Friday, May 01, 2020

Vitality… painted over

Hey so back over to the A-to-Z we’re finally unveiling the previously postponed V-Day. The assignment was too good not to treat right. It came from the valiant, vibrant, venerable, infrequently verbose and too-frequently valedictory; my very valuable friend, life coach and visionary, the venturesome Vietnam Vagabond; the Eloquent Potter. And it is:


Varnish is the shit…

…that is everywhere.

Let me look back at just the last, oh, thirty-six hours.

I watched a video about quantizing and auto-tune. Exactly how this shit is done. The anatomy of this phenomena that has made the overly-safe, overly-simplified, corporate-dictated pablum we call main-stream music so grotesque to my ears; so obscenely, vulgarly, morbidly anti-human. Why modern mainstream music reeks of death. It is not real. It is varnish. The musicians who are tricked into selling out have suffocated within this varnish. Of course the saving grace is that there are heaps of amazing music being made every day. You just have to hurl your fucking radio into the fires of Mordor and go looking elsewhere. Bandcamp for instance. Soundcloud.

I stopped for gas and saw that my drink was on sale: three for seven bucks. Varnish, it turned out. I went inside, picked my three and was charged not $7 but $13.

“Huh?” I says.

“Oh the special isn’t working,” says the corporate slave.

The special isn’t working.

When I was young no one ever uttered the words the special isn’t working. No context existed where such a phrase could bear any meaning. If I had said to my English teacher for any reason “the special isn’t working” I would certainly expect to be told I would be repeating the grade.

Oh we had computers when I was young. But computers were still tools at the time; tools which served the user; the human being who operated the computer tool; the human being who still maintained sentience. Today a gas station cashier is literally a tool of the computer.

Of course the pumps themselves are varnish, aren’t they? This is not where oil comes from. It’s ripped out of the ground in manners which compromise the biosphere, it is taken from a place where it served the biosphere as a filter and then it magically makes our car go zoom zoom zoom (a little TV varnish) and what we don’t see through that particular varnish is the cloud of toxins formerly filtered from the ground now being burned and fed to the sky where it will fuck us over real good.

Yesterday morning the alarmingly nervous, high-strung, OCD basket case of a day shift guard came in to relieve me and spotted my coat hanging from the back of a chair. She sputtered and agonized trying to find words for the occasion, finally pointing: “That doesn’t look good!” Coats over chairs is not proper varnish. The reality is that we all use coats. They are not hurting anyone (in the office I mean). If you could actually follow the trail of your coat’s creation you will find harm somewhere. I guarantee it. If not a furry animal or sheep or a sweatshop third world in-effect-slave there are still more avenues of suffering in the trail of a textile factory. Suffering we do not see through the layers of varnish.

I saw the faces of Ford, Trudeau and Trump because you cannot access the internet without their weaselly little faces weaselling onto your screen one creepy way or another. Their entire existence is varnish. They are the curtain between we and those who have our money and control us. They are talking idiot-boxes. They are court jesters, juggling their balls and pretending that they are the real show while they are not.

Maybe we don’t mind living this way. Maybe the varnish is nicer than the reality. And here’s where I get stuck. I know very well that the rewards for embracing reality are so much finer. But to fully explain why will make me sound like religion, when I am not. And so people will turn away. Oh well. Fuck em.

The Venturesome Vietnam Vagabond is an angel to me at times. He is not fooled by anything - anything external anyway. I think he knows that reality is better than varnish.

“Do you have a coaster for me?” I asked.

He laughs and gestures at the grand wooden table with its myriad of markings. It is a mural; a family history. And tonight we will eat well and drink copiously and add another stroke or two to this wooden canvas; this time capsule. And we’ll say not a word about sports, weather or headlines. We’ll unearth more reality and lay ourselves bare. Thank heavens there is still a place to do this.

I could go on and on. Anywhere you look you are seeing varnish. Give it a thought and you'll start to realize the illegitimacy of anything you happen to witness.

Varnish is the shit that is everywhere. It is what we have built our society out of, instead of celebrating life. 


IntrepidReader said...

When I am sitting at my kitchen table looking out to my backyard, I see squirrels and birds and trees and plants and green grass. Absolutely no varnish there. Just nature doing what nature does...persisting and even thriving in spite of us.

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

Yes! And I have spent far too little time in nature of late. I have let my physical struggles deter me.