The free association thread

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Re: The free association thread

Postby dada » Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:23 pm

I'm finding that to have considered the possibility that a post in the cat thread was deleted by the mods says something. Not about the mods, or the 'current climate' of the board, although it might say something about that, too. But it says something about me.

What does it say, though. It says Cats are super important to me, of course.

I don't know, maybe it doesn't 'say' anything. Not like a cigar is a cigar, but like a sign is silent.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
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Re: The free association thread

Postby dada » Sun Oct 04, 2020 6:21 pm

In the quarter of the tavern, there are many men
Who can decipher secrets from the tablet of existence,
Outside the wonders of the conditions of the world,
They are aware of secrets, but they lead their normal lives.

Don't you believe it.

I found it in the memoirs of the first Aga Khan, he's quoting Suhrawardi. There's been a shit-ton of research on and translations of Ismaili literature from the Alamut period in recent years. We've come a long way from "assassins lurking in a cloud of hashish."

Although research had already put the propaganda to rest long before. Bill Burroughs and Bob Wilson should have known better, or didn't want to know better.

I'm not angry at them, just disappointed. Since then, Bill did turn me on to Denton Welch. So I guess Bill is redeemed. Denton's prose goes down so easy. It's as if what is said extends right up to the horizon of what's left unsaid, there's no "gray zone" left in between. A thoroughly enjoyable writer.

Not that the Old Man of the Mountain isn't dangerous. It just isn't because of any assassin drug cult. It's because he proclaimed the great resurrection in August of 1164. The end of sharia law. Women need no longer wear veils, and should be educated alongside men.

So you can see why the old man was dangerous. These heresies are always the same heresy, aren't they?

But what does the great resurrection mean for you, a stubborn literalist who doesn't live under the shariat. Nothing, nothing at all.

Obviously I'm not technically free associating here. But where else to put a post like this? Don't feel like searching through the thousands of threads for an appropriate one. Or starting a fresh Alamut thread. I see no reason. I'm not on a crusade for the Ismailis.

Why bother writing it at all. Or writing, at all. I don't know. Maybe you have heard of the wound that can only be healed by the weapon that made it. Or the fetters that can only be loosed by the one who tied them.

But whatever. I'll let you get back to more important matters. The great debates. How many licks to the center, mr. owl. How many angels can fit on the head of a pin.

Yes, but how many can you fit at the end of your pen?
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Re: The free association thread

Postby Harvey » Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:57 pm

Obviously I'm not technically free associating here.


I believe you're perfectly within the wide and generous spirit of the thread.
And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings
This he said to me
"The greatest thing
You'll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return"


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Re: The free association thread

Postby dada » Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:11 am

Thanks, I do try.

But now perhaps I should free associate in a more traditional way, as an encouragement to participation. Although, all my words nowadays could be considered an invitation.

A wide and generous spirit, a wide mouth with generous lips. A big smile. A cheshire cat, a Cheshire cheese.

Why does a Cheshire cat grin like that. The historians continue to speculate. Some say the smiling cat was a popular label on good, crumbly Cheshire cheeses. But that doesn't answer the question, why put the cat on the label in the first place?

This is because in an area where much cheese is produced, there are lots of mice. Also, lots of milk, naturally.

A cat would be quite happy there, wouldn't you say. I can just picture a contented cat sitting by the fireside, reading a book. Of Mice and Milk, of course.

Also, the cats all have milk on their whiskers. A milk moustache on a cat highlights the shape of the cat mouth, brings out the grin.

Moustaches, mario, mushrooms. We're still in the vicinity of Wonderland, here.

Adding the vanishing cat to the moustache leads to Groucho singing Hello, I Must Be Going. And we're back to crumbling cheese.
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Re: The free association thread

Postby Harvey » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:53 pm

dada wrote:Thanks, I do try.

But now perhaps I should free associate in a more traditional way, as an encouragement to participation. Although, all my words nowadays could be considered an invitation.

