Sunday Stories: Gravity’s Rainbow (last)
Bad things come to an end as well. This was a long haul. It certainly had its moments. There was enough raw imagination in it to permit being endlessly diluted to sub-homeopathic doses and still provide just about enough inspiration to an uninspired screenwriter to come up with a TV series which is not entirely Lost as far as entertainment value is concerned.
But all in all it required too much perseverance and provided too little ongoing incentive. That not only might be but most probably was fully intended. Still, the ending definitely pushed it too far. It looked like a first time marathon runner who has overdressed and staggers – dehydrated – to what he takes to be the finish but actually falls a significant ‘somewhat’ short of it.
Absent a clue, I’ll remember Pökler.
Let’s nevertheless persist: “You’re stuck with that stratosphere stuff and rationalize its dullness away by calling it ‘enlightenment’.” And: “For every They there ought to be a We.” Little bits and pieces. “He is the only kind of man who puts in very little work and makes big things happen, all over the world.” He being I. Not that anyone notices but if they would notice they would have expectations and expectations would mean big work. Big work means small things, in one little place in the world. “A former self is a fool, an insufferable ass, but he’s still human, you’d no more turn him out than you’d turn out any other kind of cripple, would you?”, is what a future self may say thereby invalidating the future self to be treated with the same clemency that is stated but not intended.
Too difficult? I suppose so.
How-dy neighbor, how-dy pard!
Ain’t it lone-ly, say ain’t it hard,
Passin’ by so silent, day-after-day, with-out even
a smile-or, a friendly word to say? Oh let me
Tell ya buddy, tell ya ace,
Things’re fallin’, on their face –
Maybe we should stick together part o’ the way, and
Skies’ll be bright-er some day!
Now ev’rybody –
Everybody, you wish. Anybody would already be something. No, in this all alone. Absorbing others and being absorbed, but without mutually acknowledged contact. No we but the we of common goals under which we can be subsumed. No we that creates together. All alone. “Maybe there is a Machine to take us away, take us completely, suck us out through the electrodes out of the skull ‘n into the Machine and live there with all of the other souls it’s got stored there.”
Take us away,
Take us away!
Or not. “But ever since it became impossible to die for death, we have had a secular version – yours. Die to help History grow to its predestined shape. Die knowing your act will bring a good end a bit closer. Revolutionary suicide, fine.” Both the alpha and the omega are a problem, not only if alpha and omega come together but as well when only alpha and when only omega. Modernist utopia is still undefeated. Despite decades of post-modernism it still comes back and still comes back with its strong identities & non-negotiable minima: this way or the moral highway. Everybody who’s Un PoCo PoMo spits on it and that makes for only a little bit of spit because the majority is always with those who shout and or convinced and look like John Wayne or Jeanne d’Arc or … “Gottfried kneels at his feet, wearing the dog collar. Both are in army clothes. It’s a long time since either of them dressed as a woman. It is important tonight that they both be men.”
Or Blicero. “Why will the Structure allow every other kind of sexual behavior but that one? Because submission and dominance are resources it needs for its very survival.” All brethren equal? “The true sin was yours: to interdict that union. To draw that line. To keep us worse than enemies, who are after all caught in the same fields of shit – to keep us strangers.”
Because in the end what we need is to be kept real (and hence not to submit to the unreal). Just you and him and her and me, alike enough to be painful to our pride. All wanting to eat and shit and, yes, fuck and shoot (but not with real bullets, with lasers that make our armor go ‘beep’ so we know we can’t shoot for a couple of minutes until our life is re-established and we’re good to go again and make somebody else go ‘beep’ allowing us to cheer but not too hard because we need to be going ‘beep’ as little as possible because we want to win, not too vehemently, not to the extent of wanting others to lose or something but just because it is fun).
800 words. That calls for an ending:
“Yes, well, he’s an ex-scientist now, one who’ll never get Into It far enough to start talking about God, apple-cheeked lovable white-haired eccentric gabbing from the vantage of his Laureate – no he’ll be left only with Cause and Effect, and the rest of his sterile armamentarium … his mineral corridors do not shine.”
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