Tag Archives: SWORG

Back When Pretentiousness Was God

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American Empires by Gabriel Thy
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Originally written to a young American cohort, Matthew Manus, who requested that I reserve this domain name and web server for him. I had visited Matthew and his girlfriend Michelle in Paris a few months before with my wife, This email is dated February 5, 2001. The website was never deployed by Manus, and the project-oriented relationship ended abruptly in May of that year, having never really recovered from the Paris event.

Cheerio my friend. Welcome back to the Gabriel of old—your web site is ready and already has a default page loaded, and this works during testing. Note that the default page must be named "index.html" to match 'XusNET webserver configurations. You have full FTP privileges. You can create new directories, read from, write to, and download anything from your domain's directory. The following information should be entered into your FTP client so that you can access your web site.

          FTP INFO...
          HOST: ftp.siftology.org
          USER ID: siftology.org
          PASSWORD: cleverjones
          Directory: /

Your new web account is configured. Check it out mon frere! Let me know if you have any troubles or questions.

Look forward as always to your cheerful voice once you return to France from the land of Joyce. Me, I'm still properly sick with the flu, no day better than the next, a week now of fever, scorched throat, pain in both ears driven with ice pick precision, the usual sinus stuffiness and upchuck too. But I am as inspired as I've been in years to focus on our global critique, but tire easily and return to bed often.

Rebunk has sparked a flame under me to—once and for all—draw the lines of where I stand on this Debord crescendo. Of course, it looks as if I'm going to have to torch his own Aussie canopy with a direct hit of GT phlegm since, as Kubhlai pointed out recently, he has never ever really put his own two cents on the line, but continues to hide in silence or behind the SI bulk of work he has archived. It's time to quit pussyfooting around. The imperative that I slash away this fog that's been hovering over me for some three years now has reached illuminating proportions.

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Sue, Michelle, Robert, Matthew in Paris
The Jappe book on Debord is helping pin the Frenchman down for me, and as I suspected, there is so much that I find self-contradicting, just as I find much of the Christian outlook self-contradicting, that I must keep good notes and finally put my own sorry self to the test of my fellow sworgsters. I will start with that very last fragment Zizek (a new name to me, but a piece full of typical dishonest extrapolation) Bunkee sent over the SWILL. I know Kubhlai and I are on the same page, whatever that happens to be, and I think you are there as well. But Rebunk and Crash have shown us nothing but bookmarks from the past, and no clear definition on who in the hell they are as individual credits to their race for humanity's sake.

I cannot help but believe that within the common parallels nee inconsistencies (notwithstanding some quite distinctive divergences) I find in the comparative Situationist-Christianity creeds lies the answer to my own special dilemma as to which spectacular point along the political scale I stand or AM SUPPOSED TO STAND (according to my own nature, and self-interests).

We can make metaphor and we can mix metaphor, poorly or insightfully, forever my friend, but sooner or later, and NOW is MY time, I just have to know what IT IS I KNOW. And there is much I've soaked up in pieces that Debord (the braggart who said he learned nothing from scouring books, but everything by dallying along the streets) touted that I do not believe is true, sweeping generalizations absurb on the face of all things self-evident (relying on dubious constructions such as nearly everybody else's false consciousness while touting the reality of his own desire to make his every point), and even more absurd considering his call to action, knowing the chain of corruptibility people everywhere will die to protect.

You and I have agreed on this point before. But what we must do, or perhaps this is my own chore, is prepare a solid critique of Debord, taking agreement where we can, and marking void those points of fantasy we find impossible to swallow, given that our own cultural bias will never be his, and therefore quite interestingly enough, absent the francophilian and xenophobic texture of many of his assumptions.

While France has its immigrants, America is worshipped by the hordes and hated by another substantial group as well. Paris, well, it's merely a city of glamour, now mostly in the past, for better or worse. However, I suspect that this heady investigation will lead me to suggest that Debordism is very close to Nazaritism (the words and praxis of Jesus) and that any rejection of Debord is a rejection of Jesus on the very terms that I have long been availing the old prophet and dismissing the more recent one. But I must know where I stand with both men.

This exploratory surgery may not interest you at all. But nothing less than this exacting sort of critical analysis will set me free of my own confusion and foster the next step towards defining ourselves as AMIST, SIFTOLOGIST, GEOSOPHIST, in that order.
Debord writes often about the essence of humanity, while ignoring the general corruptibility of that same humanity. This was the point Kubhlai tried to make in his most recent post trying to draw Rebunk into the ring. Yes, a lot of this teasing might sound like retrograde religiosity. Perhaps it is, perhaps it ain't when brought up to date in modern terms we wish to introduce, perhaps with very different social schematics, although we'd be hard pressed to suggest a singular Christian scheme given the complexity of the Catholic-Protestant fillibuster. Your recent remark that originality is not the aim, but rather, relevance is the cornerstone of our endeavor is brilliant!

