Category Archives: Objectivist Poets

Language Theory, Deluxe Brown Shoe Cynics & Other Wet Blanket Ratios

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Word Wakers
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The following excerpts are from an essay cast by poet Marjorie Perloff as excerpted in Nothing to Say & Saying It, the online blog by John Gallaher.

Language poetry, together with its related ‘experimental’ or ‘innovative’ or ‘oppositional’ or ‘alternative’ poetries in the U.S. and other Anglophone nations, has often been linked to the two Steins—Gertrude Stein and Wittgenstein (as I myself have argued in Wittgenstein’s Ladder), to Guillaume Apollinaire and William Carlos Williams, the Objectivists and New York poets, Samuel Beckett, the Frankfurt School, and French poststructuralist theory. Those who denigrate Language poetry and related avant-garde practices invariably claim that these are aberrations from the true lyric impulse as it has come down from the Romantics to such figures as the most recent Poet Laureates—Rita Dove, Robert Pinsky and Stanley Kunitz. But laureate poetry—intimate, anecdotal, and broadly accessible as it must be in order to attract what is posited by its proponents as a potential reading audience—has evidently failed to kindle any real excitement on the part of the public and so decline-and-fall stories have set in with a vengeance. Great poets, we read again and again, are a thing of the past: a ‘post-humanist’ era has no room for their elitist and difficult practices. Accordingly, the main reviewing media from the Times Literary Supplement to the New York Times Book Review now give ‘poetry’ (of whatever stripe) extremely short shrift.

"The Language poets (or L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets, after the magazine of that name) are an avant garde group or tendency in United States poetry that emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Language poetry emphasizes the reader's role in bringing meaning out of a work."
But what if, despite the predominance of a tepid and unambitious Establishment poetry, there were a powerful avant-garde that takes up, once again, the experimentation of the early twentieth-century? This is the subject of the present study. Designed as a manifesto, it makes some of the polemic claims we associate with that short form even as it suffers from its inevitable omissions. Because I am here interested in foundational poetic changes, I shall have little to say about many of the poets who have been most important to me and whom I have written about again and again over the years—Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and Wallace Stevens, Guillaume Apollinaire and Blaise Cendrars, George Oppen and Lorine Niedecker, David Antin and John Cage, John Ashbery and Frank O’Hara.

‘To imagine a language,’ said Wittgenstein, ‘is to imagine a form of life.’ This book studies such key poetic ‘imaginings’ both at the beginning of the twentieth century and at the millennium, so as to discover how their respective ‘forms of life’ both converge and cross.

  • Language Poets Wiki: The Language poets (or L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets, after the magazine of that name) are an avant garde group or tendency in United States poetry that emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Language poetry emphasizes the reader's role in bringing meaning out of a work.
  • Textual Politics and the Language Poets: "Let us undermine the bourgeoisie." So Ron Silliman ends his contribution to "The Politics of Poetry" symposium in L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E 9/10 (October 1979). Writes Gabriel Thy in response to Silliman: "Better as discard than trump. It's no accident the truck feeds millions, ignoring the silly man crammed with errors."

A Few Choice Words On The Climate Change Hoax

As solar activity drops to high risk century low,
puzzling buzzing scientists—who've for past few decades
or so—insisted planet barely missed flaming new ice age,
all the rage in the Eighties, now had dutifully traded crazy moon
white snow boots for trendy new blue swamp goloshes
as they prepped the weak and the weary for pernicious
man-made global warming trends, projected
death of civilization, unprotected
men of calculation, sober cool thinkers
fighting like cats in the Captain's Tower,
having replaced Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot
competitively, at least two generations ago
with bursting advent of the whimpering class...

unless we stopped all modern activity,
removed it to a more needy neighborhood,
redistributed the wealth, heavy environmental taxation,
daring energy industry transfers nation to nation,
dumping energy back into the glittering soil,
boasting certain good intentions whipped
unintended consequences every time,
so peace could again perfect its reign
upon contemporary balance.

