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seeing Barney’s wonderful one-man show …Him last night …

…made me want to write a play again. Is this wrong?

I get the feeling something is being left unsaid.

And listening to This Mortal Coil today (“Holocaust”) gave me an inkling of what it is,

and where there is space in the market.

Send me ideas, donations, commissions.

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what does the network think? – the wwwww.

The social media industry is a fast paced, 24/7 conversation and keeping on top of positive or negative situations to maximise or minimise their exposure is a constant challenge and requires someone who lives and breathes social media outside of normal work hours.

– from here

this is from a job posted by Air New Zealand. The applicant is required to be a qualified Animator – which might imply the manipulation of social expectations, like bringing lies to life. This ungenerous inference would appear to be supported by the requirement to keep on top of – in and beyond work hours – both positive and negative situations. What situations? It sounds like a risky business. Air New Zealand’s reputation is at stake.

I like the idea of encountering risk, having to make snap decisions either to accentuate the positive, giving the good oil on Air New Zealand maximum exposure, or to put a lid on the negative, shutting it down! The job ad also mentions viral. So imagine the nooks and crannies, labyrinthine, a byzantine undertaking, the lengths the applicant might have to be prepared to go, the stamina call on, the coffees and choc bars to stay awake, long after he or she has officially clocked out. It’s 24/7 in here!

That’s what I dislike, a job ad already demanding that the successful applicant work outside of normal hours.

There is a scary “out there” invoked by this job ad, in here. The applicant will be intrepid, a risk-taker, but also a kind of slave to this idea. He or she will have to be “out there” and to live and breathe it. And out there is where it’s all going on. Both the good and the bad for Air New Zealand. Negative situations will arise as easily and quickly as positive – at any time.

It’s chaos, but it’s your mission to face it, to keep on top of it. To keep on top of yourself, and not ask for overtime.

It’s also clear that the ad targets the subaltern, the younger applicant, who is working under a Manager, although it merely states “closely with” this person and their teams. This is a fantastic opportunity for a “social media expert to take their OE in London.”

The only stated technical requirement, for the applicant to have proficiency in the “WordPress blog platform,” goes some way to undermining the idea that Air New Zealand actually know what they are asking for. I will try to start a viral campaign from WordPress…. … … Watch this space!

The image of the ‘space’ I find most interesting. The wild wild world wide web. I’d apply for the job, strap my viral campaign toolkit to my laptop, carefully hidden under the disinformation “WordPress blog platform,” and OE in a London I’d never see for working 24/7 in the wwwww. on part wages, but I’m too old.

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false effort

So much of the performance of conventional NZ masculinity – what it means to be a man – can be summed up as false effort. The voice lowers, even to shuddering in its lowest registers. Speech is halting. It is a machine that stalls, turns over, starts up again with a cough, with the threat that at any time it might stop altogether. And have to get taken to the shop.

Grunts and inarticulate expressions of effort make their way into even the most mundane exchanges. “Good aaah morning.” The impression being given and the truth that men are seeking to give out is that it’s hard being a man, as Lou Reed sings in the VU song: “living in ahhh a trash can / my baby calls me aaahh up / she tries to hit me with thuh ahh mop / I can’t stand it any more”…

The attitude of false effort contrasts with the suavity, fluency and cool of, for example, Italian men, who become suspect for the very reason of their ease of attitude, their panache, why worry? even when it’s all front. Perhaps all the more when it’s all front. Staying cool in any situation, taking little sips, rather than draining the can dry, is suspiciously artificial. It goes against male appetitiveness and competitiveness. Whereas if the appearance is that effort is required, it must somehow be justified and it justifies: it self-legitimates. A long pull on a cigarette – when they were more fashionable – or a long and antisocial draining of the jug in one continuous adam’s apple bobbing draft followed by Aaaahhhh! as much meant to convey satisfaction – mock – as effort – false.

