Beyond Borderlands and the Starry Messenger

Beyond Borderlands

So I have been thinking about being honest with myself about the relationship Beyond Borderlands is to have with my own blog here at the Starry Messenger, for sadly it seems that there is not enough of me to do justice (well, full-time justice) to both. When I started the Starry Messenger I wanted to post four updates every month, which was fine and feasible when I began, but *laughs* I suppose editing a journal and working on a dissertation, while still trying to find time to write creatively, has left me little energy for the blog.

I’m not saying this is the end, so much as a period of dormancy for the Starry Messenger. After all, everyone needs a place where they can represent no one but themselves now and then, and so I’m sure I’ll be back, albeit intermittently. Till then.

Cheers,

~Siderius

Beyond Borderlands: An Announcment

Beyond Borderlands

I am pleased to be able to announce the launch of the Facebook page for an upcoming journal, “Beyond Borderlands: A Critical Journal of the Weird, Paranormal and Occult”. I’ll be editing it along with a talented group of individuals and we hope to be open to submissions around April.

The link to the page is here:

https://www.facebook.com/BeyondBorderlands

“We Canadians”

So yes, by Ovid I meant Virgil…

Part of Our Heritage – Pretending to Pay Attention to the Natives (but not really paying attention to the natives).

A Part of Our Heritage – Only Making it Big After Moving to the US.

A Part of Our Heritage – Overestimating the Durability of our Natural Resources to Impress our Distant, Unelected Policy Makers.

http://feministphilosophers.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/famousfivebill4.jpg

Apparent Message: The Rights of Women.

https://i1.wp.com/www.theepochtimes.com/n2/images/stories/large/2011/10/12/50_Back.jpg

Apparent Message: Don’t mess with us, Russia.

Apparent Message: Indigenous groups are part of Canada.

https://i2.wp.com/www.globalnews.ca/uploadedImages/Global_News/Photo_Gallery/bank-of-canada-20-dollar-bill-4.jpg

Apparent Message: Canada is defined by its military victories.

(How’s your fish indeed…)

For More Information:

Web Cartoonist Kate Beaton on Heritage Minutes: http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=6

http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=22

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Beaton

http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2012/11/03/global-domination-whoa-canada/gJ37RiRzIg3zqe8T4ZibTO/story.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Granatstein

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heritage_Minute

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_history

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geschichte_Kanadas (Why yes, the German wikipedia article is better than the English language article)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgil

http://wsupress.wayne.edu/books/849/In-Babels-Shadow

“In contrast to fields like anthropology, the history of linguistics has received remarkably little attention outside of its own discipline despite the undeniable impact language study has had on the modern period. In Babel’s Shadow situates German language scholarship in relation to European nationalism, nineteenth-century notions of race and ethnicity, the methodologies of humanistic inquiry, and debates over the interpretation of scripture. Author Tuska Benes investigates how the German nation came to be defined as a linguistic community and argues that the “linguistic turn” in today’s social sciences and humanities can be traced to the late eighteenth century, emerging within a German tradition of using language to critique the production of knowledge.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_More_Smith (The Lunar Rouge)

http://www.lunarrogue.com/about-the-lunar-rogue-pub/the-story-of-the-lunar-rogue

http://www.mcclelland.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781551990842 (The Spinster and the Prophet, about a court case involving Florence Deeks, a Toronto teacher and H.G. Wells)

“he prolific novelist and social prophet H.G. Wells had a way with words, and usually he had his way with women. That is, until he encountered the feisty Toronto spinster Florence Deeks. In 1925 Miss Deeks launched a $500,000 lawsuit against Wells, claiming that in an act of “literary piracy,” Wells had somehow come to use her manuscript history of the world in the writing of his international bestseller The Outline of History , a work still in print today. Thus began one of the most sensational and extraordinary cases in Anglo-Canadian publishing and legal history.”

http://mqup.mcgill.ca/book.php?bookid=1158

“The popular conception of Nova Scotians as a purer, simpler, and more idyllic people is false, argues Ian McKay. In The Quest of the Folk he shows how the province’s tourism industry and cultural producers manipulated and refashioned the cultural identity of the region and its people to project traditional folk values.”

http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/mb_history/55/psychicresearch.shtml (Psychic Research in a Winnipeg Family: Reminiscences of Dr. Glen F. Hamilton)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/the-myth-of-1812-how-canadians-see-the-war-we-want-to-see/article553040/?page=all

Nietzsche and the Evil Eye: A Bequeathal of Sorts

File:WPVA-khamsa.svg

Stumbling across Alan Dundes “The Evil Eye: A Casebook” early in my undergrad, just when I was starting to read Nietzsche, certainly helped to further my interest in the relationship between folklore and psychology.

