monday 18 :
the utterance in and of itself matters more than the other, i tried to say in a posthumanist conversation yesterday. this is obvious when people tell you in infinite detail about things that you could not possibly have any interest in.
to write, to say something — or to make art if you will — is not about communication, or about being understood, nor is it about affirmation. it is only about the other in the sense that the presence (theoretical, virtual or otherwise) of the other enables one to speak.
so unlike deleuze, i do talk to the animals and when i see some chickens i give them some of my krentebol.
case in point (i) : http://johannesk.com.s3.amazonaws.com/2019/Sue_Tompkins-Country_Grammer.mp3 (oh
god i miss life without buildings…)
and (from the sublime to the ridiculous) case in point (ii) :
nou snap ik het!— johannes klabbers (@johklab) February 18, 2019
Caryl Kirk uit Hengelo steunt Wilders „omdat hij als enige de waarheid spreekt.” „We worden allemaal voorgelogen”, zegt Kirk. Waarover? „De grootste leugen was 500 jaar geleden, toen Copernicus beweerde dat de aarde rond is.” https://t.co/u6oBgoHZN5 via @nrc
wednesday 13 : Germaine Bloody Greer
One of the reasons I wanted to go to Australia in the first place in 1980 was that most awesome Australian, Germaine Greer. I imagined a country full of people like that. But once there I discovered there is a reason she left Australia…
Last night I watched an achingly unsatisfying documentary about her made by the BBC on the occasion of her 80th birthday 1. Germaine looked like she didn’t want to be there, the makers had no idea what they were doing or why they were doing it and it was full to the brim with filler. Can anyone explain to me why Middle of the Road performing Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep had to be shown it its entirety, or at all? Footage of Greer watching old footage of Greer on a laptop was slightly interesting but an extended tour of her garden was not. The lowlight came when the interviewer asked her : “What were you trying to say in The Female Eunuch?” Germaine exploded, “I am not going to answer that question!”and scoffs : “What I was trying to say… was what I said!”
omg what she gem she was — and is.
When she casually refers to ‘spiritual liberation’, I desperately wanted someone to ask her to talk about what she wrote in her book White Beech: The Rainforest Years (2013) about her rainforest restoration project in South East Queensland where she bought 150 acres in 2001. Greer wrote :
“… entering fully into the multifarious life that is Earthling’s environment, while giving up delusions of controlling it, is a transcendental experience … my horizons flew away, my notion of time expanded and deepened, and my self disappeared.”
There is this : https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/b03s6mdt — but weirdly Germaine is not a great reader.
Still. The book I want to write about you-know-what will be called The Human Eunuch and dedicated to Germaine Greer.
saturday 9 :
Behold the new headquarters of the German intelligence agency in Berlin. It has 14,000 windows and 12,000 doors — and fake palm trees. But they are not just any old fake palm trees. They are artworks by Ulrich Brüschke.
“In an often very confusing world, now, more urgently than ever, Germany needs a strong and efficient foreign intelligence service,” Angela Merkel said.
But not real trees. Obviously.
thursday 7 :
Philip Roth tells the story (to Michael Zeeman) about a Romanian writer, a friend of Roth’s, in the time of Ceaușescu who complained to his elderly mentor that hardly anyone read his work.
How many readers do you need? his mentor asked. Eight. That’s all you need!
Like the writer, and everyone else I suspect, I could hardly wait for an explanation of why eight readers is sufficient but then he says : Unfortunately for you, you only have four.
You might be able to watch the interview (in super low resolution from 2000) here — or you might not. Online availability of TV is still a work in progress in Nederland.
In many ways I find Zeeman (like me he was from 1958 and disliked by many — he died in 2009 from a brain tumour) more interesting than Roth. He was contrary and opiniated but here he is being unusually deferential and allows Roth to be quite ponderous and boring a lot of the time. The section on the death of the reader, which includes the story about the Romanian writer, is one of the most depressing bits. It did make me grateful that I have more than four readers. Eight even, perhaps…
wednesday 6 :
or maybe that should be : only those who can tolerate people who like the sound of their own voice just a little too much…? anyway i hacked out the annoying commentary from the paste NYC session by tropical fuck storm.
because i can.