But this slick idea was modified when numbers
secretly fudged melted into gosh darn goo of scandal
from burning lights of world-wide media exposure,
and strange humiliating coincidences,
major players like Al Gore and The Hague
sensing jubilant masses lampooning laughter
even as Big Al the Grand Wizard slinked away
from his own imperial carbon footprint,

only to pop up again in news to sell his failing network
to Al-Jazeera. By that time powers had changed the name
of green movement from Man-made Global warming
to Man-Assisted Global Climate Change.

Shall we say more?

Yep. Cosmological scientists fooled again. Who
do you believe now, a gaggle of government-funded white coats
with pocket calculators fighting over grant money
and other tax subsidies or your own self-serving
senses when you step out the front door
every morning? Certainty is nothing
unless nothing is certainty.

In this age of Internet,
gonzo TV and one's own dilly
dallying daily devotions, everything
he needs to consider his puny effect
in challenging the cosmos, the gifted wing,
more than a few paltry molecules at a time,
man pockets like a broken rhyme.

Isn't that why a few cozy Parisians
rounded up decades of thought,
added some of their own,
codifying existentialism
the 1940s, until a few others
shuttered Sartre's approach for chaos theory,
hamming up for the 1970s, brokering game theory
to police chance, pushing the unified field lovers
back onto existentialism's pearly-gated scientist
hunkered down among his graphs and chunks
of ice, the Yukon Valley Dolls, analyzing
a bucket of balls, which then burst off-camera
his pus-filled cyst, stunning a moth
with some butterfly cough.

I'm merely a journeyman, mind you, but I can smell
ink, the rank differences in accumulative error
between humanity's penchant for gross
speculation and visceral control
while also being limited
by his obvious lack
of precision in husbanding
dormant or active volcanoes,
residual tsunamis, bitter storms,
topical flooding, global wind patterns,
colliding rocks aimed at a rotting nuclear plant
near you and various unsavory activities of our sun,
that ultimate troublemaker, all circulating
about this planet long before we began
questioning its wobble.

Reflexions On The Reflecting Floor

Too Ugly To Prostitute
Rename a thing to the best advantage of the opinion programmer's interest.
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HERE ARE A FEW ACTUALITY PRISMS that make a Fictive Reality possible:

Hurdling - When the facts of an event come under dispute, the viewer is forced to spend time finding and verifying the facts for himself. This is almost never done by viewers, so they settle on a triangulation around the opinion programmer claims based on the presentation made by each side. In other words, they guess. The more the guesswork goes up, the more malleable the reality becomes.

Fuzzing - Framing reports with the set of facts best suited to the opinion programmer's interests, and ignoring other salient facts. It is frequently asserted in public by opinion programmers that the science is settled on carbon dioxide and anthropogenic global warming, when this would any objective viewer with the time and energy to find out would demand to know why if that's true why does the geologic record show evidence that contradicts the theory on its face.

Naming - Rename a thing to the best advantage of the opinion programmer's interest. The MSM's use of undocumented workers instead of illegal aliens is an example of this. Per McLuhan, names can take on cold resonation to the viewer, in this example making the event of an illegal alien seem less illegal, even though everybody acknowledges the law is violated, but that's a matter of paperwork, so it's cool, not hot. There are also insurgent vs Jihadi, conservative vs lawful, and of course that venerated classic racist vs constitutional.

Urging - A technique increasingly popular among opinion programmers is the old short deadline trick. The closer the deadline, the less the facts can be established, the higher the risk of stupid national behaviors and decisions. Properly executed, a deadline decision will be very hot, which can send the body politic into a steamy sauna, where figures are fuzzy and unclear in the fog.

—Alarmed Pig Farmer

Thanks for this solid piece of writing, APF, now destined to be seen by a few additional interpretive minds than are found at our usual play pen.

We can certainly attest to the fact that all aggressive ideologies seek to command the language, the manner of communication, the information circuitry. We saw this throughout the 20th century, and the preceding imperial eras, each dynasty or cultural strain eager to deploy the tactics of domination.

So yes, we see it despicably advanced in fundamental Islam; we can still see the last gasps of it in Christianity fundamentalism.

