For a long time now I have been trying to dig into herri. And I can see that the content is of high standard, the graphics and picture essays hilarious and moving. But I can’t quite get into it. Its probably me. Or the abundance of the site. Maybe the language and topics. I am positive that there is an audience and a need for it. But I do not believe I am that audience. Not now at least. Writing this I suddenly realise that I have never really liked websites. I mean: in general. Never also really understood the excitement about the medium. The longer I have to deal with them I get this feeling that it’s a trick being played, and it just doesn’t end. “Okay, and now show me the real thing!” my heart shouts. But it never comes. Digital media is to physical media – I feel – what pornography is to sex. It can be very seductive and not seldom better that the real thing, but it is very hard to interact with or grow an affection towards. Most of its impulses are a disguise for something else.
Oh boy… we are in such a deep crisis. It will take a Chinese flu to understand it. The abundance of these impulses is generally seen as progress but what progress is the abundance of the Amazon to a nectar craving Hummingbird? Call me old-fashioned but I like linearity. And I think that the Hummingbird does so too. There is nothing wrong with facts standing patiently in line.
“You don’t have to know everything, to understand anything.”
Browsing through a book and through a site is something different. I can browse through Helen Waddels’ Mediaeval Latin Lyrics randomly, but it does not change the linearity. It’s somewhat like sex with a beautiful lusty woman: you can bend her, slap her, squeeze her and tie her ankles to her wrists: the next morning she is again the same beginning and end she always was and ever will be. And another thing: if the Nile had been a website, the pyramids would never have been built.
Yes, we have to think about how to bend the minds. How to reconquer reality. The solution can only be simple and instantly understandable like a melody. (Napoleon said the revolution would not have happened without the Marseillaise .) Then again: the battle is lost anyway. That is: battles might be won, but the system can only be destroyed by itself. And it does not think kindly of survivors. Still, happy days what? I mean: being alive. We could easily not have been. And well yes this: I dearly miss awareness of vanity in herri. Then again: this is not a time and a place that yearns for irony.
I’m currently browsing through Hillaire Belloc’s Napoleon. Mainly trying to get his underlying drift. Written in ± 1930 it is covered in the gloom of the failure of the League of Nations after WW1 and in the inescapable doom of an approaching new cataclysm. He clearly sees, a 100 years later, the Napoleonic wars mainly as a class struggle. A fight for survival by the powers that be. An organised international sabotage of the revolution, and a liberation of the nation-state and all its repressive consequences. And Napoleon of course is a being of exceptional genius. The exception being that it came at exactly the right time and place. He did not waste his time. When one of his mistresses took too much time undressing he designed garter belts the next day that could be undone with a single movement, had them made and sent them to the mistress before their next rendezvous. Anyway: it’s a beautiful pink Albatros edition, printed in Germany 1933 by a Jewish printer. And now only costs me 1 euro.
In the train to Kampen today read a somewhat tedious biography of Mahler. (The name of the writer escapes me. It is bluehead in English. Perhaps Blaukopf.) A lot of pop psychology and all is explained because as a 13 year old boy Gustav saw a man fuck a girl. Interesting though is Mahler’s apparent keenness for contemporary physics. He was especially interested in a theory preceding quantum mechanics proposing that in an infinitely small space gravity would cease to exist. Apparently his 8th symphony is about that. Well. It’s much too late and I got up at 7 this morning. But the long day of travelling makes me restless and I cannot stop thinking about saving the world.