Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Proof Positive that Angels Dance on Pin Heads

Happy Independence Day!

The Pope is resurgent against populism, and the grand old U.S. of A. will not be able to resolve agreement on any of the important questions, preferring to argue over women or children first while rearranging the deck chairs so they don't have to worry their pretty heads.

And in the meantime there are quiet announcements (like a press release late Friday, who cares on July 4?) that the standard model for physics has been reaffirmed by the ever so nuanced thinking that perhaps we've actually discovered something which to some high degree of probability resembles the predicted Higgs Boson.

What else might it resemble, one wonders. Hasn't it already been proven that everything depends on what the meaning of is is? It's not as though we're actually looking for other explanations, and anyhow they would all be metaphoric? There is only one fundamental law of nature and it's that we will expend no limit of energy to avoid metaphoric meaning. Which is pretty ironic if you think about it. Or even if you don't.

I am easily excited by metaphors of above and below, fallen and risen, and especially of semblances toward ideal. But I'm not quite willing to raise a horse thief to the level of prophet the way Mitt does nor use such knowledge of absolutes to absolve myself of outright lies which aren't such because they serve some higher truth. I mean that's just horseshit!

I do actually think it's clear enough that humanity occurred within a more Biblical than geologic time-frame. I don't even get why that's controversial. No civilization, no humanity. And we didn't start writing all that long ago. Writing counts, my friends.

The whole designer argument falls flat with me. The bigger mystery is the same old one: what quickened the soup, or in this case the social stirrings? I can hardly exclude the possibility for God. But only as a linguistic placeholder for a motive we can't possibly fathom.

Of course there must be particles down to whatever degree of minimalism to explain the forces of the cosmos. We've established that. There will be no end to instrumentation to find them though because we still can't stand the notion that we are ourselves accountable for our own motives. The final explanation will always rest on non-objective objects. Elusive particles. Reflections of our desperation to find them.

We thought maybe we would find nothing after looking so hardly? I think therefore I Spam.

The other is willed into being by my quickened wanting. QED. I want no more. Quantum Electro Dynamism. I'll trade you my particle for a bit of your energy, hey?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

And Then Suddenly . . .

Look, we can just start over. I did. I've done it, several times at least. These things we think define us, they are so trivial to replace, one paycheck from losing them anyhow. Always. There are garage sales and in almost every case they won't get their price since the world is so stuck on new. Give them what you want and you'll both be grateful.

What would you say defines you that you must hold onto it so tightly? That boat which was my carapace, and I shed it. Like clipping toenails down to the quick, maybe, but it wasn't really that hard. Sure I'd invested myself, my blood even and near death more times than I can say, into every cranny, with whatever intelligence I had to hold out sea and rain and take the wind and go with it.

These structures have their beauty, no? Lines bespeaking something eternal seeming, gathering lust or what is it that compels so much energy. But for an instant why would we gather in so many things and build a legacy of stuff which will  be just that annoying for our children to dispose of?

I say start over every single day, why not? If you can do it. Not one of us really knows the Way of time. I knew, you know, that those lakes on which I grew had been carved by glaciers, and that these had come at some time of prehistory, which even now I think must be at the time of dinosaurs.

But it's not. There wasn't even time for any evolution except for the sudden kind. The killing kind, the culling kind, since we were left with furry creatures - those are the only ones which matter to us - which had to have been there in substantially the same form beforehand. There wasn't nearly enough time, and so I've been swindled. In my mind, at least, which is a theoretical construct at best.

So those lakes which seemed so ancient, and down through which I dove on wrecked boats, tit for tat exchanges, were only puddles after the rain, scraped and filled and overgrown the way that tadpoles come from the sky. I would inhabit.

It's almost Biblical, if you want to think of it that way, how these repositories of melted polar ice remain for us to suck on. How much really could it possibly matter that we piss in them and they grow fetid since it's only been a day or so. It took so much longer for the oil and gas to form on dinosaur remains. Or so they say, and why should I believe it? Why not?

What I mean is that it hasn't really been that long since humans with consciousness or of consciousness or by consciousness or however that grammar can be worked out have peopled the earth. Written history, you know, almost jumps out at you from the ice-age, incubated in darkest heart, but proved against the cold. Or was it?

It couldn't possibly matter, but we know that the written record on top of which consciousness floats, your boat and mine, goes back maybe a few thousand years at most. I don't want to be precise, since I'm not much on history and I've been hoodwinked before. About the glaciers. But I think it's approximately Biblical time and then suddenly.

