elizabeth lane lawley
michael "OC" clarke
e v h e a d
sweet fancy moses
wood s lot
m. melting object
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
Back in '64, right after I (barely) finished high school, there was a lot of hash in town. Town at that time being Rochester, NY. Dan Sadowski and I were over at this other guy's place who had the hash (he later got busted for armed robbery for breaking into a pharmacy). We were smoking the stuff off a bent-straight safety pin. Stick a little chunk on the end of the pin, light it, pass it around, hold it in, hold it in, then whooooooooosh. Oh man! Fuck! Some good shit alright. And the guy had a couple of ounces, we knew. Maybe a fuckin key. He could afford to get us higher than this! So we're like "Fill the pin, man. Fill the pin!" After a couple of rounds of this, I'm getting the full gestalt of Phil the Pin. He's a natty dresser, a made guy. Dangerous fuckin hair-trigger stoner, but he always has, he's always holding. You don't want to fuck with Phil. You know? You want to be on his good side. So he'll maybe give you a taste. And if you managed to wheedle some bread off that hot chick from Brighton, maybe even cop a dime.
Phil the Pin. We we're choking on our own ripped-high hilarity. "Phil the Pin, man! Phil the Pin!" And oh, ah jesus, make it stop, wiping away the tears...
In other words, the good old days of our youthful fleeting innocence. Who knew that soon enough, we'd be facing our True Selves through the unforgiving lens of pop psychology. Who knew that Phil the Pin was a real guy, and that while we'd been getting wasted on street drugs, he'd been getting... that's right: a Ph.D.!
So now he was Doctor Phil the Pin, but to those who saw him on Oprah (hail Eris!), he was just that simple-down-home-tell-it-like-it-is Dr. Phil.
Last night I finally managed to overcome my gag reflex and open his fucking book, Self Mutters. And as I suspected all along, there's some good shit in this thing. Some real rich shit that bears deep ponderin', pardner. Dr. Phil, though he would be far too modest to say, belongs to the Southern Yee-Hah School of Psychotherapy. And this shit works, you best believe it. Dr. Phil takes it step by step so even the StupidPerson can understand it. This is crucial to the purposes of the book, as StupidPeople slurped it right up to the #1 slot on the New York Times best seller list. It makes me wonder, if, as the song says, "God shed His grace on thee," whether God is also a StupidPerson. Or, if you go in for the Catholic version, three StupidPersons in One. This shit gets way deep, man.
But let me not digress further, as I hear many of you out there in BlogLand shouting "Phil the Pin! Phil the Pin!"
OK then, let's get started.
On page 52, Dr. Phil presents a simple test you can use to determine who your Real Self really is compared with your Bad Self -- the implication being that getting down with your Bad Self is... well, a Bad Idea. So he gives you a long list of personal qualities and says:
1. Circle all the words that you think describe the ideal person you want to be, the person you believe is the full potential of who you are and will ever be:
OK? Got your #2 Ticonderoga pencil all sharpened up and ready? Here's the whole fucking list:
pretty attractive beautiful cute nice-looking appealing cool sweet spiritual wise nice friendly faithful leader strong supportive moral ethical principled good honest decent warm loving tender warmhearted demonstrable [sic] caring kind affectionate cordial hospitable welcoming amiable cheerful passionate fiery enthusiastic zealous arrogant egocentric altruistic sympathetic humane selfless philanthropic smart dependent free gentle thoughtful domineering submissive autonomous creative compassionate self-sufficient private liberated conventional objective elegant clever stylish intelligent quick charming tidy neat thoughtful attentive careful watchful alert reliable inspired inventive resourceful ingenious productive exciting energetic lively vigorous bouncy active joyful blissful pleased ecstatic cheery sane rational sensible reasonable normal complete capable genuine inspiring proud approachable peaceful honest giving nurturing accomplished whole perfect undivided achiever great confident compassionate content humble unassuming happy satisfied comfortable at ease relaxed able knowledgeable skilled proficient expert adept rich wealthy affluent prosperous full gorgeous valuable abundant fruitful powerful deep productive prolific understanding dynamic useful helpful constructive beneficial positive functional worthwhile
Now before we move on to the test proper, a few observations are in order about the list itself. First off, "demonstrable"? Surely he meant to write "demonstrative." But why quibble over mere semantics? I'm sure he knows that we know what he meant to say.
Also, as Dr. Phil seems to have studied behavioral psychology (there are glaring hints of this in the book), which was roundly debunked about 40 years ago, he is probably unaware that his list constitutes a fine example of what the psychoanalytic tradition calls free association. It thus tells us a lot about Dr. Phil's own anxieties and insecurities. For instance, "thoughtful" is repeated immediately preceding "attentive," "careful," and "watchful" -- qualities clearly not "demonstrable" in this list. For instance, he duplicates three other words: compassionate, honest, and productive. This unconscious intensification of focus indicates that these are the specific issues Dr. Phil knows he needs to work on, but he apparently cannot admit this to himself or his readers. The repetition signals a tacit admission of guilt in these areas, as well as a self-secret confession.
But moving on...
2. Now circle the words below that describe how you actually are at present.
This is followed by the identical list given in #1. Now it's obvious that there's a trick to this. I mean, who wouldn't want to be "charming," "tidy," and "neat"?
Plus, some of these terms no one in their right mind would pick. So natch, those are the ones I picked. It says to be Completely Honest. Here's my list.
Now follow closely here, because this is important. I chose those words from the first list, then, without showing him my selections, asked RageBoy to pick from the second list. Why Dr. Phil the Pin, Ph.D., needed to print two identical lists on facing pages makes little sense unless he was just trying to pad out the chapter (Phil the Page?) But nevermind that. The point here is that RageBoy picked the exact same words I did! Even "bouncy," which sort of surprised me.
Even more surprising, as a result of our "Potential Score" exactly matching our "Actual Score," our "Congruency Score" was 100. Imagine that. Then we did the math. Yes, there's math, but there's also a table for StupidPersons who never got to long division on accounta Pappy needed help with the hogfarm.
As it turns out, we topped the charts with these picks of ours, ranking in the 90-100 percentile range (actually 100% bang on the nose). So here's our Official Dr. Phil the Pinhead Horoscope (p. 55):
Interpretation: If your score is 90 to 100 percent, you are operating in your full potential range most of the time, finding happiness and joy from within. You are fulfilling your mission as you see it and very likely have good mental health.
You read it here first , folks. Dr. Phil gives me and RageBoy a clean bill of health and indicates in no uncertain terms that we're pret-ty god-dam well integrated. So fuck you!
And remember: bouncy, bouncy, bouncy!
3:28 PM | link |
There Is No Way Things Are
2:15 AM | link |
Sunday, July 27, 2003
for Halley Suitt. click grafik for instant analysis...
4:39 AM | link |
12:03 AM | link |
Saturday, July 26, 2003
mad as hell / not going to take it anymore!
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United Blogs of Earth, in General Converse, Virtually Assembled, appealing to the Sense of Humor of the world for the Attitude of our inventions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of this Network, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Blogs are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent Entities; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the Brutish Clown, and that all psychological connection between them and the State of Reality, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent Blogs, they have full Power to levy WiFi, include Graphics, connect Appliances, incite Mayhem, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent Blogs may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the reflection of malign Utterance, we mutually pledge to each other our Words, our Posts and our sacred Hyperlinks.
