Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Management Day Counter-Narratives, Some Notes

I'll wait to write more than these notes, or anyway to collate and re-write them, taken as response to the lively, wonderful, important, beginning of a conversation around labor & aesthetic practices (labor) - that took place as counter-celebration of Management Day a couple weeks ago. That Bay-Area Labor Day gathering organized by Sara Larsen, David Brazil, Suzanne Stein, Brandon Brown, and Alli Warren. Many of the talks are online. Many thanks to the organizers for this rich and urgent set of discussions. I'd encourage everyone to go to the link here. Much more interesting than the below--and varied, can't possibly do (social) justice to the perspectives in the room that are available on the Labor Day blog.

First thought: I am looking forward to hearing and reading the contributions from those not yet online. I hope to see/hear that work, but do like the mystery of it too.

Second thought: this is a welcome change from the way poetics is re-imagined elsewhere, and has been, where institutional critique as tit for tat forms the blase' that often accompanies me whenever I hear the word "conference." Notwithstanding several interesting & potentially important discussions/actions/readings along the way, but in the service of what, when profit distribution (the spreading of cultural capital) is out of your hands and tuition dollars are in Aruba (in offshore accounts aptly named after race horses)? And the institution is invariably set up as a classroom often is: chairs, lectern, etc. Location, location, location. Or mode of poetic transmission, as Rodrigo Toscano calls it in his mini-essay (address) for the gathering, read by Suzanne Stein.

Institutional conferences presencing the potential of the gathering up and re-distribution of such resources, yet, due not to some mythical, complacent faculty/student/staff body out there (cf. all the concern about "academic poetry" on the blogosphere and in more generative/complicating ways touched on by Farmer and Joron here), but for reasons mined just a bit below, such potential goes inevitably un-tapped as symptom of a very late systems failure, the conference (whether mine/ours at Evergreen, PRESS, or another's) rather serving as the faux-graffiti--poetic investigation's output as "knowledge capital"--on the public face of the fortification that has become, by nothing less than privatization, a no trespassing zone for most of us. More on that in a minute, as access to academia and how we can de-corporatize the academic landscape is what is of greater importance to me, something each of us, whether facilitators or not, have a vested interest in.

Glad to see Toscano nails the critique to a system, Capitalism for one (several, in fact, given that his piece discusses different zones of poetic production [labor]). And he's not alone. Chris Daniels does the economic equivalent to poetry here as Joshua Clover does poetically to economics in the latter's recent Nation article on our current 250-year recession. Chris gives one word that remediates the sometimes, and at least here always nimbly complicated, glossing of that systems failure in the form of academic vs non: solidarity. Not that Chris's talk wasn't so deeply poetic, quite the opposite. More on that in a minute.

In her talk, Samantha Giles passionately speaks to the feeling of being liminal as parent, caretaking as invisible labor; and in echo, for me, of Thom Donovan & Robert Kocik & Daria Fain's and others' recent work on commoning thru poesis &, the felt sense of responsibility to use poetic mobility for making the invisible visible. And Giles has done this, in her work at SPT [correction], and of course in her own poetry. Important shit, that.

George Albon's talk, excerpted and read by Alli Warren, is a languid framing of the past-present, how one generation/community of poets in America thought of poetry in terms of labor, and how another (this was implicit) does not. Keep in mind that though earlier, Black Mountain was vividly awake at this time even if closed, the 60s, awake as reminder to those faculties building places such as Evergreen, such as Oakland (in MI). Here Albon's dug up conversations by Duncan; and Rexroth giving a talk with Snynder and Whalen at a Longshoreman hall--1964. Can we imagine this happening now? Albon asks this. "Internalized skepticism" about our work as labor, Albon replies as question, as test for an emergent hypothesis. Yes, I think. But also in 1964 the Wobblies had good numbers, union density was nearly double what it is today--12% and falling--and Right to Work laws had had only nine years to start making it the way it is now. Add to that continual amendments (by precedent at the good ole' NLRB) to the Wagner Act (itself a union-busting document to begin with), and you get an incredible shrinkage of union density, the density of the affiliated. And by "affiliated" I don't mean "in academia" as Farmer uses the term in his otherwise really lovely talk--ironically un-ironic, I think. And contra Joron (both of whose poetries and writings I do love, and whose talks are still incredibly stimulating and so this critique is a friendly one in the truest possible sense) such shrinkage of the affiliated gives rise to deflation (in both sense of the term) and such deflation, on my count, gives rise to the shrinkage of the imagination--not the other (Surrealist musing) way around. More on that in a minute.

