Section 188 of Nietzsche's Daybreak

Food and Intoxication  --  People are so greatly deceived because they are always seeking a deceiver:  that is to say, a wine to stimulate their senses.  If only they can have that, they are quite content with bad bread.  Intoxication means more to them than nourishment -- this is the bait they will always take!  What is a capable man of the people compared with sports champions and movie stars?  The man of the people at least has to hold out to them the prospect of conquests and grandeur:  perhaps they will then come to believe in him.  They always obey, and do more than obey, provided they can at the same time become intoxicated!  One cannot even offer them peace and plenty unless it includes the laurel-wreath and the madness that accompanies it.  But this mob taste, which prefers intoxication to food, by no means originated in the depths of the mob:  it was rather transported and transplanted thither, and is only growing up there most persistently and luxuriantly, while it takes its origin in the highest intellects and has flourished in them for millennia.  The people is the last virgin soil in which the glittering weed of intoxication can still thrive -- What?  And is it to We the People that politics are to be entrusted?  So that they can make of them their daily intoxication?



I have an online presence. I go about my day on different websites, inputing data and receiving data in return. I give something of myself to a site and receive feedback. Some of these interactions are impersonal, such as the reading of an article. Others are intensely personal; the posting of photos on a profile with my name and information, twitter feeds of my location and what is on my mind, blogposts with essays and ruminations on my daily life. I even have alter egos, handles, avatars, I go by the many masks theorized by Nietzsche as fundamental to humanity in the sphere of modernity. I am fractured and reunited through text, image, and sound that I constitute and reconstitute with the use of a browser, my fingers, and my knowledge of the internet. I am cybernetic, the ghost in the machine.

I have been thinking about spectrality lately, which is to say I have been thinking of many concepts. Consider this, from dict.org:

118 Moby Thesaurus words for "spectral":
Barmecidal, Barmecide, airy, apparent, apparitional, astral,
autistic, bicolor, bicolored, cadaverous, chimeric, chromatic,
cold, colorful, colorific, coloring, colory, cool, corpselike,
crazy, daedal, deathlike, deceptive, delusional, delusionary,
delusive, delusory, dereistic, dichromatic, disembodied,
divers-colored, dreamlike, dreamy, ectoplasmic, eerie, erroneous,
ethereal, etheric, fallacious, false, fantastic, ghostish,
ghostlike, ghostly, ghosty, glowing, harlequin, harmonious,
illusional, illusionary, illusive, illusory, imaginary,
incorporeal, kaleidoscopic, many-colored, matching, medley,
misleading, monochromatic, monochrome, monochromic, motley,
multicolor, multicolored, multicolorous, ostensible, parti-color,
parti-colored, phantasmagoric, phantasmal, phantasmic, phantom,
phantomic, phantomlike, pigmentary, polychromatic, polychrome,
polychromic, prismal, prismatic, psychic, rainbow, seeming,
self-deceptive, self-deluding, shadowy, shot, shot through,
specious, specterlike, spiritual, spooky, supernatural,
supposititious, thunder and lightning, tinctorial, tingent, toning,
trichromatic, trichromic, tricolor, tricolored, two-tone, unactual,
unearthly, unfounded, unreal, unsubstantial, varicolored,
variegated, versicolor, versicolored, visionary, warm, weird,
wraithlike, wraithy

Interesting, no? Anyway, all this to say that I have been twittering, plurking, and facebooking instead of blogging. I'm not sure I like blogspot and I'm not sure if this persona fits anymore. I have enjoyed creating this site and contributing to it. It is a little like one of my former selves. We could be said to constantly reflect and deflect our former selves. Others' conceptions of us are always former selves, distorted by perception and personality. Life is truly movement in so many senses of the word as to be hermetic. Simply smiling and listening is a way of understanding. But I'm just rambling. Until next time. -low


Tayzee Nub by Tim Rutili

Song by Califone.

Maisy, don't wait around
Steal another day
Competition dancers drop and
snap their necks and fold.

Shade too careful when you come
weather slices through your ghost
open your mouth, what are you
wrecking now?

Half-assed translation thrown
all your devices laid
weather holds you like a child then
puts you back down.

Never could pull the trigger
even if you tried
open your mouth, what are you
wrecking now?

Small behind the metal
swallow everything
cello words to noise
ripening and laced.

