Friday, 07 July 2006

Literature Today Adam’s praised by someone who doesn’t already like him. Some day, I will too. Some day, so will we all. (Except you. You suck. Sorry, but someone had to say it.) In the meantime, check us out. We’re special too, you know. (Who’s that I spy, mistaking hits for individual visits again?) Speaking of me: I’ve posted another anti-psychoanalytic broadside, this one with facts to complement the usual vitriol. Graphic novels are better than you think they are. Good, even. The time has come to Remix literature: The remixing of literature started from Nigel Tomm’s work “Shakespeare’s Sonnets Remixed”, where the author took the original text of Shakespeare’s Sonnets and deconstructed them into modern language with changing form and meaning beyond physical recognition. Awesomeness. Literature above all signifies empowerment. That’s it. Just empowerment. Alright, alright, wax too. Jack is better than Hemingway and Ginsberg, but his dreams and values are slowly being consigned to textbooks. Finally, someone who isn’t preoccupied with literary theory. At least, not there. Donald Maass, one alveolar sibilant removed from powerful irony, prepares to reveal the secret of the novel. To Nashville. Penguin Books appoints Mother to a very important post. Father quite upset, hops into white van. Watch out for White Van Man! He drives too close! Cyclists beware! Speaking of excessive exclamation, could someone tell me how to pronounce this band’s name? Because if people pronounce it like it looks, well: Kid #1: I like! That band. Kid #2: So! Do I. Kid #1: We! Should form a band. Kid #2: But! What should we! Name it!
An Excerpt From The Journal of the Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Culture (8:33) I. The following is a 2006 transcript from the final session of a man I will call Patient #3987. Although the violence which with his case concluded is anomalous, this transcript succinctly captures not only the cultural milieu of Summer 2003, but also its continued (and possibly salutary) resonance. The first voice you hear belongs to the late Shelby Darling; the second, Patient #3987. Breathe deeply. Slowly. Focus on the experience of breathing, the feel of cool air over your lips, into your lungs, then out again. Now listen to the smooth, soothing sound of my words as they wash over your worries and fears. You are in a safe space, now. Nothing from the grind can disturb the peace you now inhabit now. You lose yourself in the warm embrace, of my calming words, and you breathe deeply, and you breathe slowly, and you feel the cool air cross your lips . . . . . . and you look around you, at your surroundings. You are in a familiar place, but you experience it from an angle that makes it seem unfamiliar now. Tell me, [#3987], what do you see? I hear Kenny Mayne shouting. He sounds scared. Someone else is shouting too. "The devils!" they scream, and together they scream, "The devils!"1 Where am I? You're in a safe place, remember. Now take a deep breath and gently walk away from the voices. Now, continue to retreat, calmly, orderly, to your safe space. Ignore Kenny Mayne. Kenny Mayne can't harm you here. You're in a safe space. Now take a deep breathe . . . I can't go back there. The devils, he said, the devils. I can't. DIDN'T YOU HEAR WHAT KENNY MAYNE SAID ABOUT THE DEVILS? It's alright, [#3987], everything's going to be alright. You're under my protection. Neither Kenny Mayne nor his devils can hurt you so long as I'm here. Now, I want you to return to that familiar place, and inhale. Now, look around again, and exhale. Ignore Kenny Mayne for the moment and tell me what you see. I see a poster on the wall and, and I see a man in a bathrobe, but not in a bathroom.2 He's near the television, but there's no picture, no sound anymore. Tell me more about this man. He seems adrift, lost in a culture not his own. He looks bedeviled, yes, bedeviled by feelings of inadequacy. This all means more, I think, more than this . . . Tell me one thing . . . . . . there is nothing, that's what he's thinking. That there's nothing more than this.3 I can hear Kenny Mayne again. He's yelling again: "The devils have one! The devils have one!" What do they have? I don't know. Then the devils have nothing.4 They're weak. Mental representations of fears you can't face alone. But I'm here, I'm here with you now. We'll face them down together. Put your hand in mine, [3987], and put your...

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