I put off reading A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, because I gathered that it contained sexual violence just for the sake of commenting on violence. While I can’t name any specific media off the top of my head, I had sort of gotten this vague idea that sexual violence is often bandied about just to get a rise