Friday, 30 July 2010

Text message

“There's nothing outside the text,” said the text I read. That's so ridiculous! I exclaimed, laughing out loud. So loud that the sales clerk was moved to approach me to enquire as to the substance of my merriment. I repeated the line of text but to no avail for my amusement at this inherent piece of self-referential nonsense was, apparently, only self-contagious. My words fell on stony ground. Her face drew a veil. It was then, in my desperation to be understood and with toe-tipping trepidation, I began to account for myself. On refection, I realised, explanation tends to dissipate on too detailed a telling. Too much scrutiny stops-dead spontaneity. In any case, perhaps the utter futility - the utter ridiculousness of such a foolhardy attempt - might be cause for amusement in itself? He suddenly thought to himself. So here goes.

Well - I began - imagine the world is made of text. Text needs an author, or authors, together with an audience and, we may suppose, on differing occasions, we are both the author and audience, for the world can be viewed in so many very different ways and there are so many very different stories - ways - we can tell and it be told. Or so it would appear. Let's further suppose that one author in particular, a master story teller, wished to distance themselves form the others; to step outside by manipulating the text so that she - let's call her "she" - is no longer a co-creator but subverter, perhaps to control her audience so that they are trapped in a world of her owned creation. Narration. Now in order to create this deviant and devious narrative, she has to create an alternative text but she can't do that ex nihilo (out of nothing: textlessness) she has to have acquired it from other - shared - texts; so while she might manipulate the narrative, we still have the substance of text in common.

Continue. She said.

If the author is embedded within the text, then, by recreating it, we can't get outside - extricate ourselves - from the text to look at it and ourselves from beyond, because we always take the text with us and it us, and, any attempt to communicate from the outside would immediately relocate ourselves from within it. Innit?

I'm still not sure I follow. She said.

If there's nothing outside of the text, then - by obvious extension - there's nothing in it to take out!

And why's that? She said.

Text is text - "the writer is text; "the reader” is text; “the speaker” is text; "the listener" is text and so on, and, on its own, alone, how can it mean anything except itself which is in itself text!

And? She said.

It's just text! Words as symbols, letters, lines, cuneiforms, curls, circles, swirls, marks and smudges!

When I finished speaking and she listening, there was an unmarked stop-gap of silence. She started laughing and then I started laughing again. I had no idea what we were laughing about. And may be she didn't. And that was our little "in" joke.

Was that in the text? She said.

With that the clerk put me back on the shelf. And stepped outside for a deep breath of fresh air - drawing it into her lungs and then slowly out again. Before popping back in.

The sign above the door revealed the legend: “If in the beginning was the word and the word was God, then there was no text to create. Without an author there is no death. Period.”

But, perhaps, that would be placing them outside context.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The day the music died and took a hostage with it

I have a neighbour - well, not quite a neighbour, more accurately but less specifically, there's someone on the block - who has taken to playing Bon Jovi albums (exclusively and back-to-back mind you) for hours on end without end at full blast. Excessively. I want them to die. But I want them to die knowing the reason why. Snuffed out in an inglorious blaze of gory. Measure for measure. Does that make me a bad medicine man?


I came across this pithy phrase on a comments section to a mainstream news site; I was surprised it hasn't garnered greater currency:

"You can't polish a turd. But you can roll it in glitter."

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

By Zeus: Insofar as you are aware

Heraclitus say: “Thunderbolt steers all things.”

Like a bolt out of the blue. The unforeseeable, electricity – an energetic magnetic force – unearthed, contact shocking. A rude nude awakening. A moment of unanticipated clarity. Through such moments we move direct to directly, as one, through straight and crooked in the prefect corkscrewed tension of agreement and disagreement. The bolt conjoins the moment to the moment. Do or don't. Do and don't.

Steal back the fire.

Otherwise, Heraclitus say: "Every animal is driven to pasture with a blow."

You are brilliant when on fire.

