Hut Journal November
October 5, 199
These are my new Rules of the Road and which is basically, ONE rule, to
wit: 1) Never believe what anyone tells you..or even better, believe the
exact opposite of what they tell you. If they say "I believe in honesty",
get ready for a lie; if they say "I would never leave you", pack
your bags; if they say I really believe you can do it", look for the
pot hole they are busy digging; if they say "I'm a cynic at heart",
that means they are an extreme idealist and have been burned so many times
they mistake the holes in their heart for cynicism; if they say 'I'm pretty
idealistic overall", then watch when things go wrong and they begin
to assembly their weaponry...
But then...I'm basically a cynic at heart...
THE DEAD NEVER LEAVE
I went to see the movie 'Stigmata' yesterday. In watching the previews,
I was struck by the number of movies now out or about to come out on the
theme of the raising of the dead (the new Scorscese film) or the return
of the dead, communication with the dead ("The Sixth Sense", "Stir
of Echoes") or maybe the messianic return of the dead (perhaps the
yet unreleased new Schwartzenegger film--looks like it from the one-sheet
ad). Probably many others I just can't remember right now. The interesting
thing is that these are not necessarily horror films (like 'Night of the
Living Dead') where the sole purpose is to create some visceral thrill.
It's almost as if the concept of return is taken for granted and then the
real world consequences of that are developed: what if there really WERE
a continuum of the living and the dead?
That same serendipitous afternoon I saw an interview with George Anderson,
a medium, who was being interviewed (on CNBC of all places) because of a
documentary that a couple of women had made on him and that was going to
be on HBO that night. They showed a film clip where he 'discerned' (his
term) a couple's dead son and told them some info about/from him.
How interesting the close link between the living and the just dead! It
seems we are willing to accept (some of us) that we can make contact with
the fairly recently dead but the 'deep dead' are more problematic for us!
We can just maybe conceive of ONE layer of the dead, clinging tenuously
to us the living by some thin tattered gossamer ether (or maybe it is the
other way round!!...maybe it is the living who cling like bats to the sheer
vertical wall of the dead, disappearing below us and above us into the mist,
occasionally hearing their cries and intuiting distant vague shapes of those
who have dropped off next to us)
But to have the millennia of dead crawling around us?? (and why stop at
the human? why not ALL the dead? Only human hubris would assert otherwise...all
the silvered fragments of ALL life that has ever been, hanging thinly everywhere
unseen but not uneffecting, a dust cloud of motes rising and falling around
the earth. (I'm reminded of the British artist, Cornelia Parker I think,
who had a garden shed blown up and then hung all the charred remaining pieces
she could find, large and small, in the air, recreating the shed in some
vague fashion...The piece was called 'Cold, Dark Matter' but, in a way,
the matter lives more widely now that it did as a shed...)
The net sometimes seems to me as that exploded shed. life and mind abstracted
from its living, functional condition, detourned to a new, colder, more
abstract, even bizarre, 'hanging' in space, with new terms, new movements,
barely choate arrangements of understanding and relation -- nevertheless,
a gathering in the midst of dispersal, a constant remembering, gathering
in power by the day, literally....A Confluence of Codes let's call it.
The sodden entangled mass of life blown up, then eviscerated, pried open
like a starfish opens an oyster, pushing its stomach into the soft insides
A true messianic project of the recovery of all the dead through time becomes
a 'feasible' reflection of the gathering/recovery of the living now, AKA
Frank Tipler's thesis http://www.math.tulane.edu:80/~tipler/tipler/tipler2.html
-- as the individual can only grieve the immediately passed, the species
necessarily covers a wider span, since it includes a structural memory of
the deep dead.
the Return and Gathering becomes 'feasible' now not because of any 'facts'
concerning such but rather because of a supersaturated communicational state
that humanity is now moving into (it might even be said that the person
walking around with a cell phone talking and the one hooked to the net are
only small METAPHORS for this larger, denser -- 'heavy metal' as Novalis
put it -- State of Communication. And isn't that state even larger, more
encompassing than the state of grace?
hookay, kitten don't wanna correspond wid her cyberlover any more... but
here's some Bataille for her anyway-- one more tomorrow, then you'll be
shut of me dearest...(been doin' some research for ze xxxxxx show)
"A good game only has value if the cards are properly shuffled and
cut, and not set up in a prior arrangement, which would constitute cheating.
