Monday, July 16, 2007


(Originally published on the SWORG SWILL LISTSERV on June 21, 1999)

Crash writes: I'm glad that you are so clear on your political position.

Kube writes: This was a joke right? Here are a few clearer generalisations.
1. that everyone is and should be out for themselves (individualism)
2. that everyone is mutually interdependent and only equity (of opportunity to develop what you are) can ultimately deliver what anyone needs (communism, self-interest). That is, the nurturing of the parts is the nurturing of the whole.
3. that such an interdependent and complex system can only work on the basis of control by the people (anarchism, efficiency.)
4. that the task is immense and cannot be perfected overnight (revolution, pragmatism) (also see my position on violence)
5. that human relations are inseparable from material conditions (sociology, biology)
6. that all that is springs from material conditions (materialism, religion)
7. there are loads more, but the above will do to fill in most of the traditional boxes.

Crash writes...
Because I'm still working on my position and feel that I'm constantly evolving, I'm not willing to throw my hat into the standard groups (situs, anarchists, marxists, whatever).

Kube writes...
Well I've been TRYING to throw in my lot with some kind of standard group or other for longer than I can remember, for the simple reason that I felt it necessary to organize and coordinate in order to have a benign effect upon a hostile social order. But the trouble with all these groups is simply that they're all fucking wrong.

And writes...
This is not to say that I disagree with Situationism (I want to live in situations!), Anarchism (I want to be free!) or Marxism (we must work together!), but as doctrines they fail to ensure the enlightenment of their own members let alone society at large, and “therefore” one must induct that as worldviews they are not necessarily wrong, but they are certainly lacking. My opinion is that they all lack much the same thing—a sufficient comprehension of relationship and its role in the creative process (that is, in its creation of the future).

And writes...
Anarchists simply refuse to acknowledge the dynamic expansive essence of human nature—they fall back onto small fragmented self-contained worlds (two hippies in a tent on an allotment); the Situationists fell into the pomo Sargasso of 'going with the flow', everything is permissible and utopia will build itself out of nothing at all; the Marxists developed dialectics—but only to the size of a blastocyst, then stopped. All those libraries of paper, all those pyramids of ponderings on what should be done in Somalia, Timbuktu, Peking when the truth is that their members couldn’t collectively make a chicken casserole out of a casserole and a chicken.

And writes...
Inevitably therefore, the basis of action, or of any cultural or political system which is its objective, must be individualism. In order for other people to be what you want them to be (whether you imagine this to be "sharing", "obedient", "enlightened", "beautiful" or whatever) you must create the conditions for them to make this of themselves. A world held in the shape you want it to be only by your own expenditure of energy is a world in which you suffer eternal hunger, toil, conflict, frustration and boredom. In other words, it's a paradox.

And writes...
This is the world we live in (reality on the ground, as Gabriel puts it).

And writes...
Even the desire to control others "for their own good" leads to a contempt for others which does not desire "their own good" any longer—THEY must instead be punished for being the projected object of YOUR own dissatisfaction.

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The Energy Challenge is an encouraging article written by Alan W. Dowd, unless of course you are in the Al Gore back to nature camp, where nearly all technological energy is beyond dirty, dangerous, and resolutely awful for us and the planet to boot. What am I in a position to authoritatively know about these matters? Both sides have their charts, and numbers, and talking tadpoles. But if you believe Dowd, there may be a glimmer of hope for us contemporaries yet.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007


Originally published on January 8, 2003

Dear Gabriel Thy,

Thanks for replying so thoughtfully to my post. I would like to comment on what you wrote. Your comments pique my interest on just what kind of disagreements might have been responsible for the group's demise. "Noisy self-interest" covers a lot of ground. It seems to me that in the aftermath of the fall of communism disagreements on the left compounded. 1938 brought a similar crisis to the left.

