An Outing Of Vanity

Dadaman (jay Schwartz)‘An Outing Of Vanity’

Forgive me vanity for I have sinned.

Those who know 12-step programs are wont to say “just be honest and tell your story” and you will be heard and accepted. OK, so here it goes:

My name is Jay Schwartz. I am a 52-year old American who lives in Greece. I’ve spent most of my life pleasing others at the expense of my inner-peace and have created havoc and chaos in my existence, and in those of some others as well. Continue reading

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Ask A Stupid Question

DunceSarcasm: the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky
 
A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.
– Bruce Lee

 

The bewildered always have questions ‘after the fact’. Such questions usually offer profound testimony to these folks’ ignorance and lack of forethought, as well as to their inattention to ‘time’. Regret is expressed for the consequences, but responsibility is rarely taken for the circumstances leading up to an event. Blame may be apportioned in some cases … but lessons are rarely learned. Life goes on … and so does denial.

Does anyone really know what time it is? Many speak of the ‘investments in time’ they make or of their skills of time management … as if time were a commodity. To these aims, clocks were invented to keep track of time. Time keeping instruments are even worn on wrists … analogous to dog collars. Clinically speaking, regardless of the number of nanoseconds there are in a moment, each minute is seen as either being “too early” or “too late”.

Our movements are synchronized to our own creations. Yes, we are slaves to time. We relinquished our ‘freedom’ to our perception of time long ago. What’s worse is that for all our attention to time, we still have no clue about it.

“What time is it?”, you ask. “You’re asking the wrong question”, I say.

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Physics and the Cosmogony of Dadaism: The Balanced and Unbalanced

'Give Us Your Dada' by Jay Schwartz“I destroy the drawers of the brain, and those of social organisation: to sow demoralisation everywhere, and throw heaven’s hand into hell, hell’s eyes into heaven, to reinstate the fertile wheel of a universal circus in the Powers of reality, and the fantasy of every individual.”
– Tristan Tzara
 
“The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot”
– Salvador Dali

 

Who can argue with the ‘big bang’ theory, except perhaps the creationists … or perhaps the creator? Such a discussion would most certainly use, as an analogy, the making of popcorn: a daring activity that is fraught with danger, not just of an ordinary household nature, but of that with planetary wide significance (i.e., ‘BOOM’).

When popping corn in the confines of a kitchen, it’s the random mix of organic and temporal variables that allow corn kernels to ‘pop’ one or a few at a time. However, it should go without saying that with the right alignment of variables, a single ‘super-pop’ might occur in which all kernels will simultaneously explode together.

Given such an event, it is quite possible, under the right cosmogonical circumstances, for such an explosion to actually rip a hole in the fabric of space and time, creating a mini-black hole, which if left unconstrained will turn us, and all manner of creation in this parsec of the universe, inside out.

Now, I don’t confess to be much of a physicist, but to some extent, you can’t get around certain laws of the related science. Most physicists understand that the study of physics, therefore, is not something that should be practiced at home, and is best left to facilities such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), where the art of popping corn can be studied in safety.

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Down To Clown: Dadaism Meets Occupy Wall Street

'Dada Manisfestation' by Jay Schwartz“Every word that is spoken and sung here (the Cabaret Voltaire) represents at least this one thing: that this humiliating age has not succeeded in winning our respect.”
– Hugo Ball
 
“Apparently nothing will ever teach these people that the other 99 percent of the population exist.”
– George Orwell

 

It’s just another day on planet Earth. The warmongers are rattling their sabers. The power-mongers are scheming. Political pundits, regardless of their place in the political void, are preaching to their own choirs, and pseudo-intellectuals everywhere are mentally masturbating over whether or not the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement has faded away, even as its 2-year anniversary approaches.

Meanwhile, the rich (1%) are getting richer, the poor (99%) are getting poorer … and the ‘dadas’ are still creatively angst-ridden, at least this one is. Oh, and while we’re on the subject of existential angst, please note that I ‘might’ be facing deportation at sometime in the near future. Despite what my lawyer says, I reserve the right to be paranoid.

After all, having traded ‘standard of living’ for ‘quality of life’ about 18 years ago, I remain an American living in Greece, or so my pedigree and permanent resident papers claim, despite my personal non-conformity to either countries’ national norms.

