Tag Archives: philosophy

Taking A Charge In A Zero Sum Moment

scale
Scale To Talent
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Originally published on May 29, 1996

Hey Ben—your note has me dialing for symptoms and just the right synonyms to match your own interesting English sentences spinning doughnuts around my memory, into the read-only memes that keep us satisfied in being outselves. Thanks for writing back in English because I have no German except in my pop's heritage. You wrote:

Caught up in words as they are. "Work" means "making money" and free-time is meant to be for recreation. In Germany, in the mid-eighties, when unemployment was a popular discussion, one heard of the "human right to work". This was twisty. I wonder why people need someone to tell them what to work, although they need some money I anticipate. Well I'd welcome NO WORK...

Yes, Ben (he says, like Peter Sellers as Chauncey Gardener to the old dying billionaire). My wife's mother recently lectured her on the topic. With this common interpretation sharp on her peacewhittling tongue, she was of course probing with ages rich mother-in-law cynicism MY own twisted unAmerican state of NO WORK. Meanwhile, I acknowledge that I appear to jealous acquaintences quite blessed among men for lack of a regimented work burden, or entitlement, depending one one's perspective. My wife has been convinced finally that I am best kept at home in the privacy of my whirling mind and Dollhouse, near her cold indifferent fingers but warm toasty heart. I admit I feel rather insecure anywhere else, and tend to drink myself into an explosive reproach to the bickering myths of strataculture every time I step out into the bustling city of lights, armed with little but the urgency for escape from any number of circulating yet dreaded theories of nightlife which haunt me because I am nothing without MY WORK, as sluggish and apparently unilluminating as it is to most who claim to know from whence arrives my artistic impulse.

Opinions are always made about money. Even the most discrimating poor among us, myself included, gaze upon it and are corrupted with envy and linguistic violence and strident motives to obtain it, or else are saddled with an indifference that leads us into bitter arguments swapped for obsessive compulsive choices as wretched and concrete and ugly as a proper sum of money ever was.
I keep busy making sure I have a contortionist's name for myself, or else in the minds of my severest critics, I keep busy shining names and nuances behind barstools and bushel baskets of cloudy arguments where lightning strikes swiftly and severely against the surface of old arguments whose welcome is long gone. With only slight exaggerations, I work every waking moment. My wife complains that I don't know how to relax, partially true, rest is sleep, al else is work, if you will, to meet my strategies for survival. Fuzzy well-intentioned logic like educated guesswork and informed interpolation, however, is the grace the unequipped will never face, and for their ignorance they will probably perish with their lessening winds. My dreamstates are work, are tools, are kids in the sandbox and I embrace them just as voyeurs do when at the movies, peering into someone else's dreams and ideological documentation.

But back to the idea of work and money. My wife pays nearly all the bills. This is true. She feels the burden of her job, of course, but she brags about what it brings her in prestige and buying power of argument and freedom when dealing with the host of projects at our command, basic insecurities about the future notwithstanding. If I bring in a dollar, I give it to somebody else, usually her, or to the computer industry. I am an accomplice within the digital revolution, a footsoldier, an enlisted tattooed man, OCS candidate, a homefront evangelizer as I stare past the garbage, glass shards, dilapidated structures, and confusion from my Dollhouse perch which serves me well enough as fresh air and culture, such as they are in Nero's regime.

Surrounded by mediocrity and prejudice, great practitioners of liberal slander refuse to intuit my disguise as the very one they tout in their own philosophies. My sockets burn sometimes with urgency to fly somewhere, anywhere else where I can explode past the loose meaning of contemporary friendship into the netherland of a more pure synchronicity of duty, loyalty, purpose, and comprehension.

In other news, this rainy season is driving all the yard bugs inward, ants and cockroaches multiplying themselves and immigrating to my turf as if they "owned the joint". Fighting against the corruption of the material is the only fight worth dying for, but dying is a losing cause. I hate dying.

WORK IS ENERGY. Money is a contaminating conversion and byproduct, safe only in proper prospective, because money corrupts everyone who surrenders to it. Opinions are always made about money. Even the most discrimating poor among us, myself included, gaze upon it and are corrupted with envy and linguistic violence and strident motives to obtain it, or else are saddled with an indifference that leads us into bitter arguments swapped for obsessive compulsive choices as wretched and concrete and ugly as a proper sum of money ever was.

My love she speaks like silence. Without ideals or violence.
She doesn't have to say she's faithful. Yet she's true, like ice, like fire.
Bob Dylan

Pure work frees man from the analysis of money. Am I a hypocrite for pointing this out? Am I a hypocrite because I love to spend money? Am I a hypocrite because I have argued, successfully it seems, to remain at home, supported by a woman who is hardly Artist or fraud, simply to allow the chips to fall where they may? Am I a hypocrite because I am aging, ugly or fat, conspiring to destroy faith in humanity's surge to crawl up from the tidal mud known as the Anti-Hip instead of being that dazzling, thin, strategically well-placed well-pocketed and quasibeautifully hip? The trickle down economies of Art and Finance are not dissimilar; as Ezra Pound's crackling contentions about art, economics, and war, and William Gaddis in his terrific novel—The Recognitions—have revealed.

The few who know the ropes either play them to bizarre lengths or avoid them with the meanest of miseries. The rest of us argue ourselves straight into a double-edged niche, and so it becomes us, our sentence for which parole is repeatedly denied, despite any makeshift theories to the contrary, we or some other highly paid or dollar dead genius devises for us in the meantime.
You have postulated Ben, that "people get occupied in a way, they forget to handle NO WORK. You know that, I suggest, but do you also know that contemplation, the force of passivity, I mean not producing, maybe on a journey? Oh, yes, you are a gardener too. Many people have to work, to ease their artificial bad conscience."

