December 18, 2005

Word Mass

(sitting on the couch)

She: They want more words. (sigh)

He: Well, that’s your job, isn’t it? ( smoothing the plastic wrap over the window) …this is so staticky.

She: That’s not a word.

He: What? Staticky?

She: Yes, staticky. It’s not a word. (inert languor) There are enough words. Use a word that already exists. I mean, how big does the dictionary have to be.

He: But you knew what I meant. Doesn’t that make it a successful word if you knew what I meant? (scratches head)…do we have any chips?

She: Computer chips? Wood chips? Tortilla chips? Potato chips? That was an unsuccessful word because it wasn’t clear what you meant. (picks at thumb cuticle) Ouch, shit. That hurt.

He: Yeh, right, I was asking if we had any wood chips. (moves away from She)

She: Well, maybe you were going to smoke some pork or something.

He: Yeh, right.

She: I have to go write more words. I wish I could send them a tape with my spoken response on it. Mm.but that’s words too. But not physical words. (slides closer to He)

He: (looks at She suspiciously) What?

She: We have some bbq chips in the pantry. (smiles) you could use them to smoke the pork. (laughing)

He: my my, you are so puntablous that it hurts. Do we really have bbq chips?

She: Technically, that was not a pun.

He: You’re a tyrant. Go write your words. (gets up)

She: (feigned weeping) ahhh…plagued by text…

He: (calling from the pantry) hey, we do have some chips, chicken flavored! I hope you didn’t drink all the root beer.

She: agh…(a thump as She falls off the couch) ouch…

He: aww, darn, the root beer’s gone.

Posted by wood0072 at 12:21 PM · final project

December 15, 2005

the storm

ok guys, just gotta mention: another storm on a full moon night, a change in barometric pressure, and, as always, even though i'm exhausted, today i felt great, had an energy burst all day long, and had mental and physical stamina. Very weird for this time of semester and holiday season.

i just really like being aware of these connected occurrences. once i got over the fact that i packed ash's lunch, shovelled my way out and slip-slided to ash's CLOSED school this morning, the snow was so awesome. btw, MPR does not mention duluth school closings. and really, are we mice or minnesotans?

i don't know why i'm still up. i can't sleep and can't work on my stuff anymore. but the screen is starting to pulse so i think i'll try to go to sleep again.
Posted by wood0072 at 12:37 AM · drift wood

December 14, 2005

80/20: ESSAY 2 & FINAL


The publicity of privacy

At a humanistic level, I don’t believe that identity is contained solely in one person. Every person that you encounter becomes a part of your internal makeup to lesser and greater degrees. What you glean from other people is effected by your inherent predispositions, but still I think we are intensely impressionably from day one. As we grow up we may become more savvy, or we may just fall for the same things in different guises.

Continue reading "80/20: ESSAY 2 & FINAL"
Posted by wood0072 at 8:11 PM · ESSAY 2

December 12, 2005

there's a first time for each one of me.

I’ve been casually perusing Claude Levi-Strauss’ Look, Listen, Read lately. He makes a comment about Diderot which struck me as both amusing and irritating, depending on the context you imagined to go with it. Strauss says:

Diderot was so receptive to other people’s ideas that he often thought that he had had them first. He would then, in all good faith, reproach them for not having thought in his terms and credit them with notions that he himself had professed before having read them. Such intellectual sleights are not unknown today (78-79).

There’s a whole gumball of ownership ideas wrapped up in that. We live in such a, what do they call it, “knowledge economy,? or some such term. We are a culture that vehemently declares, “ I thought of it first? or “don’t copy me? or “give credit where credit is due? and etc. I’m not saying that this is bad or good, but interesting. That’s where the whole race part of the rat race comes in. Who did it first. And, whatever it is that you get credit for doing first, that is your identity, that is your trademark, brand name.

Posted by wood0072 at 9:03 PM · ESSAY 2


In one of my classes friend and fellow grad student just presented her paper on the influence of Scheherazade from the Arabian nights on other writers, particularly in the 19th century. She talked a lot about the use of identity and disguises and deception, all delicious aspects of writing. For those who may be rusty on their recollection of the Arabian Nights, Scheherazade told stories to keep herself alive. Her husband had the terrible habit of marrying virgins and then killing them the next morning, but Scheherazade was such a talented storyteller, that she kept herself alive for years by telling her husband stories until, two kids later, she obtained his promise not to kill her. Whadda gal, huh? And whadda freaky psycho killer hubby.

