Archive for 2001

Blue Light Special


26 Oct

structure10

Philadelphia Fitness

samplex

Friday, October 26, 2001 4:44 AM

Hey Steve—up for a visit? If so, do you know a route from DC to Philly which bypasses the toll road? I need a breather from this terror on TV, death in DC, and my own killer daily bread. With a nod to all those former glories we shared, I thought of you. I'll bring the recent Dylan release.

This window of opportunity will expire soon. If I don't hear from you today, for whatever reason, real or imagined, I'll count on nothing. Could this really be the end, stuck inside of DC with the Philly blues again—as the four horsemen of an prima facie first blush apocalypse, the blue light special of tomorrow's plush sweaters, the four nineties of some square conspiring to compete with the circles we pick up in the streets and avenues, Steve, Len, Tim, and Gabriel pledging allegiance to the sounds of our own thumping hearts for which we cannot stand idly by...

Half deaf but playing it by ear,

GT

P.S. By the way, Bracken sent me his "screenplay". Seems I have a single speech towards the end, which of course fits in my mouth, but still I hesitate involving myself in this project since I despise laziness, especially that which lurks in MYSELF, so why should I allow Mr. Radical to exploit me for those questionable aims of his, just for the vanity of some screen time? What do you think? Have you read it? Would you like to have my lines?

Hey great! C'mon up...Don't know any toll-less routes offhand...just know the standard 95 route...would require some blue-highway meandering...but don't let that stop you! We've got Koreans in town today, so I might not have much of a chance to get to a phone...in any event, could you remind me of your phone# (gotta catch a bus, an egg-and-cheese sandwich, and a coffee, in that order)? Mine at work is 215.790.xxxx (feel free to leave a message if I'm not in.) After work and the obligatory Korean dinner tonight, I have no plans for the weekend.

SET

When In Baltimore, Bring Elephants


31 Jul

marti-approve

Marti Wouldn't Approve

samplex

Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2001 09:31:54

I can't thank you and Sue enough for partaking of the events that day. All the weirdness aside, it was a fabulous party. I've been getting feedback ever since, most good, some bad, but fuck the ones who are complaining. Hope the video people will forgive my leaving them behind and give me the video....they are holding out now, sulking. I am trying to explain to them that the video opp in the limo was not anything I would want to keep for posterity's sake...

I await the pics as they come, in whatever condition. I appreciate your tenacity, your wit, your
friendship and the elephants...thank you ever so much!

Til next time...

Marti Iben

Love And Time Installments As Life Reminds Us Of Itself Again


26 Jun

skirmish

Time Installments

samplex

At 9:55 AM -0400 6/26/01, Sue Hedrick wrote:

Dear Richard,

I really feel bad now.

Gabriel came home last night after being away a week. First he drove to Monticello, GA to pick up his brother Allan, then the both of them drove to Chicago—where their mother, Peggy, who is studying for her doctorate in psychology is at the Adler School—to visit her before driving back here, arriving last night. I told Gabriel of Mama Ethel's passing over the phone before I went home last evening. Then, when I arrived home, he said there were several e-mails from you starting on the 20th and ending with the funeral arrangements...I am so sorry that I did not check his e-mail over the time he was gone. I actually had thought about doing so, but didn't, thinking that is sort of like opening someone's US mail.

Another twist to this saga is that Gabriel had actually talked about going to Albany to visit you and Mama Ethel last week after picking up his brother in Monticello, GA. But, she may have been to ill to see them at that time.

The point of all this is to let you know I do feel terrible about this missed opportunity to stand by you in this event. If I had read those e-mails on Saturday, I would have been there.

Love,

Sue Hedrick

Wow. My world too is rocked as life reminds us of itself again and again.

Love and time installments,

Gabriel

So Much For Friends In High Places


08 Mar

mindover

Database Limbo

samplex

Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 11:13:58

Gabriel, I have talked with my tech group regarding your resume, background, experience and how that matches up with our current customer projects. Unfortunately, the type of work we are currently performing is all database-driven primarily in SQL 7 and Oracle. Also the team felt they could handle our current work load, and that there is not be enough paid work in the pipeline to justify adding another member to the team, at this time.

I will keep you in mind as Votenet advances and recontact you if I feel our circumstances change such that we could afford to bring you on board and offer you a challenging opportunity. Regards, Glen

So much for friends in high places. Skip Bafalis, when asked for a favor, reached not so deep into his deep back pockets to dredge up Glen Hughlette's position as a maker and breaker of talents great and small. A wizened, apodyopsic sculptor of men, and women, a Constantin Brâncuși, I'm sure. And of late, buried in the current technology bust. These two neighbors, passing as friendly, both well-married, and let's face it, cash-cushioned captains of industry...whoops, I'm sorry, but until my keyboard gets fixed after a spill, let's gorge ourselves on a wonderful menu from a favored Capitol Hill restaurant and eclectic western-style danceria and theater named Sheridan's, so very owned and operated by the local gay mafia. A promising venue that unfortunately only made the effort for eight months or so, but was always packed when we put on our dancing boots to delight ourselves in public...

In a roomful of competitive talkers, are you the unrepentant tachyphagiac? Regardless of the hour of our splendid visitation, if fast eaters can only dream in unrequited syllables, this menu is cloud mine...


Sheridan's

PRIME RIB WEDNESDAY...

  • King Cut, 16 ounce $20.00
  • Queen Cut, 12 ounce $16.00
  • Princess Cut, 8 ounce $12.00
  • All served with au jus, horseradish, chef's selection of vegetable and garlic mashed potatoes

    Pre Theater Menu


    available 5:30pm to 6:30pm daily AND ALL NIGHT THURSDAY...