I understand what you are saying. If I say to somebody "I am a writer." Or a painter, or a traveler, or a flute player, am I less so because no muscle has called me up on the telephone to offer me a job or a contract? Am I any less a gardener if no one has offered to snap a polaroid of my roses or send me on an all-expense paid holiday to the Alpines to discuss breeding techniques. Does it matter whether I eat poorly like the beast I resemble, or whether I eat in eloquent gusto like a fancy fat French chef buttering his own bread in Paris? The human right to work and the human right to be hip are not too far apart on the GT scale of impossible tasks hustling among so many and so stupid a population always electromagnetic & naked in the catbird seat, but ever so snobbishly none the wiser...

But we, despite our best attempts to avoid or embrace symptoms bunkered down in unappealing ratios of human production and consumption, drunk from the fountain of fair green idealism, we too succumb to the same pitfalls in one flavor or another as any other poke even as we like to feel superior and just a bit more enlightened in comparison. We struggle against struggle not knowing how to slip the knot that binds us.

Basically Ben, I feel most people desire everything they think they can handle. Most of us don't know when to start OR stop the false lures of desire outside the domain of self-interest. The few who know the ropes either play them to bizarre lengths or avoid them with the meanest of miseries. The rest of us argue ourselves straight into a double-edged niche, and so it becomes us, our sentence for which parole is repeatedly denied, despite any makeshift theories to the contrary, we or some other highly paid or dollar dead genius devises for us in the meantime.

But it's been my experience to observe that poverty-stepping revolutionaries are not content with merely doing next to nothing, or running some small underground bookstore which suits them for a few seasons. Soon enough they want capitalism to give them more than they have managed to accumulate. Invariably they clamor for more money or more free time as if freedom of choice requires a zero sum cure using social algebra and a bad attitude. My guess is that like Mother Nature, it's not often you can cheat Father Capitalism.

GT

P.S. “It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck. Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it's more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go and suck anybody's blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, the capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It's only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.”

—Malcolm X

Closing Arguments On Max Stirner

blizz02sm
Chip On My Shoulder
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Originally published on May 22, 2003

My apologies Mr. Westling,

Without a doubt, I did not intend to tarry so long in replying to your previous dispatch, but life and its shadowboxers are busy as usual gesticulating with grunt and grin, keeping me bearing loads of some particular consequence in other less consoling quarters, but I did very much wish to reply with familiar timber. As to the "noisy self-interest" comment and its covering a lot of ground, of course, of course, and THAT was the point. Five or six people struggling each at various stages of life dotted across the four corners of the global landscape while slumped over the almighty questions of what exactly to do and precisely when to do it, ended as one might expect, everyone busying himself with his own perceived notions and chores in his own perceived neck of the woods to the detriment of the so-called group effort. No great mystery existed for our minds to pursue absent a personal agenda, absolutely nothing to reveal except that path each of us were already pursuing. To that end we just sort of drifted away from each other tethered to our own concerns, pretty much the result I predicted at the beginning of the "not really so great" experiment.

You wrote:
For or against Stalin. Three years earlier Breton's Surrealists experienced a similar debacle. There was no bridging the gap between the poet's investigation into experience and the Party's requirements of practical administration. But it arguably brought to light an irreducible toggle at the very core of the revolutionary project: does the collective or the individual have the ultimate say in charting direction of the revolution? The Surrealists never satisfactorily resolved this problem, and even as late as 1952, Breton indicated that his answer to the question "does the revolution require that social liberation must occur before individual liberation can?" was yes. I don't believe he really thought out all the possible implications that attend to this issue. If social liberation is primary, doesn't it follow that individuals are reduced to an instrumental role? This question goes to the core of the entire Marxist project.

I write:
Precisely! Just as a water molecule requires both hydrogen and oxygen atoms, each in obedience to its own individual composition and inertia, the social fabric of humanity cannot exist without freedom first gaining a foothold at the individual level. And yet, the masses great and small tend to follow leaders, whether these leaders are self-appointed messiahs, statesmen or revolutionaries, crowd-anointed stars of the hour, or bad boys (girls, too!) on parade and each grand movement is the articulation of a few wide open mouths apotheosized by the herd despite all intellectual cajoling that is to set men free to the contrary , because, whether this phenonmenon is a matter of personal nature or of social oppression, not all humans are capable much less inspired by an uncompromised divine light strong enough and focused enough to shake loose of the fetters and act as a catalyst for change. As such there will always be leaders and there will always be followers. Hence institutions and molecular compounds, mighty poets, shining lights, and safety in numbers.

I dare not trust ANY authority, unless I first taste its fruit. But individual tastes change, shift, capsize. As circumstances change, so usually does the hand that feeds them. Bureaucratic strength is corruptible as a result of its authoritarian nature in caricature of individuality redeemed, and thus l’d prefer living on the outside, accepting that isolation, rather than join any movement that coerces me with threats or ill-gotten gains, phoney, inflated, or otherwise.
You wrote:
My reference to your manifesto being "a little too sweeping" should be explained, I suppose. What I meant was that to assert that nothing of note has happened since the, what? The 1947 International Surrealist Exhibition perhaps? Was going a bit too far. Personally, I find some of [Roberto] Matta's 1960's works a real extension of the Surrealist outlook. Even Pop has a role in furthering our ideas of personal liberation. Of course, I look at the best of Pop as being heavily laced with irony, so that it can be read as a critique of commodity capitalism. I agree with you the balkanization is something we need to transcend.

