“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
— Friedrich Niethsche
— Jarry, Ubu Roi
Our recent trio of posts on The Mueller Report, and how the Emptywheel blog had accidentally if accurately, set Glenn Greenwald’s reputation on fire by highlighting either his mendacity or stupidity (or both and frankly at this point not only can’t we tell the difference, even if we could it would be a distinction without a difference) appears to have struck several raw nerves.
We have received an above average number of missives tossed over the cyber transom, and while most have the sophistication one associates with people who write threatening letters in crayon, and for whom claw marks on a cave wall are opera, we notice with a sense of both irony and resignation that in some cases they end up being right, if for all the wrong reasons.
Among the things that appear to irritate them is that we pointed out how both the left and the right have a Tourette’s Syndrome-esque response to the uses of Art as a means to contextualize the world of spies, and which prompts them (our critics) to spastically vomit denunciations of Art’s usefulness, in a manner eerily akin to thugs in leather trench coats saying: When I hear the word culture, I reach for my gun.
After all the last thing a self declared “leftist” wants revealed is that they sound uncomfortably similar to the men from Berlin with the train schedule fetish.
And the average right wing fascist gets irritable when you laugh at them because they keep unknowingly paraphrasing Stalin while reciting Mao’s favorite Spartan love poems and Jazz standards.
All of which brings us to the following thoughtful, nuanced gem of reasonable consideration from a concerned correspondent:
“If you haven’t noticed, normal people don’t care about this shit. Perhaps if politics were as simple as name-dropping authors, the left would be in better shape.
It’s the 9/11truth all over again.”
Well, we have noticed but thank our correspondent for reminding us that Swift was right when he said you can always tell an original intelligence has emerged in the world because the dunces will be arranged in a confederacy against him.
Of course it is ironic that our correspondent doesn’t realize (like the hysteric at Emptywheel who threw Baudrillard at us – don’t worry, we ducked) that by denouncing references to authors as “name-dropping” and thus, irrelevant, they were proving our point – left wing fascists and right wing fascists can be found handing out directions to the exhibit of deviant art – because in the end there is no difference between the Gulag and the Lager.
At least not to the dead.
Or the dunces.
As to waving the bloody shirt of “9/11” and “truth” our interlocutor is on firmer ground even if he arrived there by tripping over himself, and falling basakwards.
Because of course again, he’s proven our point – since the spooks lie, and tell half truths, in the name of “national security” (which covers everything from actual issues of national security to covering up murder, drug dealing, extortion, treason, rape, genocide, and systemic stupidity) one finds upon reaching for the latest governmental tome, that a healthy dose of skepticism is as necessary as a moral HAZMAT suit.
In other words, the “wilderness of mirrors” or a John Le Carre novel.
However, it’s undeniably true, normal people don’t care about this anymore than normal people care about a lot of things.
For example, normal people don’t care enough to get out of Minnesota, roll into New York and write, All Along the Watchtower.
Normal people don’t stand at the intersection of Nowhere and Despair, in Freehold, New Jersey, and say, come on baby, tramps like us, we were born to run.
Normal people don’t write the Magic Flute, or Carmen.
Normal people don’t survey the dreary post war waste land of England and say, hey, Elanor Rigby has a face she keeps in a jar beside the door, or man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Alan Poe.
Koo Koo ka-choo, Mrs. Robinson.
Normal people don’t work as patent clerks in Switzerland, ride the tram and imagine what it would be like to travel on a beam of light.
They don’t imagine cats, in boxes, with radioactive isotopes.
They don’t look at a block of marble and see mythic heroes waiting for someone to pick up a hammer and a chisel.
Normal people don’t think about would be queens, who ride dragons, sleep with their nephews, and scheme to dethrone mass murdering queens who sleep with their brothers, any more than they imagine small hominoids with large hairy feet who live in holes in the ground, fall into dangerous company comprised of dwarves, elves, lost heirs to far away thrones, wizards who may be overly fond of the local weed, and who are on the run from a gang of undead hitmen determined to grab a magic ring for their psychopathic and demonic boss, which prompts arboreal goddesses to scream – Do Not Tempt Me!
Normal people don’t believe they’re hearing the voice of William Blake and they don’t say:
“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night…”
Normal people don’t go fishing come home and write:
“He was an old man who fished in a skiff in the Gulf-stream and he had gone eight-four days now without taking a fish.”
Normal people don’t roll themselves in their wheelchair up to a radio and tell a story that summons the will of a nation, however flawed, to forge in its soul the arsenal of democracy in order to set it on the path to defeat tyranny.
Normal people don’t refuse to give up their seat at the front of a bus just because some asshole says they should because they have skin someone other asshole says is the wrong color.
Normal people don’t tell you about Tom Joad.
Normal people don’t write stories about psychotic taxi drivers who stare at themselves in mirrors and ask rhetorical questions while drawing a gun.
They don’t marry movie goddesses and tell you about spiritually dead salesman, or women who sometimes feel like cats on a hot tin roof, or irritatingly indecisive Danish princes who are convinced the ghost of their dead father is egging them on to commit murder and stage a coup.
Normal people on the other hand make the trains run on time and gurantee the showers will spray poison gas.
Normal people drop napalm on other people and sleep peacefully.
Normal people believe there were good people on both sides.
Normal people reject evidence, reject nuance, and insist they have the truth by the balls.
Here at The Ink, we like complexity, and we like contradictions, and we love freaks.
As one such freak put it:
“…the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”