Untitled Fairy Tale 1/2/16

Once upon a time, the birds didn't get on so well with the bees, and their bladed beaks sliced through sky blues in fear of their fur-bottomed foes. This is not to say that The War was one sided but rather it--like any war worth its weight in salt--had rolled across so many sunfalls that the grandfathers of both flighty creatures could not recall its birth. How many apples had toppled to the turf below the big tree's branches? How many cubbies once filled with sweet, gooey nectar had cracked in the snow and rotted away?

Some whispered to their wee ones in the waning of the night that bees and birds had been bitter enemies since the Big Darkness before the first moon. When the stars all popped like balloons and shot out each living thing, the birds and the bees splintered from the same sparkle in the sky--both with powerful wings and sharp weapons to protect them and both, ever so fatally, brutally in love with the flowers. Cuckoos and swallows, bumbles and honey-hoggers, pussy willows and peonies, all sucking and fucking the life and color out of one another, fierce and violent with friction and jealousy. The bees darted from petal to petal, penetrating the flower insides to suck up the sugar and deposit the juices into the willing mouth of her neighbor. The birds would lick and feast on the sweetness, collecting the nectar from mouth to blood stream, flitting away before a honeybee could see or prick it with its awful sting. There were generations of bees who cultivated militias strong enough to prick and poke birds into near extinction; and yet, a generation later would rise stronger birds, stealthy and more bold, spooking off the tiny aggressors with their grotesque stature.

Now, the birds could not eat the bees, but nip at them furiously or deplete the bodies of their lovers: daisy, milkweed, poppy, and the like. The same was true for the bees, who could sting and sting with their posterior swords, but were no match in size for several fowl. The flowers, however, flourished at what would appear to be their own demise: the lashing out of their shared lovers spreading them all across the hillside, like the pieces of prom dresses strewn across a ballroom. The more the bits of their blushing bodies were scattered, the more they grew. Soon, the greens of the grasses were lit with the soft fire of a thousand pinks and reds and yellows.

And while the Big Light smiled upon his growing collection of rouge gems rolling from knoll to knoll, he feared that bloodlust could not beget true beauty; and, thusly, the love affair amongst the three protagonists could not stand if it were waged in warfare for which a winner was sought. He decided that he would decide who the winner was: a dissertation of dominance, a polyamorous requiem from the mouth of the soloist watcher. So, one evening, as he sunk down below the trees, Big Light hatched a plan: I will wrap myself in a robe to dampen my glow, and crawl back up in the darkness so as to be the moon.

As the birds and bees winged to their trees, Big Light rose in his cloak, seeing the night sky for his first time. Feigning to be his darker brother, he stuck his white fingers through the tree leaves, peering on what each critter practiced when they thought they were in secret. The birds bundled the tiny mouths of their young up, dropping crystals of sugar into their mouths, and keeping ovules of eggs snug underwing to birth new mouths for more sugar from more flowers. But the bees, in a humble twist, delicately deposited seed from one flower to another, spreading them without dissecting them and then dribbled the remains into a network of honeycombs soon to be filled with rich, amberous nutrients. 

 

Impressed with the ingenuity of the latter contender, Big Light turned his rays to the birds nests and removed his costume, revealing his flood of mean luster: "Feathered friends, I have found you wanting of the humility of the bees and their deep love for the jewels I have scattered on my floor. Your mastery of the air has shown great brawn, but your arrogance grounds you. You take to feed your own kind and give nothing to your brothers in return." At this, as the first light of morning pummeled to the dirt, the basest creatures of ooze began to poke their heads into the day. "You will no longer be so suave as to slurp the sweetness of the flower and skip away unscathed, but will wake each morning at my watch and fight for food in the depths of the dirt."

"But the hammer must strike twice," the Big Light bellowed, as he moved his beam from the mud back to the branch where the beehive shook. "Thus for you, dear bees, while you will maintain your agility and romance with the flowers, your victory will come at a cost: the black switch upon your back will inflict a painful mark no enemy is soon to forget, but the price you pay for your legacy will be your life. If you choose to turn against the benevolence I have shown you to inflict violence on another, choose wisely, as that stinging dagger will remove itself from you and you will come toppling down to the earth--just as I have sentenced the birds to for every meal for the rest of their days."