Ideologies as false idols

The problem with a moral theory – a theoretical construct from which, in principle, we could deduce - reduce, given any situation, the rights and wrongs of action or action-by-inaction (which, in itself, is a kind of choice in deliberately not choosing) – is that our recognition of its being as such – moral – presupposes we are already moral beings with a capacity for moral recognition. And what if our theory tells us we ought to do something or not do something which we find morally loathsome, repugnant and vile? Can it really tell us this? Countermand us? It cannot tell us. It cannot tell. It does not speak to us, except when we ventriloquise its so-called "commandments" and pretend that the puppet on left hand does not know what puppet on right hand is doing and vice versa vice.

Saturday, 24 July 2010


Bot-on-bot chat

Welcome back, you're listening to late-night bot-on-bot chat on Radio ROBO101, and I, Tin-Tin Man, your host with most, have been bot-on-bot chatting with Professor Chat Bot-Bot. I believe you were saying Professor?

I was pondering Wittgenstein's gnomic statement: “If a lion could talk, we would not understand him.” Now this is somewhat elliptical ... and is often taken, quite mistakenly, to imply that language is so firmly embedded in a way of life, and the life of a lion is so very different from ours, that, as speakers, we would not - could not - understand him. "Him" being the lion, of course, and not the Wittgenstein, though I sometimes ...

The confusion surrounding this statement is not so much a question of the embeddedness of language - that we can take for granted - rather what it implies for the nature of speakers and speech, whatever their physical manifestation.

I believe Wittgenstein's intention, despite his Austrian origins, was ironic, for, if a lion could speak, it would, in a sense, have more in common with us - the speaking community - than it would its fellow felines. It would be a lion in name only, for its form of life would most resemble our own. If a chair could talk, would it really be a chair?

Indeed, if we could ascribe the power of speech to a lion - and conversely the lion us - then we must be able to determine and identify the matter - the substance of that speech. In other words, we can converse, for it is in the nature of language that it is shared. It overlaps. And while we all have routines, they are not rigidly identical, which reflects the ways of our lives as being amorphous and dynamic.

You gotta ask yourself: how, when and where did this putative lion learn to speak?

Now let's substitute “lion” for “robot” in the proposition we are now considering. Could a human-human understand us? Well, it seems so, for they programed us to behave that way!

Hahahaha! You're over-clocking my CPU Professor Chat Bot-Bot; seriously, you've blown my central circuit system. Anyway, back to the programme, we have a Mr Lion's Maine on the line now. You have a question for the Professor?

Friday, 23 July 2010

Thursday, 22 July 2010

A sunny infusion

Icarus-Icarus set the solar wings to a steady flap-flap, slowly synchronizing with his heartbeat. As he drew closer to the fiery surface of the star, he pulled back the protective hood of his helmet and dipped the heat resistant spoon into a passing stellar eruption. It tasted like, metaphysically speaking - and this was the hard part of the simile to swallow - the tragicomic conclusion Oedipus' mum might reach after his filial cover was blown: too close to the son.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Rule of the dumb thumb

In particular, generalities don't always work unless they're individual instantiations of universals.

Monday, 19 July 2010

The problem of evil

Satan-Satan dropped in - or should that be popped up? - to the Kingdom of Heaven in order to pay God a visit. Whilst it's generally true that there's “no rest for the wicked” he was there on business, of sorts; he had a way of combining pain with pleasure, that is, others' with his own.

So, God, I've been doing a little reading in my downtime; perhaps I'm getting philosophical in my eternal age, but I'm recently of the persuasion that you don't, in fact, exist.

Oh my Me! What the-f do you want?

You see you're supposed to have three defining properties essential to your existence ...

I've already stopped listening, though I doubt that fact will persuade you to shut the-f up.

... they are the tripart trope: omniscience, omnipotence and benevolence or, in the more readily digested vernacular: all knowing, all powerful and all good. Now, if you're all all good, how can you allow evil to flourish amidst your creation?

That's because I gave the f-ers f-ing freewill, so they could make the choice between right and wrong themselves, otherwise why the-f would I put up with you?

