Because mediocrity is necessarily the ultimate byproduct of a market-driven economy.
It’s been a few days since I’ve visited. So I’ll jump in with another flaccid assessment of American culture, at least TV culture.
There’s a new TV show that premiered last night, “Salvation.”
Here’s my premise:
Artistic endeavor won’t be starved to death from outside, it will starve itself to death due to greed and cowardice. And it doesn’t matter whether greed precedes cowardice, they’re part and parcel of the same thing.
This isn’t any sort of new revelation. It’s actually been portended for decades.
It’s just that this new show really has potential to cover new ground. But there’s that scary word “new.” New is really really dangerous, and involves risk, which shareholders don’t care for.
So best to keep it safe.
So here’s the story: Discovery of errant asteroid heading for earth in six months’ time.
Will they: divert it à la Bruce Willis? Probably not.
Will they: build a space arc so big that it will hold everybody on earth? Probably.
The star: Jake Gyllenhaal kind of guy: dorky persona (wardrobe/affectations/physical stature/academic genius outsider but humble like the best of ’em)
Love interest #1: Ingenue, pretty, worldly, sexy, curious, talented but outshone by Gyllenhaal b.f.
All of everything is derivative because derivative is safe.
I’m boring myself to death.
Just one more bit of shit for our president: At his 4th of July address to the military, he described a female’s duties as that of an “Ocean-O-Grapher.” Ok, so what. I suspect he mangles foreign words all the time, like oceanographer. He just put the em-Pha-sis on the wrong Sy-LABLE.
At least Twilight Zone is on all day. I love me some Twilight Zone.
ossification. when I stand back, sometimes I see my reaction to life has become a bit narrower than I’d imagined it was; that I’ve allowed myself to be seduced, at least a little bit, by tribal forces. The allure of mean girls is just so weird. Sometimes resisting this force seems to be harder than it had been before.
5:30 this morning I was walking my dog, and there’s this marginal kind of homeless guy pressed against a wall of my building being interrogated by the police. I was familiar with this guy. We’d spoken last week in the elegant lobby of this building where I live. He was sitting in the library section, and had busied himself with cataloguing all the bits of paper in his wallet. He was sitting on a lush couch, and when I passed by he looked up and nodded, saying hello.
No more than two minutes of conversation , and it was clear he probably had some serious emotional problems, and that his time in this lobby/library was drawing short: there are surveillance cameras everywhere. I wished him well and moved on.
So when I saw him being questioned this morning, he recognized me and waved. He was so far away, that I didn’t recognize him immediately, so I went to see who this guy was, and sure enough it was the lobby guy.
As soon as I entered the two spheres of influence, 1) the cops, and 2) the homeless guy, my evolved sensibilities clunked into first gear, creating a workable context where I might plausibly fit in, which was just kind of a series of if/then propositions.
If I weigh in in favor of this guy to the police, I would fit into their agenda in a certain way.
If I gravitate toward collaboration, I could pretend to know nothing about this guy and encourage the police to arrest him and cut his balls off.
Door Number Three: I could practice noblesse oblige: I could nod to the guy, listen to his tale of woe for a minimum amount of time, encourage my dog to piss/shit, acknowledge the presence of law enforcement, and move back up the block.
So I’m thumbing through the dictionary this morning, and I come upon “Aghast.”
There are three categories/elements of aghast:
Society as a whole needs to adopt the Aghast standard in the Trump era. Unless your emotional temperature rises to or exceeds “aghast” every morning, you have no business getting out of bed.
Just think of the efficacy! Hundreds of millions of people running around wringing their hands, flogging themselves — being Aghast at the latest outrage. What politician wouldn’t be struck dumb with fear at that?
Xanax allowed, obviously. Best to remove any sharp edges before hitting the protest trenches.
(directions: invert the foregoing and discard anything left over)
So I’m reading the seriously brilliant and crazy-as-fuck Locus Solus, and I come across the adverb “gently,” but it’s used as an adjective: “The gently breeze cut my face to smithereens,” or something like that.
So fine. I thought, “how elevated that is…nice writing.” Nothing, by the way, could dampen my enthusiasm for this book. I’m in awe of this author.
So I continue reading and sure enough, another adverb has been assigned the duty of being an adjective. Then I remember that this is a translation, so this charming affectation may actually be just some sloppy translation.
I shall have to get the original French version and check it out.
Locus Solus is so brilliant, it actually feels like it’s getting warm as I’m reading it. I savor everything about it. It’s slow going. I’m fine with reading slowly, especially when the writing is like this.
I don’t know. The only evidence is the memory of a pair of RayBan Wayfarer sunglasses, which makes me think this memory was really a dream because I never wear the Wayfarer pair anymore, so it stands to reason that I wouldn’t have been thinking about them except in some fabulous manner, which dreams sometimes are.
I still like the look of Wayfarer sunglasses, but the tiny screws that keep the – do they call them arms? – work themselves loose, which I suppose is fine, but it erodes my confidence in not only the eyewear, but in myself as well. There seems to be a correlation: the looser the hinge of the arms, the skulkier I become. I slouch and am indecisive.
I have a meeting at school today. I don’t want to go. I have to go.