Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Some Google-based poetry

First four search suggestions, July 3rd 2012. Some capitalization and punctuation added for clarity.


Why did…
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Why did Hitler hate the Jews?
Why did I get married?
Why did the Titanic sink?

Why did I get married
Why did I get married too?
Why did I ever?
Why did I get married online?

Why did you buy me that?
Why did you apply for this position?
Why did you come to my house?
Why did you choose our company?

Why did he cheat?
Why did he break up with me?
Why did he cheat on me?
Why did he disappear?

Why did she cheat on me?
Why did she dump me?
Why did she block me on Facebook?
Why did she have to die?

Why did it have to be snakes?
Why did it happen to me?
Why did it hurt when I came?
Why did it rain frogs in Magnolia?

Why did we get married?
Why did we stop going to the moon?
Why did we go to the moon?
‘Why Did We Ever Meet’ (lyrics)?

Why did they remake Spiderman?
Why did they cancel Bleach?
Why did they kill Jesus?
Why did they close Alcatraz?

Why do…
Why do cats purr?
Why do dogs eat grass?
Why do we yawn?
Why do men cheat?

Why do I sweat so much?
Why do I bruise easily?
Why do I sleep so much?
Why do I feel so tired?

Why do you want to work here?
Why do you get hiccups?
Why do you yawn?
Why do you want to work here (answers)?

Why does he do that?
Why does he oppose the assassination of Antony?
Why does he stare at me?
Why does he ignore me?

Why does she like me?
Why does she love me?
Why does she hate me?
‘Why Does She Love Me’ (lyrics)?

Why does it hurt when I pee?
Why does it always rain on me?
Why does it burn when I pee?
Why does it always rain?

Why do we yawn?
Why do we dream?
Why do we hiccup?
Why do we cry?

Why do they speak French in Quebec?
Why do they have the Hunger Games?
Why do they hate us?
Why do they throw rats in Florida?

Why will…
Why will the world end in 2012?
Why Will Smith divorce?
Why will I die?
Why will anyone date me?

Why will I die?
Why will I hire you?
Why will I never have a boyfriend?
Why Will I Am?

Why will you die without sleep?
Why will you die?
Why will you be successful in this position?
Why will you die on House of Israel?

Why will he not commit?
Why will he not talk to me?
Why will he not propose?
Why will he not marry me?

Why did Will and Sheree divorce?
Why will a sheet of paper fall?
Why will she cheat?

Why will it be 4/20 for a month in 2020?

Why will we run out of oil?
Why will we die in 2012?
Why will we hire you?
Why will we dream?

(no result for ‘why will they’)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Three newish poems

Including one about the current political situation in Quebec.

My hand rested there, where the missing button
Announced itself and dared me to imagine
Where it finally came to rest.
Rough wool, clasping catches,
Soft to the touch.
Threadbare textures circumscribe
A coat that has seen other winters, other hands.
But for now and for all winters to come,
Only ours.

Pad Thai and a Lousy Connection
Your destination is distance.
Kilometres click, pile up, crumble
At the tolling of the telephone.

A voice snipped by turbulent static,
Syllables click, pile up, crumble.
A finger presses where lips and tongue cannot.

A soft dull wrenching when silence finally arrives.
Only fervent nourishings
Continue to stare, blindly.

And I, sleepless, scribbling.
The acrid haze of tear gas chokes
The sparking flash bang flinch.

Panic, glued to broken transmissions
Of kettled children, smiling, eyes shining with
Sweat sliding down the business end
Of a baton.

While the white bloc blocks the black bloc,
While the talk table sits abandoned
While the summer crowds,

Our Dear Leader wrings his hands.
Despair or triumph,
We will see.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Back from the dead, lurking in the library

Wow, it has been a while. To wit, here's a series of found poems made from a list of EBSCO journals to which McGill University is subscribed, that I compiled while working at Redpath over the past couple of weeks as part of a work-study program attached to the MLIS program, of which I just finished the first year. Finshed my PhD, got engaged (!!!), and have longer hair than I've had in years. The only regret is the last thing, which shall soon be remedied.


the rise and fall of the unemployed insect lover 
Entomological News,  
The Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine, 
The Great Lakes Entomologist. 
(American Bee Journal.) 
Journal Of The American Mosquito Control Association, 
International Pest Control: 
Memoirs Of The American Entomological Society. 

