Gonzo Marketing:Winning Through Worst Practices The Bombast Transcripts: Rants and Screeds of RageBoy
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Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Have It Your Way
DSM IV Meets Sid Vicious

From EGR: What It Will Say, May 11, 2002.

And what does this say about you? About me? And what does that say about us? About us. What it says about us is once upon a time...

And even then I couldn't stop myself. Couldn't let it go. "Sinatra was a ruthless thug," I said.

"So what," she said. "I like his voice."

So what. So I'm writing tonight. So voice is a word that has special meaning for me, though I've given up trying to unpack it. The most profound meanings are often discovered in the most trivial use. Like the unselfconscious patois of the street. Like a freight train passing by a stream bed. I'm reading about solfege, telephony. The sun is going down. I'm going out right now to get my hands on Sid & Nancy. Gotta watch that again. I never gave a fuck about the Sex Pistols, which seems appropriate, don't you think? Until that scene where Oldman's doing Vicious doing Sinatra. It stopped my mind. Years ago. And it struck me again just now as my Rosetta Stone. Art from the ashes, the flashes, your lashes. Eyeless in Gaza. In Alexandria. In trance. I see London, baby, I see France. Intravenous ad altare Dei. Mix it, fix it, take a hit. You know how this shit works.

Voice. Don't leave home without it.

That's the delta. The so in so what. Remember Mekong? The Rat Pack? Frank and Dean and Sammy and say, look at that, JFK. Dead Kennedys partying while the napalmed world burned down. Day and night. Night and day. And will you take your apocalypse now, Mr. Kurtz?

I did it my way, the guy says. Your sleek self-confident blue-eyed boy, and underneath, an arrogant urbane brutality. Swingin. Cool. As cold as they come. Where's the love in Sinatra's love songs, I'm wondering. Where's my M-1? I wonder how he treated his women in Vegas. Like a gentleman, no doubt. Like one-a the guys. Like Luciano and Giancana. Smooth operators all. Made in the shade. And between Sade and de Sade falls the shadow. And shall I wear my trousers rolled? And will we pass this way again? And meanwhile Iggy's going love in the middle of a firefight on search & destroy. And I've been walking point long enough and I've been destroyed enough now thanks and I don't want no more of this, no more. Hueys coming in for evac. Rotorwash pushing the jungle back for a second, so deep they keep coming on, so many so angry no place to hide to run... I wake up screaming. And whew. Good thing it was only a dream. God bless America. Good thing we did it your way.

Regrets? Not me. Fuck you, Frank.

Individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder often have a grandiose view of themselves, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy that begins by early adulthood and is present in various situations. These individuals are very demanding in their relationships. This pattern is indicated by five (or more) of the following (from DSM IV, American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Individuals who don't give a flying fuck about your sagging ass often laugh at your high-horse bullshit. This extreme lack of sympathy typically sets in after one too many of your fucking entitlement tantrums and is indicated by five (or more) of the following (from "My Way" as performed by Sid Vicious on The Great Rock & Roll Swindle, 1979, or by Gary Oldman on Sid & Nancy: Love Kills, 1986).
1. Has an inflated sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without corresponding achievements). and now, the end is near
and so i face the final curtain, ha ha ha
you cunt, i'm not a queer
i'll state my case, of which i'm certain
2. Is overly concerned with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love. i've lived a life that's full
and each and every highway
and more, much more than this
i did it my way
3. Believes she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions). regrets, i've had a few
but then again, too few to mention
but dig, what i had to do
i saw it through without intention
4. Requires excessive admiration. Is often an "artist" or calligrapher. of that, take care and just
be careful along the highway
and more, much more than this
i did it my way
5. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of very positive treatment or automatic compliance with her expectations. there were times,
i'm sure you knew
when there was nothing
fuck all else to do
6. Takes advantage of others to achieve her own ends. but through it all,
when there was doubt
i shot it up or kicked it out
i fought the war just as before
and did it my way
7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to identify with the feelings and needs of others. knocked out in bed last night
i've had my fill, my share of looting
and now, the tears subside
i find it all so amusing
8. Is often jealous of others or believes that others are jealous of her. to think, i killed a cat
and may i say, oh no not their way
but no, no no, not me
i did it my way
9. Shows arrogant or domineering behaviors or attitudes. for what is a brat, what has he got
when he finds out that he cannot
say the things he truly thinks
but only words, not what he feels
the record shows, i've got no clothes.
i did it myyyyyyyy waaaaay...

2:47 AM | link |

Monday, May 26, 2003
Uncomfortably Dumb
DSM IV Meets Pink Floyd

Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder show a generalized pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and observable emotions, and significant impulsiveness. This pattern begins by early adulthood, occurs in various contexts, and is indicated by five (or more) of the following (from DSM IV, American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Individuals who just can't take it anymore show a generalized pattern of being seriously fucked over in relationships, no money or little white picket fucking fences, and significantly bad attitude toward authority. This pattern begins by early adulthood, occurs in various contexts (duh!), and is indicated by five (or more) of the following (from "Comfortably Numb" by Pink Floyd on The Wall, 1994).
1. Frantic efforts (excluding suicidal or self-inflicted cuts or burns) to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Hello. Hello. Hello...
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me
Is there anyone home?
2. A pattern of intense and unstable interpersonal relationships that may quickly alternate between extremes of idealization and devaluation. Come on, now.
I hear you're feeling down.
Well I can ease your pain
Get you on your feet again.
3. Identity disturbance: sudden and dramatic shifts in self-image in terms of shifting values (e.g., sexual identity, types of friends) and vocational goals. Relax. Relax. Relax...
I need some information first.
Just the basic facts
Can you show me where it hurts?
4. Impulsiveness in at least two areas that are potentially harmful (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating, excluding suicidal or self-mutilating behavior). There is no pain, you are receding.
A distant ship's smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.
5. Repeated suicidal behavior or threats, or self-inflicted cuts or burns (e.g., self-mutilating behavior). When I was a child I had a fever.
My hands felt just like two balloons.
Now I got that feeling once again.
I can't explain, you would not understand.
This is not how I am.
I have become comfortably numb.
6. Significant, sudden changes in mood and observable emotion (e.g., intense periodic sadness, irritability, or anxiety, usually lasting a few hours and rarely lasting more than a few days; extreme reactivity to interpersonal stresses). OK. OK. OK...
Just a little pinprick.
There'll be no more ...aaaaaahhhhh!
But you may feel a little sick.
7. Chronic feelings of emptiness; also may be easily bored. Can you stand up? Stand up. Stand up...
I do believe it's working. Good.
That'll keep you going for the show.
Come on it's time to go...
8. Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights). There is no pain, you are receding.
A distant ship's smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying...
9. Temporary, stress-related psychosis (symptoms such as paranoia or grossly distorted body image) When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone.
I cannot put my finger on it now.
The child is grown, the dream is gone.
I have become comfortably numb.

