Monday, December 13, 2010
…the subconscious seems a part of the psychic volatility escaping language’s efforts to sensibly convey useful and productive meaning. It seams a textured current of organic systems continuously bifurcating into subjective, which is to say egocentric, phenomena….Literature, like schizophrenia [see Deleuze & Guattari, henceforth D/G], frees itself from the normative grammars adhering to language’s power structures, which are also referred to here as the “law.” Thus D/G say a “desire-liberating reader, a schizoanalyst, whose task it is to convert the text into a desiring-machine, or better still, into a revolutionary machine,” seems necessary for oppression to be overcome and true autonomy, the liberation of desire, to be attained… D/G theorize that desire exists coincidentally in two forms: a “paranoiac transcendental law” signified by the oedipal system; and an “immanent schizo-law” shaping subconscious desire that ends up revealing the ineffable. In every situation the schizo-law is taking apart and subverting the paranoiac law, its method of writing deconstructing the systems of language, the universal control compositions…. Desire is essentially and primarily a social production…
…all token acts of power are insurrections [of some kind] against a higher form of order, consciously perceived by the individual rebel, or not. Sexual standards, which is to say general production standards, manifest in some way that higher form of order which we can perceive, or imagine, evolving; that which is deemed “good” for reasons that go beyond any individual consciousness or interest…
All sex, which is to say any process by which a group of something reproduces its constituent parts, and, by extension, ends up reproducing itself in its own, somewhat expanded dimension, is evolutionary [evolution is unconscious, not mindless as earlier suggested by someone else]. From this aspect, the masculine political-economic elite exact an insurrection against the rights of psyches it considers feminine and/or alien in relation to itself, exotic people of other, that is lower, social classes, as well as humankind’s general interest, which involves having a healthy environment and a modicum of justice in "human affairs" rather than the submissive stance underlings are now expected to take…the political-economic elite smother the inalienable rights of outsiders and interlopers to maintain its own privilege, a status quo in which these self-selected chosen ones alone exercise power and full personal autonomy in the social and cultural spheres...as well as their own bedrooms. There’s nothing new in this. It’s as old as our species. Both Foucault and Freud believed sex to be a strategy of power and knowledge, that sex is a human “truth” which supports power and authority, not self-autonomy or integrity.
Furthermore, I wonder if it may not be possible to view sex as a projection of the Earthling’s survival instinct, in which all organisms “eat,” “drink,” “screw” or die. Sex seems like the Earthling’s will to power, Its pleasure principle, Its reaction to the disequilibria caused by entropy...
...“Love” seems something that happens when “sex” goes well. It perhaps functions as an apparatus of social slavery. “Straight” sex [by which I mean reproduction that is exclusionary to the extreme, as in you must incorporate your business to do business efficiently, you must get married for insurance and legal rights, etc.] seems the epitome of good citizenship. Bad love, deviants, criminals who diverge from the socially acceptable forms of reproduction, who might have sex for other reasons than procreation, who as artists might produce things that are not efficient or useful or profitable…must not be allowed to exist!
...so it’s not only “sex” as we habitually think of it, but also political, economic, spiritual, cultural renewal that must be repressed and oppressed at every turn. Because these types of desire are socially oppressed [it’s bad form to be seen as overly ambitious in any of these areas], each one of us [because none of us truly belongs to the “elite” in our own minds] must repress the desire for sex, power, money, spiritual enlightenment and cultural popularity in ourselves if we want to be “successful,” and truly join the elite as something more than just some public spectacle, which is to say celebrity.
This, of course, necessitates the need for private lives in which to pursue individual fetishes [alternative forms of production of whatever seem fetishes] as part of our personal development and growth, something that’s increasingly imperiled thanks to technology, perhaps. And by fetish I mean whatever makes a meaningless social process personally meaningful…whatever it is that might turn us on about what we must do…that which we’re doing all the time…
...manifesting the general procreative drive of the Living Planet, which each of us experiences as an insurrection against decent society while in the act of copulating, participating in the general spectacle, or orgasm, for ourselves…the general horniness producing types of horninesses we can dominate, and these types producing further extended or intended horninesses that feel oppressed into repressing their own perceived “types” of horniness to avoid our oppression because we're attempting to repress the same kinds of horny in ourselves, and so on, while we also almost universally find our horniness and subsequent release or liberation the source of our greatest pleasure…At least in my opinion….So it seems “love,” or the socially acceptable forms of it in the West, according to Freud and Foucault, and I think I might somewhat agree with them in my own way, functions socially, politically, economically, culturally and individually as a slavery machine because the power structure enslaving it defines what forms of love are acceptable instead of the individual lover (or, perhaps, because of The Individual Lover)…
And what does sex have to do with writing? Well, perhaps, writing is a sub-species of sex…the way sex...may seem a sub-species of writing…each dealing with its own reproduction, procreation, re-cognition, etc., of meaning...when this could be pure fiction...or not...?
Sunday, December 12, 2010
And consider Foucault, who believes a type of “cultural unconscious” is subject to continuous instability and alteration, to discontinuity rather than permanence, and therefore serves as something of an unconscious archive of exclusionary rules, or grammars. This set of linguistic practices generates social and cultural activity, governed by rules that are unformulated and characteristically unrecognized by the speakers concerned [e.g.: Eichman]… Recognizing the unavoidability of the given culture’s power matrix, Foucault analyzes how the strategies of social and political-economic power have a double effect by leading to strategies of evasion and subversion….
