So stupid
It is funny how reading someone else's writeup can take you back. Back to some day, some experience... Back to something you had actually (almost) forgotten. Something you... something I didn't want to remember.

So many years. 38. That's a lot of time. 38 years. I was 12. Pretty stupid for a 12 year old too. Stupid in a "I know there are bad people and things out there, but why would they want to come and hurt me"-kind of way. Aren't we all, when all is said and done...? Don't bad things always happen to other people? Aren't accidents supposed to give us the slip and go hurt someone we don't know?

I remember being infatuated with this boy, who was a couple of years older than I. He was dark and mysterious - a "bad boy", I was told. His older brother was a really nice boy, and he had taken to watch over me, much like an older brother would look out for his sister. He looked out for his younger brother too, and I remember feeling really bad for him, afterwards.

I was so flattered when he (the bad boy) asked me to go for a little walk. We were at some youth-party. Lots of grown-ups around, even though they obviously weren't very attentive. It should be noted, that I was neither pretty nor cool, so I was completely blown away by his attention.

There were some bushes, and tall grass. There were stars overhead, and the wind was warm. From afar I could hear music. I still remember the sounds he made, and some pain. And the helplessness. But worst of all was the shame.

When he was done, he got up and left. I stayed where I was for some time. I didn't cry. I felt weirdly numb and empty. And I remember shaking all over. My back hurt, and my thighs. And my wrists, 'cause he had been holding on to them. My eyes felt like they were on fire, but I didn't cry. I haven't cried because of that night, ever.

Eventually I got up and got dressed again. I walked back to the party to let my friends know I was leaving. And he was there, grinning with his friends, high-fiveing and joking around. He never even looked at me. I think it was then and there I decided it never happened. I left, I walked home, I put the memory in a small box and shut it. I threw my knickers in the trash. I got on with my life.

I have a good life now. Since that night I have met a lot of good men. Well... quite a few. All right: three! One of whom became my husband (and then my ex-husband), and one of whom is my present 'significant other'. I am not terribly scarred by that experience, 38 years ago. Or what?

I met him, you know, just a few years ago. Accidentally met him on the streeet. I knew him instantly. The eyes. Mostly those dark, hard eyes. And no matter how much I had been telling myself that I was over it... My knees almost buckled, right there on the spot. He didn't recognise me, though. Walked right past me, and I, too, kept on walking. But that icy feeling in my stomach convinced me: I'll never be "over" it. I may not feel too troubled by it, but I won't be over it, ever.

So, do I hate him? No. Not even close. I know that I have a good life. He wasn't really trying to hurt me. I don't think he ever realized he did something wrong. I was the victim of stupidity - his as well as mine - which doesn't make it better, really. Just makes it stupider...

When that is said, I don't think I'd refrain from kicking him in the bollocks, given the chance...

Unmapped Geography




Merrily.

I wonder if dogs know where they are.

There are amazing stories of dogs tracking their owners' progress across continents. And most dogs will come home for dinner. So a dog knows where it is in relationship to food and people. Simple logic says its so. A dog knows when it is not home.

But do dogs know continents? Do dogs have concepts for Canada and Alaska?

I was watching a show my TiVO picked up called "Outdoor Magazine" and there was a town up north where they let all the domesticated dogs run free. The dogs were rooting around in the snow. These were regular old dogs like we have down here in the lower 48, not some special breed of hearty husky sled puller. Just regular old golden retrievers and yellow labs. And I wondered to myself - does the retriever ever think, "Damn, it's cold up here all the time. Maybe I should get myself south where it's warmer?"

Do dogs name places? Would they do it by how they feel somewhere, or the available abundance? Like, "Garage of Many Places That Need Pee", or "Road of Chasing Rabbits", or "Tree That Smells Like Cat", or "Where The Ground Was Cold But They Made Me Sit Anyway," or "The Vast Open Dearth of Milk Bones".

What is Saskatchewan in dog talk? Do they know they're there, and not in New Jersey?

