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07.16.04, friday afternoon

From Roland Barthes's The Pleasure of the Text, (5):

"I am offered a text. This text bores me. It might be said to prattle. The prattle of the text is merely that foam of language which forms by the effect of a simple need of writing. Here we are not dealing with perversion but with demand. The writer of this text employs an unweaned language: imperative, automatic, unaffectionate, a minor disaster of static (those milky phonemes which the the remarkable Jesuit, van Ginnekin, posited between writing & language): these are the motions of ungratified sucking, of an undifferentiated orality, intersecting the orality which produces the pleasures of gastrosophy & of language. You address yourself to me so that I may read you, but I am nothing to you except this address; in your eyes, I am the substitute for nothing, for no figure (hardly that of the mother); for you I am neither a body nor even an object (& I couldn't care less: I am not the one whose soul demands recognition), but merely a field, a vessel for expansion. It can be said that after all you have written this text quite apart from bliss; & this prattling text is then a frigid text, as any demand is frigid until desire, until neurosis forms in it."

. . .

According to a proficiency test taken at a temp-to-hire agency in the City, I can type 88 WPM. Employees are called "associates" or "candidates", "ownership" is another word for accountability. In the office room decorated with Thomas Kincaid-like prints, laminated workplace regulations, & a poster promising YES WE DRUG TEST, the interviewer commented that I was well-educated. Jerk; that's me, repressing a sardonic facial twitch.

After the interview (which included a 3-minute video-clip of me smiling nervously, eyebrows arching diabolically a la Jack Nicholson), I read Barthes over coffee & wrote a haiku to efface the memory of my face on-screen as it will be seen by potential employers, replacing this spectre with fruitless trees cradling sunlight in glass-&-steel canyons.


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