Domination necessarily evolves the means for insurrection: “…there is no relationship of power without the means of escape and possible flight.’ (Foucault 1982, p.225) The token exercise of power is always an insurrection of some type…
Foucault believes, and I agree, that sexuality has not only dominated our historical discourse of the last five centuries, but has evolved over time to dominate our institutions and customs…The era of psychoanalysis brought about what Foucault calls the “surveillance” of the body, a textualization of confessions and self-revelations of analysts and patients alike. From all this new data emerged new understandings of the power relations between the individual psyche and the external world it’s perceiving, how the body enables a sensualization of power…
Saturday, December 11, 2010
The writer's game seems, perhaps, about involving the unconscious, narcissistic reader in a form of collusion that disturbs, twists, perverts the reader's transformation from mere consumer or audience-member into producer-collaborator...with the intention of letting meaning expand beyond the mere ideology of some individual into a feedback loop necessitating the evolution of meaning as part of the systemic stabilization process necessitated by disequilibria ["boat rocking"]...
...so books have margins for readers to write in, allowing for the development of "stories" as texts begin rocking each other's boats...stirring up the emergencies of diverse fictions--hornets from a nest/collaborators from a text...the patterns of human consciousness...apparently symmetrical with other patterns of consciousness...kaleidoscopic cognition...The writer's game seems about playing the game of human life and consciousness--the liberation and repression of psychic content--while smiting whatever might oppose it whenever its ugly head might pop up, dripping Viking blood on every page...with both I and eye wide open...but who can truly say...and how might they say it?
Friday, December 10, 2010
...a form of what Federman called "critifiction," a self-reflexive, self-conscious, self-analyzing neurosis focusing on the absented mother, the blank page being an empty womb, the words echoing there like some voice in the closet imagining Balzac's Sarrasine, and how to read and write and seduce her.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Also, see Game Theory.
…the canny (i.e.: conscious) imagination is what makes fiction pleasurable to reader-writers…Repression seems essential to reading-writing fiction because repression helps determine a vital aspect of the initial conditions by which reading-writing fiction occurs. These initial conditions, of course, seam rules, forming “rhetorical strategies” [playful ones, hopefully]…For the fictionist, reading-writing fictions seam the means to relive the primal anxiety of birth, the initial un-pleasure of be-ing born—our original experience with angst. We do this because at heart we are explorers. No bend in the mind can be left unturned, no twisting peak left un-surmounted, no game left unplayed…or at least beyond the reasonable effort of turning, twisting, surmounting, gaming our psyches to do so…It seems the inevitable inability to do these essential things that gnaws…the day spent not being born…This anxiety, in turn, leads to useful or what Bloom calls “enabling fictions” that result in “analysis terminable and interminable”…It seems possible that through these processes of writing and analysis reader-writers might overcome the “catastrophe” of our apparently strange attraction to what we perceive as death, and redeem ourselves for the “evil” which seems the un-atonable fact of reading-writing, the doing of nothing…
...our idle hands making the devil’s work…that said, we reader-writers might also find a better way of living decently in an indecent world than keeping busy, being useful and productive, despite the odds against it these, and relatively speaking any time, of course…if we might manage to live lightly enough to be easily ignored by the Earth Itself, each and every one of us, we just might…or whatnot…
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
According to Elizabeth Wright, Freud’s major contribution to literary theory was his view of “id-psychology as focusing on the return of the repressed, ego-psychology on the return of repression, and object-relations theory as uneasily trying to reconcile the two”… Psychoanalytic Criticism: Theory in Practice,..., Methuen & Co. Ltd, New York/London, 1984, p. 138
Monday, December 6, 2010
...looking for the ways that literature and writing--by which I mean a specific type of deadly serious laziness and evil--can playfully confront certain kinds of useful, industrious work ethics and all their efficient and productive effects, revealing or concealing our irrepressible unconscious, which is to say the truer or, perhaps, more powerful intentions of literature and writing...to see the psychonautic, word-being self through the textual "I" the same way the Earth sees Itself through the eyes of an astronaut looking homeward from his base on the Moon...it seems getting there always requires a going beyond...a breaking of taboo...the eclipsing of once necessary cultural evils...doing nothing, even if it's wrong, when everyone else wants you to do something they think is useful and productive...or not...
Saturday, December 4, 2010
...by writing/imagining a text in a manner intended to mediate between the subconscious and conscious minds, by nurturing the emergence of a text that serves as a feedback loop esemplasizing the functions of unconscious and conscious into a single entity--much like the post-Freudian ego-psychologists merging of the reader/writer--the writer allows formation of new meanings by making previously unconscious content perceivable. It is the text's "strangeness" that attracts the reader/writer and brings them together on a narrative or text--that psychic membrane mediating various perceptions.
Please see "The Secret Life of Chaos," especially part 4.
The trouble I have with the documentary linked to above, however, is its denial of mind, its concluding statement that "evolution is mindless." The film makers seem to ignore the nature of their own curiosity...the possibility that their mind needs chaos...that chaos itself, as a higher form of order, requires mind...If no mind perceives or conceives chaos, does it exist?
I'm more uncertain than these chaps about these things...their idea that evolution is mindless seems, somehow, a comfort to them, as if they were relieved. Why? What types of "Dangerous Knowledge" might they be avoiding? Why do they seem so afraid of the marriage of science and mysticism? Are their imagined excuses justifiable if they claim "truth" as their ultimate aim? Does it take too much courage to be a "psychonaut?"
I'm not sure I'd know...
Friday, December 3, 2010
Fiction...transcends...wish-fulfillment, exceeds mere daydreaming...the fictionist relates fantasy to time by using, according to Freud, "an occasion in the present to construct, on the pattern of the past, a picture of the future...pleasure...[is] connected with the dynamics of the work of art"...While the daydreamer's fantasy succumbs to egocentric opposition, the fictionist devises strategies to transcend mere ego through writing by using the same methods the subconscious uses to subvert egoistic intent...and so the fiction/reality dichotomy dissolves and consciousness expands accordingly...ego may be at the helm, but a much wider and deeper awareness captains the ship.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
My fiction seams an awareness that we feel alone amid all the togetherness, longing for the true togetherness of a lone...It seems the autonomous sensitivity of interrelatedness...a longing for a "return of the repressed"...to atone with the actual universe...if my fiction has any intent, it's this.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
My fiction reveals the emotional fallout and alienation resulting from the individual human being's cognitive confrontation with an apparently meaningless or absurd modern and/or postmodern civilization...It's the "nausea" of one who's derived deep meaning from Nature via a complex understanding of language confronted by the asininities of those in political-economic power, who seem to be forces of entropy, agents of that strange attraction toward death...It is the feeling of being Eros in an age of Thanatos.