Remembering our own initial urgency in SWORG terms to embrace the man in the street, Debord fails this universal test, a victim of his own cultural inheritance. His patented exaggerations and smug dishonesty hardly qualify him as the honorable man of action he had aimed to be. He was a man of books and eloquence, staged harrumph and star egotism, and could not feign ignorance, or even virtue long enough to save his own life. Considering he didn't consider writing or contemplation worthy of the name—action—his greatest action was putting a gun to his heart. That greatness rests solely in its finality. Deborg boasted that almost everyone he met wanted to follow him; well, I seriously suggest one cannot comprehend the truth of an intrinsic vision without feeling the floodwaters of petty and trifling rejection.

So after I get the Paris Summit site fully completed and uploaded, I would hope that we might collaborate on a few nails in staking Debord to the cross side by side with the praxis of Jesus, not Pauline Christianity mind you, or at least not until summarizing the similarities and disparities between the two primary men in focus. This exploratory surgery may not interest you at all. But nothing less than this exacting sort of critical analysis will set me free of my own confusion and foster the next step towards defining ourselves as AMIST, SIFTOLOGIST, GEOSOPHIST, in that order. To humor the clowns, I await your response.

By the way, I ordered two copies of [Henry] Miller's The Cosmological Eye a couple of days ago, one to replace my ragged copy, and the other to toss into your care package. You should return in person to the VV and request a refund, pocket the francs, and think of the sad state of business affairs some find acceptable in a world seething with shoddy co-operation. Uh, long live the revolution. Don't you just despise us impatient Americans!!!! Unfortunately I tossed the receipt in a momentary lapse of judgement just days before your recent call, not that you had anything to do with me tossing or not tossing the receipt. I was supposed to be saving ALL those receipts, and have most of them, but alas.

Yet, I was stillllllllll thinking...

In Stating The Obvious We Falter: Open Letter To The Swill

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Ode To Manus
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Purpose, strata, conformity! Samson agonistes! The turning of the screw, the churning of the Swill and by the time we get to Phoenix, just call me Ishmael I rumble on, still kicking the tires and fuming like US Steel from the last work stoppage, and yet, there is still a tongue in my cheek and a gleam in my twitchy baby blue eyes because that's just the way I am, having brushed up against small candles long enough to catch a fire of my own, catching my drift, yet?

Manus, I think once we have ripped past the communist manifesto negation phase of these chats, and accept the fact that capitalism with all its excesses is still a rather young pup and has a ways to go (fifty? a hundred? 200 years?) unless raped by a nuclear holocaust gangbanger before imminent global collapse, we should indeed strive to reveal to the group as a whole just what it is we as individuals strung across the marble as we are, find fascinating about dancing on the fringe with the faith that we among millions who don't give a damn, might be selected by history, fate, or hard work to make a big enough difference in the world we find so challenging, repugnant, lovable, just plain here, while so many try and fail (saving the Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" argument for a later discussion), and how we organize that plan.

I hope that we are now at that fulcrum, but I am not sure. Despite symbiotic desires to share my resources with a few good minds who just happen to appreciate said resources, I am not a communist, and have never been a communist sympathizer, except when it comes to a personal sharing of my own occasional windfall with those who have crossed my path. Unfortunately, I have been far too vigorous in displaying myself as an easy touch for hucksters and abusers of my time and generosity, and as a result, I began to grow bitter and abusive in return, groping for anything I could exploit with fingertips and gutfire since little in my opinion (and I'm talking about a 12-year stretch of woeful friendships) was being funneled my way in any kind of usable quid pro quo. After finally divesting myself of these dead-in social relationships one at a time I am only just now attempting to harden my resolve against these "communistic" tendencies of mine.

There's not much info on the sites right now, particularly for you folks across the high seas who may not comprehend the initial outline, but the ROCC project is very hot property and I've got to play these cards as soon as I can seize the opportunities, so I welcome anyone who wishes to contribute to the Scenewash Project pages in ANY capacity to climb aboard, state your skills, your preferences for contribution, and don't be shy or silly in offering insights about improving a particular hierarchy of thought (but I'll be on guard against frivolous changes, and still hold rank as editor of the Project).
As mentioned in an earlier note to you, Manus, I seek to wed theory with action. Until I change my mind I must admit I find intellectual masturbation counterproductive and truly boring, and need the grounding praxis of social purpose to give it that reality kick I need to sustain my interest at this point in my life (having no academic training since highschool graduation in 1973). That's why, I, in my panic to achieve something real right now rather than chase after publishing contracts which may never materialize, cannot return to the unreadable 900 page novel nesting inside my Macintosh.

