Saturday, December 28, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 153

Bit Of A Melange

But to live variously cannot simply be a gift, endowed by an accident of birth; it has to
be a continual effort, continually renewed.
Zadie Smith,
Speaking In Tongues

General Abner Doubleday wrote to Bachelder in this chastened spirit five years after the
congressional appropriation: "It is difficult in the excitement of battle to see every thing going on around us for each has his own part to play and that absorbs his attention to the exclusion of every thing else. People are very much mistaken when they suppose because a man is in a battle, he knows all about it."
Gettysburg Regress
By John Summers
New Republic

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 152

Key Excerpts In Rough Narrative

We need to redefine community and find a
variety of ways of coming together and helping each other.
Sharon Salzberg

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.
Vincent van Gogh

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 151

What On Earth?

I am a conservator of endangered wonder in a time much imperilled and imperilling. I am a herder of unruly propositions that kick at the stall, sometimes all night. I am a caretaker of what I have been entrusted with, and I suppose my job is to have some discernment in how and when and if I lift those things up into the light, for others to consider. And in so doing I try to keep lithe and well practiced the ragged hum of human wonder that can bind us in something very like kinship, to each other and to those who came before us. Especially to them. When I remember to, my teaching lifts up my teachers, but always it is a praise song to them and their teaching. And especially to their teachers, and to theirs, to the ones I don’t know and will never meet.
Dec 9, 2013
by Stephen Jenkinson

Song clip
Everlast - what it's like

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 150

Zeitgeist Riffs

The themes are familiar, their play is unusual. It's the sequential juxtapositioning. Between depth psychology and the decline and fall of the job system. Between "don't worry, be happy" and legitimate suffering. From the end of the Bible to Mickey Bush to Hitler and beyond, strobed through the fence-slats of silence.

I have a better time playing because I have a
variety of colors to bring to the table.
John Frusciante

“I am hooked on talk as a creative dialogue,” she once remarked in her journals, and added:“For me, it’s the principal medium of my salvation."
Maria Popova on Susan Sontag

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 149

In Other Words

The public sphere is where competing storylines slug their way out, it’s where politicians, journalists, experts and yakkers connect the dots, find patterns and fashion narratives.  We take all that in, spoiler-free, in a state of genre-blindness, not knowing whether we’re watching a tragedy or an adventure play out.
It's Important to Know How the Stories We Tell Ourselves -- True, or Not-- Shape our World... for Better or Worse
AlterNet / By Marty Kaplan

Let The Slave

(Incorporating The Price Of Experience. Text: William Blake)

Let the slave grinding at the mill run out into the field
Let him look up into the heavens and laugh in the bright air
Let the enchained soul, shut up in darkness and in sighing
Whose face has never seen a smile in thirty weary years
Rise and look up; his chains are loose, his dungeon doors are open;
And let his wife and children return from the oppressors scourge
They look behind at every step and believe it is a dream
Singing: the sun has left his blackness and has found a fresher morning
And the fair moon rejoices in the clear and cloudless night

For empire is no more and now the lion and wolf shall cease
For everything that lives is holy
For everything that lives is holy
For everything that lives is holy
For everything that lives is holy

What is the price of experience? do men buy it for a song?
Or wisdom for a dance in the street? no, it is bought with the price
Of all that a man hath, his house, his wife, his children
Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy
And in the witherd field where the farmer plows for bread in vain
It is an easy thing to triumph in the summers sun
And in the vintage and to sing on the waggon loaded with corn
It is an easy thing to talk of patience to the afflicted
To speak the laws of prudence to the homeless wanderer
To listen to the hungry ravens cry in wintry season
When the red blood is filld with wine and with the marrow of lambs

It is an easy thing to laugh at wrathful elements
To hear the dog howl at the wintry door, the ox in the slaughter house moan;
To see a God on every wind and a blessing on every blast
To hear sounds of love in the thunder storm that destroys our enemies house;
To rejoice in the blight that covers his field
And the sickness that cuts off his children

While our olive and vine sing and laugh round our door
And our children bring fruits and flowers

Then the groan and the dolor are quite forgotten
And the slave grinding at the mill
And the captive in chains and the poor in the prison

And the soldier in the field
When the shattered bone hath laid him groaning among the happier dead
It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity:

Thus could I sing and thus rejoice: but it is not so with me.

Van Morrison, Let The Slave

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 148

A Free Box Of Out-Of-The-Box Wisdom
(ejectus in viam)

Arrange whatever pieces come your way. ~Virginia Woolf

John Mitchell ‏@OneJohnMitchell1h
You are never alone in life. And certainly not while you have all those voices inside your head

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 147

Road Signs From The Road Less Traveled

There are two possible answers to the current challenges to the arts. One is to accept the market rhetoric that dominates the rest of the culture. If you move in this direction you may possibly be financially viable but you will be doomed to fit more and more closely within the materialistic norms of our times. You may continue to function but you will lose your own souls.

Alternatively, you can enliven the old traditions supported by those who believe in the importance of the liberal arts and the ability to think. You can argue for the right to think freely outside the box. You can reclaim the role of the arts as the breaker of old boundaries and the creator of new dreams and visions.
Robert Theobald

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 146

Wayward Words And The Woods

We start with kids and end up in the forest.

"...a flea market or a country fair, a collection of differently colored and designed booths spread around a meadow, with the edges of the fair dissolving into the forested wilderness beyond...the fair is a place of play and discovery. It is filled with a vitality, a wildness, a tumult of different voices and things to see and do. There are jesters and tricksters, magicians and shamans, healers and mystics…."
David Spangler

The Sound Of Trees

by Robert Frost

I wonder about the trees.
Why do we wish to bear
Forever the noise of these
More than another noise
So close to our dwelling place?
We suffer them by the day
Til we lose all measure of pace,
And fixity in our joys,
And acquire a listening air.
They are that talks of going
But never gets away;
And that talks no less for knowing,
As it grows wiser and older
That now it means to stay.
My feet tug at the floor
And my head sways to my shoulder
Sometimes when I watch trees sway,
From the window or the door.
I shall set forth for somewhere,
I shall make the reckless choice
Some day when they are in voice
And tossing so as to scare
The white clouds over them on.
I shall have less to say,
But I shall be gone.

