but Sam’s lap. But Alan told me that Sam had been impotent for a week after Judy. Then I run into Judy in the Limelight. She engaged! to some phychiatrist. Perfect. And she starts to say something inflexible about Freud and the mind.
Cabiria. La Strada had been unique. Isolated. In no context. Hardly even post war to unpolitical ahistoric then me. Cabiria added a dimension or two to its universe. Brought it into time. So then I hear of and see and see again I Vitelloi. Il Sheiko Blanco.
But I still haven’t learned. Alan mentions La Dolche Vita: “his greatest film!” And I’m knee jerking blasphemy all over again. I let myself eventually be dragged down to Times Square. Big marquee. Quotes all over the place. “Wow,” says one critic. Ok, I see it. I don’t like it. Yet it’s so great. Still it’s not the Fellini I so worship. Or is it. I go home. I can’t get it out of my mind. I see a paper back of it. Lots of stills. I can’t stop reading it. I run into Naomi. We have coffee at Rikers. I tell her, try to tell her my reaction and change of reaction.
So, early 60s. From way fewer than a normal American’s quota of movies to way more. I never passed up an opportunity to see Cyrano. And largely by accident saw it many many times, including on tv, from its release to 61 or so. Then La Strada, not so much an accident, probably a dozen theater viewings by the same period, and one or two on tv. Apoplexy in a theater when I heard dubbed voices. That’s not Gelsomina’s voice? That’s not even Zampano! Butchers.
And Illicit Interlude, accident from the beginning. Never once chose to see that movie because of itself.
And then a zillion viewings of Cabiria and The Seven Samurai as well. Till I can’t say which one I’ve seen the most. Not to mention the ten or so Ugetsu’s, etc.
By which time I was consciously a movie fan and alert to who did what, ready to enjoy the Griffith festival with Phil.
Never forget that one La Madelaine time with Hilary. Bleeker Street, double bill of Cabiria and … Kane? Black Orpheus again? Whatever, Die Drei GrÖschen Oper maybe, this time, I wanted to see Cabiria second deliberately. Introducing Hil. We’re chatting in the lobby, early, a crowd, waiting long enough to me to get wrapped up in saying something of other, unconsiously moving toward the doors as the time approaches … and Nino Rota’s music swells for the denouement of the previous showing. Clutch, gulp, … hot tears spring to my eyes, my face must have wrenched, I’m speechless … Poor Hilary, once again, what the hell is happening to Paul?
Women always interrupted, the first time, in their own orgasm to wonder if I’m having a heart attack, and they’re going to wind up with a dead guy on top of them. Debbie, afraid to blow me, thinking I’ll jar the back of her skull out.
And now I remember another time I needed a long soak in time after a first experience. L’Aventura. The Paris. Or across the street. 56th and Fifth neighborhood. That theater of Modern Times and Diva maybe. Once again, my universe is being wrenched in a Hubble expansion. Fellini, Bergman, Kurosawa, then in that order to me, and now I’ve got to make room for this … and isn’t that funny, I’m not even remembering his name now, another one who sure didn’t keep it up, though he seemed to start to, dropped Hilary off my lap when I heard she’d seen La Notte with Alan without even telling me, this L’Aventura. I stumble out of the theater. Gotta walk. Good night. The park side of Fifth Avenue Empty. I get to 88th and Morningside Heights is approaching far too rapidly. I set and use the Guggenheim as tabula rasa while it etches.
That’s really ironic: the Guggenheim. After all Brian’s and my invasions there. Experiencing it empty. a Beethoven sculpture. Space, extension, but not pleroma, in time. Gravity lifted, dancing with great dignity. But now a blank, something I don’t have to see, that won’t distract me, while L’Aventura etches.
