10 February 2010

In the Margins

Filed under: Ktismata, Reflections — ktismatics @ 9:49 am

Is it just me, or is this whole blogging thing exemplifying the law of diminishing marginal utility?



  1. My solution has been to only blog in pictures.


    Comment by Asher Kay — 10 February 2010 @ 10:08 am

  2. So I’ve noticed, Asher, though I didn’t realize it was a conscious decision. Picture-blogging was my practice too for an extended period: I put up screengrabs from movies that affected me without writing commentary or critique, then I waited to see if anyone wanted to talk about them. Sometimes no, but often enough yes, and those conversations have been stimulating, inspiring, and maybe even utile. I’ve continued putting up the occasional screengrab post interspersed with the written ones, but I’m not watching as many movies these days. And I can’t draw worth a damn.

    By the way, what happened to your most recent effort: the flow diagram, accompanied in the comments by the multi-act theater piece?


    Comment by john doyle — 10 February 2010 @ 10:15 am

  3. It’s just you, because you’ve got the only ecumenical blog in these spheres. Even I don’t mind being relatively polite. Traxus nice, but wants to do trendy film discussions and talk about centrism while being one and not being one at the same time. There are definitely worse things.

    as for my being Dejan’s ‘correspondesse’, I’m not. He complained about ‘Nick Land’s avatars’, but that’s what he chose. I’m not going to be exposed to that ghoulishness without comments moderation, but I think CPC is finished. Sorry for putting it over here, I just tried to make up a final few amends over there a few days ago to people I shouldn’t have been so rought with, but I want nothing more to have to do with that creature, and Dejan may well assume I’ll just be drawn back in to such vapid stupidity as people who want to be ‘cyber-heroes’.

    Seemes to me that your Levi is always blogging even if it’s just a matter of a few days off. I can’t penetrate his and Harman’s things nor care to, but there’s usually something. But don’t get ADD too, aftrer all, it hasn’t even a week since Asher, Mikhail, etc., were all over the place, but maybe you’re talking about other people’s blog. I know I’ve mostly lost interest, and only write here because it’s friendly as well as stimunlating. Also curious it that people always do give in to Facebook, myspace, twitter, etc., no matter what they say: The complaits are always about how these very things go against what sort of anti-capitalism they want to shove up people’s asses, except the same assholes wouddn’t be caught dead without the latest digital shit which is a direct product of capitalism, all of it. They talk about the ‘people’, but what they really mean is that they’ve read the latest disaster news and are following the news cycles. They don’t stay on it that long, and they DO care more about their technological gadgets more than they do going and being aide workers in Haiti. I never read such crap on the blogs during the worst part of the Haiti disaster in my whole life. All of it pure hypocrisy, unless they gave big donations. I know people who actually work for DWB and Red Cross, who’ve been Rwanda at its worst, and they never sit around and blog about socialism and the ‘political aspects’, they don’t get off their stupid rocks by talking about an ‘unvasion of Haiti’ and ‘population thinning’. I mean, almost fucking all of them. And traxus’s post ‘Nothing to See Here’ is simply atrocious, as fond as I am of him. NO, he does NOT know. It’s unspeakably false, and almost seems to be a protective barrier to the ongoing discussion of ‘Antichrist’. Most of these people want to pose as having political convictions without having them to have them. Then when that’s not good enough for them, they insist that they have the right to admit not having them since they both know they don’t have them and are even admittting they’re not doing a fucking thing.

    But the other I’m through with. If somebody thinks they’ve got a cybercock, that is fine with me, I never wanted it. You might just be having the time to realize yet again (as you and I so often have had at periods) how incredibly unsatisfying this medium is when it’s just turned into cheap games, and that’s all that ever happenes at CPC without me–despite my obscenity and filth, I never bought the ‘game atmosphere’ that the other two are exclusively involved with. They seem only to be interested in how ‘cute’ their next wordplay is, or calling someone ‘Tiny Taiwanese Testicles’. There’s nothing in it, nothing at all, so you and I have different beefs.

    Nothing Nick ever said about ‘what we were trying to build’ was in any way true, and that is the only thing worth using a blog for. What then happened, and does with many blogs, is that a very depleted form of recreation is indulged with, that has no flavour, no resonance, no memory, it’s just shit.


    Comment by quantity of butchness — 10 February 2010 @ 10:22 am

  4. It was semi-conscious. Maybe the upshot of the change for me is abandoning the pretense that I provide any utility to start with.

    I guess the law of diminishing marginal utility thing would depend on who the consumer is. For the most part, I’ve viewed myself as the person for whom the discussion has the most utility. I blog about X because X is on my mind, and commenters are willing to “humor” me, so to speak, and talk about X even though it’s not particularly on their minds. So a few things:

    1. It seems like everyone is a consumer, even and especially the blogger

    2. It seems like the most value is generated when the commenter finds a way to relate X to something that *is* on their minds

    3. It seems like the most activity is generated when X is something that is on a lot of people’s minds. Perhaps that’s what’s behind the traffic you experience when discussing particular sorts of things. It’s a happier sort of interpretation, anyway, than the idea that we’re in love with gossip.


    Comment by Asher Kay — 10 February 2010 @ 10:51 am

  5. It might be me, Butch, but I’m not sure it’s only me. I do appreciate your support and enjoy our conversations. I think that’s Asher’s point: no need to speechify and field questions and comments and objections. Just put up something that captures my fancy and see if it generates a response and a good conversation, even if it goes “off topic.”

    I think there’s been a conscious effort around these parts to disengage from the Harman/Bryant zone of allures and repulsions. There’s no question that they exert significant intellectual force, but their emotional influence seems even stronger, as evidenced by the action that always gets stirred up by the trolls and vampires crap. So I think there’s a void that hasn’t been filled yet, a bit of drift and low energy. But things do come to mind eventually.

    I’m not sure since I’ve not been hanging out there much, but I believe that Jodi Dean has written a new book about blogging. The impression I get is that she’s responding to and reacting against a common opinion that the blogs are dead, a waste of time, etc. I don’t have much interest in the socio-semiotic meaning of the blogosphere.


    Comment by john doyle — 10 February 2010 @ 11:04 am

    • “I think there’s been a conscious effort around these parts to disengage from the Harman/Bryant zone of allures and repulsions”

      Definitely. You can only ask yourself “What am I missing here?” for so long. Which is not to say that Levi and Graham are producing something worthless. My own reasons are that I don’t want to approach ontology from what I consider to be a mostly bankrupt Continental angle. People like Brassier and Laurelle are still a little bit interesting to me because they have interesting things to say despite the fact that they have trouble expressing themselves clearly.

      There are probably two distinct Harman/Bryant zones. The philosophical one is what I’m talking about above. There’s also a “personal” one that Levi and Graham dump fuel into as much as anyone else (who “threw the first punch” is really irrelevant if one is trying to establish that one is acting like an adult). My interest in that aspect is waning rapidly, even though I love gossip as much as anyone. It’s the same things over and over.


      Comment by Asher Kay — 10 February 2010 @ 11:57 am

      • People like Brassier and Laurelle are still a little bit interesting to me because they have interesting things to say despite the fact that they have trouble expressing themselves clearly.

        Don’t worry, Palgrave-Macmillan are bringing out a special Dilettante Edition in June.


