30 December 2006

End of year sale

Crazy Egmont asks: How do you know what you want if no one has been sacrificed for it?

Crazy Egmont’s No Money Down offer for preassembled labyrinths has been extended through next weekend. Only eight days remain! No interest payments until September 2007! His prices have never been crazier!

Get these low maintenance vinyl models out of your subconsciousness and into your backyard! Have you tried Gothic revival shrubbery patterns that don’t grow as fast as your ill-fated passions? Why are his prices so low? Not because it’s the end of the year, not because he’s overstocked, not because of competitor’s prices, it’s because he’s crazy.

Visit the showroom before time’s up! Get in your car and by the time you’re lost, one of Crazy Egmont’s friendly sales associates will be on their way!

26 December 2006

Visitors' guide

In time for that MLA thing some of you go to, I have entered my opinions about places to eat in neighboring Chinatown here. I will post more Philly-related info on that blog throughout the next few days, and as always, feel free to take issue at my assertions in the comments section.

21 December 2006

The van returns

Dream journey: I had purchased a large, purple van in Mexico and its wheel system had fallen apart in the middle of a desert that was close to the Pacific Ocean, which caused a cast of characters to stop and chat with me while I waited for a mechanic. It was made jointly by British, Moroccan, and Mexican auto manufacturers. I had abandoned the van and forgotten about it. I suddenly remembered the van because:

1. It appeared at my residence, apparently towed all the way here from there;
2. Some of the models, including mine at times, had a map of the world painted on it out of scale with many factual errors and additional notes, and the van with additional maps and notes was displayed at a gallery show I attended;
3. A TV exposé of the van company, narrated by Wallace Shawn in between segments where he displayed his puppet collection, indicated that the company knew they had a problem with their wheel system.

18 December 2006

Manifesto for Magazine Verse

“We who have familiarized ourselves with the poetry in past issues of the magazine take umbrage at those who have not familiarized themselves with the poetry in past issues of the magazine.”

Feel free to use this, you know who you are, that is, those of you who know who you are can feel free to use this.

The 20% defense

For some reason I didn’t sleep well Saturday night, one or two hours, but I didn’t have much I had to do yesterday, as I only had to stare at the screen at the very suspenseful Iggles game and they didn’t need me to go in and block. Then I went to bed and slept for 13 hours, lucid dreams.

Dream journey: A cast iron footbridge had broken and there was a gap of about ten feet in it that a little girl was staring down at. I decided to climb around the support structure on the side to get across. This was dangerous because it was very high up. I couldn’t pull myself up onto the bridge again, but there was a tunnel underneath that transported me to the New York Public Library, which I entered through the ceiling causing dust and plaster chips to come down with me which made everyone look up.

An old poetry magazine put up a web version that made animated cartoons of two of my poems and some other people’s. The cartoons were hilarious.

I went to an old art school where a hairdresser died my hair red, gave me a comb-over, and dressed me in bike pants and a t-shirt, which looked silly but I didn’t seem to mind. My instructions were to ride a bike over to a house down the street where trees were being felled to be sent to Germany. When I got there I ended up catching tree limbs, which isn’t generally a great idea.

I was in a suburban house and a naked woman ran out front, and I thought it was an eccentric girlfriend and was embarrassed but it turned out I was in Terrell Owens’ house and a group of two or three naked women and a costumed man had broken in for some sort of prank. When I went out front the police were there and the public was cordoned off across the street and was shouting things, and TO was standing on his front lawn shouting things to the handcuffed intruders. A local news reporter said the arrested were going to employ the 20% irony defense.

16 December 2006

In the interest of reporting all instances where hippy vegetarians drive Hummers, my friend Dave is driving this canary-yellow beauty around Texas this week due to a mix-up at the car rental office.

14 December 2006

That time

of the evening, not the best time for anthropology. And if you can’t be anthropological then don’t exist in time at all, especially in the evening. People who aren’t anthropologists break things around now, especially with all the art around.

11 December 2006

"The notorious political apathy of Mexicans is intimately related to their all too obvious amorality, to the feeling of indifference and helplessness at the mere thought of combating any form of injustice. To depoliticize a nation is not simply to convince all its citizens of the futility of concerning themselves with public affairs, of the inexorable nature of the decision-making process, since no sort of collective pressure can be brought to bear on it. To depoliticize a nation is not simply to make the administration of the country a magical process resulting from deliberations behind the scene that take place every six years. It is also to deprive an entire country of the possibility of making moral choices, of the possibility of expressing its indignation. It means destroying morality as a collective concern and reducing it to the status of an individual problem. It means death of a social morality and the encouragement of a petite bourgeoisie morality based on the need to create taboos, whereas any genuine morality is based on the ability to make free choices."

-Carlos Monsiváis, in Siempre!, April 1968


Everyone dreams, everyone dies. That’s the justice I trust. The natural kind. The official kind is just a business, with business’ inevitable tendency for monopolization.

09 December 2006

Diced radish

It’s good to see someone has taken pains to represent my consciousness at 11:30 in the morning.

07 December 2006

Review: Pat Gillick at the Winter Meetings

Baseball America’s assertion that Freddy García came at a higher personnel price than the Maddux and Glavine signings ignores the fact that he is better than those two, and the two prospects given up had their problems as incredulous Windy City pundits attest to. Gio González could be a quality SP despite struggling at AA at a young age but is more likely to be a journeyman middle reliever at this point. Gavin Floyd’s head problems, perhaps brought on by bizarre and autocratic development tactics by the Phils (not letting him use his curve ball for a while in the minors to learn other pitches) have brought on major mechanical problems that may take years to fix after which he could hit his stride as a top of the rotation starter in three or four years.

