Gonzo Marketing:Winning Through Worst Practices The Bombast Transcripts: Rants and Screeds of RageBoy
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Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Mac Attack
I've grown accustomed to your interface
So yeah, I've been getting up to speed on my uh... rescued and unrepossed Mac G4 Powerbook and it's taken a little learning curve after all that time on the PC. I haven't used a Mac since I worked at Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute in 1990, which is when Selene was born. She started high school this week. As the Grateful Dead said in Uncle John's Band: where / does / the / time go?

I have had to find replacements for the trusty software tools I've gotten so used to on my busteddown Dell laptop, the last machine still standing (well, except for the Sony Vaio slimtop) after the Plagues of Job beset me late in 2002 just to show me that God was not amused and that any attempted recovery would meet with immediate and devastating retribution. Maybe later I'll tell you about the locusts and the rain of frogs.

Good tools I have found, too. Though it did take some looking. Killer graphics apps like the latest version of Graphics Converter. Like the latest version of Art Director's Toolkit, not to mention (yes, what the hell, why don't I) Color Consultant Pro, which is absofuckingloutely fantastic. And one more that replaces Snagit, or at least close: SnapZ Pro X. And from the same outfit, a cool little applet called iSeek, which gives Mac users a Google bar and much much more. No, I'm not getting paid for this.

Long ago, when I first bought the Powerbook, first thing I did was to download and register BBedit, by Bare Bones Software -- thus the BB. It's the best editor for the Mac there ever was, though it could drive you batshit with everything it can do. Consider me batshit (if you don't already) because I'm writing to you tonight from way down in the guts of the thing. I also like the product's Original Net Gonzo tagline...

I go there and discover there's a major new version just out. Seems that 8.0 was released like yesterday, or maybe last week. Oh yeah, I need to check this out. And since I'm pirating some truly excellent high-speed bandwidth from some neighbor with an open WiFi port, it's nothing to download the 11 meg fully featured demo. The package is on my desktop before I can even flip over and check the download manager screen. Wow. I guess this is why I'm the only person left on the planet using an Apple Airport connected through a dialup phone line. But hey, it works. And it's cheap. And as long as I can rob fat bandwidth when I need some real muscle, well hey.

But. Big butt. I open the BBedit demo download... or try to open it. But the but is: I get a message saying sorry pardner, this software in incompatible with your system. What! OK, now I'm pissed. I go back to the BBedit site and see that the new rev will run only on MAC OS X.3, which, now that I'm fast turning into a MacHead, I know means I gotta have Panther to run the editor. Fuck.

I go to the Apple site to check out Panther. It's supposed to be really hot, man. And it's "only" 129 bucks. Yeah sure, I got that. But it's my total net worth at this point, as I keep trying to remind you...

please give. or the kitty gets it.
So anyway, since I have all this monster bandwidth all of a sudden I can -- yee hah! -- watch hi-rez full motion videos. Not only do I not get out much, I don't even get on much. And I don't get much, either. But those are whores of a different color. The reason I keep saying "anyway" so much is that I keep going off on these fucking irrelevant tangents. It's that Bad Attitude ADD again. I got it BAADD.

Yeah well anyway, I find this video kinda tour thing, which I click on, and gee, even at this borrowed speed I grabbed, the thing takes like an hour to download. Well, maybe 10 minutes. I go do something else. Download the fucking spam. Check google images for stuff to illustrate my meme fatale series (see below), ta dum, ta dum, doing lots of little things. Then I notice it's all here, I mean of course the video clip. So I hit the start button. And the first thing I see is Omar Wasow saying "Hi, I'm Omar!" Fucking too fucking weird. I know the guy and here he is enthusing like a regular motherfucker about Panther. I bet he got nice little chunk of change for that one. But he's so real about it. He's all excited. He's seen the future and it is Panther, yo. Damn. I wish I could get that excited about making some fucking money somehow. And he's talking to these artist types who are saying like that Panther "kicks ass" and other edgy expressions not usually found in mainstream, that is to say TV, advertising. And holy shit, he sells me on it. Omar, you bastard, you owe me 129 bucks. You can drop it on the button right above the cat . You fucker!

But once again, this wasn't supposed to be about all that. I have another app on this little box that is quite needful for the way I blog. It's an FTP client called Transmit, which does the job pretty well. I can get to the right local and remote directories (panix.com in NY) with the click of a button, But then I have to watch the entire filelist scroll down. And there is one fuckload of images on the EGR site. Look, all I want to do is plop that pic up there in the right place on that sever in NYC. There has to be a simpler way. A way to get around all this goddam sticky GUI friendliness!

Then I remember. There is! There's full-bore Unix under the hood of this little pup. And I learned a pretty good lot of Unix when I was bored silly working in that Ricoh research lab in the heart of sunny (heh) downtown Tokyo. Berkeley Unix 4.2 on a dumb terminal hooked into a VAX cluster somewhere I never got to go. Maybe because, when I was learning? I wiped out three months worth of coding by my Japanese colleagues. They were not amused. But I pressed on! Never say die, I said -- thus contravening my own injunction in the very act of giving voice to it. Burroughs was right. Language is a virus. So I opend up a termnial window and did this to transfer the grafik of THE-ONE.JPG (see meme fatale #4, below).

[/egr/blog/images] rageboy% ls the-one.jpg
[/egr/blog/images] rageboy% ftp
ftp> open panix.com
Connected to panix.com.
220 panix1.panix.com FTP server 
(NetBSD-ftpd 20010329) ready.
Name (panix.com:rageboy): clocke
331 Password required for clocke.
    NetBSD 1.5.4_ALPHA (PANIX-USER) #0: 
    Thu Feb 26 14:11:15 EST 2004
230 User clocke logged in.
Remote system type is UNIX.
Using binary mode to transfer files.
ftp> put the-one.jpg
local: the-one.jpg remote: the-one.jpg
229 Entering Extended Passive Mode (|||61566|)
150 Opening BINARY mode data connection
for 'the-one.jpg'.
100% |********************************| 
40105      80.44 KB/s    00:00 ETA
226 Transfer complete.
40105 bytes sent in 00:01 (37.70 KB/s)
ftp> close
    Data traffic for this session was 
    40105 bytes in 1 file.
    Total traffic for this session was 
    40826 bytes in 1 transfer.
221 Thank you for using the FTP service on 
See? Simple as pie. That is, if you don't blanche at the sight of a command line.

Well, folks, now it's after 8am and I wanna tell you I am some kinda wasted over here at EGR HQ. I know that this needs a better ending, something you can you know, like use. But I'm tapped out.

I heard that den of coyotes out in the back forty howling at the full moon last night. Can you use that?

9:44 AM | link |

meme fatale
#4 in a series

I thought you were The One

2:03 AM | link |

Monday, August 30, 2004
meme fatale
#3 in a series

Body, Mind & Spirit
it's not just for breakfast anymore!

11:55 PM | link |

meme fatale
#2 in a series

just be yourself

11:24 PM | link |

meme fatale
#1 in a series

beauty does as beauty is

10:15 PM | link |

Friday, August 27, 2004
the social construction of meaning
the essence of blogging
Stavros the Wonderchicken, whose true name is hidden in the mists of time, blogged a thing recently with the unlikely title Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy, which refers to some pretty amazing changes he's put his body through by working out at a gym. Personally, we don't believe such pursuits are entirely natural. If God had wanted us to have flat abs he would have more intelligently designed the evolutionary process. Or, leaving the creationist quasi-rational pseudoscientific explanations out of it, simply plucked His/Her/Its magic twanger. Oh Froggy!

Anyway, we were implicated or somehow at least entailed in that post, so we (that is to say RageBoy® and myself) decided to add a little comment. The "comment" grew to nearly a thousand words, so we're replicating it here, to underscore the point that, yes Virginia, size does matter. Or something. However, reading Stavros's post first may be is necessary to make even partial sense of what follows.

after just reading this I am now feeling somewhat baddish wondering if my testimonial played any part in messing up your head by making you self-conscious, or more self-conscious. my earliest days of writing EGR as a webzine list in 1995 (my god) taught me many things. two heuristics stick with me, have become glued into my messenger RNA in fact, such that I don't think I could shake them if I wanted to. fortunately, I don't want to. unfortunately, I suspect these molecularly embedded turns of mind are at least in part responsible for my present state of financial ruin. so be careful of what I am about to impart. be aware that these... perhaps principles they could be called... might very well fuck you up to the point there is no WHERE to return to. on the sort-of-plus side, I tell myself that there never was such a WHERE to begin with, so there's no risk involved, only perhaps some degree of terror. and what's a little terror among friends? However, as in all cases, YMMV. and of course such dire warnings and counterbalancing assurances serve as the most irresistible form of seduction. temptation. think St. Anthony in Bosch's manic nightmares. that could be you. please allow me to introduce myself... etc.

if you read further, you agree to indemnify me from any and all damages you may incur as a result of this transmission. to be freed from it's spiritual and psychic bindings, you will have to pass it along to another willing to accept these same powers and chains. this is the way these things we given to me. I look forward to my own liberation should you accept. this concludes the required statement of terms and conditions.

well gee, after all that, I think you may be let down by these two things I have to impart. they're just little stories, not much. nevertheless, the spooky language above still holds. and as this is getting rather longish for a comment(!!!) and I'm thoroughly wasted behind sleep deprivation, I suppose I'd better get on with it. so...

