larvatus: (rock)
Kremlin papers reveal Lenin the head banger


Lenin, one the most powerful leaders of the last century, was a problem child who slammed his head on the ground to demand attention, claims a new biography.
    Details of Lenin’s troubled early life were discovered in the handwritten memoirs of his elder sister Anna, which had been censored after his death and stored in sealed vaults under the Kremlin.
    The disclosures will further unravel the official account promoted by the communist government, which portrayed him as a saintly purist, far removed from the weaknesses and foibles of ordinary men.
    The memoirs reveal that the young Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, later known as Lenin, had short, weak legs and a large head that made him top heavy and caused him to fall over. He was unable to walk until he was three. When he fell over he would bang his head on the ground in frustration. “The wooden structure of the house made it into an echo chamber and the floors and walls resounded as the little fellow went on crashing his head on the carpet — or even the floorboards,” wrote Anna, who was six years older.
    Lenin’s parents were deeply concerned that he would end up mentally retarded. As well as his headbanging habit, Lenin had boisterous and destructive tendencies which upset his cultured family. “It was such obsessive behaviour that the family were very worried,” said Robert Service, author of the biography which will be published later this month.
    “He was very noisy and extremely disruptive as a child.”
    At three, he stamped all over his brother’s collection of theatre posters. His parents gave him a papier-mâché horse for his birthday but he twisted its legs off one by one. After Lenin’s death in 1924, anything that might have been perceived as even mildly critical was censored. As the Communist party developed the cult of Lenin, personal details vanished. His sister abandoned the drafts of her memoirs, which contained frank details of his personal life that she knew would not pass the censor. They remained locked in the Kremlin until discovered by Service after the fall of the communist state in 1991.
    “What has been brought out is how spoilt the little brat was by all the women around him,” said Dominic Lieven, professor of Russian history at the London School of Economics. “This family correspondence gives you an awful lot of little insights into the hatreds which boiled up inside him, as well as the strength of his personality.”
    Service has played an important role in uncovering the Kremlin’s secrets since he was granted access to its archives. Three years ago he revealed that Lenin kept his mistress in the Kremlin alongside his rejected wife.
— Tom Robbins, The Sunday Times (UK), 12 March 2000
larvatus: (Default)
Registrant:
larvatus prodeo

7576 Willow Glen Road
Los Angeles, California 90046
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Administrative Contact:
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larvatus prodeo
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Technical Contact:
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larvatus prodeo
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larvatus: (rock)
Nos femmes prennent tout notre argent pour rester avec nous, tandis que nos putes en prennent un peu pour nous quitter. Lesquelles font donc la meilleure affaire?


Frans de Geetere, Une prostituée et son client, les années 1930s

Nous répétons après Samuel Johnson, qu’un second mariage est le triomphe de l’espoir sur l’expérience. Mais même si on ne peut pas se plonger deux fois de suite dans la même rivière, aucune force de la nature ne lui interdit pas de pisser à chaque fois dans le même égout. De même la facilité de faire renaître une vieille haine contraste avec la difficulté de renouveler une vieille amitié. À cet égard, nos amours sont plus proches des égouts que des rivières.


Basile Poukireff, L’Union mal assortie, 1862
larvatus: (Default)
—for Michael Wong

A college student was walking past a butcher’s shop. His appetite whetted by the display of thick and juicy, well marbled prime steaks in its window, the hungry scholar entered the shop and inquired about their price. “Ten dollars a pound”, said the elderly butcher. The youth assessed his finances, which barely sufficed to purchase hamburger at one tenth the price, and beat a hasty retreat.

Over the next thirty years, his appetite for fresh meat never abated. He studied and worked hard and traveled far and wide to rise in the world, all so that he could afford to consume the finest viands. And so, upon belatedly returning to his college town on a business trip, he drifted towards the old butcher shop next to the campus. To his surprise, the quaint boutique was no more, supplanted by a high-rise that housed a fashionable supermarket. He approached the meat counter and asked for a thick slab of prime steak. “Sorry”, said the pierced and tattooed metrosexual meat expert, “we only carry organic, grass-fed Angus beef.”

The businessman surveyed dainty pink slices artfully arrayed in the brightly lit cooler. They were nothing like the corn-fed prime cuts glowing in his mind’s eye. He looked around and saw himself surrounded by trim and chatty whippersnappers lining up for healthful foodstuffs under the guidance of their appropriately gendered and similarly aged companions. He recalled his trophy girlfriend barely half his age, delicately nibbling on exotic delicacies that suited her size zero figure. He pondered the time he spent at the gym to stay ahead of her contemporaries nibbling at his heels. And he realized that under the laws of supply and demand, the likes of the prime meat of his youth had long since been shat out into the sewer.

larvatus: (Default)
28 October 2010, 19:44 p.m. around 4759-4799 Prospect Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027, heading east in a red 2005 Cadillac CTS-V, about to turn left on N. Vermont Ave following an LA Metro 180/181 bus, followed by a Toyota sedan. All windows in my car are down, Nick Cave’s “John Finn’s Wife” blaring out. A stocky tattooed skinhead runs up to the driver’s door and reaches inside:
—Let me in, let me in, they’re going to shoot me!
—What do you think I’m going to do with this?
(This is my SIG P49 with its hammer cocked and safety off, held across my chest aimed at his sternum.)
—Let me in, let me in!
I thrust the gun into the window:
—Don’t repeat yourself. Fight or run.
The spaz staggers back and slows down long enough for me to follow the Metro bus up Vermont.

Lesson taught: An unarmed carjacker in Hollywood goes home empty-handed.
Lesson learned: Pack a big gun. I’d rather drive away than shoot an unarmed man. To that end, I wouldn’t have wanted to back up my commands with anything smaller than a service pistol.
larvatus: (rock)


The last time my father stood next to me, he was ringing your doorbell and telling you that we loved you. The next day you scraped our child out of your womb.

Leonardo da Vinci, Feto umano nell’utero, 1511

That was nearly five years ago. Now you complain that I am harming you. You have failed at forcing the issue. You are begging me to desist. But I am not doing anything wrong. Nor am I harming you. If you want me to do your bidding, you must understand my reasons and convince me of your understanding. If you can feel remorse, we may benefit from conversation. If you stand on your rights, we have nothing to discuss.
    You offer my survival in some good memories. You offer kindness and a possible friendship. But how you remember me is your business. Your kindness last screeched at me amid 57th Street. Neither of us is good at friendship. I am sorry to hear about your father’s recent death. I offer you my condolences and appreciation of your effort to be responsible. But your responsibility is impossible without remorse. You will be responsible for people who love you; you are sorry if you have hurt me; you are deeply sorry for the baby; but you obsess about your reputation. You will say anything to forget our catastrophe. Is that what you call making peace with the past? You seem to be susceptible to shame. Think of it as your medicine meant to elicit remorse in regard to our common history.
    There are two innocent victims in our story. Neither of us is one. But my guilt is not an issue in what you want from me. Refusal is my right. You have two ways of getting past it: either persuade me that satisfying you is the right thing to do or offer me something I want in return. You want to move on. You claim that my account deters you from doing so. It does nothing of the sort. I am nowise deterred by Usenet libel claiming that I fucked a dog. You are displeased with my versiculi. But pleasure is not your right. And I am nowise obliged to concern myself with whatever pleases you.
    You need to be jarred from complacency. You have cancer of the soul. Your anguish is its symptom. I live with your disparagement. You could likewise live with my diagnosis. Your discomfort stems from recognizing its truth. You suffer from a spiritual malignancy. Seek to cure the disease, not to palliate the symptom.
    I mean to be therapeutic for both of us. I could be wrong. But you haven’t begun to persuade me of my error. As to your offers, I doubt that you have anything I want. But it doesn’t hurt to try. This is not an issue of sexual deviance. Your love of pain was entertaining. Its frustration of your own aims did not stand between us. Nor am I concerned with your failure to live up to your role models of Sex in the City, that bevy of time-worn bags traipsing around Manhattan in search of a steady regimen of penetration. You relate to women even more tenuously than you do to men. You could have friends through interest in people for their own sake, or through interests shared with other people. Neither of us is good at caring for people. But you also lack concerns that might ally you with others. You fail at concentration. Your attractions are notional. You imagine yourself in life and work without realizing any role. You have dabbled in marriage and yearned after motherhood, just as you have dabbled in design and yearned after commerce. You avoid sustained effort. You must work for a living, and you are content with the minimum of work that will keep you alive. Millions of others live like that. Unlike them, you refuse to make peace with mediocrity. You admire the drive towards betterment but fail to keep up on its path. Things get too complicated. Progress is too much to bear. It’s fun to whine about aimlessness and regret childlessness. It’s a drag to create a business or stay the course to become a mother.