        Comment by Jacques Liverot — 11 February 2010 @ 3:57 am

      • That would make an excellent addition to any wannabe theoretician’s library, Jacques: thanks for the heads-up.


        Comment by john doyle — 11 February 2010 @ 7:03 am

      • So the problem is the reader, not the writer. It’s a common enough defense of turgid or byzantine writing. But it’s one of those things that requires some motion blur — a weapon for the drive-by gadfly.


        Comment by Asher Kay — 11 February 2010 @ 7:15 am

  6. “For the most part, I’ve viewed myself as the person for whom the discussion has the most utility.”

    That’s probably a good plan. Post what amuses me; if nothing does right now, don’t feel obliged to keep the pipeline full for the audience’s sake. I find that I don’t go around to other blogs very often any more, especially not to new ones, so perhaps that’s part of my sense of a general blogging lull. But people keep reading and commenting here, and I’m not entirely bored with myself. I just wondered if others were experiencing a blogging malaise.


    Comment by john doyle — 10 February 2010 @ 11:10 am

    • I think it’s a wise approach. I don’t read the other blogs much anymore either. I track what’s going on in the discussions here, at the Vole, and at PE. There are a couple of others in my RSS reader (Fabio, Ennis, Levi, a few others) whose posts I read, but where I don’t tend to comment much. I do read CPC fairly often, but that mostly feels like I’m a sociologist trying to make sense of a totally alien subculture.

      The lulls in my commenting here are mostly when I’m overwhelmed with work or on a business trip (which I was last week). I do tend not to comment on posts here that have to do with films (in which my interest is mostly a “craft of fiction” sort of thing) or political philosophy (which I avoid like a red-hot brand). One of the things I like about Ktismatics is that your interests are varied.


      Comment by Asher Kay — 10 February 2010 @ 11:23 am

  7. I had lunch today with a guy who just came back from two weeks in Egypt. I managed not to talk about Graham Harman at all during the conversation.


    Comment by john doyle — 10 February 2010 @ 3:49 pm

  8. As opposed to….say…..synergistic?


    Comment by Erdman — 10 February 2010 @ 4:52 pm

    • What’s opposed to synergistic? I’m missing the referent here, Erdman. I like synergy, just for the record.


      Comment by john doyle — 10 February 2010 @ 5:01 pm

  9. I had also felt the lull. One way I notice it is that it’s been a couple months since anyone linked to DV, which feels a little like not having anything interesting to say. But some of it is that our little circle has sort of talked out, like a married couple after that first excited year.

    I go back and forth on whether that’s something that bothers me or I need to do anything about. I agree that a lot of what we’re up to is proposing conversations and when we hit one, we still do talk. Which I value.


    Comment by Carl — 10 February 2010 @ 9:09 pm

    • What kind of bugs me – and it’s probably just my insulated lifestyle (working at home, living in a really non-creative town) – is that we don’t really have the opportunity to get together outside of the electronic format. Talking over a cup of coffee is much more fluid, and also more synergistic (which I also think is a good thing). We would probably come up with some interesting stuff to blog about.

      Because of the way I ended up here in Rochester (following the re-marrying ex-wife so I would be with my kids) and the nature of the place I came from (a big college town), most of my old creative, interesting friends are far away — a screenwriter/director in NYC, A professional musician in State College, a really great but yet-to-be-published writer in Raleigh, etc., etc. So the DV/PE/Ktismatics axis is kind of my “synergy fix”, but sometimes it’s not enough to spark creativity. The blog dynamic is fun, but it’s thinner-than-life in some ways.


      Comment by Asher Kay — 10 February 2010 @ 9:22 pm

      • When I say “we”, I guess what I mean is “all of us old guys”.


        Comment by Asher Kay — 10 February 2010 @ 9:23 pm

    • Btw I suggested in that Gramsci/ANT thing I did for Rethinking Marxism that blogs have the potential to be part of processes of network formation. It seems to me that we’ve proven that, but also found a tendency for those networks (like lots of other familiar assemblages, e.g. marriages) to settle into entropic metastability. We’d need an energy input to change that dynamic significantly.


      Comment by Carl — 10 February 2010 @ 9:23 pm

      • That sounds a lot like what I was saying ;)


        Comment by Asher Kay — 10 February 2010 @ 9:24 pm

      • Yup! Btw when you visit your Raleigh friend is when we get that cup of coffee.


        Comment by Carl — 10 February 2010 @ 9:38 pm

  10. Speaking of entropic metastability, I wonder what happened to the blogger Metastable Equilibrium?

    There are things that come to mind in the course of a day that I might chat about over coffee but that seem to fragmentary or tangential to post about. Some of these things might even qualify as intellectual or artistic or political, but writing a post seems to require putting forward some sort of defensible mini-thesis that can be argued and about which I claim some special expertise. I’m not inclined to move toward full-on blogchatting about my day, which usually even bores me. And I don’t have a bloggable “project” going right now. And I don’t think I’m trying to establish a network of professional/academic associates for mutual back-scratching purposes. So I don’t know.

    In the history of this blog my energy inputs have ebbed and flowed. Traffic has generally gone up over time, though over the last 3 months or so it’s been static. Way more readers than commenters, which I suspect is true for most blogs. Plus a lot of people show up to look at the screengrabs rather than at the written posts. Looking at the blog data I’d say that about half the hits come from the US, a third from Western Europe, and the rest from everywhere else. Every day I seem to get a couple of visits from Iran and one from Libya. Every few days there’s someone from the Palestinian occupied territories. Who are these people I wonder?


    Comment by john doyle — 10 February 2010 @ 9:57 pm

  11. Yes, I’m beginning to see the idea on Dead Voles. After I read Carl’s piece about tiling the floor I almost made a video of myself shaving, describing little tricks I’d discovered over the years, but thought it might be deemed too sarcastic vis-a-vis Carl’s sincerity. Silly me.

    I like the idea of messing with the trad blog form.


    Comment by john doyle — 11 February 2010 @ 6:24 am

    • I lost the referent here (the idea? why silly you?) but I actually did start that post as a sincere tips ‘n’ tricks kind of thing, with the vague thought that most of the population of the practical web is newbies asking for advice or experts giving it, with no record of the messy in-between. I mean, I had bullet-points and everything. But I couldn’t bring myself to publish it like that, which may indeed say something about the unspoken and perhaps even unthought premises of DV.

      The video of you shaving sounds like a hoot.


      Comment by Carl — 13 February 2010 @ 12:19 pm

  12. I was thinking of contrasting your statement on the law of diminishing marginal utility with what I think is the opposite, a synergistic approach.

    I feel like most of us who stick with blogging have a vague sense that our efforts are synergistic. That we will collaborate with others and together our collective output will be to generate a certain energy that we could not have generated if we were to merely add up our isolated, individual efforts. I’m fairly certain that this is what guides me, at least to some extent. Certainly, there is also a sense in which the blogosphere gives me an audience that I would otherwise not have, so it allows me to be heard; it gives me a voice. But the experience is always enhanced (many many times over) if I feel a synergistic energy, and I think this is true for most bloggers.