When I got my dog I spent quite a bit of time in dog training class, learning how to be a good dog owner. Much like child-rearing, the science of training dogs has changed over the decades. The current theory is that dogs have poor short-term memory, but ok longer term memory. But I wonder how much sense that makes. Because if dogs had poor short-term memories, how do they learn to "sit" after you push their butts to the ground six times? Clearly, they have some short-term comprehension, otherwise you'd never get them to lie down or give you their paw. You'd teach, "sit", sixty times, and the dog wouldn't get it, and then sometime later it would have worked it out in its doggy subconscious, and the longer-term memory would kick in.

Or maybe not.

Every dog owner knows when a dog is acting "guilty" because it has done something it has been asked not to. When I was in dog training courses the trainers tried to rationalize that behavior in terms of owner reaction. If the dog appeared "guilty" it was because the dog was reacting to subtle ques in the owner's behavior. Yet how many dog owners have come home to find their usually outgoing pooch in an oddly subservient position, only to discover the mess some minutes later? An animal with no short-term memory or ability to reason cause and effect does not exhibit such a behavior.

So, we're wrong.

People don't know everything, and in fact we know very little about what's going through the minds of the animals we choose to live with.

Which makes me think: does a New Jersey dog ever dream of moving to Seattle? Do Alaskan dogs ever yearn to go Canadian?

Nobody knows. I've never gone over world geography with my dog. Our mutual landscape is: living room, backyard, park, street. Everything else she knows she's picked up from the Animal Channel, and as a result I suspect she would like to take up residence wherever there are alligators and Jeff Corwin.

*

Time is confusing. Musicians know it. That's how they invent fugues and rounds. These things are perfectly clear outside of time, but they seem like knots when you exist temporally. This is one:

Row row row your boat, gently down the stream.

Priests and shamen assure us that time does not exist. It is an illusion of the ego which impresses its will upon the world, and that's what we get to do here -- impress our will. Along with it we've dragged along the concept of one thing happening before the other. In "reality", all things for all time exist at once. It's the connectivity between everything that gives us the idea the industrial revolution happened before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. For surely Neil could not have taken his giant leap were it not for the invention of metal fabrication and the internal combustion engine. These things are connected. We invent the temporal aspect to them.

So they say.

So they say that things we do now will change the past as well as the future. That sounds silly. But when I was young I knew it was true. I saw the past changing all the time. One moment there was a billboard somewhere, days later there was a twenty-year old building where the billboard was.

When I asked my parents about it, they assured me there never was a billboard where the building was. But I remember struggling to read it, and their enthusiasm at my being able to identify the numbers in the "10,000 Pipers" champagne ad printed there.

But then it just wasn't there and a building was, as if I'd never learned that a one followed by four zeroes was a number called ten thousand. If they hadn't taught it to me reading that billboard, then how did I learn it? Was it a dream?

Maybe it was.

Merrily merrily merrily.

There is a book called, "A Course in Miracles". Through the best of my abilities I have divined the purpose of the book is to unstick one in time, sort of the way it happened to Billy Pilgrim in "Slaughterhouse Five". The difference between coming unstuck in fictional time and coming unstuck in real-life time is that real life is non-trivial, volitional, and necessarily brings one closer to the essence of the soul, and so to all souls. This is a form of music. Interlocking vibration creates our reality. So to change it, sing a different song.

The book is conveniently divided into 365 lessons. Do one earnestly each day for a year and you will become unfettered by time. You will become, as Richard Bach suggests, a messiah.

The lessons consist of stories you tell yourself every day, and an explanation for the story. For instance, one day you will spend an hour telling yourself, "My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts."

The rationalization for this is that you don't spend your time ruminating about things you will think, but rather, things you have thought. And you will realize after telling yourself on the eighth day, "My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts," that you're living in the past.

"I see nothing as it is now," you tell yourself on the ninth day, because you're thinking about what you have thought, not what you will think.

"These thoughts mean nothing."

"My thoughts mean nothing."

On the 235th day you will say to yourself, "God in his mercy wills that I be saved."

Then, "I rule my mind which I alone must rule."

"Now I would be as God created me."

"On my decision, all salvation rests."

And on the 240th day, "Fear is not justified in any form."

Fear is not justified in any form.
Fear is not justified in any form.

I realize I'm jumping ahead to August 28th. It's important to become unstuck in time to tell this to yourself. It's important to say to yourself on August 23rd: "I am in danger nowhere in the world."

I am in danger nowhere in the world.
I am in danger nowhere in the world.
I am in danger nowhere in the world.