The player's decisions must themselves be chancy, due to his ignorance of
the other players' hands. The secret force of loved ones and the value of
their conjunction cannot result from decisions or intentions determined
in advance. It is true that, even beyond prostitution or marriage, the world
of lovers is still more the realm of trickery than is the world of gambling.
There are no precise limits, but instead there are numerous nuances between
the ingenuous meeting of persons incapable of hidden motives, and the impudent
flirtation that ceaselessly arranges frauds and maneuvers. But naive unconsciousness
alone has the power to conquer the world of miracles where lovers meet."
G.B. from 'Visions of Excess'
I went to a public panel discussion yesterday on the controversy surrounding
a controversial piece in a controversial exhibit in a new show that opened
in new york. (doesn't necessarily matter what the piece or the exhibit was,
the controversy always swirls around the same issue: "My (sex, religion,
gender, nation, self-image) is terribly offended by this; why are we giving
you money to make us feel bad?" Really not much more to be said about
it that hasn't been said by hundreds of commentators seeking 'shed some
light' on the situation (keeping in mind J. D. Peters comment that "...communication
as a bridge always means an abyss is somewhere near.")
Then later that day I went to see the films "American Beauty"
and "The Thomas Crown Affair". They were both depressing but "The
Thomas Crown Affair' slightly more so really. I assume most people would
think the opposite. But I'm terribly familiar with the abjection of "American
Beauty", with it's self-centered nihilism, its disconnections, its
failures, losses, fatigues, critiques, it's the watermark of 'good, thought
provoking film' now, that somehow, the thought in the back of the brain
goes, it will make you a better person if you deal with this, come to grips
with it, be TRANSFORMED by it, is the critique's plea perhaps. Although
god knows transformed into WHAT...as if staring into an asshole will make
us understand shit better, come to appreciate its aesthetic qualities. (Just
as in the panel discussion becomes inchoate at a certain point because no
one even knows what art IS anymore, what function, if any, it's supposed
to serve--or rather, to be more precise, EVERYONE knows what art is -- and
each definition is different...which says to me that we are in the realm
of Gillespie's thesis on self-extrapolating annihilation, i.e., nihilism,..and
the devil take the hindmost; it's a slippery slope at that point since ALL
viewpoints, even ostensibly redemptive ones --Freud, Marx, etc.--, can and
will be allotted their moment under the black sun.)
So how depressing for one's whose 'expectations,' such as they are, are
in coherence with "American Beauty", to then see the 'happy ending'
of "The Thomas Crown Affair"! And it's sobering to also realize
that it's a remake of a film from years ago and to see the distance that
the culture has moved -- or at least some of the official organs of that
culture which certainly have some reflective components (and probably some
constructive components too).
But all three events seem to be mining the same territory: how can the self
best take flight from itself and other selves, or even --hypocritically--how
can the self take flight from itself by pretending to be interested in other
selves? But of course, the scenarios are never framed that way, but rather
in the exact opposite way: we (or you, as it rounds the corner into smaller
and larger totalitarianisms) are lost; how can we find our selves (or help
you find yours).
I'm reminded of a quote from Kafka I read recently:
"Written kisses don't reach their destination, rather they are drunk
on the way by ghosts. It is on this simple nourishment they multiply so
enormously. Humanity senses this and fights against it and in order to eliminate
as far as possible the ghostly element between people and to create natural
communication, the peace of souls, it has invented the railway, the motor
car, the airplane, [the net?]. But it's no longer any help, these are evidently
inventions being made at the moment of crashing."
How can one know what is significant in one's life? We often find out only
--"How can you say that? We make decisions all the time based on what
we think is significant."
