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

bonebrushing the edges of the res interna (upper transcend)

Month: February, 2012

1,782 days

My first blog post in this blog was on Monday, April 9, 2007. That was four years, 10 months, and 15 days ago. 1,782 days. I had not yet met my Second. But almost.

What will I do with the next 1,700?

(It only takes 274 to make a human)



Who was the first man who questioned the philosophers and wondered how it was and through what true medium the sensations and images truly came to our brains?

And who realized that they are transmitted and carried through mediators, one such being light, and we have evolved light-catchers and processors to absorb the different flavors, colors, and varieties of light and transform them into images —

and who then realized that since this image is not from out there, but rather, created in here, all men live truly in the Dark.


The Moving Finger, of the Rubaiyat

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

– Omar Khayyám (translation by Edward Fitzgerald).

Consider music

Consider music.

Consider what it is we apes are doing when we listen to music, and when we make it.

Structuring the very airtuning it, to reflect what — is it learned? Innate? Some level of innateness, of course, the beauty of it, the transcendental beauty of it says it registers with us on some deep prehuman hardware level — but reflecting what — pleasantness, balance, mathematical relationships, difference and feeling, time and heart —

It makes the obscured apparent — makes the inner an outer to be gathered by other gatherers and made into a new inner —

My uncle playing piano. Present tense. The present tense is false. He is not playing piano, he played piano. (Even writing — what is the soothing euphony of beautiful sounds — are they all metaphors of shapes and touches — or what the Drs.’ asked – synthesia — )

My uncle, who played piano. Taught me piano. I was in a smaller body then, pre-transformed. Sitting on his wood bench, while the man still breathed. Playing Five Little Ducks. Went out to play. Over the hills and far away. Mother duck said quack quack quack quack. But only four little ducks came back. 

That song is still that song. That song is certain sounds standing together in a temporal matrix. A four-dimensional sculpture. Art that decays. And is yet reproducible.

The score on the piano. The machine in tune. And the man who plays it. Where is the song? Where does the song go when the man goes? What happens to the music in the absence of a machine. The score remains. But the score is not the song.

To think of a man who once played; to think of the ghost-song in the age of mechanical reproduction; to think of the new song – a wail – that comes from Caliban hearing his dead father’s voice in the Victrola – to think of Walter Benjamin sitting in a room like I sit in a room in this very moment and to him, it seemed even as this moment seems to me, the ever and unfolding and infinite Now, and thinking all was lost and all was doomed, puts an object in his mouth that takes the mastery of his body away from him, yanks away his consciousness and his control, the fearsome pull of gravity, inevitable, exploding, plastic, down, down, down –

And the now kept happening; just not to him.

Consider music.

Consider my uncle playing piano. Teaching me piano. Not teaching me piano. He continued to play, and it was a joy to him, and it was a joy to any who heard him. He would say visualize your playing before you play it, but I cannot visualize, and I could not, and I did not;

And my sister after me, always my sister after me, and she was a better player than I, but played with that same fierceness, that same impreciseness that comes from uncontrollable passion – and she quit too apparently, with much guilt, and some point, and went and lived her own life, and started kissing boys and went off to Israel a happy smiling girl and came back in January to be told her uncle was dying, soon, and then he did, even as I myself disintegrated in a corner of West Philadelphia, eight floors up, and I received a phone call, and came home to bury the man, to carry his body, to carry his very body, that was too too light to be a man, and before that, before that,


Playing his song, playing songs, over and over, structuring air, creating the art that decays, making the obscured apparent.

Deleuze on the Differential Syntheses that leads to the Subject

 In his mature work, Deleuze argues for an “impersonal and pre-individual” transcendental field in which the subject as identity pole which produces empirical identities by active synthesis is itself the result or product of differential passive syntheses (for instance, in what Deleuze calls the syntheses of habit, we find bodily, desiring, and unconscious “contractions” which unify a series of experiences, extracting that which it to be retained in the habit and allowing the rest to be “forgotten”). The passive syntheses responsible for subject formation must be qualified as “differential,” for three reasons. Each passive synthesis is serial, never singular (there is never one synthesis by itself, but always a series of “contractions,” that is to say, experience is ongoing and so our habits require constant “updating”); each series is related to other series in the same body (at the most basic level, for instance, the series of taste contractions is related to those of smell, sight, touch, hearing and proprioception); and each body is related to other bodies, which are themselves similarly differential (the series of syntheses of bodies can resonate or clash). Together the passive syntheses at all these levels form a differential field within which subject formation takes place as an integration or resolution of that field; in other words, subjects are roughly speaking the patterns of these multiple and serial syntheses which fold in on themselves producing a site of self-awareness.


