Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Haze, by Mark Wallace

We live now in an empire which, in the name of reasons, has stolen our lives away from us, but which will then sell them back to us at the cost of all that we have ... ("Reasons To Write")
These lines from the brief opening essay in Mark Wallace's Haze made me think of some of my most-quoted lines from Greg Brown's song "Where Is Maria":
There'll be one corporation selling one little box.
It'll do what you want and tell you what you want
and cost whatever you've got.
As an iPhone owner, I quote these lines all the time! :-)

Another passage from Wallace's book made me think of another of my favorite musicians, this time Ornette Coleman, who once said something to the effect that he knew that the music he was playing had a system when he realized that he could play wrong notes:
Discourses create a network of statements it seems relevant to think and say. One of the main ways to recognize that one is in a discourse is through the feeling that one recognizes when other people make statements irrelevant to the discourse. ("The Haze")
And later in that essay, Wallace reminds me of Mark Rowlands's claim in The Philosopher and the Wolf that it is in our moments of defiance that we are most ourselves:
Haze shows that the potential of the human can be found just as much in what resists organized Discourse as in what organizes Discourse.
This could probably all be worked up into a nice little essay but I'll just leave it at that.

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