Tag Archives: Len Bracken

The Revolution Continues To Flog Us Overstated Friends In Arms

Shirt Off My Back
Shirt Off My Back
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Date: Fri, 07 Aug 1998 12:39:38

Still see the same stuff on your site, Rusty. even the old Bigfoot link. Are you swinging by to watch the DC space video and pass me back the books, and whatever else, when? tomorrow? which part of the day?

Have no long range weekend plans to fly anywhere this weekend but to maintain the general "work around the clock" map I rarely get to navigate for all the damned fool interruptions that storm in under some wishy washy flag of fun and relaxation in unreformed jestivities. Yeah, right. Can't emphasize any stronger how much solid work on my site brings me the kind of peace and contentment i have heard about in all the media that I will scream to protect with a big fuck you to any who try to convince me otherwise, the nagging idiots. Of course, I'm talking about my so-called friends-in-waiting...

As for the database server, as i said, Sue's got the personal publisher end pretty much under control after just a couple of hours in the spec and at the controls on Sunday. The listserv demo has expired but you could download another copy and try it again, now that we've got a more robust mail server on hand. Actually, the mail server is also a listserver, but its features are not as powerful and cool as what i know LetterRip Pro is supposed to bring to the network.

Bracken and I no doubt share more than a few strategy-limp personality traits, but we quarrel against each other's leadership like two unrighteous brothers mopping up in a backyard brawl. As I now have undeniable proof with the recent City Paper publication of "Bracken's Own Psychogeography" I should simply wash my hands of the fine fellow, but he simply won't go away. So I task you, young friend, tell me who is the pluckiest moron here?
Me? I need to map a plan for 'XusNET (as Philly Steve calls it), and Bracken needs a couple of pages for the latest issue of his xerox zine EXTRAPHILE. Reckon I will oblige him. He wanted me to write a glaring expose of the Nothingness list. I may include a ref or two to the list, but I told him the only topic I was interested in submitting to his zine is my pyschogeographic engineering phase called the GASS in which I am launching a full critique of existing plans for the area with the resolve to influence the necessary consensus with high profile litigation, if need be. He consented. So now the record is straight. As usual, I once again had to tell Bracken to fuck off. He still doesn't believe me and continues to flog me with mid-day phonecalls he dubs interruptions meant to bring a breath of joy into my daily drudgery...et cetera ad nauseum. He makes me ill, sometimes, with his high concentration of shell games. I'm telling you, you two should meet. You might like each other, you might not. I'm not quite sure. But it would be fun to observe, and help get him off my shoulders all the time. And he still thinks that because a certain number of people think Bill Brown is a bloody idiot, that suddenly he, Len Bracken, is not one, not just another preening idiot lost in a textbook fantasy he thinks everybody else must be envious to join. Bracken and I no doubt share more than a few strategy-limp personality traits, but we quarrel against each other's leadership like two unrighteous brothers mopping up in a backyard brawl. As I now have undeniable proof with the recent City Paper publication of "Bracken's Own Psychogeography" I should simply wash my hands of the fine fellow, but he simply won't go away. So I task you, young friend, tell me who is the pluckiest moron here?

Moi? because I haven't used the ax on Bracken as my wife desires, or me, because indeed Bracken is great shakes as an important philosopher and upright man, a clever writer and a supportive friend and in my own best interests I dare not resist his sad swarming ego-jinxed attempts at proselytizing charm, or HIM, because he just simple ain't.

I also want to discuss the Greater Anacostia Surveyors Society [GASS] in deeper detail with you, Rusty if you are in anyway assdriven in such a way that you prefer to get things done rather than talk about them until doomsday, all puns only incidentally intended.

GT

Price Is A Big Factor

typesetter
Typesetter
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Date: Fri, 05 Dec 1997 06:22:14

Hi Gabriel, thanks for writing... basically I was told by one of our authors (Jim Keith) that Len had submitted his book to Adam already typeset and on disk. However, Len told me that Adam had to re-do the project, but didn't explain why, so I don't really know exactly what the story is there.. I was trying to throw some biz to Len, assuming that it was he who did the typesetting. We're small and price is a big factor so I hoping that I would get a good price from Len for interior design. We have a good cover guy at this time.

