Wednesday, July 30, 2014

NG in Venice - Sampling Some Surplus Jouissance...

In capitalist society health is the capability to earn, among the Greeks it was the capability to enjoy, and in the Middle Ages the capability to believe.
- Ernst Bloch, "The principle of hope"
Health is a wavering notion, if not directly in medical terms, then in social terms. Health is by no means solely a medical notion, but predominantly a societal one. Restoring to health again means in reality bringing the sick man to that kind of health which is respectively acknowledged in each respective society, and which was in fact first formed in that society itself.
- Ernst Bloch, "The principle of hope"
Metopia: 1) Refers to elite social groups and their surroundings, specifically the wealthiest urban communities that are isolated from poverty and the lower-middle income class.

2) May be used to describe the frame of mind of individuals that think that as long as they are doing well financially, the rest of the world is doing well.
- Urban Dictionary

Friday, July 25, 2014

Confronting Impossibilities

I no longer wonder
if I'll ever hold the wind
or catch a falling star

if I'll ever walk on water
or find a single raindrop
resting on the ocean floor

or if I'll ever find the words
to describe how beautiful you are

and you should no longer wonder
if I'll every stop loving you

because some things are just impossible
- Jacob Serento

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Faith's New Rebellious Defenders

There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds.
- Alfred Lord Tennyson

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Reprogramming and Bounding Rebellion

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?
- Langston Hughes, "Harlem"
This, then, is the formula provided: "So that each thing that obeys law may have the glory and isolation of the anarchist." So that Law is the greatest transgression, the defender of the Law the greatest rebel. However, where is the limit of this dialectic? DOES IT HOLD ALSO FOR GOD HIMSELF? Is He, the embodiment of cosmic order and harmony, ALSO the ultimate rebel, or is He a benign authority observing from a peaceful Above with bemused wisdom the follies of mortal men struggling each other? Here is the reply of God when Syme turns to him and asks him: "Have you ever suffered?"

As /Syme/ gazed, the great face grew to an awful size, grew larger than the colossal mask of Memnon, which had made him scream as a child. It grew larger and larger, filling the whole sky; then everything went black. Only in the blackness before it entirely destroyed his brain he seemed to hear a distant voice saying a commonplace text that he had heard somewhere, 'Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of?'

This final revelation - that God Himself suffers even more than us, mortals, brings us to the fundamental insight of Orthodoxy, Chesterton's theological masterpiece (which belongs to the same period: he published it a year later than Thursday), not only the insight into how orthodoxy is the greatest transgression, the most rebellious and adventurous thing, but a much darker insight into the central mystery of Christianity:

When the world shook and the sun was wiped out of heaven, it was not at the crucifixion, but at the cry from the cross: the cry which confessed that God was forsaken of God. And now let the revolutionists choose a creed from all the creeds and a god from all the gods of the world, carefully weighing all the gods of inevitable recurrence and of unalterable power. They will not find another god who has himself been in revolt. Nay (the matter grows too difficult for human speech), but let the atheists themselves choose a god. They will find only one divinity who ever uttered their isolation; only one religion in which God seemed for an instant to be an atheist.
-Slavoj Zizek, "Hegel - Chesterton: German Idealism and Christianity"

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Life in a Fantasy World

The child's toys and the old man's reasons
Are the fruits of the two seasons.
- William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence"

Friday, July 18, 2014

Spectrums of Mind

Even light itself, which every thing displays,
Shone undiscovered, till his brighter mind
Untwisted all the shining robe of day;
And, from the whitening undistinguished blaze,
Collecting every ray into his kind,
To the charmed eye educed the gorgeous train
Of parent colours. First the flaming red
Sprung vivid forth; the tawny orange next;
And next delicious yellow; by whose side
Fell the kind beams of all-refreshing green.
Then the pure blue, that swells autumnal skies
Ethereal played; and then, of sadder hue,
Emerged the deepened indigo, as when
The heavy-skirted evening droops with frost;
While the last gleamings of refracted light
Died in the fainting violet away.
— James Thomson, "A Poem Sacred to the Memory of Sir Isaac Newton" (1700–1748)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Twisting Twines

"The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to God.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
Bring us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.”
― T.S. Eliot

Friday, July 11, 2014

Blasts of Creative Chaos

Á Nadar

Do you know, as I do, delicious sadness
and make others say of you: ‘Strange man!’
- I was dying. In my soul, singular illness,
desire and horror were mingled as one:
anguish and living hope, no factious bile.
The more the fatal sand ran out, the more
acute, delicious my torment: my heart entire
was tearing itself away from the world I saw.
I was like a child eager for the spectacle,
hating the curtain as one hates an obstacle…
at last the truth was chillingly revealed:
I’d died without surprise, dreadful morning
enveloped me. – Was this all there was to see?
The curtain had risen, and I was still waiting.
- Charles Baudelaire, "The Inquisitive Man’s Dream"

Sunday, July 6, 2014


...There was something more than a principle I abandoned, when I abandoned the equal distribution, it was a bodily need. But to suck the stones in the way I have described, not haphazard, but with method, was also I think a bodily need. Here then were two incompatible bodily needs, at loggerheads. Such things happen. But deep down I didn't give a tinker's curse about being off my balance, dragged to the right hand and the left, backwards and forewards. And deep down it was all the same to me whether I sucked a different stone each time or always the same stone, until the end of time. For they all tasted exactly the same. And if I had collected sixteen, it was not in order to ballast myself in such and such a way, or to suck them turn about, but simply to have a little store, so as never to be without. But deep down I didn't give a fiddler's curse about being without, when they were all gone they would be all gone, I wouldn't be any the worse off, or hardly any. And the solution to which I rallied in the end was to throw away all the stones but one, which I kept now in one pocket, now in another, and which of course I soon lost, or threw away, or gave away, or swallowed ...
- Samuel Beckett, "Malloy"
Vladmimir: Well? Shall we go?

Estragon: Yes, let's go.

[They do not move.]
- Samuel Beckett, "Waiting for Godot"

Friday, July 4, 2014

Battles with Despondency

I have gone backward in the work,
The labour has not sped,
Drowsy and dark my spirit lies,
Heavy and dull as lead.
How can I rouse my sinking soul
From such a lethargy?
How can I break these iron chains,
And set my spirit free?

There have been times when I have mourned,
In anguish o'er the past;
And raised my suppliant hands on high,
While tears fell thick and fast,

And prayed to have my sins forgiven
With such a fervent zeal,
An earnest grief --- a strong desire
That now I cannot feel!

And vowed to trample on my sins,
And called on Heaven to aid
My spirit in her firm resolves
And hear the vows I made.

And I have felt so full of love,
So strong in spirit then,
As if my heart would never cool
Or wander back again.

And yet, alas! how many times
My feet have gone astray,
How oft have I forgot my God,
How greatly fallen away!

My sins increase, my love grows cold,
And Hope within me dies,
And Faith itself is wavering now,
O how shall I arise!

I cannot weep but I can pray,
Then let me not despair;
Lord Jesus, save me lest I die,
And hear a wretch's prayer.
- Anne Brontë