Earthly anchors

The analogy is perfect.
When talking of anchors. Or as I define anchors.
There is the anchor we all think of.

Big, heavy, solid. Ties down your floating vessel so you can plant yourself out in the middle of the indifferent ocean and proceed with your Earthly tasks.

Most people are reassured by the presence of an anchor. Without it they are at the mercy of the large and powerful oceanic forces. There is nothing more frightening than to have no control over one’s direction.

And the other anchors I speak of are the type we lug around on land. Because, once again, we fear aimlessness. So we clutter our lives with anchors of varying degrees and sizes.

We buy and store and build…anchors. Earthly anchors.

Why? On a boat in the middle of the ocean, we need the brute and tangible weight of a heavy mass in order to keep us from wandering astray. And I believe the very essence of modern man is self-containment and artificial insulation against the wild beast that beckons from deep in his soul.

On the most elemental level, I believe earthly anchors are those items we’ve contrived in order to escape our wild nature. We fear the beast that lurks in our hearts. Thus we created the most ancient earthly anchor of them all: religion. Religion serves to tie us down and sublimate our natures. Our existence on this planet is a turbulent ocean which can drag our souls and bodies into the blinding darkness of the ocean’s depths. Our own nature we’ve learned to fear and distrust…and which we seek to contain and imprison. Religion served that purpose for a good portion of our historical past.

With the advent of technology and the spoils of the modern age, it became more difficult to control man. Thus a new set of anchors came into play…and have gradually multiplied, both in number and sophistication.

And most of of all, we continue hungrily to seek the means to procure those anchors!

And we attempt to bestow upon our children this unbridled lust as well. The means are money. And our lives are built around getting more and more of it. Why? So we can buy bigger and better anchors. And we want that for our children also, we want their anchors to be bigger and better than ours were. So we send them to school and 20 years of college so that they may one day be consumed with the same voracious ambition and drive which plagues us.

And here we are.

We blindly rush like lemmings toward the call of the modern anchor. We buy houses and cars and televisions and computers and clothes and we differentiate ourselves from others by the exclusivity of our anchors and we display them proudly so that others can marvel. Marvel at our anchors and degree of “unfreedom.”

For that is what anchors buy us: imprisonment.

The only option is to shed as many anchors as possible; as many as we can comfortably do without in our daily lives. Only then will we ever know freedom. And whether you like it or not, your nature is a wanderer. Your nature seeks release from walls, from clocks, from possessions, from shackles…your nature is wild. Live it.

Or don’t.

edited December 6, 2009

Toolism? Toolhardy? Toolish? Toolsome? Toolhood? And the list goes on…

I’m fixated with invectives and adverbs and adjectives and any other sort of plastic manipulation of the English language that conveys my meaning like getting hit on the head with a brick.

Which is cool because I doubt that “toolhardy” is in any unabridged mainstream dictionary in existence. But it’s an awesome artificial word.

From the base word tool.

I pride myself on being the anti-tool. Self-delusion is a terrible thing. Some of us may escape the normal social dose of toolism, but none of us can ever escape it completely.

According to the Urban Dictionary “tool” entry, there are 3 definitions of the term. No. 2 is my favorite and what I think of when I describe someone as a tool:

Get this: even the basic, concious and prideful act of trying not to be tool…makes you a tool! Damnit! You can’t win. It’s a circular and Sisyphean task this whole thing about trying not to be tool.

In order to be toolfree while not falling into the disgusting trappings of making anti-tool your identity, you must slip into a Zen-like state of existence and sever your self-identity for a few precious moments. Relinquish longings, blunt the ego.

So long toolhood!

Life without ELECTRICITY (as in 2 days)

There is something ragingly primeval and animalistic about darkness.

Take my word for it. You try spending over 24 hours without electricity in the middle of hot, orange and smoky Los Angeles. You do that and tell me the urge to tear a weaker fellow human limb by limb and then consume him/her in a bloody, messy feast that leaves with with an ear cartlidge dangling from your canines does not torment you.

No sir.
Courtesy of someone’s fuck-up or just good old fashioned Bad Luck, I’ve spent 2 nights at the Pitch Darkness Inn of East Los Angeles. This is one lodge they can’t say “we’ll leave the light on” because there is no juice for that. Better would be “we’ll leave the candles lit” or “we’ll leave fresh batteries in the flashlight.”

Bastards.

You know it’s this weird misplaced anger that really gets me. It’s the kind of anger that just eats you up and you have nowhere to channel it. You just want to swear very, very loudly and call anyone and everyone a fucking dumbshit moron. Unfortunately, there is no specific person you can direct that to. It’s not like a George W. Bush presidency where the idiotic focal point of your frustration can be arrowed.

Why did I happen to have to live in a strangely and asymmetrical sliver of territory that stretches from East L.A. into neighboring Montebello that has been in complete darkness since 5 p.m. on Monday evening?

Depends on which story you buy. Depends on which story you find more gutturally satisfying. There are several incarnations, evolutions, of this story. Several story-tellers around this big happy fucking campfire.

Amazing that a certain lack of modern amenities (such as electricity) leaves me full of acidic ire and uttering a constant stream of cursing. It’s scary.

