“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Saturday, February 03, 2007

on the fight

I’ve only been in one real barfight. That was back in New Orleans days, and it wasn’t as fun as the fight in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Unfortunately, it was faster, windows broke, my buddy made like a rabbit for the hills, which left me rather alone, and the cops came. The fight in HAI was started by the cry, ‘faggot’, which is the only similarity to that far off Plum Street brawl – apparently the bar I was in had strict rules on the display of male affection. Who knew?

Well, this week some blogs I go to and bloggers I like have been piling onto each other. It started with a thread at the Weblog, and ended, as usual, in tears, bannings, and complaints about personal threats. To me, the fun here is puzzling. It is sorta like a mosh pit without any music. Now, myself, when I am gray and crooked, I intend to bore grandnieces and nephews with the story of how old LI leaped into that mosh pit at the Nirvana concert (and, I should interject here before my friend D. leaps in here to make a comment, I did NOT break your nose, honey). So, I understand the mosh thrill. But not weblog shitstorms.

Maybe the problem is simply that blogs, so far, lack genius. The surrealists were always banning each other, but out of their fights came “The Use Value of D.A.F. De Sade” – and so far, blogorama has not produced a Bataille.

For me, recriminatory circle jerks don’t have any real attraction. It smacks too much of grad student days. There were many reasons I flunked outta grad school (I was becoming an asshole and a b.s. artist, and realized that, yikes! I didn’t want to be an asshole and a b.s. artist – I wanted to be a sage), but one of them was the odd sense that always, on the horizon, was a recriminatory circle jerk. Perhaps this was just my resistance to full American adulthood in an institution. In any case, it drove me emotionally crazy. I should say, though, that I am not offering this comment in that viscerally anti-academic way that comes to people who have flunked out of academia. Some of my best buds, people I love, are profs now, and I am happy for them and wish them much joy and tenure. I am not going to pretend my sour grapes are a mark of moral superiority. It is just an aftereffect of failure. But…

But, something should be done about the debased state of the academic weblog shitfight. Point a, if the Weblog, the Valve, Long Sunday and the rest of them want to host a brawl, cue the proper music. I’d recommend The Queen Bee’s romantic ballad, Suck my Dick (ah, one of the truly time wasting things about getting DSL - which I just did - is that I can watch Li’l Kim’s videos!) Thus transforming the mosh pit without music into one with, a big improvement. And point b is, please, don’t be a pussy about personal threats. Personal threats are lagniappe! It brightens the day. You venture out of your apartment, you scan the street for the big black pickup with the guy holding the two by four. Hollywood magic, man! Plus, how can one bitch about someone who cares enough about you to want to come over and sink a claw hammer into your skull? O...o....or am I just lookin for love in all the wrong places? … Naah. Take it from me: the early twentieth century figure who knew most about love was not Sigmund Freud, but Ignaz the Mouse. Throw the brick, honey! Suck my dick! – the immemorial song that goes all the way back to Eden.

Other points I will make up later, on some rainy day.


Patrick said...

You, of all people, should have been able to understand that that blogfight--a confluence of 2, one stemming from the Valve, the other from Long Sunday--did contain something in it. Blogs were in this blogfight already determined to 'lack genius' and sliced up as such. The problem is leaving blogs as blogs and not forcing them to develop into more refined forms. That blog thread has since been expanded into posts proclaiming blogpeople solidarity in the form of 'Kotsko envy', 'opera-loving financialists' and all sorts of reverberations have gone onto other blogposts on that same blog and related blogs--including this one, for chrissake.

Certain loyalties you have are the reason why you cannot comprehend that blog thread. I am not going to explain it to you, and neither will any other who understands that blogthread. It was a serious matter even if most of the participants proved themselves to be nothing more than clowns. Most of it was just cheap touch football, but there was more than that.

