Wednesday, May 12, 2021

War Worm Squirms in the Ear

Alternative jeffhead appropriate for today's mood
Cacopolis NowAmerica: a ProphecyClass: today's reminder Duh
View from the Warehouse Floor: murder, defeat, and...
Every election is stolen even if only my vote counts
I’ve lived in a democracy of three the one not the two
I’ve never contested an election (while exercising
my right to moan about results unto perpetuity
unless concessions I have a point(s) are granted)
much less fired bombed their holiest temple
while forcibly evicting families from ancestral homes
Who would I disappear if I had a Tantalus Field?
Not you, elephant poachers, maybe, their
white brown yellow any gendered shitlord patrons posing over the kill
Rhinoceros Mutilator Facilitator Versus Trophy Hunting Sadist Shitlord: Would Jeff? If yes, which first?Your vote counts!
How can I steal this election except by not voting?
Portrait of the United States as a developing country
Who counts as a victim?Poisoning the planet
#1214Yes, yesterday was Stanley Elkins birthday

The traditional BLCKDGRD Holy Day Elkin birthday post, 2021 edition (now updated in 2019 by link to another Elkin birthday post, h/t Dan)

Stanley Elkin, born 91 years ago yesterday, one of my Deserted Island Five even though my Deserted Island Five (any island, any time) has dozens and simultaneously none.

Two excerpts I always use for his birthday, read then out loud, please, do it for you. The first captures one of Elkins's major themes, the second is simply the most beautiful, heartbreaking, paragraph, as stand alone but especially within the context of the novel, I've ever read:

Ben, everything there is is against your being here! Think of get-togethers, family stuff, golden anniversaries in rented halls, fire regulation celebrated more in the breach than the observance, the baked Alaska up in flames, everybody wiped out - all the cousins in from coasts, wiped out. Rare, yes - who says not - certainly rare, but it could happen, has happened. And once is enough if you've been invited. All the people picked off by plagues and folks eaten by earthquakes and drowned in the tidal waves, all the people already dead that you might have been or who might have begat the girl who married the guy who fathered the fellow who might have been your ancestor - all the showers of sperm that dried on his Kleenex or spilled on his sheets or fell on the ground or dirtied his hands when he jerked off or came in his p.j.'s or no, maybe he was actually screwing and the spermatozoon had your number written on it and it was lost at sea because that's what happens, you see - there's low motility and torn tails - that's what happens to all but a handful out of all the googols and gallons of come, more sperm finally than even the grains of sand I was talking about, more even than the degrees. Well - am I making the picture for you? Am I connecting the dots? Ben, Ben, Nick the Greek wouldn't lay a fart against a trillion bucks that you'd ever make it to this planet!

- The Franchiser

And it was wondrous in the negligible humidity how they gawked across the perfect air, how, stunned by the helices and all the parabolas of grace, they gasped, they sighed, these short-timers who even at their age could not buy insurance at any price, not even if the premiums were paid in the rare rich elements, in pearls clustered as grapes, in buckets of bullion, in trellises of diamonds, how, glad to be alive, they stared at each other and caught their breath.
 - Magic Kingdom


Rochelle Hurt

War as social formula. War spread through word of warmouth. Then it’s war on repeat: war one more time. War, come and hit me. War as pop litany. War under copyright. Room for war sampling. Everyone loves that familiar warbeat: I know all the words to this war. War worm squirms in the ear, infectious. Can you name that tune—anything but fear. It’s just a war, baby. A very very good war. This war’s off the charts. Check Google: What’s my war rating? Bad news: war’s played out. Now war’s a bore. So take a commercial break, then back to more.

1 comment:

  1. 1)i did read those elkin excerpts out loud

    2)one speaks of a family get-together - the previous day i had received an invitation to a cousins' reunion in central pennsylvania - our common ancestors were my great-grandparents, who were having their children in the late nineteenth century - as far as i know there is no one left of the generation before mine - i haven't seen any of my second cousins in at least 30 years - i am not sure if i'll go or not

    perhaps, at its best, it might be the sort of occasion elkin speaks of in the second excerpt - where one feels glad to be alive and stares in wonder at one's fellow mortals, with our underlying common ancestry and our differences - branches of a vine, one could say - eyes that have seen will know what i mean

    3)speaking of the love of war, in 2010 i wrote

    Through a combination of circumstances (i.e. cable channel-surfing at the right time), I found myself watching the opening ceremonies of a NASCAR race near Richmond, VA, not far from where I went to high school. It was a glittering pastiche of religion and patriotism - the Pledge of Allegiance led by a quartet of soldiers (black and white, male and female) from Fort Lee, where my late father Colonel Charley served for several years; the U.S. Marine Band performing the National Anthem; a minister asking God's blessing not only on "the sport we love" but "our soldiers overseas, defending our freedom".

    To the audience, it was ritual giving visible and audible form to their Love of Country, God and one's fellow human beings; I'm sure they swelled with pride as they pledged loyalty to the Flag, symbol of our forefathers and the sacrifices they made to give us all we have today. Meanwhile, as I watched this spectacle at home, I felt sick at heart as I thought that this handsome facade means, in practice, not just wholesale theft, but mass murder. What will it take to rip the mask off, to break the trance?

    Recently I was reading the Wikipedia entry about Muhammad Asad, born Leopold Weiss – a remarkable story. In looking at the publicity materials for the documentary film about him, titled A Road to Mecca, I found the following sentence: “I fell in love with Islam,” he said matter-of-factly shortly before his death in 1992, “but I overestimated the Muslims.” Similarly, I feel like someone who fell in love with the idea of America that I learned as a boy, but has been greatly disappointed by the reality of it, and of us.