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Sun, moon and silhouettes

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — beautiful photography, alchemical significance ]
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Twin images from The Atlantic’s selection of photos for this week:

TOPSHOT – The Cristo Rey monument is silhouetted against the full moon in Cali, Colombia, early on June 17, 2019. (Photo by Luis ROBAYO / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images)

The sun sets behind a tattered windmill, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, near Tappen, N.D. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

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Why bother?

Why bother to show you these two images out of a waterfall of fine images?

Because somewhere within us, deep, psychologically speaking, there’s a desire for the consummation of a marriage between what the Chinese term the creative and receptive principles, here represented in an alchemical image by king and queen, silver and gold, sun and moon:

— don’t think — just enjoy!

We should start with Lenin musing on Beethoven

Saturday, February 2nd, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — music, mildness and massacres — do we have a scalpel that can peel the mildness back to explain where the massacres come from? ]
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Lenin listens, muses:

From the Russian film, Appassionate, Here’s Lenin listening and, towards the end, musing, to the music:

Vladimir Lenin asks Rudolf Kehrer to play Beethoven’s Appassionata, Piano Sonata no. 23, op. 57, and at the end says, ‘Nothing I know is better than the Appassionata’. … The footage comes from this rare film entitled Appassionata:

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Here’s the full Lenin quote:

I know of nothing better than the Appassionata and could listen to it every day. What astonishing, superhuman music! It always makes me proud, perhaps with a childish naiveté, to think that people can work such miracles! … But I can’t listen to music very often, it affects my nerves. I want to say sweet, silly things, and pat the little heads of people who, living in a filthy hell, can create such beauty. These days, one can’t pat anyone on the head nowadays, they might bite your hand off. Hence, you have to beat people’s little heads, beat mercilessly, although ideally we are against doing any violence to people. Hm — what a devilishly difficult job!

Some people already know this quote, some don’t.

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Here, Lang Lang plays Beethoven’s Appassionata in its colossal entirety:

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Mildness and massacres.

Hitler, who began as an art student, liked Wagner; Lenin liked Beethoven. Shall we blame classical music for the Shoah and Gulags?

Somehow, if we could peel back the mildness, we might find the massacres. Does anyone have a suitable psychiatric or spiritual scalpel?

Sunday surprise — jeeps with souls, telepathic cars

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — are the shows on TV the medium’s waking life, and advertisements its dreams? ]
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My mom was Freedom, and my dad, Adventure. They baptized me in mud and christened me on rock, so I got tougher, they fostered a love of learning so I got smarter, taught me to appreciate the finer things in life sp I became more civilized and refined. Thank you, Freedom and Adventure, for giving me this rugged, civilized, wandering soul..

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.. we’re helping to give cars the power to read your mind from anywhere ..

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A Jeep is machinery, an engine, a tool, a prosthetic — but now it has a soul — how was that achieved. Is it a shiny new species of Golem? Did someone breathe the Name into it? And the car that Dell is teaching to read minds — does it too have a soul?

I appreciate Dell, am now on my second or fifth Dell laptop, and I once rolled a Jeep over, and myself and senior son escaped with barely a scratch between the pair of us. It was one of those California days, the road slick with first rain, and I wrote 150 pages for DC charitable NGO as court-required penance.

My intent is not to knock (diss) Dell or Jeep — in fact I appreciate their products and admire the skills displayed by their advertising agencies — but simply to point up the quasi-spiritual ways in which these ads present cars. There are good insights into humanity, in fact, to be found in these depictions of machines.

Here’s to (human) real-life civilized, wandering souls!

Enquirer Cover, Playboy Centerfold &c

Monday, August 27th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — not hookers: one Playmate, one porn star, both sex-workers of one or another kind ? ]
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Pravda on the Checkout Line – nice title — Politico Magazine — note last on the right, middle row

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In Scaramucci on symmetry, I quoted James Fallows:

I argue that “projection,” in the psychological sense, is the default explanation for anything Donald Trump says or does.

Projection means deflecting any criticism (or half-conscious awareness) of flaws in yourself by accusing someone else of exactly those flaws. Is Trump’s most immediately obvious trait his narcissistic and completely ungoverned temperament? (Answer: yes.) By the logic of projection, it thus makes perfect sense that he would brag that he has “the greatest temperament” and judgment, and criticize the always-under-control Hillary Clinton for hers.

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I just came across what looks to me like a perfect example of Trumpian projection — if you’ll grant me that Trump, via his friendship with David Pecker, the publisher of the National Enquirer, proactively influences the front page of that rag-mag.

Here we go:

last on the right, middle row, above — a closer look, a clearer image

See there at the foot of the page?

She Ordered Me To — pay HUSH MONEY to hookers

That’s under a general header:

24 Years of Cover Ups and Crimes Exposed

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Oh dear, and Donald Trump, according to the sworn testimony of Michael Cohen, his personal attorney, in Federal Court, caused considerable moneys to be paid to at least two young ladies, one a porn star and director, the other a Playboy Playmate of the Year if that falls under a different category, to buy their respective silences on his alleged affairs with them, the payments being made in time to avoid any sordid revelations in the immediate run-up to the 2016 election..

Time, methinks, for the Enquirer to rerun that front page with a few of the details switched to reflect the Federal-bench-approved Truth.

Reciprocal: a term for form, symmetry, balance — and beyond

Monday, August 13th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — weaving a web of mirrors, echos, neurons and mimetics ]
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Magic: the Gathering — the game designers know this pattern well!

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The Far Right And Reciprocal Radicalisation

Could fragmentation within the Far-Right contribute to increasingly extreme responses to Islamist terrorism? There is increasing evidence of instrumental responses from some of the most extreme groups, which seek to encourage the strategic use of violence.

Reciprocal radicalisation, or cumulative extremism, is a concept that suggests extremist groups become more extreme in response to each other’s activity. This means a group may frame violence as justified or necessary because they perceive an opposing group as extreme. Identifying how to respond to such a dynamic has become increasingly important, as terrorist threats from both Far-Right and Islamist groups increase, alongside increased hate crime and group membership.

The nature of siloing would encourage a focus on ISIS violence alone, a terrorism subset of natsec foreign policy, or on alt-right violence alone, a terrorism subset of natsec interior policy, thus remaining blind to the possibility that the two comprise a whole system, with systemic interactions between the two. The UK Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats report whose header and intro paragraph I’m quoting here is dealing with a pattern in that system, huzzah.

Such patterns — true reciprocity, which is a form of mirroring, and the kind of escalating reciprocity described here, which is more like an echo chamber with built-in feedback loop, are significant both because they cross-pollinate silos, in a system-friendly way, but also because they offer hints of a pattern language of forms that can be watched for and cataloged.

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Wilder speculation:

Speaking of mirroring — other readings of mine recently have brought to my attention the intersection of two “hot” fields of study — mirror neurons as a biological substrate for much in human behavior, including our propensity of violence, and Rene Girard’s mimetics as a psychological substrate for much in human nature, including our propensity of violence..

The conjunction of the two, which I intuited, is explored in Vittorio Gallese, The Two Sides of Mimesis: Girards Mimetic Theory, Embodied Simulation and Social Identification.

Again, we have a creative leap, again we have silo-crossing, and again mirroring is the form that lies behind the analogical possibility that creates the possibility of the leap.


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