I write:
But there is no escape from this monstrosity we know as time; time changes all perspectives, hence truth is always in travail. At least none less worthy of our concerns in our current apocalyptic node. We are soldiers called into a life of combat. Each soldier is armed according to whims of the moment. While it is certainly too late to write poems, it is far too early to burn books and paper money on the trash heap of our own impatient imaginations. Socialism will supplant capitalism, but not tomorrow, or the next day. There is much yet to be done in the name of competitive fetishism. Do I have proof of this? Does it matter except along the broad avenues and speculative pitter patter of the chattering classes?

You wrote:
I too am an autodidact, to a large degree. I do have 24 semester hours' credit from Roosevelt University in Chicago dating from 1972-74. My first great epiphany came at attending the Marcel Duchamp retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago in March 1974. His work and life showed me that formal education provided more obstacles than opportunities. I find academia to be one of the principal obstacles to both individual and social transformation. My second great epiphany came from understanding the intimate connection between [Rene] Duchamp and Max Stirner in 1989. My course has been set ever since. The bulk of the fruits of my interest in this connection is forthcoming, but it won't be too long now.

To announce that the individual is the primary thrust of existence is hardly breakthrough revolutionary cant, but it is Stirner's rejection of revolution, even as his distrust in institutions is genuine, that interests me, and I thank you for bringing him to my attention, if for nothing more than hereditary concerns
I wrote:
Having run willy nilly through all those blackened doors and those well-read windows, what have I gained that will put starch in my speech? Am I not the same dissatisfied sojourner that I was at 8, 14, 18, 22, refusing to memorize the lives and works of others so that I can exercise more freely the haunts withering within myself, only to be mocked as an unschooled ignoramus and a wasteling, no talent fool? What is it that we are really seeking, you and I? Should I yawn or squeeze a peach into my fist? Freedom? Like Pilate, I ask, what is freedom? What is truth? Is the only damned truth I can ever know for certain (because it has been with me the longest) is that every day of every year of my freelanced life has been augured by the truth and the lie shaped like a bonzai tree that encourages me to lose my ephemeral status, my skin, my gender, my race, my stinking unresolved life for the sake of OTHERS and their own unresolved notions? What do I care about others? Do they care about me? What is this truth I prefer to think as the ONLY TRUTH? If my life is nothing but a zen koan, has not my own insignificance been the only path worth noting. Debord was a hard-nosed poseur, just like the multitudes grinning with marmalade teeth, but he indeed invented himself, the poet and raconteur with critical aims. Six billion individuals, or five giant nations under one roof? What are the odds of me inventing either possibility?

You wrote:
You really shouldn't lift whole sections of material from the Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Stirner and present it as your own thought, although you chose a reputable source. George Woodcock, although prone to some of the same collectivist biases as so many other commentators on Stirner, did do a pretty good job at characterizing his thought.

I write:
Well lad, I hardly presented that chunk as my own writing. Methinks it twas a dead giveaway...

So I make no excuses. As to Stirner, the following is all I know... Notice the all caps, vital dates in parentheses. I suppose I could have pasted myself into the narrative, or simply given a reference. Or said I knew nothing, and let it go at that. Yawn.

max-stirner
Max Stirner
STIRNER, MAX (1806-1856), was the nom de plume of the German individualist philosopher Johann Kaspar Schmidt. Born in Bayreuth, Bavaria, Schmidt had a poor childhood (like myself). His academic career was long and fragmented. I am uneducated, while sponging from the world of books and media like there is no other purpose to life than to have read too much to be of any worldly good.

Et cetera. The point being, those who know anything about the "inimitable" unrequited fashion I shove ink to paper, know that I splatter adverbs, adjectives and lengthy unbounded syntax around the page like wood nymphs in search of an unsoiled Grecian urn, and either praise me, criticize me, or shriek delightfully at the joke, but the word inimitable always sets the pace. It was rather obvious to a seasoned reader of this humble bumbler which particular lines were added for personal affect, about four I think, at the very beginning, and the rest which naturally came from a source written in short brittle academic sentences complete with caps and parentheticals for the pure joy of letting a new sparring partner know that those few paragraphs were indeed ALL I knew of Stirner, line for line, having pulled the historical man distorted or not straight out a book that very morning, scanned, OCR'd, dutifully copied and then routinely pasted into context, prompted of course by your own well-appreciated overtures to him. Apologies that I didn't properly reference the jag for you, but I simply didn't realize I was submitting a white paper unto the authorities. Duly noted is your kind exception to my frightful oversight. See Debord, for more insights into plagiarism, although I really wasn't erecting any such scam.

You wrote:
I guess you're already surmising that I vehemently disagree with your characterization of Stirner as "yet another status quo philosopher". Your evaluation sound a lot like Karl Marx's ideas on the subject, and I am painfully aware that the situationists used Marx as their basic philosophical substrate. Do you know a book that came out in 2002 by Kristin Ross called "May '68 and its Afterlives"? She, too, decries the "creeping individualism" that has seeped into the discourse on May '68 and related phenomena. But that is material for another post.

The only philosophy worth a nutcracker's suite is that which can be applied to the world in play. On the brink of catastrophic destruction, our world is not a safe place. Psychological warriors must gird their loins as the mighty clash for the sake of their history books. Words no longer make a difference, they have withered in the mouths of the arms dealers.
I write:
Status quo in my book projects an entirely other meaning than the one I presume you to harbor. To me status quo is extended to mean that all life is in flux, and since we have always had shining beacons, artists, poets, philosophers, statesmen, soldiers, con men, whores, zealots, saints, sinners, and the rest of us catawauling among the tall timbers, grassy knolls and dry desert sands. To announce that the individual is the primary thrust of existence is hardly breakthrough revolutionary cant, but it is Stirner's rejection of revolution, even as his distrust in institutions is genuine, that interests me, and I thank you for bringing him to my attention, if for nothing more than hereditary concerns.

