You ought to be in communist genocidal fantasies


Or was it genocidal communist fantasies?  Genocidal fantasy communists?  Fantastical communist genocides?  Each re-combination has its appeal, and might make for an interesting, or not, new name for this blog.

There’s an argument for seeking the most boring blog name possible, or, if you can wing it, a name that’s both boring and obscure.  That’s hard and rare, because  the obscure is always a little bit interesting, but, then again, so’s the boring.  It’s just how things are.  You think you’ve found the most perfectly utterly banal stupid observation – on the bubbles in your toilet bowl – and the mere fact of your attention reverses it into something somewhat interestingly boring, if not necessarily very interestingly boring. 

I thought I might have found just such a toilet bowl bubble of a name when I ran across the word “limitrophe” in Emmanuel Levinas’ TOTALITY AND INFINITY (Who Could Ask for Anything More?).  Okay, that’s my subtitle – Levinas’ actual subtitle for Totalité et infini translates as “Essay on Exteriority” – but I wanted to highlight the main title, since, aside from being a great book, T & I is clearly one of the great titles of all time (as for “all time,” he gets to that, too).

The first time I encountered “limitrophe,” I thought it was a typo, since it happened to appear at the end of a line, and was broken by a hyphen:

Maybe the next line had been lost to printer error, I thought, and “limi-trophe” was just a random conjuncture resulting from the loss of some interesting idea on the way to a missing catastrophe.  Later on, when the word turned up again, I had to drop that notion, but the shadow of catastrophe extended over my next guess:  that limitrophe referred to some kind of breach, of or at the limits – some “strophe” overflowing or rupturing or somehow localized to whatever boundaries – actually a rather poor, wishful, embarrassingly superficial guess, since, as any reasonably close guesswork would immediately have had to take up, a “strophe” ain’t a “trophe.”  Why should anyone have dropped or added an “s”?  Etymologically “strophe” refers to the Greek verb “strephein,” to turn, and “cata” to “kata” for “down,” but “limitrophe,” I discovered, comes directly from Latin “limitrophus” via French, and, letdown if no real turndown, merely indicates adjacency.

Still liking the word a little, I checked to see whether someone was already using it as a web site.  Someone was – or  is:  Amusingly enough, an avant-gardish indie film/video company in Arizona.  It’s a bit of a serendipity, actually, since the thing that’s got me name-searching again is the fact that I’m just about ready to spill some major beans on the superdupertopsecret film-internet project I’ve been working on for some months now…

…including the perhaps interestingly boring possibility that this here “site,” this here, this sight, which has already contributed much content to said not so superdupertopsecret project, may, or then again may not – it’s partly up to you all – feature as a “set.”

So, duh question is:  How do you all feel about just being yourselves for a while longer, but possibly under a new name – probably for a while anyway under my name – and also in the meantime serving, to begin, as web extras as well as test audience?

Probably no money in it – unless murders, or communist genocides, of particularly attractive individuals end up being involved, in which event you can probably write tell-alls for big bucks.

That would be alternative #1.  The other two alternatives for me are, #2, shut down ZC and start fresh, and, #3, maintain ZC for however long, but with continued radically reduced participation by yours truly.

I don’t expect final decisions or really decisions of any kind, and I don’t think it would be a good idea to spill all to the last bean, and I’m not proposing a show of hands.  Just am curious about your reactions or feedback, and wanted to provide further context for ideas, posts, events possibly to come.


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20 comments on “You ought to be in communist genocidal fantasies

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  1. You’re the Tsar. Nice of you to ask, but I always knew that we were part of an experiment you were conducting. Do you want us to change our avatars and names? If so, you’ll have to take me through the process again. And I think Miggs should have to choose an avatar.
    This was my favorite post of yours for many reasons. First, it would be great if you wrote it and none of what you were saying about the secret project was true. That would be really great. Second, I like the writer emphasis. Instead of dealing with politics so much, you should be like a modern day William Safire.
    What I envision is you being William Safire, but more like Thomas Wolfe, because you can’t go blog again. We kick you out for using all of our stuff in a movie. We hate you even though you’ve just used our comments and we can’t claim that you’ve misrepresented us. Of course, I would be the most heart-broken, and I’d want to let you come blog again, but I can’t. Because…fuck you…yes…fuck you is the simplest way to put it.

  2. Oh, and I particularly loved your Levinas subtitle, (Who could ask for anything more). My thought was, “No way, that can’t possibly be the real subtitle, it’s too perfect.” Then you admit to it being yours. Nicely done.

  3. I thought the first half of the post sounded Scott like – I even double checked to make sure. And I eat beans just about every day. Today it was a white bean salad with tzatziki dressing.

  4. Okay. After reading a little Levinas, I’m interested in if and how loving the Other is newly expressed through blogging. Are we doing something different? Are we loving differently here? How does the hatred expressed so easily (you commie fantasizer) here affect loving the Other? Is this some kind of end to what Levinas thought of as human? Or a new beginning? Or what?

