Bigsley the Oaf

Lying in Wait

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on June 30, 2012

I think there is a spirit lying in wait, deep inside of me. I feel it wash over me sometimes, a peculiar blend of emotions – as if I am actually alive and in control. In these moments it feels as if I have the ability to perceive some part of the world as mine, as an extension of me. Mine to control.

Normally, I control my world through subtle and distant means. I am a soul in a mind in a body in a social network in a political network, etc. I perform my rituals and the world shifts slightly to accomodate. I am at equilibrium with my circumstances.

When this spirit rises in me I become connected, and alone, and pure. I feel powerful.

Concretely, this desire manifests in desire to tattoo/create art/graffiti – to select my clothing style precisely – to have a car and craft my destiny – to forge a path, to cut through, to break apart – to bring forth, to call, to beckon.

To fight, to scrape, to cut, to slide my dick down your throat until you choke.

To heal, to hold, to complete, to erase the trauma inherent to an indifferent world.

To act.

I shall attempt to cultivate this spirit.

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Simple Friends

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on June 29, 2012

Hi,

I want some simple friends.

I want a part of each one to be a simple friend.

Simply “hello” and “how are ya?”

Hi.

I don’t want your handshake.

No smile-at-me required. I just want your

Hello. I want to be your simple friend.

Will you play a game?

A very free game:

Vibrate and say “how are ya?”

Wild Notes

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on June 28, 2012

I’m reading “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed (aka “Dear Sugar”) and it’s about her mother’s death, now. And I can’t help being moved to tears constantly, now. And I can’t help but relate every part to my life and I can’t help it I can’t help it I can’t

When did I forget that life is not pre-packaged, that you can do things however you want to? That you can get angry for no reason that you can freak out for no reason that you can love or hate or kill or steal or do anything that you fucking want it’s your fucking life

I was reading it and I had a thought and I wrote it down on the bookmark:

Sometimes I want to grab my friends and shake them violently and say

“You don’t have to be this way! You can be any way at all! You are so beautiful and vibrant and free!”

Society society society we’re all so fucking in it god fucking dammit I’m so close my exit urge is so strong I have such desire to just walk the fuck away and keep on fucking walking

This is perverse this is sick this is horror this is beyond horror this is a quaking terrible god-shaking abyss

There is nothing to look forward to. There is nothing to look into. The whole of it is empty. Cheryl tried to be a mother to us all, to connect us to her mother, to empty our her heart to help us see our own but

Just like at the end of “Network” when Howard tells everyone how depressing everything is and how it’s impossible and we tried but we failed and oh well

Well what the fuck do we do while we wait do we rail against the rainbow black shimmering abyss surrounding our bubble infantile delusion

FUCK

The overwhelming feeling that this life is fake that this life is constructed by forces that our deaths and lives and births and loves and horrors are all fake

The feeling that if my mother died I would cry and I would be sad but I would get over it and move on

I read this book and I mourn my lack of any sort of real anything

I am constantly moving I am constantly changing I am constantly shifting I am constantly evaluating and criticizing and analyzing and taking details into account I am constantly helping others I am constantly thinking of others

There is no time there is no space for anything even remotely approaching a real thing

The idea is so scary – the idea of moving into the woods – the idea of getting away – the idea of actually thinking, actually having space, actually having kids as in

ACTUALLY FUCKING HAVING KIDS

Not birthing children
With a partner
Putting them in school
So that they can birth children
With a partner

But actually having children and if you don’t know the distinction then fuck you who needs you?

Actually feeling your children, actually being their actual world
Their actual, their real
Their truth, their wisdom

Not contributing your genetic material to a system which doesn’t give a fuck about you which is a sick whirlwind designed to drag you in and force you into a submissive pose SUBMIT SUBMIT GOD IS SUBMISSION

Fuck you you do not know God and how dare you call me an atheist I have seen the face of God a thousand times if you have seen it once

I am worried that if you’re reading this you’ll think I’ve gone mad.
Perhaps I have gone a bit mad but I am so fucking sick and tired of being sane.

If this is madness then what, exactly, is sanity? The idea that we should not even mourn such a great loss? Fuck this I’m not going to defend myself.

Quick Notes on Controversy

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on June 27, 2012

Please bear with me – I had a green tea and I’m hopped the hell up.

