toot toot

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Monday, September 22, 2008
at the fair

photo note: this picture is from the state fair. I think the "toot toot the clown club" was comprised of face painters, but I can't really remember now. They either painted faces or made quickie drawings where everyone is a "cartoon" version of themselves, except it's more like every man, woman, and child looks just like every other man, woman, or child but for hair color or glasses or a giant piercing through the nose. For the sake of convenience, let's say it was face (and body) painting.

medical report: I have a cold. Big deal, I know. It came on suddenly -- I got home from work yesterday and was like "man, I am really tired. I am sick and tired. Oh no, I'm sick!!" and promptly fell asleep for 10 hours. I had to work a weird 5 hour shift today, but I was doped up with dayquil and it went okay until I was on my way home and started sneezing my head off which prompted all of my face holes to start leaking at once. (gross and miserable, but true!)

you don't say: I've been reading Donald Barthelme's Sixty Stories. They are very good and I'm enjoying them so much, but I can't read too many at a time. They are funny and wonderful and complicated, but too rich to read all at once. (although not all of them, but that is the beauty of SIXTY STORIES! If I don't like one, there are 59 more.) ANYWAY, you know how it is sometimes: you read something and you think "it's so weird to be reading this now due to how it relates directly to current events, such as, say, a huge economic disaster!!" That's what happened to me this morning when I read The Rise of Capitalism. Keep in mind that this is but a small section of many other sections in the story, keep in mind that this was written well over 20 years ago, keep in mind that this isn't the last time I'll be talking about Barthelme, because I've been marking things down on my bookmark as I go along. However, the time is now for this one:

p. 201, Penguin Classic Version. (this page is omitted from the Google Books Preview, I must assume because this page is so awesome.)

Capitalism arose and took off its pajamas. Another day, another dollar. Each man is valued at what he will bring in the marketplace. Meaning has been drained from work and assigned instead of remuneration. Unemployment obliterates the world of the unemployed individual. Cultural underdevelopment of the worker, as a technique of domination, is found everywhere under late capitalism. Authentic self-determination by individuals is thwarted. The false consciousness created and catered to by mass culture perpetuates ignorance and powerlessness. Strands of raven hair floating on the surface of the Ganges...Why can't they clean up the Ganges? If the wealthy capitalists who operate the Ganges wig factories could be forced to install sieves, at the mouths of their plants...And now the sacred Ganges is choked with hair, and the river no longer knows where to put its flow, and the moonlight on the Ganges is swallowed by the hair, and the water darkens. By Vishnu! This is an intolerable situation! Shouldn't something be done about it?

last paragraph:

p.202 Smoke, rain, abulia. What can the concerned citizen do to fight the rise of capitalism, in his own community? Study of the tides of conflict and power in a system in which there is structural inequality is an important task. A knowledge of European intellectual history since 1789 provides a useful background. Information theory offers interesting new possibilities. Passion is helpful, especially those types of passion which are nonlicit. Doubt is a necessary precondition to meaningful action. Fear is the great mover, in the end.
3 comments on "toot toot"
  1. As soon as I left work last night I ached everywhere. Everywhere. The fever came later. I stayed home today. I don't feel horrible today but I feel like I could at any moment. I hate being sick.

  2. Get lots of rest! What is the deal? Summer gone for ONE DAY and the world gets sick.

    I hope you feel better soon. I feel much better today, but plan on doing a lot of laying around and maybe watching some movies.

  3. I watched some tv, read a little Amy Tan, organized the recycling, did some laundry, made lunch for tomorrow and got stuff ready for work. It might sound like a lot but probably only took up an hour total. I hate being in the house when I don't want to be. I read that we will have sunny 80 degree weather this weekend. I am looking forward to that. The insane amount os vitamin C and some tincture thing helped fight off what I think would have been very flu-ish.


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