Being a full-blooded child of inertia (body in motion tends to remain in motion, body at rest tends to remain at rest) my spectacle-thwarted psychology keeps requiring a return to the real sticks and stones I find out my back door, and I explode in a furious desire to help influence a change, make that unproven splash that requires the powers that be to grant us not only an audience but to recoognize that we speak the truth and must act now, not later.

Note in particular the early beginnings of the GASS & ROCC subsites. My wife works for a lobbying firm, hired guns, environmental and transporation concerns mostly, but will bank any paying client that can afford them. She has the ear of a rising young black woman in the office whom I want to amply politicize with my points on developing the Anacostia River stretch I live along primarily (she's warmed to the initial threads already), and refederalizing the District of Columbia, as a constitutionally pure but politically radical solution to the governing problem here.

This latter scheme will be a tough sell, but she's a politically perfect candidate to juggernaut the ROCC Foundation into the public consciousness with the express purpose of revolutionizing the urban landscape of the federal city in which I and half a million more intruders now reside illegally (according to my argument), if I can convince a constitutional law firm to pro bono the case. There's not a chance in hell these ideas will win favor in my lifetime, but I am certain the war is worth fighting.

The battleplans must be drawn, and the soldiers called. There's not much info on the sites right now, particularly for you folks across the high seas who may not comprehend the initial outline, but the ROCC project is very hot property and I've got to play these cards as soon as I can seize the opportunities, so I welcome anyone who wishes to contribute to the Scenewash Project pages in ANY capacity to climb aboard, state your skills, your preferences for contribution, and don't be shy or silly in offering insights about improving a particular hierarchy of thought (but I'll be on guard against frivolous changes, and still hold rank as editor of the Project). But there's no length I'll not go to accommodate a genuine effort, and no doubt depending on the level of cooperation we muster we may truly have to pass out menial tasks, so let's get rolling, there's more to the SWORG than this Swill...

I know we each have our pet projects. Time will rat us out, as to who is in this for the long haul, and who is merely coasting looking for a place to lodge a rant every now and then. No insults intended, but as Manus warned, a little caustic straight dope will be required if the SWORG is not to be back-burnered on a consistent basis. OK, Manus, how's that for putting on the ego and self-esteem? Ritz or no, I can puff up big time, brother, but the kindler, gentler side of this bull elephant is sensitive to disgusting extremes at times, and you tiptoed through some of that earlier.

Challenging The Purpose, Strata, and Conformity Of Banana Pudding

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Originally published on the SWORG SWILL LISTSERV on December 14, 1998

It was a Ginsberg quote: "The Beat Movement was never meant to be a rebellion. It was meant to bring in a new consciousness. The middle-class, who were rebelling against Mother Nature by destroying her ecologically, made us out to be rebellious." And also, when remarking on how Laura Miller had trashed his "Grammatron" in the NYTBR, Mark Amerika complained that she had set up a "false binary" and "unnecessary either/or oppositions", and then proposed that we simply open our minds to a variety of styles and possibilities within any given framework. So to answer your question, allow me to say that I too am weary of this plethora of binary constructs that attack the imagination in exactly the same way the media controls operate. In the US, the race issue is always put to the people in binary form, but everybody knows (except those on the hot button payroll) the issue is both simultaneously more simple and more complex than it's presented in the media, but the media elite and the political hacks milk the same anachronistic cow day after day, and very little ever changes except we continue to lose perspective with this increasing concentration of the THEM VERSUS THEM dichotomy.

Michael Crash writesI'm with you on this—it has always been a quite useful method of control to set up artificial binary conflicts to keep people angry at each other and to keep them blind to the true problems—Burroughs always stated that in order to truly challenge a system you have to move outside the constructs of language which is grounded in the binary system of control—of course this also leaves out most people who are unable or unwilling to approach a work such as the Burroughs books—so where should we go? I think a very effective means of challenging systems is to attack the discourse upon which they rest—language for me is the key to power—not just spoken or written dictum, but also the language of images that are broadcast and plastered everywhere.

