Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 11:13:22
From: Stephen E. Taylor
Hey therewanted to wish you and Sue a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and rising fortunes with the post-solstice daylight gains.
Yule finds me in Bloomsburg anticipating the forecast snow with childlike glee. Trips to local orchards, general stores, a freshly (and on our order) slaughtered goose lies in the fridge awaiting tomorrow's roasting like an insecure Friar's Club member.
Tonight it's a fine piece of friendly grass fed cow that's roasting. Apple cider quaffed and cookies baked...Christmas tunes bobbing up and down on the CD carousel with a purring fire in the family room. Good to be back home with the folks for a bit. Looks like I'll be here through the early days of January before returning to Philly in the hopes of making something more of 2003.
Nothing new it seems under this sunny side of life, Steve, or me. Steady stream of sameness, gaming for the rich variety that has been my own past, present, and future sameness. My change is loose, and while the tones grow coarser, they nevertheless remain the same after all these muddied tracks of wobbly foibles lost in the whimsy of the uncharted memory stick we each clutch uniquely according to the redoubtable drives and infernal combustions of our own struggling natures.
Alarming Matthew Manus has been trying to get me to re-buttress his own buttery realm of sticks and stones with an odd assortment of half-measured email quips and a Sunday afternoon phone call I missed, fortunate I was to have BS to buffer, but no thanksthe weights and measures of our previous three and a half year toil encourage no need for ubiquitous jokers on the run. Meanwhile, you might guess I know nothing of nothingness.org, the Spudster, or any of those sad little puddles of leftist charm leftover from the quintessential flummox of Lenin reading a book on Marx.
If indeed a password were required, neither you nor the unsavory bootjack could enter but would indeed be blocked, or perhaps saddled with another name for delightful exits perched exactly where you rode in from, save the request for ID and code, forced entries once again the pickled folly of the fruitless to be surveilled by the highly equipped.
The raw facts are that I have whittled nary a whit new, and damned near nothing onto the wash spots in ages. New to you? Probably a few additional chainthinker hiccups have made it to the site within the past year. Like MacArthur Park I shall return with a vengeance, no doubt, but suffice it to say that I am in no mad rush, no longer feeling the excruciating pressures of web publishing. As far as I'm concerned I've already perished in the flames of the economic burst. Keeping up was just too tough for one person with too many interlocking interests to keep me focused on a shifting mirage of minor chords, Manny, Moe, and Jack would have me dancing around in suiting their own peculiar fancies...
You must earn your own bars and stripes on this battlefield of little or no return, my friend, a pop pop slam dunk for a smartly seasoned surf monkey like yourself. Alas, the cage that is the rather recent past fails to muster any new hope in my isolated corner of the ring. Meanwhile, I play the ditto, mimicking my own yawn of yore, still splashing around inspired photographs and the painted word, bouncing back and forth via the manuscript blues, busy work down at the lab, and even an occasional awkward muster to sweat at the gym, aiming to perform miracles in silence, solemnity, and the slow boil. The password scene is only a front, easily backed into an open wound only eloquent passersby can detect. If indeed a password were required, neither you nor the unsavory bootjack could enter but would indeed be blocked, or perhaps saddled with another name for delightful exits perched exactly where you rode in from, save the request for ID and code, forced entries once again the pickled folly of the fruitless to be surveilled by the highly equipped. One day perhaps soon, I may complete the password hack, and pass the struts and strider along to those few in forensic flutter about my darling daily debriefing.
I imagine you to be among them. I am often wrong about the right people.
BUT SUCH IS TIME and perfect timing, off time, under time, in time, time and time again, sloppy time, never enough time, Miller time, tea time too.
Neat time, time in a bottle, my time, the time of my life, in the life and times of Uncle Joe Stalin, time to shape up, time to get a job, time it all the way to the bank, time to take it to the enemy, tell me when it's time to get married the fifth time.
Shallow time. Shag time. Sane time. In the time it took to drive a bus off the cliff on a Seventies cop show, that's show time. For the third time today I needed time. Time to go to the bathroom. Time to shit or get off the pot. Time was when fun just cost a nickel.
