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Saturday, June 05, 2004
language is a virus II
reinterpreting unformulated experience

In Relational Psychoanalysis: The Emergence of a Tradition, Stephen Mitchell introduces a paper by Donnel Stern on "unformulated experience" by saying... "Stern took off from a tantalizing suggestion in one of [Harry Stack] Sullivan's lectures: "[one]... has information about one's experience only to the extent that one has tended to communicate it to another or thought about it in the manner of communicative speech. Much of that which is ordinarily said to be repressed is merely unformulated." Stern continues below accompanied by some made transforms of my once upon a time damn nearly given.

Winnicott taught that the given and the made constitute a paradox. We take given experience and make it into something that is our own; but it is just as true that we make or construct experience only by avoiding violations of the givens that define what the experience can be. Any experience is sometimes given, sometimes made, depending on how and when we look at it. Sometimes, perhaps when we are wisest, it is both.

But in day-to-day life, many experiences are more one than the other; for the painter, the painting is more made than given; for a rider, the horse is more given than made. It is true that the love of the rider for the horse and the feeling of the ride are "made" things, but they are quite inextricable from the very "given" horse, because one loves and rides this horse, no other. The painting derives from experiences of the artists's that may have been reworked, rencontextualized, and more fully imagined, but that nevertheless have a given reality as well; that is why, for the painter if not for the viewer, the art always exists in the context of the given events of the painter's life.

But even so, the painting remains more made than given, and the horse is more given than made. The import of Winnicott's paradox is not that the contributions of our constructions and given reality are always equal, but that both are always present and inextricable from one another. It does not violate the terms of the paradox to observe that the given and the made are also a dialectic.

To accept that experience is made in the present is to accept that other experience was made in the past. The givens in experience are not timeless essences; they themselves had to be constructed, once upon a time. And if an organized experience becomes part of a later moment, the organization it brings into that later moment will no longer be entirely appropriate. It will need to be recontextualized -- and recontexualization is really just another word for yet another episode of organization, or reinterpretation. Every moment is made anew, although the experiences of moments past have a very great deal to do with what the experience of each present moment will be.

And so another way to talk about the given and the made is to refer to what we can make now of what we have made then, or in the words of Francois Jacob, the possibilities of actuality: "Whether in a social group or in an individual, human life always involves a continuous dialogue between the possible and the actual. A subtle mixture of belief, knowledge, and imagination builds before us an ever changing picture of the possible. It is on this image that we mold our desires and fears."

the foregoing is a quote from
Unformulated Experience:
From Dissociation to Imagination
in Psychoanalysis

Donnel B. Stern
Analytic Press, 1997, pp. 3-4.

2:11 AM | link |

Thursday, June 03, 2004
language is a virus

11:36 PM | link |

12 words

so sad

where did
you go

I am lost

10:32 PM | link |

Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Just Dessert II
"there will always be a space in my parking lot
when you need a little coke* and sympathy..."
*EGR does not condone the use of illicit drugs.
Have a nice day!

10:42 PM | link |

Just Dessert

12:03 AM | link |

Tuesday, June 01, 2004
The New Workforce

The New Management

11:50 PM | link |

Monday, May 31, 2004
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Comin straight on for you
More, as I mentioned below. Always more. So I went to see Don. Today was the "Bolder Boulder" 10k race, in which 49,000 people were running. What a perfect metaphor for an aspiring society going nowhere fast. Even with the race long over, I thought that part of the city would still be clogged with people, but I've never seen Boulder so empty. It was like a ghost town. Another perfect metaphor. They're coming thick and fast today. The metaphors, the ghosts, the sense that something's shaking, on the tip of my tongue, in the beat of my heart. Which, as I said on the phone, is a lonely hunter. Apropos of what, exactly, I can't recall now. But you can imagine. I imagine you did. Carson McCullers, I said, as if I'd read it, but I never read it. The little scroll atop every crucifix, I said... and you got it immediately: INRI. I was impressed. Doesn't mean Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, I said. Means I never read it. And how long, you asked, have you been harboring that little delusion? For a while, I said, a few months anyway. Have to make light of my Christ complex somehow. I never asked for it. Christened Christopher before I could protest. To drive the demons out, you know? Doesn't seem to have worked.

