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What's with all the Dirty Talk Lately? | davelovell.net
Mar 152012

After the lat­est imbe­cil­i­ties from Hush Lim­baugh and the con­tin­u­ing inani­ties from San­to­rum regard­ing women and those pesky vagina’s of theirs…  you would sup­pose me to go after some Freudian angle of attack, lev­el­ing some not so hid­den assaults against their failed swordsmanship.

pag­ing Dr. Freud…

Oh you think so lit­tle of me!  Rather, I shall refrain from indi­vid­ual assaults on the mea­ger wind­mills arrayed before me and launch into a com­pletely undis­ci­plined dia­tribe apro­pos — mod­ern day puri­tans (or, ass­holes as I pre­fer to call them)

I’ve vented around this idea before; that those who politic at us by pro­claim­ing moral decay and por­tray them­selves as some­one who will return us to the good old days…aren’t talk­ing about the good old days of strong unions, the GI bill and unas­sail­able pen­sions – they’re talk­ing about the good old, old days of seg­re­ga­tion, child-labor and back-alley women’s clinics.

Why do so many upstand­ing (pun intended) con­ser­v­a­tive men talk so much about sex?  Feel free to con­sult your first year psych text­books, but I think you already know where I’m headed…So:

By finger-wagging and sneer­ing, car­nal desires can be lived out vic­ar­i­ously in the Neo-Puritan imag­i­na­tion. In this way, petty moral­ists can ogle what they claim to condemn.

To Neo-Puritans, all the prob­lems of life can be traced to the gen­i­tals … true, but only their own problems.

How many times do the prigs, nin­nies, and scolds of the U.S. have to repeat this sort of inanity before they grow up and real­ize that human beings have strong libidos? Libido pro­pels both cre­ativ­ity and con­tretemps, and it is wise to aver that “the issue of char­ac­ter” should best be evoked and debated, as a gen­eral rule, when the sit­u­a­tion involves hypocrisy.

More­over, those claim­ing that their own sex­ual desires have never ren­dered them vul­ner­a­ble to silly mis­judg­ments evince a more nox­ious form of hypocrisy.
If in fact their lives have been absent such mis­for­tune; then one should with­hold the scorn reserved for hyp­ocrites, and, instead, grant these poor souls pity, for they have been afflicted with the awful cir­cum­stance of hav­ing passed through their lives with­out ever being seduced by life.

A more pro­found “char­ac­ter issue” here would seem to involve that of the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of mass media news­gath­er­ing orga­ni­za­tions, in par­tic­u­lar — their greed for ratings.

And what is one to make of the char­ac­ter of the indi­vid­u­als who com­prise the gen­eral pub­lic and their seem­ingly end­less avid­ity for these sto­ries — their insa­tiable crav­ing to revel in the tawdry — but remain engaged in the delu­sional wor­ship of their own toxic inno­cence? Holy Schaden­freude!

It is futile to strug­gle against the symp­toms while ignor­ing the source. As banal as the dreams of wit­less bul­lies, the archi­tec­ture and arti­fice of U.S. cor­po­rate imperium not only sur­rounds us but has col­o­nized our thoughts and desires. The elite of the cor­po­rate media and the U.S. pub­lic remain untrou­bled by Bradley Manning’s forced nudity, yet a cou­ple a snaps of a congressmen’s crotch sends their imag­i­na­tion reeling.

Since U.S. Empire is main­tained by mil­i­tarism — a de facto strong-arm racket shak­ing down the peo­ple of the world to sus­tain the end­less cupid­ity of its elite and prof­fer just enough bribes to keep its pop­u­lace over­weight, arro­gant, and obliv­i­ous — what “char­ac­ter issues” come into play involv­ing an individual’s com­plic­ity in the main­te­nance of imperium?

Per­haps as a reminder, fleets of U.S. air­craft car­ri­ers should be chris­tened with names such as, the USS Enti­tle­ment, the USS Dis­placed Resent­ment and the USS Will­ful Igno­rance — all armed and ready to patrol the oceans of the world, poised to attack and sub­due those who would deny us our birthright to con­sume the world like a bag of Cheetos.

Because fac­ing folly is dif­fi­cult, both pow­er­ful and pawn have embraced the most air­less of aspi­ra­tions … that greed run riot is a viable means to move in the world, even the sole means of estab­lish­ing a social order.

