Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Skin in the game.

“If you're trapped in the dream of the Other, you're fucked.”― Gilles Deleuze 

There were  25,000 results. 
I read them all. 
I made a synthesis. 
I compiled the bibliography. 
It would be my life.
It would be my life's work.
It would be my life.
My life.
My life.
My life.
My life.
26,000 results.
59,000 results. 

It is time for taking stock.

[I instantly feel alienated by the expression "taking stock". We are forever confronted by fucking commerce. The small print 
on the long contract. I write my age then delete it. Numbers are for ever an annoyance.]

I find myself here...

I find myself inviting Deleuze, Arendt...he tales off.

He rather wishes that they would go away.

He notes how they, he are kept under tabs...

He sees himself moving from here to preview. 

He reviews his path.

He thinks about deleting the photo. 

He reasons that he will leave a blank space.

He wonders how best to represent space.

He finds a riddle, written by a student, on a black board. 

He settles for that.

“Writing has nothing to do with meaning. It has to do with landsurveying and cartography, including the mapping of countries yet to come.” 
― Gilles Deleuze

I find myself grouping together lines of reflection...

I barely glimpse them, I barely read them. 

I rush on by.

It is not the words that count it is the movement...

...an impulsion beyond.

At times I come back and I think: "What the fuck?"

At times I know why the answer is the fucking question.

“According to Beckett's or Kafka's law, there is immobility beyond movement: beyond standing up, there is sitting down, and beyond sitting down, lying down, beyond which one finally dissipates.” 
― Gilles DeleuzeFrancis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation

What explains this impulsion? 

This colour?

They appear little by little here, in interaction, dialogue with people, images, videos, quotes, tweets, scribbles, blog posts, clicks. 

They order themselves here for orderly? consideration in a determined flow.

It is the haphazard which reveals meaning.

Old words pop up as chorus.

Those deleted rest as meaningful as those that remain.

Those deleted rest as meaningful as those that remain.

Will they remain in peace?

To be present. 


“This is how it should be done: lodge yourself on a stratum, experiment with the opportunities it offers, find an advantageous place on it, find potential movements of deterritorialization, possible lines of flight, experience them, produce flow conjunctions here and there, try out continuums of intensities segment by segment, have a small plot of new land at all times.” 
― Gilles Deleuze


I steal my words.

How is it I know that I am worn by the suit and not the other way round?

I am made anxious keeping up its appearance.

I walk down the street.
I am anonymous.
I belong.

I feel a longing, a dull longing.

Branded, a superior cut, I have a fine sheen.

I am made for measure.

Take a knife, slash, let me bleed.

Be careful not to stain, to bruise my flesh.

Skinned, tenderised, jointed.

Painlessly killed.

I cook, a Sunday roast. 





Elite parlour games.

Anyone for tennis?


What are you?

The forgotten.

R. E. S. P. E. C. T.


“Language is not made to be believed but to be obeyed, and to compel obedience newspapers, news, proceed by redundancy, in that they tell us what we ‘must’ think, retain, expect, etc. language is neither informational nor communicational. It is not the communication of information but something quite different: the transmission of order-words, either from one statement to another or within each statement, insofar as each statement accomplishes an act and the act is accomplished in the statement” 

Academic form 

The evils of words ...

Finds new impulsion here...


I had better get a quote in here from (on?) Deleuze and Guattari:

"The space of nomad thought is qualitatively different from State space. Air against earth. State space is ‘striated’, or gridded. Movement in it is confined as by gravity to a horizontal plane, and limited by the order of that plane to preset paths between fixed and identifiable points. Nomad 
space is ‘smooth’, or open-ended. One can rise up at any point and move to any other. Its mode of distribution is the nomos: arraying oneself in an open space (hold the street), as opposed to the logos of entrenching oneself in a closed space (hold the fort). (Massumi, 1988, p. xiii)"

Quoted by Sian Bayne.

“The self is only a threshold, a door, a becoming between two multiplicities” 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Hoarding disorder.

The kitchen sink couldn't be seen for piles of dirty crockery, cutlery, cooking pans, mountains of unopened vintage tins of baked beans, soup, green beans and peas, carrots, pineapple, pears, peaches, potatoes, corned beef and spam and Irish stew, and soup.

The bedroom was inaccessible for stacked up furniture, baskets of clothes.

Picture frames faced the wall.

All was layered by decades of dust.

Hoarding disorder.

