“Perhaps if there was no sound, it would be better”
“What’s your best Mr. X story?” (Andy) asked.
“I dunno, I think they’re all good,” I said.
“Well, yeah, I mean the story that really sums him up. But you’ve probably told me all of ‘em, haven’t you?” I could tell Andy had gotten hooked on the Mr. X stories. I also saw he was trying to understand Mr. X, to figure out what made him tick, so that maybe he could invest some of Mr. X in his own characters.
“I got one you haven’t heard,” I offered.
“What? What?” he said, sounding just like a little kid.
“The glazed-donut story. I tell you that one?”
“The glazed-donut story? No, no, tell me, I want to hear it.”
“How close are we to this club?”
Andy shook his head. “Doesn’t’ matter. We can be late. Besides, it’s better to keep an audience waiting. Go on, tell me the glazed-donut story.”
I sat back and looked out the window at the lights flitting by and pictured that day: sunny, a few puffy clouds, a generally nice day. Mr. X and I had picked up our cash that morning, nearly 50 grand. It was afternoon, and, as we hadn’t even spent a dime yet, X was getting restless.
“We rolled over to Jersey one afternoon, midday maybe,” I began.
“Like here? Somewhere around here?” Andy asked, trying to place the story.
“No, I think it was like North Bergen, Seacaucus maybe,” I answered.
At this point in my story, Kaufman did something that was unusual. Over the years I would see him do it hundreds of times, but this was the first. He was recording me, not on tape like Mr. X did, but in his mind. Possessing a truly photographic memory, his eyes would take on a wide, distant look, and then the tip of his fingers would twitch lightly as if he were typing on an invisible keyboard. Years later I would witness him memorizing entire Taxi scripts at one sitting using this technique. Not only committing his own lines to memory, but all the other characters’ lines along with stage directions and page numbers. It was just like Dustin Hoffman’s character, Raymond, in Rain Man. Oddly, Andy was somewhat embarrassed by this extraordinary ability and never flaunted it. I asked him once how he did it, think it was something he had learned in a TM course. Slightly flustered, he admitted that the ability came to him suddenly one day after a particularly bad LSD trip. He told me that he had also seen the future on that same trip. When I commented that that was great, he objected strongly, saying we’re not supposed to see the future.
I continued with my tale. “Anyway, so we’re in Jersey, drivin’ along in the limo, and Mr. X sees this baker, says, ‘Driver stop over here, I want a glazed donut. Okay, so inside, it’s midday and there’s a few people in line, so X just blurts out, ‘I want a glazed donut,’ real loud, like they’re all just hard of hearing, and this woman behind the counter, her name badge said ‘Flo’. . .”
“You’re joking. . .” said Andy.
“No shit, ‘Flo.’ Anyway, Flo is matronly, an older woman, you know, kind of stern. . . so she says, “Sir, you’ll have to take a number like everyone else.”
“You don’t talk to him like that,” added Andy, knowing enough about Mr. X.
“Exactly,” I concurred. “But oddly X doesn’t say a word. He takes a ticket and quietly goes to the back of the line.”
“Uh-oh,” said Andy as he pulled the car over, readying for the story to go into overdrive.
“Yeah, uh-oh,” I agreed and then continued. “So Mr. X waits, and finally he gets to Flo, and she says, ‘Okay, now you want a glazed donut?’ and X shakes his head. ‘No, I’ve changed my mind. I want this here. And I want those, and that. And those over there, and all of that. Oh, and while you’re at it, I want those racks of bread back there. All of them.’ And Flo narrows here eyes and says, ‘Sir, please don’t joke around. We’re a business here.’ And Mr. X yells, ‘Zmuda? The case!’ and I step forward and pop it open. . .”
“Like usual,” Andy added, having heard Mr. X’s Zmuda, the case” line in other stories.
“Yeah, so I say, ‘Madam, this man is Mr. X, a famous writer, he’s written a number of major motion pictures, and he’s a millionaire, he’s very eccentric, and I can assure you he’s completely serious. This case?’ I point into the case, which is open and showing all the cash. It has over 50-thousand dollars in it, and Mr. X is ready to pay for anything he wants so please help him.’ Well, Flo realizes this is probably for real, so even though she already hates him, she starts ringing stuff up, and now the manager comes out of the back to see what the hell’s going on. So Mr. X introduces himself while I’m lugging boxes of rolls and bread and shit out out the limo. We fill the limo, so X goes, “Get on the phone and get a truck over to pick up my baked goods.”
“You hired a truck?” Andy said, his face going slack in amazement. “What? You just called a trucking company and said, ‘Come over and pick up our donuts’?’
