I was sitting up – or laying down – this morning, enjoying a much-needed day off from the anxiety and paranoia producing work I do – this time for the defense industry – and the topic just burned into my heart and made my soul ache: the Spanish won't be looking to prosecute the Bush Six after all. WTF? No justice? This cannot be....
This article had to be twitted. I had to cast my vote into the vast stream of life and hope that someone, somewhere would see this whole global drama for what it truly is – nonsense. For ten cents and a stick of Juicyfruit any one of a dozen newly deputized denizens of the local Tent City, once informed, would merrily slit the throat of any of these six gangsters and send them back to where they came from. They'd even figure out a way to pay for the postage.
When you Twit the twitless, when you cast your vote for glee or outrage, you are treated to a listing of what every other twitless internet baffoon has thought worthy, or extremely unworthy, of their time and attention. Number one this fine day – how to get known. How to become a world-famous netizen. How to invite the rest of the world into your life so that we can all be tasked with thinking up new and interesting ways of wasting your time and talent. Pass. Number two? Mindcasting. Hmmm. Close to the thesis I was going to write about all of next year. Click.
I never made it to number three, nor, I must note, does anyone in the world make this top ten list bitching about the injustices and vicissitudes of human existence. What a shame. I hope they aren't lying because they obviously have not been paying much attention to what I've been paying attention to since the Iran Contra story first broke into my world circa 1986, or so.
A quick scan of the mindcasting article took me past words like "digital narcissism," "frivolousness" and "lifecasting." More of the same twitless pabulum. But the mindcasters, particularly Professor Jay Rosen at NYU or Terry O'Reilly (publisher of those lovely books on which I rely to make a semi-honest living) are onto something.
I scan Rosen's list of greatest twits and realize, "I'm wasting time at the end of the semester." Time to twit outside of the box, methinks. So I go up to the address bar and zap most of the URL. Eureka! Pay dirt!
NYU's pubzone has a list of published works and the one that caught my eye this morning was published by an NYU alum writing in The Poetry Foundation. Brevity is, indeed, the soul of wit, and so I found myself going to Ian Daly's article on a little known, and less understood, area of the poetic underground that lurked about the Russian River, California, in the 1970's. I was alive and living in Cali back then, and this odd feeling sounds more like "day off" than twittering and tweeting and moaning and procrastinating. And so off I went.
In less than ten minutes I found myself transported by the writing of a personal story into the origins of poetic art, my wife's ex-husband's family, my wife's ex-family, Andrei Codrescu and the "Silly Bus" of life. For a personal transportation, read Ian Daly's story here. You can't come halfway home from the bar, indeed.
Good writing, like good imagination, is one of the joy's of my life and is always reinvigorating. Everything I need to know about stuff I've never thought about but could feel down into my bone marrow I can find on the web. And the good writing I've been looking for after hours and hours of scrawling my spew can be found there, too.
As the storm clouds of mediocrity's clash with truth and beauty gather over our country and our planet, it appears increasingly likely that our great hero, our President Obama, is poised to let the fascists and the oligarchs pull the plug on the freedom and promise of the world wide web. If there's no "market" for the open exchange of information, well, by God, there won't be any. What we will be served, then, is an endless progression of media whores like George Stephanopolis, prevaricators like George Will, apologists like Ed Schultz, globalists like Henry Kissinger and criminals like George W. Bush (and family).
Seeing this tidal wave of mediocrity and mendacity coming our way, it doesn't surprise me that poets like Jeffrey Miller end their journeys about the age of 30. My old acquaintance, Chip Grant, was no poet, but he was both funny and fun when he wasn't completely trashed with drugs and alcohol. Chip gagged himself in a fit of self-pity and despair at age 30. When we can't fit truth and beauty into a world carved out for us by fascists, sexual deviants and emotional morons, most women will respond as Chip's beautiful wife (hauntingly similar in appearance to Ian Daly's aunt, Michele) did, and go for the money and the promise of "security" offered by the mainstream of society and away from guys like Chip or Jeffrey Miller.
Just like I did.
Welcome back to mainstream society.
Now go home.