Archive for the ‘San Francisco’ Category

Parsing The Criteria Of Great Art


17 Aug

ancient-blake

"Ancient" by William Blake

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Originally published on September 17, 1996

Landry wrote: This reminds me of an argument I had with my friend Brad who is a painter. He said that painting is art and writing is craft. What do you think?

Someone should kick poor mad William Blake up out of the grave. He called Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples the greatest ARTISTS the world has ever seen about the same time his friend Thomas Paine was facing the wrath of the English & American church leaders with his revolutionary AGE OF REASON, written mostly while sitting in the Bastille awaiting the guillotine for refusing to badmouth his friend King Louis, whom Paine held in high esteem for the king's much needed assistance to the colonies during the war against the English crown. Uh, now THAT reminds me of a peculiar intrigue Tom Wolfe's THE PAINTED WORD invoked with his fictional world reknown artist (this was a book about the NY painting scene where one's greatness as an artist is inseparable from the superior qualities of the particular THEORY of the art, brownie points for the thinker, nee writer once again, it seems) who while sitting in an unremarkable bar in an unremarkable mood suddenly had a great idea. He had only a glass of water and a paper napkin at his disposal. He quickly dipped and began etching, but just as suddenly as the idea had dawned in his mind's eye the world famous artist collapsed on his barstool and expired. Obviously his etching evaporated, but the question remained in Wolfe's assessment, was the idea that the now dead artist had expressed ever so briefly been that artist's, and therefore, perhaps the world's greatest work of art?

william-blake

William Blake

Blake did it all in a sense, a man of deep thought and adroit action like American contemporaries—with his large body of wood etchings, paintings, poetry, his literary criticism, his anti-clericism, his involvement in the politics of his day, his strange mystical nudism, his sagacious love for his wife, all tempered by his touch of madness, and yet he called Jesus the GREATEST ARTIST. This same Jesus who never wrote or painted a damned thing except to draw some line in the sand, and there are those biblical scholars who amazingly even claim this was an apocryphal tale (now famous as the "he who is without sin, please please cast the first stone" scene) they insist was inserted by later scribes. This viewpoint leads of course to the idea that ideas are the guts of art, NOT shapes, lines, colors. Paintings may certainly express an idea, or several, but one is never exactly sure what that idea is unless the artist is part of that Clement Greenberg (the NYC art don) regime boasting an idea per brushstroke...

So it goes without saying that I tend to agree with Blake that it takes everything you've got to create art, but then (to answer your question), can paintings lie, cheat, and steal the way words do?

GT

Typesetter Services


05 Dec

007nsamplex

Dear Illuminet,

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Gabriel Thy
Creative Director, First Canary
Graphic Solutions Ink Systems

Scenewash Project 20003

Is Ayn Rand Still Relevant? Ask Jack...


03 Dec

jack

Jack, Summer 1992 at Joe Liacono's

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Dateline December 3, 1997

Jack and I bickered on and off which culminated in a ridiculous fight on Sunday. I was upset like I've never seen before; sobbing, vomiting. Of course, he says mean things and then ends discussion. Jack is more willing to sever ties with his closest relations than to admit he's wrong. What he doesn't realize is that in any relationship (friendship, love, whatever) right and wrong don't mean much. It's all compromise and forgiveness and humility. I think I've finally come to terms with this. There is no way to fix it. He is malfunctioned. It still hurts me like no tomorrow. No sign that it bothers Jack. I don't think he really cares.

Ho hum. Yes, it appears Jack really doesn't care. He lurks, he charms, he buzzes to a strong inner core that allows him to survive the petty trivialities of life like truth, honesty, genuine compassion for others outside the projection of his own visceral desire and whimsy.

I realize that you've had to hear this crap for nearly two years. I realize that you may still think I'm singing the wolf song. Maybe. But, I've got a piece of space with a lesbian coworker and a straight simoan babe (who's into bondage/leather shit—your kinda woman). It sounds great. Low cost of rent which includes maid service. Great neighborhood. No lease. No credit check. I can get on my feet and hopefully have my own place within six months. I may even just take over the house eventually.

I haven't minded being there for you Landry. You have helped me by proxy in my struggle to regain what was lost in the floods of rogue consciousness I'd embraced in the likes of that whole rock scene. This heavy dose of messianic complex persuading me I had been put into an influential office was no match for reality, either. You helped me clarify the issues by holding a mirror to the exploitative flames in my own life I had finally resolved to escape after long being too weak with misplaced sympathy and unfocussed identity gratification (usually in the form of self-loathing) to snuff out once and for all, and Jack's self-imposed exile helped accelerate just such an initiative for me to clean house, such were the powerful corrosions of these rather reluctant friendships and epiphanies. It took bold strokes of error-thwarting cross-examination over long agonizing months to reconstruct enough of that previous, more contented, abundant self I knew myself to be, was born to be and would die to recover, after being completely sucked dry of soul and self-respect by those who would call themselves my friends with their lies and their mayhem as I became in my public image the polar opposite of the original.

We are incapable of conceiving of the parasite’s mind, so we can never understand him. We are incapable of hatred or malice. We will not accuse or fail to reason—and we can’t find the cause, since we can’t understand him. So we become helpless and bewildered before him. We never accuse him, no matter what he does to us. He yells that we are selfish, cruel, tyrannical by reason of the very abundance and magnificence of our talents. And we almost come to believe this.
These past two years have been a steady scratching at the blackboard of independence as I have sought a return to the finer intelligence of my youth, my own strong and moral twenties (excepting the three years of my horrendous first marriage from 18-21), an intelligence I carved up into tiny pieces for empathy's sake and flung to the winds of aggressive discord and poisonous irresponsibility in my thirties as I lived through the dark storms of personality presenting themselves to me as cool, hip, and aimless reaction when in fact I had been fooled into living FOR others, and not FOR myself, and have as a result drunk and eaten myself into the cloaked miseries of poor health and civil oblivion. Jack however has mastered selfishness, perhaps is even hardwired for it, but instead of using this mastery of self for good he seeks the evil path and manipulates others less savvy with the methods of selfishness to prop himself up in all his own imaginary glory. Such skill to deceive, such aptitude to thwart others. It's a handsome package delivered with the gale force blitz of a strong personality stalled for reasons of its own frailty. May find its source in childhood or early adulthood when he was in prison for drug possession. Current drug use may also be a factor. But keeping to the rational, let's neutralize biographical and biological impulses to focus on ordinary choices ordinary actors are required to make in order to express one's impulses or lack of them for personal and social cohesion.

Allow me to quote from Ayn Rand:

"You think the world is essentially a mixture of good and evil, and one must compromise with the evil, and you're sick of that, so you're giving up the world? Nonsense. Evil, by definition (if we have made the right definition), is the impotent, the impractical, the powerless, that which does not work. So it is no threat to us, it cannot stand in our way—unless we permit it and help it to do so. It cannot poison the world for us—unless we carry the poison and spread it. The parasites cannot exploit us or rule us—unless we voluntarily agree to be exploited and hand them the tools with which to rule us.