And so, all of that got me to thinking about how we create “nesting stories? inside the mainframe story, ie., Chris’s fellow bloggers Mrs. Hasselbeck, Raph, and Dwight. Within our own lives, is an endless array of nested stories: personal, professional, fantasy, fiction, nonfiction.

In the psychosocial sense and the literary sense, we all tell stories to keep ourselves alive, either overtly, or covertly, or both. There has to be a real thread of narrative for the sense of continuity in our lives. Something like a blog can concretize that thread. And, a beautiful aspect of it, is that we never really know when we are going to surprise ourselves, or those around us. Ah! Humanity! Full of glorious surprises!

If we made a hard copy map of our Web hyperlink travels, we could visually realize the way our mind travels obliquely and quickly in all directions, but we would also see that all leaps make sense out of the linear stream of thought. And, like a faithful puppy, I return to my fascination and adherence to the belief that all ideas are related, especially as the crow flys--CONNECTIVITY, that's what I'm talkin about.
Posted by wood0072 at 8:29 PM · ESSAY 2

December 10, 2005

the suppression of my you and the tyranny of one-dimensional you.

She: Hello, thank you for doing this interview.

Her: Not a problem.

She: There is a freedom and a danger in not knowing who exactly you is.

Her: Yes. I have a general idea but I can never be sure of myself comprehensively.

She: How does this affect your voice as a writer? You is unconstrained but also can be misconstrued.

Her: Do you mean my voices? Do I know if my voices as a writer are as malleable as my speaking voices? Perhaps voice is like snowflakes and fingerprints--it is never the replicated, never the same voice twice. How could it be? We cannot step into the same river twice? Once an instant is over, it is over forever, not even in the mind is it the same. My voice is influenced, compounded, by the inflections given to it by the world. Even clothing is inconstant. Every time I wear my hat, it has new dirt on it, a new flaw, a new scent. Life, writing, voice, all of it, irreplaceable, unreplicable.

And my you is never unconstrained. There is always a format. And words can only be misconstrued outside of their context. I construe them one way, and that is my way. Another hears them differently, but correct for their context.

She: Your ideas reflect an acceptance of individual reality.

Her: Yeh, okay.

She: Tell me about the statement in your book, “I do collaborative writing with myself. I am all of us and we are the author.?

Her: Isn’t that one obvious?….Our idea of this uniform one-dimensional monument of the self might be more accurately depicted as a flexible mosaic structure that is continuously in flux, gently and ambiently and some times violently, even after death, partly meta, almost metabolic but more, mmm… you know. The whole identity corpus hovers out in the collective conscious like a huge ethereal blimp… and, that is always transmogrifying….ahem.

She: So, a decentered self implies that a defined “true? identity would be a more stable.

Her: Not at all. The single iconic notion of the author is a tyranny in the Humanities. It creates an arid climate, arid writing, arid speech. Arid, arid, ugh. Arid. My ictus of aridity.

She: In the sciences it is the norm that research articles are collaborative with 3,4 or more authors, but in the English departments, for example, we have a looming one-dimensional version of authorship.

Her: Amen sister, That is what I’m talkin about. So much possessiveness!

She: Her, thank you for talking with me today.

Her: Oh, She, it was absolutely a pleasure, to treasure, beyond measure, let’s hope it’s read in a state of leisure….Abientot!

Posted by wood0072 at 6:44 PM · ESSAY 2 · final project

The currency of currency

I was reading last week's Sunday NY Times and read two articles that related to my school work.

I really liked that because so often I feel like I'm spending my time on a lot of scholarly "exercises," so it's somewhat validating to see those same issues in my favorite newspaper.

The articles were both in the Week in Review section. One talked about "The Gamer as Artiste" and it dicussed many of the same game issues that we dealt in class.

The second was about Wikipedia, which I really enjoy using, though I know it shouldn't be a primary source.

While I'm not going to go into the details of the articles, I do want to comment on the prevailing theme in almost everything I read these days regarding how we define cultural mainstays like artist, writer, novel, game. None of these have a solid definition anymore. The ideological space that each of them takes up continual expands and overlaps with other definitions.

