The lapse of luxury

"It is bitter to have loved and lost than never to laugh it off," Bamuall Subtler

Monday, July 31, 2006

no laughing dark matter

There is a tragic clash between Truth and the world. Pure undistorted truth burns up the world. -Nikolai Berdyaev

Awad's word of the day included this dreadful quote. I believe it as much as I hate and fear it.

My catastrophic attitude was triggered by a painful crush, which has been going on for about a month or more. I'm one of Pavlov's dogs. He has a fascinating personality... intense and tragic... and he gives me lots of compliments. But most of the time he avoids me just as intensely. It's a wick burning in my mind and groin.

I'm not ready for depression again, but here it is. I'm making a cozy little hole for myself. Meanwhile I shuffle off to a joyless day of work every morning. For me this is bravery. What do I look like to everyone else? A broken marionette? No, that would tug the heartstrings, and most of us don't like to be sad.

I'm very concerned with what others think of me. Do they think of me as I see myself? A wimp, a shirker, a snob, damaged, no fun.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

today's recommendation

Image from
Ben Katchor has something to say about the decorative impulse. He is a cartoonist who has made visible the urban decay, frayed moral fibres, dissolute history and fragmented knowledge stuffing our morally useless heads. His book The Beauty Supply District has nothing pretty in it. But in the Manhattan where this story is located we walk by stores with names like DECORUM, NON-OBJECTIVE IMAGERY, and ANALEPSIS... oh, yes, and one of my favourites, UP-TO-DATE SYMBOLISM. To unwind we grab a bench in the Municipal Laxative Garden (with the funny pages shrouding our heads, of course), and for edification we take in the Katsigh Collection of Worn Shoes and Broken Laces.

Now, to be tedious, back to the decorative impulse. I figure that what Katchor is trying to say is that we all try to beautiful our lives with curlicues and gaudy paint. It's an impulse. An impulse made taudry by society's apologists who would have us be practical. But Katchor's no whiner like me. He says it all with a sigh... a sigh made of pictures and words. Not a sound. Katchor's world ends in whimper.

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Saturday, July 08, 2006


  • Gris Clair...Serge Lutens... Oh duh parfum! Hints of stone-washed lavender, Gin and Tonic, the ubiquitous vanilla, and a dry pine copse. Thanks Kemal.

  • I've met a remarkable guy, depressed, scatter shot mind organized like an essay. We've got similar souls but he's on a different level, sharing the same space. He's a provocateur, a trickster, and I wished we deserved him as an artist. But he deserves himself as an artist. He feels alienated and compromised in our society of lifeless personas. His self love is brittle. I want to show him he's complete. Even Narcissus chose nature as his mirror, not some shabby intellectual imitation. "Pull down thy vanity" - Ezra Pound "I'll be your mirror" - Lou Reed "Insanity is a placebo" - GRM

  • After a year nursing myself back to health on pills, wills, cognitive therapy, walking the talk, generally being Pavlov's dog's body... I'm becoming a productive citizen (as opposed to deductive I suppose). Returning to work after being sick for so long is not so revelatory, but it is surprising how my dread has been replaced by the old familiarity. I just hope this old security blanket of familiarity doesn't breed contempt, or fear, and thoughts of death. What keeps me alive is an enthusiasm for tenderness and pleasure.

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