previuous post seriously misinformed

Sun, 9 Jan 1994 18:53:13 EST

/* Do NOT read, this post is PSYCHOTIC, is senseless even to the writer, */
/* cannot possibly make any accurate statement about digressive material,*/
/* which is most important part of it to writer, who would say, were he */
/* any phonier than he already is that the occurrence of critical events */
/* in the *object of investigation under study* required the inclusion of*/
/* raw fieldnotes and historical background information of no interest to*/
/* any subsequent use of these materials. Also, the only reason it was */
/* posted was, it was written, hence gets added to collection, which is */
/* way of obsessiv compulsive disorder the least of my worries so: DELETE*/
I was assured by offline letter from Japan that I was not psychotic Friday
night but, more recently, evidence has come to light, if light it is, that I
was in error regarding Donna Harraway's core ideas as germane to the local,
ANTHRO-L, postmodernism debate; else Dr Harraway was in error; else, even,
the postmodernist subcultural discourse was self-deluded as to its unwitting
historical mission, a statement as to which was released today with the full
sense of historical importance now attributed to the Greensboro Sit-ins of
Feb 1, 1960, The Port Huron Statement of 1962, and Bob Dylan's The Times They
Are A-Changin' of 1963. The relevant text is forwarded, following the --- line
below: You recall, and I reminded you, that zeek of Austin TX, <zeek@IO.COM>,
who by announcing that I was reading Harraway caused this to occur, when I
should have been reading Frederic Jameson, Postmodernism: The Cultural Logic
of Late Capitalism, 1990, as I still haven't, threw me into a dispute even I
had sense enough to eschew as wholly ignorant hence best off limiting my
ambitions to acquisitions of the rudiments sufficient to follow the points
made on screen at the lurker or TV Guide level.

Today's text issued by zeek among his own people, among whom he is a chief,
village "smart guy" (qv, eg, *melamed*, *hakim*, Fejto's interpretation of
Aramaic lit. trans. "carpenter"), and shaman (not by reason of part Native
American ancestry though this is true), complicates the lamentably nebulous
issue (as it always was, (*) below) of the *content* of folk or cybertribal (+)
"readings," often a misnomer associated with failure to decipher character
input using genetically-programmed-bioorganic-optical-scanning devices, given
to avowed postmodernists claiming knowledge of postmodernism. Three faculty
members of the sociology department, one of whom poses as, in Net terms, a
"FAQ file" of postmodernist nomenclature, do so as an avocation, excepting
Prof Barthel's continuing studies of modern and postmodernist architecture.
Prof Halle has shifted interest from Soc of Art and Soc of Work to Cultural

On the other hand, graduate students could not define "totalizing,"
"totalization"; neither could they relate it to Henri Lefebvre, Lyotard,
and more recognizably postmodern theorists. Among nonfeminist, tending that
is, to be men, marxist sociologists, postmodernism is an epithet; and the
only explanation I could extract from the least hostile people as to why the
Progressive Sociologists threw that at me along with dead cats and banana
peels last month was, they did not like me.
Only among undergraduates did I find *one* instance of pro-postmodern
partisanship. This was a poster decorating a wall at the Red Balloon Collec-
tive, 919 25a E. Setauket, which is across the street from this campus and
multi-tenant ramshackle house where most of the SUNYSB Left lives: "We have
had all the terror we can take. Let us wage a war on totalizing." - Jean
Francois Lyotard. So much for ideas.

More than word or less than soundbite: Memes, alleged existence, known effects:
---- ---- ---- -- ---- ---- --------- ----- ------- --------- ----- -------

What is of more concern in this post is the diffusion of idea fragments,
which Richard Dawkins called memes: These, like genes and viruses - retro-,
computer, or other - are self-replicating, he says, existing independently
of the host; and even perhaps via some form of encystment, of the predominant
culture. Any neologism or newly active previously existing word in the English
lexicon may be scrutinized for meme status by a subculture/computer list such
as <>, whose chief is zeek <zeek@IO.COM>. One rather
trivial meme adopted by the subculture/list was this writer's usage Thingie,
which I allege is less boring than "phenomenon" and advertises its nebulosity
as the alternative does not.
In that instance, the rationale for the lexical substitution was made known,
but went unnoticed.