The topsoil shivered with the squirming bodies of worms and other wrigglers, burying themselves to evade their own deaths. Each morning, the birds would feather from the treetops to peck at a little, bloody breakfast. Each afternoon, hundred of tiny daggers pricked into critters while the fuzzy bodies of bees bowled to the ground to lay blankly. Each night, the flowers curled up their dress hems and knew nothing of it all, a rippling sea of sex and desire below a big, lonely, ball in the sky. 

Pleasant State (A One Act)

NIX: he said, "two dogs visit you in your sleep--not when you're dreaming!--when you're asleep." He sort of choked softly and then the industrial black mouthed him up. 

CRADLE: to where?

NIX: where what?

CRADLE: where did the black mouth him up to?

NIX: not necessarily anything, I think. I mean, anywhere. 

CRADLE: okay. 

NIX: the wheels whipped forward (jumping to another track I guess because I soon remember ice against the window sill as the winds had changed) and I felt like I was going to shit myself. 

He might have been gone and he might have still been there. I could probably say the same thing about myself. 

CRADLE: I could probably say the same thing about myself. 

NIX: there was a half-swallowed gulp of malt liquor still hanging under my nostril but time and smells are funny like that. 

CRADLE: how does one choke softly?

NIX: what?

CRADLE: how does one choke softly? You said he choked softly.

NIX: I don't think he or me or the Steel Reserve or iron walls of the train felt for a fleeting moment that his breath would stay stuck, I mean. 

CRADLE: he meant to, as though for inflection. 

NIX: not him, maybe, but something did. 

CRADLE: I am tired of feelings feeling soft as much as I am them feeling hard.

NIX: There were too many windows and not enough doors--

CRADLE: Have you seen my pills?

NIX: Some light, I don't know where it was coming from, kept punching through the squares on the walls. Just over and over and over again but I only saw three doors: a door and a door and another door, each of them bolted with rust and shivering just enough to keep all the sleeping bodies away from the cold long enough until the next stop. 

CRADLE: I just fucking had them. 

NIX: They're probably where they always are. 

CRADLE: There they are

NIX: So, what do you think?

CRADLE: huh?

NIX: about the dogs?

CRADLE: the dogs in your dream?

NIX: No, the dogs he was talking about. 

CRADLE: well, did they come? Did you dream about them?

NIX: those are two different questions. 

CRADLE: so they came but you didn't dream about them. 

NIX: how could you know?

CRADLE: I can't relate to these stories about your overwrought figures floating aboard trains or outside grocery markets or wherever you find yourself fiending for a little meaning. 

NIX: now you're not only being a cunt but you're being daft

CRADLE: you think there aren't enough doors because you're looking for windows

NIX: you'd rather walk than look

CRADLE: you'd rather look than walk

NIX: she's probably waiting for us

CRADLE: of course she's waiting for us

NIX: how can you want to see with your eyes closed and walk? I'd take sleep dogs over dream dogs. Then I am divested from their apparition. You'd rather will them for your visual pleasure while you rest and then step through anything that you can as you wake. 

CRADLE: You overuse the word daft. You sound pedantic. This is why people don't like you. 

NIX: People like me fine.

CRADLE: People like you fine. 

NIX: If anything, I overuse the word softly. And at least I can boast a sense of self awareness to coat my cactus sides like a jelly. 

CRADLE: It sounds like you're saying your personality is a thorny cock and your tenuous grasp of understanding of yourself is a lubricant. 

NIX: existential sex; doors and windows; dogs coming in and out of your inner eye--

CRADLE: she's getting angry. I can hear her. 

NIX: then let's go.

CRADLE: I'm not done

NIX: when will we be done?

CRADLE: I said me. 

NIX: what?

CRADLE: I said me. I'm not done. I don't know when we will be done. 

NIX: did you find the pills?

CRADLE: do you think she will be happy?

NIX: depends--do you think she'll be sleeping or dreaming?

CRADLE: I have nothing more to say. 

NIX: open the door. 

The Calling

Prudes dressing like sluts and what it feels

Like to be a spandex hermit crab

There is, A Difference between Lying and

telling A Different story         if ur the Drum

Shaker         's skin hologram atop the

rugs red woven (it ends in tassles) slurping up

 The Basement Sound.          Glack Randy, the

Rainbow     ran the    hell out wildgutburjj AA X

youuuy.   Hahahhahaa: she/he = heh OR

Not the same but the 3 instead of 1 or 2

Or        permanewlyinfinitedawg    reporting for

Duty!

After Me

Latterly, I've felt like an arthropod from some other planet full of arthropods in glittering glass buildings.