    Choice of Soup or Salad

  • Chef's Selection of Homemade Soups
  • Caesar Salad
  • Spinach Salad
  • All Served with Onion, Egg, Mushroom, Sunflower Seeds, Balsamic Vinaigrette

    Choice of Entree

  • Li'l Cowpoke Petite Filet Mignon of Beef Bernaise
  • Chicken Fried Steak, Brown Gravy and Onions
  • Laramie Chicken Cordon Bleu, Prosciutto and Provolone, Mushroom Cream
  • Red River Stuffed Pork Loin, Cornbread and Sun Dried Tomato Stuffing, Cranberry Demiglace
  • Penne Pasta with Seasonal Vegetables, Bleu Cheese Walnut Cream
  • Choice of Dessert

  • Sheridan's Bread Pudding, White and Dark Chocolate Nuggets, Brandy Caramel Sauce
  • Oops, I Dropped It - Dark Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Walnut Cone, Raspberry Cream
  • Caramel Apple Tart, Brandy Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Trio of Sorbets, Chef's Selection
  • $18.74 per person
    To take advantage of this offer all orders must be placed by 6:45 pm

    HOME COOKIN' SUNDAY...

    Three different entrees available for $10.00 each

  • Meatloaf with Brown Gravy
  • Barbecued Baby Back Ribs, Ω pound
  • Hearty Hunter Stew
  • AND AVAILABLE EVERY DAY...


    Sheridan's Winter Menu

    Appetizers

  • Tijuana Flatbread $11.00
    topped with Shrimp, Pepperjack, Provolone, and Cilantro Pesto
  • Monterey Flatbread $9.00
    topped with Portabello, Spinach, Roasted Peppers, Pepperjack, and Provolone
  • Pan Fried Brie, Crostini, Seasonal Fruit $9.00
  • Oyster Rockefeller on the Pie Shell $8.00
  • Southwestern Shrimp Cocktail $8.00
    Roasted Red Pepper Remoulade and Tomato Chili Puree
  • Shrimp and Jalapeno Poppers $8.00
  • SautÈed Mussels, Garlic Herb Broth $7.00
  • Ranch Cake Sampler $6.00
    Black Bean and Potato Cheddar Cakes, Jalapeno Creme Fraiche, Pico de Gallo
  • Cheese or Chicken or Shrimp Quesadilla $6.00 / $7.00 / $9.00
  • Soups

  • Vegetarian Black Bean $6.00
    Red Onion, Jalapeno Creme Fraiche
  • Soup of the Day Market
  • Salads

  • Caesar Salad, Old Bay Croutons $6.00
    Split for two $8.00
  • Field Greens, Bleu Cheese, Walnuts, Dried Cherry Vinaigrette $6.00
    Split for two $8.00
  • Spinach, Onion, Egg, Mushroom, Sunflower Seeds, Balsamic Vinaigrette $6.00
    Split for two $8.00
  • Entrees

  • Ponderosa Porterhouse, 16 ounce $30.00
    Marinated Portabello and Shallot Demiglace
  • Miss Kitty's Filet Mignon of Beef, 8 ounce $24.00
    Topped with Brie and Candied Cajun Pecans
  • Miss Kitty Naked, 8 ounce $21.00
    Bernaise
  • Li'l Cowpoke Filet Mignon of Beef, 4 ounce $12.00
    Bernaise
  • Gold Rush New York Strip, 12 ounce $20.00
    Rubbed with Blackening Spices, Bleu Cheese, Roasted Garlic Demiglace
  • Chicken Fried Steak $12.00
    Brown Gravy and Onions
  • Black Hills Venison Striploin, 6 ounce $25.00
    Blackberry, Sage, and Pearl Onion Demiglace
  • Cody's Buffalo Strip Steak, 6 ounce $24.00
    Stout Marinated, Stout and Roasted Red Pepper Demiglace
  • Doc Holiday's Pepper Rosemary Half Rack of Lamb $21.00
    Tomato and Red Onion Hash, Balsamic Reduction
  • Calamity Jane's Veal Scallopini $17.00
    topped with Artichoke, Watercress, Lemon, Oregano, and Red Onion
  • Red River Cornbread Stuffed Pork Loin $15.00
    Cranberry Demiglace
  • Cheyenne Quail Stuffed with Wild Rice and Spinach $19.00
    Spicy Orange Honey Glaze
  • Laramie Chicken Cordon Bleu $16.00
    Prosciutto and Provolone, Mushroom Cream
  • Padre Island Seafood Stew $18.00
    Shrimp, Mussels, Chef's Choice of Fish, Seafood Broth, Peppers, Tomato, and Lime
  • Belle Star's Pecan Encrusted Mahi Mahi $17.00
    Lemon Saffron Cream
  • Telluride Penne Pasta with Seasonal Vegetables $14.00
    Bleu Cheese Walnut Cream
  • SWILL: Economy But One Strata In Whole Geology Of Troubles


    23 Feb

    economides

    Economides

    samplex

    To: sworg-talk@scenewash.org
    Date: 23 Feb 2001 03:07:35 +0000

    BEGIN ANOTHER SWILL, THIS ONE WON'T LAST FOREVER

    Reading more from Article 3:

    The SI also inherited a nineteenth century conception of materialism from the same sources. This legacy prevented SI critique from appreciating the complex alchemical processes which take place between subjective and objective facts (specifically the potent and complex role of existentialism and human psychological necessities which ensue from it). It is specifically this incomplete conception of materialism which gives rise to the naive revolutionism which anticipates that revolution follows dutifully on the heels of revelation—that human belief, perceptions and will follow meekly behind a radical description of the world. The uncomfortably ill-defined relationship of situationism with communist and anarchist blocs also derives from this unfinished work. This discomfort with other leftist bedfellows is in fact serious enough to raise questions about whether situationism is in fact compatible with these other traditions at all (or rather—vice versa).