*There is nothing about the construct of "meme" which warrants its existence
in the language* except its (a) borrowing upon the prestige of genetics and
virology; and (b) its reflection of the decay of identifiable doctrines, theo-
ries, political ideologies formally stated, and the formerly existing social
category "intellectuals" who held mass audiences without doctoral degrees,
academic posts, or expert readerships: One of the last of these, Paul Goodman,
inspired an entire generation of young students, in numerous books frequently
read in preference to coursework, with antinationalism, antibureaucratism,
antiprofessionalism, and anticommercialism; and on political-constitutional
questions his position was most pithily articulated in the book title, Like
A Conquered Province.
Such people and their mass publics are no longer existent or have shifted
to other media which cannot communicate "ideas," as socially constructed as
late as the 1950s and even early 1960s.

Last night, a 500-line post was submitted to <> by
Michael J. Gourlay <> about, inter alia, how to use
LSD for consciousness-optimation [?]. Or maybe one should say, "situation of
the so-called self [Note: itself a figmentational socially constructed entity;
cf "soul."] in social relations while maintaining perfect consciousness. Of
course, nothing's perfect. The post counterposed, hence, ME-Meme and WE-Meme.
What this reflected was, firstly, the commitment to the "core values" (god do
I hate this word "values," but am in a hurry) of the subculture which include
individuation, use of LSD, love, moral virtue toward all beings in the subcul-
ture and peace-loving diplomatic relations with beings outside, like me, not
overtly destructive (which is why they ignore me, not threaten me). [Interest
is the imminent creation of what I call "The Next-To-Last Politics" (whose
destiny is to be a flop; the Left is always Badly Split and politically
pathetic, but Leri is a Left whose existence there is no sociological theory
to explain. (Except mine which is worse than nothing. Ask the Progressive
Sociologists Network.) The etymology is progression from the Old Left to New
to Newest which never existed in 1988 retroactively to 1988. My flippant tone
here is deliberate, recalling Lenin, 1916, "Our grandchildren may not live to
see the Revolution." Only Charles Tilly can predict social upheavals, and
frankly, aside from boxes and arrows, he's lying, to himself firstly.

[To look for the "social upheaval agent," Leri is as good as any, because
one should avoid empirical study of rebels already under surveillance. This is
the sole and exclusive reason the Zapatista National Liberation Army in Chiapas
was possible; nobody in their wildest dreams....It so happens that I wrote a
story in 1988 where the same thing happened minus the gunships and tanks, just
machine guns, which I chalk up to my own fatuity. And operating from screwball
assumptions unauthorized by the Soc Dept Comp Soc Lat Amer expert. Another
research question here is, why were so many Marxist and even Leninist Theory
books published in the late 1970s to 1989 by Praeger Publishers, Westwood Press
of Boulder CO, Greenwood Press of NY, the latter two wholly owned subsidiaries
of Praeger, and Bergin and Garvey, Publishers, So Hadley MA, secretly
controlled by Greenwood till 1989, then absorbed by Greenwood for simplifica-
tion of accounting. (The answer to this is, of course, it's obvious why. If
I say it, it's Paranoid. Evidence for the latter was obtained by empirical
experiment in 1991 in Soc Psych, funded by me to prove Not Insane.)

[As I was saying, Leri does not know it's a Left, does not know what a Left
is, and cannot explain why it is the kind of Left it is. Just what I was
looking for. And if Them asks you, they are listening and watching, how you
know, give them my name, Them will go away. This is a cursory description of
Leri with, of course, my usual grandiosity delusions. But I'm in a hurry.]