Thanks to Jim Andrews for tree of grammar and Sooke clearcut story.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 145

Piehole Proclamations

Part holy fool and court jester, part spiritual lawyer for the human encounter with the divine, the bard is the great rememberer, the librarian of all refused stories.
Stephen Jenkinson

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 144

Irreverent Revelations

I know of no other
manner of dealing with great tasks than as play.

Most truths are less interesting than the complex and dynamic intercrossing of forces, intensities,discourses, desires, accidents, idiosyncrasies, and relations of power that
produce those culminations. For these networks, while revealing the bifurcations and determinations, the choices, impulses, and propensities, en-route to a particular set of distillations, cannot fail to indicate at the same time unactualized possibilities, fields of indefinitude, and lines of escape.
Teachers In Nomadic Spaces
Kaustuv Roy

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 143

The Cult Of Working For A Living

To make the simplest gesture with the hand can convey the utmost sense of life… Activity in itself means nothing: it is often a sign of death. By simple external pressure, by force of surroundings and example, by the very climate which activity engenders, one can become part of a monstrous death machine, such as America, for example.
Henry Miller, Tropic Of Capricorn

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 142

Matters Of Life And Death

But I haven’t described Dream City. I’ll try to. It is a place of many voices, where the unified singular self is an illusion. Naturally, Obama was born there. So was I. When your personal multiplicity is printed on your face, in an almost too obviously thematic manner, in your DNA, in your hair and in the neither this nor that beige of your skin—well, anyone can see you come from Dream City. In Dream City everything is doubled, everything is various. You have no choice but to cross borders and speak in tongues. That’s how you get from your mother to your father, from talking to one set of folks who think you’re not black enough to another who figure you insufficiently white. It’s the kind of town where the wise man says “I” cautiously, because “I” feels like too straight and singular a phoneme to represent the true multiplicity of his experience. Instead, citizens of Dream City prefer to use the collective pronoun “we.”
Zadie Smith,
Speaking In Tongues

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 141

On The Other Hand

All these many thousands of clips are little beautiful animals found by the wayside, which I keep in front of me as I move sideways through life.

The octopus arms of the institutions, the military-industrial complex, the financial-corporate complex, the prison-industrial complex, the schooling-industrial complex, the entertainment-corporate media complex, the inferiority complex, the psycho-pharmaceutical complex, never mind complex adaptive systems, all intertwine, like an octopus orgy, and we with our complexes try to navigate them suckers.
Jack Saturday

Smiley and West radio show

The great Stan Rogers

Stefan Molyneux, Freedomain Radio

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 140 Special

 Back to (ugh!) School

A bag of anti-school cookies, fresh out of the oven!

This podcast is dedicated to the school teachers I happen to love.

Come sup with the great mavericks of "education." People who loved kids more than their careers. John Taylor Gatto, John Holt, Edgar Z Friedenberg, Jean Houston, Robert Anton Wilson, Marshall McLuhan, and more!

Thanks to London Real for Tim Freke and much else besides.

Here's the Unplugged Mom podcast

This is the second in this podcast series to examine schooling. More of the same and different here.

I recently received a beautiful paper from a school teacher who spent twenty-five or thirty years right in the front-line trenches, in the classroom. She gives the perspective that armchair generals sitting back in their ivory towers just don't have. Her title tells it all: "Torch This Tower." She states there is no facet of the American school situation which is at all redeemable and believes we ought to eradicate the entire thing down to the very rock bottom, clear the grounds totally, and rethink what do we do from here. This has been my position for years and years.

If we look at any system and find that it has an error within it, we can address the error and consider the possibilities of correction. But, if the entire system from beginning to end is one whole, integrated, total error, then there is nothing that can be done. There is nothing, zero. That, I believe, is the American school situation today. Nothing can be done.
Joseph Chilton Pearce, 1998

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 139


 “I delight,” he [Shaw] wrote, in throwing [Pygmalion] at the heads of the wiseacres who repeat the parrot cry that art should never be didactic. It goes to prove my contention that art should never be anything else."
quoted by Zadie Smith in
Speaking In Tongues

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 138

A Bunch Of Goddamn Talk

Like Bellow, his only equal in this, Updike is a master of effortless motion—between third and first person, from the metaphorical density of literary prose to the demotic, from specific detail to wide generalization, from the actual to the numinous, from the scary to the comic.
Ian McEwan
On John Updike
The New York Review of Books

I enjoy this podcast, you will too. I was turned on to it when Dr Dave of Shrinkrapradio read an email from Jack Saturday. I find it amazing how he can pick out the choicest bits of audio and compile them into an hour long program. It incorporates humor, social issues, contemporary themes, and timeless wisdom. I relisten to many of the podcasts as they are verily thought-provoking. Keep up the good work, Jack!
by Trevron0
Review of  Extraordinary Discourse Podcast

Thanks to Utah Phillips for BabyGramps

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 137

Cherrypicked Jawboning

All the selections had something in common: a determination by their authors to push the genre into new territory, to feature prose that - to put it quickly - depends more on poetic fragmentation than rhetorical coherence and discontinuous narrative than straightforward self-presentation. The trick, of course, is to employ innovative forms without sacrificing ideas, substance, or urgency.
Robert Atwan

The Best American Essays 2011

He [Montaigne] followed himself wherever his attention settled, and his regard was always the same - intent, amused, compassionate, contrarian, and irreversibly eclectic (He could jump from Plato's discourse on the divinatory power of dreams to dinner at a castle - "a confusion" of meats and a clutter of dishes displeases me as much as any other confusion" - and do justice to them both.
Jane Kramer
Myself, and I

Let me raise a battered gold coffee cup to U. Utah Phillips, old hobo wise man/guy who flagged the Westbound back in May 2008. A treasure-chest of stories, humor, and Ulterior Americana. LOAFER'S GLORY, The Hobo Jungle of the Mind. 100 shows!  Free! A click or so away. Listen for Utah clips here, some slices of his slice-of-life material, and then go dive in the big feast Utah left us from his collection.