    Rebunk: I might caution against the use of the term "existentialism" in this instance, evoking as it does yer Sartres, Camus', Merleau-Pontys and the rest of yer "Temps Modernes" gang, especially when I think you're referring more to Keirkegaard, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky et.al. (have we discussed Heidegger ever?)

    Ghe word Existentialism should definitely appear in the said declaration because it is a word which we cannot afford to lose to the enemy. However, I shall try to think of a phrase to add which briefly defines what is meant by it so that, as you say, it is distanced from the dreary likes of Sartre and Camus. As for Heidegger—wot a friggin kraut wanker he woz, eh? A genius without doubt but I'd sooner not have to actually go mince myself in any of that shit if it can possibly be avoided. (shoulda mentioned Husserl in there somewhere too—just to annoy the "antifascists").

    Rebunk: These thinkers also have something in common with the young Marx, pre-autocritique Lukacs, and all of Korsch in the centrality that the notion of alienation holds within their work. If we can find some form of unification here—whose seeds exist in the work of the Frankfurt School; Kube has already mentioned Reich and Fromm, and I'd like to add Adorno and Benjamin...

    Now my metaphor is this—suppose the handful of degrees of initial chill is equivalent to the relative deprivation induced by material shortages, by the exploitations of captalism. It sets up a chain reaction of social relationships which may in their turn worsen such shortages or in some other way worsen social cruelties or suppress consciousness.
    Not happy with this. "Alienation" is a very much parenthesised version of angst. It tends to constrain the idea, once again, in the dated and inadequate conception that only the issue of production, of capitalist class relations, is what matters in the attempt to realize a better way of life. It tends to distract from the notion of SIN—of the root of alienation in an imperfect response to inherited (and personal) karma (to use no-doubt wholly unacceptable terms to convey a virtually indigestible idea). Reich and Fromm, for all their fine points, did precious little to redress this either, although the psychoanalytic school has certainly come out with some juicy stuff in recent years (such as 'Sexual Personae' and some of its very dubious political conclusions, which I plan to discuss sometime soon). Moreover—what kind of people think of themselves as "alienated" these days? Iffy kinds of people. The fact is that a LACK of alienation is no guide whatever as to whether a person is living a good life or not, and nor, basically, is alienation. All we see in this phenomenon is whether some particular individual is currently relatively successful or unsuccessful in losing him or herself in activity / whether LUCK (as much as anything else) is providing an adequate supply of options at a particular moment.

    Rebunk: Then we can relocate revolutionary nihilism in the drama of everyday existence. From this I would tentatively argue that radical change takes place not after revelation, either through the presentation of a utopian ideology or pointing out the poverty of current conditions of existence, but after grasping the mechanisms of real social relations and locating the energies capable of transforming them.

    Jahwohl. We are not so far apart on this at all, but to hell with the "tentatively" part. However whilst I do not dismiss the role of capital (therefore would not neglect to pay cheques into my bank account if I had any) the nature of those energies which do indeed transform real social relations is incredibly more subtle, and enduring, than the fixation on mere class-economics has long suggested. A prog on tonights TV suggests to me an example—600 million years ago, the earth for some reason suffered a smallish dip in average temperatures severe enough that in time the sea began to freeze over as far down as Texas. Because the frozen snowy wastes were WHITE, they reflected a substantial proportion of the suns heat back into space thereby making the chill increase geometrically. As a result the entire world was soon frozen solid EVERYWHERE. This flipping of state was basically irreversible—even at the equator there is estimated to have been a kilometre of ice. No free water, no rain—just one big snowball planet under a cold blue sky. (in fact this condition probably lasted for 10 million years until volcanic greenhouse gases flipped it back out). Now my metaphor is this—suppose the handful of degrees of initial chill is equivalent to the relative deprivation induced by material shortages, by the exploitations of captalism. It sets up a chain reaction of social relationships which may in their turn worsen such shortages or in some other way worsen social cruelties or suppress consciousness. It is entirely conceivable for the consequent social conditions to not only perpetuate unnecessary material scarcities even after the technological means of ending them altogether has been brought into existence, but even of increasing atrocities of various kinds as well as denuding life of warmth in general and replacing it with ever-growing suspicion, or hedonistic distractions from emptiness and the rest. The world could be trapped in such conditions for ten million years after the original economic cause has long since been irrelevant. Oh yes it could.

    We must eliminate the assumption that reversing such a scenario hinges upon crude mechanisms, or else (at least) to prosper within it we must. The economy is but one strata in a whole geology of troubles—all of which are entirely REAL.

    —kubhlai

    ********* END OF THIS SWORG SWILL TRANSMISSION *********

    SWILL: Trading Comforts For Prison Cells And Rivers Of Blood


    23 Feb

    Blood and Guts

    Blood and Guts

    samplex

    To: sworg-talk@scenewash.org
    Date: 23 Feb 2001 03:07:35 +0000

    BEGIN ANOTHER SWILL, THIS ONE WON'T LAST FOREVER
    Article 3:

    Again from the same root causes, the SI constrained their critique, their explanations and their strategies to the Economy and its material manifestations. Vaneigem himself has clearly moved away from this inadequate and dated position in identifying the underlying processes of human delusion and repression at work in medieval and middle-age periods of history (the Free Spirit). However in a nutshell this shortfall in critique may be defined as an absence of ecological sensibility.