    Comment by Erdman — 11 February 2010 @ 7:37 am

  13. Erdman, I commend you for sticking so closely to Christian themes throughout your blogging career. There are enough other bloggers who participate in that shared worldview to achieve synergy, even if only a small percentage of blog visitors actually enter the discussion. It’s more difficult for a blogger to find participants to synergize with if his interests are more idiosyncratic, or at least less amenable to blog engagement. Your current project of blogging 100 great novels is a good example: it’s hard to find a critical mass of discussants who’ve read the book at all, let alone recently enough to talk about it. The tendency, of course, is to use the novels to illustrate theological points: then it doesn’t matter much whether anybody but you has read the book.

    Some of the discussions that I’ve been participating in on the blogs have been synergistic in the past, but now seem to have devolved into antagonism and choosing of sides. So there’s a sense among some of needing to search for a new set of rhizomes from which renewed synergistic energy can be generated.


    Comment by john doyle — 11 February 2010 @ 8:31 am

  14. So the problem is the reader, not the writer. It’s a common enough defense of turgid or byzantine writing. But it’s one of those things that requires some motion blur — a weapon for the drive-by gadfly.

    Of course, and it only applies to one’s own field of specialization, not any others, such as music. Arpege and I discussed the essential illiteracy of many philosophers in terms of the High Arts, which she explained to me very well: That it seemed as if people talking ‘fluently’ about Derrida and Deleuze would obviously have some knowledge of Boulez and more than a ‘movie-music sensation’ knowledge of Stockhausen, but some of Brassier’s greatest fans, for example, not even including what Arpege referred to as ‘a young Midwestern hick’ have referred to the docecaphonic system as a ‘fad’, when it was the most important compositional technique of the 20th century. That there own ‘original productions’ were fads that lasted 3-4 years, as opposed to 80 and continuing in the case of the old serialists, was seen as of no importance, purely because they were not themselves involved in production themselves. What Arpege meant by ‘cultural illiteracy’ was much less not being familiar with Wagner or Petipa or Balanchine, but that someone would think Schoenberg’s development of the 12-tone system was a ‘fad’: Arpege said she did understand why I would think people so learned in philosophy and literature would also know something about the other classical arts, but they don’t, very often. not that ‘dillettantism’ is terrible, most of us do our share of it; on the other hand, the term is always applied to those who don’t know your own field of specialization in the ‘professional’ way they do, not their own deficiencies in other fields–but about which they very often speak very authoritatively, however narrow-mindedly and ignorantly, as if ‘knowing philosophy’, as they consider themselves to, rendered them somehow more astute at judging quality in music (they usually don’t have even a passing knowledge of dance, so that’s not even to be discussed).

    But this is possible only if you really do buy the idea that PHILOSOPHY is ‘higher’ than all other forms of endeavour. When it goes into media studies and political science, the philosophy aspect seems to be toned-down for some, and there is that admixture you find in people like Jodi, Zizek and maybe one includes Chomsky. I’ve brought this up recently and it is getting on my nerves even more than before, becuase the ‘eilitism’ im ‘Jacques’s remark is, of course, insufferable, insofar as ‘elitism’ is all right in certain fields, not in others (according to his and other philosoopher-dillettantes’ whim.)

    It had not, however, occurred to me that the presumptuousness of the philosopher is highly questionble, and NONE of you are discussing this enough. The ‘higher authority’ of the philosopher is simply a given–the internecine battles between the up-and-coming philosophers and the older, tired ones is little different from turf wars among Block Association Head-Aspirants on my street in their lilliputian self-importance. They are then allowed to make judgments on the rest of culture like theologians of olden times, while posing as populists or the like, lovers of the Grateful Dead and other mawkish but ‘deeply felt’ ‘work’. (this was not true of Gilles Deleuze of Foucault, of course, Deleuze knew the great ballerina Sylvie Guillem, of the naturally high extensions, and his conversation with her was most interesting regarding an attitude to performance. Whether Foucault’s friendship with Signoret and Montand is comparable or just more ‘dillettantism’ I wouldn’t know; he tended to want to think about Sade all the time, even after having exhausted that.) Heidegger and Adorno are, of course, different, and Adorno by far the best insofar as his knowledge of music was huge, even though his opinions are all of the heavily grave ‘serious’ variety. At least he knew the territory. Heidegger hardly ever talked about music, but the book on art is excellent, with an extraordinary transition from the ‘Greek’ to the ‘Roman’ in language, and long discussion of Van Gogh, and the Greek statue ‘being the god’. This is more than most get to. They can barely even talk about The Arts beyond books and movies.

    Not that all of it matters that much, except that their are camps that prove it all ‘The Battle of the Egoes’. The ‘active philosophers’, even the breakaway ones, never lose the academic pettiness that is the hallmark of academics in all fields, including classicists in Greek literature, art historians, Roman antiquities specialists like William Harris, etc. This kind of academic, curiously, knows ‘music and opera dance’ fairly often, but ‘is not attracted to philosophy’ in many cases. Then sometimes they are, but the art and music historians in particular, think there own profession is far more important (in practice) than the ‘sort of people’ (namely artists) they write about. You can find this attitude very pronounced in certain departments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Then there are the philosophers who project some sort of ‘chaotic artistry’, but never take it beyond the chaos. This is probably not too common, as most are willing to settle for a little duchy in a universtity, but it is extremely unsatisfying, because the idenitification for the ego is not with Art, but rather with philosophy, even when they’ve quit practising professionally, but that’s not really something that ought to be expected of many. So they settle into being ‘expert amateur philosophers’ and do temp work or sometning like that to support their hobby that had once been their profession.

    A bit rambling, but based around the idea that philosophers do not object to their own dillettantism in all the other fields, only the dillettantism of ‘wannabe theorists’, and this of course reveals much more than just an off-balance judgment about the superiority of philosophy to all other disciplines. After all, Heidegger himself is living proof that you can be the ‘greatest philosopher’ and a ‘small man’ at the same time. I know, because George Steiner said so, hee hee (of course, while still being a big follower and fan of Heidegger.)


    Comment by quantity of butchness — 11 February 2010 @ 9:52 am

  15. What you’re highlighting, Butch, is the difficulty facing dilettantes like me who would engage in discussions of topics for which esoteric knowledge exists and which is attainable through attention and effort. Surely there are music blogs in which twelve-tone sonorities provoke rancorous debate and name-calling among people who know what they’re talking about. To get up to speed would require more investment of time than my limited passion for the subject could sustain. I’m sure that’s true also for engaging in discussions of Brassier and Badiou. The language and content seem purposely to erect barriers against the casual inquirer. As a consequence it becomes too easy for me to wrap myself in the sort of philistinism that dismisses any text with too many big words or any musical piece with too many cacophonic noises. Of course it’s possible that some of these big-talking philosophers really are full of crap and that the fancy verbiage just disguises something that could be rationally dismissed with ease if these theorists just made a little effort to make themselves understood by the competent amateur.

    As for the supposed superiority of theory over art, I share your annoyance, Quantity. The notion that an artist is “stupid” for not reflecting intellectually on his/her art and embedding it in high theory seems wrongheaded. Our daughter’s art teacher is forcing her advanced students to write texts about their paintings, which she deems essential for persuading the critics that their stuff really is high art.