(and i thought it should exist.)
tuesday 5 : the human condition
You know, you come from nothing
You’re going back to nothing
What have you lost? Nothing!
Always look on the bright side of life.
i am not a philosopher — that is to say, i’ve read a lot of philosophy, i philosophise until the cows come home and i even had bestowed upon me, by a real university in an australian country town called wagga wagga in 2002, a doctorate in philosophy but of its concrete form : the practice of art. philosophy is not my occupation and i’ve not formally studied it.
however i suspect that monty python were inspired by the stoics in this segment of the song sung by brian on the cross, seneca probably, but it doesn’t matter. the thought is there, and it’s severely flawed. it does nothing, it goes nowhere, it gives nothing, it does nothing to console. the pythons, bless them, were being ironic.
because the whole point is that right now i am something — or i appear to be something and ‘nothing’ as such is meaningless to me, being something i cannot conceive of nothing and/or it fills me with terror — and i grieve my immanence : what i am is locked in this ridiculous body, into this limited life and the idea that my death will cause what i am to cease existing, alternately produces a kind of short circuit where i am metaphorically staggering around like a malfunctioning robot saying : cannot compute … cannot compute …!! and being consumed by grief and anxiety, mourning my own absence in anticipation.
such is the human condition — so thanks for nothing.
what is the solution?
are you ready to hear it?
it will take at least two hours.
call me or send me an email.
monday 4 : the year the dogs came
on reading my 2018 journal
there it all is. if you ever had any doubt about the value of a journal writing practice : every part of that trajectory is laid out in excruciating detail as it was happening — each day, sometimes by the hour, by the minute, and — even if i say so myself but i’m using chris kraus’s words about my book ☺ — it is beautifully written. only problem is : i can barely stand reading it. i should weed out some of the superfluous words and try and find a publisher for it. it would be called the year the dogs came, a reference to a story told to me by an acidhead called dave skull in the 70s about a man who had dreamed all his life of andalusia but when he finally went there … oh wait … i better not spoil it.
i knew grief in all its forms because i’d witnessed it, i was there, i lived through it with people, as they contemplated dying and as they died, and as their loved ones, their sisters and mothers and brothers, their fathers, their daughters, their sons and their patients died, afraid or in agony or unable to breathe.
but now i know it because grief, in all its forms, inhabits me, visits me, befalls me, haunts my dreams, and regularly sends me into the abyss.
and having been divested of the ultimate illusion, that there was an other who knew what i was and who ‘got’ me — and that this is even possible — i grieve the absence of the illusion.
i am alone and i must be alone. no one must be allowed anywhere near me.
sunday 3 : i wanna be ignored
i know i’m 12 years late to the party but i’ve been busy ☺ : on his first record banging down the doors ezra furman sounds uncannily like a cross between gordon gano, jonathan richman and bob dylan but full of their own unique authentically joyous, and at times anguished, energy — and i use the third personal pronoun advisedly. he is wrong about sheep though.
i’ll be singing this all day, all week and possibly all year :
friday 1 :
I would look at my dog and the utter strangeness of this animal’s existence would overwhelm me. Or I would look out the window, see the sky and clouds, and get lost thinking about the vastness of the universe.
this is such a terrible article but depersonalisation is interesting, don’t you think? if the elaborate construction which is the so-called self and all of its concerns and all the white noise it produces suddenly falls away, what are ‘you’ left with? awe… the sublime… there ‘you’ are looking directly at the ten to the power of five hundred universes and the eleven dimensions. there are people who long for such an experience and who go to a lot of trouble to try and have it. they take ayahuasca or ingest the poisonous excrement of a poor old african toad or they spend decades (al dan niet in een grot) meditating or praying — but yes the problem is the anxiety/panic attack. i would say : count backwards from ten down to zero, breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth and repeat — and if you need to go and hide under a blanket in the corner or lie down in a darkened room for an hour or two, go right ahead. what you need is not a mental health professional but a friendly narrative therapist or post-theist spiritual carer who you click with, that you trust, who can tell you : it’s ok, mate! and who says : tell me what you see…
Germaine Bloody Greer↩