Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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December 11, 2006
gimme gimme chaos

                                                            (thesis question: Why drama?) (
                                                                                                                                                      Why do we need it?)

some pretty much undigested-as-yet links related to Morse Peckham's Man's Rage for Chaos (1965):

Art can be satisfactorily described only when it is understood not to fulfill the expectations which it arouses.
from John Lobdell's Feb. 1968 "'Both-And': A New Architectural Concept"

Art "serves to break up orientations, to weaken and frustrate the tyrannous drive to order, to prepare the individual to observe what the orientation tells him is irrelevant, but what may well be highly relevant."
MP quoted by Richard Kostelanetz

My own experience includes an individual who may have been precipitated into psychosis by intense intellectual experience with poetry characterized by a high and very difficult metaphorical content.
MP quoted in the June 1966 diary of the apparently quite illustrious, late Alfred de Grazia

Artists innoculate individuals and cultures by dosing them with levels of chaos they can tolerate.
commentator Catherine Brown brilliantly paraphrasing MP, one month after 9/11/01, in this thread, entitled "Poetry and Terror"

C. W. Spinks' "The Laughter of Signs: Semiosis as Trickster"
(Trickster characters as vehicles for exposure through play to zones that fall between or across cultural boundaries or margins, as rehearsal for dealing with zones of cognitive frustration/dissonance)

Edward Jayne's "A Homeostatic Model of Literary Experience" (.pdf)
(incorporates vital Aristotelian concepts of hamartia, anagnorsis, peripetia, mistake/tension/discovery/reversal/catharsis stages, etc.)

Finn Brunton's "Decontrol in Science, Music, and War"
(incl. discussion of Eno, Virilio, military theorist John Boyd)

Peckham "Himself," from the last page of M'sRfC:

We rehearse for various roles all our lives, and for various patterns of behavior. We rehearse our national, our local, and our personal styles.

These things we rehearse so that we may participate in a predictable world of social and environmental interaction. But we also must rehearse the power to perceive the failure, the necessary failure, of all those patterns of behavior. . . .

Art is rehearsal for those real situations in which it is vital for our survival to endure cognitive tension, to refuse the comforts of validation by affective    congruence [.pdf (on music in film)] when such validation is inappropriate because too vital interests are at stake; art is the reinforcement of the capacity to endure disorientation so that a real and significant problem may emerge.

Art is the exposure to the tensions and problems of a false world so that man [sic] may endure exposing himself [sic] to the tensions and problems of the real world. . . .

Art is rehearsal for the orientation which makes innovation possible.