As it is, the Phils have a three year commitment to the oft-injured Adam Eaton and a two year commitment to the aging Jamie Moyer, and overpaying for a three year deal to get a top of the rotation starter after losing Randy Wolf became a less attractive option. Lieber strained under the pressure of being a no. 1 starter, and turning the distinction over to Cole Hamels, Eaton, or Beater Myers would work against their development.

Acquiring Eaton has the earmarks of the self-referential closure of publicized transactions that has troubled the Phils thinking. When Eaton was done high school, the Phils had a high pick and their PR machine started hyping the possible availability of college star Eric Chavez even though they didn’t have the top pick, and as fate would have it the A’s took Chavez higher up, leading to the wise Eaton selection and a long, contentious holdout. Then Eaton, despite being their top prospect, was traded for veteran Andy Ashby which would be a worthy offseason deal were they a competing team, but they weren’t. Ashby himself was a top pitching prospect of the Phils who was relinquished when the organization decided to protect both shortstops Steve Jeltz and Kim Batiste in the expansion draft, a move puzzling to anyone outside the Phils incest pool since neither was ever deemed a major league player to an objective outside scout. So getting Eaton reverses a domino feeling of inward shame of a stale partnership which may or may not relate to whether this is a sound decision based on his injury history, but the move is a cut above many starting pitching signings and outbidding for Soriano’s declining years and it is better to hoard starting pitching than to have too many corner outfielders, especially if the surplus is manipulated adroitly with a well-timed trade.

This phenomenon and others suggest circumstantially the degree to which Gillick is getting marching orders, and it is for this reason that it is better the club has an experienced GM that can assert some boardroom authority rather than a malleable young stathead (which works for other organizations).

The similarities between Wes Helms and David Bell are counteracted by retaining the lefty hitting 3B Abraham Núñez, and there is the possibility that Helms will continue to hit for a high average and power in line with his small sampling of last year. Chris Coste has done nothing to lose the catching job and so far has not lost it to a higher paid newcomer. Taking a flyer on a defensive catcher and two middle relievers in the Rule V draft is vintage Gillick (vintage being a more hopeful expression than the folly of self-imitation), and suggests he has overcome the pressure from above to counterintuitively hoard veteran relievers.

Gillick with 80% of the budget of Minaya and Daddy’s Boy Duquette should come out ahead, and now he is coming out of the constraints of Ed Wade’s long term contracts to easily replacable veterans (sooo un-Moneyball). He is giving Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Hamels the chance to beat Carlos Beltrán, David Wright, and José Reyes, which is all you can really ask of him based on the cards he’s been dealt.

05 December 2006

Winter (Millet)

I wanted to see if I could passively post something. That is contingent on (1) this post being passive; (2) this post feeling passive. Winter nights!

04 December 2006

Thought and feelings

Concerning Ryan's post on thought and feelings, thought has always had an unclear relation to speech and therefore the logical aspects of language. Feelings tend to be psychosomatic reactions; they tend not to have the more advanced relation to belief-systems that emotions do. In Sartre, emotions are intentional, while feelings are not. Reading Robbe-Grillet’s essays on prose last month, I found them animated by a profound fear of belief and, in turn, of emotion.

Love, or as noted, the heart, would seem to be one such feeling, not considered intentional. Commonly called ‘blind,’ or reflected in Hume’s Treatise "Nothing more powerful animates any affection than to conceal some part of its object by throwing it into a kind of shade, which, at the same time that it shows enough to prepossess us in favour of the object, leaves still some work for the imagination."

Sartre’s Being and Nothingness would seem to have none of love as a feeling, though: "If Tristan and Isolde fall madly in love because of a love potion, they are less interesting." Rather love is a product of the beliefs that comprise a person’s motives and claims to identity. Sartre’s take on emotions proceeded from Heidegger’s innovation that emotions are rooted in being in the world and situations, not isolated from reason, belief, reflection or calculation, and took the position that emotions are a conscious, transforming choice. In BN Sartre commented that lovers tended to be shamed by subjectivity, using phrases like ‘soulmates’ and ‘we were born for each other’ to cloud the chance aspect of their coming together, and the relation between organized religion and love reflects this.

Sartre’s beliefs in emotions as being transformative came right before the second half of Zukofsky’s "A"-9, which treats the question of love and motive/identity:

Eyeing its object joined to its cause,

joins motive to sense:

An eye to action sees love bear the semblance
Of things,

joins body to thought:

A body ready as love’s steady token
Fed thought unbroken as pleasure increases –
True to thoughts wearies never its ideal
That loves love, head, every eddy.

Zukofsky was reading Spinoza’s Ethics, which takes an early interest in emotions but never gets into emotions’ being-in-time because of his belief in Divine predestination.

01 December 2006

Thief's entrance

"(Felipe Calderon) is not coming in the front entrance (for his swearing in today). Thieves come in through the back door" - Congressional Deputy Adriana Diaz. Bush was there for the swearing in. (Video)

"El Caminante (The Traveller)" by Gerardo Bonilla, who is currently being held in a maximum security prison outside his home state for standing in the street in Oaxaca at the wrong time.

BTW, despite photographic evidence of federal paramilitaries shooting Brad Will, the government’s investigation is focusing on the theory that the activists who rushed him to the hospital killed him.