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Thursday, May 01, 2003 

Chance Report

Sometimes words on the radio, in print, in the dream-ear, or in overheard conversations will dialogue with great humor or insight. Any mouth can play unknowingly.

In April, while listening to war news on community radio, and looking through Penelope Rosemont’s Surrealist Women, my eyes fell upon a Meret Oppenheim collage entitled “Paradise is Under the Ground.” As if echoing, a radio voice said “Underground” a moment later. Then Haifa Zangana’s assertion that “Profit is made for profit’s sake” coincided with “...going to war for economic reasons” on the radio. Finally, the radio’s “All the while to bring them Christianity and Western Civilization” was followed in print by “A symbol of sin and evil thoughts.”

Another recent experience began with the hypnagogic phrase “Barbara Automatism.” That day I encountered the name Barbara twice, as authors, and three or more times in conversation or on the radio. Each mention of this name was like an intrusion from the background of my experience. At the end of the night, a guest anxious to speak to someone called a woman named Barbara on the telephone.

MK Shibek

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