You say this to yourself after August 21st where you spend the day saying:

This day is God's. It is my gift to him. This day is God's. It is my gift to him. This day is God's.

I am living in the past. My thoughts are taking me backward. Fear is not justified. The day is the Lord's. My days are gifts to him. I will judge nothing.
I will judge nothing.
I will judge nothing.
I will judge nothing.

Let every voice but God's be still in me.
Let me remember God created me.
Creation's gentleness is all I see.
Let all things be exactly as they are.
Let me not bind your Son with laws I made.
Let me not bind your Son with laws I made.
Let me not bind your Son with laws I made.
My true identity abides in you.
Let my world not obscure the sight of Christ.
I will not hurt myself again today.

I will not value what is valueless.

...yet though he tries to keep its halo clear within his vision, still must he perceive its tarnished edges and its rusted core. His ineffectual mistakes appear as sins to him, because he looks upon the tarnish as his own; the rust as a sign of deep unworthiness within himself. He who would still preserve the ego's goals and serve them as his own makes no mistakes, according to the dictates of his guide. This guidance teaches it is error to believe that sins are mistakes, for who would suffer for his sins if this were so?

On December 28th you say to yourself, over and over:

God's answer is some form of peace. All pain is healed; all misery replaced by joy. All prison doors are opened, and all sin is understood as merely a mistake.
Father, today we will forgive your world and let creation be your own. We have misunderstood all things. But we have not made sinners out of the holy Sons of God. What you created sinless so abides forever and forever. Such are we. And we rejoice to learn that we have made mistakes which have had no real effect on us. Sin is impossible, and on this fact forgiveness rests upon a certain base more solid than the shadow world we see. Help us forgive, for we would be redeemed. Help us forgive, for we would be at peace.

Say these things to yourself and become unstuck in time. Become a messiah. Become forgiveness. Become unafraid. He who is unafraid does not judge. He who does not judge does not bind God to physical law. All is forgiven, always. There can be no transgressions upon he who will not be transgressed upon. Time is the construct that has taken us from God.

Ask your church - why would anyone believe such tripe? Who are these people who write such a book? Where are their stone churches? Where are their services? Where is their heaven? Do they have no hell? Where are their cruise missiles and condemnation of others? Where is their division between the sinful and the holy? Where are their inspired leaders? Where is their willingness to assure peace through unending violence? Where are their Crusades and their tribunals? Where is the day of judgement?

There must be something wrong with a philosophy which juxtaposes the satanic "there is no sin" and "I am obscuring the sight of Christ," with "I am God's creation." How can evil not be punished? How can good not be rewarded? Where is the clear delineation between what we know is right and what we know is wrong? There is something obviously devient in a philosophy which attempts to base itself on peace rather than fear of retribution. It's not to be believed.

How could anyone?

I know. I tried. It's really, really hard.

Row row row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily merrily merrily merrily,
Life is
but
a
dream


*

When I was a child I saw ghosts and lights that danced in the sky. There were places not far from my own home that had been constructed at the hands of supernatural powers. Any group of us could levitate a table or each other simply by laying on hands and repeating, "Mary Worth," over and over.

The fact we did it makes it no less easy for me to believe it was the fabrication of undeveloped minds. A part of me filters my senses. Makes judgements upon them. This happened -- this did not.

When I tried to catch the football on a snowy day, and it jammed my ring finger so it became swollen and unbendable, that happened. I felt it for days. When Eric kicked the football and it rose into the sky and never came down, that didn't. It came down somewhere, we just didn't see where it went.

When Bobby Noone snuck out of his house one summer midnight and saw the flying saucer in the park, that didn't happen even though we played in the ring of dead grass afterward. When I almost fell off the roof of his garage and an invisible hand grabbed my wrist and kept me from going over, it was friction between the roof tiles and my sneakers, even though I had the mark on my wrist to show how hard the grip was.