As nuclear physicist Nick Herbert asks: "If they trusted me with Plutonium, why not LSD?...Why has our society decided to promote the worst possible drugs [alcohol, cocaine, tobacco] and persecute those who use the best?"
Is it because we live in a culture of death rather than one of love?
I actually think I know the answer to those questions. So do you if you're not deceiving yourself...
Monday, November 29, 2010
...the apparently clear separation between humankind and Nature is made ambiguous by the apparent randomness of individual perceptions over time...yet, perceiving this cleavage or bifurcation between humans and Nature seems to, perhaps, necessitate an evolution in language allowing us an adequately complex sensibility to consciously rub up against Its membrane ["M-theory"]...which is to say mind...or Nature.
Humankind and Nature seam, in reality, useful fictions--wet surfable waves we catch on the ocean to ride for awhile...heading, perhaps, to shore...or home...
Maybe our minds are parallel universes forming a universal mind participating in a symphony of universal minds...vibrating the brane.
...or not. What do I know?
Sunday, November 28, 2010
and so our waging war among ourselve seems like It at war with Itself...perhaps even suicidal and riddled with self-loathing, calling Death Its "manifest destiny" in the note Its leaving behind, something It might have called "history" had It survived Itself...
Saturday, November 27, 2010
...Human desire reflects and manifests Nature's desire...our desire appears an extension of Nature's desire, a natural intention...dissolve concepts of self and other, humankind and Nature, ego and id, as unnecessarily distinct categories...
Friday, November 26, 2010
The deeper one's understanding of language, the more deeply one might perceive Nature's cognitive processes and realize we are not the world's supreme consciousness when it comes to percipient contact with others.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
...so, the quality of our communication will seam the qualities of Nature's thinking...as It is, the planet seems depressed, suicidal...how do we heal It and ourselves?
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Grammar is the imagined and thus usefully fictive communication rule book by which these [autopoietic] systems maintain themselves, at least as we can perceive them, making their feedback loops possible. This understanding or sensibility, however, only exists in the cognitive dimension, as one must be aware of the constant uncertainty regarding the adequacy of description for what's actually going on, as opposed to what's really going on. What's really going on is what we imagine, or what we think and feel is going on; and what's actually happening is beyond that...inside or outside, but elsewhere nonetheless.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Cognition, then, is not a representation of an independently existing world, but rather a continual bringing forth of a world through the process of living. The interactions of a living system [a biological entity] with its environment are cognitive interactions, and the process of living itself a process of cognition. In the words of Maturana and Varela, "To live is to know"...likewise, perhaps, language selects what is expressible and gives shape to the ineffable, or inexpressible, in a figure-ground relationship that seems the expression of awareness. Cognition is the continuous bringing forth of awareness through the process of language. The cognitive interactions of a living system with its environment are linguistic interactions, and the process of languaging itself is a process of cognition. In other words, language seams to know...
But I know nothing, perhaps. Maybe I'm nuts...somewhere beyond this language...like you.
Is that OK?
Sunday, November 21, 2010
...that if "we" seem to be conscious beings aware of each other as separate biological entities and that together "we" are functionaries cooperatively forming, via language, a psychic ecosystem that, on the global scale seems, in part, Nature's cognition, then Nature seams Itself, composing Its own awareness as the supersitial mind composing/thinking/dreaming-nostering/minding/feeling/obeying us into be-ing existent. This seams a psychic form of recursive symmetry across scale, functioning to maintain an equilibrium/meaning amidst the perceived chaos/confusion of Its own processes.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
...if one begins writing fiction with a few basic rules [the idea being for a "plot" or phase-space mechanism to emerge over time and pages] in sync with a "chaos game" of random limits, various meanings will begin arising from the text, moving toward a visible spectacle proportionate to scale, lured by some "strange attractor" across the textual "event horizon" toward some "black hole" singularity that's always ineffable to the individual human being...experiencing itself, for what seems like the first time, alive in something else...this seams the faith one starts with.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Supersymmetry is the grail of string theory, addressing the vision of multidimensional feedback loops that also include quantum mechanics. The "string" is the feedback loop, fascia, membrane stitching/joining these dimensions together as they flow through time [or as time vibrates them in its passing]. The ultimate particle has been replaced by the image of a vibrating string whose pitch varies and harmonizes with the pitch variances and harmonizations of other strings [remember Emerson's "Nature?" Now keep going], which ravel together forming an infinitely large string and infinitely small strings harmonizing one to the others, and vice versa. It's the difference between music and noise, language and gibberish. It's a unifying theory, a titillating big picture and useful fiction.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Literary texts apparently emerge from cognitive evolution, which seems a localized creative awareness. Languaging seams their most essential processes. Texts exist as the skins of reading/writing, and might even be considered "alive" if they were taking part in Life's evolution by writing, reading, thinking-feeling about and discussing whatever [on the externalized or extended page or screen] by manipulating various symbols within themselves [on the internalized or intended "mind's eye"]. While actively, selectively engaged by reader/writers, texts maintain their scrabbling, subjunctive fluidities, serving as flexible, permeable membranes vibrating meanings between one consciousness and another, evolving evermore complex we/ouis: Systemic cognitions [which some might call, rightly or wrongly, "singularities"], etc. & et al...