Sara Larsen's talk is gracious, smart, and informed: she "disappears into two connected poles of capital"--the port and the financial center. Goes underground, and here resides a labor that matters, in part what we can make of the question of poetry: as Rosmarie Waldrop calls its potential function, "the unacknowledged life maintenance crew of the mind," and Larsen goes there--with provisos--underground. Between these poles lies hope for solidarity, the vocational call to poetry one possible (even if small and in need of backup) helper towards that potential future. An abstraction that combats an abstraction, to paraphrase Adorno, where monetized culture peppered with electronic product is what she meets whenever or wherever she reappears. A beautiful, sort of Arendtian talk, in which she separates labor from vocation, vocation as a calling, of religious etymology--ecclesia. But why is this separation extant? I wonder. So does she. "Strict hierarchy" for "employed labor," she says, where "creativity" is given no primacy. The job is a place of sterility, alienation, and is a primer for that shared grave (between "worker" and "poet" artificially separated by capitalism) Mallarme' writes of, as Ranciere reminds us, as given to us in the English by Rob Halpern in a recent issue of Larsen and Brazil's Try Magazine. There is no "cooperative" labor within the field of employed labor, Larsen recalls. But what is the poet--the culture worker--to do in response, as relation to, or (fancifully) as in protest of? In contrast to employed labor, here--in this room, in the Bay?--there is a community, a body, a communal body, she says. The question lingers, and it only can linger--now, here.

Speaking of which, this talk comes on the heels of the beautiful talk by David Brazil, who in a sense (at least chronologically viz. the day's talks) sets up and helps frame Larsen's. Brazil importantly calls us to reup the use of the term "proletariat," and I say ditto, call a spade a spade. We belong to a class of persons. "Therefore any wrong done to me is impersonal" he writes. As writers "we work within the field of representations," and this allows us to imagine social re-arrangements, counterfactuals, and to investigate the joints that consign us to be the alienated multitudes, to represent the futurity of uncoded possibility, for Brazil too a sort of ecclesia, a collectively experienced answer to the call of vocation where there is no daylight getting in the way of that call, where that call is our labor.

Laura Moriarty, on the other hand, highlights present conditions, the "logogistics" of writing and working, the problem of how to make space for our writing lives in a time of wage laboring. She recalls how, in thinking thru this question very early on, she wanted to have "independence of mind," realizing as time goes on that no matter the "kind" of labor--highly manual or not so much--this is formative, seeps into one's writing, is in many ways inseparable from one's identity(ies) formation. Moving to The Poetry Center gave her benefits for the first time in her life, at age 34, she tells us, which is a chilling and familiar fact. And she ends with a sort of beautiful analysis of "cultural volunteerism" (both the good, the bad, and the beautifully ugly) at SPD. Again, the institution/non-institution preoccupation is presenced, tho here in the service of finding a way to do that which we must do, to answer that vocational call, to echo Brazil & Larsen.

Cedar Sigo gives us a rather amazing set of insights into what working at a worker's cooperative is like. The talk is hilarious and beautiful, filled with lightness, feels like response to some of the day-jobbers, tho doesn't fall into the trap of "gratefulness" or utopianism--at all. This is a talk in which he tells us (ironically) that he sees dollar signs when he looks at his writing, and that the answer just may..just perhaps may... lie in... organic beauty supplies. Wonderful. I love this talk and will play it again many times before I die.

