kingtycoon: (Default)
Oh, so here’s one- maybe you were wondering what would happen if there is a gun-crisis on your bus? Well I know.

The #10 goes through some rough spots in the city, I know them well because they’re riddled with abandoned buildings and factories & etc… that I’ve previously explored & documented. Also it goes right in front of my job so I take the #10 twice daily and it’s a peculiar journey – in the early morning it’s crowded with all the kids going to various charter schools up and down east 93rd – there are a bunch of them – repurposed for a profit, all the city’s abandoned schools are present & all the kids that go to them rely on public transit. Which gets kind of weird here and there. I mean, you keep your eyes on the little, little kids who probably need an eye kept on them, and the bus captain here and there actually has to intervene and yell at them, the kids, in the fashion of a schoolbus driver – it’s pretty crowded and it is weird in the morning to see middle-school and elementary school kids sometimes fighting, sometimes crying all around while you’re on your way to work.
An example of how this looks is that a boy, a little boy – he told us he was 7 but that his birthday is tomorrow, this was a couple of weeks ago, so he’s 8 I guess. And I say he told us, but really he told these busybody ladies who decided to get all in his business. He go on the bus at Woodhill like he does most days, and he went to sit and ride but these ladies got all worked up about him being on the bus alone and were bracing him about his home life & so on – one of them decided not to take her transfer at Kinsman so she could ride all the way with him and make sure he got off at the right place- and this was all loud and charlatan-like about exposing her good works and how she’d saved him from?
Really I can’t tell you – I’m not a fearful person, I know that there is danger in the world, but I know that it’s vastly overstated and that most of my countrymen are huge cowards. I don’t know how to address these matters. The say to me – “you don’t lock your doors? You don’t worry about walking at night?” and no, I don’t. Weirdo. I’m of the persuasion that – if someone breaks into my house or what-have-you – well, hey – Free Guy. Free captive. Cause nobody tells anyone where they’re going when they go to do breakins. Anyhow – this kid can definitely get to school on his own and doesn’t need to be looked after by some clucking hens. I have disdain. A little. But also, you know, good for them trying to be kind – it’s because of the kindness of strangers and the fact that everyone everywhere can count on it that you can put a 7 year old boy on the bus and feel confident that he’ll get to school. What I’m saying is, it’s not that dangerous in the world.
Of course, going homeward, not quite home – I have to go see Larry – it’s the day before Christmas eve – I’m heading home in the real darkness after work and it’s not yet even 5, but it’s dark and I’m going to University Circle to see my old friend. As in, he is old. Larry doesn’t leave his building too much so I go to see him. It’s on my way home anyway – so not much of a thing. And, I get on the #10 going home & it’s late, extra late, and I barely get on because of how the busdiver kind of skips past the stop, I don’t know – she’s being weird- but she’s always weird. This driver, she’s not the easiest, she’s kind of all over the place, on-time wise and stopping at appropriate stops-wise. Anyhow there’s a guy, a kid, I guess – hanging out up front with the driver & it’s a thing to get past him and then sit down among the oldsters, it’s mainly old people and kind of dissolute youth on the #10 in the evening – I don’t know what’s up with the old, a few people going home from work, like me, honest laborers y’know – and weird kids with weird destinations and weird behavior – I don’t know, this kid on the front seems like one of them, mysterious post-adolescent riding.
The driver feigns a breakdown – it’s pretty clear that she’s feigned it because she just stops the bus, I’m sitting in the front and see it all happen. She stops the bus and all the doors are closed up & she says, the bus is broke. A few people try to get off but she won’t open the doors and then I realize that we’re in the middle of some kind of official style shenanigan. So I settle in with my reading. The police are on the scene pretty shortly and the driver jumps out of the bus – like, runs away to the police – reassuring right? She runs out and the police come on board – 7 guys, all guns drawn and commanding everyone to sit. They go through all the seats and through the back of the bus and somewhere, tossed under one of the seats they find a ‘bb gun’. This whole affair takes an hour to finish and never for a second was I buying the ‘bb gun’. Gun found they still won’t let anyone off except the kid from earlier – the guy hanging out in front with the driver –turns out he saw the guy with the gun in the first place and was telling the driver and was scared, so that’s why he was up front. He gets taken off – a few police hang out on the bus, one gets out the recordings and plays them back – consulting with the driver, they eventually pick out the guy who carried the gun on the bus and take him off the bus.
There’s a whole lot of discussion about what is going on and when we’re finally allowed to leave the bus, I do – real quick – deciding I’m happy to walk the rest of the way – deciding I’d rather be outside than shut up in the bus I just walk to Larry’s rather than wait for the next bus or whatever.
In the end, walking, I try to make sense of the RTA & the CPD’s strategy – which is apparently, to make it as easy as possible for any criminal type to take hostages on the bus? To basically force them to take hostages. Except the dude got arrested & didn’t take hostages – and… And right, I don’t know that you’re not allowed to take a gun on the bus- people can have whatever guns they want in Ohio – but, of course- that’s one of those bill-o’-rights deals that applies to white-male-property owners, so I guess the kid needed arresting?
But yeah, I saw how the CPD and the Transit deal with the young black man with a suspicious BB Gun in the post-Tamir Rice (poor kid, that poor kid.) Cleveland.
kingtycoon: (Default)
He who dreams of drinking wine may weep when morning comes; he who dreams of weeping may in the morning go off to hunt. While he is dreaming he does not know it is a dream, and in his dream he may even try to interpret a dream. Only after he wakes does he know it was a dream. And someday there will be a great awakening when we know that this is all a great dream. Yet the stupid believe they are awake, busily and brightly assuming they understand things, calling this man ruler, that one herdsman ‑ how dense! Confucius and you are both dreaming! And when I say you are dreaming, I am dreaming, too. Words like these will be labeled the Supreme Swindle. Yet, after ten thousand generations, a great sage may appear who will know their meaning, and it will still be as though he appeared with astonishing speed.