"There is no question that the continuous acquisition of stuff is the backbone of American culture. According to Sandra Stark, of the Peer-Led Hoarding Response Team at the Mental Health Association of San Francisco, "Seventy percent of home-owning Americans cannot park cars in their garages because there's too much stuff; one in 10 has a storage unit." ... In San Francisco alone, nearly $6.5 million is spent by landlords and service agencies each year on hoarding-related issues, which include eviction and the removal of children or the elderly due to health and safety concerns. Hoarding has been identified as a direct contributor to up to six percent of all deaths by house fire."

All was layered 
by decades of dust.

Picture FRAMEs face the wall.

"Though the problem is getting more recognition, researchers are still working on an effective treatment."

Hoarding orderdis

There were  25,000 results. 
I read them all. 
I made a synthesis. 
I compiled the bibliography. 
It would be my life.
It would be my life's work.
It would be my life.
My life.
My life.
My life.
My life.
26,000 results.
59,000 results. 

I was determined to understand. 
I was determined to understand. 

They said.

"WHAT do we need to modernise the programme?"
They asked.
"What means shall we employ?"
They asked.




A teacher used an academic term which left a gap but didn't register.

It was met with silence.

I wI was determined to understand. as determined to understand. 
I was deter   mined to un der

"BEFORE we speak about what.  Couldn't we talk about the terms which frame our discussion"
 I asked?

I was met with silence.

“The difference between technology and slavery is that slaves are fully aware that they are not free” 
― Nassim Nicholas Taleb

They were so busy thinking about modernising. 


“The peculiar predicament of the present-day self surely came to pass as a consequence of the disappointment of the high expectations of the self as it entered the age of science and technology. Dazzled by the overwhelming credentials of science, the beauty and elegance of the scientific method, the triumph of modern medicine over physical ailments, and the technological transformation of the very world itself, the self finds itself in the end disappointed by the failure of science and technique in those very sectors of life which had been its main source of ordinary satisfaction in past ages.

As John Cheever said, the main emotion of the adult Northeastern American who has had all the advantages of wealth, education, and culture is disappointment.

Work is disappointing. In spite of all the talk about making work more creative and self-fulfilling, most people hate their jobs, and with good reason. Most work in modern technological societies is intolerably dull and repetitive.

Marriage and family life are disappointing. Even among defenders of traditional family values, e.g., Christians and Jews, a certain dreariness must be inferred, if only from the average time of TV viewing. Dreary as TV is, it is evidently not as dreary as Mom talking to Dad or the kids talking to either.

School is disappointing. If science is exciting and art is exhilarating, the schools and universities have achieved the not inconsiderable feat of rendering both dull. As every scientist and poet knows, one discovers both vocations in spite of, not because of, school. It takes years to recover from the stupor of being taught Shakespeare in English Lit and Wheatstone's bridge in Physics.

Politics is disappointing. Most young people turn their backs on politics, not because of the lack of excitement of politics as it is practiced, but because of the shallowness, venality, and image-making as these are perceived through the media--one of the technology's greatest achievements.

The churches are disappointing, even for most believers. If Christ brings us new life, it is all the more remarkable that the church, the bearer of this good news, should be among the most dispirited institutions of the age. The alternatives to the institutional churches are even more grossly disappointing, from TV evangelists with their blown-dry hairdos to California cults led by prosperous gurus ignored in India but embraced in La Jolla.

Social life is disappointing. The very franticness of attempts to reestablish community and festival, by partying, by groups, by club, by touristy Mardi Gras, is the best evidence of the loss of true community and festival and of the loneliness of self, stranded as it is as an unspeakable consciousness in a world from which it perceives itself as somehow estranged, stranded even within its own body, with which it sees no clear connection. 

But there remains the one unquestioned benefit of science: the longer and healthier life made possible by modern medicine, the shorter work-hours made possible by technology, hence what is perceived as the one certain reward of dreary life of home and the marketplace: recreation.

"Recreation and good physical health appear to be the only ambivalent benefits of the technological revolution.” 
― Walker PercyLost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book

“It might seem to you that living in the woods on a riverbank would remove you from the modern world. But not if the river is navigable, as ours is. On pretty weekends in the summer, this riverbank is the very verge of the modern world. It is a seat in the front row, you might say. On those weekends, the river is disquieted from morning to night by people resting from their work.

This resting involves traveling at great speed, first on the road and then on the river. The people are in an emergency to relax. They long for the peace and quiet of the great outdoors. Their eyes are hungry for the scenes of nature. They go very fast in their boats. They stir the river like a spoon in a cup of coffee. They play their radios loud enough to hear above the noise of their motors. They look neither left nor right. They don't slow down for - or maybe even see - an old man in a rowboat raising his lines...

I watch and I wonder and I think. I think of the old slavery, and of the way The Economy has now improved upon it. The new slavery has improved upon the old by giving the new slaves the illusion that they are free. The Economy does not take people's freedom by force, which would be against its principles, for it is very humane. It buys their freedom, pays for it, and then persuades its money back again with shoddy goods and the promise of freedom.” 

“A paradox: the same century invented History and PHotography. But History is a memory fabricated according to positive formulas, a pure intellectual discourse which abolishes mythic Time; and the Photograph is a certain but fugitive testimony; so that everything, today, prepares our race for this impotence: to be no longer able to conceive duration, affectively or symbolically: the age of the Photograph is also the age of revolutions, contestations, assassinations, explosions, in short, of impatiences, of everything which denies ripening.” 
― Roland BarthesCamera Lucida: Reflections on Photography

“When nations grow old the Arts grow cold
And commerce settles on every tree” 
― William Blake

HO are DING disOrder.

The kitchen sink couldn't be seen for piles of dirty crockery, cutlery, cooking pans, mountains of unopened vintage tins of baked beans, soup, green beans and peas, carrots, pineapple, pears, peaches, potatoes, corned beef and spam and Irish stew, and soup.

The bedroom was inaccessible for stacked up furniture, baskets of clothes.

Picture frames faced the wall.

All was layered by decades of dust.

There were  25,000 results. 
I read them all. 
I made a synthesis. 
I compiled the bibliography. 
It would be my life.
It would be my life's work.
It would be my life.
My life.
My life.
My life.
My life.
26,000 results.
59,000 results. 

I was determined to understand. 
I was determined to understand. 
"the problem is getting more recognition, researchers are still working on an effective 


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Between the lines...

I hated colouring books as a kid.

I hated colouring in between the lines.

After a while of carefully respecting the model, I would end up scribbling, discard the book and find a blank scrap of paper.

What is it about this colouring book craze?

"The Adult Coloring Book Craze Continues and There is No End in Sight"

What does it say about people's desire to stay between the lines?

Does it mean that people are regressing to childhood?

Does it imply that people need behavioural therapy?

Does it speak of passive surrender?

Does it accompany a rise in authoritarianism?

Does it express an inability to keep up with an ever-changing world with fuzzy boundaries?

“The frightened individual seeks for somebody or something to tie his self
to; he cannot bear to be his own individual self any longer, 
and he tries frantically to get rid of it and to feel security again by the elimination of this burden: 
the self.” 

Erich FrommEscape from Freedom

Does it come with a global existential crisis?

Does it express an escape from freedom?

“Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. 'Patriotism' is its cult...Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one's country which is not part of one's love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship.” 

Erich Fromm

According to Michal Ann Strahilevitz, who is described as a "behavioural economist" (wtf?) by Forbes these books popularity can be explained by five factors:

  1. Fun (regression?) : “Every grown up has an inner child that just wants to play, and coloring books are perfect for that,”
  2. Nostalgia (regressive behaviour) “there is a nostalgia element, since coloring books remind us of childhood.”
  3. Relaxation (escapism) : “So many things in life are hard, but coloring in a coloring book is easy. It’s a nice way to relax.” 
  4. Being creative without drawing skills (passivity?): “These books let us be creative with choice of color and create something lovely and unique, and best of all, we don't have to be any good at drawing to make something pretty.”

There is no questioning that art is therapy.

“The task of therapy is not to eliminate suffering but to give a voice to it, to find a form in which it can be expressed. Expression is itself transformation; this is the message that art brings. The therapist then would be an artist of the soul, working with sufferers to enable them to find the proper container for their pain, the form in which it would be embodied.”
– Stephen K. Levine

Writing and drawing here is certainly therapeutic for me.

Between the lines...

For reasons which are beyond me, last night I found nothing better to do than to do a bit of colouring.

I started off with that fine educational philanthropist Betsy Devos.

I wanted to find a way of turning an image of her into a page from a colouring book. I found a solution with Prisma. I then went to town with Paper 53 as my coloured pencil case and followed it up with superimpositions with Fused.

As I played, the images became progressively more monstrous.

The one below reminds me of religious imagery. She has been sanctified with a halo (of dollars?).

She has become some sort of horrific Russian Orthodox Icon.

From one horrific image to another.

I was on a camera roll.

I messed around with 5sGif app.

This morning, I continued my regressive/depressive/expressive colouring artwork.

I have been fascinated by the physical appearance of the goblins that the hardly-elected, so-called President of the US has assembled.

