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A People's Theatre...
Perhaps it would help us in this hour of confusion better than anything.
I am a tremendously unstable person. The past 2 years, though, have been relatively uneventful, on the emotional-breakdown front. I've managed to scrape together a heretofore unknown quantity of sanity. This all comes at a price, however.

The price I pay for a life of sanity is not having a life at all.

I have friends...great friends, but they are all very...sane, very normal, which is wonderful except that it isn't how I used to live. I used to exist surrounded by people like me, I was miserable and joyous and miserable again, surrounded by people whose minds worked like mine...people who are fundamentally broken but incredible.

I gave all this up, to ensure that I didn't wind up dead or committed. Occasionally, I question the wisdom of this decision. I gave up a life filled with essentially unlimited wonder for peace and calm. Except that's not quite right, that's in the past tense. I give it up every day, I pass up opportunities, I fall out of touch with people, I get scared and crawl back into my hiding places.

Sometimes, I question the wisdom of these decisions.
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"The mildest criticism of religion is also the most radical and the most devastating one. Religion is man-made. Even the men who made it cannot agree on what their prophets or redeemers or gurus actually said or did. Still less can they hope to tell us the 'meaning' of later discoveries and developments which were, when they began, either obstructed by their religions or denounced by them. And yet—the believers still claim to know! Not just to know, but to know everything. Not just to know that god exists, and that he created and supervised the whole enterprise, but also to know what 'he' demands of us—from our diet to our observances to our sexual morality. In other words, in a vast and complicated discussion where we know more and more about less and less, yet can still hope for some enlightenment as we proceed, one faction—itself composed of mutually warring factions—has the sheer arrogance to tell us that we already have all the essential information we need. Such stupidity, combined with such pride, should be enough on its own to exclude 'belief' from the debate. The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted."

-- Christopher Hitchens, "God Is Not Great"
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There sat down, once, a thing on Henry's heart
só heavy, if he had a hundred years
& more, & weeping, sleepless, in all them time
Henry could not make good.
Starts again always in Henry's ears
the little cough somewhere, an odour, a chime.

And there is another thing he has in mind
like a grave Sienese face a thousand years
would fail to blur the still profiled reproach of. Ghastly,
with open eyes, he attends, blind.
All the bells say: too late. This is not for tears;
thinking.

But never did Henry, as he thought he did,
end anyone and hacks her body up
and hide the pieces, where they may be found.
He knows: he went over everyone, & nobody's missing.
Often he reckons, in the dawn, them up.
Nobody is ever missing.

-- John Berryman, "Dream Song 29"
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...and thus, a draft:

-- a theory of aesthetics

coincidence is infinitely more creative that consciousness
a fact which is the origin of that old saw
"truth is stranger than fiction,"
because it so difficult to get really good coincidence in fiction,
a thing constructed, quite unlike nature which produces
those wonderful coincidences and the tragic ones
which keep us all ablaze with hope or sorrow,
with all those feelings, consequences of our language.

and let it be known that, when writing this poem
for the first time I typed the word "conscience"
instead of consciousness into the blank body
of an email, without a subject line or a recipient,
like I always do when writing, a habit I picked up
years ago for convenience sake. So appropriate,
unintentionally so, so much that I could not have
thought of it in a thousand years without aid.
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We all live under a "blue moon" tonight.

Tonight is an aberration, a sort of celestial rounding error. Tonight isn't supposed to happen, according to human laws, laws constructed to match, in theory, the laws of heaven. And yet here we are, still existing, albeit in a somewhat more liminal state that we are used to.

I think this explains a lot about today. It seems like no one had a good day today. Sure as fuck not me.

Considering circumstances, I think it's fair to say that we should take all of today's misery and write it off. Everything that happened today happened out of turn, like a player rolling a die before he is allowed. There is an outcome, yes, but everyone at the table, even the player, must discount it. That outcome exists in isolation, like today. Seems like total utility would benefit by writing today off and starting tomorrow fresh, tabula rasa.