    Rebunk: Developing at the precise moment the economy began its current domination of all social life, it was inevitable that as a theory of social totality, the SI's critique would focus on commodity fetishism and the alienated labor behind the production of desire. Unlike most so-called Marxist thinkers, the SI did not limit their thought to pure ECONOMIC CRITIQUE, but rather concentrated on a CRITIQUE OF THE ECONOMY (the two terms are markedly different). They were thus able to predict the content and motivation of the May 68 insurrection. This lay not in material privation, whose elimination from the lives of most workers through trade union compromises had led many Leftist theorists to believe that the proletariat had all but disappeared, but in social and cultural alienation, where the relations of production described by Marx had invaded every level of existence, spreading beyond the factory into the classroom, the living room and the bedroom. Nevertheless, the SI did not elaborate extensively enough the motivations of those in power, and were thus unable to foresee the reaction that prevented the rebellion from turning into a full scale revolution. Despite a few formal considerations, the situationist critique of the economy's occupation of all spheres of life has maintained its relevance. With this crucial labor out of the way, we are in a position to examine those elements of the SI's work that could not be fully developed until now.

    But this GUT revulsion was TYPICAL then and it is NOT typical now. I don't see it in my own kids even though their exposure is many times higher than mine was. The fact is—homo sapiens ADAPTS—the direct disgust which was normal in the 1960s is not even comprehensible to most people today, it is not even REMEMBERED.
    Well put, but. The omissions of the SI are substantially greater than the phrase "those elements of the SI's work" suggests. Actually its a pretty damn big omission not to have considered "the motivations of those in power" for a start. Absurd in fact. Actually, of course, the SI were "unable to foresee" mostly because they had not sufficiently understood (although Vaneigem surely had his suspicions) the motivations of those on the street, and the fact that they would no way trade in their comforts for prison cells and rivers of blood.

    One could say, that Vaneigem's latest book focused on the moment in history when mercantilism was emerging, but the savagery with which he describes the suppression of joy in that historical epoch makes 1960s capitalism look damn cosy by comparison. Foucaults historical work is far more balanced than anything offered by the SI and in effect spans ALL cultures in (almost) ALL historical phases. In this far far bigger light, is it reasonable to say that we are dotting the I's left by the SI? I think not—on the contrary I think it fairer to say they were the I-dotters for focussing so narrowly (and that narrowness ensues primarily from their constraint within mechanistic Marxist traditions whether it was economic critique or critique of economics).

    There is too a sense in which the SI is simply out of date because of its focus on commodity fetishism. I can remember (along with mother's pride, tricycles and Watch with Mother) when my own disgust with the modern world discovered an echo of itself in a couple of books called SOS and ROEL. For years leading up to that moment the ADVERT had made me sick. Wherever I wandered, wherever they found me—the billboards, the commercial, the circular, the neon in Picadilly, the radio-drivel...I felt seriously oppressed by the evergrowing incitement for men to wear perfume and women to shave their legs and kids to drink Cresta and old men to utilize cunning technological gadgets to rid themselves of unwanted nasal hair and housewives to have blue white shirts and electric this that and the other. But this GUT revulsion was TYPICAL then and it is NOT typical now. I don't see it in my own kids even though their exposure is many times higher than mine was. The fact is—homo sapiens ADAPTS—the direct disgust which was normal in the 1960s is not even comprehensible to most people today, it is not even REMEMBERED. I don't even feel it myself—I have acquired an immunity, and my kids were born with it, inoculated at an early age.

    For example, since the beginning of the 90s we have no longer been subject to the same pressure to be A-LA-MODE, fashionable, a member of a certain subculture that we were throughout the 60s, 70s, and early 80s. "Post-modernist" consumerism is, in that sense, far less overtly authoritarian than previous commodity-fetishist decades (why could The New Avengers never attain the charisma of the original?).
    This wee anecdote is surely incredibly important. The SI felt as I felt : I knew that even as a child; but today it is thought of as an intellectual theory simply because it requires an effort of the mind (for the average person) to see their point of view which in actual fact it did NOT require at the time—in a postwar world which suddenly found itself subjected to a barrage of oppressive and exploitive technology-powered communication.

    Re-analyzing and re-adapting to the 21st century is hardly a mere continuation of the SI of the 1960s, because we no longer live in the 1960s—we have instead a whole new world to deal with which they could barely have conceived of....

    Now this might hardly matter if indeed we still had similar "social and cultural alienation" albeit manifesting in different cultural guises, but in fact there has been a major shift in the nature of the game, from class based alienation to alienations which infect us on much more Individualistic levels on the one hand, or to other disatisfactions and anxieties which hardly merit the word "alienation" at all but which require us to dig back down to that more general quality of human nature—existentialism—in search of an understanding...Moreover the idea that "the economy began its current domination of all social life" may also be past its moment. For example, since the beginning of the 90s we have no longer been subject to the same pressure to be A-LA-MODE, fashionable, a member of a certain subculture that we were throughout the 60s, 70s, and early 80s. "Post-modernist" consumerism is, in that sense, far less overtly authoritarian than previous commodity-fetishist decades (why could The New Avengers never attain the charisma of the original?). Isn't the explosive increase of "beggars" on the streets of western cities in the same recent period (late 80s to present) also a sign that refusal of commodities (or the public appearance of it) is more tolerable than it was? More people are willing to be beggars because rejecting consumerism is itself trendy: well what kind of market is that?! One, I would say, that blows the whistle on the notion that the economy dictates the plot rather than being merely a plot dictated by REAL power which is no longer clearly economic if it ever were (which is to say that economic relations are UNDER a pre-existing control—that they are derivative of other material forces and never really were primary).

    Okay—this is just a difference in stress. But it is the point of Article 3 to break out of the notion that everyday life can be reduced to a side issue of Economics.

    —kubhlai

    SWILL: Failings Of The First International


    23 Feb

    morality-looking

    The Morality of Looking

    samplex

    To: sworg-talk@scenewash.org
    Date: 23 Feb 2001 03:07:35 +0000

    BEGIN ANOTHER SWILL, THIS ONE WON'T LAST FOREVER

    Rebunk: What I was trying to do was prime those kiddies for the sworg perspective.

