Sunday, June 2, 2013

Partly Cloudy Or Partly Sunny

I try not to get too personal here. I try to keep my day-to-day experiences out of that picture that I am trying to paint. It's hard to do so.
But I attempt it. 
I guess it is a hide-and-seek endeavor that all writers(good or bad)feel they need to play. To make it personal for the reader, and yet not autobiographical. But should we? If I find that I'm getting too far into someone's observations and that they are merely the author's own experience, I tend to shy away. TMI. Keep it generic, I say. Otherwise you are tapping into soap-opera territory. Not a good thing. It could be the truth that I am seeking to relate as a writer, but if I get too personal, it becomes my truth only. Keep it universal. Keep it man-on-the-street.
Then there are days when I want to bitch about how my hair was cut. Or how noisy my neighbors are. Or what a perfect day it turned out to be, on the upside. These are mundane concerns in the scope of what I write. And should remain so, inasmuch as they have no intrinsic value to proving some point or other.
But I am finding that to be more and more difficult. We are the sum of all of our experience. All that. I guess then the key is to strike a happy medium in which our personal experience is germane. 

So back to partly cloudy. It is today. Not just here. I totally agree
with the 'global-warming' crowd. The entire world is heating up. And those living in the multimillion dollar homes on the beach are going to find themselves scrambling for dry ground very soon. But the heat is not coming from nitrogen or cfc's. It is coming from friction. The friction of applying too much pressure on moving objects. These objects would be you and I. We move around a lot here under these partly cloudy skies. Pushing boulders up that hill for the man lounging in his beach home.

As you know, I am a big fan of the late author, Joseph Campbell. His knowledge of the mythology of our species played a large part in the creation of Star Wars. The original three films were simple age-old tales that repeated to their viewers, the archetype of good versus evil. The underdog becoming triumphant. The Empire versus the rebels. Were these theater goers paying attention? Did they understand the "Empire"?
Did they see it for its all-encompassing presence?  Do they have the mental capabilities to grasp the significance of the tale? I wonder. 
For as Campbell implied, the purpose of myth is basically instructional.
It seems simple to me. Why, for instance, did we immediately identify with the heroes of the tale as opposed to the all-pervasive Empirical forces? Were the rebels more likable? More "us"?  Was Obiwan more the type of guy that you would have over to dinner, than Vader? Well, of course he was. But the tale could just have easily been written differently. The Emperor could have been seen as the protector of a secure one-galaxy government with the common good always at the fore. And the rebel alliance could have been highlighted as neer-do-well malcontents bent on destruction and for its own sake. Funny that. How tales unfold. How they can mimic life outside the theater. Outside the campfire light. Outside the narrative of a well written book. Or they can be rewritten to suit the author's preference.

But that aside, let's change lanes.
Roger Waters recently wrote a heartfelt letter to Alicia Keys. One more blow against the Empire. And the Emperor is hopping mad.
The musician known for bricks in walls, just won't shut up. Good for him.

But would Luke Skywalker have joined the alliance if his Aunt and  Uncle weren't slaughtered by empirical soldiers? I doubt it. It is and always was a matter of pushing too far. Creating that warming trend under these cloudy skies. Squeezing too hard until more of those you squeeze, "slip through your fingers". Even Luke will do it when his time on the throne comes. That is the way clouds drift. They always have. They always will.
The cyclical nature of man is as predictable as those clouds that come and go above us. It is just how they are perceived. Partly sunny to partly cloudy. With an ever-present chance of revolution.


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