No Telepathy

Once upon a time while in a Liberal Arts School, I heard a phrase which continues to haunt me. For every compromise you make, you make 2. Originally, it was in relation to making student film. And with how those sort of things went, it was much an insight as it was a curse. The passage from thought to actuality is never a mere straight line. Every decision is a hard fought destination on a line you would gladly given anything to reach.

As I have said here before, humanity in general is taken with the idea of silent perfect communication. It is appealing to us to imagine blue bolt understanding, effortless translation of heart to mind. Much of this is because of how it usually goes between people and their audiences. It is resembles a frantic game of charades rather than some elegant dance. The limitation is how much you are willing to surrender to get that vital piece of communication to lodge into the consciousness of another.

It is this constant state of compromise which why would be artists eventually collapse into states of disgust or doubt. Both of these bolster this love of telepathic messages of ego.   Creative types often wish to obscure that initial degree of awkwardness which is required for real understanding. There is a need to be understood which shapes personal value.

Validation is a bareness which may not preclude dignity but certainly implies past embarrassments. If you don’t know the stakes of failure, how can you imagine the fall? Have you ever momentarily imagined how it would feel to fall backwards down a long flight of stairs? Many would think this would imply some impulse to self harm. But to others it may simply be a spur towards caution or awareness of the world. To validate the world with another is to share it: to share yourself is to be exposed, open.

Those compromises I encountered in school were not these noble effortless kinds but desperate last minute ones. If it was ever going to get finished, it had to be done like this. These acts of accomplishments were flawed but glorious just the same. Finishing something is a truly great reward regardless the distance it travels. That is better than effortless telepathy.


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Fish in The Percolator

Social Media favors instant reactions that resist gradual change.

Real life is about impressions that deepen over time.

Life is at odds with the idea of constant entertainment.

Conciseness is only useful if it doesn’t erase the pattern.

Choosing between spontaneity and strategy is not an either/or contest

Not sure what this is now that me & the little bird are talking again.

My take away is that this sort of blogging is easier because it feels transitory.

Being forced to work inside a tiny frame requires smaller ego.

So now to find a hybrid state of communication would be good.

This is a lot of TSFI for one day!

Problem with most recent posts is they take so much focus.

And my attention span is shrinking everyday!

It is key that new forms of expression be free from market forces.

So back to the drawing board!

This was all written while watching ep 2 of Twin Peaks.

Does that really matter?

Maybe I’ll finish that essay someday…

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Spitting into The Fire

Returning to TSFI & watching ep 1 of Twin Peaks at the same time: some strange time warp.

Twin Peaks on Netflix & blogging on Nexus 10 makes it all very contemporary.

Forgot how soap opera-ish that Badlamenti soundtrack could get.

I am refreshing myself in expectation of Season 3 on Showtime

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Expecting Release

Until Twitter realizes I’m not a bot, I”ll be micro-blogging here.

I’ll try to keep to the brevity of the site. Though not the rules?

I got blocked out for posting too many links. That’s my best guess.

Twitter will have to up its customer service game if this is how things are going to be.

It pisses me off for 2 reasons. Main one is realizing I’ve become dependent on it for expression.

More micro-blogging throughout this time of tiny crisis.

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Secret Singularity – Youth in Extremes Pt 1


This will not be an anguished over bit of essay. And in that sentiment lies the essence of youth. Feelings are messy and presentation is frayed at the edges. This lack of composure is at the core of being an adolescent. Whether it is left to roam free or suppressed to achieve an approximation of maturity, it remains the unstable core driving experience.

Whereas tribal people were able to ritualize the hunt into a metaphor, the kids in the burbs are always going at it in a different direction. They have pop media consumption. Often at a parent’s chagrin, of course. Which is peculiar because compared to acts of real danger, the threats found in entertainment are largely immaterial, existing in a virtual space between dreams and puberty.

