Friday, February 25, 2011

Roger Millerisms

We were crossing the country on a bus and passed the arch in St. Louis.
Roger looked out and said, "There's the tomb of the unknown hamburger."

Buford Pusser said, "Roger, you know I've got seventeen holes in me."
And Roger said, "Well, lay down and open your mouth and we'll play a round of golf."

They asked him one time in an interview about the new Civil Rights Bill.
He said, "I think they ought to pay the damned thing."

He used to tell the story about where he was so poor they couldn't afford any clothes,
so his Daddy bought him a ball cap and sat him in the window
to look out the window so people would think he had clothes.

"Here's a song I wrote while I was singing that one."

-from Ain't Got No Cigarettes, Lyle E. Style, ed.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Excommunicated from Heaven .1

"Once when the Master, the holy Ari, was sitting in the House of study with his disciples he looked at one of them and said to him, Go out from here, for today you are excommunicated from heaven. The disciple fell at the feet of the Master and said to him, What is my sin; I will repent for it. So the Master said to him: It is because of the chickens you have at home. You have not fed them for two days, and they cry out to God in their hunger. God will forgive you on condition you see to it that before you leave for prayers in the morning you give food to your chickens. For they are dumb animals and they cannot ask for their food."

Excommunicated from Heaven .2

"One day, Rabbi Yehudah happened to be at a slaughterhouse when a calf that was being taken to the slaughter broke away and hid his head under Rabbi Yehudah's skirt, as if in terror. Rabbi Yehudah's response to the calf was, "Go, because this is what you were created for." In response to his heartless reaction to the frightened calf, it was decided in heaven that Rabbi Yehudah would have to learn compassion the hard way- through his own suffering.
From that day on, the Talmud recounts, Rabbi Yehudah was plagued by a horrible chronic case of kidney stones. His pain upon going to the bathroom was so severe that his neighbors timed the feeding of their noisiest animals to those times when Rabbi Yehudah went to the bathroom, hoping their cries would drown out his heart-wrenching screams.
One day thirteen years later, Rabbi Yehudah witnessed his household helper mercilessly sweeping a cat, or some say a weasel, out of the house. He beseeched her, "Be gentle with him for God's mercy is upon all his works." At that very instant, the Talmud tells us, Rabbi Yehudah's painful symptoms abated, his own compassion having aroused the compassion of the heavenly court."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pay a Little Attention to The One Credibly-Happening Largescale Conspiracy of Our Lifetime, Now Mid-Plot

Metal Manuscript?

Sometime between 1992 and 1994 a friend's girlfriend traveled to L.A. and somehow found herself at Slash's house early in the morning. She retrieved this lyric sheet from the bathroom floor and days later delivered it to me. I recently found it in an old box and decided to look for a sample of Slash's handwriting online... 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ancient Countenance

Basil Bunting's Advice to Young Poets

1. Compose aloud; poetry is a sound.
2. Vary rhythm enough to stir the emotion you want but not so as to lose impetus.
3. Use spoken words and syntax.
4. Fear adjective; they bleed nouns. Hate the passive.
5. Jettison ornament gaily but keep shape

Put your poem away till you forget it, then:
6. Cut out every word you dare.
7. Do it again a week later, and again.

Never explain - your reader is as smart as you.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Marguerite Duras Quotes

Alcohol is barren. The words a man speaks in the night of drunkenness fade like the darkness itself at the coming of day.

Alcohol doesn't console, it doesn't fill up anyone's psychological gaps, all it replaces is the lack of God. It doesn't comfort man. On the contrary, it encourages him in his folly, it transports him to the supreme regions where he is master of his own destiny.

No other human being, no woman, no poem or music, book or painting can replace alcohol in its power to give man the illusion of real creation. Alcohol's job is to replace creation.

I've spent whole summers at Neauphle alone except for drink. People used to come at weekends. but during the week I was alone in that huge house, and that was how alcohol took on its full significance. It lends resonance to loneliness, and ends up making you prefer it to everything else. 

