ICONOCLAST, n. A breaker of idols, the worshipers whereof are imperfectly gratified by the performance, and most strenuously protest that he unbuildeth but doth not reedify, that he pulleth down but pileth not up. For the poor things would have other idols in place of those he thwacketh upon the mazzard and dispelleth. But the iconoclast saith: "Ye shall have none at all, for ye need them not; and if the rebuilder fooleth round hereabout, behold I will depress the head of him and sit thereon till he squawk it."-- Ambrose Bierce
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Saturday, August 9, 2014
In Heaven as well as on Earth:
If it be wiser to kill mankind
Before or after the birth-
These are matters of high concern
Where State-kept school men are;
But Holy State (we have lived to learn)
Endeth in Holy War.
Whether The People be led by the Lord,
Or lured by the loudest throat:
If it be quicker to die by the sword
Or cheaper to die by vote -
These are the things we have dealt with once,
(And they will not rise from their grave)
For Holy People, however it runs,
Endeth in wholly Slave.
Whatsoever, for any cause,
Seeketh to take or give,
Power above or beyond the Laws,
Suffer it not to live!
Holy State or Holy King -
Or Holy People's Will -
Have no truck with the senseless thing.
Order the guns and kill!
Once there was The People - Terror gave it birth;
Once there was The People and it made a Hell of Earth.
Earth arose and crushed it. Listen, O ye slain!
Once There was The People - it shall never be again!
Friday, June 20, 2014
My first real indication that there was a universe outside myself came in 1962, after Alice's husband – the one in the song – gave me a copy of the Tao Te Ching. At the time, I was singing all those euphoric songs about how we're gonna save the world, & Lao-tse made me wonder: Will the world be any different because of anything I do? He struck a chord that made me sense that I was a little discordant with the cosmic universal tune. It wasn't a major musical atrocity; but it forced me to pay attention to myself – like when you know you have a cold coming on. You could say that was the start of my midlife crisis. I was about fifteen.
For years I kept showing up at all the right demonstrations & singing all the right songs, & one day I realized that the world still sucked & my own life was out of control. I'd done all these things to save the world, & I couldn't even save myself. I understood then that my real work was me, not the world.– Arlo Guthrie
1. Thinking Against Ourselves:
‘Human strike’ designates the most generic movement of revolt.
The adjective ‘human’ in this case doesn’t have any moral connotation, it is just more inclusive than ‘general’, because every human strike is an amoral gesture and it is never merely political or social. It attacks the economic, affective, sexual and emotional conditions that oppress people.
The interest and the difficulty of this concept lies in the fact that it is a concept that thinks against itself. And thinking against ourselves will be the necessity of the revolts to come, as desubjectivisation (taking distance from what we are, becoming something else) will be the only way to fight our exploitation. In fact our new working conditions see us being exploited as much in the workplace as outside of it, as the workplace has both exploded and liquefied and so gained our whole lives. Thinking against ourselves will mean thinking against our identity and our effort to preserve it, it will mean stopping believing in the necessity of identifying ourselves with the place we occupy.
The movement of thought normally used to describe facts and processes of life cannot be applied to the investigation of the particular form of behaviour that we call ‘human strike’, because the human strike transforms the common ways of understanding and expressing things that actually entrap us in the very situations from which we must escape. Because our perception always includes the position from which we perceive.
Human strike, therefore always strikes partially against itself, and this is why when the historical toll is taken of its manifestations, as for example in the case of the feminist movements of the 1970s in Italy, it is hard to separate the constructive aspects from the destructive ones. It is difficult to bring out the positive sides, because the achievements of this kind of strike are inseparable from the lives of people, they cannot be measured in terms of numbers, wage increases or material transformations, but only in different ways of living and thinking. To the distracted gaze of a superficial spectator, a landscape crossed by human strike might even seem more damaged than radically revolutionised.
What we are looking at, then, is a movement of desubjectivisation and resubjectivisation, of exit from a condition – from a certain type of identification that goes with obligations, stereotypes and projections – and an entrance into a new state, less defined, more uncertain, but freed of the weights that burdened the previous identity and allowed the perpetuation of the status quo.
For example, when Bartleby opposes the lawyer with the inertia of his generically negative preference, he politely withdraws from the obligations of his job and revolts without directly confronting the hierarchy. His rebellion creates a ground that nothing can get a grip on, because he does not say what he would prefer to be different (he does not formulate a claim) or what he dislikes about his condition (he does not express a denunciation). His gesture robs the power of its power, at which point that the lawyer who employs him experiences inappropriate feelings for Bartleby, something akin to love, and falls prey to the impression that his virility is being shaken. The roots of his authority are undermined by the situation and he finds a part of himself, the one which takes sides with Bartleby’s revolt, hostile to his own role as a boss.
Monday, June 16, 2014
What follows is a selection of texts with different stories and different intentions. They are all sediments in the margin of something else, which remains liquid or gaseous, probably more important than the rest.
The practice of writing can only pursue the processes of thought and it rarely catches their tails. Human strike is not even a possible prey for it, since in any case it remains a horizon, a possibility, a disquieting guest, that cannot (and doesn’t need to) be described by the written word. The traces left by this phenomenon find their own scriveners: human strike is not the invention of an author, it’s actually what proves that any form of hypostasised individuality is nothing but a dirty compromise, the result of indecent commerce with some power. What truly counts in the economy of freedom are human relationships, what happens between people.
Radical theory is composed of texts that wish to accompany experimental practices – preserving the space of their potentiality, trying not to prevent things from happening by predicting them – and other texts that prescribe and show the way, texts that exterminate mistakes and kill questions.
The writings that are grouped here don’t belong to any of these categories, maybe because they aren’t ‘radical’ and they are not exactly theory. What they try to do is capture the space in which subjectivity opposes power and by doing so transforms itself into something other that doesn’t even need to fight the same enemy, because this enemy cannot damage it nor access it. These moments can be rare and volatile, they don’t accumulate, they don’t become a system, but what is certain is that this exercise can highlight what will save us.
Today if subjectivity doesn’t become simultaneously the weapon and the battlefield, the means and the end of every struggle, we will remain the embarrassed hostages to hope in social and political movements, with their tragic incapability to build a present that isn’t just another state of exception. Militancy has shown that even within the most sincere and passionate quest for freedom relationships remain instrumental and therefore deadly. And even if the end is liberation, its tragic separation from the means transforms it into the worst slavery. Patriarchy has put everything to work: feelings, bodies, friendship, love, motherhood. And everything – within that libidinal economy – is nothing but a work of reproduction and preservation of the world as it is. The task of human strike is to defunctionalise all these useful activities and return them to their quintessential creativity that will unhinge any form of oppression.
Human strike is not a strategy and it’s not a tactic, it has always already begun when we join it because it has always been there. Politicising its protean forms is the task that we can assume: recognising it in our spontaneous and unconscious behaviours, letting ourselves be nourished by the energy that every pertinent refusal emits. The absurdity of the crisis we are living in is nothing but the confirmation of the necessity to coordinate these gestures. Police brutality and governments’ ruthlessness can seem surprising when they shamefully present themselves as the only answer to a disaster entirely created by the ones in power.
In fact there is no possibility of having a dialogue with an organised power that, for the first time in many decades, explicitly betrays all over the planet even the most superficial illusion of democracy and honesty. A dialogue with the very iron fist that strangles the masses and progressively wipes out the conquests of workers’ struggles is totally impossible. What is needed is a change of nature of the subjectivities where this power plants its seeds and plunges its roots.
If fascism could be eradicated it is because the subjectivities that embodied it at a certain point refused to reproduce it, broke with their past, decided that a new dream of cohabitation, another idea of mankind had to be born. If fascism hasn’t been totally defeated it is because patriarchy and the colonisation of life by commodity are still our daily bread.
The possibilities that a concerted human strike could uncover are virtually unlimited. We cannot know what could happen if we did agree to change ourselves and change each other, because the very categories at our disposal today aren’t the ones we will use in this possible future. Human strike will change the way we have to apprehend it, it will be a psychosomatic transformation, extremely difficult to criminalise and extremely contaminating. It will not happen through mysticism, through alternative techniques of the self, through a specific training, through the reappropriation of violence, but it might also happen because of these practices, although it will not be their direct result. What is at stake is the discovery of a new intimacy with ourselves that will make us resistant to cruelty and retaliation as much as lucid in front of abuses, flexible and detached, freed from the need to follow instructions or leaders. The experience of unlearning, which is necessary to spark this change, will require the abandonment of all superstitions, including the belief in revolution or the possibility of communism as it has been dreamt of through the past couple of centuries.
The refusal to reproduce models of the past, to represent a position or a group, will bring a new abstraction, a new imageless practice on the scene of politics, which will connect us to the consciousness that human strike is already happening, that it happens all the time, that we just need to listen to it and play it, like one plays in an orchestra or on a stage, as we all have a place in it. And the human strike needs us as much as we need it.
Saturday, August 3, 2013
"Let us then acknowledge man a born poet. . . . Despite his utmost efforts, were he mad enough to employ them, he could not succeed in exhausting his language of the poetical element which is inherent in it, in stripping it of blossom, flower, and fruit, and leaving it nothing but a bare and naked stem. He may fancy for a moment that he has succeeded in doing this, but it will only need for him to become a little better philologer, to go a little deeper into the study of the words which he is using, and he will discover that he is as remote from this consummation as ever."— Richard Chenivix Trench.
The demand for plain-speak, that is to say, precise, clear and distinct language, illustrates a classic example of Freud's defense mechanism he labeled "reaction formation" – where the chance to exercise muscles within the brainpan is viewed as an assault upon the ego. The outcome is a clamorous invocation just begging for some answers or a truth with easy-carry handles like self-rolling luggage at the airport.
If, on the other hand, flowery speech (or its writing) is generative of what we like to call "thinking" or "imagery" then the clear and precise or "given" exchanges the emitter-receptor dance flowing across synapses like slithering snakes living in sin (where the ambiguity, equivocation and/or inversion of simultaneously experienced multiple entendre may feel more like squirming maggots), exchanges all that for a monotonous state of reception and regurgitation on demand. In educational circles, this is known as the drill, on analogy with dentistry or a terrifying tonguing into unexplored orifices. The more (in both quantity and quality) reflective the vomitus, the higher the score and one is said to be an independent thinker and is graduated to the next level with or without ceremony but celebrated nonetheless – drilling is a chore but well worth the effort for would-be authorities as well as those out for revenge, those who are more likely to go on themselves to become teachers or members of the so-called "helping" professions. The result, of course, is that thinking has actually ceased in exchange for the accumulation and systemization of thoughts or more precisely, isolated criteria given independent status distinct from their matrix. The process is variably qualified "objectivity" or labeled "reification".
