Posts Tagged ‘Bracken’

Signaling Debord


22 Jan

guy-debord

Guy Debord

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Originally published on January 22, 1997

Well, it's finally finished. The Debord book is packed off to Portland. Took data to service bureau to have my Syquest media converted to Zip, and printed out a color proof of the cover. Nearly a month's worth of work is in the can. Now I can address what happened over New Year's, settle back into my own themes, but first I need to awaken afresh. I am tired, needing a night's rest.

Tomorrow I shall begin the prologue promised those long brackenish weeks ago. The details will no doubt seem shallow now, since most of you no doubt have struck conversations of some sort or another with the exiled in the meantime, but I am urged by inner demons and outer banks of fair recoil to capture the essence of my own perspectives. Thus I presume all of you are still interested in hearing these details, despite their tardiness, free from kneejerk but far from the thunder of that distant hour.

I am forwarding these two recent notes I sent to Steve (who has been remarkably steady in recent days after months of little to say), only because since I've been so busy and completely absorbed by Bracken's project my own e-mail generation had dropped to almost nothing. I didn't want you to think I had blown you off or anything as vulgar or self-preserving like that. Quite the contrary. I've been feeling guilty and depressed that you've written interestingly on several topics that I failed to engage because of my current workload, while simultaneously neglecting my own hefty writing project describing those sordid details of the changing of the guard here at the Dollhouse. Steve meanwhile weighed in with his interest in hearing more about the book project. You did not, but hey, you certainly caused a stir at the so-called Situationist camp a few weeks back that I thought you might still appreciate a few details while they were still warm in the oven.

After a month of working diligently for someone else I had a few general Mac housekeeping chores to manage, a major crash to weather, and I am now on my eighth day of flu sickness without antibiotic calvary persuading me that the end of this misery is yet in sight. So I face the hiss and boos of the faceless crowd as I admit that still the first line of the Great Storm ending 1996 has yet to find its way to page, although this Sunday, Groundhog's Day will mark the first month's anniversary of Tim and Jennifer's exile from the Dollhouse fevers.

Speaking of anniversaries, what day exactly do you turn 31 in all your sass and bosomly glow? Have you managed to seduce a frozen Swede onto your corporate tab? Would you tell me if you did? You wouldn't be pulling a Jack, now would you Lynn, all bathed in secret lights and bold rationalizations while flogging community standards with one hand tied behind your back and the other on a stack of sci-fi novels, with nothing but your feet and your mouth to accomplish the dirty deeds, now would you Lynn?

Of course I jest with you, but you know that as well as I do that in the eye of the hurricane, few details are lost. It's out there on the swirl that conflict states its name and bends the rules to suit its own game. But have a swell Minnesota memory. Nothing lasts forever, not even a Green Bay Packers grin....

You asked for editorial comments on "GUY DEBORD - Revolutionary" by Len Bracken. I have not forgotten, and was quite pleased that you asked for details of my impressions, so I suppose I should lay in a few lines on the topic right here, seeing as life is settling down again for me.

I had to tell him repeatedly that I was no cheerleader type, no empty flatterer, a symptom of my childhood no less, but that my comments were sincere and as comprehensive as I could make them.
Considering the Situationist International's (SI) big cheese was, by revolutionary and philosophical necessity a subterranean veiled in secrecy a state of being heightened by idiosyncracies leaning toward an accelerated paranoia and strong diva tendancies, the volume was a decent read for the first biography ever written about the man (vested propoganda offered as fact by Len). I was surprised by the general objectivity of the material, having presumed Bracken of being a terminal sycophant of Debord and the whole romanticized SI movement. I was able to argue plainly and successfully my objections to the man and the philosophy based on details the book offered with Len over the last week of proofing and finalizing the 420 page manuscript.

