Friday, September 6, 2013

Their Bells Call Back to Their Burdened Hearts the Way a Sparrow Taunts an Old Hawk

  • More John Cage for his 101 birthday yesterday.
  • The next revelation. I am sympathetic to the point of not taking sides that (a) there is something disturbingly gatekeeping and proprietorial (and echoes the behavior of those being exposed) in dripping the leaks and (b) there is value in keeping the story front page as long as possible in an information economy where last week's OH MY FUCKING GODs disappear into the next OH MY FUCKING GOD with daily regularity.
  • Encryption: the sky IS falling.
  • The most frightening revelation yet?
  • UPDATE! I am the other.
  • Yes yes yes, of course you and me assumed this was happening. The reyodeling: the value of these revelations isn't in what's revealed, it's in the reaction of the Empire and its keepers to the revelations.
  • Five ways to stay safe?
  • I bet you pints that the surprise of Obama's War isn't how wussy it is, it's how kiss my motherfucking American ass robust it is.
  • I know, I know, metrics. Measure the .06% more shitty, baseline the less shitty, I'm told.
  • Propaganda Alert!
  • Pastor Sanctimonious, man of Christ, desperately wants to kill Syrians, hearts Obama.
  • UPDATE! The United States government, when push comes to shove, wants Assad or someone very much like him to rule over Syria. A distain or contempt for public opinion across the Middle East is the underlying reason why there has long been a bi-partisan consensus in support of military rule in Egypt, in support of the violent repression of the people of Bahrain, in support of the extreme fundamentalists who have long miss-ruled Saudi Arabia, and in support of a policy of relentless hostility directed towards Iran. Worse of all, from the perspective of the Washington establishment, Assad fully understands the situation and the leverage that it inadvertently grants him. This was the reason that Assad demonstrated his contempt for President Obama’s implied threat of a “Red Line” by deploying lethal gas. The Administration is especially angry because in their hearts they already know that they are going to let Assad get away with it.
  • Joyce Carol Oates asks the same question I asked yesterday.
  • Grayson calls his shot.
  • Majority of Americans approve of sending Congress to Syria.

  • This week in water.
  • Purple Line. While I heartily say Fuck the Columbia Country Club! I am sympathetic to those who'd have trains they never bargained for in their backyard. They needn't worry - it will never be built.
  • The three of you I promised copies of Fathers and Crows, my apologies, I set them aside then got busy, mailing them today.
  • Crow answered my request that he confirm his existence.
  • Dear K, I never said I wouldn't (haven't) write (written) a history of Stringtown, I wrote in an email yesterday as we were postponing last night's Thursday Night Pints to next week, the start of the semester making doing it last night feel more like duty than a pleasure. I've said I'm not going to post it here, or rather, not going to post it here in more detail than I already do.
  • Is fucking Helmetball season over yet?
  • Quality, schmality
  • Pynchonicity.
  • Libraries and eBooks.
  • Faulkner, for those of you who do.
  • Beckett, for those of you who do.
  • Obscure Sound's Best of August.
  • Roxy Music live 1976.


Susan Stewart

1. Is it true that they dream?

      It is true, for the spaces of night surround them with shape and purpose, like a warm hollow below the shoulders, or between the curve of thigh and belly.
      The land itself can lie like this. Hence our understanding of giants.
      The wind and the grass cry out to the arms of their sleep as the shore cries out, and buries its face in the bruised sea.
      We all have heard barns and fences splintering against the dark with a weight that is more than wood.
      The stars, too, bear witness. We can read their tails and claws as we would read the signs of our own dreams; a knot of sheets, scratches defining the edges of the body, the position of the legs upon waking.
      The cage and the forest are as helpless in the night as a pair of open hands holding rain.

2. Do they dream of the past or of the future?

      Think of the way a woman who wanders the roads could step into an empty farmhouse one afternoon and find a basket of eggs, some unopened letters, the pillowcases embroidered with initials that once were hers.
      Think of her happiness as she sleeps in the daylilies; the air is always heaviest at the start of dusk.
      Cows, for example, find each part of themselves traveling at a different rate of speed. Their bells call back to their burdened hearts the way a sparrow taunts an old hawk.
      As far as the badger and the owl are concerned, the past is a silver trout circling in the ice. Each night he swims through their waking and makes his way back to the moon.
    Clouds file through the dark like prisoners through an endless yard. Deer are made visible by their hunger.
    I could also mention the hopes of common spiders: green thread sailing from an infinite spool, a web, a thin nest, a child dragging a white rope slowly through the sand.

