Saturday, April 25, 2020

For Time Is an Emulsion, and Probably Thinking Not to Grow Up Is the Brightest Kind of Maturity for Us, Right Now at Any Rate


  1. The same guys who fallacy
  2. Landscape of abandoned mines 
  3. Emptying the human: The pandemic is fetishized and much like the climate alarmism associated with Greta and The Guardian paper, there is a curious fetishized and cultic response in much of the population. And it is the latent masochism of the already terrorized. It also feels like a faint cry of Puritan angst, a call to piety. This is a very American sensibility, this punitive moralism. So one has a declining of experience, a cognitive deficit born of screen damage and habituation, and the psychic violence of social media which is based on paradigms of negative emotions. And the deeply imbued individuality that most Americans associate with frontiersmen and gunfighters. The morality of the Corona gunfighter, the unforgiving Puritan, but who now exhibit an impaired rationality, a rationality already instrumentalized to a pathological degree.  
  4. From pandemic to prosaic
  5. Dream during a plague 
  6. New Sam Prekop song
  7. On Gerhard Richter. I would get on a bus for a day trip to NYC in a heartbeat


John Ashbery

Barely tolerated, living on the margin
In our technological society, we were always having to be rescued   
On the brink of destruction, like heroines in Orlando Furioso
Before it was time to start all over again.
There would be thunder in the bushes, a rustling of coils,   
And Angelica, in the Ingres painting, was considering
The colorful but small monster near her toe, as though wondering whether forgetting
The whole thing might not, in the end, be the only solution.   
And then there always came a time when
Happy Hooligan in his rusted green automobile
Came plowing down the course, just to make sure everything was O.K.,   
Only by that time we were in another chapter and confused   
About how to receive this latest piece of information.   
Was it information? Weren’t we rather acting this out   
For someone else’s benefit, thoughts in a mind
With room enough and to spare for our little problems (so they began to seem),
Our daily quandary about food and the rent and bills to be paid?   
To reduce all this to a small variant,
To step free at last, minuscule on the gigantic plateau—
This was our ambition: to be small and clear and free.   
Alas, the summer’s energy wanes quickly,
A moment and it is gone. And no longer
May we make the necessary arrangements, simple as they are.   
Our star was brighter perhaps when it had water in it.   
Now there is no question even of that, but only
Of holding on to the hard earth so as not to get thrown off,   
With an occasional dream, a vision: a robin flies across   
The upper corner of the window, you brush your hair away
And cannot quite see, or a wound will flash
Against the sweet faces of the others, something like:   
This is what you wanted to hear, so why
Did you think of listening to something else? We are all talkers   
It is true, but underneath the talk lies
The moving and not wanting to be moved, the loose
Meaning, untidy and simple like a threshing floor.
These then were some hazards of the course,
Yet though we knew the course was hazards and nothing else   
It was still a shock when, almost a quarter of a century later,   
The clarity of the rules dawned on you for the first time.   
They were the players, and we who had struggled at the game   
Were merely spectators, though subject to its vicissitudes
And moving with it out of the tearful stadium, borne on shoulders, at last.
Night after night this message returns, repeated
In the flickering bulbs of the sky, raised past us, taken away from us,   
Yet ours over and over until the end that is past truth,   
The being of our sentences, in the climate that fostered them,   
Not ours to own, like a book, but to be with, and sometimes   
To be without, alone and desperate.
But the fantasy makes it ours, a kind of fence-sitting
Raised to the level of an esthetic ideal. These were moments, years,   
Solid with reality, faces, namable events, kisses, heroic acts,   
But like the friendly beginning of a geometrical progression
Not too reassuring, as though meaning could be cast aside some day   
When it had been outgrown. Better, you said, to stay cowering   
Like this in the early lessons, since the promise of learning   
Is a delusion, and I agreed, adding that
Tomorrow would alter the sense of what had already been learned,   
That the learning process is extended in this way, so that from this standpoint
None of us ever graduates from college,
For time is an emulsion, and probably thinking not to grow up   
Is the brightest kind of maturity for us, right now at any rate.
And you see, both of us were right, though nothing
Has somehow come to nothing; the avatars
Of our conforming to the rules and living
Around the home have made—well, in a sense, “good citizens” of us,   
Brushing the teeth and all that, and learning to accept
The charity of the hard moments as they are doled out,
For this is action, this not being sure, this careless
Preparing, sowing the seeds crooked in the furrow,
Making ready to forget, and always coming back
To the mooring of starting out, that day so long ago.


  1. Thankee Linkee. Nice McSweeny yesterday.

  2. Why stop all immigration? Who in their right mind would want to immigrate to the US?

    For the first time the Darwin Award is given to an entire nation. The Darwin Award is usually given to individuals who have removed themselves from the gene pool through acts of stupidity, so this is a big first. Went to the store wearing my very stylish t-shirt mask and was waiting outside with some other idiots (possibly as stupid as yours truly) and the guy in front of me was wearing a mask. Okay so far. We get into the store, waiting again, and the guy takes his mask off. I'm thinking to myself WTF. I mean what is wrong with this person. Does enclosed areas ring a bell?

    I got my vegetable garden started yesterday, planted my tomatoes and bell peppers, have some summer squash seeds coming, hope they get here soon or it may be too late to plant. I love summer squash, mmm.
    Gardens are great, anything that gets you outside is great. And I continue to be amazed how clean the air is, objects that seemed far away now appear much closer with the wonderful clarity of the air. And the sky is so blue! I had forgotten how blue the sky could be. Getting rid of the automobile should be a top priority. Makes you realize how disgusting the air is most of the time, even if it looks okay.

    I feel like I'm in the middle of a Twilight Zone episode. What's that signpost up ahead?