Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sensationalism in Perspective

Do we downplay excitement and pleasure because we are ashamed to be excited? Exclamation marks are bad, you understand, and displays of loud thrill, such as declarations of adoration, admiration, or just how kickass marvelously splendid something is. Especially if this this is always around, like dry leaves rattling across pavement on a midmorning breeze. Like, birds. Hummingbirds are cool! Roadrunners and sandpipers are cool! Crows! Hawks! Pigeons are fucking great! Look at them, they've got wings and make noise and... GREAT! But we can't say that, because then we would have to admit these cool things are around all the time and the world would look fun or something. Can't have that.

I want you try something for me, will you? While you read this, I want you to start admitting everything you are feeling. Don't take it in all at once. Start with the tops of your feet, just before the toes. What's the skin touching? What's the texture, the temperature? Is there movement? And how 'bout them toes? Wiggling free in the cool air? Hot under wool socks? Pushing against the inside of a shoe? What does you mouth taste like while your feet are feeling all that? How does the cloth set on your legs (if you've got any there)? Is the air conditioning running? If it is, you can probably hear and feel it, but can you hear the air outside? The street? The people chatting at the home next to yours? Somebody else's television set? Your mouth has a texture, yeah, while you are looking at this screen, reading these words? And your hands and your arms and you chest and thighs are all touching stuff, be it cloth, air, what have you. The heat is not uniform, and it moves. When was the last time you ate? Can probably smell the floor from where you are sitting, eyes on this, mouth wet or dry, full of temperature and shifty in your throat, the sounds of your heart, blood and digestion. Have you got the taste of your last meal on your teeth? Which ends of your hair do you feel more, the loose ends or those stuck in your skin? How much shampoo, aftershave, cocoa butter, lotions or perfumes can you smell? How many from you, and what's coming from whomever else is there with you? Scents and temperatures of people there, smells and heat from people who have gone by, just admit to it all. Admit to it all at once.

Take in every sensation you are getting now. Admit to the moment. Now put a world of birds, elephants, pine trees and Argentina, robots, rocketships, organ transplants, rock and roll, ice cream, viridian, and radio waves around that.

Now, the consistent use of exclamation marks devalues what? Sensationalism?

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