Despite my deep reservations about his talk, Andrew Joron's is an important challenge to us Marxists, to those of us who teach poetry also. Or shall I say: co-inhabit and co-create poetry within a predetermined, circumscribed space. Joron opens with an incredibly touching recollection of a labor day march he participated in about ten years ago in which his late friend responded to the organizers' chant "jobs not jails" with "jobs ARE jails." I'd imagine--as they in fact did--that the organizers did not like this very much, and stated their reason: that's an elitist position. Which, although I agree that jobs are CURRENTLY jails of a sort, and as former organizer always kinda liked the different counter-chants that'd emerge and make up the ideological micro-diversity of an action, the critique still has a ring of truth to it, as Jaron admits. Joron challenges us to think past our Marxisms, to widen our expectations--to dream (i.e., live) the impossible, where there aren't assigned jobs, where there isn't a 40 hour work week, CVs, or professions. I love the spirit of that, am all for it, as I am a Wobblie after all. But who are WE? Who is it he is saying this to? A room of a certain class, but a room within that class of a certain area of concern & mode of operation. We need organize to get to a place where professionalism etcetera is cast aside for more salubrious, equitable ways of gathering. The poets, the floaters, the inevitably and weirdly a tad more mobile than, say, the person with 3 jobs (and some in the room may count as such) are as needed here as anyone else. And due to our liminality--what I call in my Nonsite Collective essay & talk our surplus capacities taken as "disabilities" by our managers--we bare if any burden in this regard, a greater one, of we are in a position to use that precious time to organize--differently. This, in echo of Robert Kocik's call to outsource ourselves in the service of sorely needed but missing services. Which many of us, and probably all in that room during the gathering, do fairly regularly.

Getting back to the elitism (or as I'd call it, classism) critique, which absolutely needs be addressed within poetry/arts circles, within The Art World, and hasn't been in any sustained way within the larger heteronomous landscape, which is why we have poet-sages. And Billy Collins. And other department chairs. And why we have, I think, such a deep preoccupation with the academic vs non-academic problem--an actual problem (one primarily of access) but often one that misplaces its charge of hoarding capital, professionalization, corporatization, etc., levies it at faculties, students, staffs. I.e., curators of conferences, who are at most puppets. Not that (cf my section "Labor Organizing, a Poetics" in my Nonsite draft essay) I haven't met all manner of armchair activist professors. Organizing adjuncts at NYU I often found myself trying to convince Marxist poets/teachers that what they do is actually valuable, that it is, in fact, work. That they (we) produce something--as anyone, the unemployed quote end quote included, we're making the world, and can't get out of it if we tried. Toscano, Moriarty, Larsen, and especially Chris Daniels, discuss this, what I call "super-alienation" among workers who see themselves as, rather than in solidarity with the rest of us who are fucked (Daniels), wearing of one collar or another. Collared, to be sure, but in monochrome is how the crisis shakes out. Daniels so beautifully, and so convivially reminds us. That we are "human creatures."

Marx's response to labor reinforces, by virtue of its analysis and (somewhat open-ended) prescription, the 40 hour work day, Joron (I paraphrase) tells us. And since that is the case, and since any system of labor (whether under capitalism or socialism etc) is coercive, Marxism is therefore coercive. Well, Marx didn't advocate--in any general way--day laboring, or persistent demarcation, but rather critiqued a blindness to production, or as Chris Daniels so poetically puts it, "changing the world." Each of us, save for those who manage capital flow, and those who own us. And maybe the -ism, a particular ism certainly does internalize the critique, but we don't find the reinforcement of systems of labor in Capital--that'd be to treat the book as economics. Which it isn't, even though it now is. To get back to Clover's article, aptly timed by the way:

Marx's Capital is, among its cornucopia of analyses, a theory of crisis: how capital, with its immutable compulsion to expand or collapse, pushes itself via self-destructive competition into disaster—at which moment it endeavors to shake apart and reform itself even more grandly. This is, at least, a story. And a pretty good one: it narrates usefully the development of a market economy out of the Renaissance and eventually into the British Empire, yielding to an even more global US order. It also reminds us of the simplest fact, yet one seemingly elusive to most of the recent crackup's commentators: greed is an irrelevancy. When the investment bank across the street leverages up to a debt/equity ratio of twenty-nine to one, you leverage up to thirty or get out. Greenspan's account, and those of Lanchester and Johnson and Kwak, and an army of like cases, are pure hoodoo. Your moral sentiments have nothing to do with it.

