Friday, September 15, 2006

" I'll have a "roman á clef", ranch dressing on the side please"

When asked: "How do you want to see the World?"

Me: "As accurately as possible, then skewed 5 degrees to the left"

The key for me is to develop an ability to distort my world and tastes. The point of developing my mind with all this graduate school stuff, is that I would like to be able to purposely fold and twist my frames of interpretation so that squares may become round, and so that circles could snap into squares-- if just for a short period of time.

It seems that genuine appreciation of the world can come from mapping, and then redrawing the constraints of our own apperceptions.

While re-reading Slaughter-House 5 or A Children's Crusade, a Duty-Dance with Death, I was reminded why KVjr is a master writer. He places Billy Pilgrim (protagonist) into a free 4 dimensional existence (i.e. three dimensions of space and one for time) that intersects with our own world's free 3 dimensional existence. As such, Billy Pilgrim is fully human, but also possess a new frame of reference (i.e. knowledge) that makes him more than human. This altered existence gives Billy Pilgrim the ability to be across time in both directions (i.e. future and past) during any particular present. Billy now approaches and considers his life with new information, the future (and past) as he's already lived it. Billy's character is now empowered to liberate his life since he now possesses an accurate perception of the things he will do and be from birth to death-- since he is aware of all his life events all the time. But paradoxically, Billy's price for this is his loss of free will-- since he is aware of all his life events all the time.

As a characterization of a certain type of subject in History, KVjr uses Billy's paradoxical existence to drive home the point that the outcomes of world events may be beyond our control, even if we possessed the knowledge of what was going to happen. Certain terrible human events, such as 'the two times the human species tried to exterminate itself in the 20th century' appear inevitable to KVjr. It is almost as if we could not help ourselves; our natural instincts, no matter how sublimated by Modern Discoveries and Victorian Manners, are still about petty preoccupations and violence. However, keep in mind that KVjr does not attempt to argue that humanity is nothing more than a culturally mediated expression of natural drives and impulses. Rather, KVjr argues the opposite. For him, Billy's character actually transcends the limits of being human through knowledge, but he is unable to use this knowledge for anything other than to be a human who succumbs to the world events (read History) that surround him. That is, Billy as a character living a free 4 dimensional experience is reduced to live within a free 3 dimensional context. When he attempts to explain himself as a free 4 dimensional entity, he inevitably fails and is regarded as deranged and detached from the world (which he is). His knowledge of time provides him with little to nothing with regard to changing the world.

But this is always the case for KVjr, Knowledge is always a double-edged sword.

To this point, the Modern period's search for Truth and Technology made WWII an even deadlier and bloodier engagement between the various human groups who dressed in different colored uniforms. KVjr seems to regard the atrocities of WWII as something worse than ever before because of our increased knowledge. Science and technology, conventionally regarded as the pinnacle of human intellectual achievement proved to be human species' greatest nemeses. As KVjr might say, about 60 years ago, we humans beings on Earth were about to be hoist by our own petard.

For me, Billy Pilgrim gets halfway to where I want to be: while he sees his world clearly, he cannot twist it 5 degrees to the left.

Billy is self-aware but always fails to use this self-awareness to other purposes than to project himself as a crazy man. In contrast to his principal character in the book, KVjr, does seem to have achieved a level of self-awareness and control that allows him to see the world accurately as well as twist it. He does this through his use of sardonic humor and fictional story lines that seem to flip commonly held assumptions on their head. KVjr takes the familiar and commonplace and uses it to argue points in extraordinarily and non-common ways. His point that the first and second great wars of the last century are attempts of our own species to exterminate itself is an example of how he sees clearly these events, but interprets them just slightly differently than most people would.

Another example can be found in his book Galapagos. Here, he argues that the large size of the human brain is a mal-adaptive trait in the human species. Not only does the brain provide humans with the cognitive tools to develop destructive technologies, thus the means of orchestrating our own extinction, but that on a daily basis our oversized brains confound our existence in the world since we are able to beguile ourselves with cultural beliefs and behaviors that make us do really silly and often stupid things (e.g. like worry if we can wear a brown belt with black shoes, develop nuclear weaponry, or even worse, come to believe that Dubbya is a competent and legitimate world leader). According to KVjr, our too-large brains make humans the only species on the planet that has added mental obstacles to the already challenging impediments towards survival that Mother Nature provides as She attempts to limit reproductive success of all species.

So, while I don’t want to follow Billy Pilgrim, I do want to follow KVjr’s toward a more acute sense of awareness and control. My blog is a small window where I am able to practice all of this. None of the events I write about are entirely accurate; they are filtered and refocused so that my everyday experiences seem a little more humorous and absurd.

As such, my foot was not a tore-up as the picture suggests, and my grandfather is not Larry Budd Melman, but simply, to my eye, someone who looks like this talk show celebrity.

As such, my blog is less a diary, and more a roman á clef of my own experiences. But an alternate version of my life where I order its meanings and events to my satisfaction, and when so desired, picks ways of dressing it in order to portray any flavor of life.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Making Head(a)way

Not with my dissertation.

I went dancing last night after eating chicken wings at Bee Dubbs. My friends and I wanted to down as many half off Long Islands before eleven. (Yes, I did loose my head a little because of the alcohol) At eleven twenty eight, with an electronica version of Bon Jovi's 'Livin on a Prayer' thumping in the club, I tumbled head first down the stairs and twisted my ankle.

I guess I'll go and try to tape this up... and believe it or not, it feels worse than it looks.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Development via technological thrusts?

From the fanny pack to the ass wagon, new technology for a better America.

I think that inventions of this kind spell our end. Once we, as a society have time to come up with this type of equipment then we have too much time on our hands. Maybe it was made to use while shopping in the mall?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Back Handed Insult

I love this one:

"Despite what everyone says, you're pretty cool."

Or the Classic:

"You? Naw... You're not not cute"

Back from the land of ancient Mummies

I finally figured out my user name and password. I had been trying for about 2 weeks until it finally came to me this morning. I think that the awesome Karaoke last night jarred my head in the correct way so that my memory would come back.

I am finally back from Peru and ready to digitally carve my thoughts into this cyber-space record for all people -- who have nothing better to do -- to read.

I think my first entry will have to be about dopplegangers and twins, since Scrappy's identical twin in town this weekend. Funky seeing two of her.

And Rex Bikini, I am with you on the ranking, although:

1) I love Rock and Roll

2) Living on a Prayer

3) On bended Knee

BIG FUN last night!!!