I’m looking for direction…. Some theme…. Something to emerge from the muck and the mire of all this chatter. I’m not looking to find some Truth. Some eternal Answer to It All. I’m just looking at where to put the energy I have left, before I die. Invest in my work? Keep putting money into my property? Go back to get an MBA or some other ghostly ghastly degree in onamonapiaistics, or learn how to harvest beans or hammer iron into coat hooks?
It’s no longer cute to be wondering what to do with your life after you’re 19 or 20, but that seems to be the condition of our age. Kidults are no longer the men of the Peter Pan myth, no more just the Comic Book Guy we can point to and laugh. He is no longer the guy in his mother’s garage, it now has been democratized, opened up for us all to enjoy, men, women, children. Fifty year olds living with roommates, 40 year olds not sure what career to launch into after being fired from their employment, the young going into a state of regression so that by age 24 they regress into idiots, everyone is searching for a way back to the womb and not just mama’s boys, we’re all attempting to crawl back into the monkey hole.
Kafka has nothing on us, we all are transformed into huge vermin but Father doesn’t toss rotten fruit at us, Father is still trying to figure out how to work Medicaid D or figure what the Obamacare tax/penalty/thingy will be, what to pay, to spend, or how little his investments are to ensure retirement. While Gregory rolls about his bed as a huge vermin, Father is bagging groceries at Walmart, he could give a shit less about the bug in his room, let the fucking bug get a job or pee suet or something useful.
Each day passes, and age brings me no wisdom, no answers, no direction. I have given up on the news. On information. We stare at the news, at various sources the same way we [men] stare at porn (I’ve seen a few women with the same glassy stare, but that’s another story for a different blog). Such an ugly space, held open with so m any fingers, corn or another object d’art in or not, it’s gross, but still, we cannot look away. It is there, in our face, yet unreal. It cannot smell, cry, or tell us to take the trash out. The news, the infotainment, is as real as any splayed pussy, ghastly huge tits, or rubber [your object of desire here] placed [the place of your dreams]. We are worn out from so much metaphysical ennui and disassociation that we no longer know how to feel, to dream, to do anything other than masturbate to our political ideas, to our person in office, to our orifice of choice. The Skoptzy of Russia believed in self mutilation, that to carve off one’s one genitalia was the only solution to the errors of mankind, The Fall, to the state of their nation. You can always tell the state of society by its mad men. And today, Mad Men is on every Wednesday on HBO.
And where are the mad men of today? Enrolled in Concept Therapy, Scientology, fighting for same sex marriage, developing apps, or thinking of the Next Big Thing. Meanwhile, the world continues to tighten. To become more formal and oppressive while those Knowing Ones hop about claiming we’re more free, open, and Multicultural™ than ever. No one rages against the machine. As the Baffler Magazine warned us so long ago (in the age of Zeens), we have Commoditized our Descent. The most clever thing we can think of dies in a pile of tee shirts and bumper stickers. We click Like. We video chat with friends. We place micro chips in our dogs. We make sure our credit rating is good. We attempt to pay our bills on time. We build the pile. We can be track ourselves everywhere by our mini-computers we still refer to as “phones” as if this moniker gave us some repast, some semblance of connection to our young selves, that device ET saw when he “phoned home” the same as our ancestors called autos “horseless carriages,” and we laugh at them and yet continue to call these embedded monitors “phones.” And what do we do, we (myself included), cart them everywhere. The Cheka would have loved to just drink vodka. The Statsi, the black NoVas, Executive Order 12425, the Militas, all can kick back and relax because we’re monitoring ourselves. In the film Brazil, as Sam Lowery is being tortured his captors plead with him, “son, think of what this is doing to your credit rating.” The mad men are careful, perhaps. They know that nothing they say or do will change events. Perhaps the Holy Fool is now quiet, working at his or her job, making handmade soda or bottling quinine water in their spare time. The old adage, he who knows, does not say, and another version, those who can’t do, teach, so to this, those who know don’t say anything.
I had a conversation with a German this week. He lives in an abandoned stone quarry and repairs certain gasoline engines and vintage autos. His shop is out in the middle of nowhere, a mountain is his view out his garage door. He lived in a converted car in the garage, having spent much of his life on a boat touring the world. He has certain political ideas. Crazy ones, but not that out-of-touch when considered next to the other more commercial cray cray out there.
“Ze problem man, is that you got to understand that Americans have lost it. Zey got this fucking hippie generation on top who don’t want to give up man. These fucking people sit about, the only thing hippie they do is maybe smoke pot. They want to never give the younger generation a chance. They watch their properties, their fucking land and say, no trespassing. But what did these fucking people start out with? Nothing!”
I looked out over the mountain. The houses on the ridge weren’t there a few years ago, let alone when I was young. The Posted signs are even more plentiful, they should be declared a flora. The swimming hole I passed on my [mode of transportation said German was repairing] was fenced off, no parking signs and posted signs set up by the Signs Signs Everywhere is Signs generation to fend off the Doom Generation, those of us too old to disobey or those youngsters programmed by years of teach-to-the-test to follow orders. To not enjoy youth at the swimming hole, to not park, to listen to rebel music only if The Facebook says it’s cool. The German ranted on. I’d be a rich blogger if I could bottle that shit and resell it here, but I can’t. I left his company, my [mode of transportation] repaired and took off to the open road to think, and to enjoy the summer day, the mountains I passed, the road that is still open.
The Enclosure Act is known for ending a way of life so ancient as to reach back and touch the Iron Age. It resulted in many deaths, and a cultural shift. We continue this enclosure, but we have managed to fence off so much land, we can only turn to us, as the final stage of fencing off. We look to the human condition as a product, to find a commodity in our personhood, to place fences around learning and loving, around thinking and doing, around every emotion or action in order to place it under the cultivation of the garden. In our emotions, Posted signs are springing up. However, it is not “them” who place these barriers and signs. It is us. We do it. Willingly. We’re confused, we don’t know the way, and that means the system is working. We cut ourselves up into sections, to fence off areas of knowledge and attempt to get those about us to pay for this part of our knowledge, as we must pay others for even a shred of humanity. We are moving to make the spirit something fungible. We can no longer blame the “them” or “those” of the hippie songs, or the hippies. If you remember Pogo, you remember that one cartoon – we have met the enemy, and he is us.