On this podcast, from Loafer's Glory, (although he passed on, he passes these gems on while still keeping them, which is nothing if not having your cake and eating it too, which is digital) some of Tickets Please, by Lord Buckley, to edify the mix.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 136

Indie Spiel

It is only a question of finding the right words and putting them in the right order. But we cannot do it because they do not live in dictionaries; they live in the mind. And how do they live in the mind? Variously and strangely, much as human beings live, by ranging hither and thither, by falling in love, and mating together.It is true that they are much less bound by ceremony and convention than we are. Royal words mate with commoners. English words marry French words, German words, Indian words, Negro words, if they have a fancy. Indeed, the less we enquire into the past of our dear Mother English the better it will be for that lady’s reputation. For she has gone a-roving, a-roving fair maid.

Thus to lay down any laws for such irreclaimable vagabonds is worse than useless. A few trifling rules of grammar and spelling are all the constraint we can put on them. All we can say about them, as we peer at them over the edge of that deep, dark and only fitfully illuminated cavern in which they live — the mind — all we can say about them is that they seem to like people to think and to feel before they use them, but to think and to feel not about them, but about something different. They are highly sensitive, easily made self-conscious. They do not like to have their purity or their impurity discussed. If you start a Society for Pure English, they will show their resentment by starting another for impure English — hence the unnatural violence of much modern speech; it is a protest against the puritans. They are highly democratic, too; they believe that one word is as good as another; uneducated words are as good as educated words, uncultivated words as cultivated words, there are no ranks or titles in their society. Nor do they like being lifted out on the point of a pen and examined separately. They hang together, in sentences, in paragraphs, sometimes for whole pages at a time. They hate being useful; they hate making money; they hate being lectured about in public. In short, they hate anything that stamps them with one meaning or confines them to one attitude, for it is their nature to change.

Perhaps that is their most striking peculiarity — their need of change. It is because the truth they try to catch is many-sided, and they convey it by being themselves many-sided, flashing this way, then that. Thus they mean one thing to one person, another thing to another person; they are unintelligible to one generation, plain as a pikestaff to the next. And it is because of this complexity that they survive.
Virginia Woolf

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 135

At The Edge Of All That

We’re struggling to replace a brittle, top-heavy energy system, where a few huge power plants provide our electricity, with a dispersed and lightweight grid, where 10 million solar arrays on 10 million rooftops are linked together. The engineers call this “distributed generation,” and it comes with a myriad of benefits. It’s not as prone to catastrophic failure, for one. And it can make use of dispersed energy, instead of relying on a few pools of concentrated fuel. The same principle, it seems to me, applies to movements.
Can We Pull the Planet from the Brink of Catastrophe? 
Bill McKibben, Rebecca Solnit

Stories move in circles. They don’t go in straight lines. There are stories inside stories and stories between stories, and finding your way through is as easy and as hard as finding your way home.  
Deena Metzger 
Writing for Your Life

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 134

Deep Twaddle

Freedom, then, to do anything and to become anyone? Informality and spontaneity as the ends of life? Pico emphatically rejected this. Born indeterminate, he says, human beings have to find unity in their lives; a person must make him or herself coherent. In Renaissance Humanism, this quest meant uniting conflicting ancient ideals by bridging the Hellenic and the Christian mindset; in Pico’s own philosophy, it meant making the one and the many cohere, or as philosophers would put it today, discovering unity in the midst of difference. Spinoza, two centuries later, was grounded in just this Humanist project.

What does the Humanist quest for unity in the midst of difference mean for us today? Here a contrast between Pico and Spinoza is all important. Spinoza emphasized unities transcending time—timeless unities in mental space—whereas Pico dwelt on the fact of shifting time, and shifting time in everyday experience. Pico dwelt, we would now say, on the phenomenon of life narrative: can the events and accidents of life add up to a coherent story? That is every migrant’s question. And since these events and accidents are beyond an uprooted person’s control, the unity of a life-story has to reside in the person telling it; unity, we would say, lies in the quality of the narrator’s voice. The narrator, following Pico’s precept, must learn how to tell about disorder and displacement in his or her own life in such a way that he or she does not become confused or deranged by the telling.
Richard Sennett

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 133

We Need To Talk

Fun institutional critique.

…not an interview or a 'conversation' - although it has elements of both. It grows in many directions, without an overall ordering principle. To use Deleuze's term, it is the book as war-machine, the book as 'rhizome'. There is no hierarchy of root, trunk and branch, but a multiplicity of interconnected shoots going off in all directions.
Hugh Tomlinson
Barbara Habberjam
Translator's Introduction
Deleuze, Dialogues II

Thanks to CBC radio's The Current for Marie Wadden's documentary,
Still Sinking: Remembering the Ocean Ranger Disaster

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 132

Outside The Scheduled Day

I have wanted, in sum, to explain in this essay why the label “humanist” is a badge of honor, rather than the name for an exhausted worldview. Humanism’s emphasis on life-narratives, on the enriching experience of difference, and on evaluating tools in terms of human rather than mechanical complexity are all living values—and more, I would say, these are critical measures for judging the state of modern society. Looking back to the origins of these values is not an exercise in nostalgia; it is rather to remind us that we are engaged in a project, still in process, a humanism yet to be realized, of making social experience more open, engaging, and layered.
Richard Sennett

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 131

Humanities Manoeuvers

The rigor of an architectural design is so relentless it can easily appear repetitive and boring. Hopper designed this shortcoming with his use of sunlight, which further complicated the architectural patterns with patterns of his own, privileging certain plains, creating brilliant shafts and vivid diagonals. Hopper's buildings are so alive because they fracture space in such interesting ways. What one has here is cubism without the theoretical baggage.
Geoffrey Bent
Edward Hopper And The Geometry Of Despair

Two boys team up and build a full-scale replica of the raft in Huckleberry Finn, using hand-axes for authenticity, and cart it on a trailer to school. It seems the perfect symbol of our object: to get away from the prim widow Douglas and float free for a while.
Garret Keizer

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 130

Mothers and Fathers

Mom! Dad! Can you hear me?

