Monday, April 14, 2008
No, I'm updating casually
Boy, it's been another nonstop week for this sandy old Widow! But in my brain, I think it's been more like three years again. Oops!
Mazochi and I recorded the Official Studio Cut of "The Duffel Bag Shuffle" for the Mountain Man web series. All-in-all, I'd say it was a pretty spectacularly positive experience--considering I typically avoid working with him because he's crazy and, more importantly, he decided to quit smoking on the day we started. Yeah, you read that right.
So now Mazochi's extra crazy and I'm extra crazy because... I guess it was unfair to say that I "typically avoid working with him because he's crazy"--I suppose it would be more fair to say I'm just crazy and patchy in the collaboration department... I think things in fast abstractions, especially when I'm nervous or insecure, and so it makes it very difficult for me to communicate. Any of you ever read Melville's novella Billy Budd?
Well, long story short, this poor guy Billy Budd, who everybody loves because he is just so blissfully good-hearted--naive, you might just say--takes a job on a British Naval ship and gets himself into some bad trouble. You see, despite his good heart--his innocence, you might say--he has a flaw: he stutters terribly. He has trouble getting anything out, you know, like his tongue gets tied.
Well, as I remember it, young Billy gets by alright--everybody loves him, after all--until a dark fellow, Claggart, tries to frame him for mutiny.
Billy can't defend himself, obviously, because the words just don't come. And in a moment of pure disbelief, the innocent Billy Budd punches Claggart in the head and kills him. Everybody knows Claggart was a scumbag and Billy is an innocent, but in the end the Captain, who loves Billy, must put him to death to preserve the greater good, presumably. Or something like that...
Anyway, the subtext, as I can recall, was that Billy's lovely innocence had no place in his world. Almost, even, that his presence in his world brought about its own end... A captivating instance of metaphorical bloom in the "real" world, brought to us courtesy of Herman Melville, a man whose mind was way out ahead of and behind his time. A man who might just have felt a bit tongue-tied himself.
Now where was I? Oh yes. Well, in our world, no punches were thrown. Mazochi and I both made that leap of faith--the one where you know you're both tongue-tied--everybody's fuckin tongue-tied!--and you decide to begin deciphering in good faith what one and the other are getting at.
Well, yeah. Creativity is adaptability is captivity is transcendence. Our minds are poised on fluctuating undulating currents of metaphor. We are imaginary numbers. We are the imaginary numbers that make our own imaginary equations add up. Radical negative one, we used to call it, back in the war days. World War Public School System. WWPSS. World War PS². World War Playstation 2. World War Whadya'DO?!
Hi. I'm Mike Miller.
What else? Okay... Had a show at the Whiskey. Good times! People said the sound was excellent. Now I'm in Humboldt County! With Chuck and Kendra and pets... I'm actually exhausted. I've seen things these past few travellin' days... Old, old trees... Old trees that have watched the beach for centuries... More... All of it looks like consciousness... It all looks like the shapes of consciousness. Literally--whatever that means and in actuality as well. Really it does. It even looks like the shapes of what I see when I flip through the telly, gov'na! What could it mean?
When I write it, it seems to obey some more order... Except that it only obeys the order I can translate and impose, which is imperfect and, more than that, impractical. Impractical when you consider all that it is you are trying to say. But when you ought to transcend... You run smack into a society that built itself on the sanctity of its own languages... Its own metaphors, of course, at a deeper level. Self-coding, self-interpreting metaphor engines. Or metaphorical engines... Or... Enginas. In-jeans. Jones-ing for in-jeans. Keep it in your jeans, Jones.
No I will not! I will, instead, pursue adventure! Smash! And bring knowledge, WITH A SMASH!, into the Western World!
But we're not doing that, Dr. Jones... It was already here when we got here. It is working on us. Deeper metaphors are already at work on us. They explain themselves with us--using US as units. Of course we do the same, then, after we consider that we are perhaps being watched... That we are, perhaps, the terminus of some kind of focal point... But we then, with some effort, are able to convince ourselves that we are interpreting objectively...
Objective--what does that mean today?
We are a beautiful feedback loop. Ideas, like electricity... Media, like water. Mmm, we could cook meat by mixing the two and zapping it... Or... We could try to understand one... Or the other... Maybe both... Perhaps we should just try and figure out how many different ways we could cook the meat using the electrified pond... But G.I. Joe told us to stay away from downed power lines near puddles... But I saw how they recut that old cartoon clip and made it really funny with different voices on YouTube. That shit was funny.
Okay then... Let's just see what different kinds of spark patterns we can create by tossing the power lines into the pond from that high perch over there--up on top the school-bell! That should give us the kind of distance and acceleration we need for some really serious fireworks! Then we can sell that shit!
"But our power-water park was not meant to cater only to the super-rich..."
"Well, we can have a--a coupon day, or something like tha-aaAHHAAAAAAAAAAAHHHGGGGGGGG!!! AGAAAAHHHHRRRRRAAAAAAAAAKL-GRAAWRRRRAAAAAHHHHH!"
And then that fuckin' investment lawyer gets his ass FRIED!
Everybody eats meat that night, but snarling metaphors in the mist drag the rest away before sunrise. Their thoughts then join those of the lawyer in the electrified pond when the metaphors ritualistically piss there, on the shifty banks of the electrified pond.
That, of course, kills the beastly metaphors, all accept for one, with an immunity to death by pissing in electrified bodies of water. This metaphor is grateful and multiplies (somehow), then is killed by its children when it won't go out and rent or buy Jurassic Park on VHS. You see, this wise metaphor thought a better metaphor for its own precarious position in this chaotic world would be a couple tapes of GI JOE episodes--dubbed VHSes, with original commercials from the times they aired. Just for a bit more perspective, you know... Just so they can know how... How... How did it survive again?
Well, no matter--it's dead now. We dumped the body in the river by the old power plant. No use in confusing anybody. And wouldn't you know it, when we were about to leave, just right out of the blue, one of those big old power poles just went ahead and toppled there, right into the river! And the current started pulling at it, and, well--you can imagine what happened next!
"Oh... Yes, I think so. I think I can imagine that..."
"Don't bother! We got it on tape--or, uhh, on my brother's digital camera! I just put it on YouTube! Go check it out!"
"Go with God!"
"Uhh... God is good!"
"Oh, uhh... I was just saying--"
"Just go check out that video! I bet it gets more than 50,000 hits by Tuesday morning..."