Ones and zeros folks, ones and zeros. He's the One. We's the zeros...I have a question, why is the plural for hero, heroes, and the plural of zero, zeros? Is there a hidden message here? Does the silent E in heroes have significance? Hell, no. Somebody just made a rule. And that's how it goes with political dynamism. Somebody issues orders and rules. Others follow them. It doesn't have to make sense, be convenient, synchronize, feed the masses, kill the bad guys, lower the sea levels, repair the bridges, make concessions, wink at the opposition, flood the markets, ink the contracts, bust a rhyme, or bury the dead. It's just the result of an order someone somewhere somehow issued. It's just the result of a rule someone somewhere somehow enforced. How many among us have stopped what we were doing long enough to lodge an attempt to wipe the slate clean? Very tough indeed, eh. Some of us used to know this was the game in which we were pawns to be and forgot, or found life easier just playing along with whatever ones and zeros were plugging for power at any given time. Some of us tried to wipe the slate clean but it became impossible once we realized that EVERYONE around us is passing out orders and making them rules, and it finally dawned on us that we never can tell who will turn out to be our enemy, so as we cling to the old blueprints, we just settle into the grooves our heroes and our zeroes have created with hard numbers and left for us, insuring the Silent E is no longer "even" among us...a metaphorical fugue in one Facebook paragraph.
Paglia, eh? Great. You're a leg up on me with that pair of trousers, but yes, she's plugged into my short shorts of writers I intend to exploit on my own terms, buttressing hers, by reading a fuller body of her work.
You are waving at battleship clowns though, in pointing out what you read as gross generalizations on maleness, presuming, as we agree, the topic is her announced speciality, because far too many books I have read on race, gender, even pop ass religion & nuclear physics are written by ascendant experts guilty of similar transgressions against their own daring models of zero, not zero. But if her generalizations of "her men" are just that, aren't those of "her women" just as general and no less caricatured than those of Henry Miller, Mick Jagger, or Gloria Steinum?
If the defining factor of her work can be said to bestow truth to the fact that the man on the hipper side of the manhood schematic is as driven to be "a man" by forces he struggles to control and improve against great odds of acrimony and self-doubt as those which women bear inside themselveswhich they, grabbing their own perspective, conclude as just and feminine (but perhaps not righteous for all?). As a woman speaking on this topic, your subjectivity remains the trait you can never escape regardless of race, gender, creed or dvisibility by zero...no less than anything I have to say on this or any subject matter. Such is the human condition in reality. All else is politics, art, and the place on earth where stupid remarks are taken for granted because human frailty and the language they have invented has made it that way.
Absolute gender essence is a fiction, but factors forcing us into certain camps are just & natural all the same. While we may find it fascinating to sit under a banana shrub tree with a cool drink to pine for a formula that would equalize the world, nothing is further from the true, and is simply a fuzzy concept developed to bring a better cohesion between differences in a crowd. While some political theories have tried to erase, other smudge the inherent differences between men and other men, women and other women, alliances and enemies cross pollinating the lines, so the best we can hope for is an active intelligence when this whistling dixie of topics is brought to the table.
If Johnny can't read. That's a problem Johnny has. If nobody in Johnny's class can read, maybe that's a class problem, or perhaps a rude statistical anomaly. Solving for a class problem is a one Johnny at a time scenario, no matter how many times Billy's, or Rachel's or Al-Amid's class (who can all read after a fashion, but in emphatic degrees of speciality, one to and against another, and so we say there is no class problem, but an individual level of compliance to a standard which suffers in a state of flux, never at rest, but always evolving with new imput). And so it goes. Natural selection. Crowd warfare disguised as crowd fanfare. We both know the issue is more complicated than Johnny. His home life, his specific subculture, and the tumultuous uber culture drive the imagination into places no young mind can handle without strong guidance, and simply overwhelm the attention span where little teaching, even if made interesting and important to the student can penetrate. I'd like to know, Landry, of a few Paglia clichés you find utterly testing reality. It could prove an interesting exchange between us.
