From time to time, no matter our intentions, we all get a bit bogged down with the weight of the universe. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and writing on the subject of our cultural obsession with apocalypse, I’ve just not been able to do much of that here lately. I’ve got a lot to catch up on, as we’re more obsessed than ever before, but in the meantime I’ve been reading Peter Heller’s The Dog Stars (review to come, I promise, but in the meantime all I can so is go! get! read!) and I came across this:
The guys in the white coats. The fighter pilot in his flight suit. With the wife in the beehive. Humming, tapping his fingers on the yoke of the Cessna to Rock Around the Clock. In 1955. All of it about to break open: the manic music, Hula Hoop, surf girls, Elvis, all now from this distance like some crazed compensation–for what? The Great Fear. Lurking. First time in human history maybe since the Ark that they contemplated the Very End. That some gross misunderstanding could buzz across the red phones, some shaking finger come down on the red button and it would all be over. All of it. That fast. In a ballooning of mushrooming dust and fire, the most horrible deaths. What that must have done to the psyche. The vibrations suddenly set in motion deeper than any tones before. Like a wind strong enough for the first time to move the heaviest chimes, the plates of rusted bronze hanging in the mountain passes. Listen: the deep terrifying slow tones. Moving into the entrails, the spaces between neurons, groaning of absolute death. What would you do? Move your hips, invent rock n roll.
With that, I need to get back to my work.
On a related note, my advice for all of you: if someone ever suggests to you that getting a Ph.D. would be a great idea for you, kick them in the shins and run, as far and as fast as you can.