In the meantime, hot air is bound to happen to anyone from time to time. However, even if you missed the main action, you can't have missed the fact that Matt's fool behaviour was forced out into the open in the last few days through numerous agents--but since the point of blogs is to go round in circles and Suck Blogs, you can just look at the one where he says Amie 'thanks him' in a certain post, hoping clearly that one won't read it, because she had hardly emphasized her debt of gratitude. He is now soliciting PayPal services somewhat like yours, even offering critiques (I can't remember whether he charges minimum wage for these or not, although I've heard that $500 would be enough to cover the contract...at least one sort).

You have not, by holding yourself aloof, derived the benefits from that blogfight. And you cannot turn back the clock such that you will be able to. So you can think about the next time, if there is a next time, i.e., Transcendental Miserablism is very popular within the Upper-Lower-Class Blogs at the moment, and jokes made sheerly for the goal of producing absolutely nothing of substance are bandied forth cheerfully and in absurd abundance. Some are worried about whether they get appointments in universities, some are worried about not getting tenure if they blogarithms are discovered--yes, all this continues to be of major concern as the world continues to have definitely ended, since the lack of genius in blogs has said so, and therefore it is exquisitely beautiful for Matt to continue to out the fuck of people's real names, for which I am hoping he will get at least $25 reference fee for each. He's got daunting vet bills and there are a lot of genius bloggers who think speciesism is a reasonable topic while they slave in the fucking salt mines.

roger said...

Hi, Patrick.

This is the deal for me. Your motives for what you say and do are pretty transparent. I know why you don't like LCC, for instance - you've drawn a line and can't countenance people who have conspiracy theories about 9/11. I can't say one thing or another about that - it isn't my line, but I can see why it is yours. But mostly, I don't get the motives here at all. For instance, I was startled to read on Charlotte Street that the guy running it was threatened by Matt, the threat being revelation of the real name of the guy running it. If Matt made this threat, he's way out of line - he's acting like a shit. On the other hand, I can't help but think - I'm not going to be handing out huge secrets to people I don't know because we share a reading list. If your self preservation can be threatened with the information you give - don't give it!

Although as I remember it, Matt made an effort to find out his name? Another cloudy story that seems to be about pure malevolence.

To tell you the truth, I missed most of the Matt part of that thread - I was more interested in the ever puzzling fight between John Holbo and the theory folks, and the fact that the two sides don't seem to be able to retain their elementary civility and disagree at the same time, nor really explain, to an outside observer, why they are so damn hotheaded. It is like some endlessly boring game, the rules of which are impenetrable to non-participants.

I actually think the level of fear about "not getting tenure if they blogarithms are discovered" is grossly exaggerated - it is like the suburban perception of crime being ever present 'downtown' because news shows love to show crime. A little perspective tells us that the reason people don't get tenure is usually not for crimes of blogging. But if you are really doing the daring stuff - posting pics of yourself naked or whatever - and at the same time you are that petrified of the tenure process, then - perhaps you should rethink your patterns of risk.

As for being personally threatened, which is how the Weblog thread petered out, wow - as I say, maybe I am just too used to being personally threatened, but I don't really take it that seriously. If some stranger wants to fly to Austin, come to my apartment at 615 Upson St., and take me out with a pistol because of my take on Zizek, he should do it. I can't split on the airplane ticket, but I promise to try to surpress my impulse to run around like a chicken with his head cut off screaming help. Hey, death for philosophy - pretty fucking noble! (Even though I don't really have a take on Zizek - making my martydom even more sweet) Because I suspect I will otherwise die for less noble reasons, for instance, a cold winter night and a closed Salvation Army shelter.

Finally, one last thing: I find it amazing that people seem unaware that different people have different levels of sensitivity. There are people who are not going to find my Suck my dick remark funny, but just gross, and myself a pig for telling it. So be it. Some of those people are my friends, and so - I don't send them this post. Pretty simple. It is easy to find somebody's level of sensitivity is high, and to keep picking on them. But fuck, man, after you get out of those playground years, you learn that endless teasing isn't a great idea. On the other hand, while I see no reason that someone who is sensitive shouldn't have a blog, comment, whatever - this same person shouldn't then start shitfights, or join them. They should try to avoid them.