Occult Nashville

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Eleventh Century Entrepreneur

"He believes that his ideas on financial issues are his most sophisticated thoughts...His dreams drive him to the most incredible expectations, such that his various kinds of property are not enough for him. He is like a fire that burns more intensely as logs are put on. His heart is excited by his dreams. He anxiously awaits the season when the goods must be stored and again the time when they must be sold. He studies the situation of the market, broods over the rise or fall of the prices of goods, and watches how rates vary in different parts of the world. No heat, chill, storm, ocean, or distance can keep him from the farthest places. He does all this hoping to reach an end, in a situation which in fact has no end and can cause him much pain, tribulation, and wasted effort. And if he does get something of what he hoped for, he will probably be allowed to keep of his fortune only the labor needed to care for it, manage it, and guard it from all sorts of dangers, until it finally winds up in the hands of the person it was meant for."

-Bahya ibn Paqueda  (1039 C.E.)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Smoke Tale

  Once Rabbi Moshe of Kobryn came to visit the rabbi of Rizhyn on the eve of the sabbath. He found his host standing in the middle of the room, his pipe in his hand and clouds of smoke wreathing round him. The rabbi of Rizhyn immediately began to tell a story:
  "There was once a man who lost his way in the woods at twilight on the eve of the sabbath. Suddenly he saw a house in the distance. He walked toward it. When he entered he found himself face to face with a robber, a fierce-looking robber, and on the table in front of him lay a gun. The robber jumped up, but before he could get hold of the gun the man had seized it, and quick as lightning he thought: If I hit him it will be well, if I miss, the room will at least be full of smoke and I can escape."
  When the rabbi of Rizhyn reached this point in his story he put down his pipe and said: "Sabbath!"

Diedrich Diederichsen Essay

"...The rave was already an event without an object: people did not go home and begin to collect the records they’d heard that night. One might argue that this was in itself a success. As indeed it was, but as tends to happen with utopian enclaves in a world that is otherwise unchanged, they invert to become their opposite. Freedom creates poverty. In a world in which the object has disappeared as a reference point, other logics take effect—logics of a vastly more liberated form of entrepreneurship: the exploitation of bodies, performance, and “liveness” replaces the exploitation of a labor that had previously produced objects, objects whose conditions of production could be negotiated. The realization of a world without musical objects has assimilated aesthetic experience in a utopian and dialectical sense, but because it has done so only partially and temporarily, it has also brought about a regression to a stage that precedes aesthetic experience altogether.
At the same time, however, the specific forms of active reception associated with pop music—and not its contents or noneconomic values—have become the new standard of its culture and industry. We no longer live in a society of spectacle but in one of participation. Active consumption—by so-called “prosumers”—are the bread and butter of contemporary sociability; the specific stubbornness of the fan, the permeability of the barrier between audience and stage—all essential components of the pop music culture of the last fifty years—are now standard staging formats. They are prescribed, they are hegemonic, they are stressful, and they drain energy from precisely those forces and forms of empowerment that pop music is normally thought to support. The musical utopia of economic valuelessness and the concept of a greater, noneconomic value then attach themselves to the logic of virtuosity—as Paolo Virno calls it—as a normative model of production, of labor without work."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sam Lipsyte Story

I’m Slavering

Everybody wanted everything to be gleaming again, or maybe they just wanted their evening back. Everybody was from everywhere, had gathered here to hide from the daylight. Some of these people sat around a marble table with straws in their hands. It looked like they were waiting for lemonade. They were trying to get my friend Gary on the phone to get more lemonade. It was early, late, lockjaw hour.

“Is it like this in Geneva?” I said to a man at the table. I was new here, recommended to the straw people by Gary. I felt like the pupil of a great instructor out alone in the dead city.

“Is what like what?” he said.

“Is this like this?”

