Have you ever felt it when words become such a failure. They fail to the length they lie when they were intended to hold and communicate the truth. Music vs. Song. Very often when I speak to someone about something difficult that has happened between us, I find my feelings and thoughts have already moved far ahead of that static which i just spoke. The failure of words, language, the attempt to communicate the truth is a running tragedy.
It doesnt take a Heidegger to see words begin to impoverish with usage over time. The word will never come as close to the meaning as when it was first spoken to earnestly convey.
Sometimes without a word, you communicate by just being there; even with all the wrong words, you despatch everything you meant. But so much of the world is not about these spritely, romantic, fabulous moments. The practise of law, issues of justice, evaluation, manoeuvring, survival, persuasion. The compulsion is to keep devising to transmit the closest to dynamic impressions, that make listeners and readers look up and rethink in their average-everyday*.
Glad eventually got great train tickets back and watched a trippy screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey the same day and made it to the book club meet on sunday. Everyone who read her floss, dissed desai. Though one guy said there were infrequent flashes of inspiration in all the drivel. What else? Just recovered from a bone-breaker fever yesterday and trying to get rid of the delirium today. Got this whole post on hampi but waiting for the pics to animate it as well. Also think its time to learn from once-and-for-all-lessons learnt this year
1. I entirely approve of the type used in Atwood's 'Negotiating with the Dead' [Typeface: Adobe Garamond 11.5/14 pt] 2. D H Lawrence's 'The Rocking Horse Winner' 3. Gilgamesh? 4. "Reach me a gentian, give me a torch" - D H Lawrence 5. Phyllis Chesler's 'Woman and Madness'
*** Sep 29 TLS Reviews that made me want the book: +Jennifer Coates' review of Anne Karpf's The Human Voice. Her review is titled Baritone Barbie, in reference to this infamous adventure by the Barbie Liberation Organisation: "In Dec 89, NY, the Organisation bought 800 Barbie dolls and switched their voice chips. When children opened their presents at Christmas, the Barbies shouted 'Vengeance is mine!' while GI Joes trilled 'Lets plan our dream wedding!'. The public was outraged." +Steve Poole's review of Andrew Hussey's Paris - the secret history of Paris. Paris can never again be the Paris of Sartre with coffee shops for lingering debates. 'Paris - a husk, a virtual theme park of past glories'.
Now why doesn't that pinch? I suspect it's the cheap thrill i get all the time from getting to know things, however scatty, and then the joy of making amateur connections with my own experiences, records, and remembering what others had said on the same thing, or something related. Rubber band games. With sticky ends for easy tacking anywhere. (note-to-self: bbc sp.- punk rock gave license to the amateur). Shit, no look, they'll say. Look at the number of times she's used 'i' in this post so far: the final indication of her obsession. She'll take that too and fall for it again: I am an obsessed voyeur, of my self as well.
Also, I would like to know if anyone can direct me to that piece of lit crit that discusses, the percpetion trap: belongers seem to have a better license to challenge/shame the principles of their group than outsiders, or perceived enemies. I had asked that to Anand Patwardhan a bunch of years back a propos some controvesial film on the ayodhya affair, he'd just come out with. Did his being a distinct Hindu make it easier for everyone else to lionize him for taking a brutal stand against Hindu fundamentalism? Would he cut less ice if he were Muslim and as corrosively expository?
He wasn't too excited about the question and didn't say anything worth remembering. But I would like to read a more complete discussion on that subject of who seems to have a better license to criticize; belongers or outsiders. Or is the more valid license of a belonger just a perception?
(1) Who am i but a furtive unwashed gerbil chomping on the fur of my gritty upper inner thighs in spare time, spitting out nipped fleas and flea eggs in between. But this rodentious beanpod thinks desai is bland. What is her story? - ask all rodents. Rodents only need listen to her voice and banal opinions on radio to know what she has to offer. I'm sorry, but rodents want to know ur creds, And we're not talking of an oxbridge or ivy in ur life. Prim girl says with pride: mama had major inputs in work; ats why mama was more nervious than baby. Inheritance indeed. Spare. Rodents want high flavour and glistening guts, not mincing obdedient bugeyed dullness beaming at shutterbwugs. She's the kind who at puja time, is secretly certain her success is down to her particular food timings and habits or because she jerks off with twiddling her left tit and not her right. Thank her lucky habits. Thank my habit, I'm never going to read crap when I can avoid it.
Rodents believe they can see all this in a person's face. What they've got.
Pahmuk? now this is a man. Risk and contrariness are everything.
(2) Being contrary isnt an end in itself, but one fine day when some look back, they find they've taken contrary positions almost every time. Outsiders put it down to a misdirected curr nature, being congenitally combative, always on the look out for something to tear. But subjects in such situations would agree, it wasn't even about playing devils advoc; but being uncomfortable with mediocrity. Ofcourse you can introspect, repent, and change and become what Naipaul calls 'defined by the external' when you started out wanting to define.
What's an opinion anyway? It doesn't take nothing in the end to buy opinion. The promise of continued good money or more money or power and more power. One goes with the other. In the commercial world, it's called a raise/promo. Or as I am saying, even sticking on for the great pay deal you rightly or wrongly assume you're not going to get anywhere else.
