theme for Improv Night at Eyedrum Thursday Dec 4
Rules of the Future: #2
EVERYONE WILL WEAR WIGS
In the 1950's the view of the future was of bald heads and tight dayglow or metallic body suits (presumably the baldness was from radiation leakage from their nuclear powered personal rockets).
Now that we are living in the future, we know that the future belongs to wigs,baggy clothing, and burning cow chips.
This coming Thursday, the Improv folks at eyedrum will meet the past halfway by moving even further into the future. We will do that by wearing, yes, you guessed it, WIGS, waxen, flaxen, flyin', or whatever.
Let's met the past head on! so let's get it on and wig out!
Yesterday was a bad day. He felt like a piece of rapidly self-crumpling aluminum foil. L. doesn't help any either, just increasing the force of crumple. He was drawn more and more in to a sociality that was becoming all encompassing and paralyzing. Previously he was able to hide out for periods of time. But it was becoming ore and more difficult to do that.
And Christmas was approaching. No presents this year. The debt load is already too much. No pot latch this time and people can think what they want.
Rules of the Future:
I've still been thinking a lot about the emotion of disgust after the Costes show at eyedrum and what a vivifying effect that had on the audience. Most shows people have a minor reaction to the event and then leave it. The great impact of the Costes thing was that you couldn't really leave it--even after you had left. In doing more thinking and reading about disgust, I realize how fundamental it is to the ability to draw distinctions of any kind of taste. Disgust lays in wait, in the shadows, silently turning the soil over its putrid head, paving the way (in its own disgusting unseen/obscene fashion) for more assimilable fashions.
I'm reading the book "Disgust: history and theory of a strong emotion" by Winfred Menninghaus now and enjoying it very much. My tendency is to underline every other sentence. Here are some excerpts:
"The ideal of the beautiful--the classical statue and the human body in general--is subject, from head to toe, to a topography and chronography of 'disgust.' Disgusting zones, disgusting moments are the strategic entry points of the beautiful body's construction."
"The 'aesthetic' is the field of a particular 'pleasure' whose absolute other is disgust: so runs it's briefest, it's only undisputed, yet almost wholly forgotten basic definition. Nevertheless, a careful reading of the 'classic' aesthetic theories reveals unexpectedly complicated relations between 'disgust' and aesthetic 'pleasure.' The most surprising discovery may be this one: like a sweet that is all too sweet, the beautiful is in danger--from the first and by its very nature--of turning out to be in itself something disgusting."
"Mendelssohn and Kant had defined disgust as a 'dark' sensation that so categorically indicates something 'real' that it strains the distinction between 'real' and 'imaginary'--and therewith the condition for aesthetic illusion: I am disgusted--therefore I experience something as unconditionally real (not at all as art). Nietzsche's early book on tragedy gives a new meaning to 'disgust,' making it a hallmark of metaphysical insight. Whoever, in the grip of Dionysian rapture, has once seen through the veil of appearance will henceforth be disgusted by everyday reality: for he has recognized 'the truth,' 'the eternal essence of things.' The formula -- I am disgusted therefore I have (had) access to a powerful insight (in the sense of a cognition supported by 'physiology') --has a manifold resonance throughout Nietzsche's work. As test cases for the power of distinction [i.e. having 'taste', knowing what real 'art' is, etc. rc] residing in disgust, Nietzsche recommends a whole series of objects: Jesus Christ, modern penpushers, German youth, and so forth. Only he who is genueinely revolted by these objects is not yet secretly infected by the 'disgust with life.'"
The spread of humanity and the acceleration of its means of locomotion lead to an unprecedented density of traffic and communication and, along with this, all sorts of experiences of proximity -- experiences which, as disagreeable, can read the level of disgust. On the other hand, the character of professional and private life in the contemporary world reduces precisely these experiences of bodily proximity to a statistical minimum. Those activities that carry the greatest threat of disgust--such as the care of the sick and the elderly--have for a long time been delegated to anonymous institutions. The same people who shove against one another in buses and subways live in households with steadily shrinking numbers of heads; in many large cities, more than fifty per cent of households are occupied by singles. Their professional life runs its course--at the other end of the disgust-ridden trajectory through the spaces of public life --more likely than not before computer terminals, which makes possible worldwide communication without any direct bodily contact. This new situation in the private sphere and in professional life may, at the same time, account for the enormous need for positively consumable experiences of the body and of nearness, which is then filled, in some cases, by contemporary art and audiovisual media, partly in the form of (perverse) pleasure in the disgusting. Even the simulations of disgust in the media form a bridge of sorts to the dark, 'dense' and 'intense' continent of elemental, bodily (self)perceptions.
