I’m slowly forging through High Weirdness, Erik Davis’s inventory of 1970s mysticism. He writes wonderfully about the feedback loops between our image world and the sense of spiritual possibility: “The object of weird fascination is folded back into the subject, constructing a strange loop of cultural play, recursive enigma, and extraordinary encounter that makes a raid on the real.”

Each time I come across the word “ontological,” I need to look it up, and the definition always inspires a low-grade panic attack because I know I’m reading the same sentence about “being, becoming, and existence” for the thousandth time.

The blurry line between media consumption and my soul reminds me of a moment in Don DeLillo’s Underworld when one of his characters zips along the Jersey Turnpike:

…and he saw billboards for Hertz and Avis and Chevy Blazer, for Marlboro, Continental and Goodyear, and he realized that all the things around him, the planes taking off and landing, the streaking cars, the tires on the cars, the cigarettes that the drivers of the cars were dousing in their ashtrays—all these were on the billboards around him, systematically linked in some self-referring relationship that had a kind of neurotic tightness, an inescapability, as if the billboards were generating reality…

And I’m generating such terrible realities for myself when I vacantly scroll through the day’s headlines, clickbait, two-minute hates, and social media psychodramas.


The Field – Looping State of Mind

Looping State of Mind | Kompakt, 2011 | Bandcamp
Each night in 2020 I wrote a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I wanted to etch these times into my memory. Before the world changed completely.

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