Yes, I lack 21st century cultural references and the deft urbanity that I exchanged for the ability to see and hear again, but at time experience muteness, a mutation in the form of trying to find what fills the space that was so dominated by oppositionalness.
The eighties definition of me is, No.
No you will not tease me into any allegiance whatsoever, all association as dogma, a cult of dogmatic originality sponsored by a fear of repetition in any shape or form took hold.
And I was borne out in my travels by this religion, to find my way out of the haunted house of 70’s sitcoms that was the landscape of my unconscious. But alas, the inevitable “where’s the beef?” follow up question has been my purpose in being here in Prague.
What does the mind numbing hate of the conscious one of the Reagan-Bush diaspora have to do with the simple named one’s residing in the post-communistic amoral polarity to the permissive cornucopia of his upbringing?
Well, there is an abiding conflict of morality in the confusion of how to read the signals in the marquee’s and Hollyweird’s fiction of the materialist hero, and a flat out inability to materially desire so madly as the bizarre generation of apathetically consumeristic youth just over my shoulder.
Hell, I have never imagined I could have intelligent conversations with teenage human beings, without paranoia even, until I landed in Europe.
In the major league hypocrisy that I was exposed to on a daily basis, I experienced profound disillusionment, and the feeling of being a sucker, not only to the underpinnings of the Bill of Rights, but to the grotesque perversion of what perhaps was the most hope-substantiating document in the history of the determinism of a people (no matter the ever present historical ironies) had meant to me.
And yes, it’s because I was paying attention in class rather than sniffing glue in hallway with the other sorry excuses for scholasticism in my quite poor Irish hell of a neighborhood. And yes, I accepted more than my share of blows to the head / soul and body for being so hypnotised by this seemingly enclosed and perfectly functioning system.
And yes, I felt strange in the back seat of a car driving through first Gettysburg (so much blood), Bethlehem (it was dark, a strange feeling of nativity), and Chambersburg (big fear and strange deep pervading feeling of Auchswitz, spell check anyone), oh Pennsylvania!!!
All this history in the confines of the massive Pennsylvania / Earth. And yes, my Grandmother did live at the airport (but this is distant hearsay).
But prague (with a small P) may not really hold the key towards unleashing the usefulness of a full-on contortionistic idealist, with the slow heartbeat of a hunter, into the total machine he might otherwise pursue without perspective.
But it has re-exposed the senses to envision deeper shades of subliminal substance if not fully exposing the mind-bending next question / challenge / companion. It’s but a pole to assist in balancing the forces of hyper real vertigo, and mad vandalism I understood as absurd humor skewing me self-destructively beyond commitment, stateside.
But I know the importance of that electricity and THE ENORMITY of cultural snobbism in understanding the real ethical conflicts and deep antipathy of the confused, dispossessed, and deeply rooted cultures in the lines of the elderly faces of the mass transport dependent, out for a stroll, all congestion-creating ambivalence and cane waving entitlement.
And I think, at least they are not living in fear, for tomorrow, even if they may not be living, in my previous manifestation of snobbery, right at the moment.