As a belief, the evil eye has proven to be incredibly durable and widespread, extending, to the best of my knowledge, from India to Scotland, and across thousands of years, well into Greco-Roman times and beyond. Roughly, it is the belief that a person who possesses the evil eye, or who develops it out of envy and covetousness can cause a great deal of harm to the object of their attention. To combat this, many cultures have developed eye-like jewelry and charms to “catch” the gaze of the eye before it can do any harm.

Nietzsche, as a philologist, must have come across references to it in his readings of classical authors, or even during his travels to Italy. In any event, the number of references made to the evil eye, or an envious eye, in his writings are legion, and few commentators that I am aware of have explored this trend in any detail. I suspect though, that much can be learned about the structure and history of his psychological notion of ressentiment by comparing it to his encounter with this body of folklore.

Yet while I believe this to be the case, I do not think that I will be the one who proves it. I’ve two books on Nietzsche somewhere within me, and hopefully no more, as I’ve seen what happens to scholars who spend their entire careers on one, and only one, historical figure, and I am too wedded to diversity to find that path appealing.

That said, I think that someone should do it.

Below are just a few of the references in Nietzsche to an evil eye that I could cobble together:

“You go above and beyond them: but the higher you climb, the smaller you appear to the eye of envy. And he who flies is hated most of all.” (Thus Spoke Zarathustra)

“And many a one who cannot see the sublime in man calls it virtue that he can see his baseness all-too-closely: thus he calls his evil eye virtue.” (Thus Spoke Zarathustra)

Somewhere there are still peoples and herds, but not with us, my brothers: here there are states./ A state? What is that? Well! open now your ears to me, for now I will speak to you about the death of peoples. / State is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies; and this lie slips from its mouth: “I, the state, am the people.” / It is a lie! It was creators who created peoples, and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life. / Destroyers are they who lay snares for the many, and call it state: they hang a sword and a hundred cravings over them. / Where there are still peoples, the state is not understood, and is hated as the evil eye, and as sin against laws and customs. / This sign I give to you: every people speaks its own language of good and evil, which its neighbor does not understand. It has created its own language of laws and customs. / But the state lies in all the tongues of good and evil; and whatever it says it lies; and whatever it has it has stolen. (Thus Spoke Zarathustra)

The teachers of the purpose of existence.— Whether I contemplate men with benevolence or with an evil eye, I always find them concerned with a single task, all of them and every one of them in particular: to do what is good for the preservation of the human race. Not from any feeling of love for the race, but merely because nothing in them is older, stronger, more inexorable and unconquerable than this instinct—because this instinct constitutes the essence of our species, our herd. It is easy enough to divide our neighbors quickly, with the usual myopia, from a mere five paces away, into useful and harmful, good and evil men; but in any large-scale accounting, when we reflect on the whole a little longer, we become suspicious of this neat division and finally abandon it. Even the most harmful man may really be the most useful when it comes to the preservation of the species; for he nurtures either in himself or in others, through his effects, instincts without which humanity would long have become feeble or rotten. Hatred, the mischievous delight in the misfortune of others, the lust to rob and dominate, and whatever else is called evil belongs to the most amazing economy of the preservation of the species. To be sure, this economy is not afraid of high prices, of squandering, and it is on the whole extremely foolish:—still it is proven that it has preserved our race so far. (The Gay Science)

