Any misspelled words or grammatical errors on this site are provided only for effect. Views expressed here are strictly those of the author, as opposed to being from his pet iguana. We reserve the right to add new letters to the alphabet or alter the time-space continuum as we see fit. Your presence at this site is a complicit agreement to these conditions.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Hollow the Mellow Trick Code

An apt synopsis of what we’ve got ourselves into (also called life) can be found ensconced somewhere comfortably between David Horowitz’ ever-reflective platitudes and Grace Helbig’s masterfully unintentional existential wanderings — her saving grace being she’s too young to know just what she has yet, whereas Horowitz has admittedly grown past his years to do much more about it. Horowitz the overly reverent and Helbig the quaintly profane — herself a delicate tulip dipped in the mud, yet a tulip beneath it all. Vacillate between the two and in time you’re bound to hone into your karma.

In all, somehow they’re sending us clues. As is every poetic author/narrator who can adeptly weave a vivid image to put the actual into the conceptual. Transferring our world into our minds. Oh, I suppose anyone could do the quick switch with little effort, but it merely falls right back out, making it an agonizingly ongoing sashay of the urges. If it doesn’t stick, it didn’t really happen.

Twitter and Facebook personalities with hundreds of thousands of followers and into the millions. This is a thing. Who can comprehend such devotion? Would the historical prophets have had that many disciples? The Pope has 2.6 million followers on Twitter (though he follows only 8 back). Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber have considerably more millions in their flock than the Pontiff. A final tally shows the Dalai Lama as highest among the sages (unless you count Paris Hilton), as he’s no more than 89th in the world with 7.2 million followers.

Once someone has accumulated such a mass of humanity, how could there be room for any more? Their cup is full, yet we keep pouring.

The celebrity status now having more of a forum than ever to pass along its menagerie of wisdom, wit and propaganda to an approving constituency. This conduit has us firmly plugged in to their every whims, as if waiting for our next set of instructions. Some may seem quite innocuous, though isn’t that just the persona they’d want to project?

Aristotles Horowitz, Carlin, Loesch, Dawkins, Stewart.
When seeking online recommendations for accounts or blogs to follow, I’m presented with the most popular. Much too simplistic an approach. It makes the rich richer and keeps the poor poor, plus popularity doesn’t necessarily equate with merit anyway. What if I want to catch people when they’re just starting out, before everyone is aware of their name? I could hop on the next meteor before it left the station. What's big, though, isnt really that big. Popular movies… meh. Popular tunes… meh. Popular TV shows… double meh. Popular Twitter accounts… who can keep up? If there were a hundred Penn Jillettes, none of them would be able to squeeze out the time to notice — let alone recognize — me. I’m invisible to Penn Jillette. I could be one of his magic tricks.

Thinking I was in a bad episode of Hype in Space, I honestly saw a caption for a video on a media website which read: “Hurry and watch it before it goes viral.” Huh? Why, so you can say you saw it before other people did? Is it a race? Are we stuck in some third grade mentality that we need to do anything and everything to advance to the front of the line? Must. Have. Information. And sooner than later, as well as quickly. Andele, andele…

Alas, the family of man, almost to a man, wants to get some credit for his circumstance, be it laudworthy or lamentable. We want our accomplishments and our sufferings noted. The ego points us there, so it’s not all our fault. We likewise want credit for those we know in our august circles, if only by association to make our own stock rise. Perhaps why we adopt pet celebrity status achievers, and hang onto them as if we’re superglued to our ideals via our imaginary rescuers. That can’t end well.

The most likely cadre of wisdom finds one Eckhart Tolle the author very near the nerve center. He eloquently speaks of a new earth, that’s parts idealistic, visionary and immediate in its cleansing capabilities. He’s subtly and unreligiously bringing a world back toward a Savior figure it’s attempting to dance around, yet he’s the one who knows the steps. Tolle is a moral compass, for if the world rejects him it rejects its own nature. But even better, he knows it’s not about himself. He doesn’t confuse the messenger with the message. (not pictured here, as you wish)

Aristotles Sawyer, Blazer, Prager, Jillette, Berlinski.
In the end, have we listened to very many great teachers in our time? Horowitz, to his credit, awakens Fyodor Dostoevsky to this point in time to a rousing encore. A teacher invoking an erstwhile teacher, provided for emphasis. Will it matter much? Horowitz remains skeptical, yet makes the effort nonetheless. He does it because he feels it needed to be done, that it is part of his genetic makeup.

