A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Friday, September 22, 2006


I had in mind the Tasmanian Devil when I suggested renaming our new dog Taz instead of Sadie, the name which had been given to her by her former family. Sadie seemed such a placid, dull name, whereas this puppy was a little black whirlwind.

But TAZ is also an acronym for Temporary Autonomous Zone, as coined by the pseudonymous Hakim Bey. The TAZ is a moment that springs up and out of Time, violating the "law" of History. A "pirate Utopia" is a TAZ; an "island in the Net" is a TAZ; a dinner party or an orgy can as well be a TAZ.

Peter Lamborn Wilson (a.k.a. Hakim Bey) is a "lifestyle anarchist," decried by the social anarchists as being "apolitical." Well, duh! At least he understands that the "negative gesture against politics consists simply of not voting." Apathy is not the same as laziness, and can influence institutions and events as much or more than organized opposition.

Refusenik philosophy can be manifested by truancy, hacking, squatting, single parenting, and so on and on. And although these acts are typically interpreted by institutionalized society as negative gestures, they are in fact tactics of disappearance by which we liberate ourselves in the present moment.

"The TAZ," says Hakim Bey, "by its very nature seizes every available means to realize itself--it will come to life whether in a cave or an L-5 Space City--but above all it will live, now, or as soon as possible, in however suspect or ramshackle a form, spontaneously, without regard for ideology or even anti- ideology."

And that could be said of a very high-spirited dog, as well.


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