Tuesday, June 26, 2007

About That Ditchwater

If imbibing ditchwater filtered through rags is a likely way any of us "lucky" enough to survive projected doomsday scenarios may end up, I'm not sure how this can be contoured to fit an evolutionary notion of consciousness, or lead to some super-integral stage of civilization and a brave new world for the human species.

But then, what do I know? It's not what it may seem--that I'm obsessed with generating wicked amounts of negativity, refusing to take into account the more hopeful theories and joyful sides of life. It's just that I'm not convinced we may be moving toward the most advanced, the highest, or the best form of human consciousness the world has ever known. Is losing faith in progress the same as losing faith in the evolution of consciousness? I don't really know. But it's hard for me right now to see the human race as being on some ladder to heaven when all the evidence points to the contrary: we may be about to crash. I think we're mushing through a blizzard in which very nasty things just keep on happening. But hell, I could be very wrong about all of this.

Virgil, on the other hand, that Zen Master of all alligators, finds my apocalyptic screeds and fearsome maledictions a bit operatic. He says they suck all the air out of the room. And he's NEVER wrong! My scorching candor makes Virgil want to get a job as a firefighter, a high-angle rescue worker, so that he can teach people to be cool while going up in flames.

"Undoubtedly there is a bigger picture," he says, and you need to work with it so it doesn't get to you. But even in the most horrible situations, you have to laugh and play--and sometimes sing in parking lots--so things don't get too bogged down in the oppressive. Remember laughter makes the feeling of being threatened manageable."

With his eyes downturned like that, Virgil is looking more and more like one of those young men who lurk at the back of Masaccio paintings. I have to say I'm quite nuts for his special brand of spitball politics. It is certainly a perfect foil for my own oracular hand-wringing and murky gravitas.


EZ PZ said...

I do love that Virgil. I forget sometimes that you have him there as ballast. There is an interesting article in the NY Times today that introduces (to me at least) the term evolutionary developmental biology, or evo-devo. Which gives rise to the thought that maybe this isn't so much the end of civilization as we know it but just another step in evo-devo. I do believe that Virgil will prosper in ditchwater better then most. We may be on the cusp of the age of the enlightened reptile.

Dr Simone Paterson said...

I am all for more singing in parking lots