sidebrow

if what can change then everything can change



§§§§



Is that it?


Like on Seinfeld when the dentist is Jewish for the jokes…


You tried the rugalach at the bakery by my house?

That place is serious.


It’s just a tiny door, but enough to get scared.

Why do you mock my gloves?



§§§§



(Your hair’s gotten longer.)

I was thinking of getting it trimmed,

But I was also thinking of just getting it shaved again,

But then

(You weren’t happy with it the last time.)

But I thought I was.

It ended up all right.

Now I look back on it fondly.

The short really does look good on you.

I’m just going to get a trim dude.

So, you know, when you go to the hairstylist

Can you tell them

“Make it the same except shorter?”

Because it occurred to me that it might be the type of thing

You think makes sense,

But then because they know what actually needs to happen

It doesn’t.

(One of the weird things, especially with guy’s hair,

Is that you mainly need the back cut

Because your hair shouldn’t actually be the same length.)



§§§§



Think I thought about the fact that you liked it

last time I saw it

in the National Gallery,

all patriotic, exemplifying our heritage

or our purchasing power

owning all the great art after crushing Europe.


They’ve been bad for a couple of years.

The Rams never retooled since they were good,

so fast and everything was so exciting

with all their crazy offensive moves

and then a couple of their best players

fell out of their prime,

lost a step, fell apart; so you can’t really get that into them.

But you can always root against the Patriots on the DL.

You mean, you’re not going to go into a bar

and pronounce your hatred of the Patriots?

I don’t have any ability to watch sports.

You would never watch it by yourself at the crib?

I couldn’t understand it.

That’s why being in a bar is great,

people just start explaining it to you

when you have that blank expression.

Football seems especially confusing.

That’s what it seems like from

the ways girls talk,

understand the least.

But you just sort of have to like it.

It’s not like you’re going to be like

ohh that’s what happens on third down,

now I like it.



§§§§



Watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but didn’t finish.

Audrey Hepburn is so graceful and hip. Did something weird happen

in the end? It’s not even like she’s a great actress. Well,

you don’t even think about it. When do you think people stopped

talking like that, with that weird English accent?

I bet that’s what New Wave movies did.

But I think well-bred people actually talked like that,

I’m not saying that it was just an invention of the movie.


Maybe the same reason why the 60s seemed so violent,

like my grandmother’s hatred of

the fact that my mom liked Bob Dylan,

a fact that is totally unimaginable today.

What, that she loved Bob Dylan?

No, that my grandmother hated it.

Unimaginable,

like Grace Kelly in Rear Window, really fuckin’ cool,

goes out with this cool guy, all proper;

okay Roman Holiday, she’s a princess, and you know

as soon as you see her gorgeous foot

you say this is a great movie and this a cool chick.

I would venture to say that chicks like that are cooler than chicks now

who do whatever they want

and everyone’s a cool chick,

but I’m saying that cool chicks will arise,

their spirit is not going to be ruined by these institutions

how is this possible with restraint and constraints

and that people are relatively interesting

by nature…


but people don’t exist for you to be entertained


well, yeah, right, so why is everyone so interested in being interesting?

a reactionary argument,

not such an argument for why things weren’t so bad

because people don’t exist for you

but that doesn’t change whether or not they would be interesting

so it’s not an argument against my argument; it’s immaterial what I want

it’s just saying that your argument is not an argument;

the reason that certain institutions aren’t phat for women

doesn’t have to do with whether they

make women more interesting

but that’s what I’m wondering, saying, asking…

because being unique and interesting is so important, and

because conformity is such a threat that people feel

that being interesting is essential to people

and that is one of the reasons why people think

cultural restraints are bad;

what I’m saying is that the argument

doesn’t go through

because the lack of constraints

doesn’t make people remarkable

then people will move back to them of their own accord

people don’t stop getting married,

they don’t stop going to church

but they do all those things less;

hard to imagine those institutions

sustaining themselves

unless there’s something

very different about America.



§§§§



…just bought a bunch of stuff to make pasta

at home: oil, garlic, spinach;

so much cheaper, to stay on top of it,

and my roommate started cooking again;

it’ll just make it better to live there now,

because if it’s just two people

who don’t give a shit about anything

and who are content to sit in their rooms all day

it’s not good for the house.

He lost his car, you know?

And he didn’t get it back and I’m not sure

if that means that he can just say

“Okay, fine, you can have my car”

and then it’s all over,

or if there’s something he needs to do,

and I’ve definitely noticed legal notices at home,

but we don’t talk about it much.


I’m pretty sure getting your car foreclosed on

has to be one of the worst things for your credit.

it’s gotta be worse than the stuff I do.

What do you do?

I don’t pay my credit card bill.

Not even the minimum?

not for like a year

Not even the minimum?

no, I don’t pay anything on it.


And I still have some bills from before I moved.

And then whenever I actually have enough money to pay them

it doesn’t seem worth it.

And then when I want to pay them I realize I don’t have enough money.

You gotta just pay the minimum.

