Ktismatics

1 September 2010

Lime-in-the-Coconutism

Filed under: Movies — ktismatics @ 10:50 am

The other night my daughter K and I watched Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. The final credits scroll up the screen to the accompaniment of Nilsson’s “Coconut.” Why this goofy little song? Is it just one among several seemingly random 70s pop songs that pepper the soundtrack? Besides, what does the song even mean? You put the lime in the coconut and drink ’em both up, you get a bellyache, you call the doctor to see what to do, the doctor tells you to put the lime in the coconut and drink ’em both up.

After some preliminary diner chitchat the real story begins: a botched jewelry heist leaves two of the gang members dead and one writhing in blood and pain, shot in the belly. By the end all but one of the gang survivors are dead. So: through violent confrontation and armed showdown one guy gets a bellyache. He and his partner wait at the rendezvous for Joe the gang leader, who will call the doctor. When Joe shows up he accuses the gutshot guy of being the rat who tipped off the cops about the robbery. The remaining gang members are divided over whether the injured man is or is not a rat. Violent confrontation culminates in a Mexican standoff. Bang bang bang bang, they kill each other off. Cue the Lime in the Coconut song and the credits.

So basically Reservoir Dogs is a parable illustrating accelerationism, which from now on I’m bound to think of as lime-in-the-coconutism. Cause is also cure: if something makes you sick, do it some more. The bellyache will go away eventually, one way or the other.

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9 Comments »

  1. This is extremely good, you at your most inscrutably clever. I didn’t realize it when I read it some hours ago, was momentarily distracted at the source, viz., Reservoir Dogs, which I used to always be meaning to see. After ‘inglourious basterds’, I knew I would never see another frame of Tarantino, that here was a director I truly loathed. So I am very pleased to announce my intention of never seeing ‘Reservoir Dogs’. But this ‘moral of the story’ as it relates to accelerationism is most apt, and proves that those most perfect points of one’s own output, the most potent insights, really are a point more than a line, and a plane would refer to the other arts, as painting, architecture, etc., but anything that has a narrative line, whether music or prose or poetry, will have its highest points if it does its work the rest of the time. I’d been discovering this recently in a film, although I can’t talk about it as such at the moment, while it continues to deliver up its power. But again, it’s a kind of point within the film that is what makes the whole film so thoroughly meaningful for me, and it does have a kind of timelessness that slows the ‘too-much-speeding’ that you may be partially referring to. Yes, you can ‘cure’ cigarette smoking by smoking 5 packs a day until you’re dead, or just o.d’ing with any number of substances–this happened, of course, in ‘A Serbian Film’ as well. That’s obviously not the film I’m talking about in relations to these ‘high points’ such as I think you’ve sort of inadvertently reached with this post. This ‘secret film’ has a reasonably lengthy fragment in it that goes much further than the rest of the film, which is considered to be quite brilliant as a whole–this part isn’t usually singled out, but for me, it’s what makes the film greater than great. But then, you know from the ‘reviews’ section of the book of ours you read so closely that I tend to find features in films that make them seem worth sometning to me, even if the whole thing might not be so lofty, or really even worth much of anything at all. That’s often been the case when a film was essentially very mediocre or even worse; in this case, I never pay any attention to the rest of the film, although most viewers have thought other parts were more important, and it’s always been considered important. Such things are the ‘pointed places’ that do have power, and everybody wants what is powerful, whether they call it God, the Phallus, money, sin, good, Nirvana, or even Buddhist-style powerlessness. I suppose the Accelerationists equate that with power, having been a little more exposed to it than I’d originally bargained for, I’d say that it has considerable power, but not as much as it insists it has. Sometimes I wonder if those who are very interested in it aren’t literally forced by reality and daily to see it as something of a curiosity; even its ‘inventors’ seem forced into a corner about it at this point, they cannot prove that they ‘live it’ if they keep separating it as effortlessly and contradictorily as common fortune tellers do their ‘deep predictions’ and their always insisted-upon fee. They cannot maintain that it is all that powerful if it requires a schizophrenia to uphold it, as that is contradictory within itself: Life as opposed to death are schizophrenic enough for me, without needing the other sort, and I can’t say I care much for it at all, even this ‘reality’ business.

