Friday, September 20, 2013

Apocalyptic: Uncovering the Cover-Up (a good thing)

Dear Fictionists, Linguists, Transformationalists
and Colleagues Across the Borders of Curriculum

Apocalyptic   (Revelation)                           

apo – open; calypso:  unfold,: reveal, exposing what was covered up.

The silent, no-talk, hand-out reading/response mobile device manipulation
first half of class exposes the wit, savvy, whimsy, insight, play and intelligence
of the group. Good and plenty. Galore. More than any one can do justice to,
cover, incorporate. Embarrassment of riches?

With no grade-gun forcing the issue: we select what calls to us,provokes,
aggravates, tweaks,--find agreeable, find disagreeable. And we respond
in kind, or sometimes unkind. Whatever.

Life of the Mind minding more or less mindfully.  Engaged. All on the
same pages together. Hard copy.  
The  second half of class, Life of the Body Politic  exposes our
embarrassment, —literally  “behind bars”   is what mbarrassment
means. An embarrassment of poverty?  Covering over the cover-up.  

                                 “Men killed, and died, because
                                  they were embarrassed not to.”
                           (Tim O’Brien, “The Things They Carried “)

Let “EMBARRASSMENT” ( being behind bars)  stand for & represent
our fundamental human  condition—for the sake of argument. . 

You can argue for fear,  greed (“hunger”), You might prefer to say dead,
asleep, unborn, in a cave. blind, deaf, sinful,  basically evil, basically
good-but- constrained—all these ways  we characterize ourselves
 metaphorically (as-if) and some literally.   Your favorite? 
For the sake of argument?

But consider:  twice a week, after moving  thru the Life of the Mind part
of the class, we drift into chaos (thanks to the anarchy structured into  the
course) and what’s revealed? Seriously: uncovered? Brought to light?

What happens when external  protocol and procedure and agenda and
aim and  purpose and goal (good linear, instrumental, practical, getRdone
frames of mind) are eliminated and no longer filter the chaos?  What’s
exposed when collective structure and  custom and culture is suspended?
What’s hidden and covered over when the “arches” are in place?

Conventions which we live in are  transparent in the invisible way. Once
they are dropped, we can see them for the first time.—present by
their absence.  

Fiction, Language, Big Ideas from 19th c. provide the texts, token content
and subject matter of our “study/” (from I.E.steu “to be struck by a stick,”
 stunned stupid;and in the Zen and  early Greek tradition : prerequisite for
study. Stunning, yes?

(Not to be confused with the liberal arts, them majors and minors, poster
and capstone events.)

Look what happens:  the texts become backgrounded and context (us)
becomes figure.  Media (us) becomes message. A constellation of
divergent activity replaces  convergent sequence of linear focus
weare used to.

An embarrassment of riches? A curse of  good and plenty?  A crush of
renewable  resource?  Zero based thinking. Starting  up again and again
from old scratch  each gathering. Originating. Inaugurating.  Initiating..
Authorizing.  Up for  grabs—a good thing?  A terrible thing?  The silence
is deafening.. Golden.    Strangers in a strange land.  Ah, the humanity.


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