The satellites are growing vines.


Three Poems


there's no use asking
whether or not we will
we won't. and it's so hard
telling ourselves that.

Two Clicks

this screen luminescent
nauseating intoxicating
ah press of flesh what
is that? of it I am not
just a request, a quest


ah there it is
to forget for
awhile what is
missing what
always will be
missing my dear
oh. if only i
could be what
you want me to
be. but what is
that? oh lips.
oh mood. oh


so I'm supposed to write for this class I'm sitting in on.

so I'm in this classroom right now and it's so freaking serene.
like, I could hear a pin drop or a phone vibrate. And it's nice
since really what is there to say in such a setting? Tony read
us this poem, the flea by donne, but I'm more interested in the
Kaplan University advertisement next to it. Kaplan is a testing
academy meant to teach you how to improve your ACT, SAT, GRE, +
LSAT scores or your money (not) back. There are questions as to
the effectiveness of Kaplan, and of course there is the question:
why are we teaching people how to take a test as opposed to edu-
-cating them? This makes me want to read Foucault or work at Kaplan,
one. I have a lot of actual writing to do, but this is the writing
I am doing because I want to feel part of a class that I am sitting
in on. Most of my 'fellow' students are using paper and a pen. Lord
knows what they're going on about. Maybe a few will read it out loud
and I can judge them magnanimously. Perhaps I could even speak up and
by tone of voice and choice of language express admiration or disgust
at their futile words that will have no effect on reality save a few
moments in a small classroom. But, you get what you can. Better than
sleeping or eating too much or smoking weed or stealing a car or nursing
your grandmother with infant formula. Why is there a poetry month? It's
not like we actually do anything about it. This whole tendency to name
something and consider that an action is pretty BS IMO. It's ineffectual
and the left has been placated far too long on renaming and reclassifying.
What about changing or improving the actual conditions? We have been running
simulations on life far too long. I say we take life itself into our own hands.


nowave: on broken literature

so I've been doing a lot of reading and listening

i've been riding a nowave. meanwhile i've been reading:

I consider Soupault's book to be a piece of broken literature. the plot is absurdly simple. the narrator, who is not named or described (the reader is left to wonder if he even exists except as witness), encounters a prostitute named Georgette and follows her to the scene of a crime. He comes to know the characters involved in the crime through following her as she takes the same route through Paris every night. His fascination with her leads him to engage with her brother and the underground group of pimps and thieves that surround her.

The narrator makes equal mention both of the situation that surrounds him immediately and the impression it forms in his mind. The city becomes a character of its own as it assumes the same dual nature as Georgette herself. As day approaches Georgette's appearance changes and she becomes an everyday woman: she buys groceries and lives with her brother who paints. Soupault finds her split personality uncanny. Perhaps because it reveals his own manifold nature.

Last Nights in Paris is about the fleet and transitory nature of identity. Georgette is who she is by virtue of the men who control her movements and the city that surrounds her.
I felt she was not the same since I had learned that she could be Georgette of the day and Georgette of the night, that two women, as different from each other as darkness and light, dwelt in that pale and supple body, that shadow dressed in black. She seemed to attract mystery as water attracts the light. About her danced I know not what cold and inviting flame. Georgette possessed the charm of the invisible. (Soupault, 82)

I am reminded when reading this book that we are by the people around us, by the city we wake up in, and by chance. Each of these forces confront the narrator at different points as he finds his life consumed in understanding the mystery of Georgette. What the reader comes to understand is that the mystery is that there is no mystery. Georgette is a whore, the witnessed scene is a witnessed scene, and chance can be cruel to those who look for significance. See here too the upside-down noir of Gombrowicz's Cosmos or the strange play of time in Schulz's Sanatorium under the Sign of the Hourglass.

The Enlightenment believed in and reinforced the belief in a unified self. This is reflected in the European novel. In Soupault's Dada novel, identify unravels and is seen as contingent and accidental.

Music, too, is shifting from concepts of harmony, cohesion, and song structure. It is breaking apart. This is not only seen in the proliferation of independent music but also in the music itself. Nowave represents a conscious disavowal of the production techniques and perfectionism in modern sound. It represents, for me, the same direction and motivations that surround Soupault's fine book.