For or against Stalin. Three years earlier Breton's Surrealists experienced a similar debacle. There was no bridging the gap between the poet's investigation into experience and the Party's requirements of practical administration. But it arguably brought to light an irreducible toggle at the very core of the revolutionary project: does the collective or the individual have the ultimate say in charting direction of the revolution? The Surrealists never satisfactorily resolved this problem, and even as late as 1952, Breton indicated that his answer to the question "does the revolution require that social liberation must occur before individual liberation can?" was yes. I don't believe he really thought out all the possible implications that attend to this issue.

If social liberation is primary, doesn't it follow that individuals are reduced to an instrumental role? This question goes to the core of the entire Marxist project. My reference to your manifesto being "a little too sweeping" should be explained, I suppose. What I meant was that to assert that nothing of note has happened since the, what? The 1947 International Surrealist Exhibition perhaps?

Was going a bit too far. Personally, I find some of Matta's 1960's works a real extension of the Surrealist outlook. Even Pop has a role in furthering our ideas of personal liberation. Of course, I look at the best of Pop as being heavily laced with irony, so that it can be read as a critique of commodity capitalism. I agree with you the the "balkanization of the universal" is something we need to transcend. I too am an autodidact, to a large degree. I do have 24 semester hours' credit from Roosevelt University in Chicago dating from 1972-74.

My first great epiphany came at attending the Marcel Duchamp retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago in March 1974. His work and life showed me that formal education provided more obstacles than opportunities. I find academia to be one of the principal obstacles to both individual and social transformation. My second great epiphany came from understanding the intimate connection between Duchamp and Max Stirner in 1989. My course has been set ever since. The bulk of the fruits of my interest in this connection is forthcoming, but it won't be too long now.

You really shouldn't lift whole sections of material from the Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Stirner and present it as your own thought, although you chose a reputable source. George Woodcock, although prone to some of the same collectivist biases as so many other commentators on Stirner, did do a pretty good job at characterizing his thought. I guess you're already surmising that I vehemently disagree with your characterization of Stirner as "yet another status quo philosopher". Your evaluation sound a lot like Karl Marx's ideas on the subject, and I am painfully aware that the situationists used Marx as their basic philosophical substrate.

Do you know a book that came out in 2002 by Kristin Ross called "May '68 and its Afterlives"? She, too, decries the "creeping individualism" that has seeped into the discourse on May '68 and related phenomena. But that is material for another post. The thing that is important now is to indicate just why Stirner is not just another apologist for the small-time shopkeeper. The key point has to do with the irreducible toggle in the individualism/collectivism question: can I keep my own prerogatives intact if I allow a collective entity to be primary in my own mind and, by extension, in the world?

The answer, I'm afraid, is no, and if this is true, then my own instrumentalism at the hand of the collectivity is inevitable. This engenders what Stanley Milgram (yes, that Milgram) calls the "agentic state", in which I sign away my right of decision in favor of one "in authority". I presume you are aware of the infamous Milgram experiments of 1960. One look at the results of these experiments should be enough to convince that ours is not a world in which "enlightened" egoism rules, only the debased kind, the infantile kind. Where vulgar egoism leaves off, Stirner begins.

It is possible to trace a trajectory of an increase in "affective individualism" (as the historian Lawrence Stone terms it), beginning in the late 17th century, and continuing up to the present time. Kinship ties have weakened, and individual prerogatives strengthened, in a fairly unbroken progression ever since this began. One of the main problems, in my opinion, is that this process has only gone halfway through its cycle. Individual empowerment is what we all need, not a centralized plan of forced income redistribution. This will only result in endless counterrevolution. It is moralism run wild, what confounded the French Revolution and the communist one as well. Collectives that legislate what's good for the others against their consent is no good.

Self-directed anarchism could avoid these problems if brutality could be expunged from the consciousness of the millions. That “if” is so big you can drive a truck through it, I know. But the revolution is impossible without it. Start small, get bigger. Revolution from below. I believe we are not so very far apart philosophically. Breton, as well as Picabia, Max Ernst and Duchamp, all found Stirner to be quite compelling. It is only a question of continuing to resolve all the inconsistencies attending to the implementation of collectively constituted projects that keeps us from moving forward. Only. We are not talking small-time stuff here, n'est ce-pas? Please respond if you care to.