Time this. Time that. Time warp. Time tunnel. Time is where the heart is. Time enough to think of a good response this time. Time to grow up. Time to eat and run. Time to suck the chrome off that bumper crop of party time. Time to beg the difference.
Time to cut the mustard. Time to pick out a receiver downfield. All the time in the world. Time to wipe my ass with a timely hook and refrain. Timex time. Time to cash a cheque. Time to win the battle but lose the war on drugs. Time it took six women to satisfy each other's curiosity in a dark room over lunch time. Time to kick the bucket.
Time to write a novel about time. Time to brush her hair the same way her sister used to brush hers, timing each stroke to the beat of time. Time to draw a conclusion. Time to mark a certain number of correct answers to the incorrect questions with a number two pencil.
Time to give up a lost cause.
Time to shut down the chicken farms along that sparkling river. Time to read the classics in their original language. Time to make lunch bags sing before our children race off to school. Too much time on my hands, not enough too keep my feet warm.
The time it takes to build a universe only to have it collapse in your face is nothing like the time I helped Aunt Mardis rip through a chocolate cake in the olden days of French ascendency.
It takes time to learn to ride a bicycle. Time to reap what one sows. Or maybe not, this time. Maybe that time is instantaneous time, time accurately remembered. Time to sing before she swallows for the last time that nasty pill. Time to harvest a generation. Time to swallow before you hang ten. Time to look before you cross.
By the time it took to dig up the Erie Canal times they were a changing. It's not about time, it's about attitude. By the time I get to Phoenix many husbands won't have time to take out the garbage. The driver swore to the witness that he didn't have time to stop. Time takes a holiday but time never vacates the premises.
Time laughs at odd moments but time never bargains with the Devil or leftover sandwiches. Time is that which doesn't kill you. Time kills that child inside only to seemingly reappear later.
Time is a long, cool woman in a black dress. Time is kinky. Time paints by numbers. Time is a disease of the pancreas. Time is a pretty heart-shaped tattoo on Wendy's breast in some window in Times Square. Pi is a variable in a timeless equation.
Time understands all wounds. Time wounds all heels. Time is an asset. Time is a pain in the ass. Time is only as good as your next biological movement. Time is the needle in the haystack. Time is secondary but don't tell her that.
Nothing like a good time in the sack to make time fly. Time has no fear of flying, but Erica and Henry both knew what having a good time was about, and it was not about time, but the enjoyment of time. Grown-up time.
There is no such thing as time travel today, but recordings keep time in ways none of us truly understand past its fetish draw, but time was when a fine time was had by all, double time, life plus time. High time that boy got a job. Time the unfortunate child born without legs who beats a faster smile than you do.
Observe that same child pursue time into measuring itself with old technologies in a world that presumes time can't reverse itself while it can so readily repeat itself dipped in statistics. Time is a two-way mirror. Time is a dirty joke, rain, and the annual flooding of the muddy Missisippi.
Time is nothing but what you or somebody else makes it, except when it's game time, and don't try to tell me about how much time it would take to make the timeless world safe for timelessness because everybody knows it's all in the timing, even though most of us are suffering a bad sense of two timing.
There's never enough time to transcend one's station, especially when mobile. Time is far too formidable a friend on feverish afternoons to let stand in the cold rain without knowing that time sometimes stands still without your assistance.
Without time on my side I perish with the daffodils. Time is a time-honored sport everyone must play in order to graduate. Time forgives. Breaking rules for time is not always a bad time, but does require timing it just right. Time scars. Grab the moment to make time while others bargain, losing time to others, until another time comes.
Time is a stiff upper lip in a compromising position. Time defers to gravity, but for one writer, time is nothing but a madcap schemer bought and sold on the installment plan, money paid back over time, but then earning time for Old Doc Destouches who didn't live long enough to get mixed up in time, time and time again, was a thankless time.
Time is a nightmare to Klaw's girls who prefer time raw and risky more often than their less time-tortured sisters. Time dresses up for special guests. Time is the major importer, exporter of stolen goods across state lines in situations where time is barely legal. That's time standing in the shadows, losing her shirt to timeless romance.
Time is nobody's business but the rates are skyrocketing. Time is colorless, odorless, tasteless. Time left is time right on time. Time left to itself is useless. Time blows tall buildings to the ground. Time grounds water tables and small asterisks into dust bowls older than TIME ITSELF because time is the wind in the sails of marginality until time itself stops.
