What’s Going Down Here?

One of the best ways to share with and honor the work of your friends is to take time, slow down, and make the effort to read one of their posts or videos or poems or images or songs.  I use the word “read’ very broadly.  I view all of these media as text.  They are all machines in their own way, but without cogs or visible energy sources.  In fact they are the only perpetual motion machines ever invented.  Text engines.  All of them.

But you have to prime their pumps sometimes when they have wound down a bit and are going very slowly.  That is what I am trying to do with Simon Ensor’s recent post.  His poemposts haven’t run down by any means. If anything they are too tightly wound and move too quickly. What I think they need is a slow release of the clockwork inside to let the energy into the world in a different way.

That is what I have done here.  I have attempted a close reading through a kind of Babel Fish–Lumen 5.  Because you have to ‘translate’ the words from one medium into another, you get a feel for the tension of the springs in the post.  At least I do.  Close reading by translating.  Any deep understanding of any text has to involve this idea of translating, an apt metaphor considering Simon makes his living by teaching English to French students.

Here is the original post.   By all means read it.  Get your own initial feel for it, a sense of touch for its heft and texture and tone.

Now take a look at my translation into Lumen 5.  See if it doesn’t expand the world of his post through the intertwingling of music, image, video, text and typography.


Writing Teachers and Writers: COMPLICIT!

I ran across this quote while reading James C. Scott’s work, Against the Grain.

It is profoundly difficult for me to read this, but I think I owe it to myself to understand farming and writing and reading as complicit elements in the world as we now know it in part–exploited, enslaved, and unenlightened.  Scott’s genius is to take the existing state of knowledge and connect the nodes into a very different map, more complex, more carefully nuanced, and more useful.

I have included an alternative, mixed media view of this quote and invite you to share a conversation over the book.


Just a note. This take might be completely off, but from where I am right now in my reading this is how it seems: pwnd & complicit. I am hoping this changes. Please, let it change.