During the period Dec 29 1993 to Jan 3 1994 a party, to gravely misconstrue
the gravity of the occasion, was held in Albuquerque NM, which boasts a very
ANTHRO and ARCH type university. What about the venue alone which contributed
to observed consequences is unknown to me, not to you. One thing those atten-
ding did *not* do was send E-mail, which disconcerted non-attenders aside from
me. There are numerous terms in the nomenclature of sociogibberish and anthro-
gibberish whose applicability to the event is evident in the appended (at the
very end with responses to zeek from the constituency of zeek) text of the
*zeek Proclamation* or *Manifesto*. For example, Victor Turner, Durkheimian
Enemy of the People that he may be: Leri was in a liminal state when anti-
structure prevailed causing the entity calling itself Leri to undergo, under
conditions of liminality, the Experience, I've already said *nasty* things
about Experiences in cultures (last time), of *communitas*. WE-Meme fits
in with *communitas*, but is no more (or less, frankly) descriptive of what
is going on. Then there's Anthony F.C. Wallace's "Revitlization Movements,"
used to cover up ignorance and lack of interest for everything from minority
races' hairstyles to sunspots: What came back from New Mexico was the "tradi-
tional" Leri, always changing rapidly of course, but *much more so*.

People returned claiming that they had become superior beings to what they
had been when they set out; and quite different, having undergone recent speci-
ation, not to mention qualitatively a superior race, almost, to those who did
not go. This was more than the 1970 Woodstock Festival depiction such that,
"nobody who was there will ever be the same." This took on very much the over-
tones of a mass-conversion "Experience" [ugh]; the conviction grows exponenti-
ally stronger that something concocted by a deservedly obscure crackpot writer,
that there is an "Orgasm/Singularity" scheduled for year 2012, when computers
will outsmart people and capitalism will case, or something, is inevitable.

People are posting in parables; they refuse to explain what they are talking
about to the uninitiated; they cease even responding - this may be rare - to
messages from poor benighted fool(s) who are no longer worthy of receiving
letters much less responding; this elitism being counter-Leri-principles, its
practice is of course denied. Humor, never terribly evident, is now basically

Jesus would have been quite good, a trip and a half, to have got this kind
of response off of the resurrection, let me tell you.


You thought I forgot about Donna Harraway, no such luck. I know your kind.
Anyhow, zeek, very tellingly quotes the following from Harraway without
demarcation from his own remarks; he's absorbed Haraway into whatever Leri
is supposed to be.

>we may as well get used to it. But Donna Haraway ends the Cyborg
>Manifesto: This is a dream not of a common language, but of a powerful
>indfidel heteroglossia. It is an imagination of a feminist speaking in
>tongues to strike fear into the circuts of the super-savers of the new
>right. It means both building and destroying machines, identities,
>categories, relationships, space stories. Though both are bound in the
>spiral dance, I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess.

The mention of the goddess serves doubly to condemn the recent intrusion
of a new age crank selfstyled Doctress Neutopia; and if you read Gore Vidal's
Live From Golgotha, 1992, you don't need any further description.

What Harraway feels like doing, in the quoted passage, is tearing to shreds
the polite, anaesthetized academic discourse and thought-cum-expression
practices, neat ordering of epistemologies, which have been under discussion
in the *Pomo or Not Pomo* derailment we've been pursuing for days oblivious
to having run off the track, and all the usual stuff. *You know goddam well
what usual stuff*. What I do all the time and I'm the one who gets torn to
shreds for it; have been for a couple of years in this joint, I mean you.

Harraway took the precaution of becoming a secure and successful academic.

Me, my only solace is, having reached End and Bottom alike, is, for maybe
a few minutes in there, there will when The Next-To-Last Politics gets going,
be a few million people out there who will despise me as much as now of course;
which happened in the 1960s too, I don't kid myself; but for yelling rah rah
they will throw a quarter or a sandwich, like the 1960s, too. Maybe a desk &
stuff to while away the empty hours in, like just after the 1960s, when I got
a teaching job to cover up an act of academic corruption and violation of
academic freedom because I had long wild disgusting hair. Such are the breaks
the leech of human struggle for liberation gotta take. Guiltily. I'm a nice
Jewish boy.