Do Curtiss Leung and Sam Hutchinson know that there are empty subpages loaded for them at your website? Are these people on someone's enemy's list? Were these people contacted and informed of these postings before they were put up? Were they informed at all? What do they think about it?
This collecting and posting of information about personae non grata (people critical of Bracken) is both a trivialization and VERY ominous. Why these people, and not others? How much information is going to be posted about these people? Hey, GT, why is there no subpage created (grave dug) for you at this site? Do you presume to be a neutral facilitator (a spectator)?
Well Spike, thanks for asking. Curtiss Leung & Sam Hutcheson are merely names without links now and will probably remain so for some time as I must move on to other sections of my site barring unforeseen disturbances you have forecast for me as a result of my efforts to build a comprehensive site from the ground up. No I didn't ask them for their approval, or disapproval, but now that you have inferred that something dubious is taking place, they certainly have the opportunity to measure in. All that is intended is to reproduce notes written directly to me or about my own writings FROM THIS GROUP in the past. Now Spud may claim ownership of these notes and the authors may do the same. Both Spud and the authors may even take refuge in current copyright laws, but hey, this is after all a post-Situationist newsgroup, which I would hope could sustain a little more howling from one of its own than say, Time magazine. My own sunshine perspective warrants that folk stand behind what they believe. If I dare wish to highlight these texts beyond the ephemeral past, whom in this group is hypocritical enough to stand up and boast claims contrary to their so-called "revolutionary" pose? I'm sure Debord might, were he alive, but . . .
WHY these two names and not others? Because THEY wrote the most provocative notes within the context of combative argumentation some time ago, albeit things have certainly quieted down over the past few months once again. And since all of the writing not signed with one of these or some other name on the Scenewash site is written by me (this is MY site, after all) I saw no reason to have a specific link with my name on it, my own facilitations (scientific neutrality is not possible) to be included under the third party sub-sections in dialog form.
This is not some conspiracy to ridicule or trivialize. Quite the contrary. The BIG picture is always more interesting than the "official" slice of propaganda certain types love to spew and hack, rally in pose and antipose which of course festers in the mind of onlookers and subverts the truth, all in the name of fame and self-promotion. If you find my own sort of reporting trivial and ominous, how do you react to the accusation Bracken levied at the Lefebrve piece you (Bill Brown?) published rather recently after I mentioned it to him? A paraphrase:
"Oh Lefebrve, bitter grapes. He found himself outside the loop. That interviewer didn't get Debord's side of the story, or even press Lefebrve, et cetera, ad nauseam..."
After all, by far the greatest irony in all in my investigation of the SI is the preposterous notion that a world governed by zeroworker councils will somehow universally toe the doctrinal line that linguistic vivisectionists like Bracken and a few other sloganeers maintain must be observed, or face vigorous accusations of being an “emotionalist” or a “dupe” or a “confusionist” or worse. Shades of Stalinism, echoes of Debord the authoritarian. Enemy to the people and all that crap.
Dirt is dirt. And we all know the flowers of truth grow and flourish in good organic dirt. While theory is fine and dandy for swashbucklers of every rank and riddle, the pertinent ironies of the EVERYDAY LIFE is what lends hypocrisy (and rightfully so, outside criticism) to other such thinkers and true believers from the most superstitious religionists to old book hardline Marxists, from cold helmet feminists to hard-boiled situationists. There have been thick reams of great theory handed down to us from the ages up to our own time, scarred by human frailty and despite its best intentionssloshes through each generation ever slowly, impetuously, muddily up the ground systems of exploratory thought and critical actionwhere we continue to crawl and rant and self-consciously maneuver through the dank inertia of our own Age ripe with ecclesiastical heroes of the past and overwrought slogans which tickle and twist and turn through our minds making us "feel" good or making us "feel" bad, always depending upon the exploitive quotient of the self as we gang up on the unnamed masses and spit vitriolic accusations at THEM, while claiming ourselves enlightened, superior to the rich, the bourgeoisie, the poor fool in the street, et cetera, ad nauseam.
