/ Journal /

Digital Notebooks
1985 – 1997
Id Intros Scant Tech Style
Scant Editing

previous save: 9/6/92? and today’s May 6, 93? nine months since a single change or addition?!!

the hero dies, serving viability; so do we all, die, serving what? the villain lives a bit longer maybe, in circumstances in which it was time to die, but the life is factitious, the dreary high of an addict. now: which are we? peering out, thinking it’s all for us, entertainment, we’re safe no matter what. 12/7 dream, heaven/hell cont’d: time just one of many stirrings or reorganizations of the supper time soup. local universes, worlds, species, races, nations, interests, indivs, try strategies, some rote, some reasoned, some misrepeated … most fail, fossilized in darkness, hell … but the soup stirs overall, fractally fract to the fract, and in but what time? all pass at least briefly through light, realization, vitality, … heaven.
T: Now the Victim Speaks
ss: a la DickF’s Fabergé: but of chips, servos, mobots
in Straight, brother jots about law not seen by sociopath as applying to self: doesn’t that apply to everyone but in different areas? (everyone here can include abstract entities: the gov can kill but individual not) Chas Manson doesn’t think Thou shalt not kill applies to self. BCarey & me, entering closed &/or private F.L. Wright bldgs. Rednecks don’t think manners apply to them. It’s the turn to speak of whoever interrupts, and look down on whoever is better organized.
govt as religion: challenging those who would be allowed to relative unmolestation in the brotherhood by demonstrating a willingness, at times an anxiety, to swallow any contradiction.
LW’s what’s a hand? “This.” What’s green? “That.” …
what’s freedom? this, what we have here. Justice? whatever the court administers. but anyone not on the scam could see it’s just stealing from the indians, enslaving the nonconforms, and the conforms too, come to think of it, … Right, that’s justice. “This.”
then where do ideals come from? How survive and reproduce?
Italian god talk-deals with WASP god, both composites of earlier gods, of course: the Italian god is complaining, Columbus was Italian, the money was spick, how come the wasps have all the monopolies, could the wopigrants have something? just a little monopoly? ok, gambling, prostitution, things the wasps need, but can’t be honest about.
hell, soon as we do good, you’ll take it over, like the iron, coal, gold … No, I’ll guarantee this monopoly for decades. How? I’ll make it illegal. So? the fed will still take it over, soon as they see the money. No, they’ll be committed to an alternate employment: bunkos and narcs.
PrimAcc: he’s working on no intelligence; she’s working on phoenixing old species from clones of dead cells, ultimate goal to lab-evolve different type of intelligence, an actually sapiens homo.
after 13 yrs in the minors, a joke just clicks into my skull this am as major: Benny Levy’s Moishe & the sardines: “But Abe, those sardines aren’t for eating; they’re for selling!” So too our ideals, laws, freedoms, truths. ThosJeff, But Paul, those Rights aren’t for practice; they’re for bullshitting the people. PopeInnocent, But Paul, those truths aren’t for testing/believing; they’re for believing/believing. Where would we be if the people didn’t believe?
Maybe no society. Maybe. Maybe bullshit is the best we’re capable of for anything but an isolated moment for an isolated individual. Social glue, without which how would we dominate the world and transform the planet into a tablua rasa for god to write on once again?
soc.think: does it get me into the lodge, oh my brothers? does it keep me in the lodge, oh my brothers?
social “truth” is social ass sniffing for confirmation, not tested against objective experience. then there’s this revolutionary, blasphemer, seeking correspondence with “actual.” check correspondence not just with semantic conformity; but to some … assumed … “out there.”
merely on tube, but finally see RainMan: opening image: crated Lambourghini (we just see fat car bottom) hanging against yellow poison smog canopy of CA world! Tom Cruise lying, creating, bluffing, inventing any logic to fail to see why his cars should pass an emissions test. And also, taking autistic RayMond to small town doctor’s office and failing to get past the ignorance of the nurse to be treated by the ignorance of the doctor.
poker bluff: if it’s true, your history of … virtue, truthfulness, charity, whatever … it will come up on the screen.
Tolstoy & my Turing Test. LT suddenly finds his beloved family members not fitting his standards for humanity, namely, loving and admiring him enough: … I put it a little sarcastically, the work is of a supergenius, the bio of a human, and don’t mean it altogether, or my point would be without point: he applied his standards, looking for relatives, and found robots. Exactly. Now: is it only saints or geniuses who have that experience? Well, aren’t all of us saints or genius, at least in part at least momentarily, at least sometimes?
business, explaining its innocence via admittedly wrong assumptions, without the least effort to correct its assumptions … 1st Union Bank, eg, eats my computer card, and then explains that it’s not its fault, but the fault of its procedures. No promise to correct those procedures …
what test could be devised to check the length of string, or reasoning depth, of the discrete continuum of the social order? My hypothesis, or prediction of results, is that the lower you go, at least among the employed, the shorter the string before the person, recognizes it and accepts it without checking the correctness of the string further (like mispelling), or fails to recognize it, pronounces it a fallacy, and moves on. (Different test: how could you bait a box with something in fact nourishing but deceive the rat into thinking the box is empty and passing on? I further predict, that the patterns would have a self similarity across scale that you wouldn’t need a Mandelbrot to detect. In other words, if it works don’t fix it depends on a narrow view, very shortened in the time dimension, of what “works” means. Like a soldier, E-1, if the uniform isn’t like yours, just, shoot it. E-2, better see that the difference isn’t a captain’s bars, then shoot it. E-3, the uniform’s the same, but the accent is gook, shoot it. … E-11, what if it’s CIA? Have E-12 shoot it. Etc. To the president, who we trust is actually checking these strings for us. If the checking the string of our own assumption were actually followed more than a couple of bits, we’d see that the Tsar-god-president-father can’t possibly look after each of us, not in any human meaning of look, … uh, start again, if we checked the president’s string we might well find an ability to go through a few more beads before the decision comes: I never saw that at Whittier … But at the same time, the string shortens to: that represents no major voting block, screw them, in most cases. A very quick litmus.
Etc, enthymeming all over the place, till, as usual, it looks like my own beads aren’t too well strung.
Simultaneously, the president (or the boss, or the professor, or the doctor …) would show excellent ability to check a long string for accuracy IF he recognizes it as important and advantageous. And do so far more often than the peasant checking to see if his rows are straight. But, and here’s an essential part of the point, I’ll bet the peasant shows some checking ability that would match the president’s, at a different time scale of where-in-the-evolution-did- the-particular-pattern-emerge, and therefore at a different degree of social importance. The peasant might check his baby just at carefully as the president. And which is more important: babies? or voting blocks? Each is, at different levels of organization. Voting blocks assume babies; having babies assumes protective something or other.
I would like to see the mathematical pattern that would map this. A second ago I was imagining a Cantor dust, but then thought: which is which? is the ability to see (as distinct from the refusal to look) the dust of points or the seemingly infinite space between. Also, what I like about the Cantor dust is it’s irregularity: space space space dust. space space space dust dust. says pk, symbolizing a chaotic regularity with a regular regularity.