That's basically the story....If you would like to give me some idea of your pricing structure, I'll get back to you. Thanks again! —Ron Bonds

Date: Mon Dec 8, 1997 10:34:22 AM America/New_York

Hey Ron, the information you have is correct, while vaguely understated. The "reason" that the book was reset was because Bracken made several design choices against my recommendations at the beginning of the project (type size and leading) which pushed the length of the book beyond that which Parfrey was willing to invest. After toiling on the project for mere pennies on the hour I was unwilling to "reset" the book a second time, but did however send Adam a copy of my own registered PageMaker 6.0 to help him along since it was my understanding that he'd only worked from an old pirated version of Quark Express at Feral.

As for being small, I am a one person shouting operation, jobless for most of the 1990s, and have worked for free for way too long. After three years of friendship with Bracken we recently had a parting of the ways after I wrote an online piece that he considered a "betrayal of our friendship." We agreed to give ourselves—in a rather amicable parting—a six months reprieve from each other's mindsap politics and jackhammered idiosyncracies just to clear the air. Thus I was surprised to get a call from him after a mere three weeks, suggesting I contact you.

That said, I understand the nature of cash flow problems, and would be willing to consider a barter, a swap of x-number of typesetting services for an x-number of pages that you would agree to publish in book form from my own work, under your own publishing house credential, or perhaps as an independent venture under my own SAMPLEX PRESS nomenclature. Should this species of business deal appeal to you, please don't hesitate to formulate a proposal to satisfy each of our needs. Pursuant to your query, my own "formal" web design and dtp rates can be found at:

http://www.imote.com

but within the context of a publishing for typesetting barter I am willing to review any proposal you may outline.

Thanks,

Gabriel Thy
Creative Director
Graphic Solutions Ink Systems

Bracken Swings At High Pitch, I Ignore The Fastball Sinker

pitch-count
Approaching The Pitch Count
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Date: Fri Sep 12, 1997

Gabriel, forgive me for not getting back to you sooner. My move and details yet unresolved from my mother's estate have not left me with any free time. Karen told me some of the avenues you were considering and I wanted to pass along my recommendations. Congratulations on securing the Always & Forever account.

If you have already targeted the types of businesses you would like to draft web sites for then you only need to decide the geographic area you will develop. I would recommend soliciting a telemarketer, paying minimum wage and a percentage of new businesses signed up. The initial investment is minimal and well worth the return. The person you hire can work out of your home. Have your phone salesperson pitch your services to the businesses you have targeted being careful to contact the appropriate people inside the companies you contact.

Karen tells me you have a brochure. Mail out your brochures to contacts your telemarketer uncovers or send out a blanket mailing to the businesses you have targeted along with a personal letter addressed to the decision maker. Both approaches are bound to bring in business.

You are not the sales type, as you have said, so I would have Sue make the office calls. Her personable style will help sell your services. If business picks up then you can hire an outside sales rep to work on a percentage of sales and service. It sounds pretty basic and I believe it is. Bringing in initial business will happen with these efforts. The quality of service and the product you bring to the marketplace will determine your ultimate success. Follow-up is the key Gabriel and I encourage you to think about how you will approach customer service. It is the key to long term success.

Peter, our new tenant, web staffmember, is hosting his girlfriend Michelle who’s flying in from Purdue University that weekend, and as befits the season, are planning a Sunday afternoon bird roast, and we’d love to have you.
Hope some of what I have offered proves beneficial. I wish you and Sue the best of luck as you pursue your goals. Very respectfully,

Pitch

Thanks Pitch for your business advice. Of course your plan of action is a very good one. It is certainly my loss that we never got the chance to seriously talk without all the distractions. I'm sure I would have liked to have collaborated with you.

Thanks again Pitch for easing into a rather strange crowd gathered last Friday night, and not missing a beat. Your salsa was a killer the next day after having a chance to stew in its own cold juices a while longer. I indeed felt the sting, and most of my buds are half-dead from years of palate abuse. And many kudos for manning the grill. Everything was fabulous

Len Bracken's number, if'n you're still interested, is 301-xxx-xxxx. He's a decent enough fellow, even if his politics are more than a bit twisted. And he is definitely a true believer in these health derivatives, conjures, and whatnots...

GT

Date: Sun Oct 5, 1997 5:49:14 PM

Gabe, I honestly did not think your friends were strange. Different maybe, but then, we are all different. Karen and I had a wonderful time and I am glad we could add to the festivities. Birthdays are fun and yours was no exception.