Maybe I'm wrong. Afterall, my sample size for experiences is awfully small. I don't think I am, though.
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While standing in a 7-11 tonight, I became very conscious my my gray hair; 7 or 8 strands of silver among the brown, right at the part. I was surrounded by kids...which is to say, people maybe 3 years younger than I am. One was trying with little success to smoke a blunt outside, while his friends, guys in sideways skewed hats, swaggered and yelled inside.

In the purely abstract sense, I value them, or at the very least what they do. I value being carefree, and young, and fucking, and doing drugs, and making a scene. When faced with the fairly stark reality of it, though, I balked. Perhaps at some point in my life I wouldn't have, but standing at the counter with my slushy, my cigarettes and my lottery ticket, I did.

Or perhaps I'm just becoming a prude. Or perhaps, and this is by far the most likely of all scenarios, I'm just jealous because I never got to be like that, and chances are I never will.

It's petty and it's stupid, but so I am.

This place...this world is not mine anymore, if it ever was. 60 miles East, I have college, which is no more my world than here.

And in the meantime, I'm just a kid with gray hair, trying to navigate this nasty, liminal time that is the beginning of summer. Time, I imagine, will heal all these wounds.
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I was not alone, I think it was the first time
watching you rise splendid and graceful
I cheered as you sailed
a greatness unknown
I laughed as I waved and imagined you saw me
in the streets of the city, the windows of buildings
a million faces gazing upwards in wonder
a million faces together and cheering and smiling
you were the warmth of their hearts
you were the sum of their dreams
in the coldness of morning you brought warmth to their lives
giving this feeling of wonder
I could not imagine you unlocking these thoughts
no book and no picture could ever convey
this feeling and morning had opened a door
I stepped into a new world watching you fly
saw you as a friend, the spirit of dreams
I imagined a new world, lands far away
imagined those faces as you hung in their sky

I'm leaving ground...


-- VNV Nation, "Airships"
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But if you are feeling sinister
Go off and see a minister
He'll try in vain to take away
The pain of being a hopeless unbeliever

When she got back, her spirituality was thrown into confusion
So she got a special deal on renting
From the man at Rediffusion
"Look at me! I'm on TV!
It makes up for the shortcomings of being poor
Now I'm in a million pieces, picked up for deliberation
By the people listening at home
By the people watching on the telly
By the people listening at home
By the people watching on the telly"

But if you are feeling sinister
Go off and see a minister
Chances are you'll probably feel better
If you stayed and played with yourself


-- Belle & Sebastian, "If You're Feeling Sinister"
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Just after 5 AM and there is already dim light in the sky outside. This is bad...natural light is the enemy of the all-nighter, being exposed to it sets off all sorts of bodily alarms. Such alarms are distinctly toxic to productivity.

Hence the stimulants currently coursing through my bloodstream. I should note; this is a rare thing for me, now...something I haven't done in years. Considerations about my future --specifically the conciquences of not getting this work done on time-- have, however, pressed me to ignore the terrible cliche of the Adderall fuled college student.

But here I sit, all hopped up and suprisingly productive. I have no qualms about using chemicals to augment my ability to concentrate. Very much in the same way that I have no qualms about having a computer chip installed in my brain, or aquiring any of the myriad other cybernetics I fantasize about.

I am less than I desire to be, and the hands of men have given me the oppertunity to change that, at least temporarily. I can't find the ethical dillema in that.
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Some people have love, some people have work...everyone has that one thing that gets them out of bed in the morning. I have wonder, a strange aesthetic sort of thing, a characteristic that is context dependent.

So when I woke up this morning and saw that E.O. Wilson's "Encyclopedia of Life" had been actualized, I knew that any lethargy or depression I was feeling would be, at least temporarily, abated.

And when I saw the street performers tonight, a group of girls signing a capella music up against a bare concrete wall, I was lifted.