King’s fascist’s “cover up his parents nakedness” comes floating up in the same moments that I’m teased by the recall of Mandelbrot’s experience in trying to map signal noise, the results didn’t work because his helpers, who were responsible for bringing him the data, were themselves making decisions as to what data to throw out as insignificant. Counter thought: make a model of a system in which ALL data could be gathered without the robots making any decisions! impossible, I believe.
rereading Chaos after AC Clarke reproduces so much of my BHC: M the outsider, “professional” mathematicians resenting and diminishing his claims. so how come their godam rigor didn’t solve the problems? and so I’m thinking of Bucky twice as much as usual. it isn’t that the Sandedron rabbis aren’t really rabbis and good ones: they are; the point is that they aren’t what’s needed NEXT.
other problem I wake up this AM thinking: how much of the Cinderella story is narcotic (keep the peasants dreaming that they’re really royalty or about to be recognized and promoted to consort anyway, mothering future princes) and how much (call the above psych test the Cinderella test) (so all my thinking was really the same) a deep criticism (not necessarily negative, criticism meaning identification, a true modeling) of a pathological homeostasis endemic to hss, a destructive or diseased protect-my-own-(even-if-it’s-killing-me) -place-in-the-system conservativism?
and simulthinking, everyone, every gamete, even every sport, is a king, perfect, for some possible system somewhere in possible space/time, even if only in an alternate U.
and, as toujours, hss is boss however temporarily because of his ability to jump to decisions, the string of evidence is incomplete and infinitely examinable no matter how fragmentary … Ah, but how many of the turnings away are deliberately protecting the known fallacies? so much, naturally and necessarily, is waste; how much shameful waste?
apropos ACC, in my Mandelcube prison, it’s the spirit which is borrowed from the body and imprisoned in the Set; the convicted’s body kept frozen, aestivating, or, at menial labor.
slowly rise to stuff-nosed consciousness with movie metaphor: what’s wrong with this picture? the problem with classics: when contemps, like bk&pk, see the new release, Superman, and Margo Kidder as Lois Lane, is bent over her typewriter, asking how to spell rape and mayhem, and Perry White looks at her MS and offers “there are two esses in brassiere”, even 10 or 12 yr old bk knew that newspaper offices weren’t like that, not only not the NYTimes, but also not even the Inquirer. Margo Kidder is so comically eager to whore her “journalism.” But, though not “realistic” (it’s a comic, ferxsake), we recognize the characature: it’s an exaggeration of something true. In other words, in order to see the picture accurately, you need two sets of points in your head to do a fancy bit of calculus: “here’s an ideal, here’s how we approach it”: hero. “here’s an ideal; here’s how we fall short,” here’s a value, how we pervert it, etc.
Nowhere is literature what we think of as a portrait, simply. not a photosomething portrait. romantic, classic, something.
In other words: we take something literally only when we know little about the time and culture.
Rollo May believing whatsherface about chivalry, fundamentalist xians thinking that history could possibly have once looked like a cheap color 2D greeting card, etc etc. why most americans don’t like foreign films but once had no problem with Eng, why most restofthe worlders follow american films, but wouldn’t take to Pakistani at all the same.
movies of course are just one class, one example of a broader generalization. how can one read A XMas Carol or Oliver Twist without some sense of Victorian life, Vic norms, real as well as pretend? And that’s all only a little more than a century ago: 1/450th of human existence. (I avoid the word “history” as it is such a trivially recent phenom.)
So, I was slowly rising toward time to tap the bladder, blow out the pipes, try to stand up and breathe again, and I try a little replay of one classic I could never get around my hatred of: Wuthering Heights. Now, still loggy, I could have hardly done a very elaborate calculus with it, but I would have liked to see what it looked like replayed, this time extra aware of my nest of prejudices. but no, the bladder sharpened me, and I’m left only with this … criticism.
three dimensions? you need a fourth, duration, in which to picture it. true of dimensionality in general?
if the truth depended on human verification, or, god forbid, on social consensus, we’d be in real trouble.
the economics of psychology: accident of fashion: young parents pay a shrink to blame them, the parents!, for all neurosis. How grand to take responsibility like a king, a great magician.
What life but reproduction? Mindless, of course, the mind is in the feedback after reality sorts out the clones. Boom, big U depts training clones at their and their parents (& tax payers) expense to blame the parents for the human condition (Garden of Eden!). But, employable to next generation? No.
ss: what if! Einstein’s physics professor hadn’t tried to suppress publication of Special Relativity? what if the great German Us had said, hey, here’s our physics department: it’s yours, all our resources, all our admiration … No, you don’t have to do the administrative stuff for us, and we’ll keep our adulation restrained so you can work. And here’s a 40 million mark signing bonus, go to Monte Carlo and have a good time for a couple of weeks; don’t worry, your regular salary and perks will be waiting for you when you get back, spend the 40 as you will. Einstein says fuck that and comes up with General Relativity pronto, only now there are 15 other names on the paper below his, legitimately: the world cooperated, helped. Kaiser Wilhelm says, Gee I never knew physics could be so mind blowing. A young paper hanger says, hey, couldn’t you use this E from this mc2 to like really blow things up? Poland is the experimental target. France comes crawling to Berlin on its knees. Eng calls up US, Holy shit, what’s going on? Both move to Australia. The Japs try to contract some of Ger’s production. Hey, Albert, want a little blow before the show girls come? The paper hanger says, hey, these Jews are ok. The arabs get pissed at the jews’ press and purge Palestine. Life Magazine does an article on Einstein, but in the 20s and very different from the one in the 50s of this universe.
united front: oxymoron, like honesty is the best policy. Yes, but is it also a euphemism like funeral home?
why shouldn’t an enemy, when shown a united front, say, “sure, your Potempkin village facade is impressive, but we KNOW you’re squabbling and poisoning each others’ drinks in the real village behind the papier maché”?
the USSR collapses. ??? what’s happening inside? compared to before, when we knew little, it’s a black hole. then russian athletes compete in the Olympics, classified as “the Unified team.” now there are video profiles on the athletes, their mothers in their Moscow apartments, still looking like people. they’re poor, so what? they still have noses, eyes, speak human speech.
first thing I though of was Entropy, and how at Absolute Zero, the theory goes, Entropy ceases.
That stupid argument I had with Ken. He couldn’t distinguish thermal energy from energy as in E=mc2. “No, Ken, absolute zero doesn’t mean the matter has no energy: the matter is energy, at absolute zero as at any other temperature. Temperature is just thermal energy, energy the system is giving off, communicating with, wasting. When things get down to absolute zero, the system doesn’t stop being, it just goes silent, it stops talking to us. It gets selfish and no longer gives anything away.” Me enjoying the hell out of my outrageous anthropomorphisms, Ken just not getting the point.
But with the Russians, Entropy didn’t cease altogether. Russia went relatively silent, a relatively silent culture anyhow, at least vis-à-vis us.
And that reminded me: Entropy in general. The 19th-cen thermo dynamicists, the engineers so worried about something “lost”, something not in their control, in their old fashioned power. Me, I just take it into the system, expand the system until it includes whatever is worrying you. Expand god till he includes satan, etc. Like Appleby and Bucky. Old fashioned man thinks what he blows up disappears, like no longer exists. so used to thinking only of the visible. counting influences using only major flagrant visible ones.
Bach: the human nervous system’s most nearly complete description of itself.
redefining the random: what’s not protected?
PK toujours: looking into our blindspot; Doug Adams’ SEP, Someone Else’s Problem: social blind spot.
ss: feathered bird trying to tell semi-feathered pterodactyl about sustained flight. Yeah, but tell me in short flights. interrupts after 2 seconds. soar, bump.
