Ktismatics

23 December 2007

Re-Entering the Bathysphere

Filed under: Reflections — ktismatics @ 11:08 am

It’s another sign that I’ve about reached the end (again!) in writing this blog: events that I’ve found moving, ideas that challenge my assumptions, possibilities for stimulating conversation — I no longer want to write posts about them. I’d rather keep my thoughts entirely private or write them in a book, buffering myself from online exchanges that I’d just as soon evade, even if those exchanges were to provide the sort of emergent enlightenment and camaraderie that the Internet promises and that justify the frustrating dead-ends and misunderstandings that seem so often to get in the way.

Since killing off Ktismatics over two months ago and fusing myself with its spectral afterlife, I’ve tried letting others be the cause of my desire, following trajectories set by other bloggers in whose gravitational fields I had already found myself attracted. These forays have met with some success, inasmuch as I rediscovered a couple of things I’ve known for a long time: I can usually find something that engages me in practically anyone’s agenda, but other people seem to have a harder time engaging in mine. Is it this an accurate evaluation on my part, or just another indicator of my intransigent egotism? Or is my stuff really less interesting than other people’s? I don’t really want to know; I don’t really want to talk about it.

I’ve also wandered more resolutely through the chamber of mirrors suspended between the actual and the simulacrum, between invisibility and the spectacle. Am I the monk or the one who writes the monk’s lines? Am I the torturer or the victim or the not-so-innocent bystander, the director or the audience or the actor? I still don’t know for sure, but I’m pretty sure I’m ready to wind my way back out of the labyrinth. I could write at some length about my recent adventures in blogspace and the self-awarenesses and self-deceptions they’ve induced, but I no longer want to write about it here, simultaneously anticipating and dreading comments, hoping for mutual acceptance and understanding but expecting the opposite, all the while fearing most of all the distinct possibility that what I write will be ignored altogether.

There’s no question that I’ve learned a great deal as an active participant in blogging culture. I also have a sense of completion, that this last round of blogging afterlife has reached its denouement. And I do intend to carry on with writing, preferring to re-enter a self-imposed isolation that I find conducive to writing extended pieces. I want to rethink the Genesis 1 book based on what I’ve learned. There’s also another novel starting to take shape. And of course there’s also the unrealized potential of my psychology practice to torment me.

I do thank all who have read what I’ve had to say and who have engaged in discussions in this space. Feel free to carry on without me, and I will continue to respond to comments and questions here. And I look forward to keeping in touch with my online friends by email. This time, though, I’m committed to resisting the temptation to write more posts. I expect I’ll also stop commenting on other blogs, which is how I ended up inadvertently resurrecting Ktismatics. I’ll try harder to let it rest in peace.

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69 Comments »

  1. As a blogger on a much (much) lower plane, I have found myself more surprised that anyone comments on one of my posts than not! Still, for those of you who are used to generating a heavy and consistent flow of hits and comments, this sort of sentiment “I no longer want to write about it here, simultaneously anticipating and dreading comments, hoping for mutual acceptance and understanding but expecting the opposite, all the while fearing most of all the distinct possibility that what I write will be ignored altogether.” must be a daily reality. One that I can’t really identify with at all.

    Anyhow, your commitment to getting more exclusively involved in writing is to be lauded and though I don’t see that it needs to be mutually exclusive, if you do have to choose then by all means write! The commitment to a longer form will be good and a better place to properly explore deeper ideas and realities than the bittiness of both bogging and commenting. These are just conversation and while they may create something at the same time one is conscious of the existence of many spheres of understanding and meaning that interact along dimensionless lines and over ill-defined and all to0o ephemeral spaces of shared understanding.

    If you haven’t seen it already Time has an interview with J.K. Rowling that I saw just yesterday where she ponders what it feels like to be in the aftermath of Harry Potter, and I think concludes that HP will never really die for her.

    Comment by samlcarr — 24 December 2007 @ 12:33 am

  2. I feel like I’m more attuned to the negative than the positive on most things, and blogging is no exception. You, Sam, are very attuned to others’ trains of thought, here, on your blog, and elsewhere, which makes it a pleasure to have online conversations with you. I don’t think I’m looking only for fellowship with people who agree with one another, since I enjoy working through disagreements too — the triangulation ideas of Davidson and Gadamer can work even in a dialectical, almost argumentative, context. I’m more attuned these days to argumentation for its own sake, or for the sake of the emotional responses it generates in the participants — an adversarial pose that I don’t find particularly conducive either to clearer thinking or to establishing mutual trust and generosity among conversants.

    Also I regret the sense that a lot of people just can’t be bothered to extend themselves beyond the trajectories they’re already on. We’ve both experienced this at OST, with you trying to engage people in the True Myth thread while I’ve been working on the Thought Experiments. It’s as if we’re talking to ourselves. On Thought Experiments I did want to explore a set of ideas that would take some time and effort to elaborate, but I chose to do it publicly on OST with the expectation that Christian Bible-readers might find the various exegeses stimulating, challenging, etc. I’m sure you’ve felt the same way on True Myth. Alas, you and I seem to be the only ones who can manage to engage one another’s thoughts on those threads. Unfortunate.

    The latest Sir Toby’s was another example: Peter’s post sat there for a week, then when I finally wrote a response Peter took it in a direction that seemed to disregard anything I added to it. By the end he seemed almost perturbed that I’d gotten in his way. I had hoped to open up room for you and maybe Enarchay or Jacob to join in, but Peter seemed to foreclose these openings. Unfortunate.

    Reading the JK Rowling interview likewise contributes more to my melancholy than to my enthusiasm. I have no reason to believe that any other book I write will be better than the ones I’ve already written, none of which seems to resonate with anyone either. By the way, Sam, did you ever finish The Stations? My wife and I used to be in a book group when we lived in Minnesota. After I finished writing the book I asked a couple we knew well from that group if they wanted to read my book; they said yes. If they wanted, I said, I’d print off copies and make them available to the book group. Though I didn’t say so, I figured I might fly to MN to discuss the book with the group after they’d read it. No, my friends said; the book group is moribund. It turns out that one of the two never did read the book, while the other took a year to finish it — longer than it took me to write it, and impossibly long for it to hang together in the reader’s mind. Then in emailing me his thoughts he devoted as much space to another book he had just read and enjoyed, which the book club had just read together. I never responded to his email; I probably never will correspond with either one of them again. The Genesis 1 book I sent to another old friend, a very liberal Baptist minister who presided at our wedding and who teaches cultural studies at my wife’s alma mater — seemed like a book he might find interesting. He read the first 40 pages more than a year ago and that’s it. He’s another guy I’ll probably never talk to again if I can avoid it. So my experience of writing books has alienated me from my friends while progressively diminishing my hope of anyone ever reading them.

