Note: Spoilers below for Twin Peaks: The Return, Parts 1–11.

1989 comes to a small northwestern town, just as it comes to every other place. This town, sheltered by the rains and forests of Washington State, is called Twin Peaks.

And in 1989, Twin Peaks becomes a place so unlike every other place, it’s almost insulting to describe it with the same language, channeled through the same air.

Something will find Twin Peaks and linger there: an entity from outside space and time, incorporated in a human body, but endless and depthless when you look into its eyes… a creature…

I’m going to go ahead and post some more abstract notes, developing some ideas I’ve had floating around for a while. This is related to this post and this post, where you’ll find what I was then calling the Aspect Aesthetic (I think I need a better name).

This is a follow-up on those posts, doing the following three things:

  • elaborating on those basic points
  • expanding the argument to include the Critic
  • reducing some of my previous wordiness

Still, the big idea is the same: that these three roles are fundamental, especially when talking about aesthetics… and they can be…

Your style is a straitjacket.

You’ve figured out what you think is beautiful, and what kind of work you’re committed to, and what kind of character you have as an artist, and this is your protective stance as you present yourself to the world. Every time you give the public a new artifact, a new piece of yourself, you put yourself at their mercy… and yet, you’ve shut out so many others. Because by choosing your style, you’ve excluded all other styles, and those exclusions have become part of your identity.

Your identity is built on an unstable affirmative and…

John Crowley wrote about Sleep more perfectly than I could ever hope to rival, so I’ll use his words (culled from his novel Little, Big) as padding between my mutterings.

“But life is wakings-up, all unexpected, all surprising. On a certain November afternoon, twelve years ago, from a certain nap (why that day? Why that nap?) she had awakened from sleeping: eyes-closed, blankets-up-to-chin, pillow-sleep Sophie awakened, or had been awakened, for good.”

Little, Big pg. 254

Sleep is every sentience’s fellow-traveler, and so, naturally, we’ve all cultivated very personal relationships with her.

For some, it’s affection, even to self-indulgence: a…

It’s hard to think about anything but politics these days.

I’m not the first to notice this. It’s a known issue, especially within the media-elite bubble of anxiety and outrage. Checking Twitter and Google News and WhatTheFuckJustHappened… these things eat up more of my cognitive real estate than I ever thought I could spare for something so unproductive.

There are other effects, though. One of the most pronounced: I’ve felt pressured, nigh compelled, to question my creative priorities. I’ve suddenly grown skeptical of my more fanciful pursuits, like writing fiction (a long-term project) and experimenting in visual art. This…

A disfiguration of a Ben Franklin quote:

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

Which is itself a poor flopping fish, ripped out of a sea of context, looking pretty in only the most superficial, dysfunctional way.

Original quote aside, the most salient issue is the speaker’s unilateral judgement of moral standing. Who are you, exactly, to tell me what I deserve? Your cherished “liberty” sanctions the pursuit of safety, if that’s what I happen to want to do with my god-given free will.

This platitude gets a bit…

Those of us who fetishize the expressive capacities —we self-identified “creatives” and “artists” and associated communities— we have a lot of unresolved questions floating over our heads. Among these questions: who is your target audience? Do you have one, and if not, should you? What’s your obligation to the people who consume your creations? What, for that matter, are their obligations to you? Do you experience your own art in the same way you experience others’?

I won’t pretend to have answers to all these questions. Personally, I’m more preoccupied with a simpler, more immediate one: given that you have…

Driving between a daycare center and a pediatrician’s office, I heard a story on NPR about Trump’s cabinet.

The lede, as I heard it, was about how Trump is organizing a coup to deregulate Wall Street. This is, of course, infuriating to me, as I thought this was one of the only things the left and right agreed about: that Wall Street is too cushy, that it controls too much of the economy and doesn’t have any appreciable benefit for the family business or the struggling employee or the general productivity of this big hard-working country. …

When lightning strikes on the horizon, we stand and gape for a moment, no matter how predictable it was, and no matter how prepared we thought we were.

The hardest part about reconciling with the present moment — not submitting to it, of course, but finding the right way to exist in relation to it — is going to be resisting the spectacle of it all. We are all, even unto the most cynical and steady, vulnerable to the distraction that comes from bearing witness. …

Earliest attribution, via Quote Investigator, is that this comes from a guy named Anselm Batbie, quoted by Jules Clariete, attributing the idea to Edmund Burke.

The formulation that’s most relevant to my own political framework comes from a 1977 pamphlet, and was attributed to Benajmin Disraeli: “ A man who is not a Liberal at sixteen has no heart; a man who is not a Conservative at sixty has no head.”

In terms of truthfulness and usefulness, I’d say it ranks low among truisms; same for its poetry. What it lacks in these areas, it makes up for in character……

Jesse Miksic

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