What, a quickening don't they call it? And now these words they float all over in the ether, but still as always they do try to make some sense, some narrative which would be my story and not yours although we share so many genes. As for Noah, it's hard not to get drunk and slur the words, but still they strive for narrative sense even without our participation sometimes. Stuff happens.

These words so full mostly of lust and true detective facts which make your blood curdle pleasantly so long as you are not out-of-doors or alone. But you and I have only each other, so why not start over? I am as is my home, as was my carapace when I needed it, but a substrate on which my narrative floats. In which I reside. Capsized.

There are but two of us, really, these narrative lines, and I can feel no stirrings for the Chinese kind. No matter how hard I will try and have tried or even might try, I cannot go native inside that narrative tradition. It is, you know, without a God, as I remain, having talked myself right out of it since as I was saying, why not start over? But it is not any narrative at all, as confounding as a female, really, recumbent and seemingly without creative urge at all. Relentless and enduring like the good earth. Is all.

Poetics, confound it! The stuff of which stuff is made, which is what it means in the first place. It wasn't ever a narrative urge, certainly not toward conclusion, but it was a shape and it had rhythm and rhyme and meaning which seemed to happen by itself. There was no-one at its tiller, scraping long lines in the earth, for us to sow and blow away its chaff. Stirring, floating, idly by. Merrily.

Were we ever in that much control? Really? Yes we can cultivate our minds as well as the earth but toward what end? Just to grow and overgrow and finally to run out of tillage or over earth's edge and on . . . . ? And on? It can be sometimes hard to cleave unto practical matters. I like that word. It's very precise here.

Pounding then through our ways and into recumbent receptivity for it, what are we about if not destruction? Creatively, we are but a glaciated mass of liquid language held but for a moment in crystalline shapes upon some page, but that it evaporates into some ether. But not before the gouging has been completed. Without copyright at all, it would descend down through what ages are left us. There is no pencil with which to plow, nor prow, nor bowsprit anymore though I long I do long for it.

As once I did for swimming as far as I would through cool waters and sunning bottoms up grinding into warm sand. That is no more, and no regrets. I still remember.

Land ho! Ahoy! I see you there. And so why not, really why not just forget about all that stuff I left behind and gather new stuff in a new world and cultivate the wildness of it. Their terrible need to be rid of it will match my desire to have it as if it were new. I understand they really were pre-literate Chinese across the frozen straights. How could it possibly matter, since the words in either case have still come down to us, whoever it was discovered it first, which is just a pissing match into a puddle now, though we would Dam it all to hell and over.

I am but substrate not for my own story, but for the one imposed on me by my station. On the crossroads, or at them or of them or even sometimes through them. That substrate will be shed and I am I. The story only. And if that is the case, and ever will be, then these words might as well endure for longer than the I that wrote them can or even might, since endurance of that nature is just a pain. In the end. I'd rather thrust. I had rather.

It's just that I don't really care anymore. There might be a castle on a hill, or a beacon, but it's just simply too expensive and not worth its upkeep unless it be turned to the public trust for gawkers to imagine. There are these remains now everywhere and most of them more recent than you think. Than you would think, not germanic sounding schlossen so much as temples to the sacred Mary in one form or another of her. Underneath they're all the same to us.

Why would anyone do it? But if, you know, I do remain conscious and interesting and whatever words I started with have been educated out of me, or do I mean educted? Drawn from memory, and they have some energy of their own for sure. Some semblance. But if there is a me there at their center, then why not God? Actually, suddenly.

I would ask His Holiness since he's in town about now, but he's deep down just a chump like me, though in a different place at a different crossroads just by happenstance which shouldn't be so voided of sense if we were able to help it. But we aren't. I know a man who knows him. And a woman. Several, actually, on a first-name basis, or so it seems to me. Or so they almost say, though  they hang back and simply mouth it. His Holiness.

Ah but he came and went I see and I was strapped to the plow. To save enough for furnishings. I didn't even notice or pay attention. We only are negotiating price, right? He was just a man, and there are more than enough who take him seriously which after a while is just provocative. I am afraid of large forces. San Onofre set afire, but it was an outbuilding only and nothing nuclear. I spirited past in the night, last night, having lain aside my plow while others labored still to till 'til after-hours. On a Friday! Of all things.

Drink up please, it's time. I come by those words honestly, I really do, for I called them out in my youth, tending bar down under in Victoria Station, the Whistle Stop, and that should be a lesson to you. These were once the crossroads of the globe. Then  it was Freddy Laker and now it's likely some student service or maybe just a convenience store. I owe you nothing.