3. Do they dream of this world or of another?

    The prairie lies open like a vacant eye, blind to everything but the wind. From the tall grass the sky is an industrious map that bursts with rivers and cities. A black hawk waltzes against his clumsy wings, the buzzards grow bored with the dead.
    A screendoor flapping idly on an August afternoon or a woman fanning herself in church; this is how the tails of snakes and cats keep time even in sleep.
    There are sudden flashes of light to account for. Alligators, tormented by knots and vines, take these as a sign of grace. Eagles find solace in the far glow of towns, in the small yellow bulb a child keeps by his bed. The lightning that scars the horizon of the meadow is carried in the desperate gaze of foxes.
    Have other skies fallen into this sky? All the evidence seems to say so.
    Conspiracy of air, conspiracy of ice, the silver trout is thirsty for morning, the prairie dog shivers with sweat. Skeletons of gulls lie scattered on the dunes, their beaks still parted by whispering. These are the languages that fall beyond our hearing.
    Imagine the way rain falls around a house at night, invisible to its sleepers. They do not dream of us.

4. How can we learn more?

    This is all we will ever know.


  1. 'five ways to stay safe' currently links to 'send congress to syria' - you meant to link to

    the suggestions in that story go over my head, but as my life and internet activity is an open book i have nothing to hide

    with regard to susan stewart's four questions about the dreams of animals, i believe her final answer fails to take into account the potential contributions of comparative neurophenomenology


    Gallagher, S. 2009. Neurophenomenology. In T. Bayne, A. Cleeremans and P. Wilken (eds.), Oxford Companion to Consciousness (470-472). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    1. Fixed. I swear, this bout of copypastitus the past two weeks is worse ever since the last until the next.

  2. Anyone who's ever worked in any kind of organization (public, private, educational, large, small, etc.) knows that nothing is ever released to the interwebs with the warrant of privacy or securedness. Your local IP guy and his bosses and his bosses all the way up the dotted line to your boss's boss has access to even your browsing history while you are on work time and/or using work equipment. This is one of the first things I tried to teach my kids when they emerged into the Facebookian Web 2.0 world. When they saw friends getting busted for boasting about their underage drinking and their petty party criminality (smoking doobies or whatever) they even grudgingly gratefully acknowledged that particular snippet of Wisdom©®.

    The point being: if your bosses can do it b/c the company serverware allows them to, then the serverware's serverware is likewise vulnerable all the way up the proprietary line. The wholesale snoops don't have to get the shit off your computer, they can sift it off the hubs, the terminals, the server's servers. Chokepoints. Then decrypt, if necessary. Every packet of transmittable information has tracing identifiers that tie it to its pathways and eventually its originations. You know that. But it pays to keep it in your mind's forefront.

    Electronic hygiene is kinda' crucial anymore.

    Thanks for the link, again, too. Turns out the water aggregations have been getting major hittage—like nearly nothing else (except a tattoo pic and a few others) in WoW's history. And from all over—like 5 continents. Who knew?
    And just to raise the question again (from a post you understandably ignored), since we know Agent Mike is spidering: if we knew O was going to use (Manning-revealed type) drone strikes to take out only the specific military criminals who authorized, ordered, and launched (whom surely we know did these things via our Snowden-revealed capabilities) those chemical weapons missiles—as opposed to, say, Cruise or Tomahawk strikes against bases or arsenals or civilian hidey holes or even boots on the ground—would that change the calculus of the vote? We know who did it. Greenwald told us so. We know where they are. Ask both Snowden & Manning. And we can target them very specifically (I go back to that Manning video that all the hype and hoopla have managed effectively to obscure).

    No one, NO ONE, is asking that question. It's all about invasions and Iraq and Somalia. Last century's technology. The country's worst EVER president.

    I'm not saying I'm for it, mind. But I do think it makes the question a much closer one. I wonder if that's what they're telling the Congress in those confidential briefings.

    I, for one, simply don't have the information to formulate an other than kneejerk reaction/response or a "philosophical" better attitudinal (e.g., the U.S. shouldn't get involved in the internal affairs/civil war of another country because History and Dirty Hands and World Peace, etc.) one.