Tuesday, June 03, 2003

I can count myself at least a part-time member of any number of tribes, but possibly
the most subtle & bewildering identity i have, is that of parasinistral alienation (left
handed made in school to write with the other hand).[ --And out of all left-handers, a sub-
minority (like me) is actually right-hemisphere dominant in its real right-hemisphereness (so
to speak): in 70 percent, the left-hemisphere (usually dominant) is just on the wrong side*.]
I know this by the way i hold a pen. Lefties seldom attain literary distinction (Lewis Carroll
almost stands alone), much moreso artistic. It's not so much a fraternity as a handicap, though,
in practice. (Nobody favored another person for this quality alone.) Can't be a brand, because
it's only visible in the act of writing or reaching, & it's the product (sometimes) that comes out
differently. Can't be an ethnicity, because it's not noticeably hereditary & anyway just finding
out who was what in the old days is near-impossible. And a kitsch? A blik? (Collect left-handed
tools.) Like in Santeria, where Christian coverts continued their worship of old gods under the
new names of saints, to be parasinistral is to be conscious to yourself of "passing", of a kind
of meaningless deceit. Before i've had my coffee (or, long ago, under the influence--) i may reach
first with the left for something. I don't even have a vocabulary for most of these effects... And
finally, being parasinistral (& not just sinistral) is historical: at some point they quit stopping kids'
natural inclination--so this is a minority that will die out.

Article in an art magazine about Eastern European artists since the fall of the Soviet Empire.
The "intelligentsia" as a vital concept--something we lack in America. (A pundit is usually
just a loudmouth.) Reborn as blogstars? (Stay tuned.) I do know this: the television will not
be revolutionized
. "Bohemia" at one time wanted to have this honor. But what it ended in
producing was merely celebrity-bohemians. How is that different from a starmachine-made
celebrity? Two systems, overlaid: the system of recognizing merit by a pedestal, toward which
all heads are turned; the system of oligarchy, in which those that have, get--those that haven't, lose
even more. Sort of a lottery fills the space between them. (It's sure not meritocracy!!!!) But observe
also the different rewards: the celebrity is rewarded with ubiquity, the successful oligarch with secrecy.
With being nowhere. (Or--Mt Olympus.) In fact a lot of analogies can be drawn: the transmogrification
of demi-gods, ktp. ("American Idol" again. One shot at fifteen-minute "immortality".) In this situation
to have any of the characteristics of the old intelligentsia, gives a certain "unelectability". You want
to be like everyone else, so they won't resent you when you win.

Certainly it is possible to distinguish the culture of fascism, from the culture of "militainment".
The latter doesn't care what you believe (any more than it cares about the truth: instead
of the Big Lie, there's a self-deception amounting to solipsistic indifference to the existence of
any truth) so long as you have your ducks in a row, a flag on your bumper, & no back talk
when the next sacrifices are announced. It's whatever the opposite of totalitarian is--nullitarian?
Since corporations are artificial intelligences that are unable to perceive humans as individuals,
the only "freedom" is--being overlooked.

I remember when i heard some buildings have been built with FAKE elevator call-buttons. Aha! i
thought. At last i have a metaphor for our "representative democracy"! --Would it really be such
a loss, if the buttons were removed altogether? But we love those buttons, just as we love the
illusion of fairness in competition, even as we instruct our offspring in the fine art of beating the
curve (& doing their homework for them). Well, a gradual disillusionment is at hand. The middle class
will be finding out what the underclass already knows about the system; & at last, all infrastructure
will be dismantled save the mechanisms of reward, of secrecy & celebrity. The future is cryptozoic.

Great new song: "Seven Nation Army" by the White Stripes. Curious how the almost impervious
Radio-Mockba airwaves of Dallas can yet allow once in a while a good song to slip through. --I have
NO SUCH HOPE for American Poetry Review.

"When vacantly I hear the rain
   Falling down on the paulownia--
Sadness echoes on every leaf,
   For I am despondent beyond all measures.

Never again will I plant
   A tree whose leaves are so broad."

--Sang yong Gim, ibid

"Not succeeding with books or swords,
   I am already a useless man!
Fifty years of spring-time
   Have I passed doing nothing.

But Oh! Should any blue mountain
   Deceive me or prove not to be a friend?"

--Czôn-têg Gim, ibid

Can it really be nine years since ":Everything Zen"??

"'The fallen pine on the blue mountain!
   Why are you lying there?'
'Unable to stand against wind and frost
   I was uprooted and fell down.

If you meet a good carpenter,
   Tell him that I am here.'"

--Unknown, ibid
*This is too important not to give sources. I believe i got this
idea from the work of Dr Jerre Levy, as described in Ch 15 of
Jack Fincher's Lefties (1977); i have not kept up with
the research in recent years, which has truly become torrential
via the popularizing of Right-Brained-Artist mythology, as well as
(i believe) largely spurious generalizations about gender differences
in hemispheric specialization. On an unrelated note, i observe that
fully 80% of the returns on a Google search for "Jerre Levy" consist
of a single term paper, which has a ludicrous misspelling in the 2nd

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