David Westling

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Originally published on September 16, 1999

I did not reply to Joseph, but will make a point of it here. To quote Joseph:

As Blake says in "Marriage of Heaven and Hell," opposition is true friendship. Certainly some of these ideas we have encountered are painful—and problematic—but they do have their value, especially the ideas of Althusser. Your response reminds me of Zizek's book "The Sublime Object of Ideology," in which he (following Althusser and Lacan) emphasizes the invisibility of ideology. He claims that while we believe we are outside of ideology, that we understand our own positioning, we understand only an illusion, a fantasy, that the cynical (or, better, Kynicial (a borrowed term from Sloterdijk)) distance we create between ourselves and the ideology that we think engulfs (informs) us blinds us from the Real. We say things like "work sucks. Work has always sucked," and think that they are true—yet these statements perpetuate the system we live in, make the "suckiness" of work a transcendent truth that cannot be overcome—so why try? That is what the ISA wants (excuse the personification—but it is useful) us to believe. Slavoj Zizek provides an interesting example of how the supposed "objective" analysis of an ideological system from within only rationalizes that ideology.

Let me close with that lengthy section: "In the Germany of the late 1930s, what would be the result of such a non-ideological, objective approach? Probably something like: "The Nazis are condemning the Jews too hastily, without proper argument, so let us take a cool, sober look and see if they are really guilty or not, let us seee if there is some truth in the accusations against them." Is it really necessary to add that such an approach would merely confirm our so-called "unconscious prejudices" with additional rationalizations? The proper answer to anti-Semitism is therefore not "Jews are really not like that " but "the anti-Semitic idea of Jew has nothing to do with Jews; the ideological figure of a Jew is a way to stitch up the inconsistency of our own ideological system." The idea that "work has always sucked," stitches up an inconsistency in our own ideological system: we value freedom, but in order to provide for ourselves, we must "freely" sell our labor—enslaving ourselves to capital (and turning ourselves into commodities.) Thus we forgive this system of enslavement by constructing a notion of work that necessarily involves the property of "suckiness."

I find that Joseph's approach using what appears to be the standard either/or solution is much the same ditch I can often fall into, as Kubhlai is wont to point out. I for one believe that nearly every damning and uplifting stereotype (although liberals say uplifting s-types are equally damaging in serving up impossible dreams, yeah gotta have the cake and eat it too) has, or had at some point in history, a grounding in relative truth, however perverted the mechanism or circumstances of how, when, and by whom that "relative truth" was first observed, or remains in place.

But today we classify such statements as unredeemable bigotry and absolutely false, and tis better to utter a lie (to continue with his own example of Jewry), by saying that Jews resolutely DO NOT CONTROL Hollywood, rather than to dare suggest with a non-sensical over-generalized bigotry, alias a well-worn sterotype which soapbox liberals and hardshell Jewish apologists themselves will both translate to mean that the speaker infers that every Jew in the world has conspired to lock out the OTHER from the lucre of said Hollywood. In fact it is damned dangerous to utter anything about any person anymore without appearing to be soaked in bigotry, unless of course minority status (often a misnomer in itself) casts an emperor's new cloak of immunity on the vitriolic in question.

Where is the "common sense" in that? Let me rephrase, where is the ABSOLUTE TRUTH in that?

Notice how the Bulworth character in Warren Beatty's recent flick of the same name danced past those flames about big money in Hollywood by first uttering the stereotypic language, then retracting it in mock liberal honesty, then again roaring back to ask if 4 out of 5 powerful money figures in the room are Jewish then where is the hell resides the untruth of his remarks. . .

