Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rumpelstiltskin Suicide

     Some people commit suicide in a rage—all of a sudden, with no warning, without evidence of depression. Just as one man in a tantrum may storm out of a room and slam the door behind him, another in an angry fit may abruptly destroy himself. Impulsive, unforeseen suicides of this kind often follow self-collapse when insults to flawed narcissism arouse ungovernable fury.
     The story of Rumpelstiltskin, a fairy-tale favorite, ends in a violent suicide. That Rumpelstiltskin put an end to himself in an explosion of rage has been overlooked in the literature of psychoanalysis, but he stands as an icon for certain narcissistic types who kill themselves when life does not go their way. Moody, lonely, little Rumpelstiltskin, androgynous, excitable, unrealistic in his expectations of himself and of others, worked prodigiously for love, and, believing love was owed and promised him, exploded when denied it. Rumpelstiltskin suicide attempts (self-injuries prompted by fury) are familiar in hospital emergency rooms but have not been much investigated. Though comparatively unusual, Rumpelstiltskin suicides are not rare. Empirical investigators are now emphasizing the importance of impulsivity as a personality trait disposing one to suicide.

pdf at Suicidology Online

Everything a Song Should Be

He said "Son, have you seen the world?
Well, what would you say if I said that you could?
Just carry this gun and you'll even get paid."
I said "That sounds pretty good."

Black leather boots
Spit-shined so bright
They cut off my hair but it looked alright
We marched and we sang
We all became friends
As we learned how to fight

A hero of war
Yeah that's what I'll be
And when I come home
They'll be damn proud of me
I'll carry this flag
To the grave if I must
Because it's a flag that I love
And a flag that I trust

I kicked in the door
I yelled my commands
The children, they cried
But I got my man
We took him away
A bag over his face
From his family and his friends

They took off his clothes
They pissed in his hands
I told them to stop
But then I joined in
We beat him with guns
And batons not just once
But again and again

A hero of war
Yeah that's what I'll be
And when I come home
They'll be damn proud of me
I'll carry this flag
To the grave if I must
Because it's a flag that I love
And a flag that I trust

She walked through bullets and haze
I asked her to stop
I begged her to stay
But she pressed on
So I lifted my gun
And I fired away

The shells jumped through the smoke
And into the sand
That the blood now had soaked
She collapsed with a flag in her hand
A flag white as snow

A hero of war
Is that what they see
Just medals and scars
So damn proud of me
And I brought home that flag
Now it gathers dust
But it's a flag that I love
It's the only flag I trust

He said, "Son, have you seen the world?
Well what would you say, if I said that you could?"


The Upshot

Gittel: My Fairy Dog-Daughter

Ted Hughes: "Hawk Roosting"

I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed.
Inaction, no falsifying dream
Between my hooked head and hooked feet:
Or in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat.

The convenience of the high trees!
The air's buoyancy and the sun's ray
Are of advantage to me;
and the earth's face upward for my inspection.

My feet are locked upon the rough bark.
It took the whole of Creation
To produce my foot, my each feather:
Now I hold Creation in my foot

Or fly up, and revolve it all slowly-
I kill where I please because it is all mine.
There is no sophistry in my body:
My manners are tearing off heads-

The allotment of death.
For the one path of my flight is direct
Through the bones of the living.
No arguments assert my right:

The sun is behind me.
Nothing has changed since I began.
My eye has permitted no change.
I am going to keep things like this.

"...a thoughtful, troublesome, profoundly independent, odd and kind man..."

                                                          Rockwell Kent

They Have Achieved Perfect Inversion

excerpts from: "A Genealogy of Homo-Economicus: Neoliberalism
and the Production of Subjectivity" by Jason Read

As Thomas Lemke argues, neoliberalism is a political project that attempts to create a social reality that it suggests already exists, stating that competition is the basis of social relations while fostering those same relations.The contemporary trend away from long term labor contracts, towards temporary and part-time labor, is not only an effective economic strategy, freeing corporations from contracts and the expensive commitments of health care and other benefits, it is an effective strategy of subjectification as well. It encourages workers to see themselves not as “workers” in a political sense, who have something to gain through solidarity and collective organization, but as “companies of one.” They become individuals for whom every action, from taking courses on a new computer software application to having their teeth whitened, can be considered an investment in human capital. As Eric Alliez and Michel Feher write: “Corporations’ massive recourse to subcontracting plays a fundamental role in this to the extent that it turns the workers’ desire for independence…into a ‘business spirit’ that meets capital’s growing need for satellites.” Neoliberalism is not simply an ideology in the pejorative sense of the term, or a belief that one could elect to have or not have, but is itself produced by strategies, tactics, and policies that create subjects of interest, locked in competition.