“Exactly. And they came, a full-size fucking deliver truck. Meanwhile, Mr.; X’s bought so much stuff we have to send for another truck. It’s the Marx brothers. We’ve hung out the Closed sign and cleaned out the whole front of the store. Now Mr. X goes into the back room. He starts buying all their back stock as well as the shit coming out of the oven — it’s still hot – not to mention all their butter and flour and salt and sugar, everything. Meanwhile, the owner, he’s at his calculator, and he’s in fuckin’ hog heaven, he can’t believe this guy, buying his place to the walls, damn near.
“So now Mr. X goes to work on the employees. First the bakers, there’s like three older guys in white outfits, and he says to one of them, ‘You must be pretty hot in that, it’s hot back here. I’ll tell you what, take off your clothes down to your underwear and I’ll give you 500-bucks. Zmuda, the case!’ So I hand over the cash and the old guys strips down to his skivvies. Mr. X checks him out and says, ‘Listen, for another 500, take off your underwear.’ So the old guys drops his boxers, and he’s bare-ass naked. So Mr. X turns to the others and says, ‘I’ll give you each a thousand if you do the same,’ so two minutes later the bakers are nude, and X turns to the ladies who were working the counter and are now watching the old guys strut around naked but a thousand bucks richer. X says to them, ‘Take off your clothes, only down to your underwear, and I’ll give you a thousand each.’ Well, they’re in their underwear, bras and girdles, in about three seconds, and I’m handing them money. All of them except Flo, she’s the holdout. Mr. X can’t break her. She hates him. A test of wills. Flo versus Mr. X.
“Mr. X takes the challenge, he says, ‘C’mon, Flo, just take off your blouse, leave your bra and girdle on, but take off the blouse. I’ll give you two thousand dollars.’ She says, ‘I can’t do that,’ and X says ‘I’ll make it three thousand,’ and the other ladies are saying, ‘Flo, do it, it’s fine, it’s just your blouse, it’s okay,’ cause they’re standing in their girdles and bras and they’re one grand richer. Mr. X ups the ante to four, then five. Now Flo’s sweatin’, the manager is yelling at her to drop her top, and her girlfriend’s are saying she’s nuts Mr. X keeps going until he finally says, ‘Flo, lemme ask you this, what does your husband make a year? Flo won’t answer, but one of the other ladies says Flo’s husband, Alex, drives a delivery truck and makes about 19-grand. So Mr. X says, ‘Flo, take off our top only, leave your bra and girdle on, and I will give you 19-thousand dollars. It’s as much as Alex, your beloved husband, makes in a year. Think of his face when you bring home that cash.’
Well, the scene is now insane. Here’s the truck drivers loading our bread, the manager’s delirious, looking for anything else to sell, here’s three old men, nude, three or four older ladies in their underwear, and everyone is yelling at Flo to do it. Flo is in tears, but she stands firm. So Mr. X gets bored trying to break her and heads into the cooler, where he finds a wedding cake. ‘I want this,’ he says., and the manager goes white and says, ‘Sorry, Mr. X, but that’s a wedding cake, it’s custom made, and I have to deliver it in a few hours, and they’re a lovely couple.’ And X says, ‘I don’t give a fuck, I want it. Zmuda? The case!’ and I count out another three thousand, and it’s ours now. Meanwhile, the bakers are still nude, and they’re partying with the counter ladies on some beer we had delivered, and the manager is now about 30-thousand bucks heavier in the wallet, and he’s on the phone to the wedding couple to tell them about the tragic accident on the freeway where their cake got ruined. And speaking of ruined, Flo is destroyed, her life could have changed, but she wouldn’t cave in to the will of Mr. X. I say to him, ‘What are we going to do with all the food?’ and he says, ‘Fuck it, let it rot,’ so I get on the phone before we leave and have the truckers take it over to a food bank. So now we’re done. X goes out and gets in the limo, and I make a final pass to survey the wreckage, the party is going full swing, and the place looks like it was looted by rats, not an edible thing left in sight, like it was never a working bakery. So I walk out the front, and as I do. . .that’s when I see it. All by itself in the front display case, not even a crumb to keep it company, sits one. . .solitary. . .glazed donut.”
Andy was totally mesmerized. “He’s a genius,” he pronounced finally, without irony.
‘I myself made some observations on . . . nitrous oxide intoxication, and reported them in print. One conclusion was forced upon my mind at that time, and my impression of its truth has ever since remained unshaken. It is that our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different.’