  5. And is the movie going to be called Blog? That would go nicely with what you wrote about “There’s an argument for seeking the most boring blog name possible, or, if you can wing it, a name that’s both boring and obscure. That’s hard and rare, because the obscure is always a little bit interesting, but, then again, so’s the boring. It’s just how things are. You think you’ve found the most perfectly utterly banal stupid observation – on the bubbles in your toilet bowl – and the mere fact of your attention reverses it into something somewhat interestingly boring, if not necessarily very interestingly boring.”
    First you write Drive. Then you write Blog.

  6. @ Scott Miller:
    Blog, he said.

    Unfortunately, that’s an excellent idea. The only thing that’s a little bit saving about it is that blogs are considered a tad passe. Unfortunately, observing that blogs are a tad passe is also a tad passe. And, as we know, worrying about whether anything is passe is totally over. So we’re left with the problem of your having had a good, possibly excellent, and exploitable idea. Overlaps with my thing in ways you obviously wouldn’t and couldn’t know fersurefersure.

    We’ll just have to deal with it somehow.

  7. @ Scott Miller:
    I’m an amateur on Levinas at this point, and am curious what you’re reading.

    He was writing in the pre-internet era, and his central scenic metaphor, the “face to face” as the primordial, foundational event, prior to and beyond all philosophies and anti-philosophies, conflicts with the facelessness of blogging in an interesting way. He’s not, in my reading, urging “intimacy” per se, some kind of glorification of physical proximity or presence, but he’s not avoiding it either. It’s something I’m trying to think my way through.

    More important than the location or corporeality of the other is, I think, the freedom of the other, his or her “interiority” in your (my) (one’s) exteriority. She could be “like” me, but she might not be. She could be “friend, hostile, master, student,” and the indeterminacy is always implicit regardless of whatever role we may assign to each other. The appearance of the other’s face already says “plurality” and points to infinity, creation out of nothing, but I think that’s true inherently for all confrontation with the other, whether it takes place across a pillow or across thousands of miles of cable.

  8. If my quotes are going to be made into an actually produced movie, I want the following info put out there:
    I have some neighbors–call them…um…Jackie and Charlie…yeah…actually it has to be Jackie and Charlie–who agreed to pay half of the cost of a new fence. After it was put up, they didn’t pay. After a few months, I wanted to put up a sign on their side of the fence that read, “Do your grandchildren know you stole this fence?” But I couldn’t do that because maybe they’re telling the truth about how they’ve been close to losing their house to foreclosure. I hate it when what the government let happen in respect to real estate loan mortgaging ends up turning neighbor against neighbor. Besides, even if they are Republicans, it’s not like Dems are always honest. It’s just that Charlie is a contractor, sort of, and can build things and if he didn’t want to or couldn’t pay for half of the fence, he could have offered to build it himself. The idea of a new fence was his to begin with. Now the bill for the war, I mean fence, has come home to roost and now he suddenly doesn’t care about paying his bills.

  9. @ CK MacLeod:
    That’s what I was thinking about Levinas Love and blogging. Naturally, you articulated it in a way that I see as perfect.
    And while I’m back here, faceless and all, I was wondering. In respect to the cover of our yoga bible, what do think of it looking kind of like a communist manifesto. Would it be stupid and or pretentious for it to be just a read pamphlet looking thing with typewriter font for the titling? Maybe typewriter font all the way through the main text?
    Then I could be wearing a little communist cap for the author picture.
    I’m serious. Maybe not about the cap, but the rest of it.

  10. Scott Miller wrote:

    Would it be stupid and or pretentious for it to be just a read pamphlet looking thing with typewriter font for the titling? Maybe typewriter font all the way through the main text?
    Then I could be wearing a little communist cap for the author picture.
    I’m serious. Maybe not about the cap, but the rest of it.

    I’m very much in favor of stupid and pretentious, but it makes me want you to change the title to “The Hathayogist Manifesto,” which is only stupid, not really pretentious given how negatively the vast majority, though not including me and my monkey, view capital-C Communism. (As you know, me and my monkey favor Communism, but only the fantastically genocidal kind.)

    You know your yoga world much better than I do, but I don’t think you want to do anything whose self-consciousness interferes with, impinges upon, or limits reception of the book. I think with a book like this one you want it as much as possible to blend into the life/environment of most readers, and fall away. Nothing preventing you from putting out different editions.

  11. However, your mention of Red Square has caused me to imagine the following for your author image: It’s Red Square at the Kremlin, and there’s a glass crypt like they used to have for Lenin, except it’s you inside, more or less alive, possibly exercising extreme pranayama, and lying in either in some tangled NKB posture or the asana that has to do with experiencing the good aftereffects of the workout.

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