'Names,' as it has been excellently said, 'are impressions of sense, and as such take the strongest hold upon the mind, and of all other impressions can be most easily recalled and retained in view. They therefore serve to give a point of attachment to all the more volatile objects of thought and feeling. Impressions that when past might be dissipated for ever, are by their connexion with language always within reach. Thoughts, of themselves are perpetually slipping out of the field of immediate mental vision; but the name abides with us, and the utterance of it restores them in a moment.'– ibid
The word or name is an index or memory-as-hook in a metaphoric relation betwixt oral and/or aural cavities and sensual experience (in literature, the hook is visual, conflating that which "makes sense" with what is written). In nominalisation, the point of course, sets up the dialectic such that the criterion as a former inhabitant is removed, ghetto-wise, from its native habitat or territory subject to exploration transformed into a subject for exploitation.
It is forgotten that the former inhabitant was merely a criterion or perspective within (in- should be a clue, but who these days considers the words they use?) a field of perception which, if not static, is as well a field of communication which, without imposed constraints, can set up wakes and ripples undulating around the globe like radio waves hurling across the black we like to call outer space. Clear and precise boundaries limit the field of perception as distinct as a barbed wire fence would to a cow on its way to electro-shock therapy at the packing plant. The theory of barbed wire is like commercial fishing: the more hooks thrown out simultaneously, the greater likelihood something will be poked.
And they have the balls to suggest telling stories is fiction as opposed to the truths (or select paths toward them) revealed in the exclusive halls of education. It's a sacred place like a temple, obvious from the toll-booths facing every entrance. A certain ambiguity may be the only thing which wakes one up or invites a changed direction, like it was fuel for an amoral machine or food for beasts of transformation.
Might it be the urge to get our stories straight (in philosophy and religion it's called "a systematization" – whether scientific, philosophical or Thoretical) is just a sound defence in case we're caught transgressing by some cop-like authorities? "Explain yourself!" is rarely confused with an invitation for some mutual wordplay or other pleasant tonguing; it's more like when the dentist says "Open wide". That is also the point for drilling holes or minor extraction if one recalls a mine and all things mental are a cavity, and not always lingua-dental – we more often use the word, "abysmal".
Unless you can produce an appearance of infinity by your disorder, you will have disorder only without magnificence. – Edmund Burke
Monday, July 22, 2013
"From the Indin's point of view, 'white man' is not a race, it's a psycho-social disorder."– Sequoia Chesterfield
"It is said a black white man once became a human being, but mostly they are strange creatures. Not as ugly as the white, true, but just as crazy."– Thomas Berger/Dan George
"For it is not merely that a race of men bleached white with the failure of courage would do well with a prelaid scheme of action: they refuse to move on without one."– Dora Marsden
"What then is Moby Dick? He is the deepest blood-being of the white race; he is our deepest blood-nature."– DH Lawrence
It seems we're not talking about race at all in the twentieth century fashion. Recall that DNA wasn't "discovered" 'till 1956 and that was only a molecular chain synthesizing proteins from a vat of acid called the cellular nucleus somewhat resembling a chamber pot of variegated minestrone. Up to that time, Darwin's blood-born trace-as-blueprint passed from generation to generation as a mere theory subject to much discontent, compared to today – it's more passport than a postulatum – but discontent seems coming 'round again, despite the proofs of religious science and secular religion.
Prior to the twentieth, the argument over per- or preconceived types did not concern itself with the variability of humanity, but it's defined existence: one was either human or not human, that is, man or beast, and for the yet unconvinced, "more or less" demanded some kind of ranking. Variability applied to the animal kingdom alone – the distinction hinged upon the easily recognisable absence of a soul or for liberals, one that's charred with sin (as seen in all our children) and blackened by an unexpected (that is, immoral) action. Purity is the dentist class well washed with fluoride (or in former times, the puritans who washed their souls with spirits of turpentine or hydrogenated chloride). One could deny and in fact, change one's race by moving on to Croatan, that would entail a loss of face (and more should the patriots up and catch you – with bit and brace they'd run you through. In more enlightened times or nations the drills are used for carpentry and education).
The more embracive liberals spoke of race, not as a function of spiritual biology so much as inferring types of nation, culture or language or in distinguishing (it works both ways) the civilised and savage. The most embracive spoke of the human race, and were on sounder footing, considering no polly ever mated with a cracker, no human-chimp nor any catwoman babies were forthcoming but there were swells blossoming from every possible experimental reconnoiter amongst bipedal locomotives. All these senses revolve around a moral criteria concerning marriage or who gets the goods which others make while shackled to even yet another's acreage. And we learn from Romeo and Juliet, in olden times such sentiments were not of common folk but came direct from factions of the ruling regiments.
Elsewise, one might see a clustering of sensual aesthetics. It's oft been said a dog and its pet eventually come to resemble each other. Science gives the most ambiguous of definitions or states outright the whole affair is indeterminate or illusory. Grace value (in paid gratuities) is just the cost for saving face, sometimes in installments. A genome or a clade is just an average like the 33rd and one third state west of Wyoming. It sounds just like that language never spoken, the infamous proto-indo-european. Epigenes just posit an out-of-sex influence and genes would only express some inertia in a kind of relay. For some it might be tea leaves or a random recitation, dna analysis should work no less well than any other sort of divination (like placebo still works better than experimental medicine).
Of course today a race is just a cover-term for everything beyond the gates, illustrating a return to the sense existing twixt Rome and the ancient city states: it's just a word-like axiom referring to barbarians – from inside what is different describes everything that's scary. If you can't see or hear the difference, it's still there – we call it "class", just like in higher education. It's in the nature of a city or any other walled or gated community. What's unnormal to your senses, but mostly sight and hearing provides a likely subject for any proof of any pudding, most likely to be charged with any judgement such as antipatriotic or out of fashion clothing. It's the only thing that gives the normies a positive turn from their self loathing – it's a classic form of self-fulfilling prophesy learned early in the form of scientific reductivity right alongside reprisals toward one's own experimental inquiry.
Selection is deduced from the survival of survivors who are said to have an advantage over the dead or dying – it suggests that evolution is improved upon by escalated killing so the leap to warring states is considered native proof of a progressive evolution. But the punctuated equilibrium inferred in some biologies describes a jump or leap from one to other species, like a werewolf it concerns a transformation with the exception that there's no going back despite the moon or mushrooms in the rainy season. It may only mean that all the normies dropped dead from some catastrophe, leaving all the freaks or "meek" to carry on somewhat more congenially. Such has long been prophesied by more than one mythology. If genes are selfish, only concerned with their perpetuation, in evolutionary terms the best bet against extinction would be to mate with every freak (or the exceptional) which frequented their establishment. That, of course, presumes the gene's endowed with human ego. Colored white it thinks exclusivity's a sign of some distinction, thinking only of the nasty rebels, the course it's taken only leads to natural de-selection, given the existence of catastrophes beyond the reach of even capitalist recouperation.
The objective rational truth that gets hauled out in defense of racial types is just as much a component of one myth as is the muskrat who swims down to the bottom of the sea to bring up some earth to plant on turtle's back a component of another. Everyday life, even in postmodern societies, does not function according to a set of codes established upon objective facts; at least, not entirely. A lot of what one does when one negotiates the quotidian (e.g., in New York or Des Moines) is active myth-interpretation, for in the end, one has to forget much in order to get anything done. Myths are stories that are comparably much more practical for integrating experience than are the raw data of biology. Were people to really pause and consider the reasoned basis for their views on race they would be thrown into a conundrum. Inevitably they would become less productive employees, for they would be compelled of their own trajectory to contemplate the reasoned basis of their society, a reflective activity that has always threatened the status quo with its revelations and subsequent disrupture. The myth of objective truth is the myth of the culture that sought the conquest of nature. It functions like a good myth ought to: it sufficiently explains the contemporary society in a favorable way that encourages an ongoing compliance with its rules and constraints. And just like a good myth, it conceals its mythical nature in a veil of truth. How very magical.– Neal Keating, What is a Race?
For pragmatics we have a more practical solution: a race, when not a game or competition, is just a form around a rolling pin or bearing useful for a smooth transition – from what to where is not the prime consideration, unless the sun or moon or stars as data for to catch your bearing – in which case we're on the topic of provisional contingency and dancing with affinity. Considering the variables of living, in a bazillion years there'd never be a single blended unity. There's not a single standard which can articulate a "nature" without contradicting all the others – by it's own imagination even Western reason considers rigid categories something quite absurd, but that's how lawyers win their cases and governments make laws concerning im- and emmigration. Did someone say the civilised embraces contradiction?
When a groove enclamps a ball 'tis said it's bearing
but only when of age, a race for lube and proper caring.– Atka Mip
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Or does it? It's very likely there never was a time when "things" were simple. History is a compressor like the piston in a steam engine where much complexity goes up in smoke, and to suppose the people back when or now are sheep-like is a good assessment, but not perhaps in the same manner that a sheep herder would present it. In fact, there's little flocking among sheep without a herder and the dog (to emphasize the point) or a farmer's imposed fences or a desert all around oases. When sheep get pissed they split in all directions (even 'cross a desert) and by the time you find a one you notice they're in small groups scattered here and there. They're also practiced in deception: they might feign contented feeding just to bore the herder into sleeping, and then they're gone before you can proceed to blinking.
A clever one might see a call in all this splitting, for further ratcheting our alienation. Unless defined politically expedient, amongst friends that can't describe the situation; not by any stretch of even Webster's definition. But wait a minute! If there's no way out of any state or weird condition, since fate or invisible hands are pulling strings like we're just puppet things, and surely we never asked for our surroundings, how is it that some can get together in tanks or cloisteries or ivory towers and on a whim proceed to blow us all to smithereens? It's either magic power or as Dora Marsden said, it's never just the law that people find so dear or guns and knives or spears they fear. What's in fashion is obedience itself – it appeals to authors and performers. Doesn't everyone just want to be loved? Well, sometimes we hesitate throwing bushels of tomatoes at the stage, not just out of politeness but because we feel sorry for them, like we would an aging garbageman suffering a bout of on-the-job hernia. It's the author and director hiding in the wings who need the egging. On the other hand I've seen some sheep give chase to a biting dog clear into the next state, and then returned to gentle misbehaving with a glance up at the herder as if suggesting "Make me!" On occasions horns play hell with even coyote livers. In the end, of course, like everyone the miscreants were rounded up, then sorted out and put in cans of dog food. Fido finally had his way (proved in the eating), but at least the sheep had had a day of living.