There are a lot of things I don't believe because a part of me thoroughly enjoys this construct. It doesn't like the idea another could be erected in its place. And so when my own mind assured me during a session at the Monroe Institute, that other people had shared my private dreams, had existed along with me within the comfortable blue world behind my sleeping eyeballs -- I felt myself torn to bits. It's logic. A personal domino theory of total disassembly of the self. If your dreams are real to other people as well as you, then there must be a physics to them, and if there is will our math apply? And if it doesn't, how can we find it? And what does it do to invalidate or validate the learning we've done that excludes such phenomenon? And how do we throw out the bits that exclude shared dreams and keep everything else? The ancients tossed such behavior into a bucket called "the occult", mixed it in with evil, and warned everyone away from it. The vehimence with which they insisted it didn't exist, validated its existence.

Because how can something be evil which does not exist?

Fear makes us see what it wants. It protects the nominal, co-experienced reality we call everyday life.

It is only through the dissolution of fear that we'll ever see what's really there that has been built by God. And what does that mean for everyday life?

And why should we care?

All of these things happened and when they did I felt like a creature in an unknown geography. I have no name for the dream land I've known since birth where it's possible to fly and objects move by force of will. I don't know where it is, or if it is a "where". If there are other such places with unmapped borders and uncalculated physics.

But I do know I was there. I know others were there with me and can relate their experiences just as if we'd taken a trip to Mall of America.

If I tried to explain Antarctica to my dog she'd sit and listen long enough to determine no food was involved, and then move away, not understanding a word.

Perhaps it is the same with time and the ego and the dreamspace. No matter how hard we try, it's a geography that doesn't involve the parameters we comprehend. It's not somewhere, somewhen. Nothing falls. Nothing adds. The explanation comes in a language in which none of us will ever have a vocabulary of more than twenty words. And in that language we can do little more than bark.

My dog doesn't know where Antarctica is, yet I have been there and I share life with her. The dog has little use for that information. There is no explanation of it that would net her a double helping of dinner or a faster run in the park. All she knows is I'm not home for a while, and then I am home again. If I brought her to Antarctica and then back home, she'd have no way to explain to anyone, even another dog, what had happened to her. I know she thinks, but the unknown geography of humanity is not important to how she exerts her will upon the world.

Unlike my dog, I know the unmapped geography is there.

Well, I'm pretty sure.

Plucked from the very air you breath, and presented anachronistically.

Se convertere ad se

So I found out today that my TA job this term is stupid-easy. No office hours at all. I have to invigilate a 90 minute mid term, which I do not have to mark. I have to invigilate and mark the final exam. That's literally all I have to do, and I get paid for 130 hours. It will take probably 20. That's pretty pretty sweet. It also means that I have absolutely no excuse for not getting super scholastic and basically true-ing my way to clarity. I probably won't though.

I also got my grades back today, more good news. Despite my horrible performance in my Hume class I got a respectable A. About which I am very surprised. I still haven't gotten back either of my papers; it must be a pity-A.

For something that is supposed to be the focus of my life, school sure is a small part of it. I only have 6 hours a week of actual school time. More like 5 really. I spend more time on the bus than I do thinking. I rarely think on the bus. I rarely think.



I've got a crazeoh headache today, all day, since I woke up. It might have something to do with listening to Metallica for like 3 hours yesterday.

I'm back at my base-personality level, things seemed to have evened out. I think I'll just get super library this month and read a lot of books for a change. I have nothing else to think about, so I might as well think about my dissertation. Unless some dames happen upon me, in which case I'll switch to plan B. (Which is really plan A).

Gamma tech, gamma ray

I've only learned a few things from science fiction novels. Two in particular come to mind.

  • A man wrapping a woman in a fluffy towel just as she steps out of the shower rarely fails to be suitably rewarded. (This from Robert Heinlein, who I quite liked when I was 9 or 10, or even 12, but now find largely forgettable).
  • And: in politics, we have to take the long views or we get nowhere, and we do it in misery. (This from Frank Herbert, who I still find perceptive today).
  • Though I'm unlikely to have to worry too much about the latter, I would like to be in a position to worry about the former. I had a dream last night that I was in love and I woke up feeling great, even though hungover a bit. I feel pretty good about things today, despite having done little to nothing with my time.

    I did manage to translate some Heidegger. Without the apparatus of the classroom, I'm finding the German much tougher.

    I've been thinking about my theory (not really mine, but in these terms anyway) that for us meaning is largely (almost exclusively) determined in relation to the axes of erotics and economics. Funnily, finding myself in the grind between economic deprivation and erotic emptiness, I still don't have any really convincing ideas about what could fill the void. You'd think faced with nothing I'd see something behind it, but really I haven't yet. This isn't really a depressing thought at the moment, just a bit surprising. I guess lack intensifies things, because when I'm satiated I don't concern myself with these things. That's one of the most obvious things I've ever said.



