Friday, September 28, 2001

today's missive is in the personal realm, so turn back while you can.

my former wife Sally was diagnosed with lung cancer about 3 months ago. she has been undergoing chemotherapy. during this process i have encouraged her to seek help and advice from the many resources in place at the teaching hospital where she is being treated. she steadfastly refused, her refrain was always "what good will it do?" no contact with support group, ditto social worker, she hates the nurse, won�t phone the doctor when she is ill.

we have 3 grown children, who live near her and are doing their best to be supportive, but are a little overwhelmed by her negativity.

she was hospitalized yesterday with brain mets, new and hopefully treatable via radiation. i packed and am leaving this morning for a 3 1/2 hour drive. i also talked to a patient counselor yesterday and have an appointment with her today. i did this before i knew she was in the hospital, to alert them that there was a patient who needed help medically, emotionally, financially, psychologically, and so on, just as any of us would in a similar situation.

then i hear late last night, through the grapevine, that i am not welcome and not to drive down today.

so i leave in a few minutes, and will do what i have to do to help a needlessly bad and messy situation. god knows there is enough suffering in this life to go around. those compelled to add to it may serve some cosmic function, but they just piss me off.

thank you for allowing me to vent. i really needed it. back next week.

Thursday, September 27, 2001

waiting for the war to end

interesting currents rippling thru the land. most of it media-ised.

item: "are you afraid now?"

i've been afraid for years, not of anybody or any state, but of the human delimma and what humanity is doing with it. in theological terms i guess it could be called free will used very poorly.

item: "the homeland"

much reaction to this phrase with it's nazi echos and polarity ("us and them"). on the other hand neil young used the phrase years ago in a song: "the homeland we've never seen." i like that context better, it raises things up a notch and applies to the whole human race.

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

difference - matter

it makes a difference -
but it doesn't matter

at the start of a long day i feel compelled to make a list of do's and don�ts for the nation state. these are from the top of my head, no proof or evidence exists. very early morning opinions only:

1) do not allow american troops into afghanistan. or midnight commandos. or high flying bombers. or missiles. the former will be slaughtered and the latter will make no difference within that blasted terrain.

2) big money is involved in recent terrist activity. do not assume this money belongs to one man. assume it has a life of it's own as big money always seems to have, and is attached to many entities. this is a capitalist nation, we should be able to effectively swindle the other side.

3) civilian un-uniformed armies fight differently than military armies. bush seems to hint that he and his people are aware of this: i hope so. bureaucratic absence is one difference. independent units is another. recognize that we will have a difficult time adapting to these factors.

my two cents; now i�ll get back to analyzing life in this century and why illusion and disillusion play such a big part in it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2001

"Celebrating Palestinians: Scene WAS ACTUALLY staged."Independent Media Center - webcast news.

this page is not definitive but raises questions as to whether the mediated truth CAN BE true. those of us who have worked in photo darkrooms or video production know the work that goes into a piece is more substantial than the source of the piece. the media (tv, cable, press) is not the place to find out what is going on. it is the place to find out PART of what is going on, and that part is what would have been called in other times and places the party line. visceral knowledge (kurt vonnegut), the street, and between the lines is where the informastion is.

Andrew Schmookler makes it clear in "The Parable Of The Tribes" "that the problems we face now, as we try to come to grips with our planetary interconnectedness, can't simply be blamed on personalities or ideologies, but are rooted in the fundamental structure of 5000 years of international anarchy. The problem of power that he raises and explores is a fundamental challenge for governance (at many levels) that we must deal with somehow if we are to have any hope of creating a humane sustainable culture as a successor to the darkness we call civilization."

this book is a dry methodical exposition of one idea, and entertains objections to it that might be raised, showing why they are beside the point. it is not altogether meaningless at this juncture in history when current events, still deadly, are perceived as cartoon slogans, bumper stickers, and ad campaigns.