You wrote:
The thing that is important now is to indicate just why Stirner is not just another apologist for the small-time shopkeeper. The key point has to do with the irreducible toggle in the individualism/collectivism question: can I keep my own prerogatives intact if I allow a collective entity to be primary in my own mind and, by extension, in the world? The answer, I'm afraid, is no, and if this is true, then my own instrumentalism at the hand of the collectivity is inevitable. This engenders what Stanley Milgram (yes, that Milgram) calls the "agentic state", in which I sign away my right of decision in favor of one "in authority". I presume you are aware of the infamous Milgram experiments of 1960. One look at the results of these experiments should be enough to convince that ours is not a world in which "enlightened" egoism rules, only the debased kind, the infantile kind. Where vulgar egoism leaves off, Stirner begins. It is possible to trace a trajectory of an increase in "affective individualism" (as the historian Lawrence Stone terms it), beginning in the late 17th century and continuing up to the present time. Kinship ties have weakened, and individual prerogatives strengthened, in a fairly unbroken progression ever since this began. One of the main problems, in my opinion, is that this process hasonly gone halfway through its cycle.

stadium-alley
Stasis unleashed into a game of blind alley's bluff...

I write:
Now, THIS is indeed close to the mark! How I have raged raged against the dying of the light when encountering the uncorrected rantings of Ayn Rand and Nietzsche (ditto in spades to leftist scalawags like Marx and his progeny), but yet have been unable to resolve the problem of how to congeal the collective notion, honestly and succinctly, given the range and variations of the specimen. I dare not trust ANY authority, unless I first taste its fruit. But individual tastes change, shift, capsize. As circumstances change, so usually does the hand that feeds them. Bureaucratic strength is corruptible as a result of its authoritarian nature in caricature of individuality redeemed, and thus l'd prefer living on the outside, accepting that isolation, rather than join any movement that coerces me with threats or ill-gotten gains, phoney, inflated, or otherwise. Living in the age of quarrel is no picnic on the high seas, but I think you are indeed traveling the right tracks in pinpointing what ails much of the West, that is the mystery of defining, or uncovering that nexus which balances the rights of the individual with the good of the collective. There has got to be a mathematical proof in this somewhere, but flesh and blood properly inspired is never a game of mathematics where zero and affinity take a stand, and the genetics of sin still rule with transparent and opposing thumbs. The society of the spectacle is no match for the society of dead certainty.

You wrote:
Individual empowerment is what we all need, not a centralized plan of forced income redistribution. This will only result in endless counterrevolution. It is moralism run wild, what confounded the French Revolution and the communist one as well. Collectives that legislate what's good for the others against their consent is no good. Self-directed anarchism could avoid these problems if brutality could be expunged from the consciousness of the millions. That if is so big you can drive a truck through it, I know. But the revolution is impossible without it. Start small, get bigger. Revolution from below. I believe we are not so very far apart philosophically. Breton, as well as Picabia, Max Ernst and Duchamp, all found Stirner to be quite compelling. It is only a question of continuing to resolve all the inconsistencies attending to the implementation of collectively constituted projects that keeps us from moving forward.

I write:
Such is the curse of the dreamer. That revolution from below you declare is part and parcel of the status quo for which I stand. But bullets and bombs, poisons and pride, hand in hand, one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind, each a lure of fascination, each a stumbling block. The only philosophy worth a nutcracker's suite is that which can be applied to the world in play. On the brink of catastrophic destruction, our world is not a safe place. Psychological warriors must gird their loins as the mighty clash for the sake of their history books. Words no longer make a difference, they have withered in the mouths of the arms dealers. Flesh on the bone will be burnt to bare cinders and those violent screams and sentimental songs of peace will not be heard in the heavens, but will choke on the smoke of the ancestral homes now in ashes and worse. Gentler minds will continue to seek sanctuary, but will find none, but the ones they were born into like the flesh of the moth. This is the age we live to defy, but few, very few, poets of promise and peace poling along a bloody regime have ever made it out alive, and the next generation often fares worse. But we can't stop dreaming, can we?

Munificently yours,

GT

The Subject Is Enormous And Deep

lionsden
Enormous And Deep
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Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 08:16:54

Gabriel, gee, you must be really mad at me! I did NOT reject YOU, I am simply not up to commenting on those long philosophical swill letters. I don't know enough to do that, but you have inspired me to read about philosophy. I've bought several important books on the subject such as The Passion of the Western Mind by Richard Tarnas, and The Examined Life by Robert Nozick. The subject is enormous and deep. I remember at Columbia University, I had to drop philosophy because I didn't know what they were talking about. The fault is mine.

It is pure torture and God said, "You will just have to go to that little Unitarian church in Tallahassee if you don't want to be paralized from boredom." Honestly, that's what he said. He also dictated my book to me, but nobody believes it!
I don't know if I told you & Sue or not, but I received a letter dated Dec. 12 from the President of Mercer University, Dr. Kirby Godsey, praising the FGSS. He didn't have to. He doesn't know me. I never met the man, but to get such a letter from a progressive Baptist means a lot. I don't expect acceptance from fundamentalists. Anyway, it doesn't matter anymore. There's a great new collection of essays by Poet Randall Jarrell who said, "Poetry disappeared long ago, even for most intellectuals."

The public doesn't read it. Literary review poetry is written by poets for other poets. You can't exceed the beauty of Hardy, Frost, Stevens, and Yeats, and you can't outdo Alan Ginsberg for obscenity. So what's left? Only the FGSS.