Meanwhile in metropolis, half the western world hangs on political pundit Glenn Beck’s every word, while the other half scorns him. Is he wise or just popular from provocation? He very well may be leading an underground swell, which skates past mere politics — one in the tradition of Gandhi or Martin Luther. Indeed, Beck once had Muse’s “Uprising” for his show’s intro, apropos as if they had been personally commandeered to sing for his throngs of a movement afoot.

The inimitable Beck appears in some circles to be a visionary in addition to a revolutionary. Oprah, in contrast, having had a grand following for much longer, comprises a modus operandi consisting less of grandiose causes or extended tomes. After all, she’s on a first-name basis now. Beyonce. Madonna. Cher. Bono. (What, no Sonny?) Sting. Prince. Seal. Liberace. Sade. Fabio. Okay, Fabio is an anomaly, an outlier… a freak occurrence in cultural phenomena, if you will. He just won’t go away. He keeps showing up everywhere, like he’s stalking all of us en masse. He holds the record for a person I’ve seen in the most places without ever hearing them talk, holding a comfortable margin over Teller and Marcel Marceau. Even in his dying days, he’ll be showing up places in his walker, tripping over his hair. My theory is that there are in reality about twenty Fabios, a Fabio collective, and they’re scattered all over the Earth, each one showing up at random times to further the undying legacy of their venerated namesake.

At closer inspection, Beck doesn’t fit the Loser label proscribed by his political opponents who have mostly animus toward him. For one, he doesn’t toe any party line. He publishes biographies, novels, historical commentary, which all go to the top of the seller lists by strange coincidence, with some evangelism thrown in, and everything he touches turns to His political self is only a portion of his makeup. Admirably, he gathers scads of high profile people and various throngs of his ilk at large weekend-long events about morality, community, social unity and allegiance to a higher power. Everything he does points to crusade. Where is he taking his people? Ah, never mind…

At any rate, the staid “Glenn” is too basic a name to make into the singular, so he’ll need to take on some other stylish moniker if he is to continue his quest. Maybe after a worthy cause… Blazer, perhaps?

Ultimately, why would we listen to all these people? And why are George Carlin and Jon Stewart two of our time’s most erudite philosophers? How do Cosby and Seinfeld know so much about us? Where is our Sartre, our Hegel? If we saw one on television, would we notice? Was Paul Harvey a shooting star over the horizon, yet now forgotten? If I keep asking, will someone please raise their hand?

Monsieurs Fabio, Fabio, Fabio, Fabio.
Ready to burst onto the scene like gangbusters, forthright Dana Loesch (pronounced “lash”, as in panache) of St. Louis radio fame is a crusader’s crusader. While the regular crusaders are crusading for the common people, she’s crusading for the people as well as the other crusaders, all at the same time. She’s in the public conscious enough to have a national audience, and yet two weeks ago she retweeted something I tweeted to her as well as commented on it. It was the most significant 15 seconds of fame in my social media life, and one of her finest moments as well. I think she could be President someday, though she’s commented to people that she doesn’t like to play nice with others, so in her mind it wouldn’t work. Possibly a few centuries before her time. Dana, meet Galileo.

Helbig, it should be pointed out, is the first person who could easily be Madeline Kahn’s twin sister, not in an identical sort of way, but behaviorally. Her candor and down-to-earth demeanor allow her a vehicle to state basic sentiments others are unwilling to confront for fear of alienating some of the paying customers, pulling it off as if she were speaking to you as just one other person in her presence. That’s hard to do in general terms, and nigh impossible if you’re not genuine. Dear Grace never met pretension, for it doesn’t speak her name, oh no.