Clarissa! Lovelace, the cartoon predator, his long bird rifle a Hector straight from the exaggerations of the medieval morality plays. the first of the 3 part PBS series has me reading, finally, vol I. After just Letter #1 I see a pure blueprint of the needs of the individual vs the needs of the culture, society, family … In particular I love the “contrast” between Lovelace, the rake, the avowed predator run amok, and his good Xian neighbors, smug slave traders all.
finally see Lean’s Passage to India on Sunday tube. beautifully done how the Brit Xians walk around without seeing the Muslims or Hindus. Dr Azziz such a wonderful Stepanfetchit yet slugs the attendant at the caves and is lordly in his muslim garb after vindication. watch out for the persecuted jews once they’ve got Palestine and a few allies: right back to practicing their own genocides. McBride hisses how all they’re interested in is justice. Ouch, as we suddenly see, at least for a millisecond, what justice, in practice, by an imperial power, actually means. A SEP: look at it and it looks like its ideal expression, a false view; look away, and it looks like McBride and witch hunts and kangaroo courts. what other kind are there? A pure semantic reality. rape and the “universal truth … that the dark races are attracted to the light races” an imperial passion, its facts assumed, evidence manipulated, all by the voice of the Hotel in Puritan garb. But …
Is culture possible without fallacy?
why clothes II: liars poker
boot strap, immpossible, illiterate A-Korzybsiite
ss: X is visited by Rabbi fr Sanhedron. “My son, are you ready to make your peace with G? I’ve seen all kinds of sin, trust me, whatever it is that you are, whatever you’ve done, I’ve seen it all before.” Blah blah. And X has to listen to this shit. Priest, rabbi, etc maybe truthful in what he sees, and what he sees is a map to what he doesn’t see, especially to his own participation in the society’s homeostasis, its self-normalization.
X as an eg of redefining the major elements after the events. Ie: contemporary eyewitnesses will see execution of criminals, one maybe a little odd, so what, business as usual; post facto eyewitness seems human swine murdering God, Woton pursuing Brunhilde like Jehovah trying to recall Christ, etc.
dream of seeing Miles in person again but this time in social flow. Miles using Everything! in dream, ragas, electric dingahs … And I try, dream try, to devise some test to see who’s hearing what. “Identify or describe something you notice about the music.” And someone says, “Gee, is that a saxophone?” Up till then you’d thought they were hearing it with you. Then there’s “dig the thing the guitars are doing.” Better yet “… the guitars are doing independent of each other.” Or “that a funny use of the II-7, V7, I progression.” Etc.
Last night, playing the 12 bar learned “improvisation,” second chorus, using the G7 pentatonic for the nth time, I suddenly transpose to C7, then F7. Then Bb7, A7, D7. Then the rest. In no time, I can’t believe that it has to have added up to 12! I’ve done every root! And with little struggle. A measure of how far I’ve come just playing the two or three simple blues regularly. But the major stuff just as much: BbMaj, D back and forth, the GMaj in 5/4, the CMaj bossa thing, and the New Orleans in F. Pretty damn good improv book after all, for all the five years it’s taken me to get a dozen pages into it.
here’s a note: “binary of whether quit after refutation”. I sure wish I could remember what I was thinking: something about how we tend to just keep going after our logic has been cut out from under us. But I don’t quite have it.
thinking comme toujours of judgment, & I think of catholics in the RC heaven, & of muslims in their houri paradise, & I think … of judgment of your PEERS! who? those who live in the same (more or less) semantic reality!!!
“record” implies make permanent, but technology so evanescent, 78 one day, then lp, 45, open reel, cassette, 8 track, quad, cd …
outlines are clear only from a distance; fractal, chaotic up close.
society is that (set of) place(s) in semantic “reality” where, if a potential speaker has the potential to be accurate about anything, it’s never his turn to talk.
semantic field!
“Dr Zeus,” slurred the illiterate father at Earth Day.
liars’ poker! comme d’habitude only more and more so, liars’ poker strikes me as the essence of our species
(w fractal truth values. ever 0 or 1? only in very special, tautological circumstances.)

“Stamp out human chauvinism” said the vegetarian’s button at Free U, c 1970, the one who let his sprouts start to photosynthesize, unlike mine, which I sprouted in the dark. buttons all over the place in those days, chauvinism being much bandied about, particularly male c…, but other kinds too. human chauvinism … that’s the only time I’d even seen or heard the phrase. Apart from my own frequent use of it since. The phrase haunts me particularly these last several days, just as I meet Fenchurch in So Long and Thanks For All the Fish. She had it, understanding, but lost it. My own understanding? All the insolubles of civilization disappear the moment you deny to hss any sacrosanct status. …
my fiction is unpublished I believe primarily because it addresses human blind spots, whose scope is vaster than our polite social fictions of our intelligence, rationality, and self-interest will allow us to admit.
It will take the reader a minute, but only a minute, to recognize the protagonist of The Model.
T: legal suicide: piss off the judge and jury.
6/4/92. haven’t been id-ing for so long. but, no surprise, driving to VA to pick up bk, id after another, including new conception for BHC. It was on 95 in N FL 9 yrs that BHC first came to me, meditative driving. this time, Kind of Blue on the new cd, first time hearing as digital, get to Freddie Freeloader, here comes Trane’s sole, like a dark sun burst, and wham, Ender is diving feet first to slay the Hive Queen’s planet, and … WHAM! simultaneous BHC stimulus and Trek as bullshit perception: Trek is like Hollywood Cleopatra and Xians to the lions movies. Caesar’s dressing room, stone architecture of course, spans expanses to dwarf modern train stations of steel beam architecture. Here’s a space ship like the Hilton, everyone wandering around as though space were no premium. Simully: “Rader straps in narrow … and steps out … large. Ea. ast. dif.” is what I scribbled on my knee. As I wrote BHC I had AA stepping into her cubicle and hang gliders are wafting around her knees, clearly a tiny space with an olympian hololusion; this time, AA, CR, straps into work station, connects electrodes, … and as we narratively visit each astronaut, each is in some huge, hugely populated adventure from anywhere in their semantic universe, and the different universes interact as the astronauts must communicate with each other. So Chuck Rader is with a tribe of headhunters, himself dressed like Mr. Kurtz, when his pager beeps. He leads his hunters through the jungle. The hunters blend into the background as he approaches a clearing in which we see AA having tea with Queen Victoria. Queenie Vic becomes only semi-substantial as Rader & Appleby confer on something. A console materializes. AA feeds it input, console dematerializes, AA & QueenVic dematerialize and Rader withdraws back to his resolidifying warriors. Etc. Later, at some time we see CR & AA, side by side, semi-cryotronic, their whole space for the x years less than a closet, their colestomy bags etc strung discretely around them.
I also scribbled other things on my knee driving north. Do I know understand what I meant by any of them. Seemed compelling at the time.
to what lengths will people not go to try to prevent detection of their foolish decisions?
crucify X, bis and bis, rather than have the church’s ass show as having bet on the wrong God.
it doesn’t follow that one “likes” what one is addicted to.
speech, purpose of: is to hope to be mistaken for … an xian, a good man, sexy, intelligence, self-assured, strong, loyal, successful, …
SemDic. steer. not just get to some target, but say upright, keep afloat, functional …
I was a stranger and You took me in.
theology, pigeon, lottery 5, & biblical epistemology …
Ahha! Cape Fear, the river, is in NC!
redundancy: false advertising
6/16: god is evolution!
synecdoche & salesmanship, can’t sell people intelligence or knowledge or information or self-interest (ie, the necessity of feeding not ourselves, but each other), but only magic: free lunch, vote x and loaf forever, buy schmuck beer and the slick model will blow you right in the middle of the vegas strip. (actually, a la mad, you’ll be passed out in a garbage strewn alley with your hand wrapped around your limp dork, but you’ll think you’re getting blown in vagas.) above is reason explanation of why FLEX failed while 900 flourishes.
t: the silenced majority
db: ooo, he bled on me!
see Borland Turbo Tutor
bpb assign: Have a program prompt you for ten names, then repeat alphabetically.
come walk with me before we fly. we’ll stretch your lineaments, feel the terrain you won’t want to fall back on.
ss: aliens are surprised by humans. whew, careless, we could have been stepped on.