A glance, a passed word...only later do we know the import of it, where
it places us. For most, 'work' is what is significant...but isn't one's
life the most significant? isn't 'work' added later?
--"You're not making much sense to me. 'Work', 'life'...you speak in
these vast generalities. Who can live there, in those non-places?"
We live where we live. Who are you to tell me where and how I can or cannot
live? You wish to live in a state of distraction perhaps, away from certain
internal places of doubt. Do you doubt that others can live in such uncertainties,
that they find a certain comfort there, even if only the comfort of a bed
--"See, I just don't get this. Everyone DOES live in that state of
uncertainty now. How could you possibly want to valorize such a thing? Are
you trying to WILL your own unhappiness?"
I've never said anything about happiness, much less unhappiness. Perhaps
it's the case that 'happiness' is always foreclosed, always placed in scare
quotes, severely contingent, but on what one seldom knows: the drop of a
leaf, that retrospectively heard passed word, shimmering lightly beneath
the skin, never quite fully pronounced, slurred or stammered on the way
into existence. Isn't that always the way of it? Pain is much more open
ended, lending a certain patience to everything, either patience or death,
there doesn't seem to be an in-between. Pain causes an excruciating waiting
-- and isn't uncertainty a kind of waiting? We would like for it to be a
fortuitous waiting, a pregnant waiting, finally giving birth to the end
of waiting, a final event. That finality we call happiness. But isn't that
finality, ultimately, a form of death, ... certainly death-in-life.
More than that one could not ask for.
And usually less than what we get.
And ultimately the only thing that is 'required' of us is that we die.
And to breath, or maybe gasp, in between alpha and omega.
Perhaps I'm one of those doomed, cursed beings I always read about: cursed
with an intense internal existence that makes life seem like a trap; cursed
by trying to bring that trap, however feebly and enervated, into view. Though
perhaps there is something to be said for the fact that I also thereby bring
it into existence, the work of my own continual fierce infernal incantations,
continually rubbing that throbbing gland into new heights of penny ante
Perhaps divinatory systems -- I Ching, tarot, horosccope -- work (and to
me they often do seem to `work' in some fashion) in this way: A mosquito
was buzzing around me and I tied to slap it a couple of times to no avail.
I finally waiting, with my hand hovering above my chest, waiting for it
to land so that I could smash it. Finally it landed on my HAND and I acted.
Just so, perhaps we go to the future in these systems, rather than the future
being brought to us
I watched the Frontline PBS program last night, `The Children of Rockdale',
and had incredibly mixed feelings about it afterward (the story is of a
large group of teenagers having group sex in the same county where the school
shooting happened), a mix enhanced by the fact that I know one of the experts
being queried at Emory, from when I was married. The Atlanta paper afterward
of course carried interviews with `adults' about What It All Meant, etc.
Just like the lines of sexual interaction and contact they showed, it's
an almost untangleable thicket. I mean, as if the adults THEMSELVES were
a) not sexual creatures and could make value-free pronouncements about sexual
conduct (the experts) and/or b) were cathected sexual beings, always everywhere
determined by their own sexual hang-ups, phobias, expectations, etc. or
c) that there is an actual turn-on aspect to the program, with these kids
doing stuff that most adults only furtively fantasize about when they rent
and of course the lessons I guess we're supposed to draws from all this
is the complete decline of civilization as we know it, rather than as a
`green fuse' that through the shadows grow, to bastardize Dylan Thomas.
And not that I could condone, necessarily, the kids actions---but I can
certainly understand it. I thought of the Bonobo chimps afterward: hypersexual
creatures who use sex for greetings, for comfort, for distraction, for play,
an almost constant form of interaction.
The terrible thing about an adult contemporary human is the incredible amount
of non-contact and isolation many of us live in. (I'm thinking of the great
poignancy of the film `American Beauty' again). Such things as this Rockdale
incident can thus only be seen by a great majority of adults with an almost
uncomprehending disbelief/disgust/fascination/subterranean desire.
