Friday, May 5, 2017

Thank You for Reminding Me That You Aren't There

  • Posted for the zillioninth time. It's the second most-posted Delgados song here.
  • 2560 (Articles of Faith).
  • And reduce the surplus population.
  • My generation got the best ever world (peak human optimism) and, regardless whether we had handbrakes on sled and failed or we won the inevitability lottery and had no say, the slide to extinction began on our watch.
  • Death to the Either/Or. 
  • We - the animal - deserve what we get.
  • The GOP is a zombie, the Democrats a ghost: The Republican Party steers the ship of state toward an iceberg, and from below decks, Steny Hoyer gleefully cackles that this sure is gonna reflect badly on the captain.
  • I cannot gauge how much anger at real life motherfuckery (eyes, knees, work) taints anger at oligarchal clusterfuckery and more importantly visa-versary, I just know every fucking thing runs banshee all the fucking time, it never fucking stops (except when hiking with Earthgirl (and now not even then now and then when hiking in my head)) and fucking I.
  • We are being rewired.
  • That noise I feel.
  • A theological reflection on the repeal of Obamacare (h/t that dog at the first link).
  • I have not read one of the Gospels in at least twenty years. Nothing more than just occurred to me.
  • One of the oldest gags at this shitty blog was posting a artist rendering of the true face of Jesus. I don't want to link to it, but the guy was brown.
  • Dennis the Peasant is 74 today:

  • Ahaha, as Nez Perce warrior victoriously laughs as he shoots a Bluecoat off Bluecoat's horse PIM! in Vollmann's Dying Grass, it's slaying me, slowly. 
  • Horses talk, hinimi!
  • Now would be a good time to read a Vollmann novel. One of the five of seven Dreams, yes yes yes, but also Royal Family, or maybe, especially, if you won't dream, Central Europe. I can help you out.
  • Vollmann understands the animal we are, that we are animals, rutting, yes, but thinking too, especially.
  • I have just killed the buzz I had on rereading Dying Grass.
  • I have just killed the buzz I could have had on rereading Central Europe.
  • We are being rewired.
  • This shitty blog is nothing if not a visiting of stations in their rote turn in their rote order, like the mule I am, unable to yoke without grindstones. A post like this is likely followed by remorse I posted this post and sullen silence for the weekend. Let's watch.
  • Such a good album, some tweet put this song in my head last night:


Tom Clark

Thank you America for inviting me to indulge
In your wish fulfillment fantasies
And for inducing me to occupy myself perpetually
With mere illusions instead of striving
To find a solution for the real problems of life

Thank you for reminding me that you aren't there
So that I can treat you as my intimate friend
And if your tone seems nervous, constrained, embarrassed
As though you were speaking always about yourself
It is because you have created a middle kingdom

For yourself and your creations
Which is forever remote from my world
But into which you would be ready to award me
Extra-territorial entry rights, leaning forward
To speak to me over the footlights

In a language I would never be able to understand.


  1. i'm in sort of a grumpy-wumpy mood - both spouse and self have upper respiratory infections and would much rather stay home, but under the circumstances are continuing with usual activities - if, like steven colbert recently, i go ahead and say what i really think, including ways in which i disagree with you, as well as ways in which i agree with you but in a different sense, i hope you will make allowances

    for example, i find myself wanting to raise my voice to contradict some of your assertions

    My generation got the best ever world and, regardless whether we had handbrakes on sled and failed or we won the inevitability lottery and had no say, the slide to extinction began on our watch.

    to which i say

    a)assumes facts not in evidence - do you really have complete info on the condition of the world at all previous points? obviously not

    b)fails to specify the dimensions along which goodness of the world are being evaluated, and the rules for summing these to arrive a single quantitative answer

    c)"extinction"? in a long enough time frame, inevitable; in the short run of centuries, not likely. even given worst case assumptions re climate change and nuclear war

    d)and most importantly - what you mean we, white man? were you and i sitting at the table when the globally important decisions of our lifetime were made? i don't think so

    Death to the Either/Or.

    yes - and no

    We - the animal - deserve what we get

    i claim the question "what does x deserve?" is, outside of certain carefully controlled conditions, not just useless, but actively confusatory - an example of what the buddhists call "wrong thinking"

    rather, reflect that "causal processes have brought us to this point, and causal processes will continue to operate in the foreseeable and even the unforeseeable future"

    we are being rewired

    yes - however, and importantly, not only is experience always rewiring us, we also have the option to intentionally participate in choosing the kind of rewiring that occurs

    (see Doidge, The Brain That Changes Itself)

    you state I have not read one of the Gospels in at least twenty years

    were you in the mood to once again read a gospel, i suggest the Gospel of Thomas - particularly the Leloup translation/commentary - no anecdotes, just sayings - the Publishers Weekly notice says

    Leloup (The Gospel of Mary Magdalene ; The Gospel of Philip), founder of the Institute of Other Civilization Studies and the International College of Therapists, reminds readers early in his introduction that "whether we like it or not, Yeshua of Nazareth was not a writer. It is therefore impossible to speak of 'the authentic words of Jesus.' " Because spoken words, later recorded, bear the indelible imprint of the listener, Leloup emphasizes that they represent only part of the truth; he invites us to consider the Gospels as a whole as "[d]ifferent points of view that exist both within us and outside of us, in historical and meta-historical dimensions." Thus he humbly offers his translation as one among many. Following the complete text of the Gospel of Thomas, presented in both Coptic and an elegantly translated English (by Joseph Rowe, from the French) Leloup delicately unfolds its petals of meaning, logion (saying) by logion . Simultaneously inspiring and enlightening, his interpretation far surpasses mere exegesis, instead intricately melding the now with the then, the self with the Christ. Paraphrases from Meister Eckhart intermingle with quotations from Kafka and Dostoyevski, which coincide with wide-ranging religious references — from Judaism and Greek Orthodoxy to Krishnamurti and Shankara. If ever a translation of Thomas's gospel merited a place in a reader's back pocket, this is it.


  2. kotsko's theological reflections on the passage of trumpcare triggered a process through which i came to the following passage at the blog:


    "Suffering is a predominant feeling of the process though which a human being must pass as the mental ego deconstructs and the transpersonal self is birthed... The suffering comes from the clinging we do to all those facets of self we imagined ourselves to be and that burn off in the process of becoming Light. It is the very burning off of those facets, the facets giving themselves up as fuel, that is the fire of transformation. The naked confrontation with reality, pure awareness, is an arduous process involving the de-animation of many layers of identity as the self dissolves into Oneness. W.B. Yeats puts it this way: 'The price of a soul is sorrow.' "

    -Kathleen Dowling Singh

    THE GRACE IN DYING (p. 109)

    In that remarkable film "Jacob's Ladder" there is an angelic healing figure, a chiropractor played by Danny Aiello, who quotes Meister Eckhart: "The only thing that burns in hell is self-will."

    [end of quote from]

    who would be in a position to state such a proposition as an observation, rather than merely a speculation?

    1. here's a fuller quote from the film "jacob's ladder", from the wikipedia article about it (there are also wikipedia articles about meister eckhart, and about the screenwriter for jacob's ladder, bruce joel rubin, whose other credits include stuart little 2):

      Eckhart saw Hell too. He said: “The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won’t let go of life, your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they’re not punishing you”, he said. “They’re freeing your soul. So, if you’re frightened of dying and ... you’re holding on, you’ll see devils tearing your life away. But if you’ve made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth.”

      [end of quote from wikipedia]