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La Jetee

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Notes from J West’s book on La Jetee

To blink is to foreclose vision.

To create a break in seeing.

To impose a gap in vision.

In the structures of seeing and not seeing lies the kernel of the idea of memory of what we remember and what we forget demonstrates how remembering and forgetting are not oppositional acts but two sides of the same coin.

Forgetting is not an abandonment of the past but permission to elaborate, to reconstruct differently, to mix up the syntax.

Memory and Cinema are both comprised of an unstable set of associations. The choreography of memory. Stories going back to the past are always full of warning. An aberrant desire that meets punishment. (Orpheus, Oedipus, Vertigo).

But… To know the past and to unearth its radical contradiction is a necessary orientation for the future.

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Constitution or the State

Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 9.24.51 AMIt has been said that the Constitution is the State. It is the law which creates and regulates government itself.

Marbury v Madison: Priority must be given to the Constitution over ordinary legislative acts.

Office holders have an obligation to observe the limits of their own authority.

“I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.”

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Logic and Imagination (Occult)

Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 10.32.49 AMPer Occult thinking: Materialism emboldens the force of Ahriman (who rules the force of logic). When given too much power Ahriman seeks to stamp out individuality.

In turn, as people grow more and more disillusioned (because of economic hardship or lack of options, for e.g.) this emboldens the forces of Lucifer (who rules imagination). Imagination is good but not when it descends into fantasy and decadence.

Materialism perverts logic and dulls feelings.

Rudolf Steiner believed in the “Christ Impulse/Christ Consciousness” – A force meant to keep the pendulum between Logic and Imagination in check.  (See also Mystery of Golgatha). In his opinion World War 1 was materialism confronting its Karma.

 

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Critical Theory

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Notes on: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Benjamin Walter)

Expropriation of the normative narrative results in the condition for analogous insight.

The “Aura” – A strange tissue of space and time. The unique apparition of a distance, however near it may be. To follow with the eye – while resting on a summer afternoon – a mountain range on the horizon or a branch that casts its shadow – is to breathe the aura of that mountain or branch.

An ancient state of Venus – to Greeks this is something you worship. Different context for Medieval Clerics – they view it as a sinister idol. But both saw its uniqueness – an that is its aura.

The earliest artwork originated in the service of rituals. So it was first magical then religious. The artworks’ auratic mode of existence is never entirely severed from its ritual function.

True purpose of film: To give convincing expression to the fairylike – the supernatural. The work of art is produced only by a montage – each component of the montage is a reproduction of a process.

Film makes use of human being’s self-alienation. It’s basically the same kind of estrangement you feel before a mirror.

The actor stands in front of the camera confronting the masses. The masses are not present during the performance yet they control it. This invisibility tightens the authority of their control.

The cult of the movie star preserves the magic of the personality and reinforces the cult of the audience – in an effort to control the narrative and supplant the class consciousness of the masses. So — everyone becomes an expert – which means the viewer gains access to authorship but at the same time – the masses (viewers) are fed a corrupting narrative – one that teaches them to know their place (see Why We Love Sociopaths by Adam Kotsko – A guide to late capitalist television)

 

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Black Holes

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… A small community of experimentalists build an apparatus that would detect the sonic message of the cosmos as it made contact with us via gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of space-time, first envisioned by Einstein in his pioneering 1915 paper on general relativity.

Central to LIGO’s success are its three original architects: Rainer Weiss, the brilliant ruffian who invented the apparatus at the heart of LIGO; Kip Thorne, the revered astrophysicist and relativist with the wildly speculative yet mathematically precise mind, whose charisma saved the project from going under; and Ron Drever, the prickly Scottish genius considered a scientific Mozart — “a childlike spirit attached to a wondrous mind that just seemed to emanate astonishing compositions.” People, Levin intimates, are fragmentary but indivisible — they bring their aptitudes and their flaws to the work. Rigor and self-­righteousness often go in tandem, as do idealism and egotism. These scientists all contain multitudes.

Still, against a backdrop of ceaseless and varied obstacles — clashing egos, brushes with the F.B.I. and K.G.B., creationists holding town hall meetings across the street, enormous administrative entropy swirling between vision and reality — this discordant cohort of idealists persevered for half a century.

One September morning in 2015, success arrived unannounced. During a warm-up for the first official run of Advanced LIGO — the pinnacle of this half-century odyssesy — a gravitational wave strummed the instrument. Conditioned by decades of disappointment, the scientists’ first response was doubt. But this was real — this was honor and recognition, a century in the making. Two enormous black holes had collided somewhere far away, a long time ago.

 

 

 

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On Happiness

43 days to go, and I’m trying to figure out if we can put a blow up mattress in the Element because the idea of a tent is filling me with dread…

Today I watched some footage from Coachella 09, and I was stuck by how genuinely excited the fans seemed.  They were just so overwhelmed by the urge to celebrate…  In truth, I can’t remember the last time I felt giddy, unrestrainable joy. Even when I sold my first screenplay, which was a pretty life altering moment, my happiness was mingled with the realization that I was now in the enviable predicament that all writer’s face: I was only as good as my last piece of work.  So while I was amazed that I had actually sold a script, I was at the same time daunted by the fact that I had to deliver on a re-write – and do it in 6 weeks.

My mother says I’ve always been this way, but I do remember being so excited when guitarist Mike Stern would be playing at the 55 Bar.   I couldn’t wait to go to that little basement dive and listen to him wail on a b flat blues like he was the reincarnation of Hendrix himself. The energy was so palpable.  Likewise, attending Police concerts was a very joyous thing to me.   I loved how connected I would feel when Sting did that simple ‘eo-oh-oh’ thing.  It’s like those vowels created a link between us all.  It was very abstract and shamanic and at times, almost magical. Continue reading

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Water Towers

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One of my favorite figures from fiction is Klara Sax, and I often think about her in the desert painting her airplanes… I’d love to do something similar only my thing would be to paint all the water towers in Manhattan… Imagine how lovely that would look…

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