Sublimation

26 Thu, 2011 § 3 Comments

In New Mexico, a Navajo man with a mental disability is kidnapped & branded with swastikas.

People demand “proof” in the form of corpse photos.

A video of a beheading was posted to the web, a horrified public…hit Google.

Last year, the domain name sex.com sold for $10,000,000 $13,000,000.00

Bumper stickers reveal our souls with little true thought for what is actually being said.  ie: “If you don’t stand behind our troops, stand in front of them.”

The desire for mature sex appeal has blazed through teenagers & is targeting an even younger group.  We have dubbed them “Tweeners”, making it even easier for marketers & media to zero in.

This is the pop culture of my era.

When did the body first set out on its own adventures, after having ditched its old traveling companions, the mind & the soul?  It must have got tired of the soul’s constant nagging & whining & the anxiety-driven intellectual web-spinning of the mind, distracting it whenever it was getting its teeth into something juicy or its fingers into something good.  It had dumped the other two back there somewhere, leaving them stranded in some damp sanctuary or stuffy lecture hall while it made a beeline for the topless bars, & it had dumped culture along with them: music & painting & poetry & plays.  Sublimation, all of it; nothing but sublimation, according to the body.  Why not cut to the chase?

But the body had its own cultural forms.  It had its own art.  Executions were its tragedies, pornography was its romance.

~Margaret Atwood, Oryx & Crake

I’m not a prude.  The body is beautiful.  Death is part of life; we don’t need to shield ourselves from it.  But the vulgar?  The disrespect?  The obsession with (& numbing to) violence?  Spectacles for sheer shock?

I know it isn’t all like this.  There is a lot of beauty, intellect, kindness & art in the world, but the shallow filth can be so loud.  Lately, I have felt assaulted by it.  I’m just sad.  How do I dim its noise?

Nature.

She muffles it.

Whether it’s a short hike, an after work bouldering session with friends or a more extended camping trip into the desert, “escaping civilization” through nature reminds me there is beauty & sanity in the world.  Dave & I often transpose “wilderness” & “civilization”, claiming we escape the wilderness when we leave the city & nature is truly civilized.  It makes sense, follows life’s rules & lives in balance & harmony; even when aggressive or hostile, it serves a purpose.  The simplicity it casts reflects back on us, reminding me what matters & what I would like to reflect into the world myself.

If every one spent a little more time connecting with & actually seeing the natural world, a lot of the ugliness would disappear; we would act with love.

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