....Marx and neo-liberals agree that although classical economic theory examined the sphere of exchange, the market, it failed to enter the “hidden abode of production” examining how capital is produced. Of course the agreement ends there, because what Marx and neo-liberals find in labor is fundamentally different: for Marx labor is the sphere of exploitation while for the neo-liberals, as we have seen, labor is no sooner introduced as a problem than the difference between labor and capital is effaced through the theory of "human capital." Neoliberalism scrambles and exchanges the terms of opposition between “worker” and “capitalist.” To quote Etienne Balibar, “The capitalist is defined as worker, as an ‘entrepreneur’; the worker, as the bearer of a capacity, of a human capital.”

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Johnny Cash Never Meant Shit to Me


Friday, May 25, 2012

Lacan's Hairdresser

Did you fix a time to cut his hair?

He was never one to wait in the salon, he never wanted to wait. I would arrange everything, because every day I did 30 clients and so when he had the appointment I knew I had to arrange everything. And then one time he came and I couldn’t arrange everything. I had four clients and so he goes up to have his shampoo and his blue rinse, and he says to me ‘What time will you see me’, and I told him I’m not free so you have to wait a bit, go and sit down. Anyway he had a pink bib on, and the blue rinse was going down on it, and he was annoyed, and then he got up and then went out and went home, with the blue rinse still on and the pink bib. The owner of Carita told me that he’d gone home with all of the blue rinse on him, and she told me that I have to go and to see him at home. So, I had to go to his house. She was very furious, and she was the one who insisted that I follow him to his house and cut his hair. So I went there and he was in his bathroom, sitting there waiting, and he told me ‘I like Greek people’. So then I cut his hair, and then I when I was finished I took the tip of hundred francs and I said to him ‘Now Doctor Lacan I don’t any more want to cut your hair anymore’.

Lovestruck Jury Finds Beautiful Defendant Not Guilty

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pang, Void

     "It was in the autumn of 1826. I was in a dull state of nerves, such as everybody is occasionally liable to; unsusceptible to enjoyment or pleasurable excitement; one of those moods when what is pleasure at other times, becomes insipid or indifferent; the state, I should think, in which converts to Methodism usually are, when smitten by their first "conviction of sin." In this frame of mind it occurred to me to put the question directly to myself: "Suppose that all your objects in life were realized; that all the changes in institutions and opinions which you are looking forward to, could be completely effected at this very instant: would this be a great joy and happiness to you?" And an irrepressible self-consciousness distinctly answered, "No!" At this my heart sank within me: the whole foundation on which my life was constructed fell down. All my happiness was to have been found in the continual pursuit of this end. The end had ceased to charm, and how could there ever again be any interest in the means? I seemed to have nothing left to live for.
     At first I hoped that the cloud would pass away of itself; but it did not. A night's sleep, the sovereign remedy for the smaller vexations of life, had no effect on it. I awoke to a renewed consciousness of the woful fact. I carried it with me into all companies, into all occupations. Hardly anything had power to cause me even a few minutes oblivion of it. For some months the cloud seemed to grow thicker and thicker. The lines in Coleridge's "Dejection" -- I was not then acquainted with them -- exactly describe my case:
"A grief without a pang, void, dark and drear, A drowsy, stifled, unimpassioned grief, Which finds no natural outlet or relief In word, or sigh, or tear."
     In vain I sought relief from my favourite books; those memorials of past nobleness and greatness from which I had always hitherto drawn strength and animation. I read them now without feeling, or with the accustomed feeling minus all its charm; and I became persuaded, that my love of mankind, and of excellence for its own sake, had worn itself out. I sought no comfort by speaking to others of what I felt. If I had loved any one sufficiently to make confiding my griefs a necessity, I should not have been in the condition I was. I felt, too, that mine was not an interesting, or in any way respectable distress. There was nothing in it to attract sympathy. Advice, if I had known where to seek it, would have been most precious...