Humans: look around and decide they’re alone. Out come the make up, cameras, synth recording distorters, gates, reverbs … falsifiers. & of course they stage and record a UFO encounter. Leave.
Out come aliens again. (with of course no clue as to what they saw either).
the soc is geared even more to make the rulers behave than the people.
highly imperfectly of course.
7/6/92 weird dream involving Hugh McKay of all people as some sort of film savant. but primarily woke up thinking: management: can society be managed? ie, successfully. it’s socialism’s optimism that it can be. it’s capitalism’s pessimism that it can’t. then why govern it at all? ah, because these positions aren’t philosophies (except in the old, pre-mathematico-logical sense) but are rather rationalizations. (eg, if laissez faire, then how come tariffs? ie, free enterprise for the poor, socialism for the rich.) which therefore leads further … to “can human society be managed (ie, success- fully)?” “yes. for one or two classes.” “for all classes? or for classlessness?” “no. at least no modern (agricultural or industrial) has yet managed to accomplish it.”
have any tried? no. only in rhetoric. democracy as a scam for promoting this or that class by talking about the rights of some other, shill, class.
ah, that’s what I woke up dreaming the other day: what a joke to dream of golden ages like democracy under those intellectual gods, the greeks, until looked at closely. a la Heller’s Picture This. Athens as a full time rhetoric scam itself. talk talk city state while expanding as empire. got side tracked by dream-imagining typical pk losing argument, in which pk recommends someone read Picture This, answer novels aren’t history (implying usual confusion (usually deliberate) between history as truth and fiction as falsehood, rather than history as generally some self-interested or self-deluded falsehood, certainly uninformed by anthropology etc (like how many historians have read Calder’s Timescale?) and fiction as falsehood as though imagination and simplification-representation has nothing to do with truth, survival, mature, responsible activity. In other words, status quo homeostasis knee-jerk interruptions of undigested, non-thought out clichés, all masquerading as thought.
well, that’s typical enough. what galls me is how I see straightening out that confusion as the job of the literature professor but the professing profession is itself a priesthood of status quo homeostasis, oh we don’t misunderstand those things. then how come you don’t crusade against the common misunderstandings, how come you never explain what you now say you do understand. oh, we don’t have enough resources, we’re underpaid, blah blah. then how come you repress that occasional teacher who does come along and try to illuminate things.
a couple of Thanksgivings ago I started fishing Little Charlie Bowlegs Creek, my first regular fishing in Sebring, and since then, I have haunted the cypress swamp, intimate with gators, butter cats, stump- knockers. but the resumption to habit started fitfully. three summers ago, in my brief stint at the library, one of the more grotesque displays of the acute degeneration of any possibility of society’s recognizing my relationship to it (it can’t do that because that would mean recognizing itself), I’d carry a rod and a little tackle in the car and walk out to the pier for the lunch hour. Never caught a thing there, never saw anything caught there, though I heard of catches made from the pier and of others made wading. I guess maybe I did see a bass caught from a boat casting Texas rigs toward a weedy shore in the distance. Anyway, that fishing from on high in civvies was as temporary as the library sojourn itself. Pretty funny after my marathon fishing of the previous March, every afternoon, nearly every night, that one time all afternoon, all night, and on till noon to 1ish. (But then all that simply reflected my being on or off in my ability to work: wintering in the Everglades was supposed to be recuperative survival and then back to Dark Beacon. I suppose I needed more than a month or two to recoup.) Maybe the fishing that March was a sign that I was close to being ok again or maybe that I was nearly totally crazy (certainly that I was obsessed with that girl’s ten year old pussy ((but then that would only explain the afternoon fishing with her and her siblings). Then, once hounded out of the Everglades (I guess that was pretty grotesque too, there society equaling merely Martinet Bridges, king of his tiny empire), work gushed in Sebring, and so fishing was as irrelevant as anything else that wasn’t The Model, DB, or King.
Anyway, except for such isolated spots, fishing has hardly been a major thread in my life. Till now. Unless this is just another spot. Catching bass like a son of a bitch. Fishing daily, afternoon to evening.
But that incident last evening of that poor terrified bass cowering against my ankle, appearing and disappearing as my perception of his camouflage winked on and off like that psychology test whether the drawing is of a beautiful young woman of fashion or of an old hag, had to be recorded. So, while I’m at it, I remember a few other things.
Thought to write Pollock two PMs ago after catching my first striper in decades, only the second ever, this one 4 lbs, that first one, like my first largemouth ever, 9. [July 4, 91?]
I’d fished only once or twice as a boy, one of my worst memories being my father saying we’d go fishing in the morning, me unbelievably excited, never having been fishing with my father, never having done anything much with my father, and now fishing! running around in my excitement, “Ooo, can Rudy come? Ooo, I’ll go invite him”, and morning coming and my father still passed out on the couch, me doing everything I can think of to wake him, to tell him that’s it’s morning and that we’re going fishing, and Rudy is ready, and I’m ready, and … “Go dig some worms.” and Rudy and I dig lots and lots of worms and it’s noon and I still can’t wake my father up, and Rudy gives up, doesn’t believe we’re going, and his father says something, and I hear the anger in his tone, and poor me, totally isolated, I think Mr. Stieg is mad at me, while I can’t think why that should be, what I could possibly have done differently?
I guess we did fish a couple of times at my cousins’ cottage on Squires Pond in the Hamptons and I guess my father was even there once or twice. Anyway all that fishing in so far as I remember was salt water, usually from a boat anchored in a bay using worms, maybe a couple of worms with a spreader, and catching flounder, sometimes fluke. Once, I’ll never forget, using a light to net blue claws, my cousins rowing the boat backwards, me being able to see the dark forms scuttling among the black weeds just before they’d get dipped by Uncle Tom, Dad, Tom, or Donald. (Did I ever wield the net? Don’t know.) Then a hiatus, and then I remember something else unpleasant: my mother’s nebbish doctor friend, Donald, solemnly trying to teach me to cast with a bait casting reel in the backyard and me miserable, perhaps least because of the backlashing.
But then at last adulthood, and me discovering skiing and going crazy and infecting John and John also getting me to go surf casting once or twice. All those hours, hurling this or that into the surf and never believing there were really any fish there. Years and years, never feeling so much as a strike. I guess I knew there had to be fish. I’d see plenty of surf fishermen as a child. Blow fish are all I remember seeing anyone catch. But John is telling me, “Bonanza, Paul. I tell you it was a bonanza. Everyone catching stripers as fast as we could pull them in, the beach lined with stripers, two, three pounders.” So it’s the sixties and John, fishes all the time, every opportunity off duty in Virginia, and back in NY, every weekend. Montawk, Fire Island, Jones Beach, mostly at night, and me sometimes with him. Using Dr Michael’s 12′ one piece bamboo rod. I remember stopping off for ribs at Shermans, 4 AM, and John terrified, for his car (triple parking was as close as we could get), for his life, especially after shots go off in the next block and I want to pause with the rubberneckers as some Muslim stomps his bitch while clutching a rifle, stomping the bitch into the sidewalk, and screaming kill whitie slogans. “John, it’s just words. He’s not coming after us; he’s just beating up his girl friend. He doesn’t even know we’re here.” And then climbing up eleven flights at 440 because the 12′ rod wouldn’t fit into the elevator. If I had felt so much as a serious tug on the line it wouldn’t have seemed such an empty activity.