As was the case with any imperium through­out his­tory, the present order is main­tained by state-sanctified blunt force – and it is naïve to act sur­prised when a sol­dier on his fourth com­bat tour sim­ply strolls out­side, snaps in a full mag and slaugh­ters the inno­cent. To exist in empire, one is induced to deaden ones heart.

The act of hav­ing inter­nal­ized (albeit inad­ver­tently) the pro­pa­ganda of the cor­po­rate state and thereby cling to its pro­vi­sional com­forts … is to clutch a hand­ful of dust. And what is the mode of being to which so many cling:

Shuf­fling the floors of some sub­ur­ban box … within a gated “com­mu­nity” where one rarely sees, much less speaks to one’s neigh­bors; spend­ing hours at a time, anx­ious and irri­tated (if not out­right enraged) in soul-grinding com­muter traf­fic, lis­ten­ing to the obser­va­tions and pro­nounce­ments of inspired souls such as Morn­ing Zoo Crews and deep thinkers like Mush Lim­baugh and other right-wing talk-radio, hate mer­chants; then lan­guish­ing all day in a cubi­cle … just to turn around and do it all again.

Is it any won­der so many in the U.S. con­sider “our way of life” non-negotiable? What kind of a mis­er­able, bit­ter mal­con­tent would wish to chal­lenge and change such a life-enhancing, soul-vivifying mode of being? There is just no pleas­ing some people.

A loss of empa­thetic imag­i­na­tion is endemic to the con­sumerist mind­set of the mech­a­nized era. This form of pathol­ogy began, years ago, when our ances­tors offered up their life’s blood to the early cor­po­ratists of the Indus­trial Age.

I attack all those persons/ who know noth­ing of the other half / the half who can­not be saved / who raise their cement moun­tains / in which the hearts of the small / ani­mals no ones thinks of are beat­ing.” — Fed­erico Gar­cía Lorca,
excerpt: New York (Office and Attack)

Henry Ford and the rest of the Indus­trial Age’s klav­ern of gray ghouls mea­sured our flesh, mus­cle and bone with a productivity-measuring stop­watch. Cun­ning prac­ti­tion­ers of the dark art of con­vinc­ing human beings they were mere cogs in a soul­less machine, it was only a short trudge from that blood-bartering view­point of exis­tence through history’s slaugh­ter­house to Adolf Eichmann’s cold, corpse-rendering, math­e­mat­i­cal constructs.

Insu­lated, as he was, within his for­ti­fied tower of mortared casu­istry, Eich­mann proved adept at emo­tion­ally shield­ing him­self from the hor­rific impli­ca­tions of the sys­tem of mech­a­nized exter­mi­na­tion he helped devised.

From indi­vid­ual alien­ation to planet-wide eco­cide, Han­nah Arendt’s insights, regard­ing Eichmann’s psy­che in her sem­i­nal work, Eich­mann in Jerusalem, applies to our present con­di­tion: “The longer one lis­tened to him, the more obvi­ous it became that his inabil­ity to speak was closely con­nected with an inabil­ity to think, namely, to think from the stand­point of some­body else.”

Accord­ingly, to lose the green fuse of trans­for­ma­tion, implicit in inter­per­sonal rela­tion­ships, is to be dri­ven by dehu­man­iz­ing engines of annihilation.

In regard to the consumerist-colonized psy­ches of the pop­u­lace of the U.S., an inner archi­tec­ture is in place — an inter­nal­ized shop­ping mall (com­plete with sub-cretinous secu­rity crews trained to shut down polit­i­cal speechi­fy­ing and pam­phle­teer­ing — but who seem unwill­ing or unable to sub­due the impulse to buy, unnec­es­sary items on credit).

Con­versely, for a cul­ture to thrive, a vital agora and pub­lic square is required. Given the agora has been replaced by mall and social media’s weight­less pix­els of nar­rowed appre­hen­sion (an almost all-encompassing, ama­teur impro­vi­sa­tional the­atre for those with short atten­tions spans) can there be any chance of an awak­ing, even an upris­ing, against such life-negating forces?