I hope you and Sue are well. Jan 13 will be one month since my surgery but I still feel like a stab-wound victim. Tell Sue Mother is doing well but it's hell on earth with her only if I refused to take her to Episcopal services EVERY Sunday. I refuse to do it. Then she pouts for three days although she can take no part in those rote responsive readings, long weekly communion lines, and every last verse of hymns sung over an hour and 13 minutes. We just sit there like outsiders. It is pure torture and God said, "You will just have to go to that little Unitarian church in Tallahassee if you don't want to be paralized from boredom." Honestly, that's what he said. He also dictated my book to me, but nobody believes it!

Richard

Interview With Gabriel

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

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

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

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

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

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

TP: What's your cocktail of choice?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GT: You're welcome Tim.

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

Making Tracks With My Moonie Girlfriend

teresa
Teresa
samplex

Originally published on October 1, 1996

Hope you don't think that you have figured out the whole of my philosophical slant in these few paragraphs to have blitzed your eBox in recent days. The more I write the less I am confident any real communication can exist outside of fuzzy logic. A thousand pages later, and there is still room for clarification, redundancy be damned. However any aspiring philosophy must start from a foundation of concrete suppositions. The GT foundation rests solely upon a single concept. I am nothing in a crowd, and only something by the gift of God.

The concept of God working through the genuinely dependent individual rather than institutional flavoring is not unique to me, nor is it universally accepted, but I suspect I have been dipped in the collective spirit of this contemporary age in order to put a uniquely quiet 21st century spin on this ancient wisdom, and perhaps shed some light on a problem which pits humanity not against itself but against the old demons of the past, and in a word, is the sin for which we—the generation now kicking against the pricks—are being judged right now.

In an early poem (circa 1981 of mine) I accuse Lucifer as the author of time. All of nature's manifestations are both inspired and corrupted by the torque of time's perspective. We work finally within this framework of time, but we should suspect its motives.

Perhaps the best model I can use to relate what I mean when I unilaterally dismiss collectivism as the prime mover of spiritual and physical matter, and thus, an unrivaled conductor of truth is the marriage, or lover's problem. I suggest that no matter how close we want to become the mirror of our partner, or merge dissonance to create a more diversified whole, an irreparable separation is evidenced against us. While ancient teachers suggest that the two become one, this metaphor has rarely been illustrated in fact. History as failure in this regard has shown a bigotry against this unification of two into one. And if two cannot become one, how realistically can dozens, thousands, millions, billions, simply and without fracture? Thus my point. Even the individual is plagued and ultimately corrupted by opposing forces. One may argue this diversity strengthens the individual, and thus the whole of thousands can thus be strengthened by this diversity, I hold with the old proverb that a house divided cannot long stand.

Competition and greed. Nothing satisfies us when we know someone else has something that seems better than what we have. The marketdriven culture (just as Marxism predicts) is a vicious line of defense against human nature and natural forces from the outside. But the “clock” can never be turned back without catastrophe. This is human nature corrupted by greed and envy. Doublespeak crowds into every arena stealing from the human spirit every good motive as time’s own author extracts a token penalty for every semblence of progress. Confusion multiplies itself with human numbers. We do not argue good versus evil. We argue me or us verus them.
This approach say other, less insightful accusers, steers me into the traditionally conservative camp. I will not reject the label out of hand, but I hardly think anarchism the way I define it can be held up to the conservative light without displacing a few fundamental concepts of both.

Personal responsibility leads to acceptance of a status quo. This does not mean doing nothing to change the world in which we live, but I am simply restating the oft noted idea about not wasting precious time on vociferous alliances whose represent a major threat to personal autonomy.

We are not born with natural or civil rights outside of the social contract, contrary to what our founders told us, or what conservatives and liberals try to insist is their birthright. As an American citizen, yes, certain privileges are bestowed upon her children as natural rights and civil rights because of a social contract, but as a human being without God, there are no rights, only grievances and positions that one wins or loses in steady nullification of the natural because the world is a conduit of transgression, a mean, ugly, terrifying assault on self and the other. Of course there are wonders and pleasures in this transgressive world, but these wonders exist despite our presence, not because of it. Political correctness is the perfect metaphor for this condition where meanings of words are diverted from a common meaning to a more specific task warranted by the political realm. The graces of political correctness are far removed from any natural graces, but are designed by man's misapprehension of God, of perfection, of the spirit of best practices, we might say today.

Too many folk presume on the basis of envy and tokenism that what Joe Blow possesses (however he gained it, and yes it appears self-evident that evil has always lent a helping hand to all so-called progress), Jim Jackoff is entitled to the same. The conspiracy of universal equality—while a feel good aspiration—is not played out in reality bytes. None are free from the taint of evil, and yet we struggle for greener grass while negating the same spirit that made the grass seem greener to begin with. Competition and greed. Nothing satisfies us when we know someone else has something that seems better than what we have. The marketdriven culture (just as Marxism predicts) is a vicious line of defense against human nature and natural forces from the outside. But the "clock" can never be turned back without catastrophe. This is human nature corrupted by greed and envy. Doublespeak crowds into every arena stealing from the human spirit every good motive as time's own author extracts a token penalty for every semblence of progress. Confusion multiplies itself with human numbers. We do not argue good versus evil. We argue me or us verus them. Confusion versus confusion. Good and evil.

Here's a clarifying sidebar. The year—1982. Mid-summer. Midtown Atlanta. A few days before I'd been approached by two strangelooking women about my own age just outside the Omniplex. I was 26. Teresa was defiantly overdressed in several layers of streetdrag wool skirting and sweater. I do not recall the other woman's appearance anymore because it was Teresa who gave me her phone number and the Moonie tract. Not being naîve to the Unification cult's ways and means, having hit the books on as many of the major denominations among world religions I could find in the library—for several years by now—seeking an anecdote to the poisonous experience, I and many, have suffered at the wishing well of the Jehovah Witnesses, I decided I was prepared enough to befriend this curious girl with eyes wide open.