Funny remembering so many people in relation to movies. Brian and the Atlas, Brian and the Guggenheim, Brian who taught me to break into buildings, Brian who still doesn’t know how I walked in on Mrs Wright in her bedroom at Taliesin West, for shame, but that’s it, that Atlas, and Fellini, flying down for Dale’s wedding, taking the opportunty, not giving a shit about Dale or her wedding, but 81⁄2 opening in New York, taking Hil with Phil, sitting through twice, and then having the clouds on the way back, the plane taking off like the Atlas, to screen it against, playing it over and over on the clouds, giggling like an idiot in the empty plane, while it etched.
That’s nice, but how can I go forwards when I’m always going sideways? Maybe sideways is just as important.
So I see movies. Alone. With Alan. With Phil & Hil. And maybe not most with Anton, but still, Anton is always my favorite movie friend. Most knowledgable. Says Gail Hire the moment I say I’ve met the jinx in Red Line 7000. And both living in 440 we talk lots of movies. But Anton drives me crazy. Always talking up the Hollywood people I’ve largely ignored. Or am ignorant of. Or just don’t see, just don’t feel what’s extraordinary about. Hitchcock. Ok, I see it far more now. Yes, a master. And yes, an original and important vision, but still … compared to Fellini?
I don’t mean Griffith and Chaplin. I mean John Ford. Cheyenne Autumn comes out. We see it. Anton treats it seriously, even reverently. Come on now. It’s static horseshit. It’s Hollywood. (And as usual, I don’t mean Hollywood USA by Hollywood. To me Inagaki’s Samurai trilogy, much as I love it, was Hollywood. Pretty actors in tableau. Long pause so everybody can “get it.” And utter claptrap history. PopPissMythology. Inagaki’s Bandits on the Wind, that was a movie! Kurasawa can compose poetry in motion; why can’t the rest of them? And How the West Was Won. I think Anton was enjoying it. I wanted to walk out.
Not that I don’t lovelovelove some Hollywood that was H, USA. It’s a Wonderful Life, eg. A jillion US made movies, I don’t mean the distinction to be regional, it’s probably a bad symbol, just one I’ve used: Citizen Kane, that’s not Hollywood. Well, it’s probably a very bad symbol. Keystone Studios. Griffith himself. Chaplin. That’s the original Hollywood. Great. And movies. They moved. Griffith when still, was real film. Tableau that could make a painter die.
Ok, there. Jean Renoir, a painter’s son. Les Regles … madness, slapstick, farce. The Italian Straw Hat. Claire.
Kramer tries slapstick, a great cast: then how come it feels like his boot is in my nostril?
But Cheyenne Autumn. Sure I love to look at Richard Widmark. The Cheynne standing around personifying noble victims. The Quaker moralizing to everybody. But the tableaux aren’t great paintings. They’re not even good. They’re not The Artist’s Studio. I want to vomit for seven days. They shoot a bunch. They all fall down. Boy, that’s some shooting. Multiple instant kills? No shit drooling from under the corpses’ blankets? A little kid kneels by one corpse, looking like just what he is: a little kid, dressed up and posing, doing what he’s told, waiting, being good, waiting to be told what to do next. Ok, time for ice cream.
Do I necessarily give a shit about “realism”? Of course not. I just want the scene to do something other than make me quarrel with it.
But seeing it was a cornucopeia of food for thought. Trouble is, it’s hours later & I don’t remember what most of it was. Why I got out the Plus.
Some of it, though. Edward G Robinson, whose body’s impact I’ll always remember, soft but not disgusting, he coming forward, me backing up, before the same Cezanne, he not seeing me, me, not woulding have seen him, had it not been for the recognition, Robinson as the Secretary of State, surrounding by a bureaucratic buffer, but in no way responsible for it. Finally we’ve found Daddy, somebody in Washington really cares, isn’t responsible for his own secretaries … See it’s not our fault, not the people’s and certainly not the President’s. It’s that bureaucracy. The army is just following orders. Nobody did anything. What a tragedy.
We attribute consciousness to ourselves. Intention. How about the group? We talk about the American people. This people, that people. We attribute intention to past groups seen “whole.” But not to ourselves. Oh, no, we’re conscious, we’re great, we’re so free and so moral, but we’ve never intended any of the things we’ve done as a people. No, they’re all mistakes. Ignorances, well intentioned … not quite genocides.
