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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The Power Games: Dancing With The Ringmasters

Young_man_with_the_whip“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

– Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

 

Such is life, often compared to a circus. Hoops to jump through are ever present while the snap and crack of a ringmaster’s whip are always an arm’s breadth away. And, like an abused Russian dancing bear, we submit to being shackled, tormented and humiliated … and all perhaps for the ‘entertainment purposes’ of some. In the circus tent of life, the power games have already taken center ring.

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages. Welcome to the greatest ‘sideshow’ on earth! Come one, come all! Come all ye faithful and join the procession of the people for the people … who are power-crazy. Two-step your mortality away and shuffle towards your salvation: a cold grave. ‘Til death do you part, dissatisfaction guaranteed!”

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Standing Up To Shutting Down

“I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
– Thomas Jefferson
“I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.”
– Isaac Newton

You know what I hate? Going to the beach on a hot day and baking in the sun. You see the Sun has a funny way of defying every maneuver I make with my flimsy umbrella to shield myself from its searing heat that creeps ever closer towards me. As sweat pours through my blistered pores, each and every solar radiated fibre in my body screams ‘Help! I’m burning up!’ The grievous cacophony of cellular shrieking overwhelms me so … that I just lay there and allow sunstroke to set in.

So that’s what I hate. Unfortunately, it’s only a metaphor for what really has been bothering me lately: life overload. And trust me, I’m completely and utterly fried!

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Dangling Angles: Rules, Lines And Floaters

WORK-TO-KEEP-FREE-NARA-516190Enlightened people seldom or never possess a sense of responsibility.
– George Orwell
 
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
– Albert Camus
 
It’s important to know thy keepers … because they certainly know you. Yes, they are watching, planning and plotting as you go about picking up the pieces of your daily dander. They are watching to make sure you remain occupied and don’t venture too close to the unmarked boundaries they have drawn. Go on and scoff all you want. Go ahead and laugh, too. It’s ok because that’s exactly what you’ve been programmed to do; when in doubt, keep on doubting.
You see, our lives are marked by rules to follow and lines not to cross. A friendly tip might suggest for you to be mindful of where you step. Step on the wrong toes or tread on the wrong flag and you will be crushed, most certainly. ‘Step on a crack, break your mother’s back’, remember? Yes, that’s how the life goes; ‘them’ is the rules. And, there are quite a few angles, as well. 

In Apathy We Trust (Never Mind The Drone)

“I don’t know, I don’t care, and it doesn’t make any difference.”
– Jack Kerouac
“When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
– Thomas Jefferson

 

“Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know” is an exasperated cry often heard by the apathetic and scared. “Run for your lives!” often punctuates a panic, and many are all to eager to comply. Children are admonished to heed the words ‘curiosity killed the cat’. Build a bomb shelter, stick your head in a hole in the ground and live to hide another day.

And then there’s denial … obstinate denial. ‘It can’t be true!’ we exclaim. We don’t want to believe that which is perfectly obvious because some how or another we may become implicated. So, we shake our head, close our eyes, cover our ears and refuse to listen, see, care, feel and most other than behaviors that characterize us as living and breathing human beings. In light of this, maybe it’s true, as a friend of mine is wont to say, that ‘the dead ask the best questions’ … simply because many of us don’t.

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