Wednesday, September 21, 2005


"I can’t sleep…" he says.

He has called me "his unknown entity".

He says he wants to understand me so that he can "understand himself better through me". I suspect this is his way of saying that he does not yet understand himself sufficiently well to know what he wants. And if he does not know what he wants by now, then how can I be what he wants? Perhaps I am some temporary placeholder between states of lesser or greater self-understanding on his part - a convenient means by which he seeks to become what he wants.

Every now and then, a contradiction appears in his explicit articulation of what he wants, and when I point out the flaw, inconsistency, contradiction, he immediately agrees:

“You are absolutely right, but it's only natural that I reflect the contradictions in the ways and practices of the culture we live in. I am aware of them, but I cannot completely reject them -- to reject them openly, i.e. to announce this rejection from the rooftops, is to apparently reject the culture as a whole and risk physical alienation from those around me; to reject it privately is to remain a hypocrite, but to somehow better 'manage' my alienation, or 'contain' it, so to speak."

I don't like his explanation or his alternatives, and say:

"One way of dealing with your problem is to find common ground with similar hypocrites or conformists, find those who exhibit similar patterns of contradictory behaviour, similar asymmetries.

Another way is to try resolve these contradictions and come up with a well-formed and internally consistent belief-structure. If you do this, you can then decide to keep these ideas to yourself or expose them to the public. If you want to keep them to yourself, then you will have to resort to a kind of personal pragmatism; otherwise, you can release the generalized version into the wild and entertain criticism until the structures become resilient and strong, better able to acquire a life outside the confines of one’s head."

"Look, I really don't have time to figure this all out right now. I really have to go to bed as I've got an early appointment tomorrow..." is his response.

I can’t sleep.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

muse modulated

Restarting my correspondence was not easy. I had not written to her lately, at least not in the same tones that were used before.

And I had forgotten that she is made of muse -- inspiring in her articulate suffering: Woman as aesthetic catalyst -- living in a place where there is little public respect for artists, she needs to provide the fuel for her art from within.

This makes her self-sufficient, but also an intensely self-immolating person.

Sometimes she fails to meet the conditions for (as she puts it) being aesthetic, due to environment, personality shifts, or changes of the like. She writes of this loss of confidence:

"I have stopped painting because of a painful realization that my worldview is not universal or transcendent, but provisional and particular; not a product of authentic experience, but of obscurantist theorizing. I felt terrible. Although I could readily recognize genius in others, I was somehow always inadequate in my thoughts, and would hide my confusion behind the politely expansive interpretations that one affords a public 'artist'.

Yet I hesitate to call myself an artist. No doubt my categories are confused. I don't know what I am. The more knowledge I acquire, the more uncertain it makes me."

Later, much later, her confidence returns and she gains a little perspective:

"I suppose I can tell you what has preoccupied me since we last spoke. Let's see... I've started painting again. This time the medium is different.

It's an underground 'journal', meant for an audience of one. Its primary purpose is self-modulation.

Yet I am still miserable: a misery tempered by the knowledge that these sky-sought or downcast curves are largely chemical, a consequence of vitamins and cornflakes, of abstinence and exercise. i.e that my moods are controllable, and not due to the unique human condition that afflicts me and only me.

Someone, something has disconnected me from my immediate surroundings today. I don't only feel lonely, I feel empty and useless."

Of course, she has her occasional highs too:

“How are you? Happy with people (aforementioned species, self-appointed teachers, professors, smile-conquered slaves, friends, new-friends, about-to-be-friends, friends-to-be-lovers, lovers-to-be-non-friends) amused, nervous, sad-sometimes, wanting-to-be-alone-sometimes, million-miles-of-up-sometimes? and work? the objects of desire? are they kind to you?

Uncertain statement: it is difficult but not impossible to maintain relations within a consistent group, interests rarely intertwine outside the night, people get bored of one another and, since substitution is the most popular practice here, the unfortunate many of the efficient society usually find out in no uncertain time when others have no time for them.

Yes-No-society. made for machines. authentic human exchange please everyday please. sincere empathetic understanding please. no, not there. by the peas. please.

(defining from the hip)

IDcrisis is the common affliction of the need-to-be-different: odd disoriented tourist, self-styled performance artist unfortunate enough never to be told just how bad his art is, capitalist revolutionary to conquer the world by selling it --- all need to be "hip" to what's happening (to know about something before the masses get to it) without seeing that the very use of the category disqualifies one from membership to the set it describes.

The common urbane wolfe: analytically spontaneous and spontaneously analytical, living according to the unspoken creeds: "be calculating but sincere", "measure and live the moment", "cruelty and love are coterminous", "destroy (politely) every obstacle that stands in your way"

Excess. ustinkofdecadence. excessive. fat full of selfhood. willingly or otherwise, i join in: substantial or otherwise, no time to do anything but see limits surpassed, values tested. obey the orgy to be -- more efficient in the use of my everyday, more productive, more material, more excessive in effect, more-machine. less-human-all-too-human...

Monday, September 12, 2005


Anxiety or tension associated with the stress of everyday life usually does not require treatment with an anxiolytic.

Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by unrealistic or excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation) about two or more life circumstances, for a period of six months or longer, during which the person has been bothered more days than not by these concerns. At least 6 of the following 18 symptoms are often present in these patients:

Motor Tension: Trembling, twitching, or feeling shaky; muscle tension, aches, or soreness; restlessness; easy fatigability.

Autonomic Hyperactivity: Shortness of breath or smothering sensations; palpitations or accelerated heart rate; sweating, or cold clammy hands; dry mouth; dizziness or lightheadedness; nausea, diarrhea, or other abdominal distress; flushes or chills; frequent urination; trouble swallowing or 'lump in throat').

Vigilance and Scanning: Feeling keyed up or on edge; exaggerated startle response; difficulty concentrating or 'mind going blank' because of anxiety; trouble falling or staying asleep; irritability.

These symptoms must not be secondary to another psychiatric disorder or caused by some organic factor.