Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Perspectives of Alice

My mind has been very unquiet lately, hence the lag in posting. I have so many thoughts running through my head. It's 8am now and I'm going to give myself 30 minutes of typing fast, no editing, to write a post and then I have to run.

I took this photo on Saturday at the Hudson Opera House. There was a gallery talk by the creator of a newly illustrated version of Alice in Wonderland, with dolls. An exhibit of the dolls was on display. I'm sorry I missed the talk.

Just this past week I had been thinking about what if I had a small scale replica of my own house. It could sit on a table, in cross-section, fully furnished, and I could look at my own house, in miniature.

I spend a lot of time in my house, but I don't feel like this image of Alice. Indeed I feel pretty freed up since I have a nice volume of space in my house. I can move from room to room, the ceilings are high, and there are four exposures. Sometimes I feel as though I'm in a wood sailing ship.

If my house were my mind, then it's colorful and it has many rooms.

The times I have felt like this image of Alice - cramped, constrained, trapped, contained - was during years that I was chained to a cubicle on the 19th, 38th, or whatever floor of a Manhattan office building.

Michael Moore was on Charlie Rose yesterday. He said that he will stop making documentaries if things don't change in this country, if there isn't a revolution of sorts. He's tired of swimming upstream, being seemingly the only one showing the rest of us How The Lie Works. He shows us, and it's up to the rest of us to say something about it and change things. He said the only "democracy" part of our democracy is showing up every couple of years to pull levers, pretty meaningless, and otherwise we have little control.

I've felt reticent about blogging the last few days because I actually feel very angry about the vampire I posted about a few days ago. In a way I don't know what to do about the anger. It feels dangerous to express it. I'm supposed to swallow it. In our culture we are admonished always to get past it, move on, it's bad for you to have bad thoughts, all you can control is yourself. Which is true, I don't really disagree with any of those thoughts. But they also have an effect of censoring the self, as though one is supposed to put up with all kinds of really bad stuff, stuff that even if it isn't strictly illegal certainly isn't ethical. The game is rigged to protect the vampires - they run rampant and free, and it's the victims, sacrificial lambs, girls, scapegoats, whistleblowers, truth tellers, and others on the receiving end - they're the ones who have the hard time.

I know I'm totally babbling and rambling here. But if one can't vent in a blog, without being perfectly perfectionist about it - well then where? Some people have been complaining about who won this year's Nobel Prize in Literature. Even I can't remember her name right off hand, the Romanian-born German woman writing of life under totalitarianism. In a dictatorship there are official censors and draconian punishments for speaking the truth.

Here we're in a "democracy" and I find it hard to speak the truth. Everything's supposed to have a big smiley-face on it. It tends to shut one up. "Smile," sometimes complete strangers have had the chutzpah to say to me. Well, I don't feel like smiling like an idiotic troll all the time.

Michael Moore is a great documentarian and perhaps there should be a Nobel Prize for that (perhaps it's time for the definition of "literature" to be expanded). But I think that many of us in our culture have lost the ability to express ourselves, to speak, if not Truth to Power, then the Truth about Power.

Moore pointed out that the Right has harnesssed the anger of its base - hence the mob scenes at the congressional "town hall" meetings this summer.

I guess what others of us have to do is keep exposing the soulsucking vampires every chance we get. It's hard though - that self-censorship thing again - they are the system, you're not supposed to buck it.

Sometimes I do feel like this image of Alice, when I think of certain memories. My first-boyfriend vampire lived in house like that; we used to go to his attic. His parents never went up there. They were very Victorian that way, all these secret spaces. They let him do whatever he wanted. I think they did know. I wasn't his first girlfriend.

Everything is fractal in nature, patterns everywhere. Animals in camouflage. Predators, victims. My cat Claire killed 4 mice the other day. I stepped out to hang laundry and suddenly everywhere I stepped was a dead mouse. Total nightmare. Only Claire, my cat - she doesn't have free will. Vampires do.

This post is a mess. But maybe that's a first step in self-expression. Just get it out there, even if it's unpolished and messy and angry and not full of love.

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