Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Good times flow gently.

The friends are over. They’ve got dope lined up and the booze is pouring. The hot tub beckons with succulent babes ready for hot aktion.
But what is that rumbling in the background...?
You see, pungeonings can happen at any moment. Out of the blue. When you least expect it.
That’s why you need SARC. Orville’s Self-Administered Reality Check can help you with Situational Assessment, PsyOps Detection and Rhetorical Metastasis. It’s proactive and doable. Easy to use with immediate results.

SARC. Find it before you find yourself in over your head.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Aktion Fünf: Kultural Kuru


Johnny Gutts is on a tear:

“Hark! Jobbernowls and ye gormless, lend me thine ears! Hear out the spumid stultiloquence of the local Scribe of That Which Is Hip. Hent thee upon his bombastry, where he swasiviously divulges all that is Cool. Mandatory irony: Check. Childhood TV references: Check. Faux-Prole fashions: Check. The credenda you need for the gulpins to heed! The nupson and ragabash have not the sense to swallow your suppalpations, for they already walk your talk with thelematic precision. And your pogonophilic womenfolk already swoon o’er your sleathy earthiness, for your watered-down, bletcherous bohemianism they find ludibund if not novel, and quite for the sake of itself...”
Okay, okay, Johnny, we hear you. Here, have a relaxant.
He does seem to bring up some good points, though.

Some say excessive nostalgia is a symptom of cultural decline. Could it in some way instead be the cause?
Currently, Nostalgic Turnaround curves are flattening (NT -- The amount of time expired before nostalgic tendencies set in) and society is running out of things to be sentimental about. We see an increase in the phenomenon known as Futro (the way the future was supposed to have been -- think jetpacks and bubblecars), but Futro is merely a mirthful variant of Retro.
With non-original source material (rendered cultural by-product) being scarfed and regurged at increasing rates, perhaps society is at risk of some kind of Meta-Taint.
As we know, Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (Mad Cow Disease, kuru, et al.) spreads when livestock are fed the processed remains of same-species livestock. Perhaps there is a cultural cognate of this malady?

Aetiological agents identified thus far by Psyopsy range from the longest of scarves down to the tiniest of soulpatches. But these quantised agents are not the problem in and of themselves. The concern is the propagation and re-rendering of these memes to the point where they become socio-degenerative Cultural Prions (similar to Infotoxins).
Society once had the luxury to nostalgically laugh at past memes and fashions that barely had a 20-year shelf life.
In the ‘70’s, we said, “Look how silly we looked back in the ‘50’s.”
In the ‘90’s, we said, “Look how crazy we looked back in the ‘70’s.”
Today, thanks to prionic memes, we can simply glance about and say, “Look how stupid we look now.”

Culture Vultures have always been with us, but now we have Cultural Cannibalism -- hipsters who binge on the art and music of others yet don’t do the proverbial homework, resulting in massive amounts of content-less effluvia. There’s a reason why those Man-Purses are so big -- they’re colostomy bags.

Solution? In today’s hand-wringing victim culture, legal recourse is a dead end. Old-fashioned ridicule is a great disinfectant for any cultural contaminant, though. Better yet is a shunning indifference. That way, when you’re forced to acknowledge them you can just look at them, shake your head, and say, “Like you matter.”
Give it a go, Johnny -- much easier on the blood pressure.

Monday, July 07, 2008

L'escalier des mémoires


“That house... it used to be brown. Who was it that had lived there? Was it Cathy? And the next house... an artist lived there. Guy or chick? Can’t remember...”
A stroll down Browar Street on a broiling July day elicits memories that rival even Ned Merrill’s fever dreams.
“...And that white one at the top of the hill, Omar lived there. There was this party there one time...”
The sun beat down on cracked asphalt. Crepe Myrtles swayed with the hot breeze.
“That’s Chatham’s house behind those hedges... Had a gathering on that porch after the big walkout at work... Norma invited me...”
The afternoon, in its lambent haze, had taken on odd tints and highlights. Rust tones here, green notes there. The burning sky a seething shade of lavender, as if that colour could choose its mood.
Browar Street ended at the bottom of the hill where Pauskil Lane crossed it.
“Hey, there’s Mullins’ Mill... can’t barely see it behind the tall weeds and sawgrass. Man, what a place. Art shows, bands... all in that big ol’ building...”
Images drift from the brain’s attic.

A summer night, a huge old brick mill lit from within.
The procession enters through imposing double doors. The orchestra members stride two-by-two, male and female, arm-in-arm through the cavernous interior. As they approach the stage they pass a vivisection table in the center of the great room. Its stainless steel gleams in the candlelight. It is nicknamed “The Monkey Table.” There is also a shopping buggy, some chickens and an assortment of candelabras.
The musicians ascend the stairs to a stage shrouded by a massive black curtain. Behind it lay their instruments, and behind it they will remain and play for the duration of the show. The real show is out there on the floor.
The image fades.
“Huh. Never did find out what the actual show was out there on the other side of the curtain...”
A man is hanging a For Sale sign up on the gate to the mill. He turns and nods.
“I recognise that guy -- what was his name..?”
Strolling up Pauskil Lane, thunder murmurs from the west.
“That house there... I’ve been in there. Who lived there?”
Definitely a day of fidgeting for names.
The breeze grows, as does the thunder. The street is a narrow but shady one. One side has modest homes; the other, brush and foliage. Amidst the green, there is a set of brick steps, leading up to... nothing. Nothing but vegetation, someone’s home no longer there. Nature taking back what once was hers.
“I do remember those steps -- they led up to nothing...”
What the stairs lead to may as well be a stage shrouded by a massive green curtain. Behind it lay memories of someone else, and behind it they shall remain.
The real show is out here “on the floor” -- in the present, if you will. If there is something at all to be remembered, should it not be this?