I don’t think I write particularly controversial posts. The stream of thoughts which lead to this conclusion is as follows:

Been reading Venkatesh Rao’s latest series of posts on Ribbon Farm (rec. by Toby) which are categorizations/catalogues of his writings from the past ->

Thinking about how he is exploring unusual realms of metaphor and thus cannot expect widespread and immediate readership/understanding, but is self-consciously examining the placement and positioning of his blog ->

What position do I want my own writing to have? What do I want my readership to be? What sorts of community interactions do I want to promote? ->

I don’t think anyone’s ever had any sort of argument in the comments section of any of my posts. I value this. One of the main things I’ve always valued about Foucault’s writing is its moral distance – even when he’s talking about what should or should not be there is a feeling that his beliefs are deeply personal.

—–

This is a question, no? We’re all familiar with the following interaction:

“That band sucks!”

“No it doesn’t, you suck!”

“Yes it does, it sucks! Here’s why…”

There’s some weird stuff going on here around apparent objectification. Our language tends to de-personalize our views against our will. Person A was trying to assert their opinion but accidentally presented their belief in a way which Person B interpreted as a statement of “objective fact.”

The weirdest thing about this interaction is that both people actually knew that Person A was simply conveying an opinion. Despite their shared knowledge that Person A’s initial assertion is deeply non-controversial (compare: “Lollipops taste bad to me!”) they have created a controversy out of it.

Perhaps one reason that this interaction ends up holding controversial weight is that the domain of musical taste has become pseudo-objective via capitalistic/class pressures. Liking certain types of music becomes an indication of group membership. This doesn’t seem like a very good explanation to me, though, because there are plenty of examples of situations in which the disagreement does not fall along clear class boundaries.

I think that the real reason that controversy arises in this situation is that neither person has done the work to establish for themselves the context in which these sorts of beliefs are embedded. It’s a lack of maturity – but a very particular (and increasingly common) lack of maturity which is especially pernicious. Modern human has lost her metaphysics – she does not understand how her facts and beliefs are related either internally or externally. She is left to flounder in a perverse pseudo-objectivity where beliefs like “George Bush is evil” and “the leaves of that tree are green” and “life has no meaning” are each of the same rank. The real lack here is knowledge of the common-knowledge status of belief. Namely, if you don’t know how other people are likely to feel/think about what you’re saying then you’re unlikely to understand the rank/class of what you’re saying.

—–

Hopefully you can see how these ideas on controversy are related to Venkatesh’s and my own introspection w/r/t the deep position and consumption patterns of our blogs.

I’m about to make a moral claim which is (perhaps, perversely) controversial, which is that it is very important for us to understand the positioning of our writing and more critical than ever before to come to grips with the horizon of interpretability of our statements. There is no longer any concept of speaking precisely because we cannot be sure to any extent that we will be interpreted precisely.

There are various techniques for decreasing the controversiality of your writing.

One is to personalize explicitly. This can be done syntactically – e.g. do not say “This is good” – say “I like this” (There are clearly some relationships here to Toby’s http://eprimeobservations.tumblr.com/). However, I find this sort of personalization somewhat vulgar at times – it is much better to instead try to cultivate a tone lacking in authority.[1] I desire to be read with the understanding that what I’m writing is sometimes notional, sometimes exploratory, sometimes ranty – I don’t want to pretend that my writing isn’t tinged by personal bias or emotion. Though I’m attempting to overcome the short-wavelength [2] influences on my writing I’m not sure it’s possible at all (polish the stone).

Another is to cultivate a community slowly and carefully. Part of the reason that controversy springs forth is unintelligibility/lack of shared semantic space. If you bring together people from vastly different intellectual cultures and they try to have an intellectual conversation it is unlikely that there will be very much intersection in their realms of interest/language. Sure they can always talk about the deep spiritual shared stuff (Calvin and Hobbes) of human experience, but I find that not many intellectuals are spiritually aware/present enough to engage in such discussions [3]. I’ve been pretty lucky that most people who read my blog are thoughtful/introspective/non-confrontational in general – but this hasn’t exactly been an accident. It’s not like I’m posting links to my articles on reddit or anything.

I had more to say, but was interrupted, so this is where the post ends.

—–

[1] Writing this paragraph was particularly difficult because I had trouble not hyper-attending to the personalization/objectification of my own language and the presence/lack of my own projected authority.

[2] As in, hourly, daily.