But I’m thinking, here are these Cheyenne, chanting, praying something we have no consciousness of because we’ve forgotten it in ourselves, don’t regonize it in our lotteries, our astrology, our faith in the doctors, the drugs, in Kissinger, in Merril Lynch. And suddenly, out of the east, come buches and bunches of seamen, with guns and bibles … and ideas on how to get along, and how to rule, and how to pursue property, and to clear the land: of everything but what they want on it. And try to imagine an alternate history. Oh, hi. We’re going to have an election, and you can vote too. V-o-t-e, vote. You can say vote, can’t you? I knew you could.
The program circles back and changes nature. Spoken language, now written in some of its forms, and now the digital components of the writing also spoken, as though a spoken series of letters has meaning? FBI. Well, now it does. For those who can follow it. Not me. I can read, I can write, and I can speak. But I sure can’t understand spoken spelling and have no ambition to.
Never could. “How do you pronounce L-o-n-g I-s-l-a-n-d?” the guy speed spoke to me at Columbia. “Huh?” And he repeated it even faster. Couldn’t come right out and say, do you sound like a Brooklyn Jew? LonGiland? If so, we’ll train it out of you. Pass for WASP. Getting no response from me, he figured I was hiding it. Found one. A Brooklyn Jew. Don’t want my help? Fuck you. And he went away.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T. I must have heard that song a zillion times before I had any idea of what they were yammering about. And therefore no particular appreciation of the irony of the changes in ambition of the half-schooled, once oral Black ghetto.
I would have loved it if the officer who had an appointment to see Secty Robinson, getting the run-around from the bureaucracy, having gotten his attention by accident, as it were, said, Mr Secty, I came here with very important business. Now I have two very important businesses and I’m not sure but that the second isn’t even more important than the original. The Cheyenne are dying. Where’s your head been if you don’t know that. Either fucking come right out and gas them all or let’s give them an extra lump of coal so Tiny Tim can say Merry Christmas. But this other thing: I had a fucking appointment, your office doesn’t know anything about it. (Though who can tell what they really know?) Yet you know all about it, and all about me. Before we proceed in destroying the world, if we’re to do as good a job as we’ve begun with the Cheyenne, shouldn’t your office get its act together. Or, wait, I get it … It’s deliberate. It’s designed. You can do whatever you want, but there can never be any responsibility. Because the whole government is designed never to know anything, to have no responsibility. Not even for an appointment. Fucking fantastic. Did we invent that? Or bring it from Europe? Either way, now that I understand it … Mr. Secty, get out of my way. I’m going to be President myself.
DB, JD: series of Jds where epis assumptions are challenged and nested inward: an infinity of inward “I-object”s, and evidentiary name-callings, and appeals, always judged by a god anyone from another set of assumptions can see the arbitrariness of.
how do we make decisions? how do decision makers from other circumstances? rain-kings, corp-pres, queen-bees, HuckFinns, hedgehogs, free radicals, quarks …
topological uncertainty. circle? saddle? is the cycle “vicious”? What do we mean by that? How certainly?
Where’s the center? Kissinger tapes and then says, why, it would take 1000 FBI 20 yrs to listen to 1 month’s worth. And how trust their scrutiny? Always only looking for one purely semantic non-thing. Hollywood writers can explain: the Russians never made good villains anyway. in 1990. How about more Nazis? How about Martians? and the process comes closer to the surface.
a surface in an infinity? of surfaces.
in math, the important thing to know is: where are the parenthesis. this quantity is a minus, but only in this level. that plus is a plus likewise only in this group. the integrity of the group has nothing to do with what’s outside the parenthesis which enclose them. and how many parenthesis are outside that? not for the contents of any one to know.
problem in a biosphere, spirit-sphere: can’t judge what’s in your terms. govt assumes citizenship of its masses. ho ho. fuck it, as long as they pay taxes, get drafted. kill all your uncertain about.