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
...attempt to help recalibrate American thinking so it can better cope with these dangerous, even apocalyptic, which is to say revelationary times. My aim is not to suggest what to think so much as how one might think. My focus is on process, fluidity and change as opposed to outcomes because process seams the perceivable effect. The ends will take care of themselves if we focus on the means, excepting unforeseen events...that require reflexive responses to stimulating obstacles which enable the formation of shared realities, provided the randomness that's occuring seems a knowable variable...falling within the parameters of human perception, language and thought.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Anyway, the "worry" part comes from it being related to the working title of a fiction piece I'm doing.
My idea is to share this list with you via daily excerpts. The list of "worries" is culled from a short "book" I was writing in 2007 called "Nature's Ching." This litany will take about a month of daily postings to get through. Please feel free to comment, either here or on Facebook. I'll read every one even if I don't respond.
Topping the list is everything we perceive, think and do is fiction. This is a lot like Richard Rorty's idea that science and philosophy are essentially stories or "literature." I say human life seams fiction...
Here's the opening quote:
I am quite willing to give up the goal of getting things right, and to substitute that [with] enlarging our repertoire of individual and cultural self-descriptions. The point of philosophy, on this view, is not to find out what anything is “really” like, but to help us grow up—to make us happier, freer, and more flexible.
Richard Rorty, Philosophy As Cultural Politics
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
1) The make-up of the narrative voice in Its relation to textual space and time [is It, perhaps, just ink squirted from an octopus?]; and,
2) What actually occurs vs. what really happens.
Such a critique might reveal hitherto unread seams possibly holding the texts together from below—seeming their voices’ hidden fascia, if you will.
A reviewer might also ask herself whether or not the texts render the return of “wildness/wilderness” as a potentially more evolved form of civilization the way chaos might seem a more complex form of order [to certain people ]? And if so, by extension, do the texts’ rendered implications suggest anarchy as a more evolved form of governing society, or not?
Actuality seems beyond our scope, and reality requires a leap of faith, conscious or not. We can only respond to real things because actual things might not stimulate the senses we apparently have. We respond to something whenever we perceive its importance, which seems its meaning. Vividness stimulates response, emerging meaning. Spirituality seams consciousness to meaning, perhaps.
Whom, by intuiting [that is feeling and/or sensing] the unwritten aspects or absented dimensions of these novels, seems to seam the writing narrator into a read text? You, perhaps? Who are you and who am I, or who do we seam to be, according to these novels? Who seems the reader and who seems the writer, relating to each other, meeting on this seam they call “text?”
These novels concern themselves with interiors, with what we imagine hiding inside Its shell. They approach their memes—subjects and objects, themes and characters—via sarcasm [a form of negation] while disclosing a universalism that destabilizes human being-ness, making a change of perception not only possible but necessary and actual for the next new message to be read. Our reality will then, perhaps, appear, trying to catch up. The action, far ahead as always, seems rooted in the verbs, not the nouns and modifiers we use in our vain attempts to apply meaning to what we perceive going on, what we think’s possibly happening to us…to “me”…what “we” do…the crisis of the crux Itself…whatever it seems itself be-ing.
These novels are as wild and loose as I could suture them, holding them together in the daily processes of writing. Their wildness and looseness serve as a negative, a contrast against which I [and, by extension, the reader] might perceive the shape of our own tameness and cultural sympathies.
The “wilder-ness” experience of reading/writing these novels seams to me the immediate reality of a natural universe within “human” experience. Sometimes, one might choose to surrender her desire and ability to make such experiences meaningful, choosing to give up one thing to gain another, so she might more simply experience the text in some less adulterated way [remember how you felt reading your first novel?]. Our ability to understand our actual position within any given situation seems limited, and therefore somewhat tangible, thanks to nature’s language function from which, it seems to me, emerges a kind of myth mentality where language seams comprehensibility into an incomprehensible universe. The fact language inevitably takes on “narrative” form makes myth, according to Joseph Campbell, “the secret opening through which inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation.” In other words, myth isn’t the story, but the process, the means by which language creates and/or replicates meaning. Myth is the verb that language seeks to modify and govern via “grammar.” Myths replicate whatever grammar misses: the human place in the possibly inhuman world. Myths seam [or linguify ] meme-machines, replicating culture; and languages seem the seams holding It [the presumably self-replicating universal myth-verb] together.
These novels might suggest [or not] a “posthistoric primitivism ” that reveals the seams of the mythological, as opposed to the more prevalent historical, consciousness of some of my fellow and contemporary “Americans.” These novels seek out their initial “American” conditions, their originating apocalypses rendering “Nature-in-its-manner-of-operation” as fictional revelations.
These novels possibly explore human apocalypse/revelation at its point of entry [or exit], while Its subject, perhaps, seams Life together in Its entirety. I think I feel these novels as “American” books of the between/among… membrane texts forming boundaries among past, present and future with now feeling the present tenseness seaming the only tangible thing we might presently experience for ourselves. Every single word possibly seams a pun into Its deeper symbol for Itself. There is no chance here, only experience. It seems actual karma, form seaming an extension into or onto content, content then intending the form, knotting the deal. No? OK.
Normally, we’re not aware of how the socio-political-economic venom of “history” conspires to direct, or at least heavily influence, the types of choices we too often perceive ourselves making because we don’t know any better, or if we do we feel intimidated by the prospects of making other choices. Hopefully, these novels strip naked the whys and wherefores of this situation. Hopefully, certain readers might feel empowered by their new level of Self awareness…or not. Maybe they’ll project their newly found Self hatred onto these texts or, worse, onto me. That would be too bad, because I’ve been trying very hard to sort these issues out and bring them into better view so I could actually deal with them within myself for 25 years, me learning to hate me hating rather than you, and Smoke and So It Seams are the results of my best efforts at Self hatred properly aimed at the Self. Pathetic? Perhaps. Worthy of derision? Maybe. But these novels are what they are in the same way venom is venom, and I’ve seen much worse…Defending one’s poison seems a way of defending one’s indefensible Self when It seems like “me,” no?
