Thursday, July 26, 2007


Good evening good peoples of Single Bibliophile Universe.
Good evening to you Guildrunners who aren’t.
(No Wittgenstein. You may not eat the gerund.)
Take the kinks out.
Dreamland asterisk marital status: comprehensive but vague.
Rest up for the holiday soon.
When you most expect it loosen your hair.
Burn off old habits.
Rock along the microwave with a New Waver.
Unfasten the refrigerator, Lux.
Throw punk rock at a dog whipping him into shapes only a cat loves.
Dust off your planted coffee-table books.
Pick them up.
Sniff them.
And demand a miracle.
Fish-pay the rent.
Let your memory bank stand in any hallway it chooses.
Consent to surpass the oracle of the Gaza Strip.
Open your monologue for staring strangers to see.
A very casual thing to do.
Dualist or donkey?
Inconveniences all queer statements must suffer.
Only if you wash me.
Designed to demolish warts and other unsightly buildings.
Please pardon this occasion of theology.
An aborted plot to dazzle you with distractions invariably most serious.
Boz is the real flaw.
The president smiling the greatest compliment allowed by law.
Given on the basis of one promise per chapter.
Brass doorknobs are selling where apples can’t get past the canal.
To look at you I would say your problems are not worth it.
Irkwink yourself if there is no other art of curvature in your corner.
They took us as fools and pried us free of our questions.
Where are you in that picture?
The living eternal end.

Now that those days have passed on to their reward,
cute daffy lions bralessly stop by, convincing
me I am suggesting myself. Despite Delilah’s
climax, poets are sometimes easy prey
to the desires of skin and savagery.
If you avoid the one, you catch the other.

Some of the people can be naked some of the time.
And all of the people can be naked all of the time.
But none of the people can be naked none of the time.
I see God’s face in my feet. I think Yeats said that.
Babes observe their impacts. True as glass.
Lines prepare their streets. Hit the books, son.
Samson loved Delilah and long-winded facts.

There is no time left to write poems,
only slogans which are wordsuck
resurrecting the legends we breathe our songs for…

[ 1983, Atlanta, GA ]

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


A silent tongue unravels the strangling noose,
Its path, unheralded by truce.
Odd scratched and scribbled graffitti,
Peacemaking my splintered head,
Ballets in dizzy nymph

Arousing the needy.
A parlor hunger, birds unfed.

My mind, a blank page.
My head leaps as a small frog,
There is no comfort.

The nothingness crowd is quoted no more,
Altared but undevoted they pay by nod.
My mind, a cluttered page.
My head sleeps as a burnt ephemeral log,
There is no comfort.
(Yet told around gracious Sin Avenue
camp fires spotting downtown Machinery Row
to the lilies laughing over a fine glass
of the best Napolean brandy
noonday dollars never doubt
where sheer distance is divided by
voteless cog, the mist of democracy
is seen reflecting upon our names
an appointed fog grazing upon
the tracks of method....)

And the saint thus
Spoke scantily to the prophet:
"He who demoralizes another
"Can claim no morality for himself."
To this the prophet said nothing, but
He knew in part the saint
For a shanty fool.

(And the unfed,
Left to perish among
The unwelcome, left to ravish
The beauty of beast, and the beast
Of beauty, established
Many fine logics.)

I fell blank at such a formula—
Asses built on caged numbers observed,
Deserved and dirty word reserved
For quaint molecules and family,
Where my occupation is a gift to anyone
Stroking along fishy fables,
Mentality tables, cradled
Images, daisies, nightsies,

I am the yellow sheep
I can’t earn my keep
Proving the fallibility of this text
World without maps
World without worldliness

My mind, an accurate page.
My head keeps to its own symbol,
There is no comfort.

I wonder what proof died in my mouth.

[1980, Corpus Christi, TX ]

Friday, July 20, 2007


Originally written to a young American cohort I had visited in Paris a few months before with my wife, dated February 5, 2001.

Cheerio my friend. Welcome back to the Gabriel of old. . .

FTP INFO: Your web site is ready and already has a default page loaded, and this works during testing. Note that the default page must be named "index.html" to match 'XusNET webserver configurations. You have full FTP privileges. You can create new directories, read from, write to, and download anything from your domain's directory. The following information should be entered into your FTP client so that you can access your web site.

PASSWORD: cleverjones
Directory: /

Your new web account is configured. Check it out mon frere! Let me know if you have any troubles or questions.

Look forward as always to your cheerful voice once you return to France from the land of Joyce. Me, I'm still properly sick with the flu, no day better than the next, a week now of fever, scorched throat, pain in both ears driven with ice pick precision, the usual sinus stuffiness and upchuck too. But I am as inspired as I've been in years to focus on our global critique, but tire easily and return to bed often.

Rebunk has sparked a flame under me to—once and for all—draw the lines of where I stand on this Debord crescendo. Of course, it looks as if I'm going to have to torch his own Aussie canopy with a direct hit of GT phlegm since, as Kubhlai pointed out recently, he has never ever really put his own two cents on the line, but continues to hide in silence or behind the SI bulk of work he has archived. It's time to quit pussyfooting around. The imperative that I slash away this fog that's been hovering over me for some three years now has reached illuminating proportions.

The Jappe book on Debord is helping pin the Frenchman down for me, and as I suspected, there is so much that I find self-contradicting, just as I find much of the Christian outlook self-contradicting, that I must keep good notes and finally put my own sorry self to the test of my fellow sworgsters. I will start with that very last fragment Zizek (a new name to me, but a piece full of typical dishonest extrapolation) Bunkee sent over the SWILL. I know Kubhlai and I are on the same page, whatever that happens to be, and I think you are there as well. But Rebunk and Crash have shown us nothing but bookmarks from the past, and no clear definition on who in the hell they are as individual credits to their race for humanity’s sake.

I cannot help but believe that within the common parallels nee inconsistencies (notwithstanding some quite distinctive divergences) I find in the comparative Situationist-Christianity creeds lies the answer to my own special dilemma as to which spectacular point along the political scale I stand or AM SUPPOSED TO STAND (according to my own nature, and self-interests).

We can make metaphor and we can mix metaphor, poorly or insightfully, forever my friend, but sooner or later, and NOW is MY time, I just have to know what IT IS I KNOW. And there is much I've soaked up in pieces that Debord (the braggart who said he learned nothing from scouring books, but everything by dallying along the streets) touted that I do not believe is true, sweeping generalizations absurb on the face of all things self-evident (relying on dubious constructions such as nearly everybody else’s false consciousness while touting the reality of his own desire to make his every point), and even more absurd considering his call to action, knowing the chain of corruptibility people everywhere will die to protect.

You and I have agreed on this point before. But what we must do, or perhaps this is my own chore, is prepare a solid critique of Debord, taking agreement where we can, and marking void those points of fantasy we find impossible to swallow, given that our own cultural bias will never be his, and therefore quite interestingly enough, absent the francophilian and xenophobic texture of many of his assumptions.

While France has its immigrants, America is worshipped by the hordes and hated by another substantial group as well. Paris, well, it's merely a city of glamour, now mostly in the past, for better or worse. However, I suspect that this heady investigation will lead me to suggest that Debordism is very close to Nazaritism (the words and praxis of Jesus) and that any rejection of Debord is a rejection of Jesus on the very terms that I have long been availing the old prophet and dismissing the more recent one. But I must know where I stand with both men.

Debord writes often about the essence of humanity, while ignoring the general corruptibility of that same humanity. This was the point Kubhlai tried to make in his most recent post trying to draw Rebunk into the ring. Yes, a lot of this teasing might sound like retrograde religiosity. Perhaps it is, perhaps it ain't when brought up to date in modern terms we wish to introduce, perhaps with very different social schematics, although we'd be hard pressed to suggest a singular Christian scheme given the complexity of the Catholic-Protestant fillibuster. Your recent remark that originality is not the aim, but rather, relevance is the cornerstone of our endeavor.

Remembering our own initial urgency in SWORG terms to embrace the man in the street, Debord fails this universal test, a victim of his own cultural inheritance. His patented exaggerations and smug dishonesty hardly qualify him as the honorable man of action he had aimed to be. He was a man of books and eloquence, staged harrumph and star egotism, and could not feign ignorance, or even virtue long enough to save his own life. Considering he didn't consider writing or contemplation worthy of the name—action—his greatest action was putting a gun to his heart. That greatness rests solely in its finality. Deborg boasted that almost everyone he met wanted to follow him; well, I seriously suggest one cannot comprehend the truth of an intrinsic vision without feeling the floodwaters of petty and trifling rejection.

So after I get the Paris Summit site fully completed and uploaded, I would hope that we might collaborate on a few nails in staking Debord to the cross side by side with the praxis of Jesus, not Pauline Christianity mind you, or at least not until summarizing the similarities and disparities between the two primary men in focus. This exploratory surgery may not interest you at all. But nothing less than this exacting sort of critical analysis will set me free of my own confusion and foster the next step towards defining ourselves as AMIST, SIFTOLOGIST, GEOSOPHIST, in that order. I await your response.

By the way, I ordered two copies of Miller's The Cosmological Eye a couple of days ago, one to replace my ragged copy, and the other to toss into your care package. You should return in person to the VV and request a refund, pocket the francs, and think of the sad state of business affairs some find acceptable in a world seething with shoddy co-operation. Uh, long live the revolution. Don't you just despise us impatient Americans!!!! Unfortunately I tossed the receipt in a momentary lapse of judgement just days before your recent call, not that you had anything to do with me tossing or not tossing the receipt. I was supposed to be saving ALL those receipts, and have most of them, but alas.

Yet, I was stillllllllll thinking. . .

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Originally published on November 5, 1996, as one of the first, if not the very first missives contributed to the post-situationist listserv arm of the fledgling Nothingness entity.

I write:
Just wanted to go on record that of all those waking up from last night's America TODAY, there are only two kinds of people. People who vote, and those who don't.

Sam then wrote:
There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who divide everything into simple dichotomies and those who do not.

This Sam, turned out to be Sam Hutchison, from Atlanta, who later became a strong ally in the Bully Marxist wars that followed on that particular list against NYC rivals Bill Brown and Curtis Leung. But with this early exchange, I was immediately incensed by what I had to consider the familiar ring of snobbishness, and the fact that Sam had signed off his one liner with a kicker and a nickname that summed up my original assessment, sent me to the mattresses looking for my poison pen. His kicker, "Oh yeah, down here I'm considered the apotheosis of cool." signing off as "the sewer urchin." Needless to say, I found my metaphorical pen, and as to whether it was filled with poison or healing medicinal concoction, the distinction is all in the dosage. You be the judge.

