Wednesday, August 20, 2014

At the end of his shift, of course, the animal went home, on his bicycle, past the great library and gardens, past the open space of fields that was a rare open park next to woods, past the gated iron fenced cemetery, past the World War II brick apartment buildings, home to the little street, home to his thoughts.  Very nice people had come, and there had even been talk, at the end of the night of true liberal politics, the real thing.  It was night and darkness, and after a good night, he could relax and think of countryside.

"Someone invented how to be a pain in the ass," the animal's thoughts ran.  "Whatever that person encountered, they would say that it was not satisfactory.  That person wished to subjugate, to express their own supreme importance, to say that their own judgment was better.  Their judgment was not better, but through the possibility of manipulation, they saw a way to hegemony, to power, to self protection and self advancement.  That person sought to create a pattern of confusion, to constantly disrupt normal doings, normal godly work, a normal person's basic life.  Such people invented corporations, by finding other people who liked to manipulate for gain.  They got together and had a grand self-satisfying time, realizing the happy possibilities.  To their credit, they create a product that seems useful, something that speaks of some perfection and skill, such that people are captivated by the Model T and its beauty and functionality.  Why not?; it gets you places, no horse involved."

The animal woke and washed some dishes.  Cooking meat, the Lodge iron pan got a bit greasy, with a pleasant residue of onion that made him feel hungry as he scrubbed.

"The selfish and the normal, who are not destined to be selfish, will never easily mix."

After the necessary nap the animal watched television, a Frontline piece about the profiteering of the financial industry of 401K plans as they are protected by legislators fed by Wall Street lobbying, as if one needed proof of deep corporate personal self-interest, then a piece about the archaeology related to the original slave behind Uncle Tom's Cabin with the usual dangle, and then, something in that horrible Pixar computer animation, a well-intentioned show, the animal thought, "Sid the Science Kid," but which left him with little wonder as to far as young children have such things as Attention Deficit Disorder and likened behavioral problems.  The animal could simply see it, plain as day.  There is simply too much information, all of it conflicting, in this 'ingenious' way of animation.  It is animation of a trillion billion ones and zeros, offering no single perspective, no single sense of being anchored in the way that the old way of camera-eyed depiction of reality offers.  Give me the simplicity of animation of the old way of cartoons;  that at least would be honest.  Instead this absolutely creepy sickening figuring of three dimensional real people real faces insidious substitution that is supposed to be better than the old paper figures of Mickey Mouse and Goofy and the Pink Panther and Wiley E. Coyote moving about in two dimension, easy for the brain to digest.  Some creep invested in this stuff deep enough ago in time with big money, and now kids stare intently at TVs as their poor little forming minds go through this gross and unnecessary roller coaster of trying to figure out just what the heck I am watching, the sickening magic trick of pixels.  Give me the Muppets, not these monstrosities.  At the end of the show, the credits:  Jim Henson Productions.  Jim Henson is dead, and maybe trying to keep up with such things, after the blast of his wonderful humor and creativity was twisted into a need to keep with the selfish, killed the animal that he was, and clearly he was one of those sensitive animals who knew where the physical tongue sat, how eyes moved, and the divine spirit running through all things letting him create a personified frog out of fabric and foam rubber that really did the trick, Kermit being a funny guy, a sensitive feeling person subject to all the stuff that 'flesh is heir to.'

Note that the cultural critique of The Simpsons was done in good old animation.  And there, with animation, the mind had a chance to work, to incorporate that healthy organ of the imagination.  Imagination can not come about staring at this weird 3D figures coming from the old flat screen.

We watch the era of Walter Cronkite and the Kennedy assassination and the old Johnny Carson because then cameras were real, not lying, not victims of the high technology of the computer brain that we allow to think for us, as when we got rid of the records and the record player and the needle that dropped down and the first hiss as we waited for the first riff in favor of the digital bit entrancing us with its artifice.

The ones and zeros take us out of real rooms where people interact into the misreadings of Facebook and the social life of the oxygen-less air of social media and too much information, training us to leap through hoops of conformity.

Vonnegut died in time, before seeing the worst of it really get going, after coming up with the immortal lines describing the identities we would fall into, as if losing our very faces, the meaning of our faces, even as we buy into it all,  "My name is Jan Jansen, I live in Wisconsin, I work in a lumber mill there."  All that he saw was the fire-bombing of Dresden, the human figure reduced to ash, a by-product of selfish national striving for economic reality.  It would have been fine if everyone had just kept on unselfishly working, drinking beer after a shift, not whipped up into an out-of-body false rage of metal and all the things the human being can engineer into being, planes, tanks...

Technology, technology, technology...  just another marketing tool, a new Olympic stadium to announce another nation's national interest...

The impression: people no longer go out, not for the primal experience of rubbing elbows and tacitly sharing tastes of food and wine, but for where the subtly leading ones and zeros tell them where to go, how to belong, how to Tweet their own belonging to the source of the new belonging, the source of the screen of a laptop or phone where we find everything and everyone from education, money, mating, a strange new family life that keeps the national interest high, our nation versus yours for all our own adeptness, for handing to our kids the same so that they will be savvy in it all.

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