Posts Tagged ‘Wittgenstein’

A Few Sky Gray Thoughts On Politics As A Brittle Literary Device

28 May


War On Wars


A fine man and dedicated patriot named Christopher Logan honored me recently when he sent me a message inquiring, "Do you think I was being too rough with her?"

Damned if I know. She doesn't seem to be backing down, and is remarkably patronizing in her own right. Let's face it. Some people just don't get it, won't get it, can't possibly get it until IT affects them in some very personal way, very detrimental way. Perhaps a few quotes from Thomas Jefferson, J. Quincy Adams, John Wesley, Bishop Sheen, Winston Churchill, and Mohammed himself will get her attention, but probably not. Because she's of the mindset right now that it is better that 100 guilty terrorists go undetected than one innocent Muslim be given a second glance in an airport line. There's no defeating that logic in these sad, post-modernist, politically incorrect, globalist times since it parallels the romanticism that our own US legal system is grounded in, and pumps out through the state media. For better or for worse, smiley-faced Pollyannas will always be with us. You and me? We just keep plugging. In due time, we might be prepared to be of even greater service to those who criticize us now...

Q: Thank you for not attacking me but providing me with the information. But your quick turn to the passive-aggressive has not provided much in the form of education. I'll investigate anyway.

Pamela, I'm not here to educate you. One liners on Facebook will never get that done. There is a wealth of information out there just for the picking. You are correct. You must do the investigations, yourself. Take no single source as truth, or at least not until you have determined the source as reputable over a string period of time. That's the best any of us can hope to do. But what seems to be at issue here on this thread is whether or not this question of a global jihad in its myriad of forms is a matter of personal opinion, anecdotal evidence, or mere genuflection, but rather of determinable fact by a tough, keen look at all the evidence available. Propaganda is very tough nut to parse with mere cursory efforts...

And I suggest to you that Mr. Logan has the right beat on the issue, Laurie. News that screams forth everyday from all corners of the planet where Islam is actively pursing more territory, more corpses, more power under the guise of sharia, is not a mere blip on the screen. The signage of Islam on the march is everywhere. Signs, signs, everywhere are signs. Perhaps you know the song, perhaps not. But the point is, there's a whole lot more to this Islamic muffin than just some flour and a handful of blueberries.

Gabriel: Information is not knowledge.

Kirsten: This is an often misconstrued concept! But, to quote: Knowledge is Good.

Gabriel: Prudence is better. And all things being equal, innocence is best...

Bruce: Well I didn't want to say anything but I am glad you know this.

Gabriel: Well dear public, feel free to expose me to what else you and yours might speculate I need to know. The nasty truth is not as mysterious as we've been led to believe. GATHER OR DIVIDE. The whole point of my imaginary punk rock band is to suggest that each one of us must make the play. Bystanders be damned. Ignorance is bliss, twice the fun, bur perilous in spoilage. Our retaliation?

Inherit a role. Allow it to count. Face the music. And realize that this is the only rule by which we know ourselves as intricately as our detractors do.

Josh: Correlation does not imply causation!


Karl Popper

Gabriel: Obviously correlation is a more pertinent state of affairs, since to put matters in terms Karl Popper might appreciate, scientists can explain First Cause, but we are stuck with all pending correlations.

Maybe that was Wittgenstein, not Popper, but since they exchanged thoughts with fabulous animosity, the pending correlations in this case are probably nothing more than the dollars and cents of an ego economy - commonly called hubris - rather than the clarity that some uncertainty principle might avail us when the necessary light we might require to accept a generality at the sufferance of a specific is corrupted by political motivations.

In other words, all politics is tainted, and plagued with guesswork, but I am a survivor of my own knowledge, not yours. Might I bother this page with a correction? scientists CANNOT explain...well, that unintended typo effectively puts the skid into this thread. After fielding a few snarky remarks from leftist associates and reading some of the neck-snapping snorts of some rightie cohorts, I feel compelled to state:

Politics is just as irrational and existential a belief system as religion, at times just as pernicious, at times just as comforting, both springing from a loose structure of competing droves. In fact, we know today, there is little difference between politics and religion in its abstract condition or its peculiar habits. Superstition and misconception dominate both. Empty rhetoric imposes and services both.Spalding Nix

Faith is central to each creature as we struggle with imperfection in the teleological realm, and faithlessness is punished in one form or another at every turn. There is no certainty but uncertainty, and there is no uncertainty like certainty. We thrash about with words to form ideas that deceive us with words no matter where we spend our coins. No realm is satisfied, and logic is quickly sold to the highest bidder. Some might even say there is no rational distinction between politics and religion, but are merely similar thorns on the same blighted rose bush...

