From the DailyNous
Wednesday Rain. Light rain. Barely noticeable as rain. But one sees the sidewalks are water stained. The rain has altered their color. We look at them and say, they are wet, & others will know what we mean. They will be able, if they wish, to picture wet sidewalks. Wet Concrete or brick or paving stone or asphalt—picture this in mind, or perhaps the feel underfoot if you are a child & barefoot, or very poor and have no shoes, or the soles are worn through & your socks and feet are wet so what those words call to mind is not the fact of rain which your body feels and is all too real without words, but rather what you think of are warm dry socks & warm dry feet, and isn’t there a kind of rule to be seen in this, a rule first of all of mind, & then of words—that we apply mind and words not to what is immediately before us—this dull gray light, these wet sidewalks, wet streets, light rain—but to what is absent, to what is brought to mind because it’s beyond us, thinking on the coldest day only of how to stay warm, or in the hottest summer afternoon we remember the mild spring breeze, long for brisk autumn afternoons—and even now, among dry stalks of corn or walking over cracked earth weeks or months into a killing drought—this very rain, the sound & feel of it—will waken the parched thoughts of those thirsting for all they want & need & do not have.
By rushing into sordid reformist compromises or pseudorevolutionary collective actions, those driven by an abstract desire for immediate effectiveness are in reality obeying the ruling laws of thought, adopting a perspective that can see nothing but the latest news. In this way delirium reappears in the camp that claims to be opposing it. A critique seeking to go beyond the spectacle must know how to wait.
– Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle
Do we know how to wait today? In our reactions to the economic problems we are facing are we acting too quickly, full of resentment and anger – allowing our deep emotional lives to fall prey to violent outbreaks that can only end in disaster? Are we playing into the hands of our enemies without even realizing it? Playing by their rules, and allowing them to have the upper hand in a game they themselves created to ensnare us?…
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Bernie, just cause you grew up in near lily white NH… I mean… I read stuff Bernie says, and it’s like he’s talking to a country that has no black people! I open my door, walk to 52nd Street, pass my neighbors and think, what is he saying to them? What does that mean here, in this neighborhood? Not like the economic message isn’t and wouldn’t matter, but why is it so relentlessly directed at WHITE people? Doesn’t he have ANY black advisors on his team? How can he go on and on an on, like the last few years, with all the revelations about cop violence on black lives, on black men (and women) disappeared into the prison new-slave archipelago–like in his speeches this doesn’t exist????
I mean, really… I imagine if I was knocking on doors like I did in ’08, in my own neighborhood… for Bernie… I wouldn’t know what to say! It’d be like, me, white dude, trying “explain” to people who have a keener political sense of reality that any 3 out of any 10,000 white people I’d ever likely encounter! Explaining.. why Bernie mattered! Jaysus fucking crisco.. what’s wrong with this guy?
It is not only the continuity of History which is threatened today—what we are witnessing is something like the end of Nature itself.
– Slavoj Žižek, Living in the End Times
The double trap to avoid is thus, on the one hand, to attempt to “de-ideologize” the issue, by reducing ecological catastrophe to a problem solvable by means of science and technology, and, on the other, to attempt to “spiritualize” it in the sense of New Age mythology. What both these approaches lack is a concrete social analysis of the economical, political and ideological roots of ecological problems. Science is necessary, but it cannot do all the work: it cannot show us how we should transform our lives, because such transformation has to rely on basic socio-political “normative” ideas of what kind of life we want to lead. We have thus to reject as insufficient a series of solutions which…
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In 2011, I wrote a chapbook, self-published (if you can call Kinkos generated pages, “published”); I called it, Overriding Genesis– from the Hebrew text of the 1st creation story in the book of Genesis.
In transcribing pages from the journal, I found a reference to this interview–which I’d totally forgotten, from Damask Press, on the occasion of their publishing pages from a longer poem, Chronos Chronic Kairos, as a chapbook. Damask Interviews: Jacob Russell. This was published on September 16, 2011… the day before the first day of Occupy Wall Street.
The text of the interview following the break Continue reading “Goby’s Journal: Interview with Toby Altman from 2011”
Cat on my desk beside me, head on my arm. Somethin been working on my mind… just under the surface. Can feel the ripples but don’t know what kinda fish is stirring the waters.
Finished a new piece–first this month.
Making art is something that just happens. It’s all the ways the making and then what’s been made is connected to the rest of the human world that’s difficult and confusing and dangerous. And it is connected. Doesn’t come from within like from a well apart from everything else… the well itself, the waters you draw from it, are fed by countless springs, and it won’t do just to let the pieces sit there. Artists avoid dealing with that, or rather, think that they’re dealing with it by entering the market game, the selling and promoting and galleries and all that shit, even to believing that’s how you know you’re doing it right–even though they say something else. Just about how to make a living, they say, pretending that they haven’t sold themselves to the machine, the fucking empire of money and death just by accepting the idea that that’s what you have to do.
But that’s not what’s been on my mind. Or only a piece of it. I light incense. I have really good incense. I put a piece of window screen over a jar with a candle, and put some pieces on the screen over the flame. Because it involves my body, my senses–without thinking about it. The fragrance. The candle light flickering on the wall and ceiling.
But those fish, or whatever they are… swirls on the surface of the pond. It’s time to sleep. To take this up in dreams.