The body must go. Recycle this dirt is what I say. I feel alive only when co-opting the conspiracies of language as my own private sandbox. One day I'll probably lose this damn limb to bad circulation, gout, diabetes, stroke, or what have I, so I guess I'll just have to find myself a woman who has a sick thang for amputees.
I hate being traffic cop and lone cleanup crew around here, but I am a natural for the job. I live among two wood bees who tend to be slobs. Tim & Sue give a good bawdyhouse try at neatliness and order of the court, but they wear blinders as narrow as my hunt for the perfect job. Am I a braggart to state that each of them exercise weaker powers of observation, and ply a more sluggish recall from whatever ROM hard drive they've in the belfry? So I get to play the neatnik butch Gabriel who says, I'm running the show and I said THIS is how WE do it. After footing the bill Sue's a gem trapped in the goo of sporadic bursts of saltwater taffy which describes our push and pull dichotomy, and puts up with it only because she understands the efforts I put in around here go a long way toward making the whole Dollhouse balancing act work.
While I'm still probably not back to fifty percent normal, the Dollhouse clutter piled up for days until I couldn't help myself but to storm around all day picking up in a slow painful hobble. Of course everyone including Lizbeth& Chris last weekend has predicted my left foot without a cast will heal to an ouchy mess, even though my choice to forego the cast was one of the doc's original options as he groped the swollen mob of purple toes and x-rays last week. So I'm taking my chances with Providence, but haven't I always?
Do it for MEEEE, she pleaded in the sweet pitched cajoling voice of protestant communion she pulls out for these special darling occasions which eventually will all blur together after a while and I guess that’s what we for lack of a better word call love. And so I did.
The body must go. Recycle this freckled pail of dirt is what I say. The best notion of life, that time when I most feel alive in duty and occupation, no matter what my lesser aptitudes may say about me, is when I am co-opting the language conspiracies of men and women into my own private sandbox. Exercise of the walkabout flesh is very painful to me. I've always needed a specific purpose to getting out and going over and above, sustaining my own life. Longevity appeals only in the sense that I might reach a level of success in this exploration of mind. One day I'll probably lose this damn limb to bad circulation, gout, diabetes, stroke, or what have I, so I guess I'll just have to comfort myself in a woman who has a sick affection for amputees. Sue only this morning after complimenting me for swallowing a couple ibuprofrin and I goo gooed in pointing out how tickled baby dance silly she gets when I'm popping pills, said back that she just wanted me to get better so I could stomp around again. Hmmm. Baby likes my stomping around better than my gimping around. That's normal, ME too, but it's always a fart when Sue dishes out a pill because she seems to have this weird buddy system relationship with pain pills.
She ain't no JUNKY by any stretch. We're just talking over the counter stuff, but she's really blows a goose whenever the pillbox is passed around. In my case, it's as ifif she can just get me to pop a pillshe has performed a recognizable measure of social work in heading me in the right direction of the fit & well. But I DO have to give her credit for some fine sweet words of caring as she nagged me into submission about finally going to see Doctor Ford. Do it for MEEEE, she pleaded in the sweet pitched cajoling voice of protestant communion she pulls out for these special darling occasions which will eventually all blur together after a while and I guess that's what we for lack of a better word call love. And so I did.
And I am redeemed with honors (called GETTING THE CREDIT in Dollhouse parlance) for having been right as a pat hand of three aces and a greenhaired Jack in both diagnosing & proscribing a laissez faire attitude in the first place, but it was good to get professional confirmation. That's the best health care I can suffer. Emergency blockades. Damage control. Squeaky clean is somebody's else triumphant life. Blind faith in OVERCOMING the body in all these war wounds is the method of least resistence I cling to, it's a motto, a white flag, black flag, label of a thousand filthy warthogs rutting in the mud...
