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fragments shored against ruin
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:: Friday, August 30, 2002 ::

And this just in from the Sonic Youth hotline:

Hey Sonic Youth Fans,
This Sunday, September 1st @ 4:45 PM PST, Tune into KEXP 90.3 FM, RealOne,
and www.kexp.org to Listen to Sonic Youth Live @ Bumbershoot in Seattle!!!

:: 10:00 AM [+] ::

After two whaleless spins around Massachusetts Bay in Paul's boat, I had the sublime pleasure this week of crashing pilot whale woodstock, less than a mile or so off the tip of Provincetown. Beautiful and also slightly haunted by the images of the pod of 60 that recently beached themselves to death in Truro a few weeks ago.

:: 9:27 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, August 27, 2002 ::
Spent an anniversary weekend w/ Anne and all 3 boys in Falmouth. Got down Friday night after making a quick diversion to Pandolfi/Robin Central to pick up a fine Jono Pandolfi tea pot for Anne. It wasn't one of the Lewis Carrol flip-jobs he does, but it was a sweet piece of work all the same. Friday night we had a dinner party to go to w/ summer neighbors, so I missed all the N2O avant-klingon goings-on amongst a crew that attracts revelry the way donuts attract police cars. Well, so be it.

N. Falmouth is really its own pocket universe. For us, I mean. Or me. Dinner at Dave and Deirdre's was a another bit of uncanny beam-work into an unexpected alterity. It's always remarkable to me the places you find cool people. Highlight for me was Dave's story about seeing Malcolm X speak in Harlem, where he was teaching during one college summer. The rally was 500 or so people, 498 african-americans plus 2 whities, Dave and friend. A woman just in front of them, a septegenarian neighborhood matriach and force of nature, Mrs. Johnson, turned to Dave plus buddy, warmly welcomed them and made polite conversation. About an hour into Malcolm's oration, Mrs. Johnson stood up suddenly and raged into the spectral heart of the space that it was time for blacks to unite! and deport all white people from the country. Wild applause. Dave sitting there applauding too, forever-smile frozen like a grecian urn. Oh oh, also, Dave, classmate of Dick 'What Karma?' Cheney's at Yale, insisting the inside story on VP Bunker Boy is, you guessed it: 'Leave of absence, my ass. He flunked out.'

Saturday Anne and I had lunch in Woods Hole together and then she surprised me in the evening w/ a Fedex-shipment containing a magnificent lobster dinner; we did it with all three boys and champagne and Anne making this beatific speech about how only two of us were there for the first one, then recounting memories, and I was just SUFFUSED w/ that closeness of a family that's together (and I know w/ dizzying clarity how lucky I am, i do, i do, and how provisional this is); the family, which is really a secret set of trapdoors to The special someplace, The secret indescribable unsharable place. I know This. When I'm out at sea, or running around jumping and spooting, or gigging like the fecking houseband at some misbegotten bar out of 'Blazing Saddles' (like at the Cantab last Tuesday), or like a cornpone Bang On A Can All-stars at Johnny D's last night, or at chris and jeremy's doing headstand contests, lighting the darkness on fire, burning misery in effigy, in every manifestation of teetering branch waving I do, every flutter, I feel, always and everywhere, the unconditional ground of my rootedness in this very uncontingent-feeling family soil; feel it keeping me up.

Happy Anniversary, Annie. I love you.


My buddy and the world's most literate economist, Dr. Susan Woodward, weighs in with this footnote to my exchange w/ Dave Weinberger re: the Bush family romance:

Some memorable character in Dance to the Music (like Moreland or Umpherville) says that every woman prefers her son to her husband.

:: 12:41 PM [+] ::

:: Thursday, August 22, 2002 ::
The other day my friend Dave dubbed the immiment Rumsfeld-Bush invasion of Iraq 'Operation Oedipus'. He concluded by welcoming other suggestions. I took the bait, of course. With permission I'm posting the exchange because, in addition to David's typical hilarity, I think there's a useful forensic case study exemplified here in how to use extreme argument, the rhetorical equivalent of Massive Retaliation perhaps, to squash your opponent.