A wide and generous spirit, a wide mouth with generous lips. A big smile. A cheshire cat, a Cheshire cheese.

Why does a Cheshire cat grin like that. The historians continue to speculate. Some say the smiling cat was a popular label on good, crumbly Cheshire cheeses. But that doesn't answer the question, why put the cat on the label in the first place?

This is because in an area where much cheese is produced, there are lots of mice. Also, lots of milk, naturally.

A cat would be quite happy there, wouldn't you say. I can just picture a contented cat sitting by the fireside, reading a book. Of Mice and Milk, of course.

Also, the cats all have milk on their whiskers. A milk moustache on a cat highlights the shape of the cat mouth, brings out the grin.

Moustaches, mario, mushrooms. We're still in the vicinity of Wonderland, here.

Adding the vanishing cat to the moustache leads to Groucho singing Hello, I Must Be Going. And we're back to crumbling cheese.


I take it this is a personal invitation, since you bring up the Cheshire cat (real enough, like the Welsh dragon (which was adopted by Liverpool for their symbolic heraldic beast, the 'Liver Bird') all of whom I've seen and vivdly remember (much as the genesis of Frederic Edwin Church's vision was clearly remembered by him)

Frederic_Edwin_Church_-_Our_Banner_in_the_Sky_(Terra_Foundation).jpg


but the real question remains, 'what is real?') and since you appear aware that I'm a denizen of Cheshire and have been much of my life, perhaps I should accept the invitation, despite not knowing what it entails. My experience was of a gigantic golden intricately drawn cat, woven of cloud and evening sun, grinning straight out of Tenniel, but with no attached suggestion of origins. It led me one day to the Cheshire Cat pub ostensibly to apply for a job. While I waited for my interview, I noticed some archive photographs of King George V visiting Chester in 1913 https://www.britishpathe.com/video/king-at-chester-drive-in-open-coach in a 'motorcade' of open topped carriages, on a stretch of road remarkably evocative of Dallas in the photo I saw. I'd just been immersed in reading about the Black Hand and Gavrillo Princep, and suddenly it occurred to me that if George had been assassinated here (this feeling was accompanied by intense intimations of some such unrealised plot) other European heads of state would have been slightly more careful in the year that followed, and of course modern history would have been very different. I never followed up the lead but I do remember the vivid 'intuition.'
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And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings
This he said to me
"The greatest thing
You'll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return"


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Re: The free association thread

Postby dada » Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:17 pm

I didn't know you are in Cheshire, but free associating led me there.

What is real, like a riddle? I feel like gollum when bilbo asks him, 'what have I got in my pocket.'

Not an official invitation, more like the stars are an invitation to look up. They don't send out official invitations.

Looking up at the invitation of the stars, one sees them turning around a centre, marked by the pole star. Is this a real perspective? It is for the navigator charting a course. Real enough.

Exactly as real as it needs to be, more or less. But really for the navigator, every sky is a painting of the banner of a nation in one world or another. All the places he'll be making stop overs. Resupply, give the crew a break.

Traditional free association: Dragon, King George. A King, a throne. Angels. Cabbages. Walrus, capenter. Joker, thief. Thief, baggins.
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Re: The free association thread

Postby dada » Fri Oct 30, 2020 1:24 am

Guess I'm out, too. Skies look favorable.

Hail freedonia, save the whales.
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Re: The free association thread

Postby Cordelia » Fri Nov 06, 2020 5:08 pm

Africa, the most beautiful word in the world, Africa.
The greatest sin is to be unconscious. ~ Carl Jung

We may not choose the parameters of our destiny. But we give it its content. ~ Dag Hammarskjold 'Waymarks'
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Re: The free association thread

Postby dada » Sun Dec 20, 2020 3:52 pm

Jupiter and Saturn will appear closer in our sky than they have in centuries, mimicking the Christmas star on Monday, the 2020 winter solstice.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.lehighvalleylive.com/weather/2020/12/a-christmas-star-on-the-first-day-of-winter-everything-to-know-about-the-2020-winter-solstice-the-shortest-day-of-the-year-122120.html%3foutputType=amp

This sort of conjunction with Jupiter and Saturn happens about every 20 years this century, according to NASA. But it is very rare that Jupiter and Saturn will appear quite this close. An observable conjunction of these two planets that close hasn’t happened since the year 1226, according to EarthySky.org.

