Wednesday, July 11, 2007


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.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home