Archive for the ‘Chicago’ Category

Love And Time Installments As Life Reminds Us Of Itself Again


26 Jun

skirmish

Time Installments

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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

Still Have Money In My Pocket


25 Aug

City Miracles

City Miracles

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Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2000 10:36:16
From: Margaret Nix

Dear Ricky and Sue—yesterday, after several more infuriating telephone conversations with the Irving Park post office, I found out how to get there on the bus and rode over and picked up the money order myself. The redeeming factor to that was, they cashed the money order right there in the post office, so I was able to go get my more professional looking clothes (rather than my school rags) out of the cleaners and once I leave school today, I will get my hair cut, redeem my ring, and still have money in the pocket for another trip out to the Youth Detention Center to be fingerprinted. Once that is done, my next step is the school orientation for new practicums students (interships)on 9/5.

The trip to St. Charles was an exhausting adventure. I got up at 3:30 AM, caught a 4:30 AM bus to the downtown Union Station, walked a few blocks over to another train station, caught the train to Geneva (1 hr.10 min.) and caught another bus, which according to the locals in Geneva would take me to St. Charles. That bus went to Aurora—a two hour side trip for me—and back to Geneva. Once there I caught the bus to St. Charles, the last stop on the line was 3/4 mile from where I needed to be, on a busy highway. I called the detention center, my professor sent a car for me and got another car to get me back to Geneva when our interview was over. The distance is not too far to walk, but the busy highway, especially in the winter is just too much—so, there is a man who rides the train into Geneva and leaves his car parked there to drive over to the detention center, and, once I am working there, arrangements will be made for me to ride that distance back and forth with him. Next Tuesday, I plan to take a cab from Geneva.

I will doing two groups with a doctorate student and I will be given my own caseload of inmates to do therapy with one-on-one, supervised of course. I can see that the biggest challenge in all of this is going to be the trip.

Thank you very much for the money. I appreciate it tremendously.

Hope you are feeling better, Ricky—please keep me posted.

Love, M

Chicago, The Frenchman, And The Missing Teeth Generation


10 Aug

I Love Livin' In The City

I Love Livin' In The City

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Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 08:29:00
From: Margaret Nix

So nice to get such a long email from you. I know it is a relief to have the purchase of your place taken care of, and so, onward with the contractors. It would be nice if you do come, anytime. I am not sure when Fall quarter starts, but I am still attending one class in this quarter and am working on one more final exam and two research papers, to be finished by 8/21st. I am very tired, but feel good about all that I have gotten accomplished.

Ed was here last week. We walked along the lakefront from my house to downtown Chicago (miles). Both of us enjoyed it, but we really got too much sun on our faces and necks. And Ed's bald head was pretty blistered. We should have worn hats. Did I tell you I apparently threw my upper teeth out in the trash or something? Went to bed early one night with them in my mouth, got up and did something with them in the night, and have not been able to find them.

I have given one presentation at school without my teeth, and if I got through that without a panic attack, I can do anything I decided. I will, of course,have to get new teeth just as soon as I can figure out the money. I hate going around without my teeth! Remind myself of Evey. All my classmates have been really nice about it —they insist they can't tell the difference, but I know they are lying.

Something has happened to my modem—so I am off line at home again. What a nuisance! It is never a problem to use a computer here at school, however. Since you have gotten yourself up and running again, I will go ahead and mail my manuscript to you. I will go with whatever you suggest for charging.

Time to go for now.

Love, M

Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2000 20:23:14

Mother, now that we finally boast broadband connectivity again with my servers back inhouse, and as of Monday afternoon, are official owners of this tiny but quaint space in the North Van Ness neighborhood of Washington. Next comes the tug and tussle of working with the General Contractor in getting our new kitchen and main bookcases in place. We had to shave back on our desires to finance the whole enchilada. The appraiser beat us up again (if you recall we lost $9,000 off a signed contract on the front end of this relocation maneuver due to an appraiser's opinion), this time shaving $8,000 off the top end of what he thought should be lent us in securing an adequate build-out. I telephoned this latter appraiser, a man named Gill Rogers, to discuss the situation, and gave up in disgust after I found him to be talking out both sides his mouth.