The author's style was rather straightforward, his voice almost non-existent, a minor flaw in the book as I pointed out to Len. As any serious reader might be I was plagued with the question, who is this Len Bracken fellow of few daylight credentials? Again, I emphasize, this was no ordinary bio, given the secrecy of the subversive material and its originators. Debord's two wives are still alive, intellectuals in their own right, and yet were not interviewed personally by the biographer. And while Bracken's bibliography and footnotes are extensive, this dependency on so much second and third hand information will no doubt register as a flaw with serious reviewers.

Historical threads of Debord's intellectual ancestors are woven rather seamlessly into the cloth of the story, while personal anecdotes from behind the scenes are perhaps in short number. By the end of the volume I had gained probably for the first time ever a respect for both the biographer and the subject, while still disdaining the ultimate outcome of such a philosophical stance. Debord was a tyrant and a romantic. He carved up friendships with bold sweeping strokes. Bracken indeed proved himself capable of putting flesh and flaw onto the man and the myth, much to the book's advantage.

founders

SI Founders

However, his usual bluster and misplaced pomposity (Bracken's Breath) that this was a book that will be read for 500 years fortunately was kept out of the book, and I could only plead in a feeble Gabriel grit and grunt that my own ears had not been spared the oft repeated utterance, no doubt a trumped up cry for respect of a very needy author and personality. I had to tell him repeatedly that I was no cheerleader type, no empty flatterer, a symptom of my childhood no less, but that my comments were sincere and as comprehensive as I could make them. It was a roller coaster ride around here, but I think we did a pretty damn good job on the proofing, the layout, and an unbias review of the material. Could he not just leave it at that. Needless to say, I was not sad to see that job finished.

I am promised another $250 plus two copies of the finished product to add to the original $500. One can only speculate if I'll ever see either. Small press insecurities chewed at Len persistently over the month we worked together. Adam Parfrey is not intentionally a fly by nighter, but the Feral House Books wing span ain't exactly an eagle's badge of honor either...

GT

Number Theory


14 Jan

concern

Widepread Concern

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Originally published pn January 14, 1997

Thanks Landry for the personal update. Been swamped with Bracken's biography of Guy Debord, that Situationist International revolutionary Frenchy fellow I've namedropped a few times in your direction. A decent book I must say, if only because it is the first so-called biography in ANY language of this rather famous dialectician, according to its author, although Greil Marcus writes about him extensively in LIPSTICK TRACES, a book with which I believe you are somewhat familiar.

Still haven't even begun to compose the New Year's Day, the Day After Massacre tale of Tim, Jennifer, Steve and all the 1980s throwbacks, but it's right there waiting for me when I get my breath back from Bracken. Ninety-nine photos have been scanned, 400 pages of text converted from Windows to Mac, and all laid carefully into PageMaker.

Currently busy proofreading with an interested eye; although I loathe the man's politics, his philosophical insights are pure poetry. Beaucoup typos, misspellings, missing words, et cetera, so gotta keep my eye on the ball. I also designed the cover. Bracken's hip to it, so all things are hunky dorey. Will get paid (underpaid but satisfied) and appropriate acknowledgements.The publisher is Feral Books, currently of Portland, Oregon soon to be moving to sunny LA. Whew! Be glad when all this REAL WORK is behind me...

GT

Complaint As A Yellow Vegetable


08 Jan

birdman

Yellow Vegetable

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

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

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

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

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

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

cabib

Appalachian cabin...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pulp Exhaustion Spatially Explained


27 Dec

sop

Standard Operating Procedure

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Bracken just spilled outa here. Using MacLink Plus to convert his DOS MS Works pages into Mac MS Word docs. We added an extra step taking his Works to Word 2.0 DOS, but we've been losing quite a bit of formatting, and Len isn't looking forward to handsetting it again. By staying in Works, we are hoping the trip straight to Mac Word 5.0a will take hours off our stress times and put smiles in all the right places.
Hey Landry, just a short one to tide me by. Hope your spirits are just where you want them. I'm afraid my friends are beating me up again with their shit for sherlock behaviors. Tim's hanging on by a thread. I asked Steve to stay away. Jennifer will be arriving Saturday for a romp until January 3rd. I wonder how much of her delightful self I will be able to gratify without cracking under the strain of the "oh so coy" gone beserk! Thanks for the card, and merry mucking to all concerned. Hey, I've got Jack's autograph stashed somewhere in a stack of cards. Why would you need it?

