Tuesday, November 22, 2011

To be a little more precise...

"The trouble with too much contemporary American literature is it seems to be dominated by a certain naive bourgeois cultural 'whiteness,' an unconscious manifestation of Ishmael Reed's Atonist/Wallflower political-economic system and Robert Coover's Uncle Sam/Phantom in The Burning Game..."

That quote from the previous blog post needs clarification. No one's criticized me for it yet, but if they had they'd been right. Let me be more precise by defining "contemporary American literature" as the Poetry Foundation and big corporate publishers who require you to have an agent, etc.

This conversation among Kent Johnson, John Bloomberg-Rissmann and others articulates exactly what I meant to say, and since I can't say it better, here's the link, and the author Johannes' opening remarks [the revealing conversation follows the question]:



“Free (Market) Verse”: Steve Evans on the Poetry Foundation and Conservative Politics/Aestheticsby on Nov.17, 2011, under Uncategorized

One commentor to another post made a link to this piece by Steve Evans.

Excerpt:If there was no trace in the magazine’s cartoon gallery of a cohort of midwestern white guys with business backgrounds aspiring to write instantly “accessible” poems about authentic American life for the amusement and improvement of semi-literate “regular” folks, that’s because it would take a presidency as benighted and hokey as that of George W. Bush to bring such a group to prominence. Through men like Dana Gioia, John Barr, and Ted Kooser, Karl Rove’s battle-tested blend of unapologetic economic elitism and reactionary cultural populism is now being marketed in the far-off reaches of the poetry world. A curiously timed gift from a pharmaceutical heir who, before slipping into four decades of crippling depression, had submitted a pseudonymous item or two to Chicago’s Poetry magazine, which politely rejected them, has bankrolled the unlikely effort.



Thanks to Johannes for posting this at Montevidayo and Kent Johnson for sharing it with me.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Philip K. Dick & Occupy Wall Street

I think we're heading toward civil war. I think the richest one percent can now afford to pay 50 percent to wipe out the other 50 percent. So much for the 99 percent. Divide and conquer.

I don't know who will "win," which is to say survive in greater numbers. The coming election is going to exacerbate things the way the 1968 election did, but much much worse. I think both conventions next summer will make Chicago 68 seem small. I expect clashes between right wing and left wing protesters, defections among police and military...a complete unraveling.

What happens then is anyone's guess, but here's some ideas from Philip K. Dick's Tractates: Cryptica Scriptura:

41. The Empire is the institution, the codification, of derangement; it is insane and imposes its insanity on us by violence, since its nature is a violent one.
42. To fight the Empire is to be infected by its derangement. This is a paradox; whoever defeats a segment of the Empire becomes the Empire; it proliferates like a virus, imposing its form on its enemies. Thereby it becomes its enemies.
43. Against the Empire is posed the living information, the plasmate or physician, which we know as the Holy Spirit or Christ discorporate. These are the two principles, the dark [the Empire] and the light [the plasmate]. In the end, Mind will give victory to the latter. Each of us will die or survive according to which he aligns himself and his efforts with. Each of us contains a component of each. Eventually one or the other component will triumph in each human. Zoroaster knew this, because the Wise Mind informed him. He was the first savior. Four have lived in all. A fifth is about to be born, who will differ from the others: he will rule and he will judge us.

Dick goes on to say that "information will save us. This is the saving gnosis which the Gnostics sought." He also says the Empire has killed each of the previous homoplasmates, but "the next one will kill the Empire by phagocytosis."

Think of phagocytosis, perhaps, in terms of interdimensional "staining" and mindful holographs...memes/information that when perceived go viral in the form of fractals, eliminating forces of entropy to maintain the necessary disequilibria via feedback loops to keep the perceiving hologram alive and/or animated. One's channel or frequency of sentience is determined by one's situated permanence in relation to time...

From Wikipedia: "Phagocytosis...is involved...in the immune system, it is a major mechanism used to remove pathogens and cell debris. Bacteria, dead tissue cells, and small mineral particles are all examples of objects that may be phagocytosed.The process...in multicellular animals...has been adapted to eliminate debris and pathogens."

What are the recursive symmetries of phagocytosis in this narrative scale of things, where "occupy" seems to have gained a life of its own?

The trouble with too much contemporary American literature is it seems to be dominated by a certain naive bourgeois cultural "whiteness," an unconscious manifestation of Ishmael Reed's Atonist/Wallflower political-economic system and Robert Coover's Uncle Sam in The Burning Game...

When push comes to shove, I believe most people will probably fall back on their knee-jerk ethnocentric view of civilization, which is closer to Newt Gingrich's preferences than my vision of a kind of social anarchy occurring post-psycho-phagocytosis as a primary effect on cultural consciousness.

Order is entropy, equilibrium and death. Life is a self-sustaining disequilibria dependent on feedback loops of information. It involves chaos and fractals, which is time staining the eternal...

Personally, I'm on the side of boogie woogie. Occupy your space, be yourself, have fun. And do not cooperate with any authoritarian attitude. Just say no to the drug of corporate acceptability.

Terrify authoritarians with your freedom and celebrate chaos and rejoice at the uncertainty of it all. It will mean you're alive...