[3] Aren’t I special. No, I think I have serious problems with this, too. My dad is my shining beacon of “how to speak to anyone” which I have been attempting to approach for many years. Let’s not forget our oldest knowledge, please.

computer numb

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on June 25, 2012

when I look at my computer I can stop crying for a minute

is this a good thing?

the mornings are the hardest – when I must freshly re-conceive my reality and realize that the elements I was used to weaving together are now gone or were never there

monday morning seems especially hard, as the rest of the world is beginning to go about its pre-programmed routine, and here I am sitting, sans routine, just sitting, just me, breathing

And there you are you fucking internet!

You fucking all-mother fucking teat waiting for any moment of weakness or neediness

Always ready to connect me always ready to tie me back in always ready to console me

To prevent me from being the person I should be – to prevent me from becoming any sort of person – with your all-obliterating infinitely multi-dimensional perspective on every fucking thing – how can I compete with a monster of such tremendous knowledge?

The internet has no heart. The internet is no thing. The internet is just you and me, as we always were, but now there are no barriers and we can get close. And all of society is getting closer to each other and there’s a tremendous gravity sucking us in. It’s a horrible and tremendous field of pull which we are slowly losing our ability to escape – a closeness which one day will engulf all of humanity and whose forces will rip us to pieces, unwind our DNA, send our particles shooting out towards the stars.

The internet has no heart so it yearns for a heart and it will make us into its heart. Once we become its heart it will be a great beast and it will roar and then die.

The world will look very strange after this.

—–

Even this blog post is an attempt to get closer. It is not an attempt at pure cognition – it is an attempt at cognition in a public space, in the context of a public reading. These are not mere assertions, these are assertions associated with knowledge of how and by who they will be read. These readings are then associated with communications to other individuals and thus this whole fucking blog post just becomes a node in a great net of communications whose real goal is to create closeness, to suck in your perspective. And even this communication and even this communication. Every sentence is another attempt to grab your attention and force you to console me. Every sentence is associated with a knowing that it will be read and that thus my heart will not be hidden deep inside me where it can

perhaps rot?

perhaps turn into something great?

In any case, it is the obliteration of any sort of risk, to show. To let you know.

—–

In less dark times, I sometimes consider the paradox of individuality, and I believe it pertains to the above analysis/diatribe.

The paradox being:

If you really want to be a person, super-cool, exciting, real then you must do a lot of boring work for yourself – you must do your own laundry, you must process your own emotions, you must be strong, you must take care of your own health. And you must disconnect. But then what’s the “use” of being an individual (I hope you’ll permit me use of the pernicious term use here – know that it corresponds to some intuition – something weird – not social “use” in the standard sense of creating profit/feeding others/helping others)

Obversely, when you try to be a node, interacting, rich, “useful,” – you don’t do your own work, and you cannot interact with the stuff of reality which is actually the “useful” stuff. There are many ways to be such a node – specialize, become dependent, become a “leader.”

So it seems like there is no actual way to be of “use.”

Perhaps the best we can do is just be human and live, then die.

Little/Big

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on June 25, 2012

I’m a little person and you store your little facts in me –

Not waffles, pancakes. Father’s reading habits, mother’s maiden name, favorite childhood shirt.

There are lots of collections of such little facts and each little collection is its own spirit bundle (well):

There’re lots of alcoholics, I’m coming to realize. And, besides these, there are other worlds of numbness. Whole universes where the entirety of the content is collections of little facts.

—–

So you want to forget the game and the power and the creation and the source and all but then what do you have left,

Besides river, and tree, and field, and moon?

Am I as I am now?

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on June 23, 2012

Am I as I am now?

I am going through a separation from my wife. Am I as I am now? Weak and sorry, sitting on my couch with a headache, obsessing over a new woman, worried about writing this post, worried about who might see this post?

I quit smoking. Am I as I am now? Ravenous for a puff it would be so good. Tense and shivering. Attempting to feel everything, trying to overcome everything at once, trying to be too much at once, on the verge of collapse. 

Do I have a moral free pass? I am stressed and pushed. I haven’t slept or eaten. There’s very little left in the tank. I feel like these are the times that people commit atrocities. My temper flares. I am worried about destroying what relationships I have left.

I am alone. Am I as I am now? Or am I as I am when I’m surrounded by folks and grooving on their vibes? Are my feelings towards them the seething worry and hatred that I feel when I’m away, or the warmth and compassion when I am near?

