The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

August 26, 2013

MTV Music Video Awards & why not to ride Academy buses

So we're walking back and we're crossing Dean Street and
the light's in our favor and it's red for the cars and
buses and this Academy bus full of people pulls up to the
stop lines and we're crossing and the driver starts
inching into the crosswalk and almost hits up and I yell
at him to stop and he starts coming on faster and almost
hits Azure and me and the others and Azure slaps the
front of the bus and yells stop and I slap the front of
the bus and it speeds up into the cross walk and we get
out of the way and I punch the bus door screaming what
the hell are you doing and the door opens and the driver
starts to get out and head towards me and a woman in the
bus gets up to see what's going on and we're all yelling
at the driver that he almost killed us and there have
been accidents and people injured a lot on the corner
and then this old guy with an accent chimes in that the
driver had the right to pull the bus into the crosswalk
and we were all at fault and at this point I'm screaming
at him too and people are watching and Azure and I go
upstairs with Tom to bring stuff down and Leslie's now
talking to the bystanders who side with us and I keep
thinking this is just like the incident a few months
ago almost - imagine this time a huge bus challenging
pedestrians in the crosswalk, inching forward at first
then coming on - what was the point of all that? He
almost hit all of us, the light was red, the bus was
lurching - this kind of agro everywhere in the area
around the arena - my word to the wise is don't ride
Academy buses unless you don't mind running down
pedestrians once in a while or for that matter if you
don't mind breaking the law - we've seen lots of people
hurt on this corner, Dean and Fifth, and on Fifth and
Flatbush and on Dean and Flatbush (you can figure out
the geometry here), lots of ambulances, everyone on
edge. I did get some good swearing in and it almost
became an incident but we ran upstairs and I played my
shakuhachi; then we went over to T and L's place and
watched the awards and no one was wrecked but for the
life of me I can't understand watching Justin Timberlake
and twenty minutes of that really drove me out of my
mind -


Reading as best I can Weak Chaos and Quasi-Regular Patterns,
Zaslavsky, Sagdeev, Usikov, and Chernikov and wondering about
those borders that are somewhat permeable, entangled - then
listening to Susskind on the firewall problem re: black holes
and potential wormholes as a solution. Again understanding as
best I can, not so good in either case. The characters on my
shakuhachi indicate that Kiyama, who signed it, was a resident
of Suifu, a small town by a river which has since been absorbed
by a larger metropolis created from a conglomerate. What I am
interested in is always marginal, always entangled. I was then
reading Bataille on religion and 'animality' and found his
thinking wrong-headed, specist, and primitive, although his
hysteria informs everything he does, as if there were truth
pushed through by virtue of emotional extremity. So I cross that
out and turn to Cassirer's writing and that proves hopelessly
Kantian in relation to number etc., even with Einstein; the
Whitehead and Russell stuff is seen as background - not even
Godel had come along by then. So there's a regularity that will
soon, within a couple of decades, fizzle out. An article by
Mandl warns about software complexity leading to more flash
crashes, at least in its nettime interpretation, and we're
finding the world economic system increasingly abstract and
autonomous - answering to nothing but its porous closure and
entanglement with programs large and small world-wide. There's
no future for ecological action in the midst of all of this. I
can't read an ornithological book for example that's more than
2-3 years old; it's so fast, this knowledge and its management,
that it's always on the verge of collapse. Penrose tilings
appear in the weak chaos book and there are nice relationships
between higher/lower dimensional intersections and resulting,
might I say, organic, partial symmetries that go on forever.
Oddly, three large books on the archaeology of a Han tomb give
examples of similar symmetries where organism appears just as
the symmetrical seems to collapse; I'm thinking of a particular
chest where swirls are inhabited by miniscule and mythological
creatures that ride them, perhaps create or destroy them; the
swirls move across the formal borders of the design much like
contemporary comic books. Miley Cyrus' incredible performance at
the MTV Video Music Awards amazed me; it was incredibly sleazy
and seemed to have production values and slickness, closure, on
the level of everyone else. But the deliberate sleaziness of her
performance undercut that and gave it an edge I didn't see
elsewhere in the show. It's these borders where inhabitants
appear and make themselves at home; the inhabitants live for the
ingestion and production of negation, neither this nor that, not
both this and that, anything creating trembling divisions and
walls that allow for the appearance of normal life. Maybe gods
follow or maybe gods come to roost. They're as subject as anyone
else to the catastrophe-theory fragility of good things;
Ragnarok can bring them down. The gods quarrel and gossip, and
their affairs never go unnoticed. Unlike Bataille they recognize
the world-views of animals and other organisms; the world is an
ecological soup with local porous barriers, killing fields, and
the occasional safe haven. Let's go there, with our notions of
detective stories, from procedural to fantastic, and see what we
shall find.

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