When one studies existence—one’s life and the fictive projection often referred to as “life in general”—pondering the differences between reality and actuality, the nature of being and the being of nature, the physics of physics, etc. & et al, one might come to an understanding of power that recognizes some validity in the idea that our decisions might actually create the successive worlds we perceive ourselves occupying/occupied by, we seem both inhabitants and nests, coevolving with our parasites the way our hosts co-evolve with us…the way our systems work together to maintain our mutually contextualizing system via increasingly complex interactions over time as our life form[s] grow, but then again, maybe not. Yet, if so, I imagine one simple formula might begin a description of the process of decision making: I=E/R. That’s Ohm’s Law —current equals voltage divided by resistance. Currencies, like choices, generally follow the path of least resistance to achieve oneness or at-one-ment with their hungered for opposite [a negative charge seeking something more positive from which naturally emerges something resembling the lowest common denominator beneath the highest imagined numerator], desiring as little friction and fireworks as possible until they get there. No? So for anything to systemically happen a complex of stimulation of desire, resistance, and necessary degrees of satiation must emerge that shapes the flow of time and energy through our possibly shared realities. But what do I know? I merely live-write fictions.
Everything in these texts seems a possible reflection of a word-being’s psychosomatic apparatus for following its narrator’s apparent system of decision-making. Everything seems a reflection of a reflection and totally imaginary. Duh. Some earnest readers might try making sense of these novels by trying to figure out where I’m coming from. Hopefully, you as a reviewer might write something that may facilitate putting these books in someone’s hands, and your review will give them some tools to derive greater pleasure from what I’ve possibly rendered. Hopefully, these notes will help you, but maybe not. Maybe the reader will hear there’s lots of sex in these novels and buy them for that. But be assured, gentle reviewer, the sex is not pornographic [at least in my opinion].
The differences among readings/reviews might reflect the differences of private mind-dimensions projecting personal thoughts into reading/reviewing the texts. In other words, I imagine some “folks,” unable to escape themselves, will simply misread these novels. And maybe you, being privy to these notes, can help or at least try setting them free onto happier trails...[!]. But I don’t know. In light of everything, I believe it’s better being paralyzed by knowledge than activated by ignorance. So I keep in mind Heisenberg’s “uncertainty principle” while writing the way an angry person might repeat “Thou shalt not kill” over and over to themselves as they go about their business, hoping for the best possible morals to emerge as an improved, or at least further evolved, effect…
Finally, if these novels have any utility whatsoever, they might be viewed as antidotes to the Tea Party mentality. They also have very nice covers designed by Geoffrey Gatza, a modern day Renaissance man, and will look cool on your coffee table or lap on the bus. So please buy a copy of each and tell your friends to buy them, too.
For better or worse, or no matter. It’s been fun. Cheers.
October 20, 2010
1. The boundary between “wilderness” and “civilization,” “wild” and “civil” don’t actually exist, but exist only as a mental construct or invention that makes mental processes possible [much like the number “0” was imagined as the boundary/seam/membrane/edge between positive and negative numbers, because “numbers” were always relative to each other and in motion, in that they needed to represent change to be useful. According to Max Oelschlaeger in The Idea of Wilderness: “The boundaries between wilderness and civilization can be explored only obliquely. If we look directly through the historical lens we see nothing. And the reason why we see nothing is clear: the idea of history itself precludes any understanding of a Paleolithic idea of wilderness. The idea of history itself has a history…What is crucial at this juncture is to recognize that through the lens of history human experience takes place entirely outside nature…Our prevailing definitions of ‘wildness’ and ‘wilderness’ preclude recognition of nature as a spontaneous and naturally organized system in which all parts are harmoniously interrelated; in consequence, humankind has believed itself compelled to impose order on nature…The Paleolithic counterrevolutionary, however, actually sees the deep past. From such a perspective…wild nature and culture are understood as organically related. So viewed, the destruction of things wild and free will entail the collapse of any civilization that rests upon them…the modern project, which has long promised the total humanization of the earth’s surface, is paradoxically destined to fail through its own success.”
2. The evolution of life seems a “self-organizing system.” From Fritjof Capra’s The Web of Life: A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems: “Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela have described the process of evolution in terms of their theory of autopoiesis, seeing the evolutionary history of a species as the history of its structural coupling….and Gaia theory explore[s] the planetary dimensions of the unfolding of life…Throughout the living world evolution cannot be limited to the adaptation of organisms to their environment, because the environment itself is shaped by a network of living systems capable of adaptation and creativity…they co-evolve…an ongoing dance that proceeds through a subtle interplay of competition and cooperation, creation and mutual adaptation.”  I would amend that to “…creation and destruction, unitary growth and mutual adaptation.” Capra’s view of nature reads a little too nice for my tastes. Nature/evolution seem meaner than that. I often wonder if “my” interests and Gaia’s interests are one and the same. I have strong doubts that whatever benefits me personally will benefit the planet, because I don’t think what would necessarily benefit the planet would behoove me in any way. In other words, I struggle with the idea that “man” and “God” have competing interests, and that the values of the one don’t actually work for the other. In light of this, it becomes very complicated to develop values that make universal sense. That’s not saying it’s impossible to do so, I’m merely confessing that I don’t know how it might be done. This problem might be the crux of my writing situation…I have ideas without knowledge. But that seems to me a universal among humans.
3. Civilization: 1) The result of man’s desire to please woman. 2) A relative term measuring the complexities of a given set of human social systems, where the greater the perceived complexity the greater quantity of civilization is assumed. 3) The domestication of wilderness, the taming of the wild. 4) Areas of dense human population. 5) The value of creating a culture that allows us to believe we’ve risen up out of the muck, inventing the bootstraps by which we pulled ourselves up. 5) The degree of comfy coziness one feels relative to a contestant on Survivor Island. 6) A more complex and secretive rendering of Goulding’s Lord of the Flies. 7) The way the human superorganism appears to be operating.