8:39 PM | link |

Memorial Day
or, Rock & Roll Never Forgets
Went shopping last night with my last two quarters of Amazon credit. Problem is, I feel so guilty about getting all this loot from you guys, that all I can read about is how to cure myself of being such a heartless fucking sociopath. Imagine me crying at the keyboard, hugging my Freud Action Figure. Oh baby! Can you ever forgive me?

The Anthropology of Experience

On Narrative

Narrative Therapy: The Social Construction of Preferred Realities

Conversation Language and Possibilities: A Postmodern Approach to Therapy

Back to Reality: A Critique of Postmodern Theory in Psychotherapy

Kohut, Loewald, and the Postmoderns: A Comparative Study of Self and Relationship

The Creation of Reality in Psychoanalysis: A View of the Contributions of Donald Spence, Roy Schafer, Robert Stolorow, Irwin Z. Hoffman, and Beyond

The Emergence of a Relational Psychoanalysis

Relationality: From Attachment to Intersubjectivity

Hope and Dread in Psychoanalysis

7:11 PM | link |

Sunday, May 25, 2003
Get the Freud Action Figure!

And we quote...
This Sigmund Freud toy goes where no action figure has gone before: He can leap long couches in a single session, run faster than an untamed id and stop a speeding phallic symbol using only his cigar. All while wearing a simple gray suit over a single item of his mother's underwear - the infamous Freudian Slip. He measures 5" tall with poseable head and arms. His eyes appear to follow you.

10:28 PM | link |

Our Box

Mandarin Design says make a box, we make a box. We are practicing obedience.

"RageBoy: Entertaining writings and pics from a lunatic who should have machine gun sound effects in the background. Still figuring this one out - no, will never figure this one out."

Also for a really cool grafikal blogroll, don't miss "Blogs we are reading..." on selfsame site. Mouseover it and see if you can spot the lunatic the above was written about.

9:13 PM | link |

We Dont Know Ourself

First off, Jeneane sez...
Chris and RageBoy sittin' in a tree

Yeah, you could say it's an inside joke. If the hyperhyphenated link above leaves you wondering, and you find yourself overcome with inexplicable intellectual thirst (inexplicable because, well, this has never happened to you before), try SHAME: The Exposed Self. Kirkus Reviews has this to say about it:

"The self must be exposed to itself... in order for shame to be felt [The author] traces the developmental processes that allow for the emergence of shame, analyzes how it differs from related feelings, examines ways of coping with it, and looks at how the sexes differ in their experience of it. Females, he says, experience more shame than males, and when the emotion is prolonged, females are more likely to respond with depression and males with rage. In fact, Lewis links the violence in our society to an out-of-control shame/rage spiral. In extreme cases, prolonged shame may even produce narcissistic and multiple-personality disorders, both of which the author sees as on the increase."
I can corroborate that last surmise as being 100% correct from my own personal Personal Experience. And I can tell you, these shameful narcissists are no picnic. Jesus! Suck your fucking heart out just as soon as look at you. This is why I had to turn into so many different people. Sorry, Mom, I couldn't help it.

"I blame society." (Repo Man)

In other news, this just came across the City Desk...

dear sir
compliment of the season.i write to solicite your favour dont minding that we dont know ourself.i hope you accept this proposer in good faith.
Good faith can fuck me dead, Bucko. I ask you. What did I ever do to deserve this? Any of it!

9:02 PM | link |

Saturday, May 24, 2003
We're Getting Married!!!


We just wanted to let you know that we've started a Wedding Registry to prepare for our future together! You can view our Wedding Registry online at Amazon.com.

We realize that some of the items are a bit pricey -- like the Wyco 992A-FI-10 10' Concrete Vibrator with 1-3/8" Head for $699.99 -- but there are many more affordable items on the list as well. In fact, we're still adding to it, but we have to go to therapy now and just couldn't wait to share the good news with a few thousand intimate pals like yourselves.

Best Wishes,
clocke & RageBoy

PS: Heartfelt thanks to Gary for jetting over here on the Concorde to snap our pre-nup pic. Oh... we're going to cry!

their satanic majesties request

photo © gary turner 2003

2:39 AM | link |

Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Lie to Me
"...out from the barrio
you hear my rhythm on your radio..."
smooth / supernatural
  To: Lauren Slater
      Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir
      Welcome to My Country: A Therapist's Memoir of Madness
      Prozac Diary

From: Christopher Locke
      The Bombast Transcripts: Rants & Screeds of RageBoy
      Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices
      The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business As Usual

You don't know me. Having just finished Lying, I lead with the obvious, and it somehow seems, if not appropriate (none of this will be, if I hit my mark, by any measure), at least in the spirit of the thing you've done. That is, of play. As in the one that, though she feels she's in, she is anyway.