As for this blurring of categories I often speak of, especially in what Miller sarcastically loathed as literature, I do not stand on ceremonial demarcations of fiction, biography, lasting truth, evidence of genius, email correspondence, men of letters, rogue pundits, cultural betters, dry bone or snot-nosed detractors. Distractions, all of it. Like a drop or two of kerosene in a steaming pot of outdoor stew, it'll all boil off in the end.
Knowledge, like money
Steals that which the flawless abide by
And starves them to emphasis,
Its basic need driving, bribing, grinding
Silly eccentrics sad to see you gladly
Won't let them share their sayings
We nonetheless buy we sell like accumulation seed.
What more need I confess?
Around the world in eighty days,
I can work on it. If I can get out of this old chair.
Like debutantes old balloons have burst,
Forcing hands of will to engrave my undeterminable echelon ways.
Everysuch is a motto of peace. In some circles we squared up.
There the martyrs burned their draft cards
In water. No one knows what the secret pays.
Fools of history wanting a chance,
The Homeland of Pretense
Webless seamless rechanneled unmeasured below,
Uncorking chatter of a population too disturbed to wink
Storms the barnyard and construction site flattery, so
Tall engineers can plan tomorrow amplifying blank choices.
Riding elephant ears I sigh alone since I must,
In swank obedience to the laws of gratuitous dust.
Sucking silk and abstract noises, I too am frankly human,
As if any scientist or poet could ever pin us down.
Cross the bridge river over rigid, as you also must, but remember
Don't let your beginnings
Rule out mine... you are in place
Only to count out measure.
I was assured of a minimum wage,
I took it, felt satisfied
Til another day came.
Around the world in eighty days,
I cannot always always it. 99.9% lure. The other mere lie.
(Still waiting for the mathematical cure...)
Westerly planks of a downtrodden brow
Blow Wednesday evenings weekly as the tulip race leaves,
And drunken sentences growing longer, stronger in darkness.
Sage ambition, curdled rage, the caged bellows remarked
Grocer the codes we are spinning by
In simple acts of cultural bias,
Love's attrition a latter day event.
"Actually, in spite of yesterday,
Tomorrow can behave like today,"
Says the bum in search of his opposing thumbs.
Fools of history wanting a chance,
The Homeland of Pretense
Vows of virtues and safety,
You've seen my fragile ghost
Respect this place before, costing many
More hours hard labor, sensing the aftermath.
Time is clinging close to earth now, while
Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw,
Showing irate middle age nubiles and neanderthalistic laws
The difference between zero and nothing.
Around the world in eighty days
Crying like a fish,
The lazy page boy requires becoming
The prime novelist
Marching the streets
Someliness everywhere greets.
Life he kissed. And then sped off.
Fools of history wanting a chance,
The Homeland of Pretense
I. High Brows Relative gentle accessory This band of lines seeks harmony When frigid time dwarfs memory And as we watch trees grow. For woman's draft always inspires The melting art caressing fire Deep into where mere words aspire To cross the hammer's blow. And though the hot daze honors shade And smiling costumes salute parades And naked children's hatreds fade How dare we never mourn to know, If one and one and one make three If worthiness licks poverty If hollow noises seductively Lay waste pure reason's embryo.
Give us this day of all days Oh sacred songs still solemn, To whet our attentions, to dry our tears. We live on occasion and going away presents. We recognized the poet and his different drumming, And laughter and irony and the nude girl in white.
"Most profound in this sublet phoenix world Is the naked sense of truth and the crowbar." Croons a wild-eyed autonomy named Ply, Off just now in the critical woods bored busy, Briars, poison ivy, sleeping serpents and spiders blind Mandating crude obediences to projectiled security Unshaded amongst all roving sensualities. Seen by only his own kind in spite of fair rhetoric Loss is the naked sense of truth, Spinning our very natures into a mourning fog. So let us merge as continents merge And practice the art and its gripping trance... Slash open our blackened hearts with a 12-inch butcher, To spare us the throwaway guilt of a wicked second glance Into our honey-tongued spitoons Mocking the life of no return.