Yeah, but if you don’t have any money

you’re not going to pay the minimum.

What if you only have a couple hundred dollars?

Are you going to pay your bills then?

Well, you can pay the minimum and then still use the credit card.

Ideally you’re right, but now it’s shut off.


I’ll take care of it later, like when I’m a lawyer.

Once this life thing lets up then I’ll be responsible.


mixture of policy, circumstance, and choice

and the phat thing he says is thatpoor people’s bad decisions

are a lot more significant

and their good decisionsare a lot less…


I’m lucky because my panic doesn’t concern spirit, but substance:

I’m just an alcoholic.

Whenever I drink I just want more

and all my bad panicky memories are filled with alcohol.


I just kick it straight up American style.

I live way beyond my means, accrue a lot of debt.


I don’t understand how you know that about yourself.

Because you don’t think it’ll happen again.

Why did I buy all this stupid shit?

Why did I drink so much and act like an ass?

People know all sorts of shit.


But then, people do change.

Maybe that’s only on TV.

I think some crazy shit happens and people come out of it different.

I’m just not sure that you can decide of your own free will to change.

But you could decide to create an intervention.

Like rehab, you only have to use your willpower for a second,

and then the rest of it is against your will.



§§§§



that makes sense as a juxtaposition, right?

right

so you have these classical philosophers versus the law

and then you have Christianity versus the law,

but Christianity isn’t just for Jews,

not just a critique of the Jewish law…


the critique becomes universal


scraping

under,


the main question becomes

does Christianity make people feel as if they’re chaffing under any law?


against law

as such


both of which it’s fighting against;

isn’t that fucking money in the bank?

because for us custom means nothing

but for the ancients it meant everything

and it meant that if you broke a custom you were alone,

and now, all we want is to be alone,

feeling tradition differently now

and the way ritual has changed

has changed our idea of custom

and that if you felt in yourself that you didn’t want to follow a custom you would have to explain that.



§§§§



but banishment isn’t an element of brainwashing

well, yeah it is, the threat of banishment, the threat of being alone

the threat of it is, but not the actual banishment

well fine, the threat is the custom, the prospect of reward and punishment

but customs aren’t totally objectified to us

the prospect of banishment feels different to us than it would of to them

you’re saying you would feel like you were banished if you didn’t follow a custom

no you would be banished if you didn’t follow a custom

there’s nothing more real than using language but people have always changed language


we assume language as fixed

but don’t expect

that when we use it incorrectly

we’ll be exiled


we still might be banished for saying the wrong thing:

any college professor right now could say that

black people are stupid

and be pretty fucked up


or they could say that

women have no place in our philosophy department

and tell me whether or not they would be banished?


and before that the highest level

was marked by people

who thought that the law wasn’t enough.


doesn’t Jesus still think that the law isn’t enough?

somebody on the West Wing thinks that the law isn’t enough.

that’s the thing, most people are in contradiction with themselves

the negative would be that

they think that the law is oppressive in that it

cramps their style

they think it’s not enough

because President Bush

is stomping on the Constitution.


But this is completely uninteresting psychologically:

it’s just that we all want the law

to apply to everyone else

but not to us,

it’s just a really watered down version of wanting to be a tyrant.



§§§§



here’s my gaffle

(you mind if I gaffle you for a little while?):



Shakespeare is a nihilist, but what kind of nihilist?


all of Shakespeare’s plays are problem plays

none true comedies

none true tragedies


the comedies are problems

because political rulers

are the means by which everything is resolved

(Theseus in Midsummer Night’s Dream,

the Duke in Measure for Measure)

because what makes the comedies comedic

is revealed to be within the hand of the poet,

not within the forces driving the characters —

the marriages, the resolutions,

would not take place

without some sort of deus ex machina

(the duke doesn’t have to kill himself)

but it’s just these weird twists of fate

that turn these comedies from tragedies —

all of the comedies would be tragedies

if they just played out naturally…


afterwards exuded

the second part

of the argument,

equally compelling…



§§§§



is going to live a tortured marriage

play within the play

the image of her with another man

but knows she hasn’t

but thought she did for such a long time

but it was a setup, a play, a fake can be explained

but he experienced the shock of thinking that she did

I don’t think that’s right, he knows she hasn’t

what you see isn’t erased by what you know; the characters cared

that wasn’t what I was saying

but that’s an extreme version of what you were saying

but I wanted it to be meaningful without the context of the characters

which maybe it’s not

which maybe it’s not, which is the thing.



§§§§



outlined chance event

because Socrates was real and Plato was real

philosophers exist

and then there are,

like,

tyrants


between the true lawgiver and the moderate tyrant

still has that deep deep lust for power

but that sort of chance meeting hasn’t occurred…

and if man can change

that means he can change from what he was

then man can change into something that no longer produces greatness

this herd animal

with an instinct for preservation

dominates

dominates

and dominates

then there won’t be any more individuals

and we’ll just blink and smile

and say that we have invented happiness

and it will be the reign of the last men

and man will set like the sun…