Anyway. What a book. In the early pages, I repeatedly thought to review it (late as I am to the party) with a title like maybe Jesus This Woman Can Write! But then we would have two statements of the obvious, the second perhaps sounding even a bit sexist, and certainly suspicious in its none too subtle semaphore that I'm in any position to judge. Though I am, nonetheless, and from that self-appointed, uncredentialled position, I feel confident in reporting that you are a fucking stone genius. Though you know that too.

I was grateful, and laughed, at your slippery aside on page 138-39, regarding your skill as a writer "...which was, I now see," you say, "an idea overwrought and ridiculous and possibly even entirely fraudulent, even though, dear reader, well, I do have some talent, wouldn't you say?"

I would. Thanks for asking. However, I am deeply shocked that you would so boldly lift whole sections of my unpublished manuscripts. How did you manage to get your hands on them? At first I considered legal action, but that was before I fell in love with you. So listen, no hard feelings. I'm just curious. Especially as none of it was written down yet.

I feel I should explain myself. I often feel I should do that, but then tell myself it's impossible. Perhaps this is why I found your book so disturbing. While it's true that Dr. Krieger warns us (twice) of that likely reaction in his thoughtful if brief introduction, it sounded like the sort of thing one reads in blurbs ("oh sure, I'd be happy to write something ..."), and I was not at all prepared for the disturbance as, in fact (though naturally we could argue this), you delivered it.

I read the book today, all day, savoring your amazing language, your images, sounds, smells, tastes. I felt your orgasm, hard and true. And I would not have looked at you the way that other Christopher did. I feel I should explain myself. But where to begin? As you must have asked yourself a million times. Two million? Perhaps with the disturbance that became palpable as I neared the end of the book. Shin pan. Yes, I read the others too. But this time it was much closer to the bone, much closer to, as Alice Miller says, bless her pointy little head, annihilation. When I finished reading, I called my analyst. He's a Jungian, but I think you might like him. The weird thing is, among many weird things in my recent life I've lately been referring to collectively (I hope not unconsciously) as Synchronicity City... the weird thing is that in your afterword you address, uncannily and precisely, those very questions I've been obsessed with for the past three or four months. Including, yes, autism. Autism! (It is related, strange as it may seem. But not to you. Or me. To them. Ditto crop circles. I know you will understand this.) And I called three good friends, all women (who could either confirm or deny my sexism, if you'd like references; though one is an angel and thus must remain anonymous), to warn them about this book, how genuinely, authentically, truly dangerous it is. No lie. And recommend, no demand, that they read it immediately if they want to keep being my friends. I'm a little intense that way. The life of a repo man is always intense.

I had to go out. Get out of the house. Drive, breathe fresh air. Drink espresso. Buy books. I was disturbed all right. And perhaps you can tell how deeply by the books I ended up buying: Attachment in Adults, and The Construction of the Self. Both from The Guilford Press, so: pricey and dense, just the way I like em. And ever so reassuring. Really. I'm not being facetious. Bowlby and Mahler and Winnicott and Kernberg. I did a lot of acid trying to erase my childhood. I've never been to Viet Nam. Or Heaven, or even Oklahoma. Nonetheless, I want to shake your hand. I want to say welcome to my country. As you welcomed me. Your voice so unexpected. What a rush.

I did go to Tokyo, though, where I got sober about two weeks and nineteen years ago. Word. Though I'm not epileptic. Or anything serious, really. That's what I would have told you 16 months back. Fine, never better. I would have said Bowlby? Judith Herman? Who the fuck are they? It was all a surprise when the roof caved in. I mean, you'd think nearly two decades of drug-free stone-cold sobriety would have counted for something. You wouldn't think I'd be sitting around today trying to kick Effexor and Ativan. I wouldn't have thought. I'm betting these are lines you can read between without breaking too much of a sweat.

So I laughed out loud at some of your AA vignettes. Telling the truth so you could get sober. Jesus! Irony doesn't get any better. I wrote a little story about AA once. It's in Bombast, called "Sex Rears Its Ugly Head." I was talking to these 300 drunks in Pittsburgh, telling, as the formula goes, what it was like, what happened, and what it was like now (actually, then), and I didn't have a clue what I was going to say. I started with being raised Catholic (I could smell the churches you describe, feel the satin wood of the pew backs, rubbed down to waxy bone by old ladies genuflecting) and, as a result of that, how sex had always been, risking felonious understatement, a big deal. "Just wait," Mom would always say, I told those Steel Town boozers, "until sex rears its ugly head!" I stopped at this point in my "talk," maybe just five minutes into it, not knowing where this was going, only that I knew I must tell the truth, the whole truth. And I said, you know, I was maybe four years old. I had no idea what sex was. Only that it had an ugly head. The place exploded. I don't think I've ever heard laughter so out of control. Not that I'd ever precipitated. And I hadn't planned it. Just came out that way. Like so much of Lying, I wish I'd thought of it myself.

So yeah, I know a little about that. Haven't been to a meeting in over ten years. Fuck alcoholism. I don't drink or take (recreational) drugs. Unless you count cigarettes and coffee. Unless you count, well, lima beans and bananas, let's say. I'm not interested in getting well. In achieving serenity or enlightenment or even, truth be told, in understanding what or who I am. Not really. Curious, sure, as I said. But no hard feelings.