Using any met­ric, the present sys­tem, based upon a zombie-like pro­lif­er­a­tion of expo­nen­tial growth is unsus­tain­able. By the destruc­tion lev­eled on nature and pub­lic space, in com­bi­na­tion with, the usurpa­tion of time and iden­tity (indi­vid­ual and col­lec­tive) — the very struc­ture of the present sys­tem cre­ates alien­ation and anomie.

More­over, the root of Puri­tan panic (includ­ing the con­stant upwelling of sex­u­ally related scan­dal) is caused by its com­pul­sion to win­now down the human psy­che and its atten­dant dri­ves, actions, and enter­prises to only what is deemed pure and prac­ti­cal; hence, panic ensues when the musk and fury of the larger world (even one’s own thoughts and desires) rudely breaches the life-denuded con­tours of its cor­don sanitaire.

The anec­dote: Don’t tip­toe through your life like a ninny nor become a finger-wagging scold, so mor­ti­fied by your appetites and desires you would scour the messi­ness of the world into a ster­ile prison of self-deprivation. Like Emer­son, we must insist: we have a life to live — not a per­pet­ual apology.

Poetry, art and music can awaken imag­i­na­tion and induce empa­thy, there­fore are potent pro­vi­sions that sus­tain one while car­ry­ing the dark­ness. How­ever, one must first engage the strug­gle, to face the every­day mon­ster whose name is, “That is just the way it is and must remain” — even to risk hav­ing one’s con­cept of self devoured by the task.

To para­phrase Lorca: to know one­self by draw­ing near to the beat­ing heart of the mon­ster of the world.

“But the Duende — where is the Duende? Through the empty arch enters a men­tal air blow­ing insis­tently over the heads of the dead, seek­ing new land­scapes and unfa­mil­iar accents; an air bear­ing the odor of child’s spit­tle, crushed grass, and the veil of Medusa announc­ing the unend­ing bap­tism of all newly-created things.” — Fed­erico Gar­cía Lorca, excerpt: The Duende: The­ory and Diver­tisse­ment (1930)

One can­not kill nor ban­ish per­sonal demons but one can give them super­vised work to do.

Know­ing one’s demons also pro­vides insight when deal­ing with adver­saries and can pre­vent one from being drawn into the self-serving ploys of mass media vam­pires of mind and spirit who retail sex­u­ally related scan­dals that bring glee to the bloodless.

Per­son­ally, it couldn’t trou­ble me less if the sky shook, thick as seething locust, with a pixel-borne pesti­lence of sug­ges­tive pho­tos, ora­to­ries of innu­endo and troves of titillation.

Funny, the same crowd of fun­da­men­tal­ist, petty moral­ists who believe that global warm­ing is the result of nat­ural forces insist the heat of human libido is what will bring on man’s doom i.e., green­house gasses aren’t melt­ing the polar regions; instead, Cli­mate Change is caused by the hot breath of Satan him­self tweet­ing pic­tures of his lust-scorched undergarments.

In times such as these, one is advised to embrace both mys­tery and logic — both élan vital and logos.

Be both appre­hen­sive and com­forted by the unknow­able, inef­fa­ble qual­ity of exis­tence; thereby, one comes to be moved by a poetic approach to mys­tery, and the real­iza­tion arrives … that one is vividly alive even amid dis­mal, alien­at­ing cir­cum­stance, and, as a result, that the ennui engen­dered by the illu­sion of atom­iza­tion is, to a degree, mitigated.

Although one’s suf­fer­ing is uniquely one’s own, one remains part and par­cel of the impli­cate order of a liv­ing planet. This is how Wal­lace Stevens deliv­ers, in verse, the case for acquir­ing and main­tain­ing a view of the world by means of empa­thetic imag­i­na­tion (that can serve as a panacea to the preen­ing nar­cis­sism inherit in toxic inno­cence). I’ll give him the final word:

We feel the obscu­rity of an order, a whole,
A knowl­edge, that which arranged the ren­dezvous.
Within its vital bound­ary, in the mind.
We say God and the imag­i­na­tion are one …
How high that high­est can­dle lights the dark.

Out of this same light, out of the cen­tral mind,
We make a dwelling in the evening air,
In which being there together is enough.

–Excerpt: Final Solil­o­quy Of The Inte­rior Paramour


 Posted by at 8:50 am

  One Response to “What’s with all the Dirty Talk Lately?”

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