    It does bring up all sorts of interesting things in different realms: Krugman and even now Bernanke talking about the dangers of deflation and worrying too much about ‘runaway deficits’, but that doesn’t mean that individuals should go recklessly gambling their money away in Vegas and getting so stoned they don’t know what they’re doing. Which is not to say that I know the details of the ‘written version’ of accelerationism, having lived through some of it is enough. In any case, the proponents of accelerationism seem to always want to be bourgeois anyway, and a lot of them preach like crazy, but it certainly seems obvious that they’ve ‘put the brakes on themselves’ if they do all the things that won’t allow them to ‘fully accelerate’–because when you find a subject that can do so, it’s still not the ‘secret to life’–an awesome sense of ‘freedom’ can be quite daunting, it can be also boring, reek of death-thoughts, etc., and cause fears that are not, in fact, useful at all, just untenable. In other words, one may not really want to be as reckless as one could beyond a certain point of finding out exactly what it’s like–because beyond that point it’s not productive, and is just wasteful. ‘The wasteful’ is not even especially intriguing to those of us who like to spend a lot of time on the edge, or to be corny, ‘the wild side’. Waste is just useless.

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    Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 1 September 2010 @ 6:06 pm

    • Oh damn, I knew there was another example I liked along these lines of ‘the Perfect Point’ one finds in works if one is doing it right, whether the perfection of this uncanny post, the ‘secret film’ with its special section (for me, at least), etc. I don’t know whether you were reading the CPC Epic during the period where I kept bringing up the ‘Muse’, and ‘The Boy of Avon’, that is something you can find reference to, but without either expression used in both of my books you have. In the upcoming one, there will be further discussion, and a painting as well, but still no use of his Christian name. Not that that’s so much harder to find out than what ‘AWP’s real name is–which people claim to do all the time, and that it’s not difficult, but I’ve never tried that hard, nor care that much, I guess. In this case, they didn’t find out because, even if they did, they wouldn’t say so, and without saying so they might as well have not known, and anyway there are also versions of this ‘figure’ (in ‘deep Tropical’, he’s the ‘figure of endless summer’, in ‘Day of cine-musique’, he’s described a little more explicitly from study of his photo in the first of my Tahiti trips, etc., so that he becomes more real)–i.e., certain photos, any definite information about his name, and that’s because there would have been a loss to something ‘accelerated’, at least in the sense of ‘devouring’, that I knew not to allow. Okay, this sounds a bit self-indulgent, but in terms of these 3 books (which will form a definite kind of trilogy), this ‘Muse’ is always one of the primary motifs that goes through them, even if ‘he’ is not the subject of the books themselves, the themes or issues being focussed on so much. A muse does not demand that s/he be everything there is, merely that s/he be totally inspiring. And a muse is nothing if not inspiring–that goes without saying. It’s the kind of thing that can be figured out down the line, if someone really delves deeply, but when northanger and ‘lafayetc’ wanted to know, they weren’t able to go far enough for me to let them know that research into ancient newspapers and journals, which turned up some ‘Glorious Boy of Avon’, having to do with Shakespeare, had not led them to the secret. I assume that they must not have picked up the secret by reading me closely enough, or they wouldn’t have gone to such lengths to ‘be interested’ in my telling them.

      This isn’t as self-indulgent as it sounds, I reiterate. All 3 cases given: 1) what you hit upon in this post 2) the ‘secret movie section’ that currently seems potent to me 3) the ‘Muse’ who threads his way through my 3 books have all the same kind of ‘tone’ to them, I think. That some of these things have to be kept secret to remain potent and others is not significant, and gradually the secrets are revealed: There was one ‘sacred photo’ in particular that I often talked about, but have never been explicit to anyone about, although I’ve referred to it obliquely many times, but today I did send one of this Muse’s other photos to someone whom I thought had earned at least that much from his own generosity, and I had talked to him about this when we met in early June (he’s the Cuban fellow I may have mentioned to you on the ballet board).

      You tend to have a way of writing about certain subjects and authors that is not as incendiary as the way I might say something of the same thing. You did it last summer, and here you do it again, so there’s a certain reserve you’ve adhered to that isn’t unlike my own secrets. And probably not unrelated to issues of ‘endless libidinal release’ that we’ve talked about in the discussion of ‘Serbian Film’.