    So I have a crush on a girl named **** that I met once, she is friends with Etienne. I would like to get to know her, as she seems like the kind of pensive, concerned hater I like and she also happens to be beautiful and funny. Thereby fulfilling almost all of my criteria, actually all of the real ones. The problem is that she lives in Toronto and I'll probably never see her again in my life. So I'm relegated to reading her blog and being a weird internet lurker. That's how it goes sometimes I guess. Impossible opportunities.

    Anyway, I'm thinking of going to Toronto and Montreal both, sometime soon. I might go to Montreal this weekend, even, if I find out what my schedule is like.

    Champagne Serenade

    I'm hung over today.

    I wish I could get drunk and take photos of myself showing my tits in front of parliament and post them on the internet.

    I hope Iran gets their nuclear program up and running so I don't have to hear about it anymore. I hope the war in Iran doesn't affect my caviar supply too much.

    I should have slept in today. But I didn't. Earl is all hyper and faux-depressed, huge liars all of us.

    "Today is the first day of the end of my life" "What if nothing ever happens again?"

    Better to have slept in than ever loved at all.

    Maybe I thought too much of you.
    Maybe you thought too little of me.
    I'm not sure who ended up worse.
    But sometimes I feel pretty certain it isn't you.

    Good weekend.
    Went to New York state, ate candy, drank a too-much worth of whisky, saw King Kong.
    Still not altogether devoid of malice.

    Last night, stuporously drunk, I had a dream (one of those rare gems) where I fucked all the girls I shouldn't have. I've been mulling over the idea of making this blog an excruciatingly detailed catalogue of my "erotic" self-dialogue. But then I thought how much I find it annoying when other people do that. So instead, I won't.

    Instead I leave you with some German. Since I'm 2lazy, I'm not putting in the est-sets and umlauts. You can imagine them.

    "Das Leben....geheimnisvoller--von jenem Tage an, wo der grosse Befreier uber mich kam, jener Gedanke, dass das Leben ein Experiment des Erkennenden sein durfe"

    urry boddy

    yo everybody but me all in a tizzy.

    I'm back in the saddle.
    Fuck the bureaucrats keeping me down, shit'll work out: it always do. Fuck bein poor when bein rich aint shit: money comes money goes. Fuck a broad who ruins my life: I'll outlast. Fuck a school when it ain't mean shit: I learn what I want, however slow.



    I was enjoying philosophy not two days ago, fuck, if I can't maintain in the face of minor bureaucratic obstacles I should get out of the business. Same with girls. I think life is over? Fuck that, what did I have before? I don't have much less now. Serious. And we all know money ain't shit, so fuck economic ambition too.

    I got my mind correct for the oh six, game tight and alla that. I don't give a fuck, I'll do fifteen years in prison for epimeleia heautou. Fuck Delphi and fuck what you heard.

    This years the year of the ends.

    Out of mind, out of hand

    Alright, I'm getting a bit too retarded here. Shit ain't that hard. Jeez.

    Grey Plateau

    So I can't get into that Carleton class, and I'm not sure if I'll be able to register at all. Concordia is slow as usual. This is all good evidence not to get your hopes up, Pyrrho was right. Life is boring, plans don't work out. End it all. Takin' a nosedive here.

    I can't take this. I can't even listen to The Cure and die inside because my fucking cure CD is fucking crackling and skipping...

    Here's a catalogue of contention.

    You know what I did today, dear anonymous unknown? I sat in the shower for a half an hour and tried to stave off despair. It didn't work, and I'm barely cleaner. And for the first time thinking of Lee Hazlewood didn't help. You know when he says someday that day will come, but that day isn't today. I'm starting to lose faith in the first clause and it's killing me.

    Fuck, today is one of those days where I'd like to dive into study. But I can't do that because none of the books I'm supposed to be studying are here.

    I need a job. I don't care if I fail out of school, this time to myself is killing me. I'm not smart enough to deal with myself. I need something else (someone else--it'll never happen, I can't trust anyone anymore). Fuck.

