Monday, May 20, 2019

Nobody Faults a Woodpecker

1) [digression]: Pileated should stand on its own as word, not just as an adornment to woodpecker. And, as much as I'd like to respect pileated's Latin roots, if you are truly pileated, it's not something you are likely writing home about -- think a bad night of bowling on a good night of drinking, or, whichever sort of dialectal defilement fits your discretion.

2) [the point]: Nobody faults a woodpecker for slamming its head against a wall for most of its life. It is what it is, this is this, raison d'ĂȘtre! Gotta quote Hesse here, not for intellectual prowess or any sort of proving by disproving, just simply for the sake that sometimes the details simply get away: The painter puts it in the picture but we just see what we want to see.

"Each man had only one genuine vocation – to find the way to himself. He might end up as poet or madman, as prophet or criminal – that was not his affair, ultimately it was of no concern. His task was to discover his own destiny – not an arbitrary one – and live it out wholly and resolutely within himself."

We read the Hesse and we think, "yes, yes, poet, prophet, these are good things, the brass ring is mere steps away." Sure, perhaps criminal and madman are unfairly too great of counter examples, but at 7.5 billion, the width of the bell curve is pretty goddamn big. And sure, doing the resolute thing sounds wonderfully boy/girl-scoutish, but there's loneliness in the middle of that curve. How far do you go? How long before the wavering trashes the foundation?

At one point in this post I wrote "hubric myopia" and "consideration of consequence." Due to vanity I'm including them here, just so you know.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

All I Need Is Steppenwolf; Don't Read Steppenwolf

First you type, then you hit the backspace key a few times, then you type some more, then rearrange a few things, then select-all, delete. If it's bad you hate it now and it it's good you'll hate it in 5 years. I used to be proud of surviving but after you survive you realize that survive is a dirty word, a denigrated state. Hey, I'm an optimist, I'm an abyss starer, but I can't beat power and economics and what's the point really? There's a personal stone at the end of the road, or a pile of stones, or perhaps a mushroom suit if you are gard-de-avant. I just rearrange things until they feel good. I can't make this stuff up: I once wrote Police lyrics on my physics quiz and actually got credit for it. I once had enough hubris to cram an entire quarter of Fortran learning into one night prior to the final. It didn't work out*. But it did work out! I turned software into a career! A river always reaches its goal. That's the beauty and criminality of it, but it's hubris to think you are value-add. Where do you go from here? You certainly can't put Steppenwolf on your resumé and even if you did, that'd be silly and likely fraudulent. We've all got courage and moxy until we don't and Hesse won't be there to save you.

*I did write Police lyrics on a desk at the University of Minnesota's Nicholson Hall