Ah, but then moving to Maine to become a real skier, the outdoors coming with it, and being there year round. The favorite rod of my life still being the light weight fly rod I got a Zayres in Waterville for $8, lasting till I lost the top piece last October. Buz showing me the little trout streams off the Allegheny Trail near Sugarloaf. Catching a native brookie on my first fly cast ever. Not only that, but the fly was also the first I’d ever tied, and Buz running, gallumphing, staggering with the clumsiness of waders, seeing the fight, seeing me net it, joining me in the stream, “Where is it? Where is it?” his eyes sparkling. “I threw it back.” “You threw it back? You threw it back? Why?” “It was too small.” “Small? You threw it back because it was too small? Paul, you caught the biggest trout in the whole stream!” 8″ didn’t seem like much to a saltwater man. By then, my most common, successful, fishing was for blues, and they’d tear your arms off. Even though I’d only gone … total, maybe twice.
So, that’s just about all my experience until John talks me into another assault on the surf. Four days and nights on the Cape. Nausset Beach. We leave NY after dinner, drive four or five hours, arrive to learn from the signs: No Camping on the Beach. John decides we can hide in the dunes. Have a few slugs of scotch, wink for a few minutes, and we’re out on the beach tying on hopkins.
It’s probably 4 AM by the time we’re actually casting. I’m totally at a loss to understand how John can keep up his enthusiasm: hours go by, we try striper-swipers, rigged eels, back to the hopkins … At least you could throw those far. So I’ve never felt a strike, never in my life out of the surf felt a strike, and by this time I’m thirty, but that’s just me; what I don’t understand is, I’ve never seen John catch so much as a minnow out of the surf. So maybe I’ll never see one of his bonanzas, but I should see him, the expert, catch something.
Well, the sun comes up, another hour or two pass, I’m getting a sun burn, I’m tired as hell, I have a headache, I’m getting spastic: all night driving, drinking, fishing, no sleep to speak of, no rest … This is 22 or 3 years ago and I’d still never felt a strike out of the surf until this past March at Bahia Honda in the Keys. Because what happened next sure didn’t have anything to do with strikes. The hell with the hopkins for the Nth time. I clip on the striper-swiper. Damn thing cost me $4.95 or some preposterous price. It doesn’t weight more than an ounce or two and I’m damned if I can cast it more than three or four waves even with the 12′ rod. I’m standing in the surf already up to me ribs, haul the rig back, let fly, and the damn striper-swiper doesn’t clear the first wave crest. The worst surf cast of my life! let alone just the last several miserable hours. I don’t know what happened. Maybe a little extra wind came up. That may have been it, because miles of slack line sparkle in the morning sun as they fall back toward the water. Ah, I just thought of it: maybe the line had twisted and a snarl caught at a ferrule on the way out! In any case, all I want to do is crank the line back in and do better before anybody notices my ineptitude, as though speed will erase the event. Crank crank and all that’s coming is all that limp line. Ah, now the line is taught … and nothing happens. The lure is stuck fast on something. I can’t imagine what. Neither can I have been trying too hard or with too much brain power: I’m thinking it must be stuck on a rock or on some submerged garbage. Too much scotch, too little sleep, too hard a week not getting much studying done as usual, how exhausting … Schmuck! This is the surf! Nausset Beach! Pure sand! Pure waves of pure water! There are no rocks here. None not smashed to smithereens millions of years ago. Well, no, tens of thousands … Whenever. The surf will fill with junk during a storm, but not now. There’s nothing there for it to be stuck on. That’s what I failed to think. I’m too busy trying to unstick it. I’m trying everything I know. Let the line go limp. Just tease it back and forth. More to the left. More to the right. Get the line real taut, hold it taut by one hand, not by the rod, and twang it with the other hand, twang it and let it go limp. I walk way up the beach and try all of the above, then way down the beach. Nada. I’m trying to resist any temptation to cut the line and start over. $4.95! I can’t afford that! Why did I buy the fucker in the first place? Because John said I should have at least one. The couple of hopkins were expensive enough. I really don’t know why I was trying to hang onto a useless thing. I’d have just the same fun casting weight with no hook. More fun. I’d cast better. This whole ritual certainly doesn’t have anything to do with fish.
Finally, even asshole Calvinist me is willing, indeed anxious to break the line and have done with it. Just how asshole Calvinist may be seen by the fact that I wanted to break the line, not cut it. Cutting it would necessarily lose all the line cut as well as the lure and other hardware such as the swivel; breaking it … ah, breaking it, it might break at the swivel and then I’d have all my line back: a saving of … probably at least a mill. Maybe even a couple of cents. Fuck it. Now I work my ass off to break the line. I pull with my hands on the line directly. I really don’t want to break Michael’s rod. John sees me. “Are you still stuck? The same stuck as fifteen minutes ago? Or stuck again?” Now I’m mad. I don’t care about the striper swiper, about Michael’s rod, about anything. Sunburned and sweaty, salty and sandy, the scotch still kicking around in me … uhngrrh … and it comes free! All this limp line I saved with my brilliant economy. I’m placidly reeling it in, amazed at how much seems to have been out after all when the fucking cast hadn’t cleared the first wave … when I catch a glint of light just at the receding wave’s fractally dancing edge. By god! it’s … my striper-swiper! Still attached! I didn’t lose the fucker after all. But … by god, its rear treble hooks are bent out straight!
And that’s when I saw the fish. Another glint of light at the water’s edge. Subjective time. How long was it, this slow motion, this eternity in which I saw the monster, saw that she was helpless at the tide’s edge, gasping, on her side, saw another wave coming, a wave in which the undertow was sure to get her back into deep enough water where she’d get righted, get back maybe enough energy to swim a little further out. I saw her still groggy but safe from me, at least in my waders, there it would be me who’d get killed in the struggle, waders filled up with water and one more ass hole Calvinist dragged away to meet a real infinity. I threw the rod down. Right onto the beach. I didn’t think about sand in the reel. I didn’t think about throwing Michael’s rod into the surf never to see it again. I just started running to the fish, trying to outrace the wave, outrace her recovery of breath, to beat her escape. Gallumph, stumble, sweating like a pig. Feeling like that football defender, he’s just intercepted the ball, a professional athlete, but he can’t advance it more than ten yards, even with no enemy player in tackling range, because he just doesn’t have enough gas, falling down with nobody laying a hand on him, but with me, it’s the fish herself I’m falling on, no time to think how rightly to go about it, what kind of a handle does a fish come with? None that I can think of. I’m sure not going to grab her by the mouth: I don’t know what kind of teeth these fish have. I’ve never seen one, let along caught or handled on. By the gills? How unseemly. She might breathe on me. But that’s bull shit because I’ve got her, tackled for sure, I’ve got her in both arms, flat on my belly on the beach as the wave reaches us, but I take on less water than I thought. Of course her fat body is helping for one thing. But the images of being swept out to King Neptune are still with me. “And what’s this you’ve brought me,” Neptune says to the fish. But no, it’s I who’ve got her, and now I’m on my knees, and I’ve still got her, already hoarse from screaming, “John, John, look, look, help me, help.” English professor, right? Poet.
Whew. Nine pounds. So fat it was unbelievable. John wants to cut her open right away. Take a look at her stomach contents. The fishing pro’s clue as to how next to fish. She was so full of spearing they were still jamming her gullet. There was no way she was going to fit more in her belly, a belly so swollen she looked pregnant and diseased to be so bloated. And here this hawg is going for a lure at least six inches long. Where was she going to put that?
