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Saturday, July 10, 2004
the encounter with infantile sexuality
it's not pretty

taken from an actual case study...

Patient: Pee-pee.
Analyst: Mais oui.
P: Mais oui pee-pee?
A: Non!
P: Ka-ka.
A: Mais oui.
P: Mais oui ka-ka?
A: Non!
P: Ka-ka pee-pee!
A: Non!
P: Ka-ka pee-pee head!
A: Non! Non! Non!
P: Pee-pee! Oui! Oui!
A: Sacre bleu!
P: Ka-ka! Oui! Oui!
A: Mon dieu...

Eer oui cee zee negatif tranzverenz in all ees gloree!

10:17 PM | link |

and lo, it shall come to pass...
fun with prophecy

b  u  r  n  i  n  g    b  u  s  h

3:31 AM | link |

watch this

This is the time piece I mentioned in the piece about the bus, was it two days ago now, or last year? Recently, let's say. More recently still -- i.e., today -- I found a watch store along what is fast becoming my regular route, and they not only knew which battery it needed, but a) had one, and b) installed it for me, which is a lot harder than it sounds, requiring some specialized tool. I had tried biting it open, but to no avail. So now I have the time to go along with a whole stack of bus schedules I picked up yesterday.

My life is still in disarray, I have no home, no direction toward one, but... 'twas ever thus. I stand out half naked under the stars here, next to the parking lot, unafraid of the sky. This is either an old madness or a new freedom. I am reading a book about Wilfred Bion, and it turns out he was an alien, very much the Outsider, but not Melanie Klein's, as I said before. Evidently, though, this is not common knowledge. I can prove it too. Right now, you're probably saying: "Who the fuck is Wilfred Bion? What's he on about now?" Quod erat demonstrandum, dude. And yes anyway, as Winnicott said (I learned last night) -- and there seems no better line to emblazon on my Coat of Alms -- "We are poor indeed if we are only sane."

1:54 AM | link |

Friday, July 09, 2004
Va Fongool
Jeneane writes:
"Mr. Boy accepted the assignment, but on further reflection decided that a Coat of Arms was a better backdrop for my steamroller totem. Leveraging the Coat of Arms from Pope Urban VIII (1623-44), and why not, he rendered me a beauty..." [go see]
A note on the text: [from The Straight Dope]

As for fangooloo (in my neighborhood we pronounced it fongool), I'm afraid you've heard the expurgated translation. According to Kevin Beary's Florentine Locutions [A Study of Blasphemous and Obscene Expressions in Florentine Italian] (1991), it's properly spelled vaffanculo, a contraction of va a fare in culo, and literally means "go do [it] in the ass," i.e., bugger off, fuck off, fuck you. "Some Italians affirm that the ass referred to is that of one's interlocutor, while others assert that the orifice in question is not yours or mine or anyone's in particular, but rather the universal anus," Beary says.

Vaffanculo is merely the best known of a rich tradition of Italian oaths and imprecations, although the consensus is that Spanish is the champ in this department. Herewith a few of the more printable international classics, culled from the pages of Reinhold Aman's Maledicta: The International Journal of Verbal Aggression:

Mecagum les cinc llagues de Crist, "I shit on the five wounds of Christ," Catalan. Even more bloodcurdling is Mecagum Deu, en la creu, en el fuster que la feu i en el fill de puta que va plantar el pi, "I shit on God, on the cross, on the carpenter who made it and on the son of a whore who planted the pine."


And you guys think I've got a mouth! I will leave it to Jeneane to explain the steamroller...

8:45 PM | link |

"a fundamentally happy craziness"

In 1973, Red Grooms, his wife Mimi and their daughter Saskia (named after Rembrandt's wife) spent a summer at my place in the Catskill Mountains, 18 miles northwest of Woodstock. They made a film there called Hippodrome Hardware, in which all three of them, using wings they'd fashioned and painted up real cool, flew around a circus tent. Magic stuff. They showed it at (another) local commune, and everyone got stoned and fell asleep. Red was pretty bummed by that. I didn't keep in touch, and I didn't know him all that well to begin with -- I was just one more stoned hippie out there on the kozmik tree farm -- but he and his family were neat people to be around. I mean, wow. You know what I mean? The following is from The New York Times Sunday Book Review section, at your newsstand two days hence, on the website as we speak.

