My mind is muddled. I cannot think clearly and so I am spending time watching The Wireinstead of thinking too hard on what is real. It works but it doesn’t because the Baltimore of fiction is all too real a depiction of the underbelly that is of overt consequence for the way life is lived in this America that our ancestors created. We could have done better with what we were given but we have given in to a modernity that is unhealthy, inhumane, and never wise, never wise unless clever forms of deceit are counted wisdom. And, really, that is our society, our wise those who make the heist appear as public service, who do what they have to get with the power and then use the power to get more of it. The Wireshows both the legal and illegal forms of clawing, both unprincipled, both deadly in consequence for those who have no power to change the rules of the game, who get along by accepting things as they are, ducking and hiding if they can when the bullets, real and metaphorical, fly, lawfully and unlawfully.
I imagine there are better ways to escape than to indulge The Wire, better fictions around that do not try to heighten the sting of the current reality but for me these are so insubstantial as to be meaningless. I have tried comedies, but they have no calories, nothing to burn to keep things sane. The best I do is maybe a western or something science fiction but then, these too often carry reference to the reality I think I want to escape. I cannot get away from the greed and the disregard for life as something enough worth living that depriving another of it is truly an impossible sin. Love stories compassionate moments rarely convey much that my mind can understand to be compassion. Always the angle and rarely whatever it is that really gets to what is of heart.
I do now sense profound desolation and feel myself to be a being too free and alien to the world in which I live to any longer think in terms of substance and meaningful movement. I float above it, maybe below it, only occasionally now bumped by something that makes sense, to which I can cling for a moment for the sake of getting a better reading. I do not read well anymore. I cannot get through the distortion and my suspicion of distortion causes me to linger too long for pleasure, for any kind of satisfaction on any single element long enough to get a hold, to grasp. I am wandering aimlessly looking for anchors that, for the sake of some sanity, I have to make up as I go along.
I would like to find the grain of hope, something large enough and of good enough nutrient to fuel a campaign of some kind, of the kind that comes from hope that something meaningful can be achieved. I do have an ephemeral repository of sustenance that is in those experiences I have had where human genius has been used to good ends, to create what is good for the world, so good as to rattle the mind and remind of capacities, the human capacities that allow for the shaping and reshaping of reality, in music, in art, in science, in politics and philosophies, in invention and the production of things that work. I can dwell on symphonies or electricity or, occasionally, a poet, and inventor, or a song. Delight is possible but it too momentary amidst the ongoing that is hardly at all pleasant.
If I have a quest left in me, it is for more delight—that bright kid face lit by a bee just above a flower—and less unpleasant. But it has to be real, the scale untipped for the sake of delusion. The better cannot be won through self-deceit.
Well, if you are a humanist like me, the future is looking mighty grim. Environmental reports suggest that we are toast. The stories I tell myself in response to this are two:
1. Mitch McConnell and his ilk are going down too. 2. Life and the Universe are much bigger than we earthlings. I was born of the dust of the Big Bang and so to there I will return.
Pessimistic these days translates in realist especially if you are a humanist.