Hamlet, the Old Lady, and the Fly

I’m tempted to say that the tricky thing about changing your life is the feedback between our circumstances, our social situations, and our psychic states. This complexity is multiplied by the fact that we may do ourselves more harm than good. Physician induced disease is a real thing, on every level. We see it in…

The Pied Piper of Civil War

I’ve just realized the Pied Piper strategy for each party. You might recall back in the run up to the 2016 election, during the primaries, that Hillary’s chief of staff John Podesta wrote an email suggesting that the Clinton campaign prop up the Trump campaign in the media, so as to hopefully push the Republican…

Why the Left is No Longer Funny

Way back during the last Bush administration there was a short-lived political comedy show on FOX called The Half-Hour News Hour. It was an attempt to create a conservative answer to The Daily Show and Colbert, and was short-lived because not even FOX viewers could deny that it was abominable. At the time, I was…

In Search of an Honest Critique of Jordan Peterson

With the exception of Donald Trump, is there another person in the English-speaking world subject to more harsh critiques than Jordan Peterson? Not that I’m aware. Peterson’s meteoric rise to prominence has come with something close to an equal descent into infamy, which is as much a statement of the polarized nature of our times…

The Zen of Marx

If you know how there’s this scene at the end of BLADE RUNNER, where the replicant Roy – in the moment of his programmed death – says to Deckard – the replicant built to kill him, whose life he has saved: “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder…

The Utopian Part of Utopianism

I am stuck now that that oft-quoted summary of Marxist utopianism – From each according to his gifts, to each according to his needs – (gendered language aside) contains within it the most utopian of all ideas. An idea so utopian as to be absent from lesser versions of that ultimate ideal. In fact, dystopias…

To Be or Not To Be: Hamlet and the Chakras

Muses open doors in unexpected places, without trying, or even being aware. My most recent muse, codename:FLORIDA, texted me the other night to suggest the problem I am having is that my third chakra isn’t opened. I think she’s right, and told her so; but beyond feeling a strange combination of uncomfortably exposed and grateful…

Microdosing Venus

I’ve been largely off Facebook for a few weeks. A friend’s death – oddly enough, one of the friends who indirectly prompted me to get off – has drawn me back on. Fortunately, a wonky Internet connection has kept me from getting involved in another argument. People tend to become idiots when thinking big picture….

Museophile

To paraphrase Rumi, who would be a lover cannot have but a single head. This, because loving well requires one to lose one’s head; and considering this, we might draw an analogy between the lover and the transmigratory soul. Whatever we do, we will lose our heads in the end. Or, as John Hiatt put…

The King’s Business

Here’s one for all you Oxfordians out there: Consider this bit from the Richard Wilhelm translation of Confucius’ commentary on the moving lines of I Ching: Six in the third place means: The third SIX, divided, shows its subject keeping in the old place assigned for his support, and firmly correct. Perilous as the position…

Artistry and Social Construction

Reading an article in The Atlantic just now I am struck by an idea of two different sorts of obstruction that it’s easy to confuse for one another. I’m going to call them: What Other People Think Aesthetic Quality They are not one and the same, but it’s hard to tell the difference. It can…

Alchemical Dreaming

Dreamed last night that I was in what we might reasonably call a wonderful relationship, but the whole time I had this feeling that something was wrong with it. It wasn’t till the end that I realized that the thing wrong was that I was asleep. It was one of those rare instances where I…

New Year’s Message

I’ve been struck this morning by apparently earnest statements online about surviving 2017, as if it were an entity with a particular quality that those of us still living have escaped. In the Age of Trump, this poetic conceit takes on a great deal more solidity for many. In part, I just want to scream,…

Deep Thoughts on Tyranny #1

as received by Yours T Ruly Everyone is ultimately a prisoner to themselves. Thus, no people or persons can ever be truly freed. This is not to say that external bondage does not exist, but only that we are all bound by reality, and further bound within reality by ourselves. There was a leader in…

Make Music, Not War

Had a great time playing outside 16 Tons last night with Zac. It is such a pleasure to play with a soloist, especially an exceptionally skilled and musical one, because it allows me to switch between leading and supporting, and in so doing to enter more fully into the experience of the music and the…

The Meaning of Money

Our world is such that the meaning of money is extremely hard to pin down. Perhaps it is elusive in the best of times, but at present it’s bewildering to the heart and mind, and stomach. In particular, I’m thinking about kickstarter and patreon, drawn to the contemplation by my struggles as an artist. I’ve…

A Man, All in All

Clicked on this video to hear what Hedges had to say, but it starts off with the head of the Souther Poverty Law Center. I’ve cued the video to just before the moment he declares that Benjamin Franklin was a member of the Radical Right. Yup. Benjamin Franklin. I don’t think we need to counter…

The Literary Life #1

(fascinating reflections on a life spent reflecting) Having a new appreciation for the phrase: damned if you do, damned if you don’t, as regards our current political climate, which in turn serves as an instance of the beginning and end of human civilization. In short, I am convinced by the traditional view of the human…

From Narcissus to the Heroic State

So here’s a funny thing: The mantra of our age, the sentiment that is both liberational creed and the essential marketing sentiment for every product, is some version of “be yourself”. Hence our culture’s secret admiration of the Narcissistic Psychopath. That Dude is Killing It. But how do you know if the self your being…

The Revolt Against Beauty

I’ve saved lots of images I’ll never look at again, but there’s one I didn’t save that I wish I had. This image was a photograph of graffiti spray-painted onto the wall of some crumbling and dilapidated building. The reason I wish I’d saved it is so I could recall the exact wording, which not…

Pulling a Bannon

Well, it’s August again. Which means I’m starting on another album. Truth is, I have what seems to me a great wealth of creative inspirations, and a corresponding dearth of financial resources. It is, as with most things, a chicken and egg problem. And I think it was Chris Chandler who finally cracked the case:…

I Think Bob Dylan Was With Hydra

To my mind, this is a perfect love song. Couldn’t find Dylan’s original, so Jeff Buckley will have to suffice. There are a million covers, but I believe Buckley knew the heart of it. This is the sort of love song that’s quite seemly in a young man, though it ages strangely, as perhaps we…

The Purpose of Players

I confess that Rick Levin’s feature article on the OSF prompted me to look up lumpenproletariat. Having done so, I’m pretty sure he misapplied the term. While Wikipedia is hardly an infallible source, the definition given there seems well-founded: “a term … originally coined by Marx to describe the layer of the working class that…

The Perils of Illuminism

Back in the days of Socrates, in the mind of Socrates, their lived what we might call a keen but highly dangerous and unpopular idea that people weren’t fit to govern themselves. More, and it seems strange, this lack of fitness relative to self-government was exactly paralleled by a mysterious prohibition Socrates had picked up…

Wound Consciousness and the Flower of Enlightenment

I am approaching an idea about wound/wounded consciousness. In part, the dampening of awareness that serves as an anesthetic brings as a corresponding cost a loss of those cognitive skills that have the potential to transform, and even transmute, the experience. Reducing something to a dull ache numbs the pain, but at a cost of…

Errors in StereoScopic Thinking

HAMLET For anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is to hold, as ’twere, the mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. Now…

Bounded in a Nutshell

Tom Perez elected DNC Chair Completely predictable outcome for a party gearing up to avoid any real change. The Dems will keep playing on the strength of Trump’s hideousness, while ignoring the populist revolt against the regime of financial, legal and industrial globalization that is sweeping the Western world. I was quite wrong in thinking…

Thou Shalt Not Ghost The Ghost

There are deeper parts to why this professor bugged the shit out of me, as we used to say. His final invocation of Hamlet was icing on the cake of my outrage, the pyramidion completing my pyramid of dissatisfaction. It was perfect, and I haven’t really spelled out the perfection. I want to connect his…

Hamlet and the Historical Sense

This essay came out of a futile Facebook exchange. I’m making a practice lately of not letting my interlocutors define what I think about… which is tricky, because I am always more animated by dialogue, and argument, than by just thinking of things on my own. Blending energy and clarity is tricky… perhaps even the…

Pious Hypocrisy and the Lesser of Two Evils

You will all have noticed that your political opponents have no concern for truth. Or rather, they only have concern for and allegiance to truth when such truth is inconvenient for you. Have you noticed, though, that your side is essentially the same in this regard? This isn’t about whether your values or theirs are…

Golden Showers For Everyone

It’s been interesting to watch Chris Hedges’ path from the heart of intellectual and moral dissent under the Bush Administration to the political Siberia of RT. This path saw him first fired from the NYTimes for expressing opposition to the invasion of Iraq too far in front of the curve, to his current exile beyond…

Bush, Hamlet, and the Age of Aquarius

An observation that’s been a long time coming: Real life is subtle. Real people are subtle. Real history is subtle. And so, from this we might conclude that Real Politics is subtle. Political narratives, on the other hand, are simplistic. They are stories. They are myths. As such, they are easily recognized as fiction by…