Levi-Strauss pointed out how in primitive myths the mispronounciation of words and the misuse of language were considered to be very dangerous and very powerful methods of disrupting the system and the coded language that they used as their base of understanding, and power. Is this not even more true today—when it seems that we are ever so more dependent on words and images to define our perceptions?

So again I am prompted to ask, “What does a would-be worldchanging revolutionary like you and I desire in terms of a workable liberty for all? I hear plenty about injustice and those conflicting wills to power that we loudly boo at every turn of the screw, but I hear almost nothing about this brave, new world we all supposedly desire in our heart of hearts. Even when I do hear of some shimmering off the wall ploy, like Bob Black’s “Zerowork, All Play” anthem to futurism now, in a solar system where the 2nd law of thermodynamics rules with an atomic fist, I see an all or nothing approach rather fetching in aspiration but far too reaching in terms of practicality or desirability, especially when much of the labor required to oppose entropy is merely camouflaged as play in a falsifying language, much like “political correctness” operates today.”
Is not the mass media almost a form of magic in most peoples lives—turn the TV on and the tribal stories are broadcast from the hearth of your living room and the smoke signals of info are distributed to the family—turn on the computer and miraculously we can fly to any part of the world—just among our small group—when was the last time one of us spent a whole day in which we didn't receive some kind of mediated input (books, magazines, radio, tv, film, internet, etc).

What power is there in producing transgressive materials that seek to wreck havoc on the codes of the dominant culture? I don't know to any degree of clarity, but I wonder if the many people who have pointed out that when we engage in straight binary resistance to the system we are only reinforcing that system, I wonder if they have a point—that is to say, that in resisting the dominant culture straight on we help them to define themselves and to point at easily recognizable, definable, and soon to be specularized deviants who can be set up as the new boogeyman. I know I'm rambling a bit here—but what do you all think?

Gabriel wrote—It's a blood given that corporate giants and political hacks are ruthless whores. It's in their ideological DNA. But why should that stop anyone with enough guts and stamina to be different, to risk it all, to tear down the walls of a slum, and build afresh, a new way of thinking; no matter how we cut the ideological cake trailblazers can't afford to be whiners (see Henry Miller's Cosmological Eye). Of course everyone wants to be the hot new thing, if only to themselves, and if they fail, they usually become grumpy old whiners accusing the system of foul play.

But then Cobain and Steinbeck chose very different paths to avoid the pains of their success. Ghandi could have been a very rich man, he declined. What's wrong with making money, if one spends it well. Bill Gates is a jolly liar as his testimony before the US Department of Justice in his anti-trust litigation is proving, but he has frequently said that he doesn't believe in leaving amassed fortunes to heirs. If he spent enough millions on truly changing the landscape of certain depressed areas, why would not his taxations of those peoples and organizations that COULD afford it, be forgivable.

You see, there are so many complex choices presented to us, but we stumble around and usually end up either goofing along picking up a few addictions which insult our biology and agenda for happiness, or else we opt into nosing the grindstone a slave to production so that we also pick up a few addictions that insult our biology and agenda for happiness.

The key, as a few savvy Greeks agreed, was moderation in all things. But few of us (and I'm one of 'em, unfortunately) can't learn to implement moderation in our lives because we are ruled by addictive personalties, and as Tolstoy (modernized) put it, it does us no good to beat ourselves up over one addiction only to have another two or three rush in to take its place. Whether we're talking substance abuse, laziness, addiction to work, sex, well hell, you know what I mean, it's all the same problem child within us.

Despite my own yearning to burst out of my skin to trumpet the last charge on a world corrupted by its own sense of infallibility whether originating from the right or the left, capitalism or marxism, I am convicted by my own sense of limitation, not always imposed from the outside, but often enough a consequence of my own choices, and those of my genetic bearing. How can I blame someone else for that?
Good news is that when faced with a ruthless giant, nature seems to transform us into thinking we're a giant killer. Not too long ago the Internet founders (a cluster of old hippies and nerds) threatened to bring the world together in a non-commercialized free-spirited community. Then Mammon got a whiff of what was happening, and started pissing in the pond. Well, we can't stymie that but we can work like hell to keep the original spirit alive, and do what we can to advocate the world we want, never flinching, but rather calling for a cease-fire to all this whining.

I don't mean lay down one's intellectual arms and join the enemy, but simply to accept the challenge of David & Goliath, forge partnerships, or lessen one's sights at directly competing, but more often than not merely supplementing the bullies, by carving out a solid niche from which we embark upon that brave, new world, regardless of who is watching, who is following, or who gives a flying carpet ride one way or the other.

Books? Yes, more books are being published than ever before, but are we any closer to changing the world, if indeed that is the stated goal of the persuaders?