I also know a little about marketing, as you will see from the list of my books at the start of this. So I was thrilled to see that you gave your publisher what for on how to market your book. Good for you! These slouching beasts must be spoken to roughly or they understand nothing. Probably both. I liked especially (though these of course require 1-16, and the entire life they so hopefully, so insistently, stand in for, to achieve their full impact) these:

17. My memoir please. Sell it as nonfiction, please.
18. Look here.
19. This is where I am.
I was stunned. Because this is where I am too. Right here! It's too much of a coincidence to be just a coincidence, don't you think? Synchronicity City. I tried to explain this in the cluetrain manifesto...
Thesis #5: Human beings recognize each other as such from the sound of this voice.
...but nobody got it. I mean, the part I've emphasized above, which emphasis was not in the original. Thinking they would get it without the extra decoration. Thus I reiterate. Hopefully and insistently. And so yeah, und so weiter, that is to say, I know just what you mean.

And here's another little-known marketing tip; unknown, in fact, as far as I've been able to determine, outside the constricting confines of my own skull: the definitive marker of nonfiction is the inclusion -- overinclusion, if you will -- of an INDEX. Clancy and Grisham, Danielle Steele and that lot do not have indices, do they? QED. It's so simple. And yet no one, I can assure you, in the marketing departments of Ford or General Electric or Microsoft, has ever thought about this for one second. Well... maybe Microsoft, as Windows is clearly a work of fiction. So, willing suspension, benefit of the doubt. I guess.

Which diversion brings me (a little closer) to why I felt so disturbed toward the end of your book. I didn't get it till later, after the espresso at Barnes & Noble, flirting with this very young girl there -- I told her to buy Prozac Diary, and she did. Later, going back to where she was sitting and giving her a copy of my book, with the big-face picture on the cover. She was clearly impressed, which felt great, I don't mind telling you, even if my gesture was a bit overwrought and ridiculous, possibly even fraudulent. She thought I was just some guy. I didn't have the heart to tell her she was right. Illusion, as you have shown so well, is hardly ever what it seems.

What spooked me, disturbed me, was this. That I thought you were maybe about to Find the Answer. Get It. And then, having fallen in love with you, I would (re)experience abandonment -- real or imagined, as the DSM IV puts it. Is that rich or what? Real or imagined. Like they've got some magic yardstick to gauge that sort of thing. Yup, that was the real deal. Nope, you imagined everything. Real? I'll give em REAL! From the barrel of a sniper-scoped 30-aught-six. Get well soon! Ah, no, I wouldn't really do that. If I'd been going to, I would have done it last year. Whew! Close one. You know? I guess I'm not really the homicidal type after all. You learn so much about yourself in these crisis situations. So that was what I was worried about in your book: that you were going to suddenly go all New Age on me in the end. And then, as they say (usually joking), I would have to kill you.

I have this problem with boundaries, you see. Fall in love too fast, too easily. Without knowing much about the Other Person. I guess I never noticed that relationships were a problem. Or I did, but then I'd forget and do it over again. Repetition compulsion. Hell, like just reading someone's book and deciding she'd understand me. Has to make you a little nervous, doesn't it? Someone comes on that way. Thinks he sees himself in you, your experience, your words, and sends you an open letter via 10,000 or so closest pals on the internet, betting at least one of them will get it to you in less than 24 hours. OK, 36. I've learned to be patient. I can wait.

That's why I was so glad to read you'd already found a man who loves you. This intensity, this impulsivity, I mean. I was glad for you, honestly, truly, authentically glad. For you. No lie. But also a little relieved. For me. Because otherwise I would feel compelled to find you, track you down. Fly to Boston and read to you from your own books, show you how I have learned to never cry no matter what, show you the places I would have were I not so... disciplined, so in utter unflinching control. Tell you you don't have to be anyone with me. And mean it in a way few even know about. You do. Unravel, fall, go out and out and never come back. Ever. Back? Why back? Where back to? There is no back. Love, real or imagined. All you need.

Imagine my relief, then, that we don't need to do that. Strangers hooking up with even stranger strangers. I am grateful to that man of yours, whom, more importantly, you have learned to love. That's wonderful. No tongue in cheek. No PoMo irony. No joke. And it's not just some well meaning renunciation, either. Though I do know how to do that one, too; under certain conditions; certain phases of the moon. Working on being able to do it at will. Like falling. How fitting. Letting go of the panic, which is not about anything so simple as my mother being, like yours, a narcissist. Or the love of my life (if you will forgive the naivete), so I thought for the last 20 years, turning out to be, yes, another -- can you believe it? -- fucking narcissist! Or that I really do feel abandoned out here. Or anything like that. And terrified whenever I look down.

Down? There is no down. I act "as if" there were no down. I liked how you worked that in. Helene Deutsch v. AA. How would you have explained it, anyway? A throw-away, then. Almost. But I do have some talent for reading you, dear reader. Wouldn't you say? And if on a winter's night, a traveler... But then, I say that to all the girls. I do. Confessin' the blues. And nothing but the truth.

And besides, think of the fights we'd have! There is nothing worse than epistemology for lovers' quarrels. Ontology. Phylogeny. Genetics. Evolutionary "psychology." Better it should be another woman. Another man. Something simple. Something real, not imagined. Something shaken, not stirred. Boy's the name. Rage Boy. Homo ludens. Magister Ludi. Puer aeternus. Out from the barrio. Those Latin rhythms on your radio. What can I tell you? Progress not perfection.

Did I not promise you inappropriate? Have I not kept my word? I loved your book, that's all I wanted to say. And I loved you, reading it. But Lauren, I don't think we're right for each other. I really really do have all those dire disorders you list on that penultimate page. I would look at your hands and think they were mine. I would get tangled up in your life and you wouldn't know, until it was far too late, how I got there. True, you would find yourself laughing more, spacing out, coming hard and sure and sweet, dissociating in a most pleasant way; you are skilled in this already, too. But then, the reverie would pop, like the world you mention coming into being just like that, Buffalo Bill, and you'd find yourself thinking "What the fuck? This is not my beautiful house!" And there you'd go, plagiarizing again. Falling back into those old bad habits. No nun intended.

