the end of the world as we have known it had we known it

Daniel A. Foss (U17043@UICVM.BITNET)
Sun, 20 Nov 1994 12:04:18 CST

/* To minimize hostile reactions to what follows, let me say ab initio that */
/* under no circumstances should I be a houseguest. Also, nobody with any */
/* sense should ask me, "Hello, how are you."Women should take the precaution*/
/* of avoiding eye contact with this writer, and as much as is feasible, keep*/
/* backs turned toward my face. Those who see me staring at the floor and are*/
/* offended by aversion to eye contact should be aware of an overwhelming */
/* mass of evidence to the effect that equal and opposite negative reactions */
/* from same or similar organisms, uh, women are anticipable in the event eye*/
/* contact occurs. You should be reassured, nevertheless, that impressions of*/
/* staring-at-breasts behaviour is unfounded and, should fantasizing actually*/
/* be occurring at said times, it concerns the woman's back, not her front. */
/* This was first detected by one Janet Harriet Hershowitz in 1962, whereupon*/
/* she complained, "I swear, you're more interested in the back than in the */
/* front." */
/* Finally, the writer bitterly regrets, and is terribly sorry, that the */
/* autobiographical materials are both implausible and horribly boring. Had I*/
/* succeeded in rendering the material more interesting, it would, given this*/
/* culture with its violence-perversions, have been more dangerous to others */
/* who would prefer, I am sure, to survive and read it, however boring it was*/
/* just as I preferred to survive and write it, being even more aware of how */
/* boring - and worse - it truly was to write. */
I passively drifted to Los Angeles due to the selfdestruction of some
approximately equally repellent alternative, and got married. It had been
my policy, and has remained my policy, to marry any woman who asked, in order
of receipt of the envelope containing the relevant stamp-addressed boxtop. It
has been my longstanding claim, taken seriously by nobody, that I have been
and remain "willing to marry just about anybody, and I have, twice." California
Camille did indeed win my heart to the point that I felt feelings which at
times might have been characterized as "neutral." (Number Two elicited intense
hatred but also hope that, should she apply her narrassing genius to my chaotic
behaviour, she might in the end have proved Good For My Development; but had no
inclination to render me a paying proposition even if she stood to get the

Had I been Normal, but of course I wasn't, I might've come up to "dweeb."
With cluelessness correlates thereof. We met at the California Institute of
the Arts, where I was School Mascot and she ran the mimeograph room. Hey, Mike,
you know those bulging eyeballs that scare women and the muttering noises I
make, which you wanted me to Take Responsibility for; which any sensible person
attributes without a second, not even a first thought, to prima facially Drug
Abusing? Well, it's not at all necessary to ingest any substance whatsoever,
except, what with hippie scum hanging out around this joint which was shovel-
ling out Free Food, the occasional food pellet. Formally, I was some kinda
Instructorish entity in the School Of Critical Studies, which former Grad
School advisor Maurice R. Stein had turned into a prototype of something he
unthought up, called "countereducation." With people like him, the Retarded,
like me, can get Doctorates; and with a little false advertising, they can even
get on the Tenure Track. The latter, as it passes by Stony Brook disguised as
the rightofway of the Long Island Railroad, is a mecca for teenage suicides;
and if you should survive as far as Mineola, and you should see anyone looking
like me on the train, get off quickly. Have no idea why; everyone just seems to
do it, is all.

"I can't understand you Easterners, with your *prejudices* and *traditions*
an' stuff." [In Californian, the emphasized words are synonyms; not antonyms,
as in the hoarse mumbling of the Northeasterners and Chicagoans. In the Cali-
fornian language there was, at that time, 1971, heavy use of the *inflatable
particle*, "an' stuff," whose function in the language was to subsume every-
thing in the universe in toto which had nothing even tangential to do with
whatever preceded the "an' stuff."]

Ethnicity, as I recall, was of moment only to the mother of my first wife,
who deemed it a violation of Roman Catholic canon law that Camille should have
fallen into the disgrace of committing marriage with the infidel deicide. Which
was regarded in the Mt Washington community - comprising a mixed population of
starving artists, overbeered bikers, and Dogpatch denizens (including Ms Falk)
- as one of the more hilarious bits of symptomatology of her Bipolar Affective
Disorder, Axis I; alternatively, she lied herself into hotels as owners' wife,
then burned the hotels down.

Nixon was in, already, but in 1970-1971 money still grew on trees leftover
from the Democrats; postscarcity theories grew like weeds, and students,
faculty, and administration of the California Institute of the Arts, a Walt
Disney (dead) production produced, and where possible directed, by Paul Disney
(undead), hung around, lay around, sat around, and occasionally swam around the
swimming pool stark naked, drawing the prurient interest of Lockheed Aircraft
helicopters hovering above the sunbathing throng shooting, well, so long as it
wasn't .50-cal. machinegunfire they were using on the Vietnamese, who cared, I
mean really.

Neil Friedman, Assoc. Dean of Critical Studies, walked dignifiedly, adminis-
tratively, with self-important stride, attache-case grasped, toward accustomed
beachumbrella. There he spread out documents and proceeded to do *deanly work*,
starkmothernaked. Even, at times, lectured to students.
[Extra Credit Question: Situate, as carefully as you can, the place of Neil
Friedman in the History of the Jewish People, without peeking at his record
in office or classroom wherever Fate may have taken his career following the
1970-1971 academic year. Bonus Credit: Explain what was academic about the
academic year 1970-1971. For instance, consider the Kent State aftermath,
when not merely math, but absolutely Everything was closed down, with collusion
by Supreme Autocrats as of the previous day of Our Great Mental Institutions of
the Highest Cognitive Faculty. The week after the National Guard's brave
defense of Giving Our Children All The Advantages We Never Had, the Broad
Masses of studentdom at Rutgers' main campus, New Brunswick NJ, politely if in
vast numbers surged into the President's luxuriously appointed office suite,
called longdistance all this side of Hell; with our compliments, *go right
ahead*. My favorite excuse for nonwrigting of nontermpaper that semester's end:
"I was too busy living the revolution."]