Even so, is the little rhetorical escapade as expression of mood on the
part of Harraway? Or is it her fundamental posture which, considering Graber's
denunciation of the "postmodern gang" *tout entier*, represents a core position
wherefor the sociology of science was window dressing? or *is there an absolute
and irremediable contradiction between elitist professional scientific practice
within the scientific social context in contradistinction to radical or
revolutionary feminism in its (rather hypothetical) social context? What in
blazes does Harraway want to be remembered for in having written this book?

/* end subtext there wasn't any text */

/* begin sour notes */
(*) In 1961-1964, back at Brandeis University, Waltham MA, my hero, role
model, and living God was Maurice R. Stein, whom I followed around like a
puppy dog. Stein was incoherence incarnate, having been incapable not merely
of using the written language even in the slovenly fashion I do to make mudpies
void of logic and reason; but so involuted and convoluted and in the semblance
of a blob of spaghetti were his lectures, in content, that five minutes after
leving the lecture room, often crammed full of up to 300 students, nobody much
could recall a single point he made. Difference was, Maurice R. Stein knew how
to act among people like the viewing audience of this TV show; and, better yet,
was the most spellbinding lecturer in the school, so I thought; I was biased.
(Whilst I could not talk and was so outofit I knew nothing about the a-a-a-a
As a judge of the human cognitive, Maurice R. Stein was close to the pits;
witness he did not throw me out of school. True, as a Jewboy only child with
enormous mother 1st grade teacher I had an imperative thrust on me, be Smart,
it's your Job in life, when I was if anything Retarded with slight advantage
in memorizing trivia. Could not read, concentrate, think, or learn social
behavior. Very nearly lasted less than one semester when Stein or Morris
Schwartz steered me to the late Paul Goodman's personal psychiatrist, who
prescribed speed. This in turn permitted the mudpie you see before you, but
then only with no good reason to stop, as there is no good reason to start.
In 1962 Maurice R. Stein or someone much like him invented expression,
"humanistic sociology," in terms of which I was "very creative." I did not
know then, he did not know either, that today, the word "creative" is
reserved exclusively for children of the Upper Middle Class who are *so
Retarded* they can only fingerpaint. In 1969 Maurice R. Stein was of the
conviction that academic standards were counterrevolutionary; hence rounded
up a committee which gave me a PhD for a mudpie weighing in first draft 8
pounds, which an old girl friend, as women were then called, who knew, took
scissors to and 10% of the resulting confetti was rearranged with scotchtape
and typed gratis, I was broke, by Mary Cunningham, wife of Tom Cunningham,
best friend in Syracuse NY, then a major manufacturer of Inferiority and
a relaxing place to live. This is how I got a PhD in Woolworths. Unable to
selectively unrecall how big of a fool he had been, like a lot of people,
Stein now says I "destroyed my mind on Drugs," which is derived from an
abstract inference heuristic or cognitive schema, hence is counterempirical,
may he rot in hell. (Only those of highly improbable existence do this, lemme
tell you.)

Anyhow, what one recalled about Maurice R. Stein was the catch phrases.
These mainly concerned the Postmodern, his principal area of interest, in
that as an area, it could not be located on a map or graph: "The [point]
[issue][problem] is to locate the coordinates of the postmodern." Thirty
or more years ago the postmodern was no more discrete or characterizable
than it is now; and the man who knew more about the postmodern than anyone
else on earth, in that he read 40 books a week "in a slow week," where I
can with maximum effort manage one a day, having improved over the years,
could not say anything more than slightly better than chance about the
postmodern. Had there been an application of Statistical Methods by, say,
a wrathful deity, and the null hypothesis had been, there is no postmodern;
where in sociological epistemology the fundamental rule is, "Truth is whatever
has got odds of 19 to one against," the postmodern would have got buried on
the spot.

