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Comments by Scott Miller
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On “Sought/found

@ CK MacLeod:
As usual, I see your point. Fuster is right in concept about the fact that both things could be creative, but I will practice what I was preaching to Miggy and open up to Colin's perspective here. My original reaction was, oh, yea, Piss-Christ again, only not as beautiful as Piss-Christ. The "flaw in the critique," however, may have been pre-existent because the debate is weightier than the images as an ongoing thing, not just in respect to the blog. There's a whole art to the rescue deal involved, not just yours but the process as a whole. But I will consider your words.

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@ CK MacLeod:
But the work was about a political-cultural collision. If Miggy was bored by the work, I would understand. Your writing about the work was more creative than the work itself. But that happens a lot. Just not to the CK degree of it. The only boring part is your usual claim to fakery. Not buying it. As this piece of an article makes clear, you should be doing interviews...

Steve Martin bores
Most likely, fans of the comic actor Steve Martin who purchased their $50 tickets to hear an onstage interview expected him to be, well, funny. But the 65-year-old did not do his bit about being a "wild and crazy guy," or break into songs on his banjo, or even dish on working with Alec Baldwin in "It's Complicated."
Instead, the author spent most of the hour-long interview with Deborah Solomon at New York City's 92nd Street Y (known for its cultural events with big-time stars) talking about art -- the topic of the celeb's new book, "An Object Of Beauty."
The horror! Toward the end, organizers handed Solomon a note, asking her to cut the art talk and make with the funny-man chat. She read the note aloud, then asked for questions from the room.
After the event, the Y went even further, admitting the interview had been a disaster -- and offered refunds to all attendees. Not because, as the NPR blog pointed out, "the lights went out" or "an outburst of profanity that was winding up on YouTube." Nope, this was a refund for being boring. Solomon admitted to being "appalled" by the criticism. Martin politely -- and perhaps boring-ly -- called the behavior "discourteous. The incident has lit up the Web, with searches on "steve martin" rising an amazing 6,700% in just one day. Lookups also included "steve martin refund" and "steve martin 92nd street y."

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@ miguel cervantes:
I feel you, brother. I feel your feelings. I don't feel the ideation behind them. Sorry. There's a chance here for us all to benefit from Colin's wisdom. In my opinion, he gets it. I don't agree with everything he writes, but especially in regards to art, he can lay it down, boy. My father was a museum director and I've been reading art criticism all my life, and there's nothin' like it. He's the man. He's our blog brother. That makes things easy.

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@ miguel cervantes:
That's what you get for thinking. (written with a smile)

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CK MacLeod wrote:

What an economical summary of conservatism’s inverted Christianity: Christ’s suffering as an eternal “get out of jail free” card for the righteous, relieving them of all burdens, especially the burden of compassion

I just love it when you articulate what was running around my brain all confused. That's exactly it. And it causes jealousy. It would be so nice to be relieved of the burden. But once you've taken up the cross those days are over. In understanding of that, Chogrum Trumpa Rinpoche says, "Don't get on the spiritual train. Once you're on, you can never get off." Righteousness is for the lucky. Plus, this could be the perfect start for an On Tyranny sort of dialogue between Miggy and me. I would tell him how lucky he is to have the get out of free card, and then he would say, "No, I suffer..." I would debate it until he had a complete realization of why he should have a change of heart.

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@ CK MacLeod:
Okay. So the winning is multi-dimensional. And while there may be some pleasure taken in the pitying, there's at least the possibility of sacredness being experienced in connection to the art itself. That's what I was wondering. Thanks for the clarification. Oh, and do I get credit for maintaining the spirit of this awareness with my avatar? It does cause me some anguish, both artistically and socially. I may not be dead, but I'll always be an asshole.

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Interesting point about the way art "wins." I see what you mean. The present day "Pharisees" are caught in the infinite regress created by their own feeble-spiritedness and since they cry out from there, art is announced. But that happens "in passing." So it's just a byproduct of the winning. What then is the real winning? The fact that the artist is heard? And if that's the real winning, then I don't think what happens to the Pharisees just happens in passing. The winning happens as a result of what happens to the Pharisees.

On “East-West Past-Future Materialist-Spiritualist Fusion

CK MacLeod wrote:

Great video, by the way – the simple, cinematic concept that in combination with the music creates, evokes, and sustain a subjective “moment” instead of seeing how many cuts, how much unrelated narrative, how many tricks, or how many shots of the artist and fans it can fit into a couple of minutes.

Right on.

On “Prelude to an escape from history

@ Scott Miller:
I take that back. It was situational. Now this is becoming a situation. Funny to me.

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@ Scott Miller:
Granted, it's a challenge to be sincere and funny at the same time. But many of the best yoga teachers do it masterfully. But it is more situational. "Most of my humor is situational." Tricky Dick. The funniest non-situational joke about situational humor ever.

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@ CK MacLeod:
We're moving away from irony. Post-post-howevermanypostswegotto-modern is dead. Irony is dead. Sincerity is not an injured gladiator, it's a track star widening the distance from irony like Bolt. Is that his name? You know, the 100 meter guy.