Like Ezra Pound, I cherish the right of every man to have his ideas judged one at a time.


He Died Believing This, Says Waller

10 Dec


Biting The Hand


Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 09:24:27 -0500

Editor's note: In Richard's defense he would be 73 years old on February 12, but the reason he was invited to join our list was to submit him to a dose of his own medicine in the only way I knew how—but only because I knew he would drop out after a few weeks, and he did. Richard had begun to become a major nuisance with his own long "look at me, aren't I clever" rejoinders, and as luck would have it, his long missives would arrive just as I would be jostling with hosting or other hardware and software problems and I had zilch time at all to deal with him, so of course, he became belligerent in letter and then on voice mail because none of my explanations comforted him. It got nasty, not vulgar, no, just strong in fact and follow-through, after a long bout of him berating me while I'm trying to deflect his rage and sense of propriety as a well-educated and well-traveled elder to whom all prestige was being resented or rerouted, he left without a hint of his own complicity in any ongoing crisis.

It wasn't like I was accusing him of anything, just that I didn't have time right yet to get to his long rambling anecdotes about Buddhism, vegetarianism, or meditation, or some other Richard Waller whimsy, and occasionally when I did follow up a note it wasn't what he expected, and thus, I failed him in that regard as well. When he couldn't get to his web site he screamed bloody murder, as if I weren't spending 21 hour days already trying to keep things running as they were supposed to run when it was ToadNet, our uplink—who was failing in their role as ISP provider—more often than not.

We would fall out to each our utter end of decency further down the road, but that was the price of peace. We both agreed good riddance was a strategy worth pursuing, but here we are again, the young having the last say once again as onlookers wince at the silliness of this long joking gesture, this hobbled parade of the horribles...

Gabriel Thy

Dear Gabriel, the kube's writing this morning is just really too much, too time-consuming for me to dope out and fathom. We have not begun to fully grasp the philosopical systems we already have. For instance, Schopenhauer said, "Subject to the limitations of human knowledge, my philosophy is the real solution of the enigma of the world." He died believing this. Nobody paid much attention until he died. And he was probably right. But each man wants to try.


Too Much Too Soon

Wittgenstein said the same thing in his Preface to Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, "...the truth of the thoughts that are here set forth seems to me unassailable and definitive. I therefore believe myself to have found, on all essential points, the final solution of the problems." If just a fraction of the members of the human race must each have an elaborate system, we won't live long enough to think about the millions. No one solution is ever enough. We must simplify.

I don't want to offend ANYBODY when I ask you to unsubscribe me to the Swill. I am beginning to have health problems and can barely keep up with the course of studies I already attempt—music, the poetry of others, the history of thought, and above all, this business of living.

Richard Waller

Roll Your Own Bandwidth

31 Mar

true-detectiveOriginally posted on Mon Mar 31 02:01:23 1997

Yes. Checking the clock and checking my pages. Saturday's bandwidth problems are not reproducing themselves tonight. The graphics are loading almost as fast as they do from my own hard drive. That's good to know. The sluggishness this past Saturday at four in the afternoon was depressing, but understandable for a plethora. Thanks for the software. I'll examine it in the morning, as I'm getting ready to hit the sack. I just hope it doesn't hit back...

Postscript 2013: When I was somewhere in the vicinity of ten years old, my hometown got a 7-11 convenience store. So now we had one red light and one Seven-Eleven. Growing up, going cosmopolitan. My world had suddenly expanded to include cherry icees and True Detective magazines. I welcomed both these wonderful new products with exactly the same internal combustion as I had two years earlier discovered my first baseball cards. At ten I probably was the number one trader in town, maybe number two. I had thousands of cards. I would continue to trade the cards, but now I had found something else to do on the pretense of buying an icee. I never bought the magazines, but I would squat down—perched on the balls of my feet in front of the monster wooden rack backed up against the cashier's area—facing just a few feet from the familiar glass storefront doors to spend precious moments staring at the lurid covers and thumbing through what I soon learned were the less interesting pages of TD. Trapped between shame and boldness, it was the covers of scantily clad women in and out of some sort of criminal bondage scenario that jailed my eyes for anybody wandering into the store just feet behind me to note.