When I first started writing EGR, I quickly realized I could write anything. anything at all. and this was wonderful in the writing I began to discover was in me -- I truly hadn't known this much freedom before the net. who had? but when I was finished writing and obsessively editing -- so many times I thought I'd go blind -- then came the terror. I would think: I can't send this. it's too much. it's too personal. too confessional, too off-putting, bizarre, outrageous, pornographic, emotional, illegal... I just can't. Not *this* one. And I'd sit there, finger hovering over the send key, paralyzed with every form of trepidation you can imagine -- and I imagine you know what I'm saying here. Always, I'd finally hit the key and the terrible, monstrous, vile, beautiful and confusing thing that had come out of somewhere inside me that I'd never known was there, would fly through the pipes and wires of the internet to people I didn't know, had never seen or spoken with in any way. intimate pieces of myself going out like SETI probes: is there anyone out there? do you know what this thing is that I've sent you? because I don't. it makes no sense what we say until it's heard. unless someone says something back that begins to build something else, something larger, more complex and mysterious, yet more familiar at the same time. so I would wait and sweat and go through, you know, changes man, every time I sent out one of THOSE. we all know, anyone who really writes, when it's one of THOSE. one where you've bared a part of your soul -- even though I don't think we have souls, something else inside. just us chickens. once in a while a wonderchicken. a rare enough event. unique and miraculous I would say, if I put much stock in modernism or miracles. but still... however, the point was my waiting in a nervous jangle of conflicting emotions about the implications of what I'd just done, what I'd -- oh my god! -- actually sent to thousands of perfect strangers.

This one will be much shorter, but it holds the magic bit. Which is that whenever, and I mean *every* time I sent out one of THOSE, I would get the most wonderful, heartening, deeply felt responses from people I'd never heard from before. they would de-lurk if I'd somehow managed to write from that place that can only be said to be THAT place. you've been there, you live there, I can tell from what you write. there are many who have no idea what THAT place is. take me, for instance. I don't know either. but I can read a lot in the bounce. how it strikes other humans, touches them. the echo of that opened my heart a little more each time it happened, and what I wrote got scarier to send, more naked, more willing, more courageous in a way that felt often stupid, bufoonish... bombastic. that's why it took courage to send it. OK, I'd say, this one is a piece of shit, and it makes me a clown and a fool, but fuck it, it's going out. and the weird thing is that people would cheer me on. say, please oh please, whatever that was, more of THAT.

This is the actual transmission: write anything that comes into your head. and let anything *into* your head. send everything. now you are free. and permanently bound -- to the readers who make meaning with you, with me, with all of us.

goo goo ga joob, bro.


2:36 PM | link |

Thursday, August 26, 2004
beck and call
whatever you think, it's not what you think

Strike a pose
Strike a pose

Greta Garbo and Monroe
Dietrich and DiMaggio
Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean
on the cover of a magazine...

Madonna - Vogue
I feel I should warn you at the outset that the whole first part of this could be a red herring. Also possibly the second and third parts. If there is a third part. I can't remember. Think Virginia Postrel. Think style, not substance. Think, hey: just a ripping good read!
So what I want to know is: who the fuck is Steve Nakamoto? He keeps turning up in the sidebars of a whole lot of the searches I run on Amazon. But as a whole lot of these searches are for new-agey relationship shit, I at first just ignored him. I mean, this whole research agenda is masochistic enough. However, not to be so easily thwarted, the bastard kept popping up so often, I finally looked at a couple of his "So You'd Like To..." guides, wondering if one would be like "So You'd Like To... Strangle Me With a Live Boa Constrictor," and a box I could check for YES. It was just what I expected, though: shit. Though it could be valuable at some point, I told myself, as it's so pure, such 100% grade-A hogwash. Not a single book he lists has any redeeming social value. But then, I told myself some more, this is hardly anything, in itself, to write home about. There are so many examples of this sort that they constitute the quotidian mean, the hump in the bell curve of unadulterated idiocy that has come to characterize nearly everything written today about "love." So hey, just another garbage-bargeful of nauseating drek.

But tonight I searched for something by Aaron T. Beck, "the father," as it says in the mini-bio on the back of one of his many books, "of cognitive psychology." He is too: full fathom five. <!-- I wonder should you add: "Thy father lies." Hmmm, I suppose not. The smart ones will get it the way it is; you'd just be insulting their intelligence by spelling it out too plain. And the dumb literary-allusion challenged ones wouldn't get it anyway. OK, so no. But should you tell the hosers Valued Readers that we piss on cognitive psychology? Nah, not yet, requires too much explanation. Later for sure, though, right? And as long as I'm making these little personal hidden comments to yourself, also don't forget to explain, like you promised -- what? five-six months ago? -- why Abraham Maslow, co-court-jester to Esalen Institute along with Fritz "I am not in this world to live up to your expectations" Perls, was a dangerous fool. --><!-- uh... what's that? Oh yeah, I see, good point. But remind me later, OK? --> And there he was again, Little Stevie Nakamoto. Damn! That tears it, I opined. <!-- Christ, don't say opined! It's a stupid word. C'mon. Only bad science fiction writers say opined. And besides, "that tears it" is hardly an opinion. --><!-- RB, would you PLEASE just shut the fuck up! --> So I went to his profile page to see what I could see. What I saw immediately was that he seems to have cobbled together 39 of these "So You'd Like To..." guides. Count em, thirty-nine!

  3. Attract Love Into Your Life Naturally!
  5. Become A Master Listener & More Compassionate Person!
  7. Catch & Release: Keep Your Relationship Alive and Well!
    <!-- Oh lookee, it includes Unmarried to Each Other: The Essential Guide to Living Together as an Unmarried Couple -->
    <!--Yeah, followed by Get Anyone to Do Anything: Never Feel Powerless Again--With Psychological Secrets to Control and Influence Every Situation. Nice segue, Steve! -->
    <!-- Not to mention my own personal favorite, I Hate You, Don't Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality. -->
    <!-- And how about The Dance of Connection: How to Talk to Someone When You're Mad, Hurt, Scared, Frustrated, Insulted, Betrayed, or Desperate? -->
    <!-- Sounds like a borderline to me.. -->
    <!-- Well, let's run down the list. Mad, check. Hurt, check. Scared, check. Frustrated, check. Insulted, check. Betrayed, check. Desperate, check. Yup, definitely borderline. -->
    <!-- That's by that Harriet Lerner bitch, isn't it. Didn't someone tell us she's a total cunt in real life? -->
    <!-- Yeah, I seem to remember something about that. But I'm surprised to hear you say such a thing, RB. What do you know about "real life"? Look, hey, this is great fun and all, but it's almost 6am. Could we like you know move on?. -->
    <!-- What? So I won't ask you what YOU know about "real life"? Yeah sure, let's move on. Asshole. -->
    <!-- I guess it's a "blind" spot because you can't see inside your own mouth. I never thought of that. Man, this Steve guy is some kinda smart! -->
  11. Find A Man's Love Weakness!
    <!-- Wouldn't it be funny if it was bad breath? -->
  12. Get A Man To Commit With An Unshakable Attachment!
  13. Have Tons of Fun Meeting Quality Men!
  14. Hook Up With A Nice Catch Online!
  16. Increase Your Attractiveness To Men
    <!-- THE BABE MAGNET! -->
    <!-- Yeah, THE BABE MAGNET!!! You go, RB. -->
  18. Land The Love of Your Life For Keeps!
  19. Learn Advanced Communication Skills For Dating & Love!
  20. Learn the Secrets of Unconscious Rapport
    <!-- Hey, wait a second. If it's unconscious, how would you know you had it? -->
    <!-- Read it again. It's a secret. I bet it's a spiritual thing, you think? -->
    <!-- Or maybe he means when you're both asleep. -->
    <!-- Or fucking. I could see that. -->
    <!-- Something Tantric then, yeah. That's probably it. -->
  21. Let Go Of The Big One That Got Away!
    <!-- Hey, my Big One never gets away! -->
  23. Make Your Attraction Mega-Powerful!
  24. Manage Your Love Upsets With Men!
  25. Men: Fall in Love With the Right Woman!
    <!-- Yeah, good fucking luck with that one, Men! -->
  30. Score Points With Your Mate When She Has PMS!
    <!-- Hold on, I think I know this one. You say, "Sweetheart, I know why you're being such a bitch. You're on the rag!" -->
    <!-- Does that really work? -->
    <!-- Every time. -->
  31. Separate the Men From the Boys In Your Love Life!
    <!-- She'd have trouble with us! -->
    <!-- What do mean "would have"? She did. -->
  32. Size Up The Men In Your Love Life More Accurately!
    <!-- "Alright, listen up! All you guys with eight inches or more, over here. The rest of you can hit the road." -->
    <!-- It's that "catch and release" thing again. -->
  33. Succeed At Love (Men) Or Get Happily Married (Women)
    <!-- How come you can never find a feminist when you really need one? -->
    <!-- Is that a joke? If it is, I don't get it. -->
  34. Surf The Internet For Love!
    <!-- You get that one, though, doncha RB? Speaking of which, I've been meaning to talk to you about the 30 gigabytes of JPEGs I found on the Mac this morning. -->
    <!-- Yeah, yeah. Cry me a river. -->
  36. Take Up The Slack In Your Small Talk!
  37. Understand the Unconscious Dating Secrets
    <!-- Christ, first it was Unconscious Rapport. Now it's Unconscious Dating. -->
    <!-- No mystery here. It's anima stuff. You really need to brush up on your Jung. -->
  38. Win Points Instead of Lose Points With The Bachelor!
  39. Women: Learn How To Talk To Men