Peerlessly, the ragin' Left and to a lesser degree the conservative Right tongue wrestle for every monkey wrench in the toolbox in an embarrassing effort to control the terms in describing life as they each insist it is, must be, and always shall remain the better path, no matter what fluctuating human or other jurisdictional energies support. We might call this reflexology. Every strike for a better way of temporal living falls short and is shortlived, dying out due to either lawlessness or the failures of impure government, that is to say, government failure through tactics of domination and its supporting structures. Doesn't the posted image prove our point...

[2011, Washington DC ]

Louis Zukofsky, Poet

Zukofsky
Poet Louis Zukofsky (1904-1978)
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Published on October 24, 2010

LOUIS ZUKOFSKY IS AN important American poet. Why? Because I said, so, naturally, and even though the bulk of this essay is snitched from other sources, I have split my sandwiches with this poet in question on many a toil. All italics mine. His book, A, dominated my thought back in the late 1980s, when I was still chasing a reason to be poet after already having written what I consider my best work, until I rode my elephant sling shot straight into punk rock, fickle women, and cheap booze, and friends who never knew where I was coming from much less where I was aiming to sink a mark, if any. This is my story.

The son of immigrant Russian Jews, he was born into the Jewish ghetto of the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1904. What a headstart he had. I was raised by intelligent but socially illiterate, lingusitically stunted, financially crippled parents with little historical awareness of places and predicaments in a tiny town in SE Georgia, and I don't mean the Caucasion state in Asia. Zukofsky's conception of himself as a poet was indebted to Kaballistic Judaism, with both its emphasis on the magically transforming power of language and its division of the world into a tiny circle of initiates and a great mass of ignorant outsiders.

If Zukofsky was a New York Jewish poet, responsive to the cacophonous voice of the cosmopolitan city and determined to find a place for himself in the world beyond the ghetto, I was the epitome of plain white bread sandwich Tom Sawyer—with the crusted edges still attached. Zukofsky's route out of his festering ghetto was poetry. Mine was the result of that ever diminishing highschool diploma and the vital scream for liberty and exile I found in the wet sack and subsequent scattering of seed called making my way into the world without a clue. Leaving home within a month following a pirate's blue and gold graduation, I soon married a woman twice my age, with three kids nearly my own age, and a religion I was never built to suffer. But suffer I did for three years almost to the day under the yoke of the Jehovah's Witnesses, once removed, and a family I was ill-prepared to feed, clothe, or diminish that ridiculous notion that shibboleth shell games were all that mattered in a book so heavily translated and re-translated that no pretty monkey could ever come clean with the notion of theological typing again. Anxious for something else altogether, I hungered after something of a higher or lower caliber; it didn't matter, so Jehovah God (her phrasing) and I parted company for those three years as I sunk into a calculated misery with an initial declination of 180.

Rather the objectivists wanted, as Zukofsky declared in his Poetry essay "Sincerity and Objectification," to see the "poem as object," calling attention to itself by, for example, deliberate syntactic fragmentation and by line breaks that disrupt normal speech rhythm.
In his brief Autobiography Zukofsky reported how he began to appropriate the heritage of Western literature, first in Yiddish and then in English: "My first exposure to letters at the age of four was thru the Yiddish theaters.... By the age of nine I had seen a good deal of Shakespeare, Ibsen, Strindberg and Tolstoy performed—all in Yiddish. Even Longfellow's Hiawatha was to begin with read by me in Yiddish, as was Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound.... By eleven I was writing poetry in English, as yet not 'American English.'"

At age sixteen, Zukofsky entered Columbia University, where he wrote for and helped edit various student literary magazines. He identified with the literary avant garde (as represented especially by James Joyce, Ezra Pound, and T.S. Eliot) that saw itself as an elite committed to a revolutionary assault upon a dead bourgeois culture.

