I started this email last night to a colleague of mine in reference:
Hi Jennifer, if I wanted to see how much cable news stations have hiked their ad rates since the wild success of the new 24-7 show We Are All Going to Die From Ebola in drawing new viewers (and if in fact there is a significant uptick in eyes), if I was curious, what databases would you recommend I try? Just curious, and yes, I realize the hysteria machines are running as much or more for the midterms in a month than for CNN profit...
then stopped, didn't send. That was dangerously close to committing to research, and verily, fuck that.
No, I don't think the Triskelion scientists recruited at age six and sent to genius schools and who graduated PhD from MIT at age 16 created ebola. I do think, now that ebola has become 2014's favorite reality TV show, Triskelion scientists recruited at age six and sent to genius schools and who graduated PhD from MIT at age 16 are monitoring the national Galvanic Sheep Response - providing, now, as necessary for testing, plenty of stimuli - measuring how much bullshit will these freaking morons eat and what kind of stimuli best creates behavior beneficial to the Triskelions, including but not limited to total fucking public panic.
So yes, it is an opportune time for my biennial reading of Gravity's Rainbow, it still fucking holds-up, it's as relevant as ever, and if this rereading is the best in a decade I have no one but, um, the Triskelions to thank.
A reminder, from GV: PROVERBS FOR PARANOIDS!
- You may never get to touch the Master, but you can tickle his creatures.
- The innocence of the creatures is in inverse proportion to the immorality of the Master.
- If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.
- You hide, they seek.
- Paranoids are not paranoids because they’re paranoid, but because they keep putting themselves, fucking idiots, deliberately into paranoid situations.
# 5, wait, is that a hardon? Who's watching? What was that octopus doing on that beach with Katje and how did Bloat happen to have a crab in his hand? Hey, Bob Mould is fifty-four today.
- One of only two (Westerberg the other) who are younger than me who get an Egoslavian Holy Day. The above? Philly 1983, one of dozens of the best five nights of my life.
- There's also this point of view to consider: so maybe the extremely authoritative presentation even of things about which you are not sure at all has the momentary effect of reassuring people. the problem is merely reality: when what you're saying turns out to be incredibly false, people stop believing you. they start generating alternative speculations on this or that. they start believing random websites, which indeed have more credibility. at some level they freak out in the awareness that they've got no idea at all what the truth is. nothing causes chaos like the breakdown of authority, and nothing causes the breakdown of authority like authority. It's also what's being studied.
- Remember when I CWCF (Cassandra, weathervane, canary, fool)? Not to worry, not coming back, found myself thinking of it today - the tag, not the Cassandra-ing, weathervaning, canary-ing, playing the fool, I still do that, but you know that because, um, I writing this post.
- The Hour of the Knife. Another CWCF.
- [The Committee] or: how I write about work.
- Dear Scott Lemieux: it is neither "surprising" or "dismaying," you fucking idiot.
- OK, I'll read a book about Gaddis and Powers and Danielewski and DeLillo.
- The ten best Mekon songs? Sorry, links are to spotify, fuck that, find them on your iPod, your Mekon playlist, easy. That's how you do research.
PRAIRIE OCTOPUS, AWAKE
The night’s turned everything to junipers
shagged & spooked with cerulean chalk-fruit,
weird berries whiffing of Martians in rut.
I forget this isn’t my universe
sometimes. Sometimes I think I was falling
most of my life to land here, a lone skirl
in the immaculate hush. In my world
I waltzed with my ink-self, my black shantung.
Owls swallow vowels in stilled trees. It’s not
sleeplessness, it’s fear of what the dark will
do if I don’t keep a close eye on it.
Blue minutes leak from the pricked stars’ prisms,
seep into the earth unchecked. Just as well—
I’ve hardly enough arms to gather them.