We will hope for an invite next year and if you decide to throw something for Sue, please count us in. Regards, Pitch

Well Pitch & Karen—Saturday's Sue's birthday, October 11. We're thinking of an early Saturday afternoon pitch to the shore for crabs & shrimpers. Inviting Sherri. And of course, Mom. Are you guys up to join us?

Peter, our new tenant, web staffmember, is hosting his girlfriend Michelle who's flying in from Purdue University that weekend, and as befits the season, are planning a Sunday afternoon bird roast, and we'd love to have you.

This is not an either/or situation for us. We will probably do both. And we'd love to have y'all join us for either or both. Lemme know.

GT

Brackenish Waters

spectacleblog
Flag False Flag
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Date: 18 Aug 1997 22:32:56
From: rose@thorn.net

Bracken says his critical letters to Nicholson-Smith have gone unanswered.

Sensibly enough. Bracken is incapable of honest criticism and an open >exchange of ideas: mostly he is skilled at emotional obfuscation, manipulation and bad faith. He doesn't seem to get it that the SI can't exclude Nicholson-Smith and all the other "recuperators" A SECOND TIME.

Agreed on the personality gaps in Bracken's world. I've known him now for almost three years, and am trying to find a way to just ease him out of my life. All he's really interested in is getting laid, and bores me with a weekly or twice-weekly phone or office visit just to brag about some latest sex scandal he's perpetrating, or some ridiculous graffiti campaign he's planning. There's not much linkage to his lifestyle plagued by indecision and petty ambition with the philosophy he supposedly believes will set men and women free at last. Sorry Len. That's about the tall and short of it as this one contrarian sees it. Perhaps one of your co-conspirators will pass you this note and you will break this charade of friendship off before it completely atrophies without substance.

We can't freely discuss ideas because you dismiss so much of my perspective before I even get it out of my mouth. Yet I read your books. Have heard your rants. Shallow as a mud puddle facing the edge of the child's shoeless foot. Your episode with DFW's Infinite Jest was preposterous and telling. Face it bud. You're an imposter. At least you eat right, exercise properly, and may live well into your self-satisfied eighties, even nineties, while people like me die of boredom and sedentary self-dissatisfaction like so many lilies stomped beneath the footsoldiers of truth, or else impaled upon untold odd branches of divinity still striving for ascension just like yourself.

Other than that, he's a fine fellow and a diligent friend.

It's those Brackenish waters...

GT

Dollhouse Jitters v3.0

hidden-variables
Checking For Hidden Variables
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"But have you never played with a clockwork doll?" the man insisted, the voice muffled through the door. "A doll which does everything perfectly, because of the machinery inside. Walks, sings, jumps rope. Real little boys and girls, you know, cry, act sullen, won't behave."
—Thomas Pynchon, V

They shall wait, and be puzzled, and baffled and blinded; not with wine, shall be drunk, and shall reel without liquor; for Yahweh will pour on them a spirit of stupor, close their prophet's eyes, and will blindfold their gazers. Their visions shall be like words sealed in a book, passed to one who reads not, asking, "Read this book, pray." And he answers, "I cannot, because it is closed." Or gives it to another who knows not a letter, and says, "Read this, I pray." But he also answers, "I know not a letter!"
—Isaiah 29:9-12

My battlegray-blue eyes popped open rather late by GT standards this Monday morning, mulling the plans we had set into place. Night had passed a gallstone of heavy sleep solids past my REM gourd but now an unbias light announced New Year's Eve minus one, and I had no one to blame for my tired blood enemy but myself. The big red digital clock on the dresser stared back at me from across the room, forcing me to acknowledge that it was after seven, and I wasn't getting any closer to the age of dissent. Rich chunky familiar odors were already wafting along the quiltsong architectural canvas of the Dollhouse, mixed with a few ambient splashy smells bouncing hard off walls and ceiling fans with a force of prank-incited wedgies up my nostrils. I needed no introduction to these smells. Tim was busy with kp duty, and I was willing to bet he was dishing up his best laid culinary delights for his newfound friend. Of course, it had never occurred to him the whole of his nearly nine month stay at the Dollhouse to offer to fix breakfast for Sue or Gabriel, even after all the hints in China, probably a habit he learned at home. But there was no animosity there. Meals had gotten off to a bad start in the very beginning of TimTime, and the fact that he now took care to feed himself, while we rarely offered him a freebie meal servicing anymore was quite enough explanation to suit me as to why he never came through with the Shipwreck Breakfast Special. Well, there WAS that one time early on, wasn't there? I don't recall, but I'd wager a mouthful of words to a number that Tim does.

