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American Slip? - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
American Slip?
So I'm in the process of trying to make sense of some of Skylar's art supplies. The first step is to sort all her blank paper. I get out a cardboard box of hanging file folders and begin tackling the bottom drawer of her desk, pulling out a ream of laser-printer paper. I start writing a tab for the file. Kim walks into the family room to put in a video for Skylar. I remember a question I'd wanted to ask her last night, after she'd already gone to bed. "Kim, does that portable CD player you bought have an electrical power adapter?" She says it doesn't. "But maybe we already have one that will work." I finish writing the tab. As I slip it into the slits on the file folder, I realize what I've written:

And I can't stop laughing. It's such a wonderful illustration of the return of the repressed. Because the archivist's attempt to make order out of disorder is always already bound up with a call to order of a far less innocent sort. Goodness knows that my superficial tendency to forego neatness derives in large measure from my recognition that once I start organizing I can't stop in a timely fashion. On the other hand, there is something alluring about the fantastic notion that one could contain white power by filing it away in a box. Sadly, though, that's one archive that has a way of escaping every fold meant to hold it in place, defiling everything in its path.

Mode: slip-sliding
Muse: the soothing sounds of a Little Bear video

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Comments
_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: September 24th, 2005 07:35 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
The fascist power hand overrides theoretical frameworks!!

that my superficial tendency to forego neatness derives in large measure from my recognition that once I start organizing I can't stop in a timely fashion

I can relate to this perfectly. And often, with me, things escalate all out of reasonable control: The desire to organize papers turns into the *need* to go buy wood and build new shelves right then and there. Which then leads to thinking "well, I certainly don't have time to do *that* so I'll just leave these papers right here on the floor."
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 24th, 2005 08:39 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
We are kindred spirits! I was just thinking, as I read your comment, that bureaucracy could be interpreted as a distortion of that impulse to create order. "I don't want to go there myself, so I'm going to find a way to make someone else sustain my fixation by making them do the dirty work of filing." Better read my von Mises. . . :-)
art_thirst From: art_thirst Date: September 24th, 2005 08:03 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Charlie, that is so funny! You tripped me out with that one. :-))
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 24th, 2005 08:34 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I was hoping to give you a disturbed chuckle!

Glad things are going a teeny bit better with your work. It sounds like Miami Art Exchange is making some headway.
art_thirst From: art_thirst Date: September 24th, 2005 11:01 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Well, I'm getting some cash flowing in but, it needs to be larger in volume and frequency. Ya know?! I'm getting the ball rolling, finally.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 24th, 2005 11:29 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Those things tend to grow exponentially, once they do start rolling, so I'm keeping my toes crossed for you!
flw From: flw Date: September 25th, 2005 04:05 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

inadvertent racism

I worked at this bookstore and a buddy of mine worked at a photo shop next door. In the back, they had several big plastic cans for discarding waste, which photoshops generate a lot of. So apparently the workers were screwing it up, because they had to keep making the signs bigger and bigger. After awhile they had it down, more or less to three barrels one of which proclaimed in big letters "WHITES ONLY, NO COLORS!" because, that was exactly what was meant in the context of the back room where they did the developing.

Well, one day, the power door in the front of the store was on the fritz and they needed to wedge the door open with something, and what do they use in pinch without thinking? Of course...

So, here's this business, and right in front they have this big sign that says "WHITES ONLY! NO COLORS!"
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 25th, 2005 05:06 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: inadvertent racism

That's a great story. I'm still tripping on the thing I did today. It's bad enough being of Germanic descent. . . :-)
From: e4q Date: September 25th, 2005 11:09 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: inadvertent racism

"It's bad enough being of Germanic descent"
the guilt, the guilt!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 25th, 2005 03:10 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: inadvertent racism

German and American both. And I've got some English blood too!
From: e4q Date: September 25th, 2005 04:14 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: inadvertent racism

god, i feel sorry for you.
i spend my time insisting i am 'english' in the face of people who say i am 'scottish'. i spent some formative years in both countries and have lived in england for years now. i was born here, but my mother is scottish.and took us kids there when i was 9. the racism i encountered there is in no small part responsible for my positioning myself as 'not'. otherwise i am always a 'londoner' for specific reasons to do with modernity and otherness. the last census they did that irritating thing of mixing ethnicities up with colours, which always annoys me. i wrote that i am a viking celtic huguenot gypsy, because these are the actual ethnicities of which i am comprised.
others focused their energies on pushing the religious categories around, and the sheer weight of 'jedis' was a blow for 'otherness' in general
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