    Am I correct in thinking that Spud eliminated the REVIEW command from nothingness' listserv? Methinks that far from being kiddies the list principally consists of insincere old gits like the aptly self-apellated "m.e.". If nothingness is ever going to make either a useful forum ever again or a useful meeting place then it will require repopulation (and therefore a massacre of incumbent diseased entities). But to that our attention some other time...

    Rebunk: This does not endear me any less to the project of actually CONTINUING the situationist method as it developed before during and after the SI's existence (and not resting happily and absolutely on its conclusions) as opposed to REJECTING the SI altogether in terms of cigars and hairstyles in order to promote my shitty new record.

    This too seems to raise another unresolved issue. Here's a dead un-PC point of view for you, Reebm but in my opinion (now) Malcolm Maclaren is the most (only) noteworthy situationist since the doors closed on the old SI. Without Maclaren there would have been no 1980s situationist revival, no reprint of the R.O.E.L. and so on. Punk basically was situationism—albeit stripped of its privileged intellectual kultural trappings, and no one more consciously tried to ensure that fact than the much loathed Maclaren. But Maclaren poses two clear problems—First, that he was shamelessly capitalist; Second—that he was a showman and manipulator and thereby challenges the simplistic black hats/white hats definition of spectacle and situation (as does everything which captures our imagination if you see what I mean).

    These endless twistings of meaning and attitudes are not a phenomenon "tacked on" to the real world, they ARE the real world (Phenomenology)—and as such they cannot be eliminated or judged in the black and white moralistic terms which have been inherited from the SI (as from the contemporary worldview in general).
    Now I suspect that my answer to these two challenges are still not wholeheartedly (or not at all) your own. Namely, that....

    First we have to live in the REAL world, the world as it actually is, in which power is necessary in order to determine the nature of our present and future that power is invested in money, and therefore that enterprise and remuneration are necessary to further revolution or change in general (personal or collective). Yes, money might even lead to capital—and yes, capital might even lead to advantageous circumstances given appropriate responses to opportunity. In other words BAMN as we used to say By Any Means Necessary. This is more than a cheap opportunism—it is an ethical principle because as I have so often tried to argue, all moralities are necessarily SPECTACULAR and the aspiration for some inverted kind of revolutionary morality is FATAL to real integrity. We cannot even reluctantly reconcile ourselves to the world as it is even this is a SICKNESS : we should not be in the business of judging the world except in terms of appropriate activity to desirable possible consequences. Or in yet more words—it is time we treated history as a TECHNOLOGICAL not a theological problem, and if that is to be the case these taboos must be banished along with our fetishes.

    Second—l;as I have also argued perhaps fruitlessly, the distinction between SPECTACLE and SITUATION as originally intended by the SI is clearly UNTENABLE. From a philosophic point of view I guess this is the most obvious reason why its fairly absurd to talk about being "situationist", (but then absurd is okay : I can live with absurd—just a technical observation). Likewise, and for the same essential reason, the distinction between recuperation and detournement is equally in error. The manipulation of images and ideas, far from being a mere manifestation of a certain phase of capitalism, is in fact FUNDAMENTALLY HUMAN—it has always being going on, it will continue to go on indefinitely. It can only be judged, (which is to restate the point made above) in terms of whether the said manipulation (charm, hex, hypnotic spell, suggestion, spin) furthers or does not further a better ensuing situation/scenario. These endless twistings of meaning and attitudes are not a phenomenon "tacked on" to the real world, they ARE the real world (Phenomenology)—and as such they cannot be eliminated or judged in the black and white moralistic terms which have been inherited from the SI (as from the contemporary worldview in general).

    This idea requires an entirely different mode of consciousness—we must teach ourselves to OBSERVE the actual transmission of this karma, of the way a certain phenomenon or event or quality turns a persons mind to left or to right (or often in many directions at once). So far as I'm concerned that is what this project IS ALL ABOUT and it is not possible to proceed so long as we are to be subjected to a historically transmitted ethos about immutable GOOD and EVIL...
    Naturally I am not refuting materialism here —because they are extrusions of material necessities, but of material necessities which will continue to exist with or without a revolution. GamePlay, and not an abstract political philosophy, will determine right from wrong in these matters.

    It follows from this (or at least, it may certainly follow in principle, and whether it follows or not depends solely upon tactical considerations in any particular context) that it may indeed be for the BEST if Debordianism gets free advertising as a result of someone seeking to recycle Debord to advertise their shitty new record. In most cases (though this cannot by any means be an absolute statement) all publicity is good publicity and this virginal desire to avoid being sullied with the sins of the world show a positively CHRISTIAN mind-structure where instead there should be a dextrous determination to ride the perpetual flux of KARMA—of good and bad consequences of phenomenae which are ALWAYS a mix of good and evil. This idea requires an entirely different mode of consciousness—we must teach ourselves to OBSERVE the actual transmission of this karma, of the way a certain phenomenon or event or quality turns a persons mind to left or to right (or often in many directions at once). So far as I'm concerned that is what this project IS ALL ABOUT and it is not possible to proceed so long as we are to be subjected to a historically transmitted ethos about immutable GOOD and EVIL...

    —kubhlai

    SWILL: Forging Ahead, The Manus Attempt To Develop Siftology


    23 Feb

    rational-departure

    A Rational Departure

    samplex

    To: sworg-talk@scenewash.org
    Date: 23 Feb 2001 03:07:35 +0000

    BEGIN ANOTHER SWILL, THIS ONE WON'T LAST FOREVER

    Article 8: By concentrating upon a specific technology of social control, the SI neglected to offer the People something they wanted (material incentive). All sticks need their carrots and the human race votes with its hooves. Taking some inspiration from the AAA in this matter, it is vital to provide a philosophy which strives to provide OPEN SPACES and an expanding horizon for people to live IN, (Lefebvre's contributions are important here). A PRO-TECHNOLOGICAL stance is essential, but in contrast to this necessity so-called situationists and their lackeys are more often detractors from such material innovations.