Story #1, my mother, via Southern California Edison’s outage “assistance” line: the power is out because of an equipment failure. Uh. I realize my mother was only the messenger, but honestly…no kidding. Who is the wise electro-sage at Edison who came up with that knee-jerk explanation? Equipment failure? No shit. I would have thought anything but that!

Story #2, first-hand upon my phone call to the same Edison “helpline”: Due to a fire, a substation servicing thousands of people was seriously damaged and due to the severity, repair will be delayed. As in not until 8 a.m. on Tuesday. I’m assuming they are referring to the brush fires surrounding North L.A.?

Story #3, once again, firsthand from Edison shortly after 8 a.m., the first estimate, has come and gone: due to maintenance, power has temporarily been shut down to allow crews a chance to modernize aging infrastructure. Getting very thick now.

Story #4, via my elderly neighbor who was sitting outside in the murky hot morning air for whatever reason as I left to drive to work: a construction crew on the Gold Line extension into East L.A. damaged a power line causing a massive fire and dangerous unrest, or at the very least, lots of spoiled food. Won’t be up and running until “tomorrow.” Is this the fire SCE was referring to???

Story #5, basically a reiteration of story #2, except the expected or estimated time to repair now is 1 a. m. Stewing in anger.

Story #6, #5, but now it’s 3 a.m. OK I really need that weaker person who I can de-limb cause I’m feeling a tad aggressive. Another night of faint darkness. Hmm isn’t that just like a normal night of sleep? Much of this anger and frustration is childish, I realize. There are people who have lost houses in the fires. At least I have a roof.

Story #7, early this morning: We have nothing to report, please check back for updates. Uh oh. Sounds like good news or bad news? Irritation sets in, cuss like a sailor at my parent’s house where I sneak off to eat a quick breakfast

7:10, power back the minute I finish my weights. My tenuous hold on reality returns and I can re-enter the realm of bloggery once more.

L.A.’s fiery sky

I read somewhere, a long time ago (National Geographic magazine?) that new visitors to Los Angeles say that one of the first things they are struck by is the lighting in the city…a function of the atmospheric qualities of the LA Basin.

I don’t know about that. I’ve lived here all my life, never really noticed.

Sometimes while fires rage and destroy homes and lives in the hills, I have to admit the lighting is tragically and destructively magnificent. I’m sure the fiery end of the planet is beautiful to those observing from millions of miles away.

Re-hashing the indecisiveness issue in Hollywood

Gotta conjure up the ghosts of my “indecisive” post from the other day. Just gotta.

Never reluctant to overstate, but nevertheless quite aware of that tendency, I find myself hypervigilant to the extreme when it comes to maintaining a sharp eye (and ear) for instances of behavior which bear out my rantings.

So…I ranted about indecisiveness on Thursday and yesterday, Friday, I was treated to a tremendous and and unmistakable example of it as I rushed to the Hollywood and Vine Red Line station after work.

Grand, eloquent, effervescent…unbridled indecision brought to you (indrectly) by this pinnacle of the performing “arts.”

Yep…Legally Blonde, The Musical. Go ahead, wipe that shudder off your spine and bear with me (and get your eyes of the blonde’s legs). This estrogenic production can be all yours to view if you’re willing to throw down a serious wad of cash that will allow you to enter the teeny bopperish throngs crowding into the lobby of the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles. I can’t see myself spending any more than three dollars on this show…that’s about what I spent to rent the DVD (and incidentally, I didn’t think it was half bad).

Anyways, the show started a few weeks ago and I’m treated to a mass of femdom each time I rush to the train station about 6:15 in the evening and cut through one of the parking lots serving the theater. I can tell you that the crowd appears to be at least 80% women. The other 20%, the men, are either swishers, or if not, then they have that captive, POW gaze and when you meet their sad eyes they seem to cry to you helplessly, for a woman, this???

Last night, rushing to catch the 6:19 southbound to Pershing Square, the usual hustle and bustle of pre-show chickdom parking and balancing on heels and donning their theater-going best and I approach about 4 young women crowded around a small econocar. They appeared to be in the act of doing one last pre-mission check before locking the car and heading to the theater. In their twenties, white, wholesomely attractive, they all chattered around a central female figure who was writhing with self-doubt.

“I think I’ll just take it. I’ll keep it folded,” she ventured. It was obvious by the reaction and stances that this bizarre conversation had been in progress for at least a minute.
“Yes I think you should take it,” helped one of her friends.
“Yeah just carry it in there, you never know…” piped in another.

What was paining the girls?

(Now is a good time to lay down a preface: it’s been miserable hot in L.A. Temperatures in the 90’s and the air is smokey, orange and ashy from the fires).

The issue was whether Subject One, Indecision Ground Zero, should bring a sweater with her into the show. For this triviality the girls could not leave their car until they hashed out a solution for their lost friend who didn’t know if the theater might be too chilly for her bare arms, but which of course was further complicated by the fact that Los Angeles, outside of theaters, was sweltering under a hellish pall. Which was complicated by the fact that the air temp inside the Pantages might not be congruent with the wardrobe demands needed outside and the jaunt across the street.

Oy!

Why in the world do you bring a sweater in the first place? You know you’re going to take it into the theater otherwise you would not have brought it. Just take the sweater and carry it, it was a thin women’s sweater that didn’t weigh more than a pound.

I wonder if she enjoyed the show?