Down To Clown: Dadaism Meets Occupy Wall Street

'Dada Manisfestation' by Jay Schwartz“Every word that is spoken and sung here (the Cabaret Voltaire) represents at least this one thing: that this humiliating age has not succeeded in winning our respect.”
– Hugo Ball
 
“Apparently nothing will ever teach these people that the other 99 percent of the population exist.”
– George Orwell

 

It’s just another day on planet Earth. The warmongers are rattling their sabers. The power-mongers are scheming. Political pundits, regardless of their place in the political void, are preaching to their own choirs, and pseudo-intellectuals everywhere are mentally masturbating over whether or not the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement has faded away, even as its 2-year anniversary approaches.

Meanwhile, the rich (1%) are getting richer, the poor (99%) are getting poorer … and the ‘dadas’ are still creatively angst-ridden, at least this one is. Oh, and while we’re on the subject of existential angst, please note that I ‘might’ be facing deportation at sometime in the near future. Despite what my lawyer says, I reserve the right to be paranoid.

After all, having traded ‘standard of living’ for ‘quality of life’ about 18 years ago, I remain an American living in Greece, or so my pedigree and permanent resident papers claim, despite my personal non-conformity to either countries’ national norms.

Speaking of norms, I can’t help but draw a parallel between OWS and Dadaism, especially in regard to both movements’ anti-establishment stance on ‘the system’. In the faces of both personal and societal upheaval, both movements delight in rejecting the logic and reason of a fallacious zeitgeist that slavishly adheres to a system of personal slavery that’s been irrevocably broken for quite some time.

Of course, some people just don’t get it, claiming that it is human nature to bring order to what is perceived as chaos. Regardless of the fact that chaos may very well have its own brand of symmetry, hair-loss becomes rampant for some when presented with a square peg and a round hole.

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Wake Up! Stay In Bed.

SeussNotGettingUp“You are a slow learner, Winston.”

“How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.”

“Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”

– George Orwell, 1984

 

There is a profound children’s book written by Dr. Seuss titled “I Am Not Going To Get Up Today!”. It chronicles a society in shock fuming over a young boy who, upon waking, decides on a whim to stay in bed. He declares, “The alarm can ring. The birds can peep. My bed is warm. My pillow’s deep. Today’s the day I’m going to sleep!”.

The world balks. Incredulously, all manner of creatures, tall and small, come to call. They stare and parrot each other in disbelief. Concerned citizens in the form of friends, family, the authorities and the mainstream media, all flock together to voice their disapproval. Judeo-Christian cum Protestant work ethic laced moral outrage is expressed in response to the boy’s ‘Bohemic’ claims of free-will, “I don’t choose to be up walking. I don’t choose to be up talking. The only thing I’m choosing is to lie here woozy-snoozing.”

The horror of it all! The entire balance of modern of civilization apparently rests on the vagaries of this young boy who on an impulse defies the expectations of society by taking charge of his own destiny.

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Musically Yours

Abstract Art by Naomi JohnsonMusically Yours

There are times when there is vision in the music

… but not when the music itself presents a vision

… or is even visionary itself.

Oh say can’t you see that some chords unravel and some scales are unbalanced?

Have you ever met an arpeggio that unfolded into a non-linear arrangement of an unsequenced rhythm?

I have … and was seduced by it … willingly.

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The I In Me They Never Bothered With

The I In Me They Never Bothered With

 They see my gender.

They see my color.

They see the clothes I wear.

But …

They want to know my ‘likes’.

They want to know my contacts.

They want to know my religion.

They want to know my income.

They want to know my sexual preference.

They want to know my political affiliation.

They want to know my citizenship.

They want to know my heritage.

They want to know my family and lineage.

They want to know my genetic code.

They want my body.

They want my soul.

They want my spirit.

They want my blood.

They want my conformity.

But …

They don’t want my mind.

And they never once even ask my name.

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A Life Saver To The Poor Souls Drowning In Bile Flavored Kool-Aid

“To ‘choose’ dogma and faith over doubt and experience is to throw out the ripening vintage and to reach greedily for the Kool-Aid.” 
– Christopher Hitchens
“When we do not expect anything we can be ourselves. That is our way, to live fully in each moment of time.”
– Shunryu Suzuki

 

We often ask ourselves who we are. We search. We find. We lose grasp of ourselves … and then we look some more. We develop a sense of our identity from patches of notions steeped in whimsical memories of long ago … or in razor-edged fragments of experience we have gained over the years. We assemble ourselves and then behold our grand psyche … or our refined psychosis. We really have no clue and eventually attack ourselves for our own ignorance.

I like t think that I used to know who I was, long ago … long before I could sense others. Long before they would reach out with their claws and talons to whisk me away far from myself … far from my nature … far from my true being. Poor me. Poor poor pitiful me.

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Full Tilt Gravity

The artist is still a little like the old court jester. He’s supposed to speak his vicious paradoxes with some sense in them, but he isn’t part of whatever the fabric is that makes a nation.
– William Faulkner

 

Warning: The following prose makes no sense and has no socially redeeming value. It is not a reflection of anyone and is merely a refraction thereof. Read at your own risk and make of it what you will. Drinks are not on the house.

Some people are forever hell-bent on defying the laws of gravity. Yearning to turn the world on its end, they exhibit a penchant to disengage from the established order of things, the firmament on which lie the foundations of society.

They seem to thrive on chaos, embroiling themselves in one adventure after another. They soar … they crash … they burn … they rise again and fly sideways … smiling.

They are brilliantly stupid. Sublimely ridiculous. They make for perfect nonsense. Don’t question them and you’ll get many answers. They talk too much and say too little, hiding an encyclopedia of intent. And yet, they mystify you with their paradoxical nature. They are train wrecks in slow motion pulling into the station according to their own schedule … right on their own time.

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Mirror, Mirror Off The Wall

“I used to live in a room full of mirrors; all I could see was me. I take my spirit and I crash my mirrors, now the whole world is here for me to see.”
– Jimi Hendrix (A Room Full Of Mirrors)

 

I find it strange that mirrors don’t come with instructions. They are, in fact, one of the most dangerously brutal objects found in our homes, harboring the potential to destroy our emotional well-being with ease. They threaten our image of ourselves, and even at times warp our perceptions. And yet, there is no warning label about their misuse.

Their addictive properties offer a vise to both the vain and the masochistic. For the naive, they readily shatter precious illusions and reflect the naked distortion of our imagined perfection. Yes, mirrors are uncompromising in their function, merciless in capacity, and indignant to their facility.

Seeking the truth through the ‘looking glass’ we stare … and lie to ourselves about our reflection, reflecting our own hypocrisy or delusion.

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