    The idea of writing yet another book is frankly depressing. I don’t write out of some urge to express myself or to entertain an audience; I do it to show people the things I can see that they might resonate with. Without that expectation of mutual resonance, a triangulation stimulated by converging imaginations, it’s hard for me to see the point. So I’m seriously thinking about whether I can write for an imaginary audience of readers who have no known correlation with actual readers — as if the audience itself had been incorporated into a fictional metareality that the books also occupy. It’s kind of like Barth’s or Frei’s Christianity, where all the Christians live inside a narrative that exists in isolation from everyday reality. Incidentally, I was all set to explore that idea in my last contribution to the Sir Toby’s post, but it must have irked Peter so he foreclosed the topic. It’s another lost opportunity of the blogosphere. Anyhow, unfortunately there’s no resurrected Christ assuring me that this metafictional reality is true, transcendent, etc. It’s more like one of those mini-universes that might exist in parallel with the one we occupy but that we can never detect because its dimensionality is so alien that we can never detect its presence. Hence the bathyscaph imagery of the title of this post.

    Comment by ktismatics — 24 December 2007 @ 6:58 am

  3. I don’t know whether I entirely agree with your idea of writing and what one can get from it. But then I’m never going to finish writing anything longer than 5 -6 pages, so I probably don’t have a clue. I got through The Stations pretty fast then decided that if i was going to say anything meaningful I’d better do it again more slowly and selfconsciously, and on the 2nd read I’m about 1/2 way thru now. On the one hand there is stuff like style and technique that can always be polished. One thing that I am finding to be different is the way you linger on the alternations. For example, you’re with Miguel then Prop Adamowicz and it takes quite a while before you get back to Miguel. In the meantime your employers and the mission on which you are to embark has been left until the background is somewhat filled in, meaning that we get the first good looks at how Miguel started out.

    If it was an action sort of plot then it would perhaps be easier to take it as a scene by scene development. Here I get the sense that you have deliberately broken up longer compositions and mixed them up in order to give a feeling of plot, but then you are writing a plot of ideas and the ideas don’t fall so easily into the different conversations and this can be a bit disconcerting.

    This is just stuff that I felt as i went thru in a hurry, so now i’ve slowed down and found a lot of hidden threads in the matrix that you’ve woven and I’ll hopefully be able to comment more sensibly one of these days.

    As far as religion in any form distorts god to suit its own ends we have to end up with insides and outsides, the insides finding the outsides incomprehensible and vice versa. Bahai speak of oneness but even they have their insider codes. Without belonging the seeker will get nowhere except to the undefined periphery. It really is sad and obviously contradicts very directly the visions of the founders, but all that becomes irrelevant in the face of feeding the monsters that we have created.

    Comment by samlcarr — 24 December 2007 @ 1:24 pm

  4. I forgot to say, my biggest impression of The Stations is that it is far too short!

    Comment by samlcarr — 24 December 2007 @ 1:28 pm

  5. The structure of the novel is an oscillation between the forward movement of Prop and Mrs. Dervain through Europe on the one hand and the parallel American back stories between Miguel, Prop and Mrs. D. on the other hand. I messed around with writing the whole thing on a forward trajectory, but I thought it was important that the story have the feel of a pilgrimage into the past woven through it. But you’re right Sam, it’s more about the ideas than the story or even the characters. “it is far too short” — better than being far too long (lol). It’s already about 120K words as I recall, which would make it around 300 pages. I look forward to further discussion about it, because there are parts of it I’m not sure of.

    Comment by ktismatics — 24 December 2007 @ 2:55 pm

  6. Hey Doyle!!

    I still exist!!! :)

    A) Just stopping in to say MERRY CHRISTMAS!! Uumm…sort of?? Do you guys do that? Anyway…regardless…”happy holidays”…and I hope things are well!!

    B) “Kenzie Doyle’s” painting REALLY caught my eye. Like seriously. Its fantastic. Deep and profound…and even deeply moving. A real gem. And I mean that.

    Shalom,

    Jason

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 25 December 2007 @ 7:09 pm

  7. Hi Jason, and merry Christmas to you too. I cooked all day today: duck breast with cherry sauce and potato pancakes; crispy polenta with pears and bleu cheese sauce; onion soup; scalloped oysters and beef fillets with asparagus; pumpkin creme caramels with whipped cream. All of it was delicious.

    I told Kenzie your comments on her painting, and that you are an artist too so your opinion is an informed one. She is pleased.

    Comment by ktismatics — 25 December 2007 @ 10:49 pm

  8. Oh well, I should have not have looked at that old post. I wouldn’t have put those comments on there if I’d seen you’d put up just another passive-aggressive post about giving up blogging up. If that’s the best you can do, nobody wants to hear this sort of thing if you’re kind of halfway keeping it open for comments, but you won’t get anywhere with the labyrinth except by jerking out of it, and then just re-inserting when there seems to be some need. Most important personal things are RUINED by putting them in cyberspace–that’s the main thing. But with a halfway-house blog you can have your passive-aggressive and eat it too–which is clearly what you are after. Probably a matter of personal taste, this sort of thing–but the ‘halfway-house’ blog is probably a good way of not looking like a fool again for not being able to stop your blog; and also keeping it as a sort of desultory no-man’s-land to which most people won’t want to comment because your lack of interest in it while keeping it comes across a vaguely hostile. BUT–it’s a flat and unfeeling medium, and that’s what you’re reacting to, I imagine.

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 25 December 2007 @ 10:49 pm

  9. Oh yes, yes, yes, ktismatics, others ‘less craven, less gluttonous’, which is why they had to become Marxists, because Marxist restaurants do not exist. But I fixate on this because even I find your Christmas menu, while delectable in its parts, slightly unreal in the amounts of oysters, beef, and the other fleshly delights. You are perhaps a dedicated gourmet cook, but I’ve thought you sometimes thought such fat-producing meals are normal. Well, they are not. I’ll admit to having been through periods like this myself, but at some point it becomes necessary for all that culinary energy to go into sexual activity, if only in order to distribute the pounds more attractively.

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 25 December 2007 @ 11:05 pm

  10. This blog will fade away and that’s okay with me. Passive-aggressive? I don’t think that’s quite it — more a hope that something will rise up from the ashes, like a lost love who probably never really loved me in the first place and if I were to be perfectly honest I probably never really loved anything more than the romantic dream in the first place. At least half of the hits to Ktismatics are one-time-only visitors who presumably put in some search engine request that led them here If there are things that people want to read in the archives I’m happy for them to do it. And people I already know who comment I’m happy to talk to. I just want to move on to other kinds of writing.