Ease is unknown to the man who practices false effort. A man who is unburdened, unharried by this sense of masculinity as a crushingly manual undertaking is a faggot, poof, or foreign. Ironic then that the grunts and sighs and huh-huh-huhs of false effort resemble so closely a gay porn soundtrack. But then, sex is honest work and hard. Or ought to be.

For the opposite sex to indulge in false effort is called faking. In fact, you might say that NZ women have to apply themselves to a greater degree to the production of an easy attitude by way of compensation. They must at all times be fluid, smooth, and are subject at all times to admonitions not to be uptight, go with the flow, calm down, when it is NZ men who are semi- or pseudo-hysterically giving birth (or doing poohs) at regular intervals, Aaaahhhh! Women are sweepers, minimisers, cleaner-uppers. They clear the stage of obstacles just so that their men may make the most mountainous of the dust motes which remain. They are expected so to do.

What makes it so difficult being a man in NZ? The answer would be the same for most women: other men/women. Albeit that women show their superiority in what they are prepared to tolerate. And then bitch in the background clique.

False effort is never found at more concentrated levels as where men meet, professionals, labourers alike, the residues of our once egalitarian society. With the gentrification of the pub, NZ men constitute a floating diaspora. Myth says it is the barbeque, around the grill. But high levels of false effort can be encountered in a phonecall. Ending with the obligatory and often uncomfortable – perforce – Cheers!

Commentators have suggested that male reticence – deeper underlying sensitivity which cannot bring itself to expression – causes the sentences of the NZ male to stumble and sigh and fart and groan and… pause. Before coughing, or laughing. For no apparent reason than the noise. If this were the case, the cause, then men are clearly more sensitive and show greater sensitivity to members of their own sex among whom they play out the routines of reticence – often passing the point of caricature – than to the opposite one.

NZ men are sensitive to the needs of women to make them feel more comfortable, safer and more it ease, just so they may be affirmed in being uneasy, uncomfortable and unsafe, and protest all the louder at the unfairness, the hardness of their lots, their jobs, their lives, at the shit they have to deal with. And their fear. NZ men are sensitive to the needs of women to have babies and therefore baby them. After all, it’s aaaaaahhhh hard being a man.

I have focused on speech, because I came off a phonecall – to another man, of course – where I realised I had slipped into vocal false effort, but I think false effort can be extended, as an ontological category, or style of being, to dress and other technologies of the self. Sartorial false effort can be considered like Chanel’s recommendation to dress and accessorise completely in character and when perfect to take away one element. But the other way around: to take away every element characteristic of style or a style and add one thing it is too hard to do without.

The man who moves easily is less than a man. He should never look too comfortable in his skin as in his clothes. The NZ man is most natural when dressed in nothing more than his comforter. So long it remains clear he is uncomfortable there is no affectation. Afraid of ease, he should never be afraid of his own fear and therefore wear whatever fear dictates, camo gear, for example.

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in praise of Linus Torvald and another human being

Am I speaking with Mr. Taylor?

Yes.

Mr. Tony Taylor?

No, his son.

Can I please speak with Mr. Tony Taylor?

No. I’m afraid Mr. Tony Taylor is no longer with us.

Has he got like a divorce?

A what?

A di-v-horse?

No. He passed away.

So who is the main owner of the computers there?

No-one is the main owner of the computers here.

Like who is the main own-ner?

What is this call about please?

You have warning signals sent out…

What kind of operating system do I have…?

No. That’s what you tell me.

I don’t have to tell you anything.

You have warnings being sent out and this is not good for anyone on the…

Are you a scammer? You sound like a scammer…

No, I am not a scammer. I am a human being.

Well, this sounds like a crank call.

This is not a prank call. I am calling because warnings are being sent out from your computer…

What do they say?

Microsoft…

I don’t deal with Microsoft at all.

No? Well then, Apple, Linux…

No, not Apple either.

