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Monday 13 August 2018

Sacrifice | illusionary lives | backfire



TC said...

Wilco: Shot in the Arm (live KEXP Seattle 2015)

Mose23 said...

"...more blood than metal..."

Gold poured down the throat while some dead eyed conquistador flicks through the pages of Ovid.

Didn't Ed Dorn translate a number of Mayan texts and testimonies?

TC said...


Having no Spanish nor any way back into the literatures and visual languages of the prior inhabitants of the Americas without intelligent assistance, Ed was fortunate to find a willing and able guide in the British scholar Gordon Brotherston, a mutual friend who was our colleague at Essex; with Gordon's essential help, a number of Mesoamerican and Native American texts were English'd. Hieroglyphic picture languages having fascinated Ed's teacher Charley O, likewise himself devoid of necessary skills in the field, this was by the 1960s proving a fruitful area of pursuit for anyone who had taken seriously the work of everybody's Master Ez P who spent a lifetime in tireless search of a visual language transferable to the page; an impatience with the blind tunnels of the "western" way of the Logos (or anyway its historical misuse as doctrinal authority) was the common impetus in all these efforts. What they had in common was a dim or maybe sometimes clearer inkling of the historical truth, that the Europeans who had come to and conquered the "New World" - new and promising of course, to them, as any wondrously abundant new place was always going to be, to the Colonial Mind. How to advantageously short circuit that Mind while also retaining privileged access and ultimately dominant entitlement to the entire hemisphere, continually extracting and exploiting its great natural wealth and resources and subjugating as convenient cheap labour and finally killing off those of the native peoples who got in the way of the project - obviously that grandly ambitious clean-up operation, riddled with contradiction and aporia as it is, goes on down to this day. However one does fear it is only disingenuous at best, patronizing at worst to pretend a belated concern for what has been so purposefully destroyed over such a long period in a such a callous, disrespectful, wasteful and cruel fashion.

This patch of the hemisphere we're on now is going up in smoke, all the best of it wafting down as polluting particulate, and I reckon no Ohlone native with a very long memory would know what to make of it. The Redding fire which killed ten and decimated a forest was sparked by something so little-big as a trailer hitch dragging on hot asphalt ("our way of life"). Pouring molten gold down the throats of the cutthroat commuters ramming their poisonous shitmobiles up and down the freeway feeder in quest of goods or money or fun or combinations of the above, at this moment, sounds a fine idea "in theory" - but in actual practise, battling the insane windmill-whirly traffic defensively (quixotically!) with my medicare-dispensed cane, far less effective, if less costly.

And you know the pavements would soon enough be cluttered with opportunistic techies who arrived here last week, scraping up the precious metal residue with a Mind to Doing a Deal.

Don't know if the news has escaped these shores, but didjew know that Herr Drumpf, upon swearing in as Boss of Murica, requested that the Book upon which he be sworn be not the Bible but...

The Art of the Deal.

Then, it was still possible to say No to him.

Unknown said...

Terrific freakin poem! Vietnam pix are stunning.

TC said...

Dear Unknown,

Thanks very much.

Unknown said...

Unknown? Yeah, that's me, ole John G on steamy East 12th. Your poem yesterday, and comments, and today's work... They're why I rarely miss a day for some TC earthmanship. I love it. Roll 'em!
Trying to get into this box to feedback on your outta the box.

TC said...

Hail JG, and Salute!

Honourd and blest by yr visitation!

Glad you dug the Billhardt vietnam pix. The war seen from the "other side" - the side where it was actually happening. Extremely interesting, as mirror turned backward. TB was as wd now be sd "embedded" - privileged/protected access, as official photographer of DDR. They are very smart propaganda shots; what he was brought there to do.

We can still learn from the masters.

What is the relation of art to ideology to truth?