Real sincerity–it’s a rarity.
Really sincere? Rarely here…
The few who have it, they shine out like a lamp in a coal mine. Real sincerity, in myself–hard to get to because self-sincerity, self seeing, has got to come first. Otherwise I’m all self-image. I’m living a story I tell myself, a protective fantasy.
It got me a ways but not to real sincerity. It’s not freedom, living that made-up story.
Facebook posts from year 2021: “…anyone has canned goods of any age to donate to me…” “Surfing off the coast of Nevada, caught a nasty UV burn, accelerated cancer…” “Has anyone gotten a message from my wife, new dust bowl storm over Kansas City, half the town buried, I’m on west coast…flights cancelled again as per usual…” “…Son started learning Mandarin in preschool, hope they hire him…”
“When facebook posts appear in front of me while I’m taking a shower, floating in the air the way they do now, god, I don’t know, it makes me uncomfortable. I know you can’t see me unless I turn on the cam but…”
”If anyone gets a post from my son Rory please tell him to switch off VR and come home. He’s been lost in VR for two days at some cheap out of town hookup…I’m afraid he’ll get malnutrition and have to go to the hospital again…”
This piece runs to a little under 500 words. Here on the internet, it will die like a rejected infant. “Ugh, I don’t want that fat, hungry creature. Toss it in the swamp.” Because…
…this is an age of sound bites, of the internet, of words flickering by on Twitter, of headlines scrolling by under talking heads; of videogames, youtube, and the little chat-room boxes in which people hopelessly try to express themselves with something more than claustrophobic superficiality. This is not the age of long thoughts.
It’s not allowed, now, especially in writing that is rooted in genre, to have long thoughts, to explore visual descriptions with any depth. Basically what many people do now—sometimes some quite talented writers do this—is they make up their books (and films) out of Legos, out of prefab blocks and connectors, pre-existing tropes and premises and images, bits of their favorite movies and old books, and they click them together in “fresh” ways, form them into “new” shapes.
I once saw an enjoyable, high-quality animated movie based on a book by a respected writer, which did just that. I had a good time watching that picture but, despite its pleasing goth edginess, let’s not pretend the writer and filmmaker were reaching for truly original imagery. He had created the picture out of old pictures and stories.
I see the same in urban fantasy novels—perhaps in works of my own! And Lord Knows that’s what the great spreading red puddle of the vampire genre is about: it is parasitism, ironically, on earlier writers. Vampire writing is vampirism.
Well. It’s hard to be original. I wrote a fairly clever story recently—so I thought, but the editor I submitted it to claimed it was too much like a story from the 1970s by one EC Tubb. I may indeed have read that story, and forgotten it, but kept it in my mind somewhere, deep down–and disgorged it, whole, in new terms. I don’t know. But I do know, that’s part of the struggle of being a writer, the search for originality—we’re all products of our influences, our reading. Originality, in the era of tie in novels and “world” novels and endless romantic vampire knock offs, is not encouraged.
It’s also not permissible, on the whole, (despite the occasional miraculous exception) to think elaborately in genre writing; particularly in science fiction…and especially in horror– to look for real poetry in nightmare. Horror is only to shock—not to express. You’re trying to be expressive with horror? Shocking! The flowering that Clive Barker brought us, once upon a time, has withered.
In the past originality triumphed, in the end–but now…well…appreciating originality takes attention span. And this piece approaches 500 words…
So I’m probably talking to myself.
Here’s my hypothesis…The key to understanding Obama is the doors that are locked to him. He’s taken “it’s the economy, stupid” to heart, as he must in an economic crisis, and most of his more controversial decisions & appointments relate directly back to it. There are economic levers locked away from him–controlled by people who aren’t really hurt by a recession, who don’t want his regulations; who don’t want him Re-elected.
Though I sometimes identify as an “esoteric Christian” most theologians would deny that I’m Christian as I don’t believe in the virgin birth, a miraculous resurrection, water into wine, or Jesus as “son of God”. But I posit a “Christology”–that some, like Jesus, transmit signals from an intermediate consciousness, Christ consciousness, that embodies grace.
However–I don’t believe it’s anything supernatural. Whatever it is, it’s natural, a higher natural. The word supernatural has come to mean “magical”. If there is a Christ consciousness it has a natural, living basis–even a kind of biological basis. But it is a biology we cannot imagine.
It’s a state of mind–or is it mindlessness? CEOs, Wall Street banksters, many of them just do not have a strong sense of community. They have the state of mind, or mindlessness, that lacks it.
I myself don’t much identify with community–but I choose to support community (without mindless conformity) because it’s rational to do so. It lessens the general suffering. You don’t have to be bleeding heart or socialist to have a sense of community. But you do have to be willing to pay your fair share.
The National Convention of Dogs (humans not allowed to attend) have nominated our dogs for an award. They are short listed.
They had preliminary nominations in “most demanding of attention”, “quickest food scavengers” & “embarrassing your owners by barking furiously at people”. But it looks like they’re going to win for “most underfoot”. (They’re shoe-ins for that one.)
My dogs asked if they can go and accept the award. I said Hell no.
A consensus is growing that 3-D movies are a pain in the…eyes. Headache inducing, not particularly convincing, and in a way a kind of pushiness on the part of the film maker, almost an intrusion, like a bully swiping his hand at your eyes to make you jump.
I prefer the real 3-D. To what extent do we see things in 3D in the world? We do & we don’t. In my experience there are degrees of seeing 3-dimensionally. If I look with more presence, including a sense of myself, things will seem more fully three-dimensional, to me. It’s as if anchoring in the present moment reveals more dimensionality in things I see. Their “3D” springs into relief if one looks consciously.
I’m optimistic because everything’s going to be terrible.
The middle-late 21st century will probably be hugely troubled, on a global scale. Climate change, famines, overpopulation, refugee crises, WMDs. But I’m optimistic as I believe these ravages will spur social transformation; that the human race will learn from this. That we’ll achieve progressive consciousness as a result of these revelatory shocks. We’ll learn we can’t treat Spaceship Earth as a party cruise ship. We’ll learn to take care of the planet and to make social justice a priority.
It makes me think of the “Dark Night of the Soul” of St John of the Cross. According to wikipedia, “The journey occurs during the night, which represents the hardships and difficulties the soul meets in detachment from the world and reaching the light of the union with the Creator… The main idea of the poem can be seen as the painful experience that people endure as they seek to grow in spiritual maturity.”
The process isn’t likely to be a Christian union with God–it’s more likely to be a union between human beings. A collective dark night of the soul leading to a collective transformation.