JM: I don't really like Operation Oedipus. Oedipus is a patricide, not an avenger. Even in Freud's appropriation, Oedipus is all about dissolution of the patriarchal order (or something like that). I'd vote for Operation Orestes.

David: Ah, but clearly (?) W is driven by the need to win Babs' affections. The contenders are both Poppy and Jeb. So, it is a mythic fratricide and paricide, and this seems to me to be the more relevant fact. Indeed, W doesn't want to kill Clytaemnestra; he wants to fuck her. (Yeah, well, who doesn't?!)

This Iraqi campaign is so sick. Apocalyptically.
-- David W.

JM: :-) Not implausible. But I think he lacks the imagination and cajones to be truly oedipal. I don't even think Babs registers. Too real. He's dry-drunk pissed-off and wants to be his dad. Simple-mindedly. Avenge his losses and humiliations. Kill Saddam and Clinton. And the only thing he wants to fuck is the woman on the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders poster in his rec room. And speaking of the rec room, he's clearly orally arrested. Remember the pretzel incident?

David: Oh, I so disagree (while completely enjoying your analysis, of course). The family is dominated by Babs. She is a classic bitch-tyrant, passive-aggressive mother. Jeb was the favorite. W was the drunk ne'er-do-well who had to be propped up by his father's cronies; his only validation, as a "successful businessman" he knows came through his father's largesse, which he hates because he hates his dependence on it.

Once in office, he has surrounded himself with Dad's pals because that's the only way he knows how to succeed, but he resents it and can't feel like a success (or a man) so long as he does what they say. (But he is afraid not to do what they say). He has to do Poppy's job better than Poppy did. Why? So he can beat his two rivals - Dad and Jeb - for the approval (= fucking) of his mother. So, it won't be enough for him to beat Dad at the presidency game. He's also going to have to do it in the face of the advice of Dad's Greek chorus that's been guiding him so far. The defection of elder Republicans from the Bomb Iraq cause only gives W a bigger hard on for it.

He has had two opportunities to beat Poppy. Only two people have ever caused Poppy to fail: Clinton and Saddam. Having beaten Clinton, it's on to Saddam. W has a love/hate deal going with Saddam because although Saddam humiliated the father who never loved him (and who still has the good graces to appear embarrassed with him), Saddam has also given W the opening he needs to win Mommy. He's not after revenge. It's approval he's after. In support: his overwhelming need to be liked is all too obvious, right down to the juvenile nicknames he gives people. His infantilizing of global politics (Putin is "Pooty-poot," the comic book rhetoric of "evil doers") undoubtedly (hah!) goes back to his failure to win approval as an infant. He is stuck there.

The Oedipal nature of the Iraqi threat (or opportunity, as it appears to W) implies that he will penetrate Iraq violently, preferably by inseminating it with sperm sprayed from above. His operative metaphor is probably (i.e., I'm making this up) "shoving a smart bomb up Saddam's ass" to degrade him (= Poppy) sexually so that the Mama Bush will prefer him. W's no bush! He's a bomber!

Your comments on his oral fixation ring true to me (which unfortunately does not mean they're any more likely to be true) and I assume that the oral sex with Laura - and whatever other Dallas Debbies he did during the Drunk Years - was one-way, brutish and unreciprocated.

So, if we could just persuade Babs to blow him, preferably after Dad's gone limp while trying to perform his husbandly duties, the world might yet be saved. Why don't you write to her and suggest that?

At this point, of course, I'm toast. Any attempt to refute the above requires a spirited defense of Babs. But as Lacan once said famously regarding feminine jouissance eluding the phallic domain (or some such): "I won't go any further here."