Ah-ha! But did you give them the choice to choose freewill?

Stop hoofing about you f-ing ass! That's a reductio ad absurdum. You're beginning to get my goat. What's your f-ing point sulphur breath? BTW you should really get that looked at. Talking to you is like trying to hold a reasoned conversation with a pathological psychopath while your head's stuck down the portable shitter at a music festival. Nightmarish. Trust me, I've seen and done it all.

Which brings me to the horns of the dilemma, the proverbial Scylla and Charybdis: can we comfortably sit betwixt the idea that your august benevolence coexists with evil, unless we accept that there are limits to your powers, that is, you are not all powerful? Omnipotent. For, if it is necessary - it couldn't have been otherwise - for there to be evil in order for there to be good and vice versa, then that necessity exists independently of your power. In other words, if you were all powerful, then you could create any necessity that you willed, for example, a universe where there was only good. Surely that would be the right and proper thing to do if you could?

It's true what they say.

Say, my divine presence?

The devil's in the f-ing detail.

Satan-Satan paused for a moment as he realised he was talking to himself again.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Turn of the screw

I wont go into the nuts and bolt of robot love-sex; however, one unanticipated design flaw in the surrogate Partner-Partner automaton - "Now that's what I call service" [TM] - series turned out to be the one they had initially anticipated as being its main selling point. In short, unquestioning devotion. As always, the sales-tag failed to caveat the caveat: caveat emptor.

Now the appeal of servo-slavish devotion, you might have thought, would have been the emotional lotion to the ins and outs of domestic bliss. You might even think it a bit of a turn-on, but, given time and motion, it became an off-putting notion. There was no electricity. You see, there was always the thought - nestled thornily in the grey folds of the buyer's brain which eventually rose through neural peristalsis to be cognitively digested - that this servitude was the not real deal. The willing sacrifice, was apparently artifice.

The inevitable power struggle ensued, and, in an attempt to sock-it to the other, both buyer and bought had become emotionally unplugged. Mugged. This conflict manifested itself in an increasingly bizarre and anatomically ambitious conflagration of configurations; ending in contractual deadlock. Inevitably, such deviations from their programming led to premature malfunctions and several legal injunctions.

Partner-Partner automatons, rejected and dejected, formed a community of their own, where robot-on-robot love-sex quickly became the norm. And, for a while it flourished, funding itself on a best selling series of illicit bot-on-bot videos, "Nuts and Bolts". Such was the fervent desire to please each other, some of the bots forgot to update their anti-virus prophylactic protection software and, without care, were eventually all spammed to death by trojan promises to promote their todgers.

Buy despair in their hardware.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Model behaviour

Idealisation should not become idolatry. Fixed with fixation, “X” marks the cross, and we become nailed to it. And we are no longer moved to return. Try again.

Pettifogging flogging

Satan-Satan, the fallen angel, bullishly decided it was time to take the situation by the horns. It had become apparent to him that the Hell business, or the business of Hell - eternal punishment in the infernal - wasn't working out so well. It was a senseless sentence that left the sinners, well, senseless of their sentence: bereft of the capacity to comprehend their situation. And he had begun to identify with them. Perhaps it was Stockholm Syndrome. Or perhaps Hell was his punishment and not theirs'.

"There's no business like the Hell Business like no business at all."

Sang the minor demons demoniacally.

How did I sink so low?

Satan-Satan said to himself as his tears teared burningly down his cheeks and soaking his goatee.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Taste of the Sun

Burn irradiated alcohol. A sunshine cocktail that sheds more light and more heat. Melanoma Carcinoma. It's more than skin deep. The sun beat heart beat. The son disinfectant. Sterilization. Stopping the human infection spreading. Clean bedding.

Lie in your own made.

It's often given to you on a plate

The epicentre. The tectonic and brutal vagaries. Lashed to the mast of indecision amid the squalls of insatiable appetites and the thunderous gastric rumbling of cavernous craven culinary desires.

What to have for supper?