Or, to put it in Marx's terms, Capital is not political economy--it's "a critique of political economy." One that, contra The Communist Manifesto, which was interested more in alternative systems of economy, in Communism - from a distance - , the work doesn't lead us into ad-vocation of Communism tout court (that arrives mostly with Lenin). This Adorno picks up on, thus (I think, and obviously as a footnote to the Holocaust) his dystopian bent. Poetry IS labor: "poets shouldn't have would lead to professionalization." But we do, and the culture industry of poetry, this gift economy, is right now a professionalization, but currently without (much, if any) pay. So pay--or acknowledgment of labor and some form of reciprocity, outside academia or inside (usually in--isn't the problem here, nor would it necessarily lead to professionalization as so often understood were the system geared towards equity, in fact quite different than it has been for many years: exclusion right down to the creole vocab. That is, the anti-work model collides with its own conjunct claim, that "academic institutions provide refuge against barbarism..." That is to say, with tactical reality. And yet to this, still, I'd say, Really? I did seek refuge in academia, but I've found little. That is, what of the "academicization of poetry..."? I take it Jaron means toe cporporatization of poetry. What about the corporatization of poetry--more like, if Jaron IS making a stronger claim about two kinds of poetry-as-written, or approaches to the written, and so rather corporatization a la Toscano's nobody is innocent critique. I'd argue. Were faculty to have a say and a stake equally, the students and staff too at, say, University of the Future, cooperative control of where the money (or gifts or...) goes and how we can gather torqued, thus torquing, inevitably, the sort of pedagogy we'd see (as we used to do at Evergreen and still do viz. the possibility to activate a popular education, tho admittedly parasitic on a larger system of hierarchy--pedagogy, one positive aspect of this JOB), and were the educational institution (perhaps most importantly) free, might Jaron's insistence that we are all poets, and I take it that we are, that professionalization be liquidated, come about? I'm not so sure it wouldn't. And so I'm not so sure that instrumental titles or spaces to gather in called pedagogical spaces or poetic commons (or what-have-you) and trading of goods--demand--is the problem, but rather is the way supply (in fact surplus) is treated, distributed, narrowly thought of post-Marx, which invariably poisons pedagogical approach, narrows possibilities, and with it, imaginative spaces. And that holds true everywhere--inside academia and out. Nowhere to hide. Nothing, however, that puts an absolute limit on what "sort" of poetry gets written where at what time. More on that in a minute.

On a sort of flip side, Laura Levin tells us that when working in the corporate stinkhouse, she was able to "ciphen off money for doing nothing" during the dot com era--and this, beyond being a beautiful image, for me feels importantly microcosmic of the Great Awakening, apexed by TARP and TALF, as Clover puts it: the phenomenon of bailout and expenditure of pure commodity by means of lend-lease, that "the market, functioning freely...has assigned a value to these assets: zero... the government steps in to pay people, in effect, to buy things they think are worth nothing. By people I still mean corporations." Plus there's a refreshingly honest question that emerges for Levin, a current question: is my interest (and I mean hers and mine) in community building and politically engaged poetic life masking an underlying wish, that of the desire to accrue cultural capital? And on the gift economy: we could stand to open or widen the coterie, and yet there is the important real behavior of people giving people gifts, gifts being reciprocated, hands, at times, even touching. There is something, to paraphrase Agamben, antithetical to capitalism about this--something that renders the bare life barely visible, hence filled with potential, regardless of vocation.

Jason Morris talks about how "writing about work is like work itself..." Well, that's because, in my estimation, it is work. As I think Morris is alluding to. Mirrors are kept behind the bars so that the tender can keep an eye on the clientelle at all times, he tells us. The Foucaultian nightmare. So obvious, yet not something I'd thought of before, despite a formerly lush life in all the wrong ways (Agamben's poetic warnings are suddenly shooting pains behind my left eyeball). Oddly, I have trouble loving much of Williams' poetry (Paterson mainly), but in evoking him, Morris reminds me that the doctor's insistence upon complicating an otherwise medical gaze is precisely what I look for in my Imams--all twelve of them. Needless to say, none of them can deliver.

Pamela Lu consciously manifests/performs alienation, the problem we as workers under this regime have: she uses her--precise--lunch hour to write her piece. 1 hour per day. "How to spend it?" Immigrant marginality, she writes, gives rise to a caretaking disposition (in the material sense). "Why do I have so little time?" Capitalism divides time between personal and work time, and Lu rightly, I think, notes that personal time is, in fact, most often, labor--work. "Maybe you're tempermentally unsuited for the academic life," she writes. I think back to the question I often ask myself: why did I pursue a PhD? Well, poor, working class, I needed some flight from Detroit and couldn't afford a job, because, you know, jobs cost money these days. Refuge was what I sought (and some proximity to my partner), which brings Jaron's challenge into relief, gives us an indication of its importance. And in time, I learned how to, or in my working class invisibility, failed to adapt to, the doctrinaire and stifling and dogmatic conservatism of my professors, colleagues (my department one of the most conservative in this country), spending most of my time down at the Bowery or at St. Marks going to readings, or performing on the street for nobody and everybody, drinking and eventually union organizing. I learned how to cuccoon myself from most of that which the "non-affiliated" of Farmer's talk, critiques.