Monday, September 24, 2001

i'm too tired to think and too numb to feel. so i'll just throw this out
there. from The CyborgManifesto by donna haraway, typos and all. it's
long and "postmodern" (read: hard to read.), but it has a
certain...topicality, and reminds me of the comparison of the
managerial class of the multinational megaliths and the middle class
housewife of the fifties, both trapped in gloss, shine, and opulence,
strictly regulated (albeit not overtly) in terms of style, dress, language,
both with very little meaningful activity to perform, and both ripe for
self-destruction. i forget what book i read this comparison in, when i
remember i'll post it. meanwhile this from "the cyborg manifesto":

"The 'New Industrial Revolution' is producing a new world-wide
working class, as well as new sexualities and ethnicities. The
extreme mobility of
capital and the emerging international division of labour are
intertwined with the emergence of new collecdvities, and the
weakening of familiar
groupings. These developments are neither gender- nor race-neutral.
White men in advanced industrial societies have become newly
vulnerable to
permanent job loss, and women are not disappearing from the job
rolls at the same rates as men. It is not simply that women in Third
countries are the preferred labour force for the science-based
multinationals in the export-processing sectors, particularly in
electronics. The picture
is more systematic and involves reproduction, sexuality, culture,
consumphon, and producdon. In the prototypical Silicon Valley, many
lives have been structured around employment in
electronics-dependent jobs, and their intimate realities include serial
heterosexual monogamy,
negotiating childcare, distance from extended kin or most other forms
of traditional community, a high likelihood of loneliness and extreme
economic vulnerability as they age. The ethnic and racial diversity of
women in Silicon Valley structures a microcosm of conflicting
differences in
culture, family, religion, education, and language."

Sunday, September 23, 2001

a few facts about afghanistan that you didn't know and that you hope the decision makers are aware of. very informed article by paddy ashton in last thursday times of london. (found here: The Times). this item was pointed out to me by tucker clark, thanks tucker.

Saturday, September 22, 2001

the personal (which may be obsolete in the near future) & History

I think it is time to back up and consider this question:

from �Senex and Puer: An Aspect of the Historical and Psychological Present� (1967) by James Hillmen

�Psychological changes - changes of attitude, changes of personality, those fundamental lustrations the soul - are also regenerations of history. Transforming my family�s attitudes by uncovering patterns in the entwined ancestral roots is not merely a personal analytical problem. It is an historical step towards freeing a generation from a collective pattern. By changing that collective, there is a change in history itself. And each one, anyone, who makes a clearing in his bit of the forest of the past is the hero who redeems time...

{hundredth monkey?]

...As we individuals are fastened to the facts of our personal case histories by what we remember of our personal lives, so is our history addicted to the history of profane time. An addiction demands more and more, faster and faster. Much of our inventiveness serves merely making, gathering, and reproducing events.

[profane time; current events; factoid of the day; disneyland; the new york times]

...History is the room. And just as the psyche is is situated in an historical present that trails behind it the ancestral roots of a thousand ancestral trees, so too does history have a psychological existence. Mircea Eliade has shown us that historical events, those accumulations of irreversible time, are not the primary facts of existence. Historical facts are secondary; they are incomplete and imperfect actions calling for a before and after, historical consequences built on historical antecedents, and are as such only accumulations of sins and sufferings which are senseless unless they point inward to central meanings....Below the clouded and tangled pattern of events, and behind them, are experiences, psychological realities of a passionate importance, a mythological substrate which gives the soul a feeling of destiny, an eschatological sense that what happens matters. And it matters to someone, a person. Without the person, without the individual�s sense of personal soul (that makeweight in the scales [of history], we are simply pre-historic men with only a collective destiny.�

then, possibly on the other hand, there is this, the first words of a don delillo novel... (i think �Mao II�):

�The future belongs to the crowds.�

i�ve heard an awful lot about quantum leaps the last couple of weeks. but are we leaping into a world where the individual consciousness, with all its sloppy rag tag pretensions, obsessions, and neuroses, is going down the tubes, becoming obsolete so the particle people can fully participate in the commercial brand name world; or is it the fact that the personhood under such attack is worth preserving, because in some primordial way we matter very much to the universe?

