Sunday, October 29, 2006

Saturday, October 28, 2006


I had this embarrassing moment of confusion at the publicist's office this afternoon, when I was searching through the Village Voice's archives for old press about her husband, and I kept being confronted by all these ads from American Apparel with women in...I said "unitards" first, because my mind was working faster than itself. But then it came catching up and I sat in a doubtful silence trying to become sure whether the word actually could be "leotard," when I knew the man was named Jean-Francois and was not an item of clothing I wore in preschool when I wanted to feel a little special.

But they are the same. "It's 'leotard,' isn't it?" I had to ask the publicist. Yes, it was. "Lyotard is also a theorist," I tried to explain, and she laughed, though I knew I had irrevocably exposed myself as Not a Normal Human Being, a person able to be stopped mid-sentence by a homophone.

Bravo Christgau: "Eclectic neoclassicism versus childhood-oriented avant-primitivism as global warming swamps our history." And of course I love me some references to JClo.

All that's new around here are some skinny pants and the temperature of the rain.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I live for the noise

Noise definitely one of those words that sounds ridiculous upon close inspection/repetition.

This post isn't actually about noise. We're not sure what it's about yet. In the title we refer to the burgeoning self-awareness of our dependence on little tokens of success, including Rightness and Male Attention, to make us happy.

Having, over the course of the past ten days, written an article, a response paper, a five page paper, a ten page paper, and discussion notes, as well as editing someone else's article, reading The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, some Kristeva, most of Ways of Seeing, and four pages of Simmel, I have granted myself permission to still be in my pajamas at 3:30 in the afternoon. Soon I shall shave and go to a li'l magazine launch, and then mebbe hear Seigneur Pepper Grinder talk about how to read fiction, and then return to the life of the tippety-tappety, in which we extol the virtues of up and coming music presenters in the greater Philadelphia region.

Repetition is definitely worth thinking about. On a mundane level, we notice how temporarily repetitious circumstances guide our responses: having busted two hair ties in the past week, I conclude that I need a hair cut. Squirming around with the laptop on my lap keeps pulling the powercord, which wouldn't be a problem, except the battery is bad. Two Wednesday evenings in a row waiting under a canopy with someone for the rain to slacken leads the mind, not necessarily to any conclusion, but to the expectation of one. It sets us in motion.

They say the profundity in Warhol's films, such as Haircut, consists in his resensitization to experience in time of the viewer. The films are long and boring; nothing much happens; but in that boringness the smallest action is rescaled as interesting. Minds make their conversation out of events of any size; all that's required is an emergence from a background. In quiet periods of meditation, a cough or sneeze tends to ripple small actions through other people in the room: a shift, a rustle, a sniff.

And perhaps what I really want to know is whether there is any kind of human causality *other* than this minor scatter of affect. Each person absorbs even the most major event through the senses and their mental equivalent (mind is the sixth sense organ in Buddhism), in the form of an intrusion or insistence that he or she can appropriate. Negative emotion seems often (always) to take the form of a sort of friction caused the process of appropriation; the churn and flake of what hasn't yet yielded to transparency. Positive emotion, that which sings with ease of knowledge, use. The deep metaphor of consonance and dissonance.