Detail from "Looking Along Broadway Towards Grace Church" by Red Grooms (Courtesy of the author and Rizzoli)

Red Grooms
By Arthur C. Danto, Timothy Hyman and Marco Livingstone

"For more than 47 years" Red Grooms, "who is part Thomas Rowlandson and part Daumier, has been turning the city into a raucous, tumultuous, Rabelaisian world of wonder," says Thomas Hoving, a former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. "This new book � with hundreds of pictures, a couple of lively essays on the art and a penetrating interview of Grooms by another artist � is the best account of his accomplishment we have had. Even his most passionate admirers may be impressed by the sheer range of his work."

An essay by the art scholar Marco Livingstone notes that Grooms "has a powerful talent for drawing and a foundation in classical painting," writes Hoving. "Livingstone finds the soul of Grooms's style in an ungainliness that is, somehow, elegantly stylized." In another essay, "a very thoughtful meditation," the art critic Arthur C. Danto "zeroes in on Grooms's comedy. ...

"The horde of pictures here, intelligently laid out by the designers, will reward readers thousands of times over; in every work there is always something new to discover no matter how many times you revisit it," says Hoving....

From ''Red Grooms'' (Rizzoli)
''Studio at Rue des Grands-Augustins'' (1990-96) by Red Grooms.
Reprinted with[out] the permission of the artist.

8:12 PM | link |

Why I Love Madame Levy
it's not what you think
And I quote:

TheFrenchMan... thinks FiL's just shy and damaged from a difficult childhood. Well, guess what? Everybody was. Time to wake up and smell the similarity of the human condition. Time to smell the connection Mr. Logician.
He's a spoiled hateful child man that tries to keep everyone terrorized so he can have his way. Understand that EveryOne in his family is Terrrified of him while at the same time feeling sorry for him. I am the best thing that ever happened to him. The emperor has no fucking clothes, Opie.
You don't ignore the chef.
You don't insult your doctor.
And you sure as hell don't fuck with a writer if you know what's good for you. Anything you can throw at me is just Grist for the mill, motherfucker. I will write you til it hurts so good.
You're I'm so damaged song don't play with me. You Rude Ass Mother Fucker. The Dali Lama's on vacation.

Ironically (or not), I do insult my doctor. But I concur heartily with the rest. Especially: "...you sure as hell don't fuck with a writer if you know what's good for you." You go girl!

4:39 AM | link |

Thursday, July 08, 2004
Why I Love Korean Spam

9:56 PM | link |

The Perfect Gift
for that extra-special hard-to-please someone

Editorial Reviews
Book Description
The Complete Narcissist's Guide

Mimi E. Gotist delivers a gift for our times: practical, simple guidance to help you cope with the self-loving people in your life -- while nurturing your own inner narcissist. At once utterly self-absorbed, and charmingly aware of it, Gotist offers advice on:

  • Dating: You're not looking for the person you want to marry -- you're looking for the person you want to change
  • Career: Don't work -- work it
  • Spirituality: Me Here Now
  • Personal Growth: You can't help anyone who won't help you

9:53 PM | link |

ars brevis

take me down little Susie, take me down
I know you think you're the queen of the underground
and you can send me dead flowers every morning
send me dead flowers by the US Mail
say it with dead flowers on my wedding
and I won't forget to put roses on your grave

stones - dead flowers

2:57 PM | link |

Wednesday, July 07, 2004
on the bus

found my coat and grabbed my hat
made the bus in seconds flat...
beatles - a day in the life

I knew this was going to happen. Wasted now because I was up all night blogging about everything but what I was going to blog about, which was: about riding the bus. I know that doesn't sound like much, but it was much, trust me. You need to see it in context, which is: exactly one week ago to the hour, the repo man was getting ready to creep up and steal my car. OK, so it wasn't really my car. And true, I hadn't made a lease payment in almost four months. But still. The fucker. So until yesterday, I hadn't gone anywhere for a week, except to sit on my stoop and watch the moon. Which wasn't all that bad, actually. I've gotten used to it. I've gotten to kind of like it. Don't tell anyone.

