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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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Projected & Considered

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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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The Secret Singularity – Confusion or Delusion

The other day I was deflated by the fact that someone had already gone to the trouble to break imagination down into several types. As someone who has always lead a life engaged with my own bit of surreal estate, I often become so enamored with a concept or conceit that I don’t realize it is a museum piece. This often becomes the end of the fascination. That the latest was an ideas about imagination has given it some resistance to the cruel way dreams are some times treated.

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I am not claiming to be the creator of anything new. I am not make large efforts to connect it to the rubric of ideas we all live under. This is not about claiming great ancestors but rather seeing how the imagination operates in the wilds of the mind. It could be said that it is this ability of the imaginative mind to pull ideas and connections from the ether which has lead to the death of the fact. In current conditions in my part of the world, fiction has only just begun to breed lethal strains again. A whole complex of ideas has shielded the majority of two generations from the extreme consequences of associative thinking. Dream thinking has teeth: just asking anyone suffering from addiction or mental illness about the connective power of the mind.

Now playing my own devil’s advocate, I need to note that the foundational ideas which create defense from harmful delusional strains of thought began as guesses. At some point, a dreamer took a step off a cliff and kept walking. How long it takes for a value to emerge is an intriguing side road, it is not the idea that has brought these words together before us today. I wanted to talk about the species of imaginary things not the environment so much. This act of recognition has to be addressed. 

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When considering Imagination, we often forget to consider whether we mean upper case or lower case. The Capital I version is all about boundless extravagance, the garish parade floats of the daydream. This is the imagination of eye candy, an amoral sprawl with ego at the center.  This is the place where desires are slacked without consequence. Many people love it for this reason, though they don’t recognize it. There is something more obscure than that rapport, the lower case imagination.

To know lower case imagination is to know it by another name: intuition. This is an associative leap made through memory connections. Building an understanding of the future by seeing the past in the present is alchemical: it happens in a mental space where structure is a mirror of social processes. We know how someone will act or a situation will play out based on a comparison to our ghosts. Whether or not this is positive or negative experience is outside of the fact that intuition and imagination are entwined. 

It is bothersome to do all the discerning required in life. Is it imagination or intuition? Is it beneficial or malignant? Often they are entwined. Though It is not a polar condition, we often ask ourselves the question is it love or confusion: it is a dangerous proposition in a world that can turn harmful with little provocation. It is not one person trying to determine meaning but a mesh of interpersonal groups looking to express a collective dream in the well lit waking world.

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 940 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 16 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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