4. Chaos: Making A New Science, Robert Gleick: “A chaotic system could be stable if its particular brand of irregularity persisted in the face of small disturbances. Lorenz’s system was an example…The chaos Lorenz discovered was as stable as a marble in a bowl [if you nudged it, it would return to the same spot]. You could add noise to this system, jiggle it, stir it up, interfere with its motion, and then when everything settled down, the transients dying away like echoes in a canyon, the system would return to the same peculiar pattern of irregularity as before. It was locally unpredictable, globally stable.” 
5. Certain people are those who perceive their worlds as self-organizing systems as opposed to actually pre-ordained by a god in heaven. Those who see the world as a self-organizing system are process oriented, more interested in creating than their actual creations, which are always flawed replications of what they really meant [if they end up actually meaning something]. And that’s the whole point: Flawed does not equal fallen. It seems other than that…a systemic necessity, perhaps.
6. Anarchism: There’s not much agreement on a single definition for anarchism, evidenced by how controversial every definition seems to be. Regardless, I’ve come to define it for myself as the feeling that the political-economic state of human affairs—civilization itself—is a malignant tumor metastasizing across the face of its earthly host. Therefore, anarchism seems a necessary rebellion against the discontents of civilization, and an extremely individualistic collectivism opposing all authority beyond the local…not trusting in or having faith in global entities…again, the interests of “individual” seem opposed to the interests of “gods.” Worship might not be a good thing. Respect, maybe. But I’m not sure.
7. Thoreau begins Civil Disobedience: “I heartily accept the motto, ‘That government is best which governs least’; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, ‘That government is best which governs not at all’; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.” Italics and bold signify my emphasis, not Thoreau’s.
8. The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology, “The Hero With A Thousand Faces,” Joseph Campbell.
9. Grammar [excerpts from a very good and short article on grammar by Cathbin Ayoob]:[Garammar is] “‘The internalized system that native speakers of a language share’…‘the unbound and ungoverned speech in which people actually live and manage their lives has become a challenge to the Crown’ [quote from first book of grammar, 1492, coinciding with the onset of the colonial era]…If these rules propose that there is one perfect language, and language creates reality, then it can be understood that these rules assume one perfect reality…James Baldwin writes: ‘People evolve a language in order to describe and thus control their circumstances, or in order not to be submerged by reality that they cannot articulate. It goes without saying, then, that language is also a political instrument, means, and proof of power’ (40). Those who control language and the formation of language shape reality. Perhaps it is time to have language rules that incorporate all of these origins.”
10. Linguify. For an object to become a subject of language, having evolved from mere complex of atoms or gene-machine to word-being.
11. Etymology of sutra: "series of aphorisms," 1801, from Skt. sutram "rule," lit. "string, thread" (as a measure of straightness), from sivyati "sew;" cognate with L. suere "to sew" (see sew), “to suture.” Applied to rules of grammar, law, philosophy, etc., along with their commentaries. Also a collection of aphorisms relating to some aspect of the conduct of life; the sermons of Buddha; one of the approximately 4000 rules or aphorisms that constitute Panini's grammar of sanskrit. Therefore, So It Seams might also have been “So It Sutrad” [sic].
12. Posthistoric primitivism: Paul Shepard recommends that we need to recover pre-history and reconnect to mythos (sacred story), ancestors, and nonhuman Others. He believes that history’s real lesson is that it is no guide to the future, because it is a declaration of independence from the deep past and its peoples, living or dead, and from the natural state of our being. We must study primal peoples to begin thinking about living ecologically in post-historic and post-industrial ways.
13. Oelschlaeger, 11.
14. Ohm's law states that the current through a conductor between two points is directly proportional to the potential difference or voltage across the two points, and inversely proportional to the resistance between them. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohm%27s_law#cite_ref-0.
15. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle and Observer Effect [from Wikipedia]: “The uncertainty principle is often stated this way: The measurement of position necessarily disturbs a particle's momentum, and vice versa. This makes the uncertainty principle a kind of observer effect. This explanation is not incorrect, and was used by both Heisenberg and Bohr. But they were working within the philosophical framework of logical positivism. In this way of looking at the world, the true nature of a physical system, inasmuch as it exists, is defined by the answers to the best-possible measurements which can be made in principle. To state this differently, if a certain property of a system cannot be measured beyond a certain level of accuracy (in principle), then this limitation is a limitation of the system and not the limitation of the devices used to make this measurements. So when they made arguments about unavoidable disturbances in any conceivable measurement, it was obvious to them that this uncertainty was a property of the system, not of the devices. Today, logical positivism has become unfashionable in many cases, so the explanation of the uncertainty principle in terms of observer effect can be misleading.[original research?] For one, this explanation makes it seem to the non-positivist that the disturbances are not a property of the particle, but a property of the measurement process; the particle secretly does have a definite position and a definite momentum, but the experimental devices we have are not good enough to find out what these are. This interpretation is not compatible with standard quantum mechanics. In quantum mechanics, states that have both definite position and definite momentum at the same time do not exist. This explanation is misleading in another way, because sometimes it is a failure to measure the particle that produces the disturbance. For example, if a perfect photographic film contains a small hole, and an incident photon is not observed, then its momentum becomes uncertain by a large amount. By not observing the photon, we discover indirectly that it went through the hole, revealing the photon's position. The third way in which the explanation can be misleading is due to the nonlocal nature of a quantum state. Sometimes, two particles can be entangled, and then a distant measurement can be performed on one of the two. This measurement should not disturb the other particle in any classical sense, but it can sometimes reveal information about the distant particle. This restricts the possible