They are astonishing surprises.
It’s what I ordered the cat food the espresso machine the two new tables.
Ordering things and how they appear basically I am a small-scale sorcerer.
On the road I press the button and the music goes.
Air conditioning gas pedal restaurant take-out etc.
It is my will being perpetually sated.
Pretend we are writing a fable in which a sorcerer always gets what he wants.
Consider what happens to a soul which always gets what it wants.
— Emily Bludworth de Barios, from the preview page for issue #31 of Forklift, Ohio (and, indeed, the issue itself, if you have it):
Against a glowing surface, my hand describes a complex sigil, and orbital mechanisms leap into action on my whim.
Next up: pulling together the components for Karsus's Avatar
Although doing the overnight camping option at the zoo there was a great experience.
—— Iain M. Banks, The Player of Games.
It’s not even limited to medical assistance. A friends floor collapsed and a single phone call made the difference between an unpleasant day and an agonizing death.
I'll get the Tarrasque.
Still super cool though! :)!
Takeaway available with the press of a button is certainly not what my soul wants.
One time I bought a bag of beans it occurred to me that requiring coffee beans from a specific farm in Rhuanda sounds like something a king might do.
Even my bog standard middle class luxury feels wildly excessive sometimes.
No wonder we have trouble falling asleep.
If anything it's surprising we're not even fatter and even less well-rested. We live in a friggin' world-class carnival. Describe some medieval monarch living in some kind of environment like that and we'd simply assume they'd be a wrecked, fat drunkard with perpetual bags under their eyes in short order, even if they had the best of intentions and pretty decent character. But we wonder why we're fat and tired and write and read books about it and try not to see the obvious cause, and the cost of fixing the problem.
kitchens are expensive. the historical urban poor often lived in a corner of a room and bought their food from someone who had a kitchen. it makes eating home cooked meals feel absolutely decadent!
(one thing i haven't yet understood: food was cheaper than a penny, but there were no farthings or ha'pnies till much later. indeed, a penny bought about $20 worth. so did they buy meals a week at a time, and get a pastie a day or something?)
For instance, going to the circus was fun, but quickly forgotten. A local stunt pilot flying overhead only gets a quick glance.
A few minutes of a YouTube compilation gives more amazing entertainment moments than my entire childhood.
How prodigious is it that so many of us know so many intricacies and details about so much stuff, from the aesthetic to the mechanic. We don't know if our point in the universe is to spread life or morality or simply to make it pretty, it's probably pointless to wonder beyond our very own life, but there's no denying that we are growing. We are becoming. Only by getting there can we know what it is. But it sure is one-of-a-kind.
All the cynicism and pessimism in the world falls short in the face of our past achievements, let alone the future potential of this Earth (I like to consider all life here to be part of the journey, we didn't exactly "win" in isolation, and "we" is more like the system to me, however large that is).
I have been having a bit of a rough month, one of those obdectively good on the outside view but subjectively on the inside full of self-doubt and existential angst.
This just yanked me out of that headspace, for a few moments at least.
Thank you :)
We've weaponised the apparatus of retail and communication against our own limbic systems.
Is one a better philosopher when they are starving? I don't know. I would rather be a well fed philosopher than a starving one.
Always be prepared. Have your own backup set of silverware anytime you eat.
I wanna ask this person on a date. What's the worst thing that could possibly happen? They say no and I feel embarrassed. It's a lot easier to do scary things if you actually think about the consequences of failure, rather than letting animal fear control you.
This, I learned from the Stoics.
Breathing looks hierarchically more important than self-actualization but it's just that a material portion of your entire ensemble of needs is just breathing - completely not optional.
Given that, you can futz w/ stuff and see if the levy-stable structure of this sort of thing will allow you to fold over different stuff
Your writing alternates between being overly complicated and being so casual that it's vague. Can you rephrase in plain language?
