Saturday, March 6, 2010

Rabbit is Rich

I wonder if there really is a middle class man who thinks like Harry Angstrom. I think not.

"Why is my glass empty?" Janice asks.
"Losers buy," Harry virtually shouts. Such loudness years ago would have been special to male groups but now both sexes have watched enough beer commercials on television to know that this is how to act, jolly and loud, on weekends, in the bar, beside the barbecue grill, on beaches and sundecks and mountainsides.


You see? beer commercials on television training people about social norms. I found this very very interesting and perceptive because just last night I was waiting for my date to arrive at the bar (she never arrived or called) and a girl walked up to me and rambled something like, "Blah blah blah, I'm so fucked up. Sorry, I'm the douchebag tonight."
I said, "I'm the asshole. Nice to meet you, douchebag."
And she said, "I know you're a hippy,"
and if you could've seen my costume last night. Man, it was one for the ages. Someone has not walked into that tavern in plaid pants since 1978 and I strutted in with my Beatle Boots and grandfather necklace and crochet alpaca wool tam hat and every UNH ballcap turned around to look at me, hissing, "Hippy" I wish I had worn a Robin Hood cape. Actually, here's what I looked like...
I know, it's a real shock my date didn't show up (she probably saw me and did a quick 180)
Anyway,
"A hippy? What gave it away," was my reply.
She mocked Obama "I married a marine. I'm conservative, so fuck Obama." assuming I voted for him and I just laughed, "Uncle Tom got a constitutional law degree. That's all." She didn't think that was funny.

But more than that I observed the microcosm of the tavern and wondered what was going on. Then this morning I read Father Updike..." Have watched enough beer commercials... to know this is how to act."
And that really made me quiver because that was how I felt last night, like I was in a cliche drama and my weak attempt to throw a hiccup into the workings with a halloween costume did nothing. The karaoke "Finally, it happened to me right in front of my face and I just can not hide it......All By Myself, just wanna be...all by myself....And be a simple...kind of man....Let the music play....etc." and the drinking and the bartender's "What can I get for ya hon?" and all these parts being played so well without cameras and I wondered if we just rehearse the scenes we see on television. Even Jim was there and said "Feels like a scene from Cheers." because he knew everyone by name and was going to pick his son up at a school dance but didn't want to leave because he was feeling buzzed. I even saw Jeff and we discussed the proper way to clean a multi-story building.

And after watching Shutter Island I started to freak out thinking that indeed this was an elaborate movie set where we are all playing roles we learned on television and I actually got scared as I walked through the dark of night (too tipsy to drive) and had forgotten about being stood up by my date and I thought, Here's an idea for a documentary...I will film my life for one month, how it usually goes, and then for one month I will act completely normal. I will play along. I will do what the beer commercials have asked me to do because that's conventional and accepted. And we will compare them. It'll be Hippy Makeover. I'll go be a greeter at Walmart and direct people to Hannah Montana products. That would be so funny.
"Personally, I like apple ipods. I own dozens of them."

If you asked me why I live an unconventional life I would say it is because I'm pretty sure "convention" and "tradition" are being manufactured in marketing board rooms on whiteboards by coked out philosophy majors...and I can not be a part of it. Since I am smarter and better in every way than these grotesque corporate pawns I will sabotage their strategy by exposing it, perhaps by simply beating them at their own game, by reinventing convention. I'm a dissident. To those who called me a hippy I thought, "Keep your store-bought conventions."

So here's what I wrote when I got home...


Movie idea: A loser makes a bet that he can pretend to be a winner for one month. He meets the girl of his dreams who is love with a loser-ish person but is really meant for him. SO HE HAS TO PRETEND TO BE A WINNER TO WIN THE BET AND then win the girl back by being a loser.


Do the same thing in real life. Film it. Principle vs Practical. The animal vs the man.
Dilemmas include work, insurance, sex, meeting people, drugs, trash, diet, recycling, foods, stores, clothes.

Is an experience imagined the same as an experience? Are chemicals the same once you strip away the meaning? I would dance and sing if told I would die. But I’m alive and I don’t dance and sing. But I write about dancing and my words are songs sung with my fingers. I’m a translator.

The ceremony becomes an anecdote unless you observe it. That was my gift, I don’t know if it was a choice. I could see the anecdote as history, and not fable. But it becomes fable if you let it go. But it consumes you if you hold on. But it survives. And survival is our immortality.


I think someone spiked my drink. In fact, that douchebag girl did buy me some fruity vodka thing that probably had roofies in it. I woke up early this morning with a throbbing headache and stumbled downtown to get the car before it got towed. But that allowed me to refill my dishwashing liquid container for $1 with the good soap that doesn't smell like orange toxic chemicals. I'm going to do an energy audit of my house and determine ways to save resources. The first step is to use less plastic and purchase bulk detergent at the hippy store. It's cheaper and makes up for the overpriced almond butters.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.