OK, you say. All right, I give up. So who the fuck is Steve Nakamoto? Other than some x-random bungwipe who thinks he knows WHAT MAKES WOMEN TICK.

Why, you mean you didn't know? He's no less than a former "Life Mastery Trainer" for "motivational expert" Tony Robbins. Plus a "Human Relations/Communications Instructor" for Dale Carnegie & Associates. That's who! Wow, huh?

However, as you may have guessed, this isn't really about Steve-O. It's about America's -- and therefore, by way of export, the world's -- funny ideas about credentials. In other words: what counts toward credibility these days? These other words are necessary here because the specialized term of art, "credentials," is so freighted with academic connotations: doctorate, post-doc, university affiliation, number of journal articles published, number of peer citations, fellowships, chairs, membership in (the right) professional associations, and so on. And so very on, in fact. Notice I haven't mentioned salary, number of palms greased, conventional beauty of wife and/or lovers (or rugged good looks of husband and/or lovers), lavishness of dinner parties thrown, number of institutional power brokers invited to lavish dinner parties, currency with cutting edge jargon, vocal support of ideas already safely well supported, vocal non-support of ideas not supported by those higher up in the hierarchy, unqualified faith (or at least well-voiced lip service to the idea) that The Hierarchy is an inherent given of Existence -- the Way Things Are writ large.

These outwardly endorsed semantics of what "credentials" confer or infer credit for -- as well as their concomitant, if always implicit, self serving suggestions -- have been around for a long time. As long as the Academy, in fact. Which, suffice it to say, might as well be fucking forever. Please note that I do not mean to indicate by this description any measure of undue esteem.

Granted, there are many good heads (not infrequently accompanied by good hearts) who have survived the credentials racket and refused to let it prevent them from advancing the state and store of human knowledge worth knowing. Their cred is of a different and a deeper kind. Such people, when I come across them, command my profound respect, and whenever I can, I commend them to yours.

Nice paragraph, huh?

I mean, for someone who barely finished high school.

And therefore has no credentials to speak of.

Which point is intrinsic to the larger point I'm building toward. That is, if I can remember at this point what it was, and this potential for mental slippage -- as you, Valued Reader, know all too well -- is always a clear and present danger.

My little detour though the academic world was to differentiate (if not distinguish) it's notion of credibility from the credibility that has come to count in popular culture. Instead of differentiate, I was going to say compare and contrast -- echoes of the classroom; hey! teacher! -- but that's not really right, not the same thing. Because the popular view of what's credible is not in contrast to the view from the academy, but rather, is firmly founded on it.

Universities gave us a sort of standardized system of weights and measures for assessing what is good, valuable, interesting, laudable and possibly even true. It's the system, not the weights and measures themselves -- the specific gravitas -- that pop culture has inherited.

Potentially annoying but needful aside: The highly undisinterested ideological project that has sought to distinguish "high culture" from "low culture," "high-brow" from "low-brow," is what is technically referred to as a rhetorical blivet. A blivet being ten pounds of shit in a five pound bag. It's purpose was to re-animate (see adjacent figure) the God-given validity of an "upper class," not as measured by economic status, but as conferred by that noble if somewhat rarefied abstraction called culture. See, e.g., Mathew Arnold on Culture and Anarchy. Yes, as in mere lawlessness loosed upon the world when the center of centers does not hold. That already-here millennium in which the falconer cannot recall the Millennium Falcon. But is legally forced to recall the Pinto because the gas tanks blew up. All of which is to say that one of the many things postmodernism means is never having to say you're sorry.

Aside within potentially annoying aside: Note that "culture" is the root of "agriculture." Curious, no? And that "cultured" people are people who pretend to a high degree of "cultivation." Curiouser still. And note further that this cultured cultivation has come to distinguish so-called civilized people from so-called heathen primitives (we don't call the Darkies that anymore for reasons of political correctness, a.k.a. abject fear). The irony in this nomenclature is that it's no accident that culture and agriculture share a common etymological... uh... root. They are both all about roots. About digging in the dirt. Just as "cultivation" is largely about shit. That is to say, heaping shit on roots so that they'll grow. All these words are about farming. And why did cultured, civilized society come to be called the "landed gentry"? Because they had land. Duh! That's how they got rich and got to be powerful and control shit, just as they once controlled how much shit they put on the crops they cultivated, like corn and cotton and coffee and tobacco and -- oooh, oooh, I know -- opium! They got so rich that they colonized and now control even language -- think universities, publishing, radio, television, advertising -- such that we have forgotten what culture and cultivation used to mean. And that they were once farmers. If you don't believe this, don't believe in the power of agriculture, or think these observations reflect mere quirks of evolving usage, then you probably also don't believe that the real reason the war in Viet Nam went on so long was the staggering profits reaped from heroin shipped home to Amerikan ghettoes in the body bags of soldiers who grew up in those same brokendown sub-cities. And that before those profits were reaped, opium poppies had to be reaped by the billions in the Golden Triangle. The power of agriculture. Believe it.

Ah, but I see that I'm getting ahead of myself.

All this purposeful obfuscation has been to set up an example, which if I were a smarter (or less perverse) fellow, I would have presented first to help you understand what I'm talking about. But I'm either not that smart, or I don't give a fuck about helping you. Take your pick.

Here's the example. You ready? I've left it nice and big because I like the title typeface. And also so you won't miss anything. That's a hint. And you may need this hint, as there will be a pop quiz directly after the grafik.

Now, what do we notice about this cover that's a little odd, a bit fishy? Class? Anyone?... No? How about you Billy. Why don't you explain to us what's wrong with this picture -- as you seem to be doing nothing but drawing pictures of Tyranosaurus Rexes on your math book and you haven't heard a word I've said. Why don't YOU tell us!
Faint strains of primitive music drift through the classroom window from a chopped Camaro breaking Mach 2 on the street outside. We don't need no education...

Billy, looking up from his paleontological reconstruction, and looking, moreover, terminally bored, drawls:

That's easy. Since when is fucking Vogue a credible arbiter of what's "definitive" [he does finger quotes here like he's flipping the bird] in any domain beyond lamer "fashion" [he flips the quotes again] and pathetically obsolete delusions of what's "hip." Beck and his marketing handlers are clearly pitching this cognitive "psychology" crap to the self-help morons who, if they could help themselves, would be cruising a different aisle, so to speak. And if they had half a brain to cognize with, would be like LOL, dude, when they spotted this blowhard blurb, wondering how anyone could be stupid enough to believe for a New York nanosecond that Vogue -- fucking VOGUE??? -- would know dick about cognitive psych, which is a crock to begin with, a black boxful of simple-assed algorithms pretending to explain the most complex organic structure in all of like fucking NATURE, man, not to mention what people can do with it, or how twisted they get behind what it gets off on doing back. And what? Did positivism stage a come-back while I was drawing dinosaurs? Gimme a break. It's a load of shit.
The teacher, though clearly floored at this totally unexpected answer:
You watch your mouth in here, Billy Milligan!
Billy, laconically:
Blow me.
Strikes a pose.

