419 Reaching the self-extinguishing finish line of our Maphattan Project only to say we quit .. proSSESed on the fly
.. finally finished our Maphattan Project yesterday (7 March 2015 .. for the record) .. our frenetic street-by-street flâneuring of every latitudinal lane on the isle of Manhattan .... a path-o-logical project we started early last July 2014 rather spontaneously as we walked out the door 1 morning thinking «where shd we walk today?» .. wondering where we had + hadn't walked .. then decided «why not just re-visit every street to be sure?» .. originully calculating it'd take us 1 year .. then next thing we knew our inner hamsters had knocked off 95% before Xmas .. but then we split town to travel + sort of settle back in Rome .. returning briefly in January to tick off Canal to Chambers .. leaving just the southern tip as unfinished bizness .... til yesterday .. Allah willing (a break in the cold snowy weather) we took the red line down to Chambers to systematically traverse the few streets that remained ...
.. gets convoluted + tricky down-downtown + ok maybe we skipped sum but does Battery Park City even count? .. underH2O til the 70s .. built on landfill dredged up when they built the (originull) World Trade Center .... other streets downtown near Wall st barricaded to civilians post 9/11 .. + others we skipped ok just cuz we lazy + didn't want to backtrack on streets all looking the same so close to eachother u cd see anyway looking down each intursection ..
.. the other thing we've mentioned before but u notice more than ever downtown—everything under construction .. scaffolding + sidewalk sheds everywhere .. we used to cross the street whenever we saw them but now they unavoidable .. u'd never get anywhere .. not a single street in NYC can u traverse w/o running into ± under them .... Local Law 11 my ass we convinced it = the mafia .. if not unions ± special intrest groups lobbying for legislation so they can sell their rickety scaffolding + janky ass sidewalk sheds .... a hazardous eyesore around every corner .. made worse by the piles of mounting garbage + gray slush piles .... not even intresting in a «beauty in the breakdown» sort of way .. + dont even get us started on the proliferating plague of new condo developments .. a skyline of teetering cranes ..
.. across Warren .. then Murray st .. where Sonic Youth had their studio pre- + post-911 + recorded 1 of their best albums there in our opinion .... past City Hall + the Woolworth bldg (which they used to let u go in but now only on an organized tour) .. past Park Place (.. but not Boardwalk .. do not pass go do not collect $200) .. then switching back + going all the way east underneath the bridge .. to Peck Slip .. maybe an intresting area 10 years ago now engulfed by the mallstrosity of South st Seaport .. another horrid area not worthy of belonging in Manhattan but cd belong anywhere else in America .. ever since the real Fulton Fish market closed down .. circa 2005 .... in fact the photo gracing the cover of Sleepingfish 0 we took on Peck Slip back before then even ..
.. + speaking of Sleepingfish + Sonic Youth a few ppl lately have asked how Thurston Moore ended up in issue 0.5 .. honestly we dont remember + forgot his poem in there in the 1° place .... things like that just happened naturally in 2003 .. before everything became even more commercialized + virtually networked socially (friend of a friend meant something then + suggestions travelled word of mouth ± on the street) .... but even still—to paraphrase Tom McCarthy quoting the ethnographer-cum-literary great Claude Lévi-Strauss in this article on The Death of Writing—we came 10 years too late .. even tho the ethnographer/writer 10 years before us felt the same thing + ditto the vanguard ethnographers 10 years before that .. ad infinitum back to the Greeks but even Lucretius had the same complaint in BC times .. + likewise those coming 10 years from now will long nostalgically for this decade ..
.. sides this what we honed in on in our reading of Tristes Tropiques focused on all things primitive (we working on The Becoming @ the time) + how to achieve unconscious incompetence .... specially in this day + age when everything becomes archived as we do it .. on the fly .... no need for writers as chroniclers anymore .. to process + forge connections in the datasphere .... now it all comes automated .... as the subtitle of article says: «if James Joyce were alive today he'd be working for Google» ..