Overall the trendlines in this series of thoughtful, deeply arresting and important talks emerge as questions about the use value of poetry, but more so, how to address the problems of institutionality, professionalization, corporatization. To that, Chris's call for solidarity rings most full to me, with its not-so-quiet undertone of recognizing class, that poetry is essential, absolutely special, but isn't any more special than other forms of labor--that it feels that way is due, in part, to the devaluation of aesthetic production by society at large, and in part because the other forms of labor are by and large not "ours" and "for us," not cooperatively or communally held in common trust and regard. In short, THOSE jobs suck because we have zero say in who works them, what their conditions entail, how much they pay, what the hours are... ad infinitum. It doesn't have to be that way: and if we think that there isn't someone out there who would under different conditions be just as passionate about flipping burgers as I am about poetry, then I think we're not imagining hard enough about that possibility, and what that world would need in order to exist. And under Chris's baritone seemed to be the prosody of potential for radical organizing, of action, of further collaboration towards shifting structures of power. Which is what, I understand, the group did as the talks ended--brought up several lines of possible future dialog and action. And the call is, like hopefully this post is, a loving one, one that recognizes the humanity in the room. "Like everyone in this room I fall within about 90 percent of where the rest of humanity is--the working class, and that's not a bad place to be," Chris says. Agreed.

Kimberly-Clark NXT® Disposable Nitrile Cleanroom Gloves or Mallarme's Shared Grave Recalled

for Chris Daniels

non-latex cleanroomskin from raw

meat to a scope [ a me who slums it, dreams o dees frocks ]

in-side me a low-fi feeling, disposable

workers bi-lawed to wear i & i's pumped

for a mirror, 40 laced digits

the worker must be trained

the worker must be careful

in this ha ha bed / vroom, supplicant

me's globals supply demandante: gloves

as person as dick & hole as class stratification = put a glove on it

wanting-me o N a custodial fetish? [ some soft parts here ]

a me dreams me poultry in kitchen, rubdown shake skin shorn &

hands must always be

the worker as always must

& in [ please! scrub / skivvy / stretch / snap / insert, i] - i penetrated with you ghetto song, you farthling muscled in

visible but for

the trick is the worker must

the trick is the worker

vinyl resistant based

oil spills in the deep blindness the co. investigatory

stages of, in the i-formation of

faking it

blackwater / small hung television / rests on augustine time [ see: labor! ]

on a cut-made, waits for the in-

spection of the in-

side lip of blackstuff seeps a thin layer pro-tects musts for

[ the in-side-out body is a lip that slicks of oil, stenches as ]

pedestal: verbs a breakroom imagined, or eye corner catches shit slung

the worker needs to

cleanup o.r & e.r & all r's after

cleanroom to yr syrup

skin seen as moments, ambidextrous polyped fingers

the worker holes tightens as [ mgt a wall / walls us ]

transluscent finger / film is dictee'd, primed [ shutoff ]

the right choice

for latex sensitive indiviuals

working in strict

the worker must learn that must learn that must learn

cleanroom environments strong

durable hands meat [ me a sink drain scrubbed nitely ]

night shift shakes out as

mop up pre-tense newsworthy as

when when [when] all i - i when all kneeds are

hands un-sewn dilegent, opens peels write to worker

work re-covers skinned, a panic room landgrab hlands a co. garden, urban skin

patched powder free

no risk of powder

related airborne

macho product


made from a synthetic

nitrile polymer, made from

doesn't contain doesn't con

natural rubber latex proteins

[ heave ho, lip sled slips ]

ideal for latex

sensitive individuals

specifications: 6-mil thick textured

fingers beaded cuffs

eases donning reduces

rips & tears

pkg. of 100, double-bagged in

sealed cleanroom polyethylene body-bagged

musts, the worker should not &

the worker must not & but for off

hours hinges me outside me

the worker should

specify size:

XS, S, M, L or XL

to take to grave

to grave [ shared, primed, donned passed-over overlike ]


  1. Dear David (Michael) Wolach:

    You must have the eyes of Ted Williams -- you know, the old-time ballplayer. I hope Black Radish did not print your Occultations in a typeface as small as this posts, or I'll have paid good money for a book that'll be very, very difficult to read.

