(The new world's manifoldesto...)
Well, I started to sit down and write about the National Defense Authorization Act last night but I became tired of looking at my own ensuing rant. I tried to make it better but the wine just made it worse.
So, I sat listening to quiet country music and slowly drank a few glasses of wine, which then ended up being a bottle's worth, and nothing of any use arrived on the screen. One thing did occur to me however, as I turned off the lights, put the computer to sleep, and headed for bed... I don't drink to get drunk, I drink for the pleasure of getting drunk.
Profound words, I told myself. Then curled up inside a comforter with my iPhone and silently terrorized my Facebook friends. No, I kid. But Selavy made a point to me in an email this morning, a good one.
A few days ago he sent me this quote:
You lose what individualism you have, if you have enough of course, you retain some of it, but most dont have enough, so they become watchers of game shows, y’know, things like that. Then you work the 8 hour job with almost a feeling of goodness, like you’re doing something, and you get married, like marriage is a victory and you have children like having children is a victory, but most things people do are a total grind, marriage, birth, children, it’s something they HAVE to do because they have nothing else to do. There is no glory in it, no esteem, no fire, their lives are flat and the earth is full of them. Sorry, but thats the way I see it. I could not accept the snail’s pace 8-5, Johnnie Carson, merry christmas, happy new year, to me it’s the sickest of all sick things.” — Charles Bukowski
I thought he was directing the quote at me, somewhat understandably or somewhat defensively, because I have a job, a baby on the way, christmas is coming, I like David Letterman, and we've had an ongoing quarrel about what emotions and words are appropriate to use and express, and which ones are not. Sort of.
I had sent him a post-card with a Bukowski poem excerpted on it that used the word "blessed." I imagined this was part of our ongoing pissing war, one that we usually conduct out in open, on our respective blogs.
But no, it wasn't, he says. So then I felt bad for having been offended by it.
He states in his email, which I thought of publishing here but decided not to because it would reveal too much of his secret identity, a fundamental truth and problem. He says that this is a big part of what is wrong with the world and why he doesn't try to make anybody flinch. When he grew up that's how you'd get your ass kicked, he says. That people wrongfully assume they win just by making somebody else flinch, that's what's wrong with the world today. That we are trained only to make somebody flinch and claim imaginary victory at having done so.
I agree with him, let's have less talking and more punching. We live in a world where everybody's an ill-informed pundit, journalizing the world. We all get our platform from which to express our dogmas, or take our shots at others, but without reprisal, reaction, recourse or responsibility. I remember living in a world where if you said something snarky to somebody you'd get punched right in your "faggot face," as a regular and normal reaction, and this action was considered barely commensurate with the crime. People thought before they jabbed, verbally or otherwise. Often the person who got punched might even get punched again at a later date for the initial offense. It served a preventative function as well as an immediate punishment, you see.
Some would say this world of punchery is better off elsewhere, either in the south or in the past, or in the virtual world where it all started.
I think the world was a slightly better place the other way, when street fighting was not just a video game. Sure it allowed for bullying and brutes to have the final say in their minds, but that's why nerds invented the internet, right? So they could make fun of the good-hearted Rick Perry's and Sarah Palin's of the world from a safe distance where no gunnery helicopters could threaten them from above.
Now wait, I might be confusing my own message, I think. I'll have to re-read and check.
Let me be more clear: punching people should be legally mandated, not left to the discretion of the individual.
Nope. Let's see... I want more pork-based yoga retreats, pornography taught in schools, free 24 hour limo-rides to all malls, everybody to have their own Fox news channel where they're entitled to your opinions, no less than 4 non-stop cable programs that highlight dumb people fucking in mud and blood and spit and beer - I want the world to be one big drunken dog-park covered in cypress mulch, peanut shells and animal feces - I want to have dog breeders be our lone lawmakers, I want a Michael Jackson glove for every child that graduates elementary school, a second for graduating middle school, and a third just for trying - I want to insist that the wealthiest among us pay for it all... I want to grow wings from my back and ascend to the heathens, or I wanna' fly tryin'
Oh yeah, in my perfect world Mike Tyson would be poor and infamous, and people would only really cry when being pepper-srayed, like during sex, on tv.