“So I can get the energized feeling I need and support a great cause?” No, you can’t just do that. You are also purchasing the very consumerist act that attempts to conflate charity and capitalism. Do not mistake this as functionally any different from ascribing a moral view on a chicken sandwich. Whereas everyone wants to fight breast cancer but Chik Fil A divided their consumers, both use the same internal logic of what Zizek calls “forcing a semantic burden” on you to never simply be purchasing a commodity. This will become more prominent as time goes by. How many are already out there? Ethos water, TOMS, Oreos, Starbucks. Or maybe it’s naive to assume a distinction between a publicized ethic and the non-publicized acts of a specific company.
a high resolution of ‘old tampons,’ a short film based on one of my short stories from my forthcoming collection YOU PRIVATE PERSON (10 SEP 2012), is now live. directed by Phillip Rex Huddleston. it features Meggie Green, Michael Inscoe, Melinda Wheeler, and a poem by Steve Roggenbuck. much love and eternal gratitude to Phillip, Meggie, and Michael. they are my rock.
blurbs for YOU PRIVATE PERSON, my first collection of short stories forthcoming from Scrambler Books (SEP 2012), are now live. much love and eternal gratitude to Blake Butler, Dennis Cooper, and Kate Zambreno.
“Considering how much I love Richard Chiem’s writing, and given how its uncanny snare and sweep of life’s especially agile, prompt, messed, lithe, sharp, and heartbreaking things leaves me stiffed of summarizing words, I think I’ll just nominate his work for immortality.”
- Dennis Cooper, author of The Marbled Swarm
“Richard Chiem writes of all the weirdness and ooziness and tenderness of young love, with such lucid specificity. Like some beautiful film from the 70s, but also distinctly now. Because I also love how in this book he documents the tremors of contemporary existence, of living and working in a city, measuring days not in coffee spoons but in cigarettes and Simpsons episodes.”
- Kate Zambreno, author of Green Girl and Heroines
“Richard Chiem’s You Private Person is a bustling prism of a thing, full of passages that actually lead somewhere off of the paper. His words have brains that have bodies that wake you up in the way waking can be the best thing, like into a warm room full of good calm remembered things that feel both like relics and new inside the day. Here rings a wise and bravely sculpted book packed full of stunning thankful color.”
- Blake Butler, author of There is No Year
Marie Calloway Update
The decline of philosophical inquiry.
Nov 29 ‘Adrien Brody’
Nov 29 emily gould
Dec 21 gawker
Dec 25 jamie peck supports calloway
Dec 28 rumpus chronologizes events
Dec 29 rumpus interviews calloway
Feb 1 specter collective (2)
Do you know of more? Message us to get it up!
(Thanks to many of these blogs for posting similar chronologies.)
“Mathematical in design, these patterns are hidden in plain sight. We just have to know where to look. But only some of us can see how the pieces fit together. It’s all been determined by mathematical probability.”
The concept of a shaman exists is one whose relation to a metaphysical world hinders his ability to communicate with/comprehend the world in which others exist. Align the biblical appreciation of the innocence of children being closer to God and you have Touch, Kiefer Sutherland’s post-24 television project. Kiefer’s son has the ability to discern all of reality in numbers. Episodes follow the mute-like son’s communication with Kiefer via numbers, leading dad to interact with people and fix their life problems, or as Danny Glover’s character refers to it, ”Sometimes, when the numbers don’t add up, it means there’s some cosmic pain that has to be healed.”
The commercials for this show reveal how trite enough this story line is. We could go into why shows like Touch are targeted at middle age demographics that are more concerned about a moving, emotionally-oriented function as opposed to thematic rigor but, duh, you know that. Rather, we began to worry about Touch after the commercial for it that had this quote in it: “Numbers are constant until they’re not. Science can’t explain the phenomenon but religion does. It’s called prayer.”
In this way, the show propagates the idea that the phenomena of reality that appear to be chaotic are in actuality a part of a meticulously organized fabric of noumena. (In other words, we’re back in the world of Plato’s forms.) This is nothing new. Many shaman narratives (Conspiracy Theory’s Mel Gibson, 2012’s Woody Harrelson, wow these examples are terrible) show the shaman archetype using highly complex scientific methods to reveal something that is unnoticeable to the average person. What makes Touch distinct is its use of highly complex scientific methods to state that these methods are insufficient to explain the universe as religion can. Paradoxically in this alternate world of Touch, what makes the creationist-like ideology work is the science behind it. In other words, to question the shaman-like boy: “How is it that you can profess the hermeneutical value of faith via your reason?”
What makes Touch even more indicative of current religious fundamentalism is that the boy wouldn’t respond to me; he doesn’t speak to anyone except through his own incomprehensible language games that no one can exactly follow. However, within the same narrative, the boy has a voice over at the beginning of episodes in which he lays out global, numerical information with the intent to show the interconnectedness and miraculous nature of the world in which we live that we do not always grasp. That is to say, he is preaching to the target demographic/choir which is already assumed to follow his line of thought: i.e. “Yes, the world is connected. Yes, there is a spiritual resonance hidden behind everything.” And even more so, “Yes, science is aiding more than hindering these beliefs.”
In an epoch in which science and mathematics are ever more pointing to the contingent-based randomization of reality, Touch remains staunchly conservative, attached to expiring ideals while at the same time wanting to critique these new understandings of reality while using their methods. The inherent contradictions of this ideology are only unveiled by the rigors of logic and reason that can critique these contradictions; “We just have to know where to look.”