Monday, October 23, 2023

What If War Is Just a Male Version of Dressing Up, a Game Devised to Avoid Profound Spiritual Questions?

The 304 page Boorum & Pease 8.2 x 10.5 quadrille journal started September 3, 2022 filled this morning, October 23, 2023. I will put it on the shelves with the other 50+ years of finished journals that I never ever look at again once I fill them

I write daily in a journal to process what I'm digesting that day, some of it makes it here though most doesn't. Why the fuck am I keeping them? I can't imagine me ever reading them. Do I expect grieving family and friends to read them (though there's nothing in them that would surprise much less shock them)? I knew forty years ago no academic researchers would scrub them for insights into my canon when I realized there will be no canon (though eventually a shitty blog I (quietly) insist is poetry that no one will write a dissertation about). It would take weeks to find and gather them all and more weeks to burn them all and burning them would be a gratuitous symbolic act that implies a secretive archival importance that they must be destroyed to protect that does not exist, ditto ripping each up and feeding handful after handful of pages into the Iron Mountain locked shredder bin at work

That's the new one, deliberate echo of Winewood Organics and WFMU stickers. Just received an email back from the colleague who manages facilities in the building, I can box them up in empty printer paper boxes and tape seal them, write RECYCLE on the box and leave on loading dock (- leave them on the loading dock -) on Thursdays for pick-up and destruction, yes someone could read them (- on the loading dock, colleague-wise -) at the recycling center, even take them home, who the fuck would do that says the guy who will never read them again but cannot throw them away

My former ambitious (GOP) governor says your opposition to the United States' (and its client state and bastard child Israel's) genocidal massacre of thousands of Palestinians is antisemitism, I'm sure my current ambitious (fake-progressive Democratic) governor says the same thing when asked
A Practical Appraisal of Palestinian Violence
Israel's Tet momentSuppression
Nothing got better this week
War on Horror, or Terror, or Reality, or Whatever!
Feminist, Decolonial, and Anti-Imperialist Translation
Imperial power begins at home
I had a version of this conversation with a Hilltop full professor in the School for Foreign Service yesterday, the fucking ghoul
The Café and the Colony
Common Sense Solutions for Collapse
Beyond the Myth of Rural America
The yacht bros who'll sell you part of a megaboat
Sajaegi is a desperate, money-losing play that would only really make sense for a new group that wants to jumpstart their career or a washed-up superstar seeking a flashy comeback
Maggie's weeklyYear in Review!
25 Worst Parking Lots in Montgomery County (2023 Edition)
Reminder: I'm now at the Blue place, , if you're there but I haven't found you yet please let me know
Read Donald Harington's *Staymore* novels for the lowdown and insight on tomatoes and magic and horniness
I have one Blue invite code I'm holding for BFF but will let yinz know when I am given more
Esther Kinsky?{ feuilleton }'s
Unwrapping the unwrappable: The Box – A Novel by Mandy-Suzanne Wong
Above recommended to me by the same friend who recommended the one below
Maurice Blanchot: Poetry & Narrative
Serendipitously, I started Blanchot's *The Most High* yesterday on another friend's recommendation
Remembering Louise Glück, 1943–2023


Louise Glück

The Greeks are sitting on the beach
wondering what to do when the war ends. No one
wants to go home, back
to that bony island; everyone wants a little more
of what there is in Troy, more
life on the edge, that sense of every day as being
packed with surprises. But how to explain this
to the ones at home to whom
fighting a war is a plausible
excuse for absence, whereas
exploring one’s capacity for diversion
is not. Well, this can be faced
later; these
are men of action, ready to leave
insight to the women and children.
Thinking things over in the hot sun, pleased
by a new strength in their forearms, which seem
more golden than they did at home, some
begin to miss their families a little,
to miss their wives, to want to see
if the war has aged them. And a few grow
slightly uneasy: what if war
is just a male version of dressing up,
a game devised to avoid
profound spiritual questions? Ah,
but it wasn’t only the war. The world had begun
calling them, an opera beginning with the war’s
loud chords and ending with the floating aria of the sirens.
There on the beach, discussing the various
timetables for getting home, no one believed
it could take ten years to get back to Ithaca;
no one foresaw that decade of insoluble dilemmas—oh unanswerable
affliction of the human heart: how to divide
the world’s beauty into acceptable
and unacceptable loves! On the shores of Troy,
how could the Greeks know
they were hostages already: who once
delays the journey is
already enthralled; how could they know
that of their small number
some would be held forever by the dreams of pleasure,
some by sleep, some by music?