To recoil upon your earlier questions, I found Sam to be a breath of fresh air in those early NOTHINGNESS postings. We found ourselves allies against the likes of buzzword Curtiss. I have nothing against Curtiss. Instead I have opted to draw him out with an inclusion on my site. What he does in the wake of this inclusion is his own call. I intend to highlight the obvious discord among those who would carry the torch and those who are simply too rich in "real" thought to be bored or aching for a point blank delivery of death and mayhem with only their own "boredom" to be paid as the admission price to the revolutionary stage. I have certainly weighed the consequences of my own "ominous" behavior. One or more of you might threaten a lawsuit as Bracken recently mouthed in response to his own detractors. Spud could kick me off the listserv. I could be attacked from every angle in whatever venue my detractors have at their own fingertips and mental disposal. Or I could be simply ignored. There is even the remote possibility some assassin might stalk me in order to silence me. Now how's that for paranoid delusional romanticism? Lastly, my own cannibalistic work could help shed some light on why I find myself in the middle of this rhetorical swamp, and that is to say what I've already said: that Debord's own dialectic work elbows both ends of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition in its urge to return to the Garden of Eden, or at least the modern version of such a mythological place as well as its call to radicalize or accelerate the crashing of the oppressive and redundant financial structures of this globe as predicted in the Book of Revelation (in bold vivified language) signaling a tragic apocalypse followed by the ushering in of a brave new world. You see, I am not an enemy of the process of creating a better world. Nor am I opposed to a string of situational "in your face" tactics in order to get the attention of the parties to which I am opposing.
Maybe it is piffle, but several chapters at the beginning and several chapters at the end describe the world stage Debord and his "followers" would imagine as their role in history. It baffles me why these followers are duped into an "ignorance" of such a volume which has effected millions of people in the past and millions more today. Perhaps chafing under the catholic tradition in France, Debord and most European "thinker" movements must authoritatively slash the book while stealing from it every idea they can to repackage and sell as fresh meat. Even the idea of the spectacle is Hebrew in origin via the stipulation that man not reproduce any likeness of anything in heaven or upon the earth, strong enough of a thought to include in the BIG BAD TEN COMMANDMENTS.
I have lived the greater part of my 42 years in this fashion, believe me. My own bad reputation was earned in the trenches. I am impressed by the clarity of Debord's insight more often than not as he described the world in which he and most of us live. I do happen to disagree with many of his methods for attaining this grand scale change, and would like to move past this "true believer" approach where every nuance of every word uttered by the "master" is the only thing that matters to this cluster of would-be disciples. To energize the man in the street, obscure references and sloganistic shell games just won't get the job done. After all, by far the greatest irony in all in my investigation of the SI is the preposterous notion that a world governed by zeroworker councils will somehow universally toe the doctrinal line that linguistic vivisectionists like Bracken and a few other sloganeers maintain must be observed, or face vigorous accusations of being an "emotionalist" or a "dupe" or a "confusionist" or worse. Shades of Stalinism, echoes of Debord the authoritarian. Enemy to the people and all that crap.
Bracken has ranted in his frequent visits to my house about the stockpiles of throwaway commodities at landfills as indicative of overproduction of useless junk that people buy but soon toss away. I responded that yes, maybe so, but he would replace that stockpile of plastics and metal and paper with stockpiles of bone and flesh and blood in this fantasy revolution he would trigger if he only had the power. Was it Bracken or some other wit in the room at the time who then commented, "Yes, but at least body parts are biodegradable!"? Another persona non grata? No, a thought is a thought is a thought, wherever it floats in from. As for the aforementioned persona, Bracken actually knows these people. You may not, but does it matter? Whole scale slandering of the "duped" masses is no different than that which you accuse me. The SI dialectic is full of invective against these nameless faceless populations of which every detail, every motivation, every nuance of their lives is ransacked by this revolutionary hype. Yet, as is usually the case, here I find myself closer to the heartbeat of reality with an action I have chosen in my attempt to smoke out the truth of a rhetorical game this generation is playing with Debord, and yet stand accused of inflammatory notions. Again, I am a worker. I have worked at Bethlehem Steel in the coke ovens on Lake Michigan. I have worked as a chicken farmer fingering some 40,000 birds per season in Florida. I have made signs. And drawn maps. I have worked as a land surveyor in nine states. I have worked at a porno bookstore here in DC. I have driven a cab in Corpus Christi. Worked as a roofer in Atlanta, never been to college but sold Time-Life books for four whole shifts until I was fired after my supervisor thanked me for my candor when I combatted her notion that my phone presentation was most excellent but I was failing to come in hard with the third and fourth sell tactic, instead opting, and here was my candor, to accept what these people were rejecting as the truth, that they truly did not want to buy a set of "do-it-yourself" plumbing books. I knew I didn't want to plumb, and didn't want any books to teach me how no matter what deal Time-Life was offering. I ran down the street kicking my heels after I was canned. A truly despicable job. That was fifteen years ago. The man in the street. That's the issue here.