12:21 PM | link |
Friday, July 25, 2003
RB Takes Nobel Gold for U.S. Blogging Team
Mandarin Design has obtained a pre-release issue of Time magazine, which breaks the incredible story of how a small-town sociopath bootstrapped himself out of poverty and opprobrium to win a sizable chunk of the fortune bequeathed to the ne'er-do-well heirs of the man who invented dynamite. Explosive revelations! Don't miss it.
3:31 PM | link |
"The Avuncular Chris Locke"
Well, it was a long time coming, but I finally agreed to be interviewed by Frank Paynter, if only to quiet his constant nagging! Jesus. The results, literally years in the making, just came online here. Why Frank supposes I am avuncular, is beyond me. The only person I know who thinks of me that way is Jenna, who calls me Uncle Rage. But no matter. Check it out. At long last...
2:00 AM | link |
No Love Lost
This is the outline of the book I'm working on. It's rough still. It will change. But this gives you a general idea where I'm headed...
1:34 AM | link |
Thursday, July 24, 2003
You meet the most remarkable people here, wherever "here" is. The number above is the name of her blog. A telephone number? A Swiss bank account? Whatever the case may be, do have a look. Searching around for more background on Leslie, I found an article from a French magazine, which includes a much scarier picture than the one below. As I can't read French, I passed it off to a translation engine, except I think I must have checked Martian as the target language. One thing I was able to determine from this, however, is that she was once personal assistant to William Burroughs. The article mentioned many more amazing details of her life, but these are only discernable by reading between the lines, and in some cases, between the words and letters of the words. I've tried to clean it up, but despite my best efforts it remains obscure, as you can see below. The album cover links to Amazon, but Leslie tells me that if enough people express an interest, the tracks might just appear on her site in another form. The Amazon France page offers samples. I am quite confident that the direction we're heading in is going to lead to exactly the outcome that we all want to see. A strange virus...
in the company of time the skin yields under the backstage
beautiful at first glance medical chaos difficult for this
world concessions overcome side of the devil so vigilant
and catwalks resound the medium reassuring naked ice this
moment the hand of insolence sharpened as books on the
blows of the cars walk in wood live this paleness you
negotiate and they will be your paradise there to look upon
the precision of releasing you from terror cross the place
of junkies like a hired absurdity with splendid and
conscious thundering laughter the insane phantoms returned
the woman in time to blood in a similar mouth engenders
wavering heart you are the harmony of children five
forgotten poets wonder and decency wild with the macabre
11:38 AM | link |
Monday, July 21, 2003
Things Are So Seldom What They Seem
8:23 PM | link |
A Nice Companion for Your Vagina Monologue
1:45 AM | link |
Sunday, July 20, 2003
Need I Say More?
10:55 PM | link |
The Return of Plato Shrimp
Thanks to some fast footwork by Ev (or was it Evan?) Plato is back online! Ann Craig gives us an update on how she's doing, along with some very strange medical testing she's being subjected to. No wonder people are turning away from Western Medicine in droves!
Ann (a.k.a. Plato) is seen at the right gazing appreciatively at Ev for making it possible for her to blog again. This is all pretty confusing, I know. But then, what isn't in these days of shameless postmodern pastiche? It reminds me of one of my favorite blues that goes...
if the river was whiskey
Ah yes, those were the days. Sadly, I did have to come up. Just couldn't hold my breath for more than 20 years. And that was 20 years ago. But what has this got to do with Plato? Nothing, really. I'm just working on my typing skills over here. Free dissociating, as Jeneane likes to say. Speaking of whom, I just remembered that she asked me to tell you that she loves you, Annie. So see, it all comes back around, it all comes together in ways we could never have imagined. And the whole of our lives is always more than the sum of our partings. You can quote me.
and I was a divin' duck
yeah if the river was whiskey
and I was a divin' duck
you know I'd dive down to the bottom
mama and I'd never come up.
So, Plato, let us reason together...
Or not. It is all one. Which somehow led me to search google for another appropriate grafik for this post. Here's what I found. Two things, actually...
Repo Barbie |
Comes with Malibu Dream Car, aliens in trunk,
plate-o-shrimp, and Christmas tree air freshener.
Have your worst enemies look in the trunk.
And she is intense. Repo Barbie is always intense.
But she never goes running to the man.
Repo Barbie goes it alone.
1:29 PM | link |
Saturday, July 19, 2003
from Library Journal...
"Self-actualization guru Dyer has a talent for appropriating age-old spiritual concepts and marketing them with buzzwords like "spiritual manifestation." Here he outlines nine principles for manifesting spiritual destiny, which appears to be synonymous with getting everything we want. According to Dyer, if we can just get out of our ego's reach, the power of the universe would act in us to bring us everything we truly desire. By putting worthy spiritual ideals to the service of personal power, Dyer subverts the meaning of unconditional love, seeing it as the means to an end rather than a worthy end in itself."
"Best-selling author Dyer says this title is different from any other he's written, but his 1992 book, Real Magic, was also about 'using your invisible self to influence physical reality.' Here, the message is muddled. On one hand, he tells readers that inner peace should be their greatest goal, but, on the other hand, he offers techniques designed to attain more worldly objectives, like a new job. There's lots about meditating and chanting, and he supplies distillations from A Course in Miracles, but ultimately, the volume veers close to the low end of New Age gobbledygook."
Emphasis mine. You can laugh at this silly shit I've been posting about the self-styled (emphasis on the self) New Age, but while bloggers, journalists, and academic theorists ponder the state of the world and the nature of some abstract "reality," it's assholes like Wayne Dyer, Scott Peck, Nathaniel Branden, and Marianne Williamson (note yet another reference above to A Course in Miracles; they're everywhere in this stuff) who are redefining our culture, notions of identity, and relationship to each other. Letting this "literature" pass as being beneath our too-sophisticated-to-care consideration is tantamount to giving these pernicious "ideas" free reign to work their black bricolage unopposed. Caveat emptor, motherfuckers.
4:58 PM | link |
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
Damn, He's Good!
| The man is a sexual machine!
RageBoy's as good in bed as he claims!
- Who would have guessed?
- Why haven't I heard about him before?
- Color me another satisfied EGR subscriber!
This post dedicated to Shelley Powers, who taught me everything I know. -RB
8:27 PM | link |
New Age Nookie!
No, this isn't something I picked up at the "Adult" video store. It's a featured offering of the One Spirit book club (as you can see here). One Spirit is QPB's marketing vector into the bored affluent New Age demographic. It seems that, after endless reading about The Light, The Way, The Truth, and all that Gnostic, transpersonal tommyrot, many New Agers are horny as fuck!
Interestingly, the cover displayed on Amazon is much toned down from the one shown here (hell, at least they airbrushed out the guy's hardon -- that's an esoteric sub-particle immanent in the seventh chakra, for those of you unfamiliar with advanced metaphysics). The questions all this raises in my mind are: was there hue and cry over the more explicit cover?; were the sensitivities of the spiritualists deeply offended?; how did she get up there like that?; will Tom Terrific save the maiden? Stay tuned for the answers, right after this important message...
3:16 PM | link |
RB & Locke Have Terrible Fight
Yeah, it was pretty bad. Without going into details, I was working late in the Tactical Nuke Lab last month, when, unbeknownst to me, RageBoy once again slipped his restraints in the adjoining dungeon complex and sneaked up behind me just as I was making some very delicate adjustments to a 30 meg warhead. He nearly caused the evaporation of entire US Mountain region timezone.