  1. 1/worst moco parking lots - i've spent a lot of time at the first one mentioned - it does require patience - on the other hand at least each space is nice and big

    2/i read with interest the "common sense solutions for collapse" from znetwork

    [parenthetically, i voted for the cofounder of znet when for student body president at our undergraduate institution - he won]

    they are indeed sensible solutions - but as the local told the tourist, "you can't get there from here" - you have to go somewhere else first - and it will be a very bumpy ride, most likely - but as lawrence berra pointed out, you never know when something surprising might happen

    3/yesterday missus charley and i had lunch with an inside-the-beltway couple we've known for decades - pmc operatives in the sausage-making and apparatus, semi-retired - surprisingly to us, they had no enthusiasm for our government's policy of wholehearted support for our closest ally in the struggle to defend freedom in the middle east - i wonder if the times they are a-changing

    4/and here's a performance of "masters of war" by the roots

    1. corrections and additions

      2/when he ran for

      3/strike and

      4/a notable point of the band's performance of the folk/rock protest song is that the melody used at the beginning is that of 'to anacreon in heaven'

      5/from what is stated here, it seems that - at least sometimes - it is the process, not necessarily the product, of journaling which is worthwhile

  2. After Southeast Asia I kept journals in black, pebbled-cover artist's sketchbooks, and a few other styles, for twenty-four years. A box with all of them was lost in a move, stored in a friend's attic -- some boxes thrown out by a drunken husband (for example, most of my photo albums) -- then we quarrelled, seriously enough that we stopped speaking. The husband committed fraud and went away. The ex-friend still doesn't speak with me to this day.

    Only in the past two years did a mutual step in as interlocutor. Every so often I receive a few boxes of various sizes, never knowing what will appear, like cargo washing ashore for Chuck Noland. If the box with the journals showed up, musty home of Silverfish, I'm not sure what it would be like.

    I restarted keeping journals in the Covid-time; had no idea why I was doing it. I have no illusions that I am as anonymous as one of the plaster casts of Pompeii, but I think it's like painting, like poetry: a way of working with what's below the surface, telling jokes, healing; saying I Live Here.

  3. What mistah said about the process, hastening: not chucking them renders a reality devoid of regretting the chucking. I purged all of my notebooks, journals, and the only screenplay I ever completed after moving a friend about whom I mind-muttered after the move that she had way too much shit; that everybody had too much shit. Late that same evening I filled two boxes that'd housed three-foot tall JBL speakers, deciding I needed neither them nor the contents and dragged them down the three flights of stairs at the back and tossed them in one of Daley's dumpsters. If I still had them, would I reference them? Not as likely as I'd regret not having them.

  4. followup about accepting TEOTWAWKI - the end of the world as we know it

    1/in mid-august i wrote about listening to, and even participating by a submitted question which was read aloud, a sermon by michael dowd - see the comments at

    1.5/This "post-doom, no gloom" sermon by Rev. Michael Dowd was delivered at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Flint, Michigan on August 13, 2023. Connie Barlow, Michael Dowd's wife, mission partner, and video editor, thinks it is one of his best.

    1.7/today i learned it was also his last sermon - he died in his sleep of a heart attack earlier this month

    1.9/my question to him was about how the public in general may find the term "contraction" more palatable and thus thinkable than "collapse" - i have since learned how nate hagens in his website and interviews brands it as "the great simplification"

    2/michael dowd's widow, connie barlow, writes about dowd's shifts in worldview:

    In December 2012, he woke up with horror to the speed and scale of the climate crisis. A philosophy major in college, but autodidact ever since, Michael devoured books and blogs on the science of climate change and what lay ahead. This rapidly shifted his attention from evolution as foreground to "ecology as the new theology." (Thomas Berry, who had died in 2009, had emphasized both.) It was then that Michael donned a green clergy shirt and became "Reverend Reality" in his guest speaking around the country.

    Michael's emphasis shifted again when he encountered in 2015 a book written by William R. Catton in 1980. Now he understood that the climate crisis was a new, global manifestation of the human tendency to overshoot ecological limits whenever forms of society complexified such that Indigenous values were lost. By the spring of 2019, he had a name for this new understanding: postdoom.

    4/meanwhile, missus charley has a grandnephew in minnesota in second grade, and my own grandnephew - my first - is a week old in panama

    4.1/into this house we're born, into this world we're thrown