Joseph's "correct" response of "the anti-Semitic idea of [the] Jew has nothing to do with Jews" reads soothing at first glance, but as anyone who crawls in on hands and elbows, keen eyes and ears seeking fresh avenues of learning, to enter these vivacious worlds of the OTHER, whether they be of the Jew, the Negro, the White Man, the Southern Man, the Homosexual, the Feminist, the Revolutionary et cetera, soon discover that political correctness and its aim to eradicate all generalizations except the ones deemed to support its own multicultural aims, whatever the cost, denies or excuses every sliver of statistical evidence those generalizations form as social signposts, which are rather obvious to every group within itself, but are ruthlessly untolerated putside the group, especially in a political context. Every yawn becomes a vicious attack. Every assault a hate crime. Every position of comraderie a sneaky attempt at infiltration where one does not belong. Whilst within each group the same accusations and petty habits are hurled at each other and implicitedly acknowledged as simple observable facts of daily life.

Fact one according to Gabriel, the OTHER breeds fear and suspicion. This is the natural result of experience with self-protection. Fact two according to Gabriel, the OTHER breeds fascination and admiration. Man is a social animal. Inquisitive man seeks to refresh himself at the font of others he presumes are inheritors of a healthy measure of similarity as well as diversity. Synthesis of these two facts before other consideratons manifest themselves?

I believe it is a mark of INDIVIDUAL character that each of us is expected to CHOOSE one or the other of these FACTS to exploit given the specific circumstances of a confrontation, and chances are, each OTHER is tempered by the host of contributing traits which fall under the domain calculating those ratios of power, beauty, and exchange feasibility which legislate any integration or cooperation desired at the social level. Such a belief is common sense, but on the contemporary political and philosophical circuit, pure dynamite.

After all, as a self-professed specimen fingered across racial lines as poor white trash myself, I wonder how many folks on this list can escape conjuring up stereotypical imagery of that one example of unavoidable access to the language of bigotry, thus justifying my critical departure from several points Joseph made.

I suppose Joseph's make or break hypothesis is that while "work" may or may not have "sucked" in the past, that this distinction is irrelevant to the issue of "work" in the post-industrial age today. But I'm not sure. Anybody wish a shot at parcing Joesph’s words before I attempt a response to Joe on the forum Crash offered up as fodder to our aims? I do know that Bob Black, Len Bracken, and those of similar ilk, have no problem embracing that particular idea.

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Originally punlished on September 2, 1999


KUBHLAI: Forgive me if I seem to be stating the obvious that every cobbler and candlestick maker already knows—but isn't this the typical form in which we daily witness the 'dialectic'? Far from being a perpetually moving process of change, the construction of a dialectic is normally witnessed as a mechanism by which a certain order, a certain "stasis", is attained and by which a condition of NON-change is secured. In terms of geosiftics (hopefully)—we observe a certain kind of standing wave.


KUBHLAI: Not only does this dialectic 'happen' to be of the kind which does not produce real change, but moreover, such static dialectics are a fundamental condition of status quo. This is so not merely in the political context I have drawn it from, but is a universal (what else!) feature of reality—dialectic is the root of order, the great preserver...

GABRIEL: Yes, mysteries spun about in cafes in order to impress and get laid, and perhaps one day get taught in a classroom somewhere over the rainbow. Meanwhile , change happens all around in the great hordes of popular culture so despised and ridiculed by the posturing dialecticians who are merely jealous monks when compared to those living the slow shift of incremental revolution pop culture involves. The human condition is a slow train. Indeed those who demonized rock-n-roll (with the sexual revolution & drugs roaring in to complete the triumvirate) in the 1950s have had their prophecies attain full measure. But the pendulum will swing. What is next, the dystopian nightmares of the Mad Max vision, or perhaps Huxley's Brave New World. Which is preferable in the short term, the long? Time is the great equalizer, dialectic the mild tranquilizer, the preserver of that sense of change, but there is no change in the way men think, even when the words they use to express these thoughts bounce about like they do in pop culture. The brain patterns, The ego at war with society. Society at war with the individual ego.