"THE offending aspect of the pretensions of "democracy" is not that in the name of what the "majority" supposedly thinks: we are supposed to be pleased and happy to be "ruled" by a clique "for our good." Far from it, since, in truth, but few of us are "ruled" at all. It is merely our little foible to pretend we are. We give our "rulers" to understand they "rule" us because it pleases them so greatly to think they do: and then there is the consideration that a docile demeanour serves to divert their too too kind attention; probably the most servile-seeming member of a "state" the most bent upon fulfilling the role of step-grandmother fundamentally is untouched by "rule." The obedient attitude is a very convenient garb for the perverse to wear: and if the mere doing of it does not jar the temper too much, appearing to submit will define the line of least resistance to doing what, under the circumstances is what we please. Thus under the shelter of the servile demeanour there forms a residue of mulish waywardness, especially in those who appear to present their parts to receive the kicks which keep them going between gutter and cesspool: a waywardness which even more than temper succeeds in making them into a kind of clay unmeet to the hand which would govern. The great unwashed will accept the infliction of the bath which cuts a slice off the space of their limited premises with resignation and reflect that it will indeed have a use as a wardrobe and coal-place. Though they are cast down by such things they are not defeated. "Rule" slides from them, as water slides from a duck. "Rule" has effect only on those who are indoctrinated with the Dogma: those who are under the spell of the "Word." Even these – these intellectuals – are not placed in bondage by the rulers: theirs is a voluntary bondage – true freedom, according to the Word – and if they act as automata it is that they subscribe to the dogma that it is their duty to be as automata. They submit themselves to the law: because they approve not always indeed of the law, but of the attitude which submits to law.
It is not therefore for its supposed prowess in the line of government that democracy's claims are obnoxious. It earns its odium through the commodity which the "rulers" offer in exchange for their investiture with authority to govern. "Rulers" appear contemptible not for what they take but what they give. That they lay hold of authority and all the ready cash which their positions render available is, if regrettable, yet tolerable: the machine will go until it breaks; the vexatious thing is that in order to become installed in their position of advantage they must needs undermine and bemuse by flattery the intelligence of those whose lack of it is sufficiently evidenced by their willingness to have truck with them...
Every new creed is ninety-nine parts rechauffe of all the creeds which by virtue of its hundredth part it is supposed to supersede: the fact that the ingredients are incongruous proving no bar to such rehashing. To mince the whole to a uniform state of non-recognition where possible, and to accept whole what resists the process according to its external merits, is the method of treatment. Naturally therefore in the cult of equality-cum-democracy it is not surprising to be met with the spirit of "Noblesse oblige," notwithstanding the fact that democracy knows no "Noblesse."...
A civilisation is the attempted working out of a Scheme of Salvation: a plan of escape. It is the imperfect form built up from the perfected plan which the religious philosophies of the "great" "constructive" "thinkers" of its age have projected. For it is not merely that a race of men bleached white with the failure of courage would do well with a prelaid scheme of action: they refuse to move on without one. They bleat for a Deliverer – great constructive thinker-as sheep for a shepherd. Being without prescience, without inner compelling desire, they wait to be told. The great world of audiences puts out its distracted agitated tentacles, swaying about aimlessly, dumb appeals to be told how to expend themselves, and where. Culture, training in the art of spending oneself, is the imperious necessity of the bleached race, whether lettered or simple. Life without the courage for it, is so bad a business that they must needs approach it with caution. Earth is so little to their taste that they demand the construction of a heaven. To construct the "New Jerusalem," work to the plan of the Deliverer, and make a heaven on earth is a task they can put their hands to. But to live for themselves – to lose "faith"? They would as soon not live at all...
To understand why killing at times is, and at other times is not murder, one must turn not to law, but to the theory of "order." "Order" is that arrangement of things – including people – which fits in with the whim of an individual, or an individualised group. If the "order" of those who are maintained in their position of governors demands the killing of certain people, as it does in a war, in overworking to make profits, or any of the thousand ways in which the lives of the common people are jeopardised and "taken " – then "killing is no murder." It is instead, " patriotism" or "bold statesmanship." But if the common people begin to think that the ways of the governing parties are incompatible with their ideas of "order" and they take to killing: then killing is murder: double-dyed, heinous: a hideous, heart-shuddering blasphemous affront to God and man: to the universe, to "morality," to the heavenly host and all the troops of angels, and must be avenged. So, Call out the entire army and navy and see that God and the Church are bustled up!!!!! Killing then is murder and no doubt about it...
"Culture" is the outcome of Gadding Minds – minds, that is, which are dull "at home," and which have fallen in gladly with the notion that there is a "Truth" which can be come at by assiduous and ingenious manipulation of phrases. They are very willing to attempt short cuts to understanding especially if they can in that way travel with a crowd of gadders like themselves. The culture-epoch of the last two thousand years will have to pass before the Searchers for Truth begin to inquire "at home ": to understand that the only things which are "true" for them are the few things which their own individual power to perceive makes them aware of through the channels of their senses. Their present habit of Hunting for Truth with thimbles and forks, anchors and care, clappers, tracts and a wild whirling sound will help them as far towards awareness as – to use an analogy we have used before – the presentation of bound volumes of the works of Darwin will help the jelly-fish up the ascent of being. The clutter of cultural concepts – mere words – are choking the frail fine tentacles of perception: preconceived notions hang as a film over the eyeballs and until they can slip the entire burden their way in life will be mad and melancholy...
It is clear that the one emotion which the moralists cannot afford to permit to weaken is: Fear. (They would call it reverence, but no matter.) Whatever strengthens human fear is to them the basis of "good": because "Fear" is disintegrating, and throws its owner in submission on to the breast of any and every concept which is thrust forward and called "salvation." The moralists exploit and play upon the feeling of smallness and loneliness which is the first outcome of that sense of isolation and separateness which is called self-consciousness. It is because men are in the first place lonely and afraid, that the feebler sort move in herds and act alike: hence the growth of "customary" action: moral action. The outcry against the "immoral," i.e. the unusual, is the expression of distress of the timid in the presence of the innovation. It is the instinct which feels there is safety with the crowd and danger as well as loneliness in adventuring individually which puts the poignant note into the epithet "immoral." To be "immoral" is to be on precisely the same level as the unconventional and the unfashionable: that and no more...
The commandment "Love one another" is an advance in subtlety as compared with the injunctions it was intended to supersede. It is an attempt to establish an intra-conscious police in the shape of Conscience. It is what the Webbs for instance would call a move in the direction of "efficiency in administration," as the spy-system is more "efficient" than an ordinary police-system. More efficient because more intimate, and more effective because it is easy to control actions once feeling has been surrendered under control. The favour with which the command to "Love one another" was received is evidence of the strength of the desire for neighbourly espionage and democratic control of "each by all" of which all modern legislation is but the grotesque parody in action. (Now with democracy merely an infant, "loving one another" only mildly, we control each other in the realms of marrying, being born, housed, clothed, educated, fed and similar minor matters only. When all "Love one another" with zeal our inter-neighbourly control will begin to show something of what it can be.)
It is therefore quite clear what motives of economy would operate in the point of view of "Authority" in substituting "compulsory love" for "compulsory circumspect behaviour" such as the decalogue enjoins. If only universal "loving" could be made the fashionable habit, the supreme "moral," how easy the work of "leaders" would be. When individuals love one another how easily they work together: how they appear successful in overcoming the otherwise unmanageable ego. Then why not make love among the herd compulsory: and hey presto: the New Dispensation: the Christian era...
The irony of the efforts of the advocates of the new dispensation to press "love" into the service of the "moral concepts" is not immediately apparent. It is customary to regard "love" as the outcome of "culture" and therefore in some special way amenable to the service of culture. It has become too much a habit of speech with the "civilised" world, i.e. the moralised idea-ised world, to look on "love" as in some sort a means of "salvation," to expect it to analyse why it does so. If it did men would realise that the explanation is the reverse of the current one, i.e. that love is the consummation of moralisation. It is in fact an effort to escape from it. The heavy incrustation of habitualised actions, i.e. morals, increases in tenacity as life goes on, forming a sort of hutch which is half shelter and half tomb. The taking on of its earlier incrustations is called "growing-up": as they grow more obviously oppressive it is called "growing old." To be "morally-minded" is to have lost the instinct which revolts against this walling-up of the changing spirit: revolt that is against either growing up or growing old. As most people are morally-minded the world is left with a tiny remnant of individuals of whom if we spoke of them in terms of time-measurement we should say ranged in age from two years to five: the people of genius and charm. The age of maturity, if we may put it like that, when all that we mean is the age at which the soul has made itself familiar with its new dwelling-place and is at its best, brightest, most inquiring and "true," is from two years to five: not twenty-five or fifty-five as the moralist would like to pretend. From five onwards the browbeating process which is called moral education begins, and as we have said only spirits which are bigger and more resistant than their would-be instructors resist it and stand firm at their height of growth. The rest are slowly driven back by "culture" to the state of automatic living which was their pre-natal existence...To introduce an attitude into a relation whose very existence is a revolt against attitudes is to snatch from the conventional what is literally his one means of salvation, and that none too certain...
The characteristic of the "rebel" position is a feeling of angry temper against – something: i.e. conditions, presumably static. Now as a matter of fact "conditions" of a relative degree – precisely in that relative degree under which the agitator conceives them, are an illusion. There are conditions which men would find absolute, as for instance an explorer without food in Arctic territory: but in a "land of plenty" such as these in which the "rebel movement" is trying to make headway: conditions – static – hard and fast – are illusory, and impermanent as the blocking out of light from a room by a night's frost is impermanent. Heat the room and the window-panes clear and the light streams in. Now seemingly-harsh conditions of wealth acquiring in fertile lands with instruments of production such as we possess are as formidable as an army of snow warriors exposed in the glare of warm sun light. Conditions dissolve under the thawing influence of human initiative, energy, and temper. What is amiss, in the worst (of these relative) conditions human eye has rested upon, is not the condition: but the conditioning human quantity which has enabled it to take shape. The condition was not there first: it followed in the trail of the human beings who allowed it to settle round them as an aura; and altering the condition is not the first concern: the seat of the agitator's offending lies in his trying to persuade the "poor" that it is: the folly of the rebels is that they believe it so to be...
In fact, the conclusion to which one is pressed is that we – that is the people who talk and write – take all theories, politics and propagandas too seriously: far more so than ever was intended by those who amuse themselves by such species of Sport. The permanent role of propagandists and politicians is that of public entertainer; and they stand or fall by the answer to the question, "Do they entertain?""
