Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Learn to fly...

I have an irrational distrust of teachers. I look around at all the fair to catastrophic human output and think teachers must be partially accountable for the bad art, the ugly architecture, the soulless business, the tepid political action, the crappy food, the useless medical system, and so on... They inspired, promoted, or at least allowed these things to happen and continue happening. They are society's permission givers.

Now of course it's true that we can give ourselves permission without a teacher, and when that works, when an individual has enough critical faculty and crazy intuition to chart an original course from void to thing, well that's the best. For those who give themselves permission because their ego insists upon it, well maybe that's where a lot of the shit goes down.

I wouldn't want the world to be perfect, I don't know if I'd even want it any better; bad examples are teachers in and of themselves. But I do (selfishly) want to find those rare teachers who help enable all the excellent things that do manage to make it through to this reality. I suspect that many of them aren't lurking in the hollow halls and Cartesian compromises of academia.

Photo by Bjorn Moerman

Saturday, February 16, 2013

OK Computer...

Arthur C. Clarke serving up the future in 1974.

Friday, February 08, 2013

United Negations...

I propose a radical but gentle re-appropriation of "Just Say No!" While we the people still have power (and I think we do, but only for minute or so more), let's say no to what ails us for a one-year trial and embrace the positives of that negation. A soft anarchy toward an overdue correction.

What about no US presidential election in 2016? What about no drones above, no fracking below? No governments, no power-plays, no leaders. No media. No narratives fed. No Fed. No money. No advertising. No junk food. No toxic chemicals. No wars. No guns. No crime. No punishment. No "because we can" technology and attitudes.

Shit, I'm rewriting "Imagine" here, aren't I... Well, imagine it. Are we grown up enough as a species to take care of ourselves for one year without being told what to do? Are there enough examples out there, gentleman and gentlewoman anarchists, who are able to show us how to live life away from the game of civilization?

For general safety and emergencies, we'll keep the hospitals and the fire departments open and the rescue dogs well fed. And libraries and the internet can stay too, for learning how to do things and empowering entertainments.

"Unicorns and rainbows" you say scoffing me off, because maybe you're liking this, because maybe logic has infiltrated your mind like ivy on a building, because maybe you're a little drunk on this Kool-aid, this game.

But you know that there really is no reason why we can't unplug the exponential cancer to try another game, to see what it's like to live unadorned. Only the will is absent, probably because we're collectively hypnotized away from embracing our own existence.

And if it goes wrong, meaning if we were to try this experiment and the lesser angels of our nature triumph, it will still have been the most encouraging thing we've done.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

From Void to Execution...

I'm always drawn to the odd choices of words that pop up in professional or industrial lexicons. When we void out a transaction does it dematerialize back to the cosmic void? The train ends at the terminal. This job was killed (and therefore results in a kill-fee). That job was not killed, on the contrary it was well executed. It seems oddly fitting that the act of realizing a thing in the thin, post-god, desperately unifying layer of marketplace reality should be described as ending its life.
Twitter that.

Which reminds me, my professional skill set should have a catchy descriptor - you know like "from farm to table", "from soup to nuts," "from concept to completion." I've decided that mine would be "from void to execution."

Day by day, I pull low-hanging ideas from the void and drive them mercilessly up to, or through, the soul-sapping gates of manifestation - organizing what was perfect chaos, stripping off pesky metaphysical husks, awkwardly cramming big beautiful notions into compact words and phrases, ultimately abandoning them at the doorstep of monetized reality. I don't sell, that is a job for others. I've tasted that skill set, and while I know I can do it, I know I should not.

(photo by Stephan Zirwes)