However, I woke up yesterday just basically glad to be alive after that day I had the day before. Man. So I got on this funky old broken down laptop with the 56k modem and started checking out the RTD, or Regional Transportation District, which for some reason is what they call the bus company around here. To make what you just know could be a very long story a lot shorter, I found the bus route map you see here and discovered that I could go from where I live to Don's office with out hardly having to walk, well... very much.

So I get to the bus stop in time (I think) for the bus they told me on the phone would be coming about now, and here comes this girl walking towards me. Now, as I'd just found out (or remembered, really) that the Swiss Army pocket watch attached to my shoulder bag -- oh! and look here! I have a time piece! -- didn't work. Yes, as I was saying, as I'd just discovered (or remembered, really) the above... I said to her: do you have the time? I wasn't trying to be smart or anything. Wait. I said I was going to make this short didn't I?

OK. Her name is Oumou and she is incredibly beautiful. She had (and presumably still does) these 1000 or so little tiny braids, which she said her momma (she did say her momma, I'm sure of it) did for her. Because, naturally, I asked. And it took about 12 hours, she said. Holy shit! And she's in her junior year at CU (the University of Colorado in Boulder) studying psychology. So, lots to talk about there. And she's just hanging out in the street with me asking her all these questions and thinking wow is this ever nice and it was when she smiled that I noticed how incredibly beautiful she was.

Then the bus came, and I said well bye, nice talking to you. And she got on the bus too and I, of course, felt like the world's biggest idiot. But you know how it is when you've just fallen in love and don't quite realize it yet. You are an idiot and it doesn't matter. She got off again in about six blocks and I just managed to give her my telephone number and a quick DNA sample (no, that can't be right...) and my email address and I'll probably never see her again. What a smile. My god. Oumou. She said it was Egyptian. Yes.

possibly somewhere around here

Then the bus continued on, somewhat redundantly, but I didn't mind that either. Boulder has never looked so good. I have never been this glad to live here. Man. What is up with that? This whole bus thing was so cool. I felt liberated. Oh yeah, and the driver didn't charge me. He said you can pay next time. Wow. And coming back? That driver said, oh well, you're going to buy a pass, right? (I'd asked him where I could buy a pass.) And he said, well in that case, no sense paying. Incredible. They were both Latino and maybe it was my day to find out that if you ride the bus, not everyone in Boulder is White. Or so goddam fucking mean. Like these old women (though they could be 29) who drive the biggest motherfucking SUVs their money can buy, which is really really big around here, and then can't drive them for shit. Or lately, these things that look like they were designed for Desert Storm or Operation AssFuck the RagHeads or whatever we called that last one. But amazingly, I wasn't thinking any of those things. I was just marvelling at the bus and where it was going and hey, it was air conditioned even. But this feeling of I dunno freedom. I liked it. I hate to say this, but I was feeling sort of happy, actually.

Which in itself is something. Because there hasn't been a whole lot of anything in terms of like outside, you know? I mean, lately. I mean, except for Barnes & Noble, which I had definitely worn out. And Borders, which ditto. And I was like what else is there? Well, as it turns out, there's the bus! Which among its many other virtues, got me to Don's in about 20 minutes. All the way across town. I know this must sound sort of silly, as if I'm making fun of the bus. But no, I am really in awe of these things. And I hope this doesn't sound like George Bush (the one who was smart [and mean] enough to be Director of the CIA) saying, well, would ya look at that, it just scans the groceries and gets the price and puts it right in there, doesn't it? Which is why everyone is now talking about Clinton's autobiography, because if Bush hadn't been so fucking dumb on TV that time, no one would have ever heard of Bill Clinton or cared who was blowing him under the desk. Except whoever was, I guess. Oh yeah, and it even goes to the airport, which is about 3,000 kilometers from here, as the crow flies. I shouldn't try to write these things when I'm this tired. It's unnatural.

or maybe more like around here someplace

So then I was at Don's and we talked about annihilation and that special moment when you're about oh I dunno say eight weeks old and you know something's terribly, desperately wrong but you can't quite put your finger on it. So you check out. Forever. Part of you, anyway. Just part. Just some part you can't remember anyway until maybe about 50 years later or so when something triggers it like a grenade going off in a rotted out mine shaft and the whole thing comes down. Baby. And all.

Not to put too fine a point on it.