binary group perception. there’s always an official, high viscosity, establishment group persona: king, church, academy … all events, whether perceived by that group persona or not, may be binarily categorized as “perceived by that group” and “not perceived by that group.” there can, as always be subdivisions: not officially perceived and not perceived, etc. Then there’s group II. Here revision reigns. Tonight’s all star baseball. Chicago. Ernie Banks and granddaughter featured as though it had been about them all along. How inspiring. Now, from now, it even seems to be true. But how about 1940? in 1990 they’ll see Ernie Banks and his granddaughter, future Mr. Cub, you realize, … Fine, so what? He’s a nigger? Get outta here. No, really, in 1990 … Then those schmucks won’t be Amuricans.
return home, force feed, really evil mood after L’s vacation and its attendant abuses. can’t even play the synth right. sit on the john staring while some awful video show goes on and on. up and switch channels. good, really egregious b/w Eng SF. sf can be inspiring, can be prophetic, can be camp, laughably wrong, even if written by a s/literate. but typically, it’s written by Sam Reifler. and what’s interesting about the sci is how diametrically unsci it is. but the upright ape family buys it, “recognizes” it. I hate the contemp meretricious, but love it if it has a patina on it. harmless. or its harm done. or it was never harmful, it’s just phlegm from the disease, or the disease itself. here the sci is radioxrayphotoing some filleted fish. like the new Capt Kirk: “Engage” He doesn’t lift a finger. He gives orders. Pretty female assistants handle everything. Bring me plate #14. Turn the lights off. Turn the lights on. It’s just primate pecking order. part specialization of whole organisms. (what’s the prehistory history of the organelles?) industrial-military, power, not knowledge. BK and virtual: Janet Jackson. map/territory. it’s not a “voice” we’re hearing, but a virtual voice.
2 square minimum. how about 3? inf? imag? transc inf?
real wealth/ false wealth. genuine (long term net) improvements in our efficiency with the biosphere. a sharper tooth, a broader molar, stereo vision, a stone to throw, a sharp stick, … to potentially any tool or weapon. Except: as it turns around and taxes the biosphere.
Hunting animals to extinction, as in the Late Pleistocene Overkill.
topology: set theory: which story is within which story: is god a part of the devil’s story? or is the devil a part of god’s story. major? or minor? endless parentheses. the ambiguity of infinity. endless endless? or endless as in you can’t see the end. even if it’s right before you. the bride gets killed on her wedding morn.
show the gun in act I, everyone forgets it, but it’s there, to go off, in act III. in the postlude, the bride can come back into the lights and say she’s really Kali. Iago can go off caged and silent and come back in the postpostlude and say the play was his and is still.
double description: cf Escher’s interweaving fish/birds:black/white: (monism isn’t that there’s no difference between black and white (that’s precisely what there is), but a seeing of the category Light and its Absence. Or Color. etc. anyway, playing the 22, wretchedly going back to practice the kiddy books instead of just playing my favorites which I’ve mastered to some extent, for the nth time. Ok, so I can read a little. A little bit, I can see the note, the chord, the next note. Even the measure I’m in and the next measure to. Oh, good: G 234, G234. maybe eve G234, G234, D734. Of course I’m not reading the detail very carefully as I do this. Playing Brahms’ Lullaby, I fumble, get it right more or less, and then play it more or less fumbling, more or less right for the next dozen times, and I realize: you played G in the bass of that measure, it was supposed to be E. So what? the chord is C. Well, of course it does matter a little cause a longer bass melody is going slowly, steadily up at that point, and I’m up to G too fast, spoiling it. A very minor problem in merely getting the thing to sound sort of like Brahms, sort of like a lullaby.
Anyway, I go back after a while and play my Bach, Mozart, Hyden, Shumann, Shubert, etc. And I’m playing terrible. I slow down. I get worse. I haven’t been playing them at all regularly while I’ve regressed to the kiddie books to clean the bilge. And I see other things: hey wait, that inverted G stretching to C doesn’t stretch to C! But to D7!! I’ve been playing it right all this time but understanding it wrong.