In simpler terms: Utterly, in lieu of an existing thematic social organisation, the well-fit (euphoric, meaning 'good form') juxtaposition of novel (dialogic) utterances and pantomime (dramatic performances) of a cultural mythos, a narrative pantomime of one's ethos some call "theatre", others "culture" and others yet "delusion", the novel (or themes and theses) uttered (or performed as drama) reveals a contemporaneous alternative cosmos (from Greek kosmos: 'order', 'universe', 'ornament' from Fr. 'objet') whose enduring livability is yet to be determined, but is discarded before the experiment or comparative analysis can proceed, "acting as if" one verse were a unified reality split into fact and disposable fiction, the really real and the fantastic. All argument is a fight for the superiority of one's own goods (or gods – see "spook", "phantasm") or the equivalent subsumption (appropriation) of those of others, of the others themselves. But this one mostly concerns their stylistic form over their practical, hands-on content, thus the split between science and philosophy (or physics and metaphysics) overlaps factitious documentary and fictitious narrative, cutting off the history wherein factic and fictic were once alternative expressions (exgesia) of an oral cavity on a single face regarding the same ingestive content (ingesta). In such a struggle, all possibility (potential) steps to the background until a fist (or vomitus) flies, in the end trading off possibility for a secure moral sense at no rate of interest in the sociological (also known as democratic) construction of a novel religious order.
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Saith Sir Thomas Brewbold, "for whereas, there is but one way to do nothing and divers way to do something, whereof, to a surety, only one is the right way, it followeth that he who from indecision standeth still hath not so many chances of going astray as he who pusheth forwards".
Largely due to the inability to appreciate a sound flogging put forth by the skeptics but only after the institution of smarmy lawyers to discredit the even sounder linguistic intuitions of the sophists, the stoics prevailed behind the heels of the up-and-coming media personality, Plato. Rather than acknowledge independent thinking which might just put an end to voluntary sacrifice, stoics organized as the nouveau class of philosophers modern cynics might call sycophantic wankers, christian atheists or merely, ministers of unnatural science – that is to say, well-schooled dogmatics.
So the stage was set, not unhindered by the trials against impiety, for the more conservative of thinkers to fill the think-tanks with the smells of fish-like swells of the theologic systematizers who put together the first bible (still largely oral) for the growing Aegean state or region and called it Orphic Mysteries, named for the chairman of that illustrious committee, Signor Orpheus who said even bigger than that contemptuous Zeus and his afterthought, Apollo was the world creator Phanes (the name means lighthouse: "brings to light", the dude who laid the cosmic egg, that is controlled the monopoly of appearances, but in Latin it means mere image, unreality, a specter or apparition), named for a former Egyptian general who was prior, pissed off at the administration so led the Persians into alliance with the Arabs, as guides across the desert as if protecting just another caravan from unruly pirates, and entailed a hostile take-over of the Egyptian state. Some say for blasphemy Orpheus died of thunder-bolt, but the consensus said 'twas a gang of angry ladies cut his throat.
But back to Phanes, such seems the fate of alliances and empires who would share power. Bureaucrats must get a regular ass-licking – it's what they give so is their due – no matter how untasty or one's assured superiority. That's the lesson chairman Mao found out but all too late. The alternative is to reduce the levels of bureaucratic hierarchy to nil (impossible 'cause who would tend the til?) or avail the profitability of shill, the Public Relations Industry. JP Morgan was not just a banker, but treated information and research as if it was monopoly money – little even made it to the patent office censors without his signature. More a king or feudal duke than any smart-ass corporate puke – the rabble that he sired are the suits we all too often see today. But Phanes was more like the disgruntled bureaucrat or general-mover prone to temper tantrum, J. Edgar Hoover. The other Hoover was presidential, but like all things executive – increasingly – in name only. More properly, his only claim to fame was in his title – a little dick or nix, unsuited to J. Edgar's spittle.
But such things are small potatoes to the grand scheme of things, which is too far-fetched to entitle a conspiracy. The push was always hegemony of internal dependence, that is to say obedience itself, the fuel of state efficiency regardless of who's in power and what he's got to say. Empires can only reach out effectively to others by systematizing global entanglements – the trend in entropy is chaos. Such is where lawyers and other priests come in handy. The only alternative is always posed as a total global disaster,and still spun in terms of famine, pestilence or a great big solar flare. It's never mattered which ideology is in vogue, what's always concerned statesmen is that everyone is on the same page – of the hymnal, that is harmony – or playing on the same board – that would be monopoly. The field of economics is created when the currency which Milton Bradley provided in the box runs short so there's a frantic running after other currents. Exchange rates must be regulated just like irrigation water, and who better for the stand than the high priests (if certifiable) of the Order of the Invisible Hand? Oih!
But Hegemony is an unrealistic ideal even in the tightest system. In every dialectic, there are the bleeding heart but smarmy running opposition to the conservative but slightly stupid, well trained in aristotelean sentiments (or Babylonian religion), yet straight forward and foolhardy, they'd rather destroy the world on principle than be caught with their pants down jamming their torpedoes with the throttle set to full. It's why unitarian dictators rarely last more than a season, the two party system has since become indispensable. Plato's Republic slightly tempered with a little Aristotle. It's based on ancient marriages which ran on one or four or eight year cycles. By the time it comes around again, no one remembers, well-hid are all the little infidelities: "Thank the gods for rehab; this time will be different...he's our man!"
Like the greek patriarchs before had imposed a patrilineal genealogy onto diverse myth-time figures from different regions and changed the way that time is reckoned from a moon-year lasting 13 months (with one day off recovering from the party) which effectively took the meat out of stories useful to calculating diverse topographies as well as changes in the seasons, when and where the deer are there for all the meat eaters or some peppercorns, wine and taters for the veegers, Orpheus systematized a single rendering and came up with a greek religion not unlike christianity, specifically the catholic church from Constantine to Augustine, that saint named for the emporor, so in the end, based less on pastoral Greek than the Roman tax collector. Yet they were still working on the Classic Greek detournement in the fifth century ad., then after sixteen more centuries perfected by Hollywood and DC comics, should the neopagans ever take the revolution. Either way, as has been, will again be said "let them eat cake" which is a euphemism for old weevil-infested bread and the circus is just what is circular in any revolution – that is to say many casualties. What's changed in all this time is we've got not so many horses in our cart, plastic coin and everywhere a wall-mart.
The Byzantine think-tanks were more suited to restoring, not a greek democracy but imperial Rome which, contrary to public opinion, incurred some setbacks but never underwent a collapse. What's racist in the faux victories of the Gothic over Latin is that Bismark's heir or even an emir couldn't make an appearance as a distinguished roman citizen. What's common to the modern view in Agean, Judeo-christian and Islamic is the utopean platonic synthesis of republic mixed with a dash of Aristotle (the Islamic prophet and father of all atheistic science) together with Apollo (carried forth by christians in the figure of Roman Paul, no longer manly god but, like Orpheus, his smooth-talking – the word in French is where we get english parliaments – the gods' publicist and apostle).
Having successfully demised everything mysteriously pythic in Delphi before Apollo (like St Patrick) slew the snakes, by Mohamed's time everyone worth noting (that is, the patriotic) was already patriarchic. Of course today we don't speak of empires, and global village has had its day, and world-democracy is gasping for its final breath, the word that sounds so hip and intellectual is "singularity". But it's just another metaphor meant to draw our heads to hyper-sucking black holes or Borgs who look really scary.
If the verse was all so simple and straightforward and not multiply diverse or hectic in principle, there'd be no sense in science, philosophy and religion except as diversions into absurdity from all the endless monotony – but then we're led right back into it. And even if it's true there's not much anything that one can do to make everything better, there's just too much pressure, no imagination or wonder, we learn from Emerson that one can at least choose their own influences. This must be obvious given so many conflicting stories or perspectives as to fuel each version in explosive argument. There're still stories afloat unconcerned with any antagonistic polity or concrete (if "green") integument.
As to the claim that capital, or whatever current avant garde of civilisation, encompasses the earth so without deflector shields and warp drive, "out" is rendered meaningless, it's plain the claimant's head's already liberated but its body is stuck in the mud that's called the general economy. They might as well stick with Marx or Adam Smith for company. We heard that science is criticised as too reductionistic and justice and religion were just purveyors applicating blame but only slaves were blameless in their supplication. Isn't a conspiracy just sticking to whatever is in fashion? If only one avenue leads to truth or too much dam(ned determi)nation, every other way is radical, the root (one might say "route") to safety or salvation. Only the righteous call a field of possibility disorder and/or chaos. They only hold their nose because it smells like teen spirit, and that's not bad, it's just embarassing – every one knows deep down they had ejected prematurely. It may be the ever-rousing truth is what needs routed, and for the nihilistic bent the alternative is nothing: how can one get lost if there's no rigid plan for where we're headed? Procrustes' path gets everybody busted.
Friday, July 5, 2013
Radicals as well as mental health 'workers' and social reformers have long efforted to expose the hypocrisy or contradictions (both collectively and individually) which modern society holds. Such is the long drive toward reason or rationality: "Headway". Unfortunately, this completely ignores the compartmentalization which rationalism requires lest it burst out with waves of absurdity. A brief look around will show most folks are not rational creatures except as pertains to the particular box they reside in. An historical look will return the impression that, of any form of enlightenment (and not just in the manner of a universal), the projects have all ended in failure. As B. Laska concluded, "we cannot be enlightened".
Social movements proceed much like Kuhnian paradigms, whose transformations merely result in the construction of new compartments after the old-timers are dead. The "What's the alternative?" question is loudest in the midst of the transformation or period of instability. Any truly radical change is therefore, and from almost any rational stand, deemed impossible. Then I'd like to ask, "why stick with reason?" This shaky status is only the ground for a grand systemic recuperation.
The "reason" is always given in a most circular fashion, "it's the only game in town!" The theory of inertia is no help at all. A game is just the rationalization of play, and one might think it just an excuse. The game is not even in the same compartment as play, and when I affix the adjective, "free-", one might consider there is a point made, but surely not a "win" even when it has to be admitted that everyone else seems to be cheating. It's a moral complaint like red meat in some circles or too much salt or deep-fat fried potatoes. The field of free-play is chaos, and that is the zone of free association where despite one's intention, up comes a surprise – sometimes it's pleasant.
Another way to put it, as Huizinga suggested when he said that play annihilates logic or reason, what really comes about is a de-compartmentalization – nothing's been broken but boundaries and some questionable connections which were beforehand well hidden. Intuitions are released from categorical constraints so, in distinction to gaming, the field of play is as infinite as the number of tunes to be played on a piano. Traditions or habits may follow you like the wind in a dust storm, but not like bullets unless no one else is playing, and then, watch out!
