Thursday, July 8, 2010

Apocalypse/Rapture...thinking of end times!

Pestilence, war, famine, and death...the four horsemen of the Apocalypse!
I have never had much 'faith' in the notion of a real, (as in empirical), apocalypse, until recently. I always thought that writers used such visions as warnings of our demise, IF!....On the other side, writers also had the option of a utopia..IF ONLY!
As Northrop Frye reminds us in The Educated Imagination, the works of the imagination tend toward "wish fulfilment or avoidance dreams". And, for all those christian literalists, who really knows about absolute beginnings (of the universe) and absolute endings (of same)?
Yet, speculation runs rampant, and has since words have been spoken, and then written and now digitized.
We could, (no doubt someone probably will try to) line up all people on one side of the river of time or the other...on one side, those who fancy a wonderful 'rapture' and on the other side, those who see the 'hell' of those four horsemen and their apocalypse.
Extreme visions, tempered by the clock, calendar and mortality, tend to focus the mind! While the wish fulfilment dream seems a little unreachable, (as it must in empirical terms) so too does the avoidance dream, (as it should again in empirical terms).  Yet they were never intended "in empirical terms".
Nevertheless, the imagination never stops imagining! It can't and wont! Thank God! It is that energy and that creativity and that impulse from which all great art is born.
But, today, when The Empirical is King, Queen, God and also Satan, it is the reduction of the fruits of the imagination in schools and their budgets, for example, that speaks about them as "only playthings", that dominates our mind-set, unless and until one piece (play, poem, song, canvas, dance, film) catches an important critic's eye.
While it is true that no concerto ever provided food for a starving child in Sudan, it is also true of that same concerto that it fed the mind/heart/spirit of millions who fully entered its space, when the opportunity presented. And it has "value" only if and when the manuscript is "found" in the attic of some house and auctioned to the highest bidder. To the philistines my finger is raised!
To the artist, it gave existential meaning to his/her life, while it dragged every ounce of sweat, energy and pain out of its creator. It had to!
And for all those number-crunching, self-appointed royals, those in the current ascendency of hierarchies, nothing you can or will do can reduce the value of that concerto to one of your numbers even if the manuscript is never discovered!
Now, for fun, try to put a value on those four horsemen...and their import!
And on their demise!
p.s. Oh, you don't have a number for that? Pity!
Could it be that your numbers are the symptoms and symbols of the PESTILENCE?

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