Johanna Schwarzbeck, AFTER ABORTION, 1993

You might look up Johanna. She is your kindred soul, supplementing sex in the city with syringes. Even closer to your home comes a movie about a Chinese woman who seeks to reverse the effects of aging by consuming her own foetus. The only side effect of her success is a fishy body odor. George Orwell observed that “in the West we are divided from our fellows by our sense of smell”. As an exile from ideology, I prefer to divide myself from the advocates of class struggle and gender privilege. Tyranny stinks. I accept the attribution of foetal cannibalism to domination by the Chinese Communist regime. The party rules you to this day. In your doctrinary moods, you always had issues with my material comforts. But the roots of your resentment may be more ancient. Think of Euripides’ Medea, the tale of a woman who kills her own children in order to punish their father Jason for trying to start a new family. Medea addresses grieving Jason at verse 1396, which David Kovacs translates as: “Your mourning has yet to begin. Wait until old age.” The Greek original is twice as concise:
Μήδεια: οὔπω θρηνεῖς: μένε καὶ γῆρας.
Medea: [not yet adv] [sing a dirge, wail verb 2nd sg pres ind act]: [await, expect verb 2nd sg pres imperat act] [and conj] [old age noun sg neut acc]
You may have fancied yourself unwittingly, Medea to my Jason. Perhaps you deserve to address me as ψευδόρκου καὶ ξειναπάτου, breaker of [my] own oath and deceiver of a stranger. For my part, I broke nothing and deceived no one. Perhaps you fear running out of chances upon reaching your fifth decade. For my part, every day brings new beginnings. Your dirge is unripe. Oupô thrêneis: mene kai gêras.
    Perhaps Latin will suit you better than Greek. In his speech for Aulus Cluentius in 66 B.C., Cicero recalls a certain Milesian woman convicted of a capital crime for an abortion that she brought on by medicines, having been bribed to do so by those who stood to inherit the father’s estate in the absence of his unborn child. And rightly so, says he, inasmuch as she had abolished the hope of the father, the memory of his name, the supply of his race, the heir of his family, a prospective citizen of the republic. But as the great orator wrote to Atticus seventeen years later, in the midst of a civil war that doomed his republican cause, ut aegroto, dum anima est, spes esse dicitur. It is said that for a sick man, there is hope as long as there is life. Set aside the rest of the story, from Pompey’s flight from Italy to the ensuing display of Cicero’s hands and head on the Rostra in the Forum. You may yet redeem your errors. If you could save three lives, you would restore the balance. Let me know how it goes. If you can take my help, I will give it.
larvatus: (rock)
     cum suis vivat valeatque moechis,
quos simul complexa tenet trecentos,
nullum amans vere, sed identidem omnium
ilia rumpens;

nec meum respectet, ut ante, amorem,
qui illius culpa cecidit velut prati
ultimi flos, praetereunte postquam
tactus aratro est.
     Memoria teneo Milesiam quandam mulierem, cum essem in Asia, quod ab heredibus secundis accepta pecunia partum sibi ipsa medicamentis abegisset, rei capitalis esse damnatam; nec iniuria quae spem parentis, memoriam nominis, subsidium generis, heredem familiae, designatum rei publicae civem sustulisset.
I recall that, when I was in Asia, a certain Milesian woman was convicted of a capital crime, because she had brought on abortion by medicines, having been bribed to do so by the heirs next in line; and rightly so, inasmuch as she had abolished the hope of the father, the memory of his name, the supply of his race, the heir of his family, a prospective citizen of the republic.

 — for R..... Y.... W...    


City bustle. Fading light.
You’ll have company tonight.
At your service, all your men.
They will make you whole again.

Rig your hopes and tell you lies.
Bust a nut between your thighs. 
Fart and snore and pay no heed
While dreams dwindle and recede.

Others not so long ago
Lit you up and made you glow,
Nights fulfilled you, but the dawn
Found you wan and woebegone.

Lest your gloom ensued in spawn
Its conclusion got withdrawn:
Scrape the foetus from within,
Glom more solace for your skin.

City bustle. Fading light.
You will sleep alone tonight.
One good woman, no good men.
Love can’t make you whole again.
Amours de voyage I have allowed myself to call them, as distinguished from the love we may have for localities wherein our everyday lot is cast.”
— Vernon Lee, Genius Loci, 1898
larvatus: (MZ)
    A recent Wikipedia controversy concerns claims of Blixa Bargeld, the leader of pop music ensemble Einstürzende Neubauten, having married Erin Zhu for money that she earned under her father and ex-boyfriend Min Zhu, thoroughly degraded in the wake of his recent banishment as an executive and director of WebEx, an Internet conferencing company that he had co-founded. The attached emails shed light on these events.
    At the time these emails were written, Erin Zhu described Michael Zeleny to all and sundry as her best friend, encouraged him to read her amorous correspondence, and sought out his advice in connection with wooing her illustrious beloved. Copies of these emails remain on file as public record. They can be found in the Santa Clara Superior Court case files of Zeleny v. Zhu & WebEx, Zelyony v. Zhu, and Affeld v. Zhu, all settled by the defendants in 2004. Erin Zhu has authenticated them under oath in her depositions taken in these cases.

Erin Zhu and Blixa Bargeld

    Erin’s narratives lend themselves to fascinating sound bites that shed light on the juncture between victimology and starfucking:
I was not born and raised a nice girl — after all I am my father’s daughter, and I inherited so much from him, his murderous rage, his overwhelming ambitions, his sarcastic contempt, his sadistic streak.
I will not be a monster like my father; I am determined and sure of that much.
— Erin Zhu to Blixa Bargeld, 25 Nov 99 20:14:42 PST
She then explains the monstrosity:
the summer when I was fourteen, my father suddenly changed his tune when my mother left for an extended visit to China. he took off my clothes, praised my naked form held up to a bathroom mirror, and devoured my body with his lust.
I wanted to die; I tried to kill. I did not succeed in either.
— Erin Zhu to Blixa Bargeld, 27 Dec 99 13:40:45 PST
Shortly after presenting her childhood rape claims against Min Zhu Erin accepts her parents’ offer of fraudulent settlement. The next day she informs her beloved:
I have always identified myself with creative, bohemian, fringe elements of society, yet I was driving to a local office of a major investment bank the other day to meet a vice president from their “private wealth management” division.
— Erin Zhu to Blixa Bargeld, 21 Mar 00 04:14:11 PST
The next week, Erin signs the settlement papers. The same day she tells Blixa Bargeld how she made her fortune:
What happened? I sold the technology for the main business I was working on to a Hollywood-backed Internet entertainment site that is going public in a couple of months. As with all such deals, since what I actually get is primarily in their stock, the final price is highly variable and still unknown at this time, I won’t have much cash probably until the end of the year, and it’s unlikely that what I built will actually see the light of day since they bought me out to eliminate competition. But even so, even after paying off the legal teams and the investors and the huge amount that goes to taxes, assuming the stock market and economy does not completely crash this year, I will have enough left to never have to work for money again.
— Erin Zhu to Blixa Bargeld, 30 Mar 00 20:17:31 PST
And she never did. Erin Zhu married Blixa Bargeld soon after her financial disclosures. As described in the referenced lawsuits, the newlyweds celebrated their nuptials by maxing out the credit card that Isaak Zelyony had loaned to Erin to tide her over while she was waiting for her blood money from Min Zhu. Since then, Einstürzende Neubauten has credited her as their executive producer and webmaster.
    The Mounties always get their man.


