Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Wounded Eardrum Wasn't Much in the Scheme

  • Yes, re-posted again, this new GbV song,  I couldn't resist posting it last night, posted again especially considering the Tomasky link below the next new GbV song. New Guided by Voices out today. Yay! I recently saw a review of Guided by Voices which used a baseball metaphor to describe Pollard as essentially Rob Deer or Steve Balboni, and fuck you and heh!
  • Header photo of Fleabus, Best Cat Every, via my daughter Planet. This shitty blog used to feature a Fleabus photo per post back when Planet was in middle school, first years  of high school, and was taking photos regularly. Not going to make it a regular feature again, am going to post some now and then more than I have of late.
  • Epistemic panic and the problem of lifeThis image of the fragile and naked human-animal, now hopelessly out-performed, manipulated and threatened by its own technological systems, presents itself as the risk and stakes of epistemic acceleration as a strategy of resistance to capitalism’s lethal acceleration. It begs the question of whether accelerationism demands that we somehow leave behind the frailty of the organism, with its limited scope of experience and self-interestedness, in order ultimately to defend it and its environment at the brink of man-made planetary extinction? In other words, whether we must work against the inherent proclivities of the living in order to protect ‘Life itself’? Or, taking this one anti-humanist step further, even to free thought itself from the limitations of the life-form, with its inherent conservatism, in the interest of knowledge itself! Or whether we must liberate reason from its capitalist control in order that particularity, which includes the contingent experiences of actual lives, may reemerge as a basis for understanding and action? What has knowledge based in embodied experience got to do with all this?
  • I saw Steve Balboni ground into a triple play against the Orioles at Memorial Stadium once. Saw him strike out numerous times at Memorial Stadium over multiple games. Rob Deer too back when the Brewers were in the American League.


Marvin Bell

Of the sleeves, I remember their weight, like wet wool,
on my arms, and the empty ends which hung past my hands.   
Of the body of the shirt, I remember the large buttons   
and larger buttonholes, which made a rack of wheels   
down my chest and could not be quickly unbuttoned.   
Of the collar, I remember its thickness without starch,
by which it lay against my clavicle without moving.   
Of my trousers, the same—heavy, bulky, slow to give   
for a leg, a crowded feeling, a molasses to walk in.   
Of my boots, I remember the brittle soles, of a material   
that had not been made love to by any natural substance,   
and the laces: ropes to make prisoners of my feet.   
Of the helmet, I remember the webbed, inner liner,   
a brittle plastic underwear on which wobbled
the crushing steel pot then strapped at the chin.   
Of the mortar, I remember the mortar plate,
heavy enough to kill by weight, which I carried by rope.   
Of the machine gun, I remember the way it fit
behind my head and across my shoulder blades   
as I carried it, or, to be precise, as it rode me.
Of tactics, I remember the likelihood of shooting
the wrong man, the weight of the rifle bolt, the difficulty   
of loading while prone, the shock of noise.
For earplugs, some used cigarette filters or toilet paper.   
I don’t hear well now, for a man of my age,
and the doctor says my ears were damaged and asks   
if I was in the Army, and of course I was but then   
a wounded eardrum wasn’t much in the scheme.


  1. i call on my fellow flarfists, as we confront epistemic unease and the problem of a life worth living (if any) in a twenty-first century context, to join me in reading, or reading again, Alexander Pope's Essay on Man (1734)

    Know then thyself, presume not God to scan

    The proper study of Mankind is Man.
    Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
    A Being darkly wise, and rudely great:
    With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
    With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
    He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
    In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast;
    In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
    Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
    Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
    Whether he thinks too little, or too much;
    Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confus'd;
    Still by himself, abus'd or disabus'd;
    Created half to rise and half to fall;
    Great Lord of all things, yet a prey to all,
    Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd;
    The glory, jest and riddle of the world.

  2. In answer to Planet's earlier question to me (beyond the obvious "you know where I live, kid" and the less obvious "I already gave you the twenty bucks"):

    Wow. How'd you get Fleabus' severed head to stick to the venetian blinds? I've always claimed there was no limit to your talent.