Tuesday, July 30, 2002
this is probably too much gibberish for most of you boneheads, but the scot that mitch mentioned is john macmurray. he was a scottish philosopher probably most famous for his book, the self as agent. it's out of print or at least appears to be. at any rate, macmurray set out to essentially crumble the underlying foundations of modern philosophy; namely the self as thinker withdrawn from action and isolated from the world about which it reflects. cogito ergo sum. in a nut, he took on kant and descartes directly and is now pretty much relagated to obscurity. they won out for the better part of 200 years and modern philosophy as we know it in art, literature, psychology, etc. has written it's own ticket. just consider how much of our lives are affected by the fact that we view the world in this dualistic manner: the self as a subjective observer of the ("thing-in-itself" in kant's terms) outside objective reality. macmurray basically taught that the self unites these two things. by acting in the world and being in it, one actually not only contributes and affects the supposedly unmoving reality, but is alternately affected and moved.
how do i know this shit? i was a minor in philosophy. this gives me enough of a cursory understanding of philosophy to be a complete bore at parties. macmurray was a favorite of one of our professors; farley snell. feel free to make fun of the name. gnarly smell's still my favorite. he was also the same minister that married me and my wife. how's that for foreshadowing?
ok, back to the email address porn jokes.
i'm an idiot when i say things
even when i write
i want to make it hurt more than most
we both fell asleep
drifting off like the sea
against the coast
i dreamed i didn't know anyone at the party
and i was dressed like a ghost
she woke up herself crying
and told me i was the host
Sunday, July 21, 2002
At a time when people are encouraged to follow their bliss, to pursue whatever makes them feel good, I suggest you stalk your demons.
- from the forest for the trees by betsy lerner, an executive editor at doubleday.
Saturday, July 20, 2002
the only movie i've really wanted to see so far this year.
Friday, July 19, 2002
one, my back still hurts from the time when i tried to pick up that iron barrel. it was set up on top of two welded legs in the barn. i curled up on the dust floor like a little baby. bill carried me into the house. i lay in the bed for 2 days not knowing if i'd ever be able to get up. i've never felt more embarrassed. it esp. hurts on days like this when i sit in a chair for 8 hours and stare at a computer screen.
two, one of my co-workers sort of asked me from the side if i thought i should've done something different, like direct movies. the question caught me completely off-guard. he said that i seemed like i would've really enjoyed that. as if my life was over and my lot was cast. here i am programming and i should've been a director. i didn't know what to say. i guess i wish i was a director and, in a way, i'm always directing in my head; sort of reviewing everything as if it were a scene. the lamp should've been in the corner.
three, i'm always reminded of this phrase: it's not who you are, it's what you do.
Saturday, July 13, 2002
my oldest son's first tooth fell out. the tooth fairy came over. we had a few drinks. then we gave her 4 quarters and a note to stick under the pillow. she said, "i didn't write this." i told her it was o.k. nothing too sappy, etc. this morning thomas is just bursting with it. "the tooth fairy came! the tooth fairy came!" a few quarters and a note and then you turn a corner.
this sort of reminds me of an incident with one of lonanne's friends. she asked me how many teeth thomas had. i had no idea. she was mortified that i didn't know how many teeth my kid had. "you mean you really don't know?" well, now he has 1 less. how about that you stupid... here's hoping the tooth fairy straightens you out.
"Yet another reason for reticence in matters religious has to do with the infirmity of language itself. Language is a living organism and, as such, is subject to certain organic ailments. In this case it is the exhaustion and decrepitude of words themselves, an infirmity that has nothing to do with the truth or falsity of the sentences they form. The words of religion tend to wear out and get stored in the attic. The word 'religion' itself has a certain unction about it, to say nothing of 'born again', 'salvation', 'Jesus', even though it is begging the question to assume therefore that these words do not have valid referents. And it doesn't help that when religious words are used publicly, at least Christian words, they are often expropriated by some of the worst rogues around, the TV preachers. So decrepit and so abused is the language of the Judeo-Christian religions that it takes an effort to salvage them, the very words, from the husks and barnacles of meaning which have encrusted them over the centuries. Or else words can become slick as coins worn thin by usage and so devalued. One of the tasks of the saint is to renew language, to sing a new song."
