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03 December 2005

don't call Him by that name out loud, and whatever name you use, don't wake Him up

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abandoned unfinished the skull the skull in Connemara in spite of the tennis the skull alas the stones Cunard tennis ... the stones ... so calm ... Cunard ... unfinished ...

posted by Bob Merkin | 17:00

patfromch sprache...

Is this from PKD's Exegese(pre-VAILS) ?

Bob Merkin said...

uhhh ... whatever you're asking ... no.

Adam said...

Didi: Well? Shall we go?

Gogo: Yes, let's go.

They do not move.

Bob Merkin said...

That ain't the answer to the Vleeptron PizzaQ, but Adam, whoever you are, is one very well-educated fella.

Adam said...

Well, let's see if I can take a crack at the purpose of this. Beckett's said he's not talking about Christianity in "Waiting for Godot," and while the business of naming a frequently mentioned, yet never seen, character "Godot" would suggest otherwise, the crucifix-fetishists aren't the only ones offering up love (or goats, or self-flagellation, etc., etc.) to Yahweh. I'm gonna kind of generalize here and say that all the Yahweh-based religions, at least as interpreted by Western societies, have a pretty similar concept of the nature of the top deity-- omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, benevolence. (Even the Jews, who weren't and aren't big on forgiveness, had ways to deal with/ignore the possibility Yahweh wasn't too benevolent to them personally.)

But the play was written during the late `40s and didn't get released until `52. Two world wars had pretty much taken the conceit that reality wasn't such a bad place, thanks to the aforementioned Yahweh and our own free will, and defenestrated it. When the "free" will of entire nations can be manipulated into bureaucratized mass murder, and governments establish state religions or co-opt pre-existing ones with nary a peep, being optimistic about Order and Progress looks gauche. Beckett was a big defender/admirer of James Joyce to boot, so optimism was pretty well lost on him anyway.

Lucky's declaration is his reply when he's told to "think." Pazzo, a man who carries himself like an overseer with Lucky as slave, says that Lucky "used to think very prettily," but shudders at the thought of what would come out of his mouth in the time of "Godot." Lucky's thoughts, like most aware and well-educated peoples' in the aftermath of both wars, were rejections of the idyllic images of the past, and the insanity of reality wasn't about to let itself get expressed in a complete, coherent sentence.

Adam said...

p.s. I have no experience whatsoever with PKD's VALIS or VALIS-inspired writing (though I know what it is, not sure how that fell into this brain of mine), but Dick's sci-fi is pretty damn good. He's one of the few who uses science fiction as a source for real ideas, not just window dressing on potboilers.

Bob Merkin said...

Adam ... that was fascinating ... I'll give it a B+. But for a college English essay.

It has totally nothing to do with the Vleeptron PizzaQ. No pizza 4 u.

Try not to use that form of The Big Dewd's name, I think He gets steamed when you try to say it out loud. I think that's like Commandment 1.

Also thanks for jogging my pathetic brain that patfromch was talking about Philip K Dick. Doh.

patfromch sprache...
The purpose of this text is to irritate and confuse us and give us something to think about while we're doing the laundry ;)

Adam said...

I take a suspicious approach to questions. If I don't understand one, I throw words at it until it goes away.

Post a Comment

{ [ ( o ) ] }

Wow. Unglaublich. patfromch's answer is Totally Unexpected. It's also so imaginative and creative that I'm tempted to call Pizza von Gino von Berne and have the 2 pies delivered.

His answer ist Nicht Korrect, aber diese ist soooooooooooooo Harmonious mit der Geist von diese verkakte PizzaQ that I am amazingly impressed.

Vleeptron has not been so impressed with a PizzaQ Answer since mamagiggle sprache: Radium.

patfromch has given previous evidence that he is a fluent francaispracher. (At least he told me that my Faux Jarry play "In the Labyrinth" impressed him.) So he might be interested to know that the ORIGINAL of the "Given the existence as uttered forth ..." text was written en francais, and what I posted is a subsequent English translation of the original. The Native Lingo of the Author was English, so he wrote this Thing en francais, and then later translated it into English. Klar? Ja? Nein? Then later kommst in der Post der Nobelpriz von Literatur auf Svensk. I'm pretty sure the most recent Broadway production of this text starred Robin Williams and Steve Martin.

So Vleeptron advises you to go immediately to le Biblioteque and find the original francais text, and then immediatement Touts will be clair.