values of position or momentum in strange ways. Unlike the other examples, a distant measurement will never cause the overall distribution of either position or momentum to change. The distribution only changes if the results of the distant measurement are known. A secret distant measurement has no effect whatsoever on a particle's position or momentum distribution. But the distant measurement of momentum for instance will still reveal new information, which causes the total wavefunction to collapse. This will restrict the distribution of position and momentum, once that classical information has been revealed and transmitted. For example If two photons are emitted in opposite directions from the decay of positronium, the momenta of the two photons are opposite. By measuring the momentum of one particle, the momentum of the other is determined, making its momentum distribution sharper, and leaving the position just as indeterminate. But unlike a local measurement, this process can never produce more position uncertainty than what was already there. It is only possible to restrict the uncertainties in different ways, with different statistical properties, depending on what property of the distant particle you choose to measure. By restricting the uncertainty in p to be very small by a distant measurement, the remaining uncertainty in x stays large. (This example was actually the basis of Albert Einstein's important suggestion of the EPR paradox in 1935.) This queer mechanism of quantum mechanics is the basis of quantum cryptography, where the measurement of a value on one of two entangled particles at one location forces, via the uncertainty principle, a property of a distant particle to become indeterminate and hence unmeasurable. But Heisenberg did not focus on the mathematics of quantum mechanics, he was primarily concerned with establishing that the uncertainty is actually a property of the world — that it is in fact physically impossible to measure the position and momentum of a particle to a precision better than that allowed by quantum mechanics. To do this, he used physical arguments based on the existence of quanta, but not the full quantum mechanical formalism. This was a surprising prediction of quantum mechanics, and not yet accepted. Many people would have considered it a flaw that there are no states of definite position and momentum. Heisenberg was trying to show this was not a bug, but a feature—a deep, surprising aspect of the universe. To do this, he could not just use the mathematical formalism, because it was the mathematical formalism itself that he was trying to justify.” See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_principle#Uncertainty_principle_and_observer_effect
16. 10 Rules I Seem to Live By: 1—Insist on nothing, including non-insistence. 2—Live philosophically. 3—Write: Recurse/Replicate evolutionary materials in linguistic form as an “artistic medium.” 4—Commune with, and meditate upon, “Shiva.” 5—Look for large ass stimulation. 6—When hungry, eat; when thirsty, drink—but be expedient about it and don’t dwell. 7—Be your own man; work and play for no one. 8—Don’t be ruled by superficial, commonplace desires. 9—Do what’s necessary to stay on course. 10—Your character seams a role to play, so go ahead and act it.
Ayoob, Cathbin. “The Systematic Teaching of Grammar: A Critique”, Intertext: A Student Publication of the Syracuse University Writing Program.
Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Pantheon Books, Princeton University Press, 1968.
Capra, Fritjof. The Web of Life: A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems. Doubleday, New York. 1996.
Gleick, James. Chaos: Making A New Science. Penguin, New York. 1988.
Heisenberg, Werner. Uncertainty Principle [and “Observer Effect”]. Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_Principle#Uncertainty_principle_and_observer_effect
Oelschlaeger, Max. The Idea of Wilderness. Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1991.
“Ohm’s Law.” Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohm%27s_law
Shepard, Paul. Posthistoric primitivism at http://www.archive.org/stream/Post-historicPrimitivism/Post-historicPrimitivism_djvu.txt
Thoreau, Henry David. Civil Disobedience, 1849, @ http://thoreau.eserver.org/civil.html.
OTHER, PERHAPS RELEVANT READING, Etc.
Capra, Fritjof. The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism. Shambhala Publications. 2000.
Castaneda, Carlos. The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (©1968); A Separate Reality: Further Conversations with Don Juan (©1971); Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan (©1972); Tales of Power (©1974) ISBN 0-671-73252-8. (Autumn 1971 to the 'Final Meeting' with don Juan Matus in 1973.); & etc. @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bibliography_of_Carlos_Castaneda
Crumb, R. The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb. W.W. Norton, New York, 2009.
Dick, Philip K. A Scanner Darkly. Vintage, New York, 1999.
Diogenes. At Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diogenes_of_Sinope
Dylan, Bob. Time Out of Mind, Blood On The Tracks, Positively Fourth Street, Highway 61 Revisited, Desolation Row, etc. & et al.
Epic of Gilgamesh. At Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_of_gilgamesh; and online text: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/11000.
Federman, Raymond. Critifiction: Postmodern Essays. SUNY, 2010.
Genesis, The Book of. As translated, annotated, etc. & et al, in the Oxford Annotated Edition, Oxford University Press, 1971.
Homer. The Iliad and The Odyssey. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homer, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iliad, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odyssey.
Jonah, The Book of. Ibid Genesis.
Kafka, Franz. Parables and Paradoxes. Schocken. 1972.
Kama Sutra. Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kama_Sutra.
Kerouac, Jack. Visions of Cody [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visions_of_Cody]; The Dharma Bums [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dharma_Bums]; Big Sur [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Sur_(novel)]; Desolation Angels [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desolation_Angels_(novel)]; Visions of Gerard [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visions_of_Gerard].
Lovelock, James. The Ages of Gaia: A Biography of our Living Earth. W.W. Norton, 1995.
Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick, “Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street.”
Nollmann, Jim. Spiritual Ecology: A Guide to Reconnecting with Nature. Bantam, 1990.
O’Connor, Flannery. The Complete Stories. Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1971.
Orwell, George. 1984, Animal Farm.
Pagels, Elaine. The Gnostic Gospels. Vintage, 1989; Adam, Eve & the Serpent: Sex & Politics and Early Christianity, Vintage, 1989.
Pirandello, Luigi. Various Works. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirandello
Popul Vuh, The. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popol_Vuh and The Definitive Edition of the Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life and the Glories of Gods and Kings, by Dennis Tedlock, Touchstone, 1996.
