My ferocious competitor in instant fiction, master of the flies and master of cognitive chaos, has changed the rules of the game. It is not to our advantage. We used to be able to make up stories, tongue in cheek, creating an alternative world to illuminate the real one in which we wake up every … Continue reading
Author Archives: joachim
So I curved my hand and left two spaces between my knuckles, and these should have produced two disks of light when exposed to the sun, but instead each became an image of the eclipse, and the incursion of the moon is interpreted as the direction of the movement of the eye.
Trump takes the wind out of my imagination, hence out of my responses to current affairs as a writer. I used to think satire is the way to go in dealing with things that are wrong in this world. Satire sharpens the thinking by pushing things into their extremes. “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift, … Continue reading
The reference problem is an old problem. We do measure the actions of people by norms that have been established before. All our actions, our pronouncements, are predicated on assumptions we all hold dear. Even satire requires a general system of reference to be heard and understood. Rogues are by definition people who defy norms. … Continue reading
Seeing a Litfass Säule in Krakow invoked childhood memories from Germany in the 50s where these advertisement columns were everywhere. These were large cylindrical columns made of concrete, erected for the mere purpose of acting as walls for advertisements, such as for concerts, circuses, lectures. Now with … Continue reading
The gallery is in a new building, in Manhattanville. I was the only visitor at that time. I took the picture from the side, to avoid glare. (It occurs to me now that the perspective distortion is a test of three-dimensionality. Hence … Continue reading
photograph of graffiti in Krakow, Poland In this competitive world — and “petty” is related to “competitive” for a reason — we must find our senses and our purpose. If after exercise we feel like shit, then we should listen. What else is out there? Have we missed something we saw as entirely tangential but … Continue reading
. Cowbird, Jonathan Harris’ website dedicated to the narration of stories of life, ceased to exist at the end of March after running for 5 years. I tremendously enjoyed contributing to it and interacting with people while it lasted. The reason was that I’ve always looked for a way to express myself in a way … Continue reading
. Birkenenau in German means a “meadow of birch trees,” just as Weidenau, the name of my home town, means a “meadow of willows.” Both conjure a beautiful, peaceful scene. But Birkenau, the bigger one of two Auschwitz camps created by the Nazis, is the most gruesome opposite of peace and serenity one could imagine. … Continue reading
(Puppets in the window of a shop in Krakow) . We all, or some of us, walk through this beautiful town thinking of a different kind of life. But what would that be? A few privileged people amassing a lot of power, their lackeys following each of their steps with forced adolation? Each display of … Continue reading
. Following is an exchange between me and Ricardo Nirenberg, editor of the OFFCOURSE literary magazine. Not trained in the Humanities, I was unaware of the vast body of human experience found in St. Augustine’s “Confessions,” and his obsession with the flesh. In both Ricardo’s reminiscences of himself as a thirteen year old and St. … Continue reading
In Stockholm, a Philately store bursting out of its seams. Tons of stamps, so many that there is only a narrow path inside the store to move about. And here he is again. He follows me. He cannot be undone. He cannot be unimagined. He is a perpetual curse of our past and future.
“The face is that of somebody you could come across in the Metro,” Dr. Hublin said. Dr. Hublin is quoted about the discovery of bones of H. sapience in Morocco going back 300,000 years, in today’s article in the New York Times. Now it is difficult for me to imagine such an encounter in … Continue reading
I haven’t posted for a while because I’ve been busy. But what interrupted the flow was a series of hacking attacks, which destroyed a number of posts and left me feeling violated, like after a robbery. It got so bad that I could not login to this site for fear of seeing more damage every … Continue reading
Sent to me by my friend Wolf Singer, just now.
. It occurred to me last night. There exists a formal analogy between Trump’s tweets and the grunts Kublai Khan emits as he comments on the presentation of his counselors in the TV series “Marco Polo.” Both Kublai Khan and Donald Trump are pompous potentates used to get their wishes fulfilled by underlings groveling up … Continue reading
On this infamous Monday, crooked Donald will be elected Crooked President of the United States by a crooked procedure that has its roots in the compromise between states that depended on slavery for their economic livelihood and states that did not. As Paul Krugman notes in today’s column, the very survival of democratic institutions is … Continue reading
So let’s see: Obama did not want to politicize the White House by involving it in the election, so he did not ring the bell when Russia blatantly interfered with this same election, an act of much more significance (as it appears to me) than Watergate. I’m trying to understand the thinking process that went … Continue reading
In the Hamilton’s Federal Papers, the one (#68) dealing with the election of a President, much quoted now since the Electors are supposed to be the last guard preventing a foreign power to meddle with the election, a remarkable passage caught my eye: “The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of … Continue reading
to Helen Rosenthal, New York City Council member, regarding a community forum she organized on December 8, 2016 at the John Jay College, Upper West Side: . Dear Helen: I don’t want to come across as ungrateful — I very much appreciate your initiative in organizing this event — but I walked out of it … Continue reading