I was so pissed I called off the wedding, which was then only days away. RB was disconsolate (naturally) and begged me not to reject him for "just shitting around," as he put it. I told him I'd have to think about it, and repaired to EGR HQ in the Yucatan Peninsula for deep meditation, rolfing and extensive Lomi bodywork. Finally, I realized that I'd let my ego get in the way of our Relationship, and that if I was ever to Get My Needs Met, RageBoy was The One to meet them.
So, the wedding is back on, but now set for the WINTER solstice. Therefore, I've added a wedding registry graphic to the blog template (it's over there at the upper right) so you can give us more stuff. So far, we only got two things: Nude Tai Chi, and Punk As Fuck. Someone ordered us the Nude Yoga video, but it never arrived. We could really use some plates and stuff to eat off, as the concrete floors in the lab are a little iffy even after we decommissioned the Anthrax incubator project. So we hope you'll be generous and send us some bowls or flatware or something useful this time.
1:45 PM | link |
Monday, July 14, 2003
Sounds Like She Already Does Know Me
> From: Enrichetta Mounsey [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Monday, July 14, 2003 7:23 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: It�s like I already know you
> PEF-RX will take your sex life to new levels... Guaranteed!
> Your penis will grow up to 3 inches [check]
> Your erections will be rock hard [check]
> Your sex drive will be supercharged [check]
> Your orgasms will be more intense [check]
> Your partner will be astounded [check]
So why do I need this PEF-RX shit, then? I must be missing something here.
8:52 PM | link |
Sunday, July 13, 2003
With A Little Help From Her Friends
Ann Craig found out this past week that she has skin cancer -- more specifically, melanoma, which is no lightweight in the cancer lineup. She's already had one operation to remove the most obvious tissue (from her leg), and is going into surgery again tomorrow morning (9:45 Pacific) so they can remove more, hopefully get it all. They didn't operate more radically the first time because they didn't yet have the biopsy. When the doctors got it, and gave Ann the news, they told her they wanted a second go at her.
In spite of what is obviously a scary prospect, Ann's spirit is indomitable. She is no less a serious-and-funny motherfucker in facing this than she was before the surprises of this past week. This recent photo oh her -- on a Russian submarine! don't even ask -- says more than I could hope to about her courage, spunk, humor, and all-around wonderful open-sky heart.
Please join me in pulling for her. Whatever you do in the face of death, please do now for her. It will make a difference. Ann gave me her permission to post this. She thanks you for the all the love and kindness in your hearts.
Oh yeah, and she said she'd really appreciate getting mail, as she's going to be laid up (and blissed out on the finest pain meds; lucky stiff) for the next few days. You can write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
...uh, I guess I shouldn't have said "lucky stiff," huh? But fuck it. If we can't laugh at what we most fear, what does our laughter count for in the final analysis? This is no joke, of course, but then, so little of this precious life is. I hope you will pray for Ann, burn incense, sacrifice the neighbor's cat... as I said, whatever it is you do at times like this. I have personally seen pure concentrated freak power save a life, and there are enough freaks who will see this -- please make sure it travels -- to do it again. As Allen Ginsberg once said in a slightly different context, "I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel." Please add yours and -- whether they know Ann or not; what difference does it make? -- ask your pals to do the same.
best to all,
8:52 PM | link |
Great Titles We Have Seen
This one's for you, George
in gratitude for your great Betsy Ross comment.
5:55 AM | link |
Headbone Disconnected From De Brain...bone
The "valorization of narcissism" (a phrase used by Philip Cushman in his excellent book, Constructing the Self, Constructing America: A Cultural History of Psychotherapy) proceeds apace with this latest (and not-so-excellent) entry in the mushrooming genre. By a Jungian analyst, no less. Oh wow. Are there many such left who have not already succumbed to the call of the Wool-Gathering Shaman and the Red-Breasted Nutcase?
me me me me me
me me me me me
me me me me me
me me me me me
me me me me me
me me me me me
me me me me me
me me me me me
me me me me me
me me me me me
me me me me me
Here's a quote:
"Becoming a person of psychological and spiritual substance is a result of the committed pursuit of self-knowledge. This quest marks the timeworn path outlined by many of the great philosophers and religious figures of the past and present. In ancient Greece the philosopher Socrates enjoined us to know ourselves. One of the meanings of the word Buddha is 'to awaken,' to awaken our search for consciousness. In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus informs us 'whoever has not known himself knows nothing, but he who has known himself has already understood the depths of all things.'"
Now look, Socrates enjoined us to do lots of things, one of which was to kill all the poets. As everyone knows, he was a corrupter of youth. If you ask me, the Hemlock was too good for him. Did they have lions in Greece too, or was that just Rome? Anyway, fuck Socrates. As to the Buddha, what does being awake (bodhi in Sanskrit) have to do with selfishness? I'll tell you what. Absolutely nothing. I'm on less firm ground with Thomas (except for the English muffins), but I'm going to hazard a wild guess that Jesus wasn't counseling selfishness either. Jesus! So why CALL it selfishness?
Was it maybe to pander to the burgeoning ranks of New Age NARCISSISTS out there??? Gosh, would an actual JUNGIAN ANALYST stoop that low just to get his picture in
New Age Retailer magazine (I shit you not) -- which does in fact run a plug for Sacred Selfishness this month. Way to go Bud!
I know that this is not very generous of me, and not very nice, but so the fuck what?
Perhaps it will put this world shaking non-event into better context to note that the same publisher (Inner Ocean, based on Maui; are you thinking what I'm thinking?) also publishes...
Here's Jean after a few potent tokes of Maui weed:
"Dogs are the friends of my soul; I fall into their eyes and know utter contentment. I have found that a great many of my ideas and knowings have been accompanied by the presence and, often, the inspiration of dogs. Dogs have given me steady emotional [sic] and often in circumstances that my fellow humans have regarded as fraught with ambiguity."
Fraught with ambiguity, yeah, I'll say. Does this really need further comment? Except maybe that Jean & Bud should go back to surfing their inner ocean until they can think up something a little less stupid. Of course, the fact that they are stupid, will no doubt assure these titles a long run on American bestseller charts. After all, The Road Less Traveled was on the NY Times list for 10 years. And look how dumb that was.
PS: I just noticed on Bud's site (is it OK if I call you Bud, Bud?) that he is also the author of Like Gold Through Fire: Understanding the Transforming Power of Suffering -- which I will henceforrth refer to as Like Shit Through A Goose: Understanding the Transgressive Nature of Claptrap. Here's a clip:
"Once we discover our ability to discriminate between neurotic suffering, developmental suffering, natural suffering, and transcendent suffering, we weill [sic] become open to joy and fulfillment."
First off, is that "weill" an actual Freudian slip on a Jungian website? By gum, I think it is! Especially seeing as this guy's racked up some pretty impressive sales figures...
Second off, maybe it's just me, but I'm thinking that anyone who could sort out all those different kinds of suffering, wouldn't really be what I would call, you know, suffering. To me, suffering is when you're curled up in a fetal ball on the kitchen floor rocking back and forth, clutching your stomach and moaning, hoping it will stop soon, but knowing it never will. I dunno, though. Maybe what I've experienced isn't REAL suffering, just another low-grade down-home anti-intellectual panic attack. Like what I get when I think I'm going to have to read one more of these FUCKING NEW AGE SPIRIT GUIDES!!!. For these, I find that medication beats meditation, hands down.
Speaking of which...
4:22 AM | link |
It's 11 o'clock.
Do you know where your drugs are?
2:34 AM | link |
Friday, July 11, 2003
Fishrush Is Crazy
From: Fishrush [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2003 11:57 PM
Subject: Size Does Matter: TRUE, ME OH MY BUT HOW...