Mother and Father stories

At its very best the family can be what many people say it is: an island of acceptance and love in the midst of a harsh world. But too often within the family, people take out on each other all the pain and frustrations of their lives that they don’t dare take out on anyone else. Instead of a ready-made source of friends, it is too often a ready-made source of victims and enemies--the place where not the kindest, but the cruellest words are spoken. This may disappoint us, but it should not surprise or horrify us. The family was not invented, or has it evolved, to make children happy, or to provide a secure emotional and psychological background to grow up in. Mankind evolved the family to meet a very basic need, in small and precarious societies: to make sure that as many children as possible were born--and once born, physically taken care of until they could take care of themselves. “Be fruitful and multiply,” commanded the Bible. A society or community that did not was sure to be wiped out, by drought, famine, plague, or war. The rulers of these societies solved their problem in a way that is the foundation of our moral codes today--though the codes now do not meet, but oppose our most urgent survival needs.

What they did was to harness the sexual drives of young men to the begetting and nurturing of young children. The rules boiled down to this:You can’t have sex except to make a baby. You have to take care of the woman who will be the baby’s mother--and when the baby is born, you have to take care of it as well. This was a burden--heavy then as now, which most young men would have avoided if they could. But loopholes were tightly closed: the rules strictly forbade getting sexual release or pleasure any other way. And society sweetened the deal a little bit: in return for the trouble of taking care of this woman and her child or children, society gave them to the man as his property. ... basically the family is and was a tiny kingdom, an absolute monarchy... instrument of dominance and slavery--a miniature dictatorship sometimes justified by “love”--in which the child learns to live under, and submit to, absolute and unquestionable power--it is a training for slavery.

... parents have been told ever more insistently that they have a duty to love their children, and the children that they have a duty to love their parents. We lock the old and young into this extraordinarily tense and troubled relationship, and the tell them that they have to like it--even love it, and if they don’t they are bad, or wrong, or sick. There is no legitimate way for parents staggering under this burden to admit without shame or guilt that they don’t much like these young people who live in their house, worry them half to death, and soak up most of their money--or that they wish that they had never decided to have them in the first place, or that they could have had something different. Children on their part are expected to be grateful for what they did not ask for, and often do not want.
John Holt
Escape From Childhood

Upon birth, as Mayhew described the practice in Germany at the end of the 19th century, “the wretched new-born little thing has been wound up in… ells of bandages, from the feet right, and tight, up to the neck; as if it were intended to be embalmed as a mummy.” Since these bandages were rarely changed, the infant was left in its own feces and urine, with the result, says Mayhew, that “babies are loathsome, foetid things…offensive to the last degree with their excreta [and] the heads of the poor things are never washed, and are like the rind of Stilton cheese, with dirt encrusted upon their skull.” The mothers were so frightened of their babies that they not only tied them up but often strapped them into a crib in a room with curtains drawn to keep out “lurking evils.” The results were that the infants were covered with lice and other vermin attracted to their feces, but they could not move to drive them away as infants who were not swaddled might do. The parents routinely called them “lice,” and “useless eaters” because they didn’t contribute to the family’s work until they were older, resenting their children so much that they often recalled “Rarely could we eat a piece of bread without hearing father’s comment that we did not merit it” because they did not earn their living.
The Childhood Origins of the Holocaust
Lloyd deMause

The majority of adults in this country hate their work. Whether it is a factory hob, a white collar job, or with some exceptions a professional job, or the role of being a housewife. They hate their work-- as much as young people rebel against the prospect of similar work. Indeed it is the parents’ feelings that are a principle source of the children’s feelings. The middle class also resents the authority that is imposed by work-- the boss and the system-- and they feel that they lack power over their own lives.

The new consciousness seeks new ways to live, in the light of what technology has made both possible and desirable. Since machines can produce enough food and shelter for all, why should man not end the antagonism derived from scarcity and base his society on love for his fellow man? If machines can take care of our material wants, why should people not develop the esthetic and spiritual sides of their natures?
Charles A. Reich,
The Greening Of America


At the same time I was seeing more and more evidence that most adults actively distrust and dislike most children, even their own, and quite often especially their own. They also feel that the most important thing children have to learn is how to work, that is, when their time comes, to be able, and willing, to hold down full-time painful jobs of their own. The best way to get them ready to do this is to make school as much like a full-time painful job as possible. As long as such parents are in the majority, and in every social class they are, the schools, even if they wanted to, and however much they might want to, will not be able to move very far in the directions I and many others have for years been urging them to go.
John Holt
Growing Without Schooling

The study revealed that children of Gen-X parents receive more attention than children did in 1977, with Gen-X fathers spending over an hour more per day with their children than Boomer fathers. The study also finds that both women and men have become more conscious of the personal tradeoffs they have to make to advance in their careers and that an increasing number are instead choosing to stay at the same levels, rather than continue moving up the career ladder.

When you neglect your own welfare in seeking the welfare of the children, you leave the children a bad inheritance; a very bad impression of the past. If you torture yourself in order to produce something for the children, you give them the picture of a tortured life. Therefore, away with all that! It is all wrong, says the child, and it commits the other mistake: if you are always preparing for the happiness of the children, you don’t know how to look after your own happiness, nor do your children learn how to look after theirs. They in turn may go on to prepare for the happiness of your grandchildren, and the grandchildren for your great grandchildren. And so happiness is always somewhere in the future.

You think happiness is something to be attained in the future--that you cannot attain it but your children will have it. So you fill your life with ambitions for that kingdom to come--and it never comes. Every generation is doing something towards it. They all torture themselves in order that the children shall attain it. But the children grow up, and are the same fools as we are. They receive the same evil teaching.

Try to make it, here and now, for yourself. That is good teaching. Then the children will try to make it here and now for themselves. Then it can come into the real world. Don’t be unnatural and seek happiness in the next generations. If you are too concerned about your children and grandchildren you simply burden them with the debts you have contracted. While if you contract no debts--if you live simply and make yourselves as happy as possible, you leave the best of conditions for your children. At all events you leave a good example of how to take care of themselves. If the parents can take care of themselves the children will also. They will not be looking for the happiness of the grandchildren, but will do what is necessary to have a reasonable amount of happiness themselves. And so when a whole nation is torturing itself for the sake of the children, an inheritance of misery is all that they leave for the future--a sort of unfulfilled promise.