you made my mind
But maybe I should read it, I was thinking after the session with Don. So I go to Barnes & Noble, find it easily. I remembered I was looking at it just a couple days ago, something on the back about the first time it's been published standalone. Oh, and right, that Oprah sticker. McCullers looks not just lonely. She looks miserable. I would be too if I had to sit and look at that damn sticker after I was dead. I tried to peel it off, but no dice. Sorry, Carson. I guess we're both stuck with it. A perfect metaphor, must be. For something. It's a paperback, but on Amazon I can read the inside flap copy. "...shattering voyages into the depths of the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition." Great, I'm thinking, good pick. I was looking for a good travel guide.

now I'm stronger
And while I'm at it, and speaking of dreams, why not Jude the Obscure? I had a dream about that book a very long time ago, 20 years at least. But INRI (see how it saves bandwidth?) I did, however, read something about what it was about. This was a less long time ago, but not anytime lately. And it seemed to be such a thorough bummer about the impossibility of love, that I asked myself: Do I really need this now? Do I really need another reminder? And anyway, I am not going to believe that, no matter what anyone says. Fuck all that negativity. You know? Because I am nothing if not the eternal optimist. Glass 1/2 full, that sort of thing. Hell, glass 15/16ths full. Best of times. Best of all possible worlds. And white people will get soul. You thought I forgot about that part, did you? No. The answer to the previous question, it turns out, is not one for the anthropologists, but one for the paleo-epidemiologists, if such there be. Because it was the dreaded Psychic Ebola that turned us white. Abandoned out there on the ice, our hearts bled out. Way back there somewhere. Neolithic, I'm thinking. And our faces, first just ghostly, turned a whiter shade of pale. Chaucer got it. Procul Harum got it.

now I'm comin through
All this, and yet so far no mention of the other one who's been visiting my dreams. The pronouns are bound to get a little sticky here, for the sake of privacy. For which I have little regard, myself, but I'm trying to empathize these days. Trying to feel my way into another heart, and so going more carefully this time. Hey, Jude, don't make it bad. So I tell myself. So I like to think. But it's all still pretty obscure to me, I have to admit. Now you've found her, go out and get her. And just like that, the old thinking is back: take no prisoners! What can I say? Bad habits are hardy. Old habits die hard.

And before you know it, it's yippee-eye-oh-kayay, motherfucker! Bruce Willis, I am with you in Rockland. That obscure enough for you?

straight on
Because the other one is you. You know who you are. Of whom it was said by the Stones: When the Lord gets ready... you gotta move! And me nonetheless keeping you up so late and all. Abashed by my own effrontery. May it ever wave. Despite the Klute Syndrome (site search available on this page). Or more likely, because of it. I didn't mention that at the time, no. I am trying to be a gentleman. Though I always suspected that to be nothing better than a double-standard hoax. Personally, I prefer the double-helix handstand. And I could show you things you'd swear had not been there a moment earlier. And I almost called back to say limbic resonance works at a distance, too. Over the phone, say. And I got my mojo workin again. And now don' be tellin me it don't work on you!
Hi, I'm Chris. I'm a recovering White Person. (HI CHRIS!) And I know I'll always be a White Person. But I feel as if, by the grace of God, one day at a time, I've finally got my whiteness under control...
straight on for you
Been thinking about you, girl, all-a this whole long old weekend. Letting myself fall. Apart, together, who knows? Leap of faith. Hard to imagine we've never met. Yeah. Seems that way to me, too. So come on over. We can listen to Dr. John in the dark. Get you some gris-gris gumbo hot. Never mind the mojo. Letting myself want you, bad. Whatever I may have told myself before. That maybe it wasn't that good an idea after all. That maybe... hell, I don't know. But hell if I didn't. If I was honest, which I wasn't, that I was scared. Out on the ice too far again, burning with passion. Spark and pure oxygen, absolute zero Kelvin. Sumpin's gotta give. I gave. I caved. And it felt too right to quit.

Because I can't live without love. Not really. I could go through the motions, I guess. Though I've tried, Lord knows, and I'm no goddam good at the motions. Ask anyone. So it only seems fair to let you know in advance that you're at risk. In case you somehow missed that. Which I doubt. Or maybe you were being kind. Which I don't doubt at all. Lovers always start out as strangers. Too often end that way, never having really said hello. Let me get this out of the way, then. Hello. My name is Chris. I want your strawberry shortcake. Yes, and eat it too. It's that simple. You make me glad. I am coming to get you. Ready or not.

