Evolution and Results

“But when you talk about Nabokov and Coover, you’re talking about real geniuses, the writers who weathered real shock and invented this stuff in contemporary fiction. But after the pioneers always come the crank turners, the little gray people who take the machines others have built and just turn the crank, and little pellets of metafiction come out the other end. The crank-turners capitalize for a while on sheer fashion, and they get their plaudits and grants and buy their IRAs and retire to the Hamptons well out of range of the eventual blast radius. There are some interesting parallels between postmodern crank-turners and what’s happened since post-structural theory took off here in the U.S., why there’s such a big backlash against post-structuralism going on now. It’s the crank-turners fault. I think the crank-turners replaced the critic as the real angel of death as far as literary movements are concerned, now. You get some bona fide artists who come along and really divide by zero and weather some serious shit-storms of shock and ridicule in order to promulgate some really important ideas. Once they triumph, though, and their ideas become legitimate and accepted, the crank-turners and wannabes come running to the machine, and out pour the gray pellets and now the whole thing’s become a hollow form, just another institution of fashion. Take a look at some of the critical-theory Ph.D. dissertations being written now. They’re like de Man and Foucault in the mouth of a dull child. Academia and commercial culture have somehow become these gigantic mechanisms of commodification that drain the weight and color out of even the most radical new advances. It’s a surreal inversion of the death-by-neglect that used to kill off prescient art. Now prescient art suffers death-by acceptance. We love things to death, now. Then we retire to the Hamptons.” ~ David Foster Wallace

The truth is it’s hard to get moving this morning, but there’s no hurry. Kind of a sweet situation, now that I think about it. My hands feel like lead balloons. but the usual morning stiffness and pain are down in the modest range of mild. More sweetness. These hands are moving steadily, perhaps 80% of the time during my work shift. The jawbone probably maxes out at about 60%. As such, silence and stillness become more than mere spiritual concepts, much more. No, let me tweak that a tad. Silence and stillness become yet another boulevard for expansion and evolution above and beyond spiritual values. So, can something timeless and infinite actually evolve? I mean, what would that even look like? The answers are yes and how the heck would I know. Now, I know my view of what is considered to be a perennial philosophy would be considered ludicrous by more traditional spiritual practitioners. I mean, think about it. Something unchanging suddenly, or maybe slowly, changes. And then what? Your guess is as good as mine. I think by definition evolution is inscrutable when it comes to results. In fact, I’m pretty sure results are simply none of our business, until they are. Yet, even if I am wrong about this, by giving considerable thought to this view I am performing a thought experiment that can brew nothing but good results. Whatever. The tone in my writing this morning reveals the inner inexplicable peace in my heart. I can live with it, I suppose. Everyone needs a getaway from anxiety once in a while.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.


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