Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Benefits of Peace

Now, God be thanked Who has matched us with His hour,
And caught our youth, and wakened us from sleeping,
With hand made sure, clear eye, and sharpened power,
To turn, as swimmers into cleanness leaping,
Glad from a world grown old and cold and weary,
Leave the sick hearts that honour could not move,
And half-men, and their dirty songs and dreary,
And all the little emptiness of love!

Oh! we, who have known shame, we have found release there,
Where there's no ill, no grief, but sleep has mending,
Naught broken save this body, lost but breath;
Nothing to shake the laughing heart's long peace there
But only agony, and that has ending;
And the worst friend and enemy is but Death.
Rupurt Brooke

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Remembering Shock & Awe

you know the way that things go
when what you fight for starts to fall
and in that fuzzy picture
the writing stands out on the wall
so clearly on the wall

send out the signals deep and loud

and in this place, can you reassure me
with a touch, a smile - while the cradle's burning
all the while the world is turning to noise
oh the more that it's surrounding us
the more that it destroys
turn up the signal
wipe out the noise

send out the signals deep and loud

man i'm losing sound and sight
of all those who can tell me wrong from right
when all things beautiful and bright
sink in the night
yet there's still something in my heart
that can find a way
to make a start
to turn up the signal
wipe out the noise

wipe out the noise
wipe out the noise
you know that's it
you know that's it
receive and transmit
receive and transmit
receive and transmit
you know that's it
you know that's it
receive and transmit
you know that's it
you know that's it
receive and transmit
- Peter Gabriel, "Signal to Noise"

Sunday, November 23, 2014

An Incorporation Begs for Death

The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,
Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
And after many a summer dies the swan.
Me only cruel immortality
Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms,
Here at the quiet limit of the world,
A white-hair'd shadow roaming like a dream
The ever-silent spaces of the East,
Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.

Alas! for this gray shadow, once a man—
So glorious in his beauty and thy choice,
Who madest him thy chosen, that he seem'd
To his great heart none other than a God!
I ask'd thee, 'Give me immortality.'
Then didst thou grant mine asking with a smile,
Like wealthy men, who care not how they give.
But thy strong Hours indignant work'd their wills,
And beat me down and marr'd and wasted me,
And tho' they could not end me, left me maim'd
To dwell in presence of immortal youth,
Immortal age beside immortal youth,
And all I was, in ashes. Can thy love,
Thy beauty, make amends, tho' even now,
Close over us, the silver star, thy guide,
Shines in those tremulous eyes that fill with tears
To hear me? Let me go: take back thy gift:
Why should a man desire in any way
To vary from the kindly race of men
Or pass beyond the goal of ordinance
Where all should pause, as is most meet for all?

A soft air fans the cloud apart; there comes
A glimpse of that dark world where I was born.
Once more the old mysterious glimmer steals
From thy pure brows, and from thy shoulders pure,
And bosom beating with a heart renew'd.
Thy cheek begins to redden thro' the gloom,
Thy sweet eyes brighten slowly close to mine,
Ere yet they blind the stars, and the wild team
Which love thee, yearning for thy yoke, arise,
And shake the darkness from their loosen'd manes,
And beat the twilight into flakes of fire.

Lo! ever thus thou growest beautiful
In silence, then before thine answer given
Departest, and thy tears are on my cheek.

Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears,
And make me tremble lest a saying learnt,
In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true?
'The Gods themselves cannot recall their gifts.'

Ay me! ay me! with what another heart
In days far-off, and with what other eyes
I used to watch—if I be he that watch'd—
The lucid outline forming round thee; saw
The dim curls kindle into sunny rings;
Changed with thy mystic change, and felt my blood
Glow with the glow that slowly crimson'd all
Thy presence and thy portals, while I lay,
Mouth, forehead, eyelids, growing dewy-warm
With kisses balmier than half-opening buds
Of April, and could hear the lips that kiss'd
Whispering I knew not what of wild and sweet,
Like that strange song I heard Apollo sing,
While Ilion like a mist rose into towers.

