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S.S.S.S.S.S. Internal Memo, Year of the Dragon. My Honorificabilitudinitatibus dreams, my expectant heart, my hopeful head, my tingling, typing fingers, tinged with tinted dread. A blue sky with white, fluffy clouds lines the dome of my inner skull, blinking stars dot its curvature at night, like the points where the hairline fractures of battles innumerable reach the breaking point and pierce the brittle helmet of righteousness, like First Concubines ignite an otherwise dreary night in the Oval Office, like Obama's concubines ignite a dormant nightlife. To make love with headphones plugged into the ears, making use of every orifice, to make love with iPods and 3-D televisions by executive order. Michelle, away on some resplendent retreat, all aglow in American designer dresses, expects mussed beds in every room upon her return. Michelle, smiling the devil's own smile, waving the devil's own wave with a limber wrist, feels the pounding of a resilient heart beneath the First Bosom, feels the beveling of believing lungs behind her breast. An intern is expected to abide the Beast between dictations. An intern is expected to extol the boasts brought about by bitter libations. Barack, Barry, as the boy is better known in the bomb shelter, believes breasts bridge the broken borders between blood-feuding brothers better than battles or bombardments, that it is better for boys to bond over the breasts of a bartered bride bestowed with best respects than to bother bombardiers with belabored behests both bloodthirsty and boring.

Posted by James Bradley on 2/21/14




The mummified hand of Edgar Allan Poe, generally thought to be authentic, walks on fingers mimicking feet through the landscape of my twenty-second year, the year in which I perceived that perception is possible, the year in which I presumed to see. The hand, having penned The Raven, having assisted the brain in piercing the ravine, would no doubt fetch a handsome sum on the black market of genuine relics of rarefied genius, were it not currently indisposed with the thorny task of legitimizing time travel to a generation locked in a temporal tide pool, a generation tumbling in a time loop. Black as a monkey's paw, stiff as a stilt, the abstracted appendage, liberated from the host, gathers data while clandestinely altering the time line in aspects some would find inadvisable, still others grossly inappropriate, yet which a small minority deem wholly justified given the nature of the current state of contemporary culture. Poe, a secular seer, and Poe's hand, technically sightless, provide a potentially potent punch post-"New Pearl Harbor," a promising headline for the promotion of the New York Post.


Disclaimer: Wedding bells chime in the belfry of science. This statement reflects nothing but an abstracted account of a briefing of the Joint Chiefs of Staff held on the April 22, 2002 of an alternate time line, regarding an aborted splicing of the genes of William Randolph Hearst and Donald Rumsfeld.

Posted by James Bradley on 1/28/14




The Hyperboreans have infiltrated the database, black paintings line the Avenue of the Americas disguised as logos and window displays, a concise and timely expression of negation in an age of information affirmation. Pod People fill the sidewalks with revisionist histories of Modernism and its myriad heresies both pro- and contra-Self, the line being vague and the Pods having no room in their shopping bags for ambiguity or frivolity above and beyond the immediately frivolous. Galleries paint their walls black in gestures of fear, last-ditch endeavors to stave off a debilitating illness the absence of which impossibly hovers just beyond the periphery of what gallerists deem pleasing to the (anti-)eye. Negation takes many forms and flees various foes. Guilt paints the past black, repressed memories fill the cinemas and fuel the firestorm linking Iran's fanciful nuclear program, the inevitability of World War III, and the "age of irony." One hundred years ago, Kazimir Malevich foresaw the implosion, the Self-fueled Self-destruction of "the American way of life," and manifested it as an angelic apparition of Lenin as a black square, crushing the bourgeois decadents under the weight of an infinite density, a chain reaction of matter which has begun to question whether anything matters.

