Thursday, August 30, 2012

While Walking About These Quiet Streets...

While walking about these quiet streets of north Deering much in the vein of W.G. Sebald in his famous trek around the east coast of England, aimlessly strolling,  flaneur-like, mindful of summer's end, with August-fading, brooding upon fleeting dusky images of houses and yards,  thoughts merging with scenery, the curve of the road, the overwrought oaks, front porches, mailboxes, cracked sidewalks, frayed lawns, familiar street signs, eluding the occasional traffic on Summit, taking the path down off of Sumac near Lyseth, traversing the school grounds, cutting across toward the CVS or going the "long way" around...on that same walk I have taken day in and day out, knowing in advance what will happen before it arrives; trudging past the same trees and shrubs and parked cars until reaching my destination at the shopping center where Shaw's grocery and Starbuck's hold sway; yet somehow connected with this secure sense of a predictable outcome is an inkling of weird alternative scenarios, of what might have happened if sudden rage or hysteria or impulsiveness or crazed emotion had taken over or if all inhibition fell by the wayside. Would I have simply wandered off somewhere else? Or commandeered a random bicycle to abscond with? Or shop-lifted bubblegum for no apparent reason? Or chased squirrels into the woods? Or staged a very real emotional melt-down? Or feigned a panic attack just for fun? Or pretended to be my favorite super-hero undergoing sudden metamorphosis?Surely none of this could-have ever really all likelihood...except as a glaringly remote "logical possibility"...And yet...this sense of foreboding over the odd and extreme "what-might-have-occurred,"  the infinite bizarro-world possibilities, hiding behind the average-everyday, is, I believe, at the root of our late-historical, romantic consciousness whereby mundane reality is infused and inflated with all manner of free-floating subjectivity in the form of fantasy, whimsy, day-dreams, reveries, supernatural happenings, comic-book heroics - that is to say - wild scenarios that hide about within the mundane, haunting us...those events that could perhaps, by-a-long-shot, in the extreme rare case almost happen, but never do - or should I say - rarely do since when they break into reality - the destruction and insanity and chaos factor is always immense...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

from The Circus Animal's Desertion

I sought a theme and sought for it in vainI sought it daily for six weeks or so.
Maybe at last, being but a broken man,
I must be satisfied with my heart, although
Winter and summer till old age began
My circus animals were all on show,
Those stilted boys, that burnished chariot,
Lion and woman and the Lord knows what.

What can I but enumerate old themes,
First that sea-rider Oisin led by the nose
Through three enchanted islands, allegorical dreams,
Vain gaiety, vain battle, vain repose,
Themes of the embittered heart, or so it seems,
That might adorn old songs or courtly shows...

- William Butler Yeats 

Monday, August 20, 2012

A LOST Cornucopia

Finally getting to the end of this intriguingly original series thanks to Netflix. So many themes and motifs come to mind when thinking about any one episode...

Fans of the show will recognize the following catalog of references:

polar bear, black smoke monster, handcuffs, the caves, the hatch, the orchid, the swan, the temple, the statue, the others, fake village, Roger Workman, Dharma Initiative, unlucky numbers, (4, 8, 14, 16, 23, 42) lottery jackpot ($156,000,000), Locke's wheelchair,  "Don't tell me what I can't do!", con artists, problematic fathers, mentally deranged mothers, Danielle and Alex, Claire and Aaron, pregnancies, Sawyer's book references, "Son-of-a-B_",  Freckles, Sawyer's nicknames, Boone's death, "The island demands a sacrifice..." Jack vs. Sawyer, Jack vs. Locke, Miles' psychic powers, Jacob's cabin, candy bars, torturers, "Live together, die alone...", Our Mutual Friend, Mr. Whitmore,  Desmond and Penny, Penny must die, fake plane wreck, Richard Albert, Oxford, time travel,  "He fixed me!",  Mr. Cluck's, the monster, "move the island", "we weren't supposed to leave...",  madonna statues, plane crash, slave ship, 1977,  blue and white volkswagen vans, Drive Shaft, "You All Everybody,"  Mr. Eko, Walt, Vincent,  Boone, Anna Lucia, Ethan, Sydney, Australia, L.A.X., "What happened, happened." "Nothing is irreversible." "Time to move on..."

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Paintings by Susan Ulrich

Struggling through Martel's Life of Pi

I've been struggling mightily to appreciate this novel - but it's hard when the middle section is so unmistakably implausible besides being a somewhat monotonous, extended soliloquy. Shades of Robinson Crusoe and Moby Dick...Only one problem: the tiger, hyena, zebra and meerkats can't really serve as satisfying characters. They are all-too-obvious symbols, sure, but that leaves the middle section literally "starved" for character interaction and suspenseful dialogue! The ending is much too overt - using an almost "connect the dots" approach. If he would have only hinted at an "alternative account," he could had added immensely to the earlier symbolism.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fleeting Thoughts on Vanilla Ice Cream

I can't stop eating this stuff during the summer months. Every day I break down in my resolve, although, today, come to think of it, I didn't have any, because it always makes me wonder (when I finish that is) how many miles I'd have to walk or run in order to compensate for the calories absorbed. Oh, heck, I'm just going to have another scoop and not think about the repercussions. Bring it on, Jeeves.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

An Open Letter to the Average American Voter...

Attention Voters (or should I say Truth-Seekers): When you enter that voting booth in a few months time, just remember that neither you nor I nor anyone else has ALL the facts. Indeed, there is a high likelihood that we may actually be misinformed on certain issues, swayed by fears, resentments, anxieties, vitriol, misled by rumors and gossip and propaganda emanating from media outlets, think tanks and fellow citizens, provoked by all the hype to "make a statement" yet feeling like the canvas presented (the voting booth) does not allow for such.  Hey - wouldn't it be great if we as a populace, just came clean and realized...that...