But if I this bag of blood and bones can still support a narrative, then why not God for earth? The quickening is that sudden. It rises like a Mayfly, and into the sand again to be washed away by unsalted tears. If we would only shut up and listen. It is not nice to shout Him down or call His name so chantlike. It makes us less than human. As we were and ever shall be.

Fanaticos at some arena, lusting for blood if we were to admit it. 'sblood. Machine-like staccato, methinks and it's time for silence. Really, would you ever with someone you don't even know on a first-name basis? I didn't think so. Those are but loose words, worth but the penny that they sell for. Mardi-gras beads to excite something which at its basis really isn't very nice. Who owns you anyhow?


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Post Post

How will I hold myself together? Once again inhabiting too many places, and my memory wasn't very good to begin with. So how shall I know which of me is where? Is it true that people with prosthetic limbs eventually inhabit them? Is it also true that some have body parts which are dead weight, and they want them removed? Where are the actual boundaries of myself?

I take a train now some days into work. It skirts the beach well down below Laguna (I could have said Dana or Capistrano but Laguna sounds better) and I can watch improbable surfers in the January dawn, and realize that inhabiting my metaphor though they do, they are more at home by far than I am. They are in their element, where they want to be and willing to undergo a fair amount of discomfort to be there. (I want only my womb with a view; warmth and an easy chair) Although surfing in January does not represent a whole lot of discomfort to a Buffalo boy who scoffs at what passes today for stormy weather.

They float like seals, clustering usually, although sometimes you see one all by himself off where there probably won't be any waves. The train shakes some. I leave behind the house-sit, bedeviled by a dog which is nothing but a nightly anchor and annoying for that. It's not my dog. Or do I need an anchor?

There remains my ghost in Buffalo still, inhabiting empty furnished space. And now I sit in another other person's house, holding down that fort while my being dissipates, embedded in the same toxic work environment as you are. Where emotions get the better of team work and discussion and everyone's under so much stress that the only thing they can do about it is to pass it along to whomever's convenient underneath who doesn't seem to be holding up his end. You have let me down, or I fear that you shall. It is very important that you be afraid so that we're all in this together.

Emotions like this, you know, are the automatic response to being out of control with pressure to make some particular way when the better choice would be to surf still. It just makes you mad, and someone must be called to task.

Who are those people who can surf the age and feel in control not only of themselves, but of the audiences they command. How does that get done, or is it a confidence trick merely, where maybe if you look the part in the first place, you will be assumed to know things you don't really have to know at all. Maybe - has it always been so - if you are nice to look at then the sound of your singing voice is just better too.

I read, now, David Foster Wallace after death, though I have scant time to read. It will be a long weekend, so nicely scheduled to boost the faltering rhythm of work after the long winter holiday break. I fear or I know that I will squander this time on self-indulgence of various flavors. I know that I won't read much. A shame.

But he can't be conscious, right, dead DFW? His words are artificially animated. Though I live now somteimes right down the street from the address he gave right there on the page, or would he have actually had he lived? He must have known that he couldn't actually publish this and that's why he had to hang himself, if that's how he did it. Was it existential suicide or was it an escape from pain. Or is that the same as escape from the imperative for pleasure? I wouldn't have been able to knock him up in life, so what difference can it possibly make that I can't do that in death either. His consciousness only meant to me when it was active on the page. How would I know the difference? He's a classic now. Larger than life.

There is surely no god but Allah, and yet he is no more there. Can I ring him up or out or over? There is a book for these things too, I hear. By why would anyone read what is already obvious before you open its covers? I guess some pleasures do reward return.

Do I still insist that I am conscious? I think that means that I can tell my story in response to yours, but look how poorly I write. There will be no book and yet then what am I for if I can be gone that easily. You know, my memory does deteriorate and I can't come up with words most of the time even while speaking. Maybe my consciousness is not really something for me to decide all by myself.  And why do I care anyhow about these scattered references to myself, those things of value I leave about? Why should I feel responsible since they aren't exactly hurting anyone, those pieces of me floating around in other peoples' spaces. Do I also exist only in other peoples' minds, then? Or only in my own, where I am legend?

I think it would be my own regret is all, you know, to have a part of me lopped off that still means something to me in my mind; in my imagination there is something there. Or is it only the money? Or shall I just scatter myself so far and wide and without memorable connection that I am no more there than a lone surfer in languid motion waiting for a wave which never will come because if it would there would be others there as well. Maybe that's it. Maybe that's all there is.