    Comment by john doyle — 11 February 2010 @ 10:36 am

    • The opera blogs get into heated discussions (I don’t use them, but the ballet board administrator does, and says they’re always arguing, but that’s like a bunch of show-tune queens or something–‘Callas IS la Divina’ and such shit–but I doubt really arguing so much about dodecaphonic music, I should clarify on that: By now, it is somewhat domesticated and is gradually catching the ear of the general populace. The movement into atonality was bound to take a good long while, just as the leaving behind of parallel fifths in medieval organum took some centuries before it was not only deemed undesirable, but even forbidden in ‘current’ practice, meaning by the time of Vivaldi and Bach, but even Palestrina and Monteverdi if not before. The ballet board is unusual in that they won’t allow really heated discussions to get out of hand without warning, and frankly, this is better. I can see little sacrifice in it, especially if there are other outlets for the lower bestialities. The ‘Martin’ person, who has followed me around for 4 years, used to comment out of one ass and then another, about things being ‘too insufferably hippie’ at Owen Hatherley’s once, and then later, ridiculing me for writing at Dominic’s about opera.

      “What you’re highlighting, Butch, is the difficulty facing dilettantes like me who would engage in discussions of topics for which esoteric knowledge exists and which is attainable through attention and effort.”

      I hadn’t really meant that, but it does point to something important: on these blogs, certainly Harman and Bryant are more involved in the language of their ‘new discoveries’ and talk it all the time, but no, why should you need this to be in the discussion? At the ballet board, I talk to Wall Street Journal critics, professional dancers, dance historians, and never care a fuck how stupid my remarks are. That’s why I know a thousand times more about ballet and dance in general than I did three years ago, and they respect me for it (one of the dancers even tried to pick me up, but thought my ‘sexual persuasion’ was not really current for her needs); I just never care if I make a fool of myself, and they’re pretty gentle about correcting you. In that way, it can be no different, except that the attitude is not so petty, even if it’s well-formed.

      It’s all right to write papers on paintings and sculpture and does enhance the appreciation. What I was talking about is the attitude of professional art historians who really are very condescending toward artists–although it’s not very surprising: many of these historians got where they are because of a fairly good eye, can usually draw a little, but as for the rest, it was pedantry and politicking and squeezing out the little articles just as it is for the theorists. But there aren’t any philosopher non-academics in the sense that there were in Greece or with Nietzsche any more. If they try, they are not paid that much attention to, and exposed as frauds most of the time. The more fashionable names like Harman may not mean anything to me, but their credibility does seem to depend on their academic positions to a great degree, as I’m sure is Brassier’s. Not that many (or most) philosophers and theorists of the last several centuries haven’t been in universities, at least for long periods of time. The ‘public intellectual’ is the Susan Sontag sort of thing, although nobody ever calls her a philosopher (I don’t see why not, her life is quite as unexemlary as most of the philosophers I can think of.)


      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 11 February 2010 @ 10:54 am

      • Still, main point is that the philosophers and theorists think it is a VIRTUE that their own texts are incomprehensible, but only because it’s theirs. When it comes to MUSIC, etc., they think it should be for entertainment of themselves and others, whether to drink and get tearful to, or whatever. It’s still always on a lower level, because philosophy wrongly assumes that it is the most comprehensive of all disciplines, having though unfortunately run up against science, which it is now having to parasitize on just to survive, and will gradually probably even disappear into it. Not that I peraonally like this any more than I like the way the arts so often disappear into business. But it’s happening. But musicologists and art historians are equally big on ‘popularized texts’ which they look down on, as oppposed to those texts which only they and their colleagues can truly savour and understand. The key word is ‘theirs’ and ‘ours’. It all boils down to egoes, because some of the most erudite-sounding embody literally none of what the so easily spew forth and most promiscuously.

        Ultimately, most of these types of professional intellectuals end up at those drear dinner parties where there is this horrible brittleness and courtly formality. I’ve been to way too many of these, and the atmosphere usually ruins the food, because it is implicit that you’re not supposed to take things like ‘mere food’ seriously.

        I think that the word ‘academic’ describes these blogs far more essentially than does ‘philosopher’. That goes for even the ones who aren’t currently in teaching positions, such as Dominic. Because you find ‘ADs Without Products’ talking to k-punk and the various others who are either more politically-inclined or philosophically-inclined, and that usually has to do with their whim of the day.


        Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 11 February 2010 @ 11:07 am

  16. “the attitude is not so petty, even if it’s well-formed.”

    That sounds salutary. I’ve certainly learned much about a variety of topics through blogging, and posting/commenting keeps me sharper than if I just read what others have to say.

    “I think that the word ‘academic’ describes these blogs far more essentially than does ‘philosopher’.”

    True. There is some value in maintaining an outsider’s stance when talking about these things, inasmuch as neither having nor aspiring to an academic post grants a certain freedom in conversation. The “brittleness” tends to jack up the anxiety and the anger, which either blows up directly or gets channeled into sarcasm.

    I must say I do enjoy your reflections on such topics, Quantity.


    Comment by john doyle — 11 February 2010 @ 6:23 pm

  17. The language and content seem purposely to erect barriers against the casual inquirer

    Yes. And the key word is ‘purposely’, which points to the sense of superiority of the philosopher, no matter what else he doesn’t know (he doesn’t, or even ‘shouldn’t’ have to.) This is another specific thing Arpege was always very good at, this arrogance of the philosopher. And when I did have that original blowout about the first chapter of the new book (a book only, as I’ve said before, because it was rejected as a submission to a journal, within which it would have disappeared 3 years ago, minimum; somehow, my gratitude for the subsequent proliferation of the rest of the book, all of Jack’s and Christian’s and paintings which never would have been done either, is severely wanting), I quoted to Arpege that the editor just said ‘I don’t understand it. I know nothing of classical music and dance’, to which Arpege replied upon my report, ‘Well, would it hurt him to LEARN something outside his immediate field of which he’s so proud?’ And she was definitely there (I was remembering the children’s ‘WE WERE THERE’ series) when the same parties had lost the ‘I don’t understand’ polite line and rendered the infamous one which I don’t need to repeat.

    And yet the subject of metaphysics is so ‘profoundly comprehensive’, there is this attitude that it rightly, however paradoxically and self-destructively, has the right to circumscribe itself into a club of its own. Which is why I brought up the attitude of the ballet board. There is no more circumscribed world than that within the Lively Arts, and yet they welcome people who just want to ask questions within their ‘Discovering the Art’ forum. When I speak of my stupid questions there, of course, I already have a reasonable dance vocabulary and have seen a lot, mainly they know that I’m knowledgeable about all the arts we discuss, some more than others. But they always try to gently educaate even the ones who know next to nothing. I remember one balletmaster from D.C., and I knew that I was asking some half-ignorant question about ‘developpes’ by a Soviet ballerina Malakhina, I believe was her name. But he literally refused to say that they were definitely not or definitely were developpes, because he wanted me to figure out that they probably were not literally so, but he also didn’t want to pounce on me since he knew I was trying to learn things that were second nature to him. I used to the think this attitude ‘precious’ in the bad sense, now I think of it as precious, in the sense of how rare, and what sensitive tutelage that really is. Not that they don’t bash and trash dancers and choreographers they think are horrible. Recently, we were all delighted at Peter Martins’s production of ‘Sleeping Beauty’, the only work of his we all were stunned that we LOVED, since we seem to do nothing but say how bad his choreography is. Not trying to overdo the ballet thing, just that I’ve been with them now for 4 years, and that’s the one I know. I think Arpege uses some opera boards, although I don’t. i’m most often the one that crucifies NYCBallet orchestra. Last week, I couldn’t even believe how bad they were, given the extraordinary dancing (this is not the one I reported; by now i only report things that are well in the past, for well-known reasons). Things like that.

