me hut journal febuary 2004  

Feb 2004 H.U.T.
"We desire most what we fear most, and the familiar often comes to us in disguise. Hence the gothic imagery of haunted houses and familiar Hollywood tales of spooky suburbia, the ghostly other side of the American dream. At first glance, it appears that the uncanny is a fear of the familiar, whereas nostalgia is a longing for it; yet for a nostalgic, the lost home and the home abroad often appear haunted. Restorative nostalgics don't acknowledge the uncanny and terrifying aspects of what was once homey. Reflective nostalgics see everywhere the imperfect mirror images of home, and try to cohabit with doubles and ghosts."
Svetlana Boym, The Future of Nostalgia

I was in a coffee shop today reading the paper. Next to me were a family unit. They were going back and forth over the mars missions annnounced by Bush. The guys were all for it but the mother unit seemed unimpressed.
I sometimes go over to http://marsunearthed/ and stare at many of the photos there. I guess it's all the time I spent reading Robert Heinlein and many many others, sitting out on summer nights on the hood of the family car looking up at the stars but...the woman in coffee shop i find it hard to understand. I know the arguments but there is something agonizing about looking at some of those photos, so mysterious, so filled with possibilities, strangeness...but in fact most humans stay behind wherever the new place is mentally or otherwise...and to some degree I realize that 'mothering' in the widest possible sense demands it. And yet...isn't there something about leaving the nest that's necessary also and that even a Mother must come to realize?

last night ED screened SPACE IS THE PLACE, newly released on DVD -- what a wonderful film, both naïve and touching yet something that does almost move outside it's particular domain of time-bounded space. Next in the series is the new Derrida film…I think It's a good one-two kinda punch even though absolutely no one really gets it….i think Sunday night should be our free freaky movie night

In the midst of winter, with the blur of a half hangover and the whiz and chatter of a tv in the back ground, one can sometimes only wish for the dead duplicity of the exile. ("The main feature of exile is a double conscience, a double exposure of different times and spaces, a constant bifurcation." Boym).... but then he realized with a start that the very wish itself was the result of some sort of interior exile, of unhealable breaches between various regions: his youth and his approaching old age, his insides and his outsides, the abysmal circumstances he found himself in, a man without qualities except without the frisson of turning the page into a new modern era. The current era felt to him both worn out and yet forever unquenchably dynamic in it's unfurling and its unstoppableness...that damn marching band image again with himself caught up in the middle, forced to play and yet not quite able to read the notes, just enough to catch the drift and yet not enough to become unconsciously absorbed in it. The way he felt about everything. He always felt the pull of his childhood like some undertow, constant but greater in some seasons that others. This seems to have been true for most of his adult life, like the Taos Hum, always there if he stopped a minute to listen, a secret kingdom gone somehow embedded into the environment or like stigography and yet with no chance of recovery, the exact analog of the non-appearance of the Messiah at the other end of the extended spectrum

Pneuma-- matter wrapped around spirit like a halo, particles making their entrance into the world, light wrapped in a blanket of flesh---that's the gnostic conception of the pneumatic soul no doubt, a soul that can't be accepted anymore for whatever reasons. The 'spirit' now seems like a sink hole, debris swirling around after the flush, life as the flotsam and jetsam of materiality defined as much by its ignominious exit as anything, certainly not the beginning. Between the alpha of birth and omega of death, just an inflated balloon. The population has become a swarm of particulate matter, billions of individual, well, we find it hard pressed to call them souls because many of them are in the in-between of whatever existence, here simply for their use value apparently, their standing reserve as Heidegger called them. They, we, are like the sparks flying from a late night fire, coals struck back into life for a few minutes by a poker, streamers of particles flying up and out the chimney, available at will, but with a totally negligible lifetime measured in microseconds. To even write like this seems pedestrian, conservative, not nearly preparatory enough for the Great Coseting of Life into mere life, a certain vector of biodynamics, easily reproduced, We Can Build You, Agamben's arrival of a world wide camp of biological matter, the turning into objects. We are on the threshold of something, a something which is Nothing, vast populations circling it, circling the drain.



robert cheatham