Speaking of norms, I can’t help but draw a parallel between OWS and Dadaism, especially in regard to both movements’ anti-establishment stance on ‘the system’. In the faces of both personal and societal upheaval, both movements delight in rejecting the logic and reason of a fallacious zeitgeist that slavishly adheres to a system of personal slavery that’s been irrevocably broken for quite some time.

Of course, some people just don’t get it, claiming that it is human nature to bring order to what is perceived as chaos. Regardless of the fact that chaos may very well have its own brand of symmetry, hair-loss becomes rampant for some when presented with a square peg and a round hole.

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Field-Notes On Nothing To Speak Of

Juan_Gris_-_Portrait_of_Pablo_Picasso_-_Google_Art_ProjectPity would be no more
If we did not make somebody Poor
And Mercy no more could be
If all were as happy as we.
– William Blake (The Human Abstract)

 

Tongue-tied and cross-fingered pretty much describes how I feel sometimes, especially when the obvious, is obviously not so obvious to the oblivious. There are some things that should just ‘go without saying’. Yet, when compelled to wag my tongue or bang out a few words on what might best described as a ‘duh’ no-brainer to me, I’m stumped and incredulously stupefied into a state of verbal impotence.

Since it’s always good advice not to ‘push too hard’ and risk a brain aneurysm, I’ve decided to share with you some simple observations I’ve made regarding the past week’s daily dander in my life. I’ll call them ‘interpersonal field notes on intrapersonal relations’. Make of them what you will and feel free to connect the dots. Associate freely at your own risk. At least they are better than droning on about ‘nothing to speak of’.

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Don Dada (When Words Fail)

Hoch-Cut_With_the_Kitchen_KnifeEclecticism is the word. Like a jazz musician who creates his own style out of the styles around him, I play by ear.
Ralph Ellison
Thought is made in the mouth.
– Tristan Tzara

I think the time has come to rewrite the dictionary. It’s not the words so much I have a problem with, as much as it’s the way we use or misuse them – some words as dictated by our standard dictionaries and so-called reference material, other words as dictated by the mainstream media (MSM). In both cases, we have established a penchant to parrot ad nauseam that which we hear or have been taught, very rarely taking liberty or poetic license with the same words, as I often do on this blog, more often than not in a wholly and ‘pseudolly suitable un-surreptitious’ manner.

Take for example the words ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’. There are succinct published definitions to be certain, even in 10 words or less. Nevertheless, the ultimate application of their definitions is best defined by the actions of government officials, intelligence gathering agencies, the military, law enforcement personnel, and an entire legal profession of dark suited pontificators. Of course, Big Business interests figure into this conspiracy of terms, as well, but let’s not get paranoid!

So, it seems to me that no one really know what democracy means anymore. Countless definitions exist, but in reality the term has come to mean different things to different people. Perhaps it no longer matters, since the concept has very little ‘personally redeeming value’. In most cases, what you can count on, but can’t look up in your ‘Funk & Wagnalls’, is that both ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ are defined at the street level … when they are lost.

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Wake Up! Stay In Bed.

SeussNotGettingUp“You are a slow learner, Winston.”

“How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.”

“Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”

– George Orwell, 1984

 

There is a profound children’s book written by Dr. Seuss titled “I Am Not Going To Get Up Today!”. It chronicles a society in shock fuming over a young boy who, upon waking, decides on a whim to stay in bed. He declares, “The alarm can ring. The birds can peep. My bed is warm. My pillow’s deep. Today’s the day I’m going to sleep!”.

The world balks. Incredulously, all manner of creatures, tall and small, come to call. They stare and parrot each other in disbelief. Concerned citizens in the form of friends, family, the authorities and the mainstream media, all flock together to voice their disapproval. Judeo-Christian cum Protestant work ethic laced moral outrage is expressed in response to the boy’s ‘Bohemic’ claims of free-will, “I don’t choose to be up walking. I don’t choose to be up talking. The only thing I’m choosing is to lie here woozy-snoozing.”

The horror of it all! The entire balance of modern of civilization apparently rests on the vagaries of this young boy who on an impulse defies the expectations of society by taking charge of his own destiny.

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