Monday, October 26, 2009

Talk about talk

I wake up and turn it on. Talk about talk, news about news. Oh great. Food not to eat, but prepared in response to other food. Granola as a running commentary on Cheerios. Theories about theories, art about art. You know, the painting in the painting, the splotch in the splotch, the daub in the daub. Meta-talk, meta-food, meta-theory, meta-art. The mirror in the mirror. Critics gone wild. Thumb-prints on an iPhone. This is what you wake up to. Nothin but consumer reports. Who's buyin this shite?

Some feckless commentator says, "Perception. That's what we're dealing with here. It makes no difference what we think. It's what we think they think that's important." Oh really? I said to myself, how long have we been at war?

There are no metaphysicians in foxholes, only soldiers scared witless. Take my old man the vet. After failing to build a better mousetrap, he dug himself a foxhole instead. Into which he burrowed for the last decade of his life. Even though, by then, he could no longer hold a gun or obey orders. He couldn't even hold his water. He played with his food and spent his mornings on the pot. In the end, his generation had no use for theories.

"It's a dog eat dog world out there," he said, "and you haven't got a leg to stand on."

He claimed he had things he had to get off his chest but he never said what they were. In the evenings he watched bondage videos. Staring pop-eyed at people in a gray industrial room somewhere self-consciously snapping metal clips onto each other's genitals. Sitting in his arm-chair stock still. This kind of porn wasn't available when he was in the army. Now it's everywhere. Meta-porn.

He had an alarm that would go off reminding him to take another pill but medication made no difference -- his outbursts and his rashes got worse. "Look at this," he said, holding a piece of bloody skin between his thumb and forefinger. "I'm coming apart at the seams."

I don't want talk about talk. I don't want news about news. I don't want effin semiotics. I want this war to be over.

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