As for Adam's latest post, Adam is using The Old College Student Trick for Essay Questions on Final Examinations: If you haven't the slightest Clue about a Question, you Pretend that you Misunderstand the Question, and then merrily answer An Entirely Different Question, which you DO know the Answer to. If you spell everything correctly and use proper grammar and punctuation, you are guaranteed at least to get a B, and your Sorry Clueless Unprepared Ass will be Saved, and you will not be Expelled from College and have to work in a soda-pop factory for the rest of your life.

It is also in der Geist von diese PizzaQ that patfromch has sent Vleeptron a link about George Berkeley.

Der gut Bischof Berkeley belongs to an ancient School of Philosophy, The Annoying School, which was founded by Zeno of Elea (490 BC - 425 BC). Zeno proved, among other things, that Motion Is Impossible, and that in any footrace between Achilles (die schnellst Mensch in der Welt) and the Tortoise (die langsamste Kreatur in der Welt) in which the Tortoise gets a 30 cm head start (see illustration above), Achilles can never overtake the Tortoise and win the race.

Bischof Berkeley proved that it is impossible to prove the existence of material objects, thus casting into serious doubt the Existence of Everything. In your Wikipedia link, Samuel Johnson kicked a large rock, and said: "Thus I refute him."

In "The Analyst," Berkeley proved that the mathematical foundations of the Differential and Integral Calculus are Shakey, Hazy, Dubious, Questionable, Suspicious, Unreliable. Immediately all mathematicians everywhere in the world (except Scotland) stopped using it, and all bridges, ships, steam engines and interplanetary rocket ships which had been designed using the new Calculus of Newton and Liebniz were immediately deconstructed. Berkeley having definitively proved that the Calculus cannot be trusted, if you were forced to study it in school, you can contact your Hochschul or university and demand your money back. If they offer you a different course for free instead, you can take a Literature or Art History course instead.

Berkeley contended that the Universe and everything of which it is composed exist only in the Mind of God. In "Through the Looking Glass" by Lewis Carroll, Alice comes upon a sleeping Knight and is warned not to wake him, because We Are All Objects In The Dream The Knight Is Dreaming, and if the Knight wakes, we will all instantly vanish. In a BBC radio interview, Bertrand Russell said that this would be Very Funny, if he could prove why Berkeley was Wrong, but he couldn't, so maybe it is Not So Funny.

Maybe if I live to be 300 years old, I will know why you sent me the link to Bischof Berkeley, but I have always loved him and Zeno, so I had a thoroughly delightful morning with the Bischof and also it gave me an excuse to make the silly illustration of Achilles and the Tortoise.

[VLEEPTRON CORRECTION: Now you are seeing Version 2 of the silly illustration. In Version 1 (posted briefly), the arrow pointing at Achilles said "loser."

This was not strictly accurate. The new text is more accurate: "not a winner."

We are further indebted to patfromch for drawing our attention to this important nuance.

In the Massachusetts Lottery, you can go to any store that sells Lottery Tickets and hand your Ticket from Yesterday to the clerk, who will stick it in his Lottery Machine. Almost all the time, the machine's red LED display says:


... a truly lapidary choice of phrase, truly le bon mot. And patfromch has reminded me that I have 2 Massachusetts Lottery Tickets in my wallet which I have not yet stuck into the machine. Soon, very soon, as soon as I give the tickets to the store clerk, I will be Fabulously RICH!!!!]

Meanwhile absolutely Nobody wins the Pizza yet. Why did I post the Nobel-Prize-winning Gibberish? Laundry is not the Answer.

Okay, le Hint: A Signpost To The Answer is contained in the Text I posted.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob Merkin said...

If my PizzaQ makes no sense to people, that's nothing compared to Anonymous' Comment. This makes Less Than No Sense.

Anonymous, have you concluded that I don't know WHY Achilles can never beat the Tortoise in the race? So you're guiding me to sites that explain Zeno's argument?

Achilles can never beat the Tortoise because the Tortoise tied his Nikes shoelaces together in the locker room, and put Itching Powder in his athletic supporter.

Thank goodness for the Internet! Otherwise there wouldn't be 17,391 explanations of Zeno's 2500-year-old Paradox.

If Vleeptron gets a thunderous tsunami of Comments and e-mails begging for the Explanation of why Achilles never wins the race, I'll be glad to provide it. My attention was diverted up to now by the PizzaQ, Vladimir, Estragon, Didi, Gogo, Pozo, Lucky, Bischof Berkeley, the Ineffable Name (Hey Adam! Stop Effing it!), and that goofy cartoon of the foot-race.

Back to the PizzaQ and le Hint:

The Signpost and Clue (Clew, the Brits spells it) to the Purpose of why I posted that text are hidden in the text itself. Hidden in Plain Sight, they say.