...

The Ursid meteor shower will unfold during the second half of Monday night and into the early hours of Tuesday morning, but will only be visible for skywatchers across the Northern Hemisphere.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.11alive.com/amp/article/weather/accuweather/winter-solstice-ursid-meteor-shower-how-to-see/507-bec12cd7-6542-4dac-8b34-59ad2eb6892e

"The Ursids are often neglected due to the fact it peaks just before Christmas and the rates are much less than the Geminds, which peaks just a week before the Ursids," the American Meteor Society (AMS) explained.

"Observers will normally see 5-10 Ursids per hour during the late morning hours on the date of maximum activity," the AMS added. "There have been occasional outbursts when rates have exceeded 25 per hour."

After the Ursids subside, there will be one more opportunity to view a meteor shower in the coming weeks before there is a three-month spell of no major meteor showers.

On the second night of January, the Quadrantid meteor shower will peak, and like the Ursids, will only be visible across the Northern Hemisphere. This shower tends to be more impressive than its predecessor and can feature anywhere from 20 to 120 meteors per hour, according to the AMS.

Once the Quadrantids come and go, it will be three long months before another meteor shower sparkles in the night sky - the Lyrids in late April.
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Re: The free association thread

Postby dada » Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:54 pm

All this freedom of talk speech has me ruminating on the different types of freedom. Freedom won, freedom earned, freedom found, and freedom desired. The highest type of freedom is desired.

Freedom won is fought for, to keep it, or to take it by force. But the logic of freedom dictates that you can't earn freedom unless you lose the fight.

As well, you can't find freedom unless you go bankrupt, and you can't have freedom desired unless you fail to find it.

That's the logic of freedom, seemingly counter-intuitive. Freedom desired is the most confusing, because when you have it, you don't. And when you don't have it, you do.

Another false dilemma. So we call freedom desired freedom's angel, the angel of freedom. As stated in the hauntology thread, an angel is philosophical shorthand, facilitating discussion without getting caught up or bogged down in false dilemmas.

The angel of freedom is desired. We say this is the desire that turns the heavenly bodies in their orbits. When the angel of freedom finds you, you find the angel. It happens simultaneously. The angel teaches that to earn freedom, we use a different kind of currency.

This is the angelic pedagogy. The angel fights for you when you fight for the angel. The fight for the angel in both the senses of freeing the angel, like freeing princess zelda from the desert prince of power, and fighting under the angel's banner.
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Re: The free association thread

Postby dada » Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:08 pm

Terry Gilliam's take on the end of Brazil, from NYT article 1986:

"Although ''Brazil'' ends with Lowry being destroyed by the heedlessly malign bureaucracy, Mr. Gilliam doesn't view that choice as irredeemably bleak. ''He escapes into madness, which I've always considered a reasonable approach to life in certain situations,'' says the 45-year-old film maker cheerfully. ''To me that's an optimistic ending. Lowry's imagination is still free and alive; they haven't got that. They may have his body, but they don't have his mind. The girl rescues him and takes him away and they live happily forever; it's only in his mind, but that's sufficient, I think. It's better than nothing, folks!''

Mr. Gilliam admits that the studio may have been correct in its insistence that audiences would prefer a sugar-coated ending, but that, to him, is beside the point. ''I'm more interested in saying something than I am in pandering,'' he explains. ''There's a lot of pandering that goes on, and it's bad for society, because people aren't being encouraged to think. I do think there's a terrible lack of responsibility out there. You can't talk about artistic values or social values or philosophical values; economic values are the only ones that count. This is a divisive film; people have quite strong reactions to it, and they argue about it, but at least it gets them talking.''