With much to resolve on this lovely morning I awoke fondly reminiscing on my second round of light-hearted debate aimed at debunking Jennifer's intellectual guardian, Franz Boas, the morning before. Actually I had no idea when I first dropped his name that Boas was still such a powerhouse figure on the anthropological front, but then after a bit more consideration, I realized Darwin is no less fingered today than in his own heyday. Nor Jesus, Newton, Freud, Friedan, or Malcolm X in their own fields of opportunity.

Jennifer was visibly astonished, appearing to be caught completely off guard in discovering that I was even FAMILIAR with the name Boas. I was more surprised to find that she knew very little about D’Souza and his book, but her excuses of studies, focus and time constraints were obviously valid.
Boas, she restated, was considered the father of modern anthropology, unmistakably incumbant to today's intellectual climate and her own doctoral specialty, Indonesian studies. During her middle November visit here, however, while hovered over the kitchen sink finishing up some menial task, I had without warning or prior witness pricked Jennifer's bitch goddess surface tension out of its lethargy into action by launching into a rejection of Boasism in light of some current affairs news item I now forget. But by converting some news bit into a springboard for slamming the state of American social policy, to repudiate thirty-five years of cultural slide I primed the pump. In a civilization nearing civil war and ruins, as a result of heavy doses of the illogical demeaning liberal poison of two or three generations, examples are not at a loss in exposing themselves: criminals with more rights than their victims, private sector niche quotas, generational anger in the streets fueled by misplaced jealousies, awkward depravity-driven school busing, the recent folly of ebonics, right-wing and left-wing excesses unchecked by a cowering middle class afraid of losing their own livelihoods in a nation exporting jobs as fast as immigrants pile in seeking jobs, the conflict of third world markets trying to compete in the First World absent the same work ethics, and so on. There's no relief in that numbers and statistical racket which is used to prove everything from the number of people buried in Grant's Tomb to the number of folks who would themselves be called African American if the docket should be completely rearranged to include Lucy, supposedly the first man in the mix. The planet is teetering toward chaos where 1984 is the number that replaces common civility with the lemming march toward self-expression and tribal supremacy. This is our contemporary inheritance: a "no love lost between us and them cold hard fact" while simultaneously embracing the official jargon of "humanitarian love" given the full range of freedom to trod down, first in gaining rights, and later in losing them to unbridled but easily predicted selfishness, the very premise of freedom as implied in the original concept the founding fathers identified with the qualifier of the "pursuit of happiness", a far cry from the "guarantee of happiness" our liberals would vacuously impose upon so many with so many different agendas to pursue today.

end_racism
by Dinesh D'Souza
Having only recently finished Dinesh D'Souza's controversial book on American race relations, The End of Racism, I was fresh to the subject of cultural relativism, a phenomenon D'Souza attributed directly to Boas and his first generation of prized disciples, which included such household names as Margaret Meade and Kenneth Clark. Without trying to recreate the whole argument "for" or "against" Boas, it can be easily accepted that the father of modern anthropology espoused biological evolution while denying cultural evolution, stating that culture is a matter of socialization processes. He therefore dismissed any notions of cultural superiority and inferiority that could be ranked according to a linear scale of savage, barbarian, and civilized. Strange that cultural relativists lust after the rewards of a civilized culture while refusing to adapt to the very methods that allowed the civilizing culture to prosper in the first place. But again, I must admit that this is no place to argue these subtleties. Even the previous statement leaves volumes unstated, and much to be distorted by the opposition. Emphasizing that the Jennifer and Gabriel debates barely skimmed the surface either, the list of liberal fallouts is too long and specific to labor beyond its purpose here, but suffice it to say D'Souza, a first generation immigrant to this country, born in India in 1961, moving to this country in 1978, wrote in defense of a more conservative capitalistic approach to race and economic problems in this country and worldwide. Liberals and black activists have seethed at his conclusions. I watched in absolute astonishment as Phil Donahue tried his damnedest while repeatedly failing to unstitch this boyish-looking defender of individual inertia and productivity as being the criteria for resolving the well-documented inpenetratable contradictions and fallout of liberal ideology. I was persuaded by his arguments, welcomed them as a solid framework for change so many politicians on the grift continue to mouth to loud applause while stumping for office while remaining clueless, or more precisely, spineless to help initiate their implementation once collecting a paycheck, and I was ready to address them with someone whose topical fiber could no doubt withstand my own diligence on this issue. Jennifer was visibly astonished, appearing to be caught completely off guard in discovering that I was even FAMILIAR with the name Boas. I was more surprised to find that she knew very little about D'Souza and his book, but her excuses of studies, focus and time constraints were obviously valid.