Years later I learned that Ludwig Wittgenstein also loved the American True Detective pulp magazines, according to his biographer Ray Monk in The Duty of Genius, but surely the fellow that was once known as the Boy Genius of Cambridge must have loved them for the stories.


Plucking The Wings Off An Adverb In the Gardens Of Soho

17 Jul


Once The Case Is Stated


Date: Wed Jul 17, 1996 6:52:41 PM

Hey there,

Predicted to myself yesterday's barrage would have you to scurrying back to the sanctity of a cold blessed silence. Status quo beats quid pro quo to the punchline every time, especially when I lean out my dirty window to gaze beyond the boredom of my own uselessness, activities which interest no one. Am I so obviously sick with hard-boiled narcissism in this insistence that a recounting of my own work not go unnoticed, or am I simply a brooding artist whose time will or will not come, but as we have heard said, "Yes, Socrates, but cannot you hold your tongue, and then you may go into a foreign city, and no one will interfere with you?"

Would not Socrates reply, "Now I have great difficulty in making you understand my answer to this. For if I tell you that this would be a disobedience to a divine command, and therefore if I cannot hold my tongue, you will not believe that I am serious; and if I say that the greatest good of a man is daily to converse about virtue, and all that of which you hear me examining myself and others, and that the life which is unexamined is not worth living—that you are still less likely to believe."

A dozen small birds feeding off crumbs on the courtyard steps scattered. Three or four flew away into the trees. Tom Howell stepped out from the shadows of the Arts & Craps Building, saying, "Gabriel, you're not him." Then my mother stepped away from the carriage against which she'd been leaning, saying, "Howellnyms, you can't say that about my son. That's my phrase. I've said that to him all my life. You sir, are a plagiarist!" I was left to wonder how many birds were Greek, how many of them were Roman, and how many were in the public domain. Soon, even I, knew context was lost, and only Tom Howell and probably Ludwig Wittgenstein as a young man at Trinity knew for certain who Tom was not.

When I test her limits I must make sure I count the costs and identify the potential gains. Yes dear, I am ruthless in my 41st year. That said, you just whisper the magic words, and I am soon the highway star…
No sweat, Jennifer. I too, am always quite busy, so your hesitation to commit to my discussions of sexual power perhaps never to meet the criteria I have set for an upstate tour of beauty and synthetic protocol (my choice of game, just to keep us both emphatically engaged) speaks its own name, and as such is proper and necessary for us to remain honest to the ideals of friendship and fate we have thus far delivered to each other without frank discussion but automatically over the years. Still love you, no matter what you don't do or don't say, but a love declared in this sort of absence once we have arrived there is a sterile one, a state of ill repair with which I am quite familiar.

Also, as you are aware I am in perpetual financial ruin, just as yourself at this time in your life. But my own poverty seems to be some kind of unspoken holy vow perhaps driven by a secret choice to remain free of the shackles others willingly impose on themselves so that they control those matters of purse. Yet in possessing fewer cares of the purse results in a substantially improved station in very obvious ways, not the least of them is a certain freedom not known by those fixtures of the clock and the calendar. In my own marriage situation, it is always a struggle, a tight-rope walk born out in the lives of both Sue and the husband she loves.

Only by the unfathomable graces of BS Hedrick do I eat, have a roof over my head, decent clothing, medicine, any disposable income at all. Life is more than food and shelter, of course. The fact that I overindulge in the one matter and am nearly agoraphobic in the other changes not the joy of my pursuits. When I test her limits I must make sure I count the costs and identify the potential gains. Yes dear, I am ruthless in my 41st year. That said, you just whisper the magic words, and I am soon the highway star...