Mr. Palin claims that Mr. Gilliam did the film because it allowed him ''the chance to make what he's always wanted - really big explosions.''"

A few more quotes from the article:

"'"We were in this steel town on the coast, Port Talbot, a really awful place,'' he recalls. ''The beach was completely covered with iron ore, black and awful, and I was there at sunset, seeing these strange industrial shapes all over the place.''

At that moment an odd image floated into his mind. ''All I could see was this guy at sunset, sitting on the beach, fidding with his radio,'' Mr. Gilliam says. ''He's tuning in the radio and getting this wonderful Latin escapist romantic music that has nothing to do with the world he's in. As it turned out, that's not in the film, but it's still what the film is about.""

*

"''There were a lot of frustrations that had been building up about the world we live in, and I just wanted to get them out of my system: the over-complication and over-organization of life, the loss of humanity, things about dreams - your own dreams, the dreams you're sold, other people's dreams of you. That's one of the reasons I left America: I couldn't distinguish my dreams from the dreams that had been processed for me. Walking down a beach at sunset, I couldn't tell whether I was enjoying it because it was enjoyable, or because I'd seen it on too many commercials.""
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Re: The free association thread

Postby dada » Tue Feb 02, 2021 1:16 am

"Like all good discoveries, the new inorganic pigment was identified by coincidence. A team of chemists at Oregon State University (OSU), led by Mas Subramanian, was experimenting with rare earth elements while developing materials for use in electronics in 2009 when the pigment was accidentally created.

Andrew Smith, a graduate student at the time, mixed Yttrium, Indium, Manganese, and Oxygen at about 2000 °F. What emerged from the furnace was a never-before-seen brilliant blue compound. Subramanian understood immediately that his team stumbled on a major discovery.

“People have been looking for a good, durable blue color for a couple of centuries,” the researcher told NPR in 2016. "The fact that this pigment was synthesized at such high temperatures signaled that this new compound was extremely stable, a property long sought in a blue pigment."

Image

Look like spice.

Since the discovery, Subramanian and his team have expanded their research, producing a range of new pigments, from bright oranges to shades of purple, turquoise, and green. They continue to search for a new stable, heat-reflecting, and brilliant red, calling it “the most elusive color to synthesize."
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Re: The free association thread

Postby dada » Sun Apr 04, 2021 3:56 pm

"The goddess rescues a tree that has fallen in a river, plants it in her garden. The plan is to let it grow big and strong, then make 'a chair and a couch' from the wood. Maybe a chariot and a comfy spot for our world-weary guests to sit. But the tree becomes too big for its lederhausen, and gets all polluted with demons.

The demons are all symbols of divinity, mistaken for the divinity they symbolify. The serpent, symbol of the divinization of rationality. Also the shape-shifting bird. And lillith, representing the image of the transcendent ineffable itself, mistaken for the divinity which presents it, the divinity which it is a presentation of.

Gil gets the serpent out, the bird flies off to the mountain, lillith moves to the desert, and the tree can be cut down. For all of his effort the goddess gives him a gift, a pikku and miku made from the tree. Translators seem to favor drum and drumsticks for pikku and miku, but I think it is open to interpretation as tablet and qalam, or stylus. She gives him writing materials.

He loses them in the underworld,"

Free associating from the roko's basilisk thread. Lillith's flight to the desert brings to mind the woman clothed with the sun standing on the moon in the revelation of John. She flys to the desert to escape the dragon, her child "who was to rule the nations with an iron rod" escapes too, "taken up to god." To the mountain, like the shapeshifting bird.

From the flight to the desert we can freely associate in many directions, it is a popular mythological theme. Sometimes it's the child who is hidden in the desert. Maybe a gazelle takes care of it, watches over it, feeds it.

