STYLE ICON AND ROLE MODEL
STYLE ICON AND ROLE MODEL
The best 10 minute documentary you’ll ever watch.
I gotta get back to New Orleans.
If you like butts, you’ll love this.
— Melville, wrt The Confidence Man
Stromboli, Roberto Rossellini, 1950
The world can erupt around us.
Harold Pinter, from his famous Nobel Lecture, “Art, Truth & Politics,” which you can read here and watch here. 2005 was a different time, sure, but not so different. It was easier to by angry then, I worry, because the villains were easier to see because the atrocities were easier to see. That is the horror of the drone wars: we citizens are kept clueless, made to trust our “betters” whether we like it or not, and never encouraged to look up. It’s too convenient that daily life is harder now, because it keeps our eyes on the ground, in the everyday, worried about tomorrow. We are selfish. We seek pleasures unearned. We want the power of the dollar above the power of dignity.
At the very least I can claim to speak for my San Francisco, for what I observe in others that I might call my peers in age and race and social standing. There is a lot of money here, though I have little, and it would seem too easy for my neighbors to spend it on distractions. Hell, a good deal of these young people ride dark-windowed buses every day to what have been termed campuses designed to satisfy as many desires as their owners can afford to satisfy in an effort to make their employees feel comfortable giving their waking lives to somebody or some-thing other than themselves. The gold rush analogy first proposed by Rebecca Solnit has only gained more favor among the thoughtful. What’s a youth spent in darkness seeking gold to spend on temporal things? The lie of success. The lie too many trust to be some kind of salvation for a future unimaginable by the nose-down.
It’s times like this, and this day’s anniversary is forever a reminder, that humans learn best from tragedy—and that acknowledgement is its own sad reality I wish I could help upend. But I’m just one little man in a big, humorless world that is never that different than it once was except for all the window dressing—the toys, really—in that all the same lies persist and all the same indignities tally up.
Luckily, not every day is a downer. Luckily, there is light to see if we seek to see the sky. Luckily, there are jokes to be made and laughs to spill on one another the way toasting spreads cheer and, luckily, the meeting of eyes can legitimize one’s world through love.