Friday, June 24, 2005

I confess, I haven't tied the loose ends of that Kant post yet. Nor the essay. Everytime I think of it, waves comes forth and drive me away.

In the meantime, some links I'm adding:

The Diaries of Franz Kafka
Can you believe it? Someone by the name of Paul Kerschen is translating Kafka's diaries, day by day. I am the luckiest soul in the world.

Bowling Ball
Like a beautiful flower that blooms once every two years and then withers, Guy has started a new blog. It seems lighter and happier than his previous forays. I wonder if he will enlighten us as to the origin of its title?

Charlotte Street
Yes I know everyone else already knows about Charlotte Street. But it is most reliably thoughtful and engaging, so it is high time that it went on my little list also.

Yesterday I made the mistake of sleeping in while News Radio played loudly in my bedroom - broadcasting the proceedings in Federal Parliament. I consequently had vivid dreams about being psychoanalysed by Phillip Ruddock, in which he showed me how all my failings come from my reading of Kafka. (How cruel of my unconscious to get so 'meta' on me - I was actually being psychoanalysed while still dreaming.)

Thought for the day: "Beauty's where you find it, not just where you bump and grind it." Such desperation and pathos within lines that mean, as far as I can see, absolutely nothing.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Alright, so I didn't get around today to finishing off yesterday's mammoth post. Give it a few days.

Meanwhile, I've run out of Franz Kafka-related searches to google, and I don't have the stomach for more blogs at this late hour... And now it occurs to me that I've run out of prompts to make me work. Once, a little Nietzsche would help. I'd feel glorious and strong and want to be exuberant upon the written page. And at another point, it was Benjamin - particularly, the bit from Einbahnstrasse (One-Way Street) in which he outlines ''The Writer's Technique in Thirteen Theses''. This one was always my favourite:

Let no thought pass incognito, and keep your notebooks as strictly as the authorities keep their register of aliens.

It made me think of writing as a noble task, but moreover as an urgent crusade against higher and barbaric powers.

I've learnt that Kafka fills me with a desire to be esoteric (if one can 'be' esoteric) and obscure, while Spinoza made want to become a robot...

A long walk is probably the best medicine that I could offer myself. Except it's 4:34am, and I'm working in the morning.

I did formulate something last night, though, after typing and typing my long post on Kant. And that is: 'the blog as typing cure'. It's a tricky one, given the lack of immediate feedback that comes from blogging. One thing gained from hitting 'publish post', of course, is the pleasure of seeing one's work whole, edited, finished, tied-off at the end. But there is also its cathartic effect. Which extends beyond that of diary writing, I would like to believe, as the projected audience is imbued in the mind with a more concrete set of expectable responses than the one that is imagined as the finder of the diary. Thus: blog as talking cure.

I'm transferring onto you right now, dear reader...

Thursday, June 16, 2005

peel eyeballs please

I'll be posting a large 'piece' on Kant's ''What is Enlightenment'' tomorrow - I started writing it as 'I have an overdue essay' guilt catharsis, but then it took on a life of its own and violated that liminal temporal stage that we call 'my bedtime'. But it ties in very nicely with some current posts at k-punk and Charlotte Street about irritating opinion-mongers in the broadsheets. So make like Dalí and keep those eyeballs peeled! (or sliced, as may be more appropriate.)

Monday, June 13, 2005

2 things.

My girlfriend is away in Europe. Walter Benjamin illuminates my feelings:

“Flag . . . .

How much more easily the leave-taker is loved! For the flame burns more purely for those vanishing in the distance, fueled by the fleeting scrap of material waving from the ship or railway window. Separation penetrates the disappearing person like a pigment and steeps him in gentle radiance.”

Also, it turns out that the Bauhaus photographer, Wolfgang Sievers, about whom she is writing her thesis, took a series of photos of Monash University's Menzies Building in the 1960s. They're quite incredible:

Photograph: Wolfgang Sievers, 1963

Incredibly, it seems that there is more to the Menzies Building than its being generally acknowledged as "the ugliest building in Melbourne". Imagine that - there was a concept that drove the construction of that dominating, grey, Soviet-style monument.

And now it's the place that has housed the best part of my undergraduate degree.

Friday, June 03, 2005

made me smile

statements like this from mark make me very happy:
"It is only the postmoderns who believe in a
pre-symbolic Nature"


Meanwhile, why has no one told me that this movie exists??? I'm so glad that my sexuality corroborates the superior theoretical positions to which I subscribe.
(15th June: Just realised that I may not have ever actually published this. Whoops. Must learn to control 'publish' and 'save as draft' buttons more effectively.)

As a (possibly disturbing) aside, I'm starting to find that I really quite like Derryn Hinch. This impression is from two or three recent events. First, his broadcasting the other week, against the tide of "Scapelle Corby is innocent, Corby must come home" that was around just prior to her judgement being pronounced, that he thinks she has received preferential treatment in the Australian media largely (though not entirely) because she is "easy on the eye" (which prompted Chris and Craig to opine rather hilariously on JJJ's Today Today that what David Hicks needs to do in order to get Australian pressure on the US government to release him from Guantanamo Bay is a boob job). Sure, Hinch's was a fairly common sensical statement to make, but it went so against the mass of media comment and coverage at the time that it seemed controversial.

Secondly, there was his speaking out about the 'forgotten' person after the death of David Hookes: his girlfriend, Christine Padfield. After the subsequent Australian Story coverage of this, Hinch's announcement seemed rather noble.

But the other thing I've marvelled at in passing a few times now is the popular/media reaction to Hinch's "outing" of Graham Kennedy, and his claim that Kennedy died of AIDS (see Crikey article on the claim; Age article on the response; Sydney Morning Herald review of Graham Kennedy biography). Though it sounds as though the AIDS claim may be somewhat spurious, the 'outing' itself has engendered some serious ripples of dissent from many in the entertainment industry - all along the lines of statements that 'outing' someone involves being disrespectful to the dead. Just check out this quote from an angry reader of the Crikey story coverage:

The gutless prick announced that Kennedy was gay, almost with glee, I couldn't see any reason why he'd do this. But after a bit of thought I began wondering how many years he'd been waiting for Kennedy to die, so it could be him – no one else but him – to announce that Kennedy was a poofter. I'd be willing to bet that he's been planning this for years... what a lowlife bastard. I'm not writing this because I'm gay, I'm not, but no-one deserves this disrespect after death. As I send this he's still carrying on about it, he's now moved on to exposing his lovers...

Incredible, no? Just listen to the language: 'Exposing', 'why would you do this' (yes, 'gay', such an insult), etc... It's such a primitive attitude, isn't it? "It's a private matter, why make it public, why make a song and dance about it?", quoth the indignant as they defend their memories of a sexless, innocent Graham Kennedy. Not that I like using the term much, but I really do feel inclined to pronounce about these pious twits: homophobes.

[It's such a crap and yucky word, isn't it? It just screams out "gay marriage now! Let us have boring domestic relationships and kids at the local primary school too! Science has shown that gay brains are hard-wired from birth!" Ack, what conciliatory, cult-of-science-fetishist rubbish.]

I am glad that Hinch was able to prompt the revelation of that ever-present underbelly - it reminds us that however you may sidestep and paper over bigotry, it's still there.

Not that I am proposing to start a Derryn Hinch fan club or anything. But in sum: Derryn Hinch: 1; Other dickheads: 0.

Bis später.