It's clear that you've worked hard to get where you are today. You're a hell of a writer, and yes, as you know (what can I tell you that you don't already?) a genius (which, frankly, scares me; I can't even spell Kierkegaard without looking it up; and Kant? are you kidding?) I hate to say it, but you just don't need me in your life at this juncture. Trust me. So I guess we should just say goodbye, then.

Or at least take it slow.

flux et veritas,


5:43 AM | link |

Saturday, May 17, 2003
Plato Shrimp

Ann Craig and I have been busy busy busy these last couple days. Oh yes. Please do come see her brand new blog at the convenient link provided above. Ann was so inspired by her first-ever viewing of Repo Man last night that she decided to name her new blog in remembrance of one of its many esoteric teachings. Many have pondered these truths, yet none has fully plumbed them.

"Find one in every car. You'll see."
Terry "Flat-top" Gross, Fresh Air, August 13, 1984.

1:03 AM | link |

The life of a repo man is always intense

Leila: What about our relationship?
Otto:  What?
Leila: Our relationship!
Otto:  Fuck that! 

12:05 AM | link |

Friday, May 16, 2003
Trance & Dental Medication, Part I
Or: Quick, Somebody Blow Sunshine Up My Ass!

[NOTE: before you start reading this, you might want to download this excellent MP3 rendition of Chariots of Fire by that master "musician" of the New Age: Yani. That way, depending on the speed of your link, it will kick in exactly at the good part, the good part being recursively defined as wherever it kicks in. Reports appreciated. MP3 link provided -- and portions of this article researched -- by Jeneane Sessum, about whom more later.]
It all started yesterday, when I was cruising Borders for something on trauma and dissociation. But first, I had to take a wicked piss. I wondered if anybody noticed me taking the elevator to the second floor instead of the stairs. I'd been reading that morning about how the body releases endorphins in high-stress situations such as trauma, including long-term imprisonment and torture. Such as, e.g., my childhood. Given that endorphins are basically morphine, and that they're also released during strenuous exercise, and moreover, that I will have had 19 years of stone-cold sobriety come the first week in May, I didn't want to fuck up my stainless record of being drug-free for nearly two decades by working up a sweat on those stairs. Drug-free, that is, if you don't count my addiction to Ativan, which I've been taking religiously for that past year so I won't kill anyone. But that's different. Doctor's orders. So to speak.

So where was I? Oh yes, on the way to piss like a racehorse. But even in this extreme state of bodily need, I still had time to stop and check the message board outside the restrooms, or as they call them in the less euphemistically inclined UK: toilets. And there tacked to the cork -- mirabile dictu! -- I spied this:

A Free Presentation to the Community
Sponsored by the Boulder Psychotherapists Guild, Inc.

Understanding the Highly Sensitive Person

Oh wow, I thought to myself, no one else being presently in evidence, this ought to be good! And ripped the flyer down, sending pushpins flying everywhere. I wondered if that was why they were originally called "flyers." But no matter. I would read it in the bathroom, or "toilet," as I always piss sitting down whenever there's any choice (there usually is, if one is willing to wait patiently), so as not to promote undue exertion and the inevitably attendent and untoward endorphin release mentioned above.

However, something distracted me, possibly the prodigious proportions of my own penis. I was amused to receive a spam recently inquiring whether I was prepared to "Handle a Really Large Dick." I thought (again to myself) why yes, I do it constantly. There was a time when I was younger that I used to piss standing up. This is when I was taking large quantities of non-prescription drugs, and therefore less concerned about, one might even say desirous of achieving, the endorphin effect. But I never just zipped down my fly and hauled it out that way. I would rather unbutton my jeans, zip down, pull up my shirt tail, pull down my underpants, and you get the idea, do it like that. One day this guy standing next to me at the adjacent stall was presumptuous enough to inquire why I did it did it like that. "Why don't you just zip down your fly?" he asked. "Do you see that keyhole in the door over there," I asked back. He agreed that he did. "Well imagine," I said, "attempting to pull an Anaconda through it." That shut him up. Presumably he knew what an Anaconda was, even though this was before they made the movie.

Just the other day -- yesterday perhaps -- I was chatting with a friend and I mentioned how much I admired others' ability to produced straightforward exposition, a skill I have never fully mastered. "Nonsense," she said, "you're an excellent writer!" But it was precisely the present sort of broken-field narrative you're reading here that I was referring to, so I discounted her compliment accordingly. People will try to trick you into believing all manner of partial truths about yourself. My policy is to always listen politely but never to get sucked in. So to speak.

Excuse me for a moment. I have to go re-read Portnoy's Complaint.

Anyway, it wasn't until last night that I fished the Highly Sensitive Person flyer out of my back pocket so I could read it to Jeneane in the course of our usual four-hour nightly debriefing on the highlights of each other's notable experiences during the foregoing daylight hours. I should emphasize here, as you might otherwise speculate, that there is nothing the least bit sexual in our relationship. This is a welcome relief, given the demands placed on me by less understanding, less attuned, and yes, less highly sensitive women. The worst of these, in my experience, are certaint calligraphers with artistic pretensions, who for reasons I fail to fully comprehend, insist upon calling me at odd hours of the day and night to ask whether the erectile dysfunction resulting from my four-hundred-dollar-a-day Effexor habit is "still giving me trouble." It's not. But I never dignify these crank calls with a reply. I hang up. Why is it that some individuals never seem to accept that it's over and it's time to move on.

"Move along. Nothing to see here ladies and gentlemen. Move along..."

Of course, as I've already indicated, there's plenty to see, but being a person of impecable integrity, I feel no compunction to discuss such intimate matters with a virtual stranger. Stranger than you can imagine.

At any rate, I say to Jeneane, "Hey, get a load of this," and I give her the relevant background: Borders, the bathroom, the bulletin board, the Boulder Psychotherapists Guild, Inc. sic, etc. In short, Understanding the Highly Sensitive Person. The flyer continues...