To the point, just like female masturbation has been elevated in feminist literature to a goddamned political act while male masturbation remains mired in snickers, putdowns, and psychotic fallout by the feminist wag, women leap to heap ridicule on men for penis size while many a flatchested woman to the contrary feels empowered to chastise women as bimbos and pawns of the male obsession when endowed with huge mammories, boobs, whether naturally or via the easy purchase plan.
I took Landry to task for her commentary on small cocks, and she too, has answered with a resounding thud of nothingness, contrary to her usual back-atcha gonzo. Nothing overtly personal about the tone or language I used in presenting my arguments to her, but who knows, maybe I am just too ridiculous for reasonable minds to waste.

Wild, riveting discussion for its own sake is my motto, not by choice but by default as one who does not know his audience, or even if there is one to be earned. Digging for gold in a trash heap. Poking the sky full of holes with the ironies of our time. I depend on the plain writing of others to help fertilize my parched barren crops of thick gilded sentences. My language tends to get mugged with adjectives and adverbs and cheap alliteration and rhymes, all of which serve me in a fist fight but never in a slow sensual dance with my best noun. I dunno. I suppose this method of scratch and claw gets me every ounce of feedback I deserve. None of us are professional debaters, meaning none of us are burdened with the making of argument in a tense public environment on a regular for hire basis. Pouncing on friends with topics as sensitive as the ones I pitch is probably in bad taste, but then I have been frequently fingered as the Anti Hip. So to my point: women like to suggest that men are consistently fixated on size, and yet find it very natty to mock the flaccid or diminuative phallus whenever the chance arrives. Landry's own sarcastic line, typical of the type of remark associated with a liberated tongue, hey, aren't we all saddled with one of those, suggesting she could understand why the Mentors—the sick LA band of the early 90s—frolicked about like asses on stage waving long thick rubber dongs is one I felt under the circumstances of our ongoing banter about all things fuzzy & frank that required a solid well-reasoned response. To the point, just like female masturbation has been elevated in feminist literature to a goddamned political act while male masturbation remains mired in snickers, putdowns, and psychotic fallout by the feminist wag, women leap to heap ridicule on men for penis size while many a flatchested woman to the contrary feels empowered to chastise women as bimbos and pawns of the male obsession when endowed with huge mammories whether naturally or via the easy purchase plan. Of course these are sweeping generalizations both they then and I make now, but both are valid observations nevertheless for entirely different psychosexual reasons.

Understanding that I am adamantly against the right wing pontifications and their feeble interpretations of man, and God, and law, the issue is not easily thumbnailed in a few sentences. Every thought I render is just as quick to butcher another one standing in close proximity a few minutes later, unless discipline and context is imposed.
Browsing for insight a 700-page hardcover I bought several years ago called "Girls Lean Back Everywhere, The Law of Obscenity and the Assault on Genius" by Edward de Grazia, an attorney practicing communications and First Amendment law here in DC. He was integral in the landmark Henry Miller and William S. Burroughs publishing cases, as well as the "I am Curious—Yellow" Swedish film breakthrough. I am trying to formulate a "free speech/blue ribbon" position paper to correspond to the intellectual margin my web presence requires on matters literary and artistic. The title of the book is drawn from a quote "The Little Review" editor Jane Heap made at the James Joyce "Ulysses" hearing concerning some text in question. Her magazine was the first to publish excerpts and as such felt the strong arm of the law reach out in fierce rebuttal in an attempt to smack down her artistic sensibilities. The books cover most of the 20th century court battles from Zola, Joyce, Lawrence, Miller, Burroughs, Karen Finley, 2 Live Crew right on up through Mapplethorpe in an exquisite commentary bulked up by full first hand accounts of the noted judiciary principles, and their hodge-podge of so-called principals. So far, after several hours over several days in composite, I am still unsure how to approach this position paper.

While I believe in an artist's right, or more probably, his duty, is to exploit the tools of language and all media according to her own peculiar vision, I am also dead set against public funding of this area of life. Zilch. Rock music gets along without public grants. So can photographers, writers, and painters. If not prepared to give it all, or convince a private source for sustanance, then sorry charlie. A paradigm shift of the ways in which we view both art and the marketplace may be required, but public funding is a sham and a scandal to both artlover and arthater. And while I believe that the artist should be as free to draw from real life as he sees fit, I also am certain that the media, specifically films and TV have detrimentally added to the chaos of the past several generations and the sickening decline of the individual in respect to morals as they pertain to the rights of others. Understanding that I am adamantly against the right wing pontifications and their feeble interpretations of man, and God, and law, the issue is not easily thumbnailed in a few sentences. Every thought I render is just as quick to butcher another one standing in close proximity a few minutes later, unless discipline and context is imposed. Even so, freedom of speech is hardly a fair substitute for freedom of action. They must exist hand in hand.

