Thursday, December 09, 2010

In Search of the Ordinary

I've been really busy the last few days at work and haven't had any energy to blog. I still don't have much.

My evenings lately have been spent watching re-runs of Dr. Who. It is great fun, what with constantly saving damsels in distress and entire civilizations and foiling the bad guys.

I can see the appeal.

Mostly I've sat in wonder at the explosion of ever expanding hysteria among what were once reasonably intelligent blogs. I can't even begin to address these things because the fundamental assumptions underlying the arguments simply aren't rational. They have bits of fact, threads of insight, and an overwhelming body of self-referential reasoning. It reminds me of Thomas Pynchon's observation in Gravity's Rainbow:
If there is something comforting--religious, if you want--about paranoia, there is still also anti-paranoia, where nothing is connected to anything, a condition not many of us can bear for long.
I feel caught between a faith that cannot see its lack of foundation and a determined cynicism that will not allow foundations to be laid. Faith and anti-faith denying a place to reason.

Apocalypse is so much easier to conceive of than the ordinary.



Anonymous said...

I feel caught between a faith that cannot see its lack of foundation and a determined cynicism that will not allow foundations to be laid.

Yes. Although I feel like right now, cynicism is serving me since I feel like I shouldn't be laying foundations in my life until I can work out at least a little bit better WHICH ones to lay.

The ones I thought were pretty good (and the people that went with them) turned out to be made of kleenex. I'm not putting any new ones down for love or money until I've pried the lid off and made damn sure that the shit inside is what I thought it was.

In the meantime, I've found a lot of comfort in music, writing it, making it, studying it. It's a wonderful thing that belongs equally to everyone where -- in my firm opinion -- political bullshit does not enter in. I can be as much of a hermit OR extrovert as I want (playing alone, studying with one person, or playing in groups depending on my mood). If I'm feeling really hermitlike, I write things down and share the sheet, which is a nice way to still interact with the world in some way when you don't feel like so much as hearing another living voice. Until I find something that works as a foundation, that will do.

Buy a guitar, my friend. I am not kidding. Let the Republicans be who think that W should have been allowed to start an illegal war because he was a good Christian, and let the progressives be who think that Barky gets the same leeway because he has an organic garden. Forget the feminists who think that because they are feminists, they get to wish gang rape upon that fat, slutty cow Bristol Palin. Just buy a damn guitar, find lessons, and put the whole mess on the back burner until you feel up to opening it again. It sounds like retreat, but it's simply a way to not rush to building a new (and probably rickety) foundation without descending into a black pool of cynicism that will keep you from building ANY foundation at all.

Anglachel said...


Good thoughts - thanks for sharing.

The Spousal Unit is the guitarist around here. He has several and plays all the time. I tend to code web sites or write fanfiction when my soul needs a break. We're planning to build a porch on the back of the house soon and that should be a good thing to concentrate on.

Creating something, bringing into being something where there was nothing, contains both the divine and the mundane, god-like and mortal. It wasn't there a moment ago - that song, that wall, that baby, that meal, that law, that moment of victory. New, utterly new, making the world new again, but also failing the moment that it becomes. The notes fade, the wall crumbles, the baby ages, the meal is consumed, the law is disregarded, the next battle is joined.

Sometimes I think what is unbearable to so many otherwise sharp people is the knowledge that whatever they do will be impermanent. It will vanish, and with it, that part of themselves invested in that miraculous thing.

The fear of loss, and thus of being left in want, alone, bereft, comprehending what has been and will no longer be, I think, this fear is driving much of what I see. If it is faith then it is beyond challenge, too pure to be sullied by mere facts. If it is denial of foundation, then you needn't mourn what never came into being, concentrating on the void and not what surrounds it.

Maybe that's the the meaning of what happens when the void looks back into you.


Koshem Bos said...

We all have our backgrounds and therefore may react differently. I don't escape and when They scream at me, I scream louder (ask my X). The noisy explosion is not new; it has been there all along. It started way back and will never end.

We live in a country without progressives (ok there are 15). That is sad, but it will change. It may take a generation when I will be not be around to see it, but my kids will.

I do follow the socialist/biblical commandment of keeping the sabbath (metaphorically); i.e. I take a break, breath fresh air, go visit friends. I do listen to music, read, analyze insignificant scientific issues and last and not least cook.

Smart is a useless trait. Even Obama is smart and most bloggers are smart. What we need is wise and that is a rare trait. Meanwhile there is classic Blues and moderns Blues; that's deep and wide.

Anonymous said...

Fanfiction and websites mean words, hon. Ignore words. It takes a lot for me to say that, but music is beyond that garbage. If the SO already does guitars, then buy a violin or a recorder. There is nothing better than expression beyond words, which all too often devolve into division and politics. People can get stupid about music too, but it's mostly critic types who can be completely ignored since they can't actually make it.

Gary McGowan said...

"...whatever they do will be impermanent."

Ummm... I don't think that is possible.

Although with some hundred billion galaxies, it's a big place, and it can be hard to keep track of things. Principles, even sometimes.

God bless us everyone.
-- Timothy Cratchit