I loathe bitterness in any creature, but why do these [punk] actors continue to abuse my natural good humors? What am I doing about it? I guess I'm trying to shake free with an abrupt refusal to step into their fly splat worlds anymore. I gain nothing but aggravation working either side of the equation as I have been known to do, neatest of the neat, noisiest of the noisy. But day after day, year after year, I am forced to choose between an "in my face boredom" and the "sheer terror of the bingeing without consequences".

But the consequences DO EXIST, and even now the Tattooed Elephant is buckling under the weight of these riotous friendships with little or no solid justification, just the dead weight of momentary blather sticking to our ribs. I'm sick of it all, exhaustion confirmed, and them who have or will continue to pursue it...

(and the buzzard winks trying to get a piece of her. She's enjoying the attention, but she's not as easy a target as they might beg to think, and will make them work for every inch.)

We are supposed to be taking a limo out for New Year's Eve, courtesy of Skip Bafalis, a partner at Sue's firm. Two potential complications: no driver has been found, and Skip the owner was rushed to the hospital Christmas Eve, spent the whole next day having exploratory tests run to no conclusive end. He was released sometime yesterday. Still no solid lead on a driver, but bangedup Sue has a maybe or two up her sleeve.

Steve was originally invited, well, he sorta presumed he was invited by default, but last weekend he brought much chaos to this house, and has perpetuated it by further examples of his mute reckonings. Say anything, do nothing. A mile a minute flows off his tongue, uh, followup, what's that?

But neither Sue or I are in our middle to late 20s, or even 30s. Get a grip people, get a gashwhipping grip upon yourselves, and know that you are talking to someone who knows what it is all about. This is a private home and studio apparently shy of staff beyond the principles. Keep the puns in the pants. I can't care anymore. There is no other interpretation.
Tim has been cashing in on street crack, bringing crack dealers and cracked friends to the D-house. A fucking idiot, pimping that shit here after I had made it clearly an uncool deal! The handwriting's in the till that I will probably smack him with the pink slip by early spring if not sooner. He doesn't want to leave, and he doesn't want to lose his lifestyle. I can't blame him, but nobody can plug Tim's life better than himself. And you know me, "I'm a very possessive asshole. I'm trying to bring order to this mess I call my life of peers and all I get from this friendship ring is a future filled with agitation, no no no no peace essence at all."

I am scheduled for a battery of five or six tests in the new year, including brainwave and brain physiogomy scans. Full blood work. Doctor seems to think my problems are neurological in nature, neck and nerve pinchings rather than a brain tumor, but I'm testing the whole noodle kaboodle to rule out the latter. Brain cancer is dropping folk in high numbers in the late 90s it seems. I may or may not be one of them. Most relative I suppose is mother's younger sister Kitty, who died in February at 52 of said vermin.

So all in all, things are rather normal with the Dollhouse ground zero gang. Abused by friendship, alienated from most of the family where it really counts, I only find comfort, despite our plethora of well-inventoried flaws, in my baby baby baby sue...

Lynn, why do I despise the noise when so many seem to embrace it? The problem is not the noise and chaos itself. That I handle quite well in dosages I administer to myself with the greatest of ease. Achievements GT are legendary. But I know I can no longer riot as persistently as this class of 1996, and I want out. Of course Sue loves Tim, Tom, Steve, Jack, Mouse and whomever no less than I, and she DOES LOVE rent day, but something has got to give, me or the outside world. And she said three times denied, three wishes granted. I mean, what is the meaning of meaning if we scat in our own master's house, and act like, uh, catch ya next time, anywaze?

Many times I have asked folk to arrive on a date and at a time I specify. Many are the times when playing it by ear is the only game friends will play. Well, I've rolled that carpet over. I've had my fill with self-gonads at the expense of my own overwhelming desires that I continue to put aside in order to entertain yet another stiff torture at the wiles of the wolfpack.