Have you ever felt like you were a great sage foretold by the ancient Taoists?

So I find myself, having wandered through thresholds, through the strange gate of the airport, through the sky above the clouds and I think - I woke from a dream, or I think, I'm asleep now and dreaming. Or I dreamed that I was dreaming in my dream. I fell asleep one day and started dreaming. I dreamed that I went into the sky, and I dreamed that I went to the plains, and then I dreamed that I came back, and woke up - but I was still dreaming.

I'm up against the unreal or the hyperreal. Nothing seems like it can be real because when the unreality sets in there at the fringes of your experience it calls into question your whole experience.
9 of swords
We wake or don't, and what seemed real becomes more and more distant, the dream becomes unrecoverable. What was it I dreamed, what was it that happened? It is unreal and the dark world that we wake to at dawn has no answer - only demands. You wake from the dream of sublime experience and emotion and love & find on the other side all the things you must think about, that you must do, that you must feel. And fall away from the dreamworld and leave it behind you, you convince yourself that the dream was only that, that it didn't mean what it meant because you must do what you must do. So Waking Life betrays the ideal life and you must say to yourself - 'it was only a dream' as if dreams were not as valid as the cold world you wake to.

So what's real? Now? I remembered that I used to dream - there was a girl with Kaleidoscope eyes I'd dream of and then I'd think that life- dreamlife - was the real and this the false, and then I met her, for real, it turns out. I dreamed her or she me and what's real but what we decide is real? So you see, you can be in this particular state - disoriented, and then reoriented and there is that nagging sense that this is really true - this wintery self of work and responsibility and not the good world, the realer seaming one you left on the plains.

You guess, a second or a third time - undoing yourself - was it real? Should I reconsider? Is she rethinking? Is she actual? Too many cluttered anxieties, too many hopeless phantasms to grasp at - this is the trouble with the unreal - it's too perfect to be believed.

What's horrible is persuasive. What's Perfect is almost impossible to endure.
kingtycoon: (Default)

The worst thing I might do is get too drunk and act rudely to people. That’s what I was told and that’s probably true. Maybe I’m pretty correct overall that this is the bankable sinfulness that I’m likeliest to engage in. And still, I’ll probably feel all mischievous and funny about it, and it’s… tepid. Which is fine. I don’t have any interest in being an asshole, like a real asshole, so it’s fine that I might just drink too much once in a while and be a goofy jerkass.

Earlier in the week someone found a girl’s body in a ditch by this abandoned house that’s across the street from my work. It’s not that weird that people get killed all the time in this neighborhood, it’s sad, sure, but no-body was surprised or unduly upset. We’re all from here, it’s kind of a fucked up town.

Since then though, there’ve been a lot of people showing up at that house, there’s a vigil and flowers laid and it’s a whole scene. Probably it’s too jerkassed to be taking or posting pictures of it, so I’m not going to. Still, it’s a thing that happened – some girl got beaten to death and then someone figured it out by finding her makeup bag on the sidewalk.

