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23 Aug

I’m automatic, it’s just coming out of the keyboard. No thought. I’m writing to stuff that was hot when techno was good: steady simple beat, the trippy synthetic strings, the hallucinatory and sexual chants. Not the stuff that makes for reasoned discourse. No.

For that I recommend Mozart’s 40th symphony. The way to start a day’s virtuous husbandry. This stuff makes me write like I’m dancing. That too has its virtues. This is not a blog that is supposed to make much sense in the realm of public intellectualizing.

Now it’s another track in the same vein. Takes me back to the best and worst of days. Here I am, so many years later, transforming again. Monday, the start of the working week. How will I start it now I’m a merchant again? What is Monday for?

I try not to work on Mondays.

Spend dawn in Royal Park and watch the WageBots off to Central Business District at 7.30am. Look at their faces. I rarely find myself on the road, in the train-tram-bus during crush hours. When I do do the Sardine Slam, Wiggle and Stiff, I thank Providence that whatever the crosses I bear I have much to be thankful for. I don’t have to do this ten times a week.

But now I have to do something I haven’t done for a while: deal with the market. A market is a savage, ruthless place. Manners are weapons in the market. A market is a jungle, everything is food including you. “Make the right moves and forget about sleep, concentrate on the paper chase, join the elite.” That’s the game and, despite the threads, the jewels, the fine dining and global transit; despite the complex maths and high technology, the spaghetti plate of law and regulation. Despite the awesome machinery, underneath it’s a primitive and sometime dark business is business.

Dark like the ocean. So I have a plan. And here like Sinbad I set sail to see if I can do it. To go somewhere is a simple matter: choose your destination, find out which direction it’s in and walk. As long as you walk every day, provided you live, you’ll arrive sometime. To ‘walk’ in life means to do to certain things regularly as well as you can. When you choose a different path, you walk a different way. I am walking a different way. And mapping my new cycle’s menu of activities as I go, this weblog for instance.

The last cycle was an easy one. I woke up early and did the same thing every day: drawing and painting. Now I must wake up and do different things everyday. Providence and I will decide what they are. What each day is for. What I must do with it. I am a sole-trader in the hyper-capitalist universe. I have something to sell and I must know where and how. I must count the costs of my wares. I must ensure that it can be subtracted from the sum of my sales. Sounds simple doesn’t it?

What is Monday for? My Monday? Today I woke up too late (8pm) washed and took a walk. I drank coffee and smoked. I’m leaving this behind. I played piano. That’s new, I’m keeping that perhaps. Then I wrote this. Later I’ll check the current, market-minded publishing and I have to generate names and blurbs for the one folio I’ve brought with me today. One step at a time.

And hey! That’s work innit? Monday is for working.

But the type of work isn’t market work is it? It’s R+D, it’s marketing and advertising, it’s accounting (I must update my P+L data). But I don’t have to deal with customers. I spend the day in dock, tending to the maintenance of my ship. or so it seems this week. I have product on me today. I can sell and will if the opportunity arises. But I’m not yet establishing a shop front. That’s a station on my way.



22 Aug

“For the libertarian of our tradition the main question will be how to regulate the enterprise of making a living in such a way that it does not destroy the freedom he prizes. He will, of course, recognize in our institution of private property a means of organizing this enterprise wholly friendly to liberty. All monopolies, or near monopolies, he knows as impediments to that liberty, and the greatest single institution that stands between us and monopoly is private property. Concerning monopolies he will have no illusions; he will not consider them optimistically, hoping they will not abuse their power. He will know that no individual, no group, no association or union can be entrusted with much power, and that it is mere foolishness to complain when absolute power is abused. It exists to be abused.”

Michael Oakeshott
“The Political Economy of Freedom”
Rationalism in Politics
p 47: 1962 ed


17 Aug

Calling out from a hestitant keyboard I don’t know what to write. What will this be about? What will I do with it? I don’t know.

Start with first principles and primary subjects:

There is the human race. Some things change, some stay as they are. There has always been art and there has always been politics. The power structure and the mysterious need to make marks; to design and arrange.

Art and politics are both aspects of this. But each field produces a mind that is the other’s opposite. That’s as it should be. In feudal Japan, the artists lived with the prosititutes in the Floating World. Same in Rome. Why? Because each of these castes were outsiders. They did not have a functional place in the hierarchy. They floated, depending on their talents, between levels. And they were a disruption to the social order.

Officially they were outcast. But as individuals they could enjoy lives of great prosperity and fascination. They could suffer also, and hard.

In those days the rulers of the world were soldiers and priests. Today they are lawyers and bankers. Artists are free and enjoy unprecedented power and prosperity (as do we moderns all). But what do they do with it?

That is all, today.