That’s the way it is among all of us, bound by handshake uselessness & special moting, too offcentered to get much more done than self obliteration one adult beverage after another, word gaming for prizes void in several states, and ogling sessions that defy a national screening; we, the slurfish leisurely class, spamming the spectacle dot dot dot.
I played the idiot punk quite fantastically. That role is a part of me, now. The world will not soon forget that part of me, but geez Louise, this ain't a bar, or a hotel anymore, although I'm not exactly sure when we were penciled in for those tours of duty, it is certainly a reality checkpoint. But neither Sue or I are in our middle to late 20s, or even 30s. Get a grip people, get a gashwhipping grip upon yourselves, and know that you are talking to someone who knows what it is all about. This is a private home and studio apparently shy of staff beyond the principles. Keep the puns in the pants. I can't care anymore. There is no other interpretation.

Do I sound mad as a Mississippi monk on morphine? dear pets? After all these words of banishment I now contemplate staying home in exile even should limosine wax available, wave as the gag orders go their own chauffered way, as I stay back to protect my dwindling investments and bruised heels, aching heads and breaking shoulders, keeping my own puns to the grindstone...yuck what a miser of energy, spirit, and tailwind. But conservative reckoning is a day I must endure, and will embrace as a grand homecoming, despite all the kidz who would steal my middle age thunders kicking me in the shins when it's my pain they can't stifle.

Bottom line: I am tired of being treated as if I were both deaf and mute as my memory reviles and reputes the waste of conversation which never engages real meaning for longer than any particular drunk and hangover harry. At least when I remake the bed in the morning I know I feel better for it, and meaning is multiplied into dividends. No so with a three day drunk where nothing is everything and reality quotients are deemed counterfeit in a fuzzy display of carelessness and forgot me knots...

spam

Human Spam, All Too Human

Bitter blizzard of sins my own carelessness purchased on credit and oops, a ditch. The barge of Bob's party proved that friendship resolutions are best kept at room temperature. Tilting ambition quotas task me as I crumple, long too busy with luck sucking. Periphery bucks buckling. File jitters fluttering. Poor judgement furniture. Pass or fail remarks. D-house or bust. Ain't got the holy chimes to tell everybody everything I know about them, and ain't got the battle bones to listen to all their own rants and riddles about it. Too tight. Too loose. That’s the way it is among all of us, bound by handshake uselessness & special moting, too offcentered to get much more done than self obliteration one adult beverage after another, word gaming for prizes void in several states, and ogling sessions that defy a national screening; we, the slurfish leisurely class, spamming the spectacle dot dot dot.

Sick and tired of the never-yielding pap. Oh I love my spanking fresh weekdays. Short? You betcha, but my sanctuary for creative work that makes sense to me as I lay in store against the coming weekend of friendship madness.

Bracken just spilled outa here. Using MacLink Plus to convert his DOS MS Works pages into Mac MS Word docs. We added an extra step taking his Works to Word 2.0 DOS, but we've been losing quite a bit of formatting, and Len isn't looking forward to handsetting it again. By staying in Works, we are hoping the trip straight to Mac Word 5.0a will take hours off our stress times and put smiles in all the right places.

I'll keep you all jigged on the fleet fool nostril. Which reminds me of then and now. What do you call a fool in the mirror? A loof...

Flawed and flogging it...

GT

Just Another Jesuit Poseur


03 Oct

woman

The Trust Factor

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Originally published on October 3, 1996

Notes is a bust, can't find a use for it, but I guess before I'll ever get around to affording Director 5, Avid VideoShop is a decent start, so again, rather than webbing I was reading for pleasure this afternoon. Like Tom Howell once said to me, "Any fool can spend money...." Most interesting concept, hiding as it was in his mouth. Little green apples...