"Let us withdraw the tools...

"We permit it, and we have suffered this long, for one essential reason: the generosity of the creator. It is our nature that we wish to give, prodigally, recklessly, because we know the source—our creative energy—is inexhaustible. Being self-sufficient, we cannot conceive of dependence, so we are modest in relation to others, we never think we are indispensible to them or superior, because we do not consider THEM indispensible or superior to us. We act as equals toward equals—and an exchange between equals is a proper, natural activity. We are glad to give because our creation is a discovery or embodiment of truth and when others respond to truth we welcome their response, we are happy—not because of the good that it does THEM, not because their approval gives us pleasure or is of any importance to us—but because their response is a victory for truth, that what we welcome is their entrance into OUR world, into that world we know to be good and true.

"We see no danger in giving—we think we're giving to men as rich as we are; we think of it as gifts not alms. And whenever we come up against an inferior—that he is an inferior is the hardest thing for us to believe; we see the evidence and we think it is a misunderstanding or a temporary misfortune that has affected the man; then we throw ourselves to the rescue, we give, we help, we let him lean on us and bleed us, we carry him—why not?—we say, we are so strong, we have so much to spare. We are incapable of conceiving of the parasite's mind, so we can never understand him. We are incapable of hatred or malice. We will not accuse or reason—and we can't find the cause, since we can't understand him. So we become helpless and bewildered before him. We never accuse him, no matter what he does to us. He yells that we are selfish, cruel, tyrannical by reason of the very abundance and magnificence of our talents. And we almost come to believe this. Almost—because no power on earth can really make us believe this; we are men of truth, we cannot fall that far into lying; and since our talents, our creative energies, are our sacred possessions, the source of our joy for living, we cannot permit so great a sacrilege against them."

"We allow ourselves to become torn. In a vague, unstated, indefinable way, we begin to feel we must atone for something, make amends to someone, pay someone for something in some manner. What? We don't know. We can never know. We refuse to admit to ourselves the truth in a clear statement: that we are being damned for the best within us, and that the creature making the accusation is small, inferior, and truly evil. We are generous, and do not pronounce such a judgement upon a fellow human being. Hatred and anger are unnatural to us; contempt for a human being is totally unnatural to us, perhaps impossible—because we think and act as if we were dealing with men, and it is not proper to despise men, we are worshippers of man, because WE are men and this is the logical implication of our self-reverence. One's opinion of mankind comes from one's opinion of oneself, which is the only first-hand knowledge of man one can have. The man who respects himself, will carry the respect to his species, to others. The man who despises himself, with good reason, carries the contempt, the malice, the hatred, the suspicion to all humanity. We, the creators, cannot conceive of this. We are bewildered by the parasite's malice—we do not even recognize it as malice, because we don't really know malice.

"But so long as, for any reason, we do not recognize the truth—we are bound to fail and to suffer in the whole sphere and in all our actions where we have left this truth unrecognized. Our generosity is a good motive? NOTHING is good if it motivates lying, falsehood, or evasion. There is no morality except in an unbending, absolute recognition of the truth, in relation to everything; an absolute will to find, face, and grasp the truth, to the utmost of our capacity, then to act upon it. Nothing is moral but this cold, ruthless, rational pursuit. But we have not faced or recognized the truth about the parasites—so we fail, we're helpless, we're disarmed, and they've got us. Did they win over us? No, we won the battle for them. They rule the world? No, we handed it over to them. The guilt is ours, but not in the way they think; in the exact opposite way. The guilt is that we refused to see the truth about ourselves and about them."

The preceding few paragraphs are fetched from THE JOURNALS OF AYN RAND (Dutton, 1997) pages 399-401. While Rand is often a bit too pretentiously black and white, she offers a wide berth of gray as her lengthy journal characterizations of personalities from her two major novels, THE FOUNTAINHEAD and ATLAS SHRUGGED attest. She admits imperfection, her superman is a cold human being, a product of severe intellect and resolve, but worldly success is hardly the criteria for recognizing this true man. She is unabashedly anti-collectivism and opposed to such mundane concepts as self-sacrifice and herd instinct, of course, having been sharpened by the catastrophic blades of Soviet Russia in its rush toward dialectic materialism, escaping to America in 1926.

Writing in 1946, Rand continues to plot her book, suggesting that the great minds, the individual genius, the prime movers should go on strike:

"This last form of striking always happens when gifted men find themselves in a morally corrupt society. And such a society is always collectivist, or on its way to collectivism, because morality and individualism are inseparable. The degree of individualism in a society determines its degree of morality. In effect, the gifted men find themselves dealing with men and conditions THEY DO NOT WISH TO DEAL WITH. So they do one of three things: (1) they do not function at all and become drifting, aimless bums; (2) they function in some field other than their peoper one, and produce only enough for their own sustenance, refusing to let the world benefit from their surplus energy; or (3) they function in their proper field but produce less than one-tenth of their actual capacity—it is a strained, unhappy, forced effort for them with their disgust against the conditions under which their energy has to function."


As you can see she, like all fingerpointers and none of us can claim to be otherwise, muddies the puddle of clear passionate labels soon enough. It's like the biblical metaphor that JC will return as an avenging lion, while at the same time, we are informed that archrival Lucifer not only presents himself as an angel of light as if he were some passive lamb or man of peace but that he too, is a roaring lion out to ruin men's best intentions. How in damnation are WE MERE MORTALS supposed to figger out who is playing what field and when?

I get home. Jack ignores me. He is playing Nintendo, empty bowls in the sink. His appetite, his life, all unphased. I realize: he doesn't give a fuck. I do the bills in the bedroom, my stomach in knots. I try to talk to him but I am the recipient of grudge silence. Jack would rather sever his arm rather than apologize to it. I think: I have no enemies. I have never stopped talking to somone—not even ex lovers. Jack has turned his back on you, Gabe, and others I'm sure I don't know about with not so much as a sniff. Less than two years in SF and he already has a list of people he does not talk to. This is wrong. I don't understand it.

The basic problem with Jack, discounting his intrinsic dishonesty, is that he does not progress in the world of life and liveliness past the old thrills of adolescence. He remains a stagnated nullifying personality. Rather than change his life he changes the people in his life so that his fringe perspective can be dished out afresh, as progress is gained only in the turnover of faces and places, and he can tell himself and these new ears all the stories his multitude of “friends” and “locales” have helped him build in a world of illusive success in the eyes of others.
It's unfair to characterize Jack as a thoroughbred parasite. But let's not mince words or hide behind veils of superficial morality. Let's call a liar a liar. Jack certainly fails the truth and honesty test when it comes to pure genius, preferring to mindfuck and aggravate his closest friends while sucking up to the famed and the fortuned as an extension of his own greater self, a role I too embraced in those awful years of socially incompatible boredom unleashed upon the worthless rock scene of noise pebbles and strutting egos. But I differ from Jack. He hides behind the facade or the appearance of not needing others, proud in his aloof aloneness but he truly can't survive without the social contact of the scene. I meanwhile parade around in a foul attempt to need everybody when really I am quite uncomfortable with people of any scene (with the possible exception of my wife), and prefer my aloneness, and feel self-worth only when alone, an escape from the weariness of conflict inevitable with the approach of the smug and the self-satisfied.