So instead of saying “I do it for the children--it may come off in the future,” try to do it for yourself, here and now. Then you will see whether it is possible or not. If you postpone it for the children, you leave something which you have not dared to fulfill. Or perhaps you were too stupid to fulfill it. Or if you had tried to fulfill it you might have seen that it was impossible, or all nonsense anyhow. While if you leave it to the future, you leave less than nothing to the children. Only a bad example.
C.G. Jung
Zarathustra Seminars (1934-1939)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 129

Parsing The Zeitgeist

The nomads invented a whole numerical organization which can be found in armies (dozens, hundreds etc.). This original organization implies relationships with women, plants, animals and metals which are very different from those which are codified in a State. To make thought a nomadic power is not necessarily to move, but it is to shake the model of the state apparatus, the idol or image which weighs down thought, the monster squatting on it. To give thought an absolute speed, a war-machine, a geography and all these becomings or these paths which criss-cross a steppe.
Gilles Deleuze
Dialogues II

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 128

Positions And Juxtapositions

You could argue people have different approaches to capturing nuggets of wisdom and committing those nuggets to memory. Sure. But I'm skeptical of passive learning. If you don't write down what you're hearing and learning, what the odds you remember it? I take lots of notes in paper mole skin notebooks; every week or so I go back with a different color pen and circle the key sentences; I then transfer these ideas to Evernote files on my computer; and finally, I blog/tweet/publish/email out the crispest, most important ideas or quotes. And this is nothing compared to Tim Ferriss's extreme "take notes like an alpha geek" system, which is worth learning about.
If You Aren't Taking Notes, You Aren't Learning
Ben Casnocha

Why write down? We have recording devices, we can capture the nuggets directly, or lift them on voice if they are text. Then we can stir them and let them play amongst themselves. Nuggets of wisdom, nuggets of eloquence, nuggets of surprise, nuggets of nuttiness.
Jack Saturday

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 127

Briefings For Intelligent Badasses

There are multiplicities which constantly go beyond binary machines and do not let themselves be dichotomized. There are centres everywhere, like multiplicities of black holes which do not let themselves be agglomerated. There are lines which do not amount to the path of a point, which break free from structure - lines of light, becomings, without future or past, without memory, which resists the binary machine - woman-becoming which is neither man nor woman, animal-becoming which is neither beast nor man. Non-parallel evolutions, which do not proceed by differentiation, but which leap  from one line to another, between completely heterogeneous beings; cracks, imperceptible ruptures, which break the lines even if they resume elsewhere, leaping over significant breaks… The rhizome is all this. Thinking in things, among things - this is producing a rhizome and not a root, producing the line and not the point.
Gilles Deleuze
Dialogues II

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 126


The paradox of education is precisely this—that as one begins to become conscious, one begins to examine the society in which he [sic] is being educated.
James Baldwin

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 125

Directed Wor(l)d-Weaving

Nacheinander Tchotchkes (what a mouthful)

Nacheinander: (German: one thing after another; sequence), the space between things.

Chatchkes, or tchotchkes:
That’s a Sanskrit word, it means “little thises and thats” you have around – little figurines and little spoons.

I digress: little figurines of speech, and the occasional little spoonerism.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 124

Zeitgeist Mulch

for Thought Garden play.

In rhetoric, parrhesia is a figure of speech described as: to speak candidly or to ask forgiveness for so speaking.[1] The term is borrowed from theGreek παρρησία (πᾶν "all" + ῥῆσις / ῥῆμα "utterance, speech") meaning literally "to speak everything" and by extension "to speak freely," "to speak boldly," or "boldness." It implies not only freedom of speech, but the obligation to speak the truth for the common good, even at personal risk.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 123

Cuts Against The Grain

Scholars get their knowledge with conscientious thoroughness along projected lines of logic; poets theirs cavalierly and as it happens in and out of books. They stick to nothing deliberately, but let what will stick to them like burrs where they walk in the fields.
Robert Frost

This podcast is bullshit!

This podcast series is really one long seriously playful associational documentary, like a circus train of thought with (so far) 123 one-hour packed boxcars, or showcars. A train that both wanders and stays on track. That affirms the sound-bite as a vehicle of in-depth social analysis ("analysis" = loosening). That presents both individual voices and a strange chorus. That grows from the "neoliberal years", 1980s to the present/future, the years of money-greed (scarcity mentality) in dominance. Therefore it is not asking for money: no fare to be paid for this ride. To jump metaphors, it is, to the project(s) of the progressives, a contribution of soil-building, an adding of aireation, manure, and mulch of many voices. So those who call it "bullshit" are not so far off.

Let none assume to till the land but farmers.
I only speak to you as one of them.
You shall go to your run-out mountain farm,
Poor cast-away of commerce, and so live
That none shall ever see you come to market-
Not for a long long time. Plant, breed, produce,
But what you raise or grow, why feed it out,
Eat it or plow it under where it stands
To build the soil. For what is more accursed
Than an impoverished soil pale and metallic?
What cries more to our kind for sympathy?
I'll make a compact with you, Meliboeus,
To match you deed for deed and plan for plan.
Friends crowd around me with their five year plans
That Soviet Russia has made fashionable.
You come to me and I'll unfold to you
A five year plan I call so, not because
It takes ten years or so to carry out,
Rather because it took five years at least
To think it out. Come close, let us conspire-
In self-restraint, if in restraint of trade.
You will go to your run-out mountain farm
And do what I command you, I take care
To command only what you meant to do
Anyway. That is my style of dictator.
Build soil. Turn the farm in upon itself
Until it can contain itself no more,
But sweating-full, drips wine and oil a little.
I will go to my run-out social mind
And be as unsocial with it as I can.
The thought I have, and my first impulse is
To take to market— I will turn it under.
The thought from that thought—I will turn it under
And so on to the limit of my nature.
Robert Frost

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 122

Narrative Shmarrative

No branded content!

