See more articles, reviews, fiction and poetry, including more of my writings, at group blog PLUTO'S REALM.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Ms. Johnson Conveys My Regrets

This is Ms. Johnson. Ms. Johnson is a sixteen-year old Calico whom I took in when she was found abandoned on Central Avenue (Route 66) in Albuquerque as a barely-weened kitten. Ms. Johnson has a long and fascinating life history, only parts of which she is willing to share with you, as she is a very private individual. She has been spayed, de-clawed, flown cross-country, been forced to live outside for years at a time, and has survived her lifetime companion, Thunder. However for the last two years she has been comfortably retired here with me in Nashville.

Ms. Johnson doesn't really like anyone but me, and she has been content of late because I have been home with her most of the time. I quit my last job at the first of the year, and since I have something else lined up starting about ten days from now, I have been able to spend a comfortable month mostly away from humans. However, I haven't been blogging much and Ms. Johnson agreed to appear here today to tell you why.

Looking back over my blog entries since I started this thing last October, most of what I wrote was inspired by the events of the day as filtered through the environment of ignorance I was working in. The job I left had a lot of good things about it, and the real reasons I left were too complex and too personal to really go into at this point, but you will recall that in several posts I mentioned that I had to deal with an inescapable exponent of the Christian right and the Bush cabal. The office manager in question was a very good-hearted individual who unfortunately had been taken in by the whole delusional machinery manifested by those twin pincers of public ignorance in America. So to summarize, every day I was lambasted by the issues of the day from a point of view derived straight from the Faux News Network.

I remember when I got my one tattoo years ago, I had to spend a total of about eight hours over three sessions in the chair. The first session consisted of the (detailed) outline, and the second of the blacks. These are fairly deep uses of the needle, and could be a little painful, but it was nothing I couldn't take. It was the final, four-hour session with the colors that drove me up in the wall. It consisted of a consistent, light scraping of the skin surface that felt like I always imagnined water torture would. In the same way, the incessant recitiation of the axioms and mantras of modern American ignorance by someone who I genuinely like affected me in a way that the fouler rantings of the hatemongers never could, and I had to lash out. Hence the angrier blog entries.

Here in my cave with Ms. Johnson and the Rufi, there is nothing to make me angry (except maybe the bad line calls in the Henin-Hardenne vs. Sharapova match last night). I can read that the ignorance marches on, but I don't have to look at their faces or hear their voices. I can sit, and I can watch my anime and read my novels in peace. When I was young I used to write songs on my guitar. Like most young men I was obsessed with passion and romance, and I used to articulate my (what I see now as mostly hormonal) pain through lyrics. So I wrote all the good stuff when I was angry and depressed and needed to howl out loneliness. When I had a girlfriend and was happy, those rare moments, I couldn't write. I had nothing to write about. So for the past few weeks I haven't felt the need to react against anything. Hence few blog entries.

Since I don't think I'll be going back into any similar atmosphere soon or ever, my posts may be a bit calmer. Maybe not. I do have some things I want to talk about. I want to talk about why I had to major in philosophy and become obsessed with the meaning of life before I came to realize that philosophy is useless except as something to get through, and that the meaning of life cannot be found in your head. I want to explain why I had to practice law for ten years to realize that the legal system and can't be fixed without a sincere effort to follow the edict of Shakespeare. I want to talk about the history of religion and to explain my view that there are a lot of good religions and only three bad ones. Mostly I want to replace the crap we have been handed in the form of various Trojan horses like the War on Drugs and displacements of reality like the "War on Christmas" shit with a War on Ignorance. It just occurs to me that we need to be able to read and think and discuss again, or the video game culture we live in, with our discussions reduced to what used to be called MTV-edited sound bites, just might be signs of the real Last Days -- not of the planet earth (this old rock is gonna be around for a while), but of our culture as we knew it before Bush.

But that's for the near future. Right now I need to feed Ms. Johnson and sit zazen.

War is over, if you want it. -- John Lennon.


paulette said...

Ah yes, the real Bob emerges from the muck and slime that is the Average American. Don't I know just how angry that can make one. Right after Bush was "re-elected", I was pummelled with right wing religious, political, and "patriotic" mail from my relatives. Including marines I had never met. I got so out of control that I insulted them all and with broad sweeping statements like "I am ashamed I even know you." Thank God you quit. Ms. Johnson is the only one who knows anything at this point.

awmyhr said...

I for one look forward to what you have to say. Even though your earlier posts may have been more reactionary, they are certainly well articulated and intelligently worked out.

Regarding the Lyrics, Adam Duritz (of the Counting Crows) said a similar thing in an interview years ago. If memory serves, he said when he was happy, he could only wright songs about depression and loneliness, and when he was depressed and lonely, he could only write songs of joy and happiness. Or something to that effect ;-)