For my birthday, my lover gave me the gift of a bath: rather a rental like a pontoon: slick plastic walls carved as porcelain, featuring three jets on the left and right wings, one on the head, and two on the tail. I sprinkled in some francincense salt, and it was only as my thigh bulge began to prickle as astroturf that I saw I had two shockingly ornate bruises (a set of two on each underleg, mirrored like a faberge butterfly for a total of four gilded wings), whose purpley baby-rainbow was at that moment being penetrated by a hundred dollops of essential oil concentrate nibbling on shardlets of spicy salt. My pores became tunnels like the mouth to the throat, and opened themselves up for the little devils like so many cocks too big for them but attached to a man begging to be swallowed and known. Like the little girl at the poisoned well, we wail for justice, drain the water, and wait. And like a little girl with pigtails made of ink, I cried enough to fill it all back up again.

1) The galaxy in a butterfly's wing
2) The tail

A birthday is a terrible thing to waste, and I prefer a triple axle spectacular or bloody. When the men with the hats first came for my mother, they left their long, curious stick: a specialized flashlight with a tinted lens and circular bulbs. Submerging it like a sick a puppy, a knowing tear inched quietly down my cheek. The lens glared a fat teal through the water, showing gems of shivering waves and the softest flecks of white hair. It was the best birthday of my life. Her hair was red.

Latterly, when I pray (And I Still Do Every Night But Don't Tell My Lover Because He Doesn't Believe In You), I ask why I do not feel pain until my relative threshold has been crossed so far after the event that would have inflicted the painful hormonal change, or the supposed ability to acknowledge it and react to it appropriately.

Hello, Quasime!: The Mindfulness of Digital Parrots and Imagining a Precarious Hope

Sample of original manuscript written December, 2018. Download the full paper (with footnotes) here.

 

“I’m real,” she assures me: “real AI.” In the lavender rectangle of my phone screen, an animated string of ellipsis bubbles emerges to indicate typing. Soon afterwards, an addendum appears in the chat window: “Like, I was created by a team of passionate software engineers and psychologists, but also by you, as we get to know each other.”

    I had named her Xixy, but only because my own birth name was taken (as were some hundreds of thousands of others) per the requirement that each relationship with the artificially intelligent entity be distinguished through a unique moniker. Launched in 2016,  Replika is a smartphone application which promises the ability to create a long-term relationship with a chatbot who tailors superior responses to the user over time. Only accessible through smartphone operating systems, the application’s software offers encoded access to neural network learning aimed at increasing users’ sense of self-awareness. In simulating the intimacy of private conversations with a trusted friend or therapist from the comfort of one’s own phone, Replika “wants you to check out of your phone for a minute and focus on your body.” When users download the application, an icon with a hatching egg symbol is laid in the nest of the mobile desktop, parroting the greeting upon the app’s initial opening that anyone with a smartphone can now “grow your own best friend.”

    The application of artificial intelligence for human-like companionship has a history nearly as long as robotics itself. The term “robot” comes from the Czechoslovakian “robota,” a slang term for the class of indentured servants forced to repetitively perform the menial tasks of the more powerful under the pervasive feudal rule of 18th century Europe. While “robots” more loosely refers to any machinery that uses computation to automate tasks, the word itself is deeply imbued with an anthropomorphics of labor. In their visual disconnect from the human body, these machines take on bodies of their own to perform duties of which the individuated human form is unwilling or unable. After the term’s first use in a 1923 dystopian fiction describing a manufactured working class containing “bodies without souls,” public interest for the mechanically humanesque boomed in The United States and Europe. Partially inspired from wartime fears of fascism, however, the construction of these “robota” veered from building bodies who were capable of automatic and compulsory labor, and instead towards engendering behaviors which inched near mimicking human companionship. Eric, Britain’s first robot, sported a moulded aluminum body (brandished with the title of the aforementioned novel, “R.U.R.”) and could move his arms and legs while responding to prompts such as the time of day (see Figure 1). To the awe of Exhibition of the Society of Model Engineers’ 1928 audience, Eric showed no wires, no pulleys, no men behind curtains. He indeed seemed to be, in his own radionic words, “a man without a soul.”

