virus: Gyoto Monks

Reed Konsler (
Sat, 12 Jul 1997 11:51:12 -0400 (EDT)


"You actually didn't get the same experience from Mahler."

How do you know what experince another has?

"Mahler's music was written to be played on instruments. And instruments
are made of wood, string, metal and reed and the sounding chambers of
most musical instruments are not the same size or shape as a human body."

Does this make them in any way less effective at creating sound?
Is that sound different, in it's structure and process, than speach,
the tuning fork, or drums? It's all vibrations.

"When the Monks chant, they are actually setting up sympathetic vibrations
inside your own body."

Does this make them in any way more effective at creating sound?
Is that sound different, in it's structure and process, than speach,
the tuning fork, or drums? It's all vibrations.

"The sound of a violin, although beautiful will, by its nature vibrate a violin
more effectively than your ear."

Stephen, the violin in a meme. It is tool designed by people to move
people, not other violins. Those insturments have evolved through
generations of art and culture to be beautiful to the eye, ear, hand,
and heart. They are organic and the life that they sing is the song
of humanity. Those objects are no less part of us than our own

Are you interested in my perspective?

My perspective is that violins and people are both effective insturments
of musical communication for the same reason...there is a person
using the insturment trying to communicate. Our insturments are not
perfect. Each of us is different.

But. Technically (and, contrary to your belief I do understand this subject
pretty well) I disagree that voice is a more effective insturment in
vibrating another human beings body because bodies are of similar shape.

Bodies, as I tried to note, have varying shape and thus varying harmonic
characteristics. This is not intended to imply that anyone's body is
normative or better than anyone elses.

I am not making, at all, an evaluation of voice as an insturment. In fact
my favorite musical forms are: Musicals, a cappela, and folk singing
becuase I am a great fan of voice.

My opinion is that voice is an especially effective tool of musical
communication, not for any technical reason, but for a psychological
one: We are born to recognize moves us becuase at the
deepest levels we believe that voice is a non-natural phenomena...
we believe that those sounds must be a message, and that thus
we are not alone.

A single note from a violin is alien, in a way, due to it's force and
clarity. These same characteristics, however, make it very
effective at vibrating humans--objects in general--even at a distance.
People have learned how to use such insturments as well as their

I agreed with you in every detail I was aware of except that single
description of the process and what I felt was the implict devaluation
of constructed insturments.

I was trying to have a civil conversation. To joke and speak as one
does among friends. You did not interpret it as such. You saw me
as a fool, as a wayward student, as "deranged" and in need of a
good lesson.

In the same way that you believe the word "Mystical" is a description
of genre and not or essence, so "Sympathetic Magic" is a description
of a associative process, and not a condemation. You interpreted
me interpreting the language incorrectly. Here is what I said:

"Sympathetic 'vibrations' sound like sympathetic magic. This is a
association-meme which expresses itself in more sensational ways as
things like voodoo dolls and tarot readings. While this association has
served humankind well it is commonly acknowledged that it is no
longer 'proof' of a causal link between things."

And later:

"That isn't a perjorative remark. In a sense, everything we do, is a
kind of sympathetic magic. But your spell has got to jive with the
intersubective symphony of science if you want to shift it's magic
out of the parts of meme-space we hold on faith and towards those
areas that are well supported."

And for this you accused "us" (and who are "we", I speak for only
myself) of going on a "witch-hunt", insinuated later on that I was
a racist, and then interpreted everything I said thereafter in the
worst possible light.

In response (and I never claimed to be sane) I inverted and exagerated
every comment you made in an attempt to make you aware of the
fact that your emotions were getting the better of you. I left you hints.
My passages are littered with allusions you could have picked up on.
I took my responsibility as an artist to point out those things I
think needed to be seen, even if I was attacked, derided, or refered
to as "so full of shit your eyes are brown" which, in fact, they
are. But, not for that reason.

It's a parody, Stephen. I was trying to be absurd. You were so full
of yourself, puffing around and "teaching" us all the things us
unenlightened didn't know, calling me a "level 2 art critic".
You reminded me of American foriegn policy. That isn't a
condemnation. If the artist doesn't love the audience, why go to all
the trouble? I do have job, you know...and this isn't it.

And you just didn't get it.
And that is my fault.
I'm very sorry.

Have you read "The Egg" by Sherwood Anderson?
I feel like that.

But, and I can't help but point this out. The whole reason I did
this was becuase you were accusing Wade of moving from one
kind of "theater" (the theater of science) to another (the
theater of art) without changing the ground rules, including
the defintion of some words and what is and isn't appropriate
behavior. You insinuated it was his problem.

The points is: those are your categories. In the same way it wasn't
obvious to you that my responses were an internet-perfomance in
the theater of the absurd, so it is not obvious to him what theater
you percieve the discourse to be in. Now, you have done the same
thing, and insist it is my problem.

That dichotomy is called hypocracy. As an artist, I was trying to
bring it to your attention. As the public, you tried to censure me
for my arrogance. Thus the cycle repeats.

Do I suck at this?
Does that make no sense at all?

Your interpretation all depends on your impression of me.


This is what I mean. All communication is based in faith.


Reed Konsler