I shall talk about the matter which for the moment interests me, and cast it aside and talk about something else the moment its interest for me is exhausted; . . . a complete and purposed jumble.
Autobiography of Mark Twain

… the misery was not the result of some 'act of God' like flood or the potato famine in Ireland - no - it was the product of social organization including its "organising narrative".
Sharon Robertson
[emphasis JS]

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 121

Rocking The Narrative

From Jesus the economist to naughty little monkeys.

Chinese Art and Greek Art

The Prophet said, “There are some who see me
by the same light in which I am seeing them.
Our natures are one.

Without reference to any strands
of lineage, without reference to texts or traditions,
we drink the life-water together.”

Here’s a story
about that hidden mystery:

The Chinese and the Greeks
were arguing as to who were the better artists.

The king said,

“We’ll settle this matter with a debate.”

The Chinese began talking,
but the Greeks wouldn’t say anything.
They left.

The Chinese suggested then
that they each be given a room to work on
with their artistry, two rooms facing each other
and divided by a curtain.

The Chinese asked the king
for a hundred colors, all the variations,
and each morning they came to where
the dyes were kept and took them all.
The Greeks took no colors.
“They’re not part of our work.”

They went to their room
and began cleaning and polishing the walls. All day
every day they made those walls as pure and clear
as an open sky.

There is a way that leads from all-colors
to colorlessness. Know that the magnificent variety
of the clouds and the weather comes from
the total simplicity of the sun and the moon.

The Chinese finished, and they were so happy.
They beat the drunks in the joy of completion.
The king entered their room,
astonished by the gorgeous color and detail.

The Greeks then pulled the curtain dividing the rooms.
The Chinese figures and images shimmeringly reflected
on the clear Greek walls. They lived there,
even more beautifully, and always
changing in the light.

The Greek art is the sufi way.
They don’t study books of philosophical thought.

They make their loving clearer and clearer.
No wantings, no anger. In that purity
they receive and reflect the images of every moment,
from here, from the stars, from the void.

They take them in
as though they were seeing
with the lighted clarity
that sees them.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 120 Special: Elephants In The School System

Elephants In The School System

The theme of schooling has played a part in this mural since the beginning: here it surfaces as the dominant theme for the duration of this associational documentary.

So here are the great educational mavericks, those powerful defenders of children who saw and named the elephants in the school system.


The Ultimate History Lesson, five hours with John Taylor Gatto

School Sucks Podcast

John Holt on YouTube

A. S. Neill on YouTube

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
 What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
 I learned that Washington never told a lie,
I learned that soldiers seldom die,
I learned that everybody's free,
That's what the teacher said to me,
And that's what I learned in school today,
That's what I learned in school.

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
I learned that policemen are my friends,
I learned that justice never ends,
I learned that murderers die for their crimes,
Even if we make a mistake sometimes,
And that's what I learned in school today,
That's what I learned in school. 

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
I learned our government must be strong,
It's always right and never wrong,
Our leaders are the finest men,
And we elect them again and again,
And that's what I learned in school today,
That's what I learned in school

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
I learned that war is not so bad,
I learned about the great ones we have had,
We fought in Germany and in France,
And someday I might get my chance,
And that's what I learned in school today
That's what I learned in school.
Tom Paxton
Neil Postman & Charles Weingartner

No one is wise enough or good enough to mould the character of any child. What is wrong with our sick, neurotic world is that we have been moulded, and an adult generation that has seen two great wars and seems about to launch a third should not be trusted to mould the character of a rat.
A.S. Neill

One thinks of Blake’s drawing of “Aged Ignorance,” in which an old man with an idiot’s face is clipping the wings of a young Cupid struggling towards the rising sun.
Northrop Frye
Fearful Symmetry 

At first this new attitude to time, this new regularity of life, was imposed by the clock-owning masters on the unwilling poor. The factory slave reacted in his spare time by living with a chaotic irregularity which characterised the gin-sodden slums of early nineteenth century industrialism. Men fled to the timeless world of drink or Methodist inspiration. But gradually the idea of regularity spread downwards among the workers. Nineteenth century religion and morality played their part by proclaiming the sin of 'wasting time'. The introduction of mass-produced watches and clocks in the 1850's spread time-consciousness among those who had previously merely reacted to the stimulus of the knocker-up or the factory whistle. In the church and in the school, in the office and the workshop, punctuality was held up as the greatest of the virtues.

Out of this slavish dependence on mechanical time which spread insidiously into every class in the nineteenth century there grew up the demoralising regimentation of life which characterises factory work today. The man who fails to conform faces social disapproval and economic ruin. If he is late at the factory the worker will lose his job or even, at the present day [1944 - while wartime regulations were in force], find himself in prison. Hurried meals, the regular morning and evening scramble for trains or buses, the strain of having to work to time schedules, all contribute to digestive and nervous disorders, to ruin health and shorten life.
George Woodcock
First published in War Commentary - For Anarchism mid-march 1944.

Even worse, a system of specialization requires the abdication to specialists of various competencies and responsibilities that were once personal and universal. Thus, the average --one is tempted to say, the ideal-- American citizen now consigns the problem of food production to agriculturists and "agribusinessmen," the problems of health to doctors and sanitation experts, the problems of education to school teachers and educators, the problems of conservation to conservationists, and so on. This supposedly fortunate citizen is therefore left with only two concerns: making money and entertaining himself. He earns money, typically, as a specialist, working an eight-hour day at  a job for the quality or consequences of which somebody else --or, perhaps nobody else-- will be responsible. And, not surprisingly, since he can do so little else for himself, he is unable to entertain himself, for there exists an enormous industry of exorbitantly expensive specialists whose purpose is to entertain him.
Wendell Berry
The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture

The thousands who study Shakespeare, Hardy, Tennyson help later to swell the millions who read the most sensational Sunday papers-- naturally. For in a school system which makes emotion inferior to intellect, the sensational tales of crime and sex touch the starved emotions.
A.S. Neill, 
Neill, Neill, Orange Peel