Sam, have you ever crawled inside a wet sewer pipe down upon your hands and knees through a stinky brick and mortared shit-infested rat-renewal art-survival sewer "MANHOLE", a hole in hell stopped up with soggy kotex and johnny paper, root infiltration and whiff?

Ever sat in a boat hand-dipping test tubes into a lake of shit sludge testing the toxicity of said sludge as it's filtered and treated with chemical du jour before the big drip drip drip back through the lay of the land via some "no swimming allowed" river or some off-kilter stream of consciousness?

Well, my friend, you are currently communicating with one who has not only proposed the question, but I HAVE PERFORMED these awesome uninviting tasks many times in that petty proletarian life of my younger days before I took up dividing the world into simple dichotomies. Beyond this brief but colorful description of a few of my duties as a low totem, then ranking crew chief member of a survey party hired to a civil engineering firm in Atlanta serving five SE USA states specializing in waste management systems, I dare say I have also been known to chant around certain quarters that I am indeed the anithesis of cool.

My pose as THE ANTI-COOL is not a transparent facade I must mainatain in order to spew forth the vomit I have reserved for the lukewarm chic trendy jabberwockies of the café chit chat set. No, I am not chic. I sweat. I sweat, and foam, and seethe. And more than a bit overweight, one might add. But I was not always this way. I was once a child of simple intelligence and structure. Despite the William S. Burroughs role as the Commissioner of Sewers I would point out that WSB has declared the Evil One as a freckled face kid sitting in a boat out in the middle of some woe-begotten lake. Damn. How did he manage to describe ME to a tee, or is that a cross?

Frankly Sam, is it not the very root of situationist thought this swindle that simple dichotomies are the backbone of the revolution: He be rich. I be poor. Therefore he da master. I da slave. Are we not swapping verbs and nouns on a situationist listserv? Viva la revolution! But how is the business of this post-revolution world to be conducted? Magick? Hmmm...

And so I reveal my true stripes: there are no simple dichotomies outside of SELF and THE OTHER (Derruda, Pynchon...)! Go swallow an apple, or chop down a cherry tree with the excuse that it was on line (old surveyor's joke), and then step into the shallow pond to pontificate on the differences between good and evil, one and zero, voting and non-voting.

And Sam, whomever you are and wherever you ponder, thanks for contributing to the iMote way...


"I fought with my twin, that enemy within, 'til both of us fell by the side..."
—Bob Dylan


(Originally published on October 31, 1996, in a letter addressed to Ben Voos in Germany)

Just received your latest terrific turns of phrase. Forwarded the whole thing off to a few friends. You've done it again with that web site. Minimal. Elegant. Thought-provoking. I voted. The lined box to the far right, which was in essence, voting with the herd. I studied long and judiciously at the boxes before making my choice. What was I choosing? The one which reminded me of feelings I associated with something pleasurable? Or did I pick the ugly one out of the crowd because I am prone to exhibit low self-esteem at regular intervals? Or, perhaps I simply not know why but went with the leader, thinking others' good taste was what I had in mind when I explore a path of raw nerve?

That's a tough one. I immediately thought of lines drawn in with chalk generally in athletic arenas, basketball & tennis courts, uh, the far left box with the rose colored demarcations, right angles, parallel lines and yellow diamond, but too it's not, I just went back and voted a second time, this time for the first box. The absent of controlling rules worked to my advantage. I see your liquor bottles made the cut again, as did the kingdom of the grid blip.

I'm really embarrassed by my slow entrance onto the WWW. Just bought that new Mac 8500. It's allowing me, finally, after days of organization to bring some order out of the mess of HTML files and graphics I've been creating, storing some here, some there, inadvertantly losing some to the trashcan monster it seems more than once...

Your queries about domain costs: Paid $75 to have a third party register the name and paid $100 for the first two years of registration, after which I will be billed $50 annually to maintain ownership of the iMote domain name. That's the sum of it. The German full Internet charges you mentioned are rich...home ISDN line service is the BIG deal here in my neck of the woods. The tiny nearby state of Delaware recently passed a law mandating a $29/month ceiling for residential ISDN service anywhere in the state of Delaware. In the District of Columbia however, I cannot even GET residential ISDN line service, and they want over $500/month for a business hook-up.

Actually I applied for a rates and service spec from the Telephone Company a month ago and it never came. Seems in this polarized city a widening gulf between the haves and the have-nots, as usual, is the culprit. Big business and big government versus 50% of the population at poverty level being left in the dust by a crisis-building tax revenue shrinking middle class fleeing the gang-infested city for promises of cleaner suburban living. Problem is the crime and the gangs are moving right along to the suburbs in the same moving vans with these noveau bourgeois parents who always think it is somebody else doing the troublemaking...

Meanwhile, kudos again on creating an interesting site. And don't worry about what your EXPERTS say. They are saying the same thing here. Ripsnorting business and smiley faces are what makes this country get a hard-on for anything. Lord knows it ain't flashy nude television gameshows (like you Germans). America is a full-color gloss Pollyanna, but after a rough gamble with freedom and artificial habits up the nose, she's beginning to show some cellulite and wrinkle. I smell tragedy in that rag...


Monday, July 16, 2007


(Originally published on the SWORG SWILL LISTSERV on June 21, 1999)

Crash writes: I'm glad that you are so clear on your political position.

Kube writes: This was a joke right? Here are a few clearer generalisations.
1. that everyone is and should be out for themselves (individualism)
2. that everyone is mutually interdependent and only equity (of opportunity to develop what you are) can ultimately deliver what anyone needs (communism, self-interest). That is, the nurturing of the parts is the nurturing of the whole.
3. that such an interdependent and complex system can only work on the basis of control by the people (anarchism, efficiency.)
4. that the task is immense and cannot be perfected overnight (revolution, pragmatism) (also see my position on violence)
5. that human relations are inseparable from material conditions (sociology, biology)
6. that all that is springs from material conditions (materialism, religion)
7. there are loads more, but the above will do to fill in most of the traditional boxes.

Crash writes...
Because I'm still working on my position and feel that I'm constantly evolving, I'm not willing to throw my hat into the standard groups (situs, anarchists, marxists, whatever).

Kube writes...
Well I've been *trying* to throw in my lot with some kind of standard group or other for longer than I can remember, for the simple reason that I felt it necessary to organize and coordinate in order to have a benign effect upon a hostile social order. But the trouble with all these groups is simply that they're all fucking wrong.

And writes...
This is not to say that I disagree with Situationism (I want to live in situations!), Anarchism (I want to be free!) or Marxism (we must work together!), but as doctrines they fail to ensure the enlightenment of their own members let alone society at large, and “therefore” one must induct that as worldviews they are not necessarily wrong, but they are certainly lacking. My opinion is that they all lack much the same thing—a sufficient comprehension of relationship and its role in the creative process (that is, in its creation of the future).

And writes...
Anarchists simply refuse to acknowledge the dynamic expansive essence of human nature—they fall back onto small fragmented self-contained worlds (two hippies in a tent on an allotment); the Situationists fell into the pomo Sargasso of 'going with the flow', everything is permissible and utopia will build itself out of nothing at all; the Marxists developed dialectics—but only to the size of a blastocyst, then stopped. All those libraries of paper, all those pyramids of ponderings on what should be done in Somalia, Timbuktu, Peking when the truth is that their members couldn’t collectively make a chicken casserole out of a casserole and a chicken.

And writes...
Inevitably therefore, the basis of action, or of any cultural or political system which is its objective, must be individualism. In order for other people to be what you want them to be (whether you imagine this to be "sharing", "obedient", "enlightened", "beautiful" or whatever) you must create the conditions for them to make this of themselves. A world held in the shape you want it to be only by your own expenditure of energy is a world in which you suffer eternal hunger, toil, conflict, frustration and boredom. In other words, it's a paradox.

And writes...
This is the world we live in (reality on the ground, as Gabriel puts it).

And writes...
Even the desire to control others "for their own good" leads to a contempt for others which does not desire "their own good" any longer—THEY must instead be punished for being the projected object of YOUR own dissatisfaction.


I am in disgrace, imposed
Strictly between the lines hunger drew,
Composed of
I had it! I had it!
But a poor speaker gone near-public
With a whetted conscience of mayonnaise
And economic morality gone sour,
I jerk off into another memory, sifting
My self-rising hour, shifting on my feet
Like an entrepreneur trading promises,
Looking to the burning bush for better days.

I've been swallowed by that whale,
Caught in the drift of a dedicated urge.
I had it, I'll borrow to
Replace it in one revolution or two.
Yes indeed! I had it to give it
Its proper massage at face value,
To grease the palm tree with coconuts
Or oil spilt during an afternoon's taboo.

If'n you are polite, say
You are void of impulse, and
Let it go at that, say no thanks
But I have to go. (Periodically
Perjury is a motive known
To the best of legends.)
I had it, almost.

Language, your honor,
Is mere alphabet dirt. Abandonment is energy
Too sharp to touch without furor,
But say, haul it in,
Taste beyond contentment
The release
Doing its own work,
And other mad values captioned in crime.

Strapped to thyself against the deck, say
Blow, say blow bay blow, say
Grab up cane and tame the vicious dog.
Know that fear's elect echoes no chorus
But somehow somewhere sometimes forgets
To clothe itself with dignity befitting
Its call, say howl Allen Ginsberg
If you chance meeting him
In occupied territory
Where gods wrestle and speak, say
Speak to us in whale. And to the last word
Nymphomaniacs and their guessing captors,
Legging margins across the dispassionate land, say
Hey button those blouses open to angry remarks
Ruthless enough to Naomi, say
Juggle yesterday's summer
Until parenthetical dawn, say
Nothing to Walt Whitman,
Ezra say Pound, the captain of swans,
Willie Mays say hey Neil Young, say
To the brash Elvis, research impulsive,
Or Johnny Rotten in the heat
Of awkward citizenship.

And Mother Alibi, say the key to happiness
Won't open the door
Where implication and silence
Are only as good
As each word implies,
Say, how is it every time I pray
I feel like deodorized vomit, say
Souls grow on bones but die beneath
Banker's hours, say
Tell us your name whale, and
We'll make you a star, casting
Matches like chorus lines
Between government issues, say
Where do we hang our hammock, say
Hope a man will cut his hair
Simply to punctuate a sentence, or
Fix his neighbor a cheese sandwich, say
To Delilah Mae Jones,
Samson is dead. Say, but
There has come another greater than he, say
Welcome y'all, say crab canons are delicious
Ways of life, say whales of America
Are a sign to insurance agents.

