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Archive for June, 2013



I suspect names are often changed in order to protect the guilty.


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The problem with systemic thinking (contextual models) for our society is that if we took it seriously enough, we’d probably have to let everyone currently in prison out, and lock up everyone who isn’t.

Inconvenient, to say the least.


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I think the art of poetry is the art of taking your time.
To say one thing well.


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If the meaning of a verbal expression (word, phrase, manifesto, aria, essay, poem, maxim, edict, missive, command, epistle, canto, entreaty, declaration, hymn, verse, query, inquisition, lyric, chant, polemic) is nothing more than another arbitrary—though consequent—expression, the defenders of rationalism (the doctrine that words mean more than other words) fear what, exactly? That divorced from our anchor we will sink into diabolical wantonness? To unending cruelty? As if words, properly disciplined, could control the outcome? This seems like delusion to me. Because I think we can just choose to end cruelty. Regardless of what words others embrace. Try this exercise: walk down the street repeating the words, “I can’t walk” over and over again. I suspect that after about 20 or 30 seconds the words will feel as silly as old gum.


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Recently I posted a contribution to the wikipedia article on Derrida and post-modernism. The contribution was immediately deleted. Efforts to resolve the objection were not productive. Three attempts to repost were simliarly censored and I was threatened with an “edit warring” penalty.

Derrida ? –> QED.1






1One of Derrida’s central themes is that truths, deposited as the textual traces of consensus, are often epiphenomena of power. And that erasure of history correlates to the erasure of real, living, breathing persons.


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For some time now it has seemed to me likely that the writings we attribute to the historical buddha were probably authored in part, if not in whole, by a woman. They are often just not aggressive enough to have been the product of a man among men, as far as I can tell. Take the parable of the arrow for example. A man is shot with an arrow and while waiting to have it removed, seeks to gather information about the shooter, his family, his appearance, his weapons, his whereabouts, his clan, etc. All of these questions are preparations for war, for vengeance, for retaliation. The buddha responds with some practical advice: “turn towards your practice. Remove the poison. Restore your health. Live your life.” The message of conciliation and of sati (awareness) in the midst of suffering, is not a message that I associate with male aggression, rather with female communitarianism. I suspect that at some point after the words had been spoken by the historical buddha, someone attached them to Prince Siddhartha Gautama for political reasons. To make them more acceptable in a patriarchal, aristocratic culture. For all we know, it was the buddha herself who suggested such a strategy.


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istanbul diptych1


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