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Sunday Stories: Gravity’s Rainbow (7)

This is the time of the Great Paranoia. Where good and bad billionaires set up their factions of militant activism preparing a struggle that could lead to enough insecurity to justify a backlash that would provide security for billionaires – of both sides. “Otto is earnestly explaining his views on the Mother Conspiracy. It’s not often a sympathetic girl will listen. The Mothers get together once a year, in secret, at these giant conventions, and exchange information. Recipes, games, key phrases to use on their children. ‘What did yours use to say when she wanted to make you feel guilty?'” A whole generation, which is only now finding the truth behind the adjective ‘lost’ attached to my generation, set up to defend a status quo that will allow this generation to live past a 100 years old, past 200 years old, until a time when death is finally pronounced dead.

“Tits ‘n ass,” mutter the girls, “tits ‘n ass. That’s all we are around here.”

It was prophetical to use the detective story analogy. Everybody is (a) suspect now.Presumed innocence is a concept of the past. Original sin comes back, with a vengeance. “Wasn’t that life more decent than gangstering? A cleaner sort of friendship … less devious, anyway. … There we saw how we had to fit in … the machinery itself determined that … everything was so clear then, paranoia was all for the enemy, and never for one’s own. …” Paradise lost but nostalgia for it is retained. Nostalgia for more innocent times, where one was instructed to die – or instructed to kill – and free will was a purely academic concept applying to a very few: the billionaires of that time, also good and bad, dark and enlightened.

The yearning for ‘more innocent times’ is the problem: new ways are continuously needed to preserve the old structures. “It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted … secretly, it was being dictated instead by the needs of technology … by a conspiracy between human beings and techniques, by something that needed the energy-burst of war, (..).” A sentence that needs less ‘…’ and something like the eternal present tense to express the universality of struggle being a way to deny humanity to any being. The struggle is in vain but will continue because it is a struggle for life from something inhuman, something that cannot perceive ever to die (a structure, any structure “only understood by the ruling elite”).

“Don’t try to come back up till you’ve done what you have to do.”

Such is the motivating theme of the time of The Great Paranoia: one has to toil, one has to labor, one has to work, one has to suffer. For what? For the Mother! She has left this deep sense of responsibility in all of us such as to develop into us this deep super-anxiety to do well, to do anything but coast or surf or go with the flow. Particularly The Flow, that is: any flow, is suspect. “But he understands where he is, now. It will be possible after all, to die in obscurity, without having helped a soul: without love, despised, never trusted, never vindicated – to stay down among the Preterite, his poor honor lost, impossible to locate or to redeem.” This is why we are lost: because we were set up and set off to find something that can’t be there. Even if we realize it can’t be there we still continue to believe it has to be there; that ‘something’ ‘has’ to be there.

It ain’t true: there may well be something to be found but it does not ‘have’ to be there.

In summary (p. 555): “William must’ve been waiting for the one pig that wouldn’t die, that wouldn’t die; that would validate all the ones who’d had to, all his Gadarene swine who’d rushed into extinction like lemmings, possessed not by demons but by trust for men, which the men kept betraying … possessed by innocence they couldn’t lose … by faith in William as another variety of pig, at home with the Earth, sharing the same gift of life. …” Those men are the billionaires. “Get some business people in there to run it right, instead of having the government run everything.” All that, and more.

“… film and calculus, both pornographies of flight.” Anything but flow, everything geared towards the original Mysticism which is the mysticism of the binary: good, bad, guilty and innocent. Ugly. [Maybe that is why writers write, to be able to get away with the ugly: “Let me fuck you over as a bitch!”]

“Imagine the fellow’s plight – got so much money he don’t know what to do with it all. Don’t go screaming, ‘Give it to me!’ either. He’s given it to you, though in roundabout ways you might need a good system of search to unsnarl. Oh, has he given it to you. By way of the Bland Institution and the Bland Foundation, the man has his meathooks well into the American day-to-day since 1919.” And not only Ruper Murdoch is a Lyle Bland. Billionaires, tsh … [now I’m …’ing as well, and how would you pronounce that? Can it even be pronounced? Maybe I’m becoming a subversive after all.]

Almost done.

“For all they know, kill-the-stranger was in born in them. If any have remembered the blows, the electric shocks, the rolled-up newspapers no one read, the boots and prods, their pain is knotted in now with the Stranger, the hated.” We’re not dogs but the conditioning is still strong in us. Not strong enough though, it just taking getting familiar with strangers & that is not even necessarily to be done in a very personal way.

“We’re all going to fail,” Sir Marcus primping his curls, “but the Operation won’t.”

Which is true enough in a Sir-Marcus-defeating way. The ultimate paranoia is the paranoia of the billionaires. They will fail and each one of their failures will be one of our successes.

Bye-bye. Only one left now. Hang in there.


October 16, 2011 - Posted by | economics, Sunday Stories | ,

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