I’m listening to “the Wichita Lineman” at the moment, and taking notes on a book I recently read about a case of demon possession in the 1570s, but I’ve been meaning to take a few moments to post to the blog. Why? Well, my feelings about the whole genre of discourse (blogging, that is) have remained so mixed during the full run of time I’ve been participating. I really don’t have much patience for the schoolyard crap that features prominently in the conversation every time people get bored or can’t think of anything real to talk about. On the other hand, I have been deeply inspired, encouraged, and educated by those stretches where people are powerfully absorbed by their materials.
Last week, Suz and I watched the documentary “Revolution OS” about the freesoftware movement and the birth of gnu, linux, open source, etc. Particularly moving to me was the demagoguery of Richard Stallman, who is described as the “philosopher” behind open source. He – like any passionate and visionary person, probably – is a mixture of pitiful oddness and stunning charisma. I recommend the film, even if you don’t care much about computer code, for Stallman’s account of the atmosphere at MIT when preceding and during the development of the gnu system. It reminded me a lot of what I love most about Ron Silliman, and it—again—got me thinking about how crucial community, including its discomforts, is for the production of meaningful contributions to culture.
I guess, based on my personal temperament, I’m going to be forced to plug in and out of the public conversation repeatedly. I’m not sure. When I do plug in, I want it to be because I have something to say, however, not because I feel duty-bound to keep the chatter flowing.
I’m going to be reading at the Cloister in the East Village between 2nd and 3rd on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 8pm with Jeff Encke. It’s part of the Burning Chair Series. I’d love to see you.
Have been redesigning GutCult for a sleeker look as part of the on-going process of deepening its method and mission. The superficial dimension (the look) is the thing over which I have most control in the short-term, so that’s what I’m tackling. Superficial as it may be, coding is not easy for me, so it takes time. The upcoming issue will be a very good one, but it will only be a prologue, I hope of things to come as the magazine continues to evolve.