    For me the blogging has become habitual; it has changed from what it was, at least for me. Before I started the blog I wrote a lot of personal journal entries and I wrote books or pieces that might become incorporated into books. At first I thought blog posts were something like magazine articles, or perhaps advertisements to get people to pay attention to my “real” writing. After a month or two I understood more about blogs as opportunities to have interesting conversations. The problem is, the other two kinds of writing — private journals and books — gradually got usurped by this intermediate private-public blended sort of writing. I can see why some might regard blogging as the future, but at this point I miss the other, purer forms. Conversations about the ideas I still value, but the temptation to write posts in order to stimulate conversation I must resist more resolutely. Maybe your approach is better, Jonquille: engage in conversations that other people begin, but keep your own private counsel on more serious projects.

    Regarding the food — especially rich foods today but all in small tapas-like portions; e.g., one duck breast split three ways. I actually cut a rather lean figure, about what I weighed in my twenties, though icy conditions have cut into my usual running schedule.

    Comment by ktismatics — 26 December 2007 @ 12:17 am

  11. I guess the passive-aggressive part is implying that I don’t really value the people who comment here, that I really wish somebody else would come here instead of them, somebody who values the real me and stimulates my creative juices etc. And I suppose I do wish that, but it’s probably more a narcissistic fantasy than a desire to belittle anybody. I really do enjoy online discussions with people who come to Ktismatics: Sam, Erdman, Jason before he got a job that keeps him interested, Dejan, you. I have to acknowledge though that my recent exchanges with Kenoma and Chabert, both here and at Kenoma’s blog, I didn’t enjoy at all — bad feeling without any good reason that I could discern. And there have been times, Jonquille, when you’ve pissed me off as well. I think we’ve built up enough history by now that I feel like we have a rapport, but it’s possible that you really do dislike me and that you just jerk me around from time to time for your own amusement. That uncertainty is an inherent limit in blog versus face-to-face — though face-to-face can be deceiving as well of course.

    Comment by ktismatics — 26 December 2007 @ 12:55 am

  12. Jeez Doyle…if cooking is music, then you cooked up some Bach! He he. Sounds good!! I just had the good ol’ southern stuff. Ham, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, brocoli casserole, green bean casserole, rolls…and SWEET TEA! And I loved it. Although yours sounds good, too, I must say.

    Glad to hear Kenzie was pleased. I hope she keeps it up. Please keep me informed in the years to come if she’s up in the Denver Art Museum or something crazy like that.

    Comment by Jason Hesiak — 26 December 2007 @ 6:06 am

  13. Jason, great to here your voice echoing again in blogospheropia. Both those menus sound great and mostly stuff that I am now banned from entertaining thought of even in my most lipophilic dreams – bananas to both of you

    Ktismatics, on your blogging, rather than seeing it as a necessity to generate conversation, why not look at it more as a test pad for stuff that you are working on. Journal writing is ‘pure’ but it is also too encapsulated. Stuff has to be masticated and digested before all the good stuff can be released and a blog is what you choose to make of it.

    I think that there’s a lot that I disagree with in your thinking but that doesn’t mean that I have to have it out with you on each and every issue. That’s especially true when a little careful reading reveals that you have thought through some stuff very differently from anything that i have been familiar with and then it does become an exhilarating slide into new knowledge and new perspectives.

    And that brings me back to The Stations and with apologies to those who haven’t yet had a chance to read it. You state that it is the ideas that are more important, but I didn’t get more than a hint of that when I read through at my usual pace the first time and was surprised to find so much to mull over on the second read. That is why I said it’s too short. I think that without adding any new ideas, you do need to find a way to linger over some of the deeper stuff a bit so that the reader doesn’t just read right over something that you really want them to pause and think through.

    Comment by ponnvandu — 26 December 2007 @ 12:24 pm

  14. “And there have been times, Jonquille, when you’ve pissed me off as well. I think we’ve built up enough history by now that I feel like we have a rapport, but it’s possible that you really do dislike me and that you just jerk me around from time to time for your own amusement.”

    I’m glad you said that, because it’s absolutely not true. You also just ‘piss me off’ sometimes, but the more you’ve today now elaborated on the blog phenomenon, most of it is very much as I feel about it too, and I do agree that my way of doing it is the best, but it takes a slightly more flamboyant approach to do it like this, and that’s somewhat less your style. In the meantime, I want you to understand that I think you’ve comported yourself marvelously, even when there were difficulties with me and Dejan roaring through which you had to balance out with other interests. I wish you a most Merry Christmas (I’ve never ever had such a fabulous one myself, and always consider Christmas continues through the New Year–after all, the ‘Nutcracker’ is danced all the way to New Year in New York, although this year I saw the very young Los Angeles Ballet do a most charming production at UCLA), and a Happy New Year. But as you note (and I remember pointing this out before), the blogging can stop other writing unless they are conjoined (some of the more purely cyber-types are able to put the two together, but I write completely differently off-screen, and almost lost a book I finally completed, in at least first draft, the other day. So it IS treacherous.)

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 26 December 2007 @ 12:50 pm

  15. Sam, I’ll look forward to discussing my novel with you at more length, but for now I’d say that the fact that you find more interesting things the second time around is a good thing and not necessarily a reason for making the book longer.

    Comment by ktismatics — 27 December 2007 @ 1:08 am

  16. Thanks for the kind thoughts Jonquille. I just stopped by the Parody Center and you seem to have returned to work. I’m a bit surprised — do you expect to pick up where you left off?

    Comment by ktismatics — 27 December 2007 @ 1:13 am

  17. Thank you for the post!

    Comment by Matthew — 27 December 2007 @ 8:56 pm

  18. Just letting you know that I agree that blogging and writing can get in each other’s way. I’ve been writing an article about blogging last months. I told you already that you write too quickly for me to follow – I have my own pace of development – and I’m not insecure about my capacity for reading. What you write is matter for thinking and your ability to write quickly doesn’t mean reading goes at the same pace.

    I want to take my time to think about your words.

    I can’t find any passivity or agressiveness in Ktismatics’s posts, so I think it’s a projection of your own limitations, Jonquille.
    It’s okay too, because the life of a young artist is hard enough.
    I used to invite such artists as you for a good meal if I could afford to when I lived in the neighbourhood of artists.
    I was reading a post on my blog a year ago, when you first commented on a post I wrote, Ktismatics.
    It’s one of the most popular posts of my English blog last year.
    I’m sure your books may be succesful in the future, Ktismatics.
    Your thoughts are quicker than education can afford to be.

    Anyway, next AC year starts with reading about war for me, and I’m at peace with it.