For more than two decades as I recall that incident (and I’ve recounted it a few times since catching my fresh water 9 pounder of three years ago) I thought of the line as stuck fast just in the middle of the first wave. But now that I recall the extra line falling from the sky and the length of line I reeled in before I saw her I realize that there’s no telling how far she’d hauled that swiper before I got the line taut. No question thought that it was in the first wave that lure and fish met for the fatal time.
I didn’t imagine that I had a fish because I didn’t feel fight, only resistance. Like I had an old boot filled with water or cement on the end of the line. So it wasn’t until the day before yesterday that I once again encountered that kind of feeling only to find a striper in the net at the end of it.
I let loose my trio of “shad” worms before I’ve cleared the launch area. Once in the lake I add my heavy rod to the trolling. Only this time I try the Rapala I got in the Everglades and had never once caught so much as a beer can on. I let it out way behind the boat while I start to tie a popper on my fly rod. Once I reach the other shore, I’m going to troll the cattails and then anchor and pop. I can’t get the feeling out of my arms when I’ve had a strong fish only to lose him. That has to be why I’m back at Red Beach Lake day after day last month, haunting the area where I lost the good one, fishing with Ralph. Perfect cast of the Texas rigged plastic worm to the exact side of some submerged stump. Didn’t feel a strike but saw the line tighten, set the hook and didn’t feel a fight, but saw the line move steadily out toward deep water, all the time thinking, ok, bass, jump, dance on your tail, show us your magnificent body. You can never be sure of what you’ll bring to hand, but even if I lose a fish, I want to see him, hell, I’d almost surely release him anyway. And simulthinking, bass? What else could be that strong? No catfish took a worm with a bullet weight from that location so soon after the cast? And why I’m heading back toward the far shore where I lost a similarly odd battle when the fish cut the line on the propeller, me, seeing the move, but lunging to stall too late to save the fight. So like that other time, it’s windy (otherwise he’d never have gotten near the blades ahead of me getting into neutral or even just stalling) and I’m having the devil of a time trying to thread the fly and the boat is beginning to circle and I steer it a little, sort of toward the fish attractor buoy, but then back to my sewing, when I hear the drag screech on the heavy rod. Hell, I’d forgotten about it. No telling how many strikes I miss not paying attention. But here it’s a rapala. Three treble hooks with wicked barbs. Sure enough, the drag is still screaming: no need to “set” the hook. Especially not while trolling. So there’s time to get the light line in and out of the way, then concentrate on Mr. Rapala’s good work. When I do, I oscillate between conviction that I have a quality fish and doubt that I’ve just hooked debris and it’s the wind and the engine which are combining for an illusion of fight. Then for sure, he dives, he comes toward me, he runs. But mostly it’s just hauling in an old tire. And no bass ’cause no jump. His big mouth on the surface, yes, just dragging along for a while, with me totally confused, bass mouth I think, certainly no catfish, no pickerel. (Schmuck Mike at Highland Angler’s interrupts my Red Beach story to say it was probably a chain pickerel, this savant not wanting the complete evidence.) Long fight, long. Finally, believing I’m going to release him, I decide not to prolong it to the point of danger to his recovery. So, I net him, thinking I’ll give him a rest, some artificial respiration if necessary, fill the bucket with water, show him to Catherine, and to Ralph, and to Norby, and bring him back to Lake Jackson. Fucking bass after all that doubt. 22″, 4 lbs. And I put him over the side in the fish basket I can hardly squeeze him into, all the time noticing, err … there’s something odd about this largemouth. Ah, I know, it’s a small mouth … Ah, I’m not sure.
But when I get to the launch area, “Oh, say, nice striper.” Striper? What’s a striper doing in Lake Jackson? (Most of that answer I got an hour later from Norby, but that’s not relevant here.)
So, striper #1, like an old tire, around age 30, striper #2, age 52, another dead weight. Compared to a blue fish or to a largemouth bass, that is. Fought like a mud fish: strong but without that exhilarating fury.
Yesterday I pull a largemouth out of the weeds and he puts up a terrific struggle, only to weight in a 12.5″. Wow. And at 8ish PM that there could do it. I had a slow start yesterday, careless maybe after the previous day, lost probably five fish before I started bringing them hand. Caught about seven, mostly around 12″ when I got #8. A champion at only a half inch more. But no. All my fishing has been from the boat. And a little too deadly with my school of shad invention. What I really love, especially here in Lake Jackson, is wading. And I’ve got on my bathing suit, and my feet are bare, and here’s that huge, clear shallow area. I set the anchor by hand and get out, casting a cricket on the fly rod. Don’t care if I don’t catch anything, probably not a good lure in the falling light, but … wading is so nice, and the cricket is light and lets me do some real fly casting for a change. I see the line straighten. I watch closely. Yes, it’s starting to sink. Wham. And a small bass is dancing on its tail. Oh, such a tiny guy, I’ll bring him to hand quickly and make him once again safe and sound. Except he’s taken the hook deep. I paid $1.69 or so for a pair of these crickets and I want it back, if possible. I release my little friend into the water and walk him like a dog back to the boat to get the needlenose pliers. I hold him gently as I can by the lower jaw and out comes my cricket. I move him back and forth through the water, still holding him by the lower jaw, see the gills work, switch to holding him gently around the middle, loosely so he can swim away if and when he’s ready. He hovers a little slow to catch on, starts a move, realizes he’s free and zoom! But not far. Once again I’m astonished by the efforts of a released bass to find shelter between my legs! This one goes and tries to hide under my ankle. That was one of the first joys I discovered when at last I tried to wade Lake Jackson: the babies don’t perceive my legs to be related to the danger they just experienced. I’ve lost trout by letting them see me before I have them well in the net: whoa! a man! And they triple their efforts to escape.
Meantime, I’m still standing in the water, around knee high, putting the rod away, and I feel something brush my ankle. I look and see nothing. Then suddenly, I see the fish. He’s still there, still hoping he’s sheltered by this first structure he found after escape, and then I don’t see him. Then I do. Had I not just taken a good look at the patterns on his back, I don’t think I would have seen him. I often study the patterns on the backs of the bass, but never before yesterday realizing how perfect the camouflage. He disappeared against the sandy bottom, rippled by water movement and dappled by water weeds. My fish was indistinguishable from a bit of weed swaying in the water currents. The part of my fish that wasn’t dark was indistinguishable from the rippled sand. Until my perception clicked back on and then I could, just barely, distinguish him, appreciating the perfection of his camouflage. Two creatures. Both with perceptions. Both with misperceptions. (How dangerous?) Terrified. Alive. For the moment.
let’s see: I decided earlier to tell about the fish sheltering themselves between my legs after I release them while wading, thought to record my first striper in honor of my second, wind up summarizing a life of sporadic fishing binges, and soon see how much I left out. I don’t think anything will prove more memorable than my first wading encounter with a serious bass. that too makes me recall contexts established earlier. i took up fly fishing in Maine. john came to visit, and we waded a stream local to Waterville, me fly fishing, J spinning. “Did you see that, Paul? that bass committed suicide on my …” I forget which lure. J kept repeating and repeating that. that bass committed suicide. tiny little small mouth, but john was so excited. no trout for me that day. I don’t think I had yet started tying my own, so that outing must have preceded my trip with Buz: that brookie was my virgin honeymoon. But: at the same time that I got my fly tying stuff, I read the Trout Fisherman’s Bible. And that author emphasized understanding what was going on under the surface. He said that if you understood enough about a trout’s habits, you could catch them with your bare hands. And I started to try to project my mind under the surface, to dream the fish’s (plural fish w a singular hypostrophe?) life. I started to picture the currents, the nymph’s habits, the fish’s strategy, the physical logistics of his hunting, hiding, exulting, resting.