Another mode of convalescence (in certain situations even more to my liking) is sounding out idols. There are more idols than realities in the world: that is my “evil eye” upon this world; that is also my “evil ear.” Finally to pose questions with a hammer, and sometimes to hear as a reply that famous hollow sound that can only come from bloated entrails — what a delight for one who has ears even behind his ears, for me, an old psychologist and pied piper before whom just that which would remain silent must finally speak out. (Twilight of the Idols)

7 Moral for psychologists. — Not to go in for backstairs psychology. Never to observe in order to observe! That gives a false perspective, leads to squinting and something forced and exaggerated. Experience as the wish to experience does not succeed. One must not eye oneself while having an experience; else the eye becomes “an evil eye.” A born psychologist guards instinctively against seeing in order to see; the same is true of the born painter. He never works “from nature”; he leaves it to his instinct, to his camera obscura, to sift through and express the “case,” “nature,” that which is “experienced.” He is conscious only of what is general, of the conclusion, the result: he does not know arbitrary abstractions from an individual case. What happens when one proceeds differently? For example, if, in the manner of the Parisian novelists, one goes in for backstairs psychology and deals in gossip, wholesale and retail? Then one lies in wait for reality, as it were, and every evening one brings home a handful of curiosities. But note what finally comes of all this: a heap of splotches, a mosaic at best, but in any case something added together, something restless, a mess of screaming colors. The worst in this respect is accomplished by the Goncourts; they do not put three sentences together without really hurting the eye, the psychologist’s eye. Nature, estimated artistically, is no model. It exaggerates, it distorts, it leaves gaps. Nature is chance. To study “from nature” seems to me to be a bad sign: it betrays submission, weakness, fatalism; this lying in the dust before petit faits [little facts] is unworthy of a whole artist. To see what is — that is the mark of another kind of spirit, the anti-artistic, the factual. One must know who one is. (Twilight of the Idols)

24 L’art pour l’art. […] One question remains: art also makes apparent much that is ugly, hard, and questionable in life; does it not thereby spoil life for us? And indeed there have been philosophers who attributed this sense to it: “liberation from the will” was what Schopenhauer taught as the overall end of art; and with admiration he found the great utility of tragedy in its “evoking resignation.” But this, as I have already suggested, is the pessimist’s perspective and “evil eye.” We must appeal to the artists themselves. What does the tragic artist communicate of himself? Is it not precisely the state without fear in the face of the fearful and questionable that he is showing? This state itself is a great desideratum, whoever knows it, honors it with the greatest honors. He communicates it — must communicate it, provided he is an artist, a genius of communication. Courage and freedom of feeling before a powerful enemy, before a sublime calamity, before a problem that arouses dread — this triumphant state is what the tragic artist chooses, what he glorifies. Before tragedy, what is warlike in our soul celebrates its Saturnalia; whoever is used to suffering, whoever seeks out suffering, the heroic man praises his own being through tragedy — to him alone the tragedian presents this drink of sweetest cruelty. (Twilight of the Idols)

File:Blue eyes.JPG

For More Information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil_eye

The Evil Eye: A Casebook. 1992. Ed. Alan Dundes. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Facinated by Fractals

[errata: So Mandelbrot coined the term fractal in 1975, not the 1980s. Also have to work on using “um” as a place holder! And… maybe a script would help.]

For More Information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nature_deficit_disorder

http://depts.washington.edu/hhwb/Thm_Mental.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hologram

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macrocosm_and_microcosm

http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Scale-free_neocortical_dynamics

http://www.cell.com/neuron/abstract/S0896-6273(10)00291-6

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal_dimension_on_networks

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scale_invariance

Buzsaki, Gyorgy. 2006. Rhythms of the Brain. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

http://www.philhine.org.uk/writings/ktul_fractals.html

The Light Artillery of the Intellect: The Internet Before the Computer and the Effects of the News Ticker

“We now demand the light artillery of the intellect; we need the curt, the condensed, the pointed, the readily diffused — in place of the verbose, the detailed, the voluminous, the inaccessible. On the other hand, the lightness of the artillery should not degenerate into pop-gunnery — by which term we may designate the character of the greater portion of the newspaper press — their sole legitimate object being the discussion of ephemeral matters in an ephemeral manner.”

For More Information:

http://www.democracynow.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/News_ticker

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2032304_2032745_2032850,00.html