Semele says
– I get dizzy at the world …
and cling to the past …
because the past does not move.

and Jove replies
– all motions are relative
you could say that the past is fixed and you keep spinning –
or you could say that you are fixed, and it is the past that spins –
spins away

and your dizziness comes not from the spin of the world in the now
but the clinging to the other

let go
look away

turn your wheel into the skid
dance with the changes

A memorial, and a name

What does it mean, that the Wikipedia page for Yad Vashem, should pull forth tears, from me, jaded —

Maybe it is my jingle jangleness. Maybe it was the pictures in their frames.

Or the Hall of Remembrance images, with only words (only not words) written on the floor.


In search of a category

In the all the young urban tribes, I find myself wanting . . .

There are the Grown-up Fratboys, who elide with the Professional Squares, and then there are the Hipsters, in their profundity of sub-classes, i.e, the punkers, the lumberjaks, the dancingqueens, the truststers, the blue-collar hips, and the musicians.

My category should be the Middle Hip, the rockstar-on-the-weekends, the Hank Moody. I’d like a girl who feels the same.

The Mistake, or the Triangulation of Identity on the Early 21st Century Internet

It became apparent to me, after several years of law school, that I had become quite the little researcher. This talent had of course manifested itself earlier, back in the early days of the decade, when the flow of Internet usage was first unstopped by the university connections that than expanded out to encompass all bourgeois households.1

But law school certainly accelerated this process, and being a lawyer even more so, and so little is kept secret anymore. The traces of our human passings have always been recorded; men have left their marks everywhere, in court houses, and in company warehouses, and in the memories of others, since time primeval. In such leavings is all history made and written, and the historians of the ages have combed through these leavings, our old and shiny snake skins, and through their midnight kitchen workings, produced to us the Story of History, delivered to us Whole, Continuous, and Without Any Seams, a full-grown Athena waiting to be discovered.

Now, of course, the leavings have become digitized, or at least partially, and we can reconstruct this strange third-hand knowledge, and build our own Histories from the comforts of our desk chairs and screens, all becoming as we sit a continuous form, a New Eye for Apprehending a New History/Concept Structure of the Universe.

What has happened of course, with all of these leavings, is that we can now find much and much about a person with less and less to start with. Knowing each other’s names, of course, we can find all there is to know. But increasingly, you need even less than that.

Off and on, I have messed around with a dating website, that combines my love of internet surfing and girls to assist me in doing my part for the First Commandment (the one about multiplication).

One of the nice things about this process is the anonymity. Though in short order, one will of course learn all the details of the other’s name, in the interim period of the initial flirting, you can usually get by with a first name.

So it is then.

But then the moment comes where you realize you have learned enough about the person to find them on the Internet, even without a last name. Usually, it requires only three pieces of information. A triangulation of identity.

And you being you, faced with the inevitable boredom of workaday life, faced with the sitting at the screen for hours and hours, you pursue this triangulation, with the added skill of a professional uncoverer, the money trail, as they say on the Wire, and you usually find nothing, or another picture, or a last name, or a job, or a university, or a home town, which allows you to do a little different type of triangulating, namely: hometown, college, occupation = identity (maybe I’m wrong about that one as well), and it’s all boring and ho-hum and no fun and games at all except for:

a) this one time in Greensboro, in the early nascent age of social networking, before Facebook allowed college drop-outs and high-school only miscreants to join the club, and said-self either MySpaced or LiveJournaled Random Girl who Picked Me Up in a Bar, and learned that she thought I was cute & nice;


b) Yesterday, with perhaps five search terms in my Google Triangulation, found an anonymous blog of the girl I took out on a date Sunday night.

Now, it being a work night, or maybe generally because I had revealed little to nothing about myself in an abbreviated back and forth I had had with this young woman, I was not that impressed, and was not sure if she was impressed, but I went for a handshake at the end and she gave me a hug and mentioned something about calling her to do something on the weekend, when she was more interesting, or something — but — whatever.


