A: Before we begin today I wanted to add a little to my comments yesterday. Q: Sure. What did you want to say? A: One thing was that I didn’t want to argue the case that indigenous people are the only ones disenfranchised by bureaucracy and so on. Disenfranchisement is a complex issue and it’s really quite disingenuous to single out white middle-class men as the ones who benefit from bureaucracy. In fact, no one benefits. People can manipulate it though, pervert it. Discrepancies are obvious too. For example, when a US-born Filipino friend wanted to move back to the US with his Japanese wife, the application and process was more drawn out and made more complicated than is usual for whites. There was nothing illegal about the extra interviews he and his wife had to attend, and racism would be hard to prove, but at the same time one has to ask why his application was delayed (it took more than 6 months) while other white Americans’ applications take about half the time. I don’t know the history of bureaucracy for other groups. The indigenous people of the US, at any rate, is one in which bureaucracy was the next brutality after force. In my family, we experienced this in the form of the “blood registration” at the turn of the 20th century.. And then there is the risible Cherokee Nation, the Lilliput of Washington-style politics… Q: Well, I was actually going to follow up on this a little. I did some checking up on your name last night. “Basan” is either Turkish or Hebrew, I can’t work out which. A: I’m sticking by Milton on this and will assert that the name is from modern day Jordan. But the name is Hebrew, yes, my father was raised Jewish. Q: Milton? A: Yes, in Paradise Lost the town of Basan is one of those dominated by Moloch. It’s still on the map. Q: You’ve spoken a lot about indigenous Americans, but looking at you, you look much more, err, Jewish. A: Good point. If we start measuring blood like Nazi’s you’ll find me to be 1/2 Hebrew (Jewish relates to a religion) and just a miniscule 1/16 Cherokee, with the remaining bits being mostly Macedonian with a trace of Scotch. If you’re out for binging, I’d make a lousy drink! Q: So why.. A: Why all the talk about Cherokees? I don't know. I’ve always had a hard time identifying with the Jewish side of things. One reason is that the religion never featured in my life. My mother is a devoted Christian, I am an atheist. The whole Israel question further complicates things. Also, my sister and I were quite close to my grandfather on the Cherokee side.. Anyway, I’m bored with this topic. This is the last day, can we move on? Q: Sure. I wanted to ask about your current projects. What are you working on? What do you have planned? A: This’ll probably take up the rest of the interview! As you know, I’ve spent a good part of the year preparing my Ph.D. application, because of this I haven’t been able to do much in the way of real writing, aside from reams of notes made here and there in transit. That said, I did write quite a bit on Gins and Arakawa at the beginning of the year, culminating in a kind of crappy review of their book “The Architectural Body”. I’m going to go back to that as soon as I can. Madeline sent me a review copy so I really owe her one. I also started the year writing about 100 post-card instructions – poems to be constructed by someone else I another place. I want to do something with them, but soon after I finished the first batch, the Iraq war broke out and I felt the cards were somehow superfluous or fatuous. So I started writing a project I called “A Modest Proposal Revisited” in which I make Swiftian suggestions concerning the Middle East in the business presentation genre, with ppt. Slides and everything. Again, this is half done partly because I wanted to put it online and I don’t have the technical ability to do something like that. The other reason was that other obligations prevented me from finishing. Since then, I lost the ppt slides in the same computer crash that destroyed the sound script you found yesterday. At least I have most of the script in my notebook (mead notebook that is). Those are the two major projects I plan to finish around March next year. I still have some poems and bric-a-brac I need to polish up. I pretty much finished one called “Brancusi’s Car” the other day. I like experimenting with reducing and cutting away words as part of the process of the poem, as well as with patterning. “Brancusi’s Car” is like that. It’s inspired from a John Cage quote in which he says that the car alarms in NYC remind him of a Brancusi (I think he had the sinusoidal wave in mind there). Then there is the question of what to do with hours of taped noises. I had to do a lot of travel around Tokyo this summer doing interviews etc. so when I got the chance I’d take out my tape player and record anything really. I started putting those together, but I need to find some better software. I have a copy of Acid Pro, but I have no idea how good it is. Basically, I want to layer the sounds with music (especially a couple of Nono pieces) that features silence. Then there is the question of my sound scores. Either I need to get people together to read them or I’ll use the same software to do it all myself. Err. But first I have to find them all. Q: You aren’t the most organized of people, are you? A: No, although not usually this bad. It’s just that I work a lot and have the application to think about. That is my number one priority right now. I need community, poetry and arts community, and I see it in the US. Also, my studies feel like “unfinished business”. If I don’t go back, some abstract study mobster is going to put a severed horse head in my bed. I’ll know I made the wrong decision. Q: we need to finish.. A: Yes. Well, thanks for allowing me on the blog.

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