Breathe, breathe in the air
Don't be afraid to care
Leave but don't leave me
Look around, choose your own ground
For long you live and high you fly
And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be
Run, rabbit, run
Dig that hole, forget the sun
And when at last the work is done
Don't sit down, it's time to dig another one
For long you live and high you fly
But only if you ride the tide
Balanced on the biggest wave
You race towards an early grave
Last night, on my nightly walk around the RV park we live in, I heard the guitar. As I drew closer, I could hear two men singing horribly off-key. They were singing "Breathe" by Pink Floyd.
I knew them both. I became angry. I began singing my own lyrics. I don't remember them precisely; but they were pretty close to this:
You two are dicks
Who have no fucking clue
What this song is really about ...
You're suburban cogs ...
You're Republican morons ...
You like blowing Trump ...
For long you hopefully won't live
and low you exist ...
I was loud enough to cause them to stop a couple of times to see if they could figure out who was singing along (and possibly insulting them). A flashlight swung my way from the campfire they sat around, but by that time I was behind a line of rigs and making my back to our own rig.
They went back to singing it, starting at the beginning. I gave a loud, angry guffaw and continued on my way.
Both men are trenchant Republicans who voted for Trump. I know because I employ an ability many in this world are sadly unaware of: listening. I listened to both in the past as they talked and I walked by. I heard their conversations--in many cases it was impossible to miss, as they were speaking loudly and brashly. I listened to their intolerance and bigotry, offered proudly. I heard what they had to say about Mexicans and Democrats.
"Breathe" is as anti-Trump as a song can get, particularly the second stanza. The underlying philosophy in it flies directly in the face of all the Orange Hitler and his supporters hold dear: greed, coghood, being a herd animal, living conspicuously and piggishly, living mindlessly.
I couldn't keep quiet. I still can't keep quiet. Hence this quick rant.
So much art is consumed thoughtlessly, like these fucks did with one of the greatest songs from one of the greatest albums of the entire 20th century. What was so profoundly ludicrous to me, beyond the crime of them singing it, was how passionately and solemnly they were singing it. They were serious.
Psychologists have a term for what I witnessed last night. It's called cognitive dissonance. And it's nothing new.
Think of the New Testament and the violence many of its most ardent readers have brought down on two thousand years of civilization, despite the fact that the principal character preaches peace, forgiveness, tolerance, and healing.
Consider Star Wars and the Empire and how the vast, vast majority of moviegoers, given that they were actually living in that universe, would fall right in line with the Empire and would be, as they are analogously in this reality, morally vacant and satisfied Imperial subjects.
How many "fans" of Harry Potter are part of the rising sewage tide of fascism seen around the world? I follow JK Rowling on Twitter, and I can tell you the number is very far from zero. Such "fans" regularly attack her. I've seen it a number of times now. It's infuriating.
They're "fans" of a series that is distinctly anti-fascist, pro-feminist, pro-diversity, and pro-tolerance!
It has even happened to me. A racist homophobe wrote a glowing review of Melody back in 2011 and posted it on her Facebook feed. I couldn't believe it when I saw it, given the filth that surrounded it--the hatred, the intolerance, the bigotry, the Republican soullessness, the angry calls to conform and reject everything "different" or "deviant."
In my response, which I posted as a comment under her review, I tore her a new digital asshole and demanded she take the review down, which, after insulting me, she did.
Kye and I have struggled a great deal with misanthropy the past few days. It happens when the outrages, personal or societal, pile up and up and up, and we can no longer bear the bullshit. We live in an age of extraordinary indifference, eye- (or, as in the case last night, ear-) popping cognitive dissonance, the overwhelming dullness of everyone around us, the thoughtlessness, the profane materialism, consumption, and suburbanism, the callous apathy towards life, the endless media manipulation, the clickbait, the lies. It really gets to be too much.
I'm playing Petula Clark on Spotify as I write this. I doing it because she is so optimistic and happy, and she makes me feel better.
But more. I listen to her music. I don't suffer cognitive dissonance with respect to her or her work. It isn't difficult to do. It simply involves doing something ninety-five percent of the human species refuses to do: to listen.
If I hear those Republican fucks perverting Pink Floyd or anybody else tonight, I guarantee I'm going to do what I did last night and lyrically insult the crap out of them from the shadows. You might think that cowardly, and maybe it is. Maybe I should confront them and beat them to death with their poorly tuned guitar. Believe me, I've thought about it, and am more than capable of doing it.
But you can't cure cognitive dissonance that way. In fact, simply talking to such idiots about their point-blank idiocy does nothing, either. I'm fifty-five years old. I know what I'm talking about.
And so ... misanthropy.
Breathe, breathe in the dissonance
Don't be afraid to be dumb as a box of rocks
Leave by jumping off a cliff--please!
Look around, choose your own sewer
For low you live and violent you try
And bigotry and mindlessness until you die
And all you pervert and all you profane
Between you isn't a single brain