Monday, September 05, 2005

Random Transmissions 3: Dualism: Apollo & Dionysus

The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars... ~ Jack Kerouac

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night... ~ Allen Ginsberg

I see the dynamic of history as an oscillation between the Apollonian and the Dionysian principles, order and energy, which become, at their extremes, fascism or chaos. In sexual terms, this promises eternal conflict between repression and debauchery. We must learn how to make tiny corrections to avoid the uncontrolled swing of the pendulum that, over a generation, swept us from Fifties conformism to Sixties rebellion to Seventies excess and the cataclysm of AIDS. We now live with the smell of funeral pyres ~ Camille Paglia

You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The Apollonian rules we pass to govern the workplace will never fully control the demonic impulses of the Dionysian night ~ Camille Paglia

The specific idiocy of our time is, sadly, no longer differentiated from its intelligence. It is merged with it. It is no longer uneducated, but is indeed overinformed and has the same reflex vivacity as artificial intelligence. It is the degree Xerox of stupidity which merges with the degree Xerox of intelligence ~ Jean Baudrillard

Vulnerability generates its own entrapments, creating a maelstrom of voracity around itself. Nature abhors a vacuum ~ Camille Paglia

I know my fate. One day there will be associated with my name the recollection of something frightful -- of a crisis like no other before on earth, of the profoundest collision of conscience, of a decision evoked against everything that until then had been believed in, demanded, sanctified. I am not a man I am dynamite ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained ~ William Blake

Dionysus is identification, Apollo objectification. Dionysus is the empathic, the sympathetic emotion transporting us into other people, other places, other times. Apollo is the hard, cold separatism of western personality and categorical thought. Dionysus is energy , ecstasy, hysteria, promiscuity , emotionalism - heedless indiscriminateness of idea or practice. Apollo is obsessivesness, voyeurism, idolatry, fascism - frigidity and aggression of world seeking cathexis... Our brains are split, and brain is split from the body. The quarrel between Apollo and Dionysus is the quarrel between the higher cortex and the older limbic and reptilian brains. Art reflects on and resolves the eternal human dilemma of order versus energy. In the west, Apollo and Dionysis strive for victory. Apollo makes the boundary lines that are civilization but that leads to convention, constraint, oppression. Dionysus is energy unbound, mad, callous, destructive, wasteful. Apollo is law, history, tradition, the dignity and safety of custom and form. Dionysus is the new, exhilarating but rude, sweeping all away to begin again. Apollo is a tyrant, Dionysus a vandal. Every excess breeds its counteraction. So western culture swings from point to point on its complex cycle, pouring forth its lavish tributes of art, word and deed. We have littered the world with grandiose achievements. Our story is vast, lurid, and unending ~ Camille Paglia

One last thought... there is no law in the arena. Many are killed. I hope to see you again, Judah Ben-Hur ~ Sheik Ilderim

Some idea swimming in the blue gelatine of the reptilian brain, seeking out the gossamer-thin difference between the illusion and the real ~ Jean Baudrillard

General Corman: Well, you see Willard... In this war, things get confused out there, power, ideals, the old morality, and practical military necessity. Out there with these natives it must be a temptation to be God. Because there's a conflict in every human heart between the rational and the irrational, between good and evil. The good does not always triumph. Sometimes the dark side overcomes what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature. Every man has got a breaking point. You and I have. Walter Kurtz has reached his.
And very obviously, he has gone insane.

Captain Willard: Yes sir, very much so sir. Obviously insane.

Lucas: Your mission is to proceed up to Nung river in a Navy patrol boat. Pick up Colonel Kurtz' path at Nu Mung Ba, follow it, learn what you can along the way. When you find the colonel, infiltrate his team by whatever means available and terminate the colonel's command.

Willard: Terminate ? The colonel ?

Corman: He's out there operating without any decent restraint. Totally beyond the pale of any acceptable human conduct. And he is still in the field commanding his troops.

Civilian: Terminate with extreme prejudice.

Lucas: You understand captain... , that this operation does not exist, nor will it ever exist.

No comments: