The influence of gaslight or electric light on the growth of paraheliotropic trees

bonebrushing the edges of the res interna (upper transcend)

Month: November, 2008

Every epoch is a sphinx

Heinrich Heine, who wrote in an 1833 work on the German Romantic period that “every epoch is a sphinx which plunges into the abyss as soon as its problem is solved.”

Photography and Filmmaking

The look of your film is reminiscent of the banal landscapes enshrined by American photographers in the ’70s.

Stephen Shore, Robert Adams and Joe Deal’s photography are big influences and part of that school of “man-altered landscapes.” For me a landscape that’s completely free of man-made stuff is not that interesting. I like a little bit of a footprint.

Kelly Reichardt, Interviewed by Deborah Solomon for the NY Times Magazine, November 30th.


Investigations — Barthe

Investigate Roland Barthe. Begin at the middle — the doxa and neutrality.

Word of the Day – Orthodox

From the Greek, orth, meaning straight, and doxa, meaning opinion — straight or correct opinion — the central pillar of a society’s worldview — “don’t upset the orthodoxy” – at its most powerful, the orthodoxy is so prevailing, all-encompassing, and pervasive that individuals within the orthodoxy cannot even see its outlines, for it is the background for the way in which thoughts are constructed. Israel — the Wrestlers — become impossible in this context — and orthodoxy inevitably leads to intellectual ossification. Western culture, with its scientific method and liberal politics, is a new innovation, where the prevailing orthodoxy presumes fallibility, limits to knowledge, and encourages experiment, examination, interrogation — and yet a) this impulse ossifies into an orthodoxy of denial, skepticism, where because nothing is certain, nothing is believed and b) is relegated to its limited sphere because of the underlying power of orthodoxy to stifle dissent — leading to liberalism as a religion, free markets as a dogma, the struggle against socialism as a holy war — and now, to the unrelenting triumphalism of the Post-Cold War Era.

After the autumn, market orthodoxy has been shaken; the victors have been humbled by their hubris. Now, perhaps, during this moment of crisis, some Luther will come to nail his theses on the church door of Wittenberg, and reenact some new reformation that may in turn lead to a new protestant revival.

While the lobotomized sheep and the dull-eyed shepherds worry, and the shepherds begin to grudge the sheep its clothing, those with thought and those with memory may find some opportunity to free themselves, their neighbors, and the world from a metapysical justification that no longer serves —

what shall rise in its place? how long until this too feels the vigor leach from its veins, leaving a new idol for the masses.

A plague on you, Mr. Greenspan. A plague on you, Mr. Bernanke. You have failed us.


The dance of bliss

4 Way Street – Crosby Stills, Nash & Young

Vinyl of the Day. Awesomeness.

Slikachu: The A’s to our Q’s [via Wooster Collective]

London artist, master of the small.

White Noise – Book Review

White Noise — Don DeLillo proving himself to the New Weirds, I can write too, he says, well nothing wrong with that — it’s a good book, a powerful book — about middle age mediocrity, about the ring of fat that accretes around one’s midsection during one’s midsection (of life) — float away upon the seasection — premonitions of Bhopal, the power of TV, and the chilling naming that goes on in this new world where we invent new horribles everyday — “Airborne Toxic Event” / “Black Cloud” / the deaths we carry within ourselves — secretly not wanting to die first — however, me, knowing I will die, perhaps do — White Noise perhaps being the picture of a man who still yet hasn’t accepted the reality of —

Me — I accept it and don’t accept it, alternating by the day and hour.
What else?

The preternaturally clever child.

The massive eroticism of a modern-day supermarket.

Children’s cartoons.

All in all a good book — echoes of Pynch’s Vineland, but maybe better — still — the fat middle-aged — the fallen hero — he did leap out of the car — paterfamelias — pumped the gas so that they could continue their evacuation.

College-on-the-hill. Late-stage academic capitalism. Hitler Studies. I want to do to Elvis what you did to Hitler. Lampooning cultural studies and the raising of the low.


Dirty young hipster sleeping on the Philadelphia subway, one eye half-open, headphones falling down around his head, greasy hair sticking out from under his hat. Not a dime in his pocket. Once he was a student — now he works two part-time jobs — printing flyers is one of them, the one he sort of likes. He’s lonely — hooked up with a girl three weeks ago but she never called him back — probably because he’s poor.

His Dad died of cancer three years ago. His mother is struggling in a town upstate.  He isn’t religious — doessn’t go for that sort of thing — distrusts that sort of thing.

He does drugs with people he calls his friends — he’s up late — that’s why he’s sleeping on the subway.

Joe Lawyer. No stories there.

The Widowed Mother in a town upstate, receptionist at a print store — has watched the economy blow through and wipe out the companies that used to use them — staff is dwindling — young people don’t stay, head down to Philadelphia, but its hard to get jobs down there as well. She feels herself getting sick, getting creaky, there’s medical bills to pay off, the mortgage, her younger daughter’s college tuition — getting harder and harder — there’s a man who comes into the store every now and again — she doesn’t think she’s beautiful, she’s old and fat, and she doesns’t know this man from Adam and part of her is sort of happy to be done with it — but she’s very lonely without her children, who never want to talk to her — and her situation is precarious — she sort of wishes she’ll be asked out —

Consensus Reality