August 29, 2005

Individualism Was A Mistake.



1.
Individualism represents a kind of freedom and excitement but also generates a very specific and intense strain of powerlessness. This powerlessness results from the fact that in order to change things people have to work together and, more often than not, individualism erodes the very sense of common human purpose that might make working together possible.


2.
I don’t like to win. More of a problem than it at first seems. Easy enough to avoid conflict (most of the time.) Perhaps easy enough to just simply lose, if by some casual accident one unfortunately finds oneself in actual competition. But never to win: an altogether painful business.


3.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a great deal about that utterly childish aspect of the human mind, the part that instantly demands: “I want this” or “I don’t want that,” which in a split second desires or just as quickly rejects. How before any information has been gathered, before any time has been taken to weigh the various pros and cons, before even the first glimpse of thought has had a chance to emerge, already such an intense impulse overtakes the body and already we know.


4.
And yet there’s always a degree of hypocrisy and bad faith. Everyone and everything is just a little bit corrupt and that’s exactly the way we like it. To be completely consistent is both boring and impossible so let’s not pretend. Instead let’s rejoice in the openness and exhilaration of inconsistency, of doubt, of questioning, of changing ones mind when faced with new information or simply for the hell of it, of being undecided or even indecisive, of not knowing the truth and continuing to search without finding, always searching, and believing this search to be an honest and meaningful way of life. But I’ve fallen slightly off the point which is of course that I live and work as an aggressively isolated and alienated individualist while at the same time seem to be saying that it is the exact opposite condition which in fact would be most effective and liberating and right. The exact opposite. Proving even I can be exact now and again.



August 22, 2005

Language

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French is the most beautiful language. Anything you might want to say automatically sounds better when spoken in French. One sentence in English equals at least two sentences in French. Everything is not only longer, but also more beautiful.

French is the language we use to clarify and illuminate sentiment. It’s delicacy reveals what the rough-hewn edges of English do not.

Language destroys what it creates, is inhuman, makes true intimacy impossible, separates us more ferociously than the crumbled stone edifice of the Berlin wall. But within the humble clemency of the French tongue all is forgiven.

Politics is a disciple of language. Legal documents form a literature within which it is possible to destroy peoples lives in a much more concrete manner than the great romantic poets had even imagined. But every word one writes has consequences. And it is no coincidence that so many of the great works of literature and philosophy were originally formulated in French.

And when Europe becomes the most violent bloodbath that the millennium has yet to experience, as seems likely within the next hundred years, it is even more likely that the epitaph for the millions of mutilated and dead will be written within the supple intonations and tonalities of the ancient yet incalculable French language.

Personally I do not speak, read or understand a single word of French. I am speaking only hypothetically.

Near the end of his life Rainer Maria Rilke switched from German to French for the following reason: in German there is no word for absence which also implies presence and fulfilment. In German, absence is only emptiness...





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August 15, 2005

Four Short Comedic Prose Poems

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The Womanizer
“Have the bastard fixed,” was all she said. So we did. We had the bastard fixed. Things went much better after that. Considerably less heartbreak.


The Yoga Mat

“Your yoga mat is on fire.” I mentioned this almost in passing, somehow not sure whether or not I should say anything. “Yes, I know,” she replied. In retrospect I realized it was really not much of a pick up line.


Washed Up
Motherfuckers think that just because I’m some sort of washed-up has been they can say or do whatever they want to me. Well, listen up motherfuckers. Someday this is going to happen to you. And let’s see you try to stay off the bottle when every last one of your hit CD’s are selling for a dollar a piece in the bargain bins of tower records all across America. Oh, I forgot: you never had any hit CD’s. So shut the fuck up.



Modesty

I went in search of a more populist style. It didn’t work. So I became a professor of contemporary literature. Our course this afternoon begins with an examination of…







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August 8, 2005

Crowds with the object of their adoration incurably absent

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1.
I must go back to the place where things were simpler and a more benign perspective gently revealed itself. There was once a place like that, I am sure of it.
2. 
Several escaped but most simply perished. Of the ones who escaped three prospered, eight committed suicide (as a result of guilt), four are currently in situations the exact nature of which it is difficult to ascertain, and eighteen remained within the negligible ‘in between’ we might refer to here as ordinary life: neither successful nor failures, neither happy nor desperate. Of the ones that perished the occasional memoir was discovered (three in total), the occasional scrap of paper with a jotted list or phone number. It is impossible to defeat remnants.


3.
I had no one to blame but myself. I went in with no plan and when things took a turn for the worse I simply panicked. There was no way to avoid the considerable fact of the matter: it was a complete and unredeemable fiasco. (Though from an outsider’s perspective I’m perfectly aware it might appear to be an unmitigated success.)


4.
Business strategies of the ontologically perverse.


5.
If you begin with mere premises of course you will travel endlessly in circles. That is why we must begin with facts. And the facts are really not so complex. People will behave one way when they feel secure and a completely different way when they feel they are in danger. Security is a luxury with the potential to produce generosity along with an endless stream of small acts of kindness. That is why we must work around the clock to generate the continuous illusion of being-under-threat. Only through such means can we activate results sufficiently conducive to our end goals. For public relations purposes we will refer to this strategy as ‘the delightful effect.’
6.If there’s one thing he wasn’t it was a celebrity. This simple fact agitated him to no end. “Why must others be celebrated but only I ignored”, he would write over and over again in the small, spiral bound ‘reporter’ notebooks he bought at Target for a dollar a piece, each time using different words. Even if he were to win the lottery it would be of little use, for the genre of charisma he wished to possess unfortunately cannot be bought. “Fuck it,” he thought, “serial killing is my only hope.”


7.
And we all dropped ecstasy and leapt joyously through the streets; through the streets and through the alleyways and parks. Such joyous leaping cannot be contained in mere words. Images, prayers, exhortations, telepathic emanations: all these strategies and more must be employed if one wishes to properly convey the pure joyousness of our endlessly delirious, wasted leapings. In the morning we watched the sunrise as the buzz gently waned. I glanced at my watch. I was already late for work. I said my goodbyes.




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