     I was thus, as I said to myself, left stranded at the commencement of my voyage, with a well-equipped ship and a rudder, but no sail; without any real desire for the ends which I had been so carefully fitted out to work for: no delight in virtue, or the general good, but also just as little in anything else. The fountains of vanity and ambition seemed to have dried up within me, as completely as those of benevolence. I had had (as I reflected) some gratification of vanity at too early an age: I had obtained some distinction, and felt myself of some importance, before the desire of distinction and of importance had grown into a passion: and little as it was which I had attained, yet having been attained too early, like all pleasures enjoyed too soon, it had made me blasé and indifferent to the pursuit. Thus neither selfish nor unselfish pleasures were pleasures to me. And there seemed no power in nature sufficient to begin the formation of my character anew..."

-from Autobiography by John Stuart Mill

Farm Echo Court


Saturday, May 5, 2012

"One Train May Hide Another" by Kenneth Koch

In a poem, one line may hide another line,
As at a crossing, one train may hide another train.
That is, if you are waiting to cross
The tracks, wait to do it for one moment at
Least after the first train is gone. And so when you read
Wait until you have read the next line--
Then it is safe to go on reading.
In a family one sister may conceal another,
So, when you are courting, it's best to have them all in view
Otherwise in coming to find one you may love another.
One father or one brother may hide the man,
If you are a woman, whom you have been waiting to love.
So always standing in front of something the other
As words stand in front of objects, feelings, and ideas.
One wish may hide another. And one person's reputation may hide
The reputation of another. One dog may conceal another
On a lawn, so if you escape the first one you're not necessarily safe;
One lilac may hide another and then a lot of lilacs and on the Appia
Antica one tomb
May hide a number of other tombs. In love, one reproach may hide another,
One small complaint may hide a great one.
One injustice may hide another--one colonial may hide another,
One blaring red uniform another, and another, a whole column. One bath
may hide another bath
As when, after bathing, one walks out into the rain.
One idea may hide another: Life is simple
Hide Life is incredibly complex, as in the prose of Gertrude Stein
One sentence hides another and is another as well. And in the laboratory
One invention may hide another invention,
One evening may hide another, one shadow, a nest of shadows.
One dark red, or one blue, or one purple--this is a painting
By someone after Matisse. One waits at the tracks until they pass,
These hidden doubles or, sometimes, likenesses. One identical twin
May hide the other. And there may be even more in there! The obstetrician
Gazes at the Valley of the Var. We used to live there, my wife and I, but
One life hid another life. And now she is gone and I am here.
A vivacious mother hides a gawky daughter. The daughter hides
Her own vivacious daughter in turn. They are in
A railway station and the daughter is holding a bag
Bigger than her mother's bag and successfully hides it.
In offering to pick up the daughter's bag one finds oneself confronted by
the mother's
And has to carry that one, too. So one hitchhiker
May deliberately hide another and one cup of coffee
Another, too, until one is over-excited. One love may hide another love
or the same love
As when "I love you" suddenly rings false and one discovers
The better love lingering behind, as when "I'm full of doubts"
Hides "I'm certain about something and it is that"
And one dream may hide another as is well known, always, too. In the
Garden of Eden
Adam and Eve may hide the real Adam and Eve.
Jerusalem may hide another Jerusalem.
When you come to something, stop to let it pass
So you can see what else is there. At home, no matter where,
Internal tracks pose dangers, too: one memory
Certainly hides another, that being what memory is all about,
The eternal reverse succession of contemplated entities. Reading
A Sentimental Journey look around
When you have finished, for Tristram Shandy, to see
If it is standing there, it should be, stronger
And more profound and theretofore hidden as Santa Maria Maggiore
May be hidden by similar churches inside Rome. One sidewalk
May hide another, as when you're asleep there, and
One song hide another song; a pounding upstairs
Hide the beating of drums. One friend may hide another, you sit at the
foot of a tree
With one and when you get up to leave there is another
Whom you'd have preferred to talk to all along. One teacher,
One doctor, one ecstasy, one illness, one woman, one man
May hide another. Pause to let the first one pass.
You think, Now it is safe to cross and you are hit by the next one. It
can be important
To have waited at least a moment to see what was already there.