“. . . a man does . . . not attack because his cause is just . . . he conquers ’cause he’s the stronger. . .” (Carson McCullers)
October 30, 2014 Leave a comment
Every morning my first thought is, “Shall I try to write about something, or just write and see what’s going on in my mind?” That may be a habit ingrained over thirty, forty, fifty years, or it may be that I have no choice.
It’s fun to think I have no choice. Hypergraphia. One of the presentations of TLE. I wonder sometimes what TLEptics who didn’t (don’t) know how to write cope with this need. What is (was) their mechanism for satisfying this (seemingly) irrepressible urge? Do only people who live in advanced civilizations and are literate and own either a computer or paper and pencil have TLE?
This morning I woke up thinking about one of my most bizarre mornings of writing. The morning after I saw the 1967 movie Reflections in a Golden Eye (starring Pvt. Robert Forster riding a horse naked through the woods with Elizabeth Taylor and Maj. Marlon Brando as a married couple both lusting after him). What else do you expect from Carson McCullers?
With a red-ink Flair pen (how au courant I was!) that morning, I wrote stuff so strange that it ended up as evidence in a court hearing about which I have written a blog entry to be posted the day after I die. (Yes, I’ll be writing this stuff until the morning I die, and—lucky readers—it will continue to evolve in strangeness as time goes on unless we let NASA and Google continue to track our every thought, word and deed so by then we have finally reverted completely to 1984, and Newspeak is all we know).
That scribbling in red ink haunts me to this day. I have no idea what it said, but I have a picture of it in my mind—so vivid that I still, 46 or so years later, see it, have a physical memory of writing it, and dream about it from time to time.
Thanks to DVDs, I have watched Pvt. Forster ride naked through the woods perhaps three times since 1968. It’s pretty dangerous for me to do. Fortunately I had been through many years of therapy and was safely with my late partner the last time I watched it, so I had no need for red ink. I think the DVD is in my apartment somewhere. Note to self: take to Half Price Books.
Exactly why I was thinking about that writing this morning is a puzzlement.
I have no idea.
So I’ll start there.
In a biography of Carson McCullers, or a biography of Tennessee Williams, or an article about David Diamond, or in one of David Diamond’s letters I’ve read at the Library of Congress is a description by David Diamond of coming down to breakfast at February House (where Williams, McCullers, W. H. Auden, Diamond, and other artistes lived in Brooklyn) to find Williams sitting at one end of the dining table writing and McCullers at the other end writing. Diamond had an affair with McCullers’ husband Reeves; he was not, I think, a nice man, but that’s another book altogether. Those writers and musicians were making art about the scariest inner workings of our minds.
I wonder if Jaylen Fryberg ever saw a “cowboys and Indians” movie before he killed himself and two others last week. The country freaked out—again—after the umpteenth school shooting spree in the 21st century.
I doubt it that he ever saw a real shoot-‘em-up Western.
He was a member of the Tulalip Indian Nation, but he was also a member of the generation who last year had opportunity to see
The Hunger Games – Catching Fire
Man of Steel
Thor: the Dark World
World War Z
Iron Man 3
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Fast and Furious 6
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
I am not a psychologist, a social scientist, or any other kind of –ist. I write and write and write and spew stuff out into the Ethernet for people who don’t have good sense to read. And I am fascinated, even obsessed with from time to time, people like David Diamond. Does Reflections in a Golden Eye have anything to do with McCullers’ life experience?
I know absolutely for sure without a shadow of a doubt that seeing Reflection in a Golden Eye began a direct line of thinking in my befuddled TLEptic mind (I’m not blaming TLE, just stating it as part of the mix) to my acting out in such a way that could have ended in my institutionalization for the rest of my life had it not been for a judge who knew a fevered brain from a criminal one.
Citizens of Marysville, Washington, are threatening violence against members of the Tulalip Nation because Jaylen Fryberg was a member of the Tulalip Nation. Violence.
There no end to the violence and threats of violence in the United States. Can it possibly be that a child of 15 years old, having watched on the big screen or on his smart phone violent, unprincipled, anti-social movies all his life is not so inured to violence and killing that it seems normal to carry a gun to school and kill his classmates? I have no knowledge of the movies he saw—but I know hundreds of 18-year-olds whose brains are saturated with movies like the ones I’ve listed. I watched Hunger Games a couple of years ago because a few of those hundreds told me I needed to watch it to know what they were thinking about.
We are a nation of violence. Jaylen Fryberg, if he was connected to the world around him, knew violence. Violent death was—quite possibly—the norm in his thinking. I don’t know if that’s true. But I know it’s true for many of his peers. Cowboys and Indians is kids’ stuff.