Oftentimes the philosophical canvas of well-mapped minds seems painted in pure black and pure white rhetorically-enhanced pigments, but Rand is quite robust in flushing out the multitudes of gray failures in her vibrant palette of undisguised potential. She writes of the trickle down "theory of greatness in practice" long before the writers for Herr Reagan took up the mantle, using these words:

"On the basis of this beginning, the story proceeds like this: The prime movers say to the world, in effect: "You hate us. You don't want us. You put every obstacle in our way. Very well—we'll stop. We won't fight you or bother you. We'll merely stop functioning. We'll stop doing the things you martyr us for. AND SEE HOW YOU LIKE IT. The complete statement of the strike's objective is this: We have had enough of your exploitation, persecution, insults, stealing, and expropriation. Go ahead and try to exist without us. We will not come back until you recognize and acknowledge the truth of the matter. Until you admit what we are, give us full credit for what we do, and give us full freedom from your chains, orders, restrictions, and encroachments—physical, spiritual, political, and moral. Until you accept a philosophy that will leave us alone to function as we please. Until you take your hands off us—and keep them off. We ask nothing but the freedom to work and live as we please. You will get gifts and benefits from us such as you can never imagine. But you will not get them until you leave us alone ..."

I'm kind of afraid of his recent behavior. I feel that if left untreated, it could turn into physical abuse. I feel that he is trying to alienate me from other people. The first step in physically abusive relationships. However, I don't think Jack is the kind of person to hit women. You would have told me that if so, I think. I think he's too lazy for that. I do not like the person he's made me become. It sucks. It hurts. It's no fun. It's pathetic. I am not me. I hate him. I never thought anyone could be so, so selfish. He doesn't seem human to me. How sad for him to be so gripped in the terror of not winning; of being wrong to be willing to toss aside EVERYONE. It really creeps me out. I look at him and think, he really doesn't get it. It's so very sad.

bondage

Frankly my dear, I don't...

I'm not sure where this leads us in the matter at hand, Lynn. Most of us tend to see ourselves in the best possible light, or the worst. More typically, we flipflop on a rather consistent basis. This is our weakness. Nobody MAKES us flipflop. In our laziness and our weakness we think in terms of whatever suits our purposes of the moment, and adopt circular tautologies which reassure us that our past has no relationship to our present, unless of course we can glorify or punish ourselves as a helpless nonsensical victim of our past. That is the great lie we tell ourselves. Even Ayn Rand overestimates the ability to succinctly reverse the biological powers of entrenched thinking. We train ourselves to be weak and useless by referring to our decent motivations as signs of our goodness, of our moral strength, of our willingness to sacrifice. Piffle, irrelevant associations of the assaulted mind, useless in the arena of real activity. This trench warfare of oscillating between momentary truths rather than relying upon rational convictions is where we continually make our mistakes. And these mistakes, like firebrand molecules of self-destruction attach themselves to other mistakes, and we are rendered more weak and more useless than we were a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. Each detail of our psychology and our intellect, each philosophical concept and practical action must be analyzed on an individual basis, just as we wish to be anlayzed on an individual and not a collective, herdlike, stereotypical basis.

No doubt you still cling to Jack for the very same traits which inspired you in the first place. But you are not the same person anymore. You have been stripped of something precious, now replaced by the revolting chaos of petty lies, failed opportunities, and habitual belittlement slopping over from the other, as you struggle to bring order to that collectivism which is a relationship. It is probably a one-sided trade because of the competing natures involved. Because you are a doer, and not a mere parasite, you have inherited only the foreign, the unbridled unashamed chaos of the other. The excitement, the expansive thrill, and most importantly, even the quiet joy of living, you already possessed. The other would not, or could not add to that in any estimable portion. The basic problem with Jack, discounting his intrinsic dishonesty, is that he does not progress in the world of life and liveliness past the old thrills of adolescence. He remains a stagnated nullifying personality. Rather than change his life he changes the people in his life so that his fringe perspective can be dished out afresh, as progress is gained only in the turnover of faces and places, and he can tell himself and these new ears all the stories his multitude of "friends" and "locales" have helped him build in a world of illusive success in the eyes of others. It is these traits that keep Jack from dwelling at the far ends of the spectrum and deep into the gray of the mundane world as his genius is wasted on his desire to remain a "pampered" child, a desire I simply cannot fully comprehend, since responsibility and harsh realities were rudely thrust upon me and my organizational mind at a very early age, an oldest child of a brood of six in seven years, a ballplayer, a Boy Scout, a school leader.

hat former period I called the Yellow Years in some places, the Mustard Years in others. That and previous periods (The Skinny Years) have barely been told. Not proud, just addicted to brave, brittle, brutal honesty, an honesty that hurts so much it attacks the nervous system, an honesty one must learn, and will always have the last say as we steer through the punative shards and upsets of life, life as we know it, just as we suspect the unrevealed life extracts its own ruthless penalties from every silence right down to the roots of its own noisy vindictive abcess, no concessions required. My opinions.
So this remains your call, Landry. Few of us are pure evil. Jack is not that much fun beneath the surface, but he's not pure evil either. However, let me acquaint you with the idea that the brain, the organ of the mind is indeed as valid in terms of physical flesh as the face or the arm, and is quite capable of being physically abused. A face wound might heal in a few days. A brain wound may never be healed if the thinking process is cajoled into repeated faulty reasoning while in mortal combat with an opponent who will stop at nothing to cloud the issue and win at any cost to truth and integrity.

But in the effort for full disclosure, let's just be clear that although I have no trouble with communication, psychological analytics, or philosophical resolve, I'm nothing close to being a well-balanced gentleman myself. In terms of dirty laundry, since being a charming, disruptive, manipulative teenager myself, I have clearly proved myself to be a tragically flawed creature because I have lived through enough evil, unable to properly marshal trending ethics and civility in both postulate and axiomatic form. To my credit, as a thinking artist, I have boiled too many thoughts, lusted after too many sad acts, and whacked too many skins, thick or thin, black or white, junk or genius to act as any judge of another except how it affects my own fragile but confirmed need for playing the hand I am dealt. I have been spoiled, soiled, and counter-foiled when I had little or no chance to win. I have transformed myself into a priest or a wizard when I had little or no opportunity to lose. I have always known the difference between the two, but few I have ever known have ever possessed the power to listen to my problems with life and liberty beyond the first few syllables, and so I've often had to admit for the sake of the herd, that I'm nothing but a mute with a speech impediment, ready to crack a one liner, slug back a beer, call the punk rock bluff, embrace ritualized chaos in public, play the brute to mask my own boredom, self-doubt, and determination to overcome the sorry past by fitting into the sorry future. That former period I called the Yellow Years in some places, the Mustard Years in others. That and previous periods (The Skinny Years) have barely been told. Not proud, just addicted to brave, brittle, brutal honesty, an honesty that hurts so much it attacks the nervous system, an honesty one must learn, and will always have the last say as we steer through the punative shards and upsets of life, life as we know it, just as we suspect the unrevealed life extracts its own ruthless penalties from every silence right down to the roots of its own noisy vindictive abcess, no concessions required. My opinions. Jack is also a fan of science fiction and robotics. I wish you two the best possible...