What I'm concerned about right now is the olfactory packaging assault. Hardware and literature needs no sniffing, but aromatically introduces itself with gusto to the nostrils as soon as the box and ever more powerfully when the plastic wrapping is unfurled. Taking delivery on new hardware is absolutely a fresh breeze in the nostrils. The absence of the 1710AV display undercuts what would surely be some sort of full frontal euphoria though. A call to Apple just now netted me nothing more than what I already knew. Two more weeks may pass before all the backorders are filled. Or then again it may show up tomorrow. Credit card is billed as each portion of the order is shipped.

According to the set-up manual the 8500 is shipped with voice recognition software enabling user-scripted commands to perform tasks as well as rendering responsive feedback from the Mac itself. Uhmmm...wonder how well that will work out of the box; I have my suspicions...

We are exactly the same, me and that bum. We are both messed up because we cannot control the nature of need nor the nature of corruption. Life is the mathematical ratio of one to the other.
When at Microcenter I did ogle over a 200mhz Performa that spoke the application names when the mouse passed over them, but I was completely ignorant that the Mac had voice recognition capabilities already out on the 8500/120...

I do believe I'm gonna get a kick out of wearing the QuickTime movie producer's cap. All that video footage collecting dustbunnies will finally serve a purpose as I push to integrate multimedia into the iMote core premise: the cult of personality exposed for what it truly is, nothing more than reality itself. Understatement and pomposity explored from the historical and futuristic prespectives. The perilous dichotomy explained as the everbroadening gulf between inexplicable social aloofness and seamless integration into the fabric of worldly imperative.

From Jesus to Debord (did I mention Bracken confessed last week when forced into the corner of my argument that among some dissenters Debord is ridiculed as just another Jesuit poseur?) I wish to stake a claim for what ails the world in general and will use the tracks of classicism to upbraid the apostles of the classes. I believe I have been laying in the groundwork, and now I have nearly all the tools of production.

Is premature death or irrepressible riotous living the only two acts separating me from my destiny, or am I merely a hollow shell of a pretender? That is the test I have always dared to wait while all the pieces are gathered onto the board (bored?). I have seen the enemy, and the enemy is us, to borrow a phrase. Like I have said to Bracken in several a lucid moment, revolutions are a dime a dozen. If it ain't the bum on the street asking for a dime, it's me asking for a dollar twenty. We are exactly the same, me and that bum. We are both messed up because we cannot control the nature of need nor the nature of corruption. Life is the mathematical ratio of one to the other.

So to quote YAST, of course ripe in a rebellion of his own with SAST...

Let's Mac on! dudes and dudettes! Or is that more properly put, LET'S MAC ON DISKS AND DISKETTES?

GT

Two Guys And A Bowl Of Fuzzy Snits


18 Sep

spectacle

Society of the Spectacle

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Originally pub. September 18, 1996

Thanks Landry once again for appreciating my posts. Just what this discussion was originally supposed to be about is still up for debate! Go figure!

Jacques Derrida & Schrodinger's cat, not chickens, somebody else piped in, but for my money I don't know why these people think a topic can't or won't stray a few fuzzy threads away from the narrowness of whatever it is they think THEY are ranting on about. After all, these snits aren't even in charge of the group. I simply jumped in where I had something to say after being bombarded with a bunch of notes yesterday from this Derrida group I guess I joined a few weeks ago because I haven't joined one recently...

How's it going? My back between my shoulder blades has been bothering me the past few days. Tonight Sue & I are traipsing out past Bailey's Crossroads to Borders to catch the Guy Kawasaki booksigning. Guy is the original MacEvangelist, again working for Apple. Hope to get a snapshot of the Mac Guy & yours truly. Later we'll stop for dinner, then cruise back into town for one of Guy Debord's Situationist International flicks, from the 1960s, I would suppose. Len Bracken issued the invite. Tonight in the WPA artspace...whoopee! He breathed his signature Bracken's breath over the phone with a hint of desperation at Gabriel's indifference, "Uh, nine o'clock's probably a little too late for you, right?" But I said that this time he was in luck. We were going to be out, and would certainly try to swing by to catch his idol philosopher in action.

And yes, I noticed that this would be a two Guy (actually a GYE & a GUEE, but who's counting these days?) evening...