.. in particular McCarthy mentions Ulysses as the «most immaculate and glittering grouping of all universal—and quotidian—relations» .... Ulysses as Joyce's ethnographic micro- + macrocosmic mapping of Dublin to Homer's Greece + the rest of the world + universe .... + here (only realizing this now) our macrocosmic mapping of Manhattan just happened to coincide w/ our writing of our own 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY' .. which in turn re-maps our brother's journey across Asia re-mapping Joyce re-mapping Homer (purhaps a starting pt for book 2) ..
.. nowadays no 1 has time to read any 1 else unless it sumhow it relates to them .. like who wants to read this? .. we = nobody .. + no trending tastemakers told u to check this out .... the best way to immortalize yurself thru writing? .. go die .... til then u just any 1 else uncool .... all for the best cuz if u popular or «famous» while living u run the risk of becoming a has-bean + spend more time on the defensive rather than doing what u do naturally best .... anyway .. back to the street-by-street play-by-play .. our linear narrative mapped to Manhattan .... just so happened we stopped in @ Ulysses pub for a pint of Guinness + fish n' chips .. + to warm up ..
.. not that Ulysses pub has anything to do w/ Ulysses (the book) .. doubt any1 working there has even read it .... we wont miss the snotty attitude of waiters + bartenders in NYC .. mostly young hipsters here on pipe dreams of becoming a famous writer ± Broadway star .. but for now stuck having to wait tables to pay rent + embarrassed + pissed off cuz of it .... all exacerbated by the stupid tradition of tipping in America .. elsewhere in the world ppl just happy to have a job .. here always an ulterior almost Pavlovian motive ..
.. do we sound reflective? .. did we let slip that our days in NYC = #ed? .... this final Maphattan walk indeed coincides w/ the announcement that our days in NYC = #ed .. by next fall we'll live elsewhere .. tho we wont say where just yet (suffice to say it ≠ a cool ± hip place) .... + for now we «living» in Rome .... even when we came back to NYC 2 years ago we never felt we came back to live .. sorta like when u in a relationship w/ sum1 + break-up + then get back together just out of habit .. cuz u realize u got no 1 else .... + Rome = the lover we left NYC for .. also revisting Rome just out of habit ± grudgefuck .. + ok maybe didnt quite get Rome out of our system .... even the time before that .. when we returned to NYC after living in Nairobi we felt the same .. honestly we'd become finished w/ NYC back in 2008 .... since then the long drawn out process of breaking up .. «never knew how to quit u» as Jake Gyllenhaal said in the shadow of Brokeback mtn .. but now we leaving for real .. not that we haven't said that before .. + w/ us nothing ever = certain ..
.. what else won't be miss about Manhattan? .. funny how the things that attracted us to NYC in the 1° place become the very same reasons we want to quit it .... how everything gets all up in yur grill .. constantly immersed in it .. like riding the subway .. used to enjoy it .. now wd rather drive in a cage of a car listening to music isolated from the rest of humanity .... we OD'd on the rat-raced humanity of NYC long ago .... for a while there not a day passed when we didn't see sum1 crying in public .. ± specially in our hood now angry black ppl w/ chips on their shoulders as if all white ppl to blame .... we used to crave that in your face exposure to check reality .. to look into the eyes of crazed homeless ppl face to face + not have a car for protection .. to not take shelter from bad weather but face it head on .. thawt it = good for us .. wd thicken our skin .... but after a while it turns u into a monster ..
.. anyway to finish the street-by-street travelogue .. down the homestretch .. finished our beers/blood marys @ Ulysses then tackled the last few canyoned alleys .... we needed a drink to navigate what came next .. the hell-hole formerly known as the Word Trade Center .. now known as ground zero .. as if we living in Hiroshima .... now this ground occupied by hordes of tourists w/ selfie sticks from China or Iowa wanting to buy a memento from the museum gift shop ± pose for a photo just to say they = there .... leave it to America to commodify + cash in on such a tragedy .... is aNYthing sacred?