Posted by James Bradley on 9/24/13




Swan Pond. Swans drift upon the surface of the water with their reflections, with their cygnets, with their entire cosmologies extending outward from the core of their corporeal bodies, through organs and bones, through sinews and synapses, through bacterial colonies drifting upon the surface of a pool of blood, through flesh and feather, through the pond and its moss, insects which skim the water's skin, ripples which extend outward from various points of agitation, the surrounding forest, the towering trees concealing a host of creatures within their shaded promenade, day and night alternate, vying for favor in the hearts of fox and fawn, blackbird and bear, through the vast expanses of desert choking the meridian, through marshes and tundras, human settlements and gargantuan metropolises, through the earth as orb, its plastic satellites, through the moon, Mars and Venus, Jupiter and Mercury, through the heart of an infernal sun and out the other side, through endless emptiness punctuated only by microscopic tics of stellar dust, ruffled by stellar winds carried by a halving momentum demonstrating the maddening patience of God, through nebulae and star nurseries, comets and wormholes, through the spiral galaxy with its long neck and tail, drifting upon the surface of the cosmic swan, forever black, forever without reference point with which to situate its corporeality, forever in doubt, denial, even, of the fixed necessity of its existence.

Posted by James Bradley on 8/19/13

"Where Aren't They Now? SoHo Artists' Spaces of the 1970s"


 Posted on behalf of Penny Dartmouth.


View Where Aren't They Now?: SoHo Artists' Spaces of the 1970s in a larger map

Posted by James Bradley on 7/25/13



Gentleness, loneliness, fatigue, boredom, indifference. What is the nature of our natural states of lethargy? What is the "evolutionary function" of compassion? Sighing is a signification of our higher nature, leaking out like air from a punctured bicycle tire. Our fondness for small animals is an endorsement, an appreciation of our own vulnerability, our own endearing weakness. We are what we are, we are what we become, we are what we long for, in the long run. "Kittens in mittens." Anthropomorphizing is a roundabout way to pet ourselves, and to enjoy the warmth that awaits us upon the reception of our own purring.

We are pets to our pet projections.

Posted by James Bradley on 6/16/13



Long, black hair of a Shinto shrine maiden, tresses swept by the selfsame currents which tickle the cherry trees and tease the blossoms from their branches with the gentleness of a mother combing the kinks out of her daughter's tangles. The trees surround the dirt path leading to the shrine, the clouds surround the sky path leading to the shrine's consummation. Birth and death debate the finer points of white powder on healthy faces, consider the potential merits of intricately patterned kimonos wrapped around child-rearing hips.

An old woman gathers kindling with carbuncled hands, knuckles of gnarled bark stiffened with years of shaking fists in ineffectual frustration at departing bandits. Hunched over, and therefore closer to the conductive earth, she hears the horses hooves stomping precious moments before the unwelcome beasts show their steaming snouts from around the mountain bend. Power is a powerful argument in favor of itself. The woman falls calmly to her knees in front of the small, stone shrine at the edge of the path and prays, the last recourse of prey.

Posted by James Bradley on 6/9/13




S.S.S.S.S.S. Application Essay Excerpt, Year of the Dragon...thirteen cheerleaders forming a human pyramid, a marvel of estrogenic engineering, a monument of esoteric estrogen and pinnacle of my high school career, and I, only I, have been granted the supreme honor of forming the apex to this most essential of American adolescent rituals celebrating the worldly-yet-heaven-aspiring body of the teenage girl, envy of a drooling world. The A at the beginning of America is my guiding beacon, my lighthouse in the fog, my alpha. It is this A, graphically and stylistically depicted on the back of every one dollar bill as some surreal scene out of an Egyptian science fiction movie, which provides my indispensable inspiration while soaring atop the pyramid proudly on a Friday night, which steadies my hand as I begin my ascent up the scrawny behinds of my fellow cheerleaders, my comrades and my rivals, as they stoop on hand and knee to provide the necessary base for the capstone that is me. As I make my ascent my mind becomes clear, the universe congeals in a superheated triangle around what my mother always referred to as my supernatural beauty. In this heightened state I am careful never to tug a bra strap clumsily or muss a carefully braided head of hair. I am an eyeball. I see, and that is all. Once steadied at the summit of the world a glistening panorama unfolds around me and all is revealed. The bleachers are full, the roar of the crowd is mine to absorb, the life force of youth is mine to assimilate. I am Youth.


