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  • - * 13 DOORS OF X* *Meeah Williams* The Barking Cat Press * 2015 Brooklyn, NY * Seattle, WA copyright 2015 Meeah Williams/The Barking Cat...

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

=the column=

By representing the world as others have
seen it, by speaking the language that others
speak, one affirms the world that others
have made, one capitulates to the group

A war would be fought over the meaning
of life. If  leisure was conquered, civilization
would turn into a prison disguised as a
pleasure dome. But if leisure was not con-
quered, it would serve as a base for a pract-
ice of freedom so explosive that no known
social order could ever satisfy it.
--Greil Marcus

A man with a python can hardly be con-
sidered pythonless. The thing you’re most
afraid of is not the thing you want to pack
for Cincinnati. If you don’t know where
you’re going your mother-in-law will  be
happy to whistle Dixie. Time waits for no
man but it’s awfully patient with  a fire
hydrant. A stop sign never says “go.”
When you come to a crossroads don’t
forget the u-turn. There’s no harm in
believing a lie if the truth is somebody’s
poodle. Sense is something you make when
you can’t make a dollar.

Our concern was not a literary school, a
renewal of expression, a modernism. At
issue is a way of life, one which will cont-
inue to pass through many explorations,
many provisional formulations, & which
itself belongs only to the provisional. We
have the advantage of no longer expecting
anything from known activities, known
individuals, & known institutions.
--Guy Debord

What I have to tell you is not complicated
because it cannot be communicated at all. 
So relax. There is nothing for you to under-
stand. Mr. Tenner had set himself up on the
boardwalk in a little booth he’d made him-
self out of cardboard, probably a refrigera-
tor box he found in a dumpster. He had it
gaily painted in various colors of cheap
tempera paint,  the washable kind used in
kindergarten, so all the previous markings
on the box were amply covered. He ran a
variation of one of those three-card-monty
games that are very popular with swindlers
and cheats on streets all over the world, ex-
cept in Mr. Tenner’s version of the game he
lost nearly as much as he won. “I like to
play an honest game,” he explained to me
once, during a break in the action. “Enables
me to better gauge my true luck just in case
I might really need to depend on it." "How
is your real luck," I asked. "Generally just
average," he said. The police kept chasing
him away all the same. If he weren’t cheat-
ing at cards, just exactly what was his game?
That's police-thinking for you.  I have to
confess, I often wondered the same thing. 
The seagulls sometimes, flying against the
wind, will hang stock-still beside you as
you walk on the boardwalk towards the
great big hangar of the video arcade, the
cacophony of the games, and the maternal
smell of warm popcorn. You feel like a mime,
miming walking on the boardwalk, going
nowhere. No one likes to be told that the
problems they’re making so much of are
largely imaginary. I’ve seen handcuffed 
people glare balefully and ignore the key
right there on the table when you point it
out to them.  There have been times in my
life when you could accuse me of talking 
about myself in this regard and I won’t say
you were wrong because even if I did you
wouldn’t believe me and I probably wouldn’t
either. The hardest part of committing suicide
is blocking out the time to do it. Then there’s 
finding a reliable means to an end. Last, but
not least, is the obstacle posed by the note,
especially if you have the misfortune to be
known as “a word person.” Your audience
has great expectations, a simple variation on
“goodbye cruel world” just won’t do. It’s a
lot of pressure and at the worst possible time.
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that
a great deal of what’s kept me alive up to
now is writer’s block.

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