Sunday March 25, 2018

Sarah and I listened to Ought’s “Beautiful Blue Sky” off their album Sun Coming Down while driving to see Godspeed You Black Emperor the other night, the last moments of sunlight shining through the rear window, warming the backs of our necks. Standing at the show afterwards, I wondered: “Who today are my countrymen? Who today stand opposed both to machines and to those who make them?” Recalling these thoughts now, I wonder: is the true power of witchcraft and sorcery their ability to provoke consciousness-alteration in oneself and in others? Those affected vape and dance despite their dehumanizing professions, as nonhuman nature finds its springtime groove. A television in the corner of a Chinese takeout disturbs my peace of mind with an infomercial hawking beauty products: some sort of ‘Cindy Crawford’-sponsored age-defying skin treatment super-serum. The ex-‘global supermodel’ collects a tax, even if just as burdensome interruption of one’s soundscape and field of vision. I’d rather lie around all day in a state of jouissance. Kicking up dust, reading old reports, watching The Godz, a short work by psychedelic filmmaker Jud Yalkut.

Monday September 11, 2017

Pour water on fish from a glass decanter. It was like Medusa: you can’t just rationalize it away. The Self models a home and stages a territory. A whole new game: small beginnings can bring down mountains. One must imagine trying to play the game: hands there, on the joystick, a voice says, pointing. I hope to spend some time, perhaps next summer, exploring the contents of the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection at Harvard’s Houghton Library. It’s the world’s largest private collection of material documenting altered states of consciousness. Since the bulk of the collection came from Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jr.’s acquisition of San Francisco’s Fitz Hugh Ludlow Library in 2001, Harvard now refers to it as the Ludlow Santo Domingo (or “LSD”) Library. Time to start hunting for grant money. “Wow, it’s really coming down out there, man,” says a gloriously reverbed voice belonging to a member of The Electric Peanut Butter Company.

That guitar solo mid-song, and that drum solo that succeeds it, shall serve as my coping mechanism, a memory of a lofty peak on an otherwise dreary work day. Joy is a revolutionary hammer and sickle that one can deploy in plain sight. Heavens are portals everyone can step through into blissed-out, gravityless, non-dimensional modes of being. Alien creatures like Chocolate Vine fruit start showing up in a side garden: light shines down on one’s shoulder. A new development: I feel alright. Beautiful weather today. Getting high resembles the shape of Ought’s “Beautiful Blue Sky.”

I hear in it nods to Native Nod, The Van Pelt — a tour de force spoken-sung vocal performance taking some inspiration, perhaps, from Life Without Buildings. “Goes fast. Don’t waste it,” says a voice: “Afterwards, it’s cold.” Speaking of wasting it: the Netflix Original series Ozark sickens me with its perverse valorization of the hypertrophied work ethic, its characters flinging themselves through life in pursuit of money. Fishing is the name and metaphor for this mode of being — except capitalists drop their hooks on their peers.