What's mistake but a kind of take? What's nausea but a kind of -ausea? Sober, drunk, -unk , astonishment. . . . Agreement--disagreement!! Emotion--motion!!! . . . Reconciliation of opposites; sober, drunk, all the same! Good and evil reconciled in a laugh! It escapes, it escapes! But-- What escapes, WHAT escapes? No verbiage can give it, because the verbiage is other. Incoherent, coherent--same. And it fades! And it's infinite! AND it's infinite! . . . Don't you see the difference, don't you see the identity? Constantly opposites united! The same me telling you to write and not to write! Extreme--extreme, extreme! . . . Something, and other than that thing! Intoxication, and otherness than intoxication. Every attempt at betterment,--every attempt at otherment, --is a-- It fades forever and forever as we move.
Post rat cleavage, whilst taking a rather more mundane photograph standing on a wall, some invisible force whisked my phone from my limp hands and threw it to the hard ground. With hungover and unsteady legs I leaped to find a screen that no longer shone with any light. I hear it bing as messages come in, but from who and what they say I do not know. If you have sent a message and received no response, I have not taken some turn, but been restricted by the ‘external powers of physics rather than any biological causes’.
Most annoying of all is that it seems the photos and videos have gone with the light as when the spirit leaves the body.
Bohm has introduced the concept of a dialogue stating that
dialogue can be considered as a free flow of meaning between people in communication, in the sense of a stream that flows between banks.
These “banks” are understood as representing the various points of view of the participants.
In practical terms, a Bohm dialogue, twenty to forty participants sit in a circle for a few hours during regular meetings, or for a few days in a workshop environment. This is done with no predefined purpose, no agenda, other than that of inquiring into the movement of thought, and exploring the process of “thinking together” collectively. This activity can allow group participants to examine their preconceptions and prejudices, as well as to explore the more general movement of thought. Bohm’s intention regarding the suggested minimum number of participants was to replicate a social/cultural dynamic (rather than a family dynamic). This form of dialogue seeks to enable an awareness of why communicating in the verbal sphere is so much more difficult and conflict-ridden than in all other areas of human activity and endeavor.
Participants in the Bohmian form of dialogue “suspend” their beliefs, opinions, impulses, and judgments while speaking together, in order to see the movement of the group’s thought processes and what their effects may be. According to Dialogue a Proposal [Bohm, Factor, Garrett], this kind of dialogue should not be confused with discussion or debate, both of which, says Bohm, suggest working towards a goal or reaching a decision, rather than simply exploring and learning. Meeting without an agenda or fixed objective is done to create a “free space” for something new to happen.
“…it may turn out that such a form of free exchange of ideas and information is of fundamental relevance for transforming culture and freeing it of destructive misinformation, so that creativity can be liberated.” David Bohm
Dialogue is really aimed at going into the whole thought process and changing the way the thought process occurs collectively. We haven’t really paid much attention to thought as a process. We have ENGAGED in thoughts, but we have only paid attention to the content, not to the process. Why does thought require attention? Everything requires attention, really. If we ran machines without paying attention to them, they would break down. Our thought, too, is a process, and it requires attention, otherwise it’s going to go wrong.
In such a dialogue, when one person says something, the other person does not, in general, respond with exactly the same meaning as that seen by the first person. Rather, the meanings are only similar and not identical. Thus, when the 2nd person replies, the 1st person sees a Difference between what he meant to say and what the other person understood. On considering this difference, he may then be able to see something new, which is relevant both to his own views and to those of the other person. And so it can go back and forth, with the continual emergence of a new content that is common to both participants. Thus, in a dialogue, each person does not attempt to make common certain ideas or items of information that are already known to him. Rather, it may be said that two people are making something in common, i.e., creating something new together. (from On Dialogue)
It seems then that the main trouble is that the other person is the one who is prejudiced and not listening. After all, it is easy for each one of us to see that other people are ‘blocked’ about certain questions, so that without being aware of it, they are avoiding the confrontation of contradictions in certain ideas that may be extremely dear to them. The very nature of such a ‘block’ is, however, that it is a kind of insensitivity or ‘anesthesia’ about one’s own contradictions. Evidently then, what is crucial is to be aware of the nature of one’s own ‘blocks’. If one is alert and attentive, he can see for example that whenever certain questions arise, there are fleeting sensations of fear, which push him away from consideration of those questions, and of pleasure, which attract his thoughts and cause them to be occupied with other questions. So, one is able to keep away from whatever it is that he thinks may disturb him. And as a result, he can be subtle at defending his own ideas, when he supposes that he is really listening to what other people have to say. When we come together to talk, or otherwise to act in common, can each one of us be aware of the subtle fear and pleasure sensations that ‘block’ the ability to listen freely?