II. Inventory Sculpture Clutching the past far prevailing reprise, My bashful lips have remained mundane in librarian's mum, Afflicted and baffled by the fragrance I catch dazzling Even the hair brushing distractions from my eyes. I am barely here, lost in a theme park called eternity. Never ends. I am nicknamed Fat Logos. I am From nowhere. I am a television commercial. Yet You cry in silence, offering no foliage To shape the shapeless gray breath A swimming a swimming... A swimming a brewing death! Crashed out upon the brawling acres, The die is cast and no longer God answereth!
Reach in, Copernicus, to touch my age. This time I won't turn you away To embezzle the ironies marking your flesh in pain. Glory the season is soon faded away, Passing as a morning's rain. Words come not dancing in raving Insidious intent, nor do they come Easy to me, So please don't mock my language When elegance is not my only game But clarity, the difference between purple and blue. Good evening fine gatherers and hunters. Yes, evening to all. Perfume, empty pockets, memorial lasers on the wall.
Not everyone who calls my name knows why, And now my suburbs ache. I patrol my bones through a watery isthmus, Exploring a carnal linkage of attitudes expanding, unexamined. Like a camel without his desert, I felt betrayed. And then, In vain attempt at the strait jacket of mental righteousness I betrayed every color known to intelligent man, betrayed All manner of species, the savant and the dunce, The psychotic and the safeling. My leaps Across nature came across not as my own cross To bear but only a stiff anger to share.
I betrayed parrot-trust And far, far worse than a case of the sniffles, I fell mute like a genesis idiot into a muddy blank puddle And deserted my own trust, I soured my own fruits, Became my own bust as well as well Becomes us.
And so this black pulp handherchief, Modifier, predicate, subjunctiveI dedicate To those infants troubled for communication. I've sold what I had to To regain those conclusions lost in the flood Like footprints and genitals and sunrise deliverances And intangibles explaining the indecent, the misunderstood. Oft deluded, we've eased Into Thursday without scale warning Sitting on a park bench hoping To sanctify the next bus out together loitering Separately in myalgic coffins reserved for The dead by ignorance joking On the course of someone else's weather. And Friday is on its way.
Too many pauses, too many unanswered syllables. And how are we, the ceaselessly tired, To get rid of forever This relationship of too many clauses? Do you forbid, Great Spyder Solomon Center of the Unknowable Universe, This beggard merchant of weak expression, Passage on wave, oh mouth Sea chanter of foam? Come! Come swiftly let us seek to bring simple meaning To the borrowed transcript that's intimately Our own.
III. Tasteless, Odorless, Colorless
A winless victor, Carousing, gives way to blunt splashes of young footsteps Splashing in salvaged blank puddles. Or when old odysseys Just aren't qualified to teach us Any more They become brain twisters, Storms of personality Falling on both the good and the evil. Inning after inning no score. They can't reach us. Home base an inoperable store Closed by faith floods and wind damage. Kinetic roar.
But who said it first? Abandoning our griefs together, understanding What's never been spoken, and speaking To decide more frankly The mere fragments Fading full into fair equity, We're just waiting to wax profound. Then we'll call out a new perfume.
Our needs are as complex As the birth of a mystical child, Regardless of race, creed, or divisibility by zero. (The lattera mathematical expense of extinction.) For the intellect must caress The one understanding Issues done especially for us. Still vaguely dressed By words the serpent stings. Pssst.... Wednesday perfume!
Comfort alone when forced to strip As citizens of impatience rip Strays with devices a burning lip Still running overcrowded numbers. While war sucks weather and doghouse blues Into camp offers we must refuse Walking through detour signs of booze Explaining a flash diet of fresh cucumbers. And where cane swamp visionary wares Remind us there of social stares Behind dark windows lipless pairs Reward refined pet slumbers, Gloving twisted riddles rhymed in time Studied park benches zoning mad crime Babies bought on bar room lime Whose scents surveyed skirt lumbers.
Some half-fucked figure. A boy of atmosphere. Nothing much, probably. But who among us is safe in a drawer Of subliminals?
[1980, Lofton Creek, FL ]
"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""