Yet we plunged gravy-eyed and pepsident into the cultural relativism debate with heavyweight brows to match our virtual polysynthetic fighting trunks for five to ten minutes the first time out. Volume and speed controls were both jacked to the heated debate levels we embraced like hunt dogs to water fowl.

I wanted a refutation, or a concession to my aims but I would not accept half-hearted half-baked kneejerk responses, nor be expected to give them. I wanted to be overwhelmed by precision or else win by acclaim. Naturally, neither was achieved. Severed from yet another dialetic in my passion to please my guest, I had no choice but to let go of the debate. Washington my hands of it. At least I was standing over the sink.
Our arguments in November were only somewhat longer and more satisfying than the two minute drill yesterday. New insights failed to be fleshed out in dialetic garb as we soon were reduced to absurdity with the "why argue for sheer argument's sake" buttering of our intellectual bread. This was happy time. Act accordingly. Loving argument in order to change opinions was less a qualifier than a character flaw in this holiday environment. Besides, any point made would remain moot, because as Jennifer noted, "How could I argue Boas perceptibly when I had not read Boas?"

It was easy enough to concede the truth of her query, only to also square with a great laugh that while I had not read Boas, she had not read D'Souza, and I was holding my own confidences quite well quoting from my own short-term memory his criticisms of Boas and the proof he offered that Meade, and indeed many of that first school of Boasians giddy with newfound liberal presumptions, had fabricated much of their own work tailored to promote the Boasian theory, and were quite unscientific in methodology on the whole. To the contrary, great portions of the work turned in were profoundly bogus concoctions meant to hide evidence not acceptable to the relativist theory. Still on my soapbox I told her that D'Souza in my reading is no far right assailant against individual liberty nor some chalkboard framer of double standards, but he suggests with very compelling examples spred over 500 encouraging pages that we have "gone from civil rights to uncivil liberties—the liberty to abuse freedom and then claim entitlement." But nothing was to be settled in the Dollhouse kitchen concerning Boas OR cultural relativism at this point in our lives. This was an "agree to disagree" nod to the very relativism I sought to escape successfully without the penalty of losing friends. Not that I expected to convert Ms. Hoke-Connolly from her officially sanctioned perch upon the intellectual twig of the 20th century. I simply dared to expose myself to her competence, her higher education. I wanted a refutation, or a concession to my aims but I would not accept half-hearted half-baked kneejerk responses, nor be expected to give them. I wanted to be overwhelmed by precision or else win by acclaim. Naturally, neither was achieved. Severed from yet another dialetic in my passion to please my guest, I had no choice but to let go of the debate. Washington my hands of it. At least I was standing over the sink.

Len Bracken, revolutionary pretender to the classless society, when first spelled the excitement that spirited me after reading the book a few weeks back, responded to my description of D'Souza's conservatism with typical priapic wit, "Well of course, he's a Brahman..."

We both have mean streaks running through us and soon enough, enough would be enough, and the grapevine would be severed, and any humility left between us would seem across those lines nothing but poisonous mustard gas, and yellow the color of victory. Acceptance. That is the toughest leg of a prophet’s work. That was the lesson of Jonah. Ninevah on that stoned historical afternoon was left alone minutes after God condemned it.
As contrite as it sounds and seemingly out of place in this context, I am forced to declare my friend, Bracken, as he likes to be called, a revolutionary pretender because he is really no more of a de facto revolutionary than I am in my own role as a cowardly voice of the oscillating status quo. No skilled revolutionary am I, for as fate has declared, I bonded far too personally with Jack London's anti-hero, Martin Eden (who traveled the full soiling spectrum of social qualification only to finally acknowledge the futility of it all, opting for sea surf suicide at the top of his game), to ever find solace in social integration OR its disruption. Bracken is as punctuated by the very same urgencies of artistic pretention and economic validation as any other festering comrade of the "Whole Sick Crew" (a Thomas Pynchon tag) in his search for that narcoticlike niche of fame all the while stirring up a ripe fever issuing grandiose slogans for the negation of all art, all work, all class connotation.

