It's a crooked piece of time that we live in
A crooked piece of time
All in all and all in all
It's a crooked piece of time.
I wake up every morning to an argument about the necessity of getting out of bed. Can't go nowhere, can't do nothing but peek out the window to see if the Rona's still out there, or maybe, go outside the check the flowerbeds for tracks.
Done watched everything worth watching on the TV, and can't watch the news anymore because it ain't nothing but a bunch of over opinionated jackasses arguing like two year olds. Sumbitches done forgot that they are supposed to be focused on truth telling instead of reliving all the traumatic moments of their own childhoods.
What can we really expect from an industry that has the nerve to label soap operas as "reality" just because they pretend they are not using actors. I mean watching someone gut a fish with their teeth has a certain fascination I find irresistible, but so did Kill Bill: Volume One. Something I quickly got over about five minutes in.
So, I read and think about what I read, and if I'm lucky enough it creates an urge to write. Writing is a harder than it looks. It's a lot like organizing closets or garages, not that I am adept at either. It forces me to put my thoughts in some kind of order lest they continue to run around willy-nilly like the Duggar's on crack.
This morning I read from Martin Amis's The Rub of Time, a collection of essays written from 1994-2017. Amis is the son of British author Kingsley Amis and a essayist of some repute. I rate him right up there with Christopher Hitchens and Joan Didion in my pantheon of people from whom I steal ideas.
The essay I read from this morning was about the porn industry. I can't use the title. In it, Amis explained the difference between "features" and "gonzo" pornography. The first came about in response to a Supreme Court ruling that said that porn had to contain some kind of 'artistic' merit. This has led to a lot of sex films with a ridiculous amount of meaningless dialogue and pointless narrative structure.
He wrote about a film centered around the loss of a fireman performing his duties.
"The next sex scene, which occurs about a millennium later, is also triggered by grief counseling. Here a male porno star comforts two female porno stars, one of them anally."
It's hard to come up with a line that can strike you with the force of a hammer to the head and yet is also capable of cutting through illusion and delusion like an obsidian knife. This one does. The shock value of being about anal sex is completely obliterated by the incisive truth that is revealed about how just how far humans are willing to go to hide from truth.
Gonzo porn is more unscripted and aggressive, and sells itself as being more honest. Remember "reality shows"? Amis responds to the statement that a gonzo porn producer makes at the beginning of the essay that pain and pleasure are two sides of the same coin.
"No they're not. The distinction between them has always been perfectly clear, whatever, 'the market' might choose to claim."
After reading the essay, I needed a palette cleanser and picked up a Saul Bellow quote in an Amis essay about Bellow entitled Bellow's Letters.
"Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing. Those who lack humor are without judgement and should be trusted with nothing."
God, what a truth, and what a phrase, "common sense dancing!" And how relevant in an age dominated by late night political operatives posing as comics and where common sense is being relentlessly shouted down by virtue signalling hucksters posing as saints.
I have this book so hoary with age its pages are yellowed and it has no cover. I bought it a long time ago when I was desperately seeking answers that would elevate my mind from the hedonistic muck of a misspent adolescence. It's was written by an eccentric thinker, some would say crackpot, named John Michell and titled City of Revelation: On the Proportions and Numbers of the Cosmic Temple. I remember buying it because of the chapter entitled The Number 666, curious to know his thoughts on what gematria had to say about the issue.
I have since become interested in the concept of a cyclical version of history, and Michell was a fierce proponent of the concept going so far as to blame most of the ills of modern society on educational systems that produce people who because of their endless diet of secular thought, "retain into mature life the adolescent ability to adopt a committed position in debate, and to put forward decided opinions on issues which wiser men would scarcely feel disposed to judge."
I mean the jury is out on the crackpot charge, I haven't read enough of Michell's work to make an informed opinion, but he certainly drove this nail through a six inch board. It accurately describes a great deal of not only the educational establishment, nearly all of our politicians, ninety-eight percent of current celebrities, and sadly to say, most of our journalists, preachers, and scientists.
There is definitely something bigger going on here, yet we seem so ill disposed to find out what it is. Fatigue? Maybe.
The passage that caught my attention this morning I had highlighted in yellow many years ago, as if a younger version of myself was signalling the quarantined senior.
"The most cherished possession of every race was its sacred canon of cosmology, embodied in the native laws, customs, legends, symbols, and architecture as well as in the ritual of everyday life."
You have to admit that for the last fifty years we have allowed those who profit most from our ignorance to tear down most of our cherished foundations with promises of brighter future. We are starting to see that all they ever had were promises, and all we seem to have gotten out of the deal is a religion based on the foolish worship of the non-essential and a bunch of tone deaf videos of clueless people singing.
I try not to put too much faith into the idea that something good will come out of the Coronavirus, and I'm often overwhelmed by the feeling that the worst is yet to come. I do think that some things will prove to soften the pain. However, if nothing else, we can hope that this experience opens our eyes to the fact that we can't foolishly keep pushing the lemmings along with electrical cattle prods naively trusting in the wisdom of idiots (God, just look at them all) to guide us to a better place.