“The point of cities is multiplicity of choice.” – Jane Jacobs.

Condos

I triple dog dare you to read this blog: http://www.vancouver-real-estate-direct.com/blog/

“Poised to become the new landmark, Essence Condominiums in White Rock will bring a sleek, sophisticated elegance to the corner of Johnston and thrift Avenue in White Rock’s popular Uptown neighbourhood…..”

Gag.

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Photo Series: Bet you wanna condo

SophiaCarolShirley

See, my life depends upon my dying

My religion is to be kept alive by love:

   life derived from this animal soul

and head alone is a disgrace.

The sword of love sweeps away

the dust from the lover’s soul

for this sword clears sin.

When the bodily dust is gone,

my moon shines:

My spirit’s moon finds an open sky.

For so long, O adored one,

I’ve been beating this drum of love for you

to the tune of

“see, my life depends upon my dying.”

Rumi

The place of Kafka

I really got into Kafka through this essay I read in the New Yorker by Aaron Appelfeld. He wrote quite a moving piece about his own life as a Holocaust survivor, the life of Kafka and his writing, and the history of the Jewish community in Prague.

Kafka was a German-speaking Jew living in Prague who was completely assimilated and non-religious. But Appelfeld thinks that Kafka was deeply influenced by Judaism and Jewish thought, even though the word “Jew” doesn’t appear in any of his writings.

An interesting quote:

“Kafka felt, even more strongly than Freud did, that demons lurked behind the mask of Western civilization. Fifteen years after this death, they burst out of the cellar in the form of the S.S. and other heartless abbreviations. In Kafka’s work, the demons are defense lawyers and prosecutors, and there is still an illusion of justice. Words sound as though they have value.

Although the word “Jew” does not appear in any of Kafka’s fiction, he is a very Jewish writer. This is not, I think, because of his love for the Yiddish language and the Yiddish theatre and not because he studied Hebrew and Judaism intensively. Rather it is because of a deep Jewish anxiety that permeates everything he wrote. An unnamed threat, which ends in judgment and execution, stalks his riddling stories. We do not know the identity of the accuser and the accused but we do know that fewer than twenty years stand between Kafka’s apocalyptic fantasies and the Nazi takeover of Europe.

The setting of “In The Penal Colony” may be described as a place where sentencing is carried out. The accused of breaking the law are tattooed, the law that has been broken is written on the length of their naked bodies  by a huge apparatus. Carrying out a sentence involves a great deal of determination and belief in the method. Was Kafka aware of its prophetic nature? I doubt it. For the most part, a true prophet is not aware of everything he is prophesying.

Kafka is possibly the last profound connection to Jewish Prague. He is the symbol of the assimilated Jew, who shed tribal and ethnic dress and created K., the man who seems to have no identifying characteristics. Yet the creature K. is so Jewish that you cannot assign him any other identity – a wanderer, hunted despite his innocence, consumed by anxiety.”

Appelfeld also writes that after the Holocaust, refugees would sit around their houses in Jerusalem and discuss Kafka as if they were discussing religious texts. Major scholars such as Gershom Scholem (he legitimized Jewish mysticism by actually researching and writing about it, whereas before it was treated as an embarrassing side note) believed that Kafka was part of the three pillars of Jewish mystical thought: the Bible, the Zohar (Book of Splendour, Jewish mysticism’s key text) and the writings of Kafka.

Self-understanding of Judaism

To recover the questions

“It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becaomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion – its message becomes meaningless

 Religion is an answer to man’s ultimate questions. The moment we become oblivious to ultimate questions, religion becomes irrelevant.”

 -Abraham Joshua Heschel.

Seen in the bathroom of Reno’s diner, Main and Broadway

Person 1:

He who is not busy being born is busy dying

– Bob Dylan

Person 2:

OR CREATING CLICHÉS OUT OF 60s SONG LYRICS!!!

***************************

Oh, poor small attempt to fight the cynicism of the graffiti in East Side bathrooms. You might have more luck with Dylan in Kits.