    But it’s also a ‘tiny world’ just as is the world of highly specialized philosophers, and they don’t try to keep you out, but rather bring you in, at whatever level they find you. I like this attitude. It, of course, gets competitive at the performing level, but that’s pretty much a matter of talent in that field, in that there is no such things as ‘casting couch’ in ballet as in Hollywood; you can either do it or you can’t, so it’s totally about talent, even when some dancers are considered more ‘showy’ and ‘commercial’ sometimes, but that’s minimal.


    Comment by quantity of butchness — 11 February 2010 @ 7:18 pm

    • I hate to think what you’d make of Frege.

      Given that you obviously haven’t the first notion of what doing philosophy actually entails (viz. sustained and disciplined intellectual effort), I think I’ll leave you dilettantes to it.


      Comment by Jacques Liverot — 12 February 2010 @ 4:11 am

      • I think I’ll leave you dilettantes to it.

        Some of us wish you would, ghoulish as you are in your own self-indulgent dilettantism and smugness, but it’s the desire to EXPOSE your own dilletantism that has made you not ‘leave us to it’. You are equally incapable of not trolling elsewhere, and you are clearly trolling.


        Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 12 February 2010 @ 9:41 am

    • Insulting… yet, strangely sensitive to insult.


      Comment by Asher Kay — 12 February 2010 @ 6:53 am

      • THAT is this guy in a nutshell, Asher. He’s a troll and uses any number of monikers anywhere and at any time, according to what his whim is. I mean, don’t you know that by now? I’m the one that’s dealt with him one on one. And he is actually mystified that I despise him. if John changed ‘fuckwits’ to ‘dillettantes’ (is that what you mean? I missed it from before), then I agree with you, because in replacing it with ‘dillettantes’, he actually succeeds in his insult, because although dillettante is not necessarily insulting if that’s not what you are in at least one field, it really just means cultivated and knowledgeable unless you’re a Met Opera subscriber who read the latest reviews and wants to schmooze with the front row swells, he is himself a dillettante who wishes to inform others that they are different sorts of dillettante. He is at present working on another blog, but hasn’t realized that his charisma has been fully exhausted, at least with me.


        Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 12 February 2010 @ 9:46 am

      • Quantity – Fuckwits was in addition to dilettantes. I think it’s safe to assume that “dilettantes” in itself was meant to be insulting. Probably John didn’t remove it because he’s not insulted by it. I’m not either. I’m a dilettante by definition — I spend my days designing and writing software, so anything else I do is necessarily going to be a part-time thing. In other words, I don’t think he’s saying much.

        I think you stated it very nicely in your previous comment (which I can’t seem to locate) about “our” incomprehensibility vs. “theirs”. I’m a goody-two-shoes with respect to identifying people’s intentions and motivations, but it’s pretty clear that *something* is going on that leads to the incomprehensibility.

        I’m also a scientific dilettante. There is no chance in hell that I could read a journal article about protease inhibition or whatever and understand it all. That’s because the article is written for scientists — more specifically, for specialists in a particular field or sub-field. That’s the audience — and I can only assume that the complexity of the language is necessary for those scientists to talk to each other. The only real access I have is through scientists willing to explain stuff to dilettantes.

        The question is: are philosophers just talking to each other? And if they are, is it also true that in many cases, their audience is a subset of specialists in a particular school of thought? And if that’s the case, how many philosophers really understand what other philosophers are saying? I have yet to see a claim about what Heidegger or Kant or Hegel were saying that went undisputed. There are serious arguments about whether these people were realists or idealists. Whose fault is that? The reader’s?


        Comment by Asher Kay — 12 February 2010 @ 10:15 am

    • Also – John – Why not let the whole comment stand? I think “fuckwits” really added something to it.


      Comment by Asher Kay — 12 February 2010 @ 6:58 am

      • Wasn’t there an eighteenth-century Austrian philologist named Ernst Fukvitz?


        Comment by john doyle — 12 February 2010 @ 7:06 am

  18. Now see, Jacques, that’s just it. Frege for Dummies might be just the thing for me.

    I’m not questioning that many people know more about philosophy than I do, or about musical composition, or astrophysics, or algebraic geometry, or laying tile, or … (starting to look like one of Harman’s lists of objects). One reason I’m reluctant to continue discussing philosophy is that I’m not a master of the subject, nor am I likely to become one. At the same time, it’s possible to think without being a professional thinker, to carry a tune without being a professional musician, etc. There are levels of expertise, all of which are built from the ground up. The question for me as blogger is the extent to which I participate in or initiate conversations about subjects that interest me but on which I’m not expert. Quantity says that the experts on the ballet blogs are tolerant of novices and dilettantes and willing to explain things patiently, yet it seems they are also willing to consider the amateurs’ opinions.

    I have no formal expertise in ontology, and yet I find the subject interesting. I can think about ontology from a variety of perspectives on which I do have some background, and I have opinions and questions about the subjects that are discussed. Harman’s and Bryant’s speculations have stimulated me to do some thinking and reading and discussing that I would not otherwise have done, and in that regard I’d say they’ve done me a service. But I’m not a philosopher, so in my engagements with the pros I’m always at a disadvantage. I can’t either endorse or reject the object-oriented stuff from a position of “sustained and disciplined intellectual effort.” In that regard I can’t be much more than a fanboy or a troll.

    So that’s partly what prompts my post. Harman and Bryant have infused energy into this corner of the blog world, but that energy often generates more heat than light. I get more participation when I write posts that focus on other bloggers’ personalities than I do when I try to explore substantive issues from my position as curious amateur. So what does blogging become then for me? And so on.


    Comment by john doyle — 12 February 2010 @ 5:05 am

    • I’ve no dispute with you, John, precisely because you appreciate that criticizing a position requires the legwork involved in familiarizing oneself with someone’s argument and the arguments of the philosophers etc. they draw upon — Dummies guides are fine, but no-one seriously supposes that Carnap for Idiots is a substitute for reading and analysing Der logische Aufbau der Welt and the works of Russell and Wittgenstein with which it’s in dialogue.

      Harman’s and Bryant’s speculations have stimulated me to do some thinking and reading and discussing that I would not otherwise have done, and in that regard I’d say they’ve done me a service.

      But rather than stuff so muddled it’s ultimately indifferent to propositional truth and falsehood, wouldn’t it be wiser to seek stimulation in material logically lucid enough that, at worst, is only “instructively false”.


      Comment by Jacques Liverot — 12 February 2010 @ 7:12 am

      • wouldn’t it be wiser to seek stimulation in material logically lucid enough that, at worst, is only “instructively false”.

        Oh ho ho, how true your garbage is: ‘instructively false’ truly is ‘not that bad’, as per your ‘at worst’. Nothing you say is wise, and all of it is false, whether ‘instructively so’ is fucking beside the point. On other blogs, you just write shit without even hiding your identity by now, that’s even worse than what you write here. In your ‘superior knowledge’, you merely display a small jackanapes attitude. The ‘instructively false’, as per Arpege, can just as easily be found anywhere as not, it can be found in Mein Kampf, it can be found in Brassier, and also it is redolent in all the works of the Hyperstition Mistress.


        Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 12 February 2010 @ 9:52 am

  19. “what doing philosophy actually entails (viz. sustained and disciplined intellectual effort”

    Do you mean sitting in a glass box constantly commenting on the news, Jacques?


    Comment by NB — 12 February 2010 @ 6:31 am

    • I stand refuted — though you must admit it took balls on Marber’s part to base a comic character on charlatans (Baudrillard & Bernard-Henri Lévy) that no-one in the UK would have been expected to have heard of.


      Comment by Jacques Liverot — 12 February 2010 @ 7:25 am

      • Ha – yes, that’s true. The whole programme had balls.

        Livereau manages to be a piss-take and quite witty at the same time: “Some people look at a glass of milk and say, eeh, it ees half empty. Other say, erh, it is half full. I say: IT IS SOUR!”


        Comment by NB — 12 February 2010 @ 7:31 am

      • I stand refuted

        You ‘stand refuted’ because you refuted yourself. You did the exact thing to despoil John’s review of that charlatan’s book on Bataille, and which traxus recently described to me as ‘his INSANE Bataille book’. of course, that feeds the egoes of the malicious troll, who needs no flesh and blood and doesn’t have any. We always enjoy your conversations with yourself and your puppets (actually, we don’t, and you even ruin the one good blog that exists.)


        Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 12 February 2010 @ 9:55 am

  20. “wouldn’t it be wiser to seek stimulation in material logically lucid enough that, at worst, is only “instructively false”.”

    Maybe so, but Harman and Bryant are living objects whom I know something about and with whom I can (at least potentially) engage in meaningful conversation. And that’s what blogs facilitate, at least potentially.


    Comment by john doyle — 12 February 2010 @ 7:25 am

    • And also, reading the bloggers has prompted me to read some actual philosophy books. From Harman I went back and reread (yes, I’d already read this book) those parts of Heidegger’s Being and Time about the tools. From Nick’s post I read Ladyman and Ross. I read Meillassoux’s book because of blog chatter. Somebody recommended Fear of Knowledge, which I read. And I wouldn’t have even attempted Brassier had he not come up for discussion in blogs. It’s just a smattering, without systematic investigation, lacking sustained and disciplined intellectual effort. But it’s more than I knew before.


      Comment by john doyle — 12 February 2010 @ 8:20 am

      • It’s just a smattering, without systematic investigation, lacking sustained and disciplined intellectual effort.

        Why not “start” with Russell’s ultimate anti-Dummies book The Problems of Philosophy? As a general introduction to core philosophical issues it hasn’t been surpassed in nearly a century.


        Comment by Jacques Liverot — 12 February 2010 @ 8:34 am

      • I just requested it from the library. Only 161 pages — excellent!


        Comment by john doyle — 12 February 2010 @ 8:38 am

    • I don’t know, Russell conceded objections and modified his position accordingly, even where it involved a theory’s wholesale abandonment. Harman & co. follow Heidegger’s example: smear and (where the objection’s especially telling) vilification.


      Comment by Jacques Liverot — 12 February 2010 @ 8:21 am

  21. “Some people look at a glass of milk and say, eeh, it ees half empty. Other say, erh, it is half full. I say: IT IS SOUR!”

    Cool Memories II, if I’m not mistaken.


    Comment by Jacques Liverot — 12 February 2010 @ 7:58 am

  22. m not going to be exposed to that ghoulishness without comments moderation, but I think CPC is finished. Sorry for putting it over here, I just tried to make up a final few amends over there a few days ago to people I shouldn’t have been so rought with, but I want nothing more to have to do with that creature, and Dejan may well assume I’ll just be drawn back in to such vapid stupidity as people who want to be ‘cyber-heroes’.

    Camilla, the real reason you’re giving up is that I was not prepared to instantly satisfy your diva impulse and moderate the Trolls, while as well you know the Trolls fuel the whole thing (here I am strongly opposed to Dr Harman and Dr Bryant-Harman in their assessment of the Trolls). Meanwhile you didn’t do any WURK for a year except for a few good one-liners and you still didn’t give me any PENIS either, only your own satisfaction from desiring Nikki. Maybe without an overly stressful job I would get over this bottom revenge episode more easily, but now I need some more time to heal my own wounded pride.

    Fuck you for defending Tiny Taiwanese Testicles just because in one of your mood swings you decided to restore your friendship. I’m not going to change my satiric policy in accordance with your erections!!!


    Comment by the voice of parodic reason — 12 February 2010 @ 9:47 am

  23. Okay, I think this post is commented out.


    Comment by john doyle — 12 February 2010 @ 9:57 am

  24. My commiserations, John.


    Comment by Jacques Liverot — 12 February 2010 @ 10:24 am

    • “23.My commiserations, John.

      Comment by Jacques Liverot — 12 February 2010 @ 10:24 am ”

      “Livereau manages to be a piss-take and quite witty at the same time: “Some people look at a glass of milk and say, eeh, it ees half empty. Other say, erh, it is half full. I say: IT IS SOUR!”

      Comment by NB — 12 February 2010 @ 7:31 am ”

      It really is amazing how this kind of puppetry is considered amusing, and it actually cancels out all the high-minded philosophy, so difficult to understand by anyone not as schooled as, say, Steve Fuller at a leading UK university, but that is the point here: That generally goes unnoticed that all this blog trolling and puppetry is rendered meaningless when you have two obvious trolls here. Asher picked this up too, and it is much better knowing who is who. I know you basically feel that way too, John, but just don’t want to make a harsh judgment without scientific really real proof of an ISP number, but the attempt to ‘teach’ through puppets is simply disgusting. I’ve been through a full year and more of it, and the tutor is now less than dirt to me. Such people have no right to talk about philosophy or anything else they consider themselves to have expertise in, because then they surface with the Norma Desmond Symphonette Collections and the rest.

      We see a lot of things alike, John, but, you know, sometimes ‘giving people the benefit of the doubt’ is no different from related fugues like ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’, or whatever the fuck it was. And this sort of puppetry is what blogging always aspires to in those who are trying to ‘wield power’ without flesh.


      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 12 February 2010 @ 10:45 am

  25. Asher–thanks. I’m a dillettante in a lot of ways myself, but as long as you’re good at something that yuo really KNOW about, in my case music and literature, it never should have come into being that ‘dillettante’ could be used except against those fatuous dyed-in-the-wool garden variety culture vultures who all of a sudden got money to buy front-row tickets or even their way onto a board positiion at the Metropolitan (museum or opera).

    The wrond use of ‘dillettante’, I have discovered in this discussion, is literally scandalous. It should never be an insulting epithet except when someone is just trying to be a ‘cultivated person’, in which case he is a poseur and this sort of jackanapes is well-known in all metropolises. If you’re expert at something, ‘dillettante’ should only mean you’re highly cultivated and curious to learn and become as much as master of many things of value and beauty. I know a good deal about dance and ballet, but I am still a ‘ballet dillettante’ to a certain degree, which I am NOT a ‘music dillettante’ (which is one of the reasons the dancers always listen to me, even if they have to instruct me on certain steps that I’ve forgotten from when I used to play ballet classes as a student.)