So I made plans. I'm going to join a gym this summer...with the stated goal of losing 30 lbs. by next September. My 240 lb. frame could stand to lose the bulk, and 10 lbs. a month seems reasonable. I'm going up to Watertown, NY. for a week or three, to spend time with my friend Chaz while he accrues credits at his school. I'm going to crash with Emily on Cape Cod while she works, and spend my days on the deck, smoking, overlooking the Atlantic. I'm going down to Texas, to visit Austin...whenever I'm needed or wanted most. I'm going to go to the APA in Boston. I'm going to read, and do volunteer work.

Money is something I will worry about another day. Getting shot down for so many internships has really soured me to the concept of working this summer. Instead, I will embark on the project of bettering myself.
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Bad vibrations today...that is to say; odd, ominous feelings that I can't trace directly. I hate days like this, full of self perpetuating irrationality, where everything is evidence of...well, something.

I'm hoping it will simply wear off. I'm hoping that none of this actually tracks reality.
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The world moves so fast. Things change with such velocity that sometimes it catches me by surprise; me...the technophile, the futurist.

"...The one photo I can't post, but encourage you to visualize:

An unknown, beautiful girl-stranger in a diaphanous floral minidress found her way in to the bus and passed out on our sofa last night while checking email on her Blackberry. Just frozen there, head facing the PDA in her outstretched, manicured hand, mid-download. We walked in after a late afterparty and found her, still, silent. We poked and talked at her, but she wouldn't wake up. We checked her pulse and made sure she hadn't OD'd or anything. When it was clear she was not dead or in danger, I threw a blanket on her and her Blackberry, and crawled off elsewhere to sleep."

Xeni Jardin posted that on BoingBoing, about the Coachella festival out in California. It makes me long for a life I don't have, or have any hope of achieving. What I can do, though, is sit here in my concrete box and marvel at the beauty of our world, this thing we have made for ourselves, how it moves and morphs. I can marvel at how it progresses, not with purpose, but at least with a destination.
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Even the cats are fucking tonight.

Just down the road where I walked home, little cries from in the bushes. At first they are barely recognizable, so distinctly NOT human, but after a while they resolve, all those nights spent with stray cats under the windows suddenly springing to mind. Then the sound has context. I laughed out loud as I walked by.

The people are fucking, too.

Their sounds are much easier to recognize. They carry for a long way, through the still air and it's hard to ignore them, even if you want to. They're so distinctly HUMAN, you cannot help but empathize, a thousand shards of sense memory suddenly springing to mind.

But that world is not mine.
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Or perhaps more accurately, I don't deserve...

"However, it's probably a mistake to conclude that exerting effort toward a morally unobjectionable end is sufficient for deserving the end itself. This is because there might be other factors at work that could weigh against one's deserving it, even if the end itself is morally okay. For example, suppose you've worked hard toward getting an A on your term paper. You spent hours in the library doing research, you composed several drafts, you went hours without sleep, and so on. Your end is morally okay, since there's nothing wrong with trying (in these ways!) to get an A. Even so, it's still possible that, in spite of your tremendous efforts, your paper is terrible. In that case, you probably don't deserve an A.

The general phenomenon emerging here is that, at least in many cases, possession of any particular basis for desert is not going to be sufficient for being deserving. You might work hard toward an end, but what if the end itself is wrong? Or the end is okay, and your effort intense, but what if the product of your effort is of very low quality? Even if the product of your effort is of high quality, you still might not be deserving, since other factors could count against you. Until all these of factors are taken into consideration and weighed against each other, it's impossible to render a verdict of desert."


-- Owen McLeod, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
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"Roger, I had a very disturbing dream last night. In this dream I found myself making love to a strange man. Only I'm having trouble you see, because he's old... and dying... and he smells bad, and I find him repulsive. But then he tells me that everything is erotic, that everything is sexual. You know what I mean? He tells me that even old flesh is erotic flesh. That disease is the love of two alien kinds of creatures for each other. That even dying is an act of eroticism. That talking is sexual. That breathing is sexual. That even to physically exist is sexual. And I believe him, and we make love beautifully."

-- Lynn Lowry, from Shivers
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