Marx and Time

Turner Classic Movies claims to be “answering the tough questions tonight.”

Watching Go West by the Marx Brothers oddly reminded me of a Leaving Trains song from the seminal album Fuck called “Temporal Slut.” Falling James is a nice guy, happily an ex-husband of Courtney Love. I was luckily able to photograph a side project of his involving my friend Slim, called the Space Okies. I’ll have to dig those photos out someday.

But I digress.

While I’m digressing, the altavista translator is great for hours of fun. A German article about the Leaving Trains translates quite nicely. Here’s the section about Well Down Blue Highway, the first album of theirs that I heard:

The debut has a very melancholischen Unterton and sounds in the comparison to the later work of the LEAVING TRAINS somewhat unausgegoren and toughly, but nothing the despite are some beads on the disk, which let hope for large. Until today James has never also only a lausigen cent for ” waves down Blue Highway ” seen. Enigma, the exploiter sow. James operates in the local public library, picks dear novels out for old Vetteln, is mostly deprimiert, no woman does not want Sex with it and many clubs to want the Trains not post, because James has so a large lip and so that a safe guarantor for annoyance is.

Many of my friends are that way: “so a large lip and so that a safe guarantor for annoyance is.” And I’m always letting hope for large myself, even though I have some beads on my disk.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, the Marx Brothers. The movie featured some nicely stereotypical movie Indians running around saying How! Ever wonder why Indians in the movies say how? Why not Why or Where or When? Anyway, the only way that the Marx brothers are able to communicate with the Indians is when Harpo turns a loom (textism?) into a harp and begins to play. Music has an interesting correspondence with speech acts. They are both durative: they take place over time. Musicians are, in the best sense of the word, temporal sluts that communicate in a way that is meaningless without a sense of time.

The only way to impose a sense of time on a written text is through narrative. Give it a beginning, a middle and an end. Use tricks to speed it up and slow it down, through meter and alliteration, imitate the presence of existential time. I think that’s the key difference between conventional hypertext and blogging: the presence of a sense of time. Without it, there is no narrative.

I like the definition of time offered by Michael J. Toolan in Narrative: A Critical Linguistic Approach:

Time is perceived repetition within perceived irreversible change

This ties together the patterning, the repetitions of most blog entries, into a neatly tied bundle of narrative time. It seems to me that we’re almost programed to do it, in order to make sense of time.

Turner Classic Movies answers the big questions, indeed. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex is up later. I can’t wait.