Tag Archives: logic

selections from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

“It’s only possible to betray where loyalty is due,” said Sandy. Continue reading

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selections from Sadhana: The Classic of Indian Spirituality by Rabindranath Tagore

Mind can never know Brahma, words can never describe him; he can only be known by our soul, by her joy in him, by her love. Continue reading

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Nietzsche arithmetic

without music, life would be a mistake.

without x, y would be a z.

y – x = z

y = z + x

music plus mistakes? that’s life. Continue reading

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fuck it

the Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass is a beautiful instrument. whether it’s made in Mexico or not.

oh, but you don’t know why that’s relevant because you’ve been out of my life for so long. it’s not for lack of trying. over two weeks ago, i drafted this short paragraph, which i had intended to be the introduction to a long post entitled “Adam,” all about life’s eccentricities and synchronicities, music, and the year of our lord two thousand and twelve:

it is the cruel suddenness of sunday evening that makes most obvious the futility of attempting–in 64 straight hours–conveying myself through the art of blogging, capturing the spirit of Vivaldi and Tolkien via vinyl, mastering the low frequencies with crude rosewood and maple, and ensuring the local and global family of my love for them, all while reading a book that, by way of Jung, Heisenberg, McKennan, and many more, strives in less than 400 pages to find the “essential nature of things,” or something.

i just yesterday finished reading the book referred to above, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, authored by new age fuckhole daniel pinchbeck, who i apparently share three mutual facebook friends with. one of those is a girl i once almost made love to. another is a girl whose twin is a girl i made love to a million times or more. the third is a girl i once made love to.

all that loving aside, i didn’t really have much love for 2012 (the book). i mean, i devoured it. what with my busy busy busy busy San Francisco tech startupping and bass guitaring and disco djing and druggy partying, i haven’t had much room in my life for reading. (or writing for that matter, as we can all plainly see.) and so, to finish reading a real book in a pretty decent amount of time (a month?) says less about me than it does about pinchbeck’s great writing skills. there is no doubt: he is a great fucking writer. it’s his topic that sucks.

not that shamanism and consciousness and psychedelic drugs and love and ancient traditions and the future and technology and humanity and burning man and music and understanding and prying and trying to break through are shitty topics, because they’re obviously as interesting as it gets. you can’t go wrong if you talk about everything, because there’s nothing more interesting than everything. the problem is trying to synthesize any kind of coherent statement or understanding about human consciousness and its place in the universe from all those distant (though interconnected) nodes in less pages than Melville undertakes in writing about something so singular as the unerring sublimity of the whale. it’s not just hopeless, it’s annoying.

but it was entertaining, and i thank Adam for gifting it me.

of course, when you start reading and thinking synchronicity, you start seeing it everywhere. so it began with 2012.

it is the year 2012. and in june of that year i finished reading the book 2012, gifted to me by Adam, one of my best friends, a couple years ago. notably, he recently gifted me something much more precious: aforementioned bass. it wasn’t exactly a gift, as i doled out some cash for the thing, but it is so beautiful and black and sharp and shiny and tighter than the tightest pussy and happily packaged in a tan tweed case with red fur as interior… it is so many of these things and more (the sound!) that i will always see it as a gift.

there were other synchronized things, but i’ve forgotten them. i curse my memory when i think like a man, but when i think like a rock, i am content.

oh yeah… mere hours after finishing 2012 (THE BOOK!), i went to see Prometheus with Chris. high. ass. fuck. and thank god because that movie would have been a pretty shitty experience if i wasn’t just stoned enjoying the visuals. this is a snapshot from one of my favorite parts:

it’s not what you think.

but yeah, weird, right? 2012 and aliens and galactic communication and shit. far. out.

tonight is a Beethoven kind of night. first up was Symphony No. 1, because that was Side 1. now playing is Symphony No. 8… because it’s Side 2? i don’t know, people made strange decisions on Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles in 1960, the time and place of this record’s pressing.