And then it was time to go. So I walked down some alleys and back streets and then down Pearl Street where there are lots of people on a fine day like today. Went into the used bookstore. What can I tell you? It's a habit. And yeah, Borders. But I couldn't get out of those places fast enough, so I only read six or eight shelves. Then I went into this dirt-cheap eatery called Moshi-Moshi Rice Bowl, which means something like Hello, Rice Bowl. Because "moshi moshi" is what you say when you answer the phone in Japan, but never do this if you're gaijin. I did this once, and I have a pretty good ear for accents, so then whoever called expects that you speak Japanese. And then you have to explain, in English of course, that you were just kidding, but they don't usually think it's that funny. In other words, horribly embarrassing. I cringe just writing this. And I had the ka-re bee-fu, which means like beef curry. With rice (rai-su). So it's not true I didn't learn some Japanese. Like, for instance: "Kore wa Nihongo denanto imasuka?" Very handy phrase meaning: "How do you say that in Japanese?" And I say to the guy there, "Shoga arimaska?" And he says, yeah it's over there with the chopsticks and stuff. Because he understood I was asking if there was any pickled ginger.

It's all just fucking amazing if you ask me. So ordinary. So totally unexpected. I mean, everything. And I was so excited about the bus that last night around 9:30 I walked up to King Soopers, which is maybe a mile (!!!) away, and bought a one-month bus pass for $45. This was made possible by some very fine friends who laid some very fine cash onto this very fine button...

You knew it was coming, didn't you? Of course you did. It's my little giffy begging bowl that lets me get food and coffee and cigarettes and bus passes and stay up all night till I'm crazy as a shithouse rat and be amazed at the world for another, please oh please, just one more, day.

...found my way upstairs and had a smoke
and somebody spoke and I went into a dream...

AAAAAAH... view from bus window

11:17 AM | link |

survival of the artist

I never heard of Adam Phillips until yesterday. He turned up in my Amazon recommendations (which I tune obsessively; much of what I've learned in the last couple years I owe to the communities behind the collaborative filtering that delivers these otherwise inaccessible clues). Here's what the Amazon reviewer says about another of his books...
What is psychoanalysis good for? The British essayist and psychotherapist Adam Phillips believes it's good for creating the sense that everyday life is worth approaching with wonder. In Terrors and Experts, Phillips redefines the terms in which many people discuss -- and dismiss -- psychoanalysis. He does this by examining it as a social practice, not a science, and criticizes analysts that believe that if they and their patients simply find things out, all their patients' problems will go away. Says Phillips, "When a doctor tries to solve every problem, rather than help his patient tolerate the terrifying uncertainties of introspection, he becomes an expert on human possibility, something no one could ever be, despite the posturing of our own favorite authorities."
Sounds good to me. If the books are as good as the titles and covers, sign me up as a fan. There is a conversation going on in the psychoanalytic world, and it seems unknown to most of us who might be most amazed by it. There aren't many conversations going on these days that are anywhere near as profound and urgent in their implications. For the most part, this flow of ideas is deep and humane and scary, intellectually and emotionally and morally honest -- precisely because it explores what those sorts of words could possibly mean today. Whatever you may think, it's not what you think. There is a professional jargon, to be sure, and it can seem impenetrable at first. There's also a history that has grown enormously since Freud (and beyond), and continues to evolve. All this can be daunting, yeah. But to my mind, it's well worth the trip. I doubt I'd have much mind left if I hadn't stumbled onto this stuff -- with considerable help from Don Williams (even though I'm pretty down on the Jungians these days). At any rate, if you're at all intrigued, Adam Phillips might (I'm not sure, but he might) be a good way in. Or, if you're more like me (there are worse things you could be; though not many), you could go straight off the deep end...

5:51 AM | link |

Madame Levy & Friends
bricolage: it's a french thing

3:21 AM | link |

periodic table
mouse to 1X4

1:17 AM | link |

an apple a day
more fun with spam

12:16 AM | link |

Tuesday, July 06, 2004
Werewolves of London
eine kleine nachtmusik

I was poking around today for first, or probably more important, most influential uses of the term "annihilation" in a psychoanalytic context. It's been coming up pretty frequently in my recent reading. And blowing through the shreds and tatters of my former life. As I spent most of today wrestling with the panic attack from hell, I figured it was time to get serious about this psychic annihilation business. A man has to have something to keep his mind off his, uh... well... mind.

