Saturday, November 19, 2011

We Don't Know We're Insane




            We're just like the fish; we don't know what water is.  But the element in which we swim, the element that is impossible for us to recognize, is stress. 
             We have become denizens of a culture that is actually a Torture Machine.  It drives us insane by presenting demands so complex as to be impossible to  achieve.  Every day, it issues thousands of orders.  Turn your left blinker.  Pay your insurance premium.  Pick up your kids' school uniforms.  Don't forget the doctor's appointment.  Where'd you put the McFarland file?  Where are the paper clips?  Why is this milk sour?  Now I have to return it to the store.  Screw it; not worth my time, flush it down the sink.  Are the dogs' vaccinations up to date?  Do I have the receipts for my tax audit?
            Why am I always left with the feeling that I've forgotten to do a homework assignment?  Who is this screaming at me, right next to my ear so that it hurts?  Our government is letting people steal on a massive scale.  My bank account is auto- siphoned each month, it's gone and I've got nothing left to spend.
            I think I'm going crazy.  I don't have any sexual desire at all.  The last time I felt truly alive was....when?  Have I ever felt truly alive?  I truly don't think so. There's nothing to look forward to.  My old age will merely be a time when insurance machines squeeze the remaining dollars from my estate, leaving my kids with nothing.  Zero.  The globe is warming up.  It's true.  The waters are creeping on shore, slowly.  
            OUR SOCIETY IS A TORTURE MACHINE, so complex that it takes a genius to maneuver its daily routine.  It tortures by its relentless pressure.  We don't need Stalin or Hitler.  We have modern life in Amerika.  See that guy with the cardboard sign sitting at the parking lot exit?  "Will work for food."  He isn't a pathetic loser.  He's you or me or someone we know who just cracked under the pressure and opted to sit in the TIME OUT box in front of everyone.  He couldn't take the complexity any more.  Now he's doing better. He has a shoe box where his money piles up.  He's doing better than I am!  Could I take sitting in the TIME OUT box in front of everyone?  I don't think so.  I'm not tough enough.
            Life has always been complex, but not like this...Hunting, gathering, fighting off raiders, that was easy stuff compared to this.  The modern Torture Machine can't be dodged.  Your assignment is late!  Punishment will be swift and merciless!  Your interest will rise, your credit will sink.
            The injustice of it!  I'm choking on injustice.  I can't breathe!  Give me a cigarette.  Where are all these voices coming from?  Let me turn off the radio.The off switch doesn't work.  The voices are coming from my pocket.  It's my Z-Phone.  Its off switch doesn't work either.  The argument continues, shouting everywhere, lies compound in blatant and shameless huckstering.  Everything is a trick.  Even the tricks we know to be tricks conceal more subtle tricks. They say those Occupy Wall Street types are going to burn Manhattan.  Quick, we'd better launch a pre-emptive strike, mow them down before they find out where we've stashed the money.
            The fish don't recognize the sea.  The people don't recognize the element that dominates our lives.  I will coin a term for it: Phobagonovia.  Phobe-ago-NOVE-ee-yah.  It causes us to curl up inside our homes with the giant TV playing football games and scripted "reality" shows where people are abused by their in-laws.  Phobagonovia.  We are afraid of new experiences.  The Torture Machine has implanted this condition in our nervous systems.  We are afraid of relating to one another openly, of crying in front of strangers, of expressing feelings easily, of hugging or kissing spontaneously, lest we be inappropriate, our strait jacket is "Appropriate", we haven't a clue how to dance in a circle while deeply in love with members of a clan, to sing ancient songs, to sit around a fire feeling wonderful under the stars.  I don't mean we need to go backwards.  We need to invent new kinds of communities.  We are dying of Phobagonovia.  Our neck ties are cutting off our breath.  Our high heels are warping our skeletons. The future is over.  Rush Limbaugh will be reborn as a talking pig that can only sputter nonsense. The people of his remote village will laugh at him holding their sides with mirth.  They will postpone the time to eat him because he's a tourist attraction.  People come from distant villages to see him.  They stare in disbelief, listen to his pompous mutterings. They throw him pieces of rubbish.  His time will come, at last.
            When the chief takes the first bite, he will spit it out.
            "We laughed too long," he will say.  "This fat talking pig tastes like shit."