Instead of compounding meaning, she deconstructs meaning. She’s less a comic, and more a figure being a regular person in an amusing way while not trying to go out and impress anyone but still ending up with better results than most comics and adding some genuine grade philosophy to her repertoire. The everyperson can identify with her as she spews forth quasi-intellectualism. Think Russell Brand, but with an intensified charm factor way up to 11. Or Goldie Hawn with a noggin. Or Gilda Radner’s deadpan cleverly mixed with a surprising dose of realism.  As a result, what emanates from Helbig is authentic. Now if we could just get her and Stewart to tone down the bleeping expletives, I don’t know, hopefully it wouldn’t take away some of their authenticity. Pray a cable network grabs her before HBO does, so we don’t corrupt one of our last remaining icons of this generation.

Amazing Grace generally talks rather deliberately, not in any hurry to get to the end of a sentence. She’ll even pause for a better word before speaking one, and do so unapologetically without expression. This is someone comfortable in their own skin, who obviously ordered the right size.

Amazing Grace, Grace, Grace, Grace, Bear.
And yet when she wants to, like when issuing a faux disclaimer, Grace can rattle off three sentences faster than you can think, and then you realize you might have received some kind of subliminal message in the process. How can one’s lips move so fast, you think to yourself. Probably some special grade of lip gloss. Oh, and Helbig has 250,000 Twitter followers. She could start a new major city with them, being their humble ruler, as all bring fist to the chin in her signature move. I’m guessing there wouldn’t be a whole lot of overlap with the Pope’s Twitter followers there. Maybe we could do a study on that. But where is she taking her people? We might need to go along in order to find out.

Messages transmitting all around. And how much are we listening? I spent over an hour this morning talking on the phone to customer service about ways to obtain my credit cards security code without the aid of having the card on my person. This quickly spiraled into a modern mystery in three acts. After battling for seven rounds, time won. I should’ve thrown the match in the first round and still gotten out with my dignity and daily agenda intact. Ground control to Major Tom…

More apparent on the talking head radar, Blazer is appealing to the latent spiritual yearnings of a culture being drowned out by competing cacophonies. A mass of humanity inundated with itself, suffocating on its own flesh. Blazer has a lot of work to do to arouse them from their slumber. And Tolle will be in to clean up the mess when the dust finally settles. He’ll take those who are still around to the next step, as Blazer is just a set-up man. The Pope watches earnestly from the balcony.

Horowitz knows that his work is done here. He hasn’t bothered anyone, and his life can be used as a template for safekeeping. Penn has stuck a pin in the cognoscenti, and they’ve taken notice. He’ll be performing in Vegas till the Great Awakening occurs. Dawkins will keep us grounded to the immediate and act as an apt counterweight to the tidings of hope. Meanwhile, Dennis Prager will ever so esoterically serve as this century’s quintessential Aristotle for anyone who cares. It was incumbent on Harvey to pass the torch. Loesch, she’ll have an opportunity to be President, among other things, but will reach much higher. She’ll figure it out. It’s in her DNA. Dana’s Nascent Ascension.

Then lastly, for all her exploits, our blessed Helbig, having taken the reductionist tack in capturing the essence of nihilistic fervor, is a perpetual nomad of the spirits. What she wants to do with her shtick is up to her. She can take it to the end of the line or get off at any stop of her choosing. That’s how in control she is. Keep an eye on her for hints.

The trick for us is to balance these multifarious messages at just the right calibration, and shun the pretenders, the amateurs, the charlatans, the hucksters, the ones with anything to pitch. Plug in to the media machines at your peril. Precisely what that balance is, is unknown. That’s why it’s a trick. If everybody were David Copperfield, nobody would be impressed by David Copperfield. That deserves a duh. So anyway, don’t put a plethora of flour or sugar in your recipe (and, as always, just a dash of salt), because there is discretion in all things. Even too much of an item as indispensable as air will hyperventilate you. Ask Fabio, he’ll tell you.

No comments:

Dance Like Nobody's Watching

Philosophy Soccer