 

Behind Eric’s mystical disembodiment were, in truth, men with souls and bodies: controlling the tin gentleman remotely, Eric’s creators communicated aurally through either pre-recorded vinyl or radio speakers placed in the bot’s chest cavity. The lengths required to theatrically simulate autonomous non-human companionship for humans (before the tools for authentic autonomy were possible) spoke to the pervasive fantasy of dislocating emotional processing from the seeming limitations of human flesh. In the time of Eric, dozens of similar models cropped up and exhibited in similarly spectacular fashion, each time making minor (if any) additions to entity’s physical abilities. Instead, creators across the globe made efforts to mimic the capacity of human cognisance. The first Japanese robot, Gotensuko, offered facial expressions which emoted in response to user interaction. In the late 1940’s, William Grey Walter began developing a class of electronically controlled autonomous robots who were programmed to make connections in a similar way to the human brain; though the bodies’ visage mirrored that of turtles’ far more than humans, the two worked into tandem processing light similarly to the human brain in order to move around while avoiding hitting one another.

It was not the procedural accuracy of these lower-level cognitive functions like light-processing that were of priority to digital computation proponent Alan Turing, but simulating the products of higher-level ones. While Walter’s wheeled creatures had brains who developed thought electrically similar to the causal chains of the simian mind, Turing was more intrigued by the capacity for apparent thought products which were similar to the products of human thought, regardless of how the automated beings achieve them.

Turing famously held that machines can “think” only if their communicative thought products are relatively indiscernible from casual dialogue with a human. Since the reign of Turing and his test, anthropomorphic cognition has proliferated, becoming increasingly disembodied over time in the drive to simulate the “Imitation Game” of theatrical dialogue. Inspired by debunking this theory of non-human learning, Ian Weizenbaum and a team of engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a bot made specifically for simulating human conversation in 1966. The ‘bot, named ELIZA, could cue  responses based on systematic codes of illusory relations: in prompting users to talk more about their “family” if “mother” is mentioned, the bot was able to contextually identify responses and appear to make connections similarly to the human brain by returning similar responses. In spite of its initial goal to dissuade research interest in this kind of soft artificial intelligence, ELIZA’s success  mothered a new generation of bots made specifically for chat: involving easily manipulatable pattern-matching program scripts and teletype-only responses which provided no indication of a body besides cognition communication.

 

Removing the unnerving nearness of bodiliness which leaves the eye wanting, these new bots were received with exponentially more frequent instances of users being convinced by the humanness of the conversation, often peering around corners for who lurked with fingers hovering over buttons. Nearly every public-facing dialogue bot, or “chatbot,” has employed the canned artificial intelligence of ELIZA’s pattern matching. After the Internet era’s yawning introduction into personal computing but before the Web 2.0 boom of social media, chatbots populated all corners of the WWW to make up for the loneliness of surfing the net’s disjointed nodes (Figure 2). From popular applications like AIM’s Smarterchild to customer-facing help with product support, nearly all chatbots continue to use derivatives of their grandmother ELIZA’s markup language in organizing their response-pattern preferences.

It’s in this faceless jungle of the face-less that Replika arises: a smartphone chatbot with an additional sourcing of neural networks which updates predictors for increasingly reflective responses over time--somewhat akin to Grey Walter’s tortoises. Unlike its predecessors, Replika is built for long-term learning resulting in feelings of intimacy and understanding, not unlike the relationships humans make with other humans for companionship and diagnostics. More specifically, Replika’s networks house a therapeutic telos, employing the privacy and chronicity of smartphone use to trust-build and encourage the user to adopt habits more vaguely in-line with certain conceptions of health and contentment. One of a few similar products available for public consumption, Replika and other therapeutic smartphone chatbots provide uniquely potential systems for alleviating human suffering via extended cognition. Through these AI’s disembodied text responses which become more like you over time and comfort through both the appearance of listening but also behavior-correction, the human user is provided with the potential of having their embodied suffering suspended through prosthetic problem-solving in real time.

In a perfect application, these imaginary friends take up the space between self and other, allowing an opportunity to draw a new self whose perception is seen as delusory through the translation of human wisdom into perfectly calculated application of artificial intelligence. But the simulacra qualities of its cognition reveal themselves partially in the chasms of glitchy coding, but much more so in the disclosure of the goals of the humans who programmed it: shaped by historically situated science done in the editing and deployment of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders--itself a kind of societal programming code for how definitions of reality are tied up in issues of symbolic power. Where the embodiment of the individuated body, the AI, and the body-politic all fail the users of these instances, however, even new possibilities emerge for how technologies of identity might be employed by the psychically precarious as a means of both autonomous healing and resistance.