Then I don’t look at the book, but at my hands, at the keys. And there it is. with a hitherto absent clarity: Escher. G metamorphosing into D7 metamorphosing into G into D7 into G … All the way in both directions. Up and down the keyboard. Suddenly, lots of things click more securely. A/E7. E/B7. Bang, I transpose Mingus’ Faubus into B7. fumble only a second before I find E7 and inverted DbMinor. (I suppose that should be C#
Just now. Blah da dah. E7. Then A, without playing A. E7 again. The A finally comes on the last beat of the last measure. Just like that, I’ve composed a completely new sixteen bar thing, the tonic sneaking up quite nicely.
for the next twelve hours, that’s what I’ll do. look at the keyboard. the whole! keyboard. think F. and let the uninvolved keys sink into graymatter. what will be left will be black and white: F/C7, F/C7 … a streak of color: Bb. F, C7. Comes a bridge, and Db or Bnatural can emerge for the moment. Ab. etc.
a secret isn’t something known only to one; a secret is something shared minimally by two. Maximally by a small group. priesthoods, professionals, governments … have secrets.
power: a group illusion, so it seems Real. (as of course it is: but only in primate/mammalian terms: the emperor really does have power over the peasant. the peasants really do have power over the emperor. the general over the sgt, the sgt over the pvt and the priest over them all. but that’s just a group intraspecies. in man’s case, inter a few species. domestic animals, eg.
music, physics, mathematics, poetry. but that’s intra-species and Real.
this sentence is false. no species can judge whether or not its a success. no culture can write its own history. ha, ha, the Bible. ah, but god wrote that. so that’s what that means. very clever. i repeat, no culture can write its own history. so what’s all that we read? journalism. that’s different.
the main qualification for anything: is he or it in the same belief system?
same species? like the liar’s paradox? meaningless from within? how can you tell? Sex and Mr. Morrison.
teachers are like drugs: they prescribe themselves whether appropriate or not. true of all professionals. true as “in general,” all too often, not as in “without exception.”
job descriptions are almost never truthful. (though only sometimes are they intended (by the same class users) to lie.) what’s the real function of … anything?
SirJ says 561 (or N) gods registered with the govt in 1821 Calcutta. just heard 500 Jesuses in SanFransico. A number of anything is meaningless (without any particular quantity as well as reference) unless it’s known how its counted.
AI translator: ST arrives at City. unintelligible until, he tunes to AI. Hello, welcome etc. watch your step, watch your head, the other head is over there, O x%, environment lacks Mo, you can purchase supplements, etc. meets primitives. gets cross wire. Hear AI talk primitive. Moloch this, taboo that. Investigates. AI talks to each according to understanding. Saying the same thing? hardly. is Hamlet the same in SAfrican? Hebrew Uzi. Or, penetrate Peanuts and find all the “salad days” and “better as it is”s you want. all theology there. all science, mysticism, consciousness.
virtual particle duration. BB a virtual particle in god’s, (any god’s) dream.
religion I: a cultural unity formed by some arbitrary set of beliefs.
religion II: a stage at which the tests for the truth value of the set of beliefs become relegated further and further from common possibility.
III etc.
playing the 22, more and more in MULTI, understanding the concept of channels to begin with, but that not manifesting right away as expertise in manipulation. I tune in a voice and there’s no sound. Shrug. The manufacturer fucked up. Maybe, now that I know how to check that hypothesis, but get into the Edit Multi or Edit Midi, seek the preset Receive and Transmit channels, and fiddle. Of course, if it was Yamaha’s error, the edited preset can’t be saved to preset memory, so the error will be permanent in preset, but it can be saved to internal. or just played in Edit.