Technology both instigates and soothes this---how feeble and sad the guy
masturbating in front of a triple x video, an erection which the tech brings
about and THEN culminates. Meanwhile, relations between the sexes seems
to be getting more and more problematic. (yes, I'm doing a little projection
here, but not entirely I think). It's easy to see why many people are undergoing
a drastic withdrawal from the whole game -- well, I can only speak in terms
of the males I know--which would include me to some degree no?. It often
seems that the whole atmosphere of the socius is now sexually charged, no
matter what the situation, almost as if sex were migrating out through the
porous membrane of the skin, to the other side somehow, like a porn film
which has been reformatted for some other genre yet it bleeds through in
its effects; somehow, structurally, it continues to elicit sexual reactions,
even as, let's say, butter is being sold---Marx's theological/phantasmagorical
hijinxs of capital's fetishism has now become erectile tissue rather than
some numinous quality---but then they may not be that far apart.
On the way back from the job
before the rehearsal before the gig,
violins scriddling away on the radio,
porcelain sky, the afternoon has an
unbearable, even horrible beauty briefly,
a quality borne of tensions
pulling open the sky, thinning it like some
sort of transcendent taffy,
past rememberance continually pulling from future,
opening into us HERE and now, then closing at every microsecond,
thin stretched canopy of life, reality becoming-porous: everything,
trees pouring into and out of that gaping hole
which is everyplace and noplace...
Reality itself, for a moment, a split moment, caving open,
gleaming freshly, strange as both a fresh cut
and the tension of a balloon being
past its reasonable point of elasticity---yet still holding, becoming
translucent, then transparent --
but you know it's still there, under
tension, beautiful in its imminent opening,
then collapsing, then opening
..., converging simultaneously,
the cut itself and not the sides cleaving from it
ballooning into the
world for one hideous beautiful moment,
between the opening and the closing of the eye,
a blink full of worlds and
a privileged glimpse
of the thinned middle noplace angels
used to hide
when there still WERE angels
now just ringing hollow..
all-hallows eve...If this were a true journal, I would recount the business
and the boundedness of the past week, its frustrations, its subsequent sedimentations
into a kind of bass note of despair, the continual turning of small victories
into just dog-eared pages of my personal history, a palimpsest of faded
blueprints, yellowed newspaper clippings, trod underfoot partially obscured
by heel prints ... how painful is the personal, yet inescapable---
I went to a digital arts conference this past week and saw three presentations.
The first two by poets had a shifting-sand quality to them, chaotic collisions
be felt anywhere, rather: systems interacting, creating moiré patterns,
interlacing, interfering, re-enforcing -- but no place, no person; affect
becomes another variable to be tinkered with, morphed into an inexplicable
rhythm, always attempting to move away from the personal, away from the
testimonial, away from the eyewitness into the agglutinative retinal dispersions
and gatherings at the back of the eye before it enters the brain maybe.
In this mechanical modeling the pieces were the very image of `cutting edge
art' ... that means, nowadays, art that belies any expressivity of the `human'
(the closer to the machine, the more it becomes `bleeding edge'), which
has in fact slipped closer to the line of flight represented by pure machinic
functioning (or at least the contemporary phenomenological imagining of
such). I think this has ever been the case whether in 1850 (maybe even in
30, 000 b.c. with entranced shamans blowing soot on their hand against the
wall, in the depths of some uterine cave) : the desire to escape what it
is to be a human, even inasmuch as we've never been sure what the human
was, and that very attempt at a jail break helping to define new parameters
of the human. The human is always in negotiation with the non-human and
the site of that negotiation is always language and image in some uneasy
The third presentation was a melancholic, childhood remembrance folded into
considerations of media saturation and with a straight forward narrative
thrust, trying to make sense of our media soup sieves by recourse to the
personal (what a mutual friend calls `MFA fiction'), the very opposite of
the choatic immersion of the first two. And there was a slight generational
but isn't this whole journal some instance of the latter, some attempt,
however jumbled, to make sense of...something? when in fact there is no
sense to be `made' only sense to be taken apart, a dispersion and chaos
to be reveled/raveled in....How old hat this whole enterprise seems dear
non-reader, some attempt to scrabble up a wall when other folks are bulldozing
left and right, clearing bright and shiny and empty fields (apparently no
feels though) which scintillate in their own bright and shiny emptiness....