Not until the kitchen is refurbished and all my books and papers are snuggly in place, out of storage and into a sensible order, will I truly know we have arrived, but I feel like we are halfway there now. Of course the General Contractor is out of town until mid-August on his own vacation, so the long drip drip drip continues.
I spare you the wretched details, but Sue went back to the seller (who we never met, not even at settlement, an eye doctor, too important for such mundane gestures I presume) and threatened to back out of the deal unless he softened up his asking price somewhat. Turns out we were ambushed by a special assessment of which a final payment will be due once the cleaning and pointing of the exterior brickwork is completed in late September (a two year project which has cost each unit in the building somewhere in the $10-11,000 range already) in a final adjustment made to the initial contract. Our obligation to this final payment as present owners of the unit could fall between one and three thousand dollars, so after telling Sue late one night that he would not budge off the original price and contract, the good doctor called early the next morning to say he would pay $3K of our closing costs, so I am certainly glad we stood up for ourselves, but it was not a fun exercise.

The seller had refused to return Sue's phone calls made desperately over the final two weeks before the scheduled closing and we seemed to have no recourse save being swindled or refusing to sign the mortgage and simply stay on as renters until that lease expired. That would have been an uncomfortable situation, but when it seems that everybody else in the equation is squeezing blood from a rock and that rock is you, it does get a little painful to just sit back and take all the pomposity of others at face value.

Everybody else in this transaction is an experienced professional, even the doctor who owns many other properties, and the fact that he had some pal of his (living in this building right above us, but long gone to Paris for a six week vacation) act as his agent, illegally I believe, since this Frenchman has no license to practice real estate (but made certain oral promises) made communication problematic and made us feel like victims in a smoke and mirrors parlor trick. I gave you some details the last time I wrote and there are many more, but let's just say we're glad this leg of the race home is behind us. Not until the kitchen is refurbished and all my books and papers are snuggly in place, out of storage and into a sensible order, will I truly know we have arrived, but I feel like we are halfway there now. Of course the General Contractor is out of town until mid-August on his own vacation, so the long drip drip drip continues.

In fact just this week some quite youthful-sounding telemarketer gal was grilling me from Chicago about the weather while she waited for her supervisor to come finish up the call, and I mentioned you and your situation. Of course she wished that she had had your energy and determination to have finished up her own schooling...
I'm going to an Ears, Nose and Throat doctor as soon as I can choose one and schedule an appointment. I think I have been hosting an infection in my left ear for two solid years now. What I call an infection never seems to get any better or any worse but in addition to the tinitus which is incurable (said the specialist who treated me August two years ago), I feel like something organic lives in that ear, and while I occasionally suffer sharp pains in both ears especially when I lean over, that clogged-up feeling in the left side of my head certainly seems like it can be treated and eradicated.

I have tried calling you several times in the past few weeks, but you've always been out. Feel free to call here collect sometime. We're signed up to a five cents per minute anytime, anywhere in the continental states plan, so if you have a window of opportunity, call from a pay phone collect (on a cell phone YOU pay either way, whether you initiate the call or receive it). I then can get your number, and call you right back at the lower rate. This was how my friend Sue Mioduser used to ring me years ago, although in reverse. She wanted to use her dime, but she just wanted to make sure I was home, and not some roommate or whatever. You get the picture.

Anywaze, continued grace in your studies. I am quite proud of you and still mention that my mother is powering up the scholastic track to the stars any time I get the chance. In fact just this week some quite youthful-sounding telemarketer gal was grilling me from Chicago about the weather while she waited for her supervisor to come finish up the call, and I mentioned you and your situation. Of course she wished that she had had your energy and determination to have finished up her own schooling...