Friday, September 21, 2001

oops, it's been awhile. your reporter is feeling a little under the weather and over the whelm. slow. did do first watercolor for class i'm taking, it's interesting being involved with a group of like-minded people, this is a sensation pretty foreign to me these days. portion of watercolor below. got a call from old lady friend - i mean a lady friend from the past - last night. it was a strange conversation because it sounded (mostly) sane. i can't say anything about the collective rolling on towards some new kind of war. except it's interesting to note that a lot of the commentary refers to the Gulf War as something else besides a "war". photo-op maybe?

Reality doesn't always show

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

busy boy

busy world today. i guess i have to get into political and world events. so i should say right out front:

the attacks last week were way over the top and we (the world) should change things so it or something like it never happens again.

how not to do this: nuke or otherwise attack Afghanistan. why? our government and state department know very little about the land and the people. England and Russia have been badly defeated there. there was no knowledge of Asia when we slipped into the Vietnam war (state department had been gutted in mcarthy/"who lost china" debacle of 50s).

demonise bin laden and focus on him as the sole cause of destruction. much more likely that there are many large and varied organizations involved, working together from time to time. big money. not all from bin ladin.

this effort should not be played out as western morality play. bush for instance mentioned "wanted dead or alive" western posters of yesteryear. irrelevant.

i am hearing a lot about putting human assets on the ground so we know what is coming and understand the enemies motivation. it is as if we spend enough money we can plumb the mystery of good and evil. our spies cannot learn all secrets, just as mankind cannot.

as far as understanding motivation, all the experts need a weeks vacation on the street with no money. this would shed more light on the enemies �motivation� than a dozen seminars. there is a dynamic in modern (or post-modern) culture that inhibits the middle class from experiencing and seeing certain phenomena. we must take a long look.

Monday, September 17, 2001

been on a 2 day marathon fixing computer. it's like tugging on a thread in a sweater and watching it unravel. still pulling. i don't like these marathons anymore. they used to be entertaining, the ultimate video game, like cutting wood with a chain saw, impossible to stop. my theory used to be this was because we are so overwhelmingly distracted that to concentrate on something is a relief. still think that sometimes. anyway i rebuilt address book so ignore previous message (although it was good to hear from so many of you).

here's a pretty accurate description of living today (i mean RIGHT NOW) barbara crane emailed me [interspersed with my own broken thoughts]:

"I guess its a time of restructuring. So much tearing down of the
old..of what we thought was reality..."

[and what do we think it is now? whatever we think it is, it ain't.]

"Did you know that the WTC was built on a pauper's grave yard ? Until the late 19th Cent. Tribecca was swampy marsh land inhabited mostly by blacks, a sprawling shanty town. There are extensive catacombs of graves ranging from above Duane St. South past the "site" of the World Trade Towers."

[i've had a thought for years that i call the Indian's revenge. we buy manhattan for baubles, bangles, shiny things, glitter. their revenge is that now we live in a world of electronic baubles, bangles, shiny things, glitter.]

"Everything has now changed violently in my neck of the woods.... our building itself is being torn up around our feet by the new owner, in order to make the commercial space more grand. Do we need another shoe store or cosmetic boutique? "

[another thought close to my heart: we're being beat to death by the commercial world of brands, logos, corporate teleology. it's not a mental thing, we're actually changing the earth. personally i've always wondered about the ratio of space to make money compared to the space for humans to live. how much has that ratio changed since, say, the beginning of agriculture/civilization? or the last 50 years?]

"Psychic disputation, delayed stress responses causing a tightness in my chest, a restlessness, an unquenchable thirst for the news. the sounds of girders crashing and sawmills grinding away.- and the strange smell of worlds burning...We are living on the ashes of worlds that no longer exist, old ideas, graveyards, what is no longer alive, relevant."

[we're already hungry ghosts.]

"I'm thinking about the cycle of revenge, an eye for an eye, nation against nation. It is so primitive. I have been thinking about how deeply something else is required. In our immediate personal lives and collectively, this is an opportunity to make a quantum leap in human consciousness."