It's a semi-obscure but-well-regarded-in-certain-circles poetry/literary journal that's been around since the mid-90s, that uses the aesthetics of blue-collar industrial & commercial publications, drawing on them for illustrations, section title inspiration, occasional excerpts of advice or instructions, that sort of thing. The poetry itself isn't tied down by that theme, though, and ranges as widely as any poetry journal might. Also each issue usually includes at least one recipe. (the "cooking" part).
The journals themselves tend to include some kind of physical gimmick. IIRC one early one was a bunch of loose sheets with a hole through the middle, "bound" with a bolt, nut, and washers. One came in an actual, sealed evidence bag. Issue #31's spine (the one quoted) has been dipped in wax. One's cover is sandpaper and spine covered in duct tape, another's textured with brick dust. One's got a cork driven through it and came with a corkscrew to get it out.
I like it because 1) they don't seem to take themselves too seriously, 2) their sense of whimsy is tuned to about the exact level that I find fun and enjoyable, rather than trying-too-hard and obnoxious, and 3) their taste in selecting poetry seems to place a lot of weight on whether the words and ideas stick with you, rather than sheer poetic excellence or stereotypical MFA inside-baseball wanking—I can get those things in effectively-unlimited quantities elsewhere, so I appreciate their (apparently) somewhat different editorial priorities.
If you did the actual work of solving the constraint satisfaction problem of making syllable counts, stress, and rhyming words line up, in a way that simultaneously tells an engaging story -- well, that's a lot of work, and anyone can appreciate the achievement. And it tickles readers' neurons in a unique way. It's a respectable and unique form of literature.
If you don't want to bother with that, it seems like you can slap down any old vague, mystic-sounding words. And because you call it a poem, miraculously any nonsense becomes some inscrutable profundity.
I don't "get" it. And I have a sneaking suspicion that maybe nobody "gets" it. But a lot of people pretend to, because they don't want to seem like some anti-artistic philistine.
In any field where people achieve mastery, technical excellence eventually stops being the point. I'm sure rhyming must have seemed like a real achievement back when the first proto-poets crawled out of the word ooze. The thing is, it's not actually that hard. Are you telling me that if you worked as a professional word rhymer for a year, ten years, fifty years, we wouldn't eventually start to hear the fatigue in your rendition of "there once was a man from Nantucket", even as you nail every last amphibrach with laserlike precision? When rhyming gets boring, you look for something more advanced. What does that look like?
If you draw the vector from writing to rhyming, it points in the direction of "creating meaning with form". You can say "I have social anxiety" – that's meaning in content. You can also say "They hate me they hate me they hate me they hate me they hate me they hate me they hate me they hate me they hate me" – that's meaning in form. Much like the rhythm and structure of a song can convey meaning not present in its lyrics, so too can the rhythm and structure of words. As you follow that vector upwards, the structure starts to become pretty obscure, but that's just what it looks like when the masters get bored.
If it helps, people make the same complaints about free jazz, abstract art, and tool-assisted speedrunning. I don't think it makes you a philistine, but I do suspect that you took "I don't enjoy this because I don't understand it" as a cue for judgement rather than curiosity, which seems like a bit of a missed opportunity.
I quite like this article, about a juggler who got too good: https://grantland.com/features/anthony-gatto-juggling-cirque... – I think it gives some insight on why technical excellence isn't enough to create meaning
And if you want some abstract art that's a little closer to home, I found this a while back and I think it's beautiful: http://code-poetry.com/ – it takes some analysis to "get" how the output, the code and the words all relate to the meaning of each piece, but I think the effort is worth it. chernobyl and clock_in_clock out in particular really hit me.
The soul craves for what's not easily attainable.
Commercial transactions are all the same.
Feasibility is sweet but one-dimensional.
There're things you can buy, and things you cannot.
You cannot buy a different self.
Politics, volunteering, social games, arts and sports
are the new frontier.
And we act to define what we are.