[NetBehaviour] A Slip of the Tongue

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Tue Jun 14 06:47:24 CEST 2022

A Slip of the Tongue


-- > I wrote the following satirical piece after using images
from traffic and route applications, as a way of dealing with
my own desire to leave the city I'm in. I was not, did not,
think about Ukraine, not this time; I was thinking about
Lowell, Mass.; we had just returned. All right. But that is
insufficient. How much time should we devote to thinking about
the butchery of Ukraine? How should we approach that? The
images that we see now, in this stage of the slaughter, are
worse, if that is possible, than some of the earlier; now the
policy is scorched earth and total universal destruction
within a region, the planet be damned. So that what I wrote
below is preposterous, a satire where there ultimately there
is none. Yet I wake in the morning often weeping at the
thought of my own oblivion, my own isolation. It's not that I
feel I should be "grateful" for what I have, but that what I
have is irrelevant, as long as the world devours the world.
There is no way to deal with this. I suggest again and again
on a practical level to donate, speak out, do what one can,
but always remember we are here and what is there is, in a
sense inconceivable to us, not withstanding the daily images
available to everyone outside of Russia.

Again, I wasn't thinking at all about this, when it should
perhaps for the most part be at the top of what we think about
or at least we should not give us the luxury of forgetting it.
Not now, and we should have had the same lack with Syria, with
the Uyghur territories, with our response to Iraq, to Vietnam,
to a litany of so many actions that as the Republicans might
say, there are folders full of them.

I don't want to deprecate my own work; that's for others to
do. But I want to draw a line through this piece in relation
to an emptiness which can only be full/filled by considering
what it becomes with this introduction as the slaughter in
Ukraine overshadows everything else we might be thinking about
or through in our work or daily lives:

"Help! Help! Get us out of here!


Here we are! Now get us out of here!
We, who have done so much (nothing!) for you!
Get us out of here!
We are dying in traffic! No! We are just dying!
Read my books! Listen to our music! Watch my videos!
Watch our videos! Get us out of here and we will never!
Never! Never! Bother you again! Such humiliation!
Such a waste of human talent! Us! Here!
Now get us out of here! Get us out of here!"


Get us out: of here: of this transmission.


We're in Providence, image from Lowell.


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