The A at the end of americA is the omega towards which this great nation charges with all the force of its unprecedented grandeur and military might, its cultural supremacy and moral permissiveness. The Secular Society of Self-Satisfied Satan Sympathizers is my birthright, and the birthright of the race. In foregoing a traditional university education to pursue a career crafted from your program of the ages, I know that I am placing myself ahead of the curve, that corporations will look upon me as longingly as my boyfriend, captain of the football team and fellow aspirant to the Sextuple S,  after convincing his older brother to buy him a six-pack of beer...

Posted by James Bradley on 5/18/13



S.S.S.S.S.S. Internal Memo, Year of the Dragon. Individualism lay sprawled across the dew-drenched lawn like a five-pointed star, spread-eagle or, if I may take the liberty of improvising a more evocative colloquialism, spread-phoenix, looking up into the glowing sky of early morning with eyes squinted, imagining a mirror on the ceiling over the heart-shaped bed of creation with which to witness its own writhing autoeroticism. Tactically revealing scraps of fitted fabric far outstrip the obvious allure of a knee-jerk nudity. Leonardo da Vinci, with his diagrams of mystic manliness, testifies in favor of the latter, but being the product of a less advanced age, his testimony must be taken with the utmost circumspection, the proverbial grain of salt, cube-shaped spice of the earth, manifest logic imprisoned in a perfect cage of numerologically proportioned minerology. The New Jerusalem in multicolored, polka-dotted briefs. Mona Lisa undresses the somnambulists filing through the Louvre between velvet ropes with her smile, sleepwalking through the velvet curtain of the honeymoon suite two by two. But alas! My weakness for high-minded flights of fancy has gotten the better of me yet again. Forgive me, My Liege. Da Vinci has served us well, but the doomsday siren sounds, meaning it is Tuesday at noon precisely, and my services are required elsewhere, as such a more judicious appraisal of his contributions to the Great Work will have to wait until a more opportune time presents itself. My amour pours, in want of receptacle.

Posted by James Bradley on 2/25/13



Individualism is the ideology of the abstraction of individuality from lived experience, the separation of the signification of difference from the essence of difference. Individualism is the exaltation of this signification.

Individualism is the creatio ex nihilo of contemporary global (western-derived) culture, the substantive ground upon which modernity is founded, including its various historical manifestations, i.e. the enlightenment, capitalism, democracy, nihilism, existentialism, the new age, etc.

Post-modernism, to the extent to which it challenges atomization in favor of systemics, is an anti-individualism. Communism is by definition an anti-individualism, and therefore a post-modernism.

Individualism is the unleashing, by increasing degrees, of a firestorm of unchecked humanity, restrained only by a groundless appeal to a common morality (within the dominant ideology of individualism, individualism itself is the only ground).

Individualism's ravages are becoming increasingly difficult to deny or ignore. Communism, in the form of a scientific, post-modern totalitarianism suppressing all individualism (and restraining all individuality to the extent possible) will be proposed as the only conceivable antidote to what soon will be commonly understood as a mortal illness.

Communism, though an anti-individualism in theory, as a world political movement is composed of individualists, and is therefore incapable of confronting individualism with a true, unblemished mirror of negation.

Individualism's coming direct clash with post-modern communism will culminate in its simultaneous triumph and eradication in the form of a synthetic, universal fascism in which individualism is crushed under the boot of one ruler, the last individualist, individualism's logical endpoint.

Posted by James Bradley on 2/7/13



I noticed this while walking through Manhattan recently. The photograph on the left is of a bronze plaque found on the sidewalk alongside the park on Union Square East. It represents the layout of the park itself. The image on the right is a standard dipiction of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. All ten sephirot appear to be accounted for. I have created this post because I could find no other mention of this striking correspondence on the internet. It is interesting to note that at some point in the past the equestrian statue of George Washington was moved from its original location, dipicted on the plaque, to its current location, which can be seen to correspond to the position of the "Yesod," or foundation, sephirah.

