Friday, October 27, 2006

CNN Effect



"They're horrible here with their obsession for beheading. I'm surprised anyone's survived."
--Jean-Luc Godard's Notre Musique

"A young German-Catholic woman said in 1993: 'The dream of the individual is to be two, the dream of the State is to be one'. They cut off her head."
--Jean-Luc Godard's Notre Musique

"The other argument often used to suppress pictures cites the rights of relatives. When a weekly newspaper in Boston briefly posted online a propaganda video made in Pakistan that showed the 'confession' (that he was Jewish) and subsequent ritual slaughter of the kidnapped American journalist Daniel Pearl in Karachi in early 2002, a vehement debate took place in which the right of Pearl's widow to be spared more pain was pitted against the newspaper's right to print and post what it saw fit and the public's right to see. The video was quickly taken offline. Notably, both sides treated the three and a half minutes of horror as a snuff film. Nobody could have learned from the debate that the video had other footage, a montage of stock accusations (for instance, images of Ariel Sharon sitting with George W. Bush at the White House, Palestinian children in Israeli attacks), that it was a political diatribe and ended with dire threats and a list of specific demands--all of which might suggest that it was worth suffering through (if you could bear it) to confront better the particular viciousness and intransigence of the forces that murdered Pearl. It is easier to think of the enemy as just a savage who kills, then holds up the head of his prey for all to see."
--Susan Sontag's Regarding the Pain of Others

The imaged Word...

The imaged Word, it is, that holds
Hushed willows anchored in its glow.
It is the unbetrayable reply
Whose accent no farewell can know.
--Hart Crane, from Voyages XI

Monday, October 23, 2006

WJ on Mysticism (Quote)

a la Betsy Bonner...

"But with the memories, concepts, and conational [sic] states, the case is different. Nobody knows exactly how far we are 'marginally' conscious of these at ordinary times, or how far beyond the 'margin' of our present thought trans-marginal consciousness of them may exist. There is at any rate no definite bound set between what is central and what is marginal in consciousness, and the margin itself has no definite bound *a parte foris*. It is like the field of vision, which the slightest movement of the eye will extend, revealing objects that always stood there to be known. My hypothesis is that a movement of the threshhold downwards will similarly bring a mass of subconscious memories, conceptions, emotional feelings, and perception of relation, etc. into view all at once; and that if this enlargement of the nimbus that surrounds the sensational present is vast enough, while no one of the items it contains attracts our attention singly, we shall have the conditions fulfilled for a kind of consciousness in all essential respects like that termed mystical....

In each of the three cases, the experience broke in abruptly upon a perfectly commonplace situation and lasted perhaps less than two minutes. In one instance I was engaged in conversation, but I doubt whether the interlocuter noticed my abstraction. What happened each time was that I seemed all at once to be reminded of a past experience; and this reminiscence, ere I could conceive or name it distinctly, developed into something further that belonged with it, this in turn into something further still, and so on, until the process faded out, leaving me amazed at the sudden vision of increasing ranges of distant fact of which I could give no articulate account. The mode of consciousness was perceptual, not conceptual--the field expanding so fast that there seemed no time for conception or identification to get in its work. There was a strongly exciting sense that my knowledge of past (or present?) reality was enlarging pulse by pulse, but so rapidly that my intellectual process could not keep up the pace. The *content* was thus entirely lost to retrospection--it sank into the limbo into which dreams vanish as we gradually awake. The feeling--I won't call it belief--that I had had a sudden *opening*, had seen through a window, as it were, distant realities that incomprehensibly belonged with my own life, was so acute that I can not shake it off to-day."

from William James' "A Suggestion About Mysticism"

Sunday, October 22, 2006

True Crop

for Ed Ruscha,
literally hallucinating

The point was
this floating
lacustrine feeling
surrounded by
the sea

meaning what you say
letters stray
these letters how much
information would
you like

how much would it take
to cover the world
a simple lamp hangs
a very simple lamp
we mistake

this lamp for another
floating object
this is a copy of the world
minus a few aspects
which no longer count.





from the air


With all percepts

Who gets to be an artist what gets to be art

In the sun perchance

All the stations

A flight from stations intent on record

Containing everything

But the sun covering the sun in evidence.


"like a speech delivered on no matter"

"with all kinds of delays"


Here's a photo
Of a car and here's
A photo of a photo

Of a car and here's
A drawing of that photo
Of the car now where's

The car?