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      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 1 September 2010 @ 6:32 pm

  2. The idiosyncratic exuberance of your discussions is something I admire, Quantity, even if at times they exceed either my ability or my willingness to penetrate their mysteries. A neighbor loaned me his copy of How Proust Can Change Your Life, which somewhat hilariously portrays Proust as a self-help specialist, as his novels were cautionary tales intended to save his readers the “lost time” that Swann wasted on stalking Odette, or that Mme Verdurin wasted on trying to win the Duchesse de Guermantes’ favor. However, in this book Proust is rightly commended for the attention and prosodic extravagance he lavishes on seemingly unimportant concerns. Sometimes honing a point to crystalline sharpness is just what’s needed, but a persistently telegraphic style risks the danger of not expanding a space in which writer and reader can explore and luxuriate. You expand spaces profligately, Quantity, even at the risk of perceived self-indulgence as you note. And your descriptions of these spaces are exotic, not at all predictable. So I think you’re right: find the secret and perfect point, sharpen and polish it to a brilliant luster, then wield the point to open up an exotic and unexpected space.

    As for Tarantino, I liked Reservoir Dogs quite a bit, not least because of the top-notch acting by Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, and Steve Buscemi. It unfolds like a stage play, heavy on dialogue, built around a robbery that we never witness, the missing robbery itself being a kind of gaping bullet hole in the belly of the movie. I’m in full agreement with you about Inglourious Bastards, except for the scene where the movie screen burns like Atlanta in GWTW or like the high school gym in Carrie. One could argue that Kill Bill is the honing and then the elaborate opening-up of the essential point, which in that case is revenge. I found it offensive both aesthetically and economically that Tarantino expanded it into a two-part movie rather than exercising some needed editorial discipline by shaving off the 45 minutes or so that would have turned it into one good movie.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 2 September 2010 @ 9:04 am

    • as his novels were cautionary tales intended to save his readers the “lost time” that Swann wasted on stalking Odette,

      The rest of it makes more sense, but not quite–because if he commends Proust for ‘lavishing attention on seemingly unimportant concerns, then that would be a real point in an otherwise poor product. It makes no sense to anyone who took Proust seriously to talk about ‘lost time stalking Odette’, etc., so that while it’s true you get something important from this parody of Proust, there is something a bit odious about violently abusing the very essence of what Proust meant by ‘lost time’, which is proved in the case of Odette, for example, by the end of the first volume, when Marcel longs for Madame Swann in the Bois du Boulogne more than any single other memory. And he knows he cannot get her, he has lost that time that he loved, not time that he (or Swann, by inference) ‘wasted’.

      “I found it offensive both aesthetically and economically that Tarantino expanded it into a two-part movie rather than exercising some needed editorial discipline by shaving off the 45 minutes or so that would have turned it into one good movie.”

      I certainly find it offensive, looking back at watching both films, which give him a look of importance, but I don’t any longer think that it would have been ‘one good movie’ necessariy. Curious, here is the strangest use of ‘Muse’ I’ve nearly ever heard: Uma Thurman. Some of the film directors do have odd muses. I suppose if you like the work, then the muse makes sense, but I much prefer David Lynch’s movies without Laura Dern (except ‘Blue Velvet’, where she clearly has not yet become any kind of Muse, Rossellini is; and I guess she is to some degree in ‘Lost Highway, she makes more sense as a Muse.) Von Sternberg’s Muse was Dietrich until that was over, that made sense and those were Dietrich’s best movies. Fritz Lang using Joan Bennett for 3 or 4 movies is somewhat like Thurman, although I prefer the Langs even when they’re not his best.