:: 3:47 PM [+] ::

:: Wednesday, August 21, 2002 ::
I like mornings. This one was no exception. Sex is good in the morning. Coffee is good in the morning. Desultory newspaper reading? Good in the morning. Running is. All of this is better outside. Especially running. I love my back porch. There's a bench with a cushion. An overgrown rose-of-sharon hangs over it like a canopy. I look at the sky. The sheltering sky. Though planes are weird now. I tend to look away from them. On the route I run I see the Prudential and Hancock towers, looking east on Commonwealth Avenue. The current flight patterns out of Logan take them seemingly right over the back bay. The juxtapostion is disturbing. Playing piano is good in the morning. Even sweaty. I wrote a few songs last week, but I erased them all. Trying to stop. One I'm now sad about. It moved me whenever I listened to it. Which never happens with my own stuff. And now I can't remember it. It felt like a gift song. Showering is good in the morning. As I was leaving I heard Andrew trying out 'Jingle Bell Rock' on Quentin's ocarina. In the kitchen Quentin said: 'Dad, take one of my muffins for good luck.' I kissed him and grabbed a muffin. The empty wrapper is sitting next to me. Right next to the toy VW bus w/ a piece of cardboard taped to the roof that says 'Community Bus'. Another Quentin good luck token from a few years back.
:: 10:51 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, August 19, 2002 ::
In high school, during the summer, I had a nepotism job working on the Park Department (in addition to playing in a variety of tin pan alley cover bands). It was in many ways the best job I've ever had. Outdoors. Insane co-workers. High profile (an important attribute; it being a resort town and all.) Driving a dump truck. Watering flowers in front of the massive greek-revival town hall (where'd I'd go after work, up to the theater located on the second floor, and play the piano). Long hot afternoons, ahem, picking up litter on the town's many beaches. Plus elaborate operations like putting in and taking out the styrofoam-and-wood rafts in places like Snake Pond and Wakeby Lake. The hardest part was mowing lawns; but even that was mitigated because we got to use brawny self-powered Graveleys with 36" blades. And usually by August most of the grass in town was as usefully mowable as dead goat skin anyway. Just to be clear: sere, dead grass in August was perfectly fine on this beach-lined windswept peninsula. Back then, at least, watering lawns was as incomprehensible to cape codders as some time traveller coming back to tell them about blogging.

I was thinking about that job the other night while playing my second bizarro-MIDI gig in as many weekends at this golf resort in Dennis. I'm not exactly sure why I was thinking about the Park Department, but Ockham's Razor would suggest it's because I was spending the evening playing tin pan alley tunes and was naturally experiencing a burnt-in association with the other half of my primordial summer experience. Anyway, I remembered an incident vivid enough that I used a version of it at work this morning. It's this: My friend Nils and I were in the large gray dump truck that we'd inherited from the Water Department. We were on our way to Snake Pond to replace a sign that someone had yanked out of the ground and thrown into the pond. On the way we stopped at the Forestdale Diner. We sat at the counter in a vague stupor. I'd played the night before until 2 a.m. and then gone out afterwards. I'd slept maybe 2 hours. Nils had probably stayed out all night as well. The waitress came over and wordlessly poured us some bunn-o-matic diner coffee. Nils was kind of muttering to himself. Suddenly he came to life, astutely pointing out that the waitress was the same as the one from the club the night before. And that she was even wearing the same make-up. In fact she hadn't even changed her clothes. She'd just put on a different apron. Her hair was insane. The morose delectation of teenagers tends to be different, more pitiless certainly, than the ripened, mortal, adult variety. We began a barely whispered revery about the details of our waitress' evening and morning. I remember feeling we'd gotten close to the heart of the abyss when she finally came over to us and asked what we wanted. Without hesitation Nils said, "I'll have the breakfast special: A revolver and three bullets." She and I both thought that was the funniest thing we'd ever heard. I looked right at her, laughing. I remember she covered her mouth as she laughed. Big wide existential eyes and a hand full of chipped, painted nails.


Someone belonging to a list I'm on just sent an email announcing the sale of a bunch of stuff from her home. She said she was moving immediately. It sounded distressed. It contained pictures of the stuff. For some reason I found the pictures -- patio furniture, a drafting table, etc. -- full of pathos and hard to look at.