Yet hold me not for ever in thine East:
How can my nature longer mix with thine?
Coldly thy rosy shadows bathe me, cold
Are all thy lights, and cold my wrinkled feet
Upon thy glimmering thresholds, when the steam
Floats up from those dim fields about the homes
Of happy men that have the power to die,
And grassy barrows of the happier dead.
Release me, and restore me to the ground;
Thou se√ęst all things, thou wilt see my grave:
Thou wilt renew thy beauty morn by morn;
I earth in earth forget these empty courts,
And thee returning on thy silver wheels.
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, "Tithonus"

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

More Interpassive Messaging

...always on the edge, never stepping off into the abyss...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Imminent Fusion

I AM young and fain to sing
In this happy tide of spring
Of love and many a gentle thing,
I wander through green meadows dight
With blossoms gold and red and white;
Rose by the thorn and lily fair,
Both one and all I do compare
With him who, worshipping my charms,
For aye would fold me in his arms
As one unto his service sworn.
Then, when I find a flower that seems
Like to the object of my dreams,
I gather it and kiss it there,
I flatter it in accents fair,
My heart outpour, my soul stoop down,
Then weave it in a fragrant crown
Among my flaxen locks to wear.
The rapture nature's floweret gay
Awakes in me doth last alway,
As if I tarried face to face
With him whose true love is my grace;
Thoughts which its fragrancy inspires
I cannot frame to my desires,
My sighs their pilgrimage do trace.
My sights are neither harsh nor sad
As other women's are, but glad
And tender; in so fond a wise
They seek my love that he replies
By coming hither, and so gives
Delight to her who in him lives
Yet almost wept: "Come, for hope dies."
- Giovanni Boccaccio, "Balleta"

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Germ of Life in the Seed of Man

"The old dreams were good dreams; they didn’t work out, but I’m glad I had them."
- Robert James Waller, "The Bridges of Madison County"
The material force of ideology makes me not see what I am effectively eating. It’s not only our reality which enslaves us. The tragedy of our predicament when we are within ideology is that when we think that we escape it into our dreams, at that point we are within ideology.

---

We should draw a line of distinction within the very field of our dreams. Between those who are the right dreams pointing towards a dimension effectively beyond our existing society and the wrong dreams: the dreams which are just an idealised consumerist reflection, mirror image of our society.

We are not simply submitted to our dreams they just come from some unfathomable depths and we can’t do anything about it. This is the basic lesson of psychoanalysis and fiction cinema.

We are responsible for our dreams. Our dreams stage our desires and our desires are not objective facts. We created them, we sustained them, we are responsible for them.

---

The first step to freedom isn’t just to change reality to fit your dreams it’s to change the way you dream and again this hurts because all satisfactions we have come from our dreams.

The great supreme commander Mao issued a world shaking… you should pay attention to state affairs and carry the great proletarian Cultural Revolution through to the end.

One of the big problems of all great revolutionary movements of the 20th century such as Russia, Cuba or China, is that they did change the social body but the egalitarian communist society was never realised.

The dreams remained the old dreams and they turned into the ultimate nightmare. Now what remains for the radical left waits for a magical event when the true revolutionary agent will finally awaken.

---

It depends on us, on our will. In revolutionary upheavals some energy or rather some utopian dreams take place, they explode, and even if the actual result of a social upheaval is just a commercialised every day life, this excess of energy, what gets lost in the result, persists not in reality but as a dream haunting us waiting to be redeemed.

In this sense, whenever we are engaged in radical emancipatory politics, we should never forget as Walter Benjamin put it almost a century ago that every revolution, if it is an authentic revolution, is not only directed towards the futures but it redeems also the past failed revolutions.
-Slavoj Zizek, "The Perverts Guide to ideology"

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Necessary Social Supports for Ego Maintenance?