Received: from 204.68.24.39 by www0j for [209.79.189.211] via web-mailer(M3.3.1.96) on Mon Dec 27 21:40:45 GMT 1999
Date: 27 Dec 99 13:40:45 PST
From: Eryn Zhu
To: Blixa Bargeld
Subject: loneliness
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kills the soul, they say.

what can they know of it, I wonder, they who have never lived
in my skin, listened to my thoughts, dreamed in my mind? yet
they are able to write about loneliness with such conviction,
such empathy, that even from the distance of the printed page
I am touched by the spirit of their words, and find my own
loneliness eased by the distant sharing.

such are the powers of the word, the thought rendered concrete,
so that even without its original human context, displaced by
the passage of time, flattened into the rigid form of text,
ghosts of strangers from bygone eras can whisper in my ear and
remind me more acutely of my ties to the rest of humanity than
all the flesh and blood people I live amongst.

once upon a time when I still lived in China, I wanted to be a
writer; the cultural and linguistic uprooting and the demands
of practicality managed to put an end to that soon after.
perhaps I will want to be a writer again. perhaps I will try
to write. I have always been more comfortable in the realm of
pure thoughts and words than anything material; the result of
many years of living in my head and feeling detached from my
body, I suppose.

in my occasional forays into philosophy I'd always been
fascinated by the eternal questions around the mind and truth:
the mind body duality, the question of other minds, the
paradox of the liar, etc. I have never felt a great deal of
necessary connection between my mind and my body; never mind
the question of which body part(s) the essential "I" may or
may not live in, it seems a purely accidental fact that I
even come bundled with this physical shape. yet I suspect
that I would cease to exist if this body died... the other
questions are somewhat easier to resolve: I can escape
solipsism because I have met enough people out there who do
not think in a way that I understand at all; I can deal with
the liar paradox by turning to the meta-theories of mathematics.

I have never been particularly comfortable with my body.
since I was a child my parents told me that I was plain,
that my face deviated in too many ways from the Chinese
standards of beauty. when I reached puberty I was told that
I'd have to rely on my brains to make my way in the world,
since I'd never get anywhere based on my looks. so I wore
my brother's castoff clothes, sympathized with the ugly
stepsisters, and never dreamed of handsome princes on white
horses.

the summer when I was fourteen, my father suddenly changed
his tune when my mother left for an extended visit to China.
he took off my clothes, praised my naked form held up to a
bathroom mirror, and devoured my body with his lust.
I wanted to die; I tried to kill. I did not succeed in either.
instead I learned to disassociate my mind, to build walls in
my head so that I do not feel.

I live with the residuals to this day: a lingering discomfort
with my body; the need to retain control, and an inability to
stop thinking, even in the most intimate situations; a body
that cannot feel pleasure with anybody I did not completely
trust. The latter has been remarkably effective in protecting
my virtue: the few attempts I'd made at casual sex ended as
spectacular failures.

maybe this helps explain why I did not expect to sleep with
you in New York; and why I said that I did not, generally
speaking, trust men. trust makes me vulnerable, a condition
I react badly to because I have been scarred before. until
you touched me, I did not think that I would trust you: my
body is a drawbridge to my soul and I am not in the habit of
granting entry to strangers.

I don't quite know why an exception was made for you; that's
one reason why I keep writing, I suppose, and why I want to
know you better.

I don't know how meaningful it is to you, that you are one of
only a few people in the world that I trust, and none of them
my own family.

I hope you will not give me cause for regret.

perhaps I've said too much already?

Erin


____________________________________________________________________
Get your own FREE, personal Netscape WebMail account today at http://webmail.netscape.com.



Received: from 204.68.24.51 by www0v for [209.79.189.211] via web-mailer(M3.3.1.96) on Fri Nov 26 04:14:42 GMT 1999
Date: 25 Nov 99 20:14:42 PST
From: Eryn Zhu
To: Blixa Bargeld
Subject: memories
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Crossing the busy streets of Hong Kong the other day, my mother
held on to my hand, a gesture that reversed roles we'd played
so long ago. She trusts me, her estranged and prodigal daughter,
to guide her safely around the reckless vehicles, I think to
myself, and am strangely touched by the thought. I had never
been particularly close to my mother; growing up she had always
openly favored my brother, and had little patience or affection
for me. It was only after I'd left home and became a grown
woman that she started making overtures of friendship. To think
that we had to come half a world away to renew the tenuous ties
of blood between us...

It surprises me still, how much I want her to at least accept me
and approve of what I do, even after all these years when I told
myself that I did not care.

She and I sat in the dark watching the glittering Hong Kong
skyline, and spoke of our disparate rememberances of the past.
Left unspoken between us was the fact that neither of us could
think of any happy memories of my childhood. She told stories
of me as a baby; I told her small pieces of triumph from my
more recent past; the long years that stretched between age three
through sixteen went untouched, bypassed with a shake of the
head and mutterings of "there were historical reasons"...

Eventually she wanted to know if I was going to find myself a
nice boy, preferably Asian of course. I did not have the words
to tell her what I thought: I lived with a nice boy, mama;
when I found myself more lonely in his arms than without I told
him to leave... He was too nice for me, mama; I could not even
tell him what I really thought for fear of damaging him. I was not
born and raised a nice girl -- after all I am my father's daughter,
and I inherited so much from him, his murderous rage, his
overwhelming ambitions, his sarcastic contempt, his sadistic streak. Sure,
talk to my friends and acquaintances and they will tell you, I
am a nice person, considerate of other people's feelings, loyal to
my friends, generous with my money and assistance, though somewhat
anti-social and a persistent loner. Little do they know the degree
of control I maintain to lock away the undesirable impulses; it is
after all better for me to turn away and seek refuge in my books and
my work than take it out on real live people.

I will not be a monster like my father; I am determined and sure of
that much. I also cannot, I discovered, live with a man who does not
have a basis for understanding why I wake up with violent nightmares
and the constant restraint I exercise to not hurt him. And I do not
want anyone that reminds me of my father, of course... So I keep to
myself a great deal, and give my mother a vague little response about
how I am in no hurry.

You asked me once why I wrote to you; I've met very few people in my
life that can understand the contradictions in my head. That I am
aware of, and am drawn to, many dark areas of the human psyche,
but am sufficiently rational and responsible to be a good person.
That I have faith in basic human decency, even though I did not come
to that by way of innocent naivete or blind religious compliance.
And I thought that perhaps there was a slim chance that you might
understand, that communication might be possible despite the vast
ocean of differences between us. That would be worth far more to me
than any sort of physical intimacy. Does this make any sense?

I think I've said enough for now.

yours,
Erin



Received: from 204.68.24.50 by www0u for [207.214.220.88] via web-mailer(M3.3.1.96) on Tue Mar 21 12:14:11 GMT 2000
Date: 21 Mar 00 04:14:11 PST
From: Eryn Zhu
To: Blixa Bargeld
Subject: me, myself, and I
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Forgive me for returning to the format of a monologue about
my life and state of mind.

