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Eighth Sitting

During your slumber some a-maze-ing things happened. Firstly, all of your belongings were stolen and replaced with exact duplicates, including your spleen. Secondly, the world became that much more loveless and awful, and it is your task to make up for that loss. Start by watering your plants and/or pets. Finally, they are good places for dates; especially in suggesting sex to one's partner through the observation of animal behavior. Thank you. (Insert curt bow here.)

Love is a most funny thing, you know. `Nuff said on that skanky horrible drooling disgutriment of a topic.

I think I have made some pretty swell strides in ripping down that "good book" reputation, no? Where was I? Ah, love, I mean, er, crud. I have just now made a startling revelation, which means I haven't really thought about it and it may be terribly wrong, but I might as well harp on it anyway. Love, my pretty, is the closest thing we possess in our mind/body-connexions (this is a technical term; do not try using it without a weapon) to crud, and I say this not because I am vengeful and properly pissily negative (PPN) about the whole thing, though I am, but because I feel like it.

Love arises by sensible means: the evolutionary necessity of procreation, the expression of our basic animality, the ancient religious need for a total encompassing experience, the acquired tastes of the species of comfort, communality, and security, the existential desire to merge with another consciousness brought about by our unique form of self-consciousness, as well as a similar tendency to let the intellect be overpowered, eclipsed, and buried. All this is quite understandable, no? Unfortunately, these very sensibles all end up conflicting and eating eachother, and when you actually bring in another person, Ahhh!

It should be pretty darn obvious that this pattern is generalizable, that everywhere there is a system that generates purposes according to its own inner logic (that's a teleological system, for you smart people), there will be 17 jillion other independently operating systems that don't connect up to it even enough to sneer and make derisive comments. This is much like the connection between the technological innovation of television and the social purposes of its inventors, the demands of the marketplace, the history and practices of the entertainment industry, and Satan.

This is obviously as much a book about humor as a book of humor, so I'd like to make some insightful comments about the set-up of the last two obviously cheezy punch lines (yes, "Ahhh!" does in fact count as a full line, and not just a line segment) within the poorly argued yet sloppily-written mass of pretentious bullshit. I'd like to do this, but (the author's eyes seize up in a comical fashion here) I'm too de-pressed.

Okay, that was an attempt at a sort of I Love Lucy kind of "joke." This does bring back some of that bit on the impossibility of complete self-consciousness. Was the last paragraph a parody of humor or humor itself (crummy and ineffective as it may be)? Do the apologies of style produce a delightfully self-insightful work transcending the standards it fails to meet, or just grow increasingly more annoying? Does the repetition of such themes provide any actual educational benefit, or serve only to induce more sleep? Are you in pain now? Come on, you can tell me. Where does it hurt? Your heart is aching against the inhumanity of mankind toward itself? Well, let me introduce you to a friend of mine who can break that sucker into tiny pieces.

Technically, a jilted lover does not suffer from any kind of coronary difficulty, but actually is affected through his lymphatic system, which is strewn all about the body performing valuable tasks whose names I don't quite recall. Heartbreak occurs when the lymph system scrunches up with in a person, withdrawing its nodules to the central trunk area and squeezing them tightly into itself. This connects up lots of passageways meant for waste, which is, rather by definition, not supposed to be shuttled around in a circular fashion. Thus does toxin build-up occur, and near-by structures register this as intense pain that makes you want to be dead.

You might want to copy down the above paragraph and learn it word for word, even though I made it up, because I think it sounds pretty neat. It would also be a swell picture to use in any kind of yogic self-manipulation you might engage in to relieve heartache, and when that fails you can blame this book for all the problems of your miserable little life. You're welcome.

Well, we've seen how crud lives in us, springs from us, blocks up our lymphatic system, and expresses itself through the production of bad TV, as well as pretty much any of your typical consumer goods, especially those for which a market must be created in some devious manner. The most obnoxious of these is a thing called the full-time job. Two hundred years of Western society have conspired to make us think that there is some system of producing goods and/or services (same sludge) that actually requires us to have jobs, whereas in fact any people who actually controlled their economic system rather than letting themselves be controlled by it would have long since automated the bejesus out of everything, letting the machinery (aided by easy and fulfilling part-time work) feed and provide for everyone, and gone off instead to write coffee-table books, or engage in wild orgiastic funeral rites lasting six weeks, or play beach volleyball. Silly, silly, silly are we, especially you, with yer regular sleeping schedule and your messed-up lymph.

But the whole thing is more insidious than I've laid out. It's not just that crud is insane, is filled with inner conflicts and conflicts with the inner purposes of its perceiver. This would be harmless in itself, like clouds or an inkblot, ready to be harnessed into Tripe. The most horrible evil thing is that crud masquerades as sensible, because its parts are sensibly produced. This is how one could be sucked into, say, happily working for an advertising firm or writing stuff for Who's the Boss for years and years without actually puking. "Just play the game," goes the ancient proverb, despite the fact that the dementia in question is undoubtedly not a game for the sole reason that games tend to end when one gets bored, whereas these things live on in reruns and give out only occasional vacation days until one is fifty and deranged beyond recognition.

The key difference between worthless and worthless (well, the other key difference) is a matter of self-consciousness. If one knowingly watches and/or produces bad TV, especially bad TV one has already been raised on as a child, this sort of assimilation of one's primal crud into one's self-aware, adult, or at least older repertoire of consciously-available images, one can have great fun in a field of self-mockery/attempted transcendence, and leave the crud with the right sort of pseudo-insanity and pseudo-control to be a pretty darn creative and interesting person.

But as I've droned on and on about, self-consciousness is not an all or nothing deal; every look within leaves a looking part that's not looked upon. We don't really know how much we actually control our actions, or what does if we don't, or what the words and images we use to characterize ourselves really mean to us, et Petercetera. This means if you watch Saved By the Bell, even if you have some extensive justification for your actions like you're training yourself in stoic steadfastness to refrain from yelling "Oh my Jesus I am in pain," a reaction perfectly appropriate to any given moment of the "show," you mustn't be so sure of your mastery over the beast. We are Crud and Crud courses within us; to touch Crud is to tap a bit of the primal essence, and this cannot be done lightly or with milk on one's hands (so says the wise man Plastic man and his son Baby Plaz). Are you increasing your creativity or making the Crud-enjoyment center of your brain plump as you cook it?

Q: Can one fool's tripe be another fool's crud?

A: What? I don't even understand that question?

Q: I mean, can one creature's connection of disparate elements into an organic whole (i.e. an entity existing outside criteria of classification and hence judgment) either form in actuality or appear to form for some other observer the kind of conflicting mess that may act as crud upon that observer?

A: I have very little idea what you're talking about. You're obviously taking this silly-ass bullpucky imagery too seriously. Now stop trying to be wise and stand up, or lie down, or sit in a new way: The Ninth Way.

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© 1993 Mark A. Linsenmayer [ Contents ]