I apparently have the flu or something like it.I feel somewhat normal during the day then at nightfall my temperature goes up until it hits 101 + and I tak some kind of patent medicine nostrum which then seems to keep me from sleeping and gives me restless legs as I think its called -- have to keep stretching and moving. I keep waiting for it to escalate into a new phase but so far no coughing, congestion etc.
Of course the media is in an uproar about this flu season (but aren't they in an uproar over everything??). The phenomenology of disease is interesting, the change of perception it entails. it's not exactly a change of perception but more like s shoft: waht was fast becomes greatly slowed down, what was cool becomes hot, what was clear and distinct becmes murky, blurred; what was at one time taken for granted becomes highlighted and brough out into the open, a sort of Heideggerean anxiety of the broken tool. everything is muffled, covered with a gauze, an apprarent extra layer between oneself and the world. It becomes glaringly apparent that one has a body. And in the case of a flu epidemic, one doesn't really feel isolated, since we are bombarded by everyone else's woes....and all the while, even wehn feeling better and the fog seems to lift, a great lethargy.
But the most uncanny thing is the gathering of forces as night approaches, an invading thing inside is attempting to heat up, cook, one's self into something else. And no doubt, if humans could find a way to transform themselves into something else it would be accompanied by heat, an alchemical basin for the conjugation of some sort of nano-particle, yes, virus-like, into the very interstices of like...an occupation zone where life (whatever that is) meets something that is not alive but not really dead matter either. Almost as if the coding function of life had escaped from any aspect other than the sheer desire to survive, the pure aspect of life: move, reproduce, then repeat.
Disease is an orthogonal force to human life that resists cultivation, throwing up ever more sophisticated battering rams. It represents all, the uncontained, old, dark bad world that we are always attempting to escape from but which, like the mask of the red death, always seems to pop up inside the band of nobles.
Dec. 21 03
Writing here seems so totally inadequate to anything, hopelessly clinging to some notion of 'writing it out'. It's not even clear what there is to write out--certainly not 'expressing oneself'. Events seem to have a mundane character almost no matter what they are. It would turn into a recounting of fairy tales---or a blunted litany of get up, go out, do this. Or mybe like some get lot in one's own personal code-world. Perhaps that's all there is.
I went out this afternoon to check on a job with SM, wants me to build a brick front porch. Then had a conversation with him about various literary things (mostly him talking). I saw the cd of the music on the way out and alsked him how he liked it. Then he made a commetn as to how he wouldn't stand fantasy. Earlier in the conversation he had mentioned how he was working on some sort of screen pay about Plato but 'couldn't stand all the talk about gods' and the language and wanted to find a new translation. What, then that would somehow manage to translate OUT any mention of 'gods' in Plato??!! The absurdity of the statement I can't even pursue. Obviously there are some personal problems there. One doesn't need to go into any sort of theology there. And he teaches history. Occasionally (well, more than occasionally) there is a taint of the most unthinking sort of ideology. Maybe that's what so disturbs me about him sometimes. I have the feeling that a tremendous argument would break out sometimes with him and I'm not sure what it would be about. And there is a sort of shallowness that is hard to describe---maybe he's truly postmodern? All I can do is be a worker. Groan.
And now sinking slowly into the morass of Christmas. A great plague perhaps watching cable is a bad idea. I guess just being here in the basement is a kind of present to my mother. I hope so since there won't be anything else.
another orange alert. Now the newscasts are saying that there will be an attack on christmas day maybe. The whole terrorist thing often seems like deep dark transference, something similar to our love of car crashes in movies and tv, something like the Y2K thing, fear of/hope for wish fullfilment, a bring-t-on state. The state of emergency is a state of excitement for everyone, even to those opposed to such states. 9/11 adrenaline junkies.