Zukofsky's first major poetic work, "Poem Beginning 'The,'" written in 1926 and published in Exile in 1928, demonstrates his commitment to a modernist poetic. "The poem's obvious predecessor," said Barry Ahearn in Zukofsky's "A": An Introduction, "is T. S. Eliot's 'The Waste Land.' In an attempt to surpass Eliot, Zukofsky pushes formal details to an excessive, but liberating, limit." "Poem Beginning 'The'" cultivates a tone of Eliot-like irony, as the poet tries to mediate between the insistently alien, Jewish particulars of his experience and an aspiration toward a broader American, "English," vaguely Christian culture.

poet
Zukofsky, as usual
If "Poem Beginning 'The'" resonates with echoes of Eliot, Zukofsky soon abandoned Eliot for Ezra Pound, who was at once more approachable and more overpowering. Pound's warm response to "Poem Beginning 'The'" led to a flurry of letters between the two men, and Zukofsky eventually visited Pound at his home in Rapallo, Italy. Pound gave Zukofsky's poetic career an important boost by urging Poetry editor Harriet Monroe to appoint the young New Yorker as guest editor of a special issue devoted to new English and American poets.

For this Poetry issue Zukofsky invented the name "objectivists" to describe himself and the other poets—including Charles Reznikoff, George Oppen, Carl Rakosi, and Basil Bunting whose work he liked. (Zukofsky, however, never used the term "objectivism" and never claimed to be the leader of a movement named "objectivism.") Most of these objectivists also appeared in Zukofsky's An "Objectivists" Anthology, where they were joined by Pound and even Eliot.

The core group of Zukofsky, Reznikoff, Bunting, Oppen, Rakosi, and Niedecker eventually cohered into something approaching a movement, with Zukofsky established as both the principal theorist and—until World War II—the most diligent critic of and advocate for the poetry of his friends.

Objectivist verse owed a great deal to imagism. Indeed, in his preface to An "Objectivists" Anthology Zukofsky quoted Pound's 1912 Imagist credo: "direct treatment of the 'thing' whether subjective or objective." But in two respects objectivist poetry went beyond imagism. First, unlike such imagists as Amy Lowell, most of the objectivists were unwilling to treat the poem simply as a transparent window through which one could perceive the objects of the world.

Rather the objectivists wanted, as Zukofsky declared in his Poetry essay "Sincerity and Objectification," to see the "poem as object," calling attention to itself by, for example, deliberate syntactic fragmentation and by line breaks that disrupt normal speech rhythm.

Second, following Pound's poetic practice of the 1920s, the objectivist poets were at least as much interested in historic particulars as they were in immediate sensory images. All the objectivists shared Pound's aspiration to create a "poem containing history"; and Pound's incorporation into his Cantos of various historic documents showed these poets a way of incorporating history into their poems without violating the principle of objectivity.

Read it all.

Literary Profilers And The Horses They Ride

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Sun Setting On Arlington, VA
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Gleaned from a online post published by Matthew Z:

Reading is almost always an aesthetic preference, unless it[sic] has permission through certain jargon, both "legal" or "political" to engage in praxis. The politician assumes himself to be beyond art because he actually has the power at his fingertips to physically move his ideas around. The artist has no such power of course and is reduced into the realm of aesthetics—that motionless form of subjective preference.

For starters, despite the strategic blandness of a general political attempt at writing, I think it might be useful to consider their words and actions as more along the lines of an aesthetic preference as well. The artist might gasp at this notion, stupidly assuming, through hand-me-down compartmentalizations, that the "brown bagging suit" is not worthy of being even considered in an aesthetic sense. [But, the politician]... is beyond aesthetics because he can actually make things move.

Art is otherwise, happily motionless and heavily protective of its specialized terms in the name of priority and approbation of course, more than anything else really ("Pick me, pick me, I am the best aesthete in the room! This term belongs to me and me alone in order for me to be able to sell my persona, and if you try to apply to something else, my chances become lowered on this front.").

From the first sentence forward, I detect poor writing, poorly constructed sentences, enough ugly grammar to frighten off all but the strangest bird, and a keen need to escape the mundane by driving straight through it with a Mac truck, but that is it's charm, and I jest, only because this first sentence is not true, but is often directed at me and anybody else who struggles to break out of the box of rote linguistics, or worse, profess literary interests for their own sake, with or without the harsh harness of originality further enslaving the urge to explore.

The message, however, is on the money, and yet, one is left with the question of what's next? Most activist aesthetes eschew art in favor of radical politics, but what has radical politics done for us lately? Today's radicals don't seem to realize the frontier has been vanquished. There are few words, and fewer ideas which require our blood sport devotion. We have long since accepted that the golden ages of idealism have passed us by, and now we are left with little but the grunt work of making our lives count one by one, each to our own strengths of reason, inspiration, and passion to make it so. We have certainly been given fair warning.

