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Ed Baker

the only purpose for the tv news is to fill in the space between the commercials

commercials that "sell" Detroit's latest Lemons .. the newest cancer-causing anti-sickness prescription pills,
tourist packages to the gulf via huge cruise ships, and Redskin season tickets at $3,500 a POP per seat..

"reporting" hell what's that? these 'talking heads' are so stupid they can barely read the prepared script up on the tele-prompter..they are, certainly not as skilled at reading the script as our leaders are.

John Bloomberg-Rissman

Ed, I think that you're saying what Levi's saying, since selling ads is another way for media to replicate itself, to get to continue.

And I think you both agree that reporting is not a necessary function of said media's reproduction apparatus.

I see a difference of emphasis, that's all.

Ed Baker

I jus' got thrown off target a bit by his use of unfamiliar words/concepts..

like: "communicate" , "significant" news,
"reporting things", "report the news", "an autopoietic system", etc.

well It is nearly 4 pm

time to pee and tune into the Evening News I "flip" between NBC, CBS, and ABC ...they have the best commercials and the cutest blond sports-news girls!

but first the final few minuets of Ellen dancing her stupid dance
in her faded dungarees most like-ly ROEBUCKS just like John Wayne wore with the rolled up cuffs...as she does.

HEY a news bulletin

the Chealsee wedding attire just in: jeans and a jacket casual dungarees! Heck I got me a $25,000 pair of designer Levi's 501's

John Bloomberg-Rissman

Can't beat those cute blond sports/weather etc newsgirls - even if they are all illiterate clones. They're perkier than hell!

rebecca loudon

I remember the Nazz as being Todd Rundgren's first band. As for Todd, well, that's personal.

rebecca loudon

Interestingly enough my company's firewall won't let me access your site. That's common for porn sites etc. Of course I found a way around it as that's what I do, but it's interesting. I wonder if it's politically charged? If so, that is a whole new turtle.

rebecca loudon

Or it could be Lord Buckley's vs. One never knows. Sorry to spamcomment you.

John Bloomberg-Rissman

Hi, Rebecca, sorry I didn't answer these sooner but I just got back from Berkeley and my niece's wedding. You and Moonie, you and Todd, hmmm. I'll have to start thinking of you as Hollywood Radish King to the Stars or something.

I wonder if the word Spam in my title is what blocks you. Or, I do use the word fuck reasonably frequently. That could be it. I'd be surprised if ZS were political enough to generate blockage. If it werre, tho, that'd mean I was doing my job, eh. It's probably none of the above, and just the Lord Buckley One Never Knows. I always associate One Never Knows with Fats Waller, by the way. That's probably the difference between 59 and 57!

tom clark

Mom was right. We should have listened.

Mom didn't tell us that someday we would grow up to be involved in a medium in which 92% of the traffic was generated by corporate employees fucking off at work with a passionate intensity.

She knew we'd kill ourselves too early if she let on.

John Bloomberg-Rissman

Tom, my mom would have been proud that the bossmen were NOT getting their money's worth out of me.

Actually, the only way anyone can survive at work is by working as little as possible. The alternative's an early and untended grave.

Even more seriously, anyone with half a brain, no, with 10% if a brain, can do 8hrs of corporate work in 8% of the allotted time. So they actually get their money's worth out of us anyway.

tom clark


No matter how cynical or ironic or coyly "realistic" one wishes to be about it, all those attitudes are mere cover for the contradiction: being fed by a fucked up system, whether you do their work or not, cannot but leave its stain on your soul, and it definitely undercuts your ability to "criticize it from within" -- in fact, turns the situation of presumed "commitment" to anything beyond self preservation into a kind of optional amusement.

From the unhappy vantage of unemployment, all this becomes much clearer, alas. I would probably prefer not be paying that price for my opportunity to speak of this in this way. But I have paid and am paying.

John Bloomberg-Rissman

Tom, I thought we were just talking about blogging and/or web surfing etc on work time. But if we are speaking about employment itself, well:

I took on full-time work at 35. Before then, I had part time jobs, and/or lived in rattly pleaces with lots of people, and/or dealt dope, Since then:

I fully accept that I'm utterly compromised and that I'd better pray there's a purgatory (if I knew how to pray and believed in an afterlife, that sentence would be literal). I chose petit-bourgeois comfort over the possibility of "purity" long ago. Why? Because I couldn't see how my going hungry would feed any other person (except in the sense that they could have my job if I didn't have it) or stop one river from being polluted or stop one bomb from falling.

The best one can say about me is I'm a limousine liberal, I guess. I have a fondness for certain creature comforts (books, travel ...), and I wanted to be able to make sure my family had health insurance, etc etc.

I've often wondered if a life of poverty devoted to art would have been nobler. Even if nothing in the world improved. But I just didn't have it in me.

But I don't feel at all like a hypocrite when I critique. Amusing, eh? or not, I dunno.

