new peaceful solutions thing. throwaway victor still better than any other rapper.
On Monday, I was invited to record a podcast with an old friend. I’ve been invited before and I expect (and hope) I will be invited again; our podcasting styles seem well suited for one another and usually generate thoughtful discourse about politics and/or current events. The audience isn’t huge and I didn’t expect anyone would be particularly impassioned about what we had to say yet there’s a forwarded email in my inbox that begins “Here are several points relating to your hostile attitude toward Aryan-Americans:”
The segment in question is probably this one (I’m the third person to speak starting at 5:07. I’m aware I get a little shrill near the end; I need to work on my radio voice).
I don’t feel the need to include the email itself because, regardless of how hilariously tone deaf and ignorant it is, it’s also racist and repulsively stupid.
It’s comforting to be able to joke about this complaint; the Klu Klux Klan is a shadow of its former self and neither I, nor anyone else associated with the podcast fears for our safety. That said, the three voices on this week’s podcast are exclusively heterosexual, white, and male. Even historically, people like us have rarely needed to fear the Klan. Were we not all straight, white, men, I question how comedic we would find this situation.
Despite its attempt to rebrand itself as a “white rights”/”white pride” movement, the KKK has a long history of violence and intimidation against people of color and the LGBT community. A KKK complaint against either of these groups inherently carries an undertone of intimidation and the threat of violence. If the very same email arrived in the inbox of one of my friends who is not straight and white and male, I would tell them to report it to the police.
It is white privilege that I can find humor in this and I would be wise to not forget it.
if cosmic force is real at all
it’s come between you and I
I want to be naked
I don’t mean my body
I don’t need my body
I’m floating away
thought i had a clue—
it was passing by.
thought i had an answer—
it was just a sigh.
thought i had a dream once
don’t remember why.
your voice cut straight through me, right down to my bones.
like a winter’s wind it knocked out my soul.
thought i had some time here,
left my watch at home
thought i had ideas once
they were all on loan
thought i conquered something—
then it took me down.
what i thought i heard
it wasn’t sound
thought i felt your heart beat,
it was just my counting.
and to what thoughts will my life be amounting?
i can hear you crying
and i am crying too.
the world might be lying but so are you.
i can see you dancing if you’d just take the step
you might still have it in you give yourself the benefit
and dance slow decades
toward the sun
even when you’re the only one
don’t look around
it’s not right
it’s not wrong
dance because you know
i dance because i know
Stop. Instead of panting and gasping from second to second
Like a torrent hurtling from rock to rock with no special merit,
More slowly, without moving, ankles crossed, hands clasped,
Observe, as if it were the whole world at once,
An object, slight and domestic, for example
Ignore its curve, its undulating surface, this blue pattern.
Only consider the interior, this white cavity, this surface’s
Water is only smooth like this on evenings of exceptional calm
After a day that gathers and holds back its joy
At the center of the silence where its breath
Can you cite a day, an hour, with no echo of yesterday,
No haste for tomorrow, when your soul was as
Smooth as this?
Don’t listen to your heart, don’t measure your pulse, don’t envision
Time moving through you toward death, only
While holding your breath look at this pure and only quality
If you learned now to fix your gaze, your thought,
Your soul without blinking on a few square centimeters of
Perhaps, without leaving the world or the company of women,
With no change in your health, your country, your diet,
You might aspire one day to begin to understand
The whole world.
It’s a cup of no value, bought at a dry-goods-and-grocery shop
In a Savoyard village near Boëge and Séchemouille.
It isn’t smooth.
A microscope would reveal Himalayas of cracks.
What makes it smooth is the light, is your ingenuous fingers.
To a different gaze, perhaps, a cup is worth
As much as the solemn organ or the electronic machine,
As much as the equatorial storm or the Pacific tides,
Honors the Holy Name. If you were exiled tomorrow, you would not
Need, provided that you had looked at it long enough, provided
You were able to reconstruct this smoothness in your heart, to bring
This shard along.
Here is the entrance, not to wisdom, nor to silence,
Nor to perfect control of yourself and your shadow,
But to a first
Cavity smooth enough to hold a handful of peace.
Now you can sleep, your feet together so as not to cut
The current, hands clasped, now you can
Slowly, calmly, a little higher than your body, recumbent
And loosed, as if you inhabited only your head
Or your nostrils
Or the immediate vicinity of the pineal gland;
Now, above your pacified body, above
Your box of balderdash, in the smooth fluid of your outstretched body, you can
My most steadfast companion over the last year and a half.
Now what?Tags: #david foster wallace #infinite jest #lit