I read in the nyt this morning a review of a book about the California Gold Rush. The guy's thesis is that this was a more significant event in the life of the american mind than the civil war. That previously, Americans had lived with puritan ideas, jeffersonian yeoman farmers, Franklin's poor richard, a slow but steady accumulation of security and position. After Sutter's Mill, the idea of the lightning strike in personal fortune took hold. Sounds reasonable to me. One interesting tidbit noted by the reviewer: It seems that certain 19th century Panamanian women, in order to make their hair useful as well as beautiful, could be found carrying around items such as half-smoked cigars inside the curls on the back of their heads.
:: 2:13 PM [+] ::

:: Wednesday, August 14, 2002 ::
What was funny yesterday:

* Tim's phone calls with Ellen;
* Paul's spam forging cgi;
* The email I got from billg@microsoft.com;
* Andrew calling from camp looking for an infusion of money, when he's coming home today;
* Dinner with Jeremy and Art at Fugakyu;
* Playing 'Nuages' at Jeremy's house;
* Whatever those free drinks were that the downstairs bartender made;
* The ride home;

Since this is the first time in a couple of years I haven't published anything in the-hold, I've decided next month to submit a musical setting I did of a poem I published in the June, 2000 issue. A heady time that was. Part of my ongoing tribute to Groucho Marx's 'Tea or coffee?' 'Yes, please!'.

:: 11:49 AM [+] ::

:: Monday, August 12, 2002 ::
Weird shit. secretions of insight:

* Played a gig with my friend Watts Sunday morning. We were an entertainment stop along the seashore during the Falmouth Road Race. Right on the beach in front of the rest room. Across the street from a lemonade stand. 'Fat Cat's Lemonade. $5/cup.' Watts said: 'Free enterprise. Well, not free, but.' Bystanders giggling. Don't think Fat Cat sold any. Watts making conflative jokes about cats and lemonade. I think it was the price. What were they thinking? For one, they seemed to think Watts was trying to promote them because they kept bringing us cups of $5 lemonade that just sat on a table. What was weird was it was just the two of us with a bunch of remarkable midi disks he had, creating a totally plausible simulated backup for whatever we played. 'Stayin' Alive', 'Fly Me To The Moon', 'What a Wonderful World', 'Lady Madonna', 'Your Song', 'Runaround Sue'. In case you were wondering, Midi doesn't sound like the soundtrack for 'Pacman' anymore. No. It has that scary empty profundity of advanced technology. Bizarre premonitions of future helplessness.

* A bright red cardinal flew up in front of my car; went totally vertical from my street, straight up into a sycamore tree. Like The Discovery. We gasped at each other.

* I had two messages on my private machine. Both from me. One was my cell phone recording of Todd Rundgren doing 'Can We Still Be Friends' from a concert I went to on Saturday night. The other was me saying 'My life as a billboard for chloroform' like t.s. eliot. I think it was an idea for a poem that I've now, a day later, forgotten. Drove home from the concert playing 'Used to Be My Romeo' by Basement Jaxx on repeat to keep me awake. Got to Falmouth. Went to bed. Read 1 page of 'There is No Sexual Relationship' by Zlavoj Zizek and fell asleep.

* As soon as we got back from the road race gig we went to the North Falmouth diner, where Watts pulled out a box chock-full of old snapshots: our band, he and I at his recording studio in Harwich, recording, bus to NYC, gigs in Falmouth and Hyannis, friends, groupies (Sue before anorexia; Steve looking air-brushed as Barry Gibb; Terry before she got her teeth knocked out by Karen Parker's brick) and lots of other miscellaneous deep freeze. The waitress was Allegra's friend. I forget her name. She said. 'Hey, you and Zack were so hammered that time you came over to Allegra's'. I said: '??' Then she said: 'I paid $120 to get my hair fixed'. I said 'What's fixed?' She said: 'My normal color.' I said: 'Red's your normal color?' She said: 'No. My hair's the same color as yours. But the day after I got it fixed I decided I liked red better. My mother was so mad.' Her mother must have felt like Frege after receiving Russell's casual note pointing out the devastating Liar's paradox problem with his magnum opus' set theory. Already in press!