One sign is one's self. No matter how powerful the theory, whether psychological or political, one's self is always a leftover. Indeed, the self may be defined as that portion of the person which cannot be encompassed by theory, not even a theoy of the self. This is so because, even if one agrees with the theory, what does one do then? Accordingly, the self finds itself ever more conspicuously without a place in the modern world, which is perfectly understood by theorizing. The face of the self in the very age which was itself designed for the self's understanding of all things and to please the self through the consumption of goods and services - the face of the self is the fae of fear and sadness, because it does not know who it is or where it belongs.
- taken from walker percy's essay, "why are you a catholic"
an oldie, but goodie.
as support, consider the grace of this opening paragraph. the last sentence is an example of what words can do in the pen of a master. it is long, but intuitive, without the slightest sense of self-importance.
Nothing gives me the feeling of having been born several decades too late quite like the modern "literary" best seller. Give me a time-tested masterpiece or what critics patronizingly call a fun read - Sister Carrie or just plain Carrie. Give me anything, in fact, as long as it doesn't have a recent prize jury's seal of approval on the front and a clutch of precious raves on the back. In the bookstore I'll sometimes sample what all the fuss is about, but one glance at the affected prose - "furious dabs of tulips stuttering," say, or "in the dark before the day yet was" - and I'm hightailing it to the friendly black spines of the Penguin Classics.
god bless louis rukeyser. he only looks dead. as hysterical idiots jump up and down and all around about the apparent failure of the market to deliver them from stupidity, willful ignorance and greed, here we have one old, white male who gets it right. you're either in it for the long haul or not at all.
Tuesday, July 09, 2002
yes, we do go to church...
the preacher was talking about relationships, etc. he said, "marriage is the number one cause of divorce in this country." the funny thing was that he hadn't intended to say that. he corrected himself, but not without a smile. "i meant to say that anger is the number one cause of divorce in our country." from the general laughter i think most people appreciated the first comment more. it's one of those lines i wish i had written. if he doesn't come forward soon to claim it, i will.
moby has a diary. it's (unsurprisingly) retarded.
Monday, July 01, 2002
things that bug me lately:
the way the wtc victim's families are getting paid out based on what the victim was estimated to be worth (annual income, life expectancy, etc). why can't we pay everyone equally? none of it's fair, but isn't that a better sort of fairness than this ridiculous IRS-sounding solution? do we really want to victimize the families again by asking them to fill out forms assessing their husband or wife or mother's worth?
vouchers getting a bad rap in the media since supreme court ruling. i've got kids. the public schools suck. it's the truth. i don't want the gov't dictating how my kids get raised. or rather, how my money for that gets spent. screw vouchers. i'll take the money i spend on aisd taxes every year.
directors like speilberg taking a crap on film noir and then boasting about it. When Seattle Weekly's Brian Miller asked Spielberg, "Can you talk about free will and Original Sin that's embedded in these cops as inquisitors?" Spielberg said, "Ooh, heavy!" and laughed. or more importantly, could you tell us why your movie wraps up 45 minutes of hyper-spastic homogenized future visions (most of which are completely contradictory...why the need for glass plate discs when everything is optically super-networked?) with a 30 minute episode of murder, she wrote? what sickens most i think is the fact that this will be part of some required viewing for a college course in the future. now there's a scary vision.
i'm sorry i didn't call you back tonight mom. things got hectic and i wrapped myself up in the chaos. the boys were wonderful. lonanne sat at the t.v. and watched a movie. i made a snide remark about robin williams and ran off to my computer. it'll be years before i get any rest. at the end of any given day i feel like i failed to do right by my lights. the fortunes inside my head.
i'm listening to wilco's being there. possibly one of the best double disc albums i own. the first song on the first disc grabs me by the throat every time. it's called misunderstood.
When you're back in your old neighborhood
The cigarettes taste so good
But you're so misunderstood
You're so misunderstood
There's something there that you can't find
Honest when you're tellin' a lie
You hurt her but you don't know why
You love her but you don't know why
Short on long term goals
There's a party there that we oughtta go to
Do you still love rock and roll?
Do you still love rock and roll?
It's only a quarter to three
Reflecting off your C.D.
You're looking at a picture of me
You're staring at a picture of me
Take the guitar player for a ride
He ain't never been satisfied
He thinks he owes some kind of debt
Be years before he gets over it
There's a fortune inside your head
All you touch turns to lead
You think you might just crawl back in bed
The fortune inside your head
You know you're just a mama's boy
I know you gotta God shaped hole
Leanin' out your cupful a' soul
So misunderstood (x4)
I'd like to thank you all for nothin'
I'd like to thank you all for nothin' at all
I'd like to thank you all for nothin'
Nothin' at all
Nothin' at all