Monday, October 20, 2008

Puppets Made of Flesh

So it goes that I sympathize with the most unhappy and with those who harbor a bleak outlook on the situations born of civilization, of the great con of man, of life as we know life to be, and I don’t just mean human lifestyles, but the condition of organic life with its maddeningly pointless design. For a moment or two, knowing that somewhere out there in the big black jungle made of frowning faces and the legs of dark gray pantsuits that reach up sky high where they give way to a canopy of industrial smoke, there are a few others who can see what I see, or at least something akin to it. Eventually however, I find that hearing of their own oppressive loneliness makes my empathetic heart tremble.
Sure, we are brave ones, we who see what we see and then go further to say what we can say, paint pictures, sculpt sculptures, make collages, write plays, anything that we can do to transform shit into exotic blooms, as part of one last desperate attempt to make something of our ridiculous woes, but it makes me sad anyhow.
Usually I can turn all this hysteria into a joyful performance. I will laugh, joke, sing, and dance. I will do what I can to make the other smile. Then nature catches up with me, (because I don’t always manage to outrun it) and then tears are just tears and not jokes or crystal ants or anything at all. Just salt water squeezed from little ducts set in the innermost corners of my eyes because the world is loveless and dead and it is infecting me while I am failing to infect it. Affection passes itself off as love around here, and you will be rewarded with affection only when you are not taking something that somebody else wants or when you are giving somebody something that they want, but if you should fail to appease, then the affection stops and you don’t even have the emptied out representation of love.
Here and there maybe, you might find a mad hatter through whom love flows no matter what. Usually not though, because when those crackpots come to the attention of the general public it is generally agreed upon that the best thing to do is have that nut case nailed up to a cross so that the buzzards can pick out his (or her) eyes. As you can imagine, anyone like that is either dead or making themselves as inconspicuous as possible. Meanwhile some other clown is passing himself off as a fountain of loving salvation from which comforting answers spring forth like popcorn from an air popper so that you may paste them over your hollowed out heart like little hello kitty band aids over a 35 caliber gunshot wound, and that in exchange for a little bit of the green, if you know what I mean, or sometimes they’ll swap for sex or just attention, power, and glory, or all of the above.
Anywhere you go on this bumpy globe there is someone waiting with a pair of shears in hand, ready to fleece you, pat you on the head and send you back out into the cold Siberian winter so that icicles will crystallize on your eyelashes and your breath will freeze in your mouth so that you choke to death on a maw sized ice cube when you attempt to bleat for help. There are plenty of perky folks running in circles after their tails, glad to be doing so if the other option is to look over their shoulders and notice the master, and then the master’s master, and so on until they realize that it’s Emperor Palpatine holding the end of a long string of leashes, and seeing how low you are in the pecking order, it can mean only one of two things: you are either a clone, or worse (and most likely) an android. Of course the key to keeping androids happy is to never point out that they are androids and to additionally conceal the fact that they are working for the Empire.
The saddest part is that androids, like you and me, as eager as Pinocchio to be real boys and girls, are happy to swallow the lie. We live out our mechanical lives insisting that we are the real deal, that we are in control of ourselves, never really wanting to find out that all of our likes and dislikes were programmed into us by Geppetto back on the Death Star and that, even now, he’s streaming new programs into our highly sophisticated systems through television and radio transmissions. He probably works for some low level General who also likes to forget about the Emperor and fancies himself to be the real deal, the ultimate power. Once you’ve pulled back the green curtain and caught a glimpse of the icky sticky lonesome chaotic truth, it’s hard to push that image out of your mind, and even if you do manage it with lots of bon bons and day time tv, or prescription drugs and booze, or even illegal drugs and underage sex, you find that the uneasy sensation that something is very wrong will not be to far off.
And if you do look it in the face then even your own moments of happiness will seem sickeningly superficial. Your own mechanical arm bringing a cherry ice cream cone closer to your own mechanical mouth and the fleeting sensation of gratification and pleasure that follows will become a horror to you. Then I am told, that you will need to either go back to uneasy sleep or finish waking up so that the horror of it becomes a delight and you yourself are one of those secret mad hatters, cruising the world without worrying about the crosses they are manufacturing down at the saw mill, doing your best to infect the Empire with the strange radiation leaking from your bursting heart, laughing at the crystal ants marching down your cheeks.

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