Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Crowd Embodies a Depression in Fabric More Than an Attraction

Earthgirl and Planet are visiting mominlaw in Florida. Three needy cats scream and one needy (and stoopid) dog paces and stares at me, they won't let me read, so for the first time in months? years? I turn on the teevee during prime time and surf. Every third commercial is a minute spot for some new prescription drug, the majority for depression, and fifty of the sixty seconds in the commercial is devoted to a recitation of the disclaimers on how that particular drug can motherfucking kill you. Happy, recovering depressives work in their garden or fly a kite with a grandchild on the beach on the screen beneath the voiceover.

The programming networks run to fill time between prescription drug commercials blows. Forensic this, forensic that. Tortured bodies, corpses still shackled in woods; on something called NCIS, in a morgue, after the actor who was the sidekick in Man from Uncle (who's called Ducky in NCIS and is apparently a world-class autopsy specialist) steps out to take a phone call, over the table where a torture victim lies with her sternum cracked open so we see all the organs, two special agents flirt.

I'm not offended, I'm bored, bored as only training sessions can make me. After the soft porn and graphic violence, I'm told I need to stop taking Cymbalta for my depression if it increases the suicidal thoughts I'm taking it to prevent. Will do.


Tom Thompson

agile founderings and piecemeal flotations.
The crowd constitutes a gravitational field

that slaps back at the ground, numbed
and maddened by ground’s constant suckling.

The crowd embodies a depression in fabric
more than an attraction. Its angled, arteried, fleet

fantasias of need sway in
a loopy, bobbing dance without strings.

It’s this sense of movement the organism uses
to believe in its own existence, the palpable presence

of an intangible parade, uncertain
planetary marches, a supernumerary of stars.

In its mania for artifice the crowd has sewn the sky
with these shiny extras. Embodied

adoration, they snap the organism shut
before tickling it open again

with reedy gestures. Breathe.
The crowd’s louche body

clings and parts in place, an ovation
rigid and adrift, alive. It is the sea

that sweeps the sea.
Broom tight with inner bickering.

A mortal scour. Meaning,
how the crowd hates the crowd.

Outwardly. It admits you or me
as an enormous lidless eye admits glittering

beams. Endless watching, washing us in.
The crowd’s object, its point,

is always vanishing into its own mass. It is a sea
with no concern for us, even as it scores.


  1. Preach on, Brother BDR. 'Training sessions' for what precisely? Interesting thought, though.

    With so much commercial time, an adept can easily keep up with two to three movies/TV shows at the same time, or a couple of baseball games.

    As with FM radio (ex-WFMU, et al.) anymore, the programming is there merely to hold your attention until the next set of spots.

    Entertain me.

    If I'm in a place where TV is being insisted on, I insist the ads be muted. They jack up the volume and color intensity over normal programming to suck you in.

    It's annoying in the extreme.

    And we wonder why the costs of prescription drugs is so out-of-control. Do you realize how much those ads cost? You, your insurance co, your Medicare, etc. are paying that extra freight.

  2. A problem easily solved by taking all the advertised remedies, sure to cancel the others' side effects out.