some birds are funny when they talk








Stuck in my Head
"Kiss Me Harder" by Bertine Zetlitz
"Hot" by Avril
"Brain Problem Situation" by They Might Be Giants

Now Reading
Number 9 Dream by David Mitchell
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro

Recently Finished
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by David Eggers
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Mad Tony and Me by Carl Hoffman
Sweet Soul Music by Peter Guaralnick
This Must Be The Place: Adventures of Talking Heads in the 20th Century by David Bowman
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Movies Lately
4 Months 3 Weeks 2 Days
Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts
Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour
2 Days in Paris
United 93
The Savages
The Bourne Ultimatum
Sweeney Todd
The Departed
What Would Jesus Buy?
Ghost World
I'm Not There
She's The Man
Lars and the Real Girl
Romance and Cigarettes
No Country for Old Men
Into the Wild
I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With
Across the Universe

Shows Lately
Damo Suzuki/Stinking Lizaveta @ Mill Creek
Death and the Maiden @ Curio
Devon Sproule/Carsie Blanton/Devin Greenwood/John Francis @ Tin Angel
Assassins @ The Arden
Oakley Hall and the Teeth @ Johnny Brendas
Isabella and Flamingo/Winnebago and Map Me and Gatz and Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven and Sonic Dances and Strawberry Farm and The Emperor Jones and No Dice and Hearts of Man and Principles of Uncertainty and Isabella and BATCH and Addicted to Bad Ideas: Peter Lorre's 20th Century and Car and Sports Trilogy and Explanatorium and Wandering Alice and Must Don't Whip Um and Festival of Lies and A Room of Ones Own and Recitatif @ the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival/Philly Fringe
Martha Graham Cracker and Eliot Levin and Kilo etc. @ the Fringe Cabaret
Lullatone and Teletextile @ Boulder Coffee [Rochester]
TV Sound @ the M Room
Aretha Franklin @ East Dell, Fairmount Pk.
Romeo + Juliet in Clark Park
Daft Punk @ Red Rocks
Spoon @ Rockefeller Park
Ponytail at Pony Pants' House
Mirah/Benjy Ferree @ the 1UC
Tortoise @ World Cafe Live
Hall & Oates...ish
"Nuclear Dreams" - Mascher Dance Group, x2
The Four of Us @ 1812
Machines Machines Machines Machines Machines Machines Machines by Rainpan whatever
Mascher Dance Group/Nathaniel Bartlett
Cornelius @ TLA
Sloan @ World Cafe
In Fluxxxx
Slavic Soul Party!/Red Heart the Ticker @ I-House
the Fantasticks @ Mum
Peter Bjork + Jorn/Fujiya + Miyagi @ fkaTLA
John Vanderslice @ Johnny Brendas
The Books & Todd Reynolds @ 1UC
Into the Woods @ LPAC
The Fishbowl @ the Frear
Caroline, or, Change @ the Arden
Low & Loney, Dear. @ 1UC

Sunday, September 11

pants to prove it

hard to believe it's only sunday yet. the weekend seems to distance itself from the week quickly. some of that because i stay awake differently. (fridays and tuesdays; the pointiest bounds of my time-life; the recurring beginnings of my ongoing experience. these days.)

in any - at least, experiential - context, in my experience, the present is such an imbattably strong [i guess we say: normative] force. it's in our very verb tense construction: the "simple" present denotes recurring, unchanging action. action as a state of being. and if we don't limit its temporal reference, using extra words to override the default, it overwhelms all time.

basically, it elides startpoint and endpoint, just as we speakers elide grammatical precision. to do is to have been doing. and that's nothing so perfect, nor, certainly, progressive. by implication, it seems, also, to do is to be going to continue to do. the present, i guess, bounds nothing - being an insignificant instant - and binds everything.

which is to say: nothing can happen in the present, because it would take too long. [and, even if it could, we surely couldn't also talk about it in the present.] so everything happening "now" also or actually happens before and after now - and being in the now, we can't seem to perceive beyond (or before) to make the distinctions among futurepoints and among pastpoints pointy enough. we can only ever talk about the future or the past, but we do it in terms of the present. that much is reasonable, because the dialectical present does in fact take a good deal more time than the metaphysical present. but we take things too far.

this isn't just language play. [or, language play is much more than language play.] though it is precisely the issue i think i take with the nature-is-language talk of john and perhaps el, one post down. language cannot contain nature summarily, in fact it can only corrupt it. (that corruption, though, is vital and necessary and colorful, and hardly the greater evil.) if they're saying what i think they're saying.

it's a problem with memory, of course, partly, that makes the present seemingly our only stable place of reference (but only seemingly stable?) and warps the past to its ways and means. it makes change and difference

i want to say it's a fundamentally political problem, one that turns up in personal affairs and global ones alike.

is it a human, perceptual-hardwiring thing? [biological]
is it a united-statesian, young-country, social-valorization-of-progress elision-of-history thing? [cultural]
is it a modern, narrative-sweep, absolute-perspective singularization-of-history thing? [traditional]
is it a post-modern atomized-society, explosion-of-possibilities, uncertainty/unknowability-of-history thing? [contemporary]

probably or possible all of the above, i think. obviously this requires some more thought, as opposed to just word-association. i might point out that this phenomenon, the obscuring, dominating power of the present, has plenty of analogs in concerns apart from temporality, including probably most forms of spatial, geographical, cultural, ideological and other affinity-group centrism, which might help illuminate it some, although i think there are also some crucial distinctions.

enough for now.

time to get on with the day's agenda, which is to bike the pike (!!) perhaps a krazy notion, for my second day out as a member of the set of bicycle having people. but i need to go to swarthmore. and it sounds like fun.

i've got a bike
you can ride it if you like

I never thought I'd say this, but… you should read Derrida. I mean, you already have, but (re)read him on this subject, since he's obsessed with it and says some of the same stuff I think you're saying.

2005-09-13 02:45

whoa there! ross goes theoretical! this is exciting.

i was driving down the road in tallahassee one day and saw outside a church "he is risen." i was like: that grammar is working really hard.

the totalizing experience of the present, and/or its totalizing descriptive force, has come up in my brain a few times recently. here i think we want a lesson in impermanence. according to some teachers i've been listening to, the way to see impermanence is dedicated attention. to the present!

2005-09-13 20:16
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