Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Lamb of Wolf Street

I've been spending more time at the cinema - "the movies." Two of the three films that I've seen have been disappointments. The Coen Brothers and Martin Scorsese should be flogged, given a sharp dose of the scourge. I genuinely tried to like both of their new films, but no luck. It was a going-through-the-motions for everybody involved.

Me, the poor viewer, most of all. 

I do everything that I am supposed to do: I buy my ticket, I buy popcorn, I turn off my phone, I find a seat, somebody sits down right next to me, practically in my lap, I stare forward into the darkness and up at the screen, waiting, but then... no magic happens. There is no story in which I wish to participate. 

It is all too bad, a minor misfortune. I want so much to be transported, to be elsewhere, to escape... all of that. But nothing. It is a drug that doesn't work, a cheat. I achieve nothing, no euphoria, no suspension of time or self. Nada.

I had only popcorn and root beer for dinner last night, to give you an idea of my condition. I awoke feeling vaguely queasy this morning. Coffee feels wrong, but it is what I must now do. I am a helpless addict, a piteous abuser of the the murky brew. Left to my own devices I would choose it, even over sex, though probably not over opium.

I don't see why I have to choose, really. Soon it will be surging through my veins, you will see. 

I have heard the term "sex addict" used to describe the behavior of politicians. What is the joy in sexuality if not compulsion? 

Sex is strange. It does strange things to people, whether they are having it or not. There is the obvious component of acceptance, of belonging. But the more fantastical attributes of it seem to remove this other purpose by a degree, or more.

Of what purpose, that, I wonder. 

To wit, during coitus I am sometimes able to take the form of a whimsical Dutch schoolgirl. 

Wait, no, no, that can't be right.... Put that away, for now.

There is an enormous element of fantasy involved, illusion urge. It ignites the imagination, and by so doing, can put a sense of belonging at a one step remove. It is almost as if we don't really want what we need, or claim to. We seem to need an escape from the gravity of the act, from part of its purpose.

Fear, I guess.

These are just assumptions. I'm not sure if we even understand yet why humans have sex. Procreation plays a secondary or tertiary role in it, at best.  But the fear of it, I guess, the desire of one, looms larger. I seem to remember reading about it when I was younger and then forming some opinions.

Where did I put those silly notions? They must be around here somewhere.

In the shared act of fantasy another layer of acceptance altogether is invoked. To admit and confess one's sexual reveries to another enables a different level of acceptance, and perhaps even love. Providing an opportunity to love and know both the hidden and revealed, all at once. In that it is sacred, and functions as magic, of the sympathetic kind. We become and hold power briefly over that which we imitate.

It does something else, also. Baudelaire proposed that we have sex so that we can participate in evil, so that we might know what it is like.

These are just assumptions based on illusions, shadows dancing along the wall, ghosts swimming in the pool at midnight.

This sex is not dissimilar from what we may hope to have happen during a film. We don't wish to have only the dry reality of an incident conveyed to us. We wish to enter the fantasy imagination of those involved, to float across time with them. We wish to be another, to participate in the lives and the dreams and the playacting of another self. To enter safely the sordid, the seamy, if only to make it seem secure by reducing its threat over us.

To control and relinquish, not always in that oder.

Substances seem to facilitate and accelerate this transportation of the inner world. When we consider what it might mean to need a catalyst to make the internal more mobile, and flexible, more willing… well, there is something strange there also. It goes against what we are told, though not much. It functions as an excuse as much as it does stimulus. It can.

Fear, I guess.

We accept less responsibility for our fantasies when they are dressed in the cloak and lingerie of intoxication. They seem to happen to us, rather than from us, or for us. To suggest, or accept, a similar fantasy when sensible implies a wholly different receipt of the illusion, somehow.  Some resist it blankly, denying all knowledge of previously admitted joys. Privacy, even in confession, then most of all.

Each type of seriousness or frivolity speaks to the individual fancy, so often unwittingly so.


The Wolf of Wall Street… it's the same story that we've heard a million times before: wife likes to snort cocaine, husband likes to smoke crack. Somehow they can't seem to align these impulses.

Is there just no love left in this world?