This call to action is what Matthew Z means by poetry being replaced or fulfilled by praxis, but like so many others before him, his plea falls not on deaf ears but upon cowardly spirits and the cacophony of competing interests. This is not a resolute failure but the patient and conservative spirit of Nature conferring to us its most preferred role. Time is not man's play toy.

But will the poet of today accept this understanding of his own unspectacular clockwork, keen to the literary profilers and the horses they ride?

GT

In Stating The Obvious We Falter: Open Letter To The Swill

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Ode To Manus
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Purpose, strata, conformity! Samson agonistes! The turning of the screw, the churning of the Swill and by the time we get to Phoenix, just call me Ishmael I rumble on, still kicking the tires and fuming like US Steel from the last work stoppage, and yet, there is still a tongue in my cheek and a gleam in my twitchy baby blue eyes because that's just the way I am, having brushed up against small candles long enough to catch a fire of my own, catching my drift, yet?

Manus, I think once we have ripped past the communist manifesto negation phase of these chats, and accept the fact that capitalism with all its excesses is still a rather young pup and has a ways to go (fifty? a hundred? 200 years?) unless raped by a nuclear holocaust gangbanger before imminent global collapse, we should indeed strive to reveal to the group as a whole just what it is we as individuals strung across the marble as we are, find fascinating about dancing on the fringe with the faith that we among millions who don't give a damn, might be selected by history, fate, or hard work to make a big enough difference in the world we find so challenging, repugnant, lovable, just plain here, while so many try and fail (saving the Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" argument for a later discussion), and how we organize that plan.

I hope that we are now at that fulcrum, but I am not sure. Despite symbiotic desires to share my resources with a few good minds who just happen to appreciate said resources, I am not a communist, and have never been a communist sympathizer, except when it comes to a personal sharing of my own occasional windfall with those who have crossed my path. Unfortunately, I have been far too vigorous in displaying myself as an easy touch for hucksters and abusers of my time and generosity, and as a result, I began to grow bitter and abusive in return, groping for anything I could exploit with fingertips and gutfire since little in my opinion (and I'm talking about a 12-year stretch of woeful friendships) was being funneled my way in any kind of usable quid pro quo. After finally divesting myself of these dead-in social relationships one at a time I am only just now attempting to harden my resolve against these "communistic" tendencies of mine.

There's not much info on the sites right now, particularly for you folks across the high seas who may not comprehend the initial outline, but the ROCC project is very hot property and I've got to play these cards as soon as I can seize the opportunities, so I welcome anyone who wishes to contribute to the Scenewash Project pages in ANY capacity to climb aboard, state your skills, your preferences for contribution, and don't be shy or silly in offering insights about improving a particular hierarchy of thought (but I'll be on guard against frivolous changes, and still hold rank as editor of the Project).
As mentioned in an earlier note to you, Manus, I seek to wed theory with action. Until I change my mind I must admit I find intellectual masturbation counterproductive and truly boring, and need the grounding praxis of social purpose to give it that reality kick I need to sustain my interest at this point in my life (having no academic training since highschool graduation in 1973). That's why, I, in my panic to achieve something real right now rather than chase after publishing contracts which may never materialize, cannot return to the unreadable 900 page novel nesting inside my Macintosh.

Being a full-blooded child of inertia (body in motion tends to remain in motion, body at rest tends to remain at rest) my spectacle-thwarted psychology keeps requiring a return to the real sticks and stones I find out my back door, and I explode in a furious desire to help influence a change, make that unproven splash that requires the powers that be to grant us not only an audience but to recoognize that we speak the truth and must act now, not later.

Note in particular the early beginnings of the GASS & ROCC subsites. My wife works for a lobbying firm, hired guns, environmental and transporation concerns mostly, but will bank any paying client that can afford them. She has the ear of a rising young black woman in the office whom I want to amply politicize with my points on developing the Anacostia River stretch I live along primarily (she's warmed to the initial threads already), and refederalizing the District of Columbia, as a constitutionally pure but politically radical solution to the governing problem here.