The poetic and mythic equally admit no discourse but the metaphoric (in it's most broad or non-technical sense) or contextual (rather than comportedly departmental). Dada suggested that only the juxtaposition of the habitually unsuitable will trigger the imp of perversion or bullshit detector. It's much less damaging than the shock required which might just come to instantly marry them. Like the young boy patriot who hates the government for its persistent treading (and so much he has heard) does not see the problem with joining up to fight its other enemies until he's been basically trained, and he's likely transformed, but into what we'd have to consider. If not in the gutter, a cop or good husband and wife-beating father? Whatever, they promised good jobs or an education, should he survive his commitment. The heightened chance of losing the gamble brings on the reply, "I'm a man so I'm not afraid to die so stop fucking with my decision to try!" And in this he'd be right and we've completely lost the topic. Percy Shelly's rhymes in Anarchy could probably provide better argument or at least a more child-friendly playfield with other sorts of portal to adventures.
From some point of view, logic is never logical. Make it tighter? Would this boy see the "logical error" of his ways when presented with a mathematical formula? Likely not. When under attack, even a mathematician will defend a position, no questions asked. This is why they invented irrational and imaginary numbers. It's less ego defensive than against all that's chaotic or absurd and the rest will appeal to authority, celebrity or otherwise the WORD as "revealed". A random montage might be better than Shelly since chaos has no orders to persuade, so observing it may actually be thought safe, at least from a distance or until you've been made.
More likely, there's already occurred, through a "proper" upbringing, a linguistic death of the "private reflection" where "everything's disconnected anyway". Well, that's not quite what we mean by chaos today. Like Tim Burton, the one-time rebel director (you can tell by the gothic and unruly hair), had the balls to attach his name to a view of the Yanks as protecting their station from evil Rebs who were fighting to up-bring a vampire nation. It's likely no Tenessee boy who died young had ever raised a colonial pillar. Or Alice returning from Underland to bring in free trade and industrialize China. Any descendant of Jim Bridger or Ghengis Kahn should really resent every 'foregone conclusion and all the implications they raise! Like every Ozark granny who lived in a shanty could wisely advise, "don't count yer hens a'fore hatch'n".
Haven't they already proved themselves bloodsucking nightmare creations? The same one's who say that anarchy is ever the plague of society! With all the payments of commitment and duties, they can't even guarantee you'll not be drained with your needle on "empty". Or like ol' honest Abe, whose pre-fabled station was prosecuting slaves to be returned to plantations and only reluctantly went abolition and thought up the final solution: invade Nicaragua and send them all there, or maybe Liberia as dummy farm workers just like off-shore corporations, oh what a wonder – full commutation of every sentence which might be uttered. Four score before was Grandfather Jefferson, who, praising the 'Injuns' said "unfortunately, every last one of em's in our way". Just who are they calling an Indian giver? It's fucking unreal, that's all I can say!
As to the potential for system collapse, the embrace of hypocrisy which Mark Twain suggested is the foundation of every civilization should guarantee a survival. But without the truths to be juxtaposed, and all the prophets to be made, just where in hell might that be? There may be no alternative to what we've been given, that is, except actually living (and we're not just referring to making it).
Often confused with the world of the dead, what's really real is everything else, or what's left outside the (compartmentalized) "known" or better yet, guesses and labels – inconsiderate of letters, its literary symbol is ...
-- see Time & Genetics
Thursday, July 4, 2013
In mythic discourse, one could say everything, in its broadest sense, which is also to say each ambiguity comes in threes. Charles Peirce, R. Buckminster-Fuller and Asger Jorn are three moderns who re-claimed the excluded middle. Perhaps unaware of Baudelaire and Jarry, Charles Fort down-right expropriated it. Charles Fourier had to re-invent it, lassoing a gift from an honest giraffe and casting it into the future. In binary systems, the third is always attached to that which is ignored or excluded, as in the modern assessment, 'there's no way out'. Where acknowledged, the middle is average, derivative or unoriginal and mundane, undecided or wishy-washy. and in this sense, still excluded, even though it may be only a position of disinterest, it's often given a negative moral attachment such as "tasteless". It seems there are no unitary systems. Even democracy includes the good, true and beautiful and then there's everyone else, that is, "those kind of people". But in all eliptical thinking such as mythic discourse, there are three important points: two shifting centers and a recursive periphery. Avant garde thinking considers the periphery an obstacle or resource.
Myth-time proposes a space or an epoch from which we emerged, at least wherein times must have been better. In myth-time the mythic is grander than false. Without it, (and without a doubt), the justice delivered between the good and the evil is placed on any innocent bystander who happens your way. Excluding the middle or trimming it off (the dialectic of science, whether reductive or not) in the interest of the synthetic (which almost everyone deep down understands is artificial and overly complex) ensures a world we call "reality" of perpetual opposition (we call that progress). There are three ways to approach any mythic discourse: 1. literally; 2. the reversal or mirror, and 3. the leap or stretch which might lead anywhere.
For example, from the film "White Men Can't Jump", there is 1. the literal basketball reference; 2. the inversion represented by reverse racism; and 3. the actual leap, or idea that moderns, with their plodding feet ever on the ground in search of reality, can't make the leap to the third option which is sort of transcendental and certainly intuitive. Even when accepting the tripartite situation, we, like Freud dealing with Shakespearian choices, tried to pick the right choice, that is, the real meaning of the story, it's "truth" like an art critic who thinks the original intention of an artist can be revealed by dissection. Forgetting that the discourse comes from a "golden" age or Fourian reality and therefore unhinged from temporal inclinations (the point of triangulation actually circles around declinations) and it comes in the form of poetry, every interpretation is simultaneously and equally correct, it's just not euclidean so there's no contradiction, and even when there is, there's no either-or about it. As well, authorship is inconsequential except in its hollywood-esque revisions. Even so, and assuming they're just stupid or lying, something mythically grand and thematic survives and the periphery or audience or onlooker is revealed as the real art critic.
Every option or choice can be a mirror or telescope and Ravena may just have been Snowhite's sister or mother or grandmother assisting a ritual initiation becoming a maiden from childhood, including the coma or a ritual death. There's always an ambiguity in drawing the line between nursing and chemical assassination, with words or with looks. In the sequel, of course, Snowhite will become Ravena for somebody else. Woody Allen might have called it "In Love and Death" and we'd have a completely other rendition. The point is there are so many themes (Themis was goddess of social organisation) the fun in anthropology is not just observing but comparing them. Stories, on the other hand, invite one to jump in and if only for a moment, feel like you're in them – in the process, you've transformed, or become an other.
Freud's three "caskets" of course, all lead to the truth, which for the modern position is invariably death. But the first door is closed, the truth can't be known in the modern or biblical sense, that sense when considering, for example, marriage, in which the door would allude to the post menopausal grandmothers. The middle door slams behind you, your fate is sealed by total immersion, like suicide or foolhardiness. On the other hand the postpartum mother has delivered the future already, so your part is already inconsequential. The first door is for the morally righteous or curious but persistent. The second is for those without a backup plan, who may well come to know the proverb which advises "be careful what you wish for". The third door is taken as it will stay open, but mostly brings forth post menses maidens and that makes the suitor part of the future. Behind that door lies all manner of possibility, and that is authentic wealth. Still, one must beware of the past which surely will follow. Though Freud was right that death waits behind every door, so where's the choice? Mythic discourse is never straight forward. The choice is not between boxes, it only lives beyond the third door or out of that box. The third way the allusion is to the eternal return which lives amongst endless possibility. There is birth there as well, and that is the lesson myth-time will tell. Fate didn't used to mean doom and gloom, but sometimes alluded to good fortune. The other allusion is laid out as plain as can be in the Kalevala (the story, not what was on tv) and that was "At one time in the interest of grandkids, we didn't sell off our children, no matter the highest bids!"
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Not a lemonade ocean, the Utopean vision lies in
the hyphen twixt Uto-aztecan and west european.
- Virgin: a sensual being come into a world which makes no sense 'less it's chaos, that is, in potentia, something to taste, otherwise it all seems downright dangerous. Raised as a princess or atop a pedestal, the world comes to you without question, or you take it away – no feeling's mutual. Raised under your boot gives the self-same result – either way "the world is shitty". The point's they're both prisoners riding conveyors for assembly and boxed up and sorted away. Unbeknownst to the moderns, no body ever was born a resource like clay, a product to finish or naughty, despite all the shit that they lay.
- Culture: is just common sense, or repeated attempts to provide it, originally by mothers and childhood friends, by whatever means can be pulled from the kit, there giving courage or for the germane, a germanic mut, it's all the same. Without a doubt even doggies will do it. When the girls get together and mimic procedures, one could say, were they catholics, they're just wearing their habits, but mostly they're stories that travel the land, just like when a cowboy becomes an old hand. Like taste, experience is naught without trying.
- Mores: an olden-time word for customs, not just trivial, in fashion, but iterations of vibrations worn like folds in a performing fabric. A bit of trivia (meaning by way of three or a trinary crossroad) from the middle of tera, the collective of three mothers was known as the Moirai, in Persia was Peri, in english the context, the peripheral area that is your surroundings – brings forth or it cuts off your fate. Maybe invective, it's what carries and gives you the "v" in subjective. A moral's a theme or the gist of a story and that is expansive. Begetting big its, the righteous give shrinkage: binary morality will imprecate all that is body, that is to say 'specially below-the-head senses, all excremenses and let's not forget good old amoure.
What could be next? The reverse most would think: "amoral" lives past the begotten context or tastes something new that's inviting – peripherally it just means innovative. What most mean to be saying's "immoral" – Immorality's everything outside the city or any rigidity, and that's why it usually rhymes with mortality. It implicates death, an abuse of conserving, like "if it's all not our story then it's no story at all – whatever's to learn will be given, so don't give me no more of your snivelling!"
- Short term memory: the inertia of sensing. Everything else is either drilled in (a habit) or art reconstructed if not a big shock stuck on looping (inducted). Then there's denied, ignored or excluded "phantasia", almost any excuse is good for amnesia. Memory is always a creative urge, so recall must be colored by the dream or ideal. Writing it down don't make it real. If they're looking for truths, no one can track 'less you start out with answers and then give the proofs (but only if time will allow). Should you give them the moral, the story's no use 'cause the point is for poking and bloody abuse. Just follow the orders or make an excuse. Otherwise, distinguishing morals from stories may be the extensivest ruse. Besides that, it's just plain, old fashion rude.