As a teenager of the 80s I can tell you that pop culture has always been perceive in certain quarters as something of an existential threat. A concern over “debased” values spreading like contagion manifested in mass hysteria events like the satanic panic surrounding Dungeons & Dragons in the US or the Video Nasties controversy in the UK. The idea of the killer meme existed long before there was even affective way to distribute them. Not to worry, the youth have always had a way of sussing out the transgressive


The hysteria over the minds of children, for me, always goes back to Dr. Wertham’s Seduction of The Innocent comic book trials of the 50s. The “good” doctor posits a world where a mere image of murder or mayhem is all that it takes to send a human mind into of a whirlpool of sadistic violence. And like all misdirected moralists, Wertham either disregarded or flat out missed the narrative context surrounding the offending images. By doing so the draw of these extremes is entirely missed

That moralists would always think so low of humanity has always struck me as a double standard. Not in an obvious way, though. The rhetoric here seems to equate purity with dumbness. That if exposed to true debauchery a person, let alone a child, would simply turn bad. This has never struck me as particularly strong positive message. To me the tempering of strong character comes from an exposure to adversity not from denying. Being able to approach big unwieldy abstract concepts like death, consciousness, and morality from a safe distance is invaluable.

I would put a finer point on this idea by saying that I do not think that using the imagination as a vent is the same as using it as a target range. A big mistake when coming to imaginary thinking is to see the will of the dreamer to be the same as that of the person in the world. The weight of things is much heavier in the world. I do believe that with the proximity of a secondary, albeit electronic, world to our own primary comes a confusion which must be navigated. So yes it is important to guide a passage through. However it should be with an eye upon the unbridled curiousity of the subconsciousness. And this thinking is dependent on letting the dreamer float away for a time into the relatively safe zones of imagined challenges and conflicts. (…to be continued)


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Projected & Considered


So here I am again. I’ve made a non-career of throwing myself at the wall and nothing sticking. But on occasions such as this, the first day of a year, I am taken by the idea of a start. Not so much a change mind you, I have been feeling too set in my ways to con myself into believing that one again. But for some reason I am still empathic to the idea of starting anew. But with deference to the past, of course

I have not bothered to look back at the posts before this one. Often it is this process of reflection on blogging past that stops the process dead in its tracks. What was I going to do? Why did it not happen or who didn’t care; more monuments to blockage and discouragement.
Imagine my surprise when I chose images at random from my stockpile of compulsively collected clips and found I had used all those images several times before! So much for being original!


There is a bit of double standard on the original. Sterne’s Tristram Shandy & Stein’s Tender Buttons are two works written so long ago that you’d think that the techniques employed there would be old hat by now. Nope, they still mark the outskirts, the places where no one but English Majors go. Brackage and Deren took film to the extremes of abstraction and everyone is still pretty much watching conventional narratives. And for the sake of brevity I will neglect the endless explorers of music who sawed away tonality and melody to sculpt sound. When we talk about something original, aren’t we looking for that thing we identify despite efforts by the artistic to obscure?

Believe when I say I am part of this condition as much as anyone else. I make the efforts to push along the edges of my own self confinement but these attempts are simple excursions, day trips to the outliers of the common experience. In recent years, I have built up these limitations on these expansive journeys into the unknown. It’s not the right time to watch this movie or book because I am tired or unprepared for the challenges that something singular will have on my comfortable niche. I often find that the internet has created this sense of over-curation, that nothing is approachable on its own but must be swallowed along with its connected commentary. The irony of modern times is that availability has blown out my ability to choose. Do I have time to give myself over to a book that takes six months to read or a movie that is over two hours?

This is not a desire to return to a point in the past. I doubt I have an insight to select a golden age or still point from which clarity could be achieved. I also do not see it as a complaint. I don’t think that it is a worthwhile means to gain pity. And really anything pity can buy is not much worth owning. Instead this observation is about delineating the shape of a condition for easy recognition. For only when can you see something is there any chance of doing anything about it. The trick is how to know what has past without getting tangled up in the processing of old information.

I had thought for a moment I would seriously just make this blog about how I never write blog posts. Especially since I have inexhaustible things to say about the process of not doing something. Procrastination is like dark matter, a theoretical miasma. I have tried all manner of guidelines to ignite the fires, to get over this sense of being on the verge of gettin’ it on. My blogging was very sparse last year. I imagine that it will still be like this for a while longer. I am still in the midst of finding a way of naturally creating content which does not feel like ambulance chasing the zeitgeist. It has its advantages in terms of visits BUT this was never supposed to that type of thing.


