No Beast So Dumb As Man

a Docudharma exclusive

I woke up this morning recovering from the flu, still weak and vaguely feverish.  I haven’t written much lately and feel the need to do so.  Where to begin, the cold-blooded murder of peace-loving monks in Myanmar, the outrageous crimes of our own outlaw government, the shameful bastards in our do-nothing congress, the back-stabbing republican-lite democrats, the hot air from our ‘leaders’ on global warming, war profiteering as the new national pastime, the black-hearted evil of the military-industrial-congressional-media complex, the armies of lying blowhards on the TeeVee, the Halliburton detention centers being constructed across the country for the detention of ‘potential terrorists’ (such as bloggers, demonstrators, peace activists, and real democrats), national indignation at silly newspaper ads while the killing and dying goes on unimpeded – so much horror and madness, so little time.

Weakened and overwhelmed by the harsh realities of the day, I am reduced to communicating via art and poetry.

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

~ from Howl by Allen Ginsberg, 1955

Our generation has seen
The vicious rape of the American Dream
From deep inside our hallowed core
They festered, boiled
Plotted and schemed
Clawing and grasping
Dark and deranged
There is no evil we say these days
Yet evil remains

jimi-hendrix_voodoo-chile_MINE

I’m feelin’ low and singin’ the blues.  Sometimes you have to do that though…sort of take inventory and mourn that which is lost.

We have seen the greatest minds of our generation
Reduced to madness from fear and greed
Poets, priests and angelheaded hipsters
Shot down like dogs
On melancholy streets

Angelheaded-Hipsters

If today were the final exam for humanity, I think we have to admit we would not do well.  We’re still blowing each other to hell and doing so gleefully, mistreating each other shamefully, acting like fools.  The many advances made by humankind seem to have made little or no difference.  We still feel justified in ruthlessly taking what we want from others by force of arms.  We still voluntarily indulge in the abomination of war.  We are still little better than barbarians.  We don’t even measure up to our own minimum standards.  We are a failure.

Vitruvian-Man-signifying-nothing

One would think that history would be instructive.  One would think that we’d eventually learn to act in our own best interest as a species.  If we were to do that we’d be focused on survival and sustaining life as opposed to mutual annihilation and the destruction of life.  We seem amazingly boneheaded if you ask me.  Will we ever learn?

starry-night-McLean

My next post will be more upbeat, I promise.

Peace out!

OPOL

27 comments

Skip to comment form

    • OPOL on October 2, 2007 at 3:19 am
      Author

    but getting better.  Cheers!

  1. A bit of a low point for da humans these days, I agree.

    I hope we ALL feel better soon.

    • Tigana on October 2, 2007 at 3:36 am

    Thank you, OPOL. The Lennon image is especially lovely. You are the anti-Cheney, I think.

  2. badly, OPOL.  The world is in a bad place right now.  Everything you’ve described above is all fact, not fallacy.  There’s plenty to feel badly about.

    Add to that that you’re recovering from the flu and the combination is overwhelming.

    Make yourself well.  Once you’re back on your feet and feeling stronger, we’ll all get back to working together to fix this mess. 

    For as sadly true your essay is, visually, it’s that beautiful.  Thank you.

    Friends are here for you, in good times and in bad.  I think you know that.

    • snud on October 2, 2007 at 4:07 am
  3. I’m sorry you are under the weather, but you sure did put together a beautifully powerful piece. So many of my very favorites. 

    Allen and his howl for humanity makes me swoon every time. The mad dervish swirls and colors of otherworldly yet this world vision of Vincent sends me too. Leonardo, Jimi, Johnny boy… all so transformative, so courageous.

    Thank you for translating them here so vividly.

    Take care now, drink lots of teas, do whatever you can to sleep sleep sleep and get well soon.

  4. The Dignity of Art

    I write for those who cannot read me: the downtrodden, the ones who have been waiting in line for centuries to get into history, who cannot read a book or afford to buy one.

    When I begin to lose heart, it does me good to recall a lesson in the dignity of art which I learned years ago at a theater in Assisi, in Italy.  Helena and I had gone to see an evening of pantomime and no one else showed up.  The two of us made up the entire audience.  When the lights dimmed, we were joined by the usher and the ticket seller.  Yet despite the fact that there were more people in on stage than in the audience, the actors worked as hard as if they were basking in the glory of a full house on opening night.  They put their hearts and souls into the performance and it was marvelous.

    Our applause shook the empty hall.  We clapped until our hands were sore.

  5. 10 years ago what the world really was I too went through that painful cycle.
    You at least know but realize that millions of others don’t even have a clue.  These people will think us insane.
    http://www.prolibert

    You’ve had the flu, so don’t get the shot.

  6. and please dont feel obliged to be upbeat.  we’re going to have highs and lows, and if we cant ride them together, what hope have we to fix the rest….

  7. simply compounds that depression and renders one all but dysfunctional.  In that state, reviewing that which we deem beautiful in our views and souls has a soothing quality, even if sad in nature. 

    Nature, art and music are quite often our dearest friends!

    Get well soon!

    • fatdave on October 2, 2007 at 5:10 am

    you’re picking up OPOL.

    “We are a failure” you say.

    In some ways that is celebrated I feel. We’ve made and elevated the odd idol in failure’s name. People sacrifice things to ’em anyway.

  8. Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.
    -Yeats

    • Turkana on October 2, 2007 at 5:15 am

    richard iii: act i, scene 2

    LADY ANNE
    Villain, thou know’st no law of God nor man:
    No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.

    GLOUCESTER
    But I know none, and therefore am no beast.

    • AnnRose on October 2, 2007 at 8:14 am

    the cure for the punys.

  9. and music communicates much better than mere words.  Feverish dreams can bring hope and hope and dreams can be a start of something.

    You were not “reduced”.

    Thanks and be well.

Comments have been disabled.