Saturday, February 13, 2016

7799. BELOW THE WATER LINE (pt. 161)

(pt. 161)
I never got free of a few things; I was
always held in thrall by them. I can't say
exactly what they were, but they always
prevented me from really breaking out
- respect for adults, fear of really saying
what was on my mind, admitting to an
anger within, stuff like that. Maybe it had
to do with the upbringing in my own house;
my father was a pretty stern guy, often filled
with an anger that never seemed to turn to
remorse, and I spent a lot of my time being
afraid to turn around. I guess that would have
rubbed off on me. Something like being in a
straitjacket. All it ever did was make me wilt,
and it later turned into a really disdain, as
well, for the kind of punk kids I'd see waltzing
through the 1970's with their loud music and
pot-smoking stuff. No awareness of anything,
never having paid their dues, just instead deciding
they wanted something and screaming noisily
enough until they got it. Really annoying. All
they ever did anyway was flame out. The world
now, here and there, holds a few of them yet,
but mostly it's just rubble and dead people.
Fortunately for me, I came in just about 5
years or so under all that crap. Thank God.
My view of the world was slow and dark and
deep. I couldn't ever help it, all I'd come through
and the rest. I accepted it and just went on.  
But lots of things always troubled me. The 
way people talked, for one thing. As if all 
things were a certainty, an unchanging channel 
that could never be moved. That was so wrong  
-  we were in the middle of an era of total flux 
just dawning, everything was rocking beneath 
us, and people insisted on certainty. I wanted
to be sure of where I stood, and in order to do 
that I had to admit to the fact that 'nothing' 
was a constancy of change always underway. 
The people who caused all the trouble were 
always people who refused to admit to that. 
Everyone was a George Wallace with their own 
'stand in the schoolhouse door' (1963). How silly
and with what a pathetic pose it all was.  The years
I'm speaking of soon disappeared entirely. The 60's
were quickly gobbled up by the new civilization
they'd actually created. One of the 'spokesmen' 
of the 'Sixties'  -  or one of the goons who came 
out of it, depending on your point of view  -  
was Marshall McLuhan. He said 'Rapidly we 
approach the final phase of the extensions of 
man  -  the technological simulation of 
consciousness, when the creative process of 
knowing will be collectively and corporately
extended to the whole of human society.' What 
the Hell that ever meant to the rest of Mankind, 
I'm pretty sure no one knew. No one even looked 
twice at such a wacko quotation  -  yet to me 
it meant, quite simply, the end of your world 
is coming, Bubba; you'd better shape up and 
get ready. No one did.
In old Avenel, if you wanted to dig a hole, you 
took a shovel and dug it  -  hard red clay, tough 
crummy soil, all the sort of stuff like a concrete 
that some ancient ocean leaves behind. Ten miles 
down the road south, or maybe a little more, 
everything turned to sand  - the dirt sort of went 
away and the ground soil was a blown, coastal 
sand. Different kinds of plants clung there. They
used to say you could 'dig a hole to China' if you 
kept digging. The total stupidity of such a statement 
was, of course, without saying, especially in the 
light of such stupidities like, say, a Pat Boone 
movie called 'Journey To the Center of the Earth' 
which posited a complete and other scenario, 
and irony. A cold-war film where the bad guys 
were German and kept to the rules, and destroyed 
themselves thereby, and only the romantic and
determined naivete of the few protagonists who 
make it through saves their day  -  in the center 
of the Earth, yes. No mention therein of getting 
to China, rather just more like a 'get there and 
turnaround' destination. Closed and rational. 
Absolutely stupid. I realized, by like age 15, 
there was absolutely no determinant to form a 
basis of Reality upon except stupidity. This 
Marshall McLuhan guy was saying we would
 soon be replicating our minds and setting
up artificial intelligences and even an artificial 
culture to rule over us. Digital copies of our 
minds into At-ready operating systems. Which 
led me only to think of 'At-Man', a universal
re-signature, of course, of 'Adam' our failed 
