Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween Suggestions?


As the great beast doubles over from Oxygen deficit(?), the TV is just as abruptedly deprived of its power, both physically and motivationally. "Well, no help from that quarter- may as well try and grab at least twenty winks of sleep. This is like the fifth year in a row that there've been no decent costume ideas, even with the usual spooky flicks on every channel. Maybe the zombies have taken over the studios? Screw it!..."

What do you folks think? Is this a good year to go out, disguised as someone who gives a hoot?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

For Chrissakes

Right from the start, I'll admit that I don't know anyone or any place called Chrissakes (althougn there could be such an entity, maybe in Greece or Cyprus?) That's not the point, and there are no religious implications to be exploited here.

Imagine a badly composed watercolor, embedded in folio of bad renderings, then accidentally left in the rain. Never mind others' opinions of the relative merits of this artwork, assume that You found it tasteless, vulgar, amateurish, obscene, or bad by Your standards.

Now imagine an enormous asteroid hurtling toward earth, ridden by critters who don't like people (except as snack food, maybe). There's no time to do anything to blunt its impact, which is predicted to occur either somewhere in the ocean, or else, right on top of Yellowstone Park, which is only moments from erupting in a paroxysm of smoke, ash, and flames. Sounds like trouble, either way. Meanwhile, in a seedy motel somewhere in the middle of nowhere, a werewolf (sporting a goalie mask that's festooned with a bunch of pins) is brandishing cutlery stolen from recently deceased Aunt Millie. A busload of nubile teenagers, terrified, join in a mass make-over. As they stampede toward a nearby forest, geysers begin exploding, detonated by lunatics from the Five O'clock Shadow Guys Liberation Front. This intemperate gesture somehow ticks off Dogzilla, who ambles out from behind some nearby mountains. Finding no suitable fire hydrant, he becomes infuriated, seizes an alarmed Halle Berry (presumably, for later delectation), then saunters over to an enormous mushroom cloud and relieves himself into a smoldering crater, lined with... only seconds before... right after... in response to...

stop... Stop... STOP!

This 'B' movie script is roughly parallel (in style and substance) to what passes for infotainment, reproducible by simply scanning through news, weather, history, and entertainment channels. Throw in a few 'reality' TV programs if you like, (mere ragweeds, under other noms-de-plume), add a few pseudo-scientific weather specials, a couple of analytic-expulsive quasi-political circus acts, and some paramilitary-strike-team-chasing-bad-guys-off-the-monkey-bars extravaganzas. Is there something a bit off, or is reality simply out of focus?

Sad to say, reality itself may not be in need of the soup-to-nuts audio-visual assistance that's being offered (feel free to lurch forward with a better verb). Is there a difference between how we respond to lousy artwork, and our collaborative view of the world (either as reality, or as artwork-in-process). If so, are we even a necessary ingredient to our own fates? More than likely, we will eventually have to sample the stew itself, rather than simply trying to eat recipe cards, if we ever expect to find out how digestible our future will truly be. The ability to assess how real something is (be it art, food, or the world itself) takes more personal attention than we've become accustomed to providing, and just maybe, isn't amenable to delegation.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Ivy Starts In The Soil

It happens time and again. My feeble attempts at manhandling an upstart Cercadean rhythm have compelled me to set two alarm clocks. The exact time is really beside the point, but the sleep ratio isn't- I've never been able to rely on wallclock time, except as a barometer of abuse, meted out by (or, more rarely, inflicted upon) my fellow citizens. Only psychotic, type A managers could truly believe that optimum productivity comes from a steady diet of 8AM staff meetings; In the drone community, this Napoleonic cockwaving is seen only in its true light. Another opportunity to lock horns (metaphysically and literally) with other kind, considerate motorists in the mornings melee.

Whether due to delicate disposition, contrariness, or the overwhelming desire to Get A Good Night's Sleep, my befuddled senses are able to routinely shrug off the tender bleatings of portable (often airborne) alarm clocks.

"There's that sound again...", I mumble, "What the Fucque?"
Shall I hurl it out the front window, and under a passing truck?
Or maybe, fling it out the back window, and into the muck?

Appearances aside, this isn't the preamble of some disgruntled rant. Oh, no! I'm humbled and amused, that human nature should so frequently prevail over such boisterous contraptions.

"Snoozing through my funeral, late, and so totally screwed,
I'm surprised that I'm not in a much worse mood
Scratching, hoping to Bejeezus that the coffee's already brewed"

But what one alarm clock can't do alone (to break inertia, to promote the haggard to some semblance of perpendicularity, to induce mobility) might yet be achievable by two. Sounds reasonable, nicht wahr? Not really...

Dear colleagues, my observation on this matter is that, research to the contrary notwithstanding, mankind's fight for consciousness is as futile as paragliding into active volcanoes. We as a society revel in the accomplishments of the Movers and Shakers (note the active tenses) traipsing around, spreading their joy in what's dubbed the "Real World". Dreams (and their salutory benefits to our imaginations) get a decidedly dismissive treatment, as sleepers are rarely big consumers or producers of material goods, at least, not while they're asleep. There may be good reasons for keeping imaginations in better check, since they ultimately govern our actions (in both positive and negative senses). I guess I'll assume this remains the way of things- whether speaking of Ghandi or Hitler, less is said of how their dreams steered them, than of the methodologies they championed en route. I can see how tracking six billion, separate imaginations could represent a bookkeeping nightmare. One would have to be awake to participate in that, I suppose. Pity... Yeah, I'm afield again. That's what comes of blogging in a sleep-deprived state.

Where were we? ... oh yes, the redundant alarm clocks. It turns out that the battle rages on, whether along somewhat different tactical lines. I imagined that the strategy must be sound, though I'm rarely around to hear their harsh cacophony. I've been getting up before either clock intones and wandering off, to continue my torpor in another room. This unexpected twist has some really nasty repercussions. I've already awakened, sitting bolt upright (in a very uncomfortable parlor chair), on several occasions. Nor would it be uncommon enough for me to settle dust-ups between conflicting clocks, chirping away mindlessly in an otherwise empty room. This shows that, when drowsiness opens her inviting arms, there is no place sufficiently awkward to withstand such seductive blandishments, no time at which a little shut-eye is provably inappropriate. If there is a bright spark in this campaign, it must be the moratorium on senseless alarm clock extermination. Good thing, too; the accursed things respond poorly to whirling lawn mower blades.

"Care I for lightning strikes, or of basso profundo thunder?
Will nothing dispel this damnable urge to slumber?
The Sun's already setting on my weary head
Quickly! Someone! Usher me to a welcoming bed!"