July 2007


I was at work the other day and noticed a display case for M&M candies that looked like this:

Yellow M&M

He stood about 3-4′ tall and was all hollow inside, where the candy would be put. It’s a nice, eye catching display, and something other than a big carboard oragami set up. The thing that made me stop and take another looks was that the first thing that came to my mind was “this is my body, broken for you. Take and eat,” (found in chapter 14 of the Gospel of Mark).

What is this saying about M&Ms and the act of eating them?

It’s hard to see the line between just creative marketing and religious inspired (even if unknowingly) imagery that seeks purchase with deeper threads of meaning than just “mmm, candy”. With the personification of M&M’s in their ads there is the space to wonder. Even more so, when you go to the M&M’s website they claim “there’s an M&M in everyone” and has an application to transform yourself into an M&M! Interesting possibilities.

Strange title. I’m not sure it means what I was thinking. However, that is exactly the point was hoping to hit on. Language as an inprecise tool.

I’m taking part in a symposium at MALS that deals mostly with the concept of prison and incarceration within the larger system of democracy. However, that doesn’t matter very much right now. What I’m concerned with is a technical aspect of how this class runs. We have to respond to or create questions involving the weekly readings online. It’s an academic version of this thing with a whole bunch of users actually. Interesting. Anyway, when you’re writing these things, there isn’t a lot of emphasis on writing the way you would for an actual paper (though we all try to write properly). What sometimes (often) happens is that we use the wrong word. All the more so when we’re trying to describe obscure aspects of raw ideas without a lot of concrete references.

It is important to note that when I talk about anything, the words themselves (unfortunately) aren’t my top concern. Any given word I use isn’t chosen out of the technical definition. Rather, I’m passing through the cloud that is the idea of the word and taking with me some aspect of it. Maybe the whole thing, maybe just the feeling the word invokes, maybe some part of it. I don’t mean to be inprecise, but at the same time I’m not going to worry about the meaning of every word so that if you didn’t know English but had a dictionary you could get my exact meaning. I’m much more quantum mechanical than that.

Final words that might help anyone having to deal with me and my ideas. Quantum, rhizome, monad. Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” and interdisciplinary thought. Gadfly.

It seems my life is a never ending of chain of beginnings followed less by conclusions and more by more beginnings.

So from the first day in July I’ve moved from a third floor 2+ bedroom apartment in Manchester to a first floor one bedroom with a porch in Exeter. I love it, even though it’s so much smaller than my old place. I get to make all the rules and decide what gets dirty, what gets cleaned, and when. Well, Zero likes to make his own rules but for the most part it’s a sweet deal. The problems now are practical ones like not having a cutting board or enough bookcases and the like. All will come in time.

Dartmouth became another beginning (again) last month as well. I’m taking the symposium titled “Prisonhouses of Democracy” and reading some interesting but obscure stuff. We began with Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. That man was a bloody genius. Amazing stuff and I wish I had been into him earlier.

All is in flux. Hopefully this will settle down soon.