“I’m from Scarsdale,” he said. “All I can tell you about is Zurich.”

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Artist's Fight With Art

The first stage in the growth of an artist is that which we have described as his "nomination" and which marks the subordination of the individual to one of the prevailing art-ideologies, this usually showing itself in the choice of some recognized master as the ideal pattern. In doing so, he becomes the representative of an ideology, and at first his individuality vanishes, until, later, at the height of his achievement, he strives once more to liberate his personality from the bonds of an ideology which he has himself accepted and helped to form...Every production of a signifigant artist, in whatever form, and of whatever content, always reflects more or less clearly this process of self-liberation and reveals the battle of the artist against the art which expresses a now surmounted phase of the development of his ego...From the moment the work is taken over and recognized by the public, it ceases to be the possession of the artist, not only economically but spiritually. Just as the artist created it from his own needs, the public accepts it to alleviate their own wants...(It) ceases to be the personal achievement of the individual  and becomes a symbol for others and their spiritual demands...Thus general recognition of the artist and his work is the spiritual counterpart to his own asserted claim to be an artist; the latter is a gesture of independence, whereas fame, which is something granted to him, again makes him dependent...Many artist's return artistically or at least spiritually, to an earlier period of their struggle for success...Here there is obviously a rejuvenation wish, for fame has the flavour of death, and immortality is only distinguished by two small letters from the arch-evil they dread...The individual may, by his nomination to be an artist, have asserted his independence of the human community and rooted himself in self-sufficient isolation; but ultimately he is driven by the work he has autonomously produced to surrender again to that community...The community annexes the man and his work, depersonalizes him, and thus really robs him of the fruit of his work- in return for which he is offered the distinction of fame.

-from "Art and Artist" by Otto Rank

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Peter Criss Alliance

  1984 Demo of a Never Released Song (Lyrics by Tony Crow)

    On Feb 13, 2011, at 12:14 PM, D.C. Berman wrote:
              Tony, These are hot lyrix. Am i hearing them right?:
          "We could make love history/ We could have sex instantly"

           On Feb 13 2011, at 6:18 PM, Tony Crow wrote:

           I wish, David...think it's

            "Still remains a mystery/ who could have sent this to me"

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Roky Erickson Story

     There was once this guy and he kind of stayed to himself a lot and he was kind of rich- he wasn't that rich- but he lived in this neighborhood, in this dark neighborhood, and he got real bored, just kinda sitting around in the coolness and everything.
     And one day he decided to, you know rob a bank. So he got up one night about two o'clock and got in his car and drove until he came to a bank, and he got out, and he went inside and he broke through the window and the teller was still in there but he was just doing some bookkeeping and everything. And so he went in and he told the guy that he wanted all they money. He scared the teller, and so the teller had to give him the money.
     And so as the guy is leaving, the teller grabbed a gun and told him to stop or that he'd fire some warning shots at him. And so as he was leaving, the teller shot him and hit him and wounded him. So he got in the car and he drove and he drove and he drove and he drove, you know, a good part of the town until he came to a semi-full, semi-whole part of a neighborhood where he found kind of a neighborhood doctor's office.
     And he went inside and he told the doctor that he had been in an accident and a gun had gone off and hit him, and that he wanted him to operate on him, and he said he'd better operate on him or he'd kill him,  you know. So the doctor said he would. He took him in his office and put him on the operating table and they stayed in there for about five hours. And then it was real quiet in there.
     And finally the door opened and the doctor came out. And they walked out and the criminal said, "Okay, I've got the gun, and I'm going to go ahead and leave now, you know, and then I'm going to put the gun in my coat, and I'm not going to hurt you. Thank you for giving me the operation. Just don't make any false moves and everything will be alright."
     And the doctor said, "Well, you're not going to hurt me, because I gave the operation to myself."

