Louche Lad (bombasticus) wrote,
Louche Lad

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Deboxing Miranda

Spent most of the year so far hunting the semantic web, which seems to be the carrier of a lot of gnostic ambition these days. It's really the old story of the marriage of Cadmus and Harmony -- heaven & earth magic properly understood -- with the inevitable submissions, sublimations, translation, transubstantiation of the world on the way to the ideal. It's one of the few directions in which money is still moving, and that's interesting. In theory it's one of the last-ditch hopes for money, and in practice really always has been.

Joseph Cornell, "Nymphlight" (still)

Naturally the world is what keeps on happening when you've been hunting the ideal and so there's an elegiac quality. All my favorite restaurants are basically gone: Marions Continental where the Pontani "sisters" danced and tiki season came once a year with rum drinks and summer jackets, Florent on the Gansevoort, Shiki with his fluorescent paper cuts, Two Boots with its midnight movies, Galaxy and its glitter decals under formica, Devil Moon for the girls together outrageously, Bendix even though they were yankees fans, Kiev, the Coral Room... finis gloria mundi, slipping out of the world while the semantic web was coming in, now relegated to a fragmentary half-light state, neither taggable nor forgotten. Restaurants are like pets. They rarely live as long as we do, but we let ourselves forget until one of those uncommon economic plague years takes all your favorites at once.

Someone like a William Gibson or a Joseph Cornell or a Tin Woodsman will find pleasure in memorializing the irreplaceable tangibles that are constantly one step ahead on the road to disappearing. We build these little boxes like blog posts and when they're well made they don't exactly "resist" the melt into light as much as they do not succumb. They aren't tagged, but the very fact they're electric makes them as immortal as anything else in the brave new world. The Woodsman's plush heart may not beat but it reminds him how it felt. The Tessier-Ashpool entities left their boxmaker behind to mark the exit & bait the trap; we all do.

Harry Smith, "The Tin Woodsman's Dream" (Film 16, still)

And of course there are surprises on the way as the proverbial first baby continues to laugh. I had a run-in with my own mad (possibly Belgian) ad man. The Chelsea Hotel and even the Mars Bar, despite all the bad omens of the last few years, survive. I finally found the plot for the third Adrian Neubis story, the one where Venus makes her argument. It involves current efforts to dig up Leonardo da Vinci to prove that Mona Lisa (overdrive) was just the exteriorization of his skull all along. Hackneyed and overly literal, as Duchamp would say, to simply write off la gioconda as a twisty Italian dressing like his mother "on vacation," but push it five minutes into the future and it raises all kinds of exciting points about fathers & daughters, pigeons & mirrors, Ourania & her origins.
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