That’s one I’m about to check on, prove to myself whether I had inadvertently left something changed in MIDI and then blamed Yamaha MULTI, more busy with the music, getting to the voice, than with testing hypotheses. But the hypothesis is immaterial to what came to me in the shower.
A new metaphor for my old “what can we hear, understand?”
I send my work to editors, to agents. Do they have the channel(s) I write on? Do they hypothesize a defect? `No sound here’? Do they have the software/hardware? Do they know that they have it? Do they know how to use it?
my ss: for the guy, after the disaster, or on the unearthly, obvious, eve of the disaster, suddenly hears the tree talk, the voice, of course, in his mind. But the tree truth accurate, nevertheless. With allowance of course for translation to a different device.
20th-c people “know” that their tv channels are broadcasting all the time, that the Lucy show is “on,” whether they are at their powered up, selected, sets or not. The Lucy show is “there” whether they have the device or not. They know it because it’s been true for decades. It’s on when they turn it on. Oh, I’m missing As the World Turns. It’s its time.
Do we know how omnipresent are the voices of the truth of things? How we lack the devices, the language, the interest, to tune in?
Everything we can take in is information. And so is everything we can’t take in. Hypothesis. Theory.
When a wolf sees the night sky, does he have any idea what astronomers are reading from it? Does Joe Shmoe?
But then, … Binary: two classes of reading: I) reading that tailors, however humanly, to things as they “are,” and II) reading that tailors, humanly humanly, to semantic pathology. There seems to be a universe in which there is a planet, inhabited, which receives light from its “sun” in 8ish minutes; is there a universe, an alternate, a series of alternates, in which the planet’s main autochthonous satellite, its moon, is made of green cheese?
species: classification: we tend to accept what we’ve been fed as god given. Linneus is nature. vertebrates are more related than things that are blue. once upon a time no doubt things that are blue would have seemed more related than … what’s a vertebrate? classifications are to some extent arbitrary, which doesn’t mean all would be of equal intelligence or utility. anyway, I believe it would be a good exercise to invent alternate taxonomies. (and of course have long insisted that classifications should be understood as what they are: map; not territory.)
so how about species according to varying dynamics of … what it’s selfish about and what it shares. when and with what. (would the sexes and/or classes then be different species?) the human female hoards her pussy more often than the male his penis.
in civ, something is legitimate if it’s been bought or sold. by non civ standards, the whore gives her pussy away; by civ, she’s sold it. by non-civ, the high auctioned wife is selling hers, by civ, she’s not.
pixels: dreaming thinking after another night of more than enough sleep, trying to time tonight’s shift: free will, cause and effect. we watch the actress on tv pull the trigger, the actor fall down, bringing the furniture with him. she’s shot him, she’s killed him, protected herself, the interests of her client, her partner, law and order, whatever. she’s a hero, a villain. but what we’re watching is a coordinated distribution of pixels and frequencies. ok, so it’s not real life. who’s to say that “real life” isn’t too a distribution of this and that. Statistics would suggest it is. So and so many people will vote Republican this time. So many murders, so many cancers, so many traffic fatalities.
ss: newscaster for 11 o’clock news gives prediction for MemDay Weekend’s accidents. X. this one time, the station prerecords the 11PM at 10. Good news folks, we’re ahead on those deaths. Congratulations and keep it up. gets in his car. vacation time. home by 1 for a change. tee time at Stratton in another 15 hrs. Isn’t that single headlight set high for a motorcycle. No, its a 10 wheel pediddle. crash.
an anthrop. wants to know about a people, he doesn’t foremost read their newspapers; he foremost studies their god(s). what we say about our god reveals the most profound truths about our … everything: our eipis: belief, perception, knowledge, judgment …
the 22 isn’t the only thing keeping me distracted from writing much, even here. getting a part time job is a full time distraction. esp such a contemptible one. then, meeting Terri, having a friend, concentrating on a person, thinking about a particular. combo of things: doing a little material patching, getting a nice blow job, new shorts, a couple of new tee shirts, setting up the new trailer … so months go by before I so much as prep Mod to send to Charlie. King sits. not that i know what to do to tempt him beyond pleasing myself by rerewriting the middle. god how I hated that part when I read it aloud, a couple of months after first writing it, a month after slaving again. PA sits where it’s been since two weeks after I started working. my fingers have the 22 habit, not the Plus. the old Yamaha took plenty of time: still much went to the Plus.