Jeff Sessions has that evil look which would look not out of place in a horror movie.

Bela Lugosi, I thought.

Reg Tillerson, wouldn't look out of place amongst stony faced politiburo  members.

I settled for a post Soviet Russian propagandist image.

Frankly some of these people don't need retouching to let their ugliness shine through.

Flynn looks authentically, damaged, authentically deranged.

I am not sure that colouring these people is making me feel much better frankly.

How do you efface memories of ghouls?

If they scare others, perhaps they are themselves fearful?

Trump vexed by challenges governing presidency.

Is fear the reason for repetitive obsessive behaviour, crowd counting, ratings counting, cable TV addiction?

Does traumatic insecurity underpin a need for power, explain desire for violence?

Artists, powerless that they are, seem inspired.

“Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don't come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they're having a piss.” 

BanksyBanging Your Head Against a Brick Wall

“If the meaning of life has become doubtful, if one's relations to others and to oneself do not offer security, then fame is one means to silence one's doubts. It has a function to be compared with that of the Egyptian pyramids or the Christian faith in immortality: it elevates one's individual life from its limitations and instability to the plane of indestructability; if one's name is known to one's contemporaries and if one can hope that it will last for centuries, then one's life has meaning and significance by this very reflection of it in the judgments of others.” 

Erich FrommEscape from Freedom

What is this obsession with buildings, with walls, with deals, with colouring between the lines?

"We cast away precious time in dreams, born of imagination, fed upon illusion, and put to death by reality."

Judy Garland.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Turnkey laments.

Just don't understand it.

I smile at 'em, jolly 'em along.

I pay attention not to spill their food.

Just don't understand it.

I believe in my educational role.

I even organise outings for some of 'em.

I smile at 'em, jolly 'em along.

I pay attention not to be unfair in my comments.

They just don't pay attention.

They just don't play the game right.

They just don't put their heart and soul in it.

They don't take their work seriously.

They're just looking to score enough points for smokes.

I put my life into the job.

I read those books.

I tried all those motivating tricks and the like.

I even did research like... a while.

The guvnor thought I was crazy.

"This is a bloody prison not a kindergarten," he said.

I thought that was pushing it a bit.

I am more than sympathetic to their plight.

I was in their shoes once.

I don't see difference between black and white, man or woman.

I am open-minded, I'm empathetic even.

I smile at 'em, I jolly 'em along.

Anyone would think that they'd be pleased to see the back of me.

Just don't understand it.


“Is it surprising that the cellular prison, with its regular chronologies, forced labour, its authorities of surveillance and registration, its experts in normality, who continue and multiply the functions of the judge, should have become the modern instrument of penality? Is it surprising that prisons resemble factories, schools, barracks, hospitals, which all resemble prisons?”

Michel Foucault.


Inspired by Terry Elliott's reading of a Bertolt Brecht Fable.

Love you to bits.

Fake me.
Brand me.
Spam me.
Fuck me.

Love you to bits. 

I am retouched.

Love you to bits.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Grey clouds, blue sky.

Grey clouds slide out of view.

Patches of blue, 
Glimpses of light, 

Grey clouds slide out of view.

Body wracked. 

Mind wrecked.

Words appear unwarranted.

Blue sky...

Seize the upper ground.


A lost moment was saved.

I kept it here for future reference.

Whither must I wander? 

And it was that word "whither" which led to...

 Robert Louis Stephenson.

HOME no more home to me, whither must I wander?
Hunger my driver, I go where I must.
Cold blows the winter wind over hill and heather;
Thick drives the rain, and my roof is in the dust.
Loved of wise men was the shade of my roof-tree.
The true word of welcome was spoken in the door -
Dear days of old, with the faces in the firelight,
Kind folks of old, you come again no more.
Home was home then, my dear, full of kindly faces,
Home was home then, my dear, happy for the child.
Fire and the windows bright glittered on the moorland;
Song, tuneful song, built a palace in the wild.
Now, when day dawns on the brow of the moorland,
Lone stands the house, and the chimney-stone is cold.
Lone let it stand, now the friends are all departed,
The kind hearts, the true hearts, that loved the place of old.
Spring shall come, come again, calling up the moorfowl,
Spring shall bring the sun and rain, bring the bees and flowers;
Red shall the heather bloom over hill and valley,
Soft flow the stream through the even-flowing hours;
Fair the day shine as it shone on my childhood -
Fair shine the day on the house with open door;
Birds come and cry there and twitter in the chimney -
But I go for ever and come again no more.

Post Script

“To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.”