"From Blank to Blank":

Excerpts from a Work in Regress

 

The Banality of Sentimentality

The White Savior Industrial Complex´╗┐

Seven Tweets by Teju Cole

1- From Sachs to Kristof to Invisible Children to TED, the fastest growth industry in the US is the White Savior Industrial Complex.

2- The white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening.

3- The banality of evil transmutes into the banality of sentimentality. The world is nothing but a problem to be solved by enthusiasm.

4- This world exists simply to satisfy the needs—including, importantly, the sentimental needs—of white people and Oprah.

5- The White Savior Industrial Complex is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege.

6- Feverish worry over that awful African warlord. But close to 1.5 million Iraqis died from an American war of choice. Worry about that.

7- I deeply respect American sentimentality, the way one respects a wounded hippo. You must keep an eye on it, for you know it is deadly.

Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 10:00PM by Registered CommenterMark Forrester | Comments1 Comment

Dreams and Consciousness

 

As we sleep, a flood of images, sensations, and emotions cascades unfiltered through our minds. In the first moments of waking, some portion of our brain selects a few items from this incoherent torrent and imposes a narrative upon them. We call this dreaming.

As we go on about our day, another flood of images, sensations, and emotions cascades through our minds, and at every moment some portion of our brain is selecting a few items from this overwhelming torrent and imposing a narrative upon them. We call this consciousness.

Posted on Sunday, December 4, 2011 at 09:25AM by Registered CommenterMark Forrester | CommentsPost a Comment

Reality and Metaphor

In his "Adagia," Wallace Stevens wrote, "Reality is a cliché from which we escape by metaphor," a statement which has often puzzled (if not troubled) me. Here's what I have come to believe Stevens means.

As Basho suggests, it is an error to isolate the objective from the subjective. The only reality we can ever know is one that includes our presence and which is filtered by our own perceptions, perceptions which are necessarily conditioned by the expectations we bring to them and by the modes of thinking and perceiving that we have already acquired. It is these preconceptions that render our experience of reality a cliché.

Metaphor allows us to break away from this diminished engagement with reality by forcing us to see our world in new ways, in particular by allowing us to see the essential connections between things we previously knew as wholly separate. Metaphor provides a means to escape that trap, but it is not a form of escapism; if anything, metaphor brings us closer to the reality outside our selves by disrupting the internalized categories we inevitably impose upon the world we see.

Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 09:54PM by Registered CommenterMark Forrester | Comments1 Comment

The Human Voice

 

The human voice is a musical instrument, and clear enunciation is one of the least interesting things that can be done with it.

Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 08:12PM by Registered CommenterMark Forrester | CommentsPost a Comment

Uniforms

 

You don't have to like the idea of a uniform to wear the uniform of an idea.

Posted on Friday, September 24, 2010 at 05:15PM by Registered CommenterMark Forrester | CommentsPost a Comment
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