Until I get my ears checked, I hardly have the ambition to fly to Chicago much less Paris, but I plan on both trips, so wish me luck at the doctor's office. . .

That's about it, so I'll close for now.

Love,

Gabriel

Chicago Bound, Theories of Personality, Nearby Motels Etc.


15 Feb

personality-modification

Personality Modification

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Date: Tue Feb 15, 2000 2:18:57 PM America/New_York
From: Margaret Nix

Dear Ricky and Sue—my last class will be on 3/12, although I will be continuing to work on my project for that class and the take home final until April 3rd. I think the best weekend for me would be 3/17-3/19. How do you all feel about those dates? Gosh, I am really looking forward to having you come! Hopefully, by then, the weather will not be so terrible. Once, I hear from you that those dates are okay, I'll look around for a motel close to where I live. Sally also is looking forward to your coming, and we will have to at least have lunch together or something.

I am in the middle of trying to find data for a paper for theories of personality—a broad topic, if I ever saw one, but I am hoping to narrow it down to the influence of the unconscious on personality, according to the different theorists. Such a dull sort of thing. I really believe that Jung and Adler really added a lot to Freud's theory—so taking the three of them together makes sense, but then I have to cover at least three others. A pain in the bottom.

Talk to you later.

Love, M

Mother On The Streets Of Chicago


17 Sep

chicagoforget

Chicago Gal

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Date: Fri Sep 17, 1999 1:47:57 PM

Hey baby—I just called Mother to discuss offering my help in her move to Chicago, but her phone has "been temporarily disconnected" in a sad continuation of old habits. No email now either I'd presume. But hopefully she'll get reconnected here soon. I shudder to think of her traipsing up to Chicago all by herself without a clue of where to live, or how she'll unload her trailer, if things don't get stolen first. I think I need to take a pro-active approach to this, her move, and do what I can to help her out. But to migrate with near empty pockets to Chicago in January is asinine.

Meanwhile, there is news from the Dave & Jen front, just the highlights as the Hurricane Floyd to their credit is not really their concern. It should have already passed through on Thursday with minor charms.

We were not able to come to a satisfactory resolution with the Berkshire corporations, and have opted to MOVE THE PARTY. Their terms and conditions were much too restrictive, and the party would have either been a total disaster, or it would have been halted early by the babysitters they were going to send.

NEW LOCATION: Same place we had the three-year party. The Strand Cafe, 105 E Lombard street in downtown Baltimore City.

Hhat does this do to our hotel arrangements??? I guess Dave will now be forced to relax his "if you don't show up" policy of blacklisting for life. I mean, this is really a major screwup. On the other hand, I guess we can either drive home, or drive back up to Timonium to our $110 Holiday Inn room after the party. But there's no pint in that so I suggest we cancel our room...

GT

Challenging The Purpose, Strata, and Conformity Of Banana Pudding


14 Dec

3968 samplex

Originally published on the SWORG SWILL LISTSERV on December 14, 1998

It was a Ginsberg quote: "The Beat Movement was never meant to be a rebellion. It was meant to bring in a new consciousness. The middle-class, who were rebelling against Mother Nature by destroying her ecologically, made us out to be rebellious." And also, when remarking on how Laura Miller had trashed his "Grammatron" in the NYTBR, Mark Amerika complained that she had set up a "false binary" and "unnecessary either/or oppositions", and then proposed that we simply open our minds to a variety of styles and possibilities within any given framework. So to answer your question, allow me to say that I too am weary of this plethora of binary constructs that attack the imagination in exactly the same way the media controls operate. In the US, the race issue is always put to the people in binary form, but everybody knows (except those on the hot button payroll) the issue is both simultaneously more simple and more complex than it's presented in the media, but the media elite and the political hacks milk the same anachronistic cow day after day, and very little ever changes except we continue to lose perspective with this increasing concentration of the THEM VERSUS THEM dichotomy.