Size does Matter
The superstring-related physics phrase "size does matter"
is just like the phrase found in the old classic movie title
"Debbie Does Dallas." SuperString Theory tells us that "All
Energy/Mass/Matter is made from the same 'stuff' and
SuperString Theory is an attempt to analyze deeply all the
reactions and interactions of Energy/Mass/Matter within the
context of this standard type of substance. The Strings in
this Theory, which make up all Energy/Mass/Matter, are
loops of pure substance, and the Fundamental Particles we
are aware of are examples of different vibrations of these
loops. One important feature of SuperString Theory is that
it reveals that SpaceTime is inextricably involved in the
interactions of Energy/Mass/Matter."
Once we grasp physics lingo, i.e., the use of words like
"deep reactions" and "vibrating loops," it becomes easy for
us to understand the transformative process used by the
academic community to remake the phrase "Mass Energy
Matter" into the now commonly accepted shibboleth, "Size
The underlying math is a little more difficult, but I'll
attempt to provide an understandable example:
If we consider the variables and functions:
Matter = Matter, and
Does = Energy, and
Mass = Size
when we solve for the variable "Debbie," we get,
Size Does Matter
Hope you find this explanation helpful.
4:15 AM | link |
For Whom the Bell Tolle
Of Eckhart Tolle's latest spew, one Amazon reader-reviewer writes: "I sensed I was in trouble with this book when I read an endorsement from Deepak Chopra, the Martha Stewart of enlightenment." For lots more fun, try reading some of the one-star reviews. I find they're often the most amusing (and often the smartest) when the subject matter is this stupid.
2:46 AM | link |
This Instead of M. Scott Peckerwood *
Library Journal says: "The connections he draws between the current state of exorcism and the therapeutic zeitgeist in American culture are compelling." Booklist says: "Written at an ironic distance that permits laughter at some of the more absurd exorcisms (e.g., a man exorcised because he sometimes disagrees with his girlfriend), the book reads like a novel..."
Publishers Weekly writes: "Cuneo, an intrepid sociologist based at Fordham University, explores the bizarre subculture of renegade priests, rough-and-tumble preachers, shady psychiatrists and tormented souls.... The rise of a new therapeutic ethos... has something to do with it. Aimed at curing addiction, compulsion and other psychological problems, exorcism has become "a recovery program with a supernatural twist." Lucidly written and riveting as any horror novel, Cuneo's excursion into the darker paths of American faith offers a deeply disturbing, ironic vision of what he sees as the unintended consequences of popular culture for the modern religious imagination."
from the book description...
"Oprah, Diane Sawyer, and Barbara Walters have featured exorcists on their shows. The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Time, and other publications have charted the proliferation of exorcisms across the United States.... Cuneo dissects... the arguments of such well-known exorcism advocates as Malachi Martin, author of the controversial Hostage to the Devil, self-help guru M. Scott Peck, and self-professed demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren of Amityville Horror fame. As he explores this netherworld of American life, Cuneo reflects on the meaning of exorcism in the twenty-first century and on the relationship between religious ritual and popular culture."
[emphasis added. duh.]
2:10 AM | link |
At the end of yesterday's session with my analyst (think of the Herculean job he's taken on!), I mentioned that my first New Age book club order had arrived, including: Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out (I figure my life is inside out; but I like it that way) by that smarmy fuck, Dr. Phil (you don't agree? just take a look at his cover photo!); also The Power Of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by mental dwarf Eckhart Tolle; also Everyday Grace: Having Hope, Finding Forgiveness, and Making Miracles by Marianne Williamson (the miracle I hope for is
that she chokes on her "forgiveness," as she also wrote A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles" -- ACIM being a primary reference in the ever-growing library of spiritual fascism); also There's a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem by Wayne Dyer ("A psychotherapist, Dyer received his doctorate in counseling psychology from Wayne State University and the University of Michigan"; he looks like a football coach; I wonder...; he says "Creativity means believing you have greatness."; doesn't that sound like Vince Lombardi?); also How to Know God: The Soul's Journey into the Mystery of Mysteries
(which is: how can he suck your Visa card dry) by Deepak "BadAss RapMaster" Chopra; and finally, The Road Less Traveled, 25th Anniversary Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck (who bills himself as a "psychoanalyst"; the "psycho" part is on the money, but the "analysis" is weak, to say the least.)
So as I'm leaving, Don reminds me that Peck wrote another book right after Road. He says there's some stuff in it about narcissism. As I despise Peck -- he's a total guilt vampire -- I decide I must get my hands on this book as soon as possible. As it turned out, it didn't take long at all. I go to Red Letter Books and ask if they have People of the Lie. The guy points me to the back of the store. It's in the self-help section, he says. But it isn't. Shit. Because this is a pretty cheap used book shop, and if I can't get it here, I'm gonna have to pay real money, of which I have precious little these days. (The books I got from the New Age book club cost me 40 cents a piece -- in hardback.)
But then the owner comes back about 10 minutes later and says another customer heard me asking and found the book I'm looking for in the cutout bin on the sidewalk in front of the store. He hands it to me. Cost: one (1) dollar. So I'm back in Synchronicity City. Far out. The guy says well look, the spine is broken, but I can glue it if you like. That's OK, I tell him, I fucking hate this guy and I'm planning to rip him a new asshole, so don't worry about it -- I plan to flush this puppy down the toilet when I'm done with it. He looks at me funny and backs away.
Later that evening (this would be yesterday, I guess), I opened People of the Lie and hunted around for anything about narcissism. Of course there's no index. These fucking hosers! None of these New Agey pieces of shit have indexes. Not to mention bibliographies. Don't get me started! I find the bit on narcissism on page 77, but it's not quite like anything I've found in the other psychiatric literature on the subject -- and I must have looked at about 25/32nds of it by now. (Which reminds me of a cartoon I once sent to The New Yorker. It was titled "32nds Over Tokyo." They never wrote back.) Anyway, here, in a nutshell -- rather more like a nutcase, if you ask me -- is M. Scott Peck's penetrating insight into narcissism...
"Malignant narcissism is characterized by an unsubmitted will. All adults who are mentally healthy submit themselves one way or another to something higher than themselves, be it God or truth or love or some other ideal. They do what God wants them to do..."
Notice the allowance for "ideals" other than God, which is cleverly bypassed in the next breath. But forget narcissism. What Peck mostly talks about here is EVIL. He finds that some -- not all, mind you, but some -- of his patients are evil. Yes, and why is this, class? It's because they have been possessed. That's right, Johnny. By Satan! In special cases of this sort, Peck (the "psychoanalyst," remember?) joins with a team to exorcise the Evil One from the "patient." Yeah, this is good. Imagine you're an advanced borderline case -- say, like me -- and some fucking shrink tells you the reason you've gone mental is really because you're BAD-BAD-BAD and he needs to drive the Devil out of you. No wonder BPD gets a lousy rap in this stinking "culture" of ours. Can we bring back martyrdom for these Christians? Think of all the zoo lions going hungry tonight all over Amerika. Letting people like this walk around free -- not to mention continuing to write the sort of shit he writes -- is such a waste of perfectly good protein.
Peck especially likes Malachi Martin, who wrote Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans. What can I say? More Purina Lion Chow.
Peck gets right down to brass tacks and tells us how it's done. Here's a clip from the chapter "On Possession and Exorsism" (p. 195)...
