Friday, January 1, 2021

Meditation 110

1 January 2020

Maskless, feckless, Rudolph Guiliani, stood at Mar-a-Lago’s staircase in purple velvet tuxedo jacket, his ear attuned to lip-synching 80s stars. This epic fails to synch. “I knew Leopold Bloom,” one might say, “and you are not Leopold Bloom, nor was meant to be.” “It’s epic!” a student ejaculated, and I thought he referred to Homer. What had seemed a form of knowing was reduced to idiomatic phrase, like an ode turned to jingle, or Bob Dylan snarling over a shiny Buick. There’s no such thing as a candid selfie. This is not to say that anyone feels nostalgia for the days of candid camera, when we were caught off-guard, our faces betraying boredom or bafflement or joy. Good reason to shut off your zoom video and listen to music, while the department sings boy band harmonies. Is it patriarchy when women do it? Do you wake up one day to find yourself an icon because someone has tried to break you on twitter? The tweet is dead, but its typist is all intention, fingers on her phone, making an example. If example’s divorced from thesis statement, you’ve got surrealism half-baked. We tried so hard to figure out our dreams but all they did was show us how to separate stories from events, meaning from itself. And we simply couldn’t let it go, could we, like elephants unable to manage their fear of bees. Such smart animals that they grieve, but they’re terrorized by buzz. The man who blew up a city street thought politicians lizards; his conspiracy’s dream logic took out cell phones for days. To lust for an audience ties a tourniquet on your art; it might save you, but the cost is banality. Dress that up in velvet, send it down the stairs; Rudy is the hero of his own fan fic. The survivor was a ruse for re-runs. Lear had better lines, but he got canceled after a single season.

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