Posted by James Bradley on 1/29/13 | tags: Kabbalah tree of life New York City Union Square



A glistening lawn of undulating blades of grass rises one quarter of an inch above the nurturing soil, and one quarter of an inch is no small feat, no insignificant portion of a foot, or of feet. Treaded by bare feet with painted toenails, haunted by an otherworldly mist of pesticides, weighed down by travelling wasps seeking respite from the pre-ordained flight of the wasps' great work, a single blade of grass rises from its daily trampling with remarkable resiliency, an uncanny fortitude tempered both by the incentive of individual enterprise and a sense of devotion to the collective. Just beneath the surface the roots of the network intertwine and braid a deeper experience of individuality into oblivion with messy knots of interconnectedness inspiring tangled philosophies of wholism and pantheism, as well as the inevitable politicizing of such systems of thought into ideologies favoring, in no uncertain terms, the community over the citizen. Through it all the sun remains loyal to its sons, denizens of the dry summer which seems unwilling to give way to the singing winds of autumn.

Posted by James Bradley on 1/24/13



Non Plus Ultra.

The breeze brings (in from the rocky cliffs which mark the last line of defence against the teasing aggression of the ocean, the advance and retreat of a maddeningly ingenious strategic mind) our discarded rhythm back from the vault of aeons. Our past churns within us, our spent expenditures still spin on spokes of spirit. Memory is the meat of the meal of the moment, the primordial mortar of mortal portals. The orange light of the sunset, falling in geometric shapes like smashed stained glass upon the sand and rock, filters through the molds of trees which reach out from the beach like nerves either embracing or fleeing ethereal stimuli. Old concrete structures covered in graffiti, ruins of Imperial America, appear in time to redirect the tips of the feeling fingers of the waves foremost foray. From the beginning we see the end. From the end the beginning is known to us.

Posted by James Bradley on 1/4/13

SUNYATA: A Subject Guide for the Western Reader



A Subject Guide for the Western Reader


Sunyata is a Sanskrit word which translates as "emptiness." In Buddhist philosophy, sunyata refers to the non-dualistic,

impermanent nature of ultimate reality. This subject guide has been compiled as a tool designed to introduce students of Western philosophy to the concept of sunyata, particularly as it relates to modern philosophical concepts and figures. Links are provided for online sources, while all of the print sources can be found through the New York Public Library catalog (


1. Nishitani, K. (1982). Religion and nothingness. (J. Van Bragt, Trans.). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Nishitani discusses the relationship between the Western concept of nihilism and Buddhist sunyata, as well as the

dangers of equating the two. A fascinating introduction to the topic of sunyata, or emptiness. See:

2. Nyanatiloka. (1983). Buddhist dictionary: manual of Buddhist terms and doctrines. New York, NY: AMS Press.

A valuable resource for filling in the gaps in one's knowledge of Buddhist teachings on an as-needed basis. See:

3. Reat, N.R. (1994). Buddhism: a history. Berkeley, CA: Asian Humanities Press.

A broad historical overview which provides the necessary context for our subject. The twentieth century wasn't built in a

day. See:

4. Sunyata. (n.d.). Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved from topic/574124/sunyata.

A concise encapsulation grounding the reader in the "standard" Western understanding of the term through an

established authority's perspective.

5. Dallmayr, F. (1992, January). Nothingness and śūnyatā: a comparison of Heidegger and Nishitani. Philosophy East and West,

42(1), 37-48. Retrieved From

A study on one of the major points of contact between Eastern and Western philosophical schools of the twentieth

century. Note: JSTOR is a proprietary website with restricted access.

6. Laycock, S.W. (2001). Nothingness and emptiness: a Buddhist engagement with the ontology of Jean-Paul Sartre. Albany, NY:

State University of New York Press.

Delving further into the East-West connection, this monograph examines the philosophy of Sartre from a Buddhist

standpoint, as well as the Buddhist underpinnings of Existentialism. See:

7. Nishitani, K. (1990). The self-overcoming of nihilism. (S. Aihara & G. Parkes, Trans.). Albany, NY: State University of New York


An earlier work by Nishitani in which several European philosophers are considered from a Buddhist perspective.