    Sorry, John, I needed to answer Asher, because his having found the ‘theirs’ and ‘ours’ in my previous post was important. And the defintion of ‘dillettante’ is very important, it is ONLY used by the professionals of one field to put down non-professionals in that field, and always ignores that fact that they are rank amateurs (as we all are) in many fields.


    Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 12 February 2010 @ 10:26 am

  26. You’re a man of unique gifts, Butch. (Chromosomally)


    Comment by Jacques Liverot — 12 February 2010 @ 10:52 am

    • That makes one of us. There’s a difference between the ‘unique one’ and the freak, although I’ve found that many CCRU graduates are pleased to be called freaks by their lord and master. But you wouldn’t know about that, would you? As it is, even someone stuck in the dugout, sitting on the benches, like you can follow the narrative well enough to know that when you completely lose respect for someone, there is no trick they have left, no matter how clever. A ‘loss of attraction’ is fatal, and this goes very much for the total monosexual who wants only praise and adulation for the exquisite ghoulishness of his faux-Mabusian core. Since I know, of course, so little about you, I really have no idea whether you have any gifts at all, although when someone says ‘you have the piss-take’, we know what stratum of English society we’re dealing with. That editor with the nervous patches always uses that term, and it’s pretty low-class, frankly. You’re fucking right, though, nothing derails, especially when you get on the right track (you’re not.)


      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 12 February 2010 @ 11:12 am

      • You must have mistaken me, I was never as member of the cult (strange how the exercise of elementary logic cuts through academic personality cults).


        Comment by Jacques Liverot — 12 February 2010 @ 11:26 am

  27. Jesus how low could it sink when you’re apologizing to Eloise for bashing Spoonerized Assliterations???


    Comment by the voice of parodic reason — 12 February 2010 @ 12:17 pm

    • It will make more sense if you consider us as actual people, John and Asher.


      Comment by Asher Kay — 12 February 2010 @ 12:25 pm

      • Amen, Asher We all play with each other and tease, but I would meet you and John, NOT ‘jacques liverot’, who can’t think of anything to do except talk about mistaken identities some more. That’s just beneath contempt. The internet is not supposed to be for the harbouring of malicious trolls.

        WHICH, by the way, I wanted to aay something about the different definitions of ‘trolls’. Mikhail aaid he’s thought of as a ‘troll’ by Harman or Levi or somebody, but he’s still MIKHAIL, not somebody trying to manipulate using all sorts of monikers. Now, Mikhail may have done this, but I never heard that he did, and I’m not calling him any kind of ‘troll’ as such. I think he said others had thought of him as a troll, but mainly or just being too critical.

        I have nothing to say to ‘Jacques Liverot’. He doesn’t realize that this sort or trolling is banal beyond all belief.


        Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 12 February 2010 @ 2:20 pm

  28. But Ashley, according to onticolology, all entities have the same status; hence, Eloise is just as much a person of integrity as John.


    Comment by the voice of parodic reason — 12 February 2010 @ 1:29 pm

    • VOPR – I wasn’t really expecting you to process that.

      Fresh material, man. You need fresh material.


      Comment by Asher Kay — 12 February 2010 @ 1:39 pm

      • Amen, again, Asher. And VOPR will not process this. He thought I would jump right back into CPC with him and Nick as before, claiming that. Dejan’s Serbian vacation really wore off in no time, and on the blog, he knows perfectly well that Nick is doing literally all the ‘entities’ as he calls them. But just try talking about her ‘really real’ parents, and you’ll find where he makes the difference. As long as he could, he made the difference between ‘lafayetc’, ‘Old Nick’, Kolja, and, currently, some idiotic ‘entity’ known as ‘prole advice network’. The whole point is to make me write there again, of course. But it is NOT impossible to communcate with flesh and blood entities, as you, John, mikhail, carl, levi, and even harman if he wrote. And myself as well. That’s why I didn’t care if you called me ‘Patrick’ that time. I’m just not interested in this silly game-playing. Even if i disagree or don’t even particularly ‘like’ someone, I will only respect them (at least) if I know it is a ‘really real’ person. I don’t give a fuck how old-fashioned this is. I don’t know Sinthome either, and am not really a fan of his complex talk, but at least I know who it is. For CCRU freaks, this is the ‘charm’ of it, and that’s all been continued by the ‘last man standing’ there, although his blog is dead. Now Dejan really ought to know better, since I really do know who he is, but he likes to play with both online personas (like Nick) and offline ones (like me, who is always the same even if I use some obvious nickname), and this is just purely wasteful, and gets in the way of every kind of discussion, even if it’s just erotic. All the eroticism that I went through for over a year on that blog is now worthless to me, even though I admit I should have known better. But it could never happen again. There may be such thing as ‘Eros’ for some people, in form, as Nick said, of ‘action-fiction fucking’, but there is not for me. Dejan goes both ways on this, according most likely to what his current status offline is, so that’s his business. He can accuse me of anything. I had an online fight with traxus after meeting him twice in 2007, but he is a wonderful young man, and that he and I could both look beyond that, and have a lovely afternoon just having lunch and walking around the Village looking at clothes for Arpege, says it all. I respect him, even if I think some of his posts are way too experimental, or that he doesn’t know himself fully yet (how can you when you’re 27 years old, too clever by half, ctc,). I don’t have the same respect for online ghouls, so that none of Nick’s monikers comes even CLOSE to my respect for John and traxus, who I know as flesh and blood human beings, even though I’ve yet to meet John. Those two, though, probably made the decisive break for me from these stupid online ideas such as Dejan has just ‘refused to process’, as you said, because the ‘entitties’ are NOT equal. Frankly, even though I don’t think that much of Harman, I definitely respect him far more than Nick Land, because he IS at very least, Graham Harman. I’m just ‘not going to go there’ with these ‘online entities’ who demand respect they haven’t earned (AT ALL). And Dejan ought to know better than this too, but doesn’t.


        Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 12 February 2010 @ 2:35 pm

      • Reminds me of a comment you made a while back about Martha Graham’s response to someone who asked why she didn’t have any dances about universal brotherhood (again, I can’t locate the comment, so I paraphrase). Her response was to the effect that brotherhood was already in there. necessarily, before a single step could take place.

        To me, that “being in there” is authenticity, and the human animal has been crafted over millions of years to detect its absence. Conversation with an authentic person matters, even if it’s disagreement. Conversation with exhaled smoke doesn’t.


        Comment by Asher Kay — 12 February 2010 @ 2:59 pm

      • The upside is that with smoke, you can experiment. See if it obeys thermodynamic laws.


        Comment by Asher Kay — 12 February 2010 @ 3:06 pm

  29. well now that that stale old socialite from Manhattan decided to pull the plug, I might just be able to come up with something that dares beyond Barbra Streisand goddamn RECITALS.


    Comment by the voice of parodic reason — 12 February 2010 @ 1:55 pm

    • We’ll be watching with great anticipation. Since you obviously ‘want me back’ so bad, why don’t you consider yourself lucky that you’ve got Nick Land. He’s a big name in the blogosphere, and needs a forum. I was always surprised you weren’t impressed with him, as he’s purely ‘cyber’. Once I found that out, I didn’t care about his ‘writing machine skills’. But he could be an asset to you. Why aren’t you, for example, able to just write parodies about me on CPC rather than chasing me here the way he does? I mean I just saie I respect HARMAN more than I do these fake entities, and I’m no big fan. I don’t mind having to behave about my anatomy a bit, it’s much better here or traxus or at BT than it is at your blog, where you are only interested in malice at literally ANYBODY’s cost. In that, you and Nick Land are just the ‘perfect match’ that traxus identified early on. yes, you should try to make a go of it, although he’ll turn on you in no time (he already has, of course, that’s why you thought if you threatened to delete ‘kolja’ I’d come back. No, kiddo. Only if I MYSELF have comments moderation do I even consider coming back, because I want ALL of Nikki’s entities deleted when they are purely malicious and malevolent, not just the Serbia-oriented ones.

