28 November 2016

Same old thoughts: just passing time

Dear diary,

I wish that earthlings could exist without having to build a career… or build a family. I thought machines were built so that humankind would never have to build anything again. And machines can build machines: there’s your family for you. (Are humans machines?) Personally I’d like the career of “leaning and loafing at my ease observing…” Enough of value has come from such (in)activity that I can’t see why it’s not more widely pursued.

But there’s the problem of money. If robots can invent robots, why can’t money kill itself? I’ve heard fathers say to their children: I brought you into this world and I can just as easily take you out of it. Since mortal man made up the concept of money, it follows that…

Poets have pointed towards a greater possible harmonization than the one we now suffer. Most civilized systems, however, appear to be no more than complicated ways of re-achieving the caveman system, the rule of the jungle: might makes right. But instead of the biggest brute bullying the block, it’s the clever twerps that have won this era: the myopic number-crunchers. Even the opposite of the big bully: the revenge of the nerds.

Or maybe I’m wrong about this: maybe it’s the gamblers who’ve won… or the conmen… and these people have no defining physique: they come in all shapes and sizes.

But, in a certain sense, it’s the same old big brute bully on top; because everything comes down to: Who has the best and baddest weapons?

This morning I woke and walked to my bookshelf and opened The Broken Tower – Paul Mariani’s biography of Hart Crane – because certain passages were on my mind.

Near midnight, Harry Crosby had accompanied Peggy Robson over to Pineapple Street to see a bootlegger about refurbishing Crane’s dwindling gin supply.

This isn’t the part that I was intending to emphasize, but I paused here because it made me lament all the awful effects of the USA’s prohibition of alcohol; and I’m also saddened to think how, now, the same country echoes its callous past in its anti-cannabis attitude.

She would remember Crosby expatiating eloquently and drunkenly on love and death, of how love could only be fully realized with one’s own death.

I wish I could’ve heard these ideas when they were first “expatiated.” As it is, I sense the power of that last clause but not its persuasion.

Skipping to Mariani’s description of the next evening, after Crosby failed to meet some friends and family at a restaurant, Harry Mortimer went to look for him at his studio:

…finding the door locked, he called the superintendent, who then forced the door open. Inside, they’d found Crosby and a young woman, Josephine Rotch, in his arms, lying in bed. Both were fully clothed and a blanket had been drawn up to their shoulders. Each had been shot through the temple with a .25 Belgian automatic, which was still in Crosby’s hand.

I don’t know much else about Harry besides this fact of his demise. He was 31 years old. Jesus of Nazareth was 33, rumor has it. If a Crosby cult ever springs up and wants to pattern their own necklace after the popular Christian accessory, they might swap the crucifix for a small model of a bed with two blanketed sleepers.

I’m only writing this to assuage my anxiety while I wait. (Wait for what? Godot? Guffman?) I get anxious about everything, and unless I assign myself some task to botch, I fear I’ll fall into the abuse of alcohol. One reason that we daydreamers should avoid alcohol abuse (or the abuse of all other substances, including corn and religion) is that the act of exploitation necessitates abstinence — I mean, if you want to solve it. So unless you’re willing to commit to your addiction after the fashion of the gospel of Crosby, I suggest writing weblogs.

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