Necessary (or Not) for Noises 
Before The Bell: 
Flutist Quarterly, 
Horn Call. 
(Computer Music: Absolute Sound.)

American Nurseryman AND Hoards Dairyman OR Irish Sword AND Scottish Birds OR Pig Progress AND Progressive Grocer AND Seed World AND Grain Magazine AND Fruit and Vegetable Magazine AND Croplife AND Growertalks Greenprofit OR Dickens Quarterly AND The Dickensian AND Byzantinoslavica OR Tools For Schools AND Science and Children AND Gifted Child Quarterly AND Reading Improvement AND Jack and Jill AND Family Process AND Exceptional Family OR Log AND Ga Magazine OR Hand Clinics AND Journal of Space Law AND Index of Fungi OR True Principles AND Middle Way AND Present State AND History Now. 

competitions bomb contexts ephemera inform event (esse) faces extrapolation herizons appeal inroads issues and studies intersight inter interstices intervention preservation forces relations refuge use of english s p a c i n g. 

Africa Insight\\World of Interiors\\ Canadian Interiors//Building (Canada)//Classmate (Canada)\\Communications (France)//Critique (France)//Francais dans le monde – With Special Issues\\Concrete (England)\\Zion 

Anagrammatical Leftovers 
For the Mariner’s Moebius, 
Inland architect abstracts online mathematics: 
New Dionysus. 

Investors digest Eskimo fort, 
Against the grain. 

500 largest private companies photo single user. 

Forktail abstracts mirror econtent; 
Line, print, and prefix. 

Private library session. 
Learning of Manitoba lake cases,  
New Testament teacher Fiddlehead…

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dissent Magazine - Arguing The World - Are English Departments Killing the Humanities? -

Dissent Magazine - Arguing The World - Are English Departments Killing the Humanities? -

As a means of rekindling this blog which has fallen by the wayside of late, I want to post a short response to this article, one whose idealism is something with which I wholly sympathize. At the outset, it is of course not just English departments which are responsible, but rather the humanities in general. However, with the rise of cultural studies as an academic discipline out of North American English departments, such a discipline in my opinion looking like more or less atrophied philosophical theories applied to quasi-random cultural detritus mostly unworthy of careful study, perhaps English departments must accept more of the blame. In contrast to many (note: certainly not all) whom I've met who have been formed by these departments, I believe it possible to maintain standards of academic rigour and judgement, and in accordance with which determine which texts are in fact worth careful study, without necessarily calling down on oneself the appellation of 'elitism.' I think the author subscribes to this belief too. And, the political ramifications of the general tendency toward lowest-common-denominator educational topics (there is nothing more damning to philosophy than making it 'relevant,' as this presumes the beliefs and behaviours of the present moment, and usually the most superficial elements of those beliefs and behaviours, fundamentally determine what is of value to study from past thought) are possibly the most important effect of that tendency to consider, as the article seems to state. As I argued in a post from last year (yikes!), education with the purpose of allowing recognition of one's own historical situation as the site in which other historical situations may be viewed, analyzed, and critiqued, i.e., liberal education, is for me the only way to develop political awareness enough to view, analyze, and, most importantly, critique the present political situation. Without this form of education, human beings become easily manipulable by those in power, and, as a study of tyrannical governments both past and present show, those in power know this. I will probably have more to say on this in a future post. Presently, I am currently working through Arendt's The Human Condition, writing a book review of Robert Pippin's Hollywood Westerns and American Myth, preparing to join a local reading group on Husserl's Logical Investigations, looking forward with a mixture of trepidation and relief to my thesis defence, purportedly to be held at the end of January or early February, and dealing with the fallout of a traumatic personal upheaval from several months ago. Hopefully after the dust settles, things will become more regular here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cross-posting of a book review from another site