      He’s an inferior literary writer (which is why he’s so jealous of me), but a great ‘writing machine internet nerd writer’, why isn’t that what you’d want? I tell you why. because he’s afraid of parodying these philosophers, he might need them at some point. It’s not that he wants to at CPC with YOU, it’s that he wants to be there with ME, but the feeling it not mutual. So that’s greed on your part.

      If you really wanted to deal with any of this, you’d have emailed me, but you won’t do that. You want both me and Nick, and you cna have only one of us. Since I didn’t make that 100% clear until now, you”re stuck. Who knows? With just Nick, maybe you can lose wait, and believe me, you have NO idea who you’re dealing with. I do, and I just don’t want to communicate with him, although his cravenness is now deployed toward making it impossible for me to even comment here. That’s just the kind of person he is. And he is YOURS.


      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 12 February 2010 @ 2:48 pm

  30. Assliterations couldn’t even relax his ring muscles enough not to use ”process” or ”processing” in his discours d’objeqtifique!


    Comment by the voice of parodic reason — 12 February 2010 @ 3:00 pm

  31. Since you obviously ‘want me back’ so bad,

    Yes I want you, I want you with all your butchness and paranoia and impossibleness rolled into one, but you can’t stand that thought can you, because you GET OFF ON REJECTION, don’t you. Land isn’t even available, I am, but you prefer a British vampire to a hot Serbian piece of warm meat.

    But OK, you can have your lesbian tea club with Eloise and Ashley, you can talk about OBJECTS and COOKIES.


    Comment by the voice of parodic reason — 12 February 2010 @ 3:08 pm

    • because you GET OFF ON REJECTION, don’t you. Land isn’t even available

      You continue to fail to process, as Asher so succinctly put it, all you want, about ‘the rejection’, which fails to take into account that I can’t get rid of him NO MATTER WHAT, and he only TOO AVAILABLE, as his appallingly stupid continued posts at CPC still prove–all the ‘My Poem’ about ‘horsepisser monologue’ prove. It’s just he’s cyber. If you think I’m upset now that I know he’s only ‘cyber’, then think it. I was never interested in that, I just took too long to figure it out (well, not quite too long; I started withholding all personal info till it was no longer ‘actionable’. I mean, it’s bad when you gotta lie about what perfs. of the NYCBallet you go to. He used to send me emails to make me late for dental appts., that would surely have only amused you, you know.)

      But the part that’s pertinent, is that their are ‘trolls’, like Mikhail claims to be, and there are ‘really real trolls’ who work their meanness into your offline life. That is simply not acceptable, and he will never be forgiven this, although the effects were minimal, if not merely even just nothing, but they were attempts to cause literal harm.


      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 12 February 2010 @ 4:02 pm

      • And the only reason I can now refer to him by name after 14 months is that he did a whole bunch of posts as ‘Old Nick’, which only he would have done (unless he authorized one of his minions to do it.) That was his last moniker at Hyperstition. Still, he never sent an email to confirm this, because he still thinks he has the ‘charm’ and ‘hypnosis’ over me that his writing once did. But he’s just wrong about that. It’s YOU, Dejan, that won’t stand up to him at this point, and he is already outwitting you IN SPADES with every single post he places. It’s just up to you, and you’ll find he is only interested in playing tricks on you now, now that he doesn’t have me to play with (although lord knows, he’ll try anything. That’s what Norma Desmond Syndrome is all about.)_


        Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 12 February 2010 @ 4:05 pm

  32. Thanks for the above thoughts. Just for the record, which Asher will probably also understand, scraps were thrown at me at CPC to get me back into that absurd game. Emails were thrown back to the practitioner, which of course went unanswered (and that is nothing less than a blessing). None of that had been meant in good faith, so that all of the energy is now being directed at blogs that I am thought to care about, even though they have been admitted to be only ‘the amateur part’ as opposed to ‘the professional part’. That’s beside the point. ‘Romantic bullshit’ on the net can easily extend to those you’ve actually met, and nerds like my stalker don’t care about anything but net domination. A alight half-confession, was deemed ‘enough for me’, but it amounted to nothing. I wrote him five emails. and the only reason the non-response is preferable than a response is that that proves that the falseness was the fact, because even ‘Old Nick’ on Dejan’s blog could still be denied. I suppose that if someone thinks you’re stupid about them for a long time, you’ll do it indefinitely. that’s not the case. An internet troll is an internet troll, and that’s that. What a stupid ‘apology’ that was , so I outlined all the other evidence that would have to be explained, which I knew it never would be. Now the protagonist is as work at traxus, and they are welcome to each other, since both love Shanghai. Personally, my ‘affections’ were overstated for obvious purposes, he can have traxus’s attention if he can get it, I don’t care. But it’s still this stupid idea that cheap ‘affinities’ based on fake blog identities can win out from human relationships, and at this point, there are some that are young enough not to know the difference between one and the other.

    While I’m on here, Ads has posted something on the professor shootings that are all focussed on the issue of tenure and not the murders. This is unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.


    Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 15 February 2010 @ 4:44 pm

    • Re: the Ads post I thought you really nailed it there, QB. I suppose the diagnostic ‘truth’ of the deflection of empathy from the shooting victims to the tenure ‘victim’ has something to do with the larger angst of uncertain futures, which is real enough. But if the claim is that tenure denial is grounds for murder, we might as well just get rid of tenure now, or confer it upon hire.


      Comment by Carl — 15 February 2010 @ 10:12 pm

      • Thanks, Carl. I just asked traxus to delete my remarks there, which is fine, because I can’t write there. They both saw them, though, that’s sufficient.

        Ads didn’t claim that the tenure denial was grounds for murder exactly (not that I think that he even thinks it, of course, but rather that even if he did, I don’t believe he’d say it), but he wouldn’t let the murders be the dominant context. Thst’s what’s inexcusable, given the murderer’s history. What he does do when he complains about his job is write tough-sounding posts which he then deletes the next morning so they won’t be seen.

        I have to find Didion’s article on Georgia O’Keeffe, who says that one of her painter colleagues ‘had no courage’, and that you have to have it in any of the Arts. O’Keeffe can say something profound without even trying, as when i heard her say, after living here for 30 years ‘Oh, I just think New York’s wonderful. It makes all the European cities look like villages’. And I realized I had always seen the city exactly like that, i.e., we never ‘quit being impressed with the skyscrapers’. I used to be embarassed about that till she said that, and then she said ‘oh, Stieglitz was a city fella, I’m a country person’. She knew exactly who she was, but it’s taken me longer. Someone once told me he wasn’t sure longevity was important, and now I realize it isn’t always, but in the case of slow learners like me, it’s definitely important, or you can ‘un-die’ instead of ‘die’.


        Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 15 February 2010 @ 11:27 pm

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