Remember: they won’t like you if you laugh when Ophelia drowns

In Current reading, Drafts, Theater on February 9, 2014 at 10:03 am

Smile. Your life is on camera.

As one of Kate Atkinson’s characters says (not a direct quote, I don’t have the original in English): civilized behavior is a thin veneer indeed.

The instinctual. The primal. The irrational. The stuff that makes for drama, and literature – both the great and the dismal beyond belief. The stuff that destroys all those well-ordered principles, those neat categories, those desperate strategies to keep the show from sinking into a bog of hopelessness.

With the wonderful advent of electronics, even the dead show up as a contact on your Facebook page. How grand. Or words you typed one morning, to keep your mind and your fingers from locking up? Hey, on archive – somebody looks them up and it’s as if you were writing them right then and there. Great works of art live on and on. Thanks to electronics, so does the dreck.

So what other choice is there, except to wade through the muck and hope to whatever you consider worth striving for, you’ll make your way through with something else to show for the journey than phony smiles and meaningless pleasantries. Even – hey, let’s keep the dream alive – still sane and clear-eyed and without the dreadful feeling of someone pouring lead into your veins.

Further to the title : they won’t like you either if you refuse the soothing words coo-coo, little one, sleep tight, death is but a transition, you know. They won’t like you one bit; but you may find yourself turned into someone’s pet project. You know, conversion to some higher value or other. Or some existential sink hole, depending on the converter’s preferences. Or endless reminders about how much better things were, now that they aren’t happening in real time, just in virtual one. The place where phony smiles live on, and on, and on. The real ones, too? Sometimes. Who knows.


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