Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, Love Luco

Good day to you or good night - I will not assume to know when you are reading this. Today, as I write, it is Thanksgiving day. Thanksgiving: the quintessentially American holiday; we over-eat and then eat more (and note that much of what we eat has been brutalized in ways "Consider the Lobster" does not brush against lightly with even the barest of fingertips), and then we stay up late to stand in lines inside our tents (and I do not know about you, but I am struck by the visual parallel between the OWS movement and the lines of people waiting for the doors of the mall to open like Abraham waiting for god to stay his hand); we wait inside our tents so that we can purchase things we do not need and will not appreciate (and, of course, most of these goods are produced by people who we consume in similar ways to the turkeys). 

I say we, but I mean you.

What I mean to say is, even if I wanted to do these things (I am not ready to speculate on what various joys and despairs might take over me as I walked down aisle after aisle of electronics, clothing, toys, and home goods), I can not. The prison guard a) will not let me out of this prison and b) does not eat meat.

She does not eat meat?

What is this? "Quorn Turk'y Roast?" I will say only this: here is one food that I do not necessarily covet. Globular fake meat. Yum. And I would like to note that this fake meat is not vegan, so does this indicate that she cares less for cows and chickens? The turkey is to be spared, but, hey! Cows and chickens are jerks? (On a related note, abuses at a factory chicken egg producer have been noted in recent press. Here is an article: ABC News on chicken abuse)

I am speaking rather tongue in cheek, in case you could not tell, and I am not really one to speak here. I love meat. I would eat copious amounts of it if the prison guard would let me. I simply do not like the idea of avoiding confrontation with reality.

Apologies for my digression.Please note that I do not mean to suggest these problems are your fault or even the prison guard's fault (although let not this statement indicate her innocence in other affairs!), but I do believe we as living creatures must face difficult truths.

In an essay titled "Some Proximity to Darkness," from David Griffith's book A Good War is Hard to Find: The Art of Violence in America he writes: "Pain destroys language, such that the person is negated and the world surrounding them is slowly 'unmade,' discounted. If we think of the photos and images of the violated and tortured [he is speaking specifically of the Abu Ghraib photographs here, but his ideas can be applied to images like these in general] in this way, as memorializing the negation of humanity and the incremental undoing of the world, then we are closer to understanding the stakes of bearing witness. There is no closure when we look away, only unremitting pain and anguish" (83). 

So let us look at the tradition we celebrate and how we celebrate it. Let us remember the genocide that shaped our past and continues to shape us today. Let us look at what we eat with an unflinching honesty. Let us work to understand the world in which we live; the power we allow corporations and the corrupt to have over us. Let us grapple with the OWS movement and the ways in which it has been "dealt with" by the police and the government. Let us, as we stand in line or huddle in our tents, acknowledge the privileges we are  granted based on race, ethnicity, sex, location, species. 

And let us try to begin to understand the suffering of the poorest who toil and become ill and love each other and fight and die and who create the goods we are encouraged to buy tonight and tomorrow.

I am not saying that I have an answer or a plan of action. I am a cat. Living my own imprisoned life is, for me, an already arduous task.

And I know the same is true for you. You have a family. Work. Responsibilities. It is more likely than not that very many people depend upon you. 

But we should not allow our focus to remain so steadily pointed to our own lives. We need to look up and around us and see what is happening in our world. We need to look up even if only for a moment.

Even if only to immediately then drop our faces in shame and despair.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Slippy Loves Emma

Hello to you! I think you probably have been missing me because I haven't said anything to you for like some long time and so I asked Luco could I please please write a blog and he said "If that is what it will take to achieve a moment of solitude, then yes, dog, fine." I wrote what he said verbatim because first he told me the word verbatim and second he said he hates it when I misrepresent him. I know what a miss is and what a present is but I can't think of them together. Again?

So okay! I wanted to tell you about someone who's my special adorable doggy friend who has a name that's called Emma!

I don't get alienated (which is what Luco says which I think means like feeling like an extraterrestrial) but sometimes if maybe I start to feel sad then I think about Emma and everything is better like if Mary gave me some butter covered pieces of steak or like a cheese plate but with no grapes though because apparently grapes would kill me so dead I'd never want to go on a walk again - at least I think that's death but because only I can't think of anything worse than no walking and not eating steak pieces covered in butter.

This is us after we wrestled. We were tired and panting and my tongue was always all the way out of my mouth my teeth tasted like Emma's fur and her spit because I love her so much.

She is if you think about something that makes you happy then that's what she is. She is probably like if you got to eat ham every day each time in the morning.

It looks like we're fighting and I'm really fierce at fighting something like if you saw a bull charging at you in the face that's probably how Emma felt but we're only play fighting so it's not real fierce but Emma knows that because she understands me.

I think Luco needs to have an Emma someone like her who you can look at their eyes and maybe they wink or they don't wink but it's like they did wink and when I look at Emma she's winking at me because we get each other and we support each other I think through thick and thin but that hasn't been tested yet like it's not a verified theory but I think it would come true even if I didn't wish it on a star even if it wasn't the first star in the evening if I did wish it. We already have each other like glitter in glue on a piece of paper.

Here it looks like I'm eating her but I'm not but her throat is delicious and great. Maybe Luco should also hang from her throat like this and swing and feel free and wild like a wild animal which is really what we all are if you think about it. I told Luco that and he said I was acting like a philosopher which is someone who philosophizes which means they think a lot about deep and interesting subjects such as hanging from Emma's neck and not feeling like an alien and not feeling alone.

