Dadaism: Defeating The Overlords of Information Overload

'Dada Shutdown' by Jay Schwartz“Can the knowledge deriving from reason even begin to compare with knowledge perceptible by sense?”
– Louis Aragon
 
 “Expert, texpert, choking smoker, don’t you hear the joker laugh at you?”
– John Lennon

 

Wherever you go, you find information. Of course, I do recognize that we are, after all, living in the ‘information age’, but I still can’t help but wonder where all this ‘information’ came from? Who discovered it? How did it begin to spread? Who continues to disseminate it and for what reason? I mean, today we are obviously all full it, so I think these are important considerations.

At some point in history, someone must have come along and said, “Hey there! You! Yes, you! I have some information for you.” Perhaps it was God or a visiting extraterrestrial tourist. Perhaps it was a squirrel. I have no clue. And that my friends is the point of today’s post: I have no clue. Yet, there is one thing I know for certain: there is simply too much information out there!

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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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The March Of The Immoral Compass

'Color War Rally' by Jay SchwartzThe March Of The Immoral Compass

Onward to the march she came to share solidarity,

eventually to be burned by another’s insincerity.

She fled, her brain inflamed;

the scene, it was insane.

Twas better for her to defy her moral compass, I confess,

than choke on the evening’s immoral and errant excess.

 

Oh, but what she saw and sensed …

Oh, what she beheld that made no sense:

Loons, full moons and fire …

… a city lead to mire:

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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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Dada Bing Dada Boom: The Art Of Human Ineptness

Dada Payload by Jay Schwartz“What we call dada is foolery, foolery extracted from the emptiness in which all the higher problems are wrapped, a gladiator’s gesture, a game played with the shabby remnants… A public execution of false morality.”
– Hugo Ball
 
“Dada aimed to destroy the reasonable deceptions of man and recover the natural and unreasonable order.”
– Hans Jean Arp

 

The other day I found a large dead cockroach laying upside down in the middle of the sidewalk in front of the post office. It was a variety of which I had rarely seen in the years I’ve lived here in Salonica, but very close to the type of palmetto bugs that are the norm in Miami, where I was born. I had no idea how it had gotten there, but I nonetheless had the distinct feeling it must have fallen from the sky. It certainly hadn’t mailed itself to Greece.

The sight of it took me off guard and I pondered its possible existential meaning for a few moments before I continued down the street towards a distant bus-stop. While riding the bus, I thought about the life of a cockroach … and its end, whether by poisoning, being cannibalized by other bugs, or falling victim to a crushing flip-flop. I confess trying to find some Zen-like answer for its sudden appearance in my life at that particular moment. In truth, I never found an answer, and in fact I still have no idea why I even feel compelled to write about it in this post.

It was just one of those insignificant transient moments in life that shake you to your very core. In the words of ‘Billy’ Shakespeare, however, it was really just ‘much ado about nothing’. Yet, even today, it’s still hard to just let go of the significance of that ‘unprocessed’ moment … because it remains an insult to both my ego the super-ego. (Note: the id conscientiously objected to comment.)

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In A Dada Vita (Rethinking Kindergarten)

Dada Kindergarten by Jay Schwartz“Dada doubts everything. Dada is an armadillo. Everything is Dada, too. Beware of Dada. Anti-dadaism is a disease: selfkleptomania, man’s normal condition, is Dada. But the real dadas are against Dada.”
– Tristan Tzara
 
“It is so hard to believe because it is so hard to obey.”
– Soren Kierkegaard

 

In his ‘Dada Manifesto’, Tristan Tzara questions how it’s possible for anyone, or any institution, to expect to put order into the chaos that constitutes the “infinite and shapeless variation” of ‘man’. He suggests that Dada was “born of a need for independence”, and of “a distrust toward unity”. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps …

To me, the state of mankind has fallen from grace. Whose conception of grace I can’t say for sure, but I would suggest our own state of godliness, because at this stage of our evolution we should know better. Yet, the more we divide ourselves according to the lines of nationalism, politics, religion and even art, the more a large portion of us becomes mired in denial as to our own humanity.

Where did we as a society go wrong? When did the ‘art’ of being human change from ‘form to function’? Perhaps it’s time we should hold a candle to (pregnant pause and drum-roll) … kindergarten and its schizophrenic type orientation to social order it embeds in children.

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Dadaisn’tism: Copious Habeas (and other assorted frothy nothings)

Dada - Jasyaspora by Jay Schwartz“I know that you have come here today to hear explanations. Well, don’t expect to hear any explanations about Dada. You explain to me why you exist. You haven’t the faintest idea.”
 – Tristan Tzara
“I like to sleep. There is no set time of day for sleep. You sleep when you’re tired, that’s all there is to it.”
Thelonious Monk

 

It’s not easy tipping the planet back on it’s axis. Somewhere along the way, our way of life fell into a form of ‘gimbal lock‘. With reference to the Apollo 11 Moon mission, I could explain what this condition means, but doing so would detract from its poetic ‘bombasity’. And, after all, what would be the point of enjoying poetic license if I couldn’t take liberties with the ‘unliberated’? Which brings me to the point of this post …

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