    Comment by Odile — 29 December 2007 @ 4:26 pm

  19. “I can’t find any passivity or agressiveness in Ktismatics’s posts, so I think it’s a projection of your own limitations, Jonquille.”

    Thank you for sharing…

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 29 December 2007 @ 6:16 pm

  20. “I used to invite such artists as you for a good meal if I could afford to when I lived in the neighbourhood of artists. ”

    There are many mail-order outfits that I am extremely fond of that you may send me things in lieu of artist-proximity…among these are Petrossian, with excellent foie gras and caviar packages which I always thoroughly enjoy; and as well, I also like Omaha Steaks. Cases of wine are welcome as well, or just the simple large bottle of Grand Marnier or adorable Liqueur Miniature Selection…

    All necessary addresses of all kinds will be proferred upon your expressed willingness to offer such sweetmeats to a person with limitations…

    By the way, dear, if you are so bold as to call yourself Odile, are YOU able to do the 32 fouettes by which the Black Swan gives proof of her pudding? If not, you may wish to consider that I have seen your evil and, in order to hide, you must try to fade back into Odette…(no one has ever done this, because Odile gets too much pleasure at the true evil of deceiving Siegfried to allow it to be a mere Halloween prank. In the meantime, in the spirit of the Season of Giving, you may well impress me by behaving a little more like Odette than Odile!

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 29 December 2007 @ 6:24 pm

  21. “such artists as you”

    We are not 100% sure we are amused…

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 29 December 2007 @ 6:25 pm

  22. “Your thoughts are quicker than education can afford to be.”

    Odile, that’s probably true. Perhaps it is inherently difficult to get big ideas into small blog posts and this then somewhat requires too much or too quick a comprehension for the reader.

    Comment by samlcarr — 30 December 2007 @ 2:26 am

  23. Clysmatics, I just found that thread on ‘Adventures in Parapolitics’ that you got involved in. Dejan is right about ‘getting your thicker skin’, which I see now is done by retreating from Kenoma/Arpege, who from that thread I can now tell are UNQUESTIONABLY the same entity. Dominic has been excellent about dipping into their lonelinesses and causing them further misery, since they are Mr. and Mrs. Bipolar. Arpege has a bunch of posts in which she uses the mask ‘Zbigniew Tolstoy’ as a Seattle psychiatrist, and these are close to the thread I linked to at Dejan’s for the remains of the old 2006 Scott Kaufman/lustmolch fight, most of which Kaufman comments he himself removed. Arpege removes remarks, but pretends she has ‘just rules’ for doing it.

    As such, what I didn’t write you in emails about Nominees should be changed in all cases, to Arpege Kenoma, who are surely the same sneaker-clad opera freak. They have never disagreed about a single thing, and neither had zbigniew tolstoy, who always immediately appeared at my mention of ‘his’ name, and never at any other time. Arpege is purely a blogger, and does deserve MOST HYPERREAL BLAWGER OF THE CENTURY AWARD. In all cases, Kenoma and Arpege Klein must be cited as the same person, because they must certainly are.

    There is new shit at Qlipoth Toilets about Benazir Bhutto’s death, and I suppose the absence of appearance at the Arpege and Kretinoma blogs means that they know nobody reads Qlipoth Toilets, and they want to seem as if in training in Pakistan for God knows who, because the only thing that can definitely be said about that, is that it could be anything, but they are not worth talking to.

    Clysmatics, I am startled that you let them take you so far in that thread, and put you on the defensive. What reason would they have had except to just do some low-level S & M virtual scene. That’s all Arpege was doing.

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 30 December 2007 @ 5:03 pm

  24. Odile and Sam, I’m sympathetic with your plight of keeping up with my posts — after all, you do have other things to do with your time than hang around at Ktismatics. Now that I’ve stopped posting, however, you’ll have PLENTY OF TIME to catch up. As I said, I’m still available to discuss things with people who comment on old posts. One of the things I don’t like about blogs is the date stamp — the sense that once a post is a few days old it’s ancient history. Very little of what most bloggers write about is time-sensitive, so there are a lot of old posts on everyone’s blogs that would merit further discussion. What we need are reruns, like TV shows: instead of expecting people to go back to the old posts on their own, bloggers should rerun good posts from the past and see if they elicit new discussions.

    Comment by ktismatics — 30 December 2007 @ 5:48 pm

  25. Jonquille, my participation on Kenoma’s blog came immediately after the big flurry here at Ktismatics. For me it was an experiment. Both Chabert and Kenoma seemed intent on giving me shit here in discussions of Hardt & Negri, and I was curious as to whether it was some sort of concerted effort to harass me for aiding and abetting the Parody Center during Traxus’ putsch. After that all calmed down, here and at CPC and at Chabert’s blog, I thought I’d see whether blogging peace and friendliness had been restored. So my trip to Kenoma was a kind of goodwill visit, that I was prepared to engage in conversation despite his bad manners here. I even thought I could establish some sort of dialogue between Kenoma and I Cite, since that’s what he was posting about. Alas, the experience there was just as unpleasant as it was here. Quite early I could sense the malevolence and nearly left, but I refused to be believe it, so I stayed for more. Big mistake — I should have known better.

    As you say, it turned out to be a kind of S&M shadow play. I mentioned in an email to Dejan the irony of the topic of discussion on Kenoma and the nature of the conversation. I was saying that as an American it’s easier to identify with the winners than the losers, with the jailers than with the prisoners — more or less agreeing with Jodi Dean. And then in the discussion I found myself in the victim’s position being verbally abused by Kenoma and Chabert. Maybe they were teaching me the lesson, for my own good, that even as a petit-bourgeois American I can be taught to see things from the torturee’s perspective?

    The Parody Center too is a kind of torture chamber, so I thought it was apropos the other day when Dejan posted about the Funny Games movie, which is about two guys torturing a family — though perhaps they’re doing it because they know they’re really in a film, that they are performing a torture scenario for an audience that doesn’t know it’s “only” a simulation. So the whole S&M theme really came to a head for me in those last couple of weeks — sort of aesthetically satisfying in its mulitform symmetries.

    Oh and by the way, my daughter told me about a dream where she was looking at the Deviant Art website, where people put up their drawings and paintings and photographs for others to see. She observed that one of the names on this website was Jonquil — without the -le ending.

    Comment by ktismatics — 30 December 2007 @ 6:06 pm

  26. “And then in the discussion I found myself in the victim’s position being verbally abused by Kenoma and Chabert. Maybe they were teaching me the lesson, for my own good, that even as a petit-bourgeois American I can be taught to see things from the torturee’s perspective?”