* Art and Nick were at the house when we got back from the diner. Nick's hair went straight up like a flock of gasping cardinals. We played music and went to the beach. Well, Nick slept. 'I'm not a beach person.' Later, Art and I drove around falmouth until we finally found a restaurant that had only an hour's wait for seating. And a place to sit while we waited. We had a fine seafood dinner and laughed at what a Loki time is. We got home afterwards and played about 100 non-bluegrass songs, including most of 'Blonde on Blonde', as bluegrass. I think 'I Want You' came out best. Or 'Ballad of a Thin Man'. Nick knows all the words. You could almost see liking bluegrass. As a place where you can exist, never as yourself. Nick ate ice cream for dinner.

* I found this poem today. Tried to mentally fling it out the window so it wouldn't turn into a song. Failed:

Hotel Room Satori

The chambermaid knocks.
Comes straight in
Like a
Fluttering curtain

Instead of a doe-eyed
INS girl,
Memories glancing off the bordertown targets:
A boyfriend, an engagement,
A lunchpail full of whispers.

Me lying in a tousled bed. A collection
Of pirate ships. One of us needs to not exist.
I notice the curtains getting jittery.
The pale utility cart makes a deft introduction.
Then scoots.

* I'm reading a refresher book on chemistry, trying to answer the old question: 'Just when was it that particles became the whole man'?

:: 10:46 PM [+] ::

:: Saturday, August 10, 2002 ::
A sad followup. Steve's dad passed away on Thursday. Steve was with his dad in Michigan just this past weekend and I know their recent closeness has been profoundly consoling.

Based on the little I knew of Steve's dad, I thought of these lines from Wallace Steven's 'From the Packet of Anacharsis':

In his packet Anacharsis found the lines:
"The farm was fat and the land in which it lay
Seemed in the morning like a holiday."

He had written them near Athens. The farm was white.
The buildings were of marble and stood in marble light.
It was his clarity that made the vista bright.


Steve, good father, good son, death as a part of Life's cycle, also reminded me of this:

Ecce Puer

Of the dark past
A child was born;
With joy and grief
My heart is torn.

Calm in his cradle
The living lies.
May love and mercy
Unclose his eyes!

Young life is breathed
On the glass;
The world that was not
Comes to pass.

A child is sleeping:
An old man gone.
O, father forsaken,
Forgive your son!

-James Joyce (written on the occasion of his grandson Stephen's birth and the nearly coincident death of his father, John)


My grandmother (who raised my four siblings and me, starting at about age 70) told us often she planned to live to 100. And no more. She did exactly that. We had a huge party for her on her 100th birthday. Vast family. Most of the town. She died three months later. On the night she died she called us all to come and be with her. I'm not making this up. Something about her tone of voice, placid but insistent, my sister's as well (she was with her), compelled all of us to get ourselves immediately packed up and by her side. So we were all there with spouses and, in some cases, children. She said goodbye and gave her good strong hugs (which she hadn't been able to do very well for a few months or so) and told us how much she loved us and had loved raising us with Carl and then went to sleep and died a few hours later.

'The daily things we do'

The daily things we do
For money or for fun
Can disappear like dew
Or harden and live on.
Strange reciprocity:
The circumstance we cause
In time gives rise to us,
Becomes our memory.

-Philip Larkin
:: 12:06 PM [+] ::

:: Friday, August 09, 2002 ::
As part of my mission to keep Flaubert in-the-face of everyone I know, I direct you to this excellent piece on Madame Bovary by A.S. Byatt. She says, amongst a feast of characteristically punched-up observations: "Recently Madame Bovary appeared in a British newspaper listing of the 'fifty best romantic reads.' It was, and is, the least romantic book I have ever read."
:: 9:58 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, August 07, 2002 ::
Steve, He Who Reads Everything, points out a recent discussion by David, responding to writing by his friend Akma on differential hermeneutics, with respect to scriptural revelation.

David's a great writer and you'd probably do well just reading his entire passage; but for the always dubious purposes of this monadic outpost, I've pulled out some quotes that were interesting/perplexing to me. And stuck some comments at the end. The excerpts are all David's, except the one where David writes "AKMA writes".