Repair to Søren Kierkegaard's frosty titles, Sickness Unto Death and Fear and Loathing, for additional source materials.

GT

It All Adds Up, In the Heart Tony Left In San Francisco


16 Oct

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Seething the night fantastic...

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Most excellent letter, Steve. Every note sounded to perfection, like a toot from Miles, not that I'm an expert in that school of riff. But I do think you are hooking into that mysterious circuit where the line meets its maker that puts both the author and the reader into the same zone. Thank you for noticing my lead. Am disturbing the peace, going down the up staircases and up the down staircases today. Want to put a day sleeper back into that rear middle floor corner where hangnail dust and flakes of tooth decay mostly reside now. One ficus tree has major bug infestation spreading a jelly substance up its leaves with a thimbleful smudging that far north window. The other one had the beginnings of that same rot on some newer sprigs nearer the trunk but I think by pruning them I might just have evicted those damned bugs. As far as my life goes I don't claim to be any great motivator. Well, maybe I do, I must, if I put my grievances on display so often, knowing full well what nastiness they reveal about me. But I am merely following up on what feels most natural to my birth certificate at any given moment, kicking with all I've got to recover the life I feel born to, entitled to, suited for, and inclined to push and pull for, but can't quite keep my own internal and eternal demons at bay long enough to set the table properly. But the psychological weight is still present. Just like yourself, Sue, Tim, and nearly every other grain of sand from here to eternity. I'm no hypocrite. I'm no saint. But I do exert my own strong personality when that's the only strategy that can reconcile the dull, tedious beat of no direction, no relief that passes for the day in and day out around here.

eRighteously in pursuit of a conscientious point of view, I was in persistent boil last night. Mostly over Shipwreck Tim, Yet Another Steve Taylor, and Busy Sue Hedrick in that order, debrewing & eschewing the screwy baseball game Sue had channeled onto both middlefloor TVs to greet my sour but rising delight by the time I returned from Hechinger's with bags of dirt and manure, a few more seeds, and a bulb to stick in a socket, easily recognizing a kissup she'd already denied, once, twice, three times a cock crow earlier that morning. I ranted. I puffed. I rolled over.

When I finally cave to that stroke or that brain seizure and am in a twinkling of a cobra’s eye made a green around the gills outright vegetable, the false friends crew will soon enough scatter after the scorn and the laughter has faded to yet another dull memory. They always do.
I got what I deserved. Every choice lends itself to the pride of the past and the fret of the future. Dodging the impure calculus of the rogue ego, I can feel blessed with ample knowledge and vision today despite an occasional swipe in knocking back a few oratories and cleaning off a dozen dirty windows just to SET things straight again. Stale agitation is a rule of thumb like skeletons in the closet and cobwebs and black cats in a Halloween House, as we both push back with both feet through the thin synthetic veil of liquid skulls, broken quills, and pocket nullifications of the hack writer and his lovely dullard, condemned to digest the latest bull edicts leftover from a forgotten question and a plate of do nothing fats clogging the Dollhouse system. Sure. Opened a few doors. Closed others. But you know how working from an even keel that when the broken rudder fails, Landry, whether in the best of times or the worst of times, your own experience with Jack has shown you a good sea captain is required to know the limits of his own ship.

Meaning I would then see these pesky guests on a need to know basis. And tell them to bug off when I’m just not in the mood for somebody else’s boy noise. Sue and I no longer one mind. Eghads! What would become of life? Sue would say we’ve never been of one mind, and I say that’s exactly how I solve the equation. Let’s face it, Nimrod’s spoken. I’ve already solved for X, and now when I must solve for Y, I don’t like answer unless it’s an imaginary number. A number that spells relief when the colony of two and three gathered over and over again spell relief, not the same awkward similarity, familiarity, bucket of pedestrian drivel. That stings even me, as originator of that thought. Maybe a bit harsh. Nah, it’s the bare naked truth. Here I am in my forties and going nowhere faster than those ghetto bullets I just mentioned.
So dearies, in bringing it all back home what I'm trying so diligently to say is I'm relocating my beastly snort to the middle floor with or without spousal consent in order to embrace my own loneliness, a routine I find comforting, and not at all demeaning to whatever manhood is supposed to be. Hope to get a day bed or something sane put back in that rather homely rear corner. Without benefit of a loft setting, I want to expand my person to all the Dollhouse, work it, maximize it, by making it suitable for the right number and right combination of people and work habits, you know, the imaginary band, the literary chips gang, the occasional groveling guest, the all night facetime with digital tools a roaring against the grains of ineptitude (certainly a complex carb I don't need), then just a quiet crawl into the unquestioning sack without waking anyone of importance. Layabout guests, or crash pad dummies would have no such privileges of privacy which as a strategy might make them less willing to embrace the nearby sofa or my snoring, et cetera, but I do smell a flaw in my plans that I'll refrain from airing just now. Still have this afternoon to finish the middlefloor rear window cleaning chore. Will shake up the mystery books as we know them, but I'll come out feeling swell, not better in ages. Secrets akimbo. May divorce Sue just for the hell of it, a statement not much different than the wedding blues, most likely will not, since I told her I'd never leave her, even if I had to stand and deliver the Gettysburg address in her general direction every time she came near me with that pathetic grip on nothing, which is precisely the force of habit (to get her to actually hear if not listen, identify, and intelligently construe the words I use, and not the ones she imagines or spins) that she doesn't like, but let me tell you guys one thing, it is easier for me to do soooooomething, then get loud about feeling nearly alone in my solo quest, than it is to convince others they should also pursue their own best interests in communicating well, and standing by that communication all in the name of inventing an original life.

Greener pastures? You betcha, maybe, absolutely not. Baby Sue's a keeper. She's a lovely generous loner just like me, and needs me more than the bottom of the wine glass she loves without friction. No upshot to leaving the only family I have left. But the advantages of shaking the tree of liberty, breaking off a twig or two, catching a pecan, a peach, a pelican or two is enough is disabuse me of those terrible thoughts. Rather, I'd work into oblivion. Stagger up the stairs. Tumble into bed. Nod off to sleep as my balls and chains drop to the floor. Hear the crosswinds and dead luck gunshots the hoodies deliver like pizza around the concrete jungle gems and sneaker slicks of Greater SE. No TV. Wouldn't that be nice to finally shut off that lying lost dog. Close enough to hear the back gate coerced, control its passion, its loss. Night watchman, part owner, 40 Dollars and twenty-two cents. All alone (dancing with words). Others have retired to germane quarters. Meaning I would then see these pesky guests on a need to know basis. And tell them to bug off when I'm just not in the mood for somebody else's boy noise. Sue and I no longer one mind. Eghads! What would become of life? Sue would say we've never been of one mind, and I say that's exactly how I solve the equation. Let's face it, Nimrod's spoken. I've already solved for X, and now when I must solve for Y, I don't like answer unless it's an imaginary number. A number that spells relief when the colony of two and three gathered over and over again spell relief, not the same awkward similarity, familiarity, bucket of pedestrian drivel. That stings even me, as originator of that thought. Maybe a bit harsh. Nah, it's the bare naked truth. Here I am in my forties and going nowhere faster than those ghetto bullets I just mentioned.