    Rebunk: The use of technology must be founded on two related considerations. First of all, technology should neither be fetishized as the solution to all problems (as in the example of cyberpunk) nor demonized as the root of all problems (as in the example of primitivism). Rather it should be seen in the sense of tekhne, as prosthesis, as a tool used by humans and thus a tool whose use will always be at the mercy of human desires.

    I like the way you express this and I'll try to find some way to make a use of it even though I think it skids from my intention.

    There are two senses in which I am PRO technologics. First (and most important since primary) that criticism and praxis must itself become technological and scientific, NOT ideological and moralistic. This is really about a method for changing the way one thinks—for eliminating historical detritus from one's pre-existing habits of thought and categories of judgement. Other post or neo situationistic currents—such as Baudrillard—are NOT scientific, they are instead literary and moralizing. This is fine, but it is not enough not only from the point of view of praxis, but from the point of view of CORRECT THINKING and especially for correcting the thinking of others. Deconstruction is much closer to what we have in mind, but the attempt to remove the thinker from the thought (or was it the other way round?) was a misconception tending to abstraction. Matthew Manus' attempt to develop siftology is, I would say, the exact converse of abstractive deconstruction—being instead an attempt to LOCATE things with precision or to locate precisely THINGS. (perhaps I haven't phrased that well, but the definition is poignant nonetheless). My point here is not merely that we ought to think rationally, but that rational thought is all but impossible in this world and yet to promote it is in fact THE REVOLUTION ITSELF (because to be able to think rationally is itself to be in a liberated local situation and to the extent that others are capable of attaining rational thought—to be in a free world.). THis is NOT to confuse rational thought with the object of revolution, that is of ultimate human desire—it is merely to note the fact that they are inextricably woven together.

    Post-situationism can neither be condemnation nor apotheosis, but continuation: not perpetuation, but a critique that understands that the interpretation and transformation of the world can only be accomplished in the same movement.
    The second sense in which I am pro-technic is far more simple. Technology may realize desire. Technology is needed in order to create the SPACE (in whatever dimension one can conceive it) which is in fact intrinsic in the human instinct—the essence of our desires themselves. This contrasts neatly with part A because I am talking here about something quite irrational—something which always needs to go beyond the known and inevitable. Without this aspiration, this PROMISE, then wherever the shorter term complexities of human volition may briefly point, there can ultimately be no human enthusiasm for real change, no endurance in a cause which does not offer "Ultimate" LIBERATION—a promised land for the future race to live in. We need these carrots alright—it is the need for carrots which allows the commodity phase of capitalism to come into existence in the first place. By failing to understand the human desire for the fruits of commodity production we fail to take the initiative away from capitalism.

    Reeb dit: Secondly, science and technology tend toward such a level of specialization that their practitioners often have very little knowledge of real human motivations, and their products and even the very development of these products is placed under the direction of their academic, commercial or bureaucratic masters. Technology cannot be considered separately from the transformation in human behavior that we seek.

    Absolutely. A very important point which the article needs to express more clearly. Of course this is exactly what is so good about the AAA.

    Article 9: Prior to dissolution, the SI specifically pointed out the necessity for its own transcendence and further development. The mumbo jumbo that the
    word "situationism" is impossible was instigated by this directive. Nevertheless, what passes to day as situationist is precisely this gallerified exhibit of a dead past. The only authentic situationism is POST situationism—this fact is implicit from the very beginning, in the directive to adapt dynamically and perpetually to circumstances, ideas and opportunities.

    Reeb dit: Situationism can only refer to the IDEOLOGY that arose in the wake of the SI's dissolution. It is that ideology which clings to outdated practices and assumptions rather than to a specific theoretical methodology, that is to say that it prefers endless degraded repetitions of a once radical critique to the practice of the development of that critique. Post-situationism can neither be condemnation nor apotheosis, but continuation: not perpetuation, but a critique that understands that the interpretation and transformation of the world can only be accomplished in the same movement.

    Bloody great matey. We'll stick that bit in fer sure. Okay any more? any more?

    PS. Me rash has subsided somewhat but I honestly dont think my poor old john is ever going to be quite the same again. No erectile disfunction you understand—which just adds insult to injury : A sex-change looks like the only real way-out. I expected better things from all that emu oil—maybe them was Texas emus and not real ozzy emus.

    Salut

    —kubletta

    ********* END OF THIS SWORG SWILL TRANSMISSION *********

    SWILL: First International (Situationist)


    23 Feb

    impermanence

    Impermanence Of Placement

    samplex

    To: sworg-talk@scenewash.org
    Date: 23 Feb 2001 03:07:35 +0000

    BEGIN ANOTHER SWILL, THIS ONE WON'T LAST FOREVER

    Rebunk: The title might need a little adjustment in order to differentiate it first of all from the slew of post-situationist "critiques" of the SI that appeared in the 70s and early 80s, more often than not prey to gross misreadings and historical misunderstandings (e.g. Barrot, Winks, Home).

    Well, how about Transcendence or Supercession of the 1st SI? More to the point, though less challenging perhaps. (Challenging is good innit? or not—depending really on how highly you rate the current crop of phoney situationists...). But in any case, this is a brief 10-odd point declaration we're aiming at here, not a literary career a la Home et al.

