Soyez realistes, demandez l’impossible

Soyez realistes, demandez l’impossible

“I think we’ve been in here too long. I feel unusual. I think we should go outside.”
Withnail

“Don’t be afraid to be confused. Try to remain permanently confused. Anything is possible. Stay open, forever, so open it hurts, and then open up some more, until the day you die, world without end, amen.”
George Saunders

This has a bit to do with the changing nature of intrinsic value. See the scads of ‘curation’ that so many enterprises are predicated on. Guessing at creating things. The lonely squawking of ‘look what i found!’, which maybe turns contagious or somehow becomes a new company or “startup”, predicated on the piss-weak notion of “concept”, which then despite all the laws of physics miraculously blows gold everywhere. The vast echoing preposterous great trumpeting of the very patently obvious dressed up as innovation, as discovery, as pioneering; mind mungingly trite rules for 10 better ways to forthwards creativitynessfulness daily every day. Another invisible box to dump more crap into. Perhaps its this—to me, the tone seems to be set at one constant level. A low hum. The system, activated. Just at low level. There seems to be a limited range. I think that’s the thing. The monotonous tyranny of first principles.

Geoff Travis, founder of Rough Trade, said “the system is not more important than the content”. When all you’re faced with are fundamentally empty boxes that only accrue value as they reduce in number . . . the enormity that it’s entirely possible that as we stand for the moment the system is all there is–that gradually the possibility of content is being erased by naming it “content” (’choose a filter!’)–dawns horrifying, irrevocable . . . it’s as if language were stripped of all words with only punctuation remaining . . . one by one, the stars are going out.

“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” Johnny Rotten

But before there’s real despair (yet another rinsed dry limp attempt at a How-to article on ‘creativity’ perhaps? ‘Creativate your lifeload.’ ‘Creatigivital Brandcperience’. ‘I am lost and i don’t know and i need something but i don’t know what it is nor would i ever recognise it. I just don’t know what things are.’ Actually I’d read the last one. Maybe I’ve just written it.) over tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow looming, there’s always the potential, the possible, the mental sheer leaping into the tale told by an idiot signifying everything beyond and into fury and the ineffable, the great big massive big impossible wonderful projects. Just to see them. To feel the thingness. To open up with no expectation or judgement or predetermined desire. Things. As they are. For what they are. NASA. Education and Health. Sebald. Peace. Socialism. CERN. Nick Cave. Magick. Heston Blumenthal and Little Chef. A bit of Kubrick or Tarkovsky or Sergio Leone here and there. Team-up movies (7 Samurai, Dirty Dozen). People who can really make people laugh and think at the same time. The Enigma Project. Obama. The Genome. The shape of the universe. Cornwall. Elegy. The potential of and for a Matriarchal Society. The unexpected in culture, art, thinking. Knowledge. Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? The sheer love of science.

John Gribbin (and Aleister Crowley and Moby.) has noticed that humans are made of stars. It could be good for us to behave like it a bit more.

“You are amazed that they exist and they burn so bright whilst you can only wonder why.” Pulp

I remember Stephen Fry on the telly recounting a story about how he was once watching the original Shatner Star Trek and that at the end of the episode, as a coda, Spock and Kirk (probably), having won the day, are standing staring out the big Enterprise patio windows at the vastness of the cosmos. So Kirk says (something like), “You know what–somewhere out there, someone is saying the 3 most beautiful words in the universe . . .” At this point, Fry mentions how he trembled a little, in fear that those 3 words would be “I love you”, or some similarly disappointing pablum (dramatically and philosophically speaking). Kirk continues, “ . . . someone is saying the 3 most beautiful words in the universe: Please help me.”

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