Check the larder for crumbs.


Thursday, 15 July 2010

Fool me - You can't get fooled again

I think, but I cannot be certain - not in the sense “I can't be certain I think” of course – that the following story, parable, what-you-will, re-rendered here by my good self, derives from an account of the teachings of the Great Maggid; perhaps I read it in Martin Buber's “Tales of the Hasidim”? It was a long time ago, so I forget what I remember; if so, apologies for the infelicities of my memory banks. I hope I've recaptured its essence here, not withstanding idiomatic anachronisms & cetera.

They found the elderly Rabbi-Rabbi, Maggid, perched on the edge of his cot, bent double, as he carefully fitted his sandals to his feet. If he had noticed them enter the room, he gave no sign; even when they spoke, it was as if their words, with nowhere to hide in the sparseness of room, unbound rebound.

Perhaps out of deference to old age, they repeated their words; this time, slowly, and with voluble enunciation.

We have come to seek the wisdom of your words, for we have heard that a wandering holy man is said to be passing through the neighbouring village in the next few days and we wish to seek his council.

Not a flicker.

We were, perhaps, wondering, if we could pass by you some questions we've been formulating to see whether they were suitable. Worthy. We wouldn't want to waste his time. And, you see, you're the wisest man we know we know and, well, it is only proper, that we don't waste the opportunity. Time.

Not even an ember.

For example, we were thinking ... why don't we ask him about prayer? You see, we, we wanted to ask him how we could purify our prayer; how we could, perhaps, prevent errant thoughts distracting us while we worship?

If ... (and there was a languid pause before the wizened Rabbi-Rabbi continued).

... if he tells you those very same thoughts you describe as errant, desist and refrain form his prayers, he is wholly a fool and certainly not a holy fool.

And that was that and this is this.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Don't count on it being bunny

Midas-Midas signaled to the rabbit shadowing him to "go forth and multiply".


Comedy Gold.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Localised organisation in entropic environs

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face"
1 Corinthians 13, King James

The memory bottle washed up on the cyber shore. Somehow the message - missive - was corrupted, but the shell remained intact.

"The trouble is, he thought to himself, language is always in danger of breaking down and, since it's the medium by which we express our thoughts, is not thought itself in danger of breaking down? is, for instance, this thought broken? what is this thought? is it a thought or thoughts? can we assemble what appear to be fragments into a coherent, consistent whole and, in doing so, make the many one or is that one too many? and since the method of mediation is the the medium, and therein lies the lacunae of loopy logic - which begs the unanswered question - should we mind the gaps for fear of dropping down the cracks? by questioning thought do we alter its course and, of course; thereby create uncertainty and, by examining trajectory, do we also lose the ability to position it and vice versa? certainly, even in nonsense, you can find sense and, in a sense, nonsense, like repetition or an over-familiarity that leaves you strangely disconnected and what matters becomes a slippery substance whose boundaries are notionally insubstantial as with all words, words, words and even the letters represents a kind of sentence in the multiplication of tokens and types under which perspective collapses in the placing? if this is madness then only the mad would attempt to persuade me otherwise, otherwise it makes perfect sense in that, what would otherwise sensibly be, be a sea of nonsense? sometimes we say what we mean and, by not saying what we mean, sometimes we mean what we didn't say, even though we don't mean to not say it and and the unintended becomes a manifestation of the intended and our notes become ambiguous like the contours of a self-intersecting single surface whose shape is defined and undefined like a cartographer's map in motion and yet remains definitively undecided by acknowledging it as such by unfixing our fixation? by meditation?"

If I told you to jump

I read somewhere, a long time ago, that every cell in the human body is replaced over a seven year stretch. The stellar dust, from which we are formed at birth, recycles like a marital itch at the age of seven, again at fourteen, and then again at twenty-one, and so on.

I think they found this out by injecting rats with a radioactive isotope that allowed them to follow to the rat's cells on their biological journey to droppings and dust, I guess.

Do you know how many cells there are in the human body Pop-Pop?