From killshaman.com, Night Control's record label:

“Life Control” sees Night Control venturing further into the dark depths of sonic experimentation and ambience, circling back around to Derrida’s deconstruction theory and applying it to pop music. Sounds are manipulated, affected and tortured into loosely structured pop gems covered in organic acoustic guitars, blown out guitars and some of the most interested mixes of live and programmed drums.



My vision of paradise recently shattered, I had no recourse, nowhere to turn. To whom do I devote my desire to love? A spiritual, an emotional, a libidinal economic problem. Such beauty in the smallest places. I’m suddenly overthrown, and my vision is restored: I received a postcard.

Let me explain: an evening in January, unseasonably warm. My old mailbox of advertisements and bills became, for a moment, the place of dreams. How could I describe my fevered first reading, the way my eyes focused on each cursive letter, the way the form and content mingled to become one marvelous whole? How could I describe her tempestuous flow, her sonorous lines that mingle beauty and death so as to render them inextricable?

She writes of nightgowns, diamond earrings, the luxurious red fabric mess of her bed. She imagines how her body will look when she is found after the poison has taken hold: the imprint of lipstick on the wine glass,

At the decisive moment, she steps away from her fate, preferring to dream of window shopping. I breathed a sigh of relief, remembering that a moment is the most one can ask of perfection. I then wondered, where do I go from here? What reply is possible? Her words stand alone, resolute, light as stone. The stamp beside reads, ‘Letters mingle souls.’ Now I know.



ecstatic moments of flight at the oddest moments

when at our lowest, or coffee in September afternoon

we spin a record and forget about the bills, the four

dollars a day, the sixes and sevens that slowly consume

us into immolation. Yes, that record we'll remember until

that way then we can't imagine. yes, that record, blink your

eyes three times to remember forever this laughter and forgetting.


Run Ronnie Run

     How to Show Horses and Win often reads like a self-help book. Chapter Ten is about horse judges. Ronnie explains that horse judges are subjective, do not like bribes, do not like being questioned about their judging, do not like tardiness or being stared at, and are in fact human beings. Could the same not be said for judgmental people in general? Or the judgmental gaze? Or, to make a reach, criticism itself?  

     There is also a singlemindedness and repetition on the virtue of success. The cover shows Ronnie winning a blue ribbon for the horse he shows in a competition. Ronnie shows us visually as well as textually how to show horses and how to win. Winning here is the symbolic object of the relationship between Ronnie and the horse. Viewed parasitically, Ronnie receives social acceptance and a place in society through his excellence with horses, not to mention the money to feed, clothe, and shelter himself and his family. The show horse, in exchange, also receives social acceptance and sustenance, a pasture to roam in, whatever may please him. There is often affection between horse and rider, between man and animal: see here Donna Haraway's When Species Meet.

     Simply piling up facts to argue: Ronnie and his horse are both hosts and parasites: signifiers and signified. The saddle is the interface, the screen, on which their shared meaning and desire is transmitted. That one rides, and one is ridden: does this imply superiority? If so, who is to say that the horse is not, metaphorically speaking, riding Ronnie?  

     There is another parasitical relation in this text in its use of footnotes. On Chapter Two Ronnie writes that there isn't enough space to write extensively on conditioning a horse: instead he footnotes two other books from Farnam Horse Press. In effect the footnote operates as an advertisement inserted within the text. The text is penetrated, commercialized. This is true of the back inside-cover that displays color photographs of twenty four horse manuals: How to Shoe Your Horse, How to Break and Train the Western Horse, Know All About Tack, and my favorite, Riding the Gymkhana Winner. Also included are the two footnoted works, Know Practical Horse Feeding and How to Recognize Horse Health Problems. 

    These advertisements, far from detracting the work as a whole, inform the text in a surprisingly novel and interesting way. We come to recognize this book in relation to its publisher, its author, and us as readers. Our relation to this book as general, literary, and academic readers is different from those who read it to gain knowledge in showing horses. The act of criticism acknowledges a distance or a difference between the object of the book and its audience and the meaning generated by writing paradoxically remains outside of writing itself.

 Ronnie Richards has put a lot of thought and ability into the preparation of his book, and it seems likely that it will become a handbook for showpeople everywhere. (Back Jacket)

    Winning here means acceptance of this parasitical relationship within the context of horse showing. I remember my own experiences in basketball, in particular the ceremony for receiving a ribbon for sixth place in a junior high basketball tournament. It was said that we 'placed.' To place is to be put into context. The ribbon was more than a gesture to acknowledge our placement and participation in the tournament; it was also a contract, however unwitting the participants were. At that moment a symbol was transferred and a new relation began.