Pynchon, Thomas. Gravity’s Rainbow, Viking Press, 1973.
Revelation, The Book of, Apocalypse of St. John of Patmos. Ibid, Oxford Bible.
Tao te Ching, Victor H. Mair, translator; Huston Smith, introduction; Quality Paperback Book Club, 1998.
Thoreau, Henry David. Walden [http://thoreau.eserver.org/walden00.html]; The Maine Woods [http://thoreau.eserver.org/mewoods.html]; “Walking,” [http://thoreau.eserver.org/walking.html].
Tibetan Book of the Dead, …(Mystical Classics of the World) by Huston Smith, Bantam, 1993.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
“...these hallucinatory acts performed by metafictive narrators in the name of solving a state-manufactured mystery may not enlighten Smoke’s psychically crippled characters, but they do give the reader a good deal of narrative pleasure. We profit from Smoke’s uncontained, comic dystopia—part X-Files, part Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971), part Franz Kafka, part Philip K. Dick, part Three Stooges.”
I’m slogging through the proofs of my next novel, So It Seams. I thought it was finished, but the first time through I found myself slightly altering almost every sentence. There are so many things to focus on and each draft requires a shifted focus...
Starting round two today.
Some things I scribbled into my notebook yesterday morning in a hospital waiting room as a friend had pre-surgery tests:
FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT
People used to have very little and less to hide behind and couldn't talk shit or they'd get cracked in the mouth and only those who weren't finished when they got cracked in the mouth and fought back ever got more than enough shit to hide behind.
All this inglorious bullshit we witness today was nurtured out of non-bullshit times. Men don't wear suits to the ballpark anymore but you don't dare form a union or you'll destroy the country, the social fabric of consumption.
In a country where consumption outpaces production a lot of bullshit passes for product. Not everyone needs to produce but everyone needs some talent for bullshit that everyone must consume. Feeding one's face beats getting cracked, so we feed all the time.
Most thought when we selected the first black president we'd finally have leadership that keeps things real and represents...
AFTER THE BIG BUST
right up to the big bust
the buttered phat ass co-
sponsoring the NRA's viagra
miley cyrus DVDs for all the little girls and
pornography for all the little boys and
adult language for Mature Folks Only
otherwise known as MaFos
but some day
not too far from now, maybe even
today the black
thongs will become slingshots
bras will hold the nuts we gather
fishnet stockings will catch fish not men
after the big bust
we'll have militias
and hormones only.
fewer people will have babies.
and spiked heels will be used as weapons.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Seems despite the recent downturn the magazine’s assets have grown to $200 million and its staff stands accused of enjoying the good life.
I heard all about it from the godforsaken Chicago Tribune. It was pretty gruesome going for a sensitive poet-type like myself. There should be a rating system on such coverage, something that warns “for insensitive readers only.”
Here’s the offending article ... You be the judge.
And now that you’ve read it and perhaps done a little research of your own, here’s what I think:
All the money and related bullshit aside, when was the last time Poetry Inc. did anything interesting, substantial, important, influential...? Even before Lilly’s donation, was it doing anything?
The best way to kill art is to smother artists with money [it's my hoped-for cause of death]. An actual artist can be wrecked, I think, with too much money. If I were a rich patron, I would consider it my responsibility to fuck with an artist's mind in equal proportion to the money I gave, so his/her angst would be nurtured not soothed. I would personify "the man" for them because I prefer their psychotic pictures and texts to their pretty ones. I'd give the artist as much shit as s/he could handle, no more and no less.
Having enough is vital, but too much is deadly. The money basically took Poetry from a shoestring budget of nothing special and turned it into a corporation that needs to "play nice" for PR reasons.
Unlike us [sentient biological entities, not just legal persons], corporations seek to avoid dangerous artistic malfunctions [i.e.: stuff resulting in higher expenses and lower profits, embarrassment].
The corporate system and its sibling bureaucracy are the greatest evils in the world today...maybe ever because they seem so benign and necessary relative to fascism and communism, of which they're actually kin, the rich relatives of bastard children, one big illegitimate family of dis-eased inhuman ideologies.
People are slowly waking up to this fact, but I fear it's already too late. We're poised to see a cataclysmic drop in the world's human population resulting from an onslaught of catastrophes—magnetic field reversal, climate change, peak everything, nitrogen imbalance, dying oceans, famine, pestilence, war, disease, pandemic. People with children are going to have incredible, unbelievable, unprecedented horror, stress and anxiety to deal with. Their children will kill them, will be the reason they struggle to survive, will necessitate some form of law and order out of fear and exhaustion ... eventually ...and those people who most people fear and are tired of will be outlawed, institutionalized, jailed and/or killed. Even more so than today! C'est la vie.
And somewhere along the line it's likely that human mutations will begin appearing who, as new humans, will do to us what we Cro-Magnons possibly did to the Neanderthals: fuck and murder them/us out of existence. The new breed will, perhaps, be more OJ than Jesus. By the time the meek inherit the earth no one will want it. So it goes.
And of course, at some point a giant asteroid will strike, or something else like anomalous sun spot and flare activity will happen, ending hominid existence on the third planet from the sun...
We're all going to die...so it seams.
Thus [hate the tone of that word, the diction it implies, but its use seams correctly, hearing here the ear that says “ergo” would feel a step too far...] from Ruth Lilly's donation that kills Poetry to the end of the world. Only fitting we see the pernicious effects of ruling class "drug money."
I know. I go too far...But why not? Everything the profit/prophet-driven commie-fascists touch turns to shit! Global corporate libertarians merely think of flowers and their attention wilts flora far and wide...
So part of my life's mission, anyway, is to keep Thanatos' ideas away from my flowers...distract death and keep it at bay…wherever it lurks, blind it with my light and run like hell.
For some reason, I can’t help giggling about all this…