Patrick Mooney's blog

Random thoughts. Nothing censored. That's all.

Two photoseries of waves crashing, taken on Christmas Day 2012

She wore an open dressing-gown, that showed under the shawl-shaped collar a pleated blouse with three gold buttons. Her belt was a corded girdle with great tassels, and her small wine-red slippers had a large knot of ribbon that fell over her instep. She had bought herself a blotter, writing-case, pen-holder, and envelopes although she had no one to write to; she dusted her shelf, looked at herself in the mirror, picked up a book, and then, dreaming between the lines, let it drop on her knees. She longed to travel or to go back to her convent. She wanted to die, but she also wanted to live in Paris.
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, part 1, ch. 9 (trans. Paul de Man; p. 43 in ISBN 0-393-09608-4)
Every text is a network of roads taken and not taken. Some of the roads have never been taken, so far as we know, and of the roads known to have been taken, some are well traveled and some hardly traveled at all. Who traveled which roads, and when, and where, are matters of consequence to anyone studying the texts. Roads identical in one respect or another may be seen as very different roads if viewed from a different vantage—and of those different points of view, many will be possible. […] We don’t want to discover what the texts mean but what they might be imagined to mean or to have meant. Those meanings are a function of what texts might or might not do, given their rules of engagement; and those rules are determined from what they have and have not done, as well as what they might have done or might be made to do given their historical descent.
Jerome McGann, Radiant Textuality: Literature After the World Wide Web, conclusion (p. 152 in ISBN 1-4039-6436-X)

You & I, the moneyed, the privileged, the fortunate, shall not fare so badly in this world, provided out luck holds. What of it if our consciences itch? Why undermine the dominance of our race, our gunships, our heritage & our legacy? Why fight the “natural” (oh, weaselly word!) order of things?

Why? Because of this:—one fine day, a purely predatory world shall consume itself. Yes, the Devil shall take the hindmost until the foremost is the hindmost. In an individual, selfishness uglifies the soul; for the human species, selfishness is extinction.

Is this the doom written within our nature?

If we believe that humanity may transcend tooth & claw, if we believe divers races & creeds can share this world as peaceably as the orphans share their candlenut tree, if we believe leaders must be just, violence muzzled, power accountable & the riches of the Earth & its Oceans shared equitably, such a world will come to pass. I am not deceived. It is the hardest of worlds to make real. Torturous advances won over generations can be lost by a single stroke of a myopic president’s pen or a vainglorious general’s sword.

David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas (p. 508 in ISBN 0-676-97494-5)

We can say that the last thirty years or so have witnessed enormous growths in investment in ‘the past’ and in conservation: the National Trust in Britain, for instance, founded in 1895 and devoted to conserving old country homes (these above all) and other sites, increased its membership from 278,0000 in 1971 to two million in 1990. Has this stress on heritage marked a culture of memory (everything must be remembered), or a culture of amnesia? Perhaps the issue should be rephrased by seeing that memory and forgetting are not binary opposites. The installation of memory is also a mode of forgetting, for any memory that is instituted also precludes other memories. What has to be put into the memory is in danger of being forgotten, just as forgetting — repression in Freud’s terms — is a form of memory. Forgetting, if that is what the postmodern is good at, is an active process, a putting out of sigth. So a culture of amnesia works by memory, and a culture of memory, which is encouraged by a stress on heritage, disadvantages present-day thinking (the topic of Borges’s short story, ‘Funes the Memorius’).
"Introduction: The End/s of History" in Jeremy Tambling, Becoming Posthumous (2001; p. 10 in ISBN 0-7486-1477-X)

I took nearly two thousand shots of Lady Gaga and her opening bands at STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, California. These are my favorite ten shots, which are selections from a larger set on DeviantArt:

Lady Gaga’s ArtRave I
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave II
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave III
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave IV
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave V
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave VI
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave VII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave VIII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave IX
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave X
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XI
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XIII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XIV
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XV
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XVI
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XVII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XVIII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XIX
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XX
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXI
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXIII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXIV
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXV
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXVI
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXVII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXVIII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXIX
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXX
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXXI
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXXII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXXIII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXXIV
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXXV
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXXVI
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXXVII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXXVIII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XXXIX
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XL
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XLI
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XLII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XLIII
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XLIV
Lady Gaga’s ArtRave XLV

You can also see a less selective collection of unedited photos on Flickr.