[i'm ambiguous about this opportunity; remember what happened last time we made a quantum leap in human consciousness: this.]

"Instead of pointing the finger at the destructive forces outside ourselves, lets examine how we as individuals and as a nation have participated. How we have been complicit? Lets evolve beyond knee jerk reactions...and recognize that the world is a mirror. Lets remember what we know, that we are all interconnected intimately interwoven, and lets rebuild a world of sharing and mutual responsibility and cooperation."

[i'll get in a lot of trouble here, but i don't think "rebuild" is the right word. maybe "build"? no, today it has a connotation of blind frenzy. maybe "accept"? yeah.]

ok i'm back, all of the electrons are dancing nicely, i rebuilt address book and a lot of my cybersystem - duct tape and paper clips - really! and squeezed this in:

leave myself behind

Sunday, September 16, 2001

HELP!!!! i blew away my address book! if i had your email address i don't anymore so please email me so i can have some addresses.

you don't even want to know how i did it.

yesterday was one of those technophobia days. couldn't sleep, got up at 4:30 and booted up computer. my browsers have been crashing more and more lately, and i'd tried (one more) quick fix late the night before. in the morning i found it didn't work so spent some time cursing and trying to fix. at 10:30 went to pharmacy and spent $200 on medicine "your money or your life". then drove to friend winnies who just got new iMac rig and spent time with upfront pick and shovel work to "plug and pray". made a little progress. now this am, early, i've already changed out insulin pump infusion set and fixing to do clean system intstall to get computer back on track so to speak. found this picture of yours truly about...uh..let's see...30 years ago? you remember, when the world was young and so were we.

Friday, September 14, 2001

and i thought i'd better put this up. those few people left who know me might wonder about this, me who, along with the rest of what's left of my generation, is so cognizant of the unrecognized power of signs and symbols. as in "the last refuge of scoundrels is patriotism" (mark twain).

but this is a good sign. it means that i oppose the evil of flying bombs into skyscrapers just as much as i think it is wrong to shoot missiles into peoples living rooms. it's wrong and if it takes more than political adjustments to put a stop to it, like for instance an innermost turning of the heart, so be it. let's do it.

i don't know what to write today. i'm all out. nothing left. for the first time in many maay years i slept most of the day: up at 4:30, asleep by 7, up at 11, groceries and library run, asleep by i dunno maybe it was 2 or 3, up at 5:30. i think it's the general malaise in the air and media, i watched the news tonight oh boy...also besides the times i think i am in another medical maelstrom, the little molecules prescribed and ingested by me for survival are starting, as lucretius mentions, to "swerve". in fact everything is starting to "swerve".

got this in email today and thought i'd pass it on:

"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit
~ Will Rogers "

Thursday, September 13, 2001

"We believe we live in the 'age of information,' that there has been an information 'explosion,' an information 'revolution.' While in a certain narrow sense this is the case, in many important ways just the opposite is true. We also live at a moment of deep ignorance, when vital knowledge that humans have always possessed about who we are and where we live seems beyond our reach. An Unenlightenment. An age of missing information."
Culture Jamming by Mark Dery

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

sometimes on this page i try to drag kicking and screaming some obsessions of mine, like how the language has been stolen, how public discourse has become a stylized oxymoron, how evolution has become cutural (weltenshaung) rather than personal (possibly leaving some of us old farts with a colorful life behind us high and dry). the most meaningful conversations i have had have been at three o'clock in the morning on a bus tearing thru the dark kansas night (not on an airplane where each person guards his personal space:read Another Country by Mary Pipher).

anyway i want to get personal if not egotistic today, drop the big motifs, and tell you about my day while all hell was braking loose elsewhere. first off i had been up all night with high (in the 500's) blood glucose readings, which i finally solved by changing insulin pump site at 4:30 in the morning. if you've ever spent the night flirting with diabetic ketaacidosis you appreciate my story. i barely made it to first watercolor class at 1:30, a big step for the solitary person i have become, not to mention agoraphbic. a full day and i don't have a thing to add about memes, semantics, crazies, the circus, the daily destruction, or even ancient friendships rising from oblivion. i will add this tho:

A Gift from All of Us

Avocations Matter More than Vocations

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

my sympathy to the casualties , wounded and hurt by today's awful events. and my condolences to the souls that inhabit the world where it happened. we must be here for something besides this. whatever it may be, let�s do it.