And what is a good citizen?  Simply one who never says, does or thinks anything that is unusual. Schools are maintained in order to bring this uniformity up to the highest possible point. A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender; therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with official rubber-stamps.
H.L. Mencken seems to me perhaps the most authoritarian and dangerous of all the social inventions of mankind. It is the deepest foundation of the modern slave state, in which most people feel themselves to be nothing but producers, consumers, spectators, and 'fans,' driven more and more, in all parts of their lives, by greed, envy, and fear. My concern is not to improve 'education' but to do away with it, to end the ugly and antihuman business of people-shaping and to allow and help people to shape themselves.
John Holt

Authoritarian ethics answers the question of what is good or bad primarily in terms of the interests of the authority, not the interests of the subject. ...the fear of disapproval and the need for approval seem to be the most powerful and almost exclusive motivation for ethical judgement. This intense emotional pressure prevents the child, and later the adult from asking critically whether “good” in a judgement means good for her, or for the authority.
Erich Fromm

The magical child’s awareness of death unfolds in late childhood in the form of the child’s driving desire for autonomy--an awareness of being responsible for his or her own survival. If the child has been given the proper education in survival, this expresses itself as designed:  a period of intensive and ecstatic play, in which varying the possibilities of one’s survival tools are explored, in which concrete operational thinking and enhancement of primary perceptions are practiced. This would mean confrontation:  the child actively seeking the tests of his or her prowess. Is this the education he receives?  Of course not! At this most critical time we slap the child into the anxiety-ridden and frightful experience of schooling--for the newly-born individual system, this is the equivalent of a violent birth, and the results are pretty much a repetition of that earlier trauma--brain damage, shock, intellectual crippling, and an overall depression that becomes permanent. The great promise with which the child was born is now shattered completely. Each generation produced under schooling proves more shocked, crippled, violent, aggressive, hostile, confused, defiant, despairing.
Joseph Chilton Pearce
Magical Child

What the school determines to accomplish it does so in a constant and total atmosphere of violence. We do not mean physical violence, we mean violence in the sense of any assault upon, or violation of, the personality. An examination or a test is a form of violence. Compulsory gym, to one embarrassed or afraid, is a form of violence. The requirement that a student must get a pass to walk in the hallways is violence. Compelled attendance in the classroom, compulsory studying in study hall, is violence. ...the amount of violence in a high school is staggering.
Charles A. Reich, 
The Greening Of America

Under the sidewalk lies the beach!
Paris Grafitti

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 119

High-value flotsam on
the rising tide

That rocks all boats

I think it's [the Occupy movement] thrown open
an almost kaleidoscopic sense of possibility... We have no idea yet where it
all might lead if the democratic culture we're trying to build really does take
root. The main thing Occupy did was to throw open the imagination, to get us to
start thinking on a scale and grandeur appropriate to the times.
David Graeber
'A Kaleidoscopic Sense of
Interview with David Graeber on Democracy in America
Lynn Stuart Parramore

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 118

Chopped Chautauqua

There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something.
You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite
the something you were after.
J. R. R. Tolkien in The Hobbit

Sometimes game-changing, immensely lucrative
epiphanies lie on the far side of seemingly esoteric inquiries.
Questioning the Mission of
New York Times
Published: April 20, 2013

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 117

Freedom Dossier

Fun with fear, death, slavery, and much else!

I know of no other manner of dealing with great tasks than as play.

In the world to come, each of us will be called to account for all the good things God put on earth which we refused to enjoy.
The Talmud

In the language of enchantment, there is this sense of a living continuum that cannot be cut up or divided because of the symbiotic interactions and interpenetrations of everything within it. The lexicon is enormously wide, its spheres of reference global. Everywhere, categories overlap. Surprise synchronistic connections lead us into spell-binding ecstasy. Things configure in their own way, woven together as if in some divine aesthetic kaleidoscope. This is not doctrinal religious practice, but an aspect of "opening to shakti"-the dynamic life force that animates everything. One could say that these works are beautiful, except that the word itself all but vanishes in the glittering of a thousand refractions. Beauty here is not an end in itself, but has become a conduit for the living reality of signs and wonders and meaningful coincidences. Allusive repetitions come into play, and the world is no longer lifeless, inert, and without soul. Penetrated by powerful rhythms and by "the pattern which connects," with unparalleled cunning, it comes back to life.
Suzi Gablik © 2005

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 116

Liberation Miscellany

We have to be in the culture making business, and soon. Real culture is not built on bad myths of superiority or inevitability or victory. It is built by people willing to learn and remember the stories that slipped from view, the rest of the truth that the empire won’t authorize.
Stephen Jenkinson

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 115

Hints from the Edge

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
Matt 13, 47

The chorus of springtime sings: Commodity labor for necessities sucks. It is a mass distraction, a miserable diversion from our evolutionary potential, which is teetering on the edge of a birth - or our death. These long trains of thoughts, past towns familiar and unfamiliar, are hints from the edge, looking down and in (depth psychology) and out to the socioeconomy in contractions or throes or both.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 114

Unauthorized Trails

Between the crucifixion and the resurrection.

And it is still narrative - just not in the closed-ended Aristotelian way. It doesn't have a simple crisis and conclusion. It just keeps going.
Douglas Rushkoff

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 113

Spoken Scrapbook

Work-life balance?...

...oh, oh, if one but had the body for it one would live out one’s days in van Gogh’s room at Arles, eating up comfort and beauty and having it too, there in one last fell binge of boyhood.... to be there on the featherbed, on the oilcloth-looking floor amid one’s things... You wouldn’t even have to worry whether you can afford it. What, this poor Goodwill stuff...? ...I’d pay my life out there gladly, not so much a hero as a loving dilettante of idyll, using only the plain equipment of beauty. Substituting the hard work of freedom with the even harder work of contemplation... There are worse character flaws than sloth. Nationalism, I think, patriotism, the too-forgiving love of tribe, maybe even of family itself. All the flaws of a restrictive loyalty, whatever makes us want to be part of a small idea, whatever makes us dangerous or allows us to entertain, even for a moment, the idea of a Mother of Battles. Much better to wait it out at Arles. Much better never to have seen the flashy dance steps from which we take our marching orders.
Stanley Elkin, Some Overrated Masterpieces,
The Best American Essays 1992
(Ticknor & Fields, New York 1992)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 112

Healers and Dealers

I tried to liberally shepherd this Talk Flock. It is not just sheep chosen from the enormous herds and strays, it is sheep, wolves, lions, snakes, bugs, apes, birds, "workers". From this flock can be heard laughter, cries, musings, dreamings, exclamations, hard-nosed assertions, and, of course, playful imaginative excursions.
Jack Saturday

Thanks to Caroline Casey for catching the unintended wolf diss last week, and for the remedy I had in my trove.