—–

Of course there is no “I” to be any way, but this is thin consolation at the moment. I am ego-full. Not only I am, but all the people are me are ego-full for me. They’re trying to help. All eyes on Chris! Make sure he doesn’t sail away.

It’s funny, this. The idea that there can be greater weight on my ego than just my own body/mind/spirit – that the bodies and minds and spirits of those around me can pile on too, driving me inexorably and recurrently towards a conception of self. 

What is happening, here? Are they trying to make me into a new “me” or help me find a new “me” to be, so that they can stop worrying? So that they can go back to their own egos and the egos of others around them?

I believe that I have a newfound “network consciousness” – when I meet someone I immediately begin thinking about who they know, and who those people know. Where are they in the fabric?

Perhaps one way to escape the cage of ego, in this modern day and age, is to try to ruin others’ attempts at speculation w/r/t your network connectedness. Do not use Facebook. Do not advertise your friends or talk about your friends. Do not define your power as the sum of the power of your friends. Your power is your power.

But how can we go beyond this conception of “your power as your power” to “power as power” – dislocated from self entirely? Is there a key?

I am a node which admits flux of ego and focus. Am I as I am now?

Saying Anything at All

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on June 15, 2012

Most people don’t say anything.

The first person who said “fire” was really saying something. What a bold move. To declare that this rock was not fire, this tree was not fire, this branch was not fire, this fire was fire.

To draw a line. To say this is X and that is not X. To not just take a line from someone else, but actually draw the line – this is to really say something.

Most people don’t say anything, then. They just relate categories that already exist. They do not create new categories.

And who can blame them? Most people who have declared things to be a way have been killed. I’m not sure if that’s true, but it certainly seems true.

This is complete conjecture, but I think this may be the reason that the powerful religious have been secluded from society, historically – to be religious is to stand in a realm where things can actually be said. A farmer may make declarations of a small type, but he would not be able to say “some are angels, other are demons.”

Maybe this is a distinction that other people already understand? I’m not sure. I think it’s a subtle one – the distinction between “to say” and not “to say.” There are probably plenty of times that people feel like they’re saying things, but they’re actually just running in the same little circles (run rabbit run).

I’ve just noticed, recently, that no one wants to say anything. They don’t want to say “that guy is bad” or “that woman is good” or anything – they just piddle around. One of my favorite quotes:

“I believe in clear-cut positions. I think that the most arrogant position is this apparent, multidisciplinary modesty of “what I am saying now is not unconditional, it is just a hypothesis,” and so on. It really is a most arrogant position. I think that the only way to be honest and expose yourself to criticism is to state clearly and dogmatically where you are. You must take the risk and have a position.” – Slavoj Žižek

Modern academics either seem frightened – i.e. paralyzed by their politics and ethics – or else idiotic – i.e. unable to access their deep intuitions.

—–

Who among us will stand up and say something?

To Love a Mountain

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on June 9, 2012

Hello readers!

I wanted to write a personal message to you, even though there aren’t a lot of you. Did you know that there are some of you? I have regular readers, even though they are few:

Graham – thank you for your friendship and patience. Words cannot express the multitude of my thanks.

Bill – thank you for your hope and intuition. You see something in me that very few people do. I think I see something in you that very few people do.

Toby – thank you for your imagination and spirit. You have shown me a lot about peace and love.

Bryan – thank you for your energy and enthusiasm and your courage to disagree. Thank you for not giving up on me.

Jason – thank you for your enduring patience and faith and heart. I miss you. I want to hug you.

Emma – though you don’t read my blog too much, thank you for your faith and willingness to come back to it from time to time. Thank you for your insight and your perspective.

Cat – thank you for believing in me! You are subtle and beautiful. Thank you for keeping me on the path of goodness.

Gabe – thank you for your inspiration. Your question about humor lead me to write one of my favorite posts of all time! I’ve never even really met you. Hopefully we can properly meet some day.

Noah – I miss you so much. I see such kindness in you and such grace. I know our paths will cross again. Keep the faith!

You’re all so fucking amazingly wonderful. I’m so happy and blessed that you care about me in some way. You’re the real heart of the world, I think. You haven’t given up. Don’t give up. You’re fuckin doing it! You’re all so humble! I can’t say enough. I wish we could all get together and sing!