Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Parable of the burning towers.
The trouble with writing by the seat of your pants is that you are so enamored by a style that seems to come from nowhere--pretty well the result of three million words in print--that you just let the ideas flow, never mind what it is that you are actually trying to say.
So when I wrote my "The Hat People", I had no idea what I meant in half my scenes, which included burning towers, people chained to desks, forced to watch Imex images of burning towers, and not allowed to venture out or talk to anybody from the outside world.
I guess I was dimly remembering my very first class of Political Science--Plato's myth of the Cave, Where an audience inside the cave, chained and immobilized, was forced to watch what could well be a movie, images on screen.
Says old Play Dough, the politicians are divulging what is on the screen, while, as they operate the lighting they are doing something entirely different, and that is what the reality is--not the images, but what the mysterious forces are actually doing.
How did Plato, that prescient bumstabber, ever divine what was going on in society, certainly our own society where one iconic image is played and replayed on the screen before us, while the audience seems chained, unable to move, the only reality for them being the shadows of burning towers on the screen.
The burning to the ground of three towers
on that day of 911 remains seared in our minds. And the mysterious gods who rule us and direct the Imex images, have
ensured that there would be no more art, no more novels, no films that can ever trump that iconic scene. It's like launching a Picasso upon the art world. Nobody else hopes to match... Sucks the life out of other artists intuiting towards cubism or surrealism.
So today, there is only one theme, one narrative, The Tragedy of the Towers, and, oddly, the only antidote seems Two and-a-half Men which more often than not explains the malaise underlying America, which is greed, promiscuity and homosexuality. In older days these would be counted as the enemies of our civilization. (I am convinced that that the truth is alway couched in humour...and Two and- half Men is a damned funny show. It is certainly an antidote for the news, for the recurring images of burning towers).
And yet, as Neil Postman might say,
We are amusing ourselves to death.
For one day, someone will drop and I.E.D. down to our cave-theatre, with the cry, "God is Great"!
It might take another blast to wake us up.