Michael Crash writesI'm with you on this—it has always been a quite useful method of control to set up artificial binary conflicts to keep people angry at each other and to keep them blind to the true problems—Burroughs always stated that in order to truly challenge a system you have to move outside the constructs of language which is grounded in the binary system of control—of course this also leaves out most people who are unable or unwilling to approach a work such as the Burroughs books—so where should we go? I think a very effective means of challenging systems is to attack the discourse upon which they rest—language for me is the key to power—not just spoken or written dictum, but also the language of images that are broadcast and plastered everywhere.

Levi-Strauss pointed out how in primitive myths the mispronounciation of words and the misuse of language were considered to be very dangerous and very powerful methods of disrupting the system and the coded language that they used as their base of understanding, and power. Is this not even more true today—when it seems that we are ever so more dependent on words and images to define our perceptions?

So again I am prompted to ask, “What does a would-be worldchanging revolutionary like you and I desire in terms of a workable liberty for all? I hear plenty about injustice and those conflicting wills to power that we loudly boo at every turn of the screw, but I hear almost nothing about this brave, new world we all supposedly desire in our heart of hearts. Even when I do hear of some shimmering off the wall ploy, like Bob Black’s “Zerowork, All Play” anthem to futurism now, in a solar system where the 2nd law of thermodynamics rules with an atomic fist, I see an all or nothing approach rather fetching in aspiration but far too reaching in terms of practicality or desirability, especially when much of the labor required to oppose entropy is merely camouflaged as play in a falsifying language, much like “political correctness” operates today.”
Is not the mass media almost a form of magic in most peoples lives—turn the TV on and the tribal stories are broadcast from the hearth of your living room and the smoke signals of info are distributed to the family—turn on the computer and miraculously we can fly to any part of the world—just among our small group—when was the last time one of us spent a whole day in which we didn't receive some kind of mediated input (books, magazines, radio, tv, film, internet, etc).

What power is there in producing transgressive materials that seek to wreck havoc on the codes of the dominant culture? I don't know to any degree of clarity, but I wonder if the many people who have pointed out that when we engage in straight binary resistance to the system we are only reinforcing that system, I wonder if they have a point—that is to say, that in resisting the dominant culture straight on we help them to define themselves and to point at easily recognizable, definable, and soon to be specularized deviants who can be set up as the new boogeyman. I know I'm rambling a bit here—but what do you all think?

Gabriel wrote—It's a blood given that corporate giants and political hacks are ruthless whores. It's in their ideological DNA. But why should that stop anyone with enough guts and stamina to be different, to risk it all, to tear down the walls of a slum, and build afresh, a new way of thinking; no matter how we cut the ideological cake trailblazers can't afford to be whiners (see Henry Miller's Cosmological Eye). Of course everyone wants to be the hot new thing, if only to themselves, and if they fail, they usually become grumpy old whiners accusing the system of foul play.

But then Cobain and Steinbeck chose very different paths to avoid the pains of their success. Ghandi could have been a very rich man, he declined. What's wrong with making money, if one spends it well. Bill Gates is a jolly liar as his testimony before the US Department of Justice in his anti-trust litigation is proving, but he has frequently said that he doesn't believe in leaving amassed fortunes to heirs. If he spent enough millions on truly changing the landscape of certain depressed areas, why would not his taxations of those peoples and organizations that COULD afford it, be forgivable.

You see, there are so many complex choices presented to us, but we stumble around and usually end up either goofing along picking up a few addictions which insult our biology and agenda for happiness, or else we opt into nosing the grindstone a slave to production so that we also pick up a few addictions that insult our biology and agenda for happiness.