So, anyway, Patrick, these are the rules of thumb for me.

roger said...

ps - hey, holding myself aloof? Didn't I put up a post?

Patrick said...

That's all right. There are a number of things I can't explain to you and may not be able to. Carry on. There have been found some means for some of us stuck in blogs to figure out ways to recuse ourselves, even if that's the first time that term has been used for blogs. That's the main reason I put the comment. The things that are left in shadow are for the purpose of allowing some of us who want something beyond blogs to find them: There is a limit to the privacy you can expect from blogs, and so that you made some false assumptions from what I wrote that are fully understandable. However, you didn't read the blog thread carefully, that goes without saying. But so what? There's no point pretending that the only tasty parts of these things are those kept in secret (at least mostly those, and many are not capable of doing this sort of thing. I'm talking about the more impersonal matters of serious discussions about politics, philosophy or what have you, but the interblog stuff is only good in secret--so that it can then leave blogs and their fully-acknowledged lack of genius behind.

Patrick said...

'holding myself aloof? Didn't I put up a post?'

Yeah, but it's not late enough in the story for there to be the calm final word by the senior journalist. You neglected to find out that the blog feuds have heated up and multiplied in intensity, proliferating despite themselves and despite the conclusion of The Longest Thread. Therefore, the best reduction and deglazing of the sauce by someone out of the fight for some days now came your way, because you might as well know that it's exploding far beyond what it was embarassing the other day: Now their are terms like 'poaching' that I don't even quite understand, release of blog links from blogrolls, newly-minted fuck-yous from staunch allies only minutes previously.

'Your motives for what you say and do are pretty transparent.'

Oh yeah? well, it doesn't seem that you've hit the nail on the head with that one at all, because you haven't. But it's yet one more relief that you said it.

Patrick said...


Toward the end of this, you find the necessary material of some of this.

Amerigo Sciurofascista said...

I might shoot you for your taste in music, Roger, if I can ever make it to Austin. You should be listening to Dagmar Krause, as I believe I've mentioned before. Everything about a person flows from the music they listen, as it does from their politics, philosophy and choice of drugs. It's to your credit that you've chosen heroin, of course, but that doesn't make up for the music.

northanger said...

i ♥ LI's taste in music.

(hi paddy!)

roger said...

Mr. BRGF, take the damn pipe out of your mouth! yes, I liked that little piece of Weil...
As for the link to ls, Patrick. What can I say but ... it makes me damn proud of Amie. This woman knows how to inflict lethality in a small space - you go in, polite as the devil, you do your routine, then you get the hell out of dodge - no getting lost in the tuneless mosh pit.

Patrick said...

Yes, it's admirable and a very valid style, among many. But that was only part of the point. In any case, I didn't figure you'd find it on your own. You and I have not been able to communicate terribly well even though I find many of your things arresting: By this I mean occasionally that it is possible to communicate with people you never met in person and only on blogs but beyond blogs. That's just life, and sometimes there really are hard-shelled aporias of people's brains. We've got that with each other, and it's never changed.

Hi, northanger, it's always sweet to see you. I'm stunned at how well you handle our favourite neocon. I never ate chittlings like you were talking about, but I do like a lot of Southern soul food, and bought some sweet potatoes yesterday, may finally get my Maple Bourbon Sweet Potato Pie made today, which I've been planning to do for about 6 years. (I'm serious; I plan things that insanely). Also, am finally going to another B'way show this week, first time in years, Kristen Chenowith in 'The Apple Tree'. There hasn't been a big B'way star for about 8-10 years till she happened.

roger said...

Patrick, granted, sometimes we do talk past each other. But don't underestimate the comedy routine brio of our aporias. The symbol that occurs to me is Odysseus wrestling Proteus. Odysseus has to hold Proteus through all his metamorphoses just to find out some simple directions ... I think that is how the story goes. As I remember it. And such, sometimes, is communication.