It is 3:30 in the morning, I've recently awaken after a couple
of hours of sleep with a vague feeling of dread, and know from
experience that I must keep myself awake until this state passes
or else my slumber would be disturbed by fullbown nightmares.
The curse of memory, of the past clinging to life in the hours
when the unconscious rules supreme.

In my late teens I was forced to re-evaluate almost everything
I thought to be self-evident about myself and my life because
of some choices I had made; but I was a poor student then,
my head filled with dreams of Platonic ideals, and many decisions
were easy.

The past several months, I have felt the need to reconsider the
distance between my present reality, my perception of myself,
and the possibilities for the future. The gap between reality
and perception is perhaps the most troublesome. It exhibits
itself in small things, for example in my conscious appreciation
of sleek wide open modern architectural styles of steel,
concrete, glass, and wood, but at home I find myself most
comfortable when I have a cozy area to curl up with a book. Or
the fact that I have always identified myself with creative,
bohemian, fringe elements of society, yet I was driving to a
local office of a major investment bank the other day to meet
a vice president from their "private wealth management" division.
Or for that matter, me thinking that I might like to settle down
into comfortable couplehood, while in fact turning away several
possibly realistic boys and finding myself attracted to someone
completely unsuitable.

So: I will be taking the occasion of my upcoming birthday to
contemplate an alignment between perception and reality -- to
figure out not just who I want to be, but who I should be, and
to impose that over all relevant aspects of my life, in both
action and desires. Whether it's my Asian need for spiritual
exercise, or an unrequited manifestation of dialectical
materialism, I cannot say.

Perhaps it is only the brightness of the full moon high in the
heavens, which for the Chinese has always been a bringer of
melancholy meditations and homesickness.

regards,
Erin

____________________________________________________________________
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Date: 30 Mar 00 20:17:31 PST
From: Eryn Zhu
To: Blixa Bargeld
Subject: backwards glance
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Dear Blixa,

Thank you for your note.

I'm back at home. Signed the papers, drank a glass of
champagne, sold out successfully.

What happened? I sold the technology for the main business
I was working on to a Hollywood-backed Internet
entertainment site that is going public in a couple of
months. As with all such deals, since what I actually
get is primarily in their stock, the final price is
highly variable and still unknown at this time, I won't
have much cash probably until the end of the year, and
it's unlikely that what I built will actually see the
light of day since they bought me out to eliminate
competition. But even so, even after paying off the
legal teams and the investors and the huge amount that
goes to taxes, assuming the stock market and economy does
not completely crash this year, I will have enough left
to never have to work for money again.

It feels very strange to be sitting here on the last day
of my 25th year waiting for that fact to actually sink in.
It is a problem with the modern economy that I don't even
have anything more concrete than sheets of paper to make
it feel more real.

I am sorry I have been so touchy and on edge recently;
this entire process has been very wearing on my nerves.

And I miss you.

Erin

____________________________________________________________________
Get your own FREE, personal Netscape WebMail account today at http://webmail.netscape.com.
larvatus: (rock)