      As for editing, one thing I do like about Blogger is that you can delete your comments if you sign in with your own name, and I just did that in the two new threads I wrote in at CPC. I just can’t do it, it would only go back to the same kind of dead-end it was before. And Dejan is right that all that happened was much like ‘Serbian Film’, with me always selling out for lustful sensation, although without real satisfaction due to the medium; and he like the director, although loosely, since he left it alone until it was time to make sure it was still just a matter of surface fakery. I am more grateful for that now, as nothing was ever going to come of it beyond the ‘lafayetc’ written nuggets that are already integrated into the final edit of the book–that used to seem like a ‘consolation prize’ when I thought it was something like a new version of the long old-fashioned courtship (in this case, not before marriage, but rather before meeting), but I found out the hard way it wasn’t. I couldn’t make that particular mistake again, of course, because it was some kind of belief in someone that made me go through things that were alien to my nature to begin with. But I did look up the other blog providers, whatever you call them, so I can’t delete my comments here if I care to. Some think that’s better, I don’t necessarily. I do tend to keep copies for myself of comments of my own I delete.

      This whole idea of cutting large swaths out of work was going through my mind before I started working the final draft of the book, and anyone who reads it will probably think I should, but I looked carefully before I left things that still look as though they’re unpolished, not because of laziness, but because I wanted it to have an extravagant, leisurely and loose feel to it, with some meandering. But this book has been raked over more coals than any not-yet-published and not-even-fully-read one than any I know of, so whatever happens probably won’t affect me that much. It please me, and I’ll do what I am able to to promote it.

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      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 2 September 2010 @ 11:12 am

  3. Here’s Proust in a passage from Budding Grove which I read just last night:

    “So it is with all great writers, the beauty of their language is as incalculable as that of a woman whom we have never seen; it is creative, because it is applied to an external object of which, and not of their language or its beauty, they are thinking, to which they have not yet given expression… And so it was that because Bergotte applied his mind with precision to the reality which pleased him that his language had in it something positive, something overrich, disappointing those who expected to hear him speak only of the ‘eternal torrent of forms’ and of the ‘mystic thrills of beauty.’ Moreover the quality, always rare and new, of what he wrote was expressed in his conversation by so subtle a manner of approaching a question, ignoring every aspect of it that was already familiar, that he appeared to be seizing hold of an unimportant detail, to be quite wrong about it, to be speaking in paradox, so that his ideas seemed as often as not to be in confusion, for each of us finds lucidity only in those ieas which are in the same state of confusion as his own. Besides, as all novelty depends upon the elimination, first, of the stereotyped attitude to which we have grown accustomed, and which has seemed t us to be reality itself, every new conversation, as well as all original painting and music, must always appear laboured and tedious. It is founded on figures of speech with which we are not familiar, the speaker appears to us to be talking entirely in metaphors; and this wearies us, and gives us the impression of a want of truth. (After all, the old forms of speech must in their time have been images difficult to follow when the listener is not cognisant of the universe which they depicted. But he has long since decided that this must be the real universe, and so relies confidently upon it.)”

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    Comment by ktismatics — 2 September 2010 @ 11:13 am

    • Marvelous passage. It hadn’t stuck with me, but it’s pretty profound, and very representative of one aspect of Proust at its best.

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      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 2 September 2010 @ 1:55 pm

  4. “find the secret and perfect point, sharpen and polish it to a brilliant luster, then wield the point to open up an exotic and unexpected space.”

    It’s nice to be in full agreement with someone occasionally, as is known by everyone who’s ever known me, that’s one way in which I’m not ‘an easy lay’.

    And it has worked. I’ve learned to ‘hold off’ and beoome somewhat more reserved during some of these things that happened, and was also surprised that staying away from that situation for 7 months wouldn’t mean that, if I momentarily went back to it, I would get stuck again. This sounds more like being ‘down on Dejan’ than it is. I’m just not going to write there if he keeps the ‘lafayetc’ there, who is really running things, and wants to keep doing so: He actually does fit Dejan’s idea of a ‘top’, which was hard for me to understand, since there’s not a whit of honesty in any of it, and he’s a total fake. But he works ‘for Dejan’s show’, and he just comes in every 3 or 4 days to show ‘who’s the boss’. Even the talking about ‘downloading bit torrent’ goes back 6 or more months, and he knows how to keep expertly bullshitting on that to Dejan. Fine, that’s there little ‘cottage’.