Teresa sat in a chair on a perpendicular wall where she was soon approached by an older woman of the faith. They were soon engaged in conversation that barely rose above a whisper. I thought nothing of this, and heard only occasional snippets as I dug into a random book I had pulled. This was a libraaaaaaary after all. Bits and pieces of their chat floated over to me. I was surprised to learn Teresa had been born a third-generation Christian Scientist. Seemed this was a girl with quite a checkered past.
For the next two weeks we saw each other daily. I visited the Unification House in the quaint Little Five Points neighborhood. She came by the Howell House highrise apartments, no relation to the Tom Howell I would later meet here in Washington, I was then sharing with my mother for tea and crackers. It was actually my mother's place, but my visitation with her lasted for six weeks upon returning from Corpus Christi where I deadpanned for the previous twenty months. We traversed the city on foot for five or six hours every day, she in low-keyed proselytizing mode, I, in a gentle informative resistance.

One day we crossed West Peachtree and turned down Peachtree Main along the infamous corner now revitalized but on this day was still marked by the tiny triangular 24-hour Dunkin Doughnuts and just beyond, the Christian Science Reading Room. Teresa, I knew already, was a product of the 1960s subcultural elite. I knew for instance that she had spent her adolescence in a nudist camp, and that background emerging from the fog of unbearable shame had driven her to the neurotic devices of concept-defying heavy clothing and long frizzy hair in which she hide her dark but very attractive facial lines. I knew she confessed great comforts in the teachings of the Moon organization even when she found them lacking, or pleasantly wrong, evident in another anecdotal tale I will save for another time.

Keyword—beauty, animals, humans

Beautiful weather, a little warm, but Teresa still wore her heavy skirts and sweater tops. We crossed the busy intersection. I never asked her if she was too hot. Evidently she dressed herself as she chose. None of the other female devotees wore such covering on these hot summer days. A simple concept explained my reaction—I took people as they were. Teresa was always polite, gentle, soft, compelling, and now she was questioning me had I read the two or three theological booklets she had given to me a day earlier. These rather thin booklets were published in a very simplistic styling, oversized pages, large typefaces, and hordes of colorful cartoon drawings, reminding me a child's publication. This literature literally reminded me of the kiddie biblestory volumes I had voraciously gobbled up as a child, only thinner. These were workbooks, with a quiz at the end. I had not read them. Confident I already knew all the answers I had put them aside meaning to take a half hour to skirt through the topics to meet my obligations to Teresa, but at this point I hadn't done so. Besides I had loaned Teresa a 1500 page theological hardcover called the URANTIA BOOK that had been given to me by a former lover a couple of years before, so I expected a day or two grace period. I never got my volume back. Of course after admitting that I had not read the booklets but I intended to do so, Teresa countered with predictable and similar remarks.

These confessions led me straight to the point I wanted to make to her. Everybody believes their own version of the truth is self-evident and required for everybody under the sun. "Oh but if you would just read these..." she countered. I again repeated the premise that all works claim the truth, and great works have great legions of followers. Nothing is proved right or wrong except in the minds of believers of this or that truth. Whatever Teresa might claim, Johnny Can't Read has a contradictory truth. Jimmy Can Read has another. Evereybody's running around in this crazy attempt to convince everybody else that they are wrong. Teresa smiled at this empasse. Just then we were rounding the corner. I spied the Christian Science Reading Room, and having never stepped into it to date, thought this was the perfect time to test the spirits in living color, so I asked her if she wanted to dip into the Christian Science operation for a few minutes, cool off, rest our feet...

She acquiesced with a sweet okay. We strolled to the reading room. This was not a very large place, fitted into a space nestled in the vee between two major thoroughfares converging at roughly a thirty degree angle, but it was airconditioned and pleasant and waiting for us. I found a chair a few feet from the bulk of the library. Teresa sat in a chair on a perpendicular wall where she was soon approached by an older woman of the faith. They were soon engaged in conversation that barely rose above a whisper. I thought nothing of this, and heard only occasional snippets as I dug into a random book I had pulled. This was a libraaaaaaary after all. Bits and pieces of their chat floated over to me. I was surprised to learn Teresa had been born a third-generation Christian Scientist. Seemed this was a girl with quite a checkered past. They argued in ever polite tones. The woman persisted. Fifteen to twenty minutes into this routine I overheard the words good and evil, and some reference to the edenic tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Was this the stroke of God himself drawing us into the Christian Science Reading Room for an example of divine truth, I put to her as we strolled on toward downtown on this sweltering summer afternoon. She finally burst into a rapt amazement, profoundly moved by my explantions, and was giddy that God had shown her a sign. Otherwise nothing would have occurred to her. No threads ever match up. Nothing is connected. An intellectual zombie I’m afraid is all so many of the most devoted folks on earth appear to be.
That was when I spoke up. "Does not the tree of the knowledge inspire knowledge of the DIFFERENCE between good and evil? I inquire of the old woman who to this point had only nodded a respectful hello to me upon entering the room. "Yes, you can say that. Different translations render it a little bit differently, but you can read the CORRECT rendering in OUR books." I replied that I had to confess that I did not know the difference between good and evil. Fire immediately plunged into her eyes, a gift from inside her. "Oh you certainly do, and if you do not, you can read it in our literature. You only have to READ it to understand," she growled. I countered again that men for thousands of years have argued over these things.