Anonymous Adam said...

Hmm. It didn't post, so here's the short version. I think you posted Lucky's lament without the other characters' reactions so we could read it without the point of what he was saying getting muddled by outside interference.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back in to the realm of seriousness for a second, I think that we should go back to the fact that Vleep is a literate, literary, god-talking guy, not unlike a long-term version of the thinking slave here. The signpost is apparently that writer chick, Marcia. (One of these things is not like the other.) Perhaps a secondary meaning of the post is to attract enough attention to attract the famed internet networking guru to the blog. Maybe not.

I think that writers are constantly writing about other people as if these other people were writers. Was it Freud who said that you are every person in your fantasies? Maybe I misread that. But maybe I was right in the first place. Remember Heinlein's Stranger? The martian art discussed communicated in a sort of ultimate convergence (not just multimedia) that spoke directly to emotions. (Am I remembering this correctly?) This an affective, rather than effective passage. The message, as much as anything, is our failure to understand even ourselves, despite our depths of information and reasoning, the joy of ridiculousness, the drive to control, the dirtiness of people and sex and death. I mean, if I can just take a bus out to Boston, pay somebody a few thousand dollars, do work based on well laid plans, then maybe I, too, can be a successful writer!? It's that funny illogic (see above), that's all.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, there are the underlying zeno-stories, too. A secondary subtext is likely the striving for the intellectually inevitable perfection/finality you can never realize. But that's really everywhere on this blog, innit? feels like a conversation from years ago, somehow.

p.s. I discovered that that vague-economics professor is no longer at that school, but he's probably still pretty easy to find.

Suffer from infomania? IM me by ICQ 167475182

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Though message and meaning are central tools for writers, our goal as responders is to name the purpose. Vleeptron's posted challenge has served the purpose of having us consider an artful text, certainly, but I suspect that the original text's artistic meaning must be in part distinct from the altered text's purpose.

What is kitsch? Calculatingly popular art. In German, it means junk or worthless. The art of artlessness, the state spoon from Kentucky, and any work of accidental cultural value. Here is a text, readily available on the internet, with but one proper noun changed. It can be delightful to know there is a shortcut to deep fulfillment, even if that type of fulfillment may be fading.

From Stravinsky's Poetics Of Music:

The past slips from our grasp. It leaves us only scattered things. The bond that united them eludes us. Our imagination usually fills in the void by making use of preconceived theories...Archaeology, then, does not supply us with certitudes, but rather with vague hypotheses. And in the shade of these hypotheses some artists are content to dream, considering them less as scientific facts than as sources of inspiration.

Stravinsky's words center on the artist's inspiration from the vaguaries of history. The kitschy altered Godot paragraph has an effective, as well as affective purpose, as could be argued for most human utterances. The consideration of inspiration, incitement to unusually creative action, that is the purpose. What does an vagueconomics professor in Scotland have to do with a low-tech internet marketing guru in Boston and pseudoscientific, blind faith in perceptions of things too far away to perceive, and a runner who can never overcome a 30 cm gap? What does all this have to do with a monologue that is very creative and affective, despite also being in large part wordy nonsense? Do I still have to explain? In the immortal words of Q:

You'd like me to connect the dots
for you. Lead you from A... to
B... to C... so your puny mind
can comprehend.

Q shakes his head wearily, vexed by man's limitations.

How boring. They would be so much
more entertained if you tried to
figure this out...

Seeing somebody struggle can be fun, sad to say. That's the incitement. Lucky struggles to unify the discourse of important theological works and ends up falling on his face, literally. The major clue of Marcia Yudkin, and the minor ones of Klaes in Rotterdam and remote viewing, these are the development. What do these clues refer to? What unites them? Are they important at all? What is the purpose investigator's purpose here? The dramatic heights of the near-miss answer, the additional clues of Zeno's paradox and the low taunts of blogmaster Vleeptron, "Not a winner."

The resolution to the mystery, then, is the existential answer to the problem at hand. Pointing out pitfalls is a core MO for news writers, but only journalists (or maybe only investigative reporters) suggest ways out. Waiting and work are important tools, not to be substituted by quackery and quickness. Though neither apparent nor easy, ways out of major social and personal problems exist or will exist.

The verity of this particular moral is not the question, and an alternative purpose of the posting may have been to get Vleeptron some ideas for an essay on Godot or existentialism, or maybe even just to gain some insights on Marcia. The more tangible options also have discretion in common, thanks to a decided disconnection from the experience of the reader.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks to a decided disconnection from the experience of the reader.

could be rewritten

in the form of a disconnection from the reader.

this site would be really cool in wikiform


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