And yet, if there is such a thing as revelation (and I am required here to note that I don't think that there is), doesn't it have to mean that God is telling us something in a way that we can understand? And if revelation tells us something that we can understand, then isn't it telling us what God thinks and feels — God's intentions? I don't see how you can exclude the possibility of understanding what God had in mind and still think there's revelation.

Granting the impossibility of knowing the real, final interpretation of the author's intentions especially when it comes to God, there's got to be more to interpreting than imagining, especially when it comes to scripture.

Let me sum up (sorry for the length). AKMA writes:

I just don’t believe texts have “meaning” in any way that escapes our attributing meaning to them.

What I think is true of interpreting revelation I actually think is true of all acts of interpretation. I don't think we are as cut off from the author's intentions as AKMA seems to believe.

I think that David is clearly right when he says "I don't see how you can exclude the possibility of understanding what God had in mind and still think there's revelation." I looked briefly at some of Akma's writings and don't see any place where he's made any headway out of this. Yet I then find myself very much agreeing with the practical side of Akma's hermeneutics. Though in the quote above he seems to exhibit radical skeptic underpinnings; whereas I'd call my own stance on authorial intent disinterest based on a pragmatic acceptance on the impossibility of establishing it. David, on the other hand, seems to be pushing for something that sounds suspciously like cognitive metacontent; or even a convergence theory of interpretation wrt an author's intent. Again, I wouldn't go that route a) because I think the undertaking is hopeless and b) because my own ideas about intersubjective activities in hermeneutics don't require it.

:: 1:18 PM [+] ::

:: Tuesday, August 06, 2002 ::
My Three Sons

We pitched a tent
Just outside Gethsemane
Wild winds spearing and calypsoing
In and out of
A stand of armed poplars.

One son canted:
The intergalactic bank."

Another son said backwards:
"Dad, look at me. A
Spanish unicorn fight."

The last son climbed
The Mount of Olives
And hollered:
"Greetings from the Tax Collector."

As wind speared and calypsoed,
Little bats slapped out on ritalin,
In and out of
The jittery-armed poplars
Of madding downtown Gethsemane.

:: 8:36 AM [+] ::

:: Monday, August 05, 2002 ::
One year ago last Thursday, August 1, the start-up company I helped get going and grow and had so much fucking fun at went into the liquidation tank. I won't bother describing the surreal circumstances. Or the even more surreal aftermath. It shouldn't have happened. But it did. Business, as such, is not, has never been, very important to me. But the war against the ordinary must absolutely embrace 'getting and spending,' however you go about that. Meaning, for me, at all costs, making sure my gig is constructed to allow it to become a provisional microsociety. So, how did I commemorate the occasion? Blottification, aided and abetted by a microsociety. Zack was playing with Josh at T.T. the Bears. With James Taylor Jr. opening, the expectation was things would be pretty packed. They were. So Anne and I met Art and Susan and Chris and Jeremy and, later, Bridget (who was on some kind of week-too-early shopping binge) at the Middle East for food and drinks. After assembling and eating and toasting the something that is, as opposed to the nothing that isn't, we went to the club. First mistake: Drinking some shite called 'Vibe'. Second mistake: Ordering two shots of 'the cheap shit' for Jeremy and myself right as Ritter's set was ending. Jeremy instantly went from cheerfully rubicund to rancid-motel-sheet white and gakked. I held on for an astonishing (for me) ten minutes before joining him.