I could write anything I want here: threats, wants, needs,
personal attacks, pacts with the devil, the size of my dick and
the length the cum travels, who I'm sleeping with, who I
hate, who I love, who I can never forget, a list from my secret bin of
resentments, or my most skintight fantasies -- names, dates,
places, bomb threats.....
and I feel it wouldn't matter a whit. Tucked into the flurry of words and
sentences, the whole mass becomes largely invisible, could be a testimonial
to the end of the world, a prehension of such, the second coming flowing
into pixels and it wouldn't matter.
Liberatory in a way, like writing on the raw Khora itself, blossoming out
into some nether region, like blood swirling turgidly, solidly, into water,
the shape of the body itself, before it disperses...
How much more painful, chaotic, numbed, confused, empty, dispersed -- although
perhaps along this same axis -- must be those lone souls who are now exploding
periodically throughout the culture, like some overheated circuit breaker,
the most visible being males. But surely there is an accompanying female
syndrome/ex-/im-/plosion??! What is the shape of THAT?
I can only think of J. D. Peters recall of Emerson's three defining horrors
that the nineteenth century has bequeathed to the twentieth: a God-forsaken
universe, a self lost in its own labyrinth, and other people depleted of
substantive being. In a way all things become possible in such an environment..and
I do mean ALL things. Can there be anything more frightening under such
conditions of extreme freedom? For some of us, anything, including enslavement
and/or oblivion, are preferable...and there are always others to assist
us in slavery and self-destruction.
"The readers' in 1843 might think [Fear and Trembling] a dialectical
lyric about Abraham and Isaac, but she who had ears to hear the hidden meaning
of the text was Regine Olsen. Kierkegaard spent his literary career explaining
the supremely overdetermined event, in which he broke off the engagement
with Regine, such that all readers of his pseudonymous works beside Regine
are positioned as eavesdroppers."
J.D. Peters "Speaking Into The Air"
I communicated again. or attempted to communicate. even after I had vowed
not to. But it was avowedly one-way. I sometimes think that I can only live
(I had just typoed that as `love'--same difference) at a certain level of
pain, that all attempts at directness are doomed to reverse to their insuperable,
insufferable opposite: a paralytic state concomitant with my current state
(---although I am given heart in having just read this: "It would be
foolish to disparage communications that never leave our own circles as
failures. [....] Dialogic ideology keeps us from seeing that expressive
acts occurring over distances and without immediate assurance of reply can
be desperate and daring acts of dignity." J.D. Peters )
I'm sitting in a coffee shop watching people come in, pass by....For some
`style' seems to precede and preclude the person, making it seem like you're
just dealing with a surface ensemble of elements --
but sometimes `person' itself seems to be the style, a vibration through
the stylus, that precedes, precludes, practices....something, bearing earnestly
into wax, vibrating some trace of something into something else, just a
single wavy line cut through the hollow density of the world, humanity as
a mass of tracers over a battlefield, or the invisible impacted simultaneities
of all the `messages' passing through the electromagnetic spectrum, myriad
crimps put on the edge of the quantum foldings and superpositions.
Under conditions of extreme, ontological shall we say, abandonment (if a
parent were to leave a child on a street corner, would we consider that
as freedom? The mistake is in thinking that humans ever `grow up' enough
to be left on the street corner), under such conditions, the only possible
hope for survival is to inflate the stylus as much as possible, to make
the cut as deep as possible, to be as VISIBLE as possible....and the most
visible thing this culture knows is celebrity, itself a kind of style 'explosion'.
Unfortunately most people seem to only have access to the explosion part
of the equation.