William Hogarth, The Tête à Tête, No. 2 from the Marriage à la Mode series
    A month ago, you reminded me that you loved me and proposed the conditions for our peaceful and lasting marriage. Since then, we have had several conversations, wherein you underwent many reversals. Herewith my conclusion.
    You say that you respect and love my deep soul. You also complain that I am not good at dealing with reality. You have made these statements many times in the past. Neither of them gets us anywhere. As you agree, professions of love and respect cannot serve as a foundation for a family. Whereas your conditions for reforming my character are impossible to fulfill. My life plans are not well served by your injunction to behave normally. Catering to my social inclinations is less important to me that fulfilling my productive potential. I value attending to my existing relations over making new friends. I go about enjoying my leisure and indulding my aggression, as I see fit and as others require. Although I prefer to abstain from volunteering disparagement, I will not supplant it with flattery in response to solicitations of my complimentary opinions. I am better off without the company that falls by the wayside as a result of asking for and receiving a piece of my mind.
    Neither will I use rudeness and politeness as social crutches. The responsibilities that I cherish in attending to a friend or serving a client do not translate into an aptitude to flatter a boss. I believe in extending every courtesy to those whom I engage to serve me, and absolute contempt to those who would coopt me into unmerited service to them. I will not be a boor or a toady in order to cater to conventions. In order to work inside my head, I need peace and solitude far more than social approval. If that creates an intractable problem for you, we cannot live together. To take one example, my living arrangements are not as flexible as you wish. I prefer to stay in my house, even if that is not an essential requirement. I could rent it out and move into a smaller place. But I would never live in the conditions that you find so appealing. I have lived in many apartments. I have dealt with many landlords. I would sooner move into a trailer park than deal with either of these encumbrances. If you insist on your mate partaking of your relentless dedication to the lifestyle of a new immigrant, you should seek him in their midst.
    I disagree that money runs everything in the U.S. If that were the case, I would never have reached the far side of revenge against an adversary that exceeds my net worth a thousandfold. But by your own token, I have enough money to get most things that I want. I certainly have enough to create and sustain an environment for promoting a peaceful mind. I have no interest in hitching up with a woman, only to send her out to work on making and managing money. My family assets suffice to take care of things in any number of ways. If I need more money, I can earn it by writing, as I have done since I turned 19. I like working. I like helping others. I have no problem with doing it for money. On the other hand, I am not attracted to career women. I relate badly to worker bees resigned to vocational mediocrity. Least of all would I agree to delegate to my mate my duties to reshape and respond to reality and my authority over its choices and outcomes.
    You offer to take care of me, so that I take care of you. I do not regard this bargain as a good premiss for marriage. In fact, I do not accept any kind of bargaining as a good premiss for cordial relations. Its application to this end leaves them devoid of positive content. All that remains is the reliance on the penalties owed for its breach. Only lawyers and judges stand to benefit from this arrangement. Hooking up for good cannot originate in looking forward to the breakup. You cannot honor responsibility through avoiding penalties for its breach.
    My choice originates at the other end, in unconditional giving. Marriage is anything but a state of legal, moral, or physical freedom. It is not a mercantile exchange of benefits. It begins and ends in mutual surrender. Mutual aid is a consequence of this surrender. Its expectation is powerless to engender any human institution worth preserving in the face of adversity. If you insist on basing all your relations on a quid pro quo, if you must safeguard your basic human need against all compromise, you should never be married.
    Humans are not fit to emulate sympathetic musical strings vibrating in unison, or mountains arrayed in stately repose by each other’s side. We are rough, restless, and erratic. Our relationships cannot warrant taking any of their terms for granted. You seek to have your insecurities attended on demand. You yearn to be aloof whenever you need to come back to your senses. No one can secure your entitlement to such opportunities. You would be much better served by resolving your insecurities and refusing to get upset. The accommodations that you desire might find their fulfillment in hired help. But personal relationships cannot be governed by the norms of professional conduct. Intimacy is a constant gamble. Every so often, you will lose in your turn. In particular, the duties of parenthood stand at odds with your conditions for freedom and security. If it is so hurtful to your physical and mental health to be upset and nervous, to find yourself desperately struggling with a grown man, you are not prepared to have a child. You aborted your pregnancy in response to a row over a bowl of chicken soup. What would you do to your child upon finding it at fault for destroying something of real value? The hysterics that I absorb as an adult without further ado would break a minor forced to depend upon you in every important way. Your expectation of marital bonds cannot sustain the burdens of owning a dog.
    Your behavior reflects this deficiency. You seek my respect for your family even as you pursue your twisted fantasies about my relations. Perhaps we differ in this regard. I make jokes about everything. It is my way of coping with reality. Before promising my father on his deathbed that I would take care of my mother, I reproached him as a bad Jew, for entering the crematorium before passing through the gas chamber. You, on the other hand, appear to be dead serious in expressing your wish that my cousin would lose her husband so that I could marry her. Whether or not you mean what you say, what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander. Whatever happened between your parents in their marriage, appears to have left you as unfit as I am to familial pieties. Whether or not this condition leaves room for creating a happy family your own is another matter.
    You berate me for my fear factor and denounce my death wish. Make up your mind: either I am afraid of dying, or I choose death over life. In either case, I am what I am. I define my comfort, my vocation, and my security. I honor my duties to myself, my family, my friends, and my neighbors. I choose to go forth armed. My choice assumes my responsibility for others. I do not make it lightly. I understand that you are uncomfortable about that. You have expressed your misgivings for many of my choices and preferences. You know that I have accommodated you in many of them. But this one is non-negotiable. It is not amenable to personal delegation or dissolution through professional help. This country is founded upon the right to keep and bear arms. If you are uncomfortable with that, you should not be here.
    If you have a complaint about me, try it out on yourself first. If you must think about fears, consider your fear of responsibility. To date, you have failed to act on your commitments, both to stick around and to stay away. As with our affair, your first marriage culminated in the voiding of its issue. As with our affair, your marriage ended for reasons that remain unclear to its participants. As with our affair, both of you have expressed an interest in getting back together since your breakup. As with our affair, your gestures towards reconciliation came to nothing. Each breakup was anticlimactic. It is as if you put a greater value on your ability to destroy your bonds and annul your potential, than you find in sustaining a family and creating a life. Your habit of shrieking that you owe me nothing is as revealing in this regard, as is your refusal to spell out what you would owe to your child. I might take it on faith that some hitherto well hidden maternal instinct would forestall your child abuse. Still, I have every reason to expect your use of the child as a proxy for your resentment against its father.
    Your emotional explorations are a mystery to me. One way or another, they always seem to end up in revilement and recriminations. I have asked you many times to measure yourself against the accusations that you aim at me. You still fail to do so. How can you berate me for making myself into a victim, only to complain in the next breath of your difficulties in ridding yourself of me? By my count, this marriage proposal makes the fifth time that you come after me long after I have walked away. And yet you take no responsibility for sticking to any decision, for staying in one place long enough to make anything of yourself and your relations. I aim to arrange my life otherwise. Outside of commerce, I will not enter any relationship predicated on the anticipation of summary dissolution. I am sorry that your previous marriage has failed, but it is not my fault that it did. If I fail to play my part in any way, I will try to fail better on the next go around. I will not use this failure as a notch weakening my resolve to keep my family going. Surrender to circumstances is the option of last resort. I aim to avoid it in my lifetime. I am skeptical about no-fault divorce and favor the ideas behind covenant marriage. At any rate, it is impossible for me to advance to you the understanding that your will was good originally. Outside of binding commitment, all human motives are suspect. Everyone receives the benefit of the doubt early on, but with our history, it has been squandered many times over. Every time you shriek that you owe me nothing, every time you make it clear that this lack encompasses meaning and doing what you say, my presumption on your behalf swings the other way.
    You asked me why I kept talking to you after having described you as damaged goods. In the past, I have done so in response to your accounting of my faults. As I told you four weeks ago, and as I repeated today, I agreed with most points that you put forth. I am not easy company to keep. But two wrongs cannot make a right. My faults cannot prove your virtues. You have promised many times that you would see a psychiatrist. Do it for yourself, if you will not do it for anyone else. The facts of your inability to commit to any consistent position in our interactions, compounded by your avoidance of all planning for the future, should suffice to alert you to something having gone awry. Please do not deceive yourself in this regard by shifting focus to my alleged propensity to force you. You will always be forced by people and circumstances, as long as you continue to refuse to take charge of your life with a clear and undivided mind.
    I wanted to think highly of you. I wanted to overwhelm the memories of your malfunctions with living impressions of your kindness. I wanted to believe in your sincerity, your generosity, your dependability. I kept talking to you in the hope that our future actions towards each other would put both of us in the best light. I wanted to be able to account for all of the pain that we had caused each other in the past as the costs of two difficult people coming to terms with their indispensable contributions to each other. The only alternative to this interpretation was to discount our interactions as a succession of egotistic head games. As long as I refused to accept this assessment of my efforts to relate to you over the past three years, I preferred to withhold it in evaluating your past and present positions in their regard. But I am no longer hopeful of your helping me in this endeavor. You have lost my faith. From now on, you are on your own.

if

Aug. 16th, 2005 03:22 am
larvatus: (rock)

[livejournal.com profile] wing2fly wrote,
@ 2005-07-17 13:08:00

if we get married, to lead a peaceful and lasting marriage, we need to get to the following agreement.

1. you are deep-soul man, i respect and love that very much. you are not good at dealing with reality. In US, it is the money that runs everything- if you have enough money, you can get most things you want, even a peaceful environment for promoting a peaceful mind, that you need.

so, i will try, work on making money, manage money. Although i wanted to be a spiritual nobel as you are, who does not? but we will not have the sense of security if we both go the direction of being noblely spiritual. since you are very good at the abstract stuff, I will be the one who will go ahead do, execute and make money. what you need to do is to respect me and support me. your ideas will be welcome, but no negative or forcing comments is acceptable, even if I fail.

Between going to NYU for spirital growth and try to get a security for my family, what would you choose for me, for us? If you agree, never look down on me about the choice.

2. i will take care of you, you will take care of me. but you must respect my physical freedom - is it of basic human need. In case I am being upset, you must at least allow me to be aloof as i need to come back to my sense. It is very hurtful to my physical as well as mental health to be upset, nervous and desperately struggle with you. please you must promise to accommodate on this.

3. We will buy you insurance, of course. You must search professional help on your fear factor. I am with you, there are people who love you and care for you if they know you, what you need to fear about? (furthure discussion about weapon vs. life need ed)

4.Another thing about reality, you must respect and cooperate my decision on home arrangement, decoration and other stuff.

5. You must accommodate my working schedule while, if, you being a writer. I might will work during the day and need rest during the night and weekend. You, we must, need, to find some way for your social need. we will help each other on making friends.

6. You must try your best to behave normal- not swing from being idiotly idle or aggressively nasty.

7. You must try to be sober, face reality when communicate with me, consider situation and my status. Try and let me know if you are in your deep-thinking or dreaming status because otherwise it can be mentally abusive. (As you know, your idea and thoughts can be fascinating most of time, i love to share, but I simply am not able to fully be there some time, and living in reality takes energy.

8. Never stop open communication. Never force me, NEVER FORCE ME PHYSICALLY, OR BY PHYSICAL MEANS. (I am not talking about sex)

9. Trust and respect.

10. Respect and support my love to my family. You MUST never joke again about sex with my family.

11. If any of us failed to play his/her part right, if it won't work out between you and me, you must be understanding that I was from a good will originally, you must try still be kind- it is extremely hard as we all know, but do try please.

12. If we can not have baby for some reason, help me to be optimistic about it.

let me know your condition as well.

And I love you.

