The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

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unsanctioned frenzy

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Pondering while wandering.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m all ‘effed up. As is my habit during the summer, vast explorations of existential angst and delusion rule those intracranial electrical impulses which one might generously describe as thoughts. Fear, repulsion, and raw terror are the contents of that glob of salty fat which sits between the oddly shaped ears, above the loathsome mouth, and an inch or two behind the spectacles. The particular organ in question has been giving me trouble of late, and in the future I intend to use it gently as a repetitive stress injury seems to be taking hold.

from wikipedia

A semi-trailer is a trailer without a front axle. A large proportion of its weight is supported by a road tractor, a detachable front axle assembly known as a dolly, or the tail of another trailer. A semi-trailer is normally equipped with landing gear (legs which can be lowered) to support it when it is uncoupled.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Disappointment and loneliness are the root causes of all the worlds trouble, the Castor and Pollux of evil. One such as myself, however, is drawn to their stormy coastlines with its craggy delights. Your humble narrator has too full a schedule for the “Bon Vivant” and joys of summer, it seems, and is instead a mass of mouldering psychological injuries held together with string and sealing wax. Frivolities are not meant for such a creature- who is nothing less than an assassin of joy, mental weakling, physical coward, and a most feckless quisling.

from wikipedia

Emotional baggage is an everyday expression that correlates with many varied but similar concepts within social sciences, self-help movements, and other fields: its general concern is with unresolved issues of an emotional nature, often with an implication that the emotional baggage is detrimental.

As a metaphorical image, it is that of carrying all the disappointments, wrongs, and trauma of the past around with one in a heavy load.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Arcane ideations torment, coupled as they are with a startling emotional numbness, and one suspects that all this might not actually be happening. A sneaking suspicion, lurking maliciously at the scarred threshold of that glob of electrically charged, and quite salty, fat a couple of inches behind my glasses is not interpreting the world accurately, torments. A long standing delusion one suffers from, separate from the one which causes me to always look over my left shoulder when walking through Woodside at night, is that this all might be some sort of cruel simulation being run by an extra dimensional and all powerful entity which seeks to stress test and then judge one harshly according to an arbitrary set of rules. The existence of such a being would be outlandish, of course, as there is no evidence of such an entity other than in desert legends, folk stories, and peasant traditions.

from wikipedia

The simplest use of brain-in-a-vat scenarios is as an argument for philosophical skepticism and solipsism. A simple version of this runs as follows: Since the brain in a vat gives and receives exactly the same impulses as it would if it were in a skull, and since these are its only way of interacting with its environment, then it is not possible to tell, from the perspective of that brain, whether it is in a skull or a vat. Yet in the first case most of the person’s beliefs may be true (if they believe, say, that they are walking down the street, or eating ice-cream); in the latter case their beliefs are false. Since the argument says one cannot know whether one is a brain in a vat, then one cannot know whether most of one’s beliefs might be completely false. Since, in principle, it is impossible to rule out oneself being a brain in a vat, there cannot be good grounds for believing any of the things one believes; a skeptical argument would contend that one certainly cannot know them, raising issues with the definition of knowledge.

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Want to see something cool? Summer 2013 Walking Tours-

Kill Van Kull- Saturday, August 10, 2013
Staten Island walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Working Harbor Committee, tickets now on sale.

13 Steps around Dutch Kills- Saturday, August 17, 2013
Newtown Creek walking tour with Mitch Waxman and Newtown Creek Alliance, tickets now on sale.

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 16, 2013 at 7:45 am

ecstasies and horrors

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“follow” me on Twitter at @newtownpentacle

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Peculiar shapes framing the opalescent moon- no doubt due to a dynamic weather system, rather than some external force, intelligence, or madness inducing entity of supra normal scope which can exist only in the imaginings of a madman- caught my attention while returning to Astoria from the hoary lanes of Greenpoint. It seems sometimes that one spends most of his time occupied in perambulating between the two communities and those happy neighborhoods which adjoin the two.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

Trying to ignore the shining parallelogram of clouds which lent our world’s largest satellite a menacing cast, your humble narrator elected to continue working on the whole “night photography” thing, and began fumbling about with camera settings and nervously whispering to myself. Skillman Avenue, normally a well traveled and busy thoroughfare in Western Queens which adjoins the Sunnyside Rail Yard, is a ghost town at night, although there is a feeling of being watched.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

I was not being paranoid either, as dozens of security cameras actually were watching me. Whether someone is ultimately watching the camera feed is another matter, of course, but the machines notice all things. They especially notice a weirdo in a black raincoat waving a camera around in near total darkness. Such thinking kept my mind off the menace of the lunar threat, and the curious way that the parallelogram in the sky unsettled me.

- photo by Mitch Waxman

One supposes that he is just too fragile for this world, a stunted flower straining out from the cracks which mar a post industrial field of pavement. Perhaps it is fated that I follow my ancestors into convalescence and begin the search for an institution of charitable design which might house and insulate me from the terrible possibilities which lurk at the edge of sanity- for if one finds himself a selenophobic, may he not be accused of being a lunatic?

Written by Mitch Waxman

March 6, 2013 at 12:15 am

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