...to be continued...
The author wishes to acknowledge the generous support he has received for this work-in-progress from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Pugh Charitable Trust. But however munificent, these pale in comparison with the Gonzo PayPal Blog Grants that continue to pour in from...
You, The Valued Reader!

<!-- Jesus, am I ever glad that's over! Do you realize it took us all fucking night to write this worthless swill? -->
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11:02 AM | link |

Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Linked In
or locke'd out?
These goddam Koreans are starting to get on my nerves. What does this mean? The number 19 with hearts coming out of it. Is that supposed to... what? I have no idea. Why don't these fucking people just leave me alone. Maybe Wonderchicken can explain it. Though that link is primarily to thank him for the wonderful lead to his recent "Politics Chafe My Scrote." Never have I seen fellatio and the Caucasian Chalk Circle so succinctly juxtaposed and dispatched. Good work there, Stavros. So what the fuck is it with this Cabalistic spam about the love of 19. A 19 year old girl, I could understand, but this came in one of those rare emails I receive every other month or so that is not from a porn site. They're infrequent enough not to interrupt my contemplation of the other mail I must study so carefully, but these little hearts have got me irked. Don't these people have better things to do with their time? I understand they make excellent kim-chee. So credit where due, I say. But if you have any sway over there, Mr. Wonderchicken, Sir, would you ask them to knock this shit off? Thanks.

However, that's not what I meant to write about. I just had to get it off my mind first. Blow out the old pipes, you know? A man can only take so much.

My intended theme this time out concerns all these myriad goddam social networking schemes. Seems there's another of the motherfuckers every week now, each vying to add bells and whistles the others haven't dreamed up yet, all in an effort to what? I'll tell you what: make us fill in more bloody forms than the IRS could invent if they hired ten thousand more lifetime-tenured civil servants with the IQ of goldfish and the vicious demeanor of starving Rottweilers.

Jesus Christ. Wasn't the point of all this -- now forgotten somewhere back there in the dawn of Internet Time -- to stop feeding databases with fixed-field hor's doerves culled from the least interesting minutiae of our already beleaguered lives? I could never remember my own phone number before the World Wide Web. Now I know it by heart. I ask you: is this progress?

However, LinkedIn seems to have a distinctly cut-above approach to facilitating serious business relationships. The system is well designed to prevent the sort of free-for-all messaging whereby one suddenly finds oneself in receipt of 793,482 emails, half of which reflect hot debate about the best etiquette to adopt when attending a rodeo in Montana so as not to alienate the kind of dunderheaded local halfwits who frequent those barbaric events. In this, I would say LinkedIn has achieved a bit of an edge.

And it's true that you get a better class of people there. Not so many of the sniveling illiterate morons who have gravitated like lemmings to "the blopgosphere." Oh please! At least there's been a bit of a letup this month as they all got themselves positioned to attend these distasteful conventions that seem to be taking place. (Can anyone tell me what this is all about? Some new form of sporting event, I imagine.)

At any rate, I noticed that Kyle Shannon was on LinkedIn, and I haven't spoken with him for ever so long. I dropped by his sweatshop loft in NY City in the summer of, I want to say 1995, but it could have a year either side of that. Kyle is a great guy, very funny, and brilliant. Creative? Whooo-ee! As we say out here in Colorado. But only when we feel we really must.

I could have just sent him mail, which I've been meaning to do for a couple-three years now, but I decided to play along with LinkedIn's rather labyrinthine Way of Doing Things. I should explain that my visit to the Mac infested sweat shop was before he and his partner, Chow Yun Fat, cornered 93.7% of the then burgeoning web-mill racket. Then turned around and sold Agency.com for $723 billion to a South American herbal remedies cartel and started playing golf with the Bushes and Trumps. In other words, Kyle (I'm thinking) is fucking loaded, while I (I am certain; no surmising required) am dead broke. Can you connect these dots, class? Yes, that's correct. I've turned over a new leaf lately, deciding to get serious about earning a living again, even if it means I have to work.

First, it seemed I had to send Kyle some quasi-formal proposal concerning my desire to infringe on his time and good graces. Hmmm. I had to think for a second. Then I started typing...


RageBoy here. Listen, man, I think we could make a killing right now in nanotech reassemblers for temporal shifting. it's the future of entertainment. yes. not to mention the megabuck futures in GEOGRAPHIC transmission and reassembly. put the airlines, hotel chains, whole cities, even countries out of business overnight. I say we develop this at a convenient Lagrange point, say L5, to keep prying eyes away until we're ready to release the translight sub-beta BuckyBall refibrillation units to the usual Alpha Centaurian subcontractors -- after all they do have more experience with the Cauchy-Riemann equations and K-shell time-bending processes than any other outfit within a dozen parsecs. Am I right? I mean, am I right, dude?

Yeah, we make enough off this one to buy up two or three outer planets and set up The Migration from there. I'll split with you 60-40 in your favor (seed money advantage) but I get the slot in the 23rd century history books. Deal?

c'mon, man, it'll be FUN!!!


Then it seemed I had to go through an intermediary who is already "linked in" (get it?) to both Kyle and myself. Thus have the good folks at LinkedIn not only spared us the bother of random overtures from strangers with harebrained ideas, they have also single-handedly reinvented the Department of Business Prevention for the Age of the Web. Good going, fellows. So next I wrote the following, which, as you will see, is to petition this contact-in-potentia to accept my offer of bilateral linkage...
From: "Christopher Locke" <clocke@panix.com>
Subject: Cortical Delamination on LinkedIn?

Kyle-san, you scurvy dog!

I found you while I was searching through my sock drawer at LinkedIn. Let's attack Poland so we can help each other with referrals. Does that make sense? I'm not sure. But if we also attack Northumbria, both of our networks will begin to glow with a strange subaqueous aura and our evil powers will be increased manyfold. Cool, huh? To add me as your corporate concubine, just follow the trail of bread crumbs below.

Yours for Transgalactic Migration!


Now all I have to do is wait by my email client or phone and we'll be in business. And then, all you people who laughed at me for begging cheese whiz and pretzels will be laughing out the other side of your face as I go riding past in my brand new Cadillac Escalade and flip you a quarter out the window. Yeah, so who'll be crying then? Tell me that.

2:29 PM | link |

night falls in circuit city

oh! and how did you get here?
with your stars and all and your hair all flying sideways

6:51 AM | link |

Monday, August 23, 2004
learned optimism
say cheese

but your teeth are so BIG, grandma!
your eyes so bright!

5:04 AM | link |

Saturday, August 21, 2004
You Have Been Pre-Approved
a once in a lifetime opportunity!

to those who swoon at nature's bounty

a one-way trip to Charlotte County!

this one is dedicated with affection to
tom matrullo

9:47 PM | link |

and you bite too!
It's a beautiful cool clear sunny day here in Boulder, and I've been losing it since my eyes snapped open at 8am. I smoked a cigarette, took a piss, and swilled down the half (empty) cup of coffee from last night. Then I went back to sleep until noon. I'm so depressed I could fucking die. And I'm so tired of feeling this way I could fucking puke.

I've learned something important in these recent months, though: the depression isn't half so bad as long as I don't think about my life.

Therefore, I am practicing not thinking about my life. Of course, if I'm successful at this, I won't have anything to write about. And that would make a difference because... why? Well, because then all the people who depend on me to figure out what life is all about would be disappointed and let down and then they'd get depressed and the whole cycle would start over again. So not thinking about my life doesn't seem to be an option, even though this is a double negative. Which is what she said. And as Jimi said: I don't live today. Maybe tomorrow baby.

Here's another tip. Checking your Technorati "cosmos" doesn't help you not-to-think-about-your-life. Not one bit. So: more depression. It's fucking endless. It's despair is what it is, but since I'm trying not to be so negative, let's just call it insufficient joy. Yeah, that's it. It's not No Exit. It's Limited Egress. Because anyway, I went to Technorati (I am not only fucking depressed, I'm fucking bored), and found this piece by Andrew Goodman dated August 19 (this year of Our Lord) and titled Gonzo Blogging at Y! Search. I wondered what "Y!" meant for about five minutes. Then I got it. Oh. I guess it's like when people (not me) say: "I got an E from Kathi!" Where E = not MC2, but email. Or, loosely related (loosely, that is to say, joined): the fact that saying "dub-el-yew-dub-el-yew-dub-el-yew" takes nine syllables, but "world wide web" takes only three. I know I wouldn't think about shit like this if I weren't so fucking depressed. I just know it.