The key, as a few savvy Greeks agreed, was moderation in all things. But few of us (and I'm one of 'em, unfortunately) can't learn to implement moderation in our lives because we are ruled by addictive personalties, and as Tolstoy (modernized) put it, it does us no good to beat ourselves up over one addiction only to have another two or three rush in to take its place. Whether we're talking substance abuse, laziness, addiction to work, sex, well hell, you know what I mean, it's all the same problem child within us.

Despite my own yearning to burst out of my skin to trumpet the last charge on a world corrupted by its own sense of infallibility whether originating from the right or the left, capitalism or marxism, I am convicted by my own sense of limitation, not always imposed from the outside, but often enough a consequence of my own choices, and those of my genetic bearing. How can I blame someone else for that?
Good news is that when faced with a ruthless giant, nature seems to transform us into thinking we're a giant killer. Not too long ago the Internet founders (a cluster of old hippies and nerds) threatened to bring the world together in a non-commercialized free-spirited community. Then Mammon got a whiff of what was happening, and started pissing in the pond. Well, we can't stymie that but we can work like hell to keep the original spirit alive, and do what we can to advocate the world we want, never flinching, but rather calling for a cease-fire to all this whining.

I don't mean lay down one's intellectual arms and join the enemy, but simply to accept the challenge of David & Goliath, forge partnerships, or lessen one's sights at directly competing, but more often than not merely supplementing the bullies, by carving out a solid niche from which we embark upon that brave, new world, regardless of who is watching, who is following, or who gives a flying carpet ride one way or the other.

Books? Yes, more books are being published than ever before, but are we any closer to changing the world, if indeed that is the stated goal of the persuaders?

Crash writesniche carving is a very good method of slicing into mediated realms (hey Manus, I'm starting to sound like one of those video game players) and setting up zones of operation (much like Gabriel has started here).

Gabriel wrote—Writers have never had more freedom (despite all the Internet porn busts stinking up the coffeehouse) in history. Recall Voltaire, Rousseau, running for their lives, hiding in exile, poverty, and scorn save the intellectual and financial graces of the few. We artists (if indeed we are artists, and not simply poseurs seeking escape from responsibility) in the west now have such an accelerated vision of freedom, we think we are living in especially perilous times, and in the supertechnological superpolitical sense we perhaps are, but we have also never been more free to express ourselves (no artist was born guarateed fame, riches, or readers).

Despite my own yearning to burst out of my skin to trumpet the last charge on a world corrupted by its own sense of infallibility whether originating from the right or the left, capitalism or marxism, I am convicted by my own sense of limitation, not always imposed from the outside, but often enough a consequence of my own choices, and those of my genetic bearing. How can I blame someone else for that?

Crash writesyes, more books than ever are being published—but what kind of books—i have no problem with the consumption of brain candy—as Manus knows when I just told him about Joe Lansdale's thrillers. But there is no need to legally pursue dangerous writers or artists anymore—becausethey are drowned out in the flood of product that dominates the market. And who is controlling what is published? What books are advertised—open up any advertisement for a book store and peruse what is put before consumers—walk through your Barnes and Nobles, your Borders?

In the 1960s there were more than a hundred substantial publishers in NYC alone. By 1980 there were only 70; by 1995 the number had dropped down to 15, and presently, through further merging there is only 5! Major publishers and these subsequential others are also tied in with the producers of other mass mediums. Now I don't mean to sound like I'm crying that the sky is falling down—but this must be disturbing in some way.

True, the market is flooded with books like never before (as well as other forms of info) but what are these texts? Of course once again this is also a benefit to us and others who seek difference. As the mainstream producers continue to narrow their fields of interest and seek to the common denominator it opens up the possibility for very viable and strong niches of operation for smaller more specialized organizations—so perhaps this is a mixed blessing. Are we ourselves cultivating some form of sub-cultural capital—as we are all thinking on these days—what is our true goals in these efforts—do we intend to do something to challenge the hierarchal stratification of society—the mind-numbing mediatized conformity?