Now I scribble a note now and then. it sits to the side. i don’t have a clue what i was thinking when i look at it again. or only a generic clue. oh, that theme again … mistaking the shorthand for the text.
so? so what? I guess i need a break. i’m tired. i’m old. playing amateur music more thrilling than ignored brilliance? sure. why not? the language, the meaning, has always been there. as to music, i was always outside the window, pushing my face against the pane. yes, it’s thrilling to be even bad but a participant. music is instant, perpetual gratification. a profundity beyond understanding.
still, the stuff comes to me. as usual, when I can’t do anything about it. in the shower, with my mouth full of toothpaste. and the other day, bicycling off to check out the park. i told BK biking, but that was wrong: i was pedaling up Hammock Rd. same theme, some of the same words, but revelatory clarity. still how express it. i was sure I had it. memorize this, I tell myself and i pedal. get to the park. pedal around the circle. discover the inner layout relative to the outer. i now know how to take the county road, cut through the woods and be at Grandfather, a short distance from the cypress swamp. i walk the catwalk. ridiculously looking at some 6 ft female, probably 15. back home. more 22. then, a day or so later, BK calls. and for the first time i remember. oh, yeah, i had a revelation about that. and i try, fumbling to catch a bit of it. i remember what i told him. i wish i could remember all of what came on the bicycle: Life: is a synergy, an unlooked for, not predictable, group phenom., of a stack of systems. an organism’s body is a nest of systems. dead, most of the same systems are still there. their physical extensions weigh the same. the life is something else. dead, the systems lose much of their renewability, a bonus they had by being alive. then the remaining systems will lose mass. it’s not breathing. it’s not eating. other lives live within the systems. now others will flourish. now the body may gain mass. putrid bloats. but these systems aren’t attached to the same structural limits. they’ll go off into the soil, the air with a freedom not known to the living organism. which breathed out as well as in, defected as well as ate, sweated as well as drank. of course there are organisms that don’t sweat. but they take in and excrete. interchange with Gaia.
how about cosmic interchange? sure, we receive light. neutrinos pass through by the trillion. do we receive god, bits at least? or do we synthesize those? god, the synergy of synergies?
do we make him well? or ill? does he have any control? or is he the passive result? i don’t think so. no. we know when it’s better, and when it’s worse. that’s the only positive gradient to evolution. we get more eccentric, what the hell kind of design is a liver?, but he simplifies.
we know when it’s better. even when we fight it. even when, particularly when, we crucify its expression. on the sidelines, the devils root for their own downfall. the sanhedron had better take all the money it can get. it knows its doomed. we say we’re not the sanhedron; we’re the Xians. oh yeah? then how come our behavior is the same? the priesthoods promote themselves. cops, presidents, companies … all running for reelection. first we need to assure the monopoly, then we’d practice a little of what it’s supposed to be for. bloating. dead? is the organism dead? yes. it’s a corpse, pretending to be a being. yet the beings are there. just not in the corpse. never in the corpse. paul dies, but not man. the US dies, but not … lots of things. the church dies, but not religion. science becomes a profession, but truth will still have a voice. many voices. and always from unpredictable sources. that’s where professions are dead in advance. did Jesus have a union card?
yet in its particulars everything always seems so awful. new expectations, hopes. higher standards of judgment. but what’s the Net? the Census checks income and also whether there’s plumbing. of course what’s a gain is to some extent arbitrary. and always ambiguous. my utopia wouldn’t have income but wouldn’t have plumbing either: a small, fragmented population, unable to measure itself, moving across a moving savanna. no need for shelter if the climate is right. … the ecology your shelter, your larger body …


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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