Crash writesniche carving is a very good method of slicing into mediated realms (hey Manus, I'm starting to sound like one of those video game players) and setting up zones of operation (much like Gabriel has started here).

Gabriel wrote—Writers have never had more freedom (despite all the Internet porn busts stinking up the coffeehouse) in history. Recall Voltaire, Rousseau, running for their lives, hiding in exile, poverty, and scorn save the intellectual and financial graces of the few. We artists (if indeed we are artists, and not simply poseurs seeking escape from responsibility) in the west now have such an accelerated vision of freedom, we think we are living in especially perilous times, and in the supertechnological superpolitical sense we perhaps are, but we have also never been more free to express ourselves (no artist was born guarateed fame, riches, or readers).

Despite my own yearning to burst out of my skin to trumpet the last charge on a world corrupted by its own sense of infallibility whether originating from the right or the left, capitalism or marxism, I am convicted by my own sense of limitation, not always imposed from the outside, but often enough a consequence of my own choices, and those of my genetic bearing. How can I blame someone else for that?

Crash writesyes, more books than ever are being published—but what kind of books—i have no problem with the consumption of brain candy—as Manus knows when I just told him about Joe Lansdale's thrillers. But there is no need to legally pursue dangerous writers or artists anymore—becausethey are drowned out in the flood of product that dominates the market. And who is controlling what is published? What books are advertised—open up any advertisement for a book store and peruse what is put before consumers—walk through your Barnes and Nobles, your Borders?

In the 1960s there were more than a hundred substantial publishers in NYC alone. By 1980 there were only 70; by 1995 the number had dropped down to 15, and presently, through further merging there is only 5! Major publishers and these subsequential others are also tied in with the producers of other mass mediums. Now I don't mean to sound like I'm crying that the sky is falling down—but this must be disturbing in some way.

True, the market is flooded with books like never before (as well as other forms of info) but what are these texts? Of course once again this is also a benefit to us and others who seek difference. As the mainstream producers continue to narrow their fields of interest and seek to the common denominator it opens up the possibility for very viable and strong niches of operation for smaller more specialized organizations—so perhaps this is a mixed blessing. Are we ourselves cultivating some form of sub-cultural capital—as we are all thinking on these days—what is our true goals in these efforts—do we intend to do something to challenge the hierarchal stratification of society—the mind-numbing mediatized conformity?

Gabriel wrote—Again Crash, when I look around these here parts I don't see this world as one straitjacketed by conformity (although I surely hear and read a lot of noise to the contrary). In the greater populations (putting aside the corporate merger trend which is just the opposite than what is happening in the de-centralized neighborhoods and streets, but I guess we have Debord to explain this cause and effect to us). I nevertheless see cat fights and dog bones between warring factions along every corridor as soldiers of each faction scrawl hard lines of demarcation to help solidify a turf. Bias to difficult, damn near impossible to extricate from the common mind.

*Your Australia may be very different from my America, but when I see a group of folks working and playing in harmony I marvel at how the group has conformed to an ideal so often missing on the street, in the universities, on certain ballclubs, in art snot piss fights, no one simply content to be different hanging on the same street corner or intellectual counterpoint but everyone bucking for superiority status.

Competition ain't dead, and if competition is not dead, how can we also be lost on the mind-numbing mediatized comformity rap? And racial conflicts with their wealth of metaphors are the easiest to exploit. Debord had it right when he said the Spectacle tosses out two opposite claims and watches the skirmish in glee, knowing that the debate will roll on forever while the social structure remains the same. Superiority, that's what straw leaders are after.

That ain't just a white man thing anymore, if it ever was (and I doubt that very seriously, the Euros just won a few wars at a strategic time in history, have gained and lost as a result). I know I'm guilty of thinking no one is my superior, and will fight like mad to prove how wrong I can be. The point is, the stratification of society is just something we're going to have to accept because it is a rather natural phenomenon despite its excesses and inherent unfairness. I agree with Matthew's proclamation of a couple of posts back:

"...abolishing hierarchies is as impossible as abolishing the state. Let's face it—anarchy without hierarchy just ain't never gunna happen, that's my opinion anyway."

As for "sub-cultural capital", methinks I'd like to see some elaboration on the concept. I'm not sure what you're suggesting. And since I've ranted enough today I'd rather not go barking down a cold trail.