If'n you are angrily plundered, say
Do not be tricked by men, say
But let them trick you, sampling
Their techniques
So that you are never sent to the orchards
To gather unbias pickles, say
Pairs of excuses are unexplainable
To a whale who is strictly vegetarian
For reasons only the father knows, say
Midnight cravings innocently coded
In hollow rhetoric
Are useless to the slayers of
Civil disobedience, say
Navel oranges tapered to grip expense
Sit down, roll around, gnaw bones, shape knees,
And remind us that chaos is culture, say
Practice what you preach, say
Silence. I am in disgrace, almost.

[ 1982, Atlanta, GA ]


Originally published on the SWORG SWILL LISTSERV on December 14, 1998

Crash writes—Sorry for splitting this up but it seemed like it may run kind of long with the replies.

Gabriel wrote—Crash, I found something on the Alt-x site that struck a chord with me. It was a Ginsberg quote: "The Beat Movement was never meant to be a rebellion. It was meant to bring in a new consciousness. The middle-class, who were rebelling against Mother Nature by destroying her ecologically, made us out to be rebellious." And also, when remarking on how Laura Miller had trashed his GRAMMATRON in the NYTBR, Mark Amerika complained that she had set up a "false binary" and "unnecessary either/or oppositions", and then proposed that we simply open our minds to a variety of styles and possibilities within any given framework. So to answer your question lemme say that I too am weary of this plethora of binary constructs that attack the imagination in exactly the same way the media controls operate. In the US, the race issue, for one, is always put to the people in binary form, but everybody knows (except those on the hot button payroll) the issue is both simultaneously more simple and more complex than it's presented in the media, but the media elite and the political hacks milk the same anachronistic cow day after day, and very little ever changes except this, we lose perspective with this increasing concentration of the THEM VERSUS THEM dichotomy.

Crash writes—I'm with you on this—it has always been a quite useful method of control to set up artificial binary conflicts to keep people angry at each other and to keep them blind to the true problems—WS Burroughs always stated that in order to truly challenge a system you have to move outside the constructs of language which is grounded in the binary system of control—of course this also leaves out most people who are unable or unwilling to approach a work such as any Burroughs book—so where should we go? I think a very effective means of challenging systems is to attack the discourse upon which they rest—language for me is the key to power—not just the spoken or written language per se, but also the language of images which are broadcast and plastered everywhere. Levi-Strauss pointed out how in primitive myths the mispronounciation of words and the misuse of language were considered to be very dangerous and very powerful methods of disrupting the system and the coded language that they used as their base of understanding/power. Is this not even more true today—when it seems that we are ever so more dependent on words/images to define our perceptions? Is not the mass media almost a form of magic in most peoples lives—turn the TV on and the tribal stories are broadcast from the hearth of your living room and the smoke signals of info are distributed to the family—turn on the computer and miraculously we can fly to any part of the world—just among our small group—when was the last time one of us spent a whole day in which we didn’t receive some kind of mediated input (books, magazines, radio, tv, film, internet, etc). What power is there in producing transgressive materials that seek to wreck havoc on the codes of the dominant culture? I don’t know, but I wonder if the many people who have pointed out that when we engage in straight binary resistance to the system we are only reinforcing that system, I wonder if they have a point—that is to say, that in resisting the dominant culture straight on we help them to define themselves and to point at easily recognizable, definable, and soon to be specularized deviants who can be set up as the new boogeyman. I know I’m rambling a bit here—but what do you all think?

Gabriel wrote— It's a blood given that corporate giants and political hacks are ruthless sluts. But why should that stop anyone with enough guts and stamina to be different, to risk it all, to tear down the walls of a slum, and build afresh, a new way of thinking; no matter how we cut the ideological cake, stone cold trailblazers can't afford to be whiners (see Henry Miller's Cosmological Eye). Of course, everyone wants to be the hot new thing (notice how hot and cool mean the same thing in the popular venacular), if only to themselves, and if they fail, they usually become grumpy old whiners accusing the system of foul play. But then Cobain and Steinbeck chose very different paths to avoid the pains of their success. Ghandi could have been a very rich man, he declined. What's wrong with making money, if one spends it well. Bill Gates is a fucking liar as his testimony before the US Department of Justice in his anti-trust litigation is proving, but he has frequently said that he doesn't believe in leaving amassed fortunes to heirs. If he spent enough millions on truly changing the landscape of certain depressed areas of renewable or reconstituted life, why would not his taxations of those peoples and organizations that COULD afford it, be forgivable? You see, there are so many complex choices presented to us, but we stumble around and usually end up either goofing along picking up a few addictions which insult our biology and agenda for happiness, or else we keep nosing the grindstone such a slave to production that we also pick up a few addictions that insult our biology and agenda for happiness on the same or the total opposite end of the scale. The key, as a few savvy Greeks agreed, was moderation in all things. But few of us (and I ain't one of 'em, unfortunately) can learn to implement stellar moderation in our lives because we are ruled by addictive personalties, and as Tolstoy emphasized, it does us no good to beat ourselves up over one addiction only to have another two or three rush in to take its place. Whether we're talking substance abuse, laziness, addiction to work, sex, well hell, you know what I mean, it's all the same problem child within us. Good news is that when faced with a ruthless giant, nature seems to sponsor us a giant killer. Not too long ago the Internet founders (a cluster of old hippies and nerds) threatened to bring the world together in a non-commercialized free-spirited community. Then Mammon got a whiff of what was happening, and started pissing in the pond. Well, we can't stymie that but we can work like hell to keep the original spirit alive, and do what we can to advocate the world we want, never flinching, but rather calling for a cease-fire to all this whining. I don't mean lay down your intellectual arms and join the enemy, but simply to accept the challenge of David & Goliath, forge partnerships, or lessen one's sights at directly competing with, but perhaps hindering the bullies by carving out a solid niche. More books are being published than ever before. But who reads anymore? It’s always a moving target or a deadly threat.

Crash writes—niche carving is a very good method of slicing into mediated realms (hey Matt im starting to sound like one of those video game players) and setting up zones of operation (much like Gabriel has started here).

Gabriel wrote—Writers have never had more freedom (despite all the Internet porn busts smelling up the coffeehouse) in history. Recall Voltaire, Rousseau, running for their lives, hiding in exile, poverty, and scorn, forgotten—save the intellectual and financial graces of the few. We artists (if indeed we are artists, and not simply poseurs seeking escape from responsibility) in the west now have such an accelerated vision of freedom, we think we are living in especially perilous times, and in the supertechnological/superpolitical sense we perhaps are, but we have also never been more free to express ourselves (no artist was born guaranteed fame, riches, or readers). I personally find Dinesh D'Sousa a very refreshing and levelheaded writer who presses the conservative argument into civility without oppression. Despite my own yearning to burst out of my skin to trumpet the last charge on a world corrupted by its own sense of infallibility whether originating from the right or the left, capitalism or marxism, I am convicted by my own sense of limitation, now always imposed from the outside, but often enough a consequence of my own choices, and those of my genetic bearing. How can I blame someone else for that?

Crash writes—yes, more books than ever are being published—but what kind of books—I have no problem with the consumption of brain candy—as Matt knows when I just told him about the Joe Lansdale thrillers. But there is no need to pursue dangerous writer/artists anymore—because they are drowned out in the flood of product that dominates the market. And who is controlling what is published? What books are advertised—open up any advertisement for a book store and peruse what is put before consumers—walk through your Barnes and Nobles/Borders. In the 1960s there were more than a hundred substantial publishers in NY, by 1980 there were only 70, by 1995 the number had dropped down to 15, presently through further merging there is only 5!!!!!! major publishers and these are also tied in with the producers of other mass mediums. Now I don’t mean to sound like I’m crying that the sky is falling down—but this must be disturbing in some way. True, the market is flooded with books like never before (as well as other forms of info) but what are these texts? Of course once again this is also a benefit to us and others who seek difference—as the mainstream producers continue to narrow their fields of interest and seek to the common denominator it opens up the possibility for very viable and strong niches of operation for smaller more specialized organizations—so perhaps this is a mixed blessing. I mean, are we ourselves cultivating some form of sub-cultural capital—as we ask ourselves these days exactly what are our true goals in these efforts. Do we intend to do something to challenge the hierarchal stratification of society—this mind-numbing mediatized comformity?

Gabriel wrote—Again Crash, when I look around these here parts I don't see this world as one straitjacketed by conformity (although I surely hear and read a lot of noise to the contrary). In the greater populations (putting aside the corporate merger trend which is just the opposite to what is happening in the neighborhoods and streets, but I guess we have Debord to explain this cause and effect to us) I nevertheless see cat fights and dog bones between warring factions along every corridor I care to explore as soldiers of each faction scrawl hard lines of demarcation to help solidify a turf. [Your] Australia may be very different from America, but when I see a group of folks working and playing in harmony I marvel at how the group has conformed to an ideal so often missing on the street, in the universities, on certain ballclubs, in art snot piss fights, no one simply content to be differenthanging on the same street corner or intellectual counterpoint but everyone bucking for superiority status. Competition ain't dead, and if competition is not dead, how can we also be lost on the mind-numbing mediatized comformity rap? Debord had it right when he said the Spectacle tosses out two opposite claims and watches the skirmish in glee, knowing that the debate will roll on forever, and the social structure remains the same. Superiority, that's what straw leaders are after. That ain't just a white man thing anymore, if it ever was (and I doubt that very seriously, the Euros just won a few wars at a strategic time in history, have gained and lost as a result). I know I'm guilty of thinking no one is my superior, and will fight like mad to prove how wrong I can be. The point is, the stratification of society is just something we're going to have to accept because it is a rather natural phenomenon despite its excesses and inherent unfairness. I agree with Matt's proclamation of a couple of posts back: ". . . abolishing hierarchies is as impossible as abolishing the state. Let's face it—anarchy without hierarchy just ain’t never gunna happen, that's my opinion anyway." As for "sub-cultural capital", methinks I'd like to see some elaboration on the concept. I'm not sure what you're suggesting. And since I've ranted enough today I'd rather not go barking down a cold trail.