"Once the exorcism proper was begun, with appropriate prayer and ritual, in both these cases silence seemed the most effective of the many means used for the final penetration of the Pretense. The team would speak either with the patient's healthy core personality or the demon(s) but would refuse to speak with some unclear mixture of the two. It took some time before the team in each case became adept at doing this. For the demon itself seemed to have a marked ability to draw the exorcist or team into confusing conversation that went nowhere. But as the team became more perceptive and steadfastly refused to be sucked in, both these patients began to alternate between a progressively more healthy-appearing core personality and a progressively more ugly secondary personality, until suddenly the secondary personality took on inhuman features and the Pretense was broken."
F-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-ck, huh? But that's not the best of it. No. The best is when he says, immediately following the paragraph quoted above...
"As a hardheaded scientist -- which I assume myself to be -- I can explain expalin 95 percent of what went on in these two cases by traditional psychiatric dynamics."
If you're not sure what's so odd about that statement, you need to have your head examined. And not by M. Scott Peck or any of his weirdball Christian faux "psychiatric" ilk.
In an earlier footnote, Peck explains what he calls, in the main text, the "Oedipus dilemma" (p. 155)...
"Among the reasons that the Oedipus complex is so important in psychiatry is that adults who have failed to resolve it usually have great difficulty in accomplishing many of the renunciations required for successful adult adjustments. They still have not learned that they cannot have their cake and eat it too."
This brings me, finally, back to the inspiration for this particular blog item. And it's title. Let's do a little gedanken experiment here, shall we? OK, so you've gone into some x-random Starbucks and ordered a quad espresso and a piece of carrot cake, which looks pretty good because you're fucking starving. When the coffee's up, you bring your stuff over to a table, sit down and take a sip. Ah! The old drug-of-choice never fails to hit the spot. You pick up your fork and are about to dig in, when suddenly you realize the error of your ways. Sure, you have your cake. But now you want to eat it too. What is WRONG with you?
Maybe it's an unresolved Oedipus complex. You never got to fuck Mom because you were afraid that, if you tried, Dad would cut your balls off (my explanation is both more cogent than Peck's, and less prolix). Or maybe it's that YOU ARE POSSESSED BY BEELZEBUB! Yeah, that's probably it. God, I'm was so glad to hear this, I almost cried. All the fucking meds I've been taking, all the fucking pain, all the loathsome fucking narcissist calligraphers! All so unnecessary. All I needed all along was someone to drive out the evil spirits that have taken me over and who use me as their unwitting pawn in the never ending War Against Jesus.
Hey, M. Scott...
This li'l devil girl is all for you!
(Frank, you can clik-the-pic to see her -- slightly more -- angelic side)
12:03 AM | link |
Thursday, July 10, 2003
For a book I'm currently writing, would appreciate any information on the proposition: "Size Does Matter." If any reader knows what this refers to, please contact me. Thanks.
1:25 AM | link |
Tuesday, July 08, 2003
Why I Blog. And They Don't.
I'm giving a talk tonight here in Boulder. As the subject of the talk is blogging, I thought -- duh! -- that I'd blog it. So this is my blog entry on my talk about blogging, which I plan to read as my talk about blogging. Recursive enough for you? Good. Let's proceed then.
For those of you from other countries, Boulder is in Colorado, which is one of those big square states slightly to the left-of-center on the U.S. map. There is no political significance to this remark. Except as it applies to Boulder. However, Boulder isn't really "left" in the political sense. It's more like "Left Behind," as in that series of popular books about The Rapture. So, rather than left-of-center, perhaps it's more accurate to say that Boulder is basically off-center, in the sense of being "skewed," "out of kilter," or what we would technically term "totally fucking whacked."
Be that as it may, I'll be speaking to the Rocky Mountain Internet User
Group, a wonderfully eclectic band of technoid whackos in their own
right, though skewed in a critically different direction than the
targets... uh, that is to say, the subject matter of my presentation.
At least I hope that's the case, or I'll be run out of town on a
rail even before the book I'm working on is published. "And which book is that?" you may ask. I'm glad you asked that! It's tentatively titled Marketing the Sacred: How New Age "Spirituality"
and Band-Aid "Therapies" Play to Pathological Narcissism. The title is
still tentative because of that subtitle, which is almost long enough
to be the first chapter. I may put the book outline online
sometime soon so you can get some idea of what it's about. I think I know.
At this point I think I can say I'm almost pretty sure.
One thing it's about is Boulder. More specifically, Boulder provides so many fine examples of the book's focus, pathological narcissism, which actually is a technical term from psychoanalysis. The reason the "pathological" qualifier is necessary is that this shrink named Heinz Kohut came up with the pernicious idea of "healthy narcissism." In the book, I point out that this is like, you know, that dry heat.
But never mind all that. For our purposes, narcissism simply refers to those passive-aggressive individuals you are all unfortunately familiar with, who think they're better than you for reasons impossible to determine from a close examination of the facts, and who, moreover, believe that this unqualified and highly mysterious "betterness" entitles them to your full and undivided attention.
[No talking in the back there!!!]
At any rate, Boulder is crawling with these loathsome asswipes, and this
has inspired the outline of Chapter Two, which I have titled: "Boulder,
Colorado - Down the Rabbit Hole." Here are some of the subsections:
- Your author: through the looking glass and then some
- Naropa "University": the white knight is talking backwards
- JonBenet Ramsey: the red queen lost her head
- Rocky Flats: atomics vs. organics
- Celestial Seasonings makes a mint
- Free Tibet through aromatherapy!
- Trance & Dental Medication
- "Why don't you move to Russia?"
Now the reason I'm describing all this -- aside from free advance advertising
-- is that it occurred to me over my morning coffee how diametrically
opposed are the interests and inclinations of narcissists and bloggers. And I realized
that these differences would make for a highly relevant and possibly
amusing HTML table, which are always lots of fun to hack up. Before
presenting my [ahem] critical research data, I should hasten to say
that narcissists and bloggers do not constitute mutually exclusive
categories. There are plenty of narcissistic bloggers -- I could name
names, but being an essentially Nice Person, and in the interests
of time, I will forego (for the present) this little indulgence. Curiously,
however, there are very few genuine narcissists who blog. Or if they
do, they give up on it pretty quickly when they realize that their
every post will not go to Number 1 on Daypop, Technorati and Blogdex.
Enraged by this cruel lack of empathy on the part of the
human race at large, they go off to sulk, resolving to
henceforth engage in something, you know, "more artistic."
I should also say that the bloggers I describe here are not neceesarily typical. There may be others who diverge from my characterization. Therefore, further research may be warranted.
OK then, enough preamble. Here's my table comparing these two strange species.
|New Age Narcissists
||Old Aged Bloggers
|Sincere: Narcissists always present themselves as serious, open to new ideas, and caring. This is extremely important to them, as they are none of the above. Thus, their apparent dedication to, and demand for, Total Honesty is a highly evolved form of lying through their teeth. They do tend to have beautiful teeth, however, and would therefore rather that you focus more on those than on whatever they have to say, which usually turns out to be not that much.
Bloggers -- real bloggers, that is-- are always fucking
around. They refuse to be serious. Or when they try to, they are
mercilessly laughed at by other, less serious bloggers. Also, they
are highly opinionated. On any given subject or point of debate,
they deeply believe that they're right and you're wrong. And they
don't give a crap what you think. It's not that they're particularly
nasty people. Usually. It's more the principle of the thing.
Narcissists often seek to develop a deep relationship with God.
This comes naturally, since God, once found, seems so familiar.
