Accident and Obligation, or, F-Utility


Ambition is obligation.

No, really, this is hardly any manner of genius, but at the same time it seems worth noting explicitly. Call it some sort of multiphasic something or other. Still, as so much happens, perhaps I ought to write it down, yet the act is laborious and stylistic precisely, at least in part, because of ambition; and the most direct address of labor and futility only amounts to greater, or, at least, other and more complex, obligation accoriding to reframed ambition.

And say what we will about desire and suffering, but ambition, in function is obligation.

Frameworks are as frameworks will; that life is more than mere utility of accident is an article of faith. Our futility is our own choice to attend the word.

Advertisements

Canon and Theme: Notes on Belief and the Loss of Magic


“What do you think is become of the art of forcing the thunder and celestial fire down, which the wise Prometheus had formerly invented? ‘Tis most certain you have lost it; ’tis no more on your hemisphere; but here below we have it. And without a cause you sometimes wonder to see whole towns burned and destroyed by lightning and ethereal fire, and are at a loss about knowing from whom, by whom, and to what end those dreadful mischiefs were sent. Now, they are familiar and useful to us; and your philosophers who complain that the ancients have left them nothing to write of or to invent, are very much mistaken. Those phenomena which you see in the sky, whatever the surface of the earth affords you, and the sea, and every river contain, is not to be compared with what is hid within the bowels of the earth.”

―Rabelais, 1534

“There are not many persons who know what wonders are opened to them in the stories and visions of their youth; for when as children we listen and dream, we think but half-formed thoughts, and when as men we try to remember, we are dulled and prosaic with the poison of life. But some of us awake in the night with strange phantasms of enchanted hills and gardens, of fountains that sing in the sun, of golden cliffs overhanging murmuring seas, of plains that stretch down to sleeping cities of bronze and stone, and of shadowy companies of heroes that ride caparisoned white horses along the edges of thick forests; and then we know that we have looked back through the ivory gates into that world of wonder which was ours before we were wise and unhappy.”

―H. P. Lovecraft, 1922

“It had taken him years, and much conniving, to get access to the mighty, and more trickery still to learn which of them had dreams of magic. When pressed. He’d used the jacket, seducing those who fawned upon potentates into revealing all they knew. Many had no tales to tell, their masters made no sign of mourning a lost world. But for every atheist there was at least one who believed; one prone to moping over lost dreams of childhood, or to midnight confessions on how their search for Heaven had ended only in tears and gold.”

―Clive Barker, 1987

“See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves.”

―Robert R. McCammon, 1991

Incongruity and the Moment


Bloom County, by Berke Breathed. (n.d.)

The weather report for the next couple days is hardly catastrophic, but neither is it pleasant, and that in turn brings to mind talk of blustery, wet, generally unpleasant winter expected to be, overall, too mild to build significant snowpack in the Cascades, and while it is easy enough to hope such chatter is, well, merely chatter, it is also rather quite tempting to mutter something about, Damn it, Nature! stop wasting water like that!

Except, you know, we’re the human species, so the next thought to mind is also pretty obvious: Oh, right.

____________________

Image note: I’m pretty sure I was playing around with the photocopy filter in GIMP. Never mind. It’s Bloom County, by the one and only Berke Breathed, and I’ve a date of 26 March 1982 for this particular episode.

Don’t Ask: Notes on Perspective


So, when you react before the punch line ….

I mean, I get that it’s a bad total. Eighty-something to two hundred eighty-something. But you said, “Oh, my gosh!” before the second number. You knew the number would be “bad” to some degree, so you reacted.

I guess it’s my problem: I really don’t get it.

Futility and Function


Already? (Detail of frame from FLCL, episode 1, 'Fooly Cooly'.)

You know, call me crazy, or whatever, but what I don’t get is why there can only be one towel in the kitchen, and why that towel must at all times be covered by plates, silverware, and cutlery. It is, apparently, absolutely unacceptable that a towel should be available to actually dry anything with.

Shite thee not. Weirdest fucking thing. The absolute hostility shown the idea that one should be able to wash something off their hands in the kitchen sink―even if that something is obtained in the kitchen―and have a towel available at that moment to dry their hands is inexplicable.

____________________

Image note: Already? ― Detail of frame from FLCL, episode 1, “Fooly Cooly”.

Postcard from Nowhere


Source image: Detail of frame from FLCL episode 1, 'FLCL'.

It was a sort of picture-postcard day, and with everything else I somehow arrived early enough to recognize the eerie silence, then fell, captivated, into witness of an airplane stretching vapor across the sky, scoring the blue just above the trees, and after a moment not quite started but still slipped back to waking life according to the strange recognition that it was not a cartoon, and there would be no cut to the next scene.

On Science and Shame


Mao (left), and Suou react to July (not pictured) in Darker Than Black: Gemini of the Meteor, episode 9, 'They Met One Day Unexpectedly ...'.

Here’s a question: I wonder how many times humanity fails to pursue a particular scientific inquiry simply because, while the information might actually be useful, nobody would want to admit where they got the idea?

This inquiry, indeed, is an example. There are plenty of reasons one might wonder, but I can promise you really, really don’t want to know whence comes the question on this particular occasion.