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Angel

On the Way to the Forum 4

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Continued from
https://www.debatepolitics.com/blogs...forum-3-a.html




We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
For a further union, a deeper communion
Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.

― T.S. Eliot, East Coker


On the Way to the Forum
a gory allegory
(continued)


And speaking of boys and girls, when we last looked in on them our boy and our girl had fairly met, as I recall. Their eyes had met at all events. Windows on the soul. Right? Who said that? Emerson? Tsk. Look who I’m asking! Might as well ask the Great God Google! Right?

Jibes aside, there’s the gravest of points to be taken here. Jibes aside—and you will please note that there has been no attempt on the author’s part to conceal the contemptus mundi of this jeremiad—jibes aside, the gravamen of the case against us, as it has been made out from the very beginning, mind you, rests with this matter of hooks. But don’t believe me. Go back and re-read the opening lines. We are indeed a hooked generation! But there’s an embedded pun here, and the truth of the indictment lies in the ambiguity. We are hooked on hooks.

Which is hooky parlance for the mass cultural failure we are currently enjoying—and as always I choose my words carefully—a catchy way of saying we need catches. Well, we certainly want them, and if we need them as well, more’s the pity. We expect them at any rate. But before another word in this direction is written, however carefully chosen it is, lest there be the slightest misunderstanding on this score, it may be advisable—indeed it may be necessary, readers that we are—to point out that we are not being critical of entertainment tout court or entertainment generally, but only of a certain trend in entertainment, although trend is not really the best choice of word in this regard—a certain turn in entertainment taken in the course of the last fifty years—that word cuts closer to the mark, I believe—not entertainment per se. Heaven knows it’s all entertainment—art, religion, science, sports, hobbies, etc. We argued this point early in the polemic. We shouldn’t require a rehearsal of that argument here, notwithstanding the sharp rise in spoon-feeding that has accompanied the rapid rise of digital media in our time.

Must boy and girl “meet cute”? Or must boy meet girl in the first place? These are two different questions. We made that clear at the outset. One question has been raised by a perplexed humanity, lovers and philosophers alike, from time immemorial, and goes to the very heart of the sweet mystery of life, and has no certain answer beyond the lyrical but fatalistic Que Será, Será. The other is a Hollywood movie mogul’s question with only one answer if you want a development deal green-lighted, as they say. What a sad and sorry-ass world it is indeed in which these distinctions are lost!

But this grows wearisome. Might as well try to teach a cat to sit up and beg! Listen. We’re almost there. Do me one favor—no! Do yourself a favor. Before our limo pulls up in front of Club Duh Parrot Docks and we’re swept up in all the glam and glitz of AI, as I call it, or Absolute Inanity, think about all the great literature of the past, the great books of the world, the canonical library going back three thousand years—but starting back some fifty years ago, before the gradual falling off became a drop—and see if you find, anywhere in that colossal compendium of beauty and truth, a boy and a girl meeting cute. See if you find, among all the great openings of all the great works of world literature, a hook. But if you don’t think the phrase “great literature of the past” picks out anything in the real world, if you don’t think the phrase means anything, refers to anything, if you don’t recognize the existence of the “great literature of the past”—then just sit back and enjoy the rest of the ride to the club. You have VIP entrée tonight.

Outside in front of the club two giant searchlights cross beams in the night sky. Enthusiastic crowds are gathered in the forecourt, around the central sculpture fountain, in the hope of catching a glimpse of celebrity, and the usual queue for admission.is already stretched along the two long lateral flower beds in both directions when our limo arrives. The flashbulbs of a score of paparazzi go off as you step out into view, and an audible murmur ripples through the crowd pressing forward with the force of collective velleities. The plashing of the great fountain provides a sibilant organ pedal to the squawking of the five house parrots sidling on their gilt perches and welcoming the patronage in five different languages: Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and Arabic. There is a sense of urgency in the air, as if something were about to happen, and a sense of exhilaration as well, as if everything were possible tonight and anything could happen.

The flamboyant priapic postmodern fountain marks your passage in dyes of every color of the rainbow.

Huānyíng...

Ahlan wa sahlan...

Willkommen...

Skraa...

Chinjing...

As-salām 'alaykum...

Bienvenido...

Skraawk...

Bienvenue...


The gatekeeper, a notorious Aussie bully by the name of Grandoaf, flanked by two other burly tattooed bouncers and Chopi’s pierced doorbitch Importunita, nods you and your party through the cathedral-like entrance. You’re in! The shouted vocal nastiness of Btzby echoes distantly up the inner passageway, the corridor you traverse, you and yours, in near darkness. Your loins tingle with decadent excitement. You're in!

But of course you’re not in and nothing can happen here that does not reduce to two tiny increments of electricity, weak and weaker still, and yet you're willing to suspend your disbelief for the promise of blood and sex. There is nothing here but bad faith all around.

Patriarchic Pig! Patriarchic Pig!

No parrot that. That was the refrain or from the refrain of The Rainbowspinners’ signature song, I want to say signature rant—their artistic anthem if you will, a vile rant of a chant compliments of the poisonous pen of their frontman or frontwoman Btzby entitled “Dick” and purportedly about her father, a Boston Brahmin by the name of Richard Something.

Bad faith all around.

Narcissism.

Stupidity.

Arrogance.

And of course death.


Updated 11-23-18 at 08:40 AM by Angel

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