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I am posting this as a benchmark, not because I think I'm playing very well yet.  The idea would be post a video every month for a ye...

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Predictable

 There was an article in the New York Times, an interview with a conservative Christian therapist. The comments were 

*Didn't read the article, but therapists shouldn't be conservative.

*Politics shouldn't enter into therapy the first place (and therapists shouldn't be conservative).

*Healthy eating is a classist concept. Same with "resilience." 

*Conservatives have no empathy, therefore shouldn't be therapists. 

*But Trump! January 6! White privilege! Conservatives want a therapist to tell them their world view is correct. Reality has a liberal bias. 

*We liberals are nuanced and complex, not like those simple minded people who think in terms of us and them.  

A few people had a different take, and thought the woman in question had something of value to offer. The number of people, though, who seemed to lack all self-awareness, was astounding. The willingness to say that basic human concepts, like making good use of one's time, do not apply to poor people, is absolutely condescending. Some of my friends understand that we cannot be so smug. 

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Dream of Karma

 I was going to a prostitute, but without much enthusiasm. I had no desire for her, and was unsure what would happen, since I had heard that prostitutes did not kiss on the mouth. We lay down together very briefly, and it turned out that it was some way of getting information about me. There was a small square at the corner of the box we we lying in that was associated with eccentric local artist WP.  It was felt that this square contaminated our local group of meditators. Then it turned out that W had joined our group, and that his presence was accepted, not a contaminating element at all. [We define karma as kind of the rough edges of individuality that get evened out in the group, so someone who does not fit in as well is actually good for the health of the overall group.]. The dream went on from there, very vaguely... 

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Dream of Story

I  had written a story with some erotic twist with the title "The Q of the Queue."  I was surprised to see it was ranked #1 on a particular website called *********, since I did not remember having uploaded it there.  I was trying to read the comments on the story, but I couldn't find them. 

Monday, September 26, 2022

Dream of Art Tatum

 A child of mine or younger sibling was playing exact transcriptions of Art Tatum's recording of "Dardenella." I was envious of this. Waking up, I realized that I did know every note of this in my head, even though I cannot play it. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

A combo

 Combine the found ms. trope and the apocryphal translation trope in DQ. That is a powerful device. Does Cervantes also invent the unreliable narrator, when he questions Cide Hamete's perspective? When he says that the Arab author might be lying because he is an Arab? Would that perspective been taken ironically, or at face value, in the 17th century?  

Saturday, September 17, 2022

The found manuscript trope

 I was thinking of this with the Quijote, which purports to be a translation of a found manuscript written in Arabic.  Where did this trope come from? Was Cervantes the first to use it?

Well, it is actually a feature of the novels Cervantes was parodying, like Amadís de Gaula. I should have thought of this first. But, by parodying this trope, rather than using it in earnest, Cervantes was the first in using it to highlight rather than diminish fictionality. His is the first metafictional use of the device, then. 

I'm probably wrong about this, since I haven't read Amadís.  

Dream of magical editor

 This dream was quite long and involved, about trying to track down a magical editor, who had the capacity to see your work for what it was and offer just the right comment about it, even in rejection. The editor was also a kind of writing guru, and at the end we were taking a workshop from him. 

(There were other stages in the search. One person who we thought it might be was William Something, and the woman I was working with on the search met with someone of the same name under false pretenses, pretending there was a scholarship opportunity.  It turned out to be someone else of the same name as this editor. At times in the dream, I myself was this woman, or was seeing things from her perspective.)

There were several exercises in the workshop. One was thinking of something disgusting, and then retaining that image in the mind for a few seconds. Mine had to do with chewing gum, something I do find disgusting. At the end of the dream, I was holding forth about how I wanted to pursue insight or intuition in my writing, not style.  That you could never just take all you had learned from past writing and then produce a new poem out of it (a bag of tricks) but had to start afresh with each new poem. Of course, you can use techniques or stylistic devices you've practiced, or used before, but you cannot just rely on those completely.