'i've only ever really read one poem. i, i have to admit.*
You know, that, that one poem that everyone’s read, whatsit,
Howl by Ginsberg, 'best-minds-of-my-generation-destroyed-by-madness,-starving-hysterical-naked,' , yeah, that one;'
'It's just, I identify with it so strongly.' she says,
'That poem is soo me.'
It's funny how commentary on a generation 60 odd years ago come across as timeless insights..
how we learn that true spirit of rebellion and counterculture three generations ago,
as it is taught to us by two generation ago countercounterculture academics.
but I guess, inevitably
to those half drowned pontifications inevitably decried into transcendental truth by the onward spilling ratchet of cultural recognition;
that sense of universal oneness generated by the unwashed ramblings of beat-generation hipsters dense innuendo in run on sentences running, running from their upper-lower-middle-class New York homes and their privilege of true vacant meaninglessness and despair,
to those nervous tucked in shirted clean shaven scholars swooning over the same seme drugged, melancholic bearded men profussing the deepest of opaque truths only found up the furthest reaches of their own *****.
As we push through to our lectures, the mosaic in motion of blazer wearing mac-users and mac-pac wearing blazers,
As we hysterically interpret the formatting conditions for our reports, which could hang in the balance of whether the dreams we once had will ever be actualised,
As we felt lost and found and found and lost at those park benches under the stars, where occasional strangers strolled by offering sessions and life-stories,
As we paid exorbitantly to get out of our parents homes, and into tin-can flats with broken windows, absentee landlords and cracked paint only held together by all the moss, (the empowerment that is wage slavery,) for in our youth, poverty is not an ever-present pejorative, but the rite of passage to show that we are alive,
As rituals of manhood are defined by two things and two things only; how much insomnia one can accumulate to meet insane and inane deadlines, and how much one can illuminate the walls in ***** from all the beers, spirits, cheap wines and questionable home-brews,
As the government dismantles the human-rights commission, and we nervously attend the rallies initiated by the radicals, and the man on the megaphone calls on the crowd to chant and we can only mumble and laugh nervously at ourselves,
And when the next speaker runs onto stage feeling the need to plead to this already nervous, placid mass that this is in-fact a PEACEFUL PROTEST, and that we are all true patriots and they insist everyone start singing the national anthem and we all look down and we again mumble, or pretend somehow not to hear them,
and when, in this biggest independent rally around a unified cause our generation's ever seen, we have never felt so alone ,
those earlier days,
When we'd bleach our hair; we'd poison ourselves white, in the vain mystic hope that this was just the transition period to the time when we'd get true colour into our lives,
Remember our wonder at the Eurocentric Asiatic television representations of the Abrahamic faiths, given transubstantiated holy revival by the medium of Saturday morning digital pastel pasture; when we were children staring excited and wide eyed into the Metatrons Fire of Sinai 'Random Almighty Mega Damage'; as Dante and the seraph class Tyrant-infused-Michael inevitably made battle with YHWH, -in the one True End,- as we grinded within the monolithic emerald obsidian halls, Mystical wonderment spilling forth from our reddened hollow eyes, at the beautiful unlimited expansive world contained within our console/consoling digital unit discs; conformally mapped and etched into the convex hull of our minds,
Where we were gods, doing battle with every possible creature in morphospace, filleted into overpriced cards and cartridges, for which our strategies meant so much to us though none of us really understood the game,
When we could quote verbatim every piece of dialogue in GTA2, and get concerned glances from our parents as we conjured veiled imagery of bukake-ladled innuendo which we didn't really understand until six or seven years later,
When sexuality was a special secret club our elders and the kids in the years above came across so wise for being a member of, rather than an anti-turing test; a farcical ritual where everyone tries their best to imitate the hyper-reality of MTV while hiding the nervous feelings that this whole thing was really meant for someone other than us,
When creating a whole new lexicon for our self-hood (be it artistic, ******, political or philosophical) felt like existential emancipation; a transcendental rebellion against the normalising identities and semantics of old, rather than an impenetrable circle-**** taxonomy,
When one day we'd unveil a new term in some text, and it would completely change our outlook on every corner of our lives,
Or, the next day, when we'd give up and just sit back on rolling banks, and look out at a veil of stars,
Or the next day, when we'd wonder desperate and painfully, which of the last two was the real pursuit and which was wasted time? (Or was it this day, the day spent building an illusory dialectic between them?)
Remember when we were in kindergarden, and you had to pass through the kitchen, -the adults zone,- to get to the toilet, and you'd feel both shame and wonderment listening in of the snippets of conversation muttered by these titanic figures; discussing abstruse issues from the newspaper in foreign yet noble tongues?
Remember when we were teens, and every form-checking observation and question from these same adults was so painstakingly pedantically banal and asinine, that one could only respond with monosyllabic grunts and silent hysterics?
And remember as 'young adults', when we'd inevitably entered this same dull Aristotelian world of forms, how we'd ask the same adults for advice on filling these paperworks, at once still asemic gibberish, and at once the fine-print that contained and predicted our lives?
Remember when our dreams for the future were not bounded by the economy of our grade point averages and just how much debt we were willing to incur
I've seen the best minds of my generation climb into pre-packaged little boxes; and pay through the teeth for the privilege of doing so.
Akin to a 'Howl' they call it? Our cry for selfhood? What a scream.
It's not even a cry. Barely a whimper.
More of a zombified groan, completely aware our intrepid Journey of Self is just a pricey guided tour. (Tv Ad's static commodified existential emancipatory platitudes; 'your place in the world' / 'well it's my place and it's my time' urgh.)
And so we march asleep; all lame all blind.
Trudging through the mind-fields; arguing, unravelling the semantic distinctions between the empty boundaries and the boundaries of emptiness.
Transcribed down for essay deadlines, / assessing our lives trajectory as dead lines,
Becoming increasingly aware,
We are not the living beings, the dasein, the Übermenschen being actualised; we are the machinery through which the institutions, the factories, the markets and education facilities actualise themselves.
(While the only acceptable language we can breathe in opposition to these ratcheting pedagogical machines is the lexicon they provide us..
('oh, you hate systemic neoliberal alienation; the deestablishment of ontological anthropocentrism? Tell me more about the esoteric uselessness of academic culture.') bluh.)
the more we follow those phantom images we built of ourselves,
the more we become aware they are but sirens; hypnotic dreamlike figures luring us to our doom,
and as this awareness dawns; and the cognitive dissonances and schizophrenia grows,
just try to keep calm and carry on regardless.
Can we really claim the arrogance of having a better path?
The conceit that there's a better cliff we should be guiding ourselves to to top ourselves off?
I don't know,
just don't know.
..i think i started out with a theme here, but it mostly devolved into venting.
i finished another year of university recently. i'm not really sure to what extent higher education's given me perspective on life, and what extent it's simply annihilated what little i had.
from my experiences of student culture, i feel our generation views itself as abandoned by the world, but to good for it anyway. We aren't the bohemians or beatniks or hippies or punks; our drinking and drugging ourselves to death isn't a counter-cultural high-minded rebellion. It's more a prideful self destructive egotism, a self derisive narcissism. or something. i dunno.
whether it's from cowardice or a more genuine scepticism, i certainly have no idea what i am (or ought to be) doing in/with/about this world.