Saturday, May 29, 2010
A Spectacular Guardian of Sleep
"As long as necessity is socially dreamed, dreaming will remain a social necessity. The spectacle is the bad dream of a modern society in chains and ultimately expresses nothing more than its wish for sleep. The spectacle is the guardian of that sleep."
-- Guy de Bord, Society of the Spectacle, 1967
Well, hello! I have a blog over here, don't I? Poor little critter has been neglected in the unusual avalanche of spectacle that characterized April and May of a year that has already proven itself a mad Sufi whirl, even before its halfway mark. No, I am not trying to deliberately push the sensual limits, to see what happens to pixelslip if my eyes drink so much they hate themselves in the morning. It wasn't me that gave us a late-April snowstorm knocking full-sized trees down everywhere, mere days before a big corporate personhood forum, which itself was mere days before student immigration walkouts and a Haunted Windchimes performance. And who told Shearwater they could come to the Walnut Room before I'd taken my first breath at the end of that April week? It wasn't me that just happened to place Frightened Rabbit, Heartless Bastards, and Flobots on three successive days in the middle of May, to be followed by Deb Walker's fabulous immigration forum and Bill Sulzman's study group on the Fort Carson Combat Aviation Brigade. (Oh, and ye gods, I forgot Vince D. visiting Colorado between the Deb and Bill events, sampling beers and listening to Smoke Fairies and Laura Marling. The event horizon starts blurring within 72 hours!)
One could always let certain events pass by, but then who would be living the unexamined life then? Or wait... is experiential passion unexamination? Don't ask such questions! Go away son, you make me nervous. There are plenty of bottles of patent elixir left to sell.
I will plead guilty to launching the cartoon version of One Great Big Conspiracy during this time of madness. Yes, Amir Fassad begged to be brought back to life, and what better time than during an oil-spill-German-funding-crisis-Greek-collapse-Icelandic-volcano-Kyrgyz-riot-Thai-boilover-and-Iran-bluster safety dance, all brought to you by Strategic Command? Below is the most recent installment, where Angela Merkel plays the lead role in Clarissa Explains It All.
Now for heaven's sake, don't worry about me out on that there dance floor, this is not a scene from They Shoot Horses, Don't They? Leftover poems from poetry month are like overflowing flasks of water, and I've been handed wonderful refreshers from Marilyn Basel and Ruth Mowry and Carolyn Srygley-Moore and Sam Mills and Lee Upton and many more wonderful EMT specialists ready with intravenous sticks if the dancers are too far gone. Not there yet, not close. The dervishes stop reflecting when the spinning pixelslip makes the world fall away, and this particular spring dance made the world grow closer. But now it's time to change partners and do-si-do, which means the smart dancer catches a quick nap under the punchbowl.
I noticed something about deBord's quote at the top of this post. He assumes the spectacle is always a nightmare, yet my recent dreams have been happy and full of grace. The one you'll find sleeping in chains is probably the well-meaning agent of change who expected something that looked like evolution in this particular physical life. Silly rabbit. I told someone the other day, we have been Homer Simpsons for thousands of years, and Homer Simpsons we shall remain. Yeah, I've been touting that "loving universe of shiny things" shtick, and I'm shticking to it. But the shiny things are not all going to display provenient grace at once. In fact, some of them will look pretty durned nasty. But if each turn on the dance floor reveals a flash of grace, the chains have vanished and the spectacle is no longer a bad dream. It is only your underlying soundtrack until the next dance begins. For now, though, careful about spilling the punch, I'm sleeping right below you. I'll be up for another dance after Memorial Day ends.