 If the ribbon, the symbol, were refused? Openly, this would be hostile, frowned upon. I'm reminded of the scene in David James Duncan's Brothers K when Peter, the son of a minor league pitcher, quits his high school team upon receiving their MVP award. He is then ostrasized by his parents, their teammates, and the coaching staff. Thus the dilemma of the signfied.

     For most of us, if not all, our sixth place ribbons were refused either by collecting dust in some forgotten drawer or thrown away in defiance after the ceremony. To us the medals did not matter. Something else mattered. We were excersizing our power to reject this relation. Our pride resisted the awards we did not care for, did not earn, and even to us teenagers did not matter.


    Ronnie Richards is a winner. He cares very much for blue ribbons. The back jacket explains that, 'Ronnie got into the winning habit back in 1953 when he started showing his mare, Nita, who won 42 classes in a row and was never defeated in Junior Stock Horse Competition.'

    Of course there is the question of why success relates to the ability of the author to explain how to show horses. Michael Jordan might be one of the best basketball players in history, but its very likely that, were he to try, he could not write a helpful how-to guide on mercilessly destroying his competition, on consistently beating the Detroit Pistons, and how to make clutch shots when NBA championships are on the line. These skills, which are in part what sets him above his competition, are incommunicable. I think that excellence itself is incommunicable, that something is inevitably lost. Words in their commonality are unable to show excellence. What occurs as a result is that often the best literature is that which its subject is what is common. The more universal the writing, the more excellent. Do we not see this in the clipped prose of America and England in the past fifty years?  

                       This is why writing is never a solitary act.

     Can a great artist of life, of living life itself, successfully convert his ideas and strategy to writing? What of literature in which the subject is life itself? Are these books written by exceptional human beings? This you must answer yourself. Too many examples come to my mind, and yet I worry the exceptions (numerous as they are) may not prove the rule.  

     I think that it might be testament to Ronnie Richards' genius for showing horses that his book is, formally speaking, a failure. Not only formally: it is not even listed on Amazon. One of the few images of it online was on a New Zealand craigslist. I found my copy on a used book cart in the market of a grocery store. I traded Melville's Redburn for it which I still consider a fair trade. He might move the Melville, but I'm guessing he'd carried this book a long time. Where did he get it? I wish I had asked.  


Top 25 Albums of 2009

1. Califone - All My Friends Are Funeral Singers

2. Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle

3. Fever Ray - Fever Ray

4. Jim O'Rourke - The Visitor

5. Wye Oak - The Knot

6. Michael Hurley - Parsnip Snips
7. Lucky Dragons - Open Power
8. A Sunny Day in Glasgow - Ashes Grammar
9. Magnolia Electric Co. - Josephine
10. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
11. Black Moth Super Rainbow - Eating Us
12. Bachelorette - My Electric Family
13. Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs
14. Night Control - Death Control
15. Burial & Four Tet - Untitled
16. Broadcast and Focus Group - Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age
17. Phosphorescent - To Willie
18. Bibio - Ambivalence Avenue
19. Thee Oh Sees - Dog Poison
20. Atlas Sound - Logos
21. Bob Dylan - Together Through Life
22. Wavves - Wavvves
23. Fruit Bats - The Ruminant Band
24. Barn Owl - The Conjurer
25. Young Jesse - Dear Forest


outpost 54

Ah this malaise, this time scented with jasmine and paradox.
I cringe at the thought of this moment recorded, the sheer
lack of material to focus on with these startled pages. Creation
and commonalities, the buses that pass by I wonder at this
magnetic moment, so surreal, where realities press against
each other in eternal creation. Our dream worlds are so
palpable now, the conversations exist now and forever and I
listen in, stunned. What makes us what we are? Rhythm, current
the liquid nature of us entire. I can only type and type, hoping
the dots connect in other minds because they do not connect
here. Pass through entire and come back relaxed. Some day
we will laugh about this separation, this angst, this possession
of you and me and everyone else entire. Someday we will laugh.


My photo
irony, sarcasm, honesty, sincerity, flattery, bribery, scammery, rhizomatery, connexion, communication