    I should sink myself into liquor. I never get drunk anymore, at least some numbness will make me feel less-worse, if not better.

    And despite all that, I'm still sympathetic. You never really were very sympathetic. So we're both doomed. At least I can't sink myself into you. At least my fucking Scarub CD doesn't fucking skip.

    You never were very sympathetic

    Whiling a day away with my man 143 is just about the most best shit to do, you ain't even gotta have nothing to do and its the fun shit to do.


    Peru's dad is the man. I hope both Peru's parents are happier in Peru, though despite all the stuff Peru tells me, they still seem pretty happy here. I'd like to go out for a night on the town with the whole Dyer posse sometime, that'd be funny as shit.

    So all my financial and registration woes are still in the air, much to my chagrin. I'd like to be wasting my days playing Battlefield 2 and smoking weed by myself in the dark. Instead, I'm reading Husserl's Logical Investigations cold sober by myself in the dark.

    I've become re-enamoured with philosophy lately. I realized that my negative reasons for joining the philosophical cadre (i.e., because all other options seem worse) is a positive reason. Philosophy isn't the least worst option, it's the most desirable. At least for me, and at this point. I'm pretty interested in writing about education and all the problems surrounding it, maybe because I find the idea of being educated a troubling one (and, given my billion years of schooling, close to my own life).

    So I'm probably going to take 2 classes on Hegel and one on Frege, and also try and translate the first volume of Heidegger's book on Nietzsche into English this semester. Maybe a heavy order, but it might pay off. Also, I might get a job if I find one that suits my schedule. Maybe when someone asks me what I'm doing with my days, my nights, and my life, I'll have an answer I can stand behind for a change. I'm a bit sick of being outdone by people who work at banks or stores; that shit is worth about as much as you are.

    I really am going to try being nicer. I didn't hate on very much today. Well, less than usual. I was more polite than I normally am, I kept my cool in the bureacracy mill even when it turns out that all my woes are the result of a missing "c" in my email address which has been corrected 6 times, with 6 different people. Fuck it, I think I passed my own fucking test.

    No one owes me shit, of course, but a bit of unexpected kindness might do me some good. I'm still in high spirits but, again, you can tell it won't last.

    Optimistic about pessimism.
    We roll slants.
    

    The Hegel class was super enlightening today, I felt like I got more out of it than a whole semester on the Phenomenology with Kierans. Which is DEFINITELY no slight against his teaching, just on my level of readiness to imbibe Hegel 3 or 4 years ago. The way this guy teaches Hegel is right up my alley, he's always on the verge of bursting into laughter, you can tell he loves it and is moved by it but catches the absurd in every line. It's word to true.

    The tests are almost done, all I have left to do is the final section, which is one page. So 130 pages, plus adding up the grades and putting them on the internet. Shouldn't take over-long, I'll finish tomorrow, and I can start working on the Heidegger translation, even though I should be reading the Republic for my Hegel/Plato class at Carleton on Friday. I'd like to get the [Didn't happen, as it is probably far better than my old ass Penguin Classics one, which has nevertheless served me well.

    I thought of a little project for my blog, since I don't really post on E2 anymore. Dave was telling me the other day about how he got into philosophy and the first time he really felt "moved" by it (it was in a class on the Republic). I don't know that I've ever felt changed by philosophy, though I probably have, so my idea for the project was to go through my old transcripts and try and remember which books I read and what they lead me to and so on. Sort of a librarilogical biography of Burkiana. I think I'll start it tonight, though it might take a while to finish. I wonder if you can ask libraries to tell you ALL the books you've checked out of them, that would be so sick. I should look into it.

    Anyway, I'll probably put the start of it on here tonight, deal with FYP at least,though I can hardly remember half the books we had to read for that.

    I came home tonight and there's the new furniture I was told about sitting in the living room. Looks nice, I feel bad that I wasn't here to help with it, though to be fair Peru and I called Chris a buncha times and even Etienne's house. Anyway, We have weigh 2 much furniture up there now, I guess we'll just junk the fold out couch or something...seems like a waste though. Maybe we can just have a ton of furniture. Why not. Fuck it.

