Saturday, June 27, 2009

On totality, the lyric voice, and the death of M.J.

It is strikingly odd that our commodified culture brings the arts to the edge of effacement just as certain aspects of postmodernism would deliver them to an ending. The maw of it, either effacement or ending, startles one or another of us into an extraordinary attention - because it leaves everybody outside the creation of meaning. Oh, so alone and, at the same time, massified. -- Robin Blaser

The ordinary is always the subject of quest and the object of an inquest. -- Stanley Cavell

Those who rule are today legitimized by manufactured "popularity," while the aspirations of the majority of the wold are temporarily smothered by manipulated consumerist fears and promises. It is here that advertising achieves its political, as distinct from economic, purpose: politics have become management. -- John Berger

We witness the advent of the number. It comes along with democracy, the large city, administrations, cybernetics. It is a flexible and continuous mass, woven tight like a fabric with neither rips nor darned patches, a multitude of quantified heroes who lose names and faces as they become the ciphered river of the streets, a mobile language of computations and rationalities that belong to no one. -- Michel de Certeau

The numbers do not want art. That was a primary value of their invention. -- Robin Blaser

The current culture had best take some care with its down-at-the-heel sense of elitism, lest it lose the ability to think through the vast effort of human consciousness to find meaning here and about. I listen to our governments whine that they do not know how to manage global capitalism, all the while joining the gobble of that reality... For my part, I do not understand how it is possible to come to terms with democracy and the government of it, while teaching Lordship, Mastery, and Love that sacrifices mortality for someplace else, a Totality that forgives us. The cost of these Totalities - of Christianism, of Marxisms, of Capitalism - are on the public record - forgiving themselves again and again for the terror of this century. I reject the apocalyptics of modernism and postmodernism - these are borrowed from Daniel and Revelation, religious under their skins. Our language has other work to do... I founder in the bitterness of Western metaphysics. I have chosen a poetic practice of entangling discourses, including the running about of my lyric voice. -- Robin Blaser

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