Crash writesI don't know—i see a lot more conformity than you do—maybe it's because I view the system (in the US) as encouraging a cultivated form of difference and that its ability to immediately suck up and spit out a clean, sanitized version of anything that may challenge its operations—a simplified example would be punk's howl of rage—short time of challenge—fear from the populace—by 1977 we see punk fashion on fashion runways, London newspapers printing articles on how punks are just part of the family, punk is cleaned, sanitized and marketed—dead before it gets started—it is now just another acceptable means of conforming, albeit leaving the troubled youth a bit of dignity in believing that they may in some way be giving some challenge to the system that they feel has excluded them.

As for sub-cultural capital—it was an off-hand remark actually questioning my own purposes or intents since I believe we must question ourselves—and tossed out to everyone else—wondering if I may not be somehow cultivating a form of sub-cultural capital, a sanitized and safe form of alternative "cultural capital" (cultural capital cultivated artistic and intellectual capabilities that leads to your being valued by elites).

As I said just questioning my own intent—I have a very good friend from eastern Europe who understands resistance to a system in a way that I never could, having grownup in the states where, although they will and do kill people for the wrong reasons, it's not quite as harrowing and prevalent as the former soviet system)—she constantly keeps me on my toes about some of my *resistance* stances and leads me to question my intent (or as I think she may see it my overly romantic, overly idealistic views). So I guess this was a moment of self-doubt on my part. What do we see as the problem that we should be devoting our attentions to—we seem to be attempting to come up with plans of attack without really thinking upon what we want to change or what we could best effect with our efforts.

Gabriel wrote—Elitism based on phony distinctions is a major problem, but hucksterism is its whoring stepsister. They hate each other, plot behind each other's arched back, spit in each other's intellectual food, kick each other's namby ankles, and attempt to steal each other's cultural graces without even bothering to shed its skin until it's absolutely forced upon them. Both exist across every social and economical class. Both breed mistrust and greed. Acknowledging their relationship to each other however they will bond together to thwart any and all those who stand in their way, that is to say, the vocal non-elitists and the few trailblazers committed to absolute (not to be confused with pre-conceived) integrity.

But I still think the whole concern is rather premature since we have mucho mucho work to do in the chainthinking section of the site particularly since, uh, wait a minute, uh since, in fact, no one but Manus is privy to those earlier discussions which initially brought him into the Scenewash Project. Truth is I’m aware of no one but he who has actually signed onto anything but the SWORG-talk list, and believe me I’m far too jaded with past failed collaborations to presume ANYTHING about who is committed to what at present.
And they often win their battles against the non-elitists and integriters because they appeal with flattery and spectacular powers in their search for allies among the spectacularized populations in order to defeat these enemies, these straight shooters, these few honest constituents of a better world once taught them in childhood mythos as sacred and worthy but ushered away as the real world ruled by this beast we have just described becomes clearly the prince of all that worships it, and reality replaces mythos as the battleground upon which we shed our blood.

How do we attack this world of theirs, if we declare ourselves enemies of elitism and hucksterism, you ask? We must practice a more honest implemented form of warfare in putting our own personal spins on the solution, that is, we must know who and what we are, playing the humble idiot if we must, the loud-mouthed brute if we dare, but always, always keeping to the mark when it comes to personal honesty (read Henry Miller, enemies hate it when you've already laid all your own dirty laundry on the table, and they can't hose you with it in an ambush) and candor (without the elitism & hucksterism, we must define these values next) but I am still nagged by something Manus wrote:

As I am being my honest self here, I must declare that I could give a fuck about 1) audience 2) viral politics or 3) allies until we here at SWORG have something to show for ourselves, namely, a unified schtick (as GT initially proposed) that gives us a raison d'etre as an active GROUP. My logic is irrefutable when I say that causticness is a necessary perquisite as egotism is a necessary perquisite to ANY activity in this warlock of cyberspace, and that we should not only solidify our reasons for existing, but assure ourselves that, yes, a bit of caustic bite really is the necessary fuel for lighting the fire of collaboration between ourselves, and initiating any engagements with OTHERS.

Gabriel wrote—my visceral response to this outlook is negative running contrary to my hypothetical Boy Scout nature, but I reluctantly agree with the whole of Matt's statement, so I guess I am still fomenting the idea of caustic abruptness (as Landry will testify I'm no rookie rabblerouser) as it is magnified in relationship to my sensibilities concerning false elitism and hucksterism in the SWORG groupthink arena. But I still think the whole concern is rather premature since we have mucho mucho work to do in the chainthinking section of the site particularly since, uh, wait a minute, uh since, in fact, no one but Manus is privy to those earlier discussions which initially brought him into the Scenewash Project. Truth is I'm aware of no one but he who has actually signed onto anything but the SWORG-talk list, and believe me I'm far too jaded with past failed collaborations to presume ANYTHING about who is committed to what at present.