Appreciating the Trait in Children, Students, Clients,
Spouses, Colleages ... and Oneself!

A Presentation for Consumers and Professionals

Now, I dunno, maybe it's just me, maybe I'm being over-you-know senstitive, but consumers? Excuse me? Did they maybe mean lay persons? Not to be over-you-know harsh, but it's just possible that the problem is not poor word choice but rank stupidity. I tend to notice these things in my environment and to reflect on them deeply. But let's, you know, as they say in Scream III, move on...

Are you sometimes overwhelmed... [I couldn't type any more of this shit. maybe later.]

To be concluded! Watch for the exciting coming segments on...

  • Children of the Corn, Part 13;
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Narcissist;
  • Dissociation a continuum, as with pathological and "healthy" narcissism -- you know, like that dry heat;
  • Yani, the dirty fuck;
  • Highly Sensitive People -- for Sensitive, Intuitive, Creative and Spiritual Persons; (retch!);
  • Message Board for Odyssey of the Soul; (bletch!);
  • Trauma, total disgust and the grinning rubber pig mask.

8:17 PM | link |

I Did It My Way

my way or the hiway

Not that there was any real question... but, for extra credit...

How are these things alike? Not alike?













Ann thinks they're all alike.
(But at least now she knows what a table is.)

7:57 PM | link |

Link Whoring Tactic A Wild Sucess!
Doc came through again! What a brick. What a mensch! I thought he would surely see through my transparent ruse to get him to link to me even though I haven't posted fuck-all in a month of Sundays. I mean... Well, you know what I mean.

Doc has been a popular butt of EGR jokes and japes for years now. Why, here's Doc as somebody else, now! And then there's this...

The Boys Are Back In Town!

1:46 PM | link |

Annie Rolls a Hoover, Part II (und so weiter)

In addition to the slug-link, above, there's more quasi-informational material on Hoover Rolling in Matt's quizzical mentations on the theme. (Yes, Matt, it got our attention.)

So Ann Craig stopped by this week on her way to Salt Lake and points west, specifically: Seattle. It is hard to know just where to begin. Or, really, whether to... Perhaps the best way to "explain" things is to replicate something we just wrote together (well, sort of) and finally managed to post on her site. For the preamble (not included here), see the original posting over at her place.

Snot Talk
for Fuckheads

RageBoy made me do this. He was trying to teach me some new HTML moves. He said. But Jesus, what an asshole. He was yelling at me and everything. Bastard! And then he goes poking around in my browser cache -- since we've been doing all this interminable coding and testing this offline, and this laptop has no graphics editor; he keeps swearing at it -- and finds this! I tell him no. I don't WANT this graphic on my blog! But does he listen? Does he give a shit what I want?

about me: polly wanna cracker
I Roll Hoovers for Fun & Profit
about you: the reader
You Worthless Motherfucker
about the links: go away
Plato Shrimp
Jeneane Sessum
Doc Searls
Gary Turner
Wealth Bondage
Matt Rolls a Hoover
Bastard Zen
Makes Me Angry
Something Awful
Smirking Chimp

12:54 PM | link |

Tuesday, May 13, 2003
Battered Women

I had meant to blog about this at some length today, but unfortunately, I lost the recipe. Trust me though, they're delicious. If your grocer carries a decent selection, choose one with ample breasts, as those are the most scrumptious bits. Invite the neighbors over for your next "Barbie-Q" and you'll be The Talk of the Town in no time. A medium-sized woman serves approximately 16.

On another front, I cut my Effexor dosage in half as of yesterday (down from 75 mg. per day to 37.5). I haven't noticed any particularly alarming changes beyond the usual and expected "sensorium on springs" effect. So far so good. Wish me luck...

9:54 AM | link |

Friday, May 09, 2003
Honk If You're Borderline

The headline above has nothing to do with what follows. Or else everything. My truth, your truth, eye of the beholder sort of thing. Lately I keep thinking up bumper stickers appropriate to this medieval town I live in. Boulder, Colorado, redeemed only by its mountains and an aching absence, which, if I think about it (and I do, as you know), I brought here with me before I knew you existed. Any of you. Whether I have since learned that you do is the inchoate object of my ongoing meditations, if invisible often even to myself, then how much more so to you? Within the code a deeper code. "Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, Sans-serif" -- what you cannot see shapes the modality of what you do. And who doesn't love a good pun now and then?

I fell asleep last night, as usual these days, behind a combination of coffee, Tylenol PM, and Ativan. I'm trying to kick the meds and it's a bitch, so I'm taking it slow. It seems to be working so far. But then again, how would you know? How would I? I often ask myself what I mean by "working." Is such reflection a sign of returning health, vitality? Or merely reflex? A self-conscious knee-jerk reaction to what we term, for lack of better, existence? I've found that a sense of humor helps in these considerations. Thus the title slug.

Anyway, which I just learned this morning is a significant transitional marker in speech act theory -- I mean the word "anyway" -- I fell asleep watching Bringing Out the Dead after reading Baudrillard's latest on impossible exchange. Jesus Christ. If you said I deserve whatever I've been getting, and richly, for engaging in this sort of behavior, you wouldn't be far off the mark. The mark, the john. Endless web of interdependent co-signifiers. You aim too, please. See what I mean about a sense of humor? Though of course any sense that this might be shared outside the confines of one's own skull -- thus my recent preoccupation with solipsism and autism, the latter an exciting "find" -- presupposes, in this case, that one a) is a man, b) thus urinates in an upright posture, c) at least on occasion undertook this activity in the toilet stalls of redneck bars while hugely intoxicated, and d) could read.

Stand... by... your... man!

Color="#CC0000" -- O Tammy, 'm so glad someone understands. 'Nother scotch over here, bartend! (hock! spit!) 'N whaddya you do, darlin? More'n dance I hope.