Gabriel wrote—Again Crash, when I look around these here parts I don't see this world as one straitjacketed by conformity (although I surely hear and read a lot of noise to the contrary). In the greater populations (putting aside the corporate merger trend which is just the opposite than what is happening in the de-centralized neighborhoods and streets, but I guess we have Debord to explain this cause and effect to us). I nevertheless see cat fights and dog bones between warring factions along every corridor as soldiers of each faction scrawl hard lines of demarcation to help solidify a turf. Bias to difficult, damn near impossible to extricate from the common mind.

*Your Australia may be very different from my America, but when I see a group of folks working and playing in harmony I marvel at how the group has conformed to an ideal so often missing on the street, in the universities, on certain ballclubs, in art snot piss fights, no one simply content to be different hanging on the same street corner or intellectual counterpoint but everyone bucking for superiority status.

Competition ain't dead, and if competition is not dead, how can we also be lost on the mind-numbing mediatized comformity rap? And racial conflicts with their wealth of metaphors are the easiest to exploit. Debord had it right when he said the Spectacle tosses out two opposite claims and watches the skirmish in glee, knowing that the debate will roll on forever while the social structure remains the same. Superiority, that's what straw leaders are after.

That ain't just a white man thing anymore, if it ever was (and I doubt that very seriously, the Euros just won a few wars at a strategic time in history, have gained and lost as a result). I know I'm guilty of thinking no one is my superior, and will fight like mad to prove how wrong I can be. The point is, the stratification of society is just something we're going to have to accept because it is a rather natural phenomenon despite its excesses and inherent unfairness. I agree with Matthew's proclamation of a couple of posts back:

"...abolishing hierarchies is as impossible as abolishing the state. Let's face it—anarchy without hierarchy just ain't never gunna happen, that's my opinion anyway."

As for "sub-cultural capital", methinks I'd like to see some elaboration on the concept. I'm not sure what you're suggesting. And since I've ranted enough today I'd rather not go barking down a cold trail.

Crash writesI don't know—i see a lot more conformity than you do—maybe it's because I view the system (in the US) as encouraging a cultivated form of difference and that its ability to immediately suck up and spit out a clean, sanitized version of anything that may challenge its operations—a simplified example would be punk's howl of rage—short time of challenge—fear from the populace—by 1977 we see punk fashion on fashion runways, London newspapers printing articles on how punks are just part of the family, punk is cleaned, sanitized and marketed—dead before it gets started—it is now just another acceptable means of conforming, albeit leaving the troubled youth a bit of dignity in believing that they may in some way be giving some challenge to the system that they feel has excluded them.

As for sub-cultural capital—it was an off-hand remark actually questioning my own purposes or intents since I believe we must question ourselves—and tossed out to everyone else—wondering if I may not be somehow cultivating a form of sub-cultural capital, a sanitized and safe form of alternative "cultural capital" (cultural capital cultivated artistic and intellectual capabilities that leads to your being valued by elites).

As I said just questioning my own intent—I have a very good friend from eastern Europe who understands resistance to a system in a way that I never could, having grownup in the states where, although they will and do kill people for the wrong reasons, it's not quite as harrowing and prevalent as the former soviet system)—she constantly keeps me on my toes about some of my *resistance* stances and leads me to question my intent (or as I think she may see it my overly romantic, overly idealistic views). So I guess this was a moment of self-doubt on my part. What do we see as the problem that we should be devoting our attentions to—we seem to be attempting to come up with plans of attack without really thinking upon what we want to change or what we could best effect with our efforts.

Gabriel wrote—Elitism based on phony distinctions is a major problem, but hucksterism is its whoring stepsister. They hate each other, plot behind each other's arched back, spit in each other's intellectual food, kick each other's namby ankles, and attempt to steal each other's cultural graces without even bothering to shed its skin until it's absolutely forced upon them. Both exist across every social and economical class. Both breed mistrust and greed. Acknowledging their relationship to each other however they will bond together to thwart any and all those who stand in their way, that is to say, the vocal non-elitists and the few trailblazers committed to absolute (not to be confused with pre-conceived) integrity.

