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October 23, 2005


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Writing with an awareness of those who overheard is, whatSeduction?



My big problem is most all the guys I really admired as an impressionable youth were rabble-rousers and unbowed public orators who got slapped and worse for the things they said publicly.
Thomas Paine, Jesus Christ.
Like that.
Sometimes I think of it as addressing the dark, with the implications of madness that has, except it isn't dark. And it's alive.
You just don't know who's out there.

I just love this blend of introspection and commentary. Where else can I find that? Commentary, yes. Opinions aplenty. But introspection? This is about the only joint in town. The key is to be circumspect while you, uhhh, introspect. Yeah, there's lurkers. Can't prevent that. So, no, I don't talk about things that I wouldn't want just any old body to hear. I really wish that I could email some people, though. If they don't link to a blog, then it makes it hard to continue a conversation that otherwise sidetracks what's being discussed here. Ah, well. Can't have everything in a blog.

Peter Karoff defines philanthropy as "private action in a public space," but the definition also works for blogging, and maybe for lyrical poetry, if not drama. Writing intimately for random readers, lurkers, friends, ill-wishers, and the mystified is maybe the what the "conversational style" is all about. Naive it may seem, but at its best, like the lyric, it can be artful and courageous. I think of Anna Akmatova in Russia, under Stalin, who wrote her poetry on scraps of paper, memorized by a friend, who then burned them, so the poems of resistance were known to thousands but only as they passed in an oral traditon, from one endangered intellectual to several others. Her son and many of her friends died in the Gulag. Blogging in a dark time, when democracy itself is in danger can be a way to keep alive certain traditions of imtimate personal truth-telling "as if" among friends, knowing full well that the darkness is full of malice and that somehwere someone, like a David Horowitz, is making good money taking names. But we have to keep talking lest those who would silence full speech, or suppress it, or intimidate it, feel that they can succeed, and those around us, lose their own voices, one by one. So, we make art, speaking in a public place under masks in a tradition that goes back to prehistory and never has yield to any empire without celebrating the ruling rascals in song and dance.

With soliloquies the groundhogs are smitten,
but the burrow is lit by our lights:
for whom Wealth Bondage is written
is for whom Wealth Bondage writes.

Wealth Bondage produces and is produced by Wealth Bondage.

With spectacle the groundlings are smitten
their glasses ground by mere slights:
"Can you read this line as written,"
ask Optometrical Knights.

What a domain to be rich in
where poor men fly 'lectrical kites
yet everyone's always a-bitchin'
"somebody turned out the lights!"


You know what it is about the oral tradition that we're missing?
Blogging resurrects that some, the linking-to becoming a kind of co-operation, though there's no bounded narrative tale to be affirmed the way there is in Robin Goodfellow or The Marsh King's Daughter.
It's the centralizationalistical modality that I mean to illustrate as the spoken tale being complicitous against or at least co-operating outside of, the grandmother's apron and lap and hearth like a password-protected communal space, her tone and vocabulary and gesture in the story meaning and telling the listening young a heck of a lot more than the rustle and scuff and "here you go" of some kid's busy dad as he slots another Disney bowdlerization into the VCR or the DVD.
All those IP stories are corporate, baubles, beads for the aborigines, and they go back in recursive loops to and through headquarters with its sludge of timidity and censorial dimness.
Folk tales are as alive as the tellers and hearers, all of them.
And of course as always it isn't just the stories and the story-trances and transmissions we've lost - it's living that way, living in a way that makes those stories and their tellings essential, not luxuries or amusements, but vital nutrition; so that the stories rose up through the ground of our being, natural as milk.
Now we get them from the big hive momma. And she doesn't like Robin Hood much, unless he does what he's told.

Thanks much Rollo, darn that well put. "All those IP stories are corporate, baubles, beads for the aborigines, and they go back in recursive loops to and through headquarters with its sludge of timidity and censorial dimness." - and the sweet old Grandma who holds the kiddies on her lap is the Candidia Cruikshanks feeding them between the ip stories the poisoned apple of advertising. We as a nation are the pod people created by ip stories and some crazy readings of Revelations.

the i-pod people

Nano-dimensional man.

Enter soliloquist #53, stage left:

"What Juke said. Reminds me of Walt Benjamin on the Storyteller. I should reread that."

Exit, pursued by a sludgeball.

Thanks, Tom, and I should read it for the first time.

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