Crash writes—I don’t know—I see a lot more conformity than you do—maybe its because I view the system (in the US) as encouraging a cultivated form of difference and that its ability to immediately suck up and spit out a clean, sanitized version of anything that may challenge its operations—a simplified example would be punk's howl of rage, its short time of challenge and fear from the populace—by 1977 we see punk fashion on fashion runways, London newspapers printing articles on how punks are just part of the family, punk is cleaned, sanitized and marketed—dead before it gets started—it is now just another acceptable means of conforming, albeit leaving the troubled youth a bit of dignity in believing that he may in some way be giving some challenge to the system that he feels excluded from. As for sub-cultural capital—it was an off-hand remark actually questioning my own purpose and intents (I believe we must question ourselves); and tossed out to everyone else—wondering if I may not be somehow cultivating a form of sub-cultural capital, a sanitized and safe form of alternative "cultural capital" (cultural capital: cultivated artistic and intellectual capabilities that leads to one being valued by the elites). As I said, just questioning my own intent. I have a very good friend from eastern Europe who understands resistance to a system in a way that I never could (having grownup in the states were, although they will and do kill people for the worng reasons, its not quite as harrowing and prevalent as the former soviet system). She constantly keeps me on my toes about some of my *resistance* stances and leads me to question my intent (or as I think she may see it my overly romantic/idealistic views). So I guess this was a moment of self-doubt on my part. What do we see as the problem that we should be devoting our attentions to—we seem to be attempting to come up with plans of attack without really thinking upon what we want to change or what we could best effect with our efforts.

Gabriel wrote—What we call elitism can be a major problem, but hucksterism is its whoring stepsister. They hate each other, plot behind each other's arched back, spit in each other's intellectual food, kick each other's namby ankles, and attempt to steal each other's cultural graces without even bothering to shed its skin until it's absolutely forced upon them. Both exist across every social and economical class. Both breed mistrust and greed. Acknowledging their relationship to each other however they will bond together to thwart any and all those who stand in their way, that is to say, the vocal non-elitists and the few trailblazers committed to absolute (not to be confused with pre-conceived) integrity. And they often win their battles against the non-elitists and integriters because they appeal with flattery and spectacular powers in their search for allies among the spectacularized populations in order to defeat these enemies, these straight shooters, these few honest constituents of a better world once taught them in childhood mythos as sacred and worthy but ushered away as the real world ruled by this beast we have just described becomes clearly the prince of all that worships it, and reality replaces mythos as the battleground upon which we shed our blood. How do we attack this world of theirs, if we declare ourselves enemies of elitism and hucksterism, you ask? We practice an implemented form of warfare by putting one’s personal spin on the solution, that is, we must know who and what we are, playing the humble idiot if we must, the loud-mouthed brute if we dare, but always, always keeping to the mark when it comes to personal honesty (read Henry Miller, enemies hate it when you've already laid all your own dirty laundry on the table, and they can't hose you with it in an ambush) and candor (without the elitism & hucksterism, we must define them next) but I am still nagged by something Matt wrote, which follows:

Matt wrote: As I am being my honest self here, I must declare that I could give a fuck about 1) audience 2) viral politics or 3) allies until we here at SWORG have something to show for ourselves, namely, a unified schtick (as GT initially proposed) that gives us a raison d'etre as an active GROUP. My logic is irrefutable when I say that causticness is a necessary perquisite to egotism and a necessary perquisite to ANY activity in this warlock of cyberspace, and that we should not only solidify our reasons for existing, but assure ourselves that, yes, a bit of caustic bite really is the necessary fuel for lighting the fire of collaboration between ourselves, and initiating any engagements with OTHERS.

Gabriel wrote—Agree with the whole of Matt's statement, so I guess I am still fomenting the idea of caustic abruptness (as Landry will testify I'm no rookie rabblerouser) as it is magnified in relationship to my sensibilities concerning elitism and hucksterism in the SWORG groupthink arena. But I still think the whole concern is rather premature since we have mucho mucho work to do in the chainthinking section of the site particularly since, uh, wait a minute, uh since, in fact, no one but Matt is privy to those earlier discussions which initially brought him into the Scenewash Project. Truth is I'm aware of no one but Matt who has actually signed onto anything but the SWORG-talk list, and believe me I'm far too jaded with past failed collaborations to presume ANYTHING about who is committed to what at present.

Crash writes—i like your ideas on what we need to do as far as moving past the abuses of huckesterism and elitism. And I truly believe in the need to hone and develop a true system of personal honesty—nothing could be higher on my list—because I believe that is the key in my development and that it is also vital in my dealing with others (both my personal honesty and hopefully theirs). As for other efforts need here on the website—you are correct in your statement that I haven’t contributed to the Scenewash Project—because:

A) I'm trying to get my thesis finished so I can get the fuck out of this college

B) I'm trying to set up employment so that I don't starve when I do leave.

C) These are extremely important to me, because I do not have a wife who will support me (this is what you stated Gabriel?) or Matt's very important network of comrades or Lynn's admirable corporate job or Rebunk's art gig.

D) So since I will be no good to no one living on the streets (least of all myself—trust me I’ve been there, and while fascinating I don't really have a desire to do it again, I must concentrate on this in order to become more valuable.

E) But what do you need? I write constantly. Ask me. I will write and contribute in any way—will research what needs to be found.

I hope that this is not a problem, but you must understand the situation that I'm in and that while willing to contribute, I must keep a check on the very real concerns of food and shelter. Should we attempt to delve into what we see as a problem in our societies and then use that as a base for organizing a plan for change?

Gabriel wrote— I think once we have ripped past the communist manifesto negation phase of these chats, and accept the fact that capitalism with all its excesses is still a rather young pup and has a ways to go (fifty? a hundred? 200 years?) unless raped by a burst of nuclear holocaust gangbangers before imminent global collapse, we should indeed strive to reveal to the group as a whole just what it is we as individuals strung across the marble as we are, find fascinating about dancing on the fringe with the faith that we among millions who don't give a damn, might be selected by history, fate, or hard work to make a big enough difference in the world we find so challenging, repugnant, lovable, just plain here, while so many try and fail (saving the Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life argument for a later discussion), and how we plan to organize that plan. I hope that we are now at that point, but I am not sure. Despite my desires to share my resources with a few good minds who just happen to appreciate said resources, I am not a communist, and have never been a communist sympathizer, except when it comes to a personal sharing of my own good plenty with those who have crossed my path. Unfortunately, I have been far too vigorous in displaying myself as an easy touch for hucksters and abusers of my time and generosity, and as a result, I began to grow bitter and abusive in return, groping for anything I could exploit with fingertips and gutfire since little in my opinion (and I'm talking about a 12-year stretch of woeful friendships) was being funneled my way in any kind of usable quid pro quo. After finally divesting myself of these dead-in social relationships one at a time I am only just now attempting to harden my resolve against these "communistic" tendencies of mine.

As mentioned earlier in a note to Matt, I seek to wed theory with action. Until I change my mind I must admitt I find intellectual masterbation a bit too boring, and need the grounding praxis of social purpose to give it that reality kick I need to sustain my interest at this point in my life (having no academic training since highschool graduation in 1973). That's why I in my panic to achieve something real right now rather than chase after publishing contracts which may never materialize, cannot return to the unreadable 900 page novel lost on my Macintosh. Being a child of inertia (body in motion tends to remain in motion, body at rest tends to remain at rest) my spectacle-thwarted psychology keeps requiring a return to the real sticks and stones I find out my back door, and I explode in a furious desire to help influence a change, make that unproven splash that requires the powers that be to grant us not only an audience but to recognize that we speak the truth and must act now, not later.

Crash wrote—As has been voiced by others, I too am heartened by our attempts to think these things out and it appears that perhaps we can form a communal sense of bonding that will allow us to combine our forces, perhaps leading to a cohesiveness and strength that we lack as individuals.

Gabriel wrote—Sipping Samson agonistes, I agree to a tee, hey Crash, you've arrived!

Crash writes—I seek the chance to develop a community with others who are seeking change and are willing to go about it. ’m sorry if my situation is not exactly key for mass involvement, but as I stated above I will contribute in any manner that I can. Hopefully this is enough. If not so be it—but thanks for the encouragement Gabriel and keep me posted. December—what a pissy time of year...

Editor's Note: Crash was living and going to school in Illinois at the time of this exchange. Somewhere in this swill, I referred to Australia as though Crash was living there. This exchange was our initial communication, and I had wrongly located Crash. It was Rebunk, who was in Australia. Our group was soon to include "kubhlai" from Nottingham, England, and Matt, then going to school in Austin, TX, and Rebunk. A few others did pass through the SWILL, but this crew of five was to remain its core collaboration until the group disbanded rather informally, in May, 2001.


Allow me to explain my predicament. Up until March 29, 2003, I had carefully maintained, organized & archived my entire email history from 1993 when I first joined Prodigy, Compuserve, and AOL all within a few weeks of each other, having been instantly smitten with this new world of messaging. I hail from a damned near illiterate background—from an alcohol-hardened household, from a band of brothers who somehow esteem reading and writing of little use above that required by law.

This is not an indictment of them, but a tiny spotlight onto the struggles for my own sense of clarity, given my own poetic nature, and desire for pursuing and comprehending the incomprehensible. I had been fortunate that during my ten years of archiving, I had never lost anything I had ever emailed, or had received from someone. Except for obvious and useless SPAM, and lower tier business correspondence, I cherished every bit of communication I had ever mustered.

And I'd been fortunate to have met and sustained along the way a steady string of writerly aspirants, so our email wasn't of the dull flat liner variety that would soon cloak the long silences of previous generations who had transitioned from sincere letter writing to the less literary and more immediate telephone call. Now we had access to a marvelous combination of the two, letter writing nearly extinct, and the telephone call, often as mundane and flawed for its archival challenges as the polaroid in the digital camera age.

But then came the shock and awe of that March 29 loss. Ten years of treasured exchanges gone in a keystroke! Ordinarily I kept a rather recent back-up of my work, but for reasons of brevity, let's just say I had little to rely upon that day. I lost my entire hard drive of personal information. After the week long stress, sweat and toil of data recovery magic, I found that I had recovered maybe two-thirds of my email data. I lost so much more other work, but it was my treasured email that mattered most to me at that point, and the process was too inadequate to worry about the rest of the loss. Now, of course, my email did not recover it former glory. Now, instead of each individual mail stored away in personal boxes and folders, where I had immediate access to them in plain text, I now had over 22,000 individual files each named, starting at number 1, increasing in value one file at a time, like this:

Email file (generic) 16784

And to make matters worse, each recovered file, no, did not include just a single piece of mail, but sometimes two, five, or three, point three emails. And these texts were not alone in their new miserable state. Of course, each file included huge chucks of header and other unexplainable strands of ASCII gibberish, cast off, decidedly boorish digital DNA that I would have to clear away like so many acres of undergrowth in order to isolate a long lost masterpiece from my friend Steve, or a stroll through Landryville with the wit and sarcasm of her spicy Cajun' upbringing, or merely a well-written communication from back in the day, those early days when so many people inside and outside the industry mocked the functionality, or inspirational value of email, while here we were composing masterpieces, detailing small everyday events of those days of our lives, marching to our exciting times with an eye on posterity.

