Sunday, November 05, 2006

Diversion and Background Noise,

The buzz surrounding the approach of a definitive election is growing into a deafening roar. One can hardly turn on the television or the radio without being reminded that it is coming. While I think that it will turn out to be a crucial moment in determining our nation's future, I have felt an urge to distract myself from thinking about it. I have only been partially successful.

The flap about the botched joke of John Kerry is still resonating. The amount of energy the GOP has put into drawing attention to a failed presidential candidate who is no even involved in a political race suggests an increasing desperation. Granted even if it had been delivered correctly, it wouldn't have caused a laugh riot... but there's really no connection between the speeches politicians deliver and their true sentiments anyway. It seems to me that this is a non-event... serving only to distract voters from substantial issues.

I got to see plenty of good art this weekend. Ian Green's post-apocalyptic paintings at Garfield Artworks won't put anyone at ease, but they are incredible nonetheless. In fact the entire show was faily strong, and it seems like the gallery is recapturing just a bit of its former glory with several strong shows in a row. It was nice to be around several of the participant artists of the Panza live figure drawing sessions, at the Naylor/Rettinger show on Saturday. I look forward to the opportunity to spend time with that group every Thursday. It helps me get through the work week. Routine and creativity do not necessarily have to be mutually exclusive.

As each day passes, I anxiously anticipate a "November Surprise". Will the CIA finally reveal that Bin Laden is dead? Will the Sunnis and Shiites lay down their arms, embrace each other, and make a public pronounciation of conciliation to the West? Will there be a frightening terror attack, that will play into the hands of the Reactionaries? We live in an era in which anything can be expected. I don't put anything past our current government.

M. and I attended a wedding at the Mattress Factory. Of course it was an unconventional location for such an affair. The bride and groom currently live in Brooklyn, and they brought a horde of New Yorkers down with them. It was a boisterous ceremony, with audience participation and catcalls. The couple was married by a friend, who had recently become ordained online. The mob of hipsters graciously allowed the few elders the entirety of the available seating. The museum staff kept all of the exhibits open, and it was a great chance to take our time processing the art. An open bar and high-quality contemporary installation art- truly a winning combination.

Tomorrow will bring a spending spree from the remainder of the major parties' campaign war chests. Millions of dollars will be spent (wasted) trying to sway the few remaining voters who have not made a commited decision. Expect to be inundated with multiple messages, all carefully constructed to avoid the acknowledgement that this is a battle of the "lesser evils". I know no one who is truly excited or inspired by any of the candidates. It is a conflict between those who want change of any kind versus those who are able to retain faith in the current power structure. Some have unwavering faith in the current ruling party, and some simply want to see the restoration of some minimal degree of checks and balances. Such is American "democracy" in the twenty-first century.

This weekend I tried to divert myself by watching the "Godfather" movies. It was an interesting escape into a fantasy of the past. Of course, the acting is famously lauded- Marlon Brando, James Caan, Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, James Duvall, Robert Deniro, Talia Shire, Abe Vigoda, Bruno Kirby... was that a Harry Dean Stanton cameo in the congressional hearings scene? For those not familiar with the films, they present the multi-generational history of an Italian family that rises to power and eventually breaks apart due to its own weighted burdens and ambition. Ultimately it's about the perversion of the American Dream. It becomes a war between a family and its enemies- an "us vs. them" parable. Loyalty to traditional values succumbs to a merciless and pre-emptive will to power. If I think about it too much it reminds me of something... hmmm....

3 Comments:

Anonymous SCV Member said...

A good read. I'm looking for info on the civil war and anything related to it.

Regards,

SCV member
Emerson

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man I wish I was cool enough to get invited to a wedding like that!


Ugh! I'm just gonna go vote and then start drinking.

3:57 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Lee,

I was just cool by association. I didn't even know the groom beforehand.

7:25 AM  

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