- Couldn't read last night (not slump-based, just couldn't, it happens, I've learned forcing myself to read can lead to a slump, so night off), put on GY!BE, surfed for the links below, fell asleep listening to GY!BE, woke up with GY!BE in my head.
- Against the rage machine: To say “I deserve to be heard!” today is a vexed proposition. Right and left, tech corporations beg you to say your piece for the sake of content-generation, free publicity, hype, and ad sales. America’s speech is so free, it pays—just not you. Even when we don’t opine, just clicking around, we’re like cilia on the tracheal lining of some gross beast, and our small work of enthusiasm, liking or passing along or reiterating or linking, is like the wriggle of a hair, pushing the story down the throat of the culture, filling its lungs so that it may breathe. We can accept this. We are a hair. And we would quietly concede our $5 annual value to Facebook and Twitter, if only they stopped asking us what’s on our minds—if only they left us alone.
- Does Discipline and Punish need a new translation?
- Consumer manipulation: Consider, first, confusion by design: Las Vegas casinos are mazes, carefully crafted to draw players to the slot machines and to keep them there. Casino designers warn against the “yellow brick road” effect of having a clear route through the casino. (One side effect: it takes paramedics a long time to find gamblers in cardiac arrest; as Ms Schüll also documents, it can be tough to get the slot-machine players to assist, or even to make room for, the medical team.)
- Not that we would have driven this section of Rockville Pike tonight when we go out to dinner tonight with Hamster, but now we absolutely won't.
- Have you laughed at Arsene Wenger today?
- Changing our stories: Let me toss out a provocation, not for the sake of stirring the water, but because I have begun to suspect it is true: most of our finest narratives, films as well as novels, however formally innovative and politically anti-establishment, are actually conservative, even inhibiting, in their consequences and implications.
- Evening Train.
- Eminent hipsters: Today, when we identify a hipster, it carries entirely different connotations from the word’s original, darkly lustrous charge. “Hipster” is now a slight, because hipsters now are slight—not so much a soulful tribe as a fly-eyed pose looking for somewhere to land. Hipsters move into your locale, and before you know it, brittle quotation marks are strung everywhere. Hipsters have become little more than an advance guard for the arcadia of “hip capitalism.” Once, though, it truly mattered how hip you were. In Fagen’s day, things were different. Born in 1948, he belongs to a baby-boomer generation for whom the benediction of hip was most devoutly to be desired. It was a dark and uncertain thing, an arduous rite of passage, almost a spiritual gamble.
- I like Steely Dan, but they were ruined for me by Kark Mantarow who, when we were tripping, played them and played them and became an asshole about playing them, would freak out and bad-trip (or fake bad-trip) if they weren't on. I stopped tripping with Kark Mantarow after the second time, but association with Steely Dan was frozen permanent.
- Dr Z still sees Steely Dan whenever they are on tour, wears Steely Dan t-shirts when we are discing, which we haven't in a couple of months, fucking winter.
- I do find fascinating the black licorice aspect of Steely Dan, most folk I've met dig or hate them (or did, long ago, when we were young, couldn't give a fuck either way now that we're old).
- You're right, it has been too long since I posted a Jack Spicer poem.
An angel without angelness
Plucked clear by will of taste, color,
Strength, beauty, roundness, seed
Absent of all God painted, present everything
An apple is.
An angel without angelness
That has revised itself out of sound
Imagine, rhyme, concordance
Absent of all God spoke of, present everything
A poem is.
The law I say, the Law
What is Lucifer
An emperor with no clothes
No skin, no flesh, no heart