.. yah ok so we hypocrites cuz we «took» photos too .. but we lived here on 11 Sept 2001 does that make it ok? .... we cd see the burning towers from where we worked .. so unreal didn't look any different than watching it on TV like the rest of u .... didnt affect us directly sides knowing ppl that had loved 1s in the bldg .. but still felt like we «lived thru sumthing» (not that we need to write a book about it) .... regardless every1 needs to just move on .. nothing to see here ..
.. moving on .. by the time we got down to the charging bull (didn't grab the horns ± cradle the brass balls cuz too many tourists already doing so) we'd accumulated a massive group of followers seeing us thru to the end (thanks every 1 that turned out to support us!) .. all marching behind us .... when we got to the tip of Battery park we stopped + our followers all stopped hushing eachother .. expecting sum big speech .... we gazed wearily @ the Statue of Liberty + Ellis Island for a moment til we got distracted by all the tourists queued for the boat to Lady Liberty .... we turned around + said «we tired now .. going home» .... 367 miles all together .. in 30 walks .. mission accomplished ..
.. what do we have to say about it all? .... like anything else it inevitably becomes the binding paradox that McCarthy refers to above .. in regards to Lévi-Strauss + anthropology + also the writing process itself .... the suicidal self-extinguishing nature of thawt + how the mysterious intrigue that attracts u in the 1° place dies the moment it gets put into words ± under the microscope .... a theme we've waxed on plenty here (just take a gander @ our index under killing on contact) whether in regards to quantum physics ± tourism ± sex ± marathon running .. any system w/ a «systematic unworkability inscribed within it» as McCarthy puts it .... this anticlimactic irony of course sets in the moment u reach yur goal in vain .. when u come ± reach the top of the mountain .. this situation no different in regards to our Maphattan Project .. after less than a moments pause we mindlessly high 5 eachother + say «now what?» ..
.. + then get back on the subway to endure more in-yur-grill NYC bullshit including sum crazy women yelling «i'll fuck your pasty white cracker face up bitch» + every1 shrugs + laughs nervously cuz maybe she had a hard day ± a tough life + deserves to vent a little but if it happened the other way around + sum1 (white) used the N-word in such a hostile way it becomes a hate crime splashed all over CNN .... not that the place we moving to ≠ less black (to the contrary it = 50-60% black) .. it ≠ a race thing (diversity = NY's strongest suit) .. it = a NY thing hard to put in words .. the entitlement of white hipsters in gentrified neighborhoods even worse .. or foreign investors buying up all the condos sprouting up everywhere + then not even living here .. the mushrooming condos (+ the beautiful decay they've replaced) alone enuff to make any remotely sane person flee for lower ground ..
.. beyond all this tho there = a certain vanity of aspiration ever-pervasive in NYC .. every1 coming here to become sum1 only to end up disappointed + bitter .. + those born here or that came a decade or 2 ago stubbornly entrenched + resentful of these aspiring newcomers .... we long for the day when every1 stops trying to become sumbody + just becomes how they already came into the world to begin .... feel like everywhere u go in NYC every1 so busy justifying their existence (a high-rent place of privilege after all .. regardless where u coming from) + so busy posturing for turf (which in NYC amounts to airspace .. or an xtra subway seat for your crochet yarn) that they not really living or questioning why they here to begin .... they not enjoying the airspace they fought long + hard for cuz they already died inside fighting for it .. + we got no fight left in us to justify our existence in this city so u can have it back bitches .. but thanks for all the sushi we ate along the way (not to bite the hand that feeds) .... like satiated bears we'll find sum quiet sunny meadow to digest our fish in peace ..
|418 <( )> 420 > Comparative phylogenetic etymology: return to the planit of asshole apes + dickish chimps still we evolving form|