Not that I necessarily believe this (even from one who occasionally feels
deeply homesick--I guess I believe in a permanently exilic condition)...but
I do like the navigational imagery:
"The beauty of the country through which we past,
and the very pleasure of the motion, charm our hearts,
and turning these things which we ought to use into
objects of enjoyment, we become unwilling to hasten the end of our journey;
and becoming engrossed in factious delight, our
thoughts are diverted from that home whose delights would
make us truly happy. Such is a picture of our condition
in this life of mortality."
Would that I could take this as gospel...maybe `readings' help to fudge
`fateful' equations however:
Week commencing Saturday, 6th November 1999
Weeks like this don't come along very often. We have to wait till the
planets are in the right alignment. You will soon gain two essential
advantages. The first is a clear mind. You can expect an amazing ability
to see the difference between the crucial and the irrelevant. If you can't
immediately see what a powerful, useful blessing this adds up to, it
must be some long while since you last enjoyed such clarity. It can be
employed, at any level of life, in order to get what you need. And your
second celestial asset? That's energy. Mars is about to give you the
strength to persevere till you achieve what you set out to achieve.
well, one clarity I have already is that my obsession with the idea of a
female `partner' is at an end. I'm very tired of trying to push and shove
my meager life around to accommodate just the IDEA -- not even anything
close to an actuality mind you, but just the thought of POSSIBILITY -- of
such. It may well be that we live only half-lives as singlets...but we certainly
don't even live even THAT portion if we (I) remain mired in phantasmic notions
of such. The reality of relationships is that they are hard going now even
under the BEST of circumstances --i.e., sufficient money really -- much
less under the worse. Why in god's name I've even pursued it to the extent
I have recently is ...well, it's not feasible, that's what it is. My ascription
of a `Golden Age' of female/sexual companionship, as both you and I intimately
know, is largely illusion. It's true that we live (and die) by our illusions
and that in some sense they are all we have but--it's sometimes necessary
to choose some over others. It's sort of sad though that even illusions
and fantasies have to undergo the same dreary Darwinian struggle for survival
that traps the rest of life...
a wu wei autumn this year--
'wu wei' is a taoist phrase meaning literally 'no-mind', a kind of
by-passing of the normal faculties of the mind to get to a 'productive
emptiness'...everything seems properly ordained and in place and the mind
is not interfering with that process...
winter here now: crystal clear days, leaves have changed, good many have
dropped, only just beginning to pull the covers up over the ground, temperature
around 74 degrees day and 50 at night, looks to remain that off and on through
thanksgiving this year...
after a while it begins to make one restless though, the external environment
not consonant with one's own internal sturm and drang. So there is a choice
of sorts: lock in with the outside wu wei and let it percolate inside or
stay with anxiety and misery and let it color everything.
In reality no choices are made--or the choices one makes don't seem very
stable...or only stable within the confines of the same-old-same-old personality
one has always known and loved/hated oneself for being. It doesn't really
seem very feasible to leverage one's 'personality set' very far afield--that's
why kids crawl on to go-rounds on the playground, get dizzy and lose themselves
in wu wei, why there is psychoanalysis, drugs, rebirths of various kinds:
the promise of a sortie, a casting of one's lot beyond oneself in moves
that will be, if not redemptive and providential (and after all how often
does that happen?) at least emptying.
We humans are often like some sort of sci-fi scenario where the creature
gives birth and then leaves its aging, mis-haped body to enter its fresh
wu wei-ed (instead of weighed down) spring-off, another chance to hope for
the really BIG spring-off that religion (and now technology) always promises
us -- just around the corner, around the bend to grandma's house--whose
place has been taken over by the wolf of course. We're always trying to
kill that godam wolf--but the problem is that at a certain point we're never
really sure which is the comfortable grandma and which is the mean old wolf
(the sad part being that part of the time we kill the grandma but we can
never really kill the wolf)...the irony being that we always get eaten in
the end by the wolf no matter what we do.