Plucking the wings off an adverb in the Gardens Of Soho,


Polyglot Wittgenstein

04 Feb

Quarrels I brought to authorities
for which I was fish-bowled,
such as when on a calculated whim
I gave a vow, a pledge
of allegiance

of one thousand collard green symptoms
pratting particular a peculiar persuader,
outstretched paw netting loudly,
preaching television sainthood
out of the fish’s mouth.

The bum prophet,
returned his mistress much more
than killing her son for a sign
the ages had dealt in blow of scripture,

and Wittgenstein never forgot me, either.
Under the sun nothing knew less
than that camera I took on sound advice
lathering misquotationals without clue.

The ultimate passage from logic to freelancing
specialty wisdomatics flying northward
toward the bear and glad tidings,
moonlight red infrastructurally

correct as by law and by prostitution,
the victimless philosophies of cold
and behold, cash and flash, pairings
of quick understandings still stamped.

The minds of many who died not hungry
reads the line separating this from that.
And ample enough soup to go around the world
save the stupid revolutionaries fumbling

the galls and testicles of good people
of every race groping a deep graze,
too simply fool-ruled to use the best,
the rest, and not be buried in treasure.

Justice in summer foliage falls between
cracks both the lion and the lamb spring across
where boo-kings crush meanings from life,
dream wreckage and Wittgenstein snorts fair.

In catacombs mighty hair warriors take leaven
bread beneath waters covering young history
unexplored, lost yesterday down grammarian spells,
even Stephen could not vouch for, nor Paul

in his vest of holy trousers turned inward.
Stretched bloody naked and attractive,
mosquitos did never squat where lovers sweat.
But Wittgenstein took me shoulder first, I cleared.

My throat hollow where men before me came never before,
and I felt like new names nothing forbade, not especially
the weak, the calm, the floored, nor the wronged angels
sweeping up avenues long given over to party politics.

Seasons twisted upon each other and friendship convulsed.
Open arsenals recoiled, the serpent's head spit glass,
broken, images priced like art invested no plumage whereas
stock sold steadily until there were no other dead issues.

Bull edits charged emotional terrapins as runners
of illegal slow, dull, unimportant feet, dry glands
purposely banded as one, vehicles offering last rites
mankind waiving, inner harbor city lights removed.

Yet Wittgenstein never operated under served piffle,
could repair ugly scar tissue booking redress, obviously
lip-synched trade favors; in return the mantled box thumb
thugs ruled left to rights, or rights to be left

alone or without someone else's aloneness combined
to equip equations and co-efficients with unreal numbers
numbing outsiders, error friendless but with plenty
of food and street wisdom, meaning to write a book.

Where we all appear placed happily eager to be.
What to be is all in time and flesh is time.
Or trips to the Milky Way vacate shun or be shunned.
Like Uncle Sam's son colorfully primed for United States.

But where did Paine fail to speak his mind?
His friend broke off penal envy for the sake of
forsaking oven roaster birds war bred but blowing
off that same wind Dylan wore, a weatherman's cap.

Did any effort die by the hand of any clock?
Management problems rope eye emblems shattering mock success,
taxing poets improperly prospering, the plainclothesmen's plan X,
and optimums of the classes, share in Baalam's bra,

key pimped pragmaticisms perplexing the raw multitudes Freud
slew, licking time's dragon multiplied and automatically
disguised, guilty, as such a single atom prays au natural,
financially secure but fearing assailants silent

enough to warn miracles to cease and weapons to flourish
inebriating reason, samples exposing undecided votes,
serial mirrors helpless to utter a lie saith the surveyor.
Gather all flocks, mathematics, onions, ash or else!

That these feverish linear progressions plummet to bedrock
cup, and yet deliver a single soul from eternal damnation
boning up conquerors of Kierkegaard and worshippers
of the last breath of Wittgenstein I’d shouldered enough.

[ 1992, Washington, DC ]


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