Haha! Philosophy is great just like a pizza or like an Emma!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Luco & Melancholia

Did you see Lars von Trier's movie Antichrist? If not, and if you have a strong constitution, it is a worthy endeavor to view this film. However, it is, well, bleak (and that is a determination of "bleak" coming from me). Some critics have accused von Trier of being misogynistic due to aspects of plot and characterization in Antichrist. After viewing it, I had to agree. Well, and I mean, did you see Dogville? Breaking the Waves? Women do not often fare well in von Trier films. They do not often thrive.

As a feline feminist (it is my hope that the preciousness of that title does not take away from the seriousness of what I am about to say), I have struggled with my own ambivalence regarding von Trier; I have both deeply loved and deeply hated his work. Melanchola, his new movie, pushed me up on the gradient nearer "love."

Melancholia is also centered around women, but it leaves me with a sense of von Trier's delicate misanthropy (as opposed to misogyny - what I mean is, at least in Melancholia both women and men act badly and are punished). That is to say, he seems to be in possession of a hatred of humanity (and really all life) that also acknowledges moments of tenderness. "I hate you so much sometimes" will be followed by a scene of sisters holding hands.

I do not know how familiar you are with this movie, but it is at its heart an end-of-the-world film. It is humorous to me because the prison guard and her husband have been watching the Nova series "The Fabric of the Cosmos." This series is about space and time and spacetime and the universe. In short, it makes a happy bedfellow to Melancholia.

Why, you ask, do I lay them down together in the same queen sized bed, gently tucking in a feather comforter around them before climbing up and sleeping in between their legs?

Because both deal with possibilities. Grapple with what it means to be alive. The skewed ways in which we see ourselves; the skewed ways we see the world around us.

The episode of "The Fabric of the Cosmos" we watched last night was called "The Illusion of Time." The host, Brian Greene, posits that theoretically all time exists at once - there is no real separation between past, present, and future; they all happen concurrently. We see life like an "arrow of time" - as progressing forever forward - perhaps due to the nature of entropy. We see ourselves and our world moving always from order to disorder.

And Greene suggests time travel possible. This fills me with an immeasurable amount of wonder, but I will save my ode to time travel for another entry (allow me, quickly, to note that I believe time travel to be one of the most romantic and intriguing ideas ever).

This idea of time fits into the movie Melancholia in many ways, the most relevant of which seems to me to be the way we perceive time as we experience trauma.

The world seems to slow. We become aware of everything around us. The click of the air conditioner, the  tapping of a coworker's keyboard, the dim music suddenly discernible as a car tumbles by our street.

And Melancholia seems to suggest that different people deal with death/disaster/disappointment (if you'll excuse the alliteration), in different ways, some better equipped to cope with loss than others. It even seems to argue that a depressed person is best fit to contend with tragedy. A depressed person will not lie to herself. She understands life inherently meaningless. 

She already wishes herself erased. Dreams expanses of void.

What does it mean for me that Lars von Trier arguably proves with his movie that the depressed creature is the best suited to life and to death?

It means I am the champion, my friend.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mingus Hates Music

Luco is busy reading toady. He said he wants to get through all of 100 Years of Solitude and I told him, "dude, you're already living that book!" Was that slight amusement I saw curving his lips, or was I making it up because, man, a creature who is never, ever amused lives a sorry existence, amirite? And for some reason I don't quite get, I don't want that for him.

So, anyway, you're stuck with me on this entry. I hope it's not ruining your day. Luco said to say whatever I want, to like talk about something important to me, so here goes.

I hate music.

No, really. I know I'm not supposed to. It's supposed to lift the soul, etc. etc. Music is otherworld. Blah blah blah. Was it Longfellow who said "music is the universal language of mankind?" Nevermind I'm not of "mankind," I'm alive and cognizant enough to count, right? As someone who could understand, if there was such a thing, a universal language?

Maybe Longfellow wouldn't think so. 

But anyway, to me music's just this totally annoying cacophony, and nothing else.

The prison guard, or MR as I call her, sits down at this organ and I shiver. I groan. I tear from the room like it's about to fill with water.

I don't know why I do this. Was it some kittenhood trauma? Perhaps just an aversion to melody and harmony? A deep set hatred for the pentatonic scale? I have more questions than answers, but I do know this: I cannot stand the sound. Not soft music, slow music, loud music, emotional music, experimental music (especially!) - no kind of music would I ever describe in the terms I hear music described.

My definition:
Music [myzoo-ick], also pronounced [crap]
1. A series of loud noises signifying impending doom.
2. Tones of horror or dread sounded to signify impending doom.
3. Works of random sounds played all together to signify impending doom.
4. A signal of impending doom.

I'm sorry. You're probably a music lover. Maybe classical, rock, hip hop, country, organ.... But to me it all sounds like that freezing moment of terror that icicles its way through my body, starting somewhere in my mouth and traveling down and through me, so that I know only I am going to die. And unlike Luco, I don't actually enjoy thinking about my own death. I'd rather think about pretty much anything else, honestly, hey, I'd even rather read 100 Years of Solitude, even though it sounds like the most depressing book ever written (which is probably why Luco's enjoying it so much - he claims it's not really that sad, but I don't believe him).

That's why, in these pictures, although perhaps I look like I'm posing (I'm told I always look like I'm posing), what I'm really doing is trying to kill this organ. If I could just break it, then MR would never be able to play it again. And perhaps I could relax!

Get some sleep. Then maybe the visions implanted in my brain could still remain....

Within the sounds of silence?