deux fois je l’ai vu: mille fois je l’ai senti

It was nearly five o’clock; the short day was drawing in, and the room began to fill with shadows, while the curious noises — the muffled footfalls and distant talking voices that had been perceptible all day — seemed, no doubt because of the fading light and the consequently quickened sense of hearing, to become more frequent and insistent. 

The books, the tools. This book, this tool. The tools each have a peg to rest upon, or a drawer to lay in, and they will exert a power over us with their undeniable individuality.

The books - this book - has a resting place too. Wrapped in white cloth, embroidered with a red cross. Something to be held, felt and smelt. Something that can be read, interpreted, feared.

I stepped outside and blinked into the low sun. Free from the influence of those objects, I let the wind beat against my clothes and face. I closed my eyes to protect them, allowing other ways of sense-making to rise. 

I was the only person in the street. I locked the door behind me and pulled down the grate. I felt alone.

I see what is there in front of me, but I can feel things that are not there: things that cannot be seen or understood. Things that cannot be known. It comforts me to think that they can be bound in a tomb of cloth or imprisoned in a drawer, obediently following the superstitious rules I give them. But without understanding the nature of the things I can never know, how can I be sure what boundaries or limits they have?



No, no. I tried to answer him back.  
My tongue wouldn't work,  
so I had to say it with a blow,  
and it killed him.

You stammered then?

Ay, it comes and it goes.

Why should the Master-at-Arms  
accuse your wrongfully? Why?

Don't know, don't know such things.  
Ask Captain Vere. Ask him.




Posted by: Puddle, Aug 4, 2006
sigh...i never realized so many people do not realize Billy Budd is the title of a herman melville book..."Billy Budd". both the person above and morrissey uses billy budd the character from the Melville book...so if oyu want more of an understaanding to waht the guy above is talking about, along with morrissey in the song, then read the book. if you want to know a little about the book, read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Budd_(novella)

Posted by: Kewpie, Aug 5, 2006
There's a film directed by Peter Ustinov and starring Terence Stamp, of course the based on Melville's novel. Stamp is the cover star of What Difference Does It Make?, which is very obvious to me where the song comes from (Billy Budd is the first major film role of Stamp). Judging from the context, the person on the radio is referring Melville's book.

Posted by: Puddle, Aug 5, 2006
yes but at the time the song came ut "12 years on"...going back 12 years was about the time the Smiths formed...so obviously morrissey intended for the idea the song may be about Johnny Marr. This i take is obvious?

Posted by: MrRoboto, Sep 28, 2006
I love the song "Billy Budd" and am particularly fascinated by the idea that it is about Johnny Marr (although it has been argued that MANY of Moz's songs are about Johnny, and that is doubtful). I thought the heart of this theory was because in addition to writing "Billy Budd" Melville also wrote a poem titled "John Marr" which probably, understandably, caught Moz's eye?



From the start, the narrator says "that is all I know of him, except, indeed, one vague report which will appear in the sequel." We are therefore aware that this "rather elderly man" can tell us little about the mysteriously impenetrable Bartleby – indeed, the more we learn of his unusual conduct, the more inscrutable he seems.

The very opposite is true of the narrator - the more he tells us of his office, opinions, habits and prejudices, the more we understand him.  He openly states "it is fit I make some mention of myself, my employés, my business, my chambers, and general surroundings", but seems to be less aware of the implicit assumptions we can draw from his account of events.

After the story's close, the narrator rather desperately shares his rumour (presented at the opening as his promised 'sequel') – that Bartleby had previously worked at the ghoulishly-titled Dead Letters Office, "continually handling these dead letters, and assorting them for the flames".

"Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity!", his closing cry reverberates at the bottom of the empty page.

Despite his lack of proof he appears to swallow the gossip eagerly, with its "certain strange suggestive interest", allowing him to rationalise and re-frame the unknowable ex-scrivener.  And with his hurried postscript he attempts to explain the reason for Bartleby's impenetrability, yet unknowingly divulges his own desires – to understand, and be reassured in a "not-unpleasing sadness", rather than face the disturbing, baffling nature of his former employee where "melancholy merges into fear…pity into repulsion".



