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{Thursday}

 
ARROW CONNECT // OPEN LETTER

... hey, luke,
i SO do not want this to descend onto EITHER ping pong pupils {funnily enuff …} addresses 'grasshopper' OR hey working class brother gimme five soul shake bollix - BUT ...
... just read yr "anthropology intvw" rrrnt - and never forget how much like "apology" that word sounds to outsiders - and for my lack of money yr "we have a code. we're nice to each other" is My Quote of the Year already - and uncannily around & about how i already feel about certain stuff - and redeems us all potentially and indicates that you already know a GALAXY more, in yr marrow, about Mauss & Levi Strauss & Bataille & I.E. THE GIFT - the "potlatch" - economy of the gift - than this guy will EVER know, WE GIVE WITHOUT EXPECTATION OF ANY RETURN, and if it's any comfort, which i know it probably ain't, shit i made all these notes and now i can't read 'em ..., - uh - my own Official Education ended at 18, and let me tell you, when words flow through you without YOU HAVE ANY CHOICE IN THE MATTER and you don't have to "THINK" twice about how the world irrupts inside you and irritates your membrane and meme-brain and you KNOW the sun shines INTO your HEART becoz you love an unknown pedestrian's smile a Villon times more than the 'could do better but B+" of some dessicated Fawlty teacher, let me tell you, L for loose L for love L for let them stop me, eventually, they come begging to YOU, becoz the academic life is lived - as no less than Derrida sez - BEHIND FILTERS - and your's isn't, THAT much is obvious to a fool, and the idea, NO, not "idea" but the Being a daily living of giving without measure, of love, friendship, circulation of love & info & ideas & just plain gifts to make people YOU'VE NEVER EVEN MET smile, is something that cannot be taught or bought and is PRICELESS and so think hubert selby jnr or Hollenbecq or Bataille or whoever never bowed or scraped to the hack-ademic con game, me included, even if i'm edgy here, edging away from going the other way and unfurling MY degree from the School of Hard Knocks, get OUT of here ...
... partly becoz it's back door hackamoor BOORish, and becoz, after all, what did it get me except poverty and vrs addictions and a virtually reclusive existence, well, like i said the other {birth} day and i can say it with 23 chakras and dark fleurs it got me LOVE and appreciation from people i've never even met, and even some who i have, and you know OK i'll admit it at times i almost want to bask in something like the saintly glow of how i seem to have become something like that NICE TEACHER everybody remembers fondly, but it's more, i didn't have to grind myself down to do it, get it, and i don't say this lightly, L., but you already have this ability to let your real emotions sprawl across the page in a way which - well, i've pretty much 99% only ever found in women i've known, which is another subject entirely {and which links to something Mark sez/asks, about 'Does he have any female readers?' Well, mark, i really couldn't say but i imagine you do, and what's more we all do, and what's MORE, i imagine a certain percentage of them could write us under the fucking table, without even trying, but for some damn reason they don't, and that's all i'm saying, becoz i know this from personal experience, i've had fucking FAN letters from girls/women which SHAMED me, they were so - not "well written", but were so THERE, already, without trying, like Jean Rhys {one of my all time bow-down-before heroines}, and Luke, i dont know a fucking thing about you pal, really, except you were considerate enough to write me a nice e mail on my birthday when a lot of people weren't, and you don't realy know very much about me, so i'll tell you, just in case it's any sort of a help or push, i am the original shabby autodidact, like, or-ig-inal gangster, O.A., old skool, and maybe it's some twisted working class reverse snobbery at base, {revvvin yr own engine} but i was never taught how to think it's always been done for a "living" of sorts, made up or picked up as i wnt along, so nearer hustler than prof of humantiies, fuh sure, and for many years {until, fortunately or unfortunately i discovered certain self medicatintg solutions} i was a crippled admixture of arrogance and near terminal shyness, and it doesn't ever REALLY go away, i still wonder sometimes if i shouldnt have "gone to college" or "uni" {BLEURGH word!} or art school, made it official, you know, the feeling lingrs, but in 1996 i DID go on this course, i was fed up with the freelance fanboy life, was thinking along the lines of 'time to grow up' or s/t, so, this course, maybe just learn about Lacan, maybe actually switch careers, don't know, but there was no interview to get in, so ...
... and it was mostly what you'd expect, trendy and serious young students, who in terms of footnotes and Hegel and putting their hand up and asking 'er, excuse me, if you're saying X doesnt that contradict Y, which K said in his G?', they could note-quote me under the table, note perfect, i was still - part of me - a FRIGHTENED unqualified PLEB, scared of just how fluent some of them were in stuff i still found OPAQUE, but at some point this elderly woman, long time analyst, not Lacanian, but still had an open mind at whatever age she was, spent 2 or 3 days a week doing practical NHS stuff, virtually unpaid of course, which is - as far as i was concerned - what it was all about, or SHOULD BE, could be, or would be, {not, for instance, charging £50 an hour to make your interviewer, Luke, a "nicer" more socially personable bourgie bourgie guy} and at some point this lady took me aside, and said something to me, which i won't say here, because it's special to me, special in a way it's impossible to gauge or measure, but it was about how i was a "natural" [not her word] for the dirty work side of this game, and ...
... and i never contd, no, never did it, and it's one more deferred or abandoned possibility, but she, that wonderful woman, and her quietly awesome life, quietly paradigmatic self, an un celebrated life in which knowledge had a certain human(e) POINT, had a daily END in the lessening or lifting of other people's grief and pain and break and hurt, it's not a "lesson", it can't be taught or bought, but ...
.... BUT: she is the EXACT OPPOSITE of yr interviewer today Luke, and who knows might well have said the same thing to you she said to me, for as far as i can tell, you're already there, the head may be down but the heart is open, you listen to and communicate with strangers daily, there is a resonance which - i dont know him but i'd bet - your interviewer is a stranger to, but let's do him a favour and let's imagine something went wrong somewhere along the way FOR HIM too, maybe one day long ago he was you or me and something happened which brought him here, something unconvenient, and Orpheus knows i've skirted it myself, i'm no fucking angel, and indeed it's only lately i've even fully appreciated i think ... whatever.