    Three days earlier you had called me to say that you needed to talk to someone soulful. We talked. Three days later I told you that I cannot believe in your good will. You are still clinging to the image of your goodness. But that is not enough to make it so. Your insecurities are evidenced in your sudden changes of mind. I asked you to answer a single question: Did you ever mean the things that you wrote above? Yesterday you spent an hour abusing me by way of avoiding the answer.
    How can you love anybody? I cannot begin to believe that you even love yourself. Can anyone ever respect a mind that undergoes such reversals?
    Your emotional explorations are a mystery to me. One way or another, they always seem to end up in revilement and recriminations. I have asked you many times to measure yourself against the accusations that you aim at me. You still fail to do so. How can you berate me for making myself into a victim, only to complain in the next breath of your difficulties in ridding yourself of me? By my count, this marriage proposal makes the fifth time that you come after me long after I have walked away. And yet you take no responsibility for sticking to any decision, for staying in one place long enough to make anything of yourself and your relations.
    You ask me why I keep talking to you after having described you as damaged goods. In the past, I have done so in response to your accounting of my faults. As I told you four weeks ago, and as I repeated yesterday, I agree with most points that you put forth above. I am not easy company to keep. But two wrongs cannot make a right. My faults cannot prove your virtues. You have promised many times that you would see a psychiatrist. Do it for yourself, if you will not do it for anyone else. The facts of your inability to commit to any consistent position in our interactions, compounded by your avoidance of all planning for the future, should suffice to alert you to something having gone awry. Please do not deceive yourself in this regard by shifting focus to my alleged propensity to FORCE YOU. You will always be forced by people and circumstances, as long as you continue to refuse to take charge of your life with a clear and undivided mind.
    I want to think highly of you. I want to overwhelm the memories of your malfunctions with living impressions of your kindness. I want to believe in your sincerity, your generosity, your dependability. All the same, I am not interested in you making money for me. I am managing family assets worth well over a million dollars. That is enough to take care of things in any number of ways. If I need more money, I can earn it by consulting. Least of all would I agree to delegate my duties to deal with reality and my executve authority over its choices and outcomes to my mate.
    Neither am I interested in agonizing over your notions of my fear factor and death wish. I am what I am. I have definite ideas of my comfort, my vocation, my security, and my duties to myself, my family, my friends, and my neighbors. I choose to go forth armed. My choice is only reinforced by assuming responsibility for nothers. I do not make this choice lightly. I understand that you are uncomfortable about that. You have expressed your misgivings for many of my choices and preferences. You know that I have accommodated you in most of them. But this one is non-negotiable.
    Likewise is my need for peace and solitude. I work inside my head. If that creates an intractable problem for you, we cannot live together. My living arrangements are not as flexible as you wish. I prefer to stay in my house, but that is not an essential requirement. I can rent it out and move into a smaller place. But I will not live in the conditions that you find so appealing. I have lived in many apartments. I have dealt with many landlords. I would sooner move into a trailer park than deal with either of these encumbrances. If you want your mate to partake of your relentless dedication to the lifestyle of a new immigrant, you would have to seek him in their midst.
    Let me make one thing absolutely clear. I am talking to you in the hope that our future actions towards each other put both of us in the best light. I want to be able to account for all of the pain that we caused each other in the past as the costs of two difficult people coming to terms with their indispensable contributions to each other. The only alternative to this interpretation is to discount our interactions as a succession of egotistic head games. Since I do not accept this assessment of my efforts to relate to you over the past three years, I prefer to withhold it in evaluating your past and present positions in their regard. I am hoping that you can help me in this endeavor. Please begin by answering my question.
larvatus: (rock)

Subject: mz
From: cthroo@hotmail.com
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 19:18:30 -0800
To: cthroo@hotmail.com

We Are Couple
Miss you
like never before
it is not something of hope
in the end of the world
we lend heat to each other
we are couple
we are all damaged somehow
hoping to find a way to survive the world
only i am more blindly opmistic
you are a luxurant book of death
sound scarely dark
that was why I run
i run
i can not run away from missing you