It was like the time I climbed White Horse Mt. in Alberta, zowing out on ever greater views of Lake Louise and of the 19 glaciers around it. Toward the top, the other side of the valley was all glacier, Lake Louise a minor detail. But at the actual top of white horse … the top of my head blew off! Boom! 180o became 360o. I’d been so absorbed in the view that expanded as it accompanied me up the mountain, the mountain itself, the one I was on, white horse, being just a wall, veiling perception. but at the top, my peripheral vision tore my head in two, pulling at my eyes equally from both sides, or alternating, maybe even with oscillating voltages, who the hell cares what equally means, like a strobe in the rock club, Boom, and I started spinning around like a top, holy mackerel, the other side was just as gorgeous, the hidden half, only now it wasn’t increasing miles in the distance that the glaciers lay, but under my boots, I was standing on top of a series of glaciers, dozens, on and on, and I whooped and skied down the east face of white horse mountain from the zenith of my own glacier, skied down just in my climbing boots, the tread doing nothing to interfere, it was so steep, a few mad turns, my camera clipping me in the mouth, like at Tucks. Climb back up to the top and I started clicking again. I’d take a 360o sweep, border to border or just overlapping. I then I’d be able to show, somewhat show, Hilary who was waiting below. She’d climbed with me a half hours worth or so and then said I could go on, she’d wait there. Looking up of course it seemed like only another 500′ or so, but steep and very slippery, all loose shale. On I go, and of course the mountain went on and on. Where Hilary had paused was very far short of the top, in fact now it seems to me that the top of the resort and our half hour’s climb above that was still only half way up this serious mountain. Anyway, complete the series of the Lake Louise side, I take pictures border to border, turning now toward my new side, click, advance the film as I rotate that number of degrees to compose the new framing, and … the film wouldn’t advance! I was at the end of the roll! No back up! Gaaa! So, today I have still only the west side, the side everybody in the world already knows, though few have seen it like I have, but my new side, my secret universe … I have only the one 35 mm fragment to remind me of the whole other panorama.
so there’s I’d be, working the brook, but now with my universe doubled, what’s beneath the surface now as much in my awareness, however darkly, as what’s above.
then again, the time at Tannersville I decided to try for trout using crickets. I got a gathering basket and started crawling around the back and side yards, fortunately much unmowed. Wow! another world! the world within the grass. down on my hands and knees, there was no longer any sky, or at least no more than there would be to a fish, that light something up there on the other side of the moving surface of our world, providing light, yes, but having little to do really with this water world here. well, there instead was this grass world. full of creatures who would spend their lives knowing no other. and I was in still another unsuspected heaven, seeing a
crickets world with a cricket’s view. or at least a hss-pk empathimulation of it. not a cricket’s exactly, but not nothing either.
anyway, these past couple of decades pass without many occasions for me to experience these things, a decade of FLEX, then business, then a decade of writing again, and of being broke and exhausted. though actually it only by being really broke and really really exhausted that brought me back to fishing. (unless actually it was meeting Marty and then Lisa.) so, it’s just the past couple of weeks that I’ve been wading again. first in twenty years, first ever in Florida, and certainly the first for largemouth bass. fist time, at Hidden Beach, I cast popping bugs with the fly rod and the waters of Lake Jackson are so clear I can see the fish investigating. Not striking; investigating. I switch flies. Still investigating. Hell, I put on a 4″ plastic worm, too heavy to cast well with the fly rod, but I manage to get it 20′ or so, and I watch the investigating. I twitch the worm. I see the twitch and simulsee the little fishies start away from it, then cautiously return. I’d give anything to know their species. Not blue gills, for sure. Shinners? Don’t think so. Predator types. Little pickerel? So I throw the 4″ worm closer to the cattails, feed out the floating yellow line, and slowly back away to 30 or 40′ where I’m not standing quite so on top of them.
Now, for two years I’ve been enjoying using a fly rod for all sorts of odd uses: cane pole, still fishing, fly casting, jigging … Why? Cause I love the action of the light long willowy rod. It so magnifies the fight. That first bass I’d ever caught on a fly rod, that tiny small mouth at the Colby camp in Maine, casting from the swimming float … That little thing fought for ten minutes or so and I brought him in slowly. “You still fighting that same fish?” Hubbie asks disbelievingly. I also love the incongruity to a trout man of casting the long line in a tangle of cypress swamp. Just showing off, if only to myself. And I love the floating yellow line far better than a bobber. Same purpose, but it points! to the striking fish! So there I am, in the clear waters of Lake Jackson, not at all like the tannin black of Sharlo Apopka, knowing the little fishes are all around the lure, and sure enough, the yellow line is pointing: slowing sinking, and pointing.
Wham! I bring the rod vertical. Only a #6 gold hook in the 4″ worm, but it sinks in, and I’ve got a dandy little fight, every bit as good as that original 8″ brook trout of 1968. oh, please let it be one of those big minnows that were looking it over before. It is, I work it closer and closer. Not to death, I want it to recover nicely. I bring him gently to hand, and before I remove the hook (which I notice while he’s still swimming is perfectly, kosherly set in his lip, the worm swirling around the monofiliament leader some inches further back toward the yellow line), I try to recognize him, give him a species or at least genus name. By god, it’s a largemouth! maybe 8″. 7 or 8 ounces I’d think. and I’m hooked on Lake Jackson. That was first first catch there in three years, but several others followed within minutes. I’ve got the ticket: wade the weeds with a modest lure and you’ll catch plenty of bass. so long as you don’t mind babies.
rading the nursery, I told Brian.
Not true I now know: the big one come to the same areas. It’s just that they’re outnumbered by the young. (and of course the little ones don’t go out deep where the big predators roam at will. or maybe I’m wrong there too.)
I’ve got the ticket and I can’t wait to keep using it. For three years I’ve watched people drive their pickups out on the marsh flats along Rt 27, in front of Harder Hall. Didn’t dare try driving any of my vehicles there. For all I knew those others had all wheel drive or luck or something. but now I’ve got the mountain bike. and off I set for Lake Jackson, pedaling further and further as I don’t want to penetrate through thickets of cat tails in my short pants and no boots. the June sun booms down on me and I’ve made another mistake on the mountain bike, this one not as easily correctable as my first venture out onto the north fence line of Highlands Hammock SP at noon in May. there, it was less than a mile before I could get back into the blessed shade. along Rt 27 I might as well have been in the desert. so, short of ceasing to pedal, I’m stuck there risking sun stroke. but I finally get to the Harder Hall area and there I can walk right through to water.