    I only thought about her 50 times today, so it was OK. Though Bill Withers almost made me cry, good thing Peru was around and I forced myself to mann it up a bit. Can you believe me? So callous and hard hearted, but crumble like a cookie when "Lovely Day" comes on and I have to think of what I fool myself into thinking I lost.

    Anyway, bucked up and buoyed, I'm ready for the year. My resolution is this: don't let every day be worse than the one before it. (I'm realistic and don't ask for much, or only rarely).

    How can I be so dumb as to have developed a crush on a long-distance girl yet again? I'm such a fucking retard. Learn to like your surroundings Burkey, learn to live it up.

    And to all my friends: I love you even when I hate you.

    The following will be of no interest to anyone but me, and possibly Matt. It don't get links.

    For now let's just think of some key moments in my "philosophical trajectory" (though calling it that is obviously ridiculous). Off the dome.

    1. Reading the Republic in Grade 12.
    2. First Year: FYP
    3. Reading Augustine. Seeing myself in the theft of pears, but not being converted. Beginning to worry that pettiness and solitude were my lot in life.Searching out the historical Ambrose but not being nearly as torn apart or interested as by Augustine.
    4. Reading Antigone. Finding the idea that a corpse could pose a political problem fascinating; having it expand my very narrow conception of politics considerably, and making me interested in it. (I in fact plan to write another paper on the relationship between death and politics in Hegel's interpretation of Antigone this semester).
    5. Reading Anselm's ontological argument and being utterly convinced that it was indefeasible. Seeing something profound in logic and language for the first time.
    6. Reading bits of the Philosophical Investigations at the end of FYP. Being convinced that Wittgenstein was something I'd never encountered before made me realize that I wanted to keep studying philosophy, so I entered CSP. Reading Wittgenstein's bits about Rumpelstiltskin and feeling terrified. To this day, everytime I even think of those parts (and other parts about the Golden Bough) my skin crawls and I get one of those terror-chills. I still don't know anything more frightening. This made me see how thought-laden everything, and especially language, is.
    7. Second Year: CSP 2000, Roman History
    8. Reading The Post Card, Glas, and Of Grammatology in 2nd year; agreeing with Rorty that Derrida was post-theoretical, ironic 'work on the self'.
    9. Finding Charles Taylor engaging but thinking of him as a staid 'conservative' and brushing him off while being impressed by Rorty's seeming radicalism. (If Matt doesn't find this hilarious, I'll be forced to admit I know nothing about him).
    10. Reading Rorty's stuff on Nabokov in 2nd year.
    11. Reading Habermas' The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity, and getting ARRESTED with it; disagreeing but admiring his opinion of Derrida. Reading Christopher Norris because of Habermas.
    12. Reading HS 1,2,3; D+P; Order of Things, Foucault's interviews, most of the Foucault Reader (What is Enlightenment? and Nietzsche, Genealogy, History in particular).
    13. Following up on the tendrils of Derrida's stuff in the early books (the essay ones, I forget all the names, Speech and Phenomena, the one with the Jabes and Mallarme stuf in it): so basically, reading Mallarme, Bataille, Genet, Celine, Jabes, Blanchot in 2nd year.
    14. Reading Bataille's Nietzsche book, Deleuze's Foucault book, and Foucault's Blanchot book.
    15. Getting into Nietzsche by way of Foucault: reading everything I could by Nietzsche: Zarathustra, Ecce Homo, Birth of Tragedy, (we read that in CSP 2000), really liking "Attempt at a self-criticism" in Birth of Tragedy, Gay Science, OGM.
    16. Reading the Rhizome bit in the Deleuze Reader, which freaked me out, so I read everything in Novanet by Deleuze and Guatarri. I think I can safely say that reading 1,000 Plateaus in 2nd year changed most of my opinions about what philosophy could/should be.
    17. Funny that I didn't read or give a fuck about Heidegger in either FYP or Second Year, even though he was assigned in both. Seems a bit odd in retrospect. Though the assigned texts weren't the best selections really. (Though that didn't stop me with Derrida..."Positions"? Come ON!). I also didn't read the Second Critique, or any Kant, really until fourth year. Which is insane to me now...imagine if I had've read the three critiques in second year. I could've saved myself a lot of timewasting on idiocies like "feminist standpoint epistemology" and probably would have read some Hegel and Husserl.