    Would you like to know why you feel this way? Allow me to explain.
    I am thinking of the occasion of your calling me a soulless cunt. For all my anger, I was charmed by your linguistic shift. The common designation of a heartless bitch might have been more to the point in returning the favor. The point is not to gainsay your feelings. Every living woman feels something or other. Accusing her of lacking a heart is not meant to set her apart from the herd in this regard. It is meant to point out her failure to feel responsibly.
    You prattle on and on about my affinity with death. You tell me that you want me dead. Others have accused me of composing suicide notes. Nothing going. My sense of responsibility encompasses the stewardship of my gifts. I will not quit my station wilfully. But neither will I suffer your flippancy in silence.
    You stalked me for eighteen months and came to me as a booty call. Then you took umbrage at my efforts to accommodate you in the vaginal line. You praised my genius while refusing to make any accommodation for my standing apart from salarymen. You deemed me unmarriageable while doing everything within your power to foreclose the chances of marriage. You blamed my father for your choice to abort our child, and blamed me for exhausting him unto death, and you into hysteria. You make it impossible for a man to love you, then feign surprise when he tries to hate you. And then you complain. You complain that you miss me terribly. You cannot explain and you cannot forget. Maybe you like pain? Maybe you hate yourself also? Pain is always more real than happiness, and you believe it is true for everybody. It is impossible for you to fall in love with anyone new no matter how much you wanted. It is almost like you fell in love with someone on the moon. But my closeness deep in your soul can in no way be compared with anybody else you know. In the darkness and night, I am in your heart, I am part of you. I might have been living your life; was that why you felt so close to me? That is your story. But you have no guts to stick to it.
    Do you have the guts to do anything right by anyone else? When was the last time you acted responsibly towards me? Four times in our relationship I gave you plenty of room for a graceful exit. You whined and cajoled and manipulated me into taking you back. The last time you did it after my father’s death. What was your excuse? You never bothered to make one up in evincing the meremost inkling of shame upon being confronted with this evidence of your selfishness. Far from being “blindly opmistic”, you are plain blind.
    I kept believing that there is something in you, and between us, worth salvaging. I had to believe it as an alternative to reinterpreting you as a black star that radiates her suffering upon everyone unfortunate enough to be drawn into her orbit.
That is why you infuriated me in purporting to wish well. Nothing in your behavior at every critical juncture of our relationship left room for a no fault dissolution. There is no question in my mind that I bear my share of responsibility for this noisome predicament. But I always acknowledged my part, and made many efforts to change my ways, and achieved many improvements in my conditions and prospects. Whereas your main contribution has been to lay all blame at my feet, even as you mused about your masochism as if it were a universal aspect of human sexuality.
    I think not. I offered you plenty of chances to see things my way, by choosing happiness over pain. Your refusal defines your character in one fell swoop. There will be no going back.
larvatus: (rock)
    About seventeen years ago, Michael’s asshole buddy Mischa K. complimented the legs of his friend with bennies, Louise M. It was something said at safe remove, praising the good luck of their have been found in their place, there being nothing else of redeeming value in the immediate vicinity. Thirteen years later, Mischa made the introductions betwixt Rachel W. and Michael, thereby sealing his own doom as her friend with bennies.
    About ten days ago, Tal K. observed that Rachel is, in many ways, a very conventional Chinese woman, as befits one who had left the mainland in her late twenties. As in the aforementioned event, the triteness of his observation failed to mitigate its eye-opening effect. Michael is grateful to Rachel and Alisa for filling in the nauseating details.
    Alisa provides an outside perspective. She would prefer to stay out of Rachel’s relationship with Michael, because she knows enough about it to assume that:
  1. In some very sick and twisted way they both enjoy what both of them are doing.
  2. Neither one of them is planning to make any changes.
  3. They are a perfect match because they both like to be victims while holding a lot of power over the other person.
As far as Rachel being “torn” about whether or not she wants to be with Michael, Alisa thinks it’s a load of crap. Yes, Michael is a very difficult person to be with, yes, he will insult her, demean her, scream, get hysterical, be cold, ignore her, get consumed by abstract thought, be distant, weird and arrogant. And yet, he makes no pretences about who he is, and Alisa sincerely thinks that many of those rather unappealing traits are correctable. (Michael doesn’t think so.) Rachel knows what she’s getting when she’s with him, all the bad stuff comes with him being kind, gentle, funny, loving, generous, unusual, deep, and all the other good stuff. Alisa thinks that this “not being to make a decision” is a mean game to keep Michael at bay, while making him feel bad about himself. Rachel knows exactly what she’s getting with Michael, and if she does love him, as she says she does, being “responsible” means not just making a life for herself, but being responsible for the well being of the people she loves, and if she is a good person, as she says she is, then she should not want to make Michael feel bad about himself, as this “monumental indecision” does. Nor should Rachel be saying what he should or should not “learn” because he is as responsible now as he’ll ever be, and she is free to accept it or reject it, emotional tribulations aside. Now clearly Michael derives some sick pleasure out of being put into such a position, and uses it as an excuse to treat Rachel very badly. So Alisa will in no way discourage either of them from continuing what they are doing, but she thinks it’s utterly self indulgent for both of them to act the way they do towards each other, and in the end they will both end up with nothing. Rachel thinks too much. All this contemplation on “fairness”, “responsibility”, “making the right decision”, and so on, is just an escape out of real life, and is utterly irresponsible, while easily understandable and excusable, short term. If Rachel’s heart is true, making the right decision is very easy, whether it’s for a “long productive life” or a brief moment of honesty.
    Meanwhile, Rachel is of two hands. In one hand, Michael is like real family to her. In the other hand, she doesn’t think they can be wife and husband.
    She came to USA, like most Chinese, to pursue success. She admits that the definition of success has been changing along the time. She has been striving to be accepted and be respected by the society here. She is from a very different culture. She has no relative here. Her Chinese friends had long gone to different directions in life. Her ever-changing life has made her attached little relationship with school-mates and co-workers. So, she has a strong need to either blend in the American society or go back to China. Being accepted and respected by the society, and having a peaceful environment to prepare myself are the basic conditions for her to establish and then succeed in the United States. It is not an easy thing. She has found it especially difficult to achieve them while trying to share a life with Michael. Although Michael hase great knowledge on so many fields, including classic western theories and American popular culture, he has very different ideas and style of life than hers.
    Like we all know, Michael is a great person, warm, deep, tough and pure. Rachel knows that she will kick herself someday for letting their relationship go. But she thinks it is for the best to do so now. She sincerely wishes all the best for Michael. If he ever needs a friend, she will be there for him.
The Kid: Santa!
Willie: Yeah.
The Kid: You’re bringing my present early?
Willie: No.
The Kid: But I never told you what I wanted.
Willie: I said I didn’t bring it, dipshit.
The Kid: Okay, good. I want a stuffed elephant. A pink one.
Willie: Well, wish in one hand, shit in the other one, see which one fills up first.
The Kid: Okay.
Bad Santa
Between all her hemming and hawing, Michael discerns a request for a counteroffer in Rachel’s kissoff missive. When they last met, Rachel asked Michael whether he would like to move to a small town together. Michael liked the idea. Life in the big city has been trying. Everywhere he goes, he is reminded of his father’s suffering. His home is a refuge that can be easily replicated elsewhere at a fraction of the cost. He has enough money to set himself up in perpetuity amidst displaced city dwellers in Marfa, Texas. But there is something desperately strained about Rachel’s pitch. Her tortuous attraction to Michael bespeaks her incapacity to blend in. She cannot exude common airs by a fiat. As for going back to China, she would not be the first to discover herself unable to go back home again, let alone to do so with her tail tucked between her legs.
In a nutshell, Rachel’s inner need to serve conventions is frustrated at every turn by her deviant desires.
    Michael is no stranger to deviance. He knows how to enjoy it in its proper place. The main obstacle is elsewhere. Rachel is unfit to lead and unwilling to follow. Her life plans add up to nothing productive. She falls back on expecting to be bailed out by a conventional man, knowing full well her inability to play the part of a conventional mate. He offer of friendship rings hollow. Michael has plenty of wishing on hand. He needs no more of that. Friends do things for each other. Rachel is unclear on her capacity for doing. Her most cherished asset at the moment is an easy job she can do without thinking. If that makes her happy, so be it.
larvatus: (rock)
Last time Rachel called Michael, he told her that she disturbed him. This time around, he is thankful for the opportunity to understand why that is so. For the time being, he is keeping his thoughts private in an effort to get through to their subject.
    Michael’s understanding is always provisional. Whenever Rachel calls, he gives her an opportunity to explain herself, to account for her behavior, to allow him to think better of her. It is a courtesy that he extends to everyone, given only enough time to reconsider his options. He might deny it under duress. If Rachel were pointing a gun at him, he would not ask her to explain yourself, in lieu of shooting. But in this case, though Rachel’s projectile weapon is is far more pernicious than a mere lead slinger, it leaves Michael with just enough room to pose an explanation, and her, to propose an excuse. Here goes.
    Michael is proceeding along the slimmest of threads, in this attempt to unravel the woolly knot of willful obtuseness that clogs Rachel’s mental plumbing. By her own admission, in continuing to contact him, she is acting selfishly. So noted. Rachel understands that in playing the victim of love, she prolongs the unpleasantness for both of them. Michael agrees. Although Rachel fails to conclude that this pattern has manifested itself in her behavior throughout their relations, making this point does not matter enough to him. They can differ on the extent and existence of her exploitation. There is no room for differing on the extent and existence of her ignorance. It spews forth every time Rachel tries to account for her behavior. She cannot begrudge him his attempt to get back some measure of gratification.
    Rachel tells Michael that she killed their child because she was afraid that he would not get a job to support it. She says it after having boasted of her willingness and ability to be a single mother. This alone is enough to invalidate her excuse. But it gets worse. Rachel knows that Michael works for money whenever he wants to. She knows that there is no need for him to do so at any given moment. For better or worse, his family assets insulate him from the hustle. If he wanted to live a life of leisure, all otium, no negotium, all Michael would have to do is liquidate some of them. He would have to turn down the screws on the lifestyle to which he has become accustomed. But that means next to nothing to him. He could and would support a woman with his child without too much trouble. And even if Rachel chose against all evidence to doubt it, the state enforces laws that make it so.
    So Rachel’s explanation regarding some financial anxiety is both more and less than that. It is less than an explanation because it is a stupid excuse. It is more than an explanation because it reveals persistent self-delusion. It does nothing of the sort that Rachel wants it to accomplish. Instead of accounting for her sudden reversal from hopefully expectant motherhood, to unilaterally executed abortion, it exposes her oblivious ignorance of whatever subconscious motive might underlie it. And therein lies Michael’s final beef with Rachel.
    In his shorter conversation with Hippias, Socrates explains that a willful lie is not as bad as an ignorant lie. He makes his case with an analogy with walking. The man intentionally affecting a limp is better at walking, or at least less deficient at walking, than the man afflicted with a real limp. Similarly, a man who tells lies on purpose is more virtuous, or at least less deficient in virtue, than a man who tells lies out of ignorance. The mind that errs involuntarily (ἀκουσίως ἁμαρτάνουσα) is worse than the mind that errs voluntarily (ἑκούσιος). (Hippias Minor, 375b, the theme recapitulated by Xenophon in his Memorabilia 4.2.19 ff.) Rachel’s errors appear to betoken ignorance of her own motives, if not an outright refusal to deal with their nature.
    If there is one position that Rachel has consistently sustained in all their conversations over the past three years, it is that she is not a liar. She has maintained it through thick and thin, even unto reassuring Michael of her fidelity in the wake of sucking another man’s cock, much as Erin had done after prostituting herself online. But there is this difference between the two of them: that in contrast with Rachel’s arrant bullshit, at far remove from the constantly shifting grounds of her implausible justification, Erin’s lies are both conscious and deliberate. Erin is only pretending to limp. Rachel is limping for real. Other factors being equal, Erin would be closer to walking straight. All she would have to do is stop pretending. Rachel would require some major surgery beforehand.
    So why is Michael wasting his time talking to Rachel instead of Erin? For one thing, because Rachel’s problems are her own, while Erin’s problems are compounded by the monkey on her back. All problems should be treated at their source. That is why Michael has settled his lawsuits with Erin, and that is why he continues to wallop her father. Moreover, Michael sees no chance of eliciting contrition from an incestuous degenerate or his despoiled offspring, whereas there still remains a hope of getting through Rachel’s obstinacy.
    The Socratic analogy is not exact. A gimp in need of surgery could go either way, opting for amputation or epiphysiodesis. Some people are fixated on removing a healthy limb, getting their kicks from apotemnophilia. This fetish is not unlike aborting a healthy fetus. Indeed, an apotemnophiliac can boast consistency in motivation that is lacking in Rachel’s hysterical reversals. Rachel’s mental problems may be of that kind, or worse. If so, she is best advised to stay away. If not, Michael welcomes her efforts to prove it.
larvatus: (rock)
I have listened to your complaints. They tell me nothing new. But for the sake of completeness and conclusiveness, I will answer them, and answer them right here.
    You say that I fail to tell the whole truth about you, or me, or you and me. I am not in possession of the whole truth on any of these subjects. Nor do I have the whole truth on the subjects of Erin Zhu’s ever-loving daddy or Baudelaire’s bad glazier. Still, the show must go on. Let us take these matters in turn.
    As regards our defunct romance, I am telling my side of the story. You have every right to counteract it with your narrative, either oral or written. That you would never dream of doing the latter, that you would even lack the courage to do the former, is quite beside the point. You say that you value your privacy. That has not stopped you from stalking me through the thicket of online exhibitionism dating back over fourteen years. Knowing what to expect, you had asked me not to show your letters in public, and I have abstained from doing so. But you never asked me to keep all aspects of our relationship to myself. Had you done so, I would have refused either the promise that you requested or the relationship that you sought. Under the circumstances, I rely on my sole discretion to choose the matters of my disclosure. I do so because I regard our story as amusing and instructive, and because the extreme nature of your performance warrants and requires an equally dramatic response. Make no mistake: you are as much of a performance freak as you accuse me of being. I see no moral difference in the facts that you stage your performances in intimate settings, and misconstrue them as sincere and accurate expressions of your inner reality.
    You object to being depicted as a rotten peach. In a culture that no longer ages its meat or ripens its fruit, not everyone can be expected to partake of the Oriental wisdom that the best time to eat a peach is when it is beginning to rot.
In all frankness, your problem is that you have advanced well past that optimal, initial stage. I would rather be unkind in observing it clearly and describing it honestly, than obtuse in dismissing it as intrusive to your privacy or irrelevant to your predicament. You yourself have chosen to emphasize it in our interactions. Your own choice has also featured killing our child, nearly certain to be your last opportunity for motherhood. That is why your complaint about me depicting you as a whore is not only beside the point, but also ill addressed. All men seek, and find in their women some combination of the mother and the whore.
By your own behavior, you have ruled out the participation of motherhood in your heterosexual engagements. You cannot blame me for showing you in the light of this choice.
    As regards my alleged fondness for fighting, it is nothing of the sort. I did not enjoy hurting you because I sought to relate to you in ways not founded on pain. I enjoy hurting the Zhus and WebEx because they have threatened and menaced me, and refused to make amends for doing so. My enjoyment stems not from fighting my adversaries, but from overcoming adversity. The first thing my father taught me about fighting is to make a fist and aim at the face. The differences in toughness and sensitivity of these organs ensure that the equality of action and reaction works out against the face, to the advantage of the fist. No doubt, growing up without a father has gotten in the way of learning this lesson for Min Zhu. But it does not excuse his attempt to rest on whatever he can get away with in dealing with my claim against his family and his company. Least of all does it warrant the expectation that I would fail to reciprocate in kind by showing my ability to get away with making Min Zhu miserable in perpetuity, by exposing the aspects of his character that support my account of his terrorist threats. I do this in order to protect myself. I do this in order to win. I enjoy doing this because returning the insult is the best outcome available under the customs and circumstances. In view of Min Zhu boasting of his fighting prowess, the entire spectacle could be put to rest with pistols for two and coffee for one. Unfortunately, not only is this resolution out of fashion; in dealing with the present class of adversaries, it would only earn me a bullet in the back. Our issues could also be resolved with an apology. But that is not forthcoming from people dead set on getting away with whatever they can. The adversity remains. I have no problems with that. You have no basis for objecting to it. Indeed, given your constant protestations of disinterest in my affairs, you never had it.
    Your tale of not being able to stop thinking about me in China contributes nothing to the satisfaction of your claimed goal. I am still not interested in being anything like a friend to you. Since you ask, I am not anything like a friend to any of my exes. I simply avoid dealing with most of them, except when they ask me for inbetweenies, and I decide to accede to their wishes. Otherwise, it bears observing that the predicate for any relation more intimate than civility no longer exists. In your case, I have made a special effort to keep it alive unto the last moments. If you are looking for someone to blame for the outcome, look in the mirror.