10:33 PM | link |

Out of Africa
I bless the rains down in Africa
I was drifting in and out of sleep in wonder of you whom I told myself I hardly knew. Yet I knew what I needed to know: that you were beside me, had touched me, body and soul, that I was in love, an impossible miracle. You. Don't miss this part, you said, try to keep up here. You can sleep when you're dead. You didn't say that last bit, but I would have laughed. You would have been right. So I struggled up out of the miracle of you only to find it was no miracle at all but that you were there beside me, real, in the flesh, warm in my arms saying wake up, listen. And some guy is saying you might have asked, you know? And the other guy says I did. She said yes. Laughing then, both of us, knowing everything that could not be said, cannot be ever, but moments like this when saying doesn't matter, would be superfluous. Like the next morning I'm shaving, naked, and you come into the bathroom, say see? they do match, the color of your thong, your necklace laid out against your skin above your lovely breasts. Nothing else separating us. Nothing at all. Only connecting. No words for it. I never knew delight before that moment. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, you said. And it was. Full of wonder, the world wrapped in your colors, woven and wreathed into the wrack and woof of many more W words worth always winding round your heart. You said yes, no takebacks. Memory forward, memory back. Never forget. Ever now am I your coyote.

And so much later, many days alone here, many moons, dreaming deep, I see as if I am inside you sperm and ovum in technicolor slo-mo coming together a flash of light and I wake, just enough to dial the number, say into the message I saw something so clear so real I think it might be. Then fall back down into sleep so deep again I didn't remember at first, when you called some weeks later and I'm sitting outside Starbucks, Steppenwolf in the Colorado sunshine, and you said: you were right. Couldn't quite recall at first what I was right about, despite wanting to take, of course, credit for whatever it might be. But when you told me, it came back, slowly at first, then the colors coming up, the slow motion dream, my call, only barely awake. Impossible miracle. Because I am here, you there. Distance learning, I think. Limbic resonance. Mystery of true attachment. I feel you in my life. New life in you. Not a dream. Not impossible. Real.

Beaver, opossum, chinchilla, my totems. A joke of sorts, but also true. Truer, in fact, because irrational. Language of dream, I would make them my coat of arms, buckle them to my shield and let no man laugh. Appropriate for a one such as myself. Don't you agree, Roncinate? I don't hear her reply, though I'm sure it was yes, because the wind has come up now, milling time into future. And I, tilting into it, ride on. Come Sancho, the world awaits us.

I wake this morning, amazed to see it's already 12:30. I keep repeating it. 12:30, 12:30, I slept till 12:20! The meds have worn off, but I'm OK, in some deep place within myself. I look across the room, see the book that surfaced in a recent rearrangement, the cover facing me now as if delivering a message: Self and Others. Then I remember I dreamed this morning, of reaching out to her and she took my hand. Not you, no. But the one you know about without me having to say. To live now I need to find the place in myself I loved her from. The phone rings and it's you. Synchronicity City or something much simpler. Limbic resonance. Attachment acknowledged and returned. Radar love. Yes, no, you didn't wake me up. But I'm barely awake and need coffee. I'm at Starbucks, you say. So we'll have coffee together, so far apart. But what's distance to us? Out on the far ice, I saw your courage, saw your heart open like a tropical flower against crystalline snow. The sunlight blinding, midnight sun thawed into endless morning.

I was dreaming, I say, about someone I don't often dream about these days. You know, as I know you will. That'll happen, you say. And because there are only so many ways to say I love you, all of them wrong for all the right reasons, I say I love your new love for the other one, so fragile yet so strong. I see what you see in those eyes, what they see in yours. I have never been to this place, yet I know it. I was born for this. And you let me love this new love, allow me to be born in you. So heavy we neither of us speak to it, rather letting it flow through and around the words we do say.

Segue. Just remembering now, writing this, there was something about a segue in my dream. But I am awake now and never mind. Somehow I was saying we all came out of Africa. So I wonder: How and when did we get so white? Good question, you say. One for the anthropologists. Just chatting over coffee, we speak in a language that carries time like a clutch of flowers gathered by a child. For you. I am for you.

There's more. Always more. But I have to get ready to go see Don. And Don, this is the reason it looks like I'll be a little late. But lighting the incense I have always burned for this one, not late for the sky.

4:21 PM | link |

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

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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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