Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Omen I Didn't Know I Was Waiting for Pulled Into the Station the Same Instant As the Train

I used to write about kayfabe all the time. I found a notebook yesterday from 2002 while looking for The Franchiser (which I recommended to a friend who's now asking me questions a rereading seems necessary to answer - YAY!), and when I opened the notebook to a random page there was kayfabe, a random twenty pages later there was kayfabe. I swear, I haven't written kayfabe in a tablet in two years.


The demise of Brand America mirrors the decline of professional wrestling, Elric's mother's daytime soap operas, the rise of MMA bloodfests, the victory of embarrassment TV, the saturation of digital distractions. When pinched, Corporate calls on us to maintain our own kayfabe (says the pseudonymous blegger). 

Wikileaks serves Corporate (against their wishes) by breaking the kayfabe it simultaneously believes is necessary for Corporate's success and a drag on that success. Power would be easier to project if that image of rational decency and superior morality and civility didn't need to be protected. Corporate is furious at Wikileaks because Wikileaks was disobedient; it's not that Wikileaks broke kayfabe, it's that Wikileaks broke kayfabe ahead of Corporate's timetable. Brutal, incompetent, and petty adjustments will be make, hindered by clumsy attempts to both maintain and weaken kayfabe. 


  • On collaboration and complicity
  • Wikileaks, Julian Assange & Modern Anarchist Praxis. (h/t)
  • A few questions we wouldn't be asking in a sane world: Why is it that most people in the United States and elsewhere are not disturbed in the slightest that, despite abundant evidence, American officials who apparently committed heinous crimes in the war on terror will not be investigated and held to account, while WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who apparently did nothing illegal this week, is hunted to the ends of the Earth? And how in hell is it possible that when a former president of the United States of America admits he authorized the commission of torture -- which is to say, he admits he committed a major crime -- the international media and political classes express not a fraction of the anger they are now directing at the man who leaked the secrets of that president's administration?
  • Ron Paul stands up for Julian Assange.
  • Attacks on Ron Paul begin.
  • Krugman's obamapostasy: still not awesome.
  • Frank Rich's lamest column yet: Those desperate to decipher the baffling Obama presidency could do worse than consult an article titled “Understanding Stockholm Syndrome” in the online archive of The F.B.I. Law Enforcement Bulletin. It explains that hostage takers are most successful at winning a victim’s loyalty if they temper their brutality with a bogus show of kindness. Soon enough, the hostage will start concentrating on his captors’ “good side” and develop psychological characteristics to please them — “dependency; lack of initiative; and an inability to act, decide or think.”
  • Last Thursday the past five Republican secretaries of state published an op-ed in YFWP endorsing the Senate ratification of the latest START treaty with Russia. I don't listen to news, I only read what I read, but have more people given less of a fuck about the opinion of five Republican secretaries of state ever? In the land ever aching for Republican daddies? Has anyone seen anybody anywhere any yammer about this on the cable news shows or in the big Left or Right media?
  • In YFWP, Kaplan assholosity: The American empire has always been more structural than spiritual. Its network of alliances certainly resembles those of empires past, and the challenges facing its troops abroad are comparable to those of imperial forces of yore, though the American public, especially after the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan, is in no mood for any more of the land-centric adventures that have been the stuff of imperialism since antiquity. Americans rightly lack an imperial mentality. But lessening our engagement with the world would have devastating consequences for humanity. The disruptions we witness today are but a taste of what is to come should our country flinch from its international responsibilities.
  • Primary challenge from the Left? But there is a real way to save the Obama presidency: by challenging him in the 2012 presidential primaries with a candidate who would unequivocally commit to a well-defined progressive agenda and contrast it with the Obama administration's policies. Such a candidacy would be pooh-poohed by the media, but if it gathered enough popular support - as is likely given the level of alienation among many who were the backbone of Obama's 2008 success - this campaign would pressure Obama toward much more progressive positions and make him a more viable 2012 candidate. Far from weakening his chances for reelection, this kind of progressive primary challenge could save Obama if he moves in the desired direction. And if he holds firm to his current track, he's a goner anyway.
  • Like whom? Public officials who would make excellent candidates should they run on this platform include Sens. Russ Feingold, Bernie Sanders, Barbara Mikulski or Al Franken; Reps. Joe Sestak, Maxine Waters, Raul Grijalva, Alan Grayson, Barbara Lee, Dennis Kucinich, Lois Capps, Jim Moran and Lynn Woolsey. Others include Jim McGovern, Marcy Kaptur, Jim McDermott or John Conyers. We should also consider popular figures outside of government. How about Robert F. Kennedy Jr.? Why not Rachel Maddow, Bill Moyers, Susan Sarandon or the Rev. James Forbes?