That’s what I said. Linux then.

Yes.

Right, Linux. [pause] OK. [pause] Good night and god bless you, my dear.

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good advice and lots of it

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and then perhaps I should start writing about what I am doing, begin a conceptual staging of my web project, let me know if you would like to read about it here. Until I hear from you, dear visitor, some gleanings, scratchings, fork&plate

‘Style,’ said Evelyn Waugh, ‘is not just avoiding the cliché. It’s avoiding the place where you can feel the cliché is being avoided.’

– in David Hare, Obedience, Struggle & Revolt, Faber and Faber, London, 2005, p. 140

By engagement, I mean not so much an exposition, or a critique, or both, but a path that cuts across these texts, a thought that attempts to find its way through them. Needless to say, this approach might be seen as involving a certain degree of violence. Yet this may well amount to nothing other than the irreducible degree of violence involved in the work of interpretation, which remains the sole form of fidelity toward what is most thought provoking.

– Miguel de Beistegui, Truth and genesis : philosophy as differential ontology, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2004, p. 16

I once with, with Howard Brenton, wrote a play called Pravda, about a mad South African newspaper owner played by Anthony Hopkins as a kind of maquette for his subsequent Hannibal Lecter. Anxious lest our fictional proprietor be confused with a conspicuous real-life Australian, the Board of the nervous National Theatre insisted that we consult a QC. ‘Well,’ said this highly intelligent man, ‘as far as I can see, your play portrays a megalomaniac psychopath who drags his newspapers downmarket, who has no concern for editorial standards, who has no sexual pleasure except in public humiliation and violent dismissal of his staff, and whose only real interest is in the accumulation of a massive, unscrupulous and anti-social fortune for himself. If Rupert Murdoch really wants to step forward and identify himself as the hero of the play, then my advice would be: let him.’

In fact, Murdoch’s response to the play was characteristic. In Pravda, our Lambert le Roux adopts British citizenship specifically in order to be able to own British newspapers. Please not, six months after our opening night Murdoch decided to become an American, protesting that, like Lambert, he went through ‘the normal channels, albeit at unusual speed.’ Murdoch effectively treated our play not as a work of art, but as an inspirational business plan. Is Murdoch the only man on earth who could actually asset-strip a satire?

David Hare, Obedience, Struggle & Revolt, Faber and Faber, London, 2005, pp. 127-8

if metaphysics, as a metaphysics of the ground, and of subjectivity – of subjectivity as constituting the very ground for the objectivity of objectal nature – is no longer possible, if philosophy can no longer turn to subjectivity as the transcendental site revealing the conditions of possibility of experience, and of beings as such and as a whole as a realm of objects, can it not undergo a transformation and reinvent itself, precisely out of this “crisis” of foundation? Can we not think the future of metaphysics, and the possibility of ontology, out of this very event, the event of un-grounding? And so, before proceeding with the rites of burial of philosophy, before declaring its death irreversible, and its new life as science – and, once again, that which, in the current institutional, professional, and cultural landscape, seems to testify to the good health of philosophy, in my mind only confirms the diagnosis I have just formulated – let us at least consider the possibility of a philosophy which, neither metaphysics in the sense of grounding, nor philosophy of science, nonetheless remains in relation to science, at once absolutely different from it and coextensive with it. What sort of relation would that be?

It is a relation born of this “crisis” of foundation. Yet because it is a relation, it does not coincide simply with a collapsing, whether understood as total collapse, or as a collapsing of the one (philosophy) into the other (science). Neither grounding (fondement) nor collapsing (effondrement), it is a relation of what, following Deleuze, we shall call an un-grounding (effondement). This concept is indicative of a twofold gesture, of a double possibility: the possibility of situating philosophy in relation to science anew, first of all; and, in close connection with this first possibility, the possibility of reasserting philosophy as ontology on the basis of a distinction in being between the actual, or the empirical (and the science it enables), and the virtual or transcendental horizon (which philosophy brings out) from which the former unfolds.

the transcendental no longer refers back to a transcendental subjectivity, but to the real as such. In effect, the transcendental no longer designates the conditions of possibility of (subjective) experience, nor the conditions of possibility of phenomena themselves. It now designates their real conditions of existence and is concerned with their actual generation and production.