This latter scheme will be a tough sell, but she's a politically perfect candidate to juggernaut the ROCC Foundation into the public consciousness with the express purpose of revolutionizing the urban landscape of the federal city in which I and half a million more intruders now reside illegally (according to my argument), if I can convince a constitutional law firm to pro bono the case. There's not a chance in hell these ideas will win favor in my lifetime, but I am certain the war is worth fighting.

The battleplans must be drawn, and the soldiers called. There's not much info on the sites right now, particularly for you folks across the high seas who may not comprehend the initial outline, but the ROCC project is very hot property and I've got to play these cards as soon as I can seize the opportunities, so I welcome anyone who wishes to contribute to the Scenewash Project pages in ANY capacity to climb aboard, state your skills, your preferences for contribution, and don't be shy or silly in offering insights about improving a particular hierarchy of thought (but I'll be on guard against frivolous changes, and still hold rank as editor of the Project). But there's no length I'll not go to accommodate a genuine effort, and no doubt depending on the level of cooperation we muster we may truly have to pass out menial tasks, so let's get rolling, there's more to the SWORG than this Swill...

I know we each have our pet projects. Time will rat us out, as to who is in this for the long haul, and who is merely coasting looking for a place to lodge a rant every now and then. No insults intended, but as Manus warned, a little caustic straight dope will be required if the SWORG is not to be back-burnered on a consistent basis. OK, Manus, how's that for putting on the ego and self-esteem? Ritz or no, I can puff up big time, brother, but the kindler, gentler side of this bull elephant is sensitive to disgusting extremes at times, and you tiptoed through some of that earlier.

Interview With Gabriel

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"For Identification Purposes Only"
by Gabriel Thy
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My interview with Tim Peyton. This was a written exchange conducted over a popular messaging protocol, so the push and pull slingshot of spontaneity was very much in play. The utilitarian nature of the interview escapes me as of this writing. It was for some school project, or publication, but I forget, or never really focussed on the trigger in the first place. I do recall it was a referral from Crash, some I presume Peyton is a university student from a school in Illinois.

TP: Gabriel—well here I am back in the "lovely" midwest after a nice visit to my hometown of Seattle. It was nice to get a little culture: good food, good drink, good smoke. I've got just a few questions for you regarding Scenewash as well as some other issues. Do you think the Internet is a good tool for building communities of individuals united by shared sensibilities?

GT: On a limited basis, the Internet is the absolute tool for building such communities for select individuals seeking something more than the corner bar chit chat & barf or whatever issue-bonding totems other established unity pairings have offered them within the realm of their own specific walk, for those who still feel themselves cut off from the chain reactions of encouraging social valences (for indecipherable reasons) beyond the spitting fires of definitive psychologies.

These often impenetrable or conflictive reasons of individual discontent at the initial stage of community-building, controlled or open, great or small, positive or negative, while seemingly of great importance to social philosophers and activists of various stripe, are meaningless to the aspiring, desperate, or even casual seekers of community.

This Internet valence-building tool, however, is somewhat limited by its virtuality which can mask much of the authentic with imposture and meaningless word-baiting albeit no more so than the swag postures of professional and intellectual cons in the other public arenas, while the Internet tool is strengthened exponentially by its outreach capabilities which stretch far beyond other contemporary venues in both its ease of immediacy and the sheer numbers possible in reaching others who commiserate at a certain level of communication a shared collective of sensibilities.

Several obvious downsides exist however, including the growing domination of the machine intercessor usurping the authentic life of human interplay and the increasingly threatening appearances of Big Brother into the bit sniffing business.

TP: What's your cocktail of choice?

GT: I'm sorry, but could you rephrase the question? Just joking. To respond [to your question] in a completely different manner, I'd answer: the bird in the hand. I try, and mostly succeed in avoiding the ridiculousness of the Alcohol Wars.

TP: Do Scenewash members regularly communicate with each other via the SWORG list? What kind of issues do they discuss?

