elizabeth lane lawley
michael "OC" clarke
e v h e a d
sweet fancy moses
wood s lot
m. melting object
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.
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 |
"RageBoy: Giving being fucking nuts a good name since 1985."
28 October 2004
||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.
what I'm listening to...
egr on topica
on yahoo groups
terms of service
It is too late.