But I still think the whole concern is rather premature since we have mucho mucho work to do in the chainthinking section of the site particularly since, uh, wait a minute, uh since, in fact, no one but Manus is privy to those earlier discussions which initially brought him into the Scenewash Project. Truth is I’m aware of no one but he who has actually signed onto anything but the SWORG-talk list, and believe me I’m far too jaded with past failed collaborations to presume ANYTHING about who is committed to what at present.
And they often win their battles against the non-elitists and integriters because they appeal with flattery and spectacular powers in their search for allies among the spectacularized populations in order to defeat these enemies, these straight shooters, these few honest constituents of a better world once taught them in childhood mythos as sacred and worthy but ushered away as the real world ruled by this beast we have just described becomes clearly the prince of all that worships it, and reality replaces mythos as the battleground upon which we shed our blood.

How do we attack this world of theirs, if we declare ourselves enemies of elitism and hucksterism, you ask? We must practice a more honest implemented form of warfare in putting our own personal spins on the solution, that is, we must know who and what we are, playing the humble idiot if we must, the loud-mouthed brute if we dare, but always, always keeping to the mark when it comes to personal honesty (read Henry Miller, enemies hate it when you've already laid all your own dirty laundry on the table, and they can't hose you with it in an ambush) and candor (without the elitism & hucksterism, we must define these values next) but I am still nagged by something Manus wrote:

As I am being my honest self here, I must declare that I could give a fuck about 1) audience 2) viral politics or 3) allies until we here at SWORG have something to show for ourselves, namely, a unified schtick (as GT initially proposed) that gives us a raison d'etre as an active GROUP. My logic is irrefutable when I say that causticness is a necessary perquisite as egotism is a necessary perquisite to ANY activity in this warlock of cyberspace, and that we should not only solidify our reasons for existing, but assure ourselves that, yes, a bit of caustic bite really is the necessary fuel for lighting the fire of collaboration between ourselves, and initiating any engagements with OTHERS.

Gabriel wrote—my visceral response to this outlook is negative running contrary to my hypothetical Boy Scout nature, but I reluctantly agree with the whole of Matt's statement, so I guess I am still fomenting the idea of caustic abruptness (as Landry will testify I'm no rookie rabblerouser) as it is magnified in relationship to my sensibilities concerning false elitism and hucksterism in the SWORG groupthink arena. But I still think the whole concern is rather premature since we have mucho mucho work to do in the chainthinking section of the site particularly since, uh, wait a minute, uh since, in fact, no one but Manus is privy to those earlier discussions which initially brought him into the Scenewash Project. Truth is I'm aware of no one but he who has actually signed onto anything but the SWORG-talk list, and believe me I'm far too jaded with past failed collaborations to presume ANYTHING about who is committed to what at present.

Crash writesI like your ideas on what we need to do—as far as moving past the abuses of huckesterisma and elitism. And I truly believe in the need to hone and develop a true system of personal honesty—nothing could be higher on my list—because I believe that is the key in my development and that it is also vital in my dealing with others (both my personal honesty and hopefully theirs). As for other efforts that are need here on the website—you are correct in your statement that I haven't contributed to the Scenewash Project—because

A) I'm trying to get my thesis finished so I can get the fuck out of this college
B) I'm trying to set up employment so that i dont starve when I do leave.
C) These are extremely important to me, because I do not have a wife who will support me (this is what you stated Gabriel?) or Matthew's very important network of comrades or Landry's admirable corporate job or Rebunk's art criticism gig.
D) So since I will be no good to no one living on the streets (least of all myself—trust me I've been there, and while fascinating I don't really have a desire to do it again). I must concentrate on this in order to become more valuable.
E) But what do you need—I write constantly—ask me I will write and contribute in any way—I will research what needs to be found.