KUBHLAI: I wonder, if when Engels 'saw' the transformation of a dialectic within the process of historical change if he didn't inadvertently put the idealistic cart before the material horse—Suppose that the dialectic was changing DESPITE itself, that its motion was the reluctant result of its overthrow by a force which was motive precisely because it 'lacked' a dialectical opposition? (How, for example, do revolutions succeed if not by surprise?). As Oswald Spengler said—The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.

GABRIEL: Which has been my point all along. Life is not static, but is in constant flux. Only the faces change, and they will change whatever man tries to accomplish. When I flag the term "status quo" as that political force with which I am most profoundly certain truly has meaning, I am not saying a despot should remain in power, nor am I suggesting he SHOULD be assassinated, but what I am saying is that these political activities should have little to do with the extraphile (to borrow Len Bracken's term). An extraphile should rejoice in that freedom FROM politics high and low, and as Nietsche would put, concentrate on himself, his own orbit, leaving the status quo to itself, to rise and fall upon its own sword. Bracken has accused me in the past of "having no discernable politics" and I merely laughed to myself, muttering smalltalk at the wall, knowing exactly what I know and nothing less. To follow up on the point you made above, dialectic is what keeps us all in fear of each other because it tends to require that we LEARN SOMETHING, to learn something in order to FIT IN, and around every corner there is someone ready to pounce, someone ready to TEACH us something, and thus the sword of oppression and hierarchy is drawn. Siftology as we seek to understand it however puts the freedom and the crux of responsibility for all knowledge and all wisdom directly on the individual. I have nothing to teach you and you have nothing to teach me, EXCEPT THAT WHICH WE JOYOUSLY EMBRACE.

Now of course this anarchic approach to everyday life, its revolution and its rewards is no panacea, but it is certainly a healthier path for the independent and intelligent lover of the human expression in all its galaxy of forms. This approach won’t necessarily bring social harmony. More than likely it will not. But this last point is very crucial to the emphasis we wish to place on liberty, making a distinction between the pie-eyed irrelevant Marxist and the quarrels of real praxis. Classicism itself is a sad joke, just as athleticism can be for those not biologically inclined. We might use Steven Hawking for all his shitty arrogance and famegrubbing, intellectual dishonesty or not, as an extreme example of this rather simple axiom. As individuals among many we are each at different points on the parallel lines of infinite possibility. As a individual struggling with the finite self, we reach those different points at different times and circumstances. The matrix of possibilities in terms of the universal defies any slogan that doesn't sound cliched or too simplistic, and rebuts any complicated tome past the first constricting idea. Hence, the stabilizing effect of a dialectic.

Len Bracken, with his dancing theme firmly in praxis, has surely arrived at something, for him, for now, but those factors are neither universal nor forever. I mean, the world is full of dancers, of poets, of dockworkers, of nurses, of guitar heroes, of drunks, of thin men, of men named Jones, but none of this is news to the innocent who love life without a theory, love life and live life armed with nothing more than inertia and some dull patchwork of conflicting ideals and myths, and until they try to PREACH that dull patchwork, insist it upon others heaping ridicule upon dissenters, I see nothing to criticize. The problem is with blanket spokesmen, piss-eyed preachers, hireling lobbyists, sky's the limit liars, and fool-proof con artists who paint with passionate wind the fear of all ages upon us, corrupting the spines of our children, none who have solved the riddle but the few who quietly seek to live the truely gallant life, as Len Bracken would wish upon himself and a few choice others we might presume.

Life is trickier than mere word games. The harder we judge we harder we fall. Relativity is in the blood. All else is one foot up, one foot down.

KUBHLAI: Of course this idea wot I'm 'avin' doesn't concord with the ancient Greek conception of dialectics very well either—in so far as I understand it; if one accepted that 'thesis' 'antithesis' and 'synthesis' were the three conditions in a dialectical movement, then which of those three corresponds to the condition in which a stability is attained between the two poles of a dialectic which is specifically NOT synthesized, and is possible only because it isn't? The Greeks were always looking for perfection, yet the dialectic—as an oscillating uncertainty within perception, perspective and worldview—is everything 'except' perfection. I suspect Crash might know of something within aesthetics theory which deals with this oscillation and ambiguity?