      I think in second year I was beginning to get "post modern" in precisely the sense that I hate nowadays. That easy kind of theoretical sophistry that you are only distantly interested in and realize is a kind of game, with soft rules and no eral winning, but one that is entertaining like a solid game of Jenga. Which isn't to say that I didn't read some of this stuff well, but that my writing and my thinking were by and large "clever".

    18. Taking the Fall of the Roman Republic with Geoffrey Greatrex, now professor at University of Ottawa classics department, and hating it so much that my nascent ambitions of combining CSP with History were utterly abandoned. Much to my chagrin, as if I were taking a class on the Fall of the Roman Republic now I would enjoy it more than almost any philosophy I'm doing. Though, still, Greatrex was at that time a thoroughly awful professor (he may still be, about that I reserve judgment).

    I'm gonna work all this over, fill in the gaps, make it more coherent. It's pretty entertaining to relive yourself.

    Cryptic. Fucker.

    The more I think the less I know.

    Who should chase who and how far should one sacrifice (or alter) one's own 'ambitions' (plans is perhaps a better word, at least in my case) for the sake of another. I have no idea, I don't even know what to regret, or how far.

    How much nobility in abdication.

    (But how much abdication is even possible when ambition isn't part of the picture).

    Two things I know: I'm dismayed at how much is willingly sacrificed today, and equally at the resistance to sacrifice of days gone by. From misers to potlach chieftains...we fell pretty fucking far. Still in high spirits, but the deadpool approaches.

    I'm gonna try and be nicer, stop the hating. Or at least stem the tide a bit... Brotherly Love for Burke in oh-six..?

    Easy to read, hard to open; no one gives me advice on shit.

    About a Trill-yon
    I read the other day
    That Irving Layton wrote
    One Hundred Thousand Poems.
    Taken aback,
    I realized they must be awful.
    (Awful poems,
    Or awful liars).
    

    Say, how's it goin'?

    Seems like I'm back in the place to be. I'm in high spirits lately, despite a minor setback post-Sara sesh in Halifax. I'ma get studious, maybe check out some dimes, live like I'm alive for a change.

    Plans: Hegel-a-plenty this semester, get some furniture, get the new computer, download hellof music...

    Anyway, I'm in a good mood, even though I had a super boring ass day...test marking sucks. I hope my next TA job is better, or has papers.

    Mark Burke out!

    So, a little footnote on that whole "finding out my girlfriend was fucking another guy whilst screaming blue murder at my online dalliances" thing...

    I have to be careful, because I don't want to fall into the trap of hypocrisy myself. What she did in no way excuses what I did, nor justifies it. But funnily enough, my efforts were never justified by inherent dissatisfaction with our relationship, either. There were things that happened that never should. Or, in one particular case, should have happened, but should have also been managed better ...

    The thing is, given everything else, I could have understood her cheating on me. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have been happy. I'd have been angry and pissed off, but I'd have understood why she might. But what really infuriated me was the righteous rage that carried on, the hypocrisy, and the blaming of me for it all. Funnily, I sent an email to her a month or so ago, and in it I vented a little, and said something like this:

    But that's alright. Blame it on me. You did everything you could ...

    to which she replied:

    You really have no idea at all.

    She was right. I didn't. But I do now.

    And I’m all the happier with the choice I made, for it. I don’t feel unhappy now. I don't feel discontent. I don't argue every time I open my mouth. And that makes me feel good.

    Marijo is performing on the third floor, but the children's room is on the Fourth. We're early enough to catch her set, but Boy Wonder wants to get his books and videos first. He and I usually pick out about six books to take home, but we read them first, sitting on the carpet in the children's room to preview our choices, cover to cover.

    At 10:30, the librarian asks us if we know there's a storyteller downstairs? Yes, we know.

    We read three books. "Want to save the rest for home, and go see Marijo tell stories?"

    "No."

    We finish the sixth book. "Want to go hear some stories downstairs, before we get videos?"

    "No, let's get videos now."

    At 11:20, we're ready to go check out. We pass the used book table as we reach the second floor. "Just a minute, I want to see if there are any storytelling books here."

    My four year old stares at me. "Why do you like storytelling so much?"

    "Well, I guess it's one of my favorite things."

    "Doesn't all that storytelling make your mouth tired?"

    I pause.

    "Yes. Yes it does."

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