Welcome to Cloaca Maximus and the Gowanus Canal
Smoking Mirrors Ė December 19, 2008
Iím writing this, five days (it ended this evening on the eighth day) into the loss of my internet service. I donít know how long it will take to get it restored. Down here where I am, such things are a mystery. I donít think thereís 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.
Itís been occurring to me that I donít really care when it goes back on and thatís a very good thing. Itís 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 donít 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.
Iíve been harvesting my olive trees and it looks like Iím going to have what amounts to about two fifty gallon oil drums. Thatís a lot of oil and as much as it has been raining lately, I could invite a few of Bruce Willisís stripper friends and a couple of Eddie Murphyís 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. Itís a tough call.
Wild and crazy doesnít have the appeal that it used to because the world has cornered the market on wild and crazy and the world doesnít possess the collective ťlan to do it with the necessary je ne sais quoi. The worldís idea of wild and crazy is much less fun than mine. Itís 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 youíre rich and powerful than you probably donít notice whatís going on from behind the walls of your private world. Regardless of whatís happening to the economy your scene isnít altered that much and you can always depend on topping up the tank again when the need is upon you. As someone once said, ďYouíll never go broke underestimating the taste of the general public. ď Those arenít 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, Iím 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. Iíve 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. Iíve noticed that people lie and steal in all kinds of ways and that a lot of the time they arenít even aware of it. When I hire a vendor, whether it is here or on Maui where I used to live or anywhere that Iíve been, I notice that they donít show up when they say they will more than half the time. I notice that they try to get more than was agreed onÖ often. I notice that they donít 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. Itís such a dying art that people take it for granted that you arenít 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. WellÖ people didnít get the way they are all by themselves. They had help. Iíve 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, ďpower corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.Ē
This is a basic life drive. You see it in the animal kingdom but they sort it out a little better than we do. Itís become an obvious truth to me that itís 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 itís all shit. Right now, somebody is thinking, ďMan, thatís a grim view of the situation.Ē No shit.
OkayÖ 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 itís 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 itís 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 Ďshití but I think itís a fantastic word. These people are the ones who get out of the shower to take a piss. ĎPissí is another word some people object to. Itís 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 donít 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 Ďthe first matterí 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. Iíve wondered on occasion if it was his own but I donít 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 Foolís Gold and a commodity that will definitely land you in the shit sooner or later. Iíve never understood the attraction for gold, or diamonds for that matter. I donít own either and wouldnít consider any lasting engagement with a woman who did.
YesÖ 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. Itís ironic that this is the season of giving. Itís more than passing strange too that there is a season of giving. What are the other seasons? Are they seasons of not givingÖ Öseasons of taking? Öseasons of maybe giving and maybe not giving?
Itís true that thereís a hardcore contingent of materialistic psychopaths that manipulate you and shape the world in which you liveÖ with your help Öbut they canít make you buy their shit and they canít 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. Itís another one of those mysterious laws of nature, just like the one that makes your paddles disappear when youíre up shit creek. Thereís 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
Last updated 21/12/2008