So This Is K-Pop


Crayon Pop opening for Lady Gaga at STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, on 22 July.

Larger photo on DeviantArt.

Boundaries between noise and sound are conventions, I see now. All boundaries are conventions, national ones too. One may transcend any convention, if only one can first conceive of doing so.

     —David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas (p. 460 in ISBN 0-676-97494-5)

"The corporation is the future. We need to let business run the country and establish a true meritocracy."

"Not choked by welfare, unions, ‘affirmative action’ for amputee transvestite colored homeless arachnophobes …"

"A meritocracy of acumen. A culture that is not ashamed to acknowledge that wealth attracts power …"

"… and that the wealthmakers—us—are rewarded. When a man aspires to power, I ask one simple question: ‘Does he think like a businessman?’”

Luisa rolls her napkin into a compact ball. “I ask three simple questions. how did he get that power? How is he using it? And how can it be taken off the sonofabitch?”

     —David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas (p. 403 in ISBN 0-676-97494-5)

I mem’ry she answered, Yay, Old Uns’ Smart mastered sicks, miles, seeds an’ made miracles ord’nary, but it din’t master one thing, nay, a hunger in the hearts o’ humans, yay, a hunger for more.

More what? I asked. Old Uns’d got ev’rythin’.

Oh, more gear, more food, faster speeds, longer lifes, easier lifes, more power, yay. Now the Hole World is big, but it weren’t big ‘nuff for that hunger what made Old Uns rip out the skies an’ boil up the seas an’ poison soil with crazed atoms an’ donkey ‘bout with rotted seeds so new plagues was borned an’ babbits was freakbirthed. Fin’ly, bit’ly, then quicksharp, states busted into bar’bric tribes an the Civ’lize Days ended, ‘cept for a few folds’n’pockets here’n’there, where its last embers glimmer.

I asked why Meronym’d never spoke this yarnin’ in the Valleys.

Valleysmen’d not want to hear, she answered, that human hunger birthed the Civ’lize, but human hunger killed it too. I know it from other tribes offland what I stayed with. Times are you say a person’s b’liefs ain’t true, they think you’re sayin’ their lifes ain’t true an’ their truth ain’t true.

Yay, she was prob’ly right.

     —David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas (pp. 272-73 in ISBN 0-676-97494-5)

The conflict between corporations and activists is that of narcolepsy versus remembrance. The corporations have money, power, and influence. Our sole weapon is public outrage. Outrage blocked the Yuccan Dam, ousted Nixon, and in part, terminated the monstrosities in Vietnam. But outrage is unwieldy to manufacture and handle. First, you need scrutiny; second, widespread awareness; only when this reaches a certain critical mass does public outrage explode into being. Any stage may be sabotaged. The world’s Alberto Grimaldies can fight scrutiny by burying truth in committees, dullness, and misinformation, or by intimidating the scrutinizers. They can extinguish awareness by dumbing down education, owning TV stations, paying ‘guest fees’ to leader writers, or just buying the media up. The media—and not just The Washington Post—is where democracies conduct their civil wars.

     —David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas (pp. 123-24 in ISBN 0-676-97494-5)

Scenes From A Multiverse, 2 July 2014.

Scenes From A Multiverse, 2 July 2014.

Toothpaste for Dinner, 1 July 2014.

Toothpaste for Dinner, 1 July 2014.

(don’t have to buy) a house in Beverly Hills
(don’t have to have) your daddy paying the bills
(don’t have to live) a life of power and wealth
(don’t have to be) beautiful, but it helps

About seven years ago the wickedness of all this suddenly “rose from [my] mind’s abyss, like an unfather’d vapour”—as the poet once said. We were in fact discussing that very poet, Wordsworth, and that very passage in the Prelude. The class was talking in such animated ways about what it might mean that I began to feel they were losing hold of the poem’s words as they raised up and tracked through great thickets of ideas. So I called a halt and asked a bright student to help clear the air. “George, read the passage for the class.”

It was appalling. He stumbled across that splendid set of lines like “one that hath been stunn’d / And is of sense forlorn”—wrecking the phonemes, the phrasings, the entire play of the metrical scheme in its unfolding grammatical order. He couldn’t read the poem. He could “read off” the poem and generate all sorts of ideas. But the oral delivery? It was a total crack-up.

     —Jerome McGann, Radiant Textuality, ch. 1 (p. 31 in ISBN 1-4039-6436-X)