Monday, September 10, 2001

those books listed on the right: my original idea was to write about them and how they are the core of my world view. or at least part of it. but i now realize i can't really remember much about them. don't worry, i still carry them around, sort of by osmosis.

so i looked for links to some coherent commentary on them. zip so far. so next project is to write about the damn things, pages in the mist. after that i'll post a few old quicktime movies. yahoo, a lifetime to do, no reason to, i'm just like you.

i see weblogs maintained by state of the art techies. the sites are crisp, cluttered, but mainly right up to date with the wonderful world of bouncing electrons. now as a neoluddite who is a little confused at the best of times, i won't go into the worst, but there's all kinds of times, i don't so much keep up as ride by with a cold (or is it old) eye. anyway my motto is that if it's worth doing it's worth doing slow. so the links on my weblog are like this one:

W R O N G !

have fun taking your time.

in the interests of showing what kind of techie i am, i have to disclose that i don't spend much time on the net. except for every now and then. some of the weblogs i have seen are so up to date, links to every technical wrinkle of the last 24 hours. my motto: if it's worth doing, it's worth doing slow.

but i used to know stuff, just as well i don't anymore because it's been replaced. however here's an old favorite of mine, have fun:

i have a number of things i must do today. i don't want to do them: so i'm killing time (my least favorite phrase in the whole world). here's the result:

avoiding responsibility

Sunday, September 9, 2001

ok it's time for a pome drawn absolutely at random from too many notebooks scattered around my living room:

first i should say i've been painting and brooding the last few days. a domestic personal familial problem with no immediate solution, my youngest son receding rapidly into ...something.

ate breakfast yesterday with friend jim w. and isabel. good to see old friends in this slo-mo final frenzy. time is such a joke.

here's pome. it might be a country and western song but i don't think so.

hands of exhaustion
glimpses of hell
don't worry bout me
I"LL never tell!

harvest injunction
demanding defeat
from others about you
fast on their feet.

years in the yard
wet feet in the snow
i tried too hard
and couldn't let go.

what became of us
is what we are
a minute too soon
an hour too far

comin back home
i stumble and lurch
just another madman
in front of the church.

Thursday, September 6, 2001


twilight again right now.

i was reading "peaks and vales" by james hillman this morning before the sun rose. not dedication, just accident, i grabbed it when i sat down and one thing lead to another. i think everyone should read it at least once, and that i should read it more than that. i'll grab a quote or two from it: ok this one is random:

"the movement from one side of the brain to the other, from tedious daily life in the supermarket to supraconciousness, from trash to transcendence, the "altered state of conciousness" approach - to put it all in a nutshell - denies the historical ego. it is an approach going back to Saul who became Paul, conversion into the opposite, knocked off one's ass in a flash."

got some errands out of the way and spent the rest of the day reading a book about watercolors and the development manual for realbasic which i continue to fiddle with. maybe i took the day easy because yesterday was a medical day: teeth cleaned in the am at local tech school, dermatologist visit in the pm, who froze 3 places on face and excised possible problem from tummy. then to pharmacy for $135 worth of pills. see what i mean?

oh yes i finished this one late last night (it's a watercolor):

now you see it

Tuesday, September 4, 2001

"The Corporate "I": Corporations are legal fictions that we the people created. They have no inherent rights or freedoms."

