Tag Archive - Dadaism

Polly’s Cadence (In Dada Flat)

'Parrot Dada' by Jay SchwartzPolly’s Cadence (In Dada Flat)

“Polly wants a cracker!”

A call is made.

You wait for a response.

I comply in earnest.

Behind the wool, you gloat blindly. 

Knowing enough words to nod along, I do so … knowingly knowing I know nothing. 

Point Counterpoint. A methodological approach to string theory resolves to the root of us all. Klimakatastrophe … deservingly so

You want dogma, a rationale of semiotic obedience.

A feathered response is in order:

There are no more prayers, only the chanting of reverberating sounds in the wild; the vibrations that ricochet off your sensitivities … forcing you to move.

You want belief, perhaps in distended words unspoken.

Yet, I have only the faith of habit found in sustained accidentals and enharmonic phonemes … and wings to sing of.

And oh how I’ll sing one day, despite your efforts to make me talk.

Continue Reading…

flattr this!

Ho Ho No: Sleigh Riding Through Dystopia

Dadamas by Jay SchwartzThe founders of a new colony, whatever Utopia of human virtue and happiness they might originally project, have invariably recognized it among their earliest practical necessities to allot a portion of the virgin soil as a cemetery, and another portion as the site of a prison. 
- Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

Reason’s Greetings! Let Freedom Ring! Well, sort of …

The festive season may be upon us, but be careful who you wish Happy Holidays to … especially if you live in the United States of the National Security Agency (USNSA) … or most likely anywhere else in the developed world. But let’s not confuse liberty with the freedoms of privacy or free speech, especially since Santa won’t be filling anyone’s stockings with either anytime soon.

For a society that grandstands for the principles of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and even goes as far as proclaiming them as ‘the American way’, one would imagine that realizing only 1 out of 3 of said principles just doesn’t cut the mustard.

As for ‘life’, consider the following recent news item: Christmas will not come for the murdered 30-year old New Jersey resident, Dustin Friedland, who was shot in the head by carjackers as he opened the door for his wife. The deadly shooting occurred in the parking area of the mall at which the couple had just finished holiday shopping.

So perhaps a new twist on the ideology of ‘American Exceptionalism’ should apply: anything goes EXCEPT life and liberty. Don’t despair, however, because the ‘pursuit of happiness’ can always be found in the arena of consumerism.

Perhaps a new seasonal national anthem is in order to the tune of “Deck The Malls With Boughs Of Folly” (and something about Orwellian visions of ‘aspartame plums’ dancing in our heads). Yes Virgina, INGSOC lives, especially in Anytown, USNSA. Let’s take a sleigh ride through dystopia, shall we? Ho Ho NO …

Continue Reading…

flattr this!

Good Mourning, Dada: Nurturing The Contrived Nature Of Concrete Art

'Dada Saves' by Jay SchwartzEat your chocolate
wash your brain
dada
dada
gulp some rain.
– Tristan Tzara
 
 
I’m constantly amazed at the capacity some people have to fail as human beings, or more specifically as products of nature. We have such great inherent artistic talent, and yet we are so often contrived in our behavior. Nurturing, for some, is done selectively and with ulterior motives. Efforts to save the planet come only after we’ve all but destroyed it. The art of being fully human remains lost to many who are kept afloat by a flotilla of prefabricated and standardized ‘paint by the numbers’ ideologies and conventions.
 
I write this on the heels of my mother’s recent passing, so as I let the tides of emotion wash over my head, I’m a bit vulnerable to the often groaned about process of grieving. Whatever comes comes; whatever goes goes – the good, the bad and the inane. Good mourning to all, I say, especially to me.
 
Therefore, I have resolved to refuse any attempt to self-repress my emotions or self-censor my thoughts during this period of bereavement. Mind you, this doesn’t say much, since on almost any given day this notion is ‘par for the course’ for me anyway.

flattr this!

Dadaism: Defeating The Overlords of Information Overload

'Dada Shutdown' by Jay Schwartz“Can the knowledge deriving from reason even begin to compare with knowledge perceptible by sense?”
– Louis Aragon
 
 ”Expert, texpert, choking smoker, don’t you hear the joker laugh at you?”
- John Lennon

 

Wherever you go, you find information. Of course, I do recognize that we are, after all, living in the ‘information age’, but I still can’t help but wonder where all this ‘information’ came from? Who discovered it? How did it begin to spread? Who continues to disseminate it and for what reason? I mean, today we are obviously all full it, so I think these are important considerations.

At some point in history, someone must have come along and said, “Hey there! You! Yes, you! I have some information for you.” Perhaps it was God or a visiting extraterrestrial tourist. Perhaps it was a squirrel. I have no clue. And that my friends is the point of today’s post: I have no clue. Yet, there is one thing I know for certain: there is simply too much information out there!