-from "Openers II"

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Neurosis in a Nutshell"

Life is an overwhelming problem for an animal free of instinct. The individual has to protect himself from the world, and he can do this only as any other animal would: by narrowing down the world, shutting off experience, developing an obliviousness both to the terrors of the world and to his own anxieties. Otherwise he would be crippled for action. We cannot repeat too often the great lesson of Freudian psychology: that repression is normal self-protection and creative self-restriction- in a real sense man's natural substitute for instinct. Rank has a perfect, key term for this natural human talent: he calls it "partialization" and very rightly sees that life is impossible without it. What we call the well-adjusted man has just this capacity to partialize the world for comfortable action...We can say that the essence of normality is the refusal of reality. What we call neurosis enters precisely at this point: some people have more trouble with their lies than others. The world is too much with them and the techniques that they have developed for holding it at bay and cutting it down to size finally begin to choke the person himself. This is neurosis in a nutshell: the miscarriage of clumsy lies about reality...The artist also takes in the world but instead of being oppressed by it he reworks it in his own personality and recreates it in the work of art. The neurotic is prescisely the one who cannot create- the "artiste manque," as Rank so aptly called him. We might say that both the neurotic and the artist bite off more than they can chew, but the artist spews it back out again and chews it over in an objectified way, as an external, active, work project...The neurotic's frustration as a failed artist can't be remedied by anything but an objective creative work of his own...There is no doubt that creative work is itself done under a compulsion often indistinguishable from a purely clinical obsession. In this sense, what we call a creative gift is merely the social license to be obsessed.

-from "The Denial of Death" by Ernest Becker

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Same Jew

  In the 1920's a Jew travels from his small Polish shetl to Warsaw. When he returns he tells his friend of the wonders he has seen:
  "I met a Jew who had grown up in a yeshiva and knew large sections of the Talmud by heart. I met a Jew who was an atheist.  I met a Jew who owned a large clothing store with many employees, and I met a Jew who was an ardent Communist."
  "So what's so strange?" the friend asks. "Warsaw is a big city. There must be a million Jews there."
  "You don't understand," the man replied. "It was the same Jew."

Legal Problem From a Parallel Universe

In 2003, after retiring from the practice of law, Cassie Berman moves to Kentucky and buys a tract of land. As a hobby, she starts to purchase and breed thoroughbred racehorses. In 2005, however, Bright Flight, one of her horses, upsets the field and wins the prestigious Tanglewood Derby. Soon Cassie finds herself the proprietor of a thriving business. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Charles Bernstein Poem

What Makes a Poem a Poem?

It's not rhyming words at the end of a line. It's not form. It's not structure. It's not
loneliness. It's not location. It's not the sky. It's not love. It's not the color. It's not the
feeling. It's not the meter. It's not the place. It's not the intention. It's not the desire.
It's not the weather. It's not the hope. It's not the subject matter. It's not the death. It's
not the birth. It's not the trees. It's not the words. It's not the things between the
words. It's not the meter-

(timer beeps)

It's the timing.

Move Out of My Way, You Scoundrel!

  When Rabbi Naftali of Ropschitz was a youngster, he tried to begin his service of God by rising early in the day. One icy morning, as he attempted to get out of bed to study and pray, the Evil Inclination accosted him: "It's cold outside and it's still early; why not stay in bed for just a few more minutes?"
  The young Naftali answered sharply, "Move out of my way, you scoundrel! You're up already, hard at work to entice me. Why shouldn't I also get up to do my work?"

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's Not Like You Think

"The most generally held concept of propaganda is that it is a series of tall tales, a tissue of lies, and that lies are necessary for effective propaganda...This concept leads to two attitudes among the public. The first is: "Of course we shall not be victims of propaganda because we are capable of distinguishing truth from falsehood." Anyone holding that conviction is extremely susceptible to propaganda, because when propaganda does tell the "truth", he is then convinced that it is no longer propaganda; moreover his self-confidence makes him all the more vulnerable to attacks of which he is unaware.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Who Wants to Query a Shillionaire?