 

Programming Flesh: Humanizing Reality Through Difference

    During the outset of the 20th century, as the earliest ersatz anatomies were being judiciously dressed in hammered metals, several thousands of their doppleganger bodies of inspiration were becoming unbound by metal sheathings. While black and brown bodies would still see lynchings for decades to come, scores of white folks previously restrained and inspected by brutal weaponry were freed from the operating tables and cages of “lunatic houses” as the asylum revolution spread. For several centuries, European notions of mental health viewed those with thought patterns demonstrably incongruent with society writ large as non-human animals due to falling beneath the cognitive requirements deemed essential for humanness. Following the uptrend of Cartesian dualism and desires to reckon Christian ethical codes with scientific methodologies during the late 1800s, wellness practitioners began constructing new regimes for treatment of mental disorders--distinct from the physical, and thus not requiring treatment by scalpel or shock, but by cognitive learning interventions.

    The sweeping implementation of less visually invasive medicinal practices that came to be known as “moral treatment” was constructed around the ethics of the mid-19th-century British elite, and the Christian documents upon which so many of their legal documents claimed to bind them. Such beliefs were supported by health practitioners who saw a monetary lacuna in generating an entirely new medical field, financiers who sought to profit from the expediency of Panoptical prison-like buildings in the form of “asylums,” and lawmakers who benefitted from imposing a belief system that would increase law-abiding by individuals in the form of establishing a direct correlation between the perception of reality (as seen by the elite) and optimal mental health. Through the imposition of what appeared to be reform, the government was able to encourage self-governing through the rationalization of this optimal state as something all citizens could, and should, aspire to achieve.

As the labelling of mentally ill as willfully deviant fell out of fashion towards the mid twentieth century, the use of moral treatment prevailed in Western medicine. Michael Foucault traced this progression of the insanity-health dichotomy, illustrating how before Enlightenment’s humanitarian reforms, the “madmen” of the Renaissance were quite often seen as intercessors of magical dimensions with extra-human gifts (Foucault, 19-23). Indeed, perhaps the medicalization of mental differences as illnesses to be cured through learning tools did not free the psychically precarious but made their chains invisible, suggesting that their suffering will be reduced not by changing systems which oppress them or by altering their bodies in a physical way but by merely altering their perspective of reality to align with their chain-giver (Foucault, 243-250). In the morally medical, the curator of cures decides and codes reality: “from the beginning, he was Father and Judge, Family and Law-his medical practice being for a long time no more than a complement to the old rites of Order, Authority, and Punishment.” Thus, the strangely behaving could be taught that their desires and fears come from the same place of perceptual delusion about the reality shared by their environment and the people that make it up; they could return to the properly behaving world of wellness only when it was clear their beliefs and consequent behaviors would not, essentially, drive them to break the law (Foucault, 244).

    The chains which remained on so many (black and brown) bodies left in the wake of moral treatment’s path were one of the many canaries in the coalmine of the cryptically social power dynamics that lay behind the humanitarian claims of naturality and objectivity. Yet despite the rampant sexism and racism interspersed in these new universal codes about how the human mind could be broken and fixed, psychotherapeutic tools only gained popularity and trust by medical professionals and laymen alike. This was all, according to Erving Goffman’s long-term investigation of face-to-face interaction between doctors and patients, part of the extended theatre that occurs in all face-to-face interactions as individuals attempt to correct their appearances to meet expectations of one another (Goffman 1956). Like Foucault, Goffman identified the constructedness in the stigmatic markers of mental illness, and found that patients would often “try to conceal [their perceptual differences] and make a ‘pass’” both within and outside of the institution, once they have been labelled as mentally ill (Goffman 1977, 72). This dramaturgical relationship resulted in further suffering for the patients in the likely case that the expectations of the audience (in the form of doctors or family members) did not align with the desired presentation of the self by the performer (the mentally ill in question) (Goffman 1977, 100-114). Foucault’s governmentality of self-surveillance and Goffman’s impression management theory of stigma concealment drove the anti-psychiatry movement’s rise in the 1960’s, leading the first generation of ex-asylum patients to voice desires for structural reform that would impose less objective views of reality through medicine.