I'm not sure what I said next but I drew upon current ecological and ecopolitical concerns or some matter such as this, to give a few examples of what I meant by my own confusion with this complex issue of good and evil. She flew into a unmistakable rage, "Oh you are just a troublemaker. You'd better leave. Right now I say. Just leave, and don't come back. I mean it. Don't come back!" I returned the book I still had in grip to its rightful place, and said not another word. Teresa was ushered out alongside me. As the glass door swung close, the pinchedface woman, probably in her late sixties, muttered the word troublemaker one more time just in case I had missed the point.< On the street again I immediately sensed what had just happened and inquired of Teresa, "Do you know what just happened?" She didn't know what I meant. "Do you remember what we were talking about just before we stepped inside?" Again she couldn't piece her memories together. I played it out for her. "We were trying to convince each other to read each other's books. I told you that everybody believed they already had the truth, IF ONLY OTHERS WOULD READ OUR BOOKS." Teresa's face was beginning to show a glimmer of recognition, but I continued. "Then we step inside and you are barraged by yet another somebody who does exactly what I predicted. It's in THEIR book, THEIR truth, THEIR certainty that all life must bow..." Was this the stroke of God himself drawing us into the Christian Science Reading Room for an example of divine truth, I put to her as we strolled on toward downtown on this sweltering summer afternoon. She finally burst into a rapt amazement, profoundly moved by my explantions, and was giddy that God had shown her a sign. Otherwise nothing would have occurred to her. No threads ever match up. Nothing is connected. An intellectual zombie I'm afraid is all so many of the most devoted folks on earth appear to be. Teresa didn't suffer a loss of faith with that event, but I was overwhelmed by the finger of God in this point blank proof of what I knew to be oh so true... We are all fools in this game nobody can win. My girlfriend, however, would soon go the way of all proselytizers once she finally realized I was never going to be a convert. With a touch of sadness I realized our salad days were numbered.

A Toast To An Equality Bum

anger
"Don't expect me to shut you up..."

samplex

Originally published on April 30, 1996

Yo Steve, your gnat is gnawing at my forehead. Was too depressed, especially after re-reading your clutch notes yesterday to respond with anything worth a van Gogh ear. Did get back to Tom Howell, however. He's a practicing HTML author now, quite proud in his jest, and sent his brag to "Gabriel" just like family. He always manages to bring a smile and leave with sarcastic froth in his mouth.

Your job as literary mariner, erudite barrister of science, and master of the elements of conventional style, often paint you as a strange man on a high horse. Both creatures of signature bombast—delight in sporting the absolute finest in men's Italian shoes and scarves, dark shades and French lids—but the only one of you whom I love dearly is however, combining three parts incredulity and two parts wrecklessness a fifth at a time in taking its existential toll on me. A small justifiable toll, I grant, so is one I recognize and simply weather, like you do the gale storms I sail your way just to show you I know we're both bobbleheading in the same pernicious seas. That's just the price we pay for playing ourselves in real life. I'd sweat doughnuts to have your job in some office working on the best Mac in the land laying out a century-old nationally-subscribed monthly magazine. So there's to gravy, now to the grease.

Wish I could help you in your continuing status search, but one quick glance into the mirror in the age of the button down suit and cleavage bearing white blouse or comfortable sweater is solid evidence I have failed to measure up in the corporate fashion department. Just color me uncomfortable in my own clothes, skin, and genetic slingshot. You are well-groomed, great teeth and jawline, always have a domestic parachute with two active parents of immediate and sustainable pedigree, and are riding a career path with options in both the here and now and then whatever else opens up down the pike worth pursuing, but you slum like a rogue, fester in cubicle culture disputes and self-imagined feuds in the corporate world you actually own in character and candlepower, so as a result it is your fate to have stumbled all the way down to us. Gabriel the post-engineer stay at home white cracker punk rock pin-up stooge from a crumpled past, and then there's Tim, the drug-infested slum child, roll your own bicycle hop, pick 'em up, put 'em down, broken collar bone shipwreck reeling from such a farce of family unity that we, Tim and I, stand front and center as those two imaginary sticks of dynamite you keep in your saddlebag for blowing yourself out of this job and into another because you imagine the game is all in jest, a jovial antediluvian joust, a sealed with a handshake junket to the top rungs of the corporate ladder in a few hops or less. Been there, done that, mister. Only the entertainment savant can come out of nowhere. Everyone else waits in line because there are far more people chasing your job than there are struggling for a record contract, as queer as that sounds.

There is still some confusion in my box whether she knew her spanky new luggage was due at the house yesterday. It came, but was delivered across the street to house no. 110. Don’t even know those people, but I do know the neighborhood and let’s just say we were lucky to get our package. Insert racist remark here.
So here I am. A captive of my own mind at ease. Took a rusted out old cargo boat straight to the bottom of the sea that will never be. Trust you'll grip the bow tighter for a better aim than I did. Be careful in whom you hustle with your wrinkles and your rhymes, your jokes and your throwaway shines. And once you leave the game, you can never get back in at a level you think you deserve. Not from these chambers. That sort of hopscotch is reserved for those who have already beat the game once and earned that immunity, that pass, and never really left their circle but just took a sidebar. But's let's not kid ourselves, once you've embraced the deadbeat, the deadbeat will never embrace you.

Friendly messianic impulses recoil as we try to separate the body from the mind, or the mind from its redeemer, commander, or jolly hat sized mimic, accompanied by the same long checklist of equivocating characteristics we've known about ourselves from the earliest memories of our own precocious lives, characteristics and traits we name just so we can slap them about the therapy room, traits we probably called by different names then, but as we begin to learn that words have consequences only when backed by power structure assets that reject language as important, do we embrace the paradox of greater understanding. It is then that conservative idea must come to pass in out lives again. This is the genetic or scientific approach we sense as the true path, or else we stumble across it like hobos, remember hobos, crossing over the rails for a better view of the same thousand feet of track, and figure we don't have a white man's chance in Harlem to actually re-invent ourselves to suit the new opportunities we find writing code in flipping mash upon our former world in word and picture, skin and tragedy, speed and oblivion, frick and frack. We clutch for hope that our highest aspiration remains our surest fallback position as we dally with a strengthening opposition. Yes, just like that rolling stone you admire, no contribution known...

