Saturday XVII • 1 July 2007

Verrrry serious dissertation data-crisis this week. Seriously. Ho-hum. I think I’m due two more of these before I file. (Jezus, help me.)

I have a mentor who sees such crises as “good for the soul,” because through the process of being traumatized by your work, you become more identified with it and therefore your work itself becomes more authentic. Riiight. Sounds like advice to avoid like a disease: this misery = authenticity equation is just a nasty Sartre hangover (one that I’ve glimpsed within the astanga line of research as well).

Yet! As someone I know seems to be demonstrating, a re-read of the old walleye can make for a strange and unexpected lightness. It is not create or die: it is that given death, not even creation can be all that serious. The hidden message of western philosophy is: Lighten up, Ubermenchen! Seriously. Didn’t you know?

Only a few links today, as it’s disastrously beautiful in these parts. Also, I’ve been doing more of the Film Fest, testing out whether I’m at all capable of Telluride in September. (Though perhaps the last post got me dis-invited, eh bro?) My outer limit for film-digestion seems to be about two per month. I’m not a complete cretin, just impatient and easily over-stimulated.

Speaking of cretinism, I tastelessly, lamely weaseled out of spending the coming Wednesday watching the Dodgers followed by fireworks (which requires even more sitting and watching than films do), and will be searching out small-town parades and street-fairs instead. Good thing, since my shala is closing in celebration of the important holiday. It is important to celebrate the imperial nation’s birthday, you know.

I took Excedrin and am completely wired on caffeine. Karen, what am I missing? I have been an idiot. Forget what I said about cutting out caffeine and Advil. Maybe I’ll have a pre-practice Excedrin tomorrow—both muscle relaxation and a caffeine buzz. Watch out, humiliator crocodile. CLEARLY, this is no time to blog so I will shut off the random self-disclosures now. Bad owl. You sound like Tabby Cat, that singularly impressive ADHD wonder. (Edit: the Editor believes this entire paragraph is deranged and incoherent.)

? So I realize that my last post will have been off-putting to the tech fetishists in the readership. It’s ok to be a tech fetishist. I am a fetishist for organizing my bathroom cabinet. It is the same thing. Meanwhile, with the whole iphone rant, I’m using the thing symbolically. See? I’m talking about not letting them tell us what to want, on the occasion of the iphone’s becoming THE most successful marketing campaign in human history. Hey, if you want to live the legend from the paying-end, go for it. The rest of us will give the broken contract fees we saved to, I don’t know, the Kucinich campaign (bless him). An even more direct embrace of futility. Anyway, I will stop flaming your little iphones. You can even call me from your iphones. Peace.

? Article I’ve been meaning to read all week: something about the marriage of science and morality from the Edge foundation. But, as previously disclosed, I am high on Excedrin and would rather organize my bathroom cabinet than read it. Maybe later. Let me know if it’s up my alley, if you would.

? Tuesday’s Science Section was on evolution this week. Seriously, now: two articles I loved were on why the theory of evolution could use a paradigmatic upgrade, and on the new face of the so-called material/ spirit antinomy in brain and mind science. Mmm, poor Descartes is everybody’s villain. (But, KW notwithstanding, I’m not sure how much sympathy I have for a guy who used to vivisect dogs and claimed their cries were mere painless, emotionless emissions of automata.)

? Finally, on Wednesday a certain naked cycling man of the cloth made the news in Portland, Oregon. Long live the Reverend Phil. Yes you. Thank you for reminding me, this week in particular, that there is nothing more beautiful and secretly possible than a lost cause.