The approach Debord and his troop of "followers" take is counterproductive as far as I can confirm. Now the bible. That's a book people have heard of and can relate to in some sort of way, even if negatively. Yet the situationist approach is to dismiss the whole phenomenon as so much piffle, and superstitiously even refuse to discuss it except in graffiti rant. Maybe it is piffle, but several chapters at the beginning and several chapters at the end describe the world stage Debord and his "followers" would imagine as their role in history. It baffles me why these followers are duped into an "ignorance" of such a volume which has effected millions of people in the past and millions more today. Perhaps chafing under the catholic tradition in France, Debord and most European "thinker" movements must authoritatively slash the book while stealing from it every idea they can to repackage and sell as fresh meat. Even the idea of the spectacle is Hebrew in origin via the stipulation that man not reproduce any likeness of anything in heaven or upon the earth, strong enough of a thought to include in the BIG BAD TEN COMMANDMENTS.
I just think Bracken should quit shadowboxing all these phantoms of fame, and begin to live his philosophy, his revolt for himself to the best of his ability instead of coat-tailing Saint Guy in trashing every other living human being on the face of the earth he cannot control for not measuring up, but then that's the quasi-academian lion roaring within him, even as he proclaims, just as Debord did, his own anti-academic profile.
"Why not?" questioned the fifteenth century Renaissance artist cartel, and the rest is commodity-driven history. Could it be some great thinker already knew the tragic influence of this kind of image manipulation whereby people's minds and hearts would be sidetracked from the natural, the real? Bracken won't even "allow" me to discuss anything proto-biblical in his presence. A sad and sorry stance, if you want my opinion. The whole of situationist thought could use a lesson in reality. Revelations are everywhere the same. What does the last book in the bible say about the modern world of religion, politics, commerce, art, and war? Withdraw from her, withdraw from that whore of vipers and swamp gas. Withdraw! Only then is the true life available to be embraced, to be lived. This smells remarkably Debordian, shaded in terms of individual action, but then, Bracken admits that Guy Debord was often accused of being just some hackneyed boring Jesuit. Oh well, I've shot my wad for today. Obviously this was more than you bargained for when you doubted my motivations, Spike. But uh, why didn't you sign your name to your note? There's this other twit from AOL who's been harassing me of late, and I of course know him only by his screename Anarchi4Me@aol.com. More pseudo-informed Debordian game-playing no doubt on his part.
Meanwhile I hope I have clarified a few things for you. If not, well, one might presume that's par for the course. There "seems" to be little "love" lost among those wearing the situationist stripe, although I can admit with the pride of influence that so far Bracken has shown susceptibility to friendship, in my case at least, even after I have roared his face and ears red singeing his eyebrows in a gust of GT flames on several occasions after he starts trying to annex MY life and MY toil to serve HIM as I hunker down in my own house doing MY bit for the just cause. That kind of rude appropriation just "don't" wash around here, and it won't wash anywhere else. The revolution will be cancelled due to inept leadership. I just think Bracken should quit shadowboxing all these phantoms of fame, and begin to live his philosophy, his revolt for himself to the best of his ability instead of coat-tailing Saint Guy in trashing every other living human being on the face of the earth he cannot control for not measuring up, but then that's the quasi-academian lion roaring within him, even as he proclaims, just as Debord did, his own anti-academic profile. Certainly his actions are no great shakes. Sigh. Hiss. Kaboom.
Good day folks.
"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""