Anyway... (which is a topic transition word I use way too much - a couple days ago, the three year old of some friends of mine started imitating it. Hard to be cut down by a three year old) Perhaps LI is just the odd man out in the theory blog community... Actually, community is really going to far - it is more like a Coney Island boardwalk of freak shows, with LI setting up his little booth with dodgy tarot cards he drew all by himself, in the Institute.

roger said...

ps - silly LI... Proteus wrestled Menelaus, not Odysseus.

"Next, as soon as yo see that he is asleep,t that will be
the time for all of you to use your strength and your vigor,
and hold him there while he strives and struggles hard to escape you.
And he will try you by taking the form of all creatures that come forth
and move on the earth, he will be water and magical fire."

Odd, though, he never changes into the shape of the one wrestling him. Or at least this isn't in the poem.

In any case, Patrick, this is one symbol of weblog conversation. It is the mythic root of the Abbot nd Costello routine, Who's on first. Obviously.

Ray Davis said...

Although I've dashed through my share of mosh pits, I'm not really a physically violent type -- I think the best I can offer you is a mutual suicide pact....

Patrick said...

'Odd, though, he never changes into the shape of the one wrestling him. Or at least this isn't in the poem.

In any case, Patrick, this is one symbol of weblog conversation. It is the mythic root of the Abbot nd Costello routine, Who's on first. Obviously.'

Oh, pulleaze, that must be why George Bush locked the door (and stayed alone by himself for longer than he usually can) while Saddam went down--he obviously was afraid he might not change into that form, and it was very embarrassing to him that he didn't.

To stay in business, it is sometimes difficult to leave it, therefore with just Proteus and Menelaus, husband of Helen, shining among women. Therefore such as Abbott and Costello are brought up so that low bar-blogs can be kept open long enough to be granted a half-glass of Rolling Rock. Such things are happening to all of us. I have seen 5 small businesses newly closed or announcing going out of business in the last 3 days on walks, and countless more since around mid-November. And in refreshing myself on Menelaus and slipping over to Clytemnestra, we find from wikis that 'some accounts have her living well past her murder of Agamemnon in the bath', I mean you'd think it was a bit more like when Homer was thought to still be a single person and the Trojan War was believed by hoardes of persons. But then the same wiki offers the following: 'That same night Leda had sex with Tyndareus and fell pregnant.'

This may well be the worst sentence I have ever read.

northanger said...

Obviously isn't on first! sheesh.

northanger said...

couldn't hear Dagmar Krause at that link, but googled a short snippet — now i need to hear the whole thing. she's awesome.

is that real bourbon in that pie paddy?

92 yards on that opening kickoff, yowza.

Patrick said...

Real bourbon, hon, but I just bought the rest of ingredients and may not get to it till tomorrow. And you can't get anything like that in Shanghai. That's why Nick is always in such a bad humour. That NYT travel article described sterilized capitalism as working so well you couldn't even go to their own one fine French restaurant and pay too much the way you're supposed to. Once capitalism has succeeded perfectly the way Nick wants it, you just have to get grumpy about something else. How about the way he started talking about 'slum clearance' last week, which just meant he wanted anything over 2 years old to be razed. If he didn't have you, he'd go round the bend.

roger said...

Ray, in my opinion, we should duel, with squirrel guns, and not commit suicide. Although the way I shoot, there might be no difference.

Patrick, come on, you liked my classical allusion. Admit it! Though I did botch it up. Funny how I remembered Odysseus as the one wrestling Proteus. This is what middle age does to you - it knocks the stuffings out of your brain. Say goodbye to the capital of North Dakota and the longest river in Asia. Fuck.

As for falling pregnant, we definitely reach a new low in male irresponsibility with that phrase. Although I suppose it could be applied to the virgin mary.

roger said...

ps - I can't watch the fuckin' Super Bowl this year! I have to finish this damned piece of editing - or else.

Northanger - I'm for whoever you are for.

northanger said...

Roger, when it rains it pours. TWO BLACK HEAD COACHES in the super bowl? seriously, i'm not picky. but i like how the Colts came right back & got their first touchdown (that missed extra point may get missed in the end tho).

northanger said...

okay, Roger, are you supposed to be Odysseus or Proteus?

paddy, i don't think you should mention Nicky at Roger's blog ... isn't that bad form or something?