Well just because a sphere may float, bounce and roll within a hypothetical situation, doesn't mean man in his lust for compelling harmony, can sever the sphere in half and expect the same behavior or synthesis of the two halves to be maintained. It all begins to seem painfully embarrassing to me that this is obvious. Is it just a lack of sleep or what? Am I the last person to figure this out? The whole thing falls neatly into place with my daoist predilections. Take a martial art such as T'ai CHi or AiKiDo—powerful motion is induced by withdrawing the opposition which would prevent it—this is the key to everything.

The universe is 99.999999x% stagnation caused by the tension of balanced forces. The energy in a grain of salt is enough to blow all of Europe off the map but it is reduced to a grain of salt by the mindless battle within it—a battle of being and nonbeing. Everything must turn on its head—it is not what is but what is not which really shapes the world, or rather it is not money which makes the world go round but the uncertainty of having any. Uncertainty is the ether (I think. Ether it is or it ain’t). Ah hail the creative essence of existentialism nestling in the armlock of wrestlers like a sleeping babe...

Needless to say—what you are saying in that other Bracken/Thy post re supplanting the will to power with the will to purpose could cuddle up in there rather comfortably too. I'll think into that more deeply anon. And what was it that Nietzsche said about "vertigo"? (or was that Hitchcock?)

GABRIEL: Keep on drilling dude. Andre Breton would approve. Our polar caps are melting. Resistence is futile. Now if we can just storm past the waterfalls and the steam baths to complete the circuit, perhaps we shall find a beginning from which to initiate this discussion as to what ails us, why, and what it is we are supposed to do about it.

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Originally published March 11, 1999

My interview with Tim Peyton. This was a written exchange. The nature of the interview escapes me as of this writing. It was for some school project, or publication, but I forget, or never really focussed on them in the first place, the details.

TP: Gabriel—well here I am back in the "lovely" midwest after a nice visit to my hometown of Seattle. It was nice to get a little culture: good food, good drink, good smoke. I've got just a few questions for you regarding Scenewash as well as some other issues. Do you think the Internet is a good tool for building communities of individuals united by shared sensibilities?

GT: On a limited basis, the Internet is THE ABSOLUTE tool for building such communities for select individuals seeking something more than the corner bar chit chat & barf or whatever issue-bonding totems other established unity pairings have offered them within the realm of their own specific walk, for those who still feel themselves cut off from the chain reactions of encouraging social valence for indecipherable reasons beyond the spitting fires of definitive psychologies.

These often impenetrable or conflictive reasons of individual discontent at the initial stage of community-building, controlled or open, great or small, positive or negative, while seemingly of great importance to social philosophers and activists of various stripe, are meaningless to the aspiring, desperate, or even casual seekers of community.

This Internet valence-building tool, however, is somewhat limited by its virtuality which can mask much of the authentic with imposture and meaningless word-baiting albeit no more so than the swag postures of professional and intellectual cons in the other public arenas, while the Internet tool is strengthened exponentially by its outreach capabilities which stretch far beyond other contemporary venues in both its ease of immediacy and the sheer numbers possible in reaching others who commiserate at a certain level of communication a shared collective of sensibilities.

Several obvious downsides exist however, including the growing domination of the machine intercessor usurping the authentic life of human interplay and the increasingly threatening appearances of Big Brother into the bit sniffing business.

TP: What's your cocktail of choice?

GT: I'm sorry, but could you rephrase the question. But to respond in a completely different manner, I’d say, the bird in my hand. I try, and mostly succeed in avoiding the ridiculousness of the Alcohol Wars.

TP: Do Scenewash members regularly communicate with each other via the SWORG list? What kind of issues do they discuss?

GT-: Yes, since the SWORG SWILL list was founded in November of 1998, most of its charter members have corresponded regularly in great volume of thoughful insight and documentation. There's no hiding the fact that splitting hairs in philosophical posture is the purpose of the SWILL. Issues? We launched with no native foundation, allowing our issues to greet us like spring pollen. But I coined a phrase in a rather casual tossway that struck a chord with the others. The word was GEOSIFT. Since then, all talk is filtered through this concept, which I frankly admit still has not been adequately, or should I say, succinctly defined. But we tackle topics that range from the alpha to the omega leaving no stone unturned as we are pretentious enough to publically suggest we are seeking to map out a unified field theory of human existence in the global sphere. Each of our members are knitted with a different cloth of experience and aptitude although there are binding notions which help to provide us a common language in this Age of Babel we find ourselves swilling to define. Copping to the point, we use the best, we use the rest. We believe that many answers to the human condition might be found in a comparative study of the social with the geological. We beg, borrow, and steal any idea with which we might fashion a better truth than that old truck our grandfathers drove home. Namedropping is as bogus as reinactment ploys, but who can avoid either? We both love that what we can scavenge and loathe that which we find repugnant and false in the Situationist theories. The Christian theories. The Marxist theories. The pop culture chaos. The mythos and the concrete. We have yet to explore the sensual topics to any degree, fostering notions of geosophy at present which will offer us the tools of this projected geosift-in-progress, that is to say, the Scenewash Project, an often rude but progressive stare into the stuffy battleground where the arts and politics beat each other's brains out as the rest of us remain none the wiser but all the more insecure and otherwise cyncical to the core. All is flux. Nothing is static, not even the past, if we subscribe to all the rantings of false histories and recouperated lives that plague the pumping heart today. But we human entities are framed in both time and space despite postulates which tease us into believing otherwise. Our time and space activities have been accelerated, but we remain fixed in both. But then again, the impossible today is possible tomorrow. Yesterday proves nothing but today under dissimilar circumstances. We as individuals ALREADY sift through the anthro-rubble and the socio-fortresses of the past looking for and clinging to a haphazard matrix of clues with which to buttress our present and our future, but we suffocate in the end because we had embraced collective lies and half-truths, parables of stretching possibilities, but learning nothing of certitude. This in effect sheds light on the chasm between chaos and order. Therein lies the proper problem I think we seek to address. The SWORG theorists seek merely to quantify and qualify this natural intuition and its pitfalls, and in doing so, exert a certain amount of energy in building better more feasible tools with which to sort out of the wheat from the chaff, the eternal sift so to speak. This aim is not unique among philosophers, but we are, as noted, first and foremost, among the best minds of our generation, naked, starving, hysterical. . . locked into the times and the spaces of that nebulous generation, and therefore must work within the ranges of our own particulars with one eye on the universal and another on our own orbits, and thus be challenged by the historical aim of presenting a unique generational viewpoint which in turn will wither away as another generation is born and must therefore react positively to the world they have inherited. Let me say I have always, since my first hearing of the word in its traditional negative connotation, considered myself to be a reactionary, and see the term as the only possible grounding from which a human being can successfully operate. The universal in inside us, like the kingdom of god, not some external force or set of rules handed down from a mountaintop or ivory tower. The external is the particular, the specific orbits of our lives, the intruder upon the universal, the crusted world and its mantle of beauty and ugliness, order and chaos, attraction and repulsion. The universal is non-changing. The universal is the life-force no one can describe without resorting to particulars, externals. The SWORGsters are considering this problem. It's more than a game of semantics. It a war of attrition that no one across the ranks seems to be is winning, but why?

TP: If Jesus Christ and Superman got in a fight, who would win?