Life creeps like a three chord song into our souls. How do we handle this creeping sickness? We begin to crave active roles in which we can play the exemplar or the idiot. then tear through the awful script with a code that counterfeits the messy...
Despite the constant spilt milk mop up and flatline fatigue, Sue and I, forge ahead forever linked like Greyhound and Trailways buslines, realizing there is more of the same where that came from, but we keep up this shared struggle of brotherly and sisterly love for the Dollhouse's best interests. We should have tried to adopt a few years ago. I floated the ballon several times, but our finances have never really smiled in that direction, Sue was dead set against adoption, says she's too selfish. At least, she was honest about that much. But she's nothing but generous to me. Garbage in, garbage out. Looking for an angle, Steve? It's all right here. It's right here in me. I told Len Bracken that yesterday. Tom Tenderly the gleeful mooch knows I say it to mean it, Rounthwaite, Swartwout. Williams, they all knew it too. Am I great strikes? Not half the cup of coffee I started out to be, but I don't strike out when I keep my eye on the pitch a whole lot either.

My current unhappiness stems (uh, he said stims) from the slow pace at which I work. I stay busy all the time, but it never seems enough to do all that needs to be done. I love everything I am doing these days, even the gazing. My impatience with myself is exacerbated by the sandgnats of my generation buzzing all around my head and my toys, my time and my noise. But that's what in the end is called life. I just wish I had more privacy on the one hand, and a larger, more productive staff (or as they say in the rock and roll cruiser), the fab four or five, even six or seven motivated chaps righteous enough to launch this happening idea centered around the Dollhouse media center of course (well, the Stadium-Armory commercialization project would do wonders for these urges, but that's another archive my head keeps curling up in bed with better left to other paragraphs).

Bottom line, I'm ready for change. Watch the sailors sail. Tim without a job? Can't fathom his presence around here the same way he sees it. His intuitive lack of inspiration can also be painted as an intrinsic lack of discipline because nothing stands in the way of a Tim Shipman goodhour feasted with breaking soundbarriers and a loaf of goatsheadsoup with a chosen few gathered in His honor. I want to see Tim achieve whatever goals he wishes to set, but he ain't there yet as best I figger.

Guess I should toss this one up on the wires. I'm buzzing, rambling, not a single point to make. Dirty windows are calling. It all adds up, in the heart Tony left in San Francisco...
My own 24 hours a day, after weathering the Yellow Years of unrequited punk rock notoriety, are rather sacred to me, now, but I have given them freely much too frequently to events I chafe while performing, and isn't this the root of all evil, as both Tim and Len Bracken would have me believe. And too, you would have no intellectual recourse but to throw another log on that fire of poor response as well. You have been chafing and moaning for months now. Sue is the same way. Hey, it's most people's nature. Yet faulty reckoning folks every inch of the way have no choice but to HEAR and SEE me rebelling against nonsense while they cling to and celebrate their own while all I dare to do is EVERYTHING. I do not celebrate bullshit. When I finally cave to that stroke or that brain seizure and am in a twinkling of a cobra's eye made a green around the gills outright vegetable, the false friends will soon enough scatter after the scorn and the laughter has faded to yet another dull memory. They always do. I can make most of it happen already in a flash. Even as we all slurfishly wait for the big event to crush the emptiness and falsehoods of our lives.

Life creeps like a three chord song into our souls. How do we handle this creeping sickness? We begin to crave active roles in which we can play the exemplar or the idiot. then tear through the awful script with a code that counterfeits the messy, and can only transition AFTER (after the man with a thousand plans, sang Norko) the My will versus Thy will way of life can finally produce results of a particular maybe unique toil, especially now as we all begin to recognize ourselves as the double-edged sword that rips at amazing clockspeeds its up-to-the-minute reports into our handheld brains. And in that perfected time as always the scatterers will themselves be scattered.

Guess I should toss this one up on the wires. I'm buzzing, rambling, not a single point to make. Dirty windows are calling. It all adds up, in the all too common heart Tony left in San Francisco...

Why I Am Expectantly Loud In A Salient Room Of Dropping Pins


11 Jul

Crudely I sing camp songs to a cast of mostly indifferent dozens
as I recline in the pit of this political orchestra
a former spring peach courting rumors of decline conventionally grown
bull market proud like most fevered conspiracies
jumping up and down until
they glance at me
embracing the minor posts of the very strong
for sake of the major ghosts of the barely known.

Once in the spotlight I cannot relinquish
long after I quicken, empty of undeputized words
I am she might and muscle as I am he who conjures noises
public displays, bodily functions, ditto hushed rebellions
aiming to keep audiences crouching in line
To watch
To listen
To me on nothing I can use to win.

Once I was pinched against the cold lost wall
an ugly frazzled flower always stripping for candy whistles
in gold pirate fan glossed high school halls
over long legs of boys, over long legs of boys
the grip of the cold lost wall was fierce
but refusing to take root or suffer this load
I made my escape in a green gray Chevy
up an unshouldered sexless bayou road.

That's why I am loud.

The more books I open the more I read
the less shy I pretend I am
when I ask the world to touch me with delicate fingers
desiring open spaces of mountain and sky, the orgasm that lingers
no walls but canyons and oceans for me

quiet places where I cannot be held by
walls that grope
or am forced to hang out
in dingy dark and dangerous coops
with petty chickens and their jailers.
______________________________________

This poem, written in 1997, is a collaboration with a SF poet named Landry. Although I only offered a few changes which she said she liked, she didn't think it was her poem anymore. Well, I liked her root images immensely, and despite the tightening chances I offer them here, I made more changes, and Landry if still around is merely a wisp, but I would prefer she speak for herself.

Friends, Foes, Bookworms, and Burial Grounds (For Slander)


14 Mar

bookworms

Friends, Foes, Bookworms, and Burial Grounds

samplex

Originally published Mar 14, 1997. The belief in the sanctity of words is never more substantial an argument for that great principle than when those who use words to slander others slander themselves instead.

Neither Sadie Plant nor Stewart Home could be called 'Debord's puppy dogs', so try them out—Plant: 'The Most Radical Gesture', Routledge, 1994; Home: 'The Assault on Culture', AK Press, 1988(?). Home also edited a reader "What is Situationism?' (AK Press, 1993) which has an essay by Jean Barrot, an interview with Ralph Rumney where he credits Michele Bernstein with doing most of the work of the S.I, and a reprint of the Dave Wise 'End of Music' article which started the whole S.I=punk thing which Greil Marcus was so keen on.