    This is, indeed, precisely Arpege’s technique–with the single exception, as Dejan has pointed out many times, that SHE can brag about her furs and opera-going and ‘impure ideology’ and ‘we are where we find ourselves’ with impunity. I hope you now have learned the REAL lesson–she is ONLY a game-playing blogger, and she will use anything she can come up with; however, she is not rigorous enough about it to win it. She’d have to have the fanaticism of a real hacker to be able to pull off what she always starts and then can’t finish. I admit to having fallen into the pit a number of times myself, but it’s always offline interaction that puts a total end to these things for me. Which doesn’t mean I don’t stop talking to lots of bloggers I’ve never even emailed.

    Oh well, of course I am a Master Deviant Artist, but Odile has run off since I accepted her offer of a meal sent by FedEx…

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 30 December 2007 @ 6:24 pm

  27. I should add to the above that arpege thinks that she understands the torturee’s position so purely INTELLECTUALLY–that that should get her off the hook of actually having to be tortured personally herself, as if she had ‘earned’ her own ‘petit bourgeois’ existence, but you and I and others have not. That’s why she’s getting the Adumbration of the Year Award as well as all the others. But it’s clear she’s Kenoma, and she doesn’t have the detective writer’s ‘plotting-like-a-son-of-a-bitch’ fierceness to keep up the ruse well-concealed enough.

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 30 December 2007 @ 6:27 pm

  28. Jonquille, there’s something else about the Nightmare on Rue Turbigo, which she revealed to me in one lesser-quoted conversation: she expressed a lot of disdain for the aloofness of Puritans, for their selfishness and egotism, and indeed especially the Dutch are infamous for this attitude, and expressed a lot of sympathy for my loneliness, which I felt especially intensively in that period, partly out of nostalgia, partly out of unemployment, partly because indeed the cultural customs are different here and people are driven by capitalism into egotism, into caring for their interests first, which has impoverished communication. But then later, when we got into a fight, the conversation resurfaced and she told me that while I was complaining about this attitude, about my loneliness, the whole time she thought of me as of this pathological obsessive fuck for whom she only ever felt PITY, never any genuine empathy. I think this is the point where I realized what kind of a snake I’m dealing with; she’s just as selfish, probably even more, than the designated Puritan villains and French snobs that she’s repudiating and chastising. I would feel UNCOMFORTABLE visiting her because I would have to worry about what I say or do, whether I fit into her vision of the ”proper Serbian sufferer” or whatever that smug Pollyanna thinks Serbs are.

    Even if Kretinoma is a separate personality, he is so possessed by the Majesty’s malevolence that he effectively serves as an extensor with his mind and body. The same can be said of Childie Vu, who has been adopting the Mistress’s stylistic devices and vulgar manner of debate even when it doesn’t fit at all into his placid Eastern style. Warszawa is simply a pervert, so he would follow any chick with a big dick who’s willing to jerk him off on the cheap!

    Comment by parodycenter — 31 December 2007 @ 12:49 am

  29. “I would feel UNCOMFORTABLE visiting her because I would have to worry about what I say or do”

    Are you trying to get nominated for the Adumbration of the Year yourself???? UNCOMFORTABLE??? You should now know enough to be absolutely TERRORIZED!!! I’m sure there are sharp letter-openers all over the place, and that Mrs. DeNeuve saw these when she got the vapours and had to go off for a hospitalic rest…

    The difference is that you KNOW that it is Childie, whereas Kenoma is like an old-fashioned music primer with teacher and preternaturally-interested student, so so eager to learn from the Master.

    By the way, you should also nominate Clysmatics for Best Blawg, because of his extraordinary largesse; this was a major oversight on both our parts. However, we have to vote for CPC, because it puts too much pressure on Clysmatics and he has the right to maneuver as he wishes, having done a good job as being new to the job; but also it makes no sense for CPC not to win Best Picture. That would be like the Queen of England saying to Charles ‘Well, okay you can be the Queen since you’ve been so much help, what with Camilla and all…’

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 31 December 2007 @ 12:43 pm

  30. Ktismatics,

    “I’m sympathetic with your plight of keeping up with my posts” that was not what I intended to convey, for I was actually remembering my journalistic forays where the challenge was to fit some complicated bit of science or medicine into 200,300, or sometimes (luckily) 700 words. I always had a sense that if I successfully squeezed all the facts in the result was to produce scientific sounding gibberish that a nonscientist would have difficulty deciphering. As that was not the point of writing in the first place, inevitably some of the ‘steps’ get cut out and a new bit of pop-science is produced that at least gives an illusion to the reader of easy understandability.

    But I’m also drawn back to my comment that in a novel such as “The Stations” you do need to flesh things out a bit for those who are unfamiliar with your blog. I think I did find it an easier read for having been already introduced to some of the breadth of your thought previously and for having explored many of your interests here.

    And, with your permission, I thought I would get my daughter to give it a try to see whether I’m right on this point or not…

    Comment by samlcarr — 1 January 2008 @ 3:44 am

  31. Well Sam, it sounds to me that your antennae have not resonated with the alternate reality I tried to reveal in The Stations. You seem more intent on improving it than on seeing it as I show it. I wrote this novel a couple years before starting Ktismatics, so I’m not sure how the blog ideas would inform the novel. If I was going to make the novel longer, I would extend the story rather than developing the ideas in greater detail.

    By all means let your daughter read it, but if you want her to read “to see whether you’re right on this point or not” I have no interest in hearing how your experiment turns out. You said you were going to discuss it with me, then you were going to wait until you read it a second time, now you’ll wait until after your daughter reads it — this reinforces my notion of resealing myself inside the bathysphere, writing for a wholly imaginary audience rather than for any particular real people. I went to the bookstore yesterday and browsing the fiction shelves found that very few of these novels would I want to read. In one sort of world that would mean there’s room on the shelves for my books, which I would want to read, but in the world we live in it means just the opposite.

    Comment by ktismatics — 1 January 2008 @ 7:23 am

  32. “However, we have to vote for CPC, because it puts too much pressure on Clysmatics and he has the right to maneuver as he wishes, having done a good job as being new to the job;”

    This illustrates the point of how difficult it is to ascertain others’ intent, or to convey one’s own intent. I don’t see myself as maneuvering parodically at all, or anti-parodically, or with authentic malevolence. Am I fooling myself or deceiving the audience? Does it even matter what the writer says about himself? On my CPC defense of K-Punk I observed something to the effect that he didn’t present himself as a shill for neoliberalism, which ought to count for something. My remark was interpreted by some others as evidence that I was either (a) a hick or (b) posing as a hick. Let me off this bus, please, driver.

