Friday, November 26, 2010
The dreams of daytime workers are different. They feel more urgent. I've recently been switched over to the day shift at my workplace. I'm up at five or six in the morning and I'm not home again until five or six in the evening.
Readjusting the sleep schedule has made for less, lighter sleep, and, thus, more vivid dreams. I rarely remember dreams at all. But I've had very strong CSI superhero-themed dark stories populating my hours just on the other side of awake. Last night it was a story about Superman (sans the S swathed across his manly chest) being duped into death and regenerated in the form of growth-accelerated fetuses. These were all lined up in neat square boxes full of some manure concoction. At the evil genius' whim a new Superman could be birthed. Once incepted he would unknowingly perform whatever unseemly tasks his creator desired.
I am fully infected by nerd. I now breath the fluids of fantasy in my subconscious whereas previously my rarely recalled dreams were merely banal scenes of living. But under the hot breath of an unseen and malicious force. Anxious dreams, dreams of powerlessness and non-agency. I am now someone more willing to take the reins of his agency. Even in the good possibility that agency itself is a feeble illusion. It's worth the risk.
It's a seemingly inconsolable double helix away from which I cannot flee; the intertwining of brutal fact and the poetry of need. Werner Herzog does this to me. I always lose just enough of how much he manages to fling me into panic-stricken and emotionally raw territory that when it happens again, it is terrifying.
I watched another one of his films the other night, Encounters at the End of the World. Based on his usual completely unromantic motivations he travels to a compound in Antarctica. Ernest Shackleton's original ramshackle hut is still there preserved. Herzog's eye is always trained on brutality of fact. He shows us all the banality and the everyday unremarkable manners of people. Scientists and all manner of drifters are interviewed. Like the rest of us they're all beautiful losers. But not with disrespect, not with the youtube era's ubiquitous self-mocking and inability to pony up the courage to take our absurdity seriously.
I suppose that's Herzog's woven beauty. His unemotional presentation, his bias, when it does come through, is plain and direct often delivered in his own soft, unforgiving tenor. He tells me that whether or not it's going to be ok is irrelevant. He tells me that the world is so thoroughly logical, that benevolence doesn't seem to naturally bloom from logic. Benevolence isn't real, it's a tactic of sacrifice in the game of survival. If we proceed with the flimsy notion of compassion then we won't be reflections of the natural world, we'll survive. We can stave off the inevitable nothingness, which is to say that we can eschew the anxious coma it would induce to consider it at length and without distraction. Go to work. Eat something.
Herzog manages some really strange things. There's an unassuming shot of the sea bed under the ice that made me feel with absolute certainty that God is simply not there. He makes no bones about his view of the pitiless universe, nature's overriding cruelty. I suppose we're all trying to find a way to deal with that undeniable fact. Pick one. Go to work. Eat something.
I want more than anything to feel as though meaning is present. I suppose I mean that I want whatever I'm doing to not feel completely futile. Doesn't some echo of goodness carry to outward points? Doesn't it fade and die at some points and get picked up and pushed on at others? Isn't that what I've found and done all along? At least, where I'm not mired by the pseudo-agony of the specter of death.
I'm still not there. I never was, and I don't know what you're talking about.
I'm doing some audio exploring. It's more like I'm taking the sensibility of paint and trying to make some audio that feels like how paint can feel. Like I've never known anything and how blissful such a reprieve as this can be. I never knew, so I'm not reprehensible by any authority.
And He was 80 Years Old
I'm catching up on films. It's late. I just finished Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. In a synopsis teaser I glanced over before viewing it they mentioned that the director was 80 years old at the time of filming. Such fine actors. Such a grim story. It doesn't bode well for advancing in age. Nothing really does anymore. I'm just going to stay childlike, thanks. Not childish, mind you, but childlike.