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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19 Jul '05 10:44:39 AM

'To Generalise is to be an Idiot. To Particularise is the Alone Distinction of Merit. General Knowledges are those Knowledges that Idiots possess.'

19 Jul '05 09:15:26 AM

I now wish he would not have called them 'talking points', but I still am enviously impressed every time I read Michael's posts here, here, and here.

And when I say 'enviously impressed', you should not take me to be implying otherwise about the rest of the entries there that I have not now linked to.

19 Jul '05 08:11:02 AM

Unbeknownst to me, the links to individual entries on this blog were broken by a recent upgrade to the underlying software. I think I have fixed the problem, but if you find that I haven't, please let me know.

9 Jul '05 08:17:56 AM

'Lifestyle marketing': that's a very good phrase for one of the things that makes me averse to the objects of some people's tastes.

I am quite sure that I am totally inconsistent about this.

8 Jul '05 11:28:47 AM

I could play it like a game, I suppose (like playing chess - not that I know how to play chess that way - or, closer to home, like writing a formal proof in logic, or so we tell our students): how many moves do I need to make to get the question 'what is its form?' to turn into 'what do I do with it?' (or better, 'what can I do with it?')?

Or: what will it take to get someone to become interested in the latter questions as a means for answering the first one?

7 Jul '05 12:11:04 PM

Wittgenstein writes, somewhere: 'Nearly all my writings are private conversations with myself. Things that I say to myself tête-à-tête.' So why can't I do the same?

2 Jul '05 11:58:40 AM

I want some Thelonious Monk screw tapes, is what I was going to post, but then I thought it would be much more ironically appropriate to have wanted some Charlie Parker screw tapes. But I would still rather have Thelonious Monk screw tapes.

21 Jun '05 10:27:16 AM

Mick Collins in the liner notes to the new Dirtbombs singles collection:

'To date, the dance-music impulse has won out over the art-damage impulse, but consider yourself duly warned. I just admitted I like Henry Cow; that should be warning enough.'

18 Jun '05 01:28:28 PM

'Altogether, I think we ought to read only books that bite and sting us. If the book we are reading doesn't shake us awake like a blow on the skull, why bother reading it in the first place? So that it can make us happy, as you put it? Good God, we'd be just as happy if we had no books at all; books that make us happy we could, in a pinch, write ourselves. What we need are books that hit us like a most painful misfortune, like the death of someone we loved more than we love ourselves, that make us feel as though we had been banished to the woods, far from any human presence, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is what I believe.'