Contains his ideas on nihilism at an earlier state of development. See:

8. Ornatowski, G. (1997, Winter). Transformations of `emptiness': on the idea of sunyata and the thought of Abe and the Kyoto

School of philosophy. Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 34(1), 92-115. Retrieved from

/detail?vid=3&hid=105&sid= 4101a7cd- f6ce-4449-a1a6-27796fba9df8%40sessionmgr115&bdata=


Introduces the reader to the thought of the Kyoto School, a group of Japanese philosophers who utilized Western

philosophical principles to gain new insights into ancient Buddhist ideas.

9. Glass, N.R. (1995). Working emptiness: toward a third reading of emptiness in Buddhism and Postmodern thought. Atlanta, GA:

Scholars Press.

A study attempting to establish a link between Buddhist notions of emptiness and Post-Modern theories pioneered by

Heidegger and others. See:

10. Berger, D. (2005). Nagarjuna (c. 150-c. 250). Internet encyclopedia of philosophy. Retrieved from

Considered by some to be the first "Post-Modern" thinker. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, a peer-reviewed,

free site, provides an extensive entry on this important figure.

11. The Heart Sutra: Prajna Paramita Hrydaya Sutra. (n.d.). Retrieved from


One of the most popular and often-utilized Mahayana sutras is also one of the cornerstones in any understanding of the

Buddhist conception of emptiness.

James Bradley

December 2012

Posted by James Bradley on 12/9/12 | tags: sunyata buddhism nishitani existentialism nihilism



Many dreams occur around 5:30 in the morning. Artists, artists, bless your neurotically sociable hearts. O artists, with your colored blocks like toddlers in a day care center, endeavoring to find the fit the manufacturers intended, and like toddlers, giving no thought to the manufacturers themselves. The elements of the symbolic order are yours to manipulate...on paper. The nuances of the consensus reality are at your keys on a computer keypad. Paper cut-outs of the letters of the alphabet, in primary colors, line the walls, strung around the room sequentially until Z meets A, thus closing the circuit, a self-perpetuating song which never ends. The teacher, a giant in your midst, a guardian on the threshold, strides with towering legs over your disproportionately large heads with bodies scrambling to catch up, providing ample opportunity for a well-developed acquaintanceship with pendular knees and ankles swinging from above, the adult head with its externalized grievousness disappearing into clouds. Barefoot child psychologists carry stone tablets down from the mountain's sacred summit. Many dreams occur around 5:30 in the morning. Many dreams are lost by about seven.

Posted by James Bradley on 12/1/12



Judy Blume in the twilight hours, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing while sipping cheap red wine from a chipped mug with the words "MANNA FROM HEAVEN" printed along the side. The Swan Princess has heard it said that red wine is good for the heart, and though she pays little heed to the self-serving assertions of the medical industry, with its dark allegiance to pharmaceutical phantasmagoria and its sublimated ecclesiastical narrow-mindedness, in this case she was forced to concede that, yes, red wine was certainly good for the heart, though not necessarily in the way the mad scientists meant it. As the murky liquid slid down her throat she could feel an inner warmth radiating from behind her breastbone, which soon expanded to engulf her entire abdomen and subsequently, in no particular order, her awkward arms, skinny legs, frazzled fingers and stubby toes, saturating her body with a tingling sensation not unlike what one may very well experience whilst skinny dipping in a natural hot spring, or so the Swan Princess strained to imagine. She lay lodged in a mound of dirty clothes, sinking deeper at a nearly imperceptible rate, a somewhat inopportune position for holding a book in one hand and her crimson indulgence in the other, and while turning a yellowing page the mug jerked, letting slip a single drop of wine, a drop which plummeted through the microcosmic stratosphere of her personal space and splashed on her pristine white T-shirt, populous toga of the American Empire, with black text across the front which read "TALES OF AN UNDERGRAD NOTHING," another stain on the heart passing unnoticed by the Swan Princess, engrossed as she was in a distorted mirror showing her either herself or everything else.

Posted by James Bradley on 11/17/12

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