Does your p.s mean that Len's Debord book is on sale? He sent me a letter a year ago saying it was on its way, but I've never heard anything more. Who published it?

I told him both times in a rather grinding voice that I didn't want to hear about his petty acts of vandalism, that I didn't go for that sort of thing, adding something to the effect that yeah, he's been written up about these sort of things. He didn't even probe for content, but was juiced that he was "creating rumor, and rumors of rumors..."
Thanks Tim for the Home tip. Of course Home and Marcus rank as treasonous characters off Bracken's critical tongue, but since one of Bracken's novels is called "The Secret City" set here in DC, and not very written to boot, I now wonder who's secret is really being kept. A secret society is far preferable to an openly political cadre in as far as I am concerned. To pull a feather from the SI cap, to be political in today's climate, one must eschew politics, and simply use the game to learn and to expose, but the idealism and ranting is misleading and fruitless. Why imitate that which we find rather transparent and offensive in that which we would overthrow? As for Len's book on Debord, no, it's not off the presses yet. We only sent the hardcopy and disks to his publisher at the end of January. Feral House supposedly is publishing it, having already paid Bracken his author's slice but apparently (and here goes the gossipmongering again) Adam Parfrey is battling not a few personal problems of his own (sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll), and had subsequently lost the package in his corporate (well, small press) transition from Portland OR to sunny LA...

But Len called me earlier this week saying that Adam had called him, got his answering machine, but confirmed that all the components had been rediscovered and he was busy putting the money together to move forward. The book will actually go to a Michigan printer as soon as all the rough edges are worked out. Late '97 is probably the earliest bet. And the pre-press GT scoop on the Debord bio is this: it's sad that the author didn't interview Bernstein first hand. The book was researched from lots of published sources, and while a rather mediocre book from the standpoint of traditional biographies (and Len's own ridicously repeated rants that his book will stand for 500 hundred years), it is quite informative to someone who knew next to nothing about the movement and its major players beforehand.

My P.S. comment was solely reflecting Len's eagerness for any publicity, good or bad. Indeed I had gotten his name "out there" with the E-mail he so pompously despises. When he called me up to brag (to report on his revolutionary activity, in his "own" words) about his latest graffiti surge this week, and actually the week before as well, I told him both times in a rather grinding voice that I didn't want to hear about his petty acts of vandalism, that I didn't go for that sort of thing, adding something to the effect that yeah, he's been written up about these sort of things. He didn't even probe for content, but was juiced that he was "creating rumor, and rumors of rumors..." (My words). Len Bracken's a character alright. Trust Feral House gets its act together and puts the ink to the paper on this one. Hey, I earn a few lines of credit in the book as well, so let's carry on...

GT

My, How Rich Your Text Is


06 Feb

jack-susanne

Living With Jack

samplex

Leave the bastard. Kick him out into the fruity liaisons of territories still in contention. That seems to be all Jack can produce of himself. Man I grieve knowing all the potential Jack holds in his little finger, and could possibly manage into greatness, yet he continues to fuck up. You can imagine how stunned I was, the first time we ever met, when he remarked out of the blue in priceless gravity that he wished he could be like me...

I now suppose he was right, once upon a time. I am me, he ain't.

That was some strong detail you suffered, dahling. Jack is a real ass, I'm sorry. Frankly I love you, not him, although Gene Wilcox and I were just watching Jack coordinate a video shoot we made back in the day, blah blah...and still recognize the power of Jack's presence...

I wish I could add more to the record but I'm not only tired, I'm on the tail end of an 18 hour drunk. Gene, who thinks, argues thinking he is, but ultimately agrees that I, not he, is the baby Jesus, whatever that means, is still here passed out on the couch...

GT

Minnesota Styling Or Landry's Frozen Holiday On Ice


03 Feb

minnesota-nice

Seek and Ye Shall Find 'The Ways' by Dune Patten

samplex

Original Date: Feb 3, 1997 17:56

Landry writes with all the brass of a Louisiana plough girl despite her college girl creds, "I turn 32 in fucking Minneapolis. Think I'll get laid?" This is always what you want the girl sitting all alone on the curb next to you darting her head back and forth in a killer 180 looking for somebody else and you just know a three sixty would suit her better, when saying those words to you. Youth is an evil that cuts like a primitive electron collider. It takes a lot sometimes to find the kindness in it.

Priscilla Wiseacre had to be the nastiest operator in the city for this bit of in-your-face tease, trying to pry something, anything out of you so she'd have dirt, and if it wasn't dirt, it would be blood. I thought it was just her taunting me, but I came across others who told the same cockteasing stories about her treating them to a full chapter and verse mind grope with weak but overbearing tales of woe about how fucking horny she was, that she couldn't get anybody to touch her, fuck her, make her come, give her courage and dignity. Priscilla. That's a mental case right there, a story to be told in True Detective serial form complete with blonde buxom broad, bound to a chair with those torn clothing full color drawings and paintings I studied at the 7-11 magazine rack when I was a kid. Somebody ought to write it all up. I heard all those artists in those magazines back in the day are famous in New York, now. Out of the closet. Real fame. Many of the rag artists themselves never considered their work important, nor did their editors, or the public. But the tastemakers with time on their hands and up their nose will invariably have their say.

Seems everybody's got a story in DC, and somebody else is busy telling it. Bout time I got back in the game. But yeah, to reply to you Landry, you know I jest lightly, "Just don't lick any frozen poles. Stick to the Swedes. They tend to reciprocate, I hear." Lounged on the sofa ALL DAY today hoping to kick this mess, but here it is half past five and the congestion is rolling in like your Candlestick fog. My throat from coughing and my ears from ringing hurt the way a floating dock whore hoarse on frozen poles might hurt. Snot and phlegm bug me still, and the typeface is fuzzy on the screen, so my eyes have conspired as well, but I had to finally get up and move around.

"Have fun in the tundra, girl. I've heard second only to SF, Minneapolis is the most favored capital city among the pink and the proud. And happy birthday. Age is a good thing once youth gets lost in its own reflection...and chances are the new hipsterism brought to us by those stylish Hollywood freedom fighters* won't last forever."

*That wonderful body of calculating goons, queens, and wizardry princes who make millions off the real and imagined struggles of others just to keep those masses trapped in an egalitarian maze of envy, strife, and dedication to the proposition that all men are created equal while somehow remaining in unequal parts. This Hollywood shank weaponizes all concessions to qualitative measurement not already in progress in the shady halls of Washington, DC. Beware my friends, both of these shell game marketplaces are thriving dalliance curs, and not to be trusted with any decision accountable only to oneself, never minding the contradictions every icy pure thought contains.

