Saturday, December 29, 2007

Clutching the Mistletoe to Melt the Ice

I feel a bit like I've missed out on a very strong human function whenever I listen to my peers discuss their influences or discuss prominent figures in either recent or distant history.

I have to admit that I hold many forms of media close, yet I can never let them lie still, as a pinnacle of existence that remains beyond reproach. It's perhaps to my social detriment that I slaughter my sacred cows regularly. I can't abide their presence within myself. Perhaps it was a lonely, uneventful childhood that brought this out in myself, but I can never trust my memory of something. Glowing memories become shackles, blinders to the world around me.

The goal seems to be to live with imperfection. The problem lies in the discomfort in watching people ensorcelled by celebrity, fallen into a corporate glamor over a series of images, all falsely planted to coerce us to feel this unattainable attraction, and to hold ourselves to those standards, conceived through Photoshop and lighting, which we vilify, give up on entirely, or hopelessly attempt to mimic in an unsullied, physical form. I watch others admire this image before them, this essence derived entirely by cultural and commercial context, rather than understand it and undo its spell.

Much of this comes from my own frustration in our societal conception of intelligence. To Love Thought, one must somehow trudge through the minds of those who came before in periods of great social repression, racism, sexism, and nationalism, and think them the saviors of modern thought, people with whom we could never hope to be peers. We are devoid of a modern philosophy outside of kitchy little books with minimalist covers to appeal to grad students and make their universes seem that much smaller and immediately comprehensible, rather than expanding and releasing immediate understanding to create the adversity the mind needs to grow in strength and flexibility. The realizations of these aristocratic layabouts are seen as unattainable by we of the modern era, and our own achievements are relegated to what we have bought, how we dress, and our financial impact on the world around us, rather than our sociological and ideological. History has just as many self-important stars as we do currently, and time has seemingly erased their humanity in favor of their glittering surface.

if we were to really examine this phenomenon, it's not dissimilar to Loki's murder of Baldur, the dull, indestructible ne'er-do-wrong. These figures, with their bewitchment of their image and seemingly unassailability, fall prey to those powers that sit in between, antagonistic and in turn undone by the forces of change. I mean, what could all of the Aesir have been doing when they spent their time throwing crap at dumb, pretty Baldur? Functions were set aside and undone by his unassailability, his crystalline image that needed to crack to facilitate the ultimate metamorphosis of the cosmos.

I wonder what we will do when we cast off our echantments and accept our capability to achieve great feats on our own, humbled by the achievements of our peers? What strange, exciting world shall we see?