Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Last Saturday of August

In the beginning, it was a different world, but this does not take place in the beginning. It takes place at the end, when the beginning had finally given in, and started the slow crumble, a stumbled crawl to its finale. If you have ever watched a building slowly die, the gradual push of earthly forces, the creeping shimmy of moss and bugs in the wood, that's the best way to open your eyes up to the erosion which eats at all things open to air and wind. Make some allusion to the sands of time here, that's probably appropriate.

I don't personally understand the fear of hurricanes, because I've never experienced a full on one myself. In Ohio, we just get the dregs. Sometimes we have big storms, and occasionally roads and cities get closed down because of snow. In general though, we're the most temperate place in the country. A good light mix of phenomenon, just enough to keep you on an emotional high, a little uncomfortable and a little too happy in the summer, a little too desperate in February. Point is that when we have hurricanes in other parts of the continent, I feel that pull to go there and see it. I want to be in the storm. In a storm, parked in a car watching, with the heat on, is the best place.

No, of course it's not. But that's just it, I lack understanding on these matters. I sympathize with the storm surfers.

Last night I saw the movie City of Life and Death, which is about the Rape of Nanking. Rape is not metaphorical in this sense. It's not a movie you can feel comfortable saying you really liked, because it's just scene after scene of horrible nightmarish violence. There is a beautifully coordinated segment of simultaneous mass executions of chinese soldiers. It is very serious and long and epic. It will create, by the end, a feeling of heavy traumatized numbness in your chest. You will never be tempted to just turn it off, or walk out. But you will be stuck.

The Cinematheque projector was down, so they were using a backup projector, and had to reload something or other halfway through the movie. There was a black out pause, everything just stopped, for a few minutes. Nobody in the theater moved or talked. We just all sat there in contract with each other, still, waiting for it to start again. It occurred to me, as I waited listening to people shift around in their creaky seats somewhere in the darkness behind me, that I am able to withstand much more violence in a movie when it is in a historical context. Wars, documentaries, ect. I don't cringe or turn away like I do at horror movies. I'm the worst at scary movies. I flinch and gasp and close my eyes. But I don't have any of those responses when the violence is about something that actually happened. I have a completely different reaction when it's violence that is currently at this moment happening. Then I can still keep my eyes open, but they fill up pretty quick.

All these pictures, by the way, are the original facebook group like.

I'm finding it difficult to write this past week, ever since I got the new computer. I was sort of slowing down before that happened anyway. It's just the end of summer, and doing anything that involves sitting around inside seems...well it doesn't seem anything, because it doesn't occur to me. I have like twelve day trips I need to take in the next 2 months. And I didn't get hardly any buildings this summer, which sucked. I miss the version of Jere that didn't work Mondays. Sundays just aren't the same, I feel much more exposed. I prefer it when there are lots of cars and workers around, seeing how the whole place functions. And it's very hard to find people you can just ride around in the car with for long periods of time. Still a great summer, but I spent it all at the beach and now it's a little colder and I'm starting to remember the other things you can't do in the winter.

This is definitely an "I" post. I guess they mostly are, it's the nature of the thing, but I'm (i i i i i i i i) I'm starting to feel the burn of facebook and twitter muscles worked too hard. I'm becoming a hardcore twitter watcher. I love getting even just a tiny glimpse of the crazy pre apocalyptic group think. If you chipped a hole through a giant skull ten million times bigger than you, you would see just one little part of the pulsing beating wet brain muscle, but it would still give you a feeling of the enormity. That's Twitter. I want to put my hand in the middle of the oozy gooey mess and feel it breathing. The other day, there was a topic trending, Aaliyah'sAirplanePlaylist, and when I looked at the other posts they were nothing but condemnations of the topic, but no one was actually offering up suggestions, just ranting about how awful a trend topic it was, how offensive, how Twitter ought to ban it. A topic that was only trending because they themselves were perpetuating it. That's crazy! That's what Twitter is dudes. It's crazy shit like that, and then your actual friends sometimes saying something funny, and all the time a scrolling list of people who have died in the world thanks to the Breaking News feed. Bombed here, famine here, car crash, no power, helicopters down. Twitter is the most Vietnam thing ever.

On Twitter, we make jokes about hurricanes so that the gods will spare us, because nothing really tragic can happen if we are joking about it right? Twitter is how Man laughs at the Gods now. Nervously. Edit: As proof I offer up the Humanoid Robot who Tweets from the Space Station. And has a gold helmet head. And will never come back to Earth. Maybe they will someday give him legs.

I had no idea Aaliyah was this kind of tragic folk hero either. I knew like three of her songs, but I thought she was just a mid par pop star, a three album girl. Apparently she is like, a 90s Buddy Holly or Selena. Also, I completely forgot she was in Queen of the Damned and now I want to watch that right now.


  1. When I was in high school and college, we used to go down to the sea wall in Narragansett during hurricanes to watch the action. Of course, most of those were busts or nearly so, so there was little actual danger. This one looks to fall (up here, anyway) mostly in the "bust" category: a lot of hype, certainly some damage, but nothing exceptional. Didn't stop all the bottled water, bread, and batteries from selling out at every store in town, though. I'm mostly simply annoyed that I have to go into work tomorrow to keep an eye on things and can't stay home watching the wind and doing a jigsaw puzzle when the power goes out.

    Summer may be going, but it's still nice to swim for a few more weeks. Keep up the pretense as long as possible. I was buying watermelons into October last year before I had to acknowledge that they just didn't taste the same anymore.

  2. Twitter is the most Vietnam thing ever is a brilliant line.

  3. I'm in RI, too-hi JL-. I'm one of the bread/water/battery buying masses. Talk about your group think. Always love to read your posts, BC. So lyrical. If you were to be somewhere today watching the hurricane, you probably would not need the heat on. Even with the weather, it is still far too warm.

  4. Well, JL and CC, it appears everyone is still alive. So that's good. But also, I wonder what gluten free people stock up on when it's bread/water/battery buying time?

    HF - Thanks :)

  5. Enjoy the last few weeks of summer BC...

  6. Well, JL and CC, it appears everyone is still alive. So that's good.

    It is good indeed, but I would prefer to be alive and have power. I came into work today even though I didn't have to, just to be able to look at the internet. It's going to be a dull few days.


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