The universal resides inside us, like the kingdom of god, not some external force or set of rules handed down from a mountaintop or ivory tower. The external is the particular, the specific orbits of our lives, the intruder upon the universal, the crusted world and its mantle of beauty and ugliness, order and chaos, attraction and repulsion. The universal is non-changing. The universal is the life-force no one can describe without resorting to particulars, externals. The SWORGsters are considering this problem.
GT-: Yes, since the SWORG SWILL list was founded in November of 1998, most of its charter members have corresponded regularly in great volume of thoughful insight and documentation. There's no hiding the fact that splitting hairs in philosophical posture is the purpose of the SWILL. Issues? We launched with no native foundation, allowing our issues to greet us like spring pollen. But I coined a phrase in a rather casual tossway that struck a chord with the others. The word was GEOSIFT. Since then, all talk is filtered through this concept, which I frankly admit still has not been adequately, or should I say, succinctly defined. But we tackle topics that range from the alpha to the omega leaving no stone unturned as we are pretentious enough to publically suggest we are seeking to map out a unified field theory of human existence in the global sphere. Each of our members are knitted with a different cloth of experience and aptitude although there are binding notions which help to provide us a common language in this Age of Babel we find ourselves swilling to define. Copping to the point, we use the best, we use the rest. We believe that many answers to the human condition might be found in a comparative study of the social with the geological. We beg, borrow, and steal any idea with which we might fashion a better truth than that old truck our grandfathers drove home. Namedropping is as bogus as reinactment ploys, but who can avoid either? We both love that what we can scavenge and loathe that which we find repugnant and false in the Situationist theories. The Christian theories. The Marxist theories. The pop culture chaos. The mythos and the concrete. We have yet to explore the sensual topics to any degree, fostering notions of geosophy at present which will offer us the tools of this projected geosift-in-progress, that is to say, the Scenewash Project, an often rude but progressive stare into the stuffy battleground where the arts and politics beat each other's brains out as the rest of us remain none the wiser but all the more insecure and otherwise cyncical to the core. All is flux. Nothing is static, not even the past, if we subscribe to all the rantings of false histories and recouperated lives that plague the pumping heart today. But we human entities are framed in both time and space despite postulates which tease us into believing otherwise. Our time and space activities have been accelerated, but we remain fixed in both. But then again, the impossible today is possible tomorrow. Yesterday proves nothing but today under dissimilar circumstances. We as individuals ALREADY sift through the anthro-rubble and the socio-fortresses of the past looking for and clinging to a haphazard matrix of clues with which to buttress our present and our future, but we suffocate in the end because we had embraced collective lies and half-truths, parables of stretching possibilities, but learning nothing of certitude. This in effect sheds light on the chasm between chaos and order. Therein lies the proper problem I think we seek to address. The SWORG theorists seek merely to quantify and qualify this natural intuition and its pitfalls, and in doing so, exert a certain amount of energy in building better more feasible tools with which to sort out of the wheat from the chaff, the eternal sift so to speak. This aim is not unique among philosophers, but we are, as noted, first and foremost, among the best minds of our generation, naked, starving, hysterical. . . locked into the times and the spaces of that nebulous generation, and therefore must work within the ranges of our own particulars with one eye on the universal and another on our own orbits, and thus be challenged by the historical aim of presenting a unique generational viewpoint which in turn will wither away as another generation is born and must therefore react positively to the world they have inherited. Let me say I have always, since my first hearing of the word in its traditional negative connotation, considered myself to be a reactionary, and see the term as the only possible grounding from which a human being can successfully operate. The universal in inside us, like the kingdom of god, not some external force or set of rules handed down from a mountaintop or ivory tower. The external is the particular, the specific orbits of our lives, the intruder upon the universal, the crusted world and its mantle of beauty and ugliness, order and chaos, attraction and repulsion. The universal is non-changing. The universal is the life-force no one can describe without resorting to particulars, externals. The SWORGsters are considering this problem. It's more than a game of semantics. It a war of attrition that no one across the ranks seems to be is winning, but why?

TP: If Jesus Christ and Superman got in a fight, who would win?

