355 The minimum morality of books as currency (amorphous remix docket)

«Morality and style—Authors find that the more precisely, painstakingly, realistically and appropriately they express themselves, the more the literary result will be regarded as difficult to understand, while as soon as they formulate phrases in a lax and irresponsible manner, they are rewarded with a certain understanding. It does not help to ascetically avoid all elements of expert discourse, all references to no longer existing spheres of education. Rather, strictness and purity of linguistic arrangement, even in the most extreme simplicity, creates a vacuum. Shoddiness, moving along with the familiar currents of language, counts as a sign of belonging and contact: one knows what one wants, because one knows what the other wants. To focus on the thing in the expression rather than the communication, is considered suspicious: what is specific, not already hidden away in automatism, appears inconsiderate, a symptom of eccentricity, almost of confusion. Contemporary logic, which puts so much store on its clarity, has naively absorbed such perversion in the category of colloquial speech. The vague expression permits those who employ it to imagine more or less whatever they wish and what they mean anyway. The strictly enforced unambiguousness [Eindeutigkeit: directness, decidedness] of the construction, the effort of the concept, from which human beings are consciously weaned, presumes the suspension of the prevailing judgment before all content, and thereby a radical separation of oneself, something which they react violently to. Only that which they do not need to know counts as understandable; only what is in truth alienated, the word molded by commerce, strikes them as trustworthy. There are few things which contribute more to the demoralization of intellectuals. Whoever wishes to escape this, must see through every piece of advice which tells one to focus on communication as a betrayal of what is being communicated.»

Theodor Adorno said that, long before you were born. From amorphism #64 in Minima Moralia. He also said this, from #1 «Thus is order ensured: some have to play the game because they cannot otherwise live, and those who could live otherwise are kept out because they do not want to play the game. It is as if the class from which independent intellectuals have defected takes its revenge, by pressing its demands home in the very domain where the deserter seeks refuge.»

Minima Moralia

Ultimately we gravitate to what we relate to (refuge in isolation) ... & to what aligns w/ our current thought processes & the events of the day, which at this moment is 7:46 a.m. on March 21, 2014. We're still in the archival phase of 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY' .. which extends beyond the book to our entire life. Although college basketball is a distraction that puts most everything on hold, it allows us to mindlessly scan in negatives while we are watching games. Started out 8 of 8 in our pool, before missing 5 of the next 8 picks & slipping back to the bottom of our pool where we ended up last year.

Besides Adorno, we are re-reading Edward Tufte for guidance (RE: SSES). On why he self-published The Visual Display of Quantitative Information Tufte says: «I also sought to design the book so as to make it self-exemplifying—that is, the physical object itself would reflect the intellectual principles advanced in the book.»

& in meatpsace, the Malaysian airliner remains missing.

Ibrahim docket

From MM #29: «Nothing is true in psychoanalysis except its exaggerations [...] Today self-conscious means only the reflection on the ego as an embarrassment, as the innervation of powerlessness: to know, that one is nothing. [...] With many people, it’s already an exercise in shamelessness, when they say I. The splinter in your own eye is the best magnifying glass.»

We've been complaining of the weather a lot lately, most notably in this post, thinking (at the time) that the only winter worse was 2003. This graphic from The Visual Display of Quantiative Information (TVDoQI henceforth) verified our suspicions.

NYC winter 2003

From MM 17: «All rights reserved. – The signature of the epoch is that no human being, without any exception, can determine their life in a somewhat transparent sense, as was earlier possible by gauging market relationships. In principle everyone, even the mightiest of all, is an object.»

Ibrahim Malay


We've been digging the new Liars (Mess, officially out in 4 days) ... some of the songs we're familar from when we saw them last year, like this one ("Mess on a Mission"):

Cast out of culture
Compound of patience
Reel out rigor
Trash the book, the film, fell face off
I can't go long without assistance
I can't go far
Trash the book, the film, fell face off


From TVDoQI:

graphical excellence

From MM #26: «The peculiar inaccessibility of the books, which sprang at me with pictures, huge titles and vignettes, without giving me any chance to decipher the text, led me to believe that these weren’t really books at all, but rather advertisements, perhaps for machines, like the ones my uncle produced in his London factory. Since I have come to live in Anglo-Saxon countries and to speak English, this consciousness has not dimmed but rather strengthened. [...] The passionate, medieval-era nouns of the original have been turned into brand names of hit songs, which sing the praises of the latter. In the light they switch on, the advertising-character of culture radiates.»

It's that taxing time of year we do taxes. Won't bother w/ a fully disclosed «economy of words» post like we have in past years, suffice to say after a blip out of the red last year, the financial state of the press reached new levels in 2013 ... we managed to spend about twice as much as we made (largely cuz for the 1st time we dropped some coin into advertising (w/ no noticeable effect) & went to 2 bookfairs ... tho actually the numbers below only reflect direct expenditures to make the books & doesn't include such indirect expenses). Of course production picked up being back stateside & there's a lag as to when we actually see money from our distributor. As ever, it's not about the money but the books. The thing about money is that it is fluid ... it comes & goes. But books accumulate (unless people throw them out, but even still the contents are retained in cerebral spaces). In addition to tallying monies, we've also tallied the number of books printed. We'd rather die knowing we put these books in the world than w/ any amount of money in our pockets.

Calamari financials 2013

& of course as always we have the luxury of not worrying about money as our better half makes plenty enough to eat oysters once a week. And we can remain productive in our subsidized roost overlooking the river.

