Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cunts and Truth

I’m reading Tropic of Cancer, which was banned as obscene once upon a time, and while I am fascinated by his use of the cunt as an art form, I was more enamored of a brief description he offered regarding a view of the future back in the olden days; a view of a world where almost no one has to work, where intellectual pursuit and carnal knowledge is more the order of the day. In other words, a world where much of the mundane side of life is done by machines and humans get to lie around thinking and eating.

Now, hard as it is to believe, Henry Miller was far more jaded than I am, but nonetheless, his prosaic talents did lead me straight back to my view, that human beings are innately stupid. He also led me straight back to the past, that place where I believe we made all the necessary evolutionary mistakes to lead us straight to the idiocracy.

As of late, I have felt compelled to write about politics and education, primarily because I don’t think it’s too late to fix those things, but having read Mr. Miller’s somewhat anachronistic revelations regarding life and the future, I find that I am firmly entrenched in a doomsday mentality. So I think I will begin this story with a sketch of medieval life, and move on to the industrial revolution, and then to the present day.

Now given that walking down the street in a medieval town was at best an adventure, given that one would by necessity be looking up all the time in order to elude the chamber pot missiles launched from the second stories, I would surmise that life back then consisted of stiff necks and dim outlooks. I think life must have sucked, but I also think, that since so very few people could read and books were scarce, most people didn’t fully realize how much life sucked until they got to church for the Sunday sermon, when they were thoroughly instructed on how much more the fire-and-brimstone afterlife would suck, if they didn’t but into that Jesus/God thing about paradise on earth. So I will forgive my ancestors for buying into that horseshit; they simply didn’t know any better. In any event, the fear of shit coming your way from above began here.

Moving on to the industrial revolution. This was the era from our past when a few remarkably creative humans decided that enslaving the rest of the population for their personal gain was a grand idea indeed. It was also the time when the phrase “I did what I had to do” entered the popular lexicon, as desperate people sent their daughters off to work in the mills, in hazardous conditions, and for a mere pittance of a wage. We, of course, have carried on this tradition, by moving menial labor to sweatshops in the Far East, where, at least, we no longer have to look at it. In any event, it was a grand time indeed, when the very few rose to the top, and the America Cup was given to the peons. Now, you may choose to argue with me about this arrangement. I don’t actually have a huge problem with it beyond the inequity. What I do have a problem with is that we, as humans, have placidly come to accept that this is the way it should be, while bemoaning the right of Hells Angels and street-corner drug dealers to spit in the face of it. This of course was the time when we just accepted our fate; to get up early every morning, grab a coffee, and spend the day being taken advantage of. We came to accept that shit flows downhill.

And now we arrive at now, and because I am an American, I will, by necessity, offer a particular American slant. We have bought into the past, and we are shaped by it. We continue to cling to the greatness of America, as we watch it disintegrate. It is not the inevitable disintegration that bothers me. It is the ennui, the blind acceptance, and our almost pathological need to believe that it must be preserved. The evidence of this is almost too vast to enumerate here, so I will just offer a few examples. For instance, the entire American populace (read conservatives, liberals, progressives, communists, hippies, Hell’s Angels, street-corner drug dealers, etc.) still believes that their vote counts (yes, I voted). And the more intelligent among us (you decide if I belong) listen to debates, and read the political pundits, to make an informed decision; yet, we absolutely refuse to see that one cannot make an informed decision in the absence of truth. There is not now, and perhaps there has never been, a politician who offers even a kernel of truth. And we listen to the vagaries and generalities, the lies and the spins, the incomplete formulae, the anti the other guy rhetoric, and accept that this is what we get to base our decisions on. It would seem that we no longer need the truth; in fact, it seems that, in order to preserve that which we hold dear, no matter how archaic, we will willingly give up the truth. So, we hold onto our political views, our political system, our economic system, and plop it straight into the middle of our hearts; a legacy to pass down. And then there’s the god thing. We continue to cling to the belief that to be a Christian, or a Jew, is a good thing, as our religious leaders secretly plunge their cocks into everything they preach disdain for. Ministers in public bathrooms, priests in confessionals, rabbis in whorehouses, gurus fucking their throngs. If the truth lies in god, this believer wants no part of him or her. We have become a nation of pretenders; pretending that we have anything of value to pass along as a legacy for our children. While it may be, that our first, and most critical mistake, was our awareness of our future and inevitable death; believing that there is value in life beyond living it to the fullest. And this is the time when we came to accept that we should cherish shit, like a beautiful plastic flower, and pass it on to the kids and grandkids.

There may come a time, when work is a thing of the past, and holding on to the ideals of truth and learning is valued; when love and kindness rule our lives without condition; when we realize that happiness comes from within, and is enhanced in sharing it with the world, not just a select few; that the world is bigger than the tenuous box we choose to live in; when we learn that we are citizens of the universe, not citizens of our manicured lawns and Boxsters and fatboys (for the dissatisfied). But in order for that to happen, we will have to understand that out children will create their own future, and that we, as the shit tenders, are handicapping their efforts. And this will be the time when we come to accept that we can still dream.


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