Crash writesI like your ideas on what we need to do—as far as moving past the abuses of huckesterisma and elitism. And I truly believe in the need to hone and develop a true system of personal honesty—nothing could be higher on my list—because I believe that is the key in my development and that it is also vital in my dealing with others (both my personal honesty and hopefully theirs). As for other efforts that are need here on the website—you are correct in your statement that I haven't contributed to the Scenewash Project—because

A) I'm trying to get my thesis finished so I can get the fuck out of this college
B) I'm trying to set up employment so that i dont starve when I do leave.
C) These are extremely important to me, because I do not have a wife who will support me (this is what you stated Gabriel?) or Matthew's very important network of comrades or Landry's admirable corporate job or Rebunk's art criticism gig.
D) So since I will be no good to no one living on the streets (least of all myself—trust me I've been there, and while fascinating I don't really have a desire to do it again). I must concentrate on this in order to become more valuable.
E) But what do you need—I write constantly—ask me I will write and contribute in any way—I will research what needs to be found.

I hope that this is not a problem, but you must understand the situation that I'm in and that while willing to contribute to "our thing" I must keep a check on the very real concerns of food and shelter.

Gabriel wrote—well, Crash, like the tagline goes, think globally, act locally, the cutting edge shimmers, and so drifts the echo, the pitter patter of dangling lost feet...

Here's an example of what I mean about pinning the "tale" on the donkey, getting at the root of one's individual or collective desires in the seemingly vain attempt at rewriting the rulebook of human life on earth. Like much that passes for wit in the spam-o-world, these few lines exemplify a certain notion about human conceptuality, methinks I agree with the ebb and flow, flim and flam, now and then of this humorous anecdote, a mundane work of pure genius because it works on the bitter impact of male sexuality and displays precisely why man in all his glorious self-service is shamefully self-conflicted, context-impaired, and tragically unfit to judge for himself much less for others the reach, unintended consequences, or formulaic global distinctions required to further methodologies as complex as those required to "install" freedom and liberty for all, as if one were merely ordering Chinese takeout for a family of four. Read on...

Reflections On Life As A Male

  • When I was 14, all I wanted was a girl with large breasts.
  • When I was 16, I dated a girl with large breasts, but there was no passion. So I decided that I needed a passionate girl with a zest for life.
  • In college, I dated a passionate girl, but she was too emotional: everything was an emergency; she was a drama queen; she cried all the time and threatened suicide. So then I decided I needed a girl with some stability.
  • I found a very stable girl, but she was boring. She was totally predictable and never got excited about anything. Life became so dull that I decided I needed a girl with some excitement.
  • I found an exciting girl, but I couldn't keep up with her. She rushed from one thing to another, never settling on anything. She did mad, impetuous things, and flirted with everyone she met. She made me miserable as often as happy. She was great fun initially and very energetic, but directionless. So I decided to find a girl with some ambition.
  • After University, I found a smart, ambitious girl with her feet planted firmly on the ground, and married her. She was so ambitious that she divorced me and took everything I owned.
  • Now all I want is a girl with big tits.
  • So again I am prompted to ask, "What does a would-be worldchanging revolutionary like you or I desire in terms of a workable liberty for all? I hear plenty about injustice and those conflicting wills to power that we loudly boo at every turn of the screw, but I hear almost nothing about this brave, new world we all supposedly desire in our heart of hearts. Even when I do hear of some shimmering off the wall ploy, like Bob Black's "Zerowork, All Play" anthem to futurism now, in a solar system where the 2nd law of thermodynamics rules with an atomic fist, I see an all or nothing approach rather fetching in aspiration but far too reaching in terms of practicality or desirability, especially when much of the labor required to oppose entropy is merely camouflaged as play in a falsifying language, much like political correctness operates today."

    Gabriel wrote—Sipping Samson agonistes, I agree to a tee, hey Crash, you've arrived! We're obviously challenging the obvious, the purpose, strata, conformity of rice pudding in the lower provinces, then we'll move on to the next pile of rubble. Rejoice, pick up your blanket and walk!

    Crash writesI seek the chance to develop a community with others who are seeking change and are willing to go about it. I'm sorry if my situation is not exactly key for mass involvement, but as I stated above I will contribute in any manner that I can. Hopefully this is enough. If not so be it—but thanks for the encouragement Gabriel and keep me posted. December—what a pissy time of year...