every time i play this box set of Beethoven symphonies, i get taken back to my junior year of college. specifically, it takes me to the night where i walked back kinda drunk, kinda high (but neither overwhelmingly so) to my room with Shannon and Allison to smoke one more bowl for the night. packed a bowl and handed it to the girls, who were chilling on my bed, and i proceeded to throw on the Beeth vinyl. then they started making out. outside ronny was like, oh that’s cool, while inside ronny was like holy fucking fuck shit oh god oh my god do i put it in where do i put it in can i put it in what about Meryl? oh god oh my god she’ll understand oh god i’m not even doing anything yet relax. they eventually pulled me in. and we fucked. all night. occasionally pausing to flip to a new symphony. and, like now, i don’t think i paid much attention to order.

i was a slut. and nothing’s changed.

i’ve been messing around w girls because Chelsea is on ice. we’re cooling it. things got a little heated a couple weeks ago, and we ended up spending an entire night fighting. over nothing. she was pawing at me all night like a wasted kitten and i just wanted to sleep. i spilled a glass of wine at one point, because i didn’t realize there was a glass of wine. that depressed me because it explained why my night was going so terribly. hours, hours this went on. as dawn approached, the girl wracked my nerves, and i was frightened to death that i could even imagine hitting her… to get her off me. to keep her from touching me. i tried to kick her out. i threatened calling 911. she kicked a crack in my wall.

unrelatedly, in the morning, a dentist replaced one of my bottom front teeth w a piece of porcelain.

i’ve been messing around w the idea of never spelling out the word “with.” it’s so needlessly long and endlessly useful that i figure i just replace it w a single letter and be done with it. tell me what you think. “what,” now there’s a word that deserves to be spelled out entirely.

i’ve been messing around, it’s true, and it feels good. messing around means ending one of the most stressful work weeks of your life with Mexican beer on the roof and weed smoking in your room to 80s Queen Latifah with an old friend. messing around means walking to the Mission for a classic super taco dinner, then dragging your ass across the street for a glass of gin tonic. it means getting your ass up and dancing to the best throwbacks from the 80s and 90s.

messing around means jaunting home pissed about leaving the bar right after all the real beauties walked in. better yet, it means running into an old fling and current love at the liquor store, and following her–with your crew of five friends–on a wild goose chase up San Fran hills to the best weird party ever. i mean that dj’s legs were like ten feet tall and he was spinning from the rafters. spinning motherfucking records from the rafters, like a true giant mouse thing. i don’t know what that party was, but i heard they were serving drinks tinged w opium, or something. the girls were pretty, the couches were elegant, and i was like, damn, i love messing around.

and you know what i did the next day? messed around. messed around w vinyl. messed around w weird trippy sounds. messed around w my bass. messed around w funky house at Monarch, voted by some already-forgotten blog as having the best sound system in the entire city. goddamn i love dancing. and i dig all the hair compliments, don’t ever let me tell you otherwise. i swear it’s that bumble&bumble shit. every time it’s like, boy, i don’t care if you got a flask of Jameson in your coat pocket, that hair is movie star status. every time… i walk downstairs and start dancing my ass off and twirling it around and it gets so hot, so i saunter through the sauna to the coat check, and the girl there’s all eyesy, and i’m like, look, i’m broke as fuck. i have $2, not $3. and she’s like, i’ll make an exception cause you have such pretty hair. goddamn little girl you’re so pretty that i’d probably ask for your number if i weren’t so superstitiously frightened of coat check girls. every time, every time.

messing around means biking an hour across town to drop near a couple hundo on four bags of wunderweed. it means biking some more to “the home of Mary Fernando Conrad” for an evening of drawing and drones, produced by Joshua Churchill:

and just when you think you have to go home to get some sleep, you get pulled into a pizza parlor for the finale of Matt Cain’s perfect game: ninth inning, two outs, we’re up 10-0, and everyone’s on the edge of their seats? why? who cares? it’s not like? wait, Cain is still pitching? what the… and then the place explodes. and you’re with two people who don’t care about sports so you brush it off and swallow slices while talking computability and logic, femininity and what have you.

messing around, messing around, messing around. messing around sometimes means being drunk in a living room with six guys and one girl and hating your life because you can’t have her and you don’t want her anyway. but then you step outside into the sun, you step inside the sweltering masses, and you run into an old friend. old friends are good for dragging you to the park, munching on street weed all the way, to indulge in beer and even more weed. sitting there you remember, ah this is real messing around, and the sun burns your face it’s so happy. messing around sometimes also means confronting exes because the city’s only so small, and it’s okay. until you wake up in the middle of the night, unsleepy and hungry for the one you love.

