Monday, June 25, 2007

I'm Riding in My Cliche

It was a dark and stormy night and therefore very difficult to see. It is not a cause for worry because it cannot be seen anyway. You couldn’t see clearly now, even if the rain were gone. It could well have been the best of times and the worst of times. It was the age of bad writing, when business proclaimed itself the artist and prefabrication was hailed as inspiration. It was the impacted colon of cutting off the flow to secure the future for implants and tuck and roll; the appearance of eternal youth with a lizard’s neck. It was a vision from the prophet Alcohol. It was the gated community of our betters. It was Dick Clark meets Andy Warhol. It was and it wasn’t.

A battalion of Golems’ in NASCAR jumpsuits took a wrong turn into a waterless desert full of advertisements and the world followed. An army of whores marched after the supply wagons. The wagons were as empty as the hearts of the whores. The dangers were no less dangerous for being all in the mind. One mind to rule them all and in the dark define them.

Flesh shook like Jell-O. Huge rampaging clowns impersonating the fifty foot demons from the Tibetan Book of the Dead pushed shopping carts, jitterbugging through cemetery malls. It didn’t matter if freedom wasn’t license; mind your own fucking business. You need to take the 8:00AM Staten Island Ferry to understand it. There in the enormous women’s toilet, hundreds of human sausages packed into stressed intestinal casings, work at looking like Cleopatra but the ride is way too short. They dreamed about the future and then they marched ashore into their mother’s dreams.

The only people talking about God were the ones you don’t want to hear about it from. They’re freshly back from Jesus Camp. One side packs the corners of their pachyderm steamer trunk stomachs and the other side does the same thing but they bless it first.

When did I first sense it all going wrong? I think it was when this legion of condo-dwelling metro-sex guys with jelled hair and earrings and matching Barbie Dolls in neoprene went jogging by with the Walkmans; when I first started to see the quart bottles of designer water everywhere. Suddenly chicks that don’t sweat anything but sundry-shelf blowback were hoisting these plastic jugs as punctuation points to conversation. Maybe it was when they stopped giving away the promotional t-shirts with the advertising on them and began to sell them. Maybe it was Tommy Hilfiger in 72 point on the back of red leather jackets.

It always begins before you remember it beginning. It was probably years before that. It was always in the schematic. The movie, “Materialism” doesn’t have alternative endings. I’m ready for my close-up now.

My favorite part is how the experts and intellectuals discuss the effluvia; music critics parsing rap lyrics, art critics explaining modern art and the accidental overnight cleanup of certain pieces by the janitorial staff who didn’t realize it was ‘art’, literary critics dissecting the years beach reads... political commentators defining the president’s intentions and helping us understand why certain shit needs to be blown up. It used to make me sad but now it makes me laugh when I think of less than 4% of the world’s population consuming 25% of the resources and getting righteously angry about not having enough. Well, that’s not going to happen. You can’t get enough. That’s built into the system. You can see it in the movie. That point gets made throughout.

7/11 might have been a late precursor. Those Big Gulps just kept getting bigger. They’d like to think they created diabetes all on their own. Everybody wants the credit these days. You go into a large supermarket and there are literally entire aisles of nothing but soda, usually next to the other aisles full of potato chips.

In laboratories all over... well, I guess they would be in the Third World now, serious people are working on new flavors and products; cheeseburger flavored soft drinks, pork rind malteds in the can. It’s more absurd than that. And it doesn’t stop until it eats itself alive which provides that strange irony about cancer and you can’t cry really. It’s too late for the tears and they just fuck with your makeup. You really have to laugh. All through this circus, people are waving flags and brass bands are playing stirring music. Corporations rule, dude. Isn’t that killer? It’s so fun.

Monsanto wants to own the world’s seeds and Benetton is taking credit for the rainbow. Bono is working African peace and suing his former hairdresser for a pair of old jeans and a sweatshirt or something that apparently has the same cachet as religious relics and very quietly he and 4,700 other, more or less, musical heavyweights are trying to ram copyright extensions through Congress for the nepotism swag; heroes all.

There is definitely a nervous thrill of excitement in the air. Something’s coming. Look at the players and listen to the soundtrack. Twenty years ago “Dreamgirls” would have been the ABC Movie of the Week. Now it’s up for an Academy Award? Bitchin!

I’ll bet there are people who would find this piece cynical; that’s how far out it’s gotten. Yea Poncho, I think it is about time to ride that water buffalo out through the gates in the Great Wall of China. I can’t end this with the word ‘mayonnaise’, Richard Brautigan already did that. I can’t remember if he did anything else. It’s hard to remember much now that the three card monte guys are doing the stage scenery.

Well... I guess you just have to keep going. They’ve rolled the highway up behind you. That’s what it’s like when you come to the end of the road. You look in your rearview mirror and there’s an endless expanse of sand and saguaro, busted toilets and plastic supermarket bags spinning in the wind; that shot from American Beauty redux. Reflux?

The thing is... this has got to be some kind of a prelude; the way the aliens wouldn’t let you see what they looked like in Childhood’s End because of ancient fears; or was it truth in advertising? It could be this is a setup, pushing the envelope to a point where anything is possible and believable and then the ships can come out of the sky or the creatures inside the Earth can surface or dimensional doorways open and none of it would be any stranger that what you already got. Maybe it’s holographic Jesus time. Maybe giant, talking soft drink containers are going to appear and upend themselves over the landscape.

It gets thinner and more dilute the more profuse it becomes. It is a million miles wide and a millimeter deep. The Shake and Bake machine is working 24/7 and I think she’s gonna blow.

You won’t hear this on the news as you wend your way to the land of Idiocracy. The people that make these things aren’t going to piss in their own soup, only in yours. It leaves just the one question. Down deep in the heart of the matter, is it possible to be an unwilling passenger? Did any of us get dragged on to the bus against our will? There may have been some reluctance, for reasons no longer remembered, but you climbed aboard with your own two feet. Grab the mind, or the genitals and the ass will follow while the heart pumps into the sand.


Anonymous said...

It's magic Les.


Anonymous said...

Geezeus this essay is brilliant!




Joseph Brenner

Visit the recommended reading page for many more.


'The Miracle of Love' from the Les Visible Album
The Sacred and The Profane

Visit the Blog Music Page
to stream all of Visible's music for free
(purchase is always appreciated but entirely optional)


A classic Visible post:

With gratitude to Patrick Willis.

Click here to watch and comment on Vimeo and here to read the original text.

Visit the Blog Videos Page for many more.