    So that I thought I’d written enough last night about the Muse motif as he goes through the 3 books. But I just want to emphasize that it was this Muse who started not only our 3 books together (which this time are not just us two, but also Jack’s 15-20 paintings and ‘lafayetc’s internet freak’ entries), but also ‘Deep Tropical’ was the first publication in Christian’s publishing firm, which now boasts some 60 + publications and is now celebrating its 10th anniversary with a large volume of short new works by many of the artists who were featured during those years (I wouldn’t write anything new for it, because ‘Illegal Dances…’ had to take up all my time, and it would have never had final scheduling if I hadn’t given it all my concentration). But, if you recall, ‘Deep Tropical’ starts with a chapter called ‘Preface’, which is not a real preface, and ‘The Doctors of Lausanne’ is called ‘Chapter 1’, but it is really the 2nd chapter. This story was the beginning of everything he and I did together and the beginning of his going into publishing, of which he’s made quite a career. Although, strangely, he does only a drawing here and there for other volumes, his are never featured (or they haven’t been yet, and this may be our last collaboration, most likely it will be) except in the 3 he’s collaborated with me (he’s now on the final group of drawings he’s doing for the new book, that’s the main wait we have before photography, photolithography, the editing design, which is 3 different people, but the last of his drawings are the main reason we’re being held up from a schedule of printing I’d prefer.) Last night I briefly noted the ‘study of one of the photos of the Muse’ (this was not the one that I was calling the ‘sacred photo’ in the CPC Scandal Epics, but it is the one on whom one of Jack’s paintings is partially based–a kind of hybrid). So all of these enterprises (including the fact that, after C. started doing the art books without pay, he went into publication of Science journals, which is his primary job) started with the ‘mystical aura or that Muse’, which had become somewhat reified as a photo by the time of the ‘day of cine-musique’, and in the 3rd, with the painting, he become more morphed with images of myself that I project in the text more, since you could say that the 3 volumes start with 2 primarily in LA (with tangential references to Switzerland, Paris and Alabama and New York) and the 3rd one finally really hardens into a book about New York (regardless of whether more than a few take it seriously, the pain of having produced this despite all odds and attacks,means it will have some beneficial effects for me, most likely). That particular photo that I studied, somewhat drunk and drugged that night in my Papeete hotel used to be the one that I thought the most important, but was strange was that I never did see it exactly as completely as I did that night in Tahiti–this is not meant to sound dramatic so much as just unexpected, but still sort of significant, giving the magic of Tahiti its due. And I had been looking at that photo on and off for some 28 years already in 2003. I didn’t meet Jack until 2005, and then started the book in 2006. The painting around this ‘new Hybrid Muse’ was done in 2006, and caused much distress and conflict, but we managed it, even though it took another year to get it properly framed and photographed. There is a 3rd chapter which is numbered an more ‘memoirish’ than the two before it and the two after it, in which this Muse and the mirror that framed it are brought into a new form, but are reified still further (which doesn’t mean they are made less meaningful at all, just more current–in fact, the Muse is kept ‘alive’ this way. During this period I even met the man, but didn’t tell him who I was, and that was only mentioned once in the CPC epic.) This painting and one by Jack’s from some 20 years ago of Garbo (from a photo which showed a different, more full and less severe Garbo than the usual frowning creature we see) go together with a photo of the other gold oval mirror in this chapter alone, and are not professionally photographed: They’re supposed to look like snapshots and they are, and do look like some kind of Proustian memory as a trio together–this is because this section recalls the 70s very strongly, unlike the others, which are set from 2006-2010 (I recently wrote a final chapter, which I hadn’t expected to, which followed my release from the horror I went through in the CPC saga, and included a kind of ‘proof of the metropolis’, in which the net was no longer an encroachment and dominating force, but integrated into the rest–this is really the whole point of the book for me.) I have no illusions as to this becoming a commercial success, although it may ‘go places’ to some degree.

