Posts Tagged ‘Bob Black’

Working At Not Working Is A Tiresome Business

25 Sep


Capitalize On It


Dateline September 25, 2002

We always appreciate our good fortunes when sound and logical visitors to the Scenewash Project with enough time on their hands and maple syrup on their pancakes to take us to task, whether it be my boot size, the weight of zero, the odor in my sock drawer, or my favorite color of hero. Gives us the chance to deepen the mystery, as the old Queensbury Mews poofer Francis Bacon so neatly put it. Ruth, one such prevailing visitor, took the time to write:

Then I take it you would be against the ideology of the Church of the SubGenius also? And their belief in the benefits of 'slack'. At least Bob Black offers a great degree of intelligence. I don't agree with him about not working—disagree totally actually—but I think he tells the truth—which is a whole lot different than what so many others in the world right now try to pass off as a philosophy for our time.

Ruth, thanks for the email.

Slack is for those who choose slack, and possess the strength of character to not complain about the consequences of that slack like do so many in the world today. Otherwise, slack is counterintuitive, hypocrisy is the norm, and no one is served by one's own potential. Rich man, poor man, beggarman slack, makes no difference to me if you're a professional liar or an honest-to-god hack. Either way, each choice one makes or is forced to accept plays into a host of competing consequences. It's how we react to these consequences which churns the grist and sorts the wheat from the chaff, at least on the material level, that which is observable and easily measurable. Of course, science is even putting an end to that entry-level sort of objective observation.

As to the specifics of which of Bob Black's counsels I find disagreeable, based on the few crumbs you've provided above, I'd suggest you and I have indeed landed on the same secret square, so if your beef with me is simply one of TRUTH, I'd say try again.

Work, while obviously travailed differently by those divided across the chattering and the muttering classes, is the very mesh of life where meaning and satisfaction are manifested beyond the dubious markings of profane job descriptions and its so-called bearing on social rank.

Work is the freedom to excel.

But feel free like some to tout Bob Black. Believe me, as one who has periodically tried with the 20-20s wide open, therefore sacrificing the career track several times, and failing to dodge the realities of gross subemployment when I would choose to work—working at not working is a tiresome business. We all must adhere to our own natures, or die trying, don't you think?


The Ypsilanti Rag

15 Mar


Bob Black


The sad fact that nearly everyone in this pool of bottom-feeding sharks is out to make a mark of somebody else, a trophy guaranteed to grab him some still bleeding slice of what we now derisively call blood fame continues to baffle us all who are in the business of pulling back the curtain to not only see what is real, but to name the enemy among us, so as to bring him safely ashore, not to erect our own personal monument to bitterness, acrimony and vile passions. Money and prestige seem to diminish next to this new sport where the very act of attacking others is much more satisfying that any money or prestige that comes of such an attack. I realize that among these types "artistic description" and "ad hominem attack" will be confused and the entire topic ridiculed by the same sharks who indulge in the latter as if earning himself another blaze of bars to flag his identity crisis. Incapable of any artistry, this sort of writer does what he does best, criticizes or ridicules others without resort to facts or context—merely to boost his own distorted sense of honor, humor, and hubris. This is not Oedipus. There is no killing the father here, no whispering about the emperor's nakedness, just self-deluding vulgarity delivered cold.

…curiouser and curiouser. Stewart Home and Bob Black have, if I recall correctly, a big fight going over some comments of Home’s to the effect that Debord’s intro. to a Polish (?) edn. of SoS smacked of fascism, backed up (rather dubiously) by the ‘fact’ that Debord was cited as a hero by a Russian right-winger… All this was reported a year or so ago on the Jefferson Village avant-garde list.

That’s Bill Brown (NOT BORED!), not Bob Black. And here’s the text of Stewart Home’s “Open Letter” reply…which will soon be posted at the SI Archives. —Spud

Thanks Spud for the Bill Brown clarification. But there is indeed a Bob Black, who's most recent claim to infamy was ratting out Jim Hogshire after the latter alledgedly pulled a shotgun on Black after a heated argument in Hogshire's Seattle apartment. Hogshire had outstanding drug-manufacturing warrants on him, so he landed in jail, if only temporarily, while he did lose his relationship with his publisher in the deal. Of course the events have been rabidly discussed on the radical gossip circuit for months, all with the typical frolic through clarification and reclarification of facts, rebuttals and retractions, monkeyshines and namecalling. My source was again Bracken via a copy of an ugly little newsprint rag out of Ypsilanti called POPULAR REALITY. True to the cliquish nature of hero worship and friends on the give and take, and despite a line in one of Bracken's situ novels which reads, "We hear of poets snitching to the cops and calling themselves prophets..." Len still talks in high admiration of this Black fellow, whom I have never met, while Hogshire is aired with relative indifference, whom I also have never met, and is only a name in a story I once read in an ugly rag.

>>what have we learned these past few days? me, i have basically decided that
>>situationism can not be revived.

Well, Tim, I learned a few details about certains books that may interest me simply because I am a bleeding bibliophiliac with a penchant for useless and pointless knowledge. I too have had confirmed what I've known all along and that is "revolution, who needs it?" is about as close to a cult slogan as I would ever want to shout in a crowded street, or out a moving vehicle (another Bracken antic) and because of all the spare change I can pocket on the issue of revolution for its own sake I still agree with Sam's signature quote. To paraphrase: a good mind is a terrible thing to waste in a crowd, and I might add, especially a crowd of hardliners who betray the very peace, love, and understanding they would rant at strangers and loved ones alike, by their actions. I'm living proof of that. Despite my best intentions I become a complete asshole in a crowd...

Look at it this way: revolution is not a plan, it's a spontaneous combustion.



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