If you do not have other means to contact the person who is bouncing mail, you probably have a dead email address. Try mailing them one more time (preferably at least a day later) in case it was a technical problem, but after that, stop using that email address. If you run a mailing list, and one of your subscribers starts bouncing mail with this error, remove them from the list.



Wind direction is given first, then strength (on the Beaufort scale), followed by precipitation, if any, and (usually) lastly visibility.  Good, Moderate, Poor, Fog.



One of the Shipping Forecast’s attractions to others than fishermen and sailors is its poetic effect, the result of its very strict format and arcane terminology, only intelligible to the initiated. Excluding the header line, bulletins have a limit of 370 words. There is no room for deviation, each and every word and digit perfectly choreographed.**

** Adapted from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shipping_Forecast



I could write faster than I could think…it was like riding a motorcycle

As Meltzer talks about typing and word-processing programs, our understanding of his The Aesthetics of Rock expands to appreciate his sense of physical experiences in his writing process, and his particular consideration for making thoughts and experiences communicable.

We follow the pace of his thought process and see how his writing tools shape the text's content.  We can sense Meltzer's "little keystrokes that could move you all around the surface of the page. Up, down, whatever".

The main body of the text is a stream of observation and critique, broken only by his frequent interjections and expansions residing in the footnotes. Meltzer's attitude to footnotes appears similar to that of the Epilogue, but instead of waiting to be presented en masse at the end, these "afterthoughts of an afterthought" are stacked below the 'main action' of the text like a cupped hand.

A separate conversation thus unfolds at the bottom of the page - sometimes taking up over half of the available space (and sometimes for several pages at a time).  To distinguish from the text proper, the footnotes of the 1970 Something Else edition use smaller type and wider margins - a slightly quieter voice.  Sometimes this merely gives examples of his observations from the main thread, but it also offers distracting rambles which would otherwise disrupt the dynamic flow and 'trivial/awesome' interplay that Meltzer describes as central to the potency of rock.

These footnotes are also inherently conscious of the reader's experience, allowing insight into the character of the writer as well as offering guidance and choice throughout the text.  These separate, distinct spaces display how Meltzer's subject fits into the mass of the world and his own personal sense of it - what to shut off, what to let in?



Where shall we start? At the beginning, of course, or is that the end? In his book ‘The Aesthetics of Rock’ (Something Else Press, New York, 1970), ex-philosopher and ex-dropout Richard Meltzer defines the epilogue as a babbling afterthought of an afterthought, a kaleidoscopic sandbox into which content is dragged and dropped ad infinitum. 

An epilogue adds to a body of writing what occurs temporarily after the main action or what occurs to the writer after he (or she) has written about the main body of action. Often it is a summation of all the excess energies still residual after this main body has been explicated, but necessary to explain it fully… Thomas Mann’s novels contain this type of idea of expansion and elaboration. Thomas Pynchon’s first novel, ‘V.’, whose main character, Benny Profane, envisions himself as a yo-yo, proceeds like a yo-yo to expand and elaborate to infinity. Pynchon’s epilogue, quite naturally, is a flashback to an event forty-six years before the time of the main action.

Forty-six years after the publication of 'The Aesthetics of Rock', here is Meltzer talking about typing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWp7wMWMTkc&nohtml5=False



While we reside at Good Press, a separate space for us to inhabit seemed necessary and appropriate, so we set about making one.

A new space can be easily made by 'adding', just like on a calculator.  Unlike a calculator, where two or more numbers are merged by pressing a button (+), a new space was merely willed into being by pressing (+) and without fusing anything at all.

This space is called a page, and must have its own name - in this case 'Minutes'. It's distinct from the rest of the site, with its own boundaries and a button to access it.

When we were ready to activate the page we were given the option to save or discard. It was saved. We were taken directly to the page, where our host had already left us a note. Perhaps it's their introduction to Minutes, or perhaps a greeting or blessing intended for us only.  Either way, our host made their presence felt as co-author, and their contribution was gratefully received.

Dolorem ipsum - pain itself - removes the distressing need for the designer to come up with meaningful text* or for the viewer to be distracted by content*.  I sense, through this first utterance, our host's faith that we will generate meaningful texts. While they hold our place with nonsensical, improper Latin*, they have made us feel welcome and at home.

* all quotes taken from the Wikipedia article for Lorem Ipsum



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