Wednesday, February 20, 2008
springful thoughts on a marching season
In the back room, somebody claims for more political commentary.
Whither politics. Quo vadis?
In this country, politics is the realm of the couch potato, fitting nicely somewhere between Britney, human growth hormone, sartorial atrocity (includes the category "wardrobe malfunction") and blood sports. A couch activity, which we maybe can trace back to the tradition of the couch anthropologist, the type of 18th Century enlightened thinker (think think think! de Brosse, Kant) that would preach on the human condition based on hearsay reports from the logbooks of the American missions of the Great Age of Explorations.
But Venus deviates (quite often and in many ways--although in this case, it is just from the point).
In this country, politics (as an ethical commitment, an activity, an encounter-with-the-world) is something you seem to do with a beer on one hand, and the other one stuck down, deep, in the chips bag.
Again we ask ourselves "politics, but whither." To the extremely ugly ergonomic imitation black-leather articulated chair; or in its defect, a somewhere, a somehow (too unseemly to describe in detail)-- supporting a sweaty and sticky portable computer, Bacharach's rainy window of the world, the neighbor's fence, the blog, the youtube "debate".
"I see the future, and it looks like a blackberry but with less buttons!"
Something to say, then, for a return to a politics of the street.
Confession--what comes is a bit old. While Betty and Bimbo were watching Manon, Venus was doing face time at a progressive march. One thinks it must have been progressive, because we were moving forward.
In all honesty, Venus is much more prepared to politick while stationary, in silken black with a charming smile and armed with a good bourbon-soda (lately, the weapon of choice-- mint juleps being slightly too high on caloric content). But the street does hold its attraction, especially after oh so many lame art openings and insipid cocktail parties. But on invitation from our lovely budding politico, Venus decided to lend charm to the oftentimes demure and shabby politics of the street. Remind oneself of the grand past, the beauty of the engaged intellectual, of luminaries linked arm in arm (enter François Miterrand and the Rose Rouge in hand, the certainty of our dark suits imitating our struggle, or vice versa...)
Thus Venus encountered the power of the Masses: the future-seeing crowd, the multitude, the sway, the -- oh, how nice to see you again! What a beautiful red coat...! Yes, wait, I can't really hear what you are saying, the speaker's too loud... Entranced by the repetitive, mantra-like nature of the Chants, Venus repeats--No more Jobs and Education, We want War and Occupation... Or was it otherwise.
The politics of the street, there is, perhaps, something to say of them, for them, to them.
There was sweat and tears, and prayer, maybe, even, hope.
Well, I can only say that there is something to chants. Also to slogans: it's hard to keep pace with them. Change, for instance. It's so 2008. But can we believe in it? For real?
Venus has seen the future...
(image credit: Atelier Populaire, 1968)