    Editor's Note
    Crash was living and going to school in Illinois at the time of this exchange. Somewhere in this swill, I referred to Australia as though Crash was living there. This exchange was our initial communication, and I had wrongly located Crash. It was Rebunk, who was in Australia. Our group was soon to include "kubhlai" from Nottingham, England, and Matt, then going to school in Austin, TX, and Rebunk. A few others did pass through the SWILL, but this crew of five was to remain its core collaboration until the group disbanded rather informally, in May, 2001.

    Renewing Our Capitol City (ROCC)

    rocc
    ROCC
    From: list-rocc@unixus.net
    Date: 06 Dec 98 15:52:12 +0000
    To: unixus@toad.net
    Subject: Welcome to the ROCC Listserv!

    Welcome to the RENEWING OUR CAPITAL CITY (ROCC) listservice! As a charter subscriber you have joined a discussion group that has accepted its civic responsibility in identifying and publicizing the many issues which plague Washington DC in its present status as a political jurisdiction struggling to survive. Many of these competing interests and issues are unknown to the general population across the nation, who perhaps know only that Washington DC is the seat of the nation's government, that the US Congress works here, and that President and the Vice-President reside and work here in surroundings made familiar by national news coverage and Hollywood.

    But there are many active factions in this debate as to what DC was designed to be, what it has become, and what it should become in the future. ROCC has no monopoly on perspective, and this List is intended to offer a venue for all perspectives on the stae of affairs here in Washington the City, Washington the District, Washington the Nation's Capital, and Washington the hopeful 51st State.

    By contributing to the discussion you can insure that many voices, and not merely the entrenched "professional" political activist will be articulated as the integral issues are published on the List. Thus by subscribing AND contributing, you will stay informed on the general debate as political strategies anticipating the future of our Nation's Capital are mapped to the immediate and future needs of the District. Should the need arise, new listservices will be added to accommodate specific issues, and of course, you will be invited to subscribe to them as they are inaugaurated.

    The website and this List have only just been launched, so please bear with us as we anticipate growing into a lively resource of information given time to publicize our existence. And please be considerate of others on this List by keeping to the topic and remaining civil even in a heated discussion. By arguing ideas, and NOT personality traits, we can build a stronger communication force with which to deal properly with the issues at hand. Abusers of this very simple guideline will be politely warned by the Listmom, and persistance of this straying from accepted protocol (as deemed proper by the List Owner) may result in the loss of one's subscription.

    To unsubscribe to this mail list, simply send a message to the list address with the unsubscribe command anywhere in the body of the message.

    Date: 26 Dec 1998 09:53:13 -0500
    From: Gabriel Thy
    To: opinion-ROCC@unixus.net
    Reply-To: opinion-rocc@unixus.net
    Sender: list-rocc@unixus.net
    Subject: ROCC: SITE UPDATE
    Precedence: bulk

    The US Constitution and its Amendments has been posted in full at http://www.unixus.net/rocc/uscon/index.html

    Eventually, a keyword search engine will be made available for the entire ROCC site, so stay tuned as we roll on into the last of the nineteens (See Louis Farakhan for full numerology).

    GT

    . . . . . END OF ROCC FOUNDATION LISTPOSTING . . . . .

    Hey Danielle—trust I wasn't too rough on you last night. I was running on fumes, both from a lack of sleep (having stayed up the previous night working on a website for my sister who just published a phonics reader for the homeschool market) and of course those party beverages I inhaled. But I am quite serious about the political status of the District, and have thought much on a possible solution, radical or otherwise, and wish to work this project to its natural conclusion. In addition to the website I have created a ROCC mailing list in order to establish a public forum on all the issues which are involved in mapping out a suitable plan for the capital's future.

    The listserv is presently inactive, but I do hope that you'll see fit to subscribe, and thus contribute as time goes on your own line of reasoning in "supporting" statehood for the District. The list will also alert subscribers to site updates and other publications of interest. Once the site (and as you pointed out the prerequiste white papers) have been composed and published I will actively publicize the mailing list, and in doing so, hope to draw into the loop many of the more established players concerning this discussion.

    You guys are fabulous! Everyone in the SWORG nest save the K has joined the ROCC list (plus a couple of others), and I didn't even realize it until just now! Jeepers! My first choice to spearhead this ROCC Foundation, Ms. Danielle McBeth hasn't responded to my first E-mail, but she did tell my wife this morning that she, Danielle, needed to clear some time so that she could think properly on the ROCC issues, and will get back to me as soon as she can. Looking good, gentlemen, ladies.

    Thanks...

    Gabriel Thy
    Creative Director
    Graphic Solutions Ink Systems