Len Bracken, unfortunately, is a fragmented shadowkissed soul like the rest of us, a man of thrust, means, friendship, lightning in his eyes, a man of almighty unbridled pretentions, exploding with potential, a ladies man, handsome at six-two, six three, a man of principle just enough to deny it, trying to have it both ways: an echo of primitive expansions wallowing among darling sophisticates of choice, beautiful codes of the daring flesh embracing the ugly roads of nature's whimsy, the chaotic of unrestrained revolution in the streets while gulping well-ordered, polite after-dinner apertifs to cap an evening of safe adventure, and in this regard, will only mimic the contradictory delusions in exactly the same mete and measure as every other segment of society he would condemn in bold strokes, and no stone is left unturned in his dark views of modern society.

We pimped ourselves often with the chilling fact that we rarely disagreed on anything, even the language which we would use to describe a person, place, or thing, as we humored each other playing zippety doo da word games that would keep us both rolling around on the carpets, or bed, or wherever else we found ourselves on a pace and jocularity unmatched by anyone among my own fascinating if frequently irritating stable of friends, save the rather recent inclusion of Steve “Wonderboy” Taylor, whose talents for speed-dialing the brain cellular are of a certainty written on some mighty powerful but lean compiling code. As Steve puts it, “Well, not to play word games…wait…wait a minute…THAT’S what WE do!!!!”
Len Bracken is a post-modern classicist loner trapped in a multi-tiered mirage of the Debordian Society of the Spectacle he props up with giddiness kicking against his rear-view mirror, a man of infighting talents suffocating in the belly of the whale, seeking eternal life without paying the price. That price is acceptance of himself, his true unvarnished self, not the scattering mountebank he can only pretend to emulate, and of his freedoms, the true life-affirming meat and potato freedoms (he's a vegan) that he exercises daily and takes for granted, while still clamoring for more, more, more in the name of the faceless workers who may or may not agree to shake his hand if ever presented with the opportunity. Sue putting it to me this way one evening in trying to deflect yet another of my typically spontaneous anti-Bracken rants, rolled her eyes and with a heaving sigh summed up Bracken in a word, s-i-m-p-l-e. My first impression was to disagree with her, since I knew Bracken to be a learned fellow, lingusitically keen, well-groomed and well-mannered, full of vim and vigor on topics dear to his heart, faithful as an old flannel shirt, and addicted to the idea of originality, but as I quickly scanned the chattering scale of Len Bracken masquerades and adventure tales which never quite seemed to reconcile the vast array and contradictions of human nature with his own melodramatic maxims I was faced with the singular realization that for all the Bracken's breath he might breathe into the revolutionary corridors of history yet unwritten, my writer friend was indeed quite simple, a run of the mill romantic iconoclast who couldn't quite echo all the strings of his harpsichord at any given ideology swap meet as it had become crystal clear that analytical simplicity and self-deception were indeed the anchoring marks of his personality. Handicapped by an allegience to a dead philosopher's pet ideas, Len was a confused, disgruntled barefoot soldier in the icy war of nerves modernity serves up on a platter of fleeting glances, an infallibly-driven soldier of fortune much like myself despite our glaring differences, mindtrapped in a prism of privileged information unsure of ourselves because no one will harken to our ideas, or follow us singing slaphappy marching songs into battle, nor even slow down to clean up their own part in the rise and fall parabolic messes and minefields which slingshot the world's great masses into herded routines all balled up in measuring devices and bottom line alienations of a civilization gone mental over message units. One million souls saved on today's program! Three point two billion dollar deficit this quarter alone! Eighty thousand computers sold from this warehouse economy weekly! Over three hundred million viewers wordwide watched the game that showed that commercial that won the war that Jack built! This is indeed the spectacle, but it's not going to disappear anytime soon. One day I imagined I would have to engage the whole of the Debord/Bracken situationist philosophy point by point, and be thankful Len had brought it to me on a platter, but for now I would have to content myself with acceptance of Bracken until one of us finally crossed the lines of no return. We both have mean streaks running through us and soon enough, enough would be enough, and the grapevine would be severed, and any humility left between us would seem across those lines nothing but poisonous mustard gas, and yellow the color of victory. Acceptance. That is the toughest leg of a prophet's work. That was the lesson of Jonah. Ninevah on that stoned historical afternoon was left alone minutes after God condemned it.