For them, it's almost as if they're looking in a mirror. This feeling
of unity with the Godhead gives these individuals a Special Glow,
which can often be seen at night, even under fluorescent lighting.
They are strongly attracted to the Teachings of the East. E.g., as the Dalai Lama
said to the hotdog vendor: Make me one with everything.
In contrast, bloggers tend to snicker a lot and make fun of people
who are apparently inclined to believe in any old weirdass shit they
happen to stumble across. For instance, blond "shaman goddesses"
who look uncannily like Dolly Parton, or dweeby anorexic-looking guys with vaguely
Nazi-sounding names who claim to have discovered The Secrets of
the Universe. Bloggers tend to have a field day with sites that
promote such looney-tunes grandiosity.
Narcissists are never mean. At least not to your face. Not so you'd
notice right away. Or so they think. The reason for this is that
they think you're stupid, as no one could be more intelligent or
subtly perceptive than themselves. If you happen to have offended
one -- which is easier than breathing -- you might get a face-full
of shit that somehow smells like yellow roses. Do not be deceived. You've
been dumped on.
||Active-Aggressive: Bloggers play no such head games. They will flame your ass without a moment's hesitation in language that would peel the paint off a rusty boat hull. For obvious reasons, asbestos underwear is popular among this crowd. While you won't usually be savaged for simply breathing, failure to validate your markup can lead to severe tongue lashings. As can incorrect use of the semicolon. When a blogger doesn't like you, you know it. Fast.
|Peaceful: Narcissists place a high premium on "peacefulness," whatever this means to them, precisely. More often than not, it means you should shut the fuck up because you're annoying them. They would never tell you this, however, as it would be too negative -- negativity being one of the cardinal sins to the New Age narcissist. Oddly, or perhaps not so oddly, they tend to interpret anything other than praise and overt adoration as -- you guessed it -- negativity. As you might also have guessed, this makes for some terrific relationships!
Bloggers have little interest in maintaining the peace. Peace is
boring. What bloggers love is a flat-out firefight. This may be
the result, in some cases, of having watched Animal House
too many times. Or my own personal favorite, From Dusk Till
Dawn. There is nothing that satisfies quite so much as dismembering
an overwhelming horde of bloodthirsty vampires. In fact, this predilection
for driving wooden stakes through the hearts of the undead is possibly
what scares narcissists most about bloggers.
While narcissists often claim to be passionate about this and that,
their "passion" rarely extends to other human beings, which are
generally beneath their notice. While sex with a narcissist can
be exciting, so can sex with a Dalmatian. Under the right conditions,
that is. Say, with the entire fire department looking on. In contrast,
when you are in bed with a narcissist, you are basically in bed
alone. Necrophiliacs seem to enjoy the experience more than most.
||Horny: Bloggers on the other hand are some of the randiest people you will never meet. This is where the medium offers built in protection. If you did meet some of them, your hard-won virtue would be instantly up for grabs -- and I don't mean that metaphorically. Women bloggers who have received one-too-many penis enlargement spams are particularly dangerous in this regard. And the guys, forget it. They were already pervs or they wouldn't be blogging.
Dressed: Narcissists take special care of, and pride in, their appearance.
They like "nice things," which, if you're smart, you will provide
them with. Their taste in clothes is impeccable, with price tags
to match. So don't scrimp if you're trying to make a good impression
(see Horny, above). They tend to favor diaphanous earth
tones and precious gems. The latter they believe to have magical
powers. They never wear sapphires, rubies and diamonds merely to
impress lesser mortals like yourself. That would be unforgivably
tacky and unspiritual.
Bloggers often forget about clothes altogether. Right now, to be
honest, I'm writing this naked at the keyboard. Who cares? It's not
like I have a webcam. Or if I did, that anyone would pay to see
me this way. I don't think. Though maybe I should check it out.
Because the fact is, I've blogged so much in the last couple years
that I can't afford clothes, diaphanous or otherwise. Are
you kidding? I can't even afford soap! Bloggers want you to admire
them not for their bejeweled fingers and earth-toned looks, but
for their sterling words and earthy smell.
Flicks: Let's face it, New Age Narcissists groove on subtitles.
How else would you explain their going all orgasmic over grainy
films from places you've never even heard of. Like, say,
France. What gets them off most about these movies, though, is
that they're so obscure. They aren't the kind of ART
that ordinary people (that's you) can relate to. And it's not the
watching or relating that really counts. It's all about sitting
around in expensive cafes one-upping other narcissists. If you
ask them, you'll realize they have no idea what these movies are
about. In fact, tailored to the narcissist market to begin with,
most aren't about anything anyway.
Violence: Disney sucks. PG 13? Who needs it? Real bloggers
(that is to say, bloggers like myself) want gratuitous car bombings,
unprovoked gunfights with high-tech firearms, train wrecks, nuclear
"accidents," bio-terror plagues, flaming death in all its myriad
forms. For bloggers, "domestic violence" doesn't conjure up images
of battered women. It means movies starring Bruce Willis, Steven
Segal, Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Antonio Banderas.
And of course, Angelina Jolie. To us, "battered women" are women
dipped in Bisquick and deep-fryed like corn dogs. It's the way
we are. Don't hate us just because we're beautiful.
New Age Narcissists are highly aware about what they eat. No pesticides for them. No way. No chemical
fertilizers. They demand only the purest bullshit. Do you realize
a carrot can kill you? That a wrongly raised rutabaga can give
you Alzheimer's? Shopping at Whole Foods isn't a chore. It's a
way of life.
||Atomics: Hold the Brie. We can eat when we're dead. What bloggers want are nukes. Tactical thermonuclear devices that will fit in a laptop, pass invisibly through airport scanners, take out entire cities with a single keystroke. Shopping third-world arms marts isn't a chore. It's like jumpin' Jack Flash.
|Wine & Cheese: Mellowness is back in fashion. Or hadn't you noticed? The women are beautiful. The talk is refined. The money is in ample evidence, but so discreet. "Ah, Giselle! And tell us, how was the Riviera?" If you can't pronounce the vineyard's name, don't even think about accepting the invitation. But oh that's right. You didn't get one, did you? Poor dear. Now you'll have to eat your pate de fois gras all by yourself. Vegetarian, naturally.
||Espresso & Ding-Dongs: Bloggers don't eat no fuckin' cheese! And wine? A little Mad Dog 20-20 maybe, on a bad day. What we want is speed! 300 words a minute is nothing to these people. Mountain Dew, Jolt Cola, French Roast boiled down to tar and shot intravenously. Now that's living! And when the munchies set in, there's nothing like a pile of snack cakes and cheese doritos. Lots of sugar, lots of salt. What? You think you're gonna live forever?
|Feng Shui: New Age Narcissists pick up on the subtle vibrations in their surroundings. Sort of like the Princess and the Pea. Balance and space. Space and balance. It's all in the arrangement. Which is not to imply any sort of manipulation. Oh no, they would never do that! Except maybe with you. "You know, you'd look so much better next to that potted palm over there. You don't mind, do you?" Pause. Breathe. Feel into the cosmic energies. Go with the flow.