GT

"Create like a God, Command like a King, and Work like a Slave..."
—Brancusi

No Gang, No School


08 Sep

wild9

Making No Sense Of It All

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Originally published on September 8, 1996. I elected to publish Tom's entire note to me since it was one of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking emails I ever received from him, and will follow with my response in a separate file with link below.

Thanks for that insight note on joint projects. I have softened my stance after reading one of your first drafts of Autonomous Gazer and listening, rather than continuing to think of what I was going to say next, to your admiration for Thomas Pynchon and the concept of the modern Mega-novel. But I still haven't read his Gravity's Rainbow but seek refuge in genre writing. That's my gang, Lenny understands genre assignments and slips easily into the yoke, and most important to us, the audience understands the genre, has certain expectations from it, and we writers deliver the goods.

But there you are, no gang, no School, not even a salon. One thing about your work that I do relate to is the desire to put it all on the web, I had a very productive day putting all kinds of esoteric info that I thought was important up on the web, that is until Tracy (Styx) came by, restless and bored, to call me away from the computer and out into the cool night air, steps the Great Pretender.

Yes, that's true, newspaper journalism is definitely one of the genres and you have plyed the trade. But I never considered e-mail anything other than a fast sloppy, disposable medium, always short, full of typos and mispellings—meant to be quickly read (cyber-surfers gets hundreds of them) and instantly deleted—but wait, what's this? GT is sending long, thoughtful E-MAILS??? And then saving them, along with their responses? And the e-mail style that's arisen, why is almost everything a flame? The insular anonymity of e-mail makes everyone so insulting, quick, shallow responses, knee-jerk flames, is this any kinda medium to make your mark?

"The world will little note nor long remember what we say here..." Abraham Lincoln said that.

"They'll talk about me plenty when I'm gone." GT said that, with a deferenial nod to his Bobness. So far they're mostly talking about your outrageous behavior in public. Your strange and cryptic comments while under the influence of beer swill and private demons. But I know you better, I know something (very little actually) of your writing and desktop publishing and poetry and private library and such flotsam and jetsom of pornography & punk that have washed up on GSIS's shores and mingled with the sublime truths of long dead philosophers, I see you walking along the littered shore line of the twentieth century, looking for treasures in the trash. This is a tired and cynical age you live in, it will be tough to break through to anyone, anywhere—there's a lot of noise in the channel.

—Tom Howell

Writing From One's Own Nostrils


07 Sep

Spotting Friends In The Picture

Spotting Friends In The Picture

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Originally published on September 7, 1996

I wrote: "...what I might really need is a good five cent cigar and a well-edited collection of GT/The World letters. Now THAT'S A JOB for the Bracken's breath, but he couldn't stand it. He'd abolish Thy letters, and want to publish his own. I just don't think Len Bracken is talented enough to edit Gabriel Thy, nor I, him."

Tom wrote:

I heard that. Lenny commented on that to me recently, saying he offered his editorial services but 'you wanted to write about everything' with a knowing chuckeling. I smirked to, know the widing gulf between the kind things Lenny writes, I write about, and what your doing. Lenny has done some editorial work for me and it's been effective in achieving the limited, specific goals of commercial writing, similar to the goals of academic writing. Focused, defined, and above all CLEAR and unambiguious. If you're going to go out on limb with thousands of vague poetics allustions and private jokes, then we can't help you. It [is] a strange and mercurical landscape out there, maybe you'll be recognized as an innovative and important writer who went it alone and created his own unique style. Then I will attend my own Tom Howell Roast and listen to scores of writers and critics tell me what a fool I was for not understanding that I was in the presence of genius, then eat my dinner of crow.

BTW, Lenny and I have a film treatment in the hopper with my agent in New York. We're egarly awaiting a FAX of editorial comments, margin notes and other ego-deflating comments about how we didn't write it right. Should such a FAX come across your machine, please notify me immediately. Look forward to your spirited rebuttal (this is not a flame, but a mere creative spark).

S A M P L E X

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


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