Posts Tagged ‘structure sign and play’

Burroughs Month: Hieroglyphs, ROSE, and thought control

November 26, 2010


Les Liens Invisibles via defacedbook on the tumblr.

The study of hieroglyphic languages shows us that a word is an image … the written word is an image. However, there is an important difference between a hieroglyphic and a syllabic language. If I hold up a sign with the word “ROSE” written on it, and you read that sign, you will be forced to repeat the word “ROSE” to yourself.


via lemonlove on the tumblr.

If I show you a picture of a rose you do not have to repeat the word. You can register the image in silence. A syllabic language forces you to verbalize in auditory patterns. A hieroglyphic language does not. I think that anyone who is interested to find out the precise relationship between word and image should study a simplified hieroglyphic script. Such a study would tend to breakdown the automatic verbal reaction to a word. It is precisely these automatic reactions to words themselves that enable those who manipulate words to control thought on a mass scale.

(Burroughs, William S. Interivew: “Prisoners of the Earth Come Out.”)


Burroughs photographed by Allen Ginsberg, 1953. Coilck to enlarge.

I’m not certain about this. A lot of the time I think in words. At least, I think I do. I read such a great deal and speak to my family and friends and students so much, that I know I find myself wandering the house thinking in full sentences. I’m almost positive of this. I do not consider this style of thought, nor words being the necessary articulators and wives to my thoughts, as inferior to a purer thought absent of words. I understand the function of language and the theories of Mssrs. Lacan and Derrida, with which Mr. Burroughs’ theory would seem to agree and from which it sort of shoots off, but the thought control parts and the ability to divorce one’s own thoughts from words in to a language of pure image is shakier ground for me. I get it, I think. I’m just not sure I agree. Whether I disagree that it is possible, or disagree that it is important, I’m not sure.

Movie Millisecond: Langue v. Parole

October 20, 2010

Sedmikrásky/Daisies (Vera Chytilová, 1966).

The course of true love did never run smooth: Old School soapy comics edition with David Lynch movie stills

November 29, 2009

Damn that Nan and her grooviness! Trina, you are just a doormat. Of course, it is possible to go too far in the other direction…

Whoa, Twink — how ’bout you crawl out of Jill’s butt about this? What a lady does behind closed bedroom/car/McDonalds’ restroom doors is her business.

So. Which one would you choose? And remember that things are not always what they seem; Trina could be a doormat because she has been raised according to a view of fundamentally-Biblical, sublimated femininity that also extends to keeping it on clampdown ’til after marriage, and even then, just every third Saturday and only if neither one of you enjoys it! Do you really want a lifetime of hot meals but frigid nights?


Still from Blue Velvet (1986), l to r: Laura Dern, Isabella Rossellini, and unbelievably gorgeous slice of ’80s man meat Kyle MacLachlan — three guesses who the next Hot Man Bein’ Hot of the Day is going to be.

Meanwhile, that alleged whore Jill might actually be acting out because she has been abused, and, like a kicked cat who has not been loved well enough, will just as easily cut you with a broken bottle as blow you.* She may even be one of those chicks who downs a bottle of bourbon and sleeps with your dad so you’ll beat her up, just so she can feel anything.

Ups and downs, blondes and brunettes, femmes fatales and ingenues –and which is which??– deconstruction of assumed codifications. Oh! Such a Lynchian conundrum!


Naomi Watts and Laura Harring, Mulholland Drive (2001).





*Your cat blows you, right?…right??