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July 19th, 2013 / 12:57 pm
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Great Here

goya

In reaction to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev beautifully gracing the cover of Rolling Stone, with great hair the less-disheveled would pay for, a Massachusetts State Police officer released photos of “the real Boston bomber,” as a kind of ultimate #nofilter, featuring one of the boy painfully climbing out of the boat he was hiding in. A sniper’s rifle laser falls short of the Hindu third-eye, but we’ll take that red dot as a kind of more precise Western spirituality. Francisco Goya’s “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters” (c. 1798) is probably the most iconic of Los Caprichos, a set of 80 satirical etchings condemning Spanish society for its superstitious pedagogy and foolish ruling class. “The author is dreaming,” he remarks of the print. “His only intention is to banish harmful superstition and to perpetuate with this work of fancy the sound testimony of Truth.” Little did he know that we, as idle linguists with something to grind, would chew on such Truth like termites over the course of a ruined home. The author ducks from his very thoughts, portrayed by flocking owls, only to be banished within the very consciousness from which such birds are cracked. It’s not great here, the mind. In 1970, Charles Manson was featured on the cover the Rolling Stone — with likewise great hair, which may also invoke Jimi Hendrix, Britney Spears, George Harrison, Kurt Cobain, Justin Bieber, Johnny Depp, Amy Winehouse, Madonna, et al., etc., ad infin. Short of reducing such talented people to their hair, we might consider whose demand the magazine is supplicating. As part of the American dream i.e. code for commerce, appalled dissenters are free to not buy a copy, and stores — in timid solidarity with its ruling class, the consumers — may boycott that issue, or the magazine in general. My guess is they’ll be fine. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but a market return. In our grand national narcolepsy, may we have a lucid dream in which we wake, one so lifelike and real — with bells and whistles, traffic jams and hail, love and murder — that it seems, with insane conviction chaperoned by invented beasts, that we are awake.