& why, returning somewhat to topic, does Ignatz know more about love than Freud? surely it's gotta be more than just throwing bricks?

Patrick said...

I don't see why mentioning Nick at Roger's blog is bad form. Nick knows I like him. I don't think it's nearly as bad as the way you are going on about Super Bowl misdemeanours. Furthermore, how else was I going to be able to tell the story about how never before at a French restaurant were low prices greeted only grimly with 'And just what does all this advanced capitalism get us? Lower prices on luxury that then go toward feeding a poor family of five? What kind of gratitude for yeomanry is that?

I should think, dear Northanger, that a friendly reference to a disagreeable old cuss would be the far more civilized form of blogfight the three of us here have arrived at, safely ashore of both the River Styx, the Weblog, Long Fucking Sunday, and the Goddam Valve. Bad form is not nearly as serious as losing our homes to the bulldozer...I'm sure we both qualify as 'slum clearance candidates' in some people's minds.

Well, there's 'falling pregnant' before the term was in use, but Leda 'having sex' is just too much to deal with. I mean, are these people trying to get jobs with Cliff's Notes, so that in the next five years they write up that first episode with Alexandrous and Helen as 'Aphrodite interfered with the other gods' plans, and made Helen want to have sex with Paris, who had no virtues but one. And this she could not resist, even though she felt bad about it.'

roger said...

I'm the old man of the sea, I hope. Or his son, Popeye.

And I confess, my ignaz remark was a cynical one liner. But - you can put Krazy Kat on the couch all you want, still, when Ignaz comes calling and hauls out his brick - the valentines will still swirl over over our cartoon pussy's head.
Hey, now that I got DSL I can surely sneak peaks at the game between correcting subordinate clauses

Patrick said...

'ashore of both the River Styx, the Weblog, Long Fucking Sunday, and the Goddam Valve.'

in fact, this needs some help right nowm and is in far worse form than any reference to Old Nicholas St. John Land. After all, Jodi Dean has crossposted 2 in a row for Valve/LS/Weblog theory/Theory blogfight purpose, ever since she decided the other day that it was time to bring back Aimee Semple MacPherson (either that or the Jean Simmons part in 'Elmer Gantry'.) And all the regulars who haven't been banned are going at it just like they've been doing for over 2 years. Too, too tedious.

I think Poseidon had this wonderful daughter Kalypso too, but staying with her forever was not something it was thought advisable to do. I mean--you wanted to go on and get back to yo' homeland.

northanger said...

amazing, google fell pregnant = 116,000 links.

paddy, i'm just saying, french yeomanry has nothing to do with the current topic under discussion. besides, being a neocon capitalist pig is the least of Nicky's problems. so, is the weblog style of blogging more AFC or NFC?

Roger, do i have to know what a subordinate clause is to comment here? i sure hope not — my mom, the english teacher! she taught me nothing!

roger said...

More important than the subordinate clause is the decline in civilization that would allow the Baltimore colts to become the Indianapolis colts.

You know, I've been to Indianapolis just once, and that town scared the hell out of me. It was so zombified that I figured it had to produce mass murders.

roger said...

oops, I meant serial murderers. Although maybe I'm getting Indianapolis confused with Kansas City. Which one had the murderin' deacon?

northanger said...

ha! i'm in california: Oakland Raiders, St Louis Rams. bleech.

murdering deacon, i know which one you're talking about. wait a sec.

i think i want the colts to win, btw.

northanger said...

Emporia, Kansas

Patrick said...

But Kansas City is one of the great jazz towns, like Memphis and Chicago after New Orleans got it started. Indianapolis was full of televisional evolutionists long before we were thinking about how they're all over the place. I saw this PBS special in the late 70s with these Sunday School kids singing this song that had lyrics 'I'm not kin to the monkey, no no no...and the monkey's not kin to me...' It was too too tawdry.

Patrick said...

I meant televisional creationists, obviously. There is this wonderful documentary about jazz in Kansas City that people ought to see. I mean, the place used to be wild and had a lot of character.

roger said...