["Some chaos and disorder may be requisite to our determination of that
degree of order which is facilitative of your learning, and learning *what*,
not to mention *what learns* - you don't suppose "individual achievement" has
got any *future*, do you? - is to be thrown into the hopper along with the
hierarchical structures we've got so cozy with since the 12th century; and
maybe we'll have to find out, even, what this Learning Thingie IS; but schools,
in terms of getting worser every day, have reached their *theoretical limit*.
This is the lowest it gets; now we've got something to celebrate." For partial
credit, identify the author of the preceding. For second order partial credit,
where do you suppose The Bell Curve fits in with this.]

The School of Art students made up buttons in varying sizes, replete with
weird stare that, I'm sure, would scare the daylights outta me had I known
what I was looking at. Everyone else did. Camille supposed the Art students
were doing this because I was "liberated." Nonsense, of course, as I hadn't
been stolen, what fence would take me off anyone's hands; nor was I conquered
militarily by either the armies of the Revolution or those of the Counterrevo-

The point of these anecdotes is the bizarre, to us, qua *posterity*, extent
of the collapse of what snobs of every stripe call Standards. Among the irksome
Thingies gone into abeyance in those longago days was my worst nemesis, Appro-
priate Behaviour. I could never do it; and for a few gloriously senseless
months, this wasn't held against me. I'm struck by the hallucinated symmetry:
The students of the School of Art gave me browniepoints for having *deliberate-
ly produced* whateveritwas that's my Deviance. The House of Lieber, on the same
grounds, *took off the same number of points* on the grounds that I was consci-
ously, deliberately, and premeditatedly doing, with intent to commit a Provoca-
tion incitative of Ax of War upon Lieberistic Civilization, whose terrible
retaliation against the forces of Barbarism was bound to be Historic, so I was

I wish to give my honest accolades to the students of UIC who in toto have
crowded into this computer room like an invasion of the infestation, to find
themselves infested by myself, and having endured the offensive odours, literal
or figurative or both of this murrain, have gamely soldiered on in their work.
"My country UIC/Womb and Computer Room/Of Dee [this is Chicago] Eye Zing./Stand
at the Windows (r), wave/Guarded by UNIX brave/Be all of ye Computers' Slaves/
Salute the Money King/Money King."

The only way these glasswindow-deprived silicon-windowed troglodytes know
I'm stupid, cuz I aint doing Work, wherefor I'd get Paid, and in exchange for
money I'd be said to have committed the cognitive act of Think, is that I tell
them what is exactly so. Deviating not from the worst possible face on the
Truth. And I do not talk to these industrious ones; consider the possibility
of my being *hit* with Question Number One in English conversation: "What do
you *do*?" Or Variant One-A of Question Number One, as actually asked by a
quasi-stranger in the Heartland Cafe on Lunt St, one block N. of what the CTA
jockeys call out as "Mars Av." This organism put it, "Well, what the hell are
ya, anyway." After the disclosure of the Truth most foul, the management called
the Chicago police, who duly searched me for the firearm the management suppos-
itiously supposed I had in my pocket (see, I'd been skulking around in deep
depression, being afraid of Question Number One). The police found an immense
cache of (a) odds; and (b) ends; the whole whereof being secreted in a large
red Eastpak Sack I have before me, wherein I brought with me today much the
same documentary evidence of anything which might imaginably prove necessary
for anything however unnecessary itself.

The purpose of the whole of the foregoing was, messing with your heads. Some
head-messing takes no effort, especially on the part of those with good manners
who do Appropriate Behaviour, which to me is mysterious as witchcraft. Someone
exquisitely polite did this to me yesterday, evading me completely, but I
did not care. The meeting was vaguely to occur in a bookstore, and I now have,
right here, the long-evaded The Bell Curve.

Smartness is multivariate, nonlinear, and contextualized by the society in
whose clutches and total-environmental-surround, VIRTUAL REALITY, even, we
spend our lives, being mostofthetime unable to See The Air, which, were said
air be reported Seen, might reflect more upon the professional competence of
the airviewer, than upon the objective fact that Something Stinks. There is
no, repeat, no heritability of polygenic cognitive-elite exaltedness; and
arguments to the effect that there is are Lamarckian, not Darwinian. We are
all the same in our equality to the extent that our inequality cannot be accu-
rately and unconfoundedly established by measurement, given the necessity for
an *alternative society* inimical in its organization and evaluation of human
behavioural patterns to our own, for the *contrivance of a benchmark* whereby
the ostensibly hereditarily Stupid may be matched by a Control Group free of
Social Control.

Our contention and blind faith, in the absence of valid evidence of this
character, is that unmown vegetation is filled with gloriously alive Rare
Flowers doomed to be cut down among our allAmerican horror show as soon as
germination has occurred if, indeed, the seeds were allowed to fall into the
furrow at all; the agriculturist, so far as he she it knew, was *weeding*, you

There is nothing evil in killing what's defined as Weeds to make room for
the cash crop; but the flowers in bloom need a wholly different social order
wherein or whereby they're contextualized.

**** Sorry, people, but it was *that difficult* to discern what I was
talking or nattering or babbling about. Let me fantasize Presidential Candidacy
here; or perhaps you should visualize Doctress Neutopia:
"I see an America which is as safe for me as it is for you."

Daniel A. Foss,
<whose lifelong dream was to have had Franz Kafka insure the used car he'd>
<have bought from Richard M. Nixon.>