I just saw a bit on the news, about a livery cab driver in the Bronx, who was, in the midst of defending himself from a gun wielding customer, bitten, on the arm, the neck, etc., The news anchors juxtaposed the security image of this perpetrator, the "VAMPIRE" as they call him, against a trademark image of Dracula. The resemblance, a bit intriguing. I'm not saying this Vampire, who left some atrocious bite marks on the livery cab driver, is really that. What I am proclaiming is... can one really be surprised? It is the Bronx, after all. And I don't say that in a demeaning manner, but, in the most whimsical way. Last year, it may have been, someone was shot with an arrow in the Bronx. My sister had a running joke after that about how crazy that borough is; she did teach there for a bit. I wonder how she'd react to this latest bit of news.
I'm going to divert from the Bronx Vampire, maybe there will be a Bronx Slayer, so as to go "Westerly." And, geographically speaking, I don't mean Rhode Island. This actually pertains to Rebecca West. I was reading her interview with The Paris Review today. I haven't finished it. But, she said some things on which I tend to agree. And this isn't about art. It's more about humanity, "feminism," etc., Bear in mind I'm paraphrasing her ideas, but, when asked if she'd ever espouse a religion, she said she would, because for humanity to be so silly and incomprehensible, one might need something equally silly and incomprehensible to, (this is me perverting her phrasing now), get through the day. Also, she thinks whatever "God" exists is still honing us, still working out our quirks and flaws, which to keep, etc.,
She also mentioned that Vietnam was an indication of a flaw America shared with all superpowers. Thinking they could actually control another country from abroad. This was Germany's mistake, and whatnot. And, bear in mind, she was BY NO MEANS equating the United States with the fascist Nazi scum found on the bottom of Germany's shoe, she was more saying this is a flaw of nature. Human beings don't really, by my interpretation. always have palpable bounds and logic. We are very much a work in progress. Prone to evolution, but constantly stymied by the dream of revolution when all we do is repeat history's mistakes, over, and under and over again.
I also learned something intriguing. Mark Twain made a note of the direction Germany would go in, Supreme Fascism, etc.,, as early as the 1890's. I'm going to make it my aim to find this piece, that he wrote. Once I find said piece, I will read and react. Rebecca (bear in mind that's her pseudonym, from an Ibsen play), Ms. West, was thrilled by Twain's prose. His clarity, his ability to take situations at hand, whether political or historical, and make so much wit. And there's a difference between wit and wisecracking. As a great woman said, something like this, wisecracking is verbal gymnastics, I'd say verbal Olympics, but wit, why wit has truth in it.
Funny, I remember in high school, when I was told history repeats itself, I found it such a bore. Such a horrid little cliche. But, alas, like all horrid little cliches, there's some truth to it. And I've thought about the danger of historicizing. Inventing history without a deep reference to the past. And I realized, this is true for literature, too. Ms. West said we have an endemic need, a longing for the written word, as embodied in art/literature. Well, imagine if we just abandoned the past. Eschewed tradition, which some will say is hegemonic, to continually go forward. But, the logical question follows... how can we move forward without the past as our reference? It's simple, really. Quotidian.
*My thoughts tonight are quite boring; do forgive this.*
One of my fears is that our civilization will go so awry as to forget the past, and re-live some historical fiascoes. Again. And Again. Over and Under and Over Again. And that whether or not art suffers, because of this, is entirely dependent on the audience. I do believe if Fascism rears its horrid receding hairline in The Western World, to a super power, the artistic mainstay will be ABSURDITY.
To make a joy of sorrow and a sorrow of bliss, what is the absurd, but this?
Dear Reader(s)?, I must be off, now. It's time to sleep. Where mask and flesh deny their schism and dreams defy elision, until nothing exceeds their vision (!) Sleep, or, as it's almost midnight, get myself horribly drunk and stoned. And those of you who know me, know, of course, I'm kidding. Not that I would mind getting buzzed, I prefer buzzed over losing all consciousness, or stoned, but, really, tonight seems to be about revelation. If I do stay up, I'll be La Somnambule. And maybe, as the somnambulist mystic, all somnambulists are mystics, in their own strange way, remember, it's kind of like, seeking antithesis from the Zombie's clutch, as the somnambulist mystic, I'll come to some theories that may intrigue, or bore. Tonight I fear I've bored. Do forgive this. At least I didn't delve into my theories of half revealed vacancies and accuracies, and double delusion(ary) inconsistencies! You should be grateful for this.