Complaint As A Yellow Vegetable


08 Jan

birdman

Yellow Vegetable

samplex

Lynn, Lynn, Lynn, Lynn, Lynn, Lynn, Lynn—yesterday you were giving DC the fat finger of ho! ho! ho! I love my California lifestyle, and a mere 24 later it's I miss the things California can't even begin to hug.

I can sympathize, but from where I sit, stifled in a dangerous room in which I cannot trust another: it's either Steve dropping beers, Tim squawking about what a good boy he is, or Liberty Sue the mere voyeur, who's defiantly proving she's not the creator sort but she IS sweating me out for everything I might make happen although that's as far as she reaches across the table of comprehension, and in the midst of all this east coast fog I swear I think your orbit must be a thousand increments swifter than this slow comet to nowhere sane I ride. Old or better yet, no sex, no friends, no inspiration but my own irredeemable past no one else can even appreciate due to generational bias or just plain selfishness slapped between two slices of dry white bread. Even Bracken's $500 publishing job is beginning to run its course. He said he wanted to learn PageMaker, but it's me putting his book all together. But that's okay. That five bill windfall blows away all but Sue's saintly efforts these past few years as I've worked for free so long I hardly know how to break with the tis better to give than receive dead end trail of do unto others before they do unto you routines smothering me into a gray soul of nothingness these past thirteen DC years I now have agreed to despise for the trouble they really were. That includes the Jack years and the Tim years synthesized into one long Eighties decade, now over...

I want a revolution asserting that revolution begins and ends with the broken mirror of selfadjustment. It's intellectual dishonesty to preach Boasism where all cultural mores are globally relative, thereby equally important and then claim how exploited or neglected the poor natives are in some remote neck of the woods, unblemished by cabbage patch dolls or fast food chains.
I have yet to begin writing the piece on the Great Rupture of Dollhouse Status Quo of 1996, but hang in there dearies. It promises if I may be so bold to be the most brilliant synopsis of where I stand on the issues I will have written to date. Take me at my word. Mine enemies have yet to become acquainted with the visionary depths and sincerity of my homegrown wrath.

To earnestly prefer living alone is one thing, Lynn. Manipulating others within your own realm of responsibility beyond the call of duty to achieve it or its converse is yet another. I've worn those boots, and cannot feel proud.

What exactly is a Buck Down poem in your book, Lynn? It's a damned shame he & I live two blocks apart and still have never met, although Howell still sells him herbal resolve as far as I know. Tom was cut out of my will be done several months back. I now claim no friends from that bygone era. The Tim and Jennifer show closed the door on that whole scene forever. Sorry to be so harsh, but the crimes of personality perpetrated for so long upon Sue & Goo are finally being addressed. We simply want a more honest, "less disturbed adolescent" cast of characters in our lives, even if that means zero is the translator of greater sensitivity.

I do not want to scream in quiet neighborhoods. I want to draw quietude into the neighborhood noises of confusion, criminality, corruption, and hatred. I do not want a revolution or two or many that paralyze the good ears along with the bad ears. I want a revolution asserting that revolution begins and ends with the broken mirror of selfadjustment. It's intellectual dishonesty to preach Boasism where all cultural mores are globally relative, thereby equally important and then claim how exploited or neglected the poor natives are in some remote neck of the woods, unblemished by cabbage patch dolls or fast food chains.

cabib

Appalachian cabin...

Now don't get me wrong. Capitalism and scientific preference as practiced by rightwing multinationals is as evil as the night is long, because nary of us wants to return to the cave this fiscal war machine with its nuclear factor is promising us, but then do we, the hip to almost any cause, middle class Americans think that shackaninny Appalachian coal miners just a few nails and rotten boards away from the caves themselves should simply be content with their obscene lot because that makes them closer to nature and the way MOST folk lived only a few centuries ago before capitalism and the Industrial Revolution catapaulted us into the age of universal materialism on one hand and the brute recognition of both our rich and our poor neighbor's lot on the other?

Sorry guys, the Hoke & Bracken influences rear their ugly trumpets once again in complaint. Liberalism, I repeat, despite its formidable attempts to rectify not a few horrific excesses of the conservative might is right rollcall, is simply not the salvation of mankind its hydraheaded constituents would have us believe. The radical middle, inheriting grace and dignity from both ends of the spectrum and discarding the aggression and filth of each, and developing new forms to meet new norms is the only smart approach that 21st century humanity can endorse, a global plan for unification of the planet, sailing straight into a vigorous segregation if need be...

Segregation you say? Hey man, gaze about, the world IS segregated!!! Even as a much ballyhooed white male I cannot mingle among the young and beautiful cliques without suffering their abrupt arrogances. I cannot, by virtue of exclusionary practices of those I would solicit, freely engage in sex, an act many honored minds have stipulated as the driving basis of a healthy psychology itself, the will to life, in Freudian terms. I cannot even buy love with a coin of a different sort of razzle dazzle, although many can and do. I cannot walk among certain so-called neighborhoods without enduring verbal or physical harassment. I cannot even admit publically my favorite singer and poet without illiciting attacks of generational bias or something worse. Whether right or wrong, segregation is a very real fact of life.

Something must be done, and history has shown only a heavy hand ever gets anything done, but of course revisionists of every flavor always love to point to the past heavy hand and call it evil, thinking what THEY are doing today is oh so very different than what has passed by already on this long treacherous hike back up the mudslide mountains of yesterday.
Conflicts of interest are the number one cause of misunderstanding and subsequent belligerence of rich and poor, beautiful and ugly, dim and bright, fashionable and drab, power ethnic and undergrowth the world over. Admitting this, why is a political, economical, or ecological plan which looks straight into the eye of the beast, recognizing these cold but unchanging facts, suddenly dismissed as intentionally unworkable, unconscionable, fascist, even incorrigibly evil in its very articulation?

These few paragraphs certainly are not a plan, but they do beg the question: why does liberalism fail to meet the needs of the many while seducing the many to despise a more conservative approach to battling the primary nature and nurture questions that simply won't evaporate in the context of a increasingly dissatisfied population where liberalism has reigned supreme for nearly a century in the most powerful goods-generated civilization on earth. After all, before the pendulum began to swing too far to the left, liberalism has been the long slow churn towards improving the liberty and quality of life for the greater bulk of the world's rational populations for centuries.

It's not the goods that corrupt. It's the cancerous envy growing inside us that corrupts, and that envy is a product of a greedy rightwing metabolism and an irresponsible unfocussed leftwing behaviorism, and that my sweets, is the problem, and no revolutionary chant, crisis, or convulsion, and no liberal tax abolition or redistribution scheme will suffer the idiots who continue to misrepresent the human condition or its corruptible nature while denying the importance of a clear-minded and historically proven urgency for not idealizing but of respecting both nurture AND nature in their prime.

On both sides of the political equation where humanity is an irrational number, neither side proves its case with anything but a sloppy solution. Something must be done, and history has shown only a heavy hand ever gets anything done, but of course revisionists of every flavor always love to point to the past heavy hand and call it evil, thinking what THEY are doing today is oh so very different than what has passed by already on this long treacherous hike back up the mudslide mountains of yesterday.

