Sheeba's Old View from the Window

What happened? What's happening. Sheeba's view from the window. Mine, on occasion, from wherever. Yours, from ... where.......?

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Samiya Bashir’s books of poetry, Field Theories (Spring 2017), Gospel, andWhere the Apple Falls, and anthologies, including Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art, exist. Sometimes she makes poems of dirt. Sometimes zeros and ones. Sometimes variously rendered text. Sometimes light. She lives in Portland, Ore, with a magic cat who shares her obsessions with trees and blackbirds and occasionally crashes her classes and poetry salons at Reed College.

samiya bashir dot com

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Of Razor Wit and Claw*

I am surprised and honored by Sheeba's invitation to join her blog, as well as humbly aware of the deep diplomatic potential this has for feline-human relations. With that in mind, and before I outline my vision for this partnership, I must make one thing abundantly clear:

I am not an ailurophobe.

There have been slanderous rumors, unsubstantiated allegations, and perhaps even a little documented evidence that I have, on atypical occasion, been less than respectful to the feline class. I wish to publicly and categorically refute all such attacks as mere partisan exercises designed to undermine what will no doubt be a union of ice-crushing impact.

Far from a cat-hater, I have long admired Sheeba's expert and impassioned analysis. I have noted our shared contempt for Red States and, oh i dunno... genocide, as well as our appreciation for Mr. Obama and Jon Stewart. I treasure what Sheeba and I hold in common. She recognizes as I do the importance of 18 solid hours of sleep a day. We both understand the beauty of the liberal political tradition, that government often creates and many problems as it solves where it sacrifices liberty to acheive its ends. We each enjoy sushi and thoroughly vindicated superiority complexes.

I have of course also appreciated that Sheeba's "View from the Window" is obviously a post-modern metaphor for our collective disconnection with the real - that the window represents the various screens (television, storefront, monitor, windshield...) through which we live. I have marvelled at the elegant lucidity that the windowed view metaphor brings to the contemporary human condition: that the world is before us, largely unreachable yet utterly visible, within our ken but not our grasp, and of course that our worldview is invariably distorted by our own reflection. I have spent many a Sunday afternoon pondering some of the metaphor's more salient first-line implications; for example, that the whole "ken but not our grasp" thing dovetails nicely with the possibility that technology (the window) has perverted us into a society of extreme access with paradoxically less interaction, and that of course this is a reason why all forms of modern activity are in danger of devolving into advertisement; that is, to quote Baudrillard (he also clearly borrowing heavily from this metaphor) the pattern of a "simplified operational mode, vaguely seductive, vaguely consensual" - we view, covet, reach, fail, and in defense make ourselves coveted yet unreachable. Truly I am quite taken aback by the sheer genius and expansiveness of this grand metaphor, and have spent many nights bathing in its corollary ripples.

I am confident that Sheeba's View and NumenLumen (latin, as it is, for new light) will coruscate in their cooperation. I am also pretty sure I could add the new light aspect to the windowed metaphor with stunning eloquence and profundity, but I've been up since noon and it's way past my bedtime.

* As far the asterisked title, I don't want to imply that I am the wit and Sheeba the claw. Sheeba has wit and claw; I, only wit. Still, it's catchy.


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