josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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12 Oct '04 03:13:13 AM

A note on Derrida upon the occasion of his passing, by someone actually eminently qualified to write such a note, Alex Thomson.

10 Oct '04 07:34:10 AM

This Stylus review is a nice piece of thematic criticism; I slightly enviously wondered how they came up with the connection to Francis Bacon before realizing the obvious (that it shows up in the onesheet or some such). This of course does nothing to invalidate the work done in the review.

10 Oct '04 07:27:01 AM

This review of this year's four-hour Panasonic album Kesto focuses on the group's industrial predecessors to the exclusion of the high-art minimalist ones (slightly odd by itself since their earlier records, whatever noises occurred on them, cried out 'minimalism', but odder since two of the tracks are dedicated to Alvin Lucier and Charlemange Palestine) and so its capping point, that Panasonic have somehow made the industrial album to end all industrial music, goes slightly awry.

I doubt one need even to restrict the glance backward to the high-art minimalists, given the number of one-or-two-track drone albums that have passed through my stacks of CDs in the past ten years, without my even really trying.

Now, the thing, though, will be to actually hear the damn thing. I hope to do it all at once at first. But I'm not feeling up to it yet. Maybe next week.

10 Oct '04 07:12:05 AM

A note to myself: I'd like to read this book, not to mention the others Christgau refers to.

10 Oct '04 07:02:26 AM

I randomly encountered Desrosiers while walking through Seward tonight.

It is part of my method of working to set down in a place, say my office or a coffeeshop, only to leave it a while later to walk elsewhere. I can't remember how I ever stood working on papers and homework when I did so by remaining in one place.

10 Oct '04 06:56:14 AM

Derrida dead at 74.

I'm not terribly fond or unfond of Derrida's work but the letter of protest against his honorary doctorate mentioned in the obituary still irritates me as small-minded and parochial. If I hear one single member of my highly-analytic department doing anything like gloating next week, I don't know if I'll be able to withhold my opinions on the humanity of those doing the gloating.

9 Oct '04 04:47:02 AM

A moment where it seems the tracks may not have lasted as long as the train.

5 Oct '04 10:03:16 PM

'borderline schizo / superfine tits though'


3 Oct '04 10:55:29 AM


I, Bertolt Brecht, came out of the black forests.
My mother moved me into the cities as I lay
Inside her body. And the coldness of the forests
Will be inside me till my dying day.

In the asphalt city I'm at home. From the very start
Provided with every last sacrament:
With newspapers. And tobacco. And brandy
To the end mistrustful, lazy and content.

I'm polite and friendly to people. I put on
A hard hat because that's what they do.
I say: they are animals with a quite peculiar smell
And I say: does it matter? I am too.

Before noon on my empty rocking chairs
I'll sit a woman or two, and with an untroubled eye
Look at them steadily and say to them:
Here you have someone on whom you can't rely.

Towards evening it's men that I gather round me
And then we address one another as 'gentlemen'.
They're resting their feet on my table tops
And say: things will get better for us. And I don't ask when.

In the grey light before morning the pine trees piss
And their vermin, the birds, raise their twitter and cheep.
At that hour in the city I drain my glass, then throw
The cigar butt away and worriedly go to sleep.

We have sat, an easy generation
In houses held to be indestructible
(Thus we built those tall boxes on the island of Manhattan
And those thin arials that amuse the Atlantic swell).

Of those cities will remain what passed through them, the wind!
The house makes glad the eater: he clears it out.
We know that we're only tenants, provisional ones
And after us there will come: nothing worth talking about.

In the earthquakes to come, I very much hope
I shall keep my cigar alight, embittered or no
I, Bertolt Brecht, carried off to the asphalt cities
From the black forests inside my mother long ago.