I hope that this is not a problem, but you must understand the situation that I'm in and that while willing to contribute to "our thing" I must keep a check on the very real concerns of food and shelter.

Gabriel wrote—well, Crash, like the tagline goes, think globally, act locally, the cutting edge shimmers, and so drifts the echo, the pitter patter of dangling lost feet...

Here's an example of what I mean about pinning the "tale" on the donkey, getting at the root of one's individual or collective desires in the seemingly vain attempt at rewriting the rulebook of human life on earth. Like much that passes for wit in the spam-o-world, these few lines exemplify a certain notion about human conceptuality, methinks I agree with the ebb and flow, flim and flam, now and then of this humorous anecdote, a mundane work of pure genius because it works on the bitter impact of male sexuality and displays precisely why man in all his glorious self-service is shamefully self-conflicted, context-impaired, and tragically unfit to judge for himself much less for others the reach, unintended consequences, or formulaic global distinctions required to further methodologies as complex as those required to "install" freedom and liberty for all, as if one were merely ordering Chinese takeout for a family of four. Read on...

Reflections On Life As A Male

  • When I was 14, all I wanted was a girl with large breasts.
  • When I was 16, I dated a girl with large breasts, but there was no passion. So I decided that I needed a passionate girl with a zest for life.
  • In college, I dated a passionate girl, but she was too emotional: everything was an emergency; she was a drama queen; she cried all the time and threatened suicide. So then I decided I needed a girl with some stability.
  • I found a very stable girl, but she was boring. She was totally predictable and never got excited about anything. Life became so dull that I decided I needed a girl with some excitement.
  • I found an exciting girl, but I couldn't keep up with her. She rushed from one thing to another, never settling on anything. She did mad, impetuous things, and flirted with everyone she met. She made me miserable as often as happy. She was great fun initially and very energetic, but directionless. So I decided to find a girl with some ambition.
  • After University, I found a smart, ambitious girl with her feet planted firmly on the ground, and married her. She was so ambitious that she divorced me and took everything I owned.
  • Now all I want is a girl with big tits.
  • So again I am prompted to ask, "What does a would-be worldchanging revolutionary like you or I desire in terms of a workable liberty for all? I hear plenty about injustice and those conflicting wills to power that we loudly boo at every turn of the screw, but I hear almost nothing about this brave, new world we all supposedly desire in our heart of hearts. Even when I do hear of some shimmering off the wall ploy, like Bob Black's "Zerowork, All Play" anthem to futurism now, in a solar system where the 2nd law of thermodynamics rules with an atomic fist, I see an all or nothing approach rather fetching in aspiration but far too reaching in terms of practicality or desirability, especially when much of the labor required to oppose entropy is merely camouflaged as play in a falsifying language, much like political correctness operates today."

    Gabriel wrote—Sipping Samson agonistes, I agree to a tee, hey Crash, you've arrived! We're obviously challenging the obvious, the purpose, strata, conformity of rice pudding in the lower provinces, then we'll move on to the next pile of rubble. Rejoice, pick up your blanket and walk!

    Crash writesI seek the chance to develop a community with others who are seeking change and are willing to go about it. I'm sorry if my situation is not exactly key for mass involvement, but as I stated above I will contribute in any manner that I can. Hopefully this is enough. If not so be it—but thanks for the encouragement Gabriel and keep me posted. December—what a pissy time of year...

    Editor's Note
    Crash was living and going to school in Illinois at the time of this exchange. Somewhere in this swill, I referred to Australia as though Crash was living there. This exchange was our initial communication, and I had wrongly located Crash. It was Rebunk, who was in Australia. Our group was soon to include "kubhlai" from Nottingham, England, and Matt, then going to school in Austin, TX, and Rebunk. A few others did pass through the SWILL, but this crew of five was to remain its core collaboration until the group disbanded rather informally, in May, 2001.

    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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