Yes all this, BEFORE THE DELUGE OF SPAM. Before Internet porn. And for several years, before the WWW itself. Ah, yes, we were there, and we were writers, and yes, we could be bombastic or plain spoken. We could lie with dogs, or we could ride elephant ears. Those were the days where great plans ruled the great plains.

Nostalgic, but that's merely the background noise of my original purpose in posting today. Now here's one of those recovered files I just opened this morning, randomly. I did not write this, it seems to be unsigned, but I did save it. And since it seems as apropos as a summer shower given a rather new MS friend's recent smackdown of the Intellectual Predator, a series I highly recommend, here's yet another redux circa 1993-4 and my AOL years (when I signed on there I was among a mere 250,000 subscribers. When I left over 25 million. But I'll leave that story to later.)


First Light
He used to take advantage of me at first. You had to fight. He was dominating. You had to fight. He would push you to the edge. He respected me for fighting, for my philosophy and ideologies, and for my heart at the edge of reality.

Me and X developed a very special relationship where our friendship meant more than a job. It meant more than anything else I could think of, and I am good at thinking up things I just cannot touch. We used to hang out all night and we would just talk the paint off the walls. He'd tell me about his experiences and I'd tell him about mine. In a situation like this you meet a lot of good paragraphs.

When he saw me he was always real happy to see me like I was his next meal or the wedding of his fat daughter. I'll never forget this, one night we was walking and he said—it was almost like a movie, right—he said, "You know, a man meets a friend only once in a lifetime." That stays with me like the hiccups, even better. That quote is a great quote. It made me feel good that I had reached that height of wandering friendship and wondering humanity.

Mental States
Most of these guys just need somebody to really take the time with them. I think all these guys can be reached somewhere.

They throw all rejects from society into one pile and that's the ugly part of it. And only the strong survive. I've seen men lose their minds. Good men. Intelligent men. I've seen these men being ate up alive, men losing their minds before my face. After being in the condition over and over again these sane people eventually become insane because of the degradation.

Many times I have cried, I'm not going to lie to you or to anyone else who thinks about why I am here and they are where they are. I have swung at the air. I have felt sorry for myself. It's not easy to be independent.

As far as snapping, I've leamed too much to snap. I can't really diagnose my own case, but I'm angry now and again. I've got a temper that's really bad, enough to scare the crows away. That's new. Anger. That's the only thing that shivers me. I'm angry at the world. I might be sitting here talking cool and collected but....

I'm scared of myself at this point. Some of the things I had to do. I have beat people up. I have begged, borrowed, and stole. And the anger that I have. I dance and stuff and I just snapped at one of the girls at a dance class because at this point I'm angry at the world. Nobody cares for me. And yeah, I'm climbing up and I'm looking good. It's all of that need to say that I am somebody. You're not going to walk over me. I'm going to survive. I'm fighting. But I'm fighting 'cause I'm angry. I'm scared of myself 'cause I wonder if I get up there one day will I be vindictive? Hitler was once in a homeless joint. This is the stuff that makes Hitlers, I hate to say it.


I want to feel better
So l write a poem
I don't care if it rhymes
If it's offbeat
Or misspelled
I just want to write a poem
So l can feel better
A poem is supposed to have moving images
Which stirs the senses
Well, the only images I see
Is blackness

Choking hands
Neck and mind braces

Starkness. Images that required reaction. That's what photographer Morton Hundley and I were looking for in October 1986. I had recently started a job as a social worker for the Homeless Services Unit of D.C.'s Downtown Cluster of Congregations, an ecurnenical association of 24 downtown churches. He introduced himself to me, and offered to buy me a cup of coffee. I said okay and the next thing I knew we were looking at these pictures he'd brought, nicely tucked into a satchel that was worn and tattered around the edges. His pictures were black. I had to cry.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Dear Gabriel Thy,

Thanks for replying so thoughtfully to my post. I would like to comment on what you wrote. Your comments pique my interest on just what kind of disagreements might have been responsible for the group's demise. "Noisy self-interest" covers a lot of ground. It seems to me that in the aftermath of the fall of communism disagreements on the left compounded. 1938 brought a similar crisis to the left.

For or against Stalin. Three years earlier Breton's Surrealists experienced a similar debacle. There was no bridging the gap between the poet's investigation into experience and the Party's requirements of practical administration. But it arguably brought to light an irreducible toggle at the very core of the revolutionary project: does the collective or the individual have the ultimate say in charting direction of the revolution? The Surrealists never satisfactorily resolved this problem, and even as late as 1952, Breton indicated that his answer to the question "does the revolution require that social liberation must occur before individual liberation can?" was yes. I don't believe he really thought out all the possible implications that attend to this issue.

If social liberation is primary, doesn't it follow that individuals are reduced to an instrumental role? This question goes to the core of the entire Marxist project. My reference to your manifesto being "a little too sweeping" should be explained, I suppose. What I meant was that to assert that nothing of note has happened since the, what? The 1947 International Surrealist Exhibition perhaps?

Was going a bit too far. Personally, I find some of Matta's 1960's works a real extension of the Surrealist outlook. Even Pop has a role in furthering our ideas of personal liberation. Of course, I look at the best of Pop as being heavily laced with irony, so that it can be read as a critique of commodity capitalism. I agree with you the the "balkanization of the universal" is something we need to transcend. I too am an autodidact, to a large degree. I do have 24 semester hours' credit from Roosevelt University in Chicago dating from 1972-74.

My first great epiphany came at attending the Marcel Duchamp retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago in March 1974. His work and life showed me that formal education provided more obstacles than opportunities. I find academia to be one of the principal obstacles to both individual and social transformation. My second great epiphany came from understanding the intimate connection between Duchamp and Max Stirner in 1989. My course has been set ever since. The bulk of the fruits of my interest in this connection is forthcoming, but it won't be too long now.

You really shouldn't lift whole sections of material from the Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Stirner and present it as your own thought, although you chose a reputable source. George Woodcock, although prone to some of the same collectivist biases as so many other commentators on Stirner, did do a pretty good job at characterizing his thought. I guess you're already surmising that I vehemently disagree with your characterization of Stirner as "yet another status quo philosopher". Your evaluation sound a lot like Karl Marx's ideas on the subject, and I am painfully aware that the situationists used Marx as their basic philosophical substrate.

Do you know a book that came out in 2002 by Kristin Ross called "May '68 and its Afterlives"? She, too, decries the "creeping individualism" that has seeped into the discourse on May '68 and related phenomena. But that is material for another post. The thing that is important now is to indicate just why Stirner is not just another apologist for the small-time shopkeeper. The key point has to do with the irreducible toggle in the individualism/collectivism question: can I keep my own prerogatives intact if I allow a collective entity to be primary in my own mind and, by extension, in the world?

The answer, I'm afraid, is no, and if this is true, then my own instrumentalism at the hand of the collectivity is inevitable. This engenders what Stanley Milgram (yes, that Milgram) calls the "agentic state", in which I sign away my right of decision in favor of one "in authority". I presume you are aware of the infamous Milgram experiments of 1960. One look at the results of these experiments should be enough to convince that ours is not a world in which "enlightened" egoism rules, only the debased kind, the infantile kind. Where vulgar egoism leaves off, Stirner begins.

It is possible to trace a trajectory of an increase in "affective individualism" (as the historian Lawrence Stone terms it), beginning in the late 17th century and continuing up to the present time. Kinship ties have weakened, and individual prerogatives strengthened, in a fairly unbroken progression ever since this began. One of the main problems, in my opinion, is that this process has only gone halfway through its cycle. Individual empowerment is what we all need, not a centralized plan of forced income redistribution. This will only result in endless counterrevolution. It is moralism run wild, what confounded the French Revolution and the communist one as well. Collectives that legislate what's good for the others against their consent is no good.

Self-directed anarchism could avoid these problems if brutality could be expunged form the consciousness of the millions. That if is so big you can drive a truck through it, I know. But the revolution is impossible without it. Start small, get bigger. Revolution from below. I believe we are not so very far apart philosophically. Breton, as well as Picabia, Max Ernst and Duchamp, all found Stirner to be quite compelling. It is only a question of continuing to resolve all the inconsistencies attending to the implementation of collectively constituted projects that keeps us from moving forward. Only. We are not talking small-time stuff here, n'est ce-pas? Please respond if you care to.

David Westling

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Originally published on September 16, 1999

Arthur - I have no burning desire to cull the herd of genuine interested parties, far from it, and I certainly appreciated your first response a while back, and now again, when pressed, it seems you have indeed brightened my day just in hearing from you. Smells like loneliness, doesn't it? Not really. It's just that sometimes my own sense of failure and frustration in building an active community where different voices can be counted upon to seed the common causes and indeed foster that notion of belonging to a focussed group greater than oneself, gets the best of me, and I plot yet another "situation" to stir the soup.

I mean, one does get tired of groveling for input. But I've had a rough year myself since this list was founded last November, and certainly do not crave the ax just to exercise some phony sense of authority. The names you mention: Matt, Kubhlai, Michael, and Gabriel, none of us have met in the flesh. But Len Bracken, Steve Taylor, and Lynn Landry all have met me, and have each pleaded cases of personal friendship with the GT, but something is drastically lacking in these friends who hardly have a word to share with this project. Friends indeed, I say to myself. In full-bodied candor, their absence is my strongest resentment of the moment.

Rebunk down in Australia, well, I dunno where he's floated off to, and there is only one other new name (to respond to Matt's query) on the subscription list, but this person has NEVER piped in with a word, not once in the several months since signing on. This person has a UK address, but has remained mum. Again, there is no criminal breech of etiquette in this behavior, but I do interpret a slight rudeness I think for a list this small already.

To me, this present anxiety is not a matter of seeping paranoia over the content or stylings of these conversations, uh, falling into the wrong hands or some utter nonsense like that; as incendiary cant they barely make muster, but there is a pinching personal disappointment fueled by a periodic suspicion that perhaps the SWILL is indeed nothing more than a crass waste of time since there are many other lists out there which seem to attract all sorts of opinionmaking noise, of the feverish sort or the mundane, but here, uh, well you know what I mean.

