Friday, June 27, 2014

Tottering and Elastic, Middle Name of Groan

  • Album reissued, I downloaded it last night.
  • You know, if you think there's been too much Pere Ubu/David Thomas here this month, go back and look at June 2013 where there were multiple songs all thirty days.
  • Data Storms and the tyranny of manufactured forgetting: It bears repeating: reality is now shaped by the culture’s infatuation with a narrow, depoliticizing rationality, or what Frankfurt School theorist Max Horkheimer called instrumental reason. Bruce Feiler, writing in The New York Times, argues that not only are we awash in data, but words and "unquantifiable arenas like history, literature, religion, and the arts are receding from public life, replaced by technology, statistics, science, and math. Even the most elemental form of communication, the story, is being pushed aside by the list."[19] Historical memory and public space are indeed the first casualties in this reign of ideological tyranny, which models agency only on consumerism and value only on exchange value. The cult of the measurable is enthralled by instant evaluation, and fervently believes that data hold the key to our collective fate.
  • Photographs that push the boundaries of photography.
  • Countries still in the World Cup seen from satellites.
  • I saw the first half of the USMNT v Germany, second half I was in a motherfucking _______ committee meeting, o the things I don't write about on this blog. I don't think Jozy Altidore a world class striker, his injury is not the difference between nine points out of three games and four points out of three games but it does put Clint Dempsey out of position and changes the roles of everyone in midfield to some extent. I don't know if this explains some of Michael Bradley's shocking suckitude: he was never great, but he had never been shitty like this before. USMNT had one shot on goal in first half (Zusi's 20 yarder over the goal) and from what I've read zero shots in the second half. Klinsmann has the offense running through Bradley, which makes the one shot in a game not a coincidence.
  • The Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike.
  • Re: the song below the poem. Please skip to 1:16, skip the ridiculous opening.
  • Hey, as soon as you hear the guitar you'll know Richard Thompson was once a member of the Pedestrians!


Thomas Lux

Tottering and elastic, middle name of Groan,   
ramfeezled after a hard night
at the corpse-polishing plant, slope-
shouldered, a half loaf
of bread, even his hair tired, famished,   
fingering the diminished beans
in his pocket—you meet him.
On a thousand street corners you meet him,   
emerging from the subway, emerging   
from your own chest—this sight’s shrill,   
metallic vapors pass into you.
His fear is of being broken,
of becoming too dexterous in stripping   
the last few shoelaces of meat
from a chicken’s carcass, of being moved by nothing   
short of the Fall of Rome, of being stooped   
in the cranium over some loss he’s forgotten   
the anniversary of.... You meet him,   
know his defeat, though proper
and inevitable, is not yours, although yours also   
is proper and inevitable: so many defeats   
queer and insignificant (as illustration:   
the first time you lay awake all night
waiting for dawn—and were disappointed), so many   
no-hope exhaustions hidden,
their gaze dully glazed inward.—And yet we all   
fix our binoculars on the horizon’s hazy fear-heaps   
and cruise toward them, fat sails
forward.... You meet him on the corners,   
in bus stations, on the blind avenues
leading neither in
nor out of hell, you meet him
and with him you walk.


  1. Beg to differ, old friend: in extra time in the second half, Dempsey had a header sail about 6 inches over the cross bar. Magnificent try. Also, the German captain, Lumh?, made a magnificent sliding tackle on a brilliant 20 yard curling shot that found the goalkeeper out of position and leaning the wrong way—all in the space of about a minute. It was exhilirating, almost caught the Germans napping just as CR7 found us in the Portugal game. By far the best attempts of the day. But alas. And yet Hoorah! I believe...

  2. a) giroux, who you link to, himself links to

    Participatory Totalitarianism
    We are not passive objects of the surveillance state. We are active subjects of our own YouTube channels.
    by John Feffer

    b) i saw the last half of the german victory - what sticks with me is when the two americans banged heads - i'm sure that hurt

    as for me, i don't have a youtube channel - i don't even have a facebook account - no brag, just fact

    1. I have long yodeled that I am an avid participant in my surveillance by the State. That's one of many reasons all posts but five each year are tagged My Complicity.