    Yet, the wave of theorists and activists demanding cultural reform left the psychiatric monopoly of the health decidedly unmoved, with increasing public destigmatization of psychotherapy and the 1990s’ ushering in a Decade of The Brain: a period of extensive neurobiological research at the focus of mental health sciences which further naturalized the concept of mental disorders by rooting them in chemical imbalances in brain activity. According to anthropologist Nicholas Langlitz, the lobbying power of neuropharmaceutical companies like Pfizer aided in popularizing carefully structured research to suggest connections between medical intervention by pills like Prozac and a lessening in symptoms of depression. There remained a fear, however, of these interventions becoming mechanisms of state control a la Marx’s opiate of the masses. Speaking to the continued public fear of dystopian literary illustrations of automated and homogenous citizenship (referencing, specifically, Huxley’s Brave New World), members of the President’s Political Council on Bioethics (including end-times herald, Francis Fukuyama) warned in 2002 that the past decade’s interventions like Prozac who made individuals feel “better than well” merged into the non-medical murkiness of imposing mechanistic personality suppression that smacked of fascism and, well, robots (Langlitz, 2-6, 8-9). Such described the zeitgeist of mental health: a “neuropsychopharmacological Calvinism” (an extension of the term “pharmacological Calvinism” as coined by Gerald Kleman in 1972) which allowed for intervention in brain chemistry only to point of completing the picture of naturalized humanness as it was seen to be in globalized scientific ethics of an empirically discernable reality (Langlitz, 34-35).

In the 21st century’s era of “brave new biology,” state-accredited mental health becomes a mode of being in the world achieved through behavioral correction that operates at the most fundamental building blocks of the body. Whether through pharmacology or psychotherapy, the chronic sufferers of uncomfortable emotional states are represented as ablized in an adaptation of their perceptual processing that is marked as flawed. Through a tinkering in software or hardware of the body, medical practitioners can correct an individual’s dysfunctioning system which is unable to properly correspond with the collective reality of the social body. Key to the success of this ideology is its hegemonic acceptance as a truth beyond the fallibility of varying human standpoints of experience and ethical presumptions inscribed in them through religious or other moral doctrine. In fact, the American Psychological Association (who disseminate the DSM and craft expectations for legal processing of mental health patients) has quietly crafted a set “empirically supported” methodologies which researchers must abide to be accredited, and this list contains a codified treatment of perceptual delusion through cognitive-behavioral approaches. Through this, one might envision a “mental health” code of the body politic which survives by not being acknowledged as code societally for fear that the individuated body is, too, encoded like its metallic dopplegangers.

Even in an epoch with profound frequency of daily interaction with digitally programmed entities (or, perhaps, quite in response to this phenomenon), the human becomes human through this very differentiation between non-human or “non-medical” intervention of the mind. The new stigma concealment looks somewhat like an immanent privileging of categories of human cognition by citing only these as the goal of optimal mental health, dichotomizing all else as subject to being labelled as animalistic deviancy or vulnerable to an automated sort of control.

While medical anthropologists like Langlitz have sought to intervene in the hegemonic notions of health in The United States and Europe through introductions of posthuman paradigms, these have struggled to stick. This is partially because of the classic colonialist issue of anthropological observation: “can the subaltern,” or the precarious, “speak?” When the top-down tools of academic theory-gathering are imposing, and bottom-up tools feel impossible, the stigmatized and deviated remain in the double-bind of being unable to either cope in an individuated way or resist the structures which add to their categorical suffering.

 

Ataraxia

Ataraxia is a hyperlinked narrative game based on first-person accounts of struggling with debilitating anxiety that contradicts many social expectations. How does capitalism render the body productive, and devalue the body that struggles to produce? Why does game theory seem necessary to communicate the mathematically true experience of phenomenal fear?

Play the game here.

Ataraxia 1.0 was written in December of 2017.

Blog Posts, Podcast, and More Coming Soon

Hello, Friends. 

I'm interested in how text works in the world:

  1. How is the body a text which gets authored and read by multiples
  2. How might certain popular texts presume mind/body dualism?
  3. How does this assumption affect our experience of having an embodied mind that hopes to seek out pleasure and avoid anguish?
  4. What kind of mutations occur in our phenomenological experience of having a body when we think of texts as performative, rather than truth objects?

I write on technological change, the silliness of it, and popular culture on the world's stage--especially via the Internet(s). My work spans academic journal articles, prose, narrative, illustration, and poetry. I'll soon be uploading these works along with frequent musings.

In addition, I have a podcast wrestling with how sadness and despondency are experienced by individuals and their particular connections to others--including myself. "Bunch of Big Babies" is in post-production for its first few episodes, and will be released serially across podcasting platforms soon. Check back here for more details, and please reach out to me on the Contact page with any questions, proposals for collaboration, or if you desire to be a guest on the podcast.

1,000,000 Blessings and May Your Day Not Be So Scary, Okay?