Here’s a good one: “tradition is based on pride in collective habit, on the conscience that approves the pride, and on the fear that if habit and conscience fail, the result will be social chaos, the fear of which is in turn based on a particularly low assessment of human nature” (Ami-Scharfstein). I am trying to write a novel, which is a fairly traditional thing to do, and I suppose I do have pride in the collective cultural habit of producing novels. My conscience, the moral judge seated in every person (well, almost every person) by the same collective habit, approves this pride, believes novels are  “good to think” (as Levi-Strauss put it). I do not think that we would descend into social chaos if people stopped reading and writing novels, however, though I do find the idea very sad. I am fairly certain, actually, that we will grow beyond reading and writing at some point in the near future, though i think we will retain a grammar for things, however we do manage to communicate them. Ah well, time is long. I managed to write 6,000 words yesterday, then was overcome by the need to go get ice cream….
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That’s interesting, I posted a link to a review David Blaine did of my 2nd book here, and the whole post appeared automatically as a comment under the review on the outsiderwriters website. They must also be using WordPress too, I guess? unhappy hipsters.

CDs, December 09

A reminder: I am listening to all my CDs (all 1600 of them), one at a time, and then writing a bit about each. 72) The Clash: Combat Rock London Calling is better, but this is still a great CD, and “Straight To Hell” may be my favorite Clash song just now. It’s also the CD most people will recognize, so if you are stuck in a room with 100 strangers, and you just have to play a Clash CD, then this one will please the largest percentage of folks, at least once “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” comes on; “this is a public service announcement–with GUITARS!” will probably alienate many of them at first, and then “Car Jamming” is a bit of a wash, but then the hits come one and you are off and running and won’t be torn limb from limb by the mob. (bonus: they never became the Rolling Stones, let alone Led Zeppelin, despite the attempts of many coke-spoon and pinky-ring wearing bastards to make them so.) 73) Karen Dalton: It’s So Hard To Tell Who’s Going To Love You Best Dalton was a part of the Greenwhich Village folk revival, playing with…
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The suburbs

An interesting discussion on the freakonomics blog: future of the suburbs I’ve lived in suburbs and always found it a soul-draining experience, but lots of people seem to like them. Another example of how the internet lets us see into the thought processes of people whose existence we may have begun to suspect was a media ploy.

Go Bills!

this is too funny: American Football by Harold Pinter Hallelujah! It works. We blew the shit out of them.We blew the shit right back up their own ass And out their fucking ears.It works. We blew the shit out of them. They suffocated in their own shit! Hallelujah. Praise the Lord for all good things. We blew them into fucking shit. They are eating it. Praise the Lord for all good things. We blew their balls into shards of dust, Into shards of fucking dust. We did it. Now I want you to come over here and kiss me on the mouth. (accessed:  http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/harold_pinter/poems/16163.html)

Because it’s September 11th (and soon to be Sept 12th)

GB’s Lake On September 12th, 2001, I went fishing. Perhaps not the most patriotic reaction, but my place of employment had been closed for the day and sitting propped in front of the TV news seemed even less patriotic than angling. The mega-corporation that my wife works for stayed open, of course, although some shadowy cabal in charge of morale did broadcast a company-wide email recommending folks seek out one of the many crisis management-certified staff members, if they felt the need. It has been my experience that a certain ratio exists between a) the difficulty management has reacting emotionally to events not directly tied to mutual funds or golf, and b) the size of the corporate entity they inhabit, so the flat inadequacy of the communiqué Ashley received was no surprise. Corporations exist globally, and the destruction of the twin towers had revealed that the U.S., for all its posturing, was still largely provincial, and the very act of revealing the frightened, suspicious, local character of our people made them even more frightened and suspicious–but then again, this small town character was also the source of all the acts of selflessness and bravery that followed in the wake of…
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weird spam…

Someone (something?) is posting weird spam to the comments… I know the headers are randomized to get by spam blockers etc, but they are really fascinating for a minute: hoopstick terrorist patchword collectivism handout unforgiving adscriptive orangeade silverer propargyl axiom naomi chamaesiphonaceous slacking emictory hutkeeper potmaker unnumberedness frontlet matchableness unavailing capitulator trimness phacolite yeah man, what he said. Anyway, cut that shit out. Guess I need to upgrade my wordpress and stop being lazy.

bad blogger!

In fact, I don’t really consider myself a blogger because I post so sporadically. We need a new word for occasional bloggers… or not, who knows what tech will be in place 10 years from now, blogging and using your phone for text messages will be like bad 70’s haircuts. In the meantime, PJ Gallo at Coldfront has written a review of my book, thank you sir!

Free X-rays

and cat scans, and so forth:  Radiology Picture of the Day I have always been fascinated by the character of x-rays, the ghostly style… glowing bones and muscle and tissue, all a frog’s hair from dissipation. We must do like the animals that rub out their traces at the entrance to their lairs. Seek no longer that the world should speak of you, but how you should speak to yourself. Retire into yourself, but first prepare to receive yourself there; it would be madness to trust in yourself if you do not know how to govern yourself. … Borrow nothing except from yourself, arrest your mind and fix it on definite and limited thoughts, and rest content with them, without any desire to prolong life and reputation. –Monataige, “On Solitude”