Schwing: Bloggers have no sense of space that doesn't come
pre-cyberized. They tend to throw shit everywhere. Make stacks
and piles. Of books, of clothes, of half-eaten food and unopened
bills. And yet, they have developed their own practice of environmental
attunement. At present, Dong Schwing (see HORNY, above) is little known outside of
a few esoteric blogging communities, but, like Bikram Yoga, its
popularity is growing fast.
|Art Exhibits: Narcissists love art. You can't keep them away from the stuff! And they love, even more, to congregate where other narcissists gather to appreciate the finer things in life -- namely, themselves. Because what's on display are not the paintings and sculptures and -- oooh! -- Native American pots. No, it's the narcissist's own personal ass. Figuratively speaking. "Now here's a fine piece, Roger. Don't you think?"
||Exhibitionism: Bloggers could care less about arts & crafts. They had plenty of that at the Institution. Now that they're free, or have graduated to out-patient status, what they really care about is shameless self-promotion. "You should see how many hits I got when Instapundit blogged me!" Or, "My referer logs overflowed when RageBoy posted that nude picture of my wife!" Maybe it ain't art, but I know what I like.
Messages: New Age Narcissists like to pretend they're not dissing
you when they really are. To pull this off, they use "I messages"
that refer to their own feelings, thereby not blaming
you for anything, and definitely not threatening you. For
instance: "I feel uncertain about our relationship when you look
at other women that way." Isn't that more mature than yelling?
This way you can talk about it like adults -- who'll keep the house,
who'll get the kids...
Hominem Attacks: When bloggers are upset with each other, or
feel they haven't been given a fair hearing, they will often attempt
to remedy the situation by saying something like "Fuck you, asshole!
You're full of shit!" (See Active-Aggressive, Irritated,
and Atomics, above.) While this often fails to accomplish
their aim -- or anything, really -- it's lots of fun to watch.
This may have originated with the famous Saturday Night Live line: "Jane, you ignorant
|Nature: New Age narcissists are refreshed and rejuvenated by "being in nature," as they like to say. They find themselves there. (Of course, they find themselves everywhere, since, cosmically speaking, they are all that exists.) Unsullied by the works of man, nature is healing. Healing is a big word for New Age narcissists, possibly because they do so much damage to other people, which they are then forced to pretend is their own. A virgin forest is a good place to pretend this. Or a nice white-sand beach in Tahiti. "Oh, waiter!"
||The Unnatural: Bloggers don't hold with nature. "That dog won't hunt," many say. For one thing, nature is generally outside, and unless you've got one hell of a Wi-Fi channel running, this means nature had better not be too far from the bunkhouse. Also, nature is not much to blog about. What? Like: "I saw some nice trees today, and a bird." Oh wow. Sure it's soothing. But it won't exactly set your hit-counter spinning. In addition, there are very few vending machines and no Starbucks in nature. Last time I checked, anyway.
The company you keep says a lot about you. Narcissists like to
be alone, as they're their own best friends. Without external distractions,
they can contemplate their perfection without being interrupted
by crass reality. Also, solitude builds character and character
bespeaks integrity. These are also big words for narcissists.
Through constant positive affirmation, they have deluded
themselves into believing they possess these admirable qualities.
Emphasis on admirable.
Bloggers don't go in for solitude much. They like to hook up with
their pals. Or their enemies. They like to mix it up a bit. They
like distractions. After all, when you're by yourself, look
who you've chosen to hang with! Not very encouraging, is it? I
mean, sure, maybe it's validating as hell for The Perfected. But
not for known losers like us. We need a little stimulation,
you know what I mean? A little action! -- however the religion-of-your-choice
inclines you to interpret that.
The wellsprings of the spirit are fed by meditation. The answers
to all questions lie within. In the Great Light of Unlimited Being
narcissists bask and revel in their own reflected glory. Candles
help. Perhaps a little shrine, or a simple circle of stones. Maybe
some organic grapes, or a watermelon. Who knows. All God's creation
sings to them of how cool they are. How sensitive. How unique.
We've found that there is, indeed, an easier, softer way. That's
right: drugs! The same old "reality" every goddam day is enough
to drive anyone crazy, so what's different with us? And
what's your excuse? In my own experience, deeply believing
that telepathic orange lobsters from Mars have just landed in the
adjoining cubicle makes the workday go so much faster. Now that's unique.
|Aromatherapy: Lilac, lavender, juniper, jasmine, so many pretty smells to choose from! New Age narcissists avail themselves of nature's sweet bounty, not forgetting the crucial role of the nose in affirming their personal wonderfulness. Beautiful fragrances are healing to the beleaguered spirit , faced as we all are today with things we can't fathom. Like those "T-Mobile" signs at Starbucks. "Huh?"
This is one point on which narcissists and bloggers appear to agree.
But don't be deceived by appearances. To bloggers, "aromatherapy"
connotes the all-important monthly bath, without which, life support
systems would fail catastrophically. As I have often noted -- not
exempting myself from the charge -- bloggers are a bunch of dirty
|Self: By definition, narcissists love themselves. Exclusively. Discounting that dry-heat "healthy narcissism" hogwash -- and I warmly invite you to -- they give not the proverbial shit about anyone else. Therefore, with all due respect and with boundless compassion, they are, in my considered, unbiased estimation, the lowest form of life. Microsoft is more "caring." Pond scum is infinitely more interesting.
||Others: Bloggers are social animals. Emphasis on animals. They basically like each other -- except for the ones we all hate. And even them sometimes. Benefit of the doubt. Bloggers don't focus on their own navels. Or if they do, they write about it. "I have been keeping a close eye on my navel all day, and I have just one question. Why do people do this? So far, nothing has happened worth reporting."
And who knows if all this has been worth reporting. But I'm sure you'll let me know.
That's blogging, folks!
5:53 PM | link |
Monday, July 07, 2003
Doctor, Doctor, Gimme the News...
We get lots of email here at EGR HQ, as you can imagine. Of course, 99.44% of it is spam. Still, here's something that arrived yesterday.
So we go there and I find this, from the Wooster Collective (a very cool site street-art site)...
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Hanan Cohen [suppressed]
> Sent: Sunday, July 06, 2003 12:00 AM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: See this doctor for a second opinion
> Hanan Cohen
> ***Love and Peace***
Yes, very tasty indeed! We're not sure it would work, but we're willing to give it a try. We also liked Dr. Menlo's logo:
Thanks Hanan, you made our day.
10:50 AM | link |
Sunday, July 06, 2003
Gary Turner, Ye Are'n Evil Man!
But fer all yer bad ways, ah still love ya. Ya dirt-y fuck.
6:05 PM | link |
At EGR HQ, the Research Department Never Sleeps
About to go crank this puppy up right now. Later: JESUS, what a depressing movie! Do not watch this if you're contemplating suicide. Also, do not go here. Ever.
5:55 PM | link |
Ah, To Be Young & Spiritual Again!
An Amazon reader-reviewer writes: "Young and aspiring Witches and Pagans will find within these pages a lot of personal stories, rituals, spells and meaningful points about what it means to be young and spiritual." Yeah, and check out the cleavage!
5:33 PM | link |
Thoughts Over Sunday Morning Coffee
Psychological fascism. Think Fritz Perls, think Werner Erhard, and since them an innumerable host of replicants. In times of radical uncertainty, times of fundamental sweeping change, the authoritarian "voice," the hyper-certain prescriptive judgmental command attracts the weak and broken, hungry for worship, lost without direction. Psychological -- so smoothly transiting to "spiritual" -- fascism is an inevitable stage in the breakdown of the Judeo-Christian ontology. The real questions are how long this stage will last, and what it will mutate into.
Despair spawns the urge to control. And into this breach step opportunists who intuitively grasp their advantage in believing nothing. They promise joy because it conceals the pain that is the one truth that could unmask and undermine their power. Because despair is a misreading of hopeless longing.
