450> Rocky mtn Heights of Despair (hiking on Cioran) outside the contingent comfort zone of Algiers

destination du jour (Maroon Bells)

16 Sept 2015 > dear Inurnet – woke up early (in Aspen) – still dark – biked to Aspen Highlands + then up Maroon Creek rd — sum 11 or 12 miles to Maroon lake — only bike in the bikerack when we parked — every1 else drove — tho the rode = closed to motorized vehicles frum 8–5 — cd have taken the shuttle bus that runs then – but no fun – gotta earn it — still drizzly + cold but ok once u start hiking up hill – quickly shed layers down to T-shirt tho probaly approaching freezing out — lots of ppl drive up just to look @ Maroon lake take selfie — sum mite make the 1 mile stroll up to Crater lake — but once we started up the trail to Buckskin Pass we saw only 2-3 other ppl — just how we like it —

riding up Maroon Creek rd


Maroon lake (in morning)


hiking up to Crater lake


+ up Buckskin

> never rilly cleared up enuff to see all the Maroon Bells — sun mite shine for a minit then more clouds billowed up from sum invizible cauldron — @ times driving sleet stinging our eyes + face — keeping eyes peeled for mtn goats — 1 of the reazons we chose Buckskin pass – notorious for them (uv the Rocky mtn variety) — but nun in site — tons of warnings about bears — all campsites closed cuz of «daily encounters» — but we didnt see nun — got up to Buckskin pass (~5 miles) + lingered awaiting for it to clear sum — hiked a bit further up the ridge just to keep warm — then crossed the pass to the other side twards Snowmass — where once we climbed sum 20 years or so ago (purhaps next we shd post that (handwritten) journel entry for comparison + for sake uv prosperity) — wether seemed worse on that side — by now full on snowing/sleeting —

on Buckskin pass looking tward Snowmass (higher rez)


lichen looking tward Snowmass


trailing off into the clouds


back tward the Bells


Maroon Peak + Sleeping Sexton


Crater lake

> descent back down — glimpses here + there of the Maroon Bells coming into vu tween sheets uv sleet + rain — down to Crater lake — by then sunny – all sorts of daytrippers pozing + lazing about by the lake — started up the other direxion twards West Maroon pass — the 1° part of the infamous trail going to Crested Butte — not nearly as nice as Buckskin pass + trail no good — ether rilly muddy or rocky — not as scenic views — turned back near the pass — another 3 miles up —

vu from West Maroon pass


sum sort of chirping Hyrax creature


descending back


beaver pad


Maroon lake

> back to our bike — ∀ll in all about 24 miles of biking + 17 miles of hiking — elevation of Buckskin pass = 12462 so 4562 ft gain from Aspen + another 1-2k going back up to West Maroon pass – so @ least a verticul mile in sum — goin back down w/ the help uv gravety funner than coming down off Independence pass as by now sunny — no 1 else on the road (closed now to cars) — shuttle bus loding passengers as we got our bike never cot up to us — still no other bikes in the rack — only a few using the road to just go for a ride but not to then go hiking — @ least they dont charge u on a bike – whereas a car = $10 — scored sum medibles back in town (just so happens that last 2 states weve visited in US weed = legal) tho wut we really wanted = seeds so we can grow our own (legal in our new nonstate uv existence) — but alas nun — more intrested in growing the stuff than smoking it —

flaring layers loaded to stack

17 Sept > last morning in Aspen – quick ride along the Roaring Fork (Rio Grande trail) then returned the bike —

Roaring Fork


flaring fork in the Roaring


riding along the Roaring Fork

> still had sum time so power-hiked up Ute Mesa (variation of the Ute trail we did 2 or 3 days b4) — hiking along the ski runs not so scenic but strait up – good exorcise — then flew back — read On the Heights of Despair by E.M. Cioran on the plane — his 1° book + it shows — @ times like the scribbled rants of a suicidal teenager – yet also alreddy laced w/ that grumpiness u acquire finely w/ age @ 22 Cioran alreddy = the ultimate misanthrope – declared himself resigned from humanitee – advocating for alienation – embracing misery – living a lone wolf life of self-wallowing anguish — questions why we bother to even write + communicate our thawts — but if even to articulate this he writes it down — so he becomes mired in self-same hyopcrisy witch decays further to his heightened despair + all this talk of suicide but he never did himself the honor – lived to a ripe old age — another story if he wrote such books in his 20s then checked out — pulled an Edouard Levé — otherwise he nuthing butt a sniveling navelgazer — wut makes Cioran Cioran — unabashed in his self-centered whining — when we read Cioran cant help but to hear it in the voice of Morrisey — life = absurd no matter how u slice it — may as well self-annihilate into nihilism — embrace pointlessness in loo of constructive thinking — how else can u justify sympathisizing w/ nazis + fascists like Cioran sposedly did? – sure – perhaps the time + place – cant say howd we react in same situation — it = «The Trouble with Being Born» — in lite uv all this hiking tho wut we rilly disagree with = all this talk about the necessity of suffering + ill-health to push u to philosophical epiphany — «Healthy, normal, mediocre people cannot experience either agony or death. [...] Metaphysical revelations begin only when one's superficial equilibrium starts to totter and a painful struggle is substituted for naive spontaneity.» — we take the opposit approach – push our bodies to the extreme of good health — ill-health = an obstacle to healthy thinking + by healthy thinking we dont mean naive positivity + shallow affirmations but healthy doses of brooding melancholy — we also misanthropes thinking all = futile + absurd (specially in such times of Trump) but want a clear head thinking our weight thru such things — to not misteak such thawts from coming from within — keep our own bodies pure as possible – free from the inevitable tryanny of evil — this thinking that u need to suffer to xpirence such revelation = juvenile bullshit — we «suffer» when exorcising — riding a bike up to 12082 feet — hiking up Buckskin pass — pushing ourselves higher – eating nothing but raisins – feet + hands numb w/ cold – muscles burning – no pain no gain – sweating out toxins — purhaps @ the time this cood qualify as «misery» – but in the long run biking + hiking + running = exorcising our demons — to achive a destink feeling of burning clean — not ashamed to admit we feel good — our body anyweigh – unencumbered by physicality — our mind free to clearly think sad thawts —

