Mirage

It was bright and fun and stimulating – for most it still is, but targeted, sentient, hindsight destroys it, and replaces this sensory fulfillment with a noxious feeling of having been used and controlled. Now, I wondered what was going on now with the other participants, few of which I had been able to get to know well.

I mean it was always bright there, and was always on, and the luminosity with which it appeared and the ardor with which it persevered would catch and sustain anyone’s attention. What I mean is other places are bright and always open but do not dwell within your cerebral centerfold like this place. Those places do not dwell there because they do not provide a holistic solution to that which is universarily coveted. We may not all know what we need as humans, but it knows and adeptly provides it, but in a form that is flaccid, short-term, inconsequential, and ultimately destructive.

The others acted differently there. They behaved there like one would expect them to behave a more natural setting. There was intimacy, communion, and vast emotional expression. Strangers conversed and temporary unions were forged, but nothing birthed here would endure.

 

Because you know it is always on you begin to develop a sensory obligation to the place. Balance via the segmented life is soon lost. Here pleasure and sensation are derived quickly and without fail, and soon outweigh the value of basic, relatively pallid, yet life-sustaining endeavor. Soon being alone becomes challenging, soon so too does focus.  Moments of time removed from this place are spent preparing for the highly anticipated return, and in substance the two of you, the setting and the person, form one, and you emulate it, so in time it can mimic you. Irrelevancy has been equalized across mediums.

Sitting quietly becomes a near impossibility, and no tactic assuages the angst you harbor.

 

Moral obligations…what the fuck are those?

 

Civic duties cease to weigh, even lightly, upon the consciousness. Everything else is swathed in a patina of futility.

For them it was not an option to differentiate between the two realms, which is unfortunate because illusions tend to lose their power when they are identified as such, which is increasingly unfortunate because most things take this form.

Evading Mortality

The words, memories, work, knowledge, inconvenient discovery filled steps: are they all deemed futile upon death? From a materialistic outsiders perspective I can answer in the affirmative. All of this depends on the person of course. Here I am speaking of a situation that was close to my heart. A relational entity who was tortured internally and imprisoned externally. The sort of death that was both abrupt yet ominous.

Everything about death is confusing. To die seems like such a fucking waste of time and energy. We go through this existence and pain and moments of joy. And we labor and brood, and read; we educate ourselves learn how to love and make love and cry and mend other people’s ravaged emotions; and we dedicate ourselves to pursuits, labor to get somewhere else, and strive toward our ideals. Then come the long sleep of death, and the long comatose of those trying to interpret it. They cease to exist and all that they have done will never come close to being remembered by history, or even relatives. The complexity that is us rapidly dwindles away in to nothing, leaving behind tainted memories and contrived representations.

We die wrong because we conceive of death wrong. We conceive of death wrong because it is important that a significant fraction of people lead unintentional lives.

We have built a society that would suit the immortal.  Nothing about this topic makes sense to me, or to anyone. I think my life will be better lived if I maintain a consistent sense of mortality. Why am I hoarding all of this shit if in an hour I haphazardly cross the street and get crushed by a vehicle? Why pour over this dry, relatively useless, literature if an aneurism deems the working aspects of my brain useless in a month? Why labor at an enduringly frustrating irredeeming job if any number of circumstances collude to take me out, in say, a year. Thinking about mortality alters everything. Thinking about the looming for-certain-probability of death alters perspective without hesitation.

I think we have been sold a nebulous notion of immortality that enables us to engage in the garbage that other people don’t want to. We are provided a false sense of time, to waste time doing shit that will mean nothing when the body we used erodes in to  the ecology of permanence.

Nass Valley Story

September, 2014

North BC, Canada, this is an observation on how the land looks:

Here’s what I saw when I walked and bore the weight of water: a lone absorbing, a cyclic life, playful love, chasing, finding, dying, change. The steep cliffs ended below to a gradual river, along the side of a flood plain – the water shaped the rough bottoms flat, and left the sides, walled, untouched and jagged, grey and green with the growth, the growth different than below, growing to fall, reaching down to the plants that reached up, growing off limbs, along planes, and covering the flat bases of relief. Down was simple, observable prolific life among fast paces and a tough stalked acceptance of the fragile seeders and feeders, drinkers, all ready to move and become re-purposed in a new environment, at the will of further below, at the will of the same, any shifts in land and material, at the will of above. The water lapped against rock and tree, limbs touching other limbs, growing and gathering vertically to touch the cliff, the rocks always a part, grey on brown with red, accepting the limbs, feeding them, until the cliff crested; there the vertical angled sharply and stood to observe the expanse of life and territory’s distance, the materials would seem identical under the film, the jacket of green moss, of fallen branches, of shapes, of their base purpose on the ground. The trees stretched above sight and staggered themselves, proportionally rising as they furthered, spaced to move, access used and solved and navigated and opportuned by animals, large, weighty and brown, black, white, blue, and the small who showed up, who ran, who stayed, who remained unknown, who fed and the relationship around them all could not go unseen. Death was around the whole land. The broken branches, from which mushrooms grew. The feathers from the raven which the wolves ate. The land, unused by literate standards, alive and dripping, solid, solid below, rocks and boulders nestled heavily, shoved, holding down, packing tightly the rocks below, the stones fallen and debris within their holes, dark fear and stagnant parts of dust and light slowly moving, caught by currents and turned, sticking, finally resting. What is it that made the holes and the piles? Where does the ascent stop? The fog was thick above, it covered the tops of close trees and the bases of leigh trees above on the slope, and it wasn’t ventured into… The top could only be imagined, now. Whether bright, or thick and opaque like gravy, the air might choke with it’s thinning, the hill might burn with it’s vertical walk on the legs, the climb could run fast and satisfying with leaping or wither to a calm pleasure, it was all noticed in the seconds of being on green ground and standing above the river.