Okay, the Colts it is. I'm going to pretend, however, that they are still from Baltimore. I love Baltimore. I loved Baltimore sports teams when I was a kid. One of the dreams I would talk myself into to go to sleep was me playing for the Orioles. Short stop or second base.

Go Colts!

northanger said...

Outside of propositions that can only take on meaning through very general consequences, it so happens that it is high time for me to quell at little cost a part of this bitterness: it is possible at the very least to clear the narrow terrain—where from now on the debate will be carried out—of the intellectual bartering that usually goes on there. In fact it is obvious that if men incapable of histrionics succeed those of today, they will not be able to better represent the tacky phraseology now in circulation than by recalling the fate reserved, by a certain number of writers, for the memory of D. A. F. de Sade (moreover it will, perhaps, appear fairly quickly, in a very general way, that the fact of needlessly resorting to literary or poetic verbiage, the inability to express onself in a simple and categorical way, not only are the result of vulgar of impotence, but always betray a pretentious hypocrisy). Use Value of D. A. F. de Sade (pdf)

the thing i like about you Roger is you point to good things to read. not that i can parse & grok mind you, but still good.

roger said...

Wow, CBS is being pissantish about this game. I go to the site and they offer me a chance to see the fucking ads. No game, but the ads. Like I'm all outta that fine water cooler talk for tomorrow, by which we can collectively commit suicide in the human cowbarn, that tv cud drooling from our mouths. Did you see the beer drinking cricket pulling a praying mantis train? The new GM rv especially made for pedophiles? The coca cola ad showing the blown up Iraqi kid getting his last taste of the real thing? It went down good... and so did he!

Like I need to see these ads.

I want my superbowl streamin video, goddamn it!

northanger said...

of course, everything's up to date in Kansas City.

northanger said...

Colts Win! 29 to 17.

northanger said...

lol, my sister calls me right when Prince starts to play. which is good since he's got a rag on his head looking like aunt jemima. so i totally miss half time AND the two minute warning.

i totally recommend blogging while superbowling.

northanger said...

btw, gematrically speaking, Tony Dungy equals 41.

roger said...

Yeah Colts!
Actually, it is a fine time for night of the living dead in Indianapolis. If those guys riot, then I take back everything I said about that incredibly dull little berg. And if they riot, they should head for the pill company that is headquartered there, what's the name of it... Lilly, that's it. Go for the Lilly HQ, GUYS! Victory smells like a million charcoaled valiums - I'm telling the God's honest truth here.
Good night all. Unfortunately, I didn't hook up Li'l Kim's suck my dick for this shitfight, but otherwise, this is more like what I'm talkin' about.

Matt said...

Um, Yeah, so, as stated previously (and probably too often): Matt never made a single attempt to find out Charlotte's name. Nor does he care, nor does he have any plans to release it. Charlotte just didn't understand how paypal works, apparently, and Matt was ever-so-mildly amused at this fact. But then, your version Patrick makes a better tabloid, I admit.

As for Amie's rather oddly year-belated comment, well...it was obviously wrong, at the very least a lapse of tact, to quote from her email, that sentence or two (even crediting her, as only one could). Yup, our memories do differ some. I certainly hope she wasn't presuming to speak on behalf of everyone quoted in that post, however! Or to *take* credit for *my* words and framing.

As a mere aside, one presumes correctly that gossip of malevolence amounts just as often to malevolent gossip – unless one has permanently, impressively convinced oneself otherwise, in which case why bother.

I think you're alright, Roger, for suggesting music; after all, that was someone else's grandly epic thought, directly after the last one. And though this will undoubtedly drive your favorite commenteur (and my own apparently adopted blog-enemy-for-life) up the wall, profound indifference to recriminatory circlejerks is about how I would put it too...juvenile, boring stuff. Anytime you care to have a hammer fight is okay, too.

Re: surrealism, I take it the latest pictures at LS are to your liking, then...though, unfortunately, I daresay the irony was mostly lost on crowds...

Heh. Oh well. How bout that second post of yours.