Anyway... yes. So those were the approximate circumstances in which I fell last night into a more or less unnatural state of unconsciousness. (How many negatives make a positive, again?) I mean, unconscious in the usual sense. (Try to keep up here, OK?) And I woke dreaming about "discourse networks," which, in the language of the dream equated to a "common" psychological concept with which I had not heretofore associated it: _____. The problem, I found upon waking, was that "_____" is not a word in any language I'm familiar with. This in itself is unremarkable. I remember once waking from a dream laughing. Deep wracking belly laughs too, not just some thin chuckle. Jokes work by twisting our expectations of what's coming next -- our general sense that language is "working." A good joke, like a good sneeze, always takes us by surprise and clears the cognitive sinuses. Orgasm will be covered in a separate section.

The only problem was: I didn't know what I was laughing at.

The previous sentence and its positioning, while arrived at ad hoc and without premeditation, are perhaps not unindicative of the various processes here under consideration. To these necessarily indeterminate psychic dynamics, taken collectively, I have assigned the phrase Synchronicity City.

So I woke up in Synchronicity City, one of the properties of which is that one doesn't always know right away that one has entered it. This was my situation on waking today.

Many years ago, I bought a book called Discourse Networks: 1800 / 1900, and in my dream I knew this, though not quite what to make of it, as I'd never read the book. Or, really, any part of it except the back cover, which was supremely unenlightening as to the contents. Still, I bought it because a) "discourse" has long been a sort of spookily numinous term for me (I sneaked a bunch of references to it into The Cluetrain Manifesto as you may or may not recall; probably, I'm guessing, not), and b) I am a book junkie. I suspect books contain explanations of, or at least some measure of insight into, everything I do not know. Yet. Being fundamentally a pathological optimist, I buy them assuming I will eventually somehow infer what they contain if I keep them in close proximity to my person (a convenient shelf, though a teetering stack, will do) and -- this is the important part -- pay close attention. I've found this method to have cut down considerably on my reading time.

To convey the sense of having entered Synchronicity City, which dawned on me slowly, in stages of wonderment, I have to tell you first about a couple other books (70 or so, in fact, but to keep it short I'll mention just a few) that I've been actually reading. Having in the last several months conceived a deep interest in PTSD -- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for those of you who never made it to Viet Nam, been in a near-fatal car crash, or dated Anomalie Aesculapius -- I kept seeing references to this thing by Leonard Shengold, M.D. titled Soul Murder: The Effects of Childhood Abuse and Deprivation. It finally arrived from Amazon last week and I started reading it. I was interrupted, however (though this is the rule, not the exception), by a side-interest I developed in the debate over Freud's abandonment of the seduction theory in 1897. Alice Miller comes into it, but only as what she ultimately is: a bit player. Not, I should hasten to say, because she is a woman, but because she is a narcissist and a blabbermouth.

Have you noticed that, as we get closer to the summer solstice, the paragraphs grow longer?

This seductive side-interest, which, it slowly became clear was really crucially central to PTSD as it is and (more critically) is not conflated with diagnoses of BPD -- Borderline Personality Disorder (honk-honk!) -- either led me to, or was precipitated by my reading of Janet Malcolm's In the Freud Archives, for which I had temporarily (it's always temporary; see pathological optimism, supra) given off reading the Shengold book. But things started getting weird, when, at the end of the first section, Janet Malcolm starts talking about Shengold and his book. This is not all that odd, as both hover around a congruent complex (one could say) of related subject matter. In this case, whether Daddy actually fucked Lulu, or Lulu just (mostly perhaps) imagined it. I'm voting for pretty much outright fucked, though with demurely diaphanous scrims interposed between dream/recall and the memory screen. For the sake of modesty. Of course. Never cowardice or carefully self-disguised subterfuge to offload unbearable shame onto someone else. Sins of the father, deep fathom five. And only I am left to tell the tale: thy father lies. With you.

Virtually Sophoclean when you get, as Jagger says, down in it.

I wrote a song once, long time ago, that went in part...

You can read it in the morning papers,
You can see it in the morning sky,
You can feel it in the voltage-drop in the power lines
as my baby passes by...

And these visions. Of Johanna. Are now all. That re. Main...

Blonde on Blonde on the radio yesterday on the way to buy the Baudrillard. And Heroin Girl by Everclear, and Kill You and Stan by Eminem (and Dido), back where it all started to unravel. So there was all that too. There is always all that.

But then Malcolm recounts something I'd already gleaned from an Amazon reader-review of Soul Murder: that there's another, earlier, book of the same name by one Morton Schatzman, which describes the case of some judge named Schreber, whose father subjected him to various inhuman physical tortures, which the son later, in his total fucking madness, refers to as "miracles."

You may recall (if you have kept up) that I woke wondering about the common analog -- "_____" -- for "discourse networks" in human psychology, especially with respect to women. As in: "The quickest way to man's heart is through his _____," even though we all know the common instantiation for that one. I had no clue how to fill in my "_____" blank of this morning, however. So I fished out the Discourse Networks book, and opening it randomly, as I am wont to do, read the first bit of this book I have ever read on page 232: "According to Ellen Key, The Century of the Child brought an end to 'soul murder' in school." The paragraph is followed by an image, one of the very few in the book, of an angel writing on a phonograph disk with a quill pen. Although the author doesn't mention it, this is the logo of Angel Records, which I downloaded three or four months back to illustrate the oft-stated premise of this blog (and proximate cause of my continued respiration), to wit: that in Synchronicity City there is only one angel.

Her face may change, her eyes, her moon, her ocean. For she is ever and only whoever she likes, and whomever she likes, she is also free to love.