Maybe you work for a large company or school or research institute (in smaller places that aren't co-ops, employees on small pay are always more vocal and contrary). And then something happened that raised your ethic heckles. Then as if by magic, with time, it's not something that's worth talking about anymore. (You even forget you more than once weakly threatened to resign over the issue if it wasnt corrected.) Because some of the quickest resolutions have happened without a single significant verbal exchange on the issue. Out-of-sight-out-of-mind, no longer. Your incipient dissent was nipped insidiously: with a raise/promo or the promise of it. Now you work with the very thing you felt wrong about, it's in your eyeballs, but with conditioning and the rewards from normal response to the program, you're fine. Everybody loves this person. As for the reviled others, they say: But still, the fates will leave me my voice, and by my voice I shall be known. [Ovid]
*** covers can be better than originals; and anyone can do that favour for dylan.
*** Remembered ahmedabad. cept, guj univ, manic peacocks and the hottest south men... delhi calling? met deepa from pu french on cs last week. we decided to hoof it to koshys to catch up a bit more. Since college, she's been to jnu, did her time in delhi, before returning to run the down to earth show in the city single-handedly. she's been cooling off since them. she talked about the dylan screening and she thought baez was beautiful and really made dyl what he was. we bitched about someone who didnt make the cut to nls, but paid her way to a masters seat in harv law. man. a session. good to catch up.
*** About Ahmedabad. Heard about the upmarket Seva Cafe? It works :)
*** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guastavino_tile Guastavino tile refers to the "Tile Arch System" patented in the US in 1885 by Spanish architect and builder Rafael Guastavino (1842–1908). It is a technique for constructing robust, self-supporting arches and architectural vaults using interlocking terracotta tiles and layers of mortar in a thin skin, with the tiles following the curve of the roof as oppossed to horizontal (corbelling), or perpendicular to the curve (roman).
*** What is your name? A few days after birth, a few facts have to be put down on a sheet. Along with the indisputable 'blood group: O-ve', I was described under religion: catholic. To make it less easy, it was also decided that I should belong to that dying tribe of Indian catholics who are actually given a catholic name (even though they're almost all actually pre-christian), and not a 'normal' name as well to blend in the crowd better. I don't know what's worse - to seek to cover up a historical fact or to stand out when you didn't choose to. One thing is clear: it's cowardly to change names, just to fit in. Should I be grateful that my first name is almost immediately followed up with the unfamiliar and unsettling syriac veetil name?
With a name like a supposedly unIndian one, it's like having your reputation precede you. Krischen! some exclaim, audibly or inaudibly, as soon as they hear such a name, after asking you to repeat it the fourth time. I used to try to explain 'no, you see, i'm communist; my parents maybe .. but...'. Then I realised how it came across. Like I was trying to convince them I was really pure Norwegian both sides. And denials really look pathetic. So instead, I deadpan, to the memory of Garfield, who sadly, is not culturally neutral, proving my wretched bias again.
But one thing that certainly happens when you're pegged a cath, is that you think twice about seeming pro-cath in anyway. That would be less forgivable than islamic fundamentalism. And that's more than a little tragic. So if I'd want to quote from the Canticle of the Sun, I'd precede it with something from the vedas (if I knew it) or shelve it altogether. Though I'd defer to the writings of basavanna or adi sank anyday, than the vedas, which like the temples, was for too long the precious jam of the preistlies. Yes - i'm coming to it sometime: Dalits and Liberation Theo.
Then there's the suggested exclusion or your unnaturally overexcited participation. It isn't always like this but on atleast 2 occasions, frends have passed around some piece of sacred art or iconogrpahy and sheepishly passed it over me. I usually have 2 options when that happens: yank it back or let it pass. Usually, i let it pass, unless it's one that's really different, and that hasn't happened yet. (note: We can do with more gods.) Or the office puja thing, if you participate, everyone's thinking 'chilled out ya!'; if you don't 'stuck. church prick'. I just wolf the prasadam for the hunger pangs, not the god pangs. However I'm not sure if that stands to reason, going by the following related incident:
Long ago, a bizguy I was working for, who was also an RSSian, actually went all over the top once and pulled me up for answers about the wafer they handed out in Church. Why, he asked, all vexed, did they prevent non-Cathlics, from taking it? Did I have any idea, he asked me, how hurt he felt when he was excluded as a boy? I shrugged. But If I was around at that time in his infancy, I would have told him the codeword to get the wafer inserted was: 'Amen'. And if on the side they asked you if you were Catholic say: 'Yes, father'. But Mr. Betraj, if you had said that, you would be agreeing to a number of things, even that: 'You can be anything you want, and everything at once.' Which, presuming against infinity, the irrational, tragically contradicts. Finally, anyone in their right materially-minded mind wouldn't want to trade the privelege of belonging to the priestly fatty layer of the majority, however fractured.
*** Today morning I rubbed this lizard's belly from behind the curtain. And ever since, it has been hanging around my wall, demure and lovestruck. It's pretty. Looking up at his tail-end, i'm sending him my love.
*** For all the noise made about nabokov, i think he's soulless. The boy who'd score 10/10 interminably. with a straight face and no regrets. Like a machine without a soul.
*** Torture is ... Having a rare copy of Bruce Lee's 'Game of Death' staring at you, but being unable to watch it because of some rec speed mismatch or other such crap.