Welcome to Cloaca Maximus and the Gowanus Canal

I’m writing this, five days (it ended this evening on the eighth day) into the loss of my internet service. I don’t know how long it will take to get it restored. Down here where I am, such things are a mystery. I don’t think there’s any foul play involved. Two companies are merging and it could be that new technology is being installed or it could be another example of the strange modus operandi of this charming culture where ass backwards is known as full speed ahead.

It’s been occurring to me that I don’t really care when it goes back on and that’s a very good thing. It’s stress free and it accommodates the circumstances which are always unpredictable. It also puts me into the situation of imagining what is happening out there. I don’t watch TV so, without the internet, the only news I have is the on site weather report which involves my going outside and taking a look around.

I’ve been harvesting my olive trees and it looks like I’m going to have what amounts to about two fifty gallon oil drums. That’s a lot of oil and as much as it has been raining lately, I could invite a few of Bruce Willis’s stripper friends and a couple of Eddie Murphy’s transvestites and have a real whoop de do of a hot oil and mud wrestling match. It would put a real dent in my pesto production but it would also heighten my credentials as a wild and crazy guy. It’s a tough call.

Wild and crazy doesn’t have the appeal that it used to because the world has cornered the market on wild and crazy and the world doesn’t possess the collective élan to do it with the necessary je ne sais quoi. The world’s idea of wild and crazy is much less fun than mine. It’s more Hellraiser oriented with Pinhead as the master of ceremony. Why is that do you think? Are we essentially sadists and masochists down deep? Do we prefer swimming in sewers without scuba gear?

If life is the sum total of all of us then it can be said that what we get is the sum total of all of us. If you’re rich and powerful than you probably don’t notice what’s going on from behind the walls of your private world. Regardless of what’s happening to the economy your scene isn’t altered that much and you can always depend on topping up the tank again when the need is upon you. As someone once said, “You’ll never go broke underestimating the taste of the general public. “ Those aren’t the exact words but the meaning is the same.

I guess my problem is that I always want to fix things. It seems to me that things could be a lot better than they are. In fact, I’m sure of it. I wonder why it has to be the way it is and that always causes me to look more closely at the people involved. I’ve found you can get a pretty clear idea of how the world comes to be the way it is by watching the people you run into. I’ve noticed that people lie and steal in all kinds of ways and that a lot of the time they aren’t even aware of it. When I hire a vendor, whether it is here or on Maui where I used to live or anywhere that I’ve been, I notice that they don’t show up when they say they will more than half the time. I notice that they try to get more than was agreed on… often. I notice that they don’t do what they say they were going to do either.

I listen to people when they are talking to me. I watch them. This is a dying art. It’s such a dying art that people take it for granted that you aren’t listening to them or watching them. That can be very revealing. I once heard that listening is not just waiting for your turn to speak. Well… people didn’t get the way they are all by themselves. They had help. I’ve turned this thing over in my mind for some time, looking at it from all of the angles and it seems like the world in which we live has been designed for the purpose of corrupting the inhabitants. People want the power to exercise their will and that invariably leads to pursuing power over others. And, as we have heard, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

This is a basic life drive. You see it in the animal kingdom but they sort it out a little better than we do. It’s become an obvious truth to me that it’s not the people running the sewers that are responsible for all of the shit. That shit is the sum effluvia of all of us. As long as we think shit and talk shit and do shit we are going to have a whole lot of shit. Some of it is pretty shit and some of it is ugly shit but it’s all shit. Right now, somebody is thinking, “Man, that’s a grim view of the situation.” No shit.

Okay… so some of you want to put wrapping paper and ribbons on the shit and some of you prefer shit tartare. Some of you like to gold plate it and for some of you it’s marine varnish cause you like the natural look. Some of you want to romance it and some of you just want to screw it but it’s the same thing colored and coiffed according to taste and according to the capacity and direction of your imagination.

There are people who object to the use of the word ‘shit’ but I think it’s a fantastic word. These people are the ones who get out of the shower to take a piss. ‘Piss’ is another word some people object to. It’s funny because these are the same people who think nothing of making money off of the deaths of people in distant lands or poisoning their fellows with whatever new form of shit they come up with for the marketplace. These are the cultured folk who don’t like rough talk and using the wrong fork.

I can understand the motive force behind the alchemists who wanted to turn shit into gold. It was Paracelsus who displayed ‘the first matter’ for the right fork people of his time. He lifted the top off of a silver chafing dish and there was the real McCoy in all its resplendent glory. I’ve wondered on occasion if it was his own but I don’t suppose I will ever know.

Turning shit into gold is an interesting concept and something worthy of investigation but it would probably be a good idea to get a fix on what is real gold and what is not. See, I think what everyone calls gold is the real Fool’s Gold and a commodity that will definitely land you in the shit sooner or later. I’ve never understood the attraction for gold, or diamonds for that matter. I don’t own either and wouldn’t consider any lasting engagement with a woman who did.

Yes… as we approach this holiday season it is the best of times to see what kind of shit we are in. Why we are in shit and not in clover can be understood in the simplest of terms and that term(s) is self interest. It’s ironic that this is the season of giving. It’s more than passing strange too that there is a season of giving. What are the other seasons? Are they seasons of not giving… …seasons of taking? …seasons of maybe giving and maybe not giving?

It’s true that there’s a hardcore contingent of materialistic psychopaths that manipulate you and shape the world in which you live… with your help …but they can’t make you buy their shit and they can’t make you believe in the glamour and attraction of their world where you are not presently a member. You do that. You like the shine on the shitmobile and you are the one who wants the shit bling and shit chateau of emptiness that sits in the center of your crucified heart and gets all lit up from the blood that you shed for shit.

Not everyone is panicked or unhappy or afraid. People have found solace and peace of mind. Those for whom wisdom is the preeminent goal will find some measure of tranquility in the midst. It’s another one of those mysterious laws of nature, just like the one that makes your paddles disappear when you’re up shit creek. There’s no real injustice. We did it to ourselves, one way or another.

Right Thru My Heart

Original source: http://smokingmirrors.blogspot.com/2008/12/welcome-to-cloaca-maximus-and-gowanus.html

Smoking Mirrors looks at much of what the mainstream media ignores. While in Profiles in Evil, he seeks to expose those shrouded in darkness to nature’s most powerful disinfectant, light.