Scorpio 24° (November 16)
Yesterday the day Ambassador Yovanovich sat for public hearing in the Congress with that asshole trying to intimidate her. The days must be numbered now. We can’t possibly allow this to go on. And there have to be at least half a dozen senators who will cross the aisle, even if it’s just because their constituents said they must—who cares, now, really, about those who won’t cross the aisle for the very reason their lousy constituents wouldn’t want them too. Good is slowly winning I feel. And I’m going to let that slow and steady momentum grow in my consciousness. We let go any plans that would have shackled us and as a result the day was long and spacious and we could pop in and out of the televised proceedings. I had started a vegetable soup the day before, and also home-made chicken stock, so we just put it together and let it gel during the day; lunch for S. was avocado toast with some tomatoes I pan-roasted, and I put said tomatoes together with sardines and cream cheese as a spread for my own toasty bite. All our meals were had in front of the telly today. Soup with Ari Melber and why not? Realized Will and Grace had been on and watched it holding our noses. Wow that show has sunk to an all-time low and I don’t think I’ll be tuning in for any more of that torture. It’s all about last ditch efforts to have kids and you know Will and Grace are going to parent together and it makes me want to puke. Do you hear me? Anyway, I spent the day writing and packing and fell asleep pretty exhausted rather early only to awken around three (big surprise) and I popped on the TV to see exactly what time it actually was and Smithereens was on TCM. Now I know this film was pivotal for S. back in the day but I think I only thought I knew it or had seen it; and if I had seen it, which is slightly familiar, I don’t remember any of it. I only watched a bit with the sound off before thankfully falling back to sleep. But what struck me was the following:
It was of it’s time. Now I know that sounds obvious but hear me out. It was made and set in 1982 and, though we associate the eighties with being the beginning of big shoulder pads and Wall Street and Alexis and Crystal, the fact is that, in 1982, New York (as the prime location not only of the film but of American consciousness at the time) was at its most burnt out. We think of the seventies as being burnt out but really it was just still burning. In 1982 New York was a shell of a former self and a raw scaffolding for what would be its new identity. In the film, the characters are living in a van in a parking lot surrounded by homeless people and burnt out buildings and everything, including advertisements for shows at Max’s Kansas City, was expressed in fresh grafitti. What was happening on screen might be a slightly exaggerated version of what was going on downtown but not too too much. Susan Seidelman was capturing the authenticity of the era in real time. People looked like the characters on screen. They smoked extinguished cigarette butts, they dove into diners where they would see a friend or acquaintance and quickly steal a bite of their burger, they wore converse hightops with miniskirts that cost pennies in thrift shops. As we did. It got me thinking: This was the last time a filmmaker caught on screen, in fictionalized form, a reality they were presently living—well, it was at least the last time a white person did. In the late eighties and nineties Spike Lee and John Singleton managed to show us slices of real life in real time, fictionalized though it was. Tell me what film you can think of since that time, though, when we are seeing the reality we are living staring back at us through film. Diane Arbus did it in photographs in the fifties and sixties; Joan Didion did it in the seventies (although she was writing essays from life, which doesn’t really count). Only a certain desolation and despair can be translated as such. Unless you labor under the delusion that your life in the West Village in the nineties was exactly like Friends or Sex and the City then I don’t think you have even a specious argument. Another thing: I hate Ryan Murphy. I’m sure I’d loath the person actually as much as I do his revisionist glamorization of horrific times. Paris is Burning was a documentary so it doesn’t count. But had there been a real scripted film at the time about people living life in New York City during that time, instead of a sanitized twenty-first century version thereof, that would have been more along the lines of what I was talking about.
Anyway we rose at six and left the house by nine to make a train from Dedham. These tablets are really chilling; although I did feel a certain wave of adrenalin attempt to make its way up through the miasma of my newly alchemically shifted self. Still it wasn’t nearly like what I have been coping with over the last couple of years with increasing intensity. We are headed to NYC and the Acela is much more relaxing than driving that is for shitting sure. It’s just after noon now and that means only a couple more hours to go. Part of me imagines I will take a nap when I get there, but, honestly by the time we check in and unpack I don’t see how that will be possible. Also I just realized that I forgot some things which (oy) I won’t mention. It’s not a big deal but it does sort of add to the dilemma if there were one. Which there needn’t be. So much of this stuff is made up in my mind in any case. I might do well to just lie down, set an alarm, and head out just in time for dinner and not have to stress any of this. I do have a habit of complicating things unnecessarily, that we know is very true. Meanwhile I’m sitting here on a train next to a boy who I think is a coder of some kind. He keeps writing impossible mathematcal looking equations. I can barely type in English. I have a giant to-do list, I may have mentioned, that I have to start plugging into my online calendar and/or daily planner. I’m sorry I don’t know how to code. Should I care that I can’t? Just got an invitation to a holiday dinner—it popped across my screen—but it isn’t something I’m going to be able to make. We have to figure out, as it is, how we are going to get from olde Cape Cod to Boston during Christmas week. I suppose we could stay in a hotel for two nights and then make our way to the family for dinner. That is a possibility. Might be very good for shopping; and still we would have time to do any last minute laundry and such at the inlaws. We will again post Scotland when back in London for, what? two days. And then Suffolk and then I suppose we can make our way to Paris and drop our bags at Susie’s or Dom and Nan’s and then head down to Geneva where H+C will surely pick us up and then onto Venice (with them?). This is all to be figured out.
There was a good article on Venice in Winter in Vogue from a few years ago. It looks super on the nose but when you’re visiting a place for the first time for a short time why not be on the nose about it all. I think it is just my luck that they’ve had one of the biggest floods in their history, a bit early this year, just as we decide to go there. What else is new? I just hope that after our visit, given my Pluto rising, it doesn’t completely sink into the sea. Anyway I’m trying not to panic. We are on the Acela still and we are stuck on the tracks as a bridge that is opened in front of us is not cooperating and isn’t closing. I am going to keep an open mind and think positive thoughts but why is there always something fucked up about American trains. They suck we know that. I have been on trains all through Europe for decades with nary a problem. As I write this they say that we will soon get underway. I’ll believe it when we are actually rolling.
To view the original Sabian Symbol themed 2015 Cosmic Blague corresponding to this day: Flashback! The degree pointof the Sabian Symbol will be one degree higher than the one listed for today. The Blague portrays the starting degree of for this day ( 0°, for instance), as I typically post in the morning, while the Sabian number corresponds to the end point (1°) of that same 0°-1° period. There are 360 degrees spread over 365 or 6 days per year—so they near but not exactly correlate.
Typos happen. I don’t have a proofreader. And I like to just write, post and go!
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