So I used to walk past that house every day but lately the bus driver’s been real cool and dropping me off closer to my job & so I haven’t been walking by. Now I kind of don’t want to. Jazmine Trotter, just a kid, poor kid.

I was out on the sidewalk with the engineer and one of the loader-operators. We were smoking, making small talk. A lady drives up and wants to quiz us about what went down. I say I don’t know if anyone was here when it happened. The loader-operator saw some things, and the engineer is all knowledge, talking about how at that house there’s always a scam going on – people, what they do is, they buy stuff on stolen credit cards and then have the UPS deliver it – and then when the UPS man pulls in, they drive up and block the truck and then go to fight him for his packages.

There’s the scrapyard down the way from that house and you always see the scrappers with their grocery carts full of trash wandering the neighborhood. Man, I don’t know it’s a fucked up neighborhood. There are these signs, the city put up, and they say – “This is your home, don’t litter.” Something like that – but it says “THIS IS YOUR HOME” and it’s next to like, abandoned businesses and houses and rubble heaps – it’s just super insulting, like if you really did live here, and every day the city was saying to you “THIS IS YOUR HOME” I think you’d be rightly affronted.

Then again, you could always buy a hundred dollar house, a hideout. If you wanted to. There’s compelling reasons to like it here. But then there are murderers around. I don’t roll that way, the worst thing I’d do is get too drunk and maybe act rudely.

kingtycoon: (Default)
Very often now I'm made to think about what the city means, why it is here and what I should expect from it. These kinds of thoughts are really only one thought, which is a pretty common, maybe even important one - and that's simply stated as: What Will Happen?

What Will Happen is a significant question, in that the answer you provide is a signal of, just everything, everything about you. You might be headstrong, confident, totally secure in the world and your place in it- you might say that What Will Happen is what you want to happen. Sensible, take action, govern the realities of your circumstances, own the situation. You might say that What Will Happen is what will happen, you might have tried, with a will, to take control and steer your fat,e you might have found that fate didn't like that and made you take exactly what you got. You might be a fatalist.

What Will Happen. Is it a question or a statement, a guess? A wish, probably a wish. What Will Happen - an informed hypothesis.

and muddy

In the City I know a lot of people, they ask - What Will Happen to the city. The idea is that they have an important voice, and that they have to take charge and control outcomes, steer the reality. They want to be the masters of things that surround them. They've an inflated sense of agency. Do you act on your environment, are you a force exerted on the world? Or rather, and more likely, are you an agent of the world itself, are you a subject of the geography? of time? of unseen forces?

In the City the people wring their hands and worry about the city's future, they say that it will die, or live, as if these matters were given them to decide, as if they were each and every one some lawgiver of an ancient time. We forget, living in such a new city, that in the end all the cities are built at the whim of the deity and no city falls but by conquest, and even then... Even then. Aeneas took the Trojan gods, the cult statues to found his city in the white hills. So the city was families and their gods? The city is the idols of the people who carry them forward? That idea probably seemed old fashioned to Virgil when he sang of arms and the man.


The City, it has a life that far excedes the lives of its constituents. We're not masters of the place, we don't rule or govern the city. We exist within it, for a time, and bend to suit it and then die. The city continues in whatever form it achieves, maintains itself. You want to say now that the city is the sum of its idols, and that's a sorrowful constraint, that we abide by these ancient forms.

In The City now they clamor for work, for businesses and jobs. Jobs, we are told will rebuild the city - and this call, over and over, reiterated a million times by the increasingly desperate leadership, to me it sounds like slaves begging to return to the plantation. A city is a place to work. Because work is taxed and without work the governors of The City have no means to support themselves, their vain ambitions - because they want to build a better temple to their ancient idols.


The city is a place to work, work is the purpose of a city. What would Virgil make of that? I think that the City is a Place for the people that live within it. It is theirs to occupy and to be shaped by, it is an ecology itself. Do we live in a place because it has the idols we worship or will we worship the idols that we want, and make the city shelter them for us? The city as a home for business, a place for work - it's an idea that ages quickly and poorly, a terrible idea but one that has taken hold and that has a life of its own in the city's constituents.


But now in The City we see the temples to the false idol of work decaying, we see the old god of servitude eroded to gravel and dust - and find that we are still in The City. It's here, we're here, it's still a place and we are its people - our gods were false. Idols after all are idols, but we're like the priests of Ba'al about to be slaughtered by Elijah, we pray and shed blood for our idols and they don't listen. Are they sleeping? The City continues, it doesn't need you to work, it needs something in you to break, for you to finally abandon this idea that you are a servant and must serve. That your value is measured in dollars per hour and that the wealth of the city is measured in wealth. Let it go. Let go the vain idolatry and just accept that people have to live in a place and that this is a place. And then live.