I think the gilgamesh story above also has certain parallels with the story of odin receiving the runes. There is the motif of the tree, and the gift of writing. No desert in that one, though. Maybe the nine days of hanging upside down on the tree is representative of the hardships of suffering in desert-like harsh conditions. Then again, the frozen bleak landscape which is the setting of the myth is certainly desert-like enough.

Now the child with the iron rod might suggest thor with his hammer. The image finally settles on monkey from journey to the west, with his 'as you will' cudgel. We'll allow the rod to symbolize with the polestar, at the center of the turning sky. But we'll have to come back to monkey some other time.

While we're on the subject of revelations, here's something from 1 Enoch, who recently made an appearance in the haunted thread: "…. And they became pregnant and bore large giants, and their height (was) three thousand cubits. These devoured all the toil of men, until men were unable to sustain them. And the giants turned against them in order to devour men. And they began to sin against birds, against animals, and against reptiles and against fish, and they devoured one another’s flesh and drank the blood from it. Then the earth complained about the lawless ones.”

I have a difficult time not reading the giants as the incorporation of mass production by industrial machinery. Like Enoch saw it coming somehow, I guess. I freely associate here back to the book "Life against Nature: The Goldberg Circle and the Search for a Non-catastrophic Politics." I posted a link to a selection from it in the 'what are you reading now' thread.

"[A] machine is not a tool [Werkzeug] for Caspary, a “means of production” used since “it saves time”.113 On the contrary, the machine is “not, like the tool, a simple means for the production, but also at the same time its motor”.114 It is an apparatus that is created together with and even for the world market. This is important, because the machine, as the physical motor of the specifcally capitalist mode of production of surplus value, is not produced because it saves time but “since it can produce more products” than a tool in a specifc period of time.115 “The machine”, Caspary clarifes “also saves time — for each single product that can be produced fasterwith machines than without them”, but that is“not its utility”.116 Its utility is to make an industrialised world market possible and thereby the time saved by the machines produce the need for new labour in orderto uphold this factory system. Thus, Caspary continues: “If the demand remained the same, that is, if the production fgure remained the same, the machine would not be proftable, because it saves too much time for the individual product. The machine produces so fast that in the case of constant demand, the production of the machine itself would take more time than the non- mechanical production of goods”.117 This implies (1) that the machine is impossible without a global infrastructure that has the market and the explicit goal of accumulation for accumulation’s sake as its condition of possibility, and (2) the machine is not built to make work easier for workers per se, even if this may be its indirect consequence, but in order to be the motor for the production of more and more commodities in a specifc time period.

These two points are essential, since they imply that Caspary’s argument diverges in significant ways from those Marxists who primarily view the machine as an instrument that saves necessary labour through out the whole history of capital. Against this position, he writes that “the machine is produced economically as surplus value, that is, the production of machines does not have the character of ‘necessary’ but surplus labour. The machine did not emerge due to the pressure to save necessary labour, it emerged because the army of free workers that was not used for the necessary labour (for the reproduction of the goods needed for survival of the proletariat as such), was at free disposal” and therefore could be hired to build machines and operate them.118 This is why the machine is an instrument for an economy based on surplus labour that cannot continue to exist exactly as a machine, i.e. as a motor rather than simple means for capitalist production, without necessarily reproducing the division of labour that characterises capitalism and that is produced through primitive accumulation of capital.

With the rise of capitalism, all existing workers and all existing means of productions are liberated from their shackles and turned to wage labour or capital, and at this stage of the primitive accumulation there are not many machines and machine-like complexes such as modern factories. But, as Robert Brenner has shown, the transition from feudalism to capitalism was made possible due to a form of agrarian capitalism in which, Caspary argues, a surplus population in relation to the older mode of production could arise. Workers could now be employed not only to produce food and similar commodities needed for immediate survival, that is for the reproduction of nec- essary labour, but for the production of machines."