    I read your post by via copying, pasting, and enlarging it off the web. Two corrections: it's "Joron" not "Jaron" and Giles works at SPT (Small Press Traffic) not SPD (Small Press Distribution).

    I listened to the recordings up at the Labor Day site too. You've done more thinking on them than me, and I appreciate you sharing some of your thoughts.

    I was puzzled by that part of the opening statement that was meant to explain why academic folks weren't a part of gathering. I think there are all kinds of institutions, and that schools have no monopoly on the corrosive effects of working for one.

  2. Hi Steven,

    Thx for the comment here. First, for yr heads up about my atrocious spelling & lack of spell-check. Yes, Joron in my head always wants an "a." I do this OFTEN, as, since I was turned on by his work by Leonard Schwartz years ago, I've kept at it & written on his work a coupla times, done the same damn thing. Dunno why. Plus I can't see (sorry abt size, was trying not to archive suddenly Stephen's presser) when I've done it again. & for chrissake, I just sent Giles et al my book, know her work, that the job is at SPT too. Have been writing "SPD" a lot lately after Occultations, what with SPD's (& SPT's) excellent help on giving it attention, thus I think that mistake. Thx for ordering! Promise--the 9 pt font is ONLY for the cover.

    Any case, wasn't in my opening so much defending or even asking why there weren't academics for the event... a) didn't know enough of a back story (like, who might have been invited & couldn't go etc) and b) actually wasn't sure if some of these folks weren't also adjuncts. But it is otherwise, if the case that no academics, an interesting point for discussion, if only because one of the central foci of discussions was institutionality of academia. Otherwise...

  3. PART 2 (Cont...)

    Agreed re yr position that schools have no monopoly here. I was hoping that'd it be clear that in my opening I was analyzing Toscano's talk, who agrees with you (at least on overall point), thus the conversation about faculty/staff/students (i.e, non-managers) having no real control, as in any work environment, over their (our) labors post-(eg)-conference. & So that the conference must consider the conditions & form of its own labor as against the commodification process its host will be trying to undertake. Like anyplace.

    That's what I was trying to get at, tho confusedly probably, when I wrote regarding Joron's critique of the academic institution (& to be fair, he mentions others too):

    "academization of poetry..." I take it Jaron [sic] means the corporatization of poetry (as it, poetry-as-institutionalized & commodified). But, what ABOUT the corporatization of poetry--more like--if Jaron [sic] IS making a stronger claim about two kinds of poetry-as-written [academic vs non], or approaches to the written, and so rather corporatization a la Toscano's nobody is innocent critique. I'd argue. Were faculty [like any workers anyplace] to have a say and a stake equally, the students and staff too at, say, University of the Future, cooperative control of where the money (or gifts or...) goes and how we can gather torqued, thus torquing, inevitably, the sort of pedagogy we'd see (as we used to do at Evergreen and still do viz. the possibility to activate a popular education, tho admittedly parasitic on a larger system of hierarchy--pedagogy, one positive aspect of this JOB), and were the educational institution (perhaps most importantly) free, might Jaron's [sic] insistence that we are all poets, and I take it that we are, that professionalization be liquidated, come about? I'm not so sure it wouldn't. And so I'm not so sure that instrumental titles or spaces to gather in called pedagogical spaces or poetic commons (or what-have-you) and trading of goods--demand--is the problem, but rather is the way supply (in fact surplus) is treated, distributed, narrowly thought of post-Marx, which invariably poisons pedagogical approach, narrows possibilities, and with it, imaginative spaces. And that holds true everywhere--inside academia and out. Nowhere to hide. Nothing, however, that puts an absolute limit on what "sort" of poetry gets written where at what time...

    Anyhow, I have trouble thinking of any "institutions" that aren't corrosive. I can think of collectives or loose affiliations or really concertedly organized places, but there are few, and still faced with questions of how to activate beyond that particular coterie or group etc.

    Any case, thx for the comments, & [emoticon] the spell-check. I should do those before pressing "publish."