Camille & Liberty Sue For Rights


29 Oct

Camille Paglia

Camille Paglia

samplex

Originally published on October 29, 1996

Paglia, eh? Great. You're a leg up on me with that pair of trousers, but yes, she's plugged into my short shorts of writers I intend to exploit on my own terms, buttressing hers, by reading a fuller body of her work.

You are waving at battleship clowns though, in pointing out what you read as gross generalizations on maleness, presuming, as we agree, the topic is her announced speciality, because far too many books I have read on race, gender, even pop ass religion & nuclear physics are written by ascendant experts guilty of similar transgressions against their own daring models of zero, not zero. But if her generalizations of "her men" are just that, aren't those of "her women" just as general and no less caricatured than those of Henry Miller, Mick Jagger, or Gloria Steinum?

If the defining factor of her work can be said to bestow truth to the fact that the man on the hipper side of the manhood schematic is as driven to be "a man" by forces he struggles to control and improve against great odds of acrimony and self-doubt as those which women bear inside themselves—which they, grabbing their own perspective, conclude as just and feminine (but perhaps not righteous for all?). As a woman speaking on this topic, your subjectivity remains the trait you can never escape regardless of race, gender, creed or dvisibility by zero...no less than anything I have to say on this or any subject matter. Such is the human condition in reality. All else is politics, art, and the place on earth where stupid remarks are taken for granted because human frailty and the language they have invented has made it that way.

Absolute gender essence is a fiction, but factors forcing us into certain camps are just & natural all the same. While we may find it fascinating to sit under a banana shrub tree with a cool drink to pine for a formula that would equalize the world, nothing is further from the true, and is simply a fuzzy concept developed to bring a better cohesion between differences in a crowd. While some political theories have tried to erase, other smudge the inherent differences between men and other men, women and other women, alliances and enemies cross pollinating the lines, so the best we can hope for is an active intelligence when this whistling dixie of topics is brought to the table.

If Johnny can't read. That's a problem Johnny has. If nobody in Johnny's class can read, maybe that's a class problem, or perhaps a rude statistical anomaly. Solving for a class problem is a one Johnny at a time scenario, no matter how many times Billy's, or Rachel's or Al-Amid's class (who can all read after a fashion, but in emphatic degrees of speciality, one to and against another, and so we say there is no class problem, but an individual level of compliance to a standard which suffers in a state of flux, never at rest, but always evolving with new imput). And so it goes. Natural selection. Crowd warfare disguised as crowd fanfare. We both know the issue is more complicated than Johnny. His home life, his specific subculture, and the tumultuous uber culture drive the imagination into places no young mind can handle without strong guidance, and simply overwhelm the attention span where little teaching, even if made interesting and important to the student can penetrate. I'd like to know, Landry, of a few Paglia clichés you find utterly testing reality. It could prove an interesting exchange between us.

The body must go. Recycle this dirt is what I say. I feel alive only when co-opting the conspiracies of language as my own private sandbox. One day I'll probably lose this damn limb to bad circulation, gout, diabetes, stroke, or what have I, so I guess I'll just have to find myself a woman who has a sick thang for amputees.
I hate being traffic cop and lone cleanup crew around here, but I am a natural for the job. I live among two wood bees who tend to be slobs. Tim & Sue give a good bawdyhouse try at neatliness and order of the court, but they wear blinders as narrow as my hunt for the perfect job. Am I a braggart to state that each of them exercise weaker powers of observation, and ply a more sluggish recall from whatever ROM hard drive they've in the belfry? So I get to play the neatnik butch Gabriel who says, I'm running the show and I said THIS is how WE do it. After footing the bill Sue's a gem trapped in the goo of sporadic bursts of saltwater taffy which describes our push and pull dichotomy, and puts up with it only because she understands the efforts I put in around here go a long way toward making the whole Dollhouse balancing act work.

While I'm still probably not back to fifty percent normal, the Dollhouse clutter piled up for days until I couldn't help myself but to storm around all day picking up in a slow painful hobble. Of course everyone including Lizbeth& Chris last weekend has predicted my left foot without a cast will heal to an ouchy mess, even though my choice to forego the cast was one of the doc's original options as he groped the swollen mob of purple toes and x-rays last week. So I'm taking my chances with Providence, but haven't I always?

Do it for MEEEE, she pleaded in the sweet pitched cajoling voice of protestant communion she pulls out for these special darling occasions which eventually will all blur together after a while and I guess that’s what we for lack of a better word call love. And so I did.
The body must go. Recycle this freckled pail of dirt is what I say. The best notion of life, that time when I most feel alive in duty and occupation, no matter what my lesser aptitudes may say about me, is when I am co-opting the language conspiracies of men and women into my own private sandbox. Exercise of the walkabout flesh is very painful to me. I've always needed a specific purpose to getting out and going over and above, sustaining my own life. Longevity appeals only in the sense that I might reach a level of success in this exploration of mind. One day I'll probably lose this damn limb to bad circulation, gout, diabetes, stroke, or what have I, so I guess I'll just have to comfort myself in a woman who has a sick affection for amputees. Sue only this morning after complimenting me for swallowing a couple ibuprofrin and I goo gooed in pointing out how tickled baby dance silly she gets when I'm popping pills, said back that she just wanted me to get better so I could stomp around again. Hmmm. Baby likes my stomping around better than my gimping around. That's normal, ME too, but it's always a fart when Sue dishes out a pill because she seems to have this weird buddy system relationship with pain pills.

She ain't no JUNKY by any stretch. We're just talking over the counter stuff, but she's really blows a goose whenever the pillbox is passed around. In my case, it's as if—if she can just get me to pop a pill—she has performed a recognizable measure of social work in heading me in the right direction of the fit & well. But I DO have to give her credit for some fine sweet words of caring as she nagged me into submission about finally going to see Doctor Ford. Do it for MEEEE, she pleaded in the sweet pitched cajoling voice of protestant communion she pulls out for these special darling occasions which will eventually all blur together after a while and I guess that's what we for lack of a better word call love. And so I did.

And I am redeemed with honors (called GETTING THE CREDIT in Dollhouse parlance) for having been right as a pat hand of three aces and a greenhaired Jack in both diagnosing & proscribing a laissez faire attitude in the first place, but it was good to get professional confirmation. That's the best health care I can suffer. Emergency blockades. Damage control. Squeaky clean is somebody's else triumphant life. Blind faith in OVERCOMING the body in all these war wounds is the method of least resistence I cling to, it's a motto, a white flag, black flag, label of a thousand filthy warthogs rutting in the mud...

As for this blurring of categories I often speak of, especially in what Miller sarcastically loathed as literature, I do not stand on ceremonial demarcations of fiction, biography, lasting truth, evidence of genius, email correspondence, men of letters, rogue pundits, cultural betters, dry bone or snot-nosed detractors. Distractions, all of it. Like a drop or two of kerosene in a steaming pot of outdoor stew, it'll all boil off in the end.

GT

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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