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The ever-bright hole in the door December 17, 2011

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
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“Well, I’m all for leaving and that being done,
I’ve put in a request to take up my turn
in that forsaken paradise that calls itself “Hell”
where no-one has nothing and nothing is- well-meaning fool,
pick up thy bed and rise up from your gloom smiling.
Give me your hate and do as the loving heathen do.”
— Ian Anderson, from “The End” in A Passion Play

Are you OK? a friend asked by email after a few of my last blog posts. You sound depressed.

Well, the country is being overrun by the very sort of people last century’s Greatest Generation fought to save the world from. The arctic ice sheet is collapsing and you live about two feet above sea level. The world seems poised for apocalypse on a scale only the Christianist fascist in the check-out line next to you at Rouse’s can fully imagine. Your job is being sent overseas (OK, Richmond, VA but to me its about the same thing) or you are being replaced with a lower-wage import from Asia, and you have no immediate prospects in the middle of what the media have wisely decided not to call the Second Great Depression lest people start jumping from windows. My personal life? Don’t ask.

Fine thanks. And you?

Actually, I try not to dwell on all the above too often.I had to give up watching the national “news” of the he said/she said and talking heard variety years ago. I tend to get angry rather than depressed and that slow-motion-movie-helicopter sound in my ears tells me I should remember to check my blood pressure next time I’m in the drug store. The world is full of angry people and I would rather not be one of them. To surrender to anger is to not merely peer into the abyss but to jump in feet first, and whether your benchmark of evil is Ground Zero or Sabra and Shatila I have no use for anyone’s merciful god whose holy icon is a rifle. You can stick your head in a bottle of pills, or maybe just a bottle. Or you can watch the Emmys or Housewives.

I’m going to write, and not about any of the above. I was going to post about the destruction of an entire eco-system and indigenous culture to build a dam in Brazil, but decided against it. If you care about the news, you probably saw it. No need for me to repost the picture of the crying chief of the impacted people. There are two threads to this blog, a Narrative that is–to borrow Tim O’Brien’s clever subtitle for the highly autobiographical The Things They Carried, A Fiction–and another to catalog the city that will likely join Atlantis beneath the waves in a few generations. The last thought is enough depressing a concern to last a lifetime, but the writing of the city is also the source of great satisfaction and a worthy way to spend one’s time.

It’s a wonderful life.

Comments»

1. Glenn Meche - December 17, 2011

I think I know the place you’re in. I long ago retreated to my room to shut out the noise and try to listen to the words. I think of you often and hope for the best.

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2. MZell - December 19, 2011

Sparklehorse/Linkous might not be the best choice for this post, considering. Great video, though. Very Guy Maddin-esque.

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Mark Folse - December 20, 2011

I didn’t know Linkous’ history until you pulled it up, but he’s not the first suicidal artist I am enamored of. The ties between creativity and certain forms of mental disorder including (if not especially) depression are well documented.

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MZell - December 20, 2011

True, but if the next video you pick is a song by Vic Chesnutt, I’m going to be quite concerned.

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Mark Folse - December 20, 2011

How about Nirvana’s Lithium? Or No Rain by Blind Melon? Something from The Dark Rider? LOL

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MZell - December 20, 2011

Since you’re listing, “Between the Bars” by Elliot Smith is a good one too.

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3. Mzell - December 21, 2011

And…really anything by the best unknown songwriter in this country, Mark Eitzel. He’s fairly miserable, but conveys it so well, that the beauty is what one is left with.

“White Rosary”–“And now I walk careful and quiet wherever I go.”
“Blue and Grey Shirt”–“I’m tired of being the spokesman for every tired thing.”
“Johnny Mathis’ Feet:–“Why do you say everything as if you were a thief?, Like what you stole has no value,, And like what you preach is far from belief?”

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