Nietzsche, "Will to Power - 487" (1883-1886)
Must all philosophy not ultimately bring to light the preconditions upon which the process of reason depends?--our belief in the "ego" as a substance, as the sole reality from which we ascribe reality to things in general? The oldest "realism" at last comes to light: at the same time that the entire religious history of mankind is recognized as the history of the soul superstition. Here we come to a limit: our thinking itself involves this belief (with its distinction of substance, accident; deed, doer, etc.); to let it go means: being no longer able to think.

But that a belief, however necessary it may be for the preservation of a species, has nothing to do with truth, one knows from the fact that, e.g., we have to believe in time, space, and motion, without feeling compelled to grant them absolute reality.
Nietzsche, "Will to Power - 488" (Spring-Fall 1887)
Psychological derivation of our belief in reason.--The concept "reality", "being", is taken from our feeling of the "subject".

"The subject": interpreted from within ourselves, so that the ego counts as a substance, as the cause of all deeds, as a doer.

The logical-metaphysical postulates, the belief in substance, accident, attribute, etc., derive their convincing force from our habit of regarding all our deeds as consequences of our will--so that the ego, as substance, does not vanish in the multiplicity of change.--But there is no such thing as will.--

We have no categories at all that permit us to distinguish a "world in itself" from a "world of appearance." All our categories of reason are of sensual origin: derived from the empirical world. "The soul", "the ego"--the history of these concepts shows that here, too, the oldest distinction ("breath", "life")--

If there is nothing material, there is also nothing immaterial. The concept no longer contains anything.

No subject "atoms". The sphere of a subject constantly growing or decreasing, the center of the system constantly shifting; in cases where it cannot organize the appropriate mass, it breaks into two parts. On the other hand, it can transform a weaker subject into its functionary without destroying it, and to a certain degree form a new unity with it. No "substance", rather something that in itself strives after greater strength, and that wants to "preserve" itself only indirectly (it wants to surpass itself--).

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Getting through the Day

How pleasant to sit on the beach,
On the beach, on the sand, in the sun,
With ocean galore within reach,
And nothing at all to be done!
No letters to answer,
No bills to be burned,
No work to be shirked,
No cash to be earned,
It is pleasant to sit on the beach
With nothing at all to be done!

How pleasant to look at the ocean,
Democratic and damp; indiscriminate;
It fills me with noble emotion
To think I am able to swim in it.

To lave in the wave,
Majestic and chilly,
Tomorrow I crave;
But today it is silly.

It is pleasant to look at the ocean;
Tomorrow, perhaps, I shall swim in it.

How pleasant to gaze at the sailors
As their sailboats they manfully sail
With the vigor of vikings and whalers
In the days of the vikings and whale.

They sport on the brink
Of the shad and the shark;
If it’s windy, they sink;
If it isn’t, they park.

It is pleasant to gaze at the sailors,
To gaze without having to sail.

How pleasant the salt anesthetic
Of the air and the sand and the sun;
Leave the earth to the strong and athletic,
And the sea to adventure upon.

But the sun and the sand
No contractor can copy;
We lie in the land
Of the lotus and poppy;
We vegetate, calm and aesthetic,
On the beach, on the sand, in the sun.
- Ogden Nash, "Pretty Halcyon Days"

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tryouts

paint on my hands
and the canvas
where i tried
to create art
- sinderella, "failed masterpiece"

Saturday, November 1, 2014

I Did it to Myself

We are a generation
Of instant gratification
Most of our lives
Confined to LCD screens
And large comfy couches
We are fearless;
Behind the username and password
Of a social network
Our words are no longer spoken
But formed by a repetitive tapping of our fingers
An act of bravery is now defined as
Sending a risky text
Our mornings and sleep patterns
Depend solely on
‘Good morning/night beautiful’
Carefully handwritten letters turned into careless emails
And break ups are just
A click of a button on Facebook
Trips to the mall became
Hot cocoa and credit card debt
We learned how to surf
With just a keyboard
And our laziness transformed the English language
Into LOL and TTYL
And how silly it is to think
We made ourselves this way.
- Nicole Fox, "Self Inflicted"