Found here. I'm pleased with how it turned out.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Interview with Nancy Fraser on the dissolution of secular utopian social movements

I found this interview interesting, especially the point Fraser makes near the end that many of those who now join radical religious movements would have joined radical socialist or anticapitalist movements in the past. The difference is that now, there is no coherent left political movement that can provide what those religious movements do, namely a connection to something greater than oneself that reflects a coherent conception of justice, both social and, one would seemingly have to add, metaphysical. The fracturing of the left is of course an impossible event to circumscribe completely, but as a start it is important to consider the role of identity politics in hastening that fracturing. If all individuals are concerned with their own defined political niche and how the political structures currently in place oppress them specifically, it becomes much more difficult to see how those structures oppress everyone, the poor, women, queer people, people of other ethnicities, and even, I would add, animals, not to mention the damaged individuals who in fact benefit from those structures. As much current discussion has shown, it is precisely the notion of individual liberty being paramount that neoliberalism wishes to make the basis of political existence. This tendency towards political atomization is the largest problem facing the left today, and can only be overcome by recognizing the common interests held by all which can only be satisfied through actively fighting against that tendency.

I suppose that there is a possible problem of communication between a liberal position that recognizes the pervasive growth of oppressive power structures everywhere while recognizing the different effects and consequences of those structures, and a fundamentally nonliberal religious position which, usually, possesses an intolerant view of difference. I believe that the key to overcoming this problem is twofold: liberal education and the encouragement of the possibility of critical distance on one's most cherished beliefs which results from that education; and showing that, in principle, liberal democracy could provide the politically neutral space for collective ways of human life free of and apart from the economic interests which currently drive it.[1] Perhaps this is too optimistic. However, even if the tension between liberal tolerance and belief in natural right, religiously founded or otherwise, is an intractable problem, at least the attempt to overcome the problem can serve to moderate the polarizing and sometimes violent responses to it.

[1] This is a big 'if' and perhaps goes against the basis of liberal democracy as it is currently understood and practiced (I am thinking here of Lockean individual property rights--run rampant--which provide much of the theoretical framework for the North American political-economic system). Perhaps I am too naive concerning the prospects of what liberal democracy could provide if it is shorn of its economic mooring. I am not sure what would remain after a redistribution of wealth in line with political ideas that themselves fall outside the purview of liberal democracy's theoretical underpinnings. But, I ask, what is utopian or idealistic political thought if not naive, at least a little?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

From the silence, a voice is heard...

...one who finally submitted a thesis to his program! Funny how anticlimactic the entire process was: get up at 5:45 to start work at 7:30, truck a large quantity of library books downtown, up to the language school, then back down to the bus station, print out 5 copies at a cost of $140, barely make it to the two locations on campus where submissions are directed, get back on the bus and get home for 7:30, and, while drifting off to a semi-troubled sleep, think long and hard about whether there is in fact anything of value in the work itself. I suppose I shall see if this is the case in the next weeks and months. Regardless, hopefully things will become more active here, as I'm prepping a post-doc application on Nietzsche and rhetoric and would like feedback on the desired path of study. Here is an extremely tentative and undeveloped version which I sent to my possible research director:

For my postdoctoral project, I want to conduct an analysis of Nietzsche's rhetoric both concerning how it affects his argument and the reasons why he wrote the way that he did. I believe that his rhetoric is for the purposes of not only preparing the way for the 'philosophers of the future,' but also preparing philosophers of the present to rethink the history of philosophy concerning its various conceptions of nature. Ultimately, I wish to develop my project from certain arguments of Strauss, who considered both Nietzsche and Plato to hold an investigation of nature to be the highest task of philosophy. I thus wish to explore the reasons for why Nietzsche believed his politically- and, perhaps more importantly, religiously-charged rhetoric to be the proper propadeutic to this investigation.

I will now proceed to enjoy the autumn weather.