progenitor and common-dog biblical ancestor. 
Everything was headed crazy, big-time.  
Dig that hole, Avenel boy, dig that hole
and keep on digging.
The churches, paradoxically, I always thought, 
talked out of both sides of their mouths  -  
seeking to do nothing really except to comfort 
people. Some dumb-ass bake-sale of the soul. 
They preached a sort of unruly, dangerous 
world, but at the same time they proffered 
only a fixed certainty into which you must 
believe or be damned. It was the uncertainty
which screwed people up, the indeterminate
living in a 'gray' area from which the body 
and soul could never find respite, not the
damnation which  -  face it  -  no one
ever 'experienced' or even knew about. It's 
all very ancient, storybook stuff. Life is
multi-dimensional, Life and Death are
both going on at the same time within us, 
we are living infinite lives at once, and all 
History is within our mental concepts anyway, 
as we move along. You want Damnation, Holy 
Hell? You'll get it. Any of those are the simple 
terms by which you accept and experience 
your creative reality underway. All your
wailing in the world is only going to bring 
you more wailing. No satisfaction there. All
those miserable and poor and destitute people,
they brought it all on themselves and they are the
ones who must experience the results of their
cockles. Just let it be.
In the 1960's and 1970's people went through a 
very, very weird stage. Even in Avenel, in those
little, stupid Inman Avenue homes from which 
I'd escaped. Speaking of one-mind, universal
At-Man circumstances, everyone began acting
as if Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra and all those
really, really stupid Sammy Davis, Jr, Rat Pack
TV guys were about to come and visit them : at
home. Everyone was underway with 'Dens'  -  
paneling, wet-bars, Rec Rooms, fake beams, 
rustic looks, furniture that spoke of nonchalance
and California ease. Their 'Lodge' at home had 
better be ready at any moment for the big visit.
Those insouciants were coming soon. There, 
all in one, was the perfect example of the 
group-think: One Mind all together, in operation,
and clouded in the same cigarette smoke that
probably eventually killed them all off early 
anyway. It was pretty sickening, and even in
Avenel all you had to do, by 1968 even, was
step outside and watch the Wonderland fall of
some erupting, totally-ersatz culture. As 
quickly as it bloomed, so as quickly was it 
already dying; sending its own kids off to be
killed and torched and poisoned in a 'conceptual'
war of made-up assumptions and patterns, all
for someone else's gain  -  which, when you
come right down to it  -  is all this Life is 
anyway. It's been destroyed and infiltrated 
by a 'Devil's system', a sea-spray of distortion 
and lies and, yes, mental slavery. Fight that if
you want to fight something. There's your
terrorism for you. You can see that 
anywhere you look.
I found out that there was such a thing as 
'situational chatter', as I called it then. My own
household was full of it. Most others were
too. It's not 'Reality'; no man, it's more like 
what FDR was driving at when he said 'We 
have nothing to fear but fear itself'. It's the 
'talk' that arrives from the thinking that drives 
it. It's not rational in any way  -  like a weather
report that mentions 2-4 inches of snow, 'maybe'.
Most people immediately conceptualize that into
a situation where they begin speaking and acting
as if it were already present : little geeky ladies
begin driving four miles an hour because of the
'snow'. Of which there is none. Just the ever-present,
situational chatter of a million people being told to
prepare, and reacting to that alone. Shutting it all
down, in fear of expectation. Fucking up the world 
before any need for the fuck-up even exists. Like
Reality; it's all bullshit. It's the false over-reaction
that kills you, not the reality. Just like all that
up and coming One-Mind stuff.
Every rooftop in Avenel, by this time, had
begun telling a story  -  a strange and ludicrously
twisting and active one. It was all subjective,
of course, yes, and there was never any objectivity
to any of it anyway. Cars in the driveways talked
of it. Lintels and doorways knew. The blind 
circumstance of illusion was underway 
everywhere. Bit O' Honey went a long, long,
way. If you had one head, it would last all day.

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