Sometimes a good way to learn about something is to learn about what it is not. I don’t know to what extent Kenneth Goldsmith is really sincere or just a provocateur but I think he may be useful from a pedagogical standpoint. The text I am reciting is transcribed below. It consists of Kenneth Goldsmith’s 32 text tweets and retweets (links removed) for the month of March, 2015 (the date of each tweet is included) alternated with the first 32 rules of safe operation of Sears Craftsman chain saw model # 316.341070. Because tweets read backward in temporal sequence, the bullet points in the manual were copied in backward sequence as well. Beyond these constraints no order was imposed on the material, which was cut and pasted.
Plagiarism as practice. 3/31
Do not use the unit in the rain, in a storm or in inclement weather.
#learningfromthehate #gratitude 3/27
Never douse or squirt the unit with water or any other liquid. Keep handles dry, clean and free from debris. Clean after each use.
I wish you’d wait to see this happen b4 passing judgement 3/14
Store the unit in a dry place, secured, or at a height to prevent unauthorized use or damage. Keep out of reach of children.
People who weren’t at goldsmith’s reading last night are way madder about it than people who were which is Pure Kenny 3/14
Keep these instructions. Refer to them often and use them to instruct other users. If you loan this unit to others, also loan these instructions to them.
Nothing like receiving a death threat on a Saturday morning. Thx 3/14
Use caution when working in a crew to avoid injury to a fellow worker who may enter the cutting area.
Kenneth Goldsmith: art is not white appropriation of Black suffering. I condemn your cruel reading of Michael Brown’s autopsy report. 3/14
Be alert; stop the machine if anyone enters the cutting area, which is usually 3 to 4 feet around the operator.
Leave it to fucking Kenneth Goldsmith. The wizard himself just read Mike Brown’s autopsy report to a crowd at Brown University. Brilliant. 3/13
Use caution when felling a tree. Make sure you have planned an escape path when felling, and keep all bystanders away.
Just saw Kenneth Goldsmith read Michael Brown’s autopsy report for 30 minutes and no one knew wtf to do with that 3/13
Never carry out operations or repairs on your own that are other than routine maintenance as listed in this manual.
Kenneth Goldsmith reading a new work The Body of Michael Brown, the autopsy report 3/13
Do not remove, damage or de-activate any of the safety devices. Never use a damaged, modified, or improperly repaired or assembled chain saw. Check their proper operation regularly. See chain replacement under Maintenance and Repair Instructions.
Have you ever thought while brushing your teeth that maybe you’re a no talent Erasure hack that wants to print the internet and can’t write a haiku. Just saying, you cash in clown, that has ruined poetics and wore a crap suit while you’re pointing for a moment at Colbert in the perfect bullshit space of television. You’re making a point that isn’t there, I gotta say this fuck you, fuck Penn for giving you a job. I wouldn’t let you mop a floor where I work. 3/12
Do not allow other persons to be near the chain saw when starting or cutting with the chain saw. Keep bystanders and animals out of the work area.
kenneth goldsmith – secretly illiterate 3/12
Use safety footwear; snug-fitting clothing; protective gloves; and eye, hearing, and head protection devices.
I try to be open-minded & follow ppl who’re interesting, & not unfollow b/c I disagree. But if you post Kenneth Goldsmith? Instant unfollow. 3/11
Do not operate a chain saw if you are fatigued.
2pm EST. Watch Uncreative Practices: A Cross-Divisional RISD Symposium with Kenneth Goldsmith 3/11
Do not operate a chain saw with one hand! Serious injury to the operator, helpers, bystanders, or any combination of these persons may result from one-handed operation. A chain saw is intended for two-handed use.
on the idea of the poet as d.j., weaving together samples of preëxisting language into something unique 3/11
Do not start a cut using the tip of the saw.
I wrote about young poets and post-internet poetry in @NewYorker this week 3/10
Always have saw at full speed when entering a previous cut. Always use caution when entering a previous cut.
I’ll be speaking tomorrow night at SVA in NYC on The New Innocence. Free & open to the public 3/9
Watch for shifting logs or other forces that could pinch or fall into chain.
I’ll be keynoting a conference @RISD this Weds afternoon on Uncreativity & Pedagogy. It is open to the public 3/9
Use only the replacement guide bars and low kickback chains specified for your saw to avoid injury.
The death of writing – if James Joyce were alive today he’d be working for Google 3/7
Follow the manufacturer’s sharpening and maintenance instructions for the saw chain.
Rachel Maddow calls @DavidWondrich “America’s most foremost historian of the cocktail” 3/6
Use only the correct original equipment manufacturer replacement bars, chains and other parts and accessories. These are available from a Sears or other qualified service dealer. Use of any unauthorized parts or accessories could lead to serious injury to the user, or damage to the unit, and will void your warranty.
Rachel Maddow calls my oldest pal @DavidWondrich’s book “One of the most important books of the last century” 3/6
Always cut with the motor running at full speed. Fully squeeze the trigger and maintain a steady cutting speed.
Kenneth Goldsmith on Uncreative Practices, a RISD symposium next Wed, 3/11, 2–4:30pm in Metcalf Auditorium 3/6
Make sure that the area in which you are cutting is free from obstructions. Do not let the nose of the guide bar contact a log, branch, fence, or any other obstruction that could be hit while you are operating the saw.
When online student paper mills start selling web-harvested dissertations about your work, you know you’ve made it. 3/4
Keep a good firm grip on the saw with both hands, the right hand on the rear handle and the left hand on the front handle, when the motor is running. Use a firm grip with thumbs and fingers encircling the chain saw handles. A firm grip will help you reduce kickback and maintain control of the saw. Don’t let go.
Campaign against #Twitter spread by #ISIS accts: new hashtags, images. Read my analysis
With a basic understanding of kickback, you can reduce or eliminate the element of surprise. Sudden surprise contributes to accidents. Be alert to the potential for kickback at all times.
If we had to ask for permission, we wouldn’t exist. 3/2
Check the bar and chain at frequent intervals for proper adjustment. Make sure the bar and chain are properly tightened and sharpened. Visually inspect for damage. Repair any damage before restarting or operating the chain saw.
If you admit that you’re stealing, it’s not really stealing. It’s simply fraudulent theft. 3/2
Never touch the chain or attempt to service the saw while the motor is running. Make sure all moving parts have stopped. Allow the chain saw to cool, as the chain can be hot.
C’mon, Kenny, it doesn’t count as forgery or dishonesty if you’re open about it. 3/2
Apply chain brake prior to any repositioning of the operator in the cutting area. As an additional safety precaution, apply the chain brake prior to setting down the saw.
I’ve stolen things that weren’t mine and have made a career out of forgery & dishonesty. I’m proudly & openly fraudulent. I recommend it. 3/2
Always hold the unit with both hands when operating. Keep a firm grip on all handles or grips.
CFP for an expanded notion of conceptual writing 3/2
Do not overreach. Always keep proper footing and balance.
Use the right tool. Only use this chain saw for its intended purpose, to cut wood.
Plagiarize your plagiarizers. Bootleg your bootleggers. Pirate your pirates. 3/1
All chain saw service, other that the items listed in this instruction manual maintenance instructions, should be performed by a Sears or other qualified service dealer.
If somebody cares enough about your work to bootleg it, it’s a sign you’ve really made it. 3/1
When not in use, saw should be stored in a dry, highly secure location away from children.
If you think you shouldn’t do it, you must do it. 3/1
Unauthorized replacement parts or the removal of safety devices may cause damage to the unit and possible injury to the operator or bystanders. Use only Craftsman accessories and replacement parts as recommended. Never modify your saw.