And I really despise the fact that I am whingeing over this.


Originally published on September 13, 1999

KUBHLAI: Like me, he is markedly unimpressed with the intellectual sincerity of Man. Where he immediately impressed me was by identifying precisely that there is a distinct duality between *Worldview* (''weltanschauung'') and *Philosophy* or supposedly objective human reasonings in general. Now I have never clearly made this distinction between philosophizing and worldview—rather leaving it as an assumption I suppose, that thought (along with other attitudinal modes) is but the building bricks of the total Worldview. In Hulme however, they are at odds from the very start; philosophizing (by which is meant human thought and judgement in a wider sense) lays claim to the humanist value of ''Reason'', but all the while the Worldview, which is defined as the grand picture we have of where our "satisfaction" lies, is exerting a gravitational force tempting us to construct complex arguments which, by an amazing coincidence' as it were, arrive at a point which is ''satisfying'' , which provides an apparent justification for the often crude and simplistic desires which were there a priori.

GABRIEL: Here is an interesting piece I found somewhere under a napkin not of my own choosing, a piece quaintly reviewing Kundera's TESTMENTS BETRAYED: "Kafka, Stravinsky, Rushdie—the modern artist confuses and often outrages critics looking for the clarity of orthodoxy. Kundera, whose talents as a literary and music critic almost match his formidable gifts as a novelist, defends the artist against obtuse or perverse critics, disciples, and allies. Thus he rescues Kafka the artist from the embrace of disciples who want to remake him into a thinker. Likewise, he brings the genius of Stravinsky out from under the shadow of the misguided criticism of a close friend. Similarly, Kundera reclaims Rushdie's Satanic Verses as an imaginative work from progressive intellectuals who have never read it but have claimed it as a political symbol of the need for a free press. Discipleship, friendship, and comradeship can all turn into betrayal. Against such betrayal, Kundera insists upon the creative autonomy of the novelist and the composer, whose works live in an ambiguous sphere outside of all history except the capricious history of human creativity. Though he offers keen insights into music and literature, it is in his celebration of humor in the European novel that Kundera's genial brilliance burns most brightly."


Originally published on September 11, 1999

Well Bracken (you still wish to be known as Bracken, eh?), as I said today, I was rather touched by that flick I saw last night, WILDE, and so have been reading up on Oscar via the web. Talk about the penultimate master of negation. Every utterance is an inverted of the common, a negation of the mundane, a transcendence of the obvious.

Of course he was a bugger, and thus he shall remain, shall we say, utterly worthless to you as a commanding spirit? But I am indeed awed, particularly since I now know he was such a sad, physical giant of a man, as personified in the movie and reiterated in the additional photographs and extensive commentary I've found this evening in a welcomed break from the stress of today's 14 hour DNS outage. Toad says they hope they've fixed it as of 10:30 this evening, but are aware that their upgrade is probably still buggy, speaking of the laws of buggery.

Fascination with Oscar? What that says about me, is yours to ponder, for I surely boast no pat answers, but I do host a belated sympathy for that gentlest of giants.

Might you have preferred Oscar the Hun? This reminds me, I am overdue in torquing Kubhlai's remarks on sexuality.

Penned Oscar: "We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless...real beauty ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face."


Originally published March 11, 1999

My interview with Tim Peyton. This was a written exchange. The nature of the interview escapes me as of this writing. It was for some school project, or publication, but I forget, or never really focussed on them in the first place, the details.

TP: Gabriel—well here I am back in the "lovely" midwest after a nice visit to my hometown of Seattle. It was nice to get a little culture: good food, good drink, good smoke. I've got just a few questions for you regarding Scenewash as well as some other issues. Do you think the Internet is a good tool for building communities of individuals united by shared sensibilities?

GT: On a limited basis, the Internet is THE ABSOLUTE tool for building such communities for select individuals seeking something more than the corner bar chit chat & barf or whatever issue-bonding totems other established unity pairings have offered them within the realm of their own specific walk, for those who still feel themselves cut off from the chain reactions of encouraging social valence for indecipherable reasons beyond the spitting fires of definitive psychologies.

These often impenetrable or conflictive reasons of individual discontent at the initial stage of community-building, controlled or open, great or small, positive or negative, while seemingly of great importance to social philosophers and activists of various stripe, are meaningless to the aspiring, desperate, or even casual seekers of community.

This Internet valence-building tool, however, is somewhat limited by its virtuality which can mask much of the authentic with imposture and meaningless word-baiting albeit no more so than the swag postures of professional and intellectual cons in the other public arenas, while the Internet tool is strengthened exponentially by its outreach capabilities which stretch far beyond other contemporary venues in both its ease of immediacy and the sheer numbers possible in reaching others who commiserate at a certain level of communication a shared collective of sensibilities.

Several obvious downsides exist however, including the growing domination of the machine intercessor usurping the authentic life of human interplay and the increasingly threatening appearances of Big Brother into the bit sniffing business.

TP: What's your cocktail of choice?

GT: I'm sorry, but could you rephrase the question. But to respond in a completely different manner, I’d say, the bird in my hand. I try, and mostly succeed in avoiding the ridiculousness of the Alcohol Wars.

TP: Do Scenewash members regularly communicate with each other via the SWORG list? What kind of issues do they discuss?

GT-: Yes, since the SWORG SWILL list was founded in November of 1998, most of its charter members have corresponded regularly in great volume of thoughful insight and documentation. There's no hiding the fact that splitting hairs in philosophical posture is the purpose of the SWILL. Issues? We launched with no native foundation, allowing our issues to greet us like spring pollen. But I coined a phrase in a rather casual tossway that struck a chord with the others. The word was GEOSIFT. Since then, all talk is filtered through this concept, which I frankly admit still has not been adequately, or should I say, succinctly defined. But we tackle topics that range from the alpha to the omega leaving no stone unturned as we are pretentious enough to publically suggest we are seeking to map out a unified field theory of human existence in the global sphere. Each of our members are knitted with a different cloth of experience and aptitude although there are binding notions which help to provide us a common language in this Age of Babel we find ourselves swilling to define. Copping to the point, we use the best, we use the rest. We believe that many answers to the human condition might be found in a comparative study of the social with the geological. We beg, borrow, and steal any idea with which we might fashion a better truth than that old truck our grandfathers drove home. Namedropping is as bogus as reinactment ploys, but who can avoid either? We both love that what we can scavenge and loathe that which we find repugnant and false in the Situationist theories. The Christian theories. The Marxist theories. The pop culture chaos. The mythos and the concrete. We have yet to explore the sensual topics to any degree, fostering notions of geosophy at present which will offer us the tools of this projected geosift-in-progress, that is to say, the Scenewash Project, an often rude but progressive stare into the stuffy battleground where the arts and politics beat each other's brains out as the rest of us remain none the wiser but all the more insecure and otherwise cyncical to the core. All is flux. Nothing is static, not even the past, if we subscribe to all the rantings of false histories and recouperated lives that plague the pumping heart today. But we human entities are framed in both time and space despite postulates which tease us into believing otherwise. Our time and space activities have been accelerated, but we remain fixed in both. But then again, the impossible today is possible tomorrow. Yesterday proves nothing but today under dissimilar circumstances. We as individuals ALREADY sift through the anthro-rubble and the socio-fortresses of the past looking for and clinging to a haphazard matrix of clues with which to buttress our present and our future, but we suffocate in the end because we had embraced collective lies and half-truths, parables of stretching possibilities, but learning nothing of certitude. This in effect sheds light on the chasm between chaos and order. Therein lies the proper problem I think we seek to address. The SWORG theorists seek merely to quantify and qualify this natural intuition and its pitfalls, and in doing so, exert a certain amount of energy in building better more feasible tools with which to sort out of the wheat from the chaff, the eternal sift so to speak. This aim is not unique among philosophers, but we are, as noted, first and foremost, among the best minds of our generation, naked, starving, hysterical. . . locked into the times and the spaces of that nebulous generation, and therefore must work within the ranges of our own particulars with one eye on the universal and another on our own orbits, and thus be challenged by the historical aim of presenting a unique generational viewpoint which in turn will wither away as another generation is born and must therefore react positively to the world they have inherited. Let me say I have always, since my first hearing of the word in its traditional negative connotation, considered myself to be a reactionary, and see the term as the only possible grounding from which a human being can successfully operate. The universal in inside us, like the kingdom of god, not some external force or set of rules handed down from a mountaintop or ivory tower. The external is the particular, the specific orbits of our lives, the intruder upon the universal, the crusted world and its mantle of beauty and ugliness, order and chaos, attraction and repulsion. The universal is non-changing. The universal is the life-force no one can describe without resorting to particulars, externals. The SWORGsters are considering this problem. It's more than a game of semantics. It a war of attrition that no one across the ranks seems to be is winning, but why?

TP: If Jesus Christ and Superman got in a fight, who would win?

GT: You'd have to qualify a perspective in order to even begin to suit up for a phat conclusion with that question, bud. When would this fight take place? Is this JC the lion, or JC the lamb, suited up as son of a loving god or stomping forth as the bejeweled son of an avenging god? Would Clark Kent grow his hair long, get funky, acquire the powers of Samson and knock that leonine JC's jawbone fat ass silly on the pretense that JC is out to do his beloved skyscraped city great harm with plagues and pestilences? The possibilities are hilariously rich. The Nazerene is said to have conquered the world by virtue of passivity and laissez faire. Did he win, or did he lose when he was hung out to dry, naked with anguish on his godforsaken lips? Clark Kent was a man of dazzling uniform with a well-publicized vulnerability to a rather easily obtainable element. Was the man in red, white, and blue dueling for dollars in Saigon when it fell, doped up with chemical nemesis, and simply useless to the cause? Did Superman like America finally lose one?

Unfortunately for those interested in a truly sifted response to your question, I must be one of the few non-elites of my generation who has never read a Superman comic nor have I seen any of the blockbuster movies which plagued the late 1970s and early Eighties, I think it was. Sure, I've caught snatches and scenes of the Superman mythos during dud moments of my mind. But frankly, I'm too fuzzy on the storylines and arch-rivals to articulate more clearly any further response, although I'd hazard a guess that it'd end in a draw and we'd be stuck with another thousand years of the same old same old. After all, one is a tarrying old buzzard, and the other's a busybody reporter and everyone knows what lazy leeches they are.

TP: What theories and practices have come out of Scenewash?

