With missionary zeal, the material illusionists continue to ply their trade. ‘Pink Floyd Wall-ish,’ they are, of course unbeknownst to themselves, as all proselytizers seem to be. But to elude ensarement, one always has the option of opening up the Venetian blinds a bit wider and breathing eucalyptus as a counter-measure; though the attempt is usually in vain. In fact, this dance between the ideological hunters and the ‘empty-vessel’ hunted is probably a natural symbiotic relationship, as the push and pull between these two may represent a healthy cultural yin/yang dynamic, and ultimately may yield better results than the one we’d get by resorting to artificial capitally injected plasma, as then the Big Organism might run more steadily, but with less passion. Every school child knows this.
What they don’t know is how insidious the roping in happens, as it’s always much more banal than the expected sensational ‘pitchfork and tail’ variant that the fables and infomercials have depicted, so they’re often blind-sided, and the codes used are often misread by them, as they think they’ve found a rebellion, or are being singled out for special attention, or wish they had the clothes of the predators, so are willing to compromise some soul matter, as of course the young don’t have their priorities quite straight yet, due to the great hormonal avalanche and the various confusions resulting from the near insane state of individuation going on, supplemented by the bad music they may be dousing their systems with. They haven’t yet determined whether they ‘like’ it as much as it’s just what they’re supposed to like, so the system strives to like a possible unlikeablility for other reasons, and nobody knows exactly how it’s all working or not working, but major elements are sorta fucked up.
Into this the adult world’s concerns come crashing, insinuating themselves into the blend from the sidelines. A state of continual refuge seeking starts to be a natural way of life, and ‘anywhere but here-ism’ becomes more prevalent than an intelligent reaction, due to our good friend desperation, and his close companion, frustration. Imagine all this plus acne. You’ll need 3-D glasses to get even a close proximity of a facsimile, and even then, the brightness is bound to be way off, because, many, many filters have been installed, and once you’ve seen the green through the red through the yellow through the blue (i.e. the insecurity through the religion through the slight chemical imbalance, through the boredom at work, through the ambition, through the slightly wrong current partner’s influence) you’re in a rather interesting snowstorm, with no chains available for the tires.
Our theoretical subject is then also either interacting with you, further complicating his susceptibility, or worse, looking to you for guidance. The blind lead the blind – and nobody has the advantage of living on The Galapagos Islands and being studied properly. Certain truths are eked out, but they’re like band-aids on gushing arteries. The fabled and much advertised free-will starts to look questionable, though little bits of ‘I’ve-chosen-the-snow-cone-flavor-I-want-ism’ perpetrates the idea that we’ve built a wonderful world based on our own opinion. But the truth is, we’re a machine built with bellows and pump and fluids and air and fuel processors topped by a rather impressive (but flawed) computer that is reacting, regurgitating, emulating, and synthesizing with the goal of gratification and acceptance in mind, as well as working on an escape from discomfort and the looming truth of death and an attempt to reconcile the hugely complicated issue of the Big Question of Meaning, which is unanswerable at this level of construction, to a mind and heart and soul that senses something profound, but can’t get at it.
All this longing creates a massive canvas, and here come the microbes of easy answers. Sometimes charming, but most times obtuse (to the trained eye) they sidle and smile, and convince and persuade, and our wonderful cycle of confusion replicates itself in the big ignorance panorama, while larger truths swirl in the ether, as lonely as clouds.
TOM CAUFIELD is a musician and writer living in Los Angeles. Learn more about him at http://www.caufieldmusic.com/.