They say that the City is Decaying, or Rusting. That it's not what it used to be, that it's a failure, that it's a ruin. They don't see that it's the false gods that are fallen, the golden calves that have been struck down. That there is a city here, under all of what we see and that a city is a city if there is commerce in it or not. We see here the fatal flaws, the fraying edges, the final limits to the west, to commerce, to the plutonic adoration of Mammon. We can see here the end of foolish wants and the beginning of something new. The new life of the city and it's people.


I ask a lot of questions. I don't know what it will be to live here when the idols finally fall, really fall, I don't know what a day will be made of, what the meaning of the city will be. I want to know, I want to see, but I can't say - It will be this, or it should be that - I have questions. I'm waiting for The City to answer.
kingtycoon: (Default)
So right away you can tell I will never-ever be a civil engineer. Or a traffic-engineer,or a car designer or an aeronautics-designer. You can tell, and I concede. Someone tries to offer me those licenses and diplomas and I scatter them on the ground and say: "Nasty old Fishes."

So! The Chariot. This one was a little tricky, to think about. I was debating my processes a little today and i mentioned to an interested party that I don't actually plan these out. The meditative painting-act is fairly sublime and I kind of make what wants to be made. Without being too gross or mysterious - that's what I do. I start painting and try to have a fugue state or something. Then I step back and fix everything that's gone wrong whilst I was fugueing. The Chariot itself isn't easy to interpret. It has a meaning of war and strength - probably lost on contemporary generations - something filthy, something there is that doesn't love a war, or strength. Romantics you know? They have a faith in the more sensual conflicts - can't see the muscle on muscle violence for their fixation on the glorious dead. The Chariot - to me - implies victory. It's... Antique. More than the other cards so far, they're rooted in their time - the Chariot bespeaks an elder age, of martial cruelty, of danger and an intimate conflict. That's a strange strength.

But too, I wanted to move away and out of the personal. I'd tackled that, the personal and the innate, the Self - I did that. So I wanted a step out of there. The Duke of Zhou was helpful with that - the 6th Hexagram being THE ARMY. See there. Public works, the strength of the united public, of the polity, or the social order - all pulling together to exert a profound and effective influence.
The Army - a good start. I went to the Infrastructure, and I've painted up a highway or... Something suggesting a highway - and that bespeaks the power of the many. Denies the significance of the few or the one. There are cars on it, trucks, buses - and those don't arise from a vacuum you know - there's a profound potency in the world - that allows these things to come to be - that then demands that they exist, that builds roads and bridges and a whole unseen, forgotten world to house them.

I had thought that my Chariot might end up being a fighter plane, or some kind of racecar. I thought about it. But Power, a strange and hard to define or understand strength - to me this speaks of the unity of society, of that strength - which is fearful and beautiful and altogether the best part of being all together. I'm writing this to you on the internet and McCluhan was right- the medium is the message. We make the world together and the world is made for us. My Chariot -the Infrastructure - it's meant to suggest that. To imply us all being in this together, to accomplish amazing things, and then to regard those things as commonplace.

Of course the infrastructure gets rusty, it gets graffitied upon, it gets used in novel ways and ignored in depressing ones. This power requires maintenance and unity to hold together. Energy, Success, Wealth, Bravery, Command, Discipline. These are identities that go with the old Charioteer -but I see them in the highway and the bridge and the structure of the world that we inhabit. In the best version of the world, no doubt these things are constantly refreshed -but in the meantime they're made so powerfully that they'll last through the ages.

The chariot is traditionally pulled by a black and a white Sphinx - and they've got abstract and unfamiliar provenance. I went with the airplanes - because they provoke a sense of dread - menace - they could bomb the whole thing to pieces, they could. They could erase it all - but if they do, that's the conquest of one infrastructure over another. The plane builders who had the iterative capacity, built over and over and developed through development to overwhelm the underdeveloped. But they are reassuring too - these images of mastery, of a strength over the nations - of motion and speed - we have those, we have it within us to make those. To exert that might. Which is a great thing, a great mastery that sprouts from the shoulders of all the generations before.

So continuity and the threat of ruin, of motion and unity, of the recklessness of disunion and the folly of individuality, and self-seeking. That is The Infrastructure.


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