Monday, January 28, 2013

No TV

My time off from the oil field after the embezzlement and fraud scam cost everyone their job was mostly spent in recovery as my spine, shoulder, neck and knees all revolted. And I made the mistake of putting my television near my bed so I could watch it at night when the spasms of pain made moving impossible. I also have a mirror so I could watch myself lose my mind as network television has sunk to incredibly low depths of reality shows and then shows that show bloopers of the reality shows with commentary.
 It reminds me of the lifestyle and mentality of Hollywood when I lived there and you don't know vacuous and frail and vain behavior until you spend some time in Santa Monica. That you can get paid taking pictures of celebrities picking their nose and then get paid to mock those celebrities while your video plays in slow motion with thought bubbles and sound effects and then you get a spinoff sitcom based on your own celebrity stalking...that was all considered totally acceptable and even desirable. Killing someone is only cool if you behead them or do it to perpetrate a race war.
As a friend said once of L.A. culture: "If this isn't tasteless, then what is?"
Truly, if you took the most depraved person in Labrador and brought him to Santa Monica he would be immediately humbled by the most commonplace events perpetrated by average Starbucks baristas. I almost let that kind of paradigm suck me into the moral mire when a friend ran into a homeless lady and her shopping cart riding his motorcycle and THE ONLY RESPONSE I THOUGHT OF WAS HOW TO TURN IT INTO A CLAY-MATION MUSIC VIDEO OR COMIC BOOK SERIES. Before I could even finish plans the homeless lady had her own agent and a fan club on Twitter and her panties were up for auction on Ebay. We are talking about essential corruption, poisoning the well, core rot. I fled in the nick of time.


Well, recent news events have made me realize this kind of fundamental sickness has spread across the country. People truly believe elves make ipads. Ironic attitudes about rape, murder, shooting sprees, environmental apocalypse proves we're no longer in a concrete universe. Or we ARE but we don't act that way. It's all an issue of vanity and fame and fraud...Hollywood staples. Did you know that penitentiary systems were invented by Quakers in the early Americas. Why? Because before that the punishment for crimes such as counterfeiting WAS TO BE BOILED ALIVE IN PUBLIC. Not much need for jails with that attitude. Then someone figured out how to make money off prisons and we were fucked! Now the punishment for counterfeiting is being put in charge of the federal reserve or a bank.

Anyway, I felt myself skidding away into insanity as I watched one reality show after another. It's a mirror of our own demise...armies of cameramen actually videoing themselves videoing gold mining. It's a self-reflective demise of ego...like positioning mirrors so you can see smaller and smaller reflections of yourself and your fake smile.

I tossed the television in the closet with the cockroaches and rat shit. I felt much better, played the piano more. Without internet access I started to read and study Mayan dialects for my trip to Belize.
I went to find a PG Woodhouse book but the library has none so then I found a book by Kurt Vonnegut, whom I admire, but this book was non-fiction, a collection of his commencement speeches and such and his own commentary about the speeches.

Vonnegut was a prisoner of war in Dresden the day it was firebombed simply because it was the only German city that hadn't been firebombed yet. It was a city that manufactured china plates and chocolate...a refuge..not a military target...renowned for old world architecture and quaintness. probably 200,000 people died and Vonnegut survived because the slaughterhouse the prisoners were living in was brick and didn't burn. His combat history was brief...he was captured in his first battle (of the bulge) and immediately went to prison camp. He basically had to compete with concentration camp escapees for food as he wandered west after V-E day. Then The Russians caught him and threw him in their prison. Most people in his situation died.

This probably shaped his view of the world which was scathing satire of man's follies. Sound familiar? I feel that whatever I could say bluntly (We must try to be more reasonable and peaceful) to American graduates of Yale and MIT and Harvard, Vonnegut has already said it. It doesn't matter...and it made Vonnegut depressed and he eventually tried to kill himself with pills "to get out of here" and they pumped his stomach and he went to want he called "the laughing factory" to talk it out with a shrink.
I don't know what his hurry was since he'd be dead in a few years naturally.

When I talk about going to Mexico people say that I'll be kidnapped and killed. My fear is that I won't have anything like that happen but will incrementally deteriorate naturally. I'm not invincible, but I'm going to be taken in pieces. I'm past the point of playing it safe. Now the question is if I can play it dangerous enough to actually die a romantic death. Executed in Mexico with bongo drums hung around my neck would fit the bill. Eating mashed peas and pissing myself at the long term care facility doesn't work for me. I'm a few shitty jobs away from not having the option of leaving a good looking corpse. One guy was concerned about dying magnificently and he eventually died of convulsions under a grand piano. I think that would be good enough.

Do yourself a favor and don't watch television. Live. Yes, the bogey man might get you and that's tough luck. Or you could witness a charming German city reduced to steaming  rubble. Vonnegut said the bombs missed the slaughterhouse but they didn't miss the zoo. "You should have seen the giraffe," he wrote. "I did."
...and he didn't need to provide any more details.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.