Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Don't You See How These Elaborate Masks Are Turning You into a Zombie?

  • Today strangers able to enter the building I work in if their IDs blazed green, I have been in the building for months but with only one or two well-distanced and masked workers at any one time
  • Not worried and not complaining just saying as one of the menially essential and essentially menial
  • I've had it good compared to the Safeway cashier
  • and much better and safer than campus housekeeping
  • More menial, me, than essential, you'll be too if not already
  • More at other place
  • I'm grateful for Earthgirl's awesome masks, very grateful to D who said I look like Biden after a snort of apple sauce and a gulp of apple juice from my sippy-cup in it


Jennifer Moxley

In the heavy fashion magazines strewn here and there around the house the photos of objects and people mouth the word “money,” but you, assuming no one wants you anymore, mishear the message as “meaning.” Arousal follows. The lives of the rich are so fabulous! The destruction of the poetical lies heavily on their hands, as on their swollen notion that we are always watching. There is nothing behind the mask. Nothing suffocating under its pressure, no human essence trying to get out.
     Awareness, always awareness. Don’t you see how these elaborate masks are turning you into a zombie? The private life is not for the eye but for the endless interior. It is trying to push all this crap aside and find the missing line. Nobody, least of all the future, cares about the outcome of this quest.
      It is easy to lose, through meddling or neglect, an entire aspect of existence. And sometimes, to cultivate a single new thought, you need not only silence but an entirely new life.


  1. 1) with respect to incoming and outgoing swertz speeds, our isp [verizon fios] asserts via a speed test today that with respect to router [101/115 mbps] and device [103/120] the speeds are both 'good' and actually a bit faster going to the isp than from them - maybe i requested this equivalence at some point but i don't specifically recall - but thank you for raising this issue - while i was involved in the process of checking these flow rates the isp asked me to specify a pin number which i guess i hadn't before and so now my account is even more secure

    1.5) missus charley is working from home, often by zoom or equivalent - one wonders when she will be told she must return to the office - as she is old perhaps she can wiggle out of it - if not a somewhat earlier retirement might be the way to go - it's hard to make predictions, especially about the future

    2) ian welsh quibbles about david frum's article in the atlantic calling australia, canada and mexico 'dependencies' of the u.s. - welsh thinks 'satraps' is the more accurate term

    2.2) when i went to see what our friends at wikipedia say about satraps, among the works listed for further reading is -surprisingly - Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses, 1992

    another wikipedia entry delineates the novel's plot in some detail - it is unclear how it relates to satraps

    2.3) there was a movie with a complicated history - now available through amazon prime

    2,5) with respect to canada's relationship with the united states, i happen to agree with frum's term, not welsh's - see the wikipedia article on canadian identity which several times cites john ralston saul's book reflections of a siamese twin

    2.8) ralston's book was published over 20 years ago - nowadays the phrase is not politically correct - should it be updated as thai twin? no, probably not

    3)moxley's poem here reminds me of steve augustine's piece on myth collisions which you link to

    4)recently i requested from my local library maryanne wolf's book reader, come home

    1. wolf's most recent book briefly described:

      The Reading Brain in a Digital World

      From the author of Proust and the Squid

      [This is] a lively, ambitious, and deeply informative epistolary book that considers the future of the reading brain and our capacity for critical thinking, empathy, and reflection as we become increasingly dependent on digital technologies.

      This book comprises a series of letters Wolf writes to us—her beloved readers—to describe her concerns and her hopes about what is happening to the reading brain as it unavoidably changes to adapt to digital mediums.

      Wolf draws on neuroscience, literature, education, technology, and philosophy and blends historical, literary, and scientific facts with down-to-earth examples and warm anecdotes to illuminate complex ideas that culminate in a proposal for a biliterate reading brain. Provocative and intriguing, Reader, Come Home is a roadmap that provides a cautionary but hopeful perspective on the impact of technology on our brains and our most essential intellectual capacities—and what this could mean for our future.

      [end of book description from the author's website]

      for more, including video talks, with an orientation in particular towards teachers of reading, see an online book study hosted by the Atlanta Speech School