Up to my neck in no time, but I’m catching bass after bass. fly rod with the 4″ worms. the blue fleck is fine, and now so too are the new red shad ones. Etc. And so the rest of June and now July have followed, the rains coming, but abating here and there while I run to the boat ramp, trying to dodge the lightning bolts, to squeeze in another few catches. (and did I ever, the bass were feeding in a frenzy after 36 hrs of solid rain. I got about 7 bass in 30 or 40 minutes.) but that’s to come. here I am, in my second wade into Lake Jackson, but in a much deeper section. And that’s where the fish seem to be: in five feet of water. maybe in six or seven, me casting from where it’s only up to my neck, having of course to keep my arms raised over the surface to cast. it’s too deep for me along the edge of the weeds, so I try casting from a few feet within the cattails. too restricting. I try trolling the fly as I walk. Something amazing happens. I’m in deep water, but I actually see a couple of young bucks come zooming in to investigate the worm. bass for sure. these guys are must closer to a foot in length, maybe 13″. Like that pair of jets arriving over Glouchester Island at the end of The Russians Are Coming The Russians Are Coming. Zoom. But they didn’t strike. Well, why should they, with me standing only a few yards away? Anyway, what a thrill. All those years imagining the trout haven, now I’m actually seeing the bass in their underwater world. My head and eyes are above the surface, but I’m seeing … Sure, I’m wearing polaroids! It’s almost like scuba diving. God bless. what worlds Jacques Ives Cousteau has given us.
On I press. But I’m catching nothing. I’m in too deep. I had success when I stood shallow and the fish struck deep. or at least deeper than where I was. but it’s ok, seeing those two zero in is the best adventure I’ve had in a while. this is better than catching the fish. on I go till I get to the edge of a really deep pool. I have a had time holding my footing, buoyancy being too great to stand securely. the water is up to my chin, and I’m casting, now a 3″ white grub on a #6 gold Trueturn, as far out into the pool as I can. It’s great, because I can see the grub coming back at me as I draw in line. I’m mesmerized by it, hoving two feet below the surface, the white tail waving and twitching. all my work to imagine the action of the lure here confirmed. boy am I fishing well. if only I weren’t standing here, big as a bill board. maybe I’ll think about green chest waders. Naw, I’d just drown out here. No, this is better, seeing. the lure is only about four feet from me now, as I draw it in, slowly. who needs to catch them? I just return them anyway. That one encounter with the two bucks was …
when a serious fish, a real bass, I mean at least two feet long, at least a few pounds in mass, comes in on the grub like a freight train, stops on the proverbial dime, and give the grub a sharp bite. I’m so startled I couldn’t have set the hook had it been a real strike, at least not for a few more seconds. and then he was gone, swimming off at a far more normal, I presume, speed.
holy cow. I’ll never forget that moment. My heart was racing like crazy. and then the thoughts that followed. did the bass see me? would he have actually struck, I mean swallowed, had I not been there, like a wall, in front of him? (her, probably, at that size.)
I’ve thought about it since and I suspect not. that wasn’t a strike from hunger. I don’t think anger either. I don’t think the fish meant to kill the grub. But to teach it a lesson. “Hey, you. This is my pool. Next time I catch you here you’ll have to give me your lunch money.”
ss: hss colony on alternate environment planet, import teachers etc from E, or teachers etc from anywhere modU trained, that is: trained to make no checks between their model and what it supposed to correspond to, the way NYU profs were professionally on display as sensitive to lit, but showed selves immune to it when not in museum case. very quickly, inability to see that up is here down …
language game. lg what a concept! what a mistake! at the same time! I’m trying to think of what I should do with my thoughts of the last several days about LW & PhInvestigations and recent thoughts on his concept of “language game” and what I now understand him to mean by that etc, etc, esp. in rel. to Johnny VonNeu. etc, etc. dates, thank you. But it shouldn’t go here, thank you, a special file (which I can lose and forget the speciality of etc like so many other epis.etc). and I think, How about “LanguageGame.LudwigWitgenstein, but of course I misspell it. Like so many “errors of scale etc,” this happens all the time.
see Doug Adams, Hitchhikers series.
anyhow: first entry: language game: a la linguistics: try defining something sometime, it’s like farting in church: everyone is too polite to have heard you. ill: Jim Brown and “race” among the … ahem … journalists? ahem, racists.
ahh: epis.lg!
53 yrs old & I just discover Mimesis. two days later I discover Ruskin. Now Ruskin was assigned and I never got past a line or two, but wow is he ever the basis for my own thought. Grandpa! I’d heard of you but never met till now.
Auerbach lists relationships! “their temporal, local, causal, final, consecutive, comparative, concessive, antithetical, and conditional limitations …” are brought to light in perfect fullness. ie in Homer (as then contrasted with Biblical epic).
ss: hazardous information: attention information consumers, the Shrink General has determined that the following news bulletin is of the type to likely contain news of danger: statistics show that avoidance of a catastrophe is likely to be far more damaging than ignorance.
Hurricane Andrews warnings and every one is Sebring heads for Georgia. Cars pile up on the highway, looting after evacuation of Miami, lost luggage, etc. I’d like to see a comparison of damages in two cities; one warned and one not.
now, I’d thought the above a day or two ago, before the storm, but didn’t sit down to the Plus till an hour ago. since then, I’ve called JB and he’s telling me of the total destruction of S Dade, Cutler Ridge, etc, roofs ripped from all the homes, etc.
I still maintain my points above, but this one is one where the storm probably was more damaging than the warnings. for the moment. but, the storm is occasional, the news has us running around like beheaded chickens all the time.
we pay the banks to own us.
sd:? purpose of a church is to rehearse us in consentual irrationality.
just also thinking of RalphV & the SG committee & recycling & me: they told a lie that they knew was a lie, sat there and registered that no one corrected them and … presto, it was history, official truth. so, govt =~ church.
14 November 1992, look in TV guide @ Catherine’s and lo and behold, a way of dating something I’d long been (idlely) curious about: my earliest memory of a movie: a couple of big guys pushing each other around on a dock, some great looking gal saying something, and one of the guys pushing her around. I got upset, started to cry, which upset my mother who tried to shush (comfort?) me. I also remember one of the guys struggling with a giant octopus. Now, 54 yrs old: Cecile B. DeMille’s Reap the Wild Wind, advertised as playing on cable tonight: Duke Wayne, Robert Preston, Raymond Massie? I’m not sure of the guys even after reading the ad only an hour or two ago, but Paulette Goddard!! and Susan Heywood! (who always reminded me of my mother). So, 1942. I’m fairly sure it was a new release as we were seeing it, I’m fairly sure at the Fantasy in RVC. So, I was three or four. Maybe my first time in a theater. Certainly my earliest film memory. (except of course for those things that have always been there, Chaplin, etc.)
what differences are different? depends on the structure (scale & scope) being considered
is “all of Shakespeare …” (the ellipsis expands to include all of Tolstoy, all of Einstein, all of Kant, all of the Bible …) implicit in any set of human genes? Is any set of human genes implicit in all of Shakespeare?
1/8/93 dream waking memory of seducing Linda Jones, her wriggling at the revelation of my independent mind, the quick intimacy in the luxury of her car, the quick fading away as I went on to tell her of the economic sacrifice of FLEX, of writing, of being that independent mind, till suddenly, poof, didn’t know me. I was always proud (and negatively conscious) of my own blind spots, walk down the Ave, see nothing but an occasional bottom, somehow avoid being run over, mugged, etc, but not seeing anything … Well, I’m now sure that some version of my “screen” is h-universal.
Also, can’t concentrate of figure and ground at same time, melody and rhythm …
Matter and near-space, but not space, and definitely not the “space” “outside” the universe.
If equally tuned to every-thing and to every-no-thing, then perception impossible. heat death. no information, no universe, no “intelligence.”
anti-evolution to favor evolution. if any species were really intelligent, it would come too damn close to succeeding in becoming immortal, and evolution would slow way down.
solutions aren’t what being human is about: it’s dilemmas.
court room epistemology: it takes 12 men to establish officially the current social fiction which the group calls truth.
May 17,. 1993: id files todate: 592,160 words; 53,378 lines



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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