|[a] Trickle RF|
Marine Biologist The Doorman Opposite George Newman's Mail The Bootleg Marriage
Just Dessert Sleep Desk Late Coffee High Stakes Motor Oil Downtown
Code Cracking Nonfat Yogurt Bad Boy It's Not You I Can't Be... Exploding Wallet
Elaine Flies Coach The Close Talker The Alliance Broccoli Coated Culture Dinner Party
George's Friend Jerry's Haircut Face Paint Mustachioed Smoking East River
Pool Man Dunkin' Joe Life Lessons Reckoning Dog Medicine Shower Heads
Looking Busy George Tips Kramer's Job Empty Tank
Click here for the reference to the "Argonauts" title, below.
|[b] Hygiene RF|
"Low flow...I don't like the sound of that."
"I just took a bath Jerry...a bath."
"If I don't have a good shower, I'm not myself. I feel weak and ineffectual. I'm not Kramer."
So you won't be particularly surprised that today I wish to reflect upon matters of conservation, hygiene, and, well, self. What is it to be "a self?"
"I'm not myself when..."
|[b] Mashed RF|
There is a peculiar relationship between self, personal hygiene, and social interaction. While pasty hair may be problematic even if one is alone on a desert island (I cannot help but think of Tom Hanks here), there is no doubt that it is compounded by the frenzy of social interaction. There's nothing like a startled "What happened to your head?" question to awaken threads and vines of amour-propre. The mirror does not just show us to ourselves. It speaks to us in a voice we have internalized from "society." There is nothing quite as motivating—for our low-flow apartment troika—as seeing others as others see us...especially if our heads look like the top of a single scoop ice cream cone.
Glance over them and think about the relationship between individual and society...and shampoo...and social interaction...and black market commerce....and vanity. I have concluded with a reading that most definitely speaks to tepid water and weak flow. After musing upon human nature in the phrasings of Rousseau and Mead, enjoy Claude Lévi-Strauss's account of sea travel, human needs, and time.
|[d] Child self ADV|
Emile, or On Education (1762)
A child's first sentiment is to love himself; and the second, which derives from the first, is to love those who come near him, for in the state of weakness that he is in, he does not recognize anyone except by the assistance and care he receives...A child is therefore naturally inclined to benevolence, because he sees that everything approaching him is inclined to assist him; and from this observation he gets the habit of a sentiment favorable to his species. But as he extends his relations, his needs, and his active or passive dependencies, the sentiment of his connections with others is awakened and produces the sentiment of duties and preferences. Then the child becomes imperious, jealous, deceitful, and vindictive. If he is bent to obedience, he does not see the utility of what he is ordered, and he attributes it to caprice, to the intention of tormenting him; and he revolts. If he is obeyed, as soon as something resists him he sees in it a rebellion, an intention to resist him. He beats the chair or the table for having disobeyed him. Self-love, which regards only ourselves , is contented when our true needs are satisfied. But amour-propre, which makes comparisons, is never content and never could be, because this sentiment, preferring ourselves to others, also demands other to prefer us themselves, which is impossible.
This is how the gentle and affectionate passions are born of self-love, and how the hateful and irascible passions are born of amour-propre. Thus what makes man essentially good is to have few needs and to compare himself little to others; what makes him essentially wicked is to have many needs and to depend very much on opinion. On the basis of this principle it is easy to see how all the passions of children and men can be directed to good and bad. It is true that since they are not able always to live alone, it will be difficult for them always to be good. This same difficulty will necessarily increase with their relations; and this, above all, is why the dangers of society make art and care all the more indispensable for us to forestall in the human heart the depravity born of their new needs.
The individual comes to carry on a conversation of gestures with himself. He says something, and that calls out a certain reply in himself which makes him change what he was going to say. One starts to say something, we will presume an unpleasant something, but when he starts to say it he realizes that it is cruel. The effect on himself of what he is saying checks him; there is here a conversation of gestures between the individual between the individual and himself. We mean by significant speech that the action is one that affects the individual himself, and that the effect upon the individual himself is part of the intelligent carrying out of the conversation with others. Now we, so to speak, amputate that social phase and dispense with it for the time being, so that one is talking to one's self as soon as one would talk to another person.
|[f] Tepid ADV|
On Board Ship (1955)
In addition to its human load, the boat was carrying some kind of clandestine cargo. Both in the Mediterranean and along the west coast of Africa, we spent a fantastic amount of time dodging into various ports, apparently to escape inspection by the English navy...Because of the heat, which became more intense as we approached the tropics, it was impossible to remain below and the deck was gradually turning into dining-room, bedroom, day-nursery, wash-house and solarium.
But the most disagreeable feature was what is referred to in the army as the sanitary arrangements. Against the rail on either side—port for the men, starboard side for the women—the crew had erected two pairs of wooden huts, with neither windows nor ventilation; one contained a few shower sprinklers which only worked in the morning; the other was provided with a long wooden trough crudely lined with zinc and leading directly into the sea, for the obvious reason. Those of us who were averse to crowds and shrank from collective squatting, which was in any case rendered unsteady by the lurching of the ship, had no choice but to get up very early; and throughout the entire trip a kind of race developed between the fastidious passengers, so that towards the end it was only at about three o'clock in the morning that one could hope for relative privacy.
Finally, it was no longer possible to go to bed at all. Except for the time difference of two hours, the same was true for the shower-baths, where the idea uppermost in every mind was, if not to protect one's modesty, at least to succeed in finding a place in the crowd under the insufficient supply of water, which seemed to turn to steam through contact with so many clammy bodies, and hardly touched the skin. In either case, there was a general urge to complete the operation quickly and get out, for the unventilated huts were made of planks of unseasoned, resinous pine which, after being impregnated with dirty water, urine, and sea air, began to ferment in the sun and give off a warmish, sweet and nauseous odour; this, added to other smells, very soon became intolerable, especially when there was a swell.
Lévi-Strauss, Claude. Tristes Tropiques [Translated by John and Doreen Weightman]. New York: Penguin
George Looks Busy
George looks busy. George is a master of the art.