Georges de la Tour, The Penitent Magdalene, 1638-1643.
Oil on canvas, 133.4x102.2 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

    Similarly, your complaint about my avoidance of life fails to convince. Over the three years of our relations, I have delivered a comeuppance to a billion dollar corporation and its degenerate principal. I have buried my father, I have paid his debts, I have taken care of my mother. I am finishing a book nineteen years in the works and developing the material for a lifetime of followups. In the meantime, you have spun your wheels and accomplished nothing, terminating one responsibility and walking way from another. You have not as much as been willing and able to stay in one place to try and make something out of yourself. The only times that I have seen your eyes light up, is when I have plied you with enough alcohol to make you forget your self-loathing, or when you have prodded me into overcoming my reluctance to dole out the sadistic abuse that you so desperately crave. If anyone between us is running away from life, it is not me.

meet cute

Dec. 27th, 2004 03:09 am
larvatus: (MZ)
On the 19th of April, 2002, Michael meets his cyberstalker. At first, he has trouble recognizing her. Michael first met Rachel on New Year’s Eve of the year before. He made dinner for his friend Mischa K. Michael brought Isabelle. Isabelle was back in Los Angeles for the holidays. She had been Michael’s friend with benefits since 1998. Michael and Isabelle met through an online dating site. She had left town two months earlier to sell Chinese antiques in Maryland. Isabelle was engaged to be married. She wanted to be with Michael for the holidays. Michael’s friend wanted to be with Rachel. At 40, Mischa was getting past his prime as a musician and ladies’ man. Both Rachel and he were recently divorced. They had been seeing each other for six months. They exchanged affectionate words. Mischa was eager to settle down. Rachel was hungry for distraction. She was despondent over the failure of her marriage. She never stopped talking about it. They parted on bad terms.
    Michael recalls all that as he sits across the table from Rachel. He also recalls Mischa’s complaints. Michael wears ballistic armor under his motorcycle jacket. He carries a gun. Five months earlier, his life had been threatened in the name of Erin’s father Min Zhu, and his billion dollar company, WebEx. Michael is suing the Zhus and WebEx. He has no doubt that the man capable of raping his daughter would have no qualms about executing his threats. He has no room in his life for another bitter, hysterical, manipulative female.

Félicien Rops, L’Incantation, 1896
Musée provincial Félicien Rops, Namur
Dépôt de la Communauté française de Belgique

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