Continue Reading…

flattr this!

Physics and the Cosmogony of Dadaism: The Balanced and Unbalanced

'Give Us Your Dada' by Jay Schwartz“I destroy the drawers of the brain, and those of social organisation: to sow demoralisation everywhere, and throw heaven’s hand into hell, hell’s eyes into heaven, to reinstate the fertile wheel of a universal circus in the Powers of reality, and the fantasy of every individual.”
- Tristan Tzara
 
“The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot”
- Salvador Dali

 

Who can argue with the ‘big bang’ theory, except perhaps the creationists … or perhaps the creator? Such a discussion would most certainly use, as an analogy, the making of popcorn: a daring activity that is fraught with danger, not just of an ordinary household nature, but of that with planetary wide significance (i.e., ‘BOOM’).

When popping corn in the confines of a kitchen, it’s the random mix of organic and temporal variables that allow corn kernels to ‘pop’ one or a few at a time. However, it should go without saying that with the right alignment of variables, a single ‘super-pop’ might occur in which all kernels will simultaneously explode together.

Given such an event, it is quite possible, under the right cosmogonical circumstances, for such an explosion to actually rip a hole in the fabric of space and time, creating a mini-black hole, which if left unconstrained will turn us, and all manner of creation in this parsec of the universe, inside out.

Now, I don’t confess to be much of a physicist, but to some extent, you can’t get around certain laws of the related science. Most physicists understand that the study of physics, therefore, is not something that should be practiced at home, and is best left to facilities such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), where the art of popping corn can be studied in safety.

Continue Reading…

flattr this!

Down To Clown: Dadaism Meets Occupy Wall Street

'Dada Manisfestation' by Jay Schwartz“Every word that is spoken and sung here (the Cabaret Voltaire) represents at least this one thing: that this humiliating age has not succeeded in winning our respect.”
- Hugo Ball
 
“Apparently nothing will ever teach these people that the other 99 percent of the population exist.”
- George Orwell

 

It’s just another day on planet Earth. The warmongers are rattling their sabers. The power-mongers are scheming. Political pundits, regardless of their place in the political void, are preaching to their own choirs, and pseudo-intellectuals everywhere are mentally masturbating over whether or not the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement has faded away, even as its 2-year anniversary approaches.

Meanwhile, the rich (1%) are getting richer, the poor (99%) are getting poorer … and the ‘dadas’ are still creatively angst-ridden, at least this one is. Oh, and while we’re on the subject of existential angst, please note that I ‘might’ be facing deportation at sometime in the near future. Despite what my lawyer says, I reserve the right to be paranoid.

After all, having traded ‘standard of living’ for ‘quality of life’ about 18 years ago, I remain an American living in Greece, or so my pedigree and permanent resident papers claim, despite my personal non-conformity to either countries’ national norms.

Speaking of norms, I can’t help but draw a parallel between OWS and Dadaism, especially in regard to both movements’ anti-establishment stance on ‘the system’. In the faces of both personal and societal upheaval, both movements delight in rejecting the logic and reason of a fallacious zeitgeist that slavishly adheres to a system of personal slavery that’s been irrevocably broken for quite some time.

Of course, some people just don’t get it, claiming that it is human nature to bring order to what is perceived as chaos. Regardless of the fact that chaos may very well have its own brand of symmetry, hair-loss becomes rampant for some when presented with a square peg and a round hole.

Continue Reading…

flattr this!

The Gist and Jest of Jazz and Death

'Summertime Jazz' by Jay Schwartz“Over all, I think the main thing a musician would like to do is give a picture to the listener of the many wonderful things that he knows of and senses in the universe.”
- John Coltrane
 
“I am not afraid of death, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
- Woody Allen

 

As a writer and someone who tends to ’feel and think’ his way through life, I have certain subjects I often feel compelled to write significantly about since they intensely stir the very core of my existence. Today, I’m referring to jazz and death – the former with love, the latter with fear. Time to connect the dots.

Please note that this essay is not the big magnum opus I plan on writing one day on these topics, but merely my attempt to broach related issues of an existential nature (breathe, breathe, breathe). In fact, I’m quite aware that in all likelihood I will probably never write what I’d like to, since I’m mindful of the fact that any attempt to do so would fall short … simply because jazz and death are both larger than life. Moreover, descriptions of jazz are just as elusive as rationalizations of death. Most literature provides the gist, but misses the jest. That’s where I come in.

Continue Reading…

flattr this!