... SIGH ...

... i used to be on this deleuze-guattari "LIST", it was one of the first things i did when i first logged on to the NET, and i was mister fucking can't-wait 'who ARE these American student plebs', but numb, SO numb, just SO out to SHOW people i could write or think rings around them, and then this ONE guy, just like the NHS analyst ... in an opposite but similar way ... i think his work was something to do with working with prisoners or victims or both, bringing them together, pragmatic actual non-theoretical non-fundamentalist but fundamental redemption, but he made no big deal about it, and i couldnt quote or name or date ONE thing he wrote, in general or to me, but there was something one time when he made me feel ashamed of wanting to be TOP DOG, of wanting to be a combative HACKADEMIC by proxy, and of course he didnt do it in a shaming way, almost more by his ABSENCE, what he didnt do or say rather, his example, based in real day to day stuff, Foucault and D&G were, for him, not footnotes qualifiers rosettes mortgages, but something like blooms or orbits or compost, passkeys not passnotes, and his ETHICS - which was totally and utterly anti-revenge of any kind [whether you believe in such a thing] really got to me, and it's taken years for me to realise his chastening effect on me, i think, but again, Luke, he's both the person you should have been interviewed by today and he is also, potentially, YOU, you interviewing somebody, INTERVIEWING YOURSELF, in 20 years time, or not, or not at all, maybe instead just being your own anthropologist, apologist to no one, no letters after your name, JUST LIKE ME, not that i'm an example of anything much except why not to defer and why not to dabble with hard drugs, but shoot, L., you could sit down today and ... well, you already have: WE READ IT.

{See also: first chapter of Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace b/t/w ... might make you LAUGH IT OFF a bit ...}

... but you can't imagine how happy/sad yr report made me...
sad because you were obviously treated like a lump of chewing-pleb to be scuffed off the heel, and you ARE scuffed up by it;
... but happy because you're already in a place it takes some people aeons to get to, L., and some people never even susect the existence of ...

and if for some far fetched misguided reason you like what I do, or if you can listen to something say like {I am at the moment, and have been ALL DAY} the UNTOUCHABLE heart musick of the new sylvian songsuite and BEAR IN MIND that the ONLY REASON HE AND I BOTH are where we are is because long, long ago, we were SO scared or revolted or suspicious or unable to contemplate ONE MORE INTERVIEW ok tell us yr hobbies then "well, i lisen to john coltrane and i read thom disch and ..."

B L A N K E T Y B L A N K

... never again
... never again

... and what i do "have" may not in most people's 2003 eyes even COUNT as a "gain" on 1977 I.P., but I think that, say, my ability still to respond in kind, or cry, or laugh unfettered, or lose myself in reading for weeks, or listen genuinely listen to someone's voice and love them more than kudos or credit itself ... and by "voice" i DON'T mean some singer, I mean ...

posted by Ian 8/07/2003 09:36:00 PM

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