- Ideal: sensations invite repetition like a bobbling buoy or booby, a lighthouse or road-sign that's pointing to all points of interest, at least those that are inviting. Or t'other way around where-in danger abounds – lines in the sand are just writing. Sometimes obsessive, it's never compulsive, like a harmless addiction to patterns of sounds. In the present it's everything given or shared – the thing's less important than ever the giving. In other words, taste, less concern with the past ('less it's cooler) than con-joining (a juggle) a future worth living. When they can't see the humours or don't get the joke, they repay you with facts that are "real". In old Norway you're sent to the yoke for a spell (Oh wait, they still do that in Jersey!). Like, what's so funny about blood and fluids and gaseous emissions you're tempted to toke or put off an off-puting smell or you're broke? The mysterious "they"? They're offending folk, like the angels and genis who nuked our Bikinis. No matter the duct tape they stick to yer teeth, the narrative insects implanted in ears or beneath the puss-oozing wall-screens infecting yer dreams, except paranoia they make for their meals, they can't put a dent in how everyone feels. Ain't more what is meant by that word, "ideal", it's no joke, it's a blast where such gods are ass-ended, that is them and thar's go all up in smoke?
With balls to announce just who is insane, "Bring it on" spake the bush 'fore it burst into flame.
Quoth the ball-rag with a match and the kerosene dripping, with a bit of a twist, "take care of your wishing, yer likely to get it" so sayeth Sutr.
It's not just for Gypsies, it's a Utopean curse, when it's sung with some feeling, mettle from gutters like in Phoenix a'flutter from the ashes of the excluded, the middle-third verse.– Madame Blatsky
- Creation: Literally, it means making meat. In fact it's a meeting of muscles and sinews in vats that are seathing. Whether wuthering weather is just decomposing or grounds for the moving with seasons, you might think it's nice, but old Epicurus would say "I think it needs spice". Grandmother World (or the earth if you'd rather), with the help of her sisters, the rainy and windy (or maybe urainus from flatulent aether) and some fire and lightning, after making a meal of orange sunshining, a mana from heavens, maybe her forbearers, digests with a rumble, or some say a tumble and shat out some mud, that original excrement sprouting a bud. Since during that epoch, hell meant a mound or whatever's inland and Helen was princess of tall vegetation, to this day some think that earth mother is cruel, the domain of satan, a confusion of "shat on" with ga-elic saturn and arab shaitan or what is to come from a lengthy gestation, one way or t'other erupted some fashion, a nation, the mistaken translation of all divination – what's muddy is hell under irrigation. Now all ways are coursed with precision, some clarity as well as distinction, but few, you will find, can tell shit from shinola or spam.
Before that (or later) the trickster, her son (or was it a daughter instead? well them days for things immaterial so much didn't matter, or so old granny had said), fashioned the beings by shaping the mud. The proof of the trickster, even today is every time you notice small creatures at play. What was missing was fire cause all they could eat was the plants and each other with much indigestion and should the sun settle, they'd go and expire and turn back to clay from a cirrhotic liver. Now a grown-up is someone who can play with fire.
Incendiary eating and sex, so hard to distinguish since one goes to such lengths to envelop another, was a fortunate mistake or unlikely abstraction since everyone knows the trickster gets bored (there's limits to any attention) so does nothing at all in a timely fashion. Unless put into tales, it's just babies who make one immortal. But that one's the story of birds and the bees – you can see for yourself if you peek through a portal and be very careful should you up and sneeze – should they catch on to your sneaking they're all apt to leave us, like o'r-sated leeches, such is of old Merlin and what Heisenberg teaches.Come on baby light my fi-ah.
Send me to my heart's desi-ah.
Try to set the night on Fi-ah!– Jim Morrison
- Tale: something you follow or what follows you – for the ear, proper spelling is never a clue except that at one time folks weren't so hell-bent on making distinctions and other dissections for making you grovel – however you smell it, a spade's just a shovel – at the top of the food chain are worms and some beetles who'll eat you up just to raise some more hell.
- Shrewd: In Sanskrit, sruti, which is literally the word of a mouth, so I've heard, is considered divined out of chaos or beneath the subconscious, in more psychoanalytical terms. Feelings, archetypes, intuitions, vague memories of vaguer old stories. Stand-offish science objects "It is written!" and they're right in a sense but they follow it's tradition as long as it's spoken objectively and the younger must always proceed from its elders like all things genetical. One identifies true offspring only by attending to the inheritance of property. Surely not shiites, they all went to SUNY! Now who is ambiguous when "objective" is simultaneously a material particle, it's detached observer and somebody else's bullshit detector? Before there was pencils and microphones, there was never a word jump-starting the world, unless god was created in the image of men. It may be all jive, but everyone knows that the whirling began with the likes of Khadijah in the year five hundred and fifty-five!
But where your gut leads you ain't always to truth – that's whatever's swallowed without puking. Where there is a question, divination precides over a reconstruction, the order of words or the calculation, unless of course, it's all just a matter subjective for further experimentation – "In the beginning was invented two lips. It may suck, but the tongue was discovered for tasting!" First principle of poetic interpretation is not babble – it's dada – and only encourages get-up and go. More toothy than dental, less incisive than insightful, it's rarely exclusive, except when it's sent off to school, where the measure of ecological relationships is the same as the steps between eight-ball and pool.
- Smarts (Smriti 're-collected tradition'): a sometimes-useful fiction like book learning, being both incisive and exclusive (ignoring the context looks's more like a purging), so it sometimes hurts as it is the primer for laws and for rules for every behavior (and all look at somebody else for to blame). The juxtaposition of shrewdness and so-called smarts creates Octavia, the way of eighths (it's multiply divisible within certain circles but there's no room for jazz in a major scale), so ever confusing "authority" with "guesswork" and else-wise and when-ways "to fabricate". But isn't the blues from excessive beating?
There's a third position that's often excluded for reasons we suspect are defense mechanism, as if to suggest there's much agency in a cybernetically arranged information that's an inverted heat sync called Sir Gray Matter Brainy with inputs and outputs and feedbacking fibers processing data like rigged pinball machines, but we've lost our ball bearings or spring in the wallop. Whatever is said of reality, our world's just an aftershock of generalized bumbling, which is to say chaos is mother. Culture is just a collection of stories. Rivals for cultural authority, "Show me the data" they're likely to say. Without rules of enclosure, there's no information – data's whatever you happen to use for an over-expedient explanation. By accident, force or tricks and deception, the "data" will fit into any system. A system is fine, as long as it's open. To plug up the scheme, you've just made religion. Try to inflate it or make it much neater and comes Ouroborus, the world eater, and finite and infinite aren't just outside-in, from some points of view they're just more o' the same.
: Shaitan, if you're Hindi, a name for a boy, who carries a torch for Lucinda or Venus or following Saturn, in a sense Dyonesian but it means an affectionate and giving demon with a rambunctious urge for some free expression. Sometimes it's too much but ya can't shut him up. In Islam, a genius who doesn't bow down to the patriarch, Adam, the author of particles proceeding to sink and then drown all the waves in the proverbial drink. Like Helen's father had slaughtered her daughter to settle the weather and stirring the seas for proceeding to conquer, all for heeding her taste rather than complete the transaction, to the highest bidder and the king's satisfaction. The story was likely constructed beforehand, a ruse to excuse what was already planned. Like the void was invented to abolish the egg, excluding all mothering. Man, what a scheme! 'cause nobody prior paid tribute to nothing. Ever since then the war-cry of profits, creatio ex nihilo or "Somethin' fer nothin!" was heard through the land – most folks understand it was only a scam. Boys will be boys only when they're believers (that is, when they're or there're polices). What became sacred duty was once just a feast, is now over-paid to one or more gods, begetting both sacrifice and beating the odds, and everyone else is still starving. And still they insist "t'was girls caused the problem!" With thumb up the ass and head in the phylum, it's a living assylum. If any's to blame, I'd say it's not eve, it's the void and that little, cantankerous, wanker named atom and all of them cards which fell from his sleeve.
Friday, June 21, 2013
Like Ulyses, Poe's tyrant Tamerlane discovered way too late that the future's not what you've bought and paid for, not by any means of currency or blood. It's bad enough expecting much from our commodities, one must also be careful what you wish for. Like product quality, and given the morality of efficiency, repulsive dystopias are just easier to design, construct and defend. Without a destination in mind which may require more than cognitive maps, utopia is just a direction, anything but here is out. Like in grade school I watched the clock to hurry up and get to three. It's just a turning point and not a compass.
Like major depression, mediatic education can only claim a victory as bloody as Odysseus' slaughter if one comes to see outside the pit of eternal stench, the air is even fouler. Maybe let's not throw out utopia just yet – as long as we remember it's the way and not the product (line or destination) even when the most shocking idea has always been productive termination. Need we be reminded again that taking the journey is everyone's fate and destiny? This is not an invitation to stand still (in line or in formation) to purchase an ounce of immortality. Sustained development is the fuel for a commodity without a shelf-life. That's a utopic destiny called heaven for gods alone – and aging democrats who expect at every whim the world will come to them. And need we be reminded that a haven's just a resting spot or free hotel and not the end? They say that hell is only as hot as you can make it. They also say that should be enough for anyone! As to Tamerlane, who set out to conquer and suppress the world as a gift to his high school sweetheart:
Lend me your ear while I call you a fool.
You were kissed by a witch one night in the wood,
and later insisted your feelings were true.
The witch's promise was coming,
believing he listened while laughing you flew.
Leaves falling red, yellow, brown, all the same,
and the love you have found lay outside in the rain.
Washed clean by the water but nursing its pain.
The witch's promise was coming, and you're looking
elsewhere for your own selfish gain.
Keep looking, keep looking for somewhere to be,
well, you're wasting your time,
they're not stupid like he.
Meanwhile leaves are still falling,
you're too blind to see.
You won't find it easy now, it's only fair.
He was willing to give to you, you didn't care.
You're waiting for more but you've already had your share.
The witch's promise is turning, so don't you wait up
for him, he's going to be late.– Jethro Tull, The Witch's Promise
"The incredible thunderbolt of a propelling idea suddenly surges up from the grey monotony of everyday life. A desire to be beyond the abyss, well beyond it.
...the real movement is rediscovering the explosive potential of utopia. It is acting in such a way that its radical critique of the process of recuperation cannot be recuperated. It is not by chance that this position has appeared at the same time as economic claims are diminishing in importance. There equality was seen as the result of the repartition of produced value beyond the endemic division between capitalists and proletarians. But we are sure that any society that were to pass more or less violently from capitalism to post-revolutionary socialism through the narrow door of syndicalism would necessarily be a grey parody of a free society. The heavy trade union self-regulating mechanism with its ideal of the good worker and the bad skiver would be transferred to society as a whole. The students have faced the problem of the impossibility of any outlet in the labour market. But their analysis strengthens (or should strengthen) the conviction that only with a radically utopian way of seeing the social problem will it be possible to break through the boundaries of a destiny that those in power seem to hold in their hands...