    But main thrust in this (also) lengthy comment, is that that ‘secret’ went through an evolution into a more gradually ‘public space’ because I kept it a secret until I knew the exoticism was at least safe enough. So that your phrase about ‘expanding spaces profligately’ could gradually be done where it became more visible and material, but only because I made sure that I kept certain secrets until they could ‘go public’. Now THAT might be a kind of interesting twist on your idea of ‘alternative realities’ and ‘portals’, in that that usually makes me think of going toward the origins, as with the original ‘figure of endless summer’, rather than no longer requiring the ‘distance from me’ to still ‘contain enough magical aura’. I’m just toying with this idea as I write this, because it seems that I’ve done something which is somehow the reverse of what you seem to be indicating as ‘alternative universes’, but I may have been superimposing ‘secret’ on ‘alternative reality’. Maybe the weirdest thing about me personally as that ‘exposure to the public’ seems to ME an ‘alternative reality’, and that the ‘secret part’ seems to be the more ‘conventional’ or ‘traditional’ or even ‘Establishment’ version. Or it could be said to be a way of allowing materialization and reification to come into being as natural and even MOST desirable, just so long as that aura (you know, the one that W. Benjamin was always talking about as ‘being lost’, and esp. the ‘bad aura of the cult of the film star’, which I think is malarkey, frankly, at least a lot of it is bullshit).

    It’s curious that I just mailed that photo traxus took of me in my kitchen with him that day in mid-June to Christian, after barely even remembering to ask traxus if he’d posted it, and he wanted to use it in the book as well. I hadn’t thought of that at all, but that photo has aspects of the Muse photo that I started calling the ‘Sacred Photo’ during the CPC Orgies.

    Another way of putting it in terms of ‘alternative realities in reverse’ (even if I’ve invented that myself) is to say that as the book finally becomes an object, a new ‘alternative reality’ comes into being for me personally: To write this particular book (although the second to a great degree as well, although that’s not obvious by reading it, even closely as you did) has indeed required a kind of ‘double life’ sensation for these several years, and the ‘alternative reality’ is for a more ‘single’ or ‘normal life’ to come as the book becomes an object, rather than a lived experience! It’s extremely uncomfortable, makes me nervous beyond almost anything I’ve ever been through, makes obviously small irritations seem huge even when I know they’re not rationally, things like that. There was a sense in which ‘not publishing it’ was more pleasant than allowing it to come out–as long as I could keep it ‘in flux’ and ‘in process’, it continued like a dream, albeit an uncomfortable one that was rarely quite fulfilling. Parts of it (the section of musical fragments) go back to the early 80s, so the discomfort of letting all that ‘go public’ (even though the distribution will be relatively small) is fairly keen. So I’m not really ‘excited’ about this part, except that since it’s sort of more ‘workaday’, it proves that I can go through the synthesis that one must with a double life, meaning, I guess, you just can’t continue with one indefinitely.

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    Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 2 September 2010 @ 1:46 pm

  5. Congratulations on bringing this third book to a conclusion. You say you were tempted to cut out large swaths — it must be longer than the other two. And it does include some of your online escapades at CPC? But writing about your life in NYC does I would imagine bring this book into closer contact with your quotidian reality, unless of course it’s a search for lost time.

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    Comment by ktismatics — 2 September 2010 @ 4:52 pm

    • Thanks, John, I was just about to apologize for overdoing this talk here.

      I suppose with each one of them I get in touch more with my ‘quotidian reality’, I hadn’t thought of it quite that way, but there’s a still greater emphasis on place which then becomes dependent on an emphasis on the body. This happened because I was not quite as greedy as I might seem in my ‘dream trip’ things. I really just wanted to go to specific exotic places, not everywhere, the way some people do (quite a few I know as well.) Yes, I’ve been to Tahiti and Bora Bora, but I’ve never been to Hawaii or Rome or Greece; I’ve made 11 separate trips to LA, but I’ve never been to San Francisco, et alia. Once I ‘got that out of my system’ (and the ‘Los Angeles Pilgrimage Series’ seems to be over now that the book actually has real legs, courtesy of Christian and my not quite freaking out at the horror of the reality that all Swiss really do have that bureaucratic streak ingrained in them, even the nicest and kindest of them: Recently, when we were really working on hammering out a production schedule, mid-August, I felt like James Joyce’s corpse talking to the Swiss Consulate begging to have my body removed to Ireland–I’m not kidding, I did have that image. You know, people think I’m spoiled, they don’t necessarily know that working in isolation the way I have may be the only way I could ‘be myself as a creative being’, but that’s it’s surely not always any picnic, so that Christian, with a lot of irons in the fire, wanted a ridiculously leisurely schedule that he finally agreed was unreasonable–point being that my whole life has gone into this book, no matter what its outcome), I was able to make the ‘exoticism’ enter the hard material of the ‘quotidian’ in a more reliable way. And writing about New York was something I always wanted to do. Usually, people who are not born here can’t do it very well, e.g., Truman Capote’s attempts with ‘Answered Prayers’ to write a masterpiece set here. He did come up with a few good short stories in ‘Music for Chameleons’ and even earlier on with ‘Miriam’ and the one about the mysterious nurse Miss Mozart, but usually it’s somebody who’s grown up here, like Don DeLillo or Mailer (near here) or, in a more pulpy Garment District vein, Jerome Weidman, who really get it write.

