Tuesday, January 13, 2009

In the trenches...

... It's been a pretty strange year, eh?

Actually, no scratch that. It is not that it's been a strange year - that is a cop out, a product of human language to say something that is pseudo-important not in the interest of being observant but in the inability we have of keeping ourselves in check when it comes to opening our mouths just to open our mouths.

So let me start again.

It has been strange, evolving through this bizarre matrix of intervals that we long ago fashioned restraints for using out language, to find myself utterly convinced that we live in what I would have recognized as science fiction when I was in fourth grade or below.


Perhaps it is a product of being a child of what we refer to, here in western civilization, as the middle class. The middle class is not a shield, but it is a fence of sorts - a partition. We may not have had a lot of money growing up but we were, because of the institutions and social mores of this country, not in need of much. I had a roof, three square meals and a continuous loop of education for the pre-advised intervals, so maybe it was a fence, or blinder rather, to what the world really is.

Science fiction.

Seriously, I have detailed in my Bartender Chronicles blog the moment that I realized that there was no such thing as an 'Adult' - a mythical being of maturity and responsibility that children are taught they will turn into if they do good in school, get a good job and marry for the sake of propagating the species. But this goes beyond that.

Life is surreal not because clocks drip from trees or Jesus appears as a conquistador, but because we are taught through words and through repetitious reinforcement that certain key guidelines are always in place, governing us and the world we live in. Good triumphs over evil, Love can beat all, good people are rewarded, bad people are punished, etc. And sure, we can probably all name examples where these statements are true and more where they are not, but the very fact that we are raised to believe that these ideals are plentiful, or some kind of Universal Absolute is the basis for the real illusion - an illusion that some people never get to see behind. And when you do see behind it, when you're standing in a grocery store at 10 PM on a Thursday and realize just how alien a concept it is for droves of people to walk up and down brightly lit isles choosing from literally millions of products that have been researched to glisten and call to us with expensive, environment-defeating packaging while not too far away someone is taking part in a conference call that is going to cost thousands of people their jobs, or someone else is paying for a donut with a piece of currency that has passed through the hands of hundreds of people who died for it's possession, all while invisible, human-appointed 1's and 0's make and break the building of new cities, traveling devices and entertainments that suck us dry of our zest for actual, physical experience, well, that's when you have to either recognize that the world we live in is stranger than the science fiction we used to think was so strange and 'fictional' or maybe check yourself into an ECT treatment center.

Mostly I think those people who do not see things for what they are choose to adhere to the guidelines they've been ingrained with, because if in this day and age, the beginning of man-made interval 2009, you cannot see the absolute pure, swirling chaos all around us EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY then you probably are in need of something stronger than I can give you here.

so what the hell good does all my jibber-jawin' here do, anyway?

Sadly, not much. But as my high school guidance counselor once told me, just being insightful enough to be aware of what is really going on is at least a step in the right direction. Only I don't believe that as much anymore, but I too am so ingrained in my own personal minutia-intensive Universe to get up and go out and DO SOMETHING. Also, I am largely non-violent and maybe it's a cop-out but it seems more and more to me like the only change that is ever going to really come is going to have to be on the back of drastic, world altering conflict.

Who knows.

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