So what I will attempt to do is make TSFI more integrated with my other social media. Twitter and Letterboxd are my primary sources of writing on the web. And to be honest they have more to do with settling within the strictures created by someone else then some idea I’ve had about this type of writing experience. Despite this, I would also like to finish up The Secret Singularity posts I had begun last year and will continue to do that more for myself than anyone else. They are about me trying to work out the contours of a very large maze of terms and contradictions. I am hoping that this will eventually lead to something that frames my posts here. I would like it to encapsulate all my interests as I cycle through them instead of a banging on one of them so I become known as an authority on basketweaving or whatever. I am looking to create a dialog that crosscuts and reflects my interests. I am not trying to be a tastemaker but somebody who can describe what this feast tastes like.
So that’s it for now. Let’s see what happens. This was written with a minimum of edits and with the spirit of getting it done in full effect.


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The Secret Singularity – The Price of Admission


The measure of the fan is sincerity. Sincerity has many means of measure. Time spent or insight into a chosen area or artist are certainly ways to show devotion. These however are surpassed in the early 21st century by objects. How many box sets and collectors editions, how many restored texts or retrospectives do you own? Do you have a special shrine set up in a den or rec room to the item of adoration? Do you drink from a decorative glass in a commemorative t-shirt? If not, your devotion is suspect: the sign of the dilettante is a severe shortage of merchandise and a distinct lack of uniform. To live to the full extent of the definition, to earn the rest of the word fanatic, it is necessary to have the complete works. No gaps, every instance or appearance, all the best of compilations, every figurine, and shot glass. Websites and mailing lists are maintained to make sure that when you are away from this ever growing stack of memorabilia items, it is never far from your thoughts. Besides lines of information must be maintained to keep aware of new releases.

Now it is not that bad all the time, of course. We can connect with other lovers of the things we love at conventions and through correspondence. We can use mutual adoration to locate people like ourselves, holders of shared interests and values. There is certainly a joy of meeting those who are in the know. To adore a book or movie with family and/or friends is an incredible bond. It sets our lives in sync, it gives context.


It is in these deep roots that works of art, popular or obscure, where the insecurity sets in. No matter what or who you love, there is a sense of exposure in the identification. Easing up on the defenses, admitting to the emotional connection, often makes us aware of how out there on a limb these affinities make us. And with that new merchandise we are required to accept, that certificate of authenticity has been re-issued. It becomes less a matter of are we still in on that unique reality principle than it is about price. The more investment the more justification is required. Don’t believe me? Just ask anyone who has ever snuck another graphic novel or box set into their own house to avoid questions from a loved one who doesn’t have the “bug”.

In the collection itself is the confusion. The Marketplace consistently tries to pander the discernment of the fan, that at the heart of it, the fan is the archivist. That it is in the progression of works, in the creative choices made and discarded, that the superfan truly knows the totality of love. And what a miserable love that is. To accept this point of view is to be forever isolated, forever casting yourself onto even more distant islands of exclusion. Yet many of us have done it in the past. As children, we knew a select group of people as clueless based on entertainment choices. Not that this game of brinksmanship ceases with age. In this media saturated world it is known as buzz, a tension based in anticipation of the current new. The way that anticipation plays out is the basis for many a personal story. I’ve seen cassettes half listened thrown from moving cars as a final review. It’s not always a negative thing for the fan either. Often the success of genre franchises is based on delivery of the expected to the audience. I have seen serial fiction scooped off the shelf by the armload without even looking to see who wrote it. In our entertainments, it is often about approximation of the tingling nerve or emotional rush of that first flight of fancy. To pay again and again for that is a price of admission. We are willing to make that purchase as long as we feel treasured and not taken advantage of by market forces. To consider this ‘plight” a burden is to live in a rarified state, a private amusement park where all the rides are always closed for repairs.


As I stated earlier there are other ways to show devotion to these articles of imagination. When these means are embraced fully, a less stressful means of appreciation is possible. I have to constantly remind myself that the engineered culture clashes of the entertainment complex are more about them than they are about me. Enjoying the abundance is about engaging the extremes of head and heart not just adding to the pile. Without having others to enjoy the works of wild dreamers and talented craftsmen, what is the value of our collections? To share these special things that we have uncovered is to give of ourselves, to issue guest passes to our most prized dreams. To do otherwise is to mistake wealth for riches, to see pricelessness as cheapness. As a hobby shop owner from my childhood used to say, it’s collector’s market and things are only worth what a collector is willing to pay.


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