    Comment by ktismatics — 1 January 2008 @ 8:03 am

  33. Clysmatics, you’re just in a sour mood. I was probably not being clear, anyway it’s Dejan who always puts our things in terms of parody. I was just talking about how you’d handled pretty well letting us have the fights that ensued after traxus wrote ‘Zizek’s Bottoms’ and then deciding you didn’t want that kind of language on here. I was telling you here that I respected that under the circumstances that you have other pressures going on and cannot have the same priorities as someone like me.

    The above quote you put is primarily about how CPC is going to win the Most Important Parody Oscar because that is how Democracy works in a Supreme Soviet–the whole point of it is supremely unfair, and we have no intention of awarding it to anyone else. For one thing, we’ve done the best job of parody, for another, we happen to want the award ourselves and nobody can stop us….

    Your whining about people ‘thinking you are a hick’ or ‘posing as a hick’ is somewhat hick. Recently you told me you thought that ‘Jonquille, ultimately I think that maybe you don’t like me.’ And I told you that was not true. I do like you, and I think you’ve balanced out extremely opposed modes of expression most adeptly. So what’s your problem now? All I meant by ‘maneuvering’ was the way you balanced out things which did affect some of our new movements. That we did not follow all of your efforts to tell us that we must be less acid and more bland (you implied this) is to our credit. You have many suggestions as to what we should do with ourselves and how Parody should move from where we are. We are going to at least complete the Parody Oscars instead of changing horses in midstream. And I told you I finished the rough draft of Christian’s and my third book at JFK two weeks ago–does that not resonate with anything you’re going through? Dejan and I will still have things to write about, but as American and European, the political advice you’ve offered as material for Parody Center is not something a D-girl could give the get-go to, because there’s no way I could ever be equally informed about Serbia and Kosovo as is Dejan, nor no way he can know as much about Los Angeles and Rudy Giuliani’s policies in New York and elsewhere as I do.

    Whence your frustration, dear one?

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 1 January 2008 @ 12:27 pm

  34. I’ll add that maybe you thought by ‘maneuvering’ I meant the same thing as ‘manipulate’. They are hardly the same thing, even if they can intersect.

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 1 January 2008 @ 12:28 pm

  35. However, I thought for your excellent largesse that you ought to at least be nominated for Best Blawg, even though you had no chance of winning it. You’re already nominated for much less complimentary things, so you needn’t go barking away. Do you have a dog? Is he/she hauntologically affecting your New Year’s resolution to become an Immediate Curmudgeon, since you held off being a Scrooge for the sake of Children the World Over during even more precious Christmas?

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 1 January 2008 @ 12:31 pm

  36. Ktismatics, if there had been no resonance, I wouldn’t have got through it once and then decided to reread it. I’m not much of a masochist. I would have just told you that this is not quite ‘my cup of tea’ and left it at that. I’m reading the second time (almost through) because I enjoyed the story and I still am enjoying it. In fact I’m rather surprised that you haven’t had any real editors beating down your door for a shot at publishing it.

    I have no doubt that the concepts in the novel are earlier and perhaps more nascent than your blog explorations but I was wondering what my reaction to a statement like “Perhaps, even before Miguel crossed the threshold, I had already begun my own transport through the portal of beginnings…” would have been if such an idea had not already been planted in my mind by my Ktismatics experience.

    You’re offering a wholly new theory (to me) of the idea of pilgrimage or even of tourism itself, and I’m someone that’s supposed to be helping folks out with ecotourism. Are my clients looking for an alternate reality of “pure” nature that we feel our ancestors must have taken for granted but that we now have to seek with ardour and perhaps not find even then?

    I’m also ‘tainted’ in a different way that has nothing to do with Ktismatics at all and that is because I’ve had a lot to do with hemophilia and know rather well almost all the hemophilics in the district where we live. There’s no way that you could have suspected that though, but i also wondered whether that was not an ingredient in my having found the story so interesting. I’ve toyed in the past with ideas about a connection between phenomena like stigmata and some form of bleeding disorder – it is possible as far as I can tell – though not typical.

    Comment by ponnvandu — 1 January 2008 @ 12:58 pm

  37. “Are my clients looking for an alternate reality of “pure” nature that we feel our ancestors must have taken for granted but that we now have to seek with ardour and perhaps not find even then?’

    Yes, I think they are looking for that, it is often a luxurious recreation. But of course it can’t be found, because it is no longer there in exactly the same form ‘our ancestors’ found it, not only in the environment in itself, which has been used a lot since then, but because they ‘took it for granted’ and had no perception that we could now imagine we want. To want what they perceived would be to desire something closer to what an animal perceives, as when a cow is grazing in the pasture, or what a flower experiences as it decides to go on beyond the leaves and stems.

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 1 January 2008 @ 1:24 pm

  38. One of the things I don’t like about blogs is the date stamp — the sense that once a post is a few days old it’s ancient history. Very little of what most bloggers write about is time-sensitive, so there are a lot of old posts on everyone’s blogs that would merit further discussion.

    I fully agree and have thought and even searched a bit on this. It would be nice to have posts rotate somewhere randomly. The oldest one as well.

    What I also nod to is that you don’t want to write for a particular audience. Even though what you write is not accessible to all, from a scaffolding point of view, there isn’t much at the top end that pulls you up to the next level. Let others build the scaffolds for you.

    People may need to reread what you write and in history it is perfectly normal that writers aren’t understood in their age.

    In my experience people can be open to ideas, but need time to learn, and repetition.

    @Jonquille
    How was the meal? Pity I don’t have the cointreau. I’m a health freak btw.
    About my name, I like it, it’s me and if there’s another Odile that I admire it would be Odile Jacob for her numerous books that I would have wanted to read and that would scaffold you too, except you’re a word artist hooked too much on Freud, but missing the point a bit of what libido may do to you if you let it.
    Don’t be offended if I invite you to dinner, I’ve done that with the finest artists of Europe. Sorry if that’s offensive to you.
    Artists tend to invest all they have in their projects and forget about eating.

    Comment by Odile — 1 January 2008 @ 2:22 pm

  39. Your last comment forces me to retract my words on the libido part. When you defend nature it is clear that you have your libido in the right use.

    Comment by Odile — 1 January 2008 @ 2:28 pm

  40. “Don’t be offended if I invite you to dinner, I’ve done that with the finest artists of Europe.”

    I’m thoroughly offended, because you haven’t invited me to anything, you’ve just blog-bullshitted.

    “How was the meal?”

    [expletive deleted]

    “Sorry if that’s offensive to you.”

    Most of what you write is offensive, because insincere. ‘Scaffold me’ indeed. Jesus [expletive deleted] Christ.

    “Artists tend to invest all they have in their projects and forget about eating.”

    You just want to know what I’ve just been cooking and I’m not going to tell you, but I’m glad I did it before looking at this, because you oughtn’t to try to communicate with me, because you have contradicted yourself by talking out of both ends of whatever and I don’t want to hear any more of it.