From MM #5: «For intellectuals, unswerving isolation is the only form in which they can vouchsafe a measure of solidarity. All of the playing along, all of the humanity of interaction and participation is the mere mask of the tacit acceptance of inhumanity. One should be united with the suffering of human beings: the smallest step to their joys is one towards the hardening of suffering.»

& from #6: «He who stands aloof runs the risk of believing himself better than others and misusing his critique of society as an ideology for his private interest. While he gropingly forms his own life in the frail image of a true existence, he should never forget its frailty, nor how little the image is a substitute for true life. Against such awareness, however, pulls the momentum of the bourgeois within him.»


From MM #79: «The castration of perception, however, by a controlling authority, which refuses it any desiring anticipation, thereby compels it into the schema of the powerless repetition of what is already familiar. That nothing more is actually allowed to be seen, amounts to the sacrifice of the intellect. Just as, under the unrestrained primacy of the production process, the wherefore of reason disappears, until it degenerates into the fetishism of itself and of externalized power, so too does it reduce itself down to an instrument and comes to resemble its functionaries, whose thought-apparatus only serves the purpose, of hindering thought. Once the final emotional trace is effaced, what solely remains of thinking is absolute tautology. The utterly pure reason of those who have completely divested themself of the capacity “to imagine an object even without its presence,” converges with pure unconsciousness, with idiocy in the most literal sense, for measured by the overweening realistic ideal of a category-free actuality, every cognition is false, and true only if the question of true or false is inapplicable. That this is a question of wide-ranging tendencies, is evident at every step of the scientific enterprise, which is on the point of subjugating the rest of the world, like so many defenseless ruins.»

Which gets back to what we were saying in this post about absence & whether it's better to make yourself disappear completely from the world without a trace. According to Yorke:

That there, that's not me
I go where I please
I walk through walls
I float down the Liffey

I'm not here
This isn't happening
I'm not here, I'm not here

We're grateful we have 2 legs (for a while there we were worried about our left knee, but we ran thru it). Per TVDoQI:

running ergonomics

... & a passport ... tho we're probably 1 of the 400,000 on the terrorist watch list. Or at least we were. Theodor Adorno's wonderful cynicism was in response to the fascism of his day (living in Nazi Germany during WWII). Why does so much of what he says ring true today? He does say somewhere in Minima Moralia that no good art came of fascism & we're not quite sure we agree (not that we were there). Doesn't seem like much art came of Germany's Nazi brand of fascism, but Italian's brand seem quite productive, at least in Mussolini times. Not sure what came out of the Berlusconi era. Not that Reagan qualifies completely as a fascist, but seems the 80s were a fairly productive era, stateside. The Bush years? It remains to be seen. Still feel somewhat post-traumatized as do probly many others.

From MM #95: «Taste is the truest seismograph of historical experience. Like scarcely any other faculty, it is capable of indicating even its own behavior. It reacts against itself and recognizes itself as tasteless. Artists, who repel, who shock, spokespersons of unmitigated cruelty, are steered in their idiosyncrasy by taste: the genre of the finer things in life, the domain of neo-Romantic nervous types, the cultivation of sensibility, is – even to their protagonists – as coarse and clueless nowadays as the Rilke verse, “For poverty is a great luminosity from within...” The delicate shudder, the pathos of being different are only normalized masks in the cult of oppression. It is precisely the aesthetically advanced nerves which find what is self-righteously aesthetic to be unbearable. The individual [Individuum] is so through and through historical, that it is capable of rebelling against the fine threads of its late-bourgeois organization with the fine threads of late-bourgeois organization. In the antipathy towards all artistic subjectivism, towards expression and soulfulness, the flesh creeps at the lack of historical tact, no differently from how subjectivism once drew back from bourgeois convention. Even the rejection of mimesis, the innermost concern of functionalism, is mimetic.»

data ink


data ink

The uncensored portion of the above being from:

Tufte: TVDoQI

And this page is from the Tibetan Book of Proportions (via The Public Domain Review).

Tibetan Book of Proportions

& from MM #96: «The great works of art and philosophical constructions have remained uncomprehended not because of their all too great distance from the core of human experience, but for the opposite, and it is easy enough to trace the incomprehension back to an all too great understanding: the shame of participation in universal injustice, which would become overpowering, as soon as one permitted oneself to understand it. Thus they cling to what mocks them, by confirming the mutilated form of their essence through the smoothness of its own appearance. [...] The stagnation of the culture industry is probably not the result of its monopolization, but was innate to so-called entertainment from the very beginning. Kitsch is that mesh of invariants, which the philosophical lie ascribes to its solemn designs. Nothing therein may fundamentally change, because the entire nonsense drills it into humanity, that nothing is allowed to change. [...] Under the illusion of immediately aiding freedom, where it mediated domination, it has at least disdained to immediately contribute to its reproduction. It defamed the kitsch which accompanied it like a shadow, with an enthusiasm which to be sure expresses the bad conscience of high culture – a high culture which suspects that under domination it is nothing of the sort, and which is reminded by kitsch of its own mischief. Today, since the consciousness of the rulers is beginning to converge with the total tendency of society, the tension between culture and kitsch is falling apart. Culture no longer drags its despised opponent behind it powerlessly, but takes it under direction. By administering the whole of humanity, it administers too the break between humanity and culture. [...] Therein however the will of the administrators can call upon the will of the world. Their mass society did not first produce junk for customers, but the customers themselves. These latter hungered for films, radio and magazines; whatever in them remained unsatisfied by the social order, which takes from them without giving back what it promises [...]»

  > 356 > INT. Museum of luminol b-roll aphorisms & salvaged 9/11 evidence fragments


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