    Rebunk: ...and secondly, from the tendency to fetishize the 1962 split between the SI's "artistic" and "political" factions—effectively into "first" and "second" Situationist Internationals

    The POINT remember is to compose a scientific method for critique, to examine how reality and historical change are ordered. This is exactly what Marx and Engels hoped to be developing in dialectical materialism (and yer empirio-criticism, too, of course) and what has subsequently been LOST.
    Okay. So how about Supercession of the 57 varieties of the Situationist International. I see this document with a can of tomato soup backdrop—or has that been done? Hell no—that was Campbell's but this is Heinz.

    Of course the reference to "First" also possessed a threatening spin. One does not have to STATE that one intends to reconstitute a 2nd or 3rd Sit International (which as I see it would make little sense from a semantic point of view) but the implied suggestion that the past be replaced with a present and a future...this would bring out the woodlice or at least set them squirming a little in their rotting crevices...no? Oh well, I'll settle for the soup can then.

    Article 1 read:

    The SI inherited the incomprehension of dialectics that was already rife amongst (so-called) Marxists. Whilst on the surface the objection may seem merely one of perspective, to think of dialectical "opposition" as the motor of historical social change is in fact a fatal error—it results in several weaknesses which include (amongst others!) the failure to resist the transformation of subversion into a posture supporting the status quo.

    Rebunk: This is a good point in terms of its acknowledgement of the potential recuperation of oppositional poses.

    The only social contract worth having is the one that guarantees to us the world we want to live in and none of these wankers—communists, anarchists and situationists, has anything to offer which doesn't come cheaper when it's stolen.
    Nope, nope, nope. I mean a lot more than that—there's no "potential" about it. What is being stated here is a general scientific objection to the law of dialectics as framed in Marxism and the alternative postulate does not apply simply as a warning re politico-poseurs but as a general description of reality. The POINT remember is to compose a scientific method for critique, to examine how reality and historical change are ordered. This is exactly what Marx and Engels hoped to be developing in dialectical materialism (and yer empirio-criticism, too, of course) and what has subsequently been LOST. (Hence the reversals of the late 20thC —which floundered along instead by leaning on slogans and comprehending nothing—least of all itself.)

    Rebunk: ...but such a co-optation occurs even to those scientific Marxists who reject dialectics, and those self-styled anarchists who reject Marxism.

    Exactement—and more besides. In Varela's terminology, such "dialectics" are in fact enactments, static phenomenological entities, fields, states which emerge and constitute themselves through a self-preserving tension. However co-optation only occurs if you play the game of taking sides in these games. It's a FRAUD to take sides in them—a decision to maintain a certain static posture in conspiracy with the "opposition" which is therefore nothing of the kind but in fact a co-conspirator. How you deal with this fact is a matter for you according to circumstances, but the fact I.S.. Supercession and transcendence in their various ways are, or should be, on the contrary (just like detournement) an escape from such predicaments—a genuine betrayal of the conspiracy. But the conspiracy will try to retrench itself on the basis of the new betrayal, and must be betrayed again and again...The only social contract worth having is the one that guarantees to us the world we want to live in and none of these wankers—communists, anarchists and situationists, has anything to offer which doesn't come cheaper when it's stolen.

    I have no such aspiration: I declare my interest from the very start, I declare myself to be a LIAR and a CHEAT (if you like) and thereby become not an icon like Derrida but that "contradiction" in terms—a tangible enigma—a liar with an honest intent, a monster with a beautiful dream. Better that by far than the converse.
    Rebunk: Indeed, the SI's grasp of dialectics as theoretical device is actually pretty good, despite the fact that it didn't really reach its full critical potential until after the group's dissolution (in Debord, Sanguinetti and Sebastiani's later writings).

    Point us to these better grasps of dialectics Reeb. If they are actually good enough they should form part of the declaration.

    Rebunk: You can prove anything with dialectics (whereupon he proceeded to justify the development of Stalinism).

    Well, of course. In fact, you cannot prove anything WITHOUT dialectics since so-called meaningful language is composed entirely of words which depend upon a dialectic in order to exist (except, arguably, the word *TAO* but lets skip that one for now). However, the notion that you can prove anything is demolished as soon as you overthrow the false understanding of dialectics itself. Which (to cut a long story short) soon brings us to the subject of Derrida. Derrida however seems to have succumbed—or permitted Deconstruction to succumb—to the (dialectic) illusion of having transcended dialectics: of claiming (albeit in a novel kind of way) to have attained true PURITY, true detachment. I have no such aspiration: I declare my interest from the very start, I declare myself to be a LIAR and a CHEAT (if you like) and thereby become not an icon like Derrida but that "contradiction" in terms—a tangible enigma—a liar with an honest intent, a monster with a beautiful dream. Better that by far than the converse.

    Maybe I'm going too fast here.

    —kubhlai

    Back When Pretentiousness Was God


    05 Feb

    empire

    American Empires by Gabriel Thy

    samplex

    Originally written to a young American cohort, Matthew Manus, who requested that I reserve this domain name and web server for him. I had visited Matthew and his girlfriend Michelle in Paris a few months before with my wife, This email is dated February 5, 2001. The website was never deployed by Manus, and the project-oriented relationship ended abruptly in May of that year, having never really recovered from the Paris event.

    Cheerio my friend. Welcome back to the Gabriel of old—your web site is ready and already has a default page loaded, and this works during testing. Note that the default page must be named "index.html" to match 'XusNET webserver configurations. You have full FTP privileges. You can create new directories, read from, write to, and download anything from your domain's directory. The following information should be entered into your FTP client so that you can access your web site.

            FTP INFO...
            HOST: ftp.siftology.org
            USER ID: siftology.org
            PASSWORD: cleverjones
            Directory: /

    Your new web account is configured. Check it out mon frere! Let me know if you have any troubles or questions.

