If there’s an -ist that applies to me it’s pensivist. Maybe I should go cold turkey on thinking. I confess that the strategy of doing it moderately doesn’t feel like the winning strategy. And what is a strategy if it is not winning. Isn’t it all about winning? It is. It is. It is. Therefore I am. Whether I like it or not. Nobody asked me. Except myself. Precisely nobody, that is.
I’m reading Finnegans Wake. I confess to ambivalence about it. It’s great but makes me feel little. What is the point?, is that the point? It is a snake; it is; it is; it is. But I was bitten long before. Now I’m just rattled. Ha. The beauty of it is: it is self-contained. I read it without trying to understand.
But let me think about the eternal recurrence of the eternal recurrence. I hate it but confess to loving those who seem to love it, or, at least, who love those who love those who seem to love it. The thing is that those who seem to love it are those who break the cycle and, methinks, Finnegans Wake breaks the cycle.
I’ve been a slouch on the first book, but I promise to step it up for Tom McCarty’s C, coming to summer book club at The Weblog soon.
“Techne loves Tyche and Tyche loves Techne”
Is what a German philosopher (Gadamer) reports a Greek philosopher (Aristotle) as quoting from ‘the poet'(which I’ll suppose to be Homer on account of the definite article). Just replace Techne with ‘skill‘ and Tyche with ‘luck‘, and the saying is the received wisdom of the lucky bastards who can afford to oligopolize the popular media.
I hate it (the latter). On the former I believe Homer, Aristotle and Gadamer (whilst lucky bastards themselves) to have something more nuanced in mind than making success and merit synonymous.
But to hell with nuance: the reality is that “Luck loves Balls and Balls love Luck”. Or (to construct an anachronism) – “Testes love Tyche and Tyche loves Testes”, because testosteron still makes the world go round as those unlucky enough to be born without an overdose of it feel every month in their paycheck. And I’m not only talking about women.
So if you want follow me on some fun facts on the importance of testicles for networking, my hatred continues below the fold. Continue reading
The unit of human capital writing this blog post is planned to be scrapped. End of June. This is partly because of a basic design error of almost all of the known units of human capital better know as free will. Most capitalists know free will to be a bitch to be kept at bay in production and to be abused only from the point of view of consumption. In my case I couldn’t handle being ‘owned’ anymore to continue something we started, dreaming to improve the world of education, in order to fuel some organization’s desire to make money on pushing more Theon taming (known originally as training).
I won’t put in my LinkedIn profile that my will to consume is as weak as my will to create is strong. I wonder whether there is a maximum of will meaning a stronger will to create weakens the will to consume, and vice versa. If so it might explain why the wealthy are so concerned to ensure our will to consume is stimulated. The wealthy are só smart (how else would they have become wealthy?): they most probably have enough will to create amongst their happy few to count for all of us. Anyway they have the money so we will just have to consume what they create with what little money they leave.
We can take some comfort in the ideas of Thomas Piketty: as the wealthy will appropriate more and more wealth, there will be less and less for us, leading to a system break-down. At that point most of us will either be death or die quickly in the service of one of the factions of the wealthy, but at least the happy few will become unhappier and fewer for the briefest of moments. It’s not much but we’ll take what we get.
I’m just being bitter, of course. On top of not making any sense. Bottom-line is: I didn’t get it my way. Continue reading
The Sessions is a beautiful story, tenderly told. Based on a widely linked 1990 magazine article, it is the (mostly) true story of Mark O’Brien, a thirty-something man with polio who lives confined to a wheeled bed or an iron lung and who, wishing to experience sexual connection, seeks out a sex surrogate. It is not a story of “triumphing over disability,” although there are various triumphs and more than one disabled character.
O’Brien, played by John Hawkes, is an observant Catholic who “can’t tolerate the idea of not having someone to blame for all this.” The movie cuts back and forth between the life he leads with attendants, friends, and the subjects of his writing, and his conversations with and confessions to Father Brendan, a liberal Berkeley priest (William H. Macy). The movie’s unshowy portrayal of O’Brien’s Catholicism is remarkable. O’Brien takes his religion seriously, and it provides a structure for both his succor and his shame, but it’s not a totalizing experience, just a part of his life. It’s one of many details — the Berkeley setting is another — that give the movie a subtle, lived-in specificity. When we first meet O’Brien, he’s crinkling his nose to fend off a sneeze; in two other scenes, characters lift their hands to scratch their noses, a throwaway gesture that illuminates the extent of O’Brien’s prison.
Helen Hunt plays Cheryl, the sex surrogate who O’Brien finds through a therapist. Hunt is matter-of-factly naked and sexual, and the movie’s comic heart lies in their awkward and tender sessions, limited to six. There is a drama of transference and counter-transference — more commonly known as a love story — that feels invented (the various articles bear that out), but the characters feel real throughout. One theme that returns is how O’Brien’s helpers’ partners get jealous of him — it’s well played with the boyfriend of one of his nurses, but a little strained with Cheryl’s husband.
Hawkes is a good bet for an Oscar nomination, but I’d bet against a win–the movie is moving, but not bombastically or unbearably so. There may be a little too much joy.
See any good movies?
Why should you suffer because Monday Movies is down the shore? Go on, tell us what you saw.
I confess I took a four day vacation last weekend and Friday was the first of those four days. When I first thought of FAC, it was about 7:00 and I was sitting at a restaurant, out on their lakefront deck, eating salmon and sipping down a Pacifico. That may sound like I’m flippant about my FAC duties, but I really do hate when I forget to make an effort to get something posted.
This week I was driving to work and a woman cut me off. She had been tailgating me, but I was already following the car in front of me too closely and getting over wouldn’t have done her any good. When she got the slightest bit of daylight in the center lane, she whipped over, passed me and squeezed into the too small space between my car and the one in front of me. This left about three feet between her rear bumper and my front bumper and I was sure to hold that distance for a while so she realized how close she had cut it.
When the traffic in our lane slowed down, I passed on the right and as I caught her eye I found myself calling her a couple of vile names. Not only did I say them, I made sure to be looking right at her as I did so. It was then that I kind of snapped back to sanity. What the hell was I doing? In my efforts to show my displeasure with her reckless and impatient style of driving, I had crossed several lines. A couple of these may have included recklessness and impatience.
I confess this feels more like a real confession than most of the things I post here because I felt awful about my behavior. I also felt awful about how common it’s become for me to get visibly angry about inconsiderate drivers. So for the third time in less than a month, I decided to cut out something I didn’t like about my day-to-day life. First, after being inspired by this very space, I gave up all forms of word snobbery. Then it was pork. Now, it’s road rage.
How about you good Friday reader? When you look back on the last week (or two), do you find any ugly bits that bring you shame? Please, feel free to attempt to cleanse them through sharing. Especially if it makes people overlook the ugly episode described above.
As life imitates art, I read this section in the isolated provinces, rural Ohio; the isolation I often feel in the summers of Oberlin can feel a lot like this section, almost entirely inside the Chilean exile Amalfitano’s head. Arguably, this section is about the tricks that loneliness can play on a person, those poor “chincuales” who “cannot sit still mentally” (200).
Amongst many other things, they interfere with good sex.