[i blew it: lost the link from where this quote came. apologies.]

but they do have legal and political rights and freedoms. in fact, from the legislative point of view, they are exactly equal to persons; except they can live much longer (makes it hard for a person to engage with a corporation in the legal arena: the longer lived entity just outwaits the shorter lived.)

a corporation can do just about anything a human can do: buy, sell, speak, get angry, lay low, maybe not laugh out loud.

two things illustrate this. the first is the corporate "we". i particularly like the slogan "we want your business." they sure do. whereas the royal "we" (queen victoria: "we are not amused") is dated and pompous, the corporate "we" is trendy, hip, just one of the guys. and to think it is just a legal construct really, like a zoned parking lot!

the second contemporary demonstration of the universal acceptence of the corporate "we" is the free speech issue. whereas in the counstitution free speech is guarenteed to citizens, it has morphed into allowing corporations to say whatever they want to say. notice that this kind of "free" speech is paid for, big bucks. the only kind left for us humans soon will be late night conversations on a getaway bus in the night.

today was sort of one of these:

one of these

Monday, September 3, 2001

labor day is over, the work world descends (as if it ever left) and it is time to learn about memetics which might save your life, change your world, or waste your time. see memetics for more than you ever wanted to know about it. lots of deep links and here are some quotes from different sources:

"If we ever want to make an intelligent machine, its operating system should be music."
[hank williams? jr. brown?]
"If this article has succeed in infecting you with the meme-about-memes, perhaps it will help you be more responsible about the memes you spread and less likely to be infected with a meme that will harm you or those around you."
[infection leads to salvation?]
"The essence of the meme idea is that evolution no longer takes place on the level of the genes, but on the level of culture. The fact that memes evolve according to principles of variation and selection very similar to the principles governing Darwinian evoltion of genes does not in any way lead to Social Darwinism in its old sense."
[what does it lead to in it's new sense? i can't wait.]
"Why is the spirituality of the musician in "High" cultures so often a low-down spirituality?"
[too many drugs? high road low road?]
"Meanwhile, the question remains: How to box with shadows? In other words, what shape does an engaged politics assume in an empire of signs? "
[i dunno but a homeless symbol might]

Sunday, September 2, 2001

well while chris is away on his labor day tell-a-thon he asked me to step in and say a few words. my name is fade spasm and i'm from fort hook oklahoma, the home of the mighty falconettes. i'm here to represent the silent inane, i mean insane. you can't always get what you thought you wanted, but patience used to be a virtue and now it's all up for grabs or, as the pessimistic like to think, for grubs. it's rainy in old deccalb county, and joe norris the weatherman (i just know him on TV) said "c'mon down to the crab festival but you better bring an umbrella. shoes would be ok too." do i know where my kids are tonight? do they know where thier father is? are ten million SUVs worth one brief breath? and what about cognitive gridlock? what about doctors who play doctors? what about 50 year old adolescents who play doctor? the last time i was around the block i was around the bend. talking heads, greedy hands, lying eyes, fast feet, dumb terminals, slow electrons, disrupted biorhythms terminally gone south, a head of lettuce and thou. know what i mean? if it's not the kat's meow it's one just like it. the last time jack kerouak hitch-hiked was on a sunday, he walked 10 miles while american families in station wagons passed him looking the other way and his feet bled. the 50's were over and the 40's never happened. out of time, out of mind, out of sleep, out of dream, outta here. thanx chris for letting me tell my story.

it was a dark and stormy light

Saturday, September 1, 2001


for the bent, twisted, wasted and nearly gone (i include all of us this labor day), here is a commentary on work that reads at first like looney tunes, or at the very least a joke, but is deadly serious, far ahead of it's (our) time, so of course it has that lunatic edge. read it: The Abolition of Work:
"In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.
That doesn't mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a *ludic*
conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art."

labor day saturday. i labored. cleaned kitchen and bathroom. thank god that's done for another year. i have nothing to say: "i ain't talkin...thaaaaat's what i've got to say" (yardbirds, first album i think.) reminds me now of my youngest son. any way i'm looking for something called "the abalation of work" by paco which reads like an over the top piece of insanity until you get it's deadly serious and light years ahead of it's time (so of course it reads insane). when i find it i'll link to it. meanwhile here is a gift of today's labor by a modern peasant:

i've had enough what else can you show me