Been fighting with the old offset printing press at the paper the last few weeks. So this difference between the machine "saving time" and the machine "producing more" is in sharp focus. When the industrial machine gets sick, the worker doesn't perform the function of the machine, but at a slower pace. The machine can only mass produce, the worker can only produce, and no amount of production can effectively substitute for mass production.

"When Caspary makes this basic point in Die Maschinenutopie, namely, that a machine is an apparatus for the reproduction and expansion of surplus labour rather than only a mechanism that reduces necessary labour, he comes close to the argument of one of the most interesting contemporary theorists of technology: Alf Hornborg. For decades, Hornborg has defended a thermodynamic understanding of what he calls “machine fetishism”, which he diferentiates from simple “commodity fetishism”, by seeking to reveal that “[i]ndustrial machines are social phenomena. These inorganic structures propelled by mineral fuels and substituting for human work could not be maintained but for a specifc structure of human exchange”.126 “The machine”, Caspary wrote as early as 1927, can “only be produced when the goods are not produced for needs but for the market” and therefore “when the market is not dependent on the individual, but when the individual is dependent on the market”. This is of crucial importance according to Hornborg, since it indicates that machines are not in any sense productive in themselves. They are only productive if they are put to work in an expanding economic process that necessitates accumulation for the sake of accumulation.

Thus, Hornborg can help us explain Caspary’s thesis that machines are not simply mechanical tools primarily diminishing necessary labour but motors for a production based on surplus labour. The banal mystifcation of this process, the denial of the fact that machinery is frst and foremost the physical infrastructure of a social relation that reproduces the need for more surplus labour, produced by the global stratifcation of the production process itself, implies for Caspary the generalisation of “machine utopias” amongst capitalist ideologues as well as socialist intellectuals. These utopias, and according to Caspary they were utopias in the most banal sense, namely, fantastic descriptions of something fundamentally unreal, are based on what Hornborg would call a fetishistic view of machines that does not register the web of power relations they not only are embedded in but which they also necessarily reproduce."

"Caspary enigmatically claimed that even if there is no prospect of building a just society on the world of existing machines, and at the same time no possibility of returning to an agrarian idyll (a primitivistic option the Goldberg circle explicitly refused), there “is the power of organic life. But this power is not accessible to contemporaryhumanity [der gegenwärtigen Menschheit] in a conscious way, it belongs to the capricious nature that has been withdrawn from humanity”

Withdrawn like the grail, I think. Taken away, out of this world. Free association here naturally brings us to the cup of Jamshid, the jam-e jam. Kay Khusrow possessed the cup in his time, before disappearing into the east, vanishing in a snowstorm. But we'll come back to Jamshid, Khusrow, and the jam-e jam another time.
Both his words and manner of speech seemed at first totally unfamiliar to me, and yet somehow they stirred memories - as an actor might be stirred by the forgotten lines of some role he had played far away and long ago.
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Re: The free association thread

Postby dada » Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:27 pm

"horses running in opposite directions. The horses are for pulling a chariot."

Free associating from the ufo thread. A chariot, a carriage. Cover of King Diamond album, 'Abigail.' Carriage at night through bare trees by lantern light. Horse-drawn hearse. Comedy of Terrors, starring Vincent Price and Peter Lorre. Unlikely comedy duo. Better than the Ritz brothers, for sure. Not a very difficult thing to do.

Only film I know of where a cat gets billing at the top of the film with the other stars. Basil Rathbone is in it. Recites some Shakespeare. The fiends keep trying to bury him while he's unconscious. Karloff is, too. Not a big role, but he delivers a eulogy that steals the show. Karloff playing the mad scientist in House of Frankenstein. Dracula's role is small in House of Frankenstein, the sunlight gets him in a scene fairly early in the film. Before that, Karloff's carraige carrys around Dracula's bones in a coffin. After that the film takes off. Decent story, maybe best of the lot.
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