> in reading Seed in the last post wut struck us about Stanley Crawford's ruminations as he dispersed his worldy possessions = this idea uv scattering his seed into «vast fields of contingency» — the word returns to haunt in Heights of Despair — «One reaches the center of life only by purifying it of contigent and accidental elements» says Cioran in regards to ecstasy + then again in antithesis to insomnia — «Just as ecstasy purifies you of the particular and the contingent, leaving nothing except light and darkness, so insomnia kills off the multiplicity and diversity of the world, leaving you prey to your private obsessions.» – to us contigency implies a restrictive but necessary constraint — sumthing that in the overall skeme of things u need to plan for — knot that we have such a plan in mind — have us yet to write our last will + testament — no need when u got no children rite? — Crawford (his charactor in the book) also = childless but he keeps a contigent network of secondary relatives — not sure we cd say as much— when ∀ll = sed + dun the only thing we leaf behind to this whorld = our books —

21 Sept (back in DC) > saw Algiers last nite – not the country (wear Derrida hails frum) but the band from Atlanta — suprising few in the audience (knot that we = complaining but in another sense felt us bad for them) — cant understand why a band like Algiers ≠ poplure — then again we never git wut makes sumthing poplure to begin — clueless as to wut drives Amerika's sensibilities — not just in the mainstream but even in «sub-cultures» — so many shit artists that git poplure + great artists no 1 knows about — indie music no diffrent than indie publishing (xcept on a much bigger scale) — musicians need to play the game still that inevitably gits consumed by overarching economies — even if it = indie magazines ± yore label mates etc – u still need to play nice to become critic darlings — the generule public needs a basis of comparison — this impulse to pitch = the same in movies + books + music — ppl need to git told X sounds like Y ± @ best X sounds like Y meets Z — w/o this pt of refrence the generule publick dont know wut to think — more than 2+ influences + folks cant wrap their heads around it — specially when u have disparate styles @ odds w/ eachother — both old school + contemporary — political + apolitical — black but white — industrial motown gospel nowave punk – noisey but not enuff – quiet but not quite — dark but upbeat – upmarket down in the trenches — a disparate hodgepodge of all genres + then sum — @ the heart southern gothic — gothic yes in that brooding existential sense we allude to above in talking bout Cioran but also in that «no joy in the brilliance of sunshine» type of hearty darkness we unearthed for ourselves in Kenya — also in the traditional sense uv southern goth — grotesque + discomforting — purhaps why Algiers not so poplure — not exactly feel good music — hard to put your finger on it to pigeonhole — like how in this article about Kareem no 1 likes him but every1 likes his smiling teammate — «Magic made white people feel comfortable. With themselves.» — hits the nail on the head — not just that he makes ppl uncomfortable but hard to define who = Kareem Abdul–Jabbar — not so easy to put in a nutshell ± 2-3 bullet points — basketball star sure (btw the all-time leading scorer in the NBA + 3rd all-time in both rebounds + blocks) but he also starred in Bruce Lee movies + co-piloted airplanes + rather than do sumthing predictable in retirement like become an NBA coach he coached high school ball on an Indian rez in Arizona — oh + also Kareem writes (note to self we need to read sum of his books) — ∀ll this but still the media focuses on how he wont shake your hand ± wouldnt play for USA in the olympix back in 68 — anyhow not sure why we brot up Kareem xcept to say Algiers similarly alienates + confuses those w/ preconcieved xpecations – mite put u outside your comfort zone — as all good art shd – @ the heart of what = punk — knot to say they'll ever become poplure ± that they ≠ «too good to fail» — but wut can u do besides make dam good music? — u can lead a horse to H2O but u cant make them drink — speaking uv – midshow the singer aksed for sum H2O + sints we stood there in front we handed him a bottle but then he got absorbed in the next song so we set it there near his pedals where he cd find it — when the song ended he casually stepped down from the stage – we backed away to make room for him to pass — but he walked rite up + hugged us — struck us as strange til we membered about the H2O – his way of thanking us — never had we met the singer b4 but b4 the show we introduced ourselves to the bassist + guitarist — evidently childhood friends of Blake Butler so we chatted w/ them a bit — in any event we not 1s to take fotos @ shows but our better-½ captured these vid-bytes —

22 Sept > back on the homefront – sent The Gotham Grammarian to the printer — purhaps xplains our recent decline into granmattikle decay – induiced by working on this book — countless back + 4ths dotting every i + crossing every t — kind of book u got to get just rite — Lutz gots to practise wut he preaches – specially if he calls out reputable + esteemed sorces to make xamples uv — also posted these images by Guy Beining in Sleepingfish + forgot to mention but we released Julie Reveb's No Moon while in Colorado – during a new moon — now waxing fuller + slipping into Fall —

 449 <( )> 451 > Not Nothing but a correospondance uv material evidents vis-à-vizualized informatix


[  (ɔ)om.Posted 2015  derek white  |  calamari archive   ]