My own most glorious excitement of the day was Sue allowing, even offering to keep the whole house cool today with air conditioning. She never sets rules, never makes demands, or bemoans her fate with me, and I mean never, never chooses what meal to cook or restaurant to choose (God, I hate that she is so inert), so I was a bit tickled yesterday when she told me with an unfamiliar authority that it was too early to turn on the AC. There is still some confusion in my box whether she knew her spanky new luggage was due at the house yesterday. It came, but was delivered across the street to house no. 110. Don't even know those people, but I do know the neighborhood and let's just say we were lucky to get our package. Insert alleged racist remark here.

Do we ever avenge past failures? Acquiescence to this chain in life, however fragile an acquiescence, is to accept one's bland experimental kinetic placement in this whistling dixie of a world. Doing due diligence in all matters is the only path I can recommend from one moment to the next until breaking away and deliverance is within grasp. Acquiescence. It's a role. A puzzle. An almighty gig just as big as anything we played in the game thus far.
Thus, baking in the raw configurations of cause and effect seeking motives & derivations of man, and god, and country I had to face the repeated crisis of being home yet again, just upstairs with only a small fan compensating for repeated delivery failures posting an argument against me. My half-deafness may also contribute. More than likely the air was blasting at that point. I turned it on around 1:30 yesterday in the computer room, and around eight last night as I nodded out with QUE's Netscape 2.0 in the sofa shortly before Sue bounced into the room and removed my glasses. I slept another few hours there in the royal chair before sliding myself into bed just after midnight. A long & heavy dream sequence followed me after I pounced up slightly dazed at seven oh nine. Still depressed. Alienated by having to growl in sweat past the courier's light knocking on my door, yet once more again.

Missing a delivery irks me enough. Knowing that I didn't even know to expect a package that day had me twisted in knotnumbing speeches to myself. She surprisingly got on the phone and gave that piece of mind that almighty customers are supposed to inspire. But knowing a delivery was coming hasn't kept me from missing eight to a dozen deliveries over the past few years. Ah, but what is missing from this picture? Sue must have known it was coming but she neglected to tell me, or remind me because this transaction was initiated on her order. Yes, she surprised me by harrassing UPS (it turns out; I mistakenly thought it was a JC Penney's direct delivery with a glance at the delivery paper. UPS is not mentioned anywhere, but Sue obviously called with knowledge.) Anyway, I've let go of that issue until it pops up again. Her luggage is sassy, and bless baby with baboon oils, it's obvious her Carribbean cruise is shaping and tidying up in her mind as the calendar drills onward.

That brings us full circle back to you. I can't respond to your unSETled or UNsetLING loops except by running it back onto you. I figure you figure Tim, Sue, and I are your set. But while each of us chagrin in general challenges to what appears to be each of our individual, and better or worse for it, our collective fate, we surf day to day realizing each wave and splash will take care of itself one way or the other just as you do. So you seem stung by the most grievous tentacle in the sea, as you wing it touting credentials of full blown vanity.

Would Colin Powell really think he would be any different a man whether he is president of the United States or simply a retired soldier, a self-confessed Republican, a busy and influential party member at that, good husband and father, and distinguished symbol for an amazingly broad spectrum of people?
All we are saying is not give peace a chance (although that too), but just face up to the fact that "life" ain't gonna like us if we don't like it. So now let's figure to solve in the equation: Life=x, where x is whatever ONE can achieve. A second equation: (Good)Life=(Good)x may first appear redundant, and needs to be reduced to its simplest form, the linguist feeling unserved by pure mathematics would insist words are self-modifiers, and not to its own finite standards decipherable like numbers in a numbers racket. Seeing goods in stores one once lusted after but which now seem plastic and faraway does not change the relative value of the goods, or does it?

Has x changed, or has the quality quotient changed? What caused us to change?

This is a mystery I suggest the philosophers, the mathmeticians, the psychologists, the theologians, the aarTvarks, the united we piss paragons, and the warbugles get together to solve, but then again, the word fails us also. Until the word can mend as well as it melts the flesh as mind, we cannot rest as advocates of full knowledge, and replicated consciousness in those who would be anybody's avengers. Do we ever avenge past failures? Acquiescence to this chain in life, however fragile an acquiescence, is to accept one's bland experimental kinetic placement in this whistling dixie of a world. Doing due diligence in all matters is the only path I can recommend from one moment to the next until breaking away and deliverance is within grasp. Acquiescence. It's a role. A puzzle. An almighty gig just as big as anything we played in the game thus far.

To actually have done this over here ain't much different from having done that over there. To achieve anything without factoring in this finer evidence stoolpigeoned up against our biases and our prides is to fool ourselves of our misplaced recognitions. It's not about value or unvalue. It's about both, and there is no separation of state and status. Would Colin Powell really think he would be any different a man whether he is president of the United States or simply a retired soldier, a self-confessed Republican, a busy and influential party member at that, good husband and father, and distinguished symbol for an amazingly broad spectrum of people?

Life=xyz/abc

And communication boils, hot springs
we flock against in hordes still wet behind the ears
from our last visit to the sources of good

riddance and circumstance
lockjaws rifled by the word
timed riddles still waters

flooding our echoes
flames filled and felled
as the woods the would nots

and the teachers resort to tears
comic fears basic hogwash
mister to clean our stripping

canons of doubt
figures in between the couch
the clue and the closet

salvaged for memories
lost pretension
segregated ifs

or something else entirely.

GT