Why, one might ask, are we so sure of the revolutionary content of an idea that, after all, has moved with varying fortunes in the world revolutionary sphere for at least two hundred years? The answer is simple. The propulsive value of a concept cannot be understood in social terms if one limits oneself to examining existing conditions. in fact there is no causal relationship between social conditions and a utopian concept. The latter moves within the real movement and is in deep contrast to the structural limits that condition but do not cause it. In the fictitious movement on the contrary the same concept can move around comfortably. Here in the rarefied atmosphere of the castle of spooks the utopian concept, having lost all its significance, becomes no more than a product of ideology like so many others. Research into the causes of utopia or rather utopian desire could certainly be interesting but would give poor results if one were to limit oneself to the study of the field of the social and historical conditions in which the concept suddenly appears.
For this reason we cannot outline the limits of a presumed operativity of a utopian concept starting from these conditions. It could go well beyond the latter, in other words could itself become an element of social change...
The strength of the utopian concept multiplies to infinity at precisely the moment in which it is proposed, so long as it emerges within the real movement and is not an ideological plaything within the fictitious one."
Battaile called the "real movement" the "intimate order" and is not confined to the fiction department at the local library. Order is isolation and exclusion, which are simply two views on the same process – one from the inside and one from the out. But this only applies to a mechanical universe. A common mistake is to shout the name of chaos at everything unlinear, like apples in eyes and pies in the skies. Intimacy outside the confines of mere proximity points our ears toward affinity, and that must entertain a notion of aesthetics or it's just hear-say or a game of follow the leader or connect the dots, not to put too fine a line on the matter. In artful things, only an aristotle or rockefeller would want to set a standard for everyone else's taste. That really only makes the profit margins more predictable and big.
What is the difference between finite chaos and infinite complexity? In linear terms, it's always where you draw the line. Finite chaos is in the order of a bomb going off or the death of an individual or, in more galactic terms, an epic or a pox-ecliptic, or even epoch-elliptic revelation like a supernova, or big bang as a creative urge, even if always in need of further evidence for any sound determinism. Even capitalists understand a sound investment relies or lies again on some insider information – otherwise it's just a gamble. It wasn't a call for deeper cuts or further articulation when they use to say "seeing is believing", it's just that if you can't trust your senses, why bother with another's?
A mirage is no lie by evil senses, the mistake is just their misinterpretation, sometimes a distortion. If taken as auspicious message of a by-passing phantom, it's still food for thought if not a later-than-expected materially metabolic satisfaction. The line between a taste bud and a spud is always wiggly. The phantom only bids you try it. How else could you know to change direction or keep moving without the curiosity (once called bravery) to engage with what may be only an illusion, wishful thinking or a hearty meal?
Everything's provisional. It's why without the security of a bird in the hand, a free gift must arouse the trust detector. If there's any sense in reductionism, the mammary gland is a give-away for all mammalian babies. Before religious orders, god and darwin, there were no orphans. What's inherited genes or property got to do with anything when every child knows a mother's not only one who satisfies your belly but makes you giggle. A smarmy ass-licker is only interested in excrement or caca. He's a phony. If only to preserve a sense of integrity, even an untrained monkey will call bullshit and hurl, or freely give him what he wishes – sometimes there's room to take the metaphoric quite literally so might refrain from criticising bricks hurling through bank windows. It's not immoral violence like playing with your food or barfing on your shoulder, just some freedom of expression. If malicious, what the devil? it's conditions made them do it! Any way, who's complaining, the glass or the banker?
Data, of course, must refer to sense data or an echo from another receptor which we refer to as literature and tall tails. Or it's a harmony between a sight and what one smells. Beneath the data is ground, making archaeologists and potato farmers and all variety of critics the most suitable scientific fodder by virtue of digging up the dirt. For the dead, it's no great concern but for soon-to-be live beings, it's a premature extraction by an all-to greedy or impatient or conformist (in other words, a sleeping) obstetrician.
Once upon a time phenomenology was the word which said to only trust your senses 'cause the further from that phenomenon called "data", you'll need some stronger lenses. With polytics and other seizures, metaphysics and religion are for the ownership of reality when they ask what underlies the data. That, of course means more theory or systematised ideas and it's the more arrogant among them who proclaim reality is nothing BUT a set of grand ideas, the numbers or go on to invent an absolving god-creator, a tool to absorb them their mundane responsibilities (only meaning here, the ability to dance, that is, respond) and then to take the blame for their cooking the books instead of cattle and thence and then again with much destruction, created poverty.
The christians added heaven as an unearthly reward for intentional starvation and toil in the here and now. Or so said Mark Twain. To this day, even atheists consider reward as just the temporary withholding of punishment and call that humane treatment. Humanity always justifies the ghettos with more humanity. Truant workers call it leave which is the only opportunity to live, as if by someone else's permission, learned early on with the proprietary grammatical distinction between may and can. Life itself has become affixed to utopian idealism when all that's left is a virtual simulation. Fortunately, our ancestors were skeptics when they coined the word "lies" to apply what lives beneath the gods' ideas – beneath the ground the only sounds are heard from corpses. D. H. Lawrence only said reality is only found the other side of Benjamin Franklin's barbed wire fences. In other words, "beauty's coming out of the box" is all was meant by all apocalypses. Shelley said Pandora was a godess for all-giving. The problem wasn't what came out, according to Promethius, but what was missing, and for that he lost his liver and Atlas dropped the ceiling.
As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said "No Trespassing."
But on the other side it didn't say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.
The thing about receivers and emitters is when they resonate or dance together and then you can't tell one from the other, and you shouldn't lest they fall away. An harmonic can ring truer (which in auditory language means beautiful) than either end and everyone with taste or ear for it prefers a good harmony over a monotone or loud cacaphony. So for immersion or participant observers, the real data lies not beneath but amongst or in between them. What makes sense for Goethe is a portrayal of the context, not a systematic explanation or in architectural terms like syntax, an arrangement of its constituents. Olmec Masons understood that leaders are the ones who cut the corners. From the stone's point of view, it's all just falsification of data to fit someone else's scheme to build enclosures. Any good story either resonates with your experience or peaks your curiosity for exploration. That's all. The social agreement is for commisurating retirees always complaining about the youngsters.
“A ‘cause’ (or gene) is something without which some ‘effect’ (or character) which you expect fails to occur, while something else occurs instead. To turn the sum of such negative statements around and fashion from them a positive doctrine of plenipotency (of causes or genes) seems to me a reprehensible somersault of logic.”– paul weiss, 1973
Could it be that the ego is NOT that which is defended, but merely the set of all defenses? To the pure, all things may be pure, but Nietzsche reminds us that to the swine, all things are piggish and Reich adds that underneath the layers of body armor or the masquerade is a bloody mess – nothing pure about it. And by the way, as to those puritans at the nsa, we're laughing – they've learned to do a google search so now have the entire web at their fingertips. Ah the beauty of seduction. A real spider spins a web from its ass – it's the fly which experiences sticky fingers!
Monday, June 17, 2013
Now small fowls flew screaming over the yet yawning gulf; a sullen white surf beat against its steep sides; then all collapsed; and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago.
So ends one of the strangest and most wonderful books in the world, closing up its mystery and its tortured symbolism. It is an epic of the sea such as no man has equalled; and it is a book of esoteric symbolism of profound significance, and of considerable tiresomeness.
But it is a great book, a very great book, the greatest book of the sea ever written. It moves awe in the soul.
The terrible fatality.
Doom! Doom! Doom! Something seems to whisper it in the very dark trees of America. Doom!
Doom of what?
Doom of our white day. We are doomed, doomed. And the doom is in America. The doom of our white day.
Ah, well, if my day is doomed, and I am doomed with my day, it is something greater than I which dooms me, so I accept my doom as a sign of the greatness which is more than I am.
Melville knew. He knew his race was doomed. His white soul, doomed. His great white epoch doomed. Himself, doomed. The idealist, doomed: The spirit, doomed.
The reversion. 'Not so much bound to any haven ahead, as rushing from all havens astern.'
That great horror of ours! It is our civilization rushing from all havens astern.
The last ghastly hunt. The White Whale.
What then is Moby Dick? He is the deepest blood-being of the white race; he is our deepest blood-nature.
And he is hunted, hunted, hunted by the maniacal fanaticism of our white mental consciousness. We want to hunt him down. To subject him to our will. And in this maniacal conscious hunt of ourselves we get dark races and pale to help us, red, yellow, and black, east and west, Quaker and fireworshipper, we get them all to help us in this ghastly maniacal hunt which is our doom and our suicide.
The last phallic being of the white man. Hunted into the death of upper consciousness and the ideal will. Our blood-self subjected to our will. Our blood-consciousness sapped by a parasitic mental or ideal consciousness.
Hot blooded sea-born Moby Dick. Hunted maniacs of the idea.
Oh God, oh God, what next, when the Pequod has sunk?
She sank in the war, and we are all flotsam.
Now what next?
Who knows ? Quien sabe? Quien sabe, senor?
Neither Spanish nor Saxon America has any answer.
The Pequod went down. And the Pequod was the ship of the white American soul. She sank, taking with her negro and Indian and Polynesian, Asiatic and Quaker and good, business-like Yankees and Ishmael: she sank all the lot of them.
Boom! as Vachel Lindsay would say.
To use the words of Jesus, IT IS FINISHED.
Consummatum est! But Moby Dick was first published in 1851. If the Great White Whale sank the ship of the Great White Soul in 1851, what's been happening ever since?
Post-mortem effects, presumably.
Because, in the first centuries, Jesus was Cetus, the Whale. And the Christians were the little fishes. Jesus, the Redeemer, was Cetus, Leviathan. And all the Christians all his little fishes.
But what of Walt Whitman?
The 'good grey poet'.
Was he a ghost, with all his physicality?
The good grey poet.
Post-mortem effects. Ghosts.
A certain ghoulish insistency. A certain horrible pottage of human parts. A certain stridency and portentousness. A luridness about his beatitudes.
DEMOCRACY! THESE STATES! EIDOLONS! LOVERS, ENDLESS LOVERS!
I AM HE THAT ACHES WITH AMOROUS LOVE.
Do you believe me, when I say post-mortem effects ?
When the Pequod went down, she left many a rank and dirty steamboat still fussing in the seas. The Pequod sinks with all her souls, but their bodies rise again to man innumerable tramp steamers, and ocean-crossing liners. Corpses.
What we mean is that people may go on, keep on, and rush on, without souls. They have their ego and their will, that is enough to keep them going.
So that you see, the sinking of the Pequod was only a metaphysical tragedy after all. The world goes on just the same. The ship of the soul is sunk. But the machine-manipulating body works just the same: digests, chews gum, admires Botticelli and aches with amorous love.