-Riley

source: http://www.47reviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/MARGIN-CALL-cast.jpg

The Death of a Dog

A brief analysis on the film, Margin Call.

To avoid getting in to the habit of reviewing films, this will not be a film review, but an observation that has been on my periphery for sometime, and was magnified by the watching of said film.

This last Tuesday, in the middle of the work day, my business partner proposed watching a film, and I easily submitted to the idea. It was one concerning the not so past Wall Street debacle surrounding mortgage backed securities. The film was quite well done, featured an impressive, well chosen, cast and drew to light a series of contemporary issues.

Jeremy Irons:  the climactic figure of a corporate power crescendo

The new Spock ( Zachary Quinto): being Spock, but in a financial setting. The new, highly intellectual, face of finance.

Kevin  Spacey: a member of the old-guard, who becomes increasingly stressed out with what is going on within his industry.

A Dog: a symbol of whatever it is that Kevin is lamenting- probably loyalty.

There are a host of other characters and actors, all of which play a cliched yet necessary role. The film is complicated by the fact that everyone present evokes sympathy. The type of men featured in this film our often portrayed as embellished caricatures of malignance, so a move away from this kind of populist sentiment allows one to examine some factors of societal decline that transcend the blaming of a proverbial boogie man for all contemporary personal and collective. Perhaps that which is present within them, exists too within the majority, but is simply being expressed on a grander scale.

Opening: Kevin Spacey is distressed about his long time companion and friend, a Dog, who is dying. Simultaneous to this, two traders are getting fired, additional culls may occur at the firm, the industry is about to meltdown, and his long-time job and career trajectory is at stake,  but Spacey is crying over the impending death of his dog. This scene draws a distinction between humanity and economics. Capitalism is not a morality, and there is a separation between the two. Since time immemorial, and certainly from the birth of the marketplace, to the advancement of capitalism, to its degradation, up until the form of economy and finance which graces us now, people went somewhere for their morality. It is not overly important where they went, what is important is that they went somehwere, and now many don’t.

Much of what has happened within contemporary economic and financial scheming is actually a series of moral shortfalls. People are disconnected from one another, there is less of an innate community perhaps, and  increased technological processes has exacerbated this situation. Francis Underwood, appealing to Aramis’s lost integrity, recalls when they sold things of value to their customers, that no decent sales person would sell a valueless product to their customer base, as this would forsake the union between the two parties, nullifying the potential for future transactions.  John Tud (Jeremy Irons), in the moment, is more concerned with the consequence of being stuck with a useless financial instrument.

Obviously, the origins of the problem is rooted not in the present but in mistakes of the past. Greed plays a role, yes, but what in history, if anything, mitigated mans penchant for acquiring more and more, despite the resonating signals of their environment. t

I am not proposing answers here. These are questions that relate to several of our current and defunct systems of commerce, education, finance, and governance. Finance and the wealthy who run it are the brunt of much anger and blame. This is only an aspect of what is wrong. Numbers and models do not have consciences, do not experience fear and joy, and do not care. Unfortunately, the people who have created them have become as clinically callous as their inventions. There is an ingredient missing from most of what we do as people.

In the end Spacey buries his dog. Alone in the veil of night he digs a whole in the grass of an upscale community. A community where he used to live, where only his ex-wife lives now. All the posturing, work, time, and dedication, and there is nothing to show for it, just a pit in the ground that will receive maybe the only true companion that he has ever known.

But what is he burying? Often dogs are thought to be a model best friend. This is probably because they don’t have the capacity to fuck you over. Dogs, in the face of hunger, abuse, and neglect, remain loyal. The man is burying loyalty, which is perhaps the missing link that evaded us only paragraphs ago. Where is loyalty generated from though? Does loyalty come from within, or from a system or structure. Is loyalty taught, is it natural, do we quash it over time, do others rob us of it, or is it simply to difficult to maintain loyal tendencies in an age such as ours?To whom do we owe loyalty? To all? To those we respect? To none?

At one point in the film, in a candid exchange between Irons and Spacey, the former states that he is simply a salesman, and some say we all are. How we sell what we sell says everything there is to say about us. If the essence of how we sell exists prior to the marketplace, then perhaps we should isolate its origins, and begin to seek other sources of blame for our current dilemma.