the cut up method, uncreative writing, delusions of whiteness, et al.

the cut up method, william burroughs

into this: “You can not will spontaneity. But you can introduce the unpredictable spontaneous factor with a pair of scissors.”


i’ve been wanting to try this method with windows open on my computer, like this:

uncreative writing, kenneth goldsmith

“the act of pushing language around”

“gift economies, open-source cultures…” 🙄

“Lethem’s piece is a self-reflexive, demonstrative work of unoriginal genius.” o rly?

“For them, the act of writing is literally moving language from one place to another, proclaiming that context is the new content.” ah, like financialization! the value is in the asset bundling. or something.

delusions of whiteness in the avant garde, cathy park hong

“the luxurious opinion that anyone can bepost-identity'”

“expired snake oil”, “masturbatory exegesis”

what does she mean by this? “in complete transcription, in total paratactic scrambling,”

“Here is how Dworkin and Goldsmith characterize Zong: “the ethical inadequacies of that legal document . . . do not prevent their détournement in the service of experimental writing.”God forbid that maudlin and heavy-handed subjects like slavery and mass slaughter overwhelm the form!”

omg omg i promise i will not c&p the entire essay, but… “To be an identity politics poet is to be anti-intellectual, without literary merit, no complexity, sentimental, manufactured, feminine, niche-focused, woefully out-of-date and therefore woefully unhip, politically light, and deadliest of all, used as bait by market forces’ calculated branding of boutique liberalism. Compare that to Marxist—and often male—poets whose difficult and rigorous poetry may formally critique neoliberalism but is never “just about class” in the way that identity politics poetry is always “just about race,” with little to no aesthetic value.”

“…say a few more panels on forgotten subaltern poetry for the next wax museum conference?” 😱


all of trump’s executive orders are hosted on the site like blog posts. i pulled them all down using curl and put them into individual text files (which, btw, i wonder if there is a feed of these somewhere?):

i already loved HTML, but now i love it even more because each <tag> is followed by a newline. oh right obvi this is because browsers are trying to parse things just like i am. i am a browser. not a very good browser yet :-/

i tried wc -l and wc -m to count lines and chars. i’m sure one day these commands will be useful for something?

i cleaned up one of the executive orders by deleting all the stuff at the top and bottom, leaving just the <div>s and <p>s that contained EO content. i should figure out how to do this programmatically. maybe

  1. look through file with my actual eyeballs
  2. grep parent div that i want and remove anything before it.
  3. not sure how i would find the closing </div> for that section to delete everything after…
  4. line.strip() to get everything on its own line

anyway, i did it manually for now. i used the code from class to shuffle the lines of the first executive order.

$ cat EO1-clean.txt | python > output.txt

and then, since it was HTML, i put it in an index.html file.

i tried to do a slightly different version that splits each line at “law” and removes that word, then joins everything back together, and shuffles.

but it just resulted in a thousand AttributeErrors

so but what i really want to do is a cutup of both content and HTML tags and have the css still apply to the tags. that way, i’d get divs and buttons and menus all over the place.

Leave a Reply