The knowableness of individual aspects of life is becoming vague. Each cultural entity is spilling over into the next. We can't tell you exactly or succinctly what a game or a narrative is anymore, or a writer, or novel. I think that it frustrates the more orderly of minds, especially in academia.

This situation feels inevitable. and the same loss of conciseness is evident in people as well. You can see it a lot on the Web. I am this, and this, and that, oh and this too, but only sometimes, but I can also do this, but only if I have that, and occasionally I can do this but only if I know that these will be here, and when those are gone, then I can move like these, see? That is me.

Posted by wood0072 at 4:10 PM · ESSAY 2

the creativity of spammers

The subjects of spam have been catching my eye for awhile. They are always so random. I wonder if there is a method, or just the spammer's perogative.

a few of today's examples:

go complain on gusset pinewood

and fill so idolater

nosology planetable

it's the beginnings of a great piece of something....
Posted by wood0072 at 11:08 AM · blog digestion

December 7, 2005

She and Her

In Plato's Pharmacy Derrida writes:

“Hence the dialectician will sometimes write, amass monuments, collect hupomnemata, just for fun. But he will do so while still putting his products at the service of dialectics and in order to leave a trace for whomever might want to follow in his footsteps on the pathway to truth. The dividing line now runs less between presence and the trace than between the dialectical trace and the no dialectical trace, between play in the “good? sense and play in the “bad? sense of the word.? (153)

Her: There's no reasoning with you. You're impossible.

She: Well, darling, at the moment, I'm all you've got.

Her: Oh, I wouldn't be too sure about that, toots.

She: You really do get quite piqued don't you! That is so cute.

Her: Cute! Why you patronizing little doily...!

She: Come now, my hot-headed pugilist, let's just make some tea and sort this out! I just love your energy!

Her: Lady, you are something else, I think you oughta go back to your red-hat club or where ever it is that they feel so happy and spunky about everything because this refusal to grasp the bitterness of life is giving me an itchin for whiskey like you wouldn't believe!

She: Whiskey! How divinely hurly-burly! Do you have a tattoo?

Her: (groan of disbelief, agony, and frustration at not having her stalwart and gruff gumption taken seriously by She.) arghhh.....
Posted by wood0072 at 7:03 PM · ESSAY 2 · final project

Dissent, Persuasion, Attrition and Acquiescence within the internal dialectic.

Plato's Phaedrus

Socrates: I agree--if, that is, the arguments that come forward to speak for oratory should give testimony that it is an art. Now I seem, as it were, to hear some arguments advancing to give their evidence that it tells lies, that it is not an art at all, but an artless routine. "Without a grip on the truth," says the Spartan, "there can be no genuine art of speaking either now or in the future."

Phaedrus: Socrates, we need these arguments. Bring the witnesses here and let’s find our what they have to say and how they’ll say it.

Socrates: Come here, then, noble brood, and convince Phaedrus, father of such fine children, that if he doesn’t give enough attention to philosophy, he will never become a competent speaker on any subject. Now let Phaedrus answer

Is all inner-dialogue in the form of an argument in order to explore an idea? To learn do we simply break concepts down and relate/compare them to other knowledge for plausibility?

If we do this as a solitary activity are we more prone to create multiple personas than some one who must maintain a consistent visage with another person? Do we examine more sides of an argument when we are left to solve it in solitude rather than uniformly presenting one side of it? If the dialectic is internalized are we actually able to see all of the aspects that we need to see?

Argument is about more than fighting.

Arguing is how we learn about what is you and what is them..

Argument as Self-exploration.

Argument as a process for achieving balance.

Argument as a symptom of curiosity.

Argument as a method of acquiring power.

Argument as Abuse.

Argument as Fatigue.

Argument as Apathy.

Argument Irrelevance.

Recreational Argument.

Arguing to fill the void.

Argument as Procrastination.

Argument as Distraction.

Is all inner-dialogue used for problem-solving?

Argument as the foundation of inner-dialogue.

Argument as a constructive process rather than merely a source of conflict.

Argument as a quest for validation of the self.

Argument as a palliative for uncertainty.

Argument as a sign of misdirected aggression.

When we argue over ideologies on a blog, who are we arguing with? Ourselves? Or “them?? Who is “them?? Maybe “them? is really just your multiple “you’s.?
Posted by wood0072 at 6:54 PM · ESSAY 2