The pivotal moment in the the new movie `The Bone Collector' comes shortly
after a police detective enters a bookstore in search of clues to a string
of gristly murders. At the site of these murders, evidence and staged clues
intermingle. As the detective enters the store, the camera pans and zooms
to a sign containing the sections which the store is divided into and then
tightens in on the sections headings of both `True Crime' AND `Philosophy'.
Serving to put the philosophically-minded on notice, the movie at that point
takes on a different kind of clue hunting structure than it had before.
What are we to make of this? An accidental camera shot? A subtle hint about
certain implications concerning the connection of philosphy's task (often
conflated with the male task/tusk/tool/control) with that of a forensic
specialist? or the connection of philosophy with/as murder...as might be
resuscitated in a philosopher's Sadean bedroom?
Some more clues for us: The persistence of a raptor image in the film, in
it's larger cousin of the eagle, a Hegelian stand-in for some sort of absolute
knowledge, flying high above the crime scene (and in fact there is later
on a murder on the street far below the main protagonist apartment, and
a prodigious cinematic pullback from street to apartment, making explicit
the connect between mouse-and-raptor, knowledge-and-clue, mind-and-body.
And for the 'philosopher' ("I've read thousands of books!"
cries Denzel Washington's bodiless head to the object of his
desire)...every thing is a 'crime scene'.
more clues: the chief detective, Denzel Washington, has become paralyzed
from almost the neck down, leaving only his panoptic head, surrounded by
a plethora of prosthetic augmentations: cameras, computers, microscopes,
an `intelligent', breath-activated bed. (A curious scene at the beginning
of the movie flashes back to the site of his accident, where he is attempting
to rescue another officer who---seems to look identical to Washington himself!)--certain
female objections to androcentric, philosophic projects being that very
disconnect from the body, a disconnect which tech reinforces and which philosophy
And in another turn-around, the murderer is a clue interpreter himself,
wrongly accused of evidence tampering (by OTHER evidence that a younger
Washington has collected) and sent to prison for a number of years. Both
males, protagonist and antagonist, are caught in a sort of paralytic loop
(compulsive searching for clues in one case, leading to the loss of the
body and compulsive ruminations of revenge as a result of being made into
a prison `female' by the other), which is only broken by the intuitive powers
of a female. This homosocial loop is enacted most vividly in the penultimate
scene when the murderer confronts and attacks Washington; it ends with Washington
only able `go for the jugular' literally with his teeth as the murder ineffectually
humps Washington underneath him, trying to get away.
clue: the small scraps of paper, the clues from each of the crime scenes
eventually are eventually resolved from fragments of cryptic marks which
look like a foreign text, into a drawing .. of a woman -- and which the
apprentice forensic detective (whose real name is appropriately enough `Angelina'
-- swooping down from desire [o my god, those lips!] and whose movie name
is just as appropriately, `Amelia' [aviatrix lost at sea] ) is the first
to swoop down and identify the faded `text' -- preeminently the place where
`philosophy' lives -- as it is puzzled into a woman's face
Hegel spoke of the appropriateness of the color gray for the philosopher,
a mediated shade in-between black and white. How fitting then that Amelia,
sent to the scene of another crime and underneath the city should report
back in dismay to her talking head, the bodiless panoptic cop: "There's
gray dust everywhere; it's all over my shoes."
I could go on (for example, Amelia's refusal to cut off the hands, under
the direction via radio of the bodiless cop Washington, for `evidence' purposes
of course, of her sister-victim)...but I won't; you'll have to ferret out
the rest of the clues yrself.
Don't you agree that cultural artifacts--movies ESPECIALLY--are rarely what
they seem? Or do you think they are ONLY what they seam?
A little over a month till the big `00. I wonder how many similar journals
are being kept online? My vague hope was to spend it with a female `partner';
that's obviously not going to happen. But as I've perhaps mentioned before
(will this thing never end??!?!), I've realized recently that my millennium
ended in 1996 and that I spend that new year's with Lesley (eerily enough,
just as they say now that the new millennium would have actually started
around then because the birth of Christ has been pushed back), and also
the year that the comet hit Jupiter. How well I remember the apocalypse.