Free Dada Riot

'Dada Hero' by Jay Schwartz Dada is like your hopes: nothing.
Like your paradise: nothing.
Like your idols: nothing.
Like your heroes: nothing.
Like your artists: nothing.
Like your religions: nothing.
-Francis Picabia
 
“In those days we were all Dadaists. If the word meant anything at all, it meant seething discontent, dissatisfaction and cynicism. Defeat and political ferment always give rise to that sort of movement.”
- George Grosz

 

How often do you bang your head against the same wall? Why is it so hard to learn some lessons? Why are we addicted to stupidity and denial? Why are we suckers for flights of fancy? Why do we allow our egos to get the best of us?

These question are easily answered, but require large dollops of mind altering ‘faith’ that are not easily swallowed. In fact, by nature our egos detest blind-faith in anything. So instead we moan, groan and bitch about life and learn to mentally masturbate ourselves into insanity and denial.

Now, no one said life itself was easy. In fact, no one said anything of any nature! We arrive in this plane of existence with no guarantees. We have no receipt for the deeds of past lives; we are born with a clean slate. Our whole lives are ahead of us … followed by our inevitable deaths. Whether we will be granted another ‘go’ on the carousel of life is a matter of speculation … especially for the blind leading the blind.

In the meantime, God (fill-in this space with of your choice here or enter ‘not applicable’ if you are an atheist/agnostic) gives us different talents, abilities and proficiencies to help us get by in terms of finding happiness and maintaining our sanity. Yet, we regularly misuse or ignore these capacities, preferring instead to enslave ourselves to a system we call ‘the establishment’ that sucks away on our life force on a daily basis. This ‘golden calf’ keeps us distracted from what’s important in life, while it encourages us to look over ‘there’ to what we are ‘without’, rather than over ‘here’ to what would constitute as ‘within’.

Yet for some, questions persist …

Continue Reading…

flattr this!

Dada Bing Dada Boom: The Art Of Human Ineptness

Dada Payload by Jay Schwartz“What we call dada is foolery, foolery extracted from the emptiness in which all the higher problems are wrapped, a gladiator’s gesture, a game played with the shabby remnants… A public execution of false morality.”
- Hugo Ball
 
“Dada aimed to destroy the reasonable deceptions of man and recover the natural and unreasonable order.”
- Hans Jean Arp

 

The other day I found a large dead cockroach laying upside down in the middle of the sidewalk in front of the post office. It was a variety of which I had rarely seen in the years I’ve lived here in Salonica, but very close to the type of palmetto bugs that are the norm in Miami, where I was born. I had no idea how it had gotten there, but I nonetheless had the distinct feeling it must have fallen from the sky. It certainly hadn’t mailed itself to Greece.

The sight of it took me off guard and I pondered its possible existential meaning for a few moments before I continued down the street towards a distant bus-stop. While riding the bus, I thought about the life of a cockroach … and its end, whether by poisoning, being cannibalized by other bugs, or falling victim to a crushing flip-flop. I confess trying to find some Zen-like answer for its sudden appearance in my life at that particular moment. In truth, I never found an answer, and in fact I still have no idea why I even feel compelled to write about it in this post.

It was just one of those insignificant transient moments in life that shake you to your very core. In the words of ‘Billy’ Shakespeare, however, it was really just ‘much ado about nothing’. Yet, even today, it’s still hard to just let go of the significance of that ’unprocessed’ moment … because it remains an insult to both my ego the super-ego. (Note: the id conscientiously objected to comment.)

Continue Reading…

flattr this!

In A Dada Vita (Rethinking Kindergarten)

Dada Kindergarten by Jay Schwartz“Dada doubts everything. Dada is an armadillo. Everything is Dada, too. Beware of Dada. Anti-dadaism is a disease: selfkleptomania, man’s normal condition, is Dada. But the real dadas are against Dada.”
- Tristan Tzara
 
“It is so hard to believe because it is so hard to obey.”
- Soren Kierkegaard

 

In his ‘Dada Manifesto’, Tristan Tzara questions how it’s possible for anyone, or any institution, to expect to put order into the chaos that constitutes the “infinite and shapeless variation” of ‘man’. He suggests that Dada was “born of a need for independence”, and of “a distrust toward unity”. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps …

To me, the state of mankind has fallen from grace. Whose conception of grace I can’t say for sure, but I would suggest our own state of godliness, because at this stage of our evolution we should know better. Yet, the more we divide ourselves according to the lines of nationalism, politics, religion and even art, the more a large portion of us becomes mired in denial as to our own humanity.

Where did we as a society go wrong? When did the ‘art’ of being human change from ‘form to function’? Perhaps it’s time we should hold a candle to (pregnant pause and drum-roll) … kindergarten and its schizophrenic type orientation to social order it embeds in children.

Continue Reading…

flattr this!

Page 1 of 212»