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 1 January 2008 @ 4:07 pm

  41. As you say, it turned out to be a kind of S&M shadow play. I mentioned in an email to Dejan the irony of the topic of discussion on Kenoma and the nature of the conversation. I was saying that as an American it’s easier to identify with the winners than the losers, with the jailers than with the prisoners — more or less agreeing with Jodi Dean. And then in the discussion I found myself in the victim’s position being verbally abused by Kenoma and Chabert. Maybe they were teaching me the lesson, for my own good, that even as a petit-bourgeois American I can be taught to see things from the torturee’s perspective?

    Don’t be ridiculous ktismatics. Nothing about commenting on a blog could possibly teach you anything about the ‘torturee’s perspective’. It’s really in poor taste for you to compare my blog or any blog to Abu Ghraib and other CIA torture chambers. You got a bollocking for coming out with shit like this, not because I was playing some kinky s&m game with you. Get over yourself, seriously.

    Comment by kenoma — 1 January 2008 @ 5:29 pm

  42. Sam, you’ve cheered me up a bit now — I thought the book might not be working for you at all. The ideas are certainly consistent with what goes on at Ktismatics and other blogs I visit, but the novels take different trajectories from the more recent projects. Also I’m looking for enigma rather than exposition, so I feel okay about not being more explicit about that portalic sentence you site. I’d hope that what seems obscure at the beginning gradually becomes clearer, not linearly but by piecing things together across situations and times in the broken narrative. There are also little bits that by themselves might mean not much but in the larger picture fit together; e.g., the idea of actors being the mouthpieces of writers, or even the two old women with the three canes between them who seem almost like a single being. These never need be consciously attended to by the reader, but I’d like to believe they add to the feel or tone of the book.

    How do you happen to know about hemophilia, Sam? Do you provide services? The idea of “sick” people incorporating their sicknesses into their art or their persona is a kind of French touch to this book, and is also related to my idea of what a practice could be.

    Comment by ktismatics — 1 January 2008 @ 5:35 pm

  43. Well Odile, I’d say that Jonquille does not want to be invited for a meal after all. I, on the other hand, would be pleased to share a meal with you sometime if our paths ever cross. And with respect to scaffolding, as I mentioned to Sam, I’m happy if some of the nuances in the book don’t register with every reader. I think also that fiction sometimes scaffolds in a less direct way, so that knowledge acquired later in the book can be helpful in understanding what came earlier.

    Comment by ktismatics — 1 January 2008 @ 5:41 pm

  44. Kenoma, the obvious point I was making is that you extended no goodwill to me, no expectation of mutually beneficial engagement. Read that post and commentary again and you might see what I mean. That the bad will starts right from the beginning, as an unprovoked act of aggression, and that it cannot be diverted despite my efforts to clarify, I regard as malevolence. And you’d say I got a “bollocking,” would you, as if the purpose of these conversations is to beat up your interlocutors? And you believe that you are the one who administered this whipping to me, do you, and that I deserved this beating?

    Comment by ktismatics — 1 January 2008 @ 5:50 pm

  45. “bollocking noun
    1. coarse, slang
    A severe telling-off or reprimand; a rollicking.”

    What’s all this crap about beatings and torture? Am I really going to have to explain to you the difference between the internet and real life?

    Comment by kenoma — 1 January 2008 @ 6:02 pm

  46. Just re-read my response to your first comment at that thread. It’s a lengthy response to your request that I clarify my post’s meaning, so I Won’t quote it all, but it begins like this:

    “Thanks ktismatics.
    Well, I’m not really comfortable with formulating grand statements about what governments and individuals should do, because as it is, I think we’re generally desperately ill-informed about what they actually already do – the Debord quote is relevant here. And I don’t really think one has to consciously see things from “the other’s point of view” to understand what is happening in these photos”

    And later, I go on:

    “As for what you say about ‘humanistic rhetoric’, well, yes, it just seems the most atrocious reasoning to say that one shouldn’t use words like ‘human’ and ‘dehumanizing’ because they are also used to justify barbarism. What mentality is at work when one says that?”

    Is this your idea of what pure malevolence sounds like?

    Comment by kenoma — 1 January 2008 @ 6:18 pm

  47. you extended no goodwill to me, no expectation of mutually beneficial engagement.

    You seriously expect me to do this every time I engage you in conversation on the internet? Is there an emoticon I can use to save time?

    Comment by kenoma — 1 January 2008 @ 6:30 pm

  48. Well Odile, I’d say that Jonquille does not want to be invited for a meal after all. I, on the other hand, would be pleased to share a meal with you sometime if our paths ever cross.

    Explain this inanity. If you want me to stay away, and if in fact YOU don’t like ME,then say so, you avuncular crybaby. Just what the fuck are you talking about, you who want to cross-reference written texts and bloggings so that nobody can possibly see who you are. Odile invited me for nothing knows it. She was just insulting me. Are YOU Odile, ktismatics? At least I don’t have a blog, so I can easily split.

    Maybe you deserve Kenoma if you spit on your own friends.

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 1 January 2008 @ 7:12 pm

  49. Okay, I saw the ‘expletive deleted’, so that works. You can have your ‘Father Knows Best’ blog, and I don’t want any more emails either. If you don’t see Odile was insulting me on purpose, then you can go develop your own television pilots. I thought I liked you, even though you insisted I didn’t, but that you didn’t like, because you, too, are a masochist who wants a contract.

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 1 January 2008 @ 7:31 pm

  50. Kenoma, as I recall you and I agreed that just because humanistic rhetoric has been abused doesn’t mean humanism should be abandoned as a principle. And yes, I would like blog conversations to be mutually beneficial exchanges that take place in a spirit of goodwill.

    Jonquille, Odile has been commenting here for a long time, and we’ve always gotten along fine. And no, I didn’t see that she intentionally insulted you.

    Comment by ktismatics — 1 January 2008 @ 9:57 pm

  51. ‘And no, I didn’t see that she intentionally insulted you.’

    Obviously not. But she DID, and she knows it full well. I can’t help it if you think ‘life is full of compromises’ applies at all times. Anyway, you’re in love the THE BLAND. Good for you, kenoma, enjoy yourself. Fresh meat.

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 1 January 2008 @ 10:07 pm

  52. There is nothing fresh about any of this. ktismatics is full of crap as usual, whinging about all the offence I caused him and trying to come off like he’s the Jimmy Carter of the blogosphere:

    ‘So my trip to Kenoma was a kind of goodwill visit, that I was prepared to engage in conversation despite his bad manners here. I even thought I could establish some sort of dialogue between Kenoma and I Cite, since that’s what he was posting about.’

    He got plenty of goodwill when he came to my blog, i just quoted it, but he ignored that because it disturbs his little doe-eyed victim performance. And he’s forgetting all the times that he compared me to a spree killer and the like, cos apparently he’s all about peace and goodwill now.

    Can’t be trusted one bit, completely self-serving.

    Comment by kenoma — 1 January 2008 @ 11:12 pm

  53. Yes I know you guys will miss me, and it’s sweet really, but you’ll find some way to get along without me.

    Comment by ktismatics — 1 January 2008 @ 11:41 pm

  54. Ktismatics, the hemophilics in India are a sad lot. Factor VIII concentrate and even plasma are not readily available, so the few that have less severe forms and survive childhood do bleed a lot internally.

    I am actually a blood banker by trade and dealt with hemophilics so much that I eventually decided to try to do something about it and started a small hemophilia society for our district about 15 years ago. I’m not that active now and in any case we finally got the parents to run the society themselves rather than leaning on ‘outsiders’ like me, and so far it’s doing its job.

    Many suffer too much and sort of give up and become invalids, but a few really take it as a challenge to be as independent as possible. Parents feel guilty, the kids blame their parents and then feel guilty for that and the whole thing becomes more mentally than physically debilitating. I liked the fact that once Miguel stopped self destructing so actively and on call, that he started to heal physically till his limp had almost disappeared.

    “little bits that by themselves might mean not much but in the larger picture fit together” you can now point the puzzled ones to Ktismatics for some enlightenment!

    Comment by samlcarr — 2 January 2008 @ 12:41 am

  55. I’d rather point them to another novel — if they ever got to see the first one, that is. If I ever got published would I write a blog again? I’d need some motivation other than the one that got me started on Ktismatics and that kept me going.

    I didn’t know you did blood bank work, Sam. My involvement with hemophilia was more like that of Karas in the book — abstract, statistical, quantitative. It’s interesting that Prop steered Miguel away from his stigmatic mission rather than encouraging him in it, that Miguel also had some other gift. Still, even that gift became an object of exploitation.

    Comment by ktismatics — 2 January 2008 @ 5:02 am

  56. By the way, Sam, did you know these two historical bits that found their way into the book — that the maternal heritability of hemophilia was discovered by the exilic Jews maybe 1500 years ago through circumcision catastrophes, and that the son of the last czar was hemophilic and Rasputin was presumably able to control the boy’s bleeding episodes?

    Comment by ktismatics — 2 January 2008 @ 6:09 am

  57. Jonquille,

    You’re not disgusted of my invitation are you? No pile of books and puzzles for you?

    O no, you’re right, I’m trying to change you into me. That scares me too.

    Odile

    Comment by Odile — 2 January 2008 @ 7:54 am

  58. You’re not disgusted of my invitation are you?

    Odile, this is the last time I’m going to explain this. You MADE no invitation, I do NOT care for these virtual invitations to people who do not know each other and who are not inviting each other to anything. One of the problems of blogging is this, but not usually in quite this crude form, which is more the province of chat rooms with people talking about ‘relaxing on the couch in the room with each other’ or ‘offering someone tea.’ It wouldn’t be so obnoxious if you weren’t contrasting, along with John, blogging-writing and extra-blog-writing, because that is an important matter, but if you can’t even get ‘invitations’ in the Real World distinguished from ‘invitations’ in a virtual medium, then you are probably just senile. However, you might be just another internet junkie who likes to harass people just for the hell of it. Clearly, you’ve been given a chance to explain yourself and you haven’t. I ask again: ‘WHAT invitation?’ I am NOT interested in virtual invitations.

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 2 January 2008 @ 11:07 am

  59. No pile of books and puzzles for you?

    Is that supposed to be a cryptic little bit of Ezra Pound, honey? ‘petals on a wet black bough’?

    Or is it supposed to be like the title of Margaret Sullavan’s film ‘No Sad Songs for Me’ and when she dies at the end, she says ‘Merry Christmas, Dah-ling?’

    Either give some substantial details about yourself or leave me alone.

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 2 January 2008 @ 11:09 am

  60. For example, do you even KNOW who Odile is in ‘Swan Lake’?

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 2 January 2008 @ 11:10 am

  61. Yes I know you guys will miss me, and it’s sweet really, but you’ll find some way to get along without me.

    You mean we ‘won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore?’

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 2 January 2008 @ 11:11 am

  62. Dear Ktismatics,

    I would gladly eat a meal together with you, Sam, bluevicar & co and I would love to introduce my husband to you. Also I would try to find other interesting table companions from mostly scientific backgrounds, with or without belief system attached.
    Most certainly I would choose open minded companions.

    Comment by Odile — 2 January 2008 @ 11:12 am

  63. “You mean we ‘won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore?’”

    Did you see that the woman who tried to assassinate Gerald Ford just got released from jail? She said she’s sorry she did it, but she did it because Ford pardoned Nixon.

    Comment by ktismatics — 2 January 2008 @ 11:16 am

  64. Thanks for the kindly thoughts, Odile — perhaps the next time we come to the Netherlands we could get together (though I’m not sure when that’s likely to be).

    Jonquille, from your experience it seems that getting together with people you’ve gotten to “know” on the blogs can lead to unpleasant consequences in both the real world and the virtual world.

    Comment by ktismatics — 2 January 2008 @ 11:30 am

  65. I’d be thrilled, even if it’s in five years.

    @Jonquille, I’ve had lovely friendships from forums and blogging. I’m cooking for them too.
    About the writer you like, I don’t like him.
    I also didn’t like Odile in swanlake.
    But I know you know I don’t.
    What I like is non-fiction, mathematics, cognitive reports of research.
    Also I like theater and I speak French fluently.

    Comment by Odile — 2 January 2008 @ 12:55 pm

  66. Okay, babes, everything’s okay. Odile, you’re all right, I guess, but not liking Odile and/or Odette in ‘Swan Lake ‘ and only liking ‘cognitive reports of research’ DOES indicate that we most likely will not be having a warm, sharing relationship with candlelight dinners and minimal sex…

    Comment by jonquille de camembert — 2 January 2008 @ 2:22 pm

  67. I guessed you’re not boring either.
    I wouldn’t have brought my calculator.

    Comment by Odile — 2 January 2008 @ 2:26 pm

  68. I do tend to calculate my life and then forget about it because of lack of calcineuratine.

    Comment by Odile — 2 January 2008 @ 2:39 pm

  69. This I think is calcineurin in English. Did you have an organ transplant so that you need to have your levels of calcineurin artificially lowered, or is this your own theory about attention span or memory problems you experience?

    Comment by ktismatics — 2 January 2008 @ 2:49 pm


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