JANE EYRE’S GOTHIC SHADOW AND WUTHERING HEIGHTS’ GOTHIC STONE

Gothic is a rather subjective term but the novels Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) and Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte) transcend literary nit-picking. Both are the finest gothic exemplars of their generation. The two books evoke landscapes of gothic expressionism using wholly different palettes. The Bronte sisters published almost concurrently, but their masterpieces diverge on an elemental level from the first sentence of the opening chapter. Wuthering Heights is a novel howling at the gothic stone, Jane Eyre a faerie whisper from of gothic shadow.

WHITE HORSE TAVERN – 567 HUDSON STREET, NEW YORK NY 10014

The White Horse Tavern (founded circa. 1890) is a bar and eatery on Hudston Street in New York's West Village. It was a favorite drinking hole for poets like Dylan Thomas and regular venue for the young beats Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Bukowski got drunk there once or twice too.

UTILITARIANISM – DEFINING THE IDEAL AND EXTIRPATING THE DOGMA

Utilitarianism defines good as “the greatest happiness for the greatest number”. It's an aspiration to make real choices based on an ultimate goal that's an ideal, not a dogma. This short article tries to explain what that means.

A man walks along an empty street in the old town area of Salzburg on April 6, 2020 during the exit restrictions amid the new coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic.

WALKING: MAP LOADS SLOW BUT CACHES AT THE SPEED OF THOUGHT

When you move through the world on foot it is slow, but the detail is unparalleled. Distilled into memory, the space and time become navigable at the speed of thought; the fastest speed you can imagine. We can call this taking possession and none of the 'faster' modes of travel take ownership of space in this way. Walking is therefore the fastest and the best and the most bohème way to move through the world.

COGNITIVE ASSONANCE

COGNITIVE DISSONANCE is a psychological state, observed when a brain holds onto a belief (about reality) in the face of persistent contradictory evidence; by somehow ignoring it. COGNITIVE DISSONANCE is stressful but not as disturbing as having to explode a belief. The brain's natural non-stress state, however, is COGNITIVE CONSONANCE, where belief is evidentially and consistently in alignment with reality. The less easily observed but nonetheless essential enabler of COGNITIVE DISSONANCE is known as COGNITIVE ASSONANCE. ASSONANCE recasts DISSONANCE with most of its stress removed so it feels almost as natural as CONSONANCE.

GINSBERG’S HOWL AND T. S. ELIOT’S THE WASTELAND

I've often heard Howl and The Wasteland paired before, in the smokeless midnight air of alt-coffee urban popups, listening for free as a mumbling hipster reads them aloud, back-to-back, in the same reverent cadence and double bass rhythm and nobody listening to the words...

WORDS MATTER. DEFINITIONS MATTER.

I don't like it when English is used badly (or lazily) in ways that - for whatever reason - get accepted into normal everyday usage. It's good when language grows but too often it's a case of importing one word, at the price of losing others.

PSYCHEDELICS – OPENING THE THIRD EYE – MEETING THE SUPER-INTELLIGENT ALIENS

Personality is the iceberg tip of a multidimensional internal universe of the mind. The conscious tip doesn't know much about what's happening in the exponentially larger elsemind but psychedelic excitation - like a D.M.T. trip using cubensis mushrooms or ayahuasca elixirs - brings tip and base into profound contact. Temporarily. What happens next is as remarkable as meeting with super-intelligent aliens.

THE “BEAT” ICONS – JACK KEROUAC and ALAN GINSBERG

Compare and contrast of the ‘beat’ heavyweights Alan Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, the former destined to live long and popular, a fine intellectual force on the American scene, the latter doomed to die young and unhappy but undeniably a genius in the global pantheon.

SPOONFEEDING THE WARM DIARRHOEA OF SOCIAL MEDIA OUTRAGE

Social media is a quixotic chain gang, prisoners shackled together by some antithesis of merit - failed wannabe artists, lazy scavengers of other people's renown - craving the recognition talent might have brought them, to fill the void of unfulfilled sociopath self-regard.

THE WORD “POSH” IS AN INSULT POPULAR IN UK MEDIA – WHAT’S IN A WORD?

Words are powerful. Monolithic powers appropriate words and redefine usage to control public opinion. But modern nations don't benefit from tribalism. Blame culture is a sickness, eroding society from within; an excuse for tearing down but never the creating. Words like "posh" are the stealthy outlier carriers for this plague.

SANITY STORIES FROM THE PAST MENACING THE 21ST CENTURY

Stories have been the psychosocial crutch that've kept our species sane - individually - in an awful unpredictable fear-filled world. The price has been high but here we were in the 21st century, 7 billion plus human brains parsing the universe through prisms of vast collective narratives that affect every moment and define - for most - every reaction, every thought, every decision.