“Words are animals, alive with a will of their own.”
C.G. Jung

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 111

Reframing The Conversations

In our hands is placed the power greater than their hoarded gold.

Go and enjoy wise woman Caroline Casey and her enlightening guests, add support if you can afford it.

And of course the same with Dr. Dave at Shrink Rap Radio, for his premier psychology podcast.

Perinatal Matrices explained.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 110

Where The Hell's The Money?

Hopscotching around the neoliberal years, following dollar signs!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 109

A Cocktail Party Of Gurus, Pundits, Poets And Hecklers

"This is the city… and I am one of the citizens;
Whatever interests the rest interests me… politics, churches, newspapers, schools
Benevolent societies, improvements, banks, tariffs, steamships…"

Whitman’s Specimen Days, which he described as “the most wayward, spontaneous, fragmentary book ever printed,” is a moving scrapbook of clippings and jottings from the whole span of his life, including his years as a volunteer nurse in Union hospitals. While conceding that “the real war will never get into the books,” in Specimen Days Whitman tried to get at what he called the “interior history” of the war. Unlike more conventional scrapbookers with their impersonal digests of clippings from the distant battlefront, Whitman (who famously boasted, “I am large. I contain multitudes”) wrote himself into the proceedings.
A hyperactive cutter and paster, Emily Dickinson also repurposed scraps and clippings for original creative work, shifting—like Whitman, or perhaps like ambitious Facebook compilers today—from consumer to producer. Late in life, she wrote dazzling fragments of verse and prose on discarded envelopes, chocolate wrappers, and stray bits clipped from magazines and newspapers. These scraps functioned as something more than convenient notepads, encouraging spur-of-the-moment poetic spontaneity and the creative challenge of fitting stray thoughts to odd shapes of paper.
One can see in such forays a foretaste of what Joseph Cornell (a huge Dickinson fan) did with scissored detritus from magazines repurposed for aesthetic ends, some dazzling examples of which—along with many Max Ernst works that inspired them—are currently on display at an exhibition devoted to Surrealist drawing at the Morgan Library. Here, we have crossed the bridge from merely culling information from newspapers to making clippings the very basis of art. The show is a reminder that many artists have “drawn with scissors,” and that Photoshop, in our own image-drunk culture, gives new meaning to Max Ernst’s remark that “It is not the glue that makes the collage.”
Mark Twain was perhaps the king of American scrapbook culture. According to the OED, he was the first writer to use “scrapbook” as a verb, writing in 1881 about the origins of his book A Tramp Abroad, “I scrap-booked these reports during several months.”
...the pleasingly serendipitous and fragmented feel of life on the road. “Anyone may compose a scrapbook, and offer it to the public with nothing like Mark Twain’s good-fortune,” as his friend William Dean Howells wryly observed. “Everything seems to depend upon the nature of the scraps, after all.”
Scrapbook Nation
Christopher Benfey
New York Review Of Books

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 108

More Of The Different

Following our path
is in effect a kind
of going off
the path, through
open country.
David Whyte

Here's some interesting info to go with the inspiring words about Samuel Pierpont Langley and the Wright Bros:

When Wilbur Wright was asked, in 1905, what the purpose of his machine might be, he answered simply, “War”. As soon as they were confident that the technology worked, the brothers approached the war offices of several nations, hoping to sell their patent to the highest bidder. The US government bought it for $30,000, and started test bombing in 1910. The aeroplane was conceived, designed, tested, developed and sold, in other words, not as a vehicle for tourism, but as an instrument of destruction.
George Monbiot

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 107

Clips For The Creatively Maladjusted

Cupitt's deeply performative and creative vision of religion asks us to place our faith in the incessant flux of language and discourse - signs and images being our earthly kingdom of eternal plenitude, an accessible realm in which we can exercise our spiritual liberation. At the very least, this is a religion that would chime with the most 'modern' (and perforce, postmodern) of our great play rhetorics - self-oriented play and imaginative play, directing a multimedia performance of the spirit.
Pat Kane
The Play Ethic

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 106

Mindhold By Mindhold

"The psyche has many little pockets for tucking things away and sometimes it's a good idea to have a sort-out."

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Extraordinary Discourse 105

Imaginal Cells


In the occult of classical antiquity, cledonism, or cledonomancy, was a kind of divination based on chance events or encounters, such as words occasionally uttered. The word is formed from the Greek κληδὼν which signifies rumor, a report, omen, fame, name.

Cicero observes that the Pythagoreans made observation not only of the words of the gods, but of those of men; and accordingly believed the pronouncing of certain words, e.g. the word incendium (destruction, ruin), at a meal to be very unlucky. Thus, instead of prison, they used the word domicilium (residence, dwelling); and to avoid Erinyes, said Eumenides.

According to Pausanias, cledonism was popular at Smyrna, where the Apollonian Oracles were interpreted. He also mentions its use at the shrine of Hermes Agoraios in Pharae. An individual, upon whispering a question into the god's ear, plugged his own ears, left the agora, and then listened for the god's answer among the chance words of pedestrians. This was likely popular because the individual selectively chose which words formed the answer.

An example of cledonism occurs in the Odyssey, Book XX. Before taking vengeance on the suitors, Odysseus asks for a divine sign, and Zeus answers with a clap of thunder. This is immediately followed by words from a servant-woman, asking Zeus to "let this be the very last day that the suitors dine in the house of Odysseus."
Wikipedia, Cledonism