      Yes, it’s much longer than the other two–270 pages printed out in double-space recently, although I don’t know how that will translate into the printing press. There will then be that section of about 20 pages of musical fragments, as well as the drawing reproductions. It all fills me with fear, which is what I mean about that ‘reverse alternative reality’, this is actually the NORMAL part, that they all go through, say even some of the bloggers with their books, like kpunk or dominic, but the part that most people would find way too scary to do, which is what I’ve been doing in the process of composing it these 4 years, didn’t scare me at all, I just thought ‘well, this is strange, but that’s just what I do. Period. End of report. When I can think of some other thing to do that has the direction clearly pointed to it for me, I’ll do that. Until then, I find my way of doing things just as weird as anybody else does, but this is all I have’.

      Yes, some of the ‘online escapades’ are described (they have to be, since the ‘lafayetc/desiree disgusto’ things were lifted with no real author taking credit–as well, there is some history of the origin of the first chapter with Robin, and when I think of what I’ve had to go through just because of throwing one tantrum 4 years ago, I really am disgusted at some of these people: sure, I was being childish, but it was brief, and it was a fucking long time ago, and ALSO, it wasn’t all my fault, he should have tried a LOT harder even if he wasn’t going to use the piece–but then all these people coming on there and saying ‘you’ll never get it published ANYWHERE’. They were positively beastly.) There are actually a number of bleugers scattered through there, brief fragments of traxus coming through, some accounts of fighting warszawa at lenin’s tomb (because much of this is about post-9/11 New York, and working through the trauma of seeing it), and then Nick and Robin, etc. Although those are used primarily for the ‘internet theme’. But, as I said, the Chapter V is about the different kind of discoveries that happened post-internet, as it were. Not that I left the internet or even the blogs literally, but I did leave that whole scene behind which was this superficial romance thing–and went back to more physical modes, which I had been used to; and that’s the primary theme of the book, but to make it stick, I had to immerse myself in the internet way too deeply for one’s own good. By now, it’s not so much a ‘living thing’ as it was during that period. But that was clearly the test of whether the book was any good, had anything to say. And it had been conceived with the idea of something like that. I guess there’s one way in which I don’t resent all of what I had to go through to get a work that I found worth something: that is to say, I was forced to prove it to myself, if nobody involved in the hateful part thinks I proved anything, I really don’t care. Because if I were to drop dead tomorrow, it would still get published, since Christian has all the materials, and knows how to put it together. I think I’m getting used to the idea that it may actually be okay that I prevailed, in this case. The ‘metropolis’ is an idea that’s important to me, and one can do this on an individual level. Then, it can spread to others if they can pick it up. Again, this doesn’t mean not using the internet and bleugs, etc., it means that there really is a lot of substitute ‘internet living’ going on, with the RPG’s, and spinoffs of these. When traxus was here back in Jan., he was talking about some of the games that really do intend to interfere and intervene with people’s offline lives. You’ve seen that one of the bleugers has been accused of that, but I can say no more than that. Coincidentally, I’ve found more and more people in this recent period who are integrating the net with the rest of life in a more ‘incidental’ kinf of way, or who don’t even use it much at all. I wouldn’t have thought that it would develop this way. The paintings by both artists, and the very old manuscripts ground it physically, and the ‘captured-internet-butterfly’ Desiree Disgusto, with no flesh and blood claimed for her identity, show the whole gamut of modes from all the way offline to all the way ‘living online’, and my way has ended up better-tuned–I think it was necessary to go through it if I was going to write about it, but it was pretty dangerous psychologically.

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      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 2 September 2010 @ 5:41 pm


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