 



  • It's the start of Zappadan! I need confess, I like but do not love Zappa, I enjoy listening to but never put on Zappa, I would fail a beginner's level trivia test on Zappa, but I've friends who love Zappa so Happy Zappadan to them all.
  • Dostoyevsky's death mask
  • One of the official themes songs of Ten Mile Creek. This was on the radio when Willy Bayne ran down the cat. 
  • Superchunk covers The Cure.



ON THE PLATFORM

Tom Sleigh

1

The omen I didn't know I was waiting for
pulled into the station the same instant as the train.
It was just a teenage boy busking on the platform,
cello cutting through garble, Bach's repetitions

hard-edged as a scalpel probing an open wound. 
But then I kept thinking how a sound wave 
travels the path of least resistance, 
how the notes rebound off steel and stone 

the same as a blast wave shattering row on row
of windows as it swerves through the city.
And when the music stops, on the balcony

above the rubble, coffee and tea are served. 
And if there's sugar, is it one lump or two
and did you hear what happened to Mrs. So and So?

2

I saw, out from under the grime, whiskers 
dipping into clear water that trickled between 
the rails to get the feel of what was near—
the same scene as on the church wall, the slimy brethren

gathered at the river, one gnawing 
an ear of corn, the rest intently listening  
to Francis teaching them their catechism
about the wild man John and his crucified cousin.

Except they were birds in the painting, not rats.
But let's go with that, let them stand 
on hind legs and sniff incense and myrrh

wafting down from high up in the air
so that one day on miraculous, fly paper feet
they'll scale the golden walls and storm the high ground.

3

Nothing moving on the platform, nothing for miles. 
And then a shovel clanging against paving stone
like an old man clearing rubble while a rat climbs a vine
and looks into the broken window and smells the smells.

Rubble shoulder high after two weeks work,
a toilet with a sink and a light on a pull chain
stand framed at the end of the gravel walk
already sprouting suckers leafing out more green

from the fire that scorched the burned out bush.
Ten years, fifteen, and tree limbs shade the bedrooms
and branch out window frames toward the sun.

And where the electric pump pumped water for the town
the wellhead lies broken and two clear streams
wear ruts in the floor of the wrecked house.

12 comments:

  1. Babs? Naaah, but at least she doesn't hate women, NSA or not. Can't say that for too many on the list. I'm currently supporting Bernie Sanders.

    Because I know these things - Haven't met a single person at Seizure World who is willing to pay 5 cents. And the land the globe sits on belongs to the community so if she wants to charge for the globe she can just get her butt over there and take it down otherwise I expect she'll have to pay rent for the space.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is weird, because I had never, ever, in my whole life, heard the word "kayfabe" until two days ago.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Heh, serendipity abounds in clusterfucks.

    If Elric hadn't moved his shit out of my basement last month I'd not yesterday have found that notebook I thought I had lost.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Holy shiny synchronicity - I was just on tvtropes yesterday and the day before, following the kayfabe links through a dozen or so tropser articles.

    ReplyDelete
  5. As a phrase, 'breaking kayfabe' per l'affaire WikiLeaks adequately covers the act of revealing against common interests, but I prefer the old carny phrase 'wising up the mark'...also something to avoid doing if one wishes the sweet, sweet tit of corporate lucre to flow freely with rancid milky goodness.

    Zappadan felicitations to you as well, BDR.

    ;>)

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  6. d, that's why Corporate's mad: they hadn't wised up the marks to this level yet - Assange was an unexpected swerve.

    Jonathan, thanks for thinking of me! Speaking of serendipity, I'm having lunch tomorrow with a friend who's a huge Larkin advocate. The link you provided has already been forwarded.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Indeed, an 'unexpected swerve', BDR - No doubt the fervently fever-dreamed hope was that the forest of mirrors would remain uncracked until the prey was out of the snare and into the pot, the campfire prepared and all the chops-licking little usurers were lined up with their lobster bibs tied.

    ;>)

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  8. And how in hell is it possible that when a former president of the United States of America admits he authorized the commission of torture -- which is to say, he admits he committed a major crime -- the international media and political classes express not a fraction of the anger they are now directing at the man who leaked the secrets of that president's administration?

    1984: Cautionary novel, or guidebook for our corporate overlords?

    P.S. Matt Bai put up some dreck that out-lames Rich.
    ~

    ReplyDelete
  9. But there is a real way to save the Obama presidency: by challenging him in the 2012 presidential primaries with a candidate who would unequivocally commit to a well-defined progressive agenda and contrast it with the Obama administration's policies.

    Liberal masturbation. They had a chance when Mike Gravel ran for president and they mocked and went with the corporatist hack. Fuck buyers remorse.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've always considered all of this stuff as a giant dick-waving contest, but I might have to rethink this in light of your professional wrestling theory.

    ReplyDelete