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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

REWRITING HISTORY

late summer flora

It's a time now of wildflowers yellow, white and purple, the same as the colors of spring. The colors that are first in the blooming cycle are the same as the last in the cycle. Looking at the blooming cycle as a circle, the two ends meet as half the circle while mid summer flowers make the other half. Watched a Japanese samurai film this afternoon that only had on actual sword fight. It wasn't a slasher samurai extravaganza with blood spewing on the camera lens. It was a love story that took a very circuitous route, speaking of circles. A coming back to the beginning in a new way, setting out at the end on the next cycle. Beautiful Japanese interiors of vertical and horizontal lines, exteriors that flow with the landscape in color and design. The Japanese artist's eye is very different from the Western even doing the same things, like visuals in Japanese films, like abstractions, and colors, there's nothing like the colors Japanese artists find. Like Jr said of Earl Scruggs, he could find every note there was in a banjo. Japanese artists consistently find new tones of colors never seen before in the West.

For as long as I can remember I've been attracted to the Japanese eye in art. American art goes back a few hundred years and it's a step above stick figures. Japanese art goes so far back we have to ally ourselves with European art to have a history that goes that far back. When they join their Asian origins with China, it goes back to the pyramids, as does Western art. Then there was the Asian art from India to Persia going that far back too. Different cultural origins that weren't aware of each other for a very long time, and then only slightly, Marco Polo's Italian interpretations of what the Chinese were about. I believe he was in the time of Kublai Khan of Coleridge's acid poem. What I think I'm getting at is back at the origins of the various directions visual art took throughout the earth were very similar in their origins.

Folk music, the real old-timey kind barely remembered from all around the world sounds awfully similar all around the world. First time I heard Greek folk music, there it was. Not too far from American old-time. Egyptian. I have an idea the music played to King David's hymns (psalms) wouldn't be as foreign sounding to us now when we hear music from all over the world if we want. Egyptian and Ethiopian were the musical worlds of perhaps his people as they came to Egypt slaves from countries south of Egypt, Nubia, Ethiopia. My guess is the music as it was played then in and around Jerusalem, just a few generations after leaving Africa still had plenty of Africa in it. This was Isaac Hayes's point with Black Moses. Moses was an African. His people came from south of Egypt where the roots of their music would be too.

Scholars know what the instruments were in that time, and whatever they were, there is something the same or similar played somewhere in Africa today. A one-string violin, and people who played them became masters in their old age of manipulating the sound with one string. The rhythms would still be African. Their caravans went back and forth to Persia and India. I suppose caravans in the desert navigated by the stars as mariners did. They had a lot of cultural interaction. I remember the scene in the whore house with Mary Magdalene and all the men of different races, languages, cultures going by what they wore, in The Last Temptation of Christ. Jerusalem as a place where caravans came and went had every kind of people probably from Africa to Asia this side of the Himalayas.

They didn't have suburban middle class laws about getting drunk. These were tough people and among them bandits and thieves galore. It was wild times. Look at the parties King David threw for his men after a battle. I'd say it would be a good guess that they had drums going on too with black men playing them. The girls would be every race and nationality from Marrakesh to Calcutta. There would probably be several dead of various reasons in the morning. These are guys good with knives. Drunk. Stupid. The knives come out on Saturday night. Celebrating surviving another battle, something not everybody does, and there's no knowing going into it who may return. I doubt the wine they drank was 10%. I doubt a movie could be made to duplicate the scene. The smells must have been overwhelming. BO from hell, literally. I don't think they had locker rooms then with showers for after the game. Everybody smelling so bad nobody notices. When we from tv world go to places on the globe where deodorants aren't quite the vogue they are here, it gets our attention.

In that place and time after all day on the battlefield, hacking, stabbing, spearing, shooting arrows, probably covered in blood something like a pickup after a mudsling covered in mud. And the babes love it. Harley men without restraints. Telling stories all night long, drunk, of Bruno getting his head lopped off, Igor run through with a spear, and the guy whose guts fell out. Everybody laughs. The hos in awe of these Arnold / Rocky / Chuck Norris bad guys that kill for the thrill of not being dead. Get stupid til you drop and wake up on the floor around noon. It would make Las Vegas look silly, prim and ridiculous. We tend to think of the time and place as Bible Times, therefore really special, God's chosen people on a serious killing spree like Genghis Khan did later, destroying population centers, doing like the ones with the most powerful armies do in all times, destroy defenseless villages and towns and have a party afterward. They destroyed all that went before them.

Genghis Khan destroyed and looted from Mongolia to Afghanistan with an army no army could defeat. Men that rode horses all-out day after day, lived their lives on their horses. It was a very different life from the American soldiers in Iraq doing the same thing, big superior Army destroying a defenseless country, and then we'll leave, except for bases set up all over the country, that our troops went in to establish. We don't do slasher war any more. We do video game war. Push a button in the video game in your tank and shoot a direct hit on another tank over the horizon out of sight. Those drones they nab the enemy with that direct a missile to a specific spot, like when Ahab is sunbathing on the flat roof they have where it doesn't snow, somebody can be operating the drone from a computer anyplace, Memphis, FtWorth, Anchorage, doing it like a video game. That's really weird.

If you're still with me, you're as surprised as I am at what a turn this took, Surrealism in everyday life. Good. I've been wanting to be able to skitz off into the unknown and see where it went. I tend to want to anchor myself in what makes sense. That was fun to just let go and see whatever happened. I hope it didn't bore you too much. I haven't read it yet and probably won't before it's posted since I'm so often drained by the time I'm done writing these entries, I just spell check and wait til morning to see if any sense was made. You see, what I'm doing at this end is having a ball. That's why I give it 3-5 hours a day. It's my time to dance the only way I know how. I write about my experience because it's the only experience I have access to. I don't care anything about writing fiction, because even a direct account of an experience is fiction. It's told from one perspective of many possible, interpreted, filtered through mind and personal associations, comes out in brief paragraphs devoid of context.

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