Friday, November 12, 2010

Aphorisms, Reflections and Remembrances. Part Two.


Once upon a time a friend of mine sat in a theater waiting for a live performance to begin. He recounted this story: A person sitting up front had already seen the matinee and was asked by another theatergoer if the show was cultural. The woman responded that “some of it” was cultural. Some of the dance was cultural. I will learn a lot of stuff before I die, but I will never know what the hell that means.  
Survival is garbage. A syphilitic German has already pointed this out, but it can’t be repeated enough. To survive is to barely make it. To crawl from the wreckage of ruin and death with a mean limp, crippled for all of your days. Survival is better than destruction, but not by much. If anything is to truly count in a meaningless world, we have to step past survival and thrive. We have to prosper. If I am to exist on the edge of certain doom, let it be because I am surfing its wave, not because I am washed up on its raggedy shore.
There is nothing so varied than a human being’s need for personal space. Some live peacefully among brothers and sisters clustered together in a hut. And some will set out to sea during a storm for a brief moment of solitude. In our own space we explore the inner and escape the outer, a great necessity in modern and even premodern life. If I ever found myself behind bars I would request solitary confinement. And an mp3 player.
A lot of cats speak with a spirit of sincerity about their respect for U.S. Veterans and the sacrifices they made in service to the country. I’ll take a moment of silence for soldiers as well, but my reasons are far from patriotic. When I hear cats say things like “thank you for your service” or some such, I hear the nationalist metanarrative playing out and I know that it sticks for some people. But I have talked to cats who have served combat time in the military for reasons that had nothing to do with respect for God or Country. They just needed money or a stable job or life path in general. In the horror of battle they fought to help their friends and stay alive themselves, not to preserve an American way of life. They left the theatre of war scarred and vowed never to return. Yet the work they did netted the same results as the patriots beside whom they fought. I feel for all of these cats, but not because they answered some sacred call of duty. I feel for them because they endured great hardship and much suffering. The same way that I feel for anybody else who has marched a traumatic road. The cat sitting next to me on this plane may have had to bury his son. The waitress bussing my table might have been raped in cellar somewhere. If I knew the status, I would hold a holiday for their perseverance as well. But I don’t. I know only about the woman in that uniform, or the man with the bumper stickers on his car. So for them I stand aside in my own salutary status. Even though I have never been in favor of a war. Even though I don’t feel the ideology of patriotism one little bit. That’s how I roll on Veteran’s Day and I don’t think I am alone in this.
From a philosopher king: An inflexible truth, pursued single-mindedly through a complex world, is always in danger of changing, unnoticed, into a terrible error.
I don’t think any aspect of colonialism can be undone and this depresses me for reasons that lie deep beneath my surface. 
Babies can’t be trusted. Watch them closely.
Only one time in my life did I feel motivated to lock the doors of a car I was driving. In Manhattan we were stuck in traffic that was going nowhere. Even the intersection was blocked the fuck up. No hope. As we waited, a man dressed only in his underwear leapt into the street, ran up to the cab in front of us and urgently tried to open the driver side door, freaking out the cabbie. It didn’t open, so the guy moved to a parked vehicle behind him. The next car on this trajectory was the one I was in. Yeah. Then I realized that while I knew where the buttons were, I didn’t know which button locked and which unlocked. In the dark of night, I couldn’t make out the icons on the button so I pressed each one trying to decipher the noise of the locking mechanism. I was saved by a break in traffic. Further down the street, a cop walking on patrol pulled out his baton and began running toward the mad man in his undies. This and the time I was denied entrance to a club are the reasons I don’t hit up Manhattan too often. 
From a Silver herald: If sacred places are spared the ravages of war, then make all places sacred. And if the holy people are to be kept harmless from war, then make all people holy.
It occurs to me that I have a strange notion of the permissibility of violence and vandalism. Suppose I was the commanding officer on a submarine carrying the ultimate payload in hydrogen bombs. Suppose furthermore that some enemy aggressor fired upon my country and reduced it entirely into ash. Though I had the dark materials of revenge, I would not fire back. For my country had already been destroyed. There wouldn’t really be anything left to defend and retaliatory action would do nothing but needlessly waste innocent life. However, suppose a dude is blocking a lady's parking space with his own vehicle and she asks him to pull up a bit so she can get out. Suppose that in response, he gets into his car and doesn’t turn it on, but instead starts blowing kisses at the girl in a flagrant display of his misogyny. I think it would be okay to pull this guy out of his car and hit him with a brick. 
From the Dancer: It's not that I'm trying to play down my strengths. I'm just playing up my weaknesses.
Out riding one day I once ran over a dead skunk. Despite my washing it, my bike smelled properly rank for three days. My swerving skills are now off the charts. 

1 comment:

nicholas said...

ah colonialism.. Thanks to you and Frantz for the real picture. Lets get some tacos when your back in tampa