The favorite instructional material of Maurice R. Stein was the day's issue
of The New York Times. Actually, he came from Buffalo; Really Smart people were
supposed to come from The City. What he did was, run down the front page and
show that every story was so bizarre it could only happen in the postmodern.
What's more, the pastiche of stories, collectively, was so bizarre that there
just had to be a postmodern Genesee Kwah (Micki Korp, this is not fake Algon-
kian, it is fake "je ne sais quoi"). The logic of discovery of the character
or essence of the postmodern tended to select ever more unrelated Thingies
for their unrelatedness; whereafter there was a reconsolidation phase when
even Maurice R. Stein would catch himself or somehow get dragged back over
the cliff.

The end, of course, was that box with those three posters, representing
Social Theory, in its totality, somehow, which one lived inside, such that
the intention may have been to have the sap drip on your face from the
drawings of trees with faces on them. That was in his "countereducation"

The only Thingie I now problematize about Maurice R. Stein is, did it
take the repressive reactionary Republican Ascendancy to make it common
sense that my Mind Was Destroyed By Drugs, or was it deep-structured
commonsensical anyhow. He gave me lots of favors, which now turn to garbage;
one cannot give a gift horse to one who can't look. Once the schmuck runs
into someone or some situation where they are *honest*, that's *the end*,
forget it.

(+) Possibly I was dreaming, but this is not untypical of the career-
advancement-related ANNOUNCEMENTs on this list:
This year's converence, whose theme has been persuaded to tentatively
fixate itself short of obsessive-compulsive keystroke counting, is
actively interested pending change of its own mind, don't involve us
in this, upon the following problem areas: the cyberbiobehaviral-genetic
linkage; and the impact of mounting evidence of causal connection between
VDT emanations both bitconfigurational and cyberelectromagenetic upon the
biogenetic aspects of conceptual vision and other conceptual behavioral
disorders, will be held as usual in better Holiday Inns and Quality Court
Motels, where participants may breathe heady air of grant-selection
priority number allocation here in the very belly of the beast, or bosom
of the healthful and life-loving medical-industrial complex, in the
Bethesda MD area. MD, as in *medicinae doctoris*. Sponsors of this event,
as last year, include the American Psychological Association (APA); the
American Psychiatric Association (APA); the American Philosophical
Association (APA), and by reason of its special interest in logocentric
issues, the American Philological Association (APA) for the first time;
under the overall aegis of the National Institute on National Institutes,
with oversight by the National Institute of Waste, Duplication, Cost-
Apathy, and Scientific Fraud.

Participants are encouraged to present any hastily scribbled piece of
paper, garbled floppy disk or viral-pathologized hard-drive files, even
impaired memories, of verbiage of the sort which, in DSM-III-R is, for
diagnostic and differential-diagnostic purposes, technically called
"odd," "neologisms or overelaborate words," and kindred symptomatic
verbal productions, which may begin with "cyber-," but not necessarily
or even probably, we just *don't know*.

For further information, as soon as it becomes known, send e-mail to:
The Secretary of Health and Human Services would like to stress that
not only are all affiliates of APA**4, National Instututes, and Human
Services Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employers, this has become
greatly simplified due to spread of AIDS.
/* supplement or the zeek declaration */
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Date: Sun, 9 Jan 1994 11:44:38 -0600 (CST)
From: zeek@IO.COM (zeek)
To: (Leri)
Subject: Leri
Message-Id: <199401091744.LAA20927@illuminati.IO.COM>

Just recently purchased, for a small price since used, was the Vena Cava
cd by Diamanda Gala[']s. So I take a dare, put the optical disk in the
player, and turn up the volume ...very loud.

Words cannot describe what I hear but... furthur: out the lights, on the
candles. Afraid? yes.

More candles, and Black Love incense. More scary? yes.

Now I want you to think of Alex Grey, and what happened in New Mexico, in
Albequerque. Have I lost my sense of humor? for now... yes.