GT-: As mentioned earlier, the Geosift is the most prominent theory. As for practices, I had originally hoped that our group would immediately begin publishing online, fleshing out the broadband infrastructive I had already worked into place but so far little has evolved to the point where the sifts of the others have been added to the site. The group, made cohesive with the list, is still uncertain of the maturity of their own individual offerings, and therefore like JC tarries in the name of perfection of timing, or something like that. My own ambition is to tackle as many uber topics as possible, researching and publishing generalized mainstream opinions, and then tackling each of them with a scalpel and a sifting net in order to get at the true root and geneaology of these chunk issues of the day, whether junk or gem. It's an ambitious project, but one in which I have been collecting data in the form of clippings and other media for several decades now. I will be 44 in September, the old man of the crew I think. But while the web is a perfect venue for me, I am but one lone worker with the standard obligations to wife and hearth eating into my energies and inertia. The SWORG group however has raised my expectations for the Project. In time I suppose we will grow beyond the current stasis. Several of us are madly finishing up school. Jobs and other paraphenalia of modern life soak up much of the others’ time. So yes, like my wife repeatedly reminds me, I must practice patience despite my insistence that I am dying from a lifetime gluttony of patience. From the website in the Rhesus section you can discover that our group is scattered across the globe - Nottingham, Sidney, Austin, San Francisco, Bowling Green, and Washington DC. We are a closed group, but open to folks who understand the loopholes.

TP: Do you have anything that you would like to say to the powers that be in the world of academia?

GT-: Yeah. They can talk about me plenty when I'm gone...but that’s a theft from Mighty Quinn the Eskimo, so no, I really wouldn’t care to hazard the traps of today’s academia. All these religious icons and philosophersof the ages have eschewed the petty polemics of academia while siding up to the poor and outcast souls, but immediately threaten to cast them into the hellfire if they don’t shape up. Western philosophers ad infinitum have all tried to speak FOR the common man, the man in the street. Well, why don’t they just get out of the damned way, and let the man on the street speak for himself? I am that man. But as soon as this man begins to speak, the professionals, even among the self-schooled, immediately rush in to dominate and thwart this man of the street, suggesting that the common perspective just isn’t informed, that his mind has been mismanaged with great skill, and only HE, THE TRUE SPOKEMAN FOR THE COMMON MAN has the key to unleash the new possibilities awaiting him after he throws off the shackles of teh enemy of the day. This so-called leader among the comman man also immediately piles high his particular lists of required reading, complete with special languages and codes to indicate status and true consciousness. Well. What can I say? Don’t follow leaders.

TP: That's about it for now. Gotta turn in for the evening. Thanks for your time, and I'll catch you on the flip side.

GT: You're welcome Tim.



Each American city evaporating
into the clean cool dusk
experience sends tapping nervous patients
on suspicious knees, devoid of grassy knolls,
brokering unabridged entropy, fixated
on last hope expense checks electronically mailed,
and yet without fair warning.

We laugh out of sheer geometry,
absorbed in a crackling worth, our capacity
for sweet shock stilled for camera shots
and misfitted shoes of fortune gaping a t the naked
grizzled flesh, shoving it across in public
bodies of water and wine and mud...

We drop our coin
into each inverting slot,
pulling a bag behind the bushes,
a bag actively malevolent, still cruising
our crusted minds like a decade
we forgot to peel.


Daily I sing camp songs to a cast of thousands
Boldly I recline in the pit of this orchestra
A spring peach in a night gown grown
Justly proud of my fleshy fevered cleavage
Jumping up and down until
They look at me,
And I become the scene.

Once in the spotlight I cannot relinquish
Long after I quicken empty of words
I am she might and muscle as I he conjures noises
Public displays of bodily function
Aiming to keep an audience captured
To watch
To listen
To me

Once I was pinched to the cold lost wall
An ugly frazzled flower always tripping
In gold glossed high school halls
Over long legs of boys, over long legs of boys
The grip of the cold lost wall was fierce
But refusing to take root or suffer this load
I made my escape in a green gray Chevy
Up an unshouldered bayou road.

That's why I am loud.

The more books I open the more I read
The less shy I pretend I am
I ask the world to touch me with delicate fingers
Desiring open spaces of mountain and sky
No walls but canyons and oceans for me

Where I cannot be held by
Walls that grope
Or am forced to hang out
In dingy coops
with the chickens.

This poem, written in 1997, is a collaboration with a SF poet named Landry. Although I only offered a few changes which she said she liked, she didn't think it was her poem anymore. Well, I liked her root images immensely, and despite the tightening chances I offer it here...


Long and white pickings
of the litter slid past
this old television set
where filthy & famous
gorge themselves silly
fool's camera, off topic,
in some gorgeous idea
their own well-greased
bravado and beauty
will set Smith free from
the mules of mockery
of misery and toil
of danger, democratically.

Society of the spectacle
ain't without its icecapades
or pumpkins carved up for fright
until writing clay poems for raids
scattered along the glittering class
loving then shooting on first sight
sane pigeons walking the awful plank
hands in nobody's pockets nobody's
like some bayou country on the run,
we believe ourselves dutifully astonished
swooning at the slow taint of suicide songs
entering nations now as the thief moons
simple courtesy to some frenzied
God of the Dead licking steroids.

Hatred and phobias in the news
no time for sergeants or dirty Jews
no cross-bearers, no Zen, no holy cow
to rot this new perspective, only
the icy pool of blood to plow
words in a book of terror
left as Joe Mohammed's
calling card
to each of us who doubt
we're on the invitation list
engraved by fourteen centuries
of lust wandering the sands of time's
last stand. Time is the detonator.
Time is the fire, the flame, the scream.

Time in due time will prove itself the liar.

[ 2002, Washington, DC ]


The characteristic of such verses is, that being not written for publication, they lack that finish which the conventions of literature require of authors. But if poetry of this kind has merit, we conceive that the prescription which demands a rhythmical polish may be easily set aside; and when a writer has outgrown the state of thought which produced the poem, the interest of letters is served by publishing it imperfect, as we preserve studies, torsos, and blocked statues of the great masters. For though we should be loath to see the wholesome conventions, to which we have alluded, broken down by a general incontinence of publication, and every man's and woman's diary flying into the bookstores, yet it is to be considered, on the other hand, that men of genius are often more incapable than others of that elaborate execution which criticism exacts. Men of genius in general are, more than others, incapable of any perfect exhibition, because however agreeable it may be to them to act on the public, it is always a secondary aim. They are humble, self-accusing, moody men, whose worship is toward the Ideal Beauty, which chooses to be courted not so often in perfect hymns, as in wild ear-piercing ejaculations, or in silent musings. Their face is forward, and their heart is in this heaven. By so much are they disqualified for a perfect success in any particular performance to which they can give only a divided affection. But the man of talents has every advantage in the competition. He can give that cool and commanding attention to the thing to be done, that shall secure its just performance. Yet are the failures of genius better than the victories of talent; and we are sure that some crude manuscript poems have yielded us a more sustaining and a more stimulating diet, than many elaborated and classic productions.

We have been led to these thoughts by reading some verses, which were lately put into our hands by a friend with the remark, that they were the production of a youth, who had long passed out of the mood in which he wrote them, so that they had become quite dead to him. Our first feeling on reading them was a lively joy. So then the Muse is neither dead nor dumb, but has found a voice in these cold Cisatlantic States.

Here is poetry which asks no aid of magnitude or number, of blood or crime, but finds theatre enough in the first field or brookside, breadth and depth enough in the flow of its own thought. Here is self-repose, which to our mind is stabler than the Pyramids; here is self-respect which leads a man to date from his heart more proudly than from Rome. Here is love which sees through surface, and adores the gentle nature and not the costume. Here is religion, which is not of the Church of England, nor of the Church of Boston. Here is the good wise heart, which sees that the end of culture is strength and cheerfulness.

In an age too which tends with so strong an inclination to the philosophical muse, here is poetry more purely intellectual than any American verses we have yet seen, distinguished from all competition by two merits; the fineness of perception; and the poet's trust in his own genius to that degree, that there is an absence of all conventional imagery, and a bold use of that which the moment's mood had made sacred to him, quite careless that it might be sacred to no other, and might even be slightly ludicrous to the first reader.


Originally published on September 25, 2002

Ruth wrote:
Then I take it you would be against the ideology of the Church of the SubGenius also? And their belief in the benefits of 'slack'. At least Bob Black offers a great degree of intelligence. I don't agree with him about not working—disagree totally actually—but I think he tells the truth—which is a whole lot different to many others in the world right now.

Ruth, thanks for the email.

Slack is for those who choose slack, and possess the strength of character to not complain about the consequences of that slack like so many in the world today. Rich man, poor man, beggarman slack, makes no difference to me if you're a professional liar or an honest-to-god hack. Either way, each choice one makes or is forced to accept plays into a host of consequences. It's how we react to these consequences which churns the grist and sorts the wheat from the chaff.

As to the specifics of which of Bob Black's counsels I find disagreeable, based on the few crumbs you've provided above, I'd suggest you and I have indeed landed on the same secret square, so if your beef with me is simply one of TRUTH, I'd say try again.

Work, while obviously travailed differently by those divided across the chattering and the muttering classes, is the very mesh of life where meaning and satisfaction are manifested beyond the dubious markings of profane job descriptions and its so-called bearing on social rank.

Work is the freedom to excel.

But feel free to tout Bob Black, if you must. We all must adhere to our own natures, or die trying, don't you think?



Or "Don't Idle On The Grass."

The following exchange tracks the well-worn path of most of my attempts at communication with the generalized world, whether online, in print, or over a beer in the barnyard back in the day. I will attempt to re-create the original form of the communication, in this case, to shine ample light on a very swift but exciting blitz of misunderstandings and its ultimate smiling defeat, by including both sides of the exchange until the point is clear. These amusing messages shot back and forth across the globe from Washington, DC to Australia over a few weeks in May & June, 1998, initiated when a young lady named Olivia Pantelidis found my online bookstore, and filled out the suggestion box form.

At 9:52 PM -0700 5/20/98, WWW-server wrote:
mail_dest =
rmailreq = true
subject = Suggestion Box
name = olivia
rmail =
bookworm = 3-5 books
author = grass, i am trying to contact him can you help me
title =
topic =

Sorry Olivia. I sell books. I am not a literary agent or detective. You'll need to find Gunter yourself, and do learn to spell your words. I hardly think GG is your "IDLE", but rather like Billy he might be your "IDOL."