I AM HE THAT ACHES WITH AMOROUS LOVE.
What do you make of that? I AM HE THAT ACHES. First generalization. First uncomfortable universalization. WITH AMOROUS LOVE! Oh, God! Better a bellyache. A bellyache is at least specific. But the ACHE OF AMOROUS LOVE!
Think of having that under your skin. All that!
I AM HE THAT ACHES WITH AMOROUS LOVE.
Walter, leave off. You are not HE. You are just a limited Walter. And your ache doesn't include all Amorous Love, by any means. If you ache you only ache with a small bit of amorous love, and there's so much more stays outside the cover of your ache, that you might be a bit milder about it.
I AM HE THAT ACHES WITH AMOROUS LOVE.
CHUFF! CHUFF! CHUFF!
Reminds one of a steam-engine. A locomotive. They're the only things that seem to me to ache with amorous love. All that steam inside them. Forty million foot-pounds pressure. The ache of AMOROUS LOVE. Steam-pressure. CHUFF!
An ordinary man aches with love for Belinda, or his Native Land, or the Ocean, or the Stars, or the Oversoul: if he feels that an ache is in the fashion.
It takes a steam-engine to ache with AMOROUS LOVE. All of it.
Walt was really too superhuman. The danger of the superman is that he is mechanical.
They talk of his 'splendid animality'. Well, he'd got it on the brain, if that's the place for animality.
Does the earth gravitate, does not all matter, aching, attract all matter?
So the body of me to all I meet or know.
What can be more mechanical? The difference between life and matter is that life, living things, living creatures, have the instinct of turning right away from some matter, and of bliss- fully ignoring the bulk of most matter, and of turning towards only some certain bits of specially selected matter. As for living creatures all helplessly hurtling together into one great snowball, why, most very living creatures spend the greater part of their time getting out of the sight, smell or sound of the rest of living creatures. Even bees only cluster on their own queen. And that is sickening enough. Fancy all white humanity clustering on one another like a lump of bees.
No, Walt, you give yourself away. Matter does gravitate helplessly. But men are tricky-tricksy, and they shy all sorts of ways.
Matter gravitates because it is helpless and mechanical.
And if you gravitate the same, if the body of you gravitates to all you meet or know, why, something must have gone . seriously wrong with you. You must have broken your main- spring.
You must have fallen also into mechanization.
Your Moby Dick must be really dead. That lonely phallic monster of the individual you. Dead mentalized.
I only know that my body doesn't by any means gravitate to all I meet or know, I find I can shake hands with a few people. But most I wouldn't touch with a long prop.
Your mainspring is broken, Walt Whitman. The mainspring of your own individuality. And so you run down with a great whirr, merging with everything.
You have killed your isolate Moby Dick. You have mentalized your deep sensual body, and that's the death of it.
I am everything and everything is me and so we're all One in One Identity, like the Mundane Egg, which has been addled quite a while.
'And of these one and all I weave the song of myself.'
Do you? Well then, it just shows you haven't got any self. It's a mush, not a woven thing. A hotch-potch, not a tissue. Your self.
Oh, Walter, Walter, what have you done with it? What have you done with yourself? With your own individual self? For it sounds as if it had all leaked out of you, leaked into the universe.
Post-mortem effects. The individuality had leaked out of him.
No, no, don't lay this down to poetry. These are post-mortem effects. And Walt's great poems are really huge fat tomb-plants, great rank graveyard growths.
All that false exuberance. All those lists of things boiled in one pudding-cloth! No, no!
I don't want all those things inside me, thank you.
'I reject nothing,' says Walt.
If that is so, one might be a pipe open at both ends, so everything runs through.
'I embrace ALL,' says Whitman. 'I weave all things into myself.'
Do you really! There can't be much left of you when you've done. When you've cooked the awful pudding of One Identity.
'And whoever walks a furlong without sympathy walks to his own funeral dressed in his own shroud.'
Take off your hat then, my funeral procession of one is passing.
This awful Whitman. This post-mortem poet. This poet with the private soul leaking out of him all the time. All his privacy leaking out in a sort of dribble, oozing into the universe.
Walt becomes in his own person the whole world, the whole universe, the whole eternity of time, as far as his rather sketchy knowledge of history will carry him, that is. Because to be a thing he had to know it. In order to assume the identity of a thing he had to know that thing. He was not able to assume one identity with Charlie Chaplin, for example, because Walt didn't know Charlie. What a pity! He'd have done poems, paces and what not, Chants, Songs of Cinematernity.
As soon as Walt knew a thing, he assumed a One Identity with it. If he knew that an Eskimo sat in a kyak, immediately there was Walt being little and yellow and greasy, sitting in a kyak.
Now will you tell me exactly what a kyak is?
Who is he that demands petty definition? Let him behold me sitting in a kyak.
I behold no such thing. I behold a rather fat old man full of a rather senile, self-conscious sensuosity.
DEMOCRACY. EN MASSE. ONE IDENTITY.
The universe is short, adds up to ONE.
Which is Walt.
Hispoems Democracy, En Masse, One Identity, they are long sums in additions and multiplication, of which the answer is invariably MYSELF.
He reaches the state of ALLNESS.
And what then? It's all empty. Just an empty Allness. An addled egg.
Walt wasn't an Eskimo. A little, yellow, sly, cunning, greasy little Eskimo. And when Walt blandly assumed Allness, including Eskimoness, unto himself, he was just sucking the wind out of a blown egg-shell, no more. Eskimos are not minor little Walts. They are something that I am not, I know that. Outside the egg of my Allness chuckles the greasy little Eskimo. Outside the egg of Whitman's Allness too.
But Walt wouldn't have it. He was everything and everything was in him. He drove an automobile with a very fierce headlight, along the track of a fixed idea, through the darkness of this world. And he saw everything that way. Just as a motorist does in the night.
I, who happen to be asleep under the bushes in the dark, hoping a snake won't crawl into my neck; I, seeing Walt go by in his great fierce poetic machine, think to myself: What a funny world that fellow sees!
ONE DIRECTION! toots Walt in the car, whizzing along it.
Whereas there are myriads of ways in the dark, not to mention trackless wildernesses, as anyone will know who cares to come off the road - even the Open Road.
ONE DIRECTION! whoops America, and sets off also in an automobile.
ALLNESS! shrieks Walt at a cross-road, going whizz over an unwary Red Indian.
ONE IDENTITY! chants democratic En Masse, pelting behind in motor-cars, oblivious of the corpses under the wheels.
God save me, I feel like creeping down a rabbit-hole, to get away from all these automobiles rushing down the ONE IDENTITY track to the goal of ALLNESS.
He might as well have said: 'The femaleness waits for my maleness.' Oh, beautiful generalization and abstraction! Oh, biological function.
'Athletic mothers of these States -' Muscles and wombs. They needn't have had faces at all.
As I see through a mist, One with inexpressible completeness, sanity, beauty,
See the bent head, and arms folded over the breast, the Female I see.
Everything was female to him: even himself. Nature just one great function.
This is the bath of birth, the merge of small and large, and the outlet again -
If I'd been one of his women, I'd have given him Female, with a flea in his ear.
Always wanting to merge himself into the womb of something or other.
Anything, so long as he could merge himself.
Just a horror. A sort of white flux.
He found, as all men find, that you can't really merge in a woman, though you may go a long way. You can't manage the last bit. So you have to give it up, and try elsewhere if you insist on merging.
In Calamus he changes his tune. He doesn't shout and thump and exult any more. He begins to hesitate, reluctant, wistful.
The strange calamus has its pink-tinged root by the pond, and it sends up its leaves of comradeship, comrades from one root, without the intervention of woman, the female.
So he sings of the mystery of manly love, the love of comrades. Over and over he says the same thing: the new world will be built on the love of comrades, the new great dynamic of life will be manly love. Out of this manly love will come the inspiration for the future.
Will it though? Will it?
Comradeship ! Comrades ! This is to be the new Democracy of Comrades. This is the new cohering principle in the world: Comradeship.
Is it? Are you sure?
It is the cohering principle of true soldiery, we are told in Drum-Taps. It is the cohering principle in the new unison for creative activity. And it is extreme and alone, touching the confines of death. Something terrible to bear, terrible to be responsible for. Even Walt Whitman felt it. The soul's last and most poignant responsibility, the responsibility of comradeship, of manly love.
Death is beautiful from you (what indeed is finally beautiful except death and love?)
I think it is not for life I am chanting here my chant of lovers, I think it must be for death,
For how calm, how solemn it grows to ascend to the atmosphere of lovers,
Death or life, I am then indifferent, my soul declines to prefer
(I am not sure but the high soul of lovers welcomes death most)
Indeed, O death, I think now these leaves mean precisely the same as you mean—
This is strange, from the exultant Walt.
Death is now his chant! Death!
Merging! And Death! Which is the final merge.
The great merge into the womb. Woman.
And after that, the merge of comrades: man-for-man love.
And almost immediately with this, death, the final merge of death.
There you have the progression of merging. For the great mergers, woman at last becomes inadequate. For those who love to extremes. Woman is inadequate for the last merging. So the next step is the merging of man-for-man love. And this is on the brink of death. It slides over into death.
David and Jonathan. And the death of Jonathan.
It always slides into death.
The love of comrades.
So that if the new Democracy is to be based on the love of comrades, it will be based on death too. It will slip so soon into death.
The last merging. The last Democracy. The last love. The love of comrades.
Fatality. And fatality.
Whitman would not have been the great poet he is if he had not taken the last steps and looked over into death. Death, the last merging, that was the goal of his manhood.
To the mergers, there remains the brief love of comrades, and then Death.
Delaying not, hurrying not
Whispered me through the night, very plainly before daybreak,
Lisp'd to me the low and delicious word death.
And again death, death, death, death.
Hissing melodions, neither like the bird nor like my arous'd child's heart,
But edging neat as privately for me rustling at my feet,
Creeping thence steadily up to my ears and laving me softly all over,
Death, death, death, death, death—
Whitman is a very great poet, of the end of life. A very great post-mortem poet, of the transitions of the soul as it loses its integrity. The poet of the soul's last shout and shriek, on the confines of death. Apres moi le deluge.
But we have all got to die, and disintegrate.
We have got to die in life, too, and disintegrate while we live.
But even then the goal is not death.
Something else will come.
Out of the cradle endlessly rocking.
We've got to die first, anyhow. And disintegrate while we still live.
Only we know this much: Death is not the goal. And Love, and merging, are now only part of the death process. Comrade- ship - part of the death-process. Democracy - part of the death-process. The new Democracy - the brink of death One Identity - death itself.
We have died, and we are still disintegrating.
But IT IS FINISHED.