Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Marking the Days

Its been an interesting seven days.

Still reeling from an apocalyptic revelation two months ago that removed the veil from behind which I interpreted the entirety of my life until that point, I now approach daily life as something to be savoured. I can revel in the mundane. Chill out with the quotidian.

Sometimes the hard sciences can tell us things that provide coherence and certainty. Or is medicine a hard science at all? Or just another soft human science, and all the richer for that? Part of an evidential paradigm that has never really ossified into the purities of the empirical sciences? And are not the empirical observations of science not interpreted and communicated as cultural artifacts? Whatever they are, they "work", and I owe my life to them.

But back to the last seven days.

Wednesday and Thursday were uneventful, run of the mill workdays. Except for Wednesday's fine Thai buffet at lunchtime with Bomber.

Friday night I noticed an improvement in my throwing mechanics while battling with Bomber. Darts, innit?

Then the Human Paradox and I drained a couple more pitchers and pondered how best to storm the cultural ramparts of the city. And why not the world?

Over the weekend I unspooled some interesting films. I was excited about "Enter the Void". Gaspar Noe may not churn out titles at the velocity of a Steven Soderbergh, but the other two feature lengths on his filmography certainly made a visceral impact on me, and its been a long time since 2002. His first film primarily in English, it had its moments with some memorable images, which sometimes is all I need. But I found myself lapsing out now and again against the endless onslaught of otherwise bravura imagery and symbolism. Its a film with a big idea, however awkwardly The Tibetan Book of the Dead is introduced. That being said, it needs to be seen to be believed, whatever that old chestnut really means.

I also checked out "A Prophet", a gritty film from a French director who rarely releases a dud. Probably could have used some further editing, but otherwise I enjoyed it. An anthropological look at tensions within the criminal underworlds of French, Arab and Corsican lowlifes as well as a glimpse into the survival modes of a French prison, it also features all the markings of an entertaining crime story.

On Monday morning I was confronted with an invitation to write a "Written Communication Proficiency Test" in order to advance in a job competition. Since I had already written this thing over four years ago, and would likely not better that result, I declined to replace it. Supplying the evidence of such an event, however, is probably more effort than rewriting the exam. But I'm not taking a big chunk out of a Saturday to take the same test over again, especially when I battered it into submission the first time.

Tuesday afternoon I had to hustle down to the General Hospital to get an MRI. I generally appreciate medical technicians and the work that they do, but sometimes they carry a shitload of attitude, especially those that see an MRI in the same light as winning a lottery. No, what it means is that its not just a broken toe. I'd gladly trade in all those MRI's for a scenario in which the Interruptnum, whose remnants are acquiring an unwelcome permanence, had never happened. All in all, however, I'd have to say that my pitched campaign to partly restore my mind and body is going well, if unevenly. The Interruptnum also yielded some unintended consequences of its own that are going to make the rest of my life a better prospect. Although perhaps I am destined to inherit the nefarious fog that has enveloped my father. Or greet the medulla blastoma yet again in some dark alleyway. All the more reason to make the most of the time and abilities that I still have.

Tuesday night I managed to have a listen to the new album from an Austin, Texas band that announce themselves as Explosions in the Sky. As usual, it will take some repeated listening to fully get around it, but I liked what I was hearing. As with any piece of art, or culture, to use a less disputed term, unless one is forced to work at the process of interpretation or understanding, then its probably ephemeral and not worth the time. I was listening to this band quite a lot just before the Interruptnum, and they had not released anything since then.

Today, I made my way down to get fingerprinted so that my application to a higher security status could proceed to the processing stage. Caught in the evidential paradigm again. When did the superstitious parlour games of palmistry and chiromancy become legitimate heuristics of identity? In all the complexity of the human body, is the mark of individuality really to be found on our fingertips? Are we really all unique snowflakes? Are the Sedin twins really two different people? Long before fingerprinting, Leibniz argued that we each possess a recognizable individuality, however imperceptible in its minutiae. Maybe I don't have a doppelganger out there, living a life I'm not. Who is "Winning", to borrow from the unhinged idiom of one Carlos Estevez.

Tonight? Maybe there's a good hockey game on TV. Or I can hang up a copy of my fingerprint file on the wall, right beside my MRI image.


  1. "When did the superstitious parlour games of palmistry and chiromancy become legitimate heuristics of identity?" That may be the best written question I've heard in years. It seems though FE, your memories are catching up to you. No longer left with just the past. As though that interruptum is moving into the past and you're looking forward. Closer to now. Right on the edge of what was. Hmm. On the edge, where ya gotta be. Where we all gotta be.

  2. As one philosopher said on "days":

    "First boredom then beer. "

    Hey - whatever takes to storm the ramparts!

    Fingerprints and an MRI - that is awesome too.


  3. FEL,
    As the vog bears down on me like a flying daikaij┼ź, I find myself regally stranded in a present. I could use an allergy gallery like yours to help dilate the largely nostalgic narratives of my more orific pasts. For what ails ya, Dr. Lau prescribes Jennifer Hecht's book, 'The End of the Soul'. Could some of the answers you seek or your speculum beinnit?