    Look forward as always to your cheerful voice once you return to France from the land of Joyce. Me, I'm still properly sick with the flu, no day better than the next, a week now of fever, scorched throat, pain in both ears driven with ice pick precision, the usual sinus stuffiness and upchuck too. But I am as inspired as I've been in years to focus on our global critique, but tire easily and return to bed often.

    Rebunk has sparked a flame under me to—once and for all—draw the lines of where I stand on this Debord crescendo. Of course, it looks as if I'm going to have to torch his own Aussie canopy with a direct hit of GT phlegm since, as Kubhlai pointed out recently, he has never ever really put his own two cents on the line, but continues to hide in silence or behind the SI bulk of work he has archived. It's time to quit pussyfooting around. The imperative that I slash away this fog that's been hovering over me for some three years now has reached illuminating proportions.

    parisfour

    Sue, Michelle, Robert, Matthew in Paris

    The Jappe book on Debord is helping pin the Frenchman down for me, and as I suspected, there is so much that I find self-contradicting, just as I find much of the Christian outlook self-contradicting, that I must keep good notes and finally put my own sorry self to the test of my fellow sworgsters. I will start with that very last fragment Zizek (a new name to me, but a piece full of typical dishonest extrapolation) Bunkee sent over the SWILL. I know Kubhlai and I are on the same page, whatever that happens to be, and I think you are there as well. But Rebunk and Crash have shown us nothing but bookmarks from the past, and no clear definition on who in the hell they are as individual credits to their race for humanity's sake.

    I cannot help but believe that within the common parallels nee inconsistencies (notwithstanding some quite distinctive divergences) I find in the comparative Situationist-Christianity creeds lies the answer to my own special dilemma as to which spectacular point along the political scale I stand or AM SUPPOSED TO STAND (according to my own nature, and self-interests).

    We can make metaphor and we can mix metaphor, poorly or insightfully, forever my friend, but sooner or later, and NOW is MY time, I just have to know what IT IS I KNOW. And there is much I've soaked up in pieces that Debord (the braggart who said he learned nothing from scouring books, but everything by dallying along the streets) touted that I do not believe is true, sweeping generalizations absurb on the face of all things self-evident (relying on dubious constructions such as nearly everybody else's false consciousness while touting the reality of his own desire to make his every point), and even more absurd considering his call to action, knowing the chain of corruptibility people everywhere will die to protect.

    You and I have agreed on this point before. But what we must do, or perhaps this is my own chore, is prepare a solid critique of Debord, taking agreement where we can, and marking void those points of fantasy we find impossible to swallow, given that our own cultural bias will never be his, and therefore quite interestingly enough, absent the francophilian and xenophobic texture of many of his assumptions.

    While France has its immigrants, America is worshipped by the hordes and hated by another substantial group as well. Paris, well, it's merely a city of glamour, now mostly in the past, for better or worse. However, I suspect that this heady investigation will lead me to suggest that Debordism is very close to Nazaritism (the words and praxis of Jesus) and that any rejection of Debord is a rejection of Jesus on the very terms that I have long been availing the old prophet and dismissing the more recent one. But I must know where I stand with both men.

    This exploratory surgery may not interest you at all. But nothing less than this exacting sort of critical analysis will set me free of my own confusion and foster the next step towards defining ourselves as AMIST, SIFTOLOGIST, GEOSOPHIST, in that order.
    Debord writes often about the essence of humanity, while ignoring the general corruptibility of that same humanity. This was the point Kubhlai tried to make in his most recent post trying to draw Rebunk into the ring. Yes, a lot of this teasing might sound like retrograde religiosity. Perhaps it is, perhaps it ain't when brought up to date in modern terms we wish to introduce, perhaps with very different social schematics, although we'd be hard pressed to suggest a singular Christian scheme given the complexity of the Catholic-Protestant fillibuster. Your recent remark that originality is not the aim, but rather, relevance is the cornerstone of our endeavor is brilliant!

    Remembering our own initial urgency in SWORG terms to embrace the man in the street, Debord fails this universal test, a victim of his own cultural inheritance. His patented exaggerations and smug dishonesty hardly qualify him as the honorable man of action he had aimed to be. He was a man of books and eloquence, staged harrumph and star egotism, and could not feign ignorance, or even virtue long enough to save his own life. Considering he didn't consider writing or contemplation worthy of the name—action—his greatest action was putting a gun to his heart. That greatness rests solely in its finality. Deborg boasted that almost everyone he met wanted to follow him; well, I seriously suggest one cannot comprehend the truth of an intrinsic vision without feeling the floodwaters of petty and trifling rejection.

    So after I get the Paris Summit site fully completed and uploaded, I would hope that we might collaborate on a few nails in staking Debord to the cross side by side with the praxis of Jesus, not Pauline Christianity mind you, or at least not until summarizing the similarities and disparities between the two primary men in focus. This exploratory surgery may not interest you at all. But nothing less than this exacting sort of critical analysis will set me free of my own confusion and foster the next step towards defining ourselves as AMIST, SIFTOLOGIST, GEOSOPHIST, in that order. To humor the clowns, I await your response.

    By the way, I ordered two copies of [Henry] Miller's The Cosmological Eye a couple of days ago, one to replace my ragged copy, and the other to toss into your care package. You should return in person to the VV and request a refund, pocket the francs, and think of the sad state of business affairs some find acceptable in a world seething with shoddy co-operation. Uh, long live the revolution. Don't you just despise us impatient Americans!!!! Unfortunately I tossed the receipt in a momentary lapse of judgement just days before your recent call, not that you had anything to do with me tossing or not tossing the receipt. I was supposed to be saving ALL those receipts, and have most of them, but alas.

    Yet, I was stillllllllll thinking...

    S A M P L E X

    "Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""


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