Next morning I had a 7:30 a.m. business meeting. I have no idea what I said. Though I think I was giving 'advice'. Got home and had a twitchy sleep. I recovered enough by dinner time to whip up a massive pot of spaghetti for a ribald Frank Drake rehearsal. We have a gig coming up and probably do need to practice. I guess. We actually got a whole lot done. Or at least we made lots of plans for the series of inspired gimmicks we'll be using for our follow-up cantab gig. Anne and kids went to Falmouth after dinner. Zack stayed at my place. I went to Falmouth in the morning and had an amazingly lovely day; either porpoising around buzzards bay or just sitting in the yard glued to 'Sentimental Education'. Frederic's obsessive dead-ending after the lovely but mortally aloof Madame Arnoux, in the hands of the incomparable Flaubert, is just the thing to accompany a scorching sun, boater, shorts and tacky Cape Cod tank top. Zack came down too late for the exquisite grillage. But not too late to hit Grumpy's pub where the Masters of Groove or some such, a new orleans funk band, w/ a couple of local ringers, including Mike 'Yes-I-Can-Play-Like-Wayne-Shorter' Tucker, took the latter-day Average White Band funk some places it would never otherwise have gone. Got to demo for Zack my cajun moon-landing style of dancing. Zack was spinning Anne arounjd like a sack of lentils. And we played pool. Drove home in the Rock Lobster, singing 'I Am Waiting' at the top of our lungs: i.e., slightly louder than the lobster's collection of stentorian noises.

Sunday, Paul and family drove down. I made chowder. Did more grilling. Paul brought an amazing bottle of Shiraz. It was again hovering around 90 and we were one with the water. Including a late night swim which has become a new ritual. Another glimmering filament bearing down hard against sin and barbarism and global market hegemony and unbridled competition, the end of ideology and ruin.

:: 3:34 PM [+] ::

:: Thursday, August 01, 2002 ::
Footnote (headnote?) to cantab post below: And just how miasmic can it be? Here's an unexpurgated aftermath account from a fine friend, well met, who shall remain anonymous. For now. Entitled 'Holy Shit,' the e-missive ran as follows:

I ended up face down in the gutter, my clothes soiled and ragged, my lips
cracked and brittle after enduring hours of steeping in whiskey soaked stomach
lining, my hair matted into a crust as hard as a helmet. But not before I got
the number of the girl wearing the red and white striped sweater.

I can't go on; I'll go on.

:: 5:21 PM [+] ::

My friend Chris is posting some great writing on his site. Check out, for starters, the 7/7 and 7/23 entries.


The cantab is admittedly a miasma, little more than a cultural spittoon maybe. But in my own private war against the ordinary, it's Fort Apache. At least for the moment. It's at a situational cusp. This past Tuesday was once again a roiling festoon of spiky, contradictory moments, with those, y'know, glimpses of infinite indetermination accompanying my crawl through the void. My friend Steve has been speaking and writing, understandably, about community; bemused that he sees more of it online than off and thinking about radical solutions like moving to Europe to set things right. I see it a little bit differently. As I said to Steve out in the middle of Massachusetts Bay on Monday, sitting in the back of Paul's boat, the key non-family relationship needs to be the provisional microsociety, not local community. For those who want 'community', they're going to find that spontaneity based on residential proximity is a mirage. You end up either like Richard Ford, concluding you're a fan of community more in theory than in practice or hollowed out with the effort of propping up the necesssarily unfulfillable expectations of a mirage. Online community is an okay simulacrum. The internet is a vast conceptual space and can encourage Lacanian passion (ne pas ceder sur son desir) and fidelity. But mediation by bits is still a simulacrum. Art and I tried to jam from separate locations within a poetry chat room once. It sucked. [Though perhaps it was heard by some as an aleatory, Cagian deconstruction of whatever fiddle tune we were butchering.] I've known people who've collectively gotten drunk 'together' (parallel drinking) online. There are even rumors I've heard that people have sex online. That said, in the realm of the Real it's hard to just whip up a batch of microsociety. There's got to be a nexus. And then there's got to be a situation. And then there's got to be an almost Beckett-like determination. 'I can't go on; I'll go on,' is what I say every Tuesday as I get in the fucking car. Or when I go into my basement studio, another dauntingly vast conceptual space, or even scheduling Bridget to come over and sing. I can't go on; I'll go on. The alternative is Lacanian self-withdrawal. Severing extraordinary subjectivity from the situation. There was an article, I think it was in the Times magazine a couple weeks ago. I only saw the headline. It was about bored males and their bizarre relationship to sportscasters. I felt like I didn't need to read anymore. What else was there to say about that?
:: 11:38 AM [+] ::

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