GT: You'd have to qualify a perspective in order to even begin to suit up for a phat conclusion with that question, bud. When would this fight take place? Is this JC the lion, or JC the lamb, suited up as son of a loving god or stomping forth as the bejeweled son of an avenging god? Would Clark Kent grow his hair long, get funky, acquire the powers of Samson and knock that leonine JC's jawbone fat ass silly on the pretense that JC is out to do his beloved skyscraped city great harm with plagues and pestilences? The possibilities are hilariously rich. The Nazerene is said to have conquered the world by virtue of passivity and laissez faire. Did he win, or did he lose when he was hung out to dry, naked with anguish on his godforsaken lips? Clark Kent was a man of dazzling uniform with a well-publicized vulnerability to a rather easily obtainable element. Was the man in red, white, and blue dueling for dollars in Saigon when it fell, doped up with chemical nemesis, and simply useless to the cause? Did Superman like America finally lose one?

Unfortunately for those interested in a truly sifted response to your question, I must be one of the few non-elites of my generation who has never read a Superman comic nor have I seen any of the blockbuster movies which plagued the late 1970s and early Eighties, I think it was. Sure, I've caught snatches and scenes of the Superman mythos during dud moments of my mind. But frankly, I'm too fuzzy on the storylines and arch-rivals to articulate more clearly any further response, although I'd hazard a guess that it'd end in a draw and we'd be stuck with another thousand years of the same old same old. After all, one is a tarrying old buzzard, and the other's a busybody reporter and everyone knows what lazy leeches they are.

TP: What theories and practices have come out of Scenewash?

GT-: As mentioned earlier, the Geosift is the most prominent theory. As for practices, I had originally hoped that our group would immediately begin publishing online, fleshing out the broadband infrastructive I had already worked into place but so far little has evolved to the point where the sifts of the others have been added to the site. The group, made cohesive with the list, is still uncertain of the maturity of their own individual offerings, and therefore like JC tarries in the name of perfection of timing, or something like that. My own ambition is to tackle as many uber topics as possible, researching and publishing generalized mainstream opinions, and then tackling each of them with a scalpel and a sifting net in order to get at the true root and geneaology of these chunk issues of the day, whether junk or gem. It's an ambitious project, but one in which I have been collecting data in the form of clippings and other media for several decades now. I will be 44 in September, the old man of the crew I think. But while the web is a perfect venue for me, I am but one lone worker with the standard obligations to wife and hearth eating into my energies and inertia. The SWORG group however has raised my expectations for the Project. In time I suppose we will grow beyond the current stasis. Several of us are madly finishing up school. Jobs and other paraphenalia of modern life soak up much of the others’ time. So yes, like my wife repeatedly reminds me, I must practice patience despite my insistence that I am dying from a lifetime gluttony of patience. From the website in the Rhesus section you can discover that our group is scattered across the globe - Nottingham, Sidney, Austin, San Francisco, Bowling Green, and Washington DC. We are a closed group, but open to folks who understand the loopholes.

TP: Do you have anything that you would like to say to the powers that be in the world of academia?

GT-: Yeah. They can talk about me plenty when I'm gone...but that’s a theft from Mighty Quinn the Eskimo, so no, I really wouldn’t care to hazard the traps of today’s academia. All these religious icons and philosophersof the ages have eschewed the petty polemics of academia while siding up to the poor and outcast souls, but immediately threaten to cast them into the hellfire if they don’t shape up. Western philosophers ad infinitum have all tried to speak FOR the common man, the man in the street. Well, why don’t they just get out of the damned way, and let the man on the street speak for himself? I am that man. But as soon as this man begins to speak, the professionals, even among the self-schooled, immediately rush in to dominate and thwart this man of the street, suggesting that the common perspective just isn’t informed, that his mind has been mismanaged with great skill, and only HE, THE TRUE SPOKEMAN FOR THE COMMON MAN has the key to unleash the new possibilities awaiting him after he throws off the shackles of teh enemy of the day. This so-called leader among the comman man also immediately piles high his particular lists of required reading, complete with special languages and codes to indicate status and true consciousness. Well. What can I say? Don’t follow leaders.

TP: That's about it for now. Gotta turn in for the evening. Thanks for your time, and I'll catch you on the flip side.

GT: You're welcome Tim.


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