The transcendental is therefore a dimension of the real itself.

– Miguel de Beistegui, Truth and genesis : philosophy as differential ontology, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2004, pp. 21-2

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the shame of it, the shame of there being a grey area

INSAN-

ITY

 

STATE-

MENT

OF IN-

TENT

 

American scientists from Princeton University have found out how much money do I need a man for happiness.

It turned out to achieve full satisfaction from life, you need to earn 75,000 dollars a year, which amounts to 6,250 dollars a month, or about 190 thousand rubles. In this case, the excess of the threshold income is no longer adds happiness, and more positive experiences of wealthy people relate purely to their personal characteristics.

– from here

“The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture”
by Andrew Keen, Doubleday / Currency, 2007

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lynching, piracy, decapitation, abject media = subjection … and excerpts from Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84

this is an ad for lynching

:

 

occupy lynching?

while nearby: piracy –

while art means action now

and action means decapitation

– the ritual slaying of Ronald McDonald

 

this is an ad

for

Rachel Lee’s

article at CTheory

advertising AFFECT

FEELING

EMOTION

intensely &

“ahead of the game”

which could be the following:

is at least what the following wants needs likes follows shares and

adverts to in a culture of “distracted tactility” [Rachel Lee after Michael Taussig, 1991]

“This reminded Tengo of a certain event, something from the distant past that he would recall now and then. Something he could never forget. But he decided not to mention it. It would have been a long story. And it was the kind of thing that loses the most important nuances when reduced to words.”

– Haruki Murakami, 1Q84, trans. Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2011, p. 72

The concepts of time, space, and possibility.

“Tengo knew that time could become deformed as it moved forward. Time itself was uniform in composition, but once consumed, it took on a deformed shape. One period of fime might be terribly heavy and long, while another could be light and short. Occasionally, the order of things could be reversed, and in the worst cases order itself could vanish entirely. Sometimes things that should not be there at all might be added onto time. By adjusting time this way to suit their own purposes, people probably adjusted the meaning of their existences. In other words, by adding such operations to time, they were able – but just barely – to preserve their own sanity. Surely, if a person had to accept the time through which he had just passed uniformly in the given order, his nerves could not bear the strain. Such a life, Tengo felt, would be sheer torture.

“Through the expansion of the brain, people had acquired the concept of temporality, but they simultaneously learned ways in which to change and adjust time. In parallel with their ceaseless consumption of time, people would ceaselessly reproduce time that they had mentally adjusted. This was no ordinary feat. No wonder the brain was said to consume forty percent of the body’s total energy!”

– Ibid., p. 275

my bookmark reads: strike!

TRIPLE DIP – STRIKE

“They’re both policemen now. Not too long ago, my uncle even received official commendation as an outstanding officer – thirty years of continuous service, major contributions to public safety in the district and to improvement of the environment. He was featured in the paper once for saving a stupid dog and her pup that wandered into a rail crossing.”

“The ones who did it can always rationalise their actions and even forget what they did. They can turn away from things they don’t want to see. But the surviving victims can never forget. They can’t turn away. Their memories are passed on from parent to child. That’s what the world is, after all: an endless battle of contrasting memories.”

– Ibid., pp. 292-293

I am a part of this world, and this world is a part of me.”

– Ibid., p. 855

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a season of birthdays, peppered with incident, highlights in my salt barrel include: organs and records, a hand, an absence of art, after maths, scoping out company offices, dinners of froth, jelly & Christ’s decomposition . find Alice

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29 December 2011 + further instance of the appearance of the number

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