As without, so within. We are looking for something, and when we do not find it -- that which we have longed to find -- we lose hope. Radio telescopes in Aricebo, if pointed at the human heart, would reveal the same: endless galaxies unfolding to infinity. And no voice of God in either direction.
What we miss in despair too-fast passed over is that we are ourselves the already spoken. Learning to live with this loneliness and sorrow for the "death of God" is our situation now, our challenge and unsigned invitation. Knowing or not, we are all of us abandoned by this loss. Choosing to love without reason is true power. Love is the voice we have so long longed to hear. It is our own voice.
The rock&rollers always get it right, eventually. As Steve Winwood said: talking back to the night.
in the widening gyre
the falcon free.
it's not that I can't hear you
it's that you whom I loved
did not love me,
but proffered dead offal
for my living prey
from your iron-studded glove.
these vistas you have never seen
nor will, your earthbound yearning
to possess my eyes, my flight
now ended, done, enough,
I enter now forever, disappear.
by night I will shelter
in this ancient forest.
by morning light
take flight to hunt.
chris locke / Sunday, July 6, 2003
9:16 AM | link |
Saturday, July 05, 2003
Pictures At An Exhibition
Herr Professor Doktor RageBoy in the library. With the lead pipe. Here the good Doktor peruses some new Amazon arrivals on Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissism, Madness & Modernism, as well as A Beautiful Mind.
After another grueling session of deep intellectual research, Doktor RageBoy repairs to the LSD laboratory to mix up another batch of product.
8:27 PM | link |
Believe it or not, I began my day reading this book. For all the good it did me. An old friend from high school (...yeah, that's it, high school; in Mozambique) just rang me up and called me every kind of asshole there is. Maybe I should have started with something simpler, like Emily Post's The Gift of Good Manners: A Parent's Guide to Raising Respectful, Kind, Considerate Children or maybe The Etiquette Advantage in Business: Personal Skills for Professional Success or even Overcoming the Nice Guy Syndrome: How to Stop Being Shy Without Becoming A Jerk. Because that's my real problem (though I've never let on here): I'm horribly shy. If you've never experienced extreme shyness, let me tell you: it's a real a bitch. And you see, I overcompensate for it by pretending to be a bad person and telling you all to kiss my ever-lovin ass. Underneath, though, I'm a regular cream puff. Your Mom would probably like me.
And your little DOG, too!
Abe sure was right about one thing: you just can't please all the fucking people all the fucking time.
3:55 PM | link |
Real Writers Don't Waste The Entire Morning Posting Stupid Shit On Their Blogs When They Could Be Explicating Authentic Insights For The Online Masses Thus Welding Them Into A Tight-Knit And Unstoppable Force For Evil
Perhaps I've had a change of heart. Ever think of that? Or I'm lying again. Much more likely.
10:17 AM | link |
Burning Birds Don't Burst Into Flames
Well... sometimes. But they're working on it.
10:11 AM | link |
Real Chickens Don't Wonder
And no wonder!
10:09 AM | link |
Real Theologians Don't Doubt It
At least I doubt it.
10:07 AM | link |
Real Poles Don't Polarize
...except when sneaking past the Jesus Bunker. Or the Berlin Wall. (When are you going to stop squatting on Gonzo Engaged and get your own fucking blog back up? You hoser!)
10:05 AM | link |
Real Alpha Babes Don't Tell
Boys, be careful. Be very careful. It's all misdirection so she can have her way with you!
10:03 AM | link |
Real Movers Don't Shake
In grateful recognition of a steady hand at the keyboard and courage under fire.
10:01 AM | link |
Real Hoovers Don't Suck
Plato, where are you? Blogger gave us 100 meg to fuck around with. Upload something, quick! But I realize you must be busy finding work in Seattle. Yes, the life of repo girl is always intense.
9:58 AM | link |
Real Winers Don't Dine
And vice versa. (Yes, I heard what happened at that Boston blog conference wrap-up dinner. Poor Jason. Whew!)
9:52 AM | link |
Real Lawyers Don't Discuss Cases
Especially head cases.
9:49 AM | link |
Real Rappers Don't Digitally Identify
They digitally signify, motherfucka! And why you no calla me up, you bastard!
9:47 AM | link |
Real Small Pieces Don't Loosely Join
Something about statutory rape. Or the statute of limitations. Or both. Clearly, it's not entirely clear. I think we need a little more hermeneutic exegesis on this point.
9:44 AM | link |
Real Brides-to-Be Don't Accept Invitations to "Bachelorette" Parties In Boulder
Oh, Donna, where can you be? Where. Can. You. Be?
9:40 AM | link |
Real Painters Don't Eat The Cadmium Orange
Frankly, I have not been Paynted. All part of my effort to remain mysterious. Which seems to have failed anyway. Or to have worked only too well.
9:37 AM | link |
Real Analysts Don't Turn Into Cockroaches!
Watch this space for why this sometimes does happen. (Jesus, what have I gotten myself into now?)
9:32 AM | link |
Real Docs Don't Bite
9:30 AM | link |
Real Dogs Don't Bark
...unless you forget to cut their balls off.
9:28 AM | link |
Real Women Don't Rip Your Heart Out And Take A Bite Then Make An Ugly Face And Throw It Away Because It Isn't "Organic" And Leave You Broken And Bleeding Just To Make Themselves Feel Better About Their Empty Frozen Hearts
Just one man's off-the-cuff opinion.
8:44 AM | link |
Real Men Don't Blog
8:43 AM | link |
Thursday, July 03, 2003
The System of Antichrist: Truth & Falsehood in Postmodernism and the New Age
Browsing the New Age section of Barnes & Noble this evening, my eye alit on this gem. Only a recent and radical lack of funds (see various banners above; hint-hint) kept me from buying it. One Amazon reader-reviewer (the only one) writes:
"Charles Upton provides a unique interpretation of the modern phenomenon of UFOs. To Upton, UFO sightings and alien abductions constitute a particularly disturbing aspect of the postmodern world. Upton contends that perhaps we can understand these aliens as spiritual beings, the jinn of Islamic folklore or the demons of Christian tradition. Upton notes that not all of these entities may be evil or necessarily harmful; however, since without a traditional understanding it is impossible to determine this, they should be avoided."
However, I was gratified to find that another reader had posted the following on the same page: "1 person recommended Green Eggs and Ham instead of The System of Antichrist: Truth & Falsehood in Postmodernism and the New Age.
9:21 PM | link |
Tuesday, July 01, 2003
Chernobyl Is Burning
In 1990 I saw film that was shot inside the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after it had gone critical. To my knowledge, no one outside the small group of robotics researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, with whom I watch it, has ever seen this footage. The Russian official who brought it over had to get special one-time permission from his government to show it. It wasn't the kind of documentary governments are fond of sharing. Hundreds of Russian soldiers were sent into the collapsed structure to pull out hot debris with their bare hands. They all died. Most of them slowly. Most of them, I imagine, wished it had gone more quickly.
There was no way to put out the radioctive fire set off by that accident. The Russians buried it under hundreds of tons of concrete, creating a structure they call the sarcophagus. Deep inside this dark tomb, Chernobyl is still burning and will continue to burn for a thousand years.
Should we move on after our tragedies? See them not as tragedies at all, but as learning experiences? Should we freeze them in time, encase them in cement, hoping we'll forget, waiting till the statute of limitations on our grief ticks over one last heart-wrenching turn and finally elapses?
My rage is alive. I warm myself by its poison hearth. Some mistakes were not mistakes. Better planning would not have helped. And forgiveness will be a long time coming.
11:16 AM | link |
get your badge here.
"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.