I do love, though, and that's not something a machine can ever do, although I don't doubt that there are lots of substrates on top of which narratives might ride. It's just that my own narrative is so scattered now. I don't know how much I care to keep it going. It takes so much effort and did I say that there is such a toxic environment now at work.

All of us live now in our effluent because we would like to remain that separate, to ride our cars and surf to authenticity on buff bodies and more buff minds. So no wonder work is that way too, since we are that convinced of bankruptcy though, you know, the sum total valuation of wealth by any measure has never been higher. It's just that so much gets discarded, and so many people too now, because they don't look so appetizing. If they would only cull themselves and then I wouldn't feel so guilty. Cut me some slack.

But you will determine when I'm gone for good, since that's no job of mine. As far as I can tell I'm still here and now. Or I can't remember. But you know I don't have the words now any more than Dad does. It's all relative, and I'm not sure we think he's really there anymore. But he must still think so. Or is there no there there, as with California sprawl. The background can repeat itself so long as there is something foregrounded, and the illusion of motion. Pictures.

So consciousness is aspirational. I desire that you think that I know something, am somebody, have something to say and yet I cannot get you to listen to me because I haven't the words. My words are not beautiful by analog to what makes beautiful people so powerful, and so the desire I have is leading to nowhere and nothing. I don't care enough, is that right?

So I am lazy. So I am decrepit. But here I am in SoCal and I can't get warm. Were it this indoor temperature in Buffalo now I would be very cozy and nice and warm. These words that people use now just keep getting better and better and so why would anyone want to listen to mine; to believe that I have something to say.

DFW has no aspiration anymore is all. Take him or leave him he has already said all that he has to say, and for the most part he remains that attractive compared, say, to someone like me, although I think you might like me better as a pal. I would never betray you that way, nor be quite that alone and therefore apart. From you. The trouble is not that he died. The trouble is that he never did publish this book that I'm now reading, and it's good enough that you feel betrayed. Like he copped out,

There are too many words already scattered about the planet, and I cannot align mine with them. There are too many things we know are true, and yet I know none of them. And so Zizek, for instance, since I'm watching him on video at the moment, is a freak as comfortable aligning himself with brilliant words as were those abstraticians described by DFW in his history of [the sign of] infinity, which means why bother for the rest of us. Our minds are simply never that present. Never that abstractable. There is so much power in that kind of mental focus. You can, for instance, propose an atomic bomb and get it built. To what end, you ask? Well, power is a foil to fear, am I right? Am I right?

Although I won't applaud him, Zizek, because who does he connect with anyhow except for people who congratulate themselves for having understood him. Another naked emperor, because how would we know, apart from the level of their applause and adulation, that they have, in fact and in deed understood Zizek. Are they doing what he would have them do? He seems nice enough and would never insult someone to his face, I don't think. Therefore am I?

The thing with Zizek, obviously enough, is that he grew up where one wasn't allowed to read openly and write openly and think openly and so what we feel guilty about not doing because we're too busy with what he calls the imperative to enjoy, to indulge ourselves, to spend money, he found illicit pleasure in reading and thinking and writing. Imagine philosophy as sex and you might almost be as much a Stalin champion as Zizek sometimes claims to be.

But yes, that would be back to the toxic workplace; execution of someone else's demands. Is he doing what he would have them do? What would be the act which would erase the need for philosophy then? But first I must regulate the money which means that I am regulated by the machine which means that my aspirational consciousness is but a fraud since, I think, I wouldn't do it if I didn't have the space to do it which means if I didn't have the money.

We are the most regulated people in history, which hardly makes us free. The calibrations enter to our most nether reaches. Even the pennies there. We cannot share. We are digitally consumed by thises or thats which cannot be their opposites. Which is much the pity. We will surely pay for all this pleasure.

Can one talk oneself to freedom? Or is there something one must do? And once done would I be there anymore, or would it be annihilation without absence a kind of AWOL of the mind. Would the body follow? Does it ever?

And so, dear heart, I go back to reading DFW, Zizek, leMonde, laLune. There was once, I am certain of it, a moment when I was conscious. And so can you. But if I read them to sense, these words will connect me in ways beyond mere livlihood. The lowest common denominator is to be, authentically, you. About as unique as being naked. About as authentic. Original.

Desire anticipates consciousness. Consciousness anticipates destruction in dreams of immortality. Abstraction is a ruse. There is always a magic screen. There is always something uglier in reality.