What would happen if about 30 people gathered in a dim lit room, or on a
horizon, held hands, and stared into eachother's eyes for a few days?
Does that sound like what has since been and commonly called religion?
The energy .rezonating about them spells in starry sky:

Join us if you dare.
If you understand.
Bandits and Mind Thieves
please settle elswhere.
We are very busy.

There is some field of truth to be found somewhere. See, for me, I was
brought up in an environment that lacked spirtuality. Both Mom and Dad
had problems with the "Catholic Church" and decided not to teach it or
attend those rituals. So life in suburb after suburb (and often
Amerikan!) was very stale. Thinking was linear, and people were just
people, and art was just something to look at, ideas were just ideas, and
witches were bad, and different was wrong. For me, this has all
changed... and is changing quickly. I really don't have the words to
describe the experience, and I'm always making references rather than
thrashing with it in my own little head. There was this Funkadelic cd
Wally, Larkin, Cindy Bear, and I were listening to: Free your mind and
your ass will follow. Reminds me of a combination of words the Comunitree
BBS people adopted (in 1970-something): We are all Gods (and Godesses), so
we may as well get used to it. But Donna Haraway ends the Cyborg
Manifesto: This is a dream not of a common language, but of a powerful
indfidel heteroglossia. It is an imagination of a feminist speaking in
tongues to strike fear into the circuts of the super-savers of the new
right. It means both building and destroying machines, identities,
categories, relationships, space stories. Though both are bound in the
spiral dance, I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess.

I giggle when I think of the power we're messin with. :-) I'm in awe

I'm experiencing some painful self-initiation, and making new
brothers and sisters (Affinity: related not by blood but by choice, the
appeal of one chemical group for another, avidity).

What happened out there in the desert is a Thingie I just can't communicate.

I want roses in my garden bower dig?


This is all I can type, for now.

I'm happy to be back in Austin.
Everything looks different.

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Date: Sun, 9 Jan 1994 19:43:41 -0600 (CST)
From: zeek@IO.COM (zeek)
To: (Leri)
Subject: Re: me
Message-Id: <199401100143.TAA04914@illuminati.IO.COM>
In-Reply-To: <> from "Shawn Larson" at Jan 9,
94 04:31:53 pm

*> Scotto, you recently said something to the effect that if someone wants
*> to be your friend, you've got to be getting something out of the
*> relationship also. Here's my problem/question: What can I contribute
*> to leri? I'm not an artist, I'm not a writer. Just be myself, I suppose.

Make art brother, we need more art. Yell it: WE NEED MORE ART! WE NEED
ASS WILL FOLLOW! heh. shucks.

*> Here's a question for you, Scotto or Zeek, or anyone else:
*> What does this Vessel do? I mean, so we're a Vessel. What then?
*> Where do we go? Do we sail through the realms that leri finds adventure
*> in?

This is one of them terms that I'm not versed on, but I would "assume" (is
that safe?) that Vessel is equivelent to: group, transcendence, spirit,
self, mind, body, ass, hair, goal, reaching, ideology, markings, desire,
symbol, and so on. The Leri dictionary is a sacred book, I wouldn't look
in it for "traditional" or precise definitions (that's just me), but
rather for a series of never-ending conversations. The Leri dictionary is
always being worked on; a busy text.

Not sure what the Vessel does, but I would sail in the cosmos with that
Vessel Thingie.

Where do we go?

Where do you wanna go?


Just some of my personal faves (some of as very recent):

Alex Grey
Diamanda Galas
Sandy Stone
Donna Haraway
Daniel Foss
Marshall McLuhan
Gustav Klimt
Frida Kahlo
Mauricio Lasansky
Shwa Inc.
Jack Kerouac
Friedrich Nietzsche
Venus de Milo
David Lynch
Hermann Hesse
William S. Burroughs
Jack Kevorkian
Jim Morrison
Maria Callas
Jimi Hendrix
Pablo Neruda

unfortunately, I haven't met most of these humans.