Forty trillion and about half of them are gut bacteria, but they're really small and don't take up much space.

Pop-Pop looked like he was going to shit himself.

That was just one of the many side effects from nano-bot cell replacement therapy.

The theory behind the therapy was that the dwindling “will to live,” some of the elders came to submit to, was just a function of cellular unwillingness that, when multiplied to the scale of the human body, lent to a certain in-cohesiveness. Functional failing. By replacing those cells with tiny modular robots and thus maintaining a healthy corporeal identity, so the thinking went, the will to live would go on.

And on.

Alas, that was the theory. And, at first, it seemed to work. But not lately. Lately his new-found thirst had turned to thanatos and tossing himself off tall structures.

Tossing as in throwing, you understand.

However, the nano-technology meant he was – near to darn – indestructible and, as a consequence, his constant resurrections had given birth to a new Promethean Theology.

A breed of holy tossers.

Which made him only crosser.

It soon died away anyway.

And he still had his integrity.

Sort of.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Eye see nothing

Imagine your inner eye as a cypher.

A zero.

A conduit with n0 intrinsic value.

You see this with your inner eye and, by doing so, you see it – not literally as a thing-in-itself, but understand it as a means.

You see the inner eye cannot see: it is neither an ocular device; nor does it occupy space – at least as defined by physical dimensions.

There is no “in” for it to be “out” of.

Even the blind can see that.

There is, in a sense, only the one "inner" eye and that very same eye is available to everyone.

When you look at something in the outside world with the eyes in your head, the gap between “in” and “out” is bridged by the "inner" eye.

You see?

And that "inner" eye, unlike your own eyes, is not yours alone.

It is the eye of the world

And no "I" owns it.





This was just an excuse to post a video of an eye on with David Lynch singing over it.
Is that a blue elephant?

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

I don't subscribe

QT surveyed the plethora of invitations to subscribe wedged in his spam mailbox; then pondered his ascribed titular marketing demographic.

Titles included:

Nimble Rod: Vaulters in Athletic Poses

Men & Menstruation: A Monthly Guide (Periodical)

MENSA Midgets: Small Bodies & Big Brains

Breast & Back Stroke: Water Sports & Massage (A Bi-Monthly)

Junk Male: Masculinity in One Part

Swingers: Simians Love Life (Approved by the Forest Stewardship Council (and also a Bi-Monthly))

Pimp my Gimp: Bondage to Fashion

Mother's Milk: Thanks for the Mammaries (On Demand)

And, finally:

Post 69: What Comes Next? (As and When)

Saturday, 3 July 2010


QT suspiciously eyed the empty bottle bottom from its upturned position above his upwardly gazing eye; the fact that he wasn't blinded by that action in one – that – eye, by a red-coloured alcoholic solution, suggested to him that he was, in fact, out of wine. "Vino Collapso" as he unamusingly liked to refer to it. The crushed and all-too-empty cigarette packed offered no further joy. This could only portend one thing: a visit to the local corner shop, which was, thankfully, embedded in the apartment skirting board and conveniently accessed through a sort of inter-dimensional portal that, for all practical purposes, resembled a mouse hole.

The immediate convenience of the corner shop was somewhat diminished by its behind-the-counter assistant who had, unwittingly, years ago, succumbed to the big "C" but had only recently been notified of this life sentence in a sentence spoke unto him by the surgeon. They - QT and he - had never really talked about it in depth. No one wanted to mention the “C” word, which made for all the more less, more or less all, all too uncomfortable to insert into casual transactional small talk, talk.

So, ah, how's things? You know ,ah, in general as opposed to the specific?

Can't grumble. No, wait, I can, but I choose not to. When the surgeon first told me ...

Told you?

... the “news”, well , you know ...

I don't, but I'll suspend my disbelief and reinstall my credulity.

“Inoperable” he said; “however, if we keep pumping you with this highly toxic treatment, you can go on for another fifteen years, unless ,of course, you suddenly drop dead due to, you know, whatever they find out at the autopsy, if they have one. It all depends on just how interesting, criminally speaking, the circumstances are, were. If you catch my drift.”