Literary folk don't usually cotton to such linguistic haziness. But on the positive side, you are now entered in the Bookskellar Book Giveaway.


Gabriel Thy
Graphic Solutions Ink Systems

At 9:16 PM -0700 5/21/98, Olivia Pantelidis wrote:
How dare you!!!!!!! I ask you for help and you come back at me like some kind of know it all. Well fuck you!!!!! People like you are so above arrogant it is amazing. Don't flatter yourself either it is quite obvious that you have a high estimation of your own worth well you can shove it up your arse!!!!

Bye for now shithead, and take me out of your stupid contest or whatever it is.

How dare ME??? Get a life Olivia! Do you storm into a bookstore and DEMAND they give you all sorts of information on some author you are asking about? Hell no, they might DIRECT you where to get it, if at first they understand what you are asking (after all, you did say please). I had to take pause at your language because your orthography was a bit out of kilter (and I saw a handful of jokes just waiting to be mined). But you, in turn, decide to drop your pants, aim, and squirt wickedly juicy darts in my direction when I gently point out what was rather obvious in the context of my website. Well BABY (HERE'S WHERE YOU SHOUT BACK, FUCK YOU MAN, I AIN"T YOUR BABY!) you dear Olivia are on record as behaving according to your own nature. Punk THAT little sister! I'm sorry my reply offended you, but I guess YOU know how to take care of YOURSELF. You certainly SHOWED me, didn't you?

I get two or three notes a week similar to your first request from kids obviously wanting me to do homework and all sorts of tasks more suited to themselves, when my site is so obviously a bookstore. Perhaps since I so angered you, I should resort in all these cases to the standard reply most folks would use—indifference, simply ignore the letterwriter. Then I guess I could just dance with myself, and nobody would notice. But go ahead and FLATTER yourself all you care to indulge. And are you saying that you don't have a high estimation of your own self-worth? Ummm, that's odd, I would SWEAR that you do.

Nothing I say is ever enough...


"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
—Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

"A good friend who points out mistakes and imperfections and rebukes evil is to be respected as if he reveals a secret of hidden treasure."
—Buddha (B.C. 568-488)

Quite the wit you have there Gabe, I must say i am impressed. Takes a lot for me to get shitty and well hey you did it. I enjoyed your email so thankyou for pointing out to me what I so stupidly neglected to see. (I guess it's a chick thing)I was wrong about you I admit it. I was hoping to speak to somone who would be a little more sympathetic and not someone so caught up in my grammar, (who's the one telling WHO to get a life?) I think it is you my friend who requires a little more excitement in your life if when a person comes to you for honest help all you can give them is grammar lessons. So I apologise for the harsh language but I still believe that you were exceptionally rude and should consider apologising to me. If you do not feel you need to apologise that is fine because then my point will be proven. See ya Grammar Geek
Olivia ;)

Whew! We made it past the swirling torrents of raw personality nerve and now can smile and laugh like old friends. That was SOME ride, Liv. Now that we're on the same page, I hope you continue to check back at the Bookskellar, but tell me, who is this Calvina you mention? Perhaps you could recommend a few authors to help supplement my online shelves. It takes a lot of work to put an author online, so I AM selective of course, but in turn I'm always looking for new names I might have unintentionally missed, or authors I may not have previously known, but might welcome to the Skellar, if certain criteria according to my secret list of intangibles no one can decipher but myself [inane iconografia], are met. Anywaze, glad to have weathered the storm with you. And by the way, I love your name!

Gabriel Thy
Creative Director
Graphic Solutions Ink Systems

Thanks so much for your email Gabe it put alot into perspective i Guess you are righ tin a lot of things and i am sorry i took your humour the wrong way. ( This cyber world muddles everything sometimes. I do agree with you my knowledge of grammar and spelling is not the greatest but i have an enormous passion for reading and i know that counts for something, to me anyway and i hope you can understand that. You should read 'the tin drum' it is one of his finest books ever. I have not read them all but a few more and i'm nearly there. I don't contest to being some kind of no it all but i do know that I admire him tremendously and he too would find your wit quite amusing, now that i understand it i find it very funny. If you have any books you could suggest let me know, i am a big fan of European literature. Thomas Mann, Milan Kundera, Calvina etc
Liv (my friends call me that)

Hi Olivia! I'm not avoiding you. I've been very busy, exhaustingly, work til I drop busy, no damn room at all on my plate for plain restful relaxation or literary chat, but I did appreciate your last letter, and will respond in kind very soon.


Hey Liv. Broadcasting from WASHINGTON, DC. Olivia Pantelidis is the name I immediately loved, and loved with the prattling passion of history. I presumed it to be Greek in nature. Perhaps I am wrong. Yes, Olivia Pantelidis, I just had to write it again, the other names are all so lovely and fine, Liv and Okimikko (Japanese-flavor I note), but it was your whole given name which drew first blood. Thanks for writing back. This has actually come to be much fun playing words with you. Meanwhile I live in DC, a block away from the stadium where the REDSKINS footballers used to play until moving to a new expensive facility in the suburbs last year. Good riddance I say, but I'd really love to see a baseball team play there for many reasons which I will spare you for now.

There's also a public hospital, a large highschool, a single small Ma & Pa grocery store, and the National Guard facility in my immediate neigborhood. Nothing else but old rowhouses, many in slum condition, offer my life much urban immediacy. Litter and glass plague these neighborhood streets and alleys. Gunshots are not so rare. Graffitti slang, not EVEN artistic, is sprayed wildcat this wall or that building. Wearing my social engineering cap, I lust for new business sections to open up down here, designed heavy commerce worthy of a vibrant city just bursting to emerge from this neighborhood. My property is about half a mile from the River Anacostia flowing just the other side of the stadium. We are prime commercial, but alas, the city suffers and rages and dies, arguing poorly for residential nothingness. There are few wise men here. A city of imposters and ugly metaphors. Fakes and spastic manipulators. Tyrants and suit salad liars. The city is withering on the vine of potential growth. Down here they call it a race issue. It's really an ego issue. Meanwhile we wither.

It's no secret I too curl up among my words and the books that publish them. My own few favorites are scattered around my website. You can visit the Scenewash Project 20003 and click to THE LITERARY CHIP. Still not a whole lot there yet, but I aim to establish a little here, a little there, and take heed that I am slowly bringing it all together. This is practically all I do in my miserable life among the mobs of malcontention, but that might be exaggerating ever slightly, like a whisper among the rapids.

I write many words on many pages and build my websites one page at a time. Desperation is the poet's business. And my poems rot because I haven't put very many online yet, but the space is there, and some poems are there. Check around. Be my Australian friend. I don't have one yet. It seems like we've damned near established some sort of literary correspondence, and while I get really busy sometimes, I do appreciate an interesting correspondence. I freelance, and work several current clients on a sporadic basis. I work and take great peace and ponderance in my garden, and am enlisted in the minds that matter to fight back all the garbage entropy and grime have a way of bringing to my attention . . .

I do all this from home, and in fact, rarely leave the Dollhouse & Grill [our pet names for the house & yard], and am somewhat agoraphobic in that way. I live here with two others. Peter and Sue. You can read about them on the website as well. I'm currently trying to finish Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. You really should read this book, without question. It is a rare instant classic, better than Grass's The Rat, which I only mildly found amusing or interesting. In fact I was disappointed, I must say. Perhaps the title was not indicative of Gunter's other work, but it reminded me of Thomas Pynchon's Vineland, and although I love Pynchon's earlier work, Vineland and this latest book, Mason and Dixon (a much difficult read, and I have read very little of it frankly.) leave a lot to be desired. Vineland sucked as far as I am concerned, a pale shimmer of past literary glory, this book. Mason and Dixon is something altogether different. Written in Olde Englische, I don't know if it's worth the read or not. But for now it remains on my shelf, a gift from Sue, barely opened.

Don't use Netscape, eh? Which browser DO you use? Tell me about your computer, if you've a mind to go there. I work from a Power Macintosh, of course, an 8500/120, but I hope to upgrade to a G-3 soon. Anywaze, it's been fun chatting widja . . . keep it cool, and we'll just play this mystery word by word. As some unknown poet wrote some time ago, twig by twig we build a language. That reminds me, my mother wants to discuss a poem I just had published, but one I had written a while ago. She's a 63 year old junior at Oglethorpre University in Atlanta, down in the state of Georgia, so go figure. She loves school, and has never been happier in her life! She studied Nietzsche this past quarter and now feels driven to discuss this called poem with me, so I must oblige her. I've got to write her now, so tiddly widdly, until the next time we meet, Olivia, just call me . . .


Hey GT,
Glad you mailed me. i thought you were not talking to me anymore. Well i made a mistake with the authors name (i really should read back over my emails) Anyways his name is Italo Calvino. He wrote 'If on a Winter's night a traveller' it is probably one of the greatest and most frustrating books i have ever read. I have only read three of his books so far but he is a fascinating writer. Very much like Kundera, happy to go off on tangents and take you on that for awhile, i love a writer who can do that. Currently i am reading Grass' 'Dog Years' and it is bloody hard. It requires and inordinate amount of concentration, i haven't had to focus like that since 'the divine comedy' so it's feels good. Hey what did you think of the 'Rat' that is one i am yet to read so let me know what you think, i hear it is quite strange. Unfortunately on this damn computer i have trouble finding anything on the net. Because i do not have netscape it makes things a lot harder. I must learn to download. Can't think of any others at the moment, my reading comes in waves of authors, at the moment it's Grass, but if i think of anymore i will let you know.

Which name are you reffering to? Olivia, Liv or kimmikko? Must say yours is quite cooli as well. By the way i am in Australia, Melbourne. Where are you?
See ya GT

And just to put the sharpest point on all this linguistic flummoxing, two other notes found their way into my inbox during my little frackus with my new pal Olivia. Read, and cherish. Remember now, I am an Amazon affiliate, a mere online bookstore, one of the first, by the way, launching the Bookskellar on April 1, 1997, just weeks after Amazon announced its revolutionary program. I certainly did not offer any summaries or Cliff notes on the site, nor did Amazon itself in those first years.

Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 18:08:19 EDT
Mime-Version: 1.0
Subject: BOOK
Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit
X-Mailer: AOL 3.0 for Windows 95 sub 18


Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 01:56:28 EDT
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit
X-Mailer: AOL 3.0 16-bit for Windows sub 61

i need some sort of address to gregory corso, because i'm doing a project for
school, for monday june 1st, and if there is any way you could help me, thank
you, even a publishers address would be fine, just something....