GT: You'd have to qualify a perspective in order to even begin to suit up for a phat conclusion with that question, bud. When would this fight take place? Is this JC the lion, or JC the lamb, suited up as son of a loving god or stomping forth as the bejeweled son of an avenging god? Would Clark Kent grow his hair long, get funky, acquire the powers of Samson and knock that leonine JC's jawbone fat ass silly on the pretense that JC is out to do his beloved skyscraped city great harm with plagues and pestilences? The possibilities are hilariously rich. The Nazerene is said to have conquered the world by virtue of passivity and laissez faire. Did he win, or did he lose when he was hung out to dry, naked with anguish on his godforsaken lips? Clark Kent was a man of dazzling uniform with a well-publicized vulnerability to a rather easily obtainable element. Was the man in red, white, and blue dueling for dollars in Saigon when it fell, doped up with chemical nemesis, and simply useless to the cause? Did Superman like America finally lose one?

Unfortunately for those interested in a truly sifted response to your question, I must be one of the few non-elites of my generation who has never read a Superman comic nor have I seen any of the blockbuster movies which plagued the late 1970s and early Eighties, I think it was. Sure, I've caught snatches and scenes of the Superman mythos during dud moments of my mind. But frankly, I'm too fuzzy on the storylines and arch-rivals to articulate more clearly any further response, although I'd hazard a guess that it'd end in a draw and we'd be stuck with another thousand years of the same old same old. After all, one is a tarrying old buzzard, and the other's a busybody reporter and everyone knows what lazy leeches they are.

TP: What theories and practices have come out of Scenewash?

GT-: As mentioned earlier, the Geosift is the most prominent theory. As for practices, I had originally hoped that our group would immediately begin publishing online, fleshing out the broadband infrastructive I had already worked into place but so far little has evolved to the point where the sifts of the others have been added to the site. The group, made cohesive with the list, is still uncertain of the maturity of their own individual offerings, and therefore like JC tarries in the name of perfection of timing, or something like that. My own ambition is to tackle as many uber topics as possible, researching and publishing generalized mainstream opinions, and then tackling each of them with a scalpel and a sifting net in order to get at the true root and geneaology of these chunk issues of the day, whether junk or gem. It's an ambitious project, but one in which I have been collecting data in the form of clippings and other media for several decades now. I will be 44 in September, the old man of the crew I think. But while the web is a perfect venue for me, I am but one lone worker with the standard obligations to wife and hearth eating into my energies and inertia. The SWORG group however has raised my expectations for the Project. In time I suppose we will grow beyond the current stasis. Several of us are madly finishing up school. Jobs and other paraphenalia of modern life soak up much of the others' time. So yes, like my wife repeatedly reminds me, I must practice patience despite my insistence that I am dying from a lifetime gluttony of patience. From the website in the Rhesus section you can discover that our group is scattered across the globe - Nottingham, Sidney, Austin, San Francisco, Bowling Green, and Washington DC. We are a closed group, but open to folks who understand the loopholes.

TP: Do you have anything that you would like to say to the powers that be in the world of academia?

GT-: Yeah. They can talk about me plenty when I'm gone...but that's a theft from Mighty Quinn the Eskimo, so no, I really wouldn't care to hazard the traps of today's academia. All these religious icons and philosophersof the ages have eschewed the petty polemics of academia while siding up to the poor and outcast souls, but immediately threaten to cast them into the hellfire if they don't shape up. Western philosophers ad infinitum have all tried to speak FOR the common man, the man in the street. Well, why don't they just get out of the damned way, and let the man on the street speak for himself? I am that man. But as soon as this man begins to speak, the professionals, even among the self-schooled, immediately rush in to dominate and thwart this man of the street, suggesting that the common perspective just isn't informed, that his mind has been mismanaged with great skill, and only HE, THE TRUE SPOKEMAN FOR THE COMMON MAN has the key to unleash the new possibilities awaiting him after he throws off the shackles of teh enemy of the day. This so-called leader among the comman man also immediately piles high his particular lists of required reading, complete with special languages and codes to indicate status and true consciousness. Well. What can I say? Don't follow leaders.

TP: That's about it for now. Gotta turn in for the evening. Thanks for your time, and I'll catch you on the flip side.

GT: You're welcome Tim.

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

Challenging The Purpose, Strata, and Conformity Of Banana Pudding

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.

    Is Ayn Rand Still Relevant? Ask Jack...

    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.

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    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

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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...