Taking reference to the work of Bohm and Peat Science, Order and Creativity, Arleta Griffor – noted by Paavo Pylkkänen for her “deep and extensive knowledge of Bohm’s philosophy” and member of the research group of Bohm’s co-worker Basil Hiley – underlines the importance of the kind of listening involved in the Bohm dialogue and points to Bohm’s statement that
“a thoroughgoing suspension of tacit individual and cultural infrastructures, in the context of full attention to their contents, frees the mind to move in new ways … The mind is then able to respond to creative new perceptions going beyond the particular points of view that have been suspended.”
Griffor emphasizes that in conventional discussion “the self-defensive activity of each participant’s idiosyncracy […] prevents listening” and that, in contrast, giving full attention to what the other participants mean can free the mind from socio-cultural accumulation, allow a free flow of meaning between people in a dialogue and give rise to shared perception and the creation of shared meaning in the sense of shared significance, intention, purpose and value.
To become the other one has to kill the other. The other only remains other when it is separate from oneself. Yet there is something of the other in oneself; an aloof component that lingers to the side of one's 'unified self'. It is because of the other lurking somewhere with oneself that one can recognise the other in the other Yet one cannot quite grasp the other that sits beside oneself, without killing it in the process and integrating it into oneself, and in integrating the other one looses the self. The other becomes the self and the self the other. - an inseparable difference that create one another
Tiresias, in Greek mythology, a blind Theban seer. In the Odyssey he retained his prophetic gifts even in the underworld, where the hero Odysseus was sent to consult him.
At Thebes he played an active part in the tragic events concerning Laius, the king of Thebes, and his son Oedipus. Later legend told that he lived for seven (or nine) generations, dying after the expedition of the Seven Against Thebes, and that he had once been turned into a woman as the result of killing the female of two coupling snakes; on killing the male he regained his own sex.
His blindness was variously explained. One theory was that it was a punishment for revealing the secrets of the gods, which he had learned from his mother, the nymph Chariclo. Another theory was that he enraged Hera, who had contended to her husband, Zeus, that women had less pleasure in love than men, by telling her that love gave women 10 times more pleasure than it gave men. Hera thereupon struck him blind, but Zeus gave him the gifts of prophecy and longevity. A third explanation was that Tiresias was blinded by Athena because he had seen her naked.
The figure of Tiresias recurs in European literature, both as prophet and as man-woman, as in Guillaume Apollinaire’s surrealist play Les Mamelles de Tirésias (first performed 1917; “The Breasts of Tiresias”) and T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land (1922).
Because people don’t have public conversations.
There is always an agenda there and there is no agenda in this.
And the audience has to find what is interesting for them.
They have to do the editing.
They will or they won’t.
They’re in and they’re out of it.
Some people are more interested than others.
/ / /
I interviewed a woman who had just been picked up on a mother ship, a flying saucer, on the Ventura freeway. And her car was going west and an hour later it was going east. And she had to be deprogrammed to figure out she had been on a a spaceship.
So the next interview is with the head of the Theorist church, who believes that flying saucers are 15,000 miles up above the Earth sending down positive energy. In this church they have a big battery that looks kind of like a small radiator on stilts and they receive this energy from these flying saucers
then when there is a natural disaster they aim the battery at the disaster and send out that positive energy.
Now I say to him wait minute, have any of your people ever been picked up by flying saucers? He said, No they’re 15,000 miles up. I said I interviewed a woman the other night who was on a ship. He goes *circling his index finger around his temple* CraZy.
I’m not sentimental if that’s what you…
The soul never thinks without a picture. -Aristotle
The way up and the way down are one and the same.
This is his deepest insight: all becoming is circular (notice that, indeed, in a circle the way up and the way down are one and the same).
One time, Bill Murray came up to me at Wendy’s, took a fry off my tray, ate it, looked me in the eyes and said “Nobody’s going to believe you.”
The audience as object and their behaviour as events.
There’s such a thing as One
I am going to say – that is my function – I am going to say it once again – because I repeat myself – something I say, which is enunciated as follows,
I am going to enter very slowly into what I have reserved for you today, which, before beginning, strikes me as rather reckless. It has to do with the way in which we must situate the function of the written in analytic discourse.
A letter is something that is read.
As is true in the case of an analyst listening to the discourse proffered by an analysand, there is no escaping a theoretical frame of sorts – for without some frame one hears nothing or simply falls back on the ready made frame provided by pop psychology – and the challenge to the analyst and translator alike is to keep the frame flexible enough to hear what is new, and to keep oneself flexible enough to adjust part or all of the frame accordingly.
I alone am responsible for the inaccuracies that inevitably remain.