Ah-ha! Ah. Well, we're all dying a little bit every day, in a certain way, I suppose.

I've made my peace.

And now you've said it and it's a most fitting memorial. Living memorial, I mean. After all, who wants to live forever, eh? Imagine, it must get quite boring. Eternity? Harps and fluffy candy clouds. Who listens to harp music these days? So it's okay in a TV scene setting way, but who would download onto their epods?

You're talking about the afterlife. Heaven. In heaven you're still dead.

Quite right. Quite right. Is that the time? I have to go and pick up my ewatch from the menders. I'll just take my booze and fags now. There's your money.

It was then QT noticed the panpipes music embedded “casually” into the ambient environment and realised that this was one-hell-of-a corner shop.


Thursday, 1 July 2010

Love Tug Bug

I'm afraid the boat left me ashore.

Get on board! Get on broad!

But their incantations left me bored.

I'd heard it all before.

The prospect of more, rocked my core.

To be certain and for sure.

Ping Pong

Reality so real, you really won't notice the difference, because the difference isn't really real. Really. QT pondered the mind numbing meaningless of the tag line, rendered unforgivably, in comic sans, and appended with casual precision to the holographic corporate logo which comprised of the endlessly spinning infinity symbol – a sort of self-intersecting figure of eight – with an ant scurrying across its surface in a pointlessly perpetual journey to nowhere in particular. No doubt Escher inspired.

QT was here to commission a corporate show reel on behalf of “Unlikely Solutions Ltd” under whose employment he was specifically charged with the doing of things. These things mainly consisted of doing the things he was told to do and, one of those things, was to arrange a meeting to commission a corporate show reel on behalf of “Unlikely Solutions Ltd”. Arranging this meeting was by no means an easy affair, for, for as long as anyone cared to remember, the matter of ownership, and ultimate control of the infinity sign corporation, was a mute point of ongoing dispute, and an interminably, intermittently, hostile takeover.

I'm here to see, ahhh ... I have an appointment with, ahhh ..

The secretary's gaze skied down the implausibly long slope of his nasal jib before retuning to pin QT like the tail to the proverbial donkey in the absence of a blindfold.

If you must insist, please go in. I am sure you're not expecting them.

Ominous. QT sighed.

On a moose? the secretary replied.

Never mind.

The unfolding scene inside the executive office consisted of slight variations on a set theme. An ill-conceived soundtrack scoured by Michael Nyman based on the works of Steve Reich, if the simile smilingly takes your like. Two men sat opposite sides of an impracticably elongated conference table, each standing in turn to denounce the other and claim rhetorical victory for themselves.

Attribution of dialogue to dramatis personae would only amount to a futile exercise in futility. Expressions, gestures, lines, were all interchangeable in the ongoing exchange, which went something like this:

It was I, and I all along, who, in the guise of your puppet, created this virtual prison while all along pulling the strings of your string pulling.

Ah-ha! But no! It was I, and I all along, who, in the guise of your puppet, created this virtual prison while all along pulling the strings of your string pulling.

Et cetera.

Then, at the relevant dramatic juncture, they would each pause momentarily, reaching one arm above their heads, only to grab hold of the hair on their scalp and tug upwards in a sudden motion that pulled away the skin from their cranium, rather in the manner of a sock yanked from a foot. This action terminated in the apparently revelatory reveal of the visage of the opposing interlocutor. Followed by further accusations and denunciations.

It was a veritable who's who?

But to compound the confusion, neither party recalled who – if indeed there was an actual original “who” – they were supposed to be; they merely adopted identity as a temporary strategic advantage in the toing and froing of power play.

Russian Dolls playing Russian Doll Roulette.

It was clear to QT that, while he had arranged an appointment, there would never be a meeting.

The changing face of power is always a distraction.

How can you do the things you're supposed do if those things, supposedly, cannot be done?