1:13 PM | link |

Wednesday, May 07, 2003
For Doc (and why not?)
Sorry. Didn't mean to scare you with that last one. The cat sat on the mat. There, is that better? I thought so. Good. I was merely trying to point out the dangers (I guess I forgot to say) of inflation. It's (oooh!) a Jungian term. As in: "They're American planes. Smoking or non-smoking?" O Superman. O Mom. O Laurie it's you that I've loved all along. Ever since I saw you standing on the edge of that diving board out over the bewildered audience in Tokyo that night, blind with half ping-pong balls over your eyes, playing your electric tape-loop violin. Big Science. O Baby, if they only knew.

To get just a tad more specific, here's what the Oxford Dictionary of Psychology has to say about it:

inflation of consciousness n. In analytical psychology, the expansion of a person's consciousness beyond its normal limits, arising through identification with an archetype, the persona, or, in certain mental disorders, a famous person [such as, e.g., RageBoy], resulting in an exaggerated sense of importance that is generally compensated for by feelings of inferiority. Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) described how it arises when the archetypal content "seizes hold of the psyche with a kind of primeval force and compels it to transgress the bounds of humanity. The consequence is a puffed-up attitude, loss of free will, delusion, and enthusiasm for good and evil alike." (Collected Works, 12, paragraph 563).
OK, cool. I'm down with that. Just two questions: 1) "normal limits"? Says who? and 2) "inferiority" relative to what? Jung could be so maddeningly unscientific. Which is why he's become the patron saint of the New Age. If he knew, I ask myself, would he be rolling in his grave? Or adjusting his halo? Perhaps I should channel him to find out for sure...

"So Carl, about the mysterium coniunctionis bit. You made that up, right?"

"Ja, dots korrect. Hah-hah! I vas chust kidding aroundt!"

Oh fuck, I don't know. I suppose my little outburst came from watching Red Dragon back to back with A Beautiful Mind -- you know the scene where Nash's old lady throws open the door to that garage festooned with newspaper and magazine clippings, their hidden meanings and messages all hyperlinked? I felt like somebody finally understood me! And while I'm at it, why did they have to go and lock up Hannibal? Everyone knows that there's just no accounting for taste. Unless you count Arthur Andersen. And various other (fava) bean counters. Imagine me here doing that pschopathically intimate sucking-chittering mouth-noise Anthony Hopkins makes recalling dinner and a good Chianti.

Scott Fitzgerald said genius is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in the mind and not flip out. Something like that (this was just before he flipped out). Shit, two? That's nothing. What about 4, 8, 16, 32, 64? Hike! What we're talking about here, of course, is computational (heh-heh) linguistics. Or not so conversely, combinatorial explosion. Mirror stage, memory theater, endless intertext. Lacan and Kristeva, Giordano Bruno, John Dee, Umberto Eco, Tim Berners-Lee... Ka-boom!

As in: Ah-choo!

And you say: Gesundheit!

(Which in German means something like "to your health." I'll drink to that.)

As in: Dominus vobiscum.

And you say: Et cum spiritu tuo.

As in: You say tomato.

And I say: Let's call the whole thing off.

But whatever it is we're involved in, it's apparently inescapable. God knows I've tried.

Am I right, Dude?So far this has had nothing to do with Doc, except inasmuch as it implicates us all. So let me conclude by saying that Doc has the mind of a huckster punctuated by the awed innocence of a little child. He has a certain rare capacity for wonder. And that has to make you wonder, doesn't it? It does me. And he's got this great laugh that says he gets it, gets himself and all the rest of it at the same time. Which is something. So Doc, I just wanted to say thanks for that last message you left from Halley's cell while you and she and J.P. were walking down whatever street that was in New York City, J.P. waiting for me to say something back and Halley in the background going "It's an answering machine, J.P., this new technology you might have heard about?" I can't remember exactly what you said. Or even approximately. I'm not sure what to make of it myself.

Uh... let's have that again? To make of it myself. Yes, of course. Wonderful, wonderful...

By the way, a guy just came and replaced my windshield. One call yesterday, today the guy shows up. Just like that, no hassle. Only cost me a hundred bucks. But I was wondering after he left, what if it wasn't really broken. What if he said, wait a minute, there's nothing wrong with this windshield! Then what if I said, yes there is. See that big crack running through it? Christ, must be four feet long! But he doesn't see it. Because it isn't there. I insist though, and even though he knows I'm off my rocker, what does he do? He replaces a perfectly good windshield, and State Farms foots the bill for my delusion.

It didn't happen that way, but if you think about it, it could have. If you think about it, anything could. So I tell myself that, even without a definite purpose in life or a clear sense of direction, things just keep on taking place. And I wonder. I ask myself: is this what they mean by "moving on"? Hell, it must mean something. Am I right, Dude? I mean, am I right?

12:23 PM | link |

One Day at a Time
I stopped drinking 19 years ago this week after a profound experience in Tokyo one night in which I recognized and welcomed the first of my alters. Nineteen years, the last the hardest, in which I went down, the deeper the darker, to bring you all back. Black ronin boddhisattva, vampire of compassion, to fuck you in your deepest wound, indulge my prurient interest in your pain. Ovum and sperm, who asked you? Let's talk about boundary violations, then. Grandiosity without persona the discovery of true magnificence: your eyes my mirror, mind my ornament. No separation, no difference, nobody home. So yeah, it's been a long weird trip, but you ain't seen nothin yet. We're gathering the tribes, all of us, every piece, every part. We're all about mental health these days. You bet. And we know where you live.

8:52 AM | link |

get your badge here.

"RageBoy: Giving being fucking nuts a good name since 1985."
~D. Weinberger
28 October 2004

Chris Locke's photos More of Chris Locke's photos

Until a minute ago, I had no photos. I still have no photos to speak of. I don't even have a camera. But all these people were linking to "my photos." It was embarassing. It's still embarassing. But I'm used to that.

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