Have you managed to preserve the "purity" of your soul? Serious question, meant seriously and I'm in no way suggesting you haven't. In fact, since becoming acquainted with you, I've gone back and read quite a few of your poems, ones written over many years, and there's a sincerity I didn't expect to find (simply because of my mental association of TC and some sort of "2nd gen NY School" and the Bolinas thing). And I mean a real sincerity. It's not something that "old age" has brought you, it's always been there. I find it immensely admirable.

Or if purity's too strong a word: do you think you have managed to keep from *totally* staining your soul?

tom clark


Thanks for being sweet and forgiving. Write that off to a(nother) bad night, please, and know that your voice Out Here is one of few I would be tempted to mind and trust. I hear it behind and in and through your assemblages, which only appear to speak for themselves. I'm anyhow unqualified to address this subject in the way I did as my own soul was shot to bits about one minute after issue. If I had any ground to stand on to criticize anybody else I'd surely feel it under me, which I don't.

By the time it came to me (dim bulb) that one must have a job to live, I had to settle for a really lousy one at a grifter school which, after I'd left a large piece of my life in it, went under in the worst possible manner, and losing whatever small income we had had along with retirement & c. when that happened, and then spending years in pursuing the matter through the State to Ultimate American Futility, I learned what I should have known all along (dim bulb) about the chances of a private individual in a system built upon the religion of Business and the Corporate. We lost everything and then our health as well but that is the road to bitterness, not purity.

The pure outcasts (products) of this society line the streets and at night they look like lost souls, but in the daytime one can see that no, they're just bodies.

John Bloomberg-Rissman

Thank you, Tom. The last thing I'd ever take you for is a "comment troll".

I'm sorry that you and yours have had such a rough road. I hope the health problems aren't too horribly debilitating. Kathy (my wife) is retiring in a few months (she's given notice) because of health issues (fibromyalgia - she leaves for work looking 30 (to me, at least) and returns home looking 300, and is utterly miserable). I'm glad we have the insurance, and however compromised the Obama health bill was/is I believe fervently that no human being should do without health care due to circumstance. That's just plain wrong.

I tried to put off the whole job thing as long as possible (I had 2 kids by the time I got a fulltime "permanent" job/career going) and when I did accept the necessity I opted for as benign a one as possible (librarian).

As for the pure outcast goes, I somehow always think of Lew Welch and his Chicago poem. Yeah, you can step aside, so to speak, but it still rolls on, and in spite of his hopes at the time, it still rolls over you (the generic you, of course, which includes me ... and, as best I can tell, everyone)

tom clark

It rolls over some of us. It rolled over Lew. It pissed him off while rolling over him. But give him this much. He went into the woods and disappeared. Not a happy ending, but happy endings are lies anyway. In a culture as monstrous as this one, any shred of dignity retained at the end is a small miracle. At least his ghost didn't have to endure one of those patronising blog obits. Anything to elude the smugness of the petty-imperial ranking systems. But that was easier then. One needed only a thirty ought thirty, a secret path into the canyon, and a bit of luck. Nowadays there'd be some idiot hunter with an iPhone hidden behind a bush.

About the job, librarian is as good as it gets. The annals ought to be precious in times to come. Details on the university's $500 m. deal with BP will surely interest people in the future, should there actually be one. Right now about the only place one can read about it is in the chalk graffiti on the sidewalk, which is hosed down every day to efface these signs. But increasing the prohibition on the circulation of vital information is only a short term strategy. Too bad our lives only exist in the short term.

John Bloomberg-Rissman

Tom, my mention of LW is in no way a knock on the guy, not in the least, it's just saying I've never been as hopeful as he was in the Chicago Poem; hope he, unfortunately, had to have knocked out of him the hard way.

A bit about my history as a poet: I don't know what this says, but the 1st two poets I every resonated with, really resonated with, who made me think not "I can do that" but "I can be a poet, too" were Anselm Hollo and Lew Welch. His anecdote about the tour round the winery and the guide shouting "Whose kid is that!?" just before said kid falls into a vat taught me virtually all of what I know about how to sing, perhaps even ethically. The first important gift I gave Kathy was a hand-drawn version of his "Step out onto the Planet. / Draw a circle a hundred feet round."

It's notable how many of the actually at least semi-ethical jobs in this world are so-called women's professions: nurse, teacher, librarian ... which is not to say anything good about the UCs, of course. Tho it is quite an experience to work for a major dysfunctional corporation. It will take a different person than me, however, to comb its archives. Some kind of historian with a strong stomach.

It's interesting what you say about the prohibition on the circulation of vital information. Jodi Dean calls the era in which we live "communicative capitalism", which in short means that everyone can talk, and power doesn't have to listen. Almost as if the so called freedom of the internet is a placebo or something. The vital information indeed circulates but not in any way that can be other than personally effective. Kinda like poetry, dare I say?

But sigh. Oh well. How wonderful, how utterly wonderful.


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