But I was glad these arguments on cultural relativity were locking into place with regard to Jennifer. Surely she already knew upon which patch of promise I stood on matters of truth and consequence, their relationship to our own call of the wild, and so she knew no bootleg would ever pass for the real McCoy in MY forest. Through thick and thin our essences had remained the same. Of all people who knew me, other than my wife, she knew this without obstruction. She had claimed with sass and self-assurance the same turf for herself all through these years gorging on innocense as best she understood it. We pimped ourselves often with the chilling fact that we rarely disagreed on anything, even the language which we would use to describe a person, place, or thing, as we humored each other playing zippety doo da word games that would keep us both rolling around on the carpets, or bed, or wherever else we found ourselves on a pace and jocularity unmatched by anyone among my own fascinating if frequently irritating stable of friends, save the rather recent inclusion of Steve "Wonderboy" Taylor, whose talents for speed-dialing the brain cellular are of a certainty written on some mighty powerful but lean compiling code. As Steve puts it, "Well, not to play word games...wait...wait a minute...THAT'S what WE do!!!!"

But I had to admit now surface cracks were beginning to render this perfect text I had often imagined was possessed of almost magical qualities. Instead, a more humble shield of low-grade translucent cliché defrocking each of us with quivering elements was transpiring, and the potential loss of of a long-static relationship was pressing upon us. Jennifer's outbursts against me in an abrupt change of gears for her while straddling Sue that first night were nearly unprecedented, or so I wanted to tell myself, to fool myself into overlooking the barely apparent, just as I would overlook the visibly obvious problems Tim, Steve, Len, Tom, and Jack would cause me as I tried to sort out the good from the worthless in a decade of ruin. Something was indeed happening beneath the surface of what kept us mouthing the gospel of this cheek to cheek checkmate while actually proving the contrary with the actions Jennifer was choosing to embrace while dodging so many others as she conspired to bestow her own prerogatives on the fate of this friendship, but I wasn't certain. Today would tell a clearer story I had no other choice but to hope.

Downstairs I greeted the two dolls with a greasy good morning. Quickening to a fault, the saliva glands packed against my teeth and urged on by the whirling aromatic were no doubt pitching its own oily film to my hungering lips. Tim in the morning was sheer poetry...

shipwreck
Tim Shipman
Whistling while he worked, Tim was shrewdly doping vittles off the special menu he reserved for cozy overnighters. Of this of course I could only speculate. There had been no others, no other femme fatales he could call his own, no others to awaken with the thick promising bulge of uncut cucumber pressing against the warm soggy spot of vegematica, no others to fix a token morning meal guaranteed to wake even the dead nostrils of five or even six easy pieces of nickel sons and daughters. There had been no others. There was Styx a few months back, who'd gambled a few nights here on a mattress we'd picked up for her after I rescued the tragic scab-afflicted waif from the bus station, a topophobic orphan running from Texas, normality, and herself, but she apparently found the whole Dollhouse affair quite stifling, and scooted over to Tom's on the sly after we introduced them one night at Madam's Organ. Ruthless speculation indeed, but surely Timothy had finally scored some of that heavenly manna on this, his second night in the sack with the sweetheart from Cornell. Tim had remarked months before that the dungeon would not feel like home until he had bedded someone there, insuring there was no mistaking we had the makings of a homegrown myth between the Dollhouse walls and the fallguy sheets: wars and rumors of wars, sex and rumors of sex. Roll your own Tim was finally getting his chance to call the Dollhouse dungeon his home. Surely this was the kick behind his whistle.

I made haste to leave the happy couple alone, returning upstairs after getting myself something to drink, returning to the Macintosh, home of the brave and the cowards too. Lovely to the scheme, I always had E-mail to read and to write. Sue was stirring, readying herself for the daily grind of Alcalde & Fay. Tim and Jennifer would eat their cheery breakfast before he would push off to his own timeclock. Sue would engage her morning constitutionals of shower, java negro and snatches of Good Morning America, while I would nurse a sodapop until I slapped something together for breakfast later soon after the worker bees had left the hive. Everyone seemed to be happy. Energy, syzygy snapping together. Life was pumping through my veins, synapses firing squadrons of ideas through my brain. My earlier lethargy was ink and was vanishing...

GT

Originally posted to a small group of friends on Sat Apr 05 08:54:00 1997

The Ypsilanti Rag

Bob_Black
Bob Black
samplex

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.

GT