But then the blog. Which only heightens the maybe, but still.

I, a man of theorems, have had two which seem relevant to this blog, which in its own way, is brilliant and luminous and is evidence of a deep and penetratingly intelligent mind who is particularly skilled a plumbing and describing the mores of social interactions, the foibles of men-folk, and is also, obviously, moved with great passion.

In other words, in some real and important ways, utterly out of my (normal) league.2

I, being at core, a reader, read the whole blog, of course, and learned that in addition to the fact that she is being ‘suaved’ by wealthier and more sophisticated men than I (perhaps because they are older than her), she has also been divorced (unexpected), and has been devastated and wracked and wrecked by that divorce (whenever it happened).

I am intrigued. I am uninteresting and flat and totally conventional next to her, and do not live passionately or fiercely or barely at all. But I am intrigued. And maybe I am a standing post.

She is likely not for me. Yet still – I am intrigued. Why not? I am not horrible looking. I am funny. I can be kind. I suppose I am woolly, and knotty, but I need not and do not dwell in misery. I dwell in light.

Let us posit that I wanted to see her again. What than? Tell her that I’ve learned some secrets about her, that I’ve read confessions not meant to be shared? Give it to her good news, bad news, like? Send her the link to this blog, tit for tat, so she can see the woolly thorniness of mine own wet mind?

Or ask her out, and keep it close; revealing when? It could be a whole Romantic Tragi-Comedy, where I read and learn a girl’s secrets, and make myself her perfect man, and make her fall in love with me, and then, having fallen in love with her, am forced to reveal the ugly truth, that I have known all along about her secret Superman alterego –

What then? Can anything good come of a relationship based on withholding the truth?

Conundrums. But one answer at least, has presented itself. Romantic Tragic-Comedy.

If only there was a better mummer to play my part. I have been an empty puppet for two years almost, getting a long. Where is the fire? Revive the fire.

Postscript: An unanswered question in this blog — what were the two relevant theorems? (1) First, that all humans are as ontologically deep as all others, and that we are all equally dark wells of infinity; and (2) the Old Story of Jupiter and Semele, where the young boy believes he cannot reveal himself to the the pretty girl, because his Jupiter and she is Semele, and if he was unveil his Magesty, it would destroy her, but in the throes of the moment, when he is confronted by Woman, he learns that in fact he is Semele, and cannot withstand the Fire of Her Truth — 

(which is sort of what the Dead is about, revealed to me finally after my brain’s reach had finally met its grasp)

1. There was a time of course, at the beginning of my working life, when money was made unnecessarily tight by my refusal to in any way use a budget, or prepare my own meals, when I thought I could not afford Internet. While another type of man might have thrived in such Luddite simplicity, I found it soul-withering. Somewhat how like now I find that my lapsed New Yorker subscription have left me sort of hollowed out. Oh, the starvation of the nattering class — a periodical strike — what will I think today?

2. In the same ways, that ordinarily, as I learned from our one hour date, she is not in mine, giving my preternatural and wholly non-adaptive quickness. (I move so much quicker than other humans that it bores and pains me to keep pace with them, and so, rather than turning my intelligence upon the myriad ways they are beautiful and wonderful, I move on, and contemplate the expansion of galaxies, or the swirl of the watery deeps, or the nature of life over time, and, accordingly, do not get touched as often as I would otherwise like).

Here’s how I feel

I feel like starting on or around 9/11, time stopped, as everyone scrambled and tried to pick up the pieces or deal with the parade of horrible mistakes that were about to get made — 

There was no chance Al Qaeda would win, and as little chance of a Democratic Bushtopia. And we sat with the lies, and the malapropisms, and the senseless deaths we did not register or understand – maimed young men maimed for a lie – and nothing much seemed to happen – I fell in love once and got my life together, without hope or purpose — 

A fermata in history. 

Now, finally, after an eight year exhaustion, time & history have started their inexorable crawl again, faster and faster now. Perhaps this is a function of being older, and knowing and being told that it will soon be on me and my like to govern this dying planet — 

Even as it glistens so magnificently. 

The great political experiments have all failed. The Great White Hope Barack Obama — just another Clinton. 

But the Middle East is changing. China is rising. I am the average age of the human in the world. The world belongs to the future now. And it comes.