Tittytainment and the 20:80 Society

"Tittytainment" was a term coined by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the National Security advisor of US president Jimmy Carter, essentially to convey the thought that a mixture of "intoxicating entertainment and sufficient nourishment" that can "tranquilize the frustrated minds of the globe's population."

The term gained currency during/ after the famous first State of the World Forum held at San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel in 1995, where this idea was apparently proposed as the solution to the "20-80 society" of the 21st century. This excerpt from The Global Trap (1997) by H.P. Martin and H. Schuhmann describes the proceedings:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Ostrich Policy

"What do believers in the Absolute mean by saying their belief affords them comfort? They mean that since in the Absolute finite evil is overruled already, we may, therefore, whenever we wish, treat the temporal as if it were potentially the eternal, be sure that we can trust it's outcome, and, without sin, dismiss our fear and drop the worry of our finite responsibility. In short, they mean that we have a right ever and anon to take a moral holiday, to let the world wag its own way, feeling that its issues are in better hands than ours and are none of our business."

-William James

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pleasure of the Text by Mark Tansey

Post-Traumatic Set Disorder

November 14, 2005

Dear Mr. C------ of the Warfield Theater,

Please forward this complaint and my extreme outrage to the I--- and W--- Band that played at the Warfield last month. I attended with two friends after weeks of anticipation. We had gone to great lengths to find a babysitter for a weekday night, drove an hour and a half to attend, spent a fortune on gas, sitters and dinner, then of course on the tickets themselves, only to be abused by the most vile man I have ever been held hostage to in my history of attending entertainment venues.

The Turkey Prince

Rabbi Nachman told the story of how a king's son became mad. He imagined that he was a turkey, and that he had to sit naked under the table and scratch around amongst the pieces of old bones and breadcrumbs. All the doctors in the realm despaired of being able to help him or cure him, and the king was very sad. Eventually a wise man came and said that he would undertake to cure him. He too stripped himself naked, sat under the table next to the king's son and began to scratch among the breadcrumbs and the bonemeal.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Czech Eden

Hlavni nadrazi Pardubice, July, 2002 (from “Czech Eden”)
© Matthew Monteith

Point/Counterpoint: Christ n' Stein

J. Christ:  If you bring forth what is inside you, what you bring forth will save you. 

               If you do not bring forth what is inside you, 
               what you do not bring forth will destroy you.

G. Stein:  As long as the outside does not put a value on you it remains outside
               but when it does put a value on you then it gets inside or rather
               if the outside puts a value on you then all your inside gets to be outside.

The Frequency: Solving the Riddle of the Dan Rather Beating

by Paul Limbert Allman

Who can forget our collective shock and bewilderment when we opened the New York Times and learned of the event? October 1986A cool evening, upper Park Avenue, in the Eighties. Newsman and reservoir of trust, Dan Rather, dressed casually, walks home from dinner at a friend's house. Two well-dressed white men in their thirties—one six feet tall, with dark hair and a mustache—accost Rather, one of them demanding to know, “Kenneth, what is the frequency?” "You have the wrong guy,” Rather replies. One of the men responds with a punch to the newsman's jaw, under his left ear. Rather flees into the lobby of a building on Park Avenue, and the thugs pursue him, punching, kicking, badgering Rather repeatedly with the strange query: “Kenneth, what is the frequency!”

Bertolt Brecht Poem

In the dark times
Will there also be singing?

Yes, there will be singing
About the dark times.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Honky-Tonk Dracula

                                    The Life and Death of Gary Stewart:

Chewed Out

  Rabbi Yisrael Salanter once overheard someone say that he loved chicken. R' Yisrael responded: "If you loved the chicken, you would never slaughter it. It is yourself that you love; you love to eat chicken."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Side-Scenes of Yesteryear

H.P. Loathed Crap

"As for the Republicans- how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in mendacious assumptions (such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical "American heritage") utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead."

-H.P. Lovecraft, 1936