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@ CK MacLeod:
That's why you don't claim it. You just connect your orations to those things through your heart. You just connect the natural expressions of those things to your heart. And I would say your comment on Fuster's just posted post counts. Beautiful.

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And you did open the door, asking for suggestions. According to ancient yogic knowledge, I'm supposed to wait for you to ask 8 times before offering any advice, but in this world no one asks more than once, maybe twice.

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Also, the beauty, virtue and nobility perspective is new for me. Trying it out as an alternative to the yoga wordings of things that have become habit. Thought maybe they would fly with you in the same way they fly for White, who quotes many of the same sources as you. It's possible I'm not doing the best job with them--them being new. But I think you should be less resistant--it all having been handpicked for you in what I at least perceive as perfect timing.

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@ CK MacLeod:
I was actually anticipating the swat. After I posted the last comment, I said, "He's going to swat me aside." But it's not that easy, Scarlett.
I'm not sure why it's not that easy, or how the not-that-easiness will prove itself, but I have faith.

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Also, with continued consideration of our "escapism" discourse, I have one more suggestion. The wording of this is also inspired by White. The energetic residue of the horses you mistakenly backed for too many years (as a result of backing horses you couldn't imagine backing throughout your life) discourages you, the orator, from finding a place in the sun that would dignify the importance of beauty and values. It's embarrassing to promote the importance of beauty. It feels trite after all the conservative weightiness. You could balance a new, braver appreciation of beauty (which I know you have in spades as far as aesthetics and art go, but have perhaps neglected in respect to nature) with a strong call for virtuousness.

On “Defending Obama at leftwing blogs

CK MacLeod wrote:

That would go for any determinations of “success” as well. The sword cuts both ways.

That's why I don't spend much time championing them.

On “Prelude to an escape from history

Yes. And we can be a bit specific about the hope. Our continuing hopefulness can connect with a recognition that no matter what, there is something miraculous being experienced. We are experiencing the miracle of being. If we recognize the miracle of being, then we must dance and sing--everything we see is blessed.

On “Defending Obama at leftwing blogs

I do know oration is speech. But this all feels like speech to me.

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Nice oration. Don't agree about the idyllic pastoral and tribal cultures failing on closer examination since the examining is done by us, the failed of the failed--the grotesquely unjust. I'm just asking you to be more just toward yourself. I was only using the Romans as an authority because I thought you were kind of into their world view. Guess not. Anyway--as long as I get to experience your oratory nobility, there's no complaint on my end.

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According to White, the barbaric heart is either embarrassed by the question What makes life worth living, or assumes the answer is obvious. Winning. Winning is the justification for violence. Am I right in assuming that while you have always engaged self-reflection, your alignment in respect to society until recently, even though you weren't participating in the Winning yourself, gave at least some credence to the idea of Winning? That would go along with me sense that now is not the problem. The problem is that you are late in completely arriving here, even though you have to some degree always been here, so the sense you have of needing an escape is a hold-over from "desiring what it desires--to protect its people." For awhile, you backed the wrong horses. They didn't win. Even if they had won, you would still be here and here is fine. Remember, "Our richness of belief masks a culture that is grotesquely unjust." Even for someone like you, someone who understood the issues surrounding our richness of belief better than anyone, it's still hard when the mask (that you already could see through) comes off. It's off. "America is a great disaster machine." If you know better than to think that Winning will help, you must take heart as an orator. You are an orator. One of the two types of noble men, according to the Romans, and the other kind isn't really noble. Just be noble. That's all.

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CK MacLeod wrote:

a way of conceiving of ourselves in the world no longer being adequate to its own purposes, against the categorical impossibility of a way of life truly being transformed from within.

Maybe the way that the "conceiving of ourselves" is happening can be shifted. It may seem strange that I would suggest a "without" POV rather than a "within" one, but if you took the camera outside the personality structure and shot things from there, whether things were adequate or not might reduce in meaning while something else transformed the actual living of life.

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@ CK MacLeod:
I know you're not referring to something missing. That's my sense of your experience of life. It seems to me like you sense there's something missing. I could be wrong about what you are experiencing. But what I'm getting at is that there isn't something missing. If you had a barbaric heart you wouldn't be an escapist. People would say you were a hero. You'd do supposedly heroic things that would be championed either by conservatives or liberals, depending on whether your supposedly heroic deeds were considered environmentalist or militaristic. I think you recognize that, but still think there's a problem with escapism. If there is a problem with escapism, it's not as big a problem as having a barbaric heart.

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"If someone could show me how to escape this theme – which would equate with demonstrating how we could escape whatever is true in it – without settling for mere escapism, I’d be grateful."

You could recognize that what you think is missing is what Curtis White refers to as "The Barbaric Heart." That's the title of his new book. You'd like it. The Barbaric Heart is what motivates people who don't settle for escapism. I have come to love your escapist heart. I prefer it to the Barbaric Heart. The word "hero" is used by people with a barbaric heart. You are my anti-hero. I love anti-heroes.

On “Death to Zombie Contentions!

@ miguel cervantes:
Love the imagery there, Migs.

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