Posts Tagged ‘Tolstoy’

A Post-Situationist Meeting Halfway Or Nowhere At All

06 Jun


Blaise Cendrars


Okay Christopher, I need to get out of the house. So you say you're down with some decentralized meeting of the group. I'll call your bluff. Let's meet. You're on the west coast. I'm on the east in DC. Let's meet in late January in some location on the mighty Mississippi. Your call of which town or city.

Among the larger cities - St.Louis, Memphis, Minneapolis, St. Paul...

Some larger towns—Hannibal, Vicksburg, Dubuque, Davenport...

Your choice among these or any other you would be willing to oblige with a personal appearance. I say we aim with certainty for a date in late January. Let's prove our mettle, man. Dead of winter. As natural as it gets. Get there on our wits, and whatever other advantages we can muster. Real life. No excuses. No more bullshit. We're just agreeing to meet at a certain time and place. No other plans. If one of us doesn't feel confortable with winging it, he can intuit his own backup plans, but he doesn't have to share this plan with the other. We can shake out the dust once we meet at the appointed place and time.

What do you say? Who knows. Perhaps like Tolstoy, one or both of us will catch pneumonia and die of our stupidity. Or we can grow stronger in our renewed sense of adventure like say, Blaise Cendrars.

But frankly, I've grown a little tired of all this chit chat which leads nowhere, literally, nowhere. And all this—we are ever so clever, but the rest of the world is bullshit—that passes for intellectual discourse on this so-called post-situationist list.

You certainly don't have to agree to this fool's errand. But I do view my challenge to you it in terms of an old-fashioned duel. After all, you are just another character in the storybook of my mind. I want a closer look into that character. I want to know what this character is made of—hot air, hot embers, stale smoke, or wild duck.

I'm telling you that if you set place and time, I will be there, or will die trying. Why? Because "this" is my religion. Forcing people to confront their own dishonesty by putting myself on the line with mine as its struggles with truth in advertizing. But certainly, using your own powers of radicalized reason you may not believe me for you do not know me. One or both of of us may not show. It will be up to the person or persons who DOES show to prove it to the listgroup (namely, the person who didn't show) by any means necessary. Of course, knowing how impossible it is to PROVE anything in terms of ideological debunking, I realize this proof will be meaningless to those who cling to their disbelief, and mention proof with a smile and a grain of salt.

Salt, ah, another poison.

Gabriel Thy
Program Director
Radio Scenewash Network

Now listening to: "Debonaire" by *Dope* on the "Felons and Revolutionaries" LP

Moscow Calling, Books From Russia

15 Feb


International Bookseller


Date: Sun, 15 Feb 1998 16:24:14 +0300

Dear Gabriel, thank you very much for your assistance and the address which you have kindly found for me. In my turn, I would love to help you in case you have any questions connected with Russia. BTW, Sorry, but I did not understand the meaning of your last phrase. Thanks a lot, sincerely, Anni.


Sorry about that last truncated line. Somehow in the typo editing process the line was chopped off, but is rather irrelevant at this time. Thanks for your offer to clue me in to your Muscovian mysteries. Over here I read about gangs of organized crime taking over the Russian economy which has improved little in recent years as the transition to capitalism is proving much more difficult than the populations are willing to tolerate. What is your opinion on this matter? Is my news source a distortion of the facts? Or is the typical conservatism of the old in desiring the status quo and the old ways while the radical young and professional criminals embracing the chaos of change as part and parcel of their own power grab simply "expected in these transitional years" by the Russian people as a whole, however begrudingly or exuborantly, dependent upon one's own demographic?

Now that I think about it, maybe I can buy a small collection from you. A Nabakov, a Tolstoy, a Dostoevsky, one other? That would be fun. Four books I would like to buy from you. Even though I don't read the language. You suggest a fair price. If I can afford the price, we then need to create a formula and map the logistics for transferring funds and books.
Other than cross-cultural chitchat of a very superficial nature, my knowledge of Russian culture is decidedly very shallow, Anni. In my ignorance, or perhaps in my enthusiasm to wish peace and tolerance among the people of the world wherever conflict reigns among classes and races and political intent, I don't view the Russian people any different than any other European-derived culture. Here in America, the racial problems inherited from several hundred years of slavery, have divided the populations in political polarities quite unnatural and observedly bogus, but they exist and thrive nevertheless. It's very sad. Language is subverted in these politically-motivated causes, and while I would like to think this is simply an American or a class warfare phenomenon, something that ideology could cure, I know better. Human greed, envy, corruption and frailty; these are the culprits, and the clock keeps ticking away as mankind destroys itself, its homelands, and its authority to proclaim itself a truly rational creature.

Great literature sums it up for us. But false saviors devour us in our beds, in our workplaces, polluting our minds and enslaving our bodies. We are never satisfied but consistently look over our shoulders to exploit our neighbors in the name of love, and if that doesn't work, in the name of fear. There seems to be no peace. Our finest writers are either arrogant and ruthless or they are timid all-seeing inversions of the truths they discover. Thus, even literature is part of the problem with its hero-worship and cold formulas of perfection, yet those of us who have rejected all else, savor literature as the last vestiges of sanity in a world gone mad with desire and deadly with gratuitous delusions of rationality.

Silly me, why am I tottering on the brink of my own blather? Anni, thanks for writing. I am glad to have helped you perhaps sell your Russian language books. Now that I think about it, maybe I can buy a small collection from you. A Nabakov, a Tolstoy, a Dostoevsky, one other? That would be fun. Four books I would like to buy from you. Even though I don't read the language. You suggest a fair price. If I can afford the price, we then need to create a formula and map the logistics for transferring funds and books. Please think about this. Who knows what might develop? But do follow up on the Kamkins address. It is a very large warehouse, and is a true business opportunity for you. I am a very small unimportant Internet author, a lover of books, but of no great consequence to your business ambitions.

But I do look forward to your next reply. Best wishes,

Gabriel Thy
Creative Director
Graphic Solutions Ink Systems


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