Seems that Freud uses the term, but not (as far as I was able to discover in my rapidfire googling) in any what you might call principled way. Melanie Klein, however, and her pet alien, Wilfred Bion (yes, Virginia Bionic analysis is not a joke; whereas Kohutian analysis may well be; long story short, maybe later) are indeed responsible for the special meaning annihilation has come to have in the psychoanalytic world, such as it is. And then D.W. Winnicott who studied with Klein, extended it in some interesting directions. It's all totally terrifying, as you can imagine, and makes it really hard to fucking breathe when it drops around. As it did today.

Believe it or not, this little research project began with the line from the Evanescence song, Going Under, where Amy Lee (that's her at your left) is going (I wish I could play it for you): "I'm going under (going under) / drowning in you (drowning in you) / I'm falling forever..."

Because, and here's the weird part, that very notion of "falling forever" is explicitly mentioned by Winnicott (1992) and Stolorow, et al. (2002). I know this because I read these passages -- the Stolorow just this past week; the Winnicott maybe 6-8 months ago. And I pay attention to shit like that, because, in fact, this feeling of "falling forever" is tightly coupled to annihilation anxiety. Or panic. Or the thing where you suddenly need a whole lot of heroin -- even if, like myself, you've never done any, well, smoked a little O once, but that was mixed with hash and I was ripped on speed so it was hard to tell -- and a state-of-the-art heart-lung machine. To be more formal: unbearable mental anguish. So anyway, I found these little refs...

"Klein believed that the anxiety in the paranoid-schizoid position was persecutory, threatening the annihilation of the self..."
and this...
"Psychic life consists of symbiotic anxieties (at the prospect of annihilation or loss) and defenses (expressed in mature love as alternations between guilt and reparation)."
Look, I didn't really mean to get into all this. But then I found this book, and well... you know, it was just too good to pass up. I saw Melanie Klein drinking a Pina Colada at Trader Vic's. I saw Wilfred Bion walking with the Queen. His hair was perfect.
better stay away from him he'll rip your lungs out, Jim

I'd like to meet his tailor

well, I saw Lon Chaney walking with the Queen

I saw a werewolf drinking a Pina Colada at Trader Vic's

his hair was perfect

1:08 AM | link |

Sunday, July 04, 2004
How the Mighty Have Fallen

EGR: Speaking Lies to Power Since 1995

5:54 PM | link |

Thanks Frank!
Well, having no car anymore (see posts below; give generously), I actually, for the first time, walked the four blocks to the United States Post Office substation where Frank Paynter's cheese was waiting for me. Big ol' cooler box full of mmmmm-mmmmmm some truly lip-smackin Great Cheese. Cheddar and Swiss. I cut four thick slices of the Swiss and stuck em in the microwave. Instant hillbilly fondue, dude! Dipped it up with some Sheepherder bread, which I get cheap at King Soopers. Hey, I'm poor now, but I'm livin large!

1:36 AM | link |

psychodeathbunny, writer & poet
Amazon's listmania lists are a mixed bag, to be sure, but every once in a while one comes up that I just have to check, you know? Such was the case, just now, with a list by one psychodeathbunny. I mean... do I need to explain this? No.

Titled Self Help/Self Knowledge Books I Highly Recommend, the list contains 17 books, 15 of which I also highly recommend -- if you're stupid and think it'd be a good idea to get even more that way.

But what's Nancy Chodorow doing here? The Reproduction of Mothering: Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Gender is a heavy-duty, well respected and hugely influential book by one of the few (credible) psychoanalytic feminists. Of course, I haven't read it, but it's gotta beat The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You. Where'd I put my glocke? Ah here, thrive on this!

Plus, I guess I could hesitantly recommend The I Ching or Book of Changes, which I did read most of at one time or another, usually ripped on acid and pretending I could understand Word One. For instance: isolated through opposition, one sees one's companion as a pig covered with dirt, as a wagon full of devils. It told me if I waited long enough though, she would woo at the right time and that as one goes, rain falls; then good fortune comes. Yeah right. That was in 1981, and after waiting all that time and spending lots of money I wish I had now on fancy dinners and the usual sex fees, I've concluded that she is in fact a pig covered with dirt and a wagon full of devils. So much for fucking Chinese wisdom.
D R I V E  S A F E L Y  YO

12:25 AM | link |

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

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

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

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