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Showing posts from September 9, 2007

a word on the recent non-event...

When the U.S. congress was considering banning acid, a senate panel took testimony from people like Timothy Leary and Allan Ginsberg. They also interviewed Arthur Kleps. Kleps, of course, was the founder of the Neo-American Boo-Hoo Church. The chief hymn in the church was Row Row Row your boat, and the chief sacrament was LSD. Anyway, in contrast to the load of malarky that we have been treated to on Iraq, and the jabbering of a Democratic leadership that has given new life to the word Dupe and Traitor (insofar as new life can arise from malfunctioning automatons), Kleps gave the Senate something worth hearing. When questioned about the scientific soundness of the claimn that LSD deepened one spiritually, he said: Listening to the testimony before your subcommittee on Monday, I was, of course, struck by Dr. Goddard's characterization of what we call consciousness expansion as 'bunk,' and I would like to reply to the reasons he gave for making such a judgment when Senator D

my disease, my lover

Alas, LI seems to have a non-Darwinian cold. I’ve been kind to my microbes – I’ve taken the aspirins and robuttuson so I could get out and about and spread them, just like a good American. I reduced my diet to soup and bread. I spend ungodly amounts of time hacking my lungs out and slumbering on my bed. Any fair observer would say I was doing my part. But my microbes seem to have some kind of jihadist philosophy. I mean, they seem to want to kill their host! By killing me, you are killing yourselves, silly microbes, I say. And they reply by giving me another coughing fit. This is a crying shame, since I went and checked out Mann’s essays and was all prepared to be an ambassador of sweetness and light. Damn. I have some vague plan of applying that notion of imitatio to Goethe himself – for Goethe is a unique case in world literature of a man who quite happily made himself his own monument. There is a biography of Henry Miller entitled, I believe, always happy and bright, and Miller di

imitatio Goethe

One of the most puzzling parts of my happiness thesis is that dealing with age. I’ve been fumbling around, looking for ways to express my instinctive feeling that the extinction of certain age defining roles within the economy of the Great Transformation was the result of the rise of the happiness norm. Say, there’s a crafty mouthful for ya! Last year, LI was all about the persistant coupling of the sage and the buffoon and its variants, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza traipsing across the interior landscapes of Western history, figures that figured a dialectic as surely as Peter Piper picked a peck of peppers. So imagine my joy, yesterday, as I was hunting and pecking about, looking for stuff on Goethe, to find this: In his 1936 essay, Freud and the Future, Thomas Mann wrote: “… the father play [Vaterspiel] and its transference to father substitutes of a higher and spiritual type – how much this form of infantalism determines, seals and educates [bildend] the individual life. I say dev

lady bitch ray

Occasionally some brave soul will speak up in the theorysphere and say that not only should porno be defended, but that it should be made, and made better. For instance, the Love and Terrorism blogger has announced his own porno project. IT’s money shot post still provokes responses, such as this indirect one from Naught Thought - and I believe IT has hinted that she has the utopian hope for better porn in the future, something that would be erotic and overthrow the old, crusty structures of the Oedipal complex. Angela Carter, in one of her best essays, Sade and the Sadeian woman, announces the same project, which flowed into what is, for me, her finest novel – The Passion of New Eve. But – perhaps due to the language barrier – the academic who has actually crossed the line is hardly known in the English world. I’m talking about Ladybitchray, aka Reyhan Şahin. She is, as ralkorama puts it, “firstly a bitch, secondly a turk, and thirdly an academic.” Actually, schlampe here really

chemical people

John Maynard Keynes famously remarked that Newton was the last of the magicians. He was referring to Newton’s fascination with alchemy and the book of Revelations. Keynes was, of course, wrong – there were certainly magicians after Newton. But he was right in the most important respect, which was that the Whiggish history of science, in which Newton figured as a hero of positivism, was founded on a fiction. And it was not an unimportant glossing over of minor Newtonian penchants – according to Dobbs in The Janus Faces of Genius: The Role of Alchemy in Newton's Thought, one of the great books in the science wars, Newton took his notion of force from the alchemists. In fact, although the positivists still seem not to recognize this, the father of positivistic physics, quite purged of alchemical crap, is Descartes. The only problem with Descartes notion of vortices is that they are, mathematically, crap, as Newton proved. In place of the vortices – which at least adhere to the old mat


At what point in time--a line always continuing in the same direction, from the past to the future--does the zero occur which denotes the boundary between the positive and the negative? – Unamuno In Claudio Magris’ Danube, there is a discussion, early in the book, about nature and artifice. The occasion is a proposed hydro-electric plant which would require damming the Danube. The Greens were protesting against this as a crime against nature. One of Magris’ friends uses Goethe to point to the fact that nature cannot be the victim of a crime – for all things are enfolded in nature. “But, around the table at the inn near Breg, someone is inclined to be doubtful. That second nature which surrounds us – the jungle of symbols, of intermediaries, of constructions – arouses the suspicion that there is no longer any primal nature behind it, and that artifice and various kinds of bio-engineering have counterfeited and supplanted her supposedly eternal laws. Austrian culture, in fact, born in t