Sunday, December 5

recent notes

It is Sunday evening. I do laundry and transcribe some things from six months or so of notebooks.

the poetic impulse
the thing at the heart of it
is a tendency to be haunted by the past
(even a past of no consequence or distinction)
to dwell almost pathologically in the present
to be harassed and bedeviled
by this or that idea of the future

This industrial society is shot through with functions of elimination and reconstruction that rival biology for their necessity. Forget to gather the trash for a week and the clutter begins to stifle and oppress. Forget for a month and there's a good chance you've lost your mind. The cult of entropy has supplanted the cult of death.

But this isn't a cult. It's too routinized and casual an activity for even the emptiest and least numinous of creeds. It's just a grand system of habits and obvious choices. You can have any flavor you want, as long as it comes in shrinkwrap.

We can't stop the machinery and most of us wouldn't if we knew how. But the machinery is running hot, running noisy, wasting itself, wasting the world, leaking murder at the joints and transmuting every extractable resource into goods designed for landfills.

Philosophy majors are a goddamned pain in the ass.

Liquidity of value is always to a degree illusory.

One reason Christianity has so much staying power is that it contains a formula for externalizing the source of your acceptable desires and suppressing your innate ones. Or at least feeling bad about them. You're supposed to want what God wants. Whatever that is construed to be.

A bicycle is, from a biological standpoint, not much less probable than a bomb capable of levelling Hiroshima or a digital computer. Once you had pneumatic tires and gear ratios, it wasn't so far to the destroyer of worlds and Tim Berners-Lee.