~Reilly

“Most people don’t live with Yoko Ono”

“It’s not like I’m some wondrous, mystic prince from the rock-‘n’-roll world dabbling in strange music with this exotic, Oriental dragon lady…”

John Lennon and Yoko Ono interviewed by Playboy magazine in 1980.

LENNON: “It was in 1966 in England. I’d been told about this ‘event’… this Japanese avant-garde artist coming from America. I was looking around the gallery and I saw this ladder and climbed up and got a look in this spyglass on the top of the ladder… you feel like a fool… and it just said, ‘Yes.’ Now, at the time, all the avant-garde was smash the piano with a hammer and break the sculpture and anti-, anti-, anti-, anti-, anti. It was all boring negative crap, you know. And just that Yes made me stay in a gallery full of apples and nails. There was a sign that said, Hammer A Nail In, so I said, ‘Can I hammer a nail in?’ But Yoko said no, because the show wasn’t opening until the next day. But the owner came up and whispered to her, ‘Let him hammer a nail in. You know, he’s a millionaire. He might buy it.’ And so there was this little conference, and finally she said, ‘OK, you can hammer a nail in for five shillings.’ So smartass says, ‘Well, I’ll give you an imaginary five shillings and hammer an imaginary nail in.’ And that’s when we really met. That’s when we locked eyes and she got it and I got it and, as they say in all the interviews we do, the rest is history.”

lennon_ono_trudeau_1969_b.jpg

ONO: “Well, he had a lot of experience before he met me, the kind of experience I never had, so I learned a lot from him, too. It’s both ways. Maybe it’s that I have strength, a feminine strength. Because women develop it… in a relationship, I think women really have the inner wisdom and they’re carrying that while men have sort of the wisdom to cope with society, since they created it. Men never developed the inner wisdom; they didn’t have time. So most men do rely on women’s inner wisdom, whether they express that or not […] So maybe both of us learned a lot about how men and women suffer because of the social structure. And the only way to change it is to be aware of it. It sounds simple, but important things are simple.”

***

John and Yoko are the anti-Pierre and Margaret. I concluded this was clearly because Yoko is rad. Then I saw her at the opening of the John Lennon documentary at the Toronto Film Fest, and she was wearing a floppy velvet hat and sunglasses inside the theatre. When someone asked her a question about the Iraq war she said (in falsetto) that peace was clearly happening all around us and we just weren’t paying attention.

Maybe the $150,000,000 and assassination of her husband finally got to her.

~ Reilly

“It is this continuous embrace of our own technology in daily use that puts us in the Narcissus role of subliminal awareness and numbness in relation to these images of ourselves. By continuously embracing technologies, we relate ourselves to them as servomechanisms. That is why we must, to use them at all, serve these objects, these extensions of ourselves, as gods or minor religions.” – H.M. McLuhan

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Girls more than men, as a rule

An article by Carl Jung on ‘Marriage as a Psychological Relationship’.

“The young person of marriageable age does, of course, possess an ego-consciousness (girls more than men, as a rule), but, since he has only recently emerged from the mists of original unconsciousness he is certain to have wide areas which still lie in the shadow and which preclude to that extent the formation of psychological relationship. This means, in practice, that the young man (or woman) can have only an incomplete understanding of himself and others, and is therefore imperfectly informed as to his, and their, motives. As a rule the motives he acts from are largely unconscious. Subjectively, of course, he thinks himself very conscious and knowing, for we constantly overestimate the existing content of consciousness, and it is a great and surprising discovery when we find that what we had supposed to be the final peak is nothing but the first step in a very long climb. The greater the area of unconsciousness, the less is marriage a matter of free choice, as is shown subjectively in the fatal compulsion one feels so acutely when one is in love. The compulsion can exist even when one is not in love, though in less agreeable form.”

~ Reilly 

 

“I think over again my small adventures, my fears

Those small ones that seemed so big

For all the vital things I had to get and reach

And yet there is only one great thing, the only thing

To live to see the great day that dawns and

The light that fills the world.”

– Old Inuit song.

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