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Showing posts from May 17, 2020

the déjà-ecrit

We all have experienced  déjà -vu. But what writer has not experienced, as well, déjà-ecrit - the feeling that the thing one is writing has been written before, must have been written before. It is the feeling that reading what you have writen precedes what you have written - and if you have read it, it must have been written by someone somewhere. Going for the gusto, here, I'd guess that the best things - or many of the best things - are written with this eerie feeling. It is a wobble in the author’s authority, for neither the writer nor anyone that the writer knows wrote the sentence, exactly. mene, tekel, upharsin, baby.

The easy re-election that wasn't: Trump in the chute

One of the odder things about American politics this year is the missed opportunity: Trump could be cruising to an easy re-election if he had operated early and not acted crazy. I mean, this is not really an ideological issue. When Richard Nixon upset conservatives by, say, going to China, or installing price controls, he did so because he knew he could steamroller the right and extend his power. Trump resembles Nixon in his attitudes, but he is a very limited man, basically a stupid man, and so doesn't have Nixon's artfulness. If you look at how the governor's have dealt with the plague, the striking thing is that certain Democratic governors, like Cuomo, were criminally late to do anything, whereas certain Republican governors, like the one in Maryland and whatshisname in Ohio, were on the spot, as much as they could be. In other words, the choice of shutting everything down everything early, masking, social distancing, etc. could easily have been taken by Trump withou

Plutocrat's ball - you just live here

In shock discovery, the NYT has peeped behind its daily explainer about the stock market (it is going up because of, uh, reported vaccines! it is going up because oil prices are sorta going up or maybe not!) and gingerly touched on the fact that the Government has basically become the market maker of first resort. Astonishing. Who would think that a plutocracy would evolve so that the state became a guarantor for the wealthiest 10 percent! I'm just flummoxed. "While the Fed  says it does not seek to keep stock prices up, the market has rebounded some 30 percent since the institution began its giant program to pump trillions of dollars into financial markets. It has bought billions of dollars’ worth of U.S. Treasury bonds and government-insured mortgage bonds, keeping the prices of those bonds up and pushing yields, which move in the opposite direction, down. The Fed also announced recently that it would start to buy exchange-traded funds that hold a diversified portfol

Jotted on a wet napkin

I had a lotta skin in the game of skin. Being all bone I sat alone. The night wanted to wrap itself around me tight maybe choke me like an illmet date, late. I drew the skin of my teeth too   From the deck full of Ensor grins. What are we playing for I asked skin at the door. Cruelty, adultery, usual stakes Sez Skin, hurry and draw it will soon be dawn. - Karen Chamisso

notes of a useful idiot

In the Futurist Manifesto, A slap in the face of public taste, Khlebnikov, Mayakovsky, Burlyuk and Kruchenykh defended these theses concerning the rights of poets: 1  -   To enlarge the scope of the poet’s vocabulary with arbitrary and derivative words. 2-      To feel insuperable hatred for the language that existed before them. 3.       To tear with horror from our proud foreheads the wreath of cheap fame which you have made from bathhouse switches. 4.       To stand on the rock of the word “we” amid the sea of catcalls and outrage. I at first glance, I am not sure about one, believe strongly that 2 is insane, agree with three, and certainly understand and sympathize with 4. Celebrity now is woven of other materials and immaterials – a Youtube channel, an invite to the Miami Basel Plutocrats of Art fair, etc. And alas, the “we” of   a movement of any kind, determined to undo the long bondage of poetry to banality, has disappeared into a blurbish train of watered CVs and

time of our time: Virilio and the Lockdown

In one of his apocalyptic essays, “Une anthropologie du presentiment”, Paul Virilio (a writer whose lightning stroke provocations are bodyguarded by a certain dark mumbo-jumbo, a logic of the worst case scenario, like a man who had been up all night reading, alternatively, Michel Foucault and St. John of Patmos) quotes a line of Octavio Paz:  “the instant is an uninhabitable as the future”.  For Virilio, we have been forced to inhabit that inhabitability – this is the crazy-making effect of the acceleration and massive accumulative power of our system of telecommunications: “In fact, can we still speak of a contemporary world? Shouldn’t we, rather, speak of the anthropology of a world that is not “intemporal”, but in-temporary, intemporal, if this is even possible? Is an anthropology of the instance conceivable, and can it be llogical without denying, in the same gesture, its fully historical dimension?” If there ever was a time that a certain apocalyptic strain in F