but you make it out okay.

because no matter how many skinny bitches you fuck, no matter how many nights you finger your four-stringed beast, no matter how many times you stroke your prisoner pussy, no matter how much clicking and flicking you do in the flickering undercover, you know that you can never ever ever ever stop loving the one you love. so you may as well get comfortable with the universe’s lack of perfection and the world’s lack of a sensible calendar and the self’s lack of any real science whatsoever.

it’s all fog and the sun’s nice and all but it’s all fog, so fuck y’all. Continue reading

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I want you in my l00p.

i want you in my loop because you’re the best kind of loser, which is weird because then you’re not really sure if taking Logic in college did anything for you but take up time. whatever the consequences, you deserve to be forced to snort the croaking lanes pressed from my lips, yellow dotted daisies down the middle of your head. great packages care. Continue reading

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The Murderess [archive]

this week in my modern Greek lit class, we are reading a short story by Alexandros Papadiamantis entitled “The Murderess.” it tells the story of an elderly woman in a poor village who turns to killing little girls, a divinely inspired task, in order to save their families from the many burdens brought on by having female children, most significant of which is the need for a dowry to marry the girl off. in the dark moments before her very first murder, the murder of her sick infant granddaughter, her mind wanders through many thoughts, including the following:

For behold, nothing is exactly what it appears to be, but indeed rather the contrary.
Since sorrow is joy and death is life and resurrection, then ill fortune is good fortune and sickness is health. Therefore all these scourges which mow down young babes and appear so frightful–small-pox, scarlet fever, diphtheria, and other diseases–are they not rather blessings, caresses of wings of angels that rejoice in heaven when they receive the souls of infants? And we mortals, in our blindness, consider these as accidents, misfortunes, evil things. And the poor parents become frantic and spend so much on doctors who are half quacks and on worthless drugs in order to save their children. They have no inkling that it is when they think they are saving their child that they are really losing it. For Christ has said, Frangoyannou had heard her confessor explaining, that whosoever loveth his soul shall lose it, and he who hateth his soul shall preserve it in a life everlasting.

literary critic roderick beaton aptly compares Papadiamandis’ unholy equivocation to Shakespeare in An Introduction to Modern Greek Literature by calling it “an echo of Macbeth, ‘nothing is but what is not.'” why was Macbeth one of my favorite Shakespeare plays? why did i bother typing up that large quotation above? why am i drawn to statements like ‘nothing is but what is not?’ maybe i really am growing increasingly disillusioned by logic. sometimes i really wish that nobody read this blog, because i embarrass myself by saying things like “maybe i really am growing increasingly disillusioned by logic.”

beaton kept me thinking my favorite labyrinthine thoughts by touching on them briefly in his short biographies of famous modern Greek writers: “This reading of The Fair Maid brings us close to the ‘naturalism’ of Emile Zola, a method of writing fiction based on the belief that human actions are determined by natural forces over which we have no control.” for some reason, this statement made me realize that belief in free will can be likened to belief in god(s). the position i hold, in not believing in god(s), is not a belief, but a nonbelief. why should i have to prove that your God doesn’t exist? you’re the one who believes in it. same with free will. why should i have to prove that free will doesn’t exist?

this is all a pseudo-reflection of what Herman Hesse’s protagonist talks about in “Siddhartha.” i do not really think it wise to pick sides, to choose a right, to point out a wrong. if you try to identify truth, you will probably end up with exactly half of it. beaton quotes Andreas Karkavitas: “Man is often at a loss to explain the existence of these things. But Nature, an indifferent, impartial deity, holds them to her bosom, showing equal love for the fruits of Cain and the first-born of Abel.” beaton tries to show that Karkavitas demonstrates the consequences of “creat[ing] not a picture but an interpretation of reality.” this basically expresses something i tried to express to Adam a few days ago, that by virtue of being human, we can only ever convey an interpretation of reality, never a complete true picture. maybe when we transcend the boxed-in perceptions of our humanity (read: die) we will be one with Nature, opening our arms to both left and right, right and wrong, Cain and Abel. Continue reading

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