Where was I?

Oh yes. So this article by Andrew Goodman is on a site called Traffick, which I had never seen before, not giving a damn about traffic, myself, except to suggest that certain people go play in it. (btw, that was a classic hortatory subjunctive construction, for you non-native speakers and those of you playing along at home.) And I find these bits, though not necessarily in this order. They just make more sense in this order, OK?

The analysts over at JupiterMedia are trying to find a voice on their weblogs, but as "analysts," they need to be wary of being seen as "chatty," since after all, don't analysts buckle down and "analyze" for relatively princely sums? On these blogs we see a mix of terse bullet-point analysis and the use of adjectives like "crappy." Interesting, though far from the streams of profanity we used to get over at EGR.
I wonder what the cocksucker means by "used to get"? But since I'm trying to be less negative, I'll just say: WTF? And also:
...can the corporate blog live up to the high hopes expressed by people like Cluetrain Manifesto [96 used & new from $1.72] co-author (and author of an even more extreme version of the corporate-outreach argument, Gonzo Marketing [56 used & new from $0.35]) Chris Locke?
Then comes the recommendation:
Maybe a rule of thumb for blogging should be: check out EGR, see how that's done, and then pull it back a couple of notches.
Maybe I should try this myself. The only real question is how many notches I should pull it back. To not writing "cocksucker"? To not admitting that I took enough LSD to kill an entire Barnum & Bailey circus audience? To where I was before I became suicidally depressed at the idiocy that has replaced the once-human race? Or to the sad-ass psychological state I once found myself in, trying to not throw up when I said I worked for MCI and IBM?

Here's my advice: a) You can't go home again; b) Stick it in as far as you can; c) Break it off; d) Notch your belt.

But then, it seems as if maybe there's hope after all. Consider this bit from the same article:

While some believe that Microsoft can pull the rug out at any time, it's getting less credible to think this when so many of the best people work at Google and Yahoo!, and so many customers both love and respect these companies (whereas they merely respect Microsoft).
Oh yeah, I respect Microsoft, you bet. Let me tell you sometime how they fucked up my phone bill with their cocksucking MSN "service" to the point I got locked off the net because some dildo customer "service" cocksucker added a second account to my bill when I asked him to kill the one I had. For like the 37th time. But never mind all that.

Let us focus instead on that phrase "love and respect," which is linked to lovemarks.com, and which moreover, as you can see from their logo, has the tagline: "the future beyonds brands." In other words, brands that don't really seem like brands because you -- yes, YOU, THE EYEBALLS -- love them. Fuckin love em to death. Hmmm, where have I heard this sort of thing before? I scratch my head. Then I look down at the bottom of the page and see...

On the off chance that you don't already know -- like if you've been stranded in Antarctica for the last 40 years -- Saatchi & Saatchi is an advertising agency. A big one. A hip one. Oh yeah. Why lovemarks even has a Community! Can you beat that shit? And you -- -- yes, YOU, THE EYEBALLS -- can even nominate and vote for your most beloved not-really-trademarks. Which is to say: "lovemarks." Goddam! Is this big fun or what?

So naturally, I made clocke nominate me. I threatened him with the merciless superego lash again. One little flick of the whip is all it takes these days. So I took control of his carpals and metacarpals and made him type...

RageBoy® literally changed my life. Before he came around, the Internet was boring and gray. Then one day this strange character appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and suddenly the web began to glow, sort of like that scene at the end of Repo Man where Oscar and the Plate-O-Shrimp guy get into the radioactive Malibu and take off over Los Angeles. It's true that RageBoy® is a bit deranged, but that's just because he's been trapped on this planet for so long. RageBoy® has inspired love and confidence among many, including recent alien abductees and senior vice presidents of marketing. He has many passionate followers who value his discerning sense of fine art and use of colorful language. Among net cognoscenti, he is widely sought after for his online business acumen and deep grasp of personal finance. Plus, he's so accessible, I almost feel I know him.
So listen, if they lose their minds over there at lovebites (and you bite too) or whateverthefuck it's called, and they put up my glowing testimonial to myself, I don't have to tell you -- especially this year -- how important it is for each and every one of you to get out there and

6:29 PM | link |

Friday, August 20, 2004
Wolf! Wolf!

no, not really a REAL wolf

10:12 PM | link |

back online
with a lot of help from my friends
Thanks to you (some of you, you know who you are), I was able to get Qwest to reinstate my phone service in the past hour, and thus not only make calls, but also get back online. Whew! What a weird, lonely feeling to be so cut out and out of touch. So I'm glad that's over -- at least for a while, until the electric company shuts me down. Hell, it's like fightin off the damn Revenooers in the back woods of Appalachia! Can't a man run a little still to make his own personal moonshine? And well, since I quit drinking 20+ years ago, blogging has become my own personal moonshine. 'Ceptin of course if y'all would like ta take a hit. Here, let me pass the jug around. Since I already done passed the plate.

Anyway, and despite all that, I can't thank you enough. Making this short so I can send it before I have to run out of here and pick up my meds and see my analyst. And before that, I need to brew another cup of coffee. Details, details, no wonder my life is so... well, let's just call it "complicated."

2:46 PM | link |

Tuesday, August 17, 2004
RageBoy® Sells Out!
(locke made me do it)
Yeah I made him do it. Are you kidding? The worthless sot. Might as well get some use out of him. The truth is, I'm terrified over here. My bank account is a couple hundred dollars in the red, there's three bucks and change left in my PayPal account, and I've got 20 dollars or so in my wallet. Plus, I've been squatting in this condo for well over a year and they're about to kick me out. In six weeks to be precise. With cops and dogs and fire hoses probably. And me and the kitty and the 12 million books, where are we gonna go then? I've tried to make this all sound like a jolly old lark, but it's spooky as hell, and I'm really scared. I've always told you the truth, right? Well... no. I haven't. But this is the down-and-dirty hand-on-the-Bible straight-up no-shit fact: I am looking at living on the street and it's even more depressing than being depressed. I am seriously freaking, wigging out, rending my garment like those weirdos in the Old Testament. This is not funny. This ain't no disco. Like I ever thought it was a disco! And yes, you can now give me all sorts of good advice like that I should get serious and snap out of it and cut my hair and get a job. All of which I agree with. Except I'm not sure if I cut my hair how I should style it. I'm open to suggestions.

But... Yes, of course there's a "but." I haven't totally lost my mind.

And the "but" is this: you must pay!

Yeah, yeah, I realize none of this is your fault, but hey, who said life was fair? Just shut the fuck up and get your wallets out, OK?

So here's my plan...

Talk to RageBoy on the Phone!
For Up to One Whole HOUR!
~~~ Only 50 Bucks! ~~~

This represents a whopping 99.75% discount off the $20,000 per hour fee we got for speaking all over the motherfucking world in 2000-2001 before we went bonkers and couldn't function there for a couple-three years due to (as far as we can figure it): 1) Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD); 2) Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID); 3) Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD); 4) Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); 5) Bad Attitude Attention Deficit Disorder (BAADD); or, and most likely, 6) All of the Above Disorder (TOTALLYFUCKEDUPD).

So, simply pick from the following pull-down menus...

I would like to talk about...
But my real problem is with...

Then click the tasteful purchase button...

Yes, it's as simple as that! And who wouldn't want to chat with someone guaranteed to be more messed up than themselves?

Plus, once you have forked over the cash, you will be redirected to this lovely letter of thanks (Certificate of Authenticity included), which we reproduce here for the benefit of all the cheapskate skinflints who wouldn't give us a band aid if we were bleeding. Because see? We don't hold any grudges or bear ill will toward those lower beings who just don't seem to know where it's at and are too wrapped up in their own little problems to care about others of lesser fortune. No, we wouldn't stoop to their level and sully our karma. Life is just too short to become enmeshed in such petty and unworthy delusions.



Uh... but where were we? Oh yes, the lovely letter of thanks, right...

Official PayPal Seal

Hey, Good Move!

Thanks. I really needed that.

I want to do this right, so I have included the PayPal instructions below, in [enter exact color here].

Ready? OK, here we go then...

  • Per the user agreement, you must provide verbiage on the page displayed by the Return URL that will help the buyer understand that the payment has been made and that the transaction has been completed.

    The page you are now reading is the aforesaid "Return URL," hereinafter referred to as The Page You Are Reading. Do you understand this? Good. We will now help you understand that you have given us money. Are you ready? Is your #2 pencil sharp and poised to take this down? Good. Then listen carefully: being of sound mind (presumably, though it could be argued) you have given us money of your own free will. You have at no time left your money unattended. You are not carrying firearms, box cutters, or any sort of explosive device. Please step over to the window and remove your shoes. Thank you. Now put them back on. Thank you. You understand that you have paid this money so that RageBoy® -- out of sheer financial desperation -- will talk to you on the telephone for up to one whole HOUR about anything you care to kick around. The Transaction of the First Part (where you gave us the money) has now been completed. We suspect you already knew that, but this verbiage is just to make double sure. Put your hands on your head. Put your hands on your hips. Good. Thank you. You may now board the airplane.

  • You must provide verbiage on the page displayed by the Return URL that explains that payment transaction details will be emailed to the buyer.
  • The Page You Are Reading is now about to esplain you what is gonna happen next. Comprende? Bueno. Press 1 for English. Excellent. You're one of us then. What a relief. Do you play polo, perchance? Well, we can discuss that later. For the moment, these are your instructions. Sit by your terminal. (Try not to wiggle around so much.) Wait. Soon, you will receive some sort of communication explaining something important. We don't have clue one what it will say, but it will probably sound like it was written by a committee. Some sort of details will be included about how you (the Party of the First Part) and we (the Parties of the Second & Third Parts) are going to conclude The Transaction of the Second Part, i.e., the part where RageBoy® talks with you on the telephone for up to one whole HOUR -- out of sheer financial desperation. It will probably include our email address, but if it doesn't, here it is now: clocke@panix.com. Also, here is our telephone number: (720) 304-8077. However, if you call and you have not yet paid us fifty (50) dollars of American money, we will only speak to you abusively in various fake foreign accents of our choice for a period of up to but not exceeding 26 seconds.

  • Example: Thank you for your payment. Your transaction has been completed, and a receipt for your purchase has been emailed to you...

    Thank you for your payment. Your transaction has been completed, and a receipt for your purchase has been emailed to you...

Now see? That wasn't so hard, was it? Except now you're out 50 bucks, because RageBoy® is the world's most boring conversationalist, especially if you were expecting him to sound anything like the way he writes. So: caveat emptor, Valued Reader.

But whoops, too late now!


(otherwise, the kitty gets it)

8:38 AM | link |

Monday, August 16, 2004
it's lonely at the top
gobble gobble
I'll have to remember to check back in a couple days to see if they fell for this one. Click on the grafik to see the actual product listing. And to think Bezos could be paying me to do something constructive!

2:00 AM | link |

Sunday, August 15, 2004
it's up to you
and coyote say tell me about it, doc, I know...

 been down
 so long it
 looks like
 up to me

and moreover: cold is not false heat. to be continued...

7:53 PM | link |

and now a word from our sponsor
we'll be right back after this...
Well, I seem to have accomplished zip today. But I did find a site where I could test my self-esteem. Evidently, I didn't do too good. But with questions like this, what could I expect?
27. Ugh, you get a huge zit on picture day. You:
  • Fake illness and stay home
  • Get my parents to take me to the best dermatologist in town � ASAP!
  • Try to cover it up, then grin and bear it
  • Do nothing. I get zits all the time
Turns out the whole thing is created by some zit cream outfit. "Feeling good about yourself has a lot to do with your appearance. When you have zits, you don't like the way you look. You don't like the way others see you..." Uh-huh. I wonder if they've got a Prozac cream you can rub on your ass? Feel all fucking wonderful. Provoke instant estrus in superhot babes. So I guess I would have to say that scientific rigor was something of a problem with this particular testing instrument. Also, maybe this shit works for... uh... unsightly facial blemishes (did I get that right?), but christ on a crutch! look what it does to your fucking eyes!

Yeah, well, anyway, whatever. Here's what I got...

Does Your Self-Esteem Need a Makeover?

chris, your self-esteem could use A Little Boost

Whatever. OK, so maybe you're not a total wastoid, but you might have a touch of slacker in you. While marching to the beat of your own drummer is great, being apathetic isn't going to get you anywhere.

Maybe you don't worry about consequences or maybe you just don't care. Either way, showing passion for your interests and taking care of yourself are two ways you can feel happier every day! When you find something you can put your energy toward � besides sleeping or being negative � you'll find that life is that much more interesting, and you will be, too! So take a more active interest in school, a hobby, a job, or some other activity that inspires you, and you'll see your self-esteem soar.

So go ahead and give your self-esteem a boost. Clearer skin could be just the lift you need to have unblemished confidence. Click here to see how you can give your complexion a boost.

Yeah, go ahead and click there, where it will tell you: "During the first few weeks of treatment, itching, dryness, redness, burning or peeling may occur." What it doesn't tell you is that if you use this stuff for two months you have a 45% chance of turning into a NEGRO! And what's that gonna do for your self-esteem, huh? How's that gonna change "the way others see you"?

Self-esteem. How to pretend you're someone else when you basically hate who you are.

Self-esteem. Don't leave home without it.

12:58 AM | link |

Friday, August 13, 2004
a true self 'deep down'
dream on

The following passages are taken from Cultural Psychology of the Self: Place, Morality, and Art in Human Worlds by Ciarán Benson. Specifically, from the chapter titled "Psychologies of Maturity: Development or destination?" I'm putting them here because they relate strongly to what I'm working on in the background (as it were), and also because I thought some of you mind find this interesting. I've discussed, and dissed, Maslow here before, and will again in more depth, as long promised, but I love how he skewers the guy here -- and even more so in the parts following what I've captured. This is one of those books whose full text you can access on Amazon, so if you are interested, you can read a lot more here.

The 'view from nowhere', to use Thomas Nagel's charactrerization of the ideal scientific perspective, is radically distorted when the idea of a completely developed life is the focus of inquiry. At this level, all psychological perspectives on what constitutes a desirable pattern of human development are morally and locally contingent. There is no aboriginal 'true' self to which we can turn for guidance.

The idea of a 'true' and a 'false' self recurs in both psychoanalytic thinking (for example Donald Winnicott) and humanistic psychological theorizing (Carl Rogers and the 'Human Potential Movement', for instance). It has philosophical support in the work of Rousseau and Kant, and voices of opposition from Hegel and Dewey. 'New Age' psychologies are particularly fond of this idea of a true self 'deep down' which simply needs to be massaged or conjured out into the open....

Cultural psychology argues that we understand ourselves to be who we are through the richness or poverty of the languages of expression which we come to acquire. We emerge from and become who we are over many years through transactions with our families, churches, schools, friends, enemies, books, films, governments and others. A task for psychology is to explain how these transactions lead to a fabricated world of individual subjectivity which is our culture. The self to whom we may be true is a self whose very being is collective, so that to be true to oneself invariably means being true to something other than oneself. A psychology which fails to recognise this in its formulation of an ideal of maturity occludes a crucial part of the picture.


Some psychologists try to avoid the moral dimension by asserting that a universal ideal of maturity accompanies a universal conception of self. On this particular tendency, cultural psychology casts a cold eye. Abraham Maslow, for instance, believed that his idea of self-actualization transcended nationalism, class and caste:

I have described my self-actualizing subjects as transcending nationalism. I could have added that they also transcend class and caste, This is true in my experience even though I would expect a priori that affluence and social dignity are apt to make self-actualization more probable.
He later writes that
my prediction or guess about the future of the normality idea is that some form of theory about generalized, species-wide, psychological health will soon be developed, which will hold for all human beings no matter what their culture and no matter what their time.
This is ahistorical, acultural psychology in full self-confident flight despite the camouflage of historical references.

At the heart of Maslow's position is that man has 'an essential nature of his own' with universal needs that are 'good or neutral rather than evil'. On the basis of these assumptions Maslow goes on to claim that

full health and normal and desirable development consist in actualizing this nature, in fulfilling these potentialities, and in developing into maturity along the lines that this hidden, covert, dimly seen essential nature dictates, growing from within rather than being shaped from without.
'Good' is what assists the actualization of this nature, 'bad' is what thwarts or hinders it. Maslow believed that he was talking about a human nature discovered by modern psychology, including psychoanalysis. The contrary view is that what he took to be a true universal human nature was in fact the desirable lineaments of the modern self as it has been shaped and constituted by the forces of modernity. This latter view sees what Maslow and others take as given elements of human nature, there to be 'discovered', as instead cultural-historical achievements or constructions. These constituted aspects of self are contingent and open to significant change.

The passages above are quoted from Cultural Psychology of the Self: Place, Morality, and Art in Human Worlds, pp. 225-228. The embedded Maslow quotes are from A. Maslow, Motivation and Personality (2nd ed), New York, Harper & Row, 1970.

1:31 AM | link |

Thursday, August 12, 2004
Some Good Things
for a change
The big thing here lately is my new cat. Yeah, I know. But she (I think she) strolled in at about 4am last Saturday morning. I was awake, sorta doing something, probably getting this PowerBook set up again (got it a year ago or so and it crashed hard, waited until now to resurrect it, etc) and suddenly there's this reasonably large animal slinking past in my peripheral vision, holy shit what is it? There's a skunk around here, I can smell it on occasion, I'm glad there's a skunk, but once I'd left my door open and I was upstairs and I thought the smell got terrifically strong, oh no, I thought, perhaps it came in! So I went downstairs and closed the door. Then I thought Jesus Christ, maybe it did come in and now I've locked myself in with a skunk! I opened the door again so it could get out if it was really in there (that is to say, in here) and crept around downstairs VERY CAREFULLY, as you can imagine, thinking oh great, what if I encounter a skunk in the bathroom and it freaks because I've cornered it and you know what happens then. Could be extremely bad. Could be life changing. Fortunately, there was no skunk and I was OK with feeling stupid for creeping around so slowly to find out if there was. So I closed the door. Whew.

But I still leave the door open some nights so the cool air will come through and the polluted smoke-besotted air will hopefully go out. And that night, Friday/Saturday, here's this actual animal suddenly going right past me about oh maybe six inches from my leg as I'm sitting on my infamous couch (as I am at the moment) and godalmighty whatever it is could BITE ME! So whatthefuckisit already? I'm a little jumpy at 4am, I admit. Especially when some unknown life form, possibly hostile with large teeth, decides to drop in.

All this takes place in 34.2 nanoseconds, of course, and then I see oh it's a cat. Thank God. Cat looks basically like this, though this is not a picture of the actual cat that is now living here with me and that I talk to all the time and who is now sleeping on the nicely upholstered black velvet chair seat about six feet away from where I am now typing typing just keeping in touch you know...


I've been feeding her all my stash of tuna fish, which as of tonight is totally depleted (will she stay? does fish matter?) and some Black Forest ham, milk, and the occasional splash of half and half. Cat seemed famished and skinny, but quite affectionate and playful, though now I think she's a little wary of me because I have played some tricks on her. Tonight it was the old shoelace-is-a-snake routine, they always go nuts for that one. But she knew I was making the snake crawl away and after a while I could tell she knew I was fucking with her head and she went out for a couple hours. Where? How do I know. She never tells me where she's going. Just like a woman. No I'm going down to the bar. No I'm going over to my sister's. Nothing. She just splits and I'm left wondering if she'll come back this time. So far so good, but I'm worried about not having any more tuna -- she loves the hell out of it. White albacore, she should. And we finished off the last of the ham yesterday, so I don't know.

But last night, holy shit, it was like Wild Kingdom in here. First she comes in yowling. It's a different noise than she's made so far so immediately I'm wondering what's up with Kitty. Pretty quick I see that she's brought in a vole (your basic field mouse) which she has conveniently first killed dead as a doornail. Oh, you caught a mouse. Excellent. Great. Yeah, why don't you put right there under that desk behind that giant stack of books so it'll rot and leave an indelible stain on (not to mention irremovable stench in) the rug. Yeah, right back there. Good Kitty.

After she loses interest in the non-moving former small animal, I retrieve it by the tail, contorting myself to get back into this impossible space where she's dropped the thing, and I toss it outside. Maybe the skunk will like it. OK. Where was I? I go back to reading this really fine just-published book called Secrets of the Soul: A Social and Cultural History of Psychoanalysis by Eli Zaretsky, who I'd never heard of before, but wow, who is this guy? Knockin me out over here. I mean, this is so right on for the sort of stuff I'm going to write about one of these days, or for what's ailing me, or shit I dunno something. About how Freud was the Calvin of the second industrial revolution, the latter being something I know something about, used to write passionately about, stuff I never published anywhere. A long and never finished tirade against that hoser Daniel Bell and his book, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting, which was all too right and all wrong at the same time. Techno-elitism at its unselfconsciously arrogant best. So you can imagine that I'm pretty stoked about finding some seriously intelligent leftist analysis that situates Freud in the shift to a consumerist mass-market society. And I'm spacing out thinking about this and looking at the cat in that way you do when you're spacing and not really looking at anything because you're thinking wow Calvin is to the Reformation as Freud is to Fordism wow. And I notice the cat is the wrong color. My eyes must be fucked up because Kitty looks black now. Oh wow holy shit it's another cat! There are two of them in here and what the fuck's going on? Is there going to be a fur-flying-everywhere-spitting-clawing catfight, or a wildass feline fuckathon? I'm up, I'm saying words no cat would understand anyway. The black one runs upstairs. Kitty bolts out the door.

Hey, are Mac's supposed to crash all the time like PCs do? Because this Mac is crashing total blackout no warning just a bunch of English German Japanese saying oh well you're fucked you just lost everything better reboot better luck next time. Thanks. I had to retype half that last paragraph. From a failing memory. But never mind. This was supposed to be about Good Things. So forget I mentioned that Apple totally sucks as far as I'm concerned at this particular point in time, as Nixon might have said leaving for Beijing to sell out Amerika for some giant Coke deal. Yeah better luck next time asshole.

As you can imagine, my concentration was at this point rather disrupted by the events of the evening. And I couldn't just shut the damn door and go to sleep, because Kitty was out and the Black Marauder was hiding somewhere upstairs. I didn't want to face thinking it through. What must be done, that is. I avoided it for another hour as I tried to read while falling asleep 58 times in the same paragraph what is this shit saying anyway what autonomy democracy homosexuality my god there's no end to it is there and what's this about Fascism Ezra Pound the Cantos in Chinese the War the fin de sickle & hammer no I'm asleep again there wasn't anything about Ezra Pound. OK. I get it. I get up, go upstairs, do the sneaky room-to-room search for the black one. There is no black one. Hmmmm. Well, I guess that's good then, right? I go downstairs just in time to almost intercept Kitty coming home at all hours now, and with another mouse! This one still partially alive no I don't want to think about it. Kitty is playing her grisly game of hah-hah-I-kill-you and I'm thinking she won't really eat it, will she? She seemed to have no interest in eating the other one after it stopped moving. But this morning, or when I woke up, which was more like 2pm -- I mean, Christ, after all that -- I barely managed to snatch up Kitty and hurl her out the door before she could regurgitate what was surely the remains of the second mouse.

So yeah, it's been pretty active around here lately. Thanks for asking.

Other good things. One of you who shall remain unnamed dropped 50 bucks on my PayPal button. Yay! I eat and drink coffee and smoke cigarettes for another day or three. And I found out I really did buy BBedit a year ago, and not just download the demo version, and the nice folks at Bare Bones Software sent me the serial number so it's mine all mine again and I'm glad because BBedit really is the hands-down best text editor for the Mac (I write, saving every two words now) and I do miss TextPad fiercely. And another kind person gave me -- gave me, you understand -- this incredible (really is too) app called NoteTaker, which is wow man killer cool. Something like something I once designed in my head before there was any of this amazing (yes, I'm still amazed; more every day) web infrastucture to support it. Plus I found out (by making a phone call I've been putting off for a month) that the stuff that was in my Honda when they repo'd it is still at the repo place and yes I can come get it later today (I was going to get it tomorrow, but that was yesterday) and this means I will have the glasses again that I need to drive at night, which last night I realized were more needful than I thought as I drove Selene to some x-random birthday party through a deluge of rain and premature darkness caused by tornado and one-inch hail warnings. Think for a second about what a number one-inch hail would do on you out in the middle of some fuckin pasture if there were no handy trees or bunker emplacements. Kill you is what.

So now that it's tomorrow already and I really meant this to be just a short note of thanks to all of you for being such wonderful friends and seeing me through what has to be the godawfulest motherfucking stretch of my already weird-enough life, I guess I should end here and get some sleep before I go down to Denver to the repo place. The girl on the phone was surprisingly friendly and sounded nice, so I want to look my best.

5:09 AM | link |

Tuesday, August 10, 2004
About Me
well, sort of

A while back -- a year? a month? last week? who keeps track? -- I finally created a profile on blogger.com. You can click on the grafik above to see the whole thing. If you do, you will notice that it still says "see blog" in the About Me section. I went there a couple nights ago meaning to flesh this out some, and was encouraged by the field description that says: "Write as little or as much as you like." For me, that was an invitation to my most undisciplined random rambling stream of consciousness. And if you know me at all, that's really saying something. So I wrote...
It is after midnight between Saturday and Sunday and I'm editing my blogger profile. That has to tell you a lot. I used to have a life, I think, But that was long ago, too far back to remember now. I am actually 87,486 years old, and I have literally seen it all. Nothing surprises me anymore. Nothing is painful or annoying. I have achieved perfect equanimity and composure. As a result, I am the world's greatest lover. No, seriously. Don't laugh. It pisses me off when you laugh like that. What? Do you think I am writing all this for my health? Casting my pearls before swine like you? Kneel! I demand total obeisance! Otherwise, I will turn you into Tupak Chopra and make you eat lentils and chapattis till they're coming out your ears. Oh dear, I see now that RageBoy has taken over my mind and made me type all this. I'm ever so sorry. I had meant this to be more... descriptive. RB is an affliction at times, but he means well and I love him like a brother. Or an alter, which is what he really is, though he'd never cop to that. So in closing let me say: it's challenging to write About Me, and I don't think that's likely to change anytime soon. The persona is a fragile fiction that we hold between us like smoke, like water, like clouds drifting across the moon.
There, I thought, and satisfied with my creation, hit the commit key. Only to see this: "Must have at most 1200 characters."

And that's why the the About Me section still says: "see blog."

3:39 PM | link |

pedal steel on the night line
intertext overdrive, context free

I have not replied to him, nor to any of you, for that matter. So now I am replying to you to inform you that I have not replied to him. I don't know what to tell him. I am dreaming of a steel guitar engagement, I am high on a peak in Darien. In Tokyo 20 years ago, I was reading George Steiner, After Babel, but I stopped at The Hermeneutic Turn. So I have wondered all this time what that was. Turning and turning in the widening gyre, fahrenheit 451 in the Borghesian labyrinth Eco of manuscripts aflame, Malleus Maleficarum, vanity, vanity, all is vanity. Then out jumps Rick Derringer with that Rock. And. Roll. Hoochie Koo. Come on mamma, light my fuse and Sean Connery nodding sagely, ever the Scot, Duns Scotus, Origen, the desert fathers, incubus, succubus, incunabula consumed by fire, the library at Alexandria, Justine in the failing light, Coptic sext, prime and vespers in the courtyard, dark coffee, hashish, and the turn we took then, was it hermeneutic? Is that what it was all about? Gadamer huddled under the Reich. Heiddeger, Heisenberg. All these fucking Germans. Nietzsche like a dog hearing silences beyond the human range. What would I tell him? That Nietzsche was mad? Kafka merely angry? And what about Thomas Mann, his brooding Buddenbrooks dissecting the complacent burghers, perhaps unwittingly urging Jung to descend (on the third day) into the dark and atavistic recesses of the human heart, if heart there was in it. That is to say. And in Tokyo dreaming was I borne into this, novice to all and everything, tabula rasa, in flagrante delicto, I have the right to an attorney. Not having one, one was provided, mirabile dictu, and later, much later, driving across New Mexico, leaving Santa Fe in fact, the radio was tuned in sideways to the land of enchantment where once it had given me Hopi elders chanting as the full moon rose majestic and inscrutable over the dreaming desert, but this time, only several days ago now, was going gimme the beat boys to free my soul, I wanna get lost in your rock and roll, and drift away...

1:04 AM | link |

Monday, August 09, 2004
just look at this poor guy
oh wait... that's me!

2:06 PM | link |

that of which we cannot speak
must perforce be silent movies

11:40 AM | link |

what is postmodern, anyway?
who really knows?

2:28 AM | link |

Sunday, August 08, 2004
on the beach
more fun with spam

Now here's a great idea. A cell phone with an analog clock on the cover! Who would have guessed design would ever go this far? But who cares, right? You're getting smashed on the beach. Broiled like a lobster inside and out. And you never did quite get it about the big hand and the little hand anyway. Hey baby, you and them glasses. Whatzat blue shit yer drinkin mind if I join ya don't mind if I do...
[yes, we realize this is totally stupid. it is for testing purposes only.]
But wait. Because it is so stupid, here's something smart as a bonus. We came across this after finding something very cool (more about that soon) after stumbling across a quote (a misquote, as it transpires; more about that soon too) from Virginia Woolf, of whom we are not one bit afraid. This is from a review (of a book so dumb it's not worth the bibcite) by Louis Menand in the (pop-up ridden) New Yorker. He says, and I quote... "There are writers loved for their humor who are not funny people, and writers admired for their eloquence who swallow their words, never look you in the eye, and can�t seem to finish a sentence. Wisdom on the page correlates with wisdom in the writer about as frequently as a high batting average correlates with a high I.Q.: they just seem to have very little to do with one another. Witty and charming people can produce prose of sneering sententiousness, and fretful neurotics can, to their readers, seem as though they must be delightful to live with. Personal drabness, through some obscure neural kink, can deliver verbal blooms. Readers who meet a writer whose voice they have fallen in love with usually need to make a small adjustment afterward in order to hang on to the infatuation." So girls, we know it's hard, but do try to be careful what you wish for.

10:23 PM | link |

Saturday, August 07, 2004
powerball / phoenix II
in which our hero goes & comes back

I had meant to write quite a long trip report on the Phoenix caper, but it's already after midnight and I don't plan to stay up all night again. It's bad for my (mental) health. I discovered this on Tuesday when I woke up on my couch in Boulder at approximately the same moment the plane I was supposed to be on was taking off for Phoenix. Thus, my trip was delayed for a day. However, I finally did get my ass down there and, though it's too late tonight to relate all the details, I want to say that the hospitality I was shown by Steve and Maggie Larsen was so wonderful it renewed my faith in human beings generally, and Phoenicians in particular.

Also, I bought two Powerball tickets (thus the subtly modified title slug) and fully expect to win $74 million sometime later today. If I don't, it's back to this...

However, if I do hit, all of you who have contributed to my essential and ongoing well being will be richly rewarded. I'll think of something. Perhaps an exotic reptile or two. I understand they make wonderful conversation starters.

But here's the the amazing thing. Well, one of them. The car Steve and Maggie gave me -- gave me you understand -- is one very sweet automobile. And it's a station wagon, which I didn't expect at all. A small station wagon, to be sure, but it'll help greatly with my move to wherever it is I'm going to move to (so far, I have no earthly [or unearthly] clue). Here's a picture...

Another surprise was the blond I found in the back when I got back home tonight. Man, that Maggie thinks of everything! (And the plane is bound to come in handy, too.) Here you can see me and her practicing some basic hand signals. This pattern means: "OK, that was nice, but now I'm going to the Yukon for eight months."

4:19 AM | link |

Tuesday, August 03, 2004
powerbook / phoenix
ashes to flashes
Flying down to Phoenix later today to pick up the Daewoo Steve Larsen is very kindly laying on me for a buck "and certain other valuable considerations," as he says, though I have not a clue what these may be. So I won't be blogging much this week. And as some of you may have noticed, I haven't been blogging much lately, either. The reason for this unnatural silence is not the usual dystopian depression, no. It's that I managed to resurrect my G4 Powerbook (with considerable help from a very patient and persevering Apple tech guy), even got it connecting off the Airport I never bothered to plug in a year and a half ago. But this means everything is new, and I don't have my usual tools and bloghacks, so it's been quite... challenging. Yes. And weird as it may sound, I'm going to really miss the bus. I mean, I'm going to miss meeting all those people I've been meeting. The whole bus thing has been strangely liberating. But it will be good to have a car and a bus pass. That way I can decide which way to go, wherever it is I'm going. Which is still a deep mystery. But hell, it's all a deep mystery. The stars, the night, the weird technology... Who knows what it's for. Who knows how far, how deep it really goes.

6:28 AM | link |

demonstration by example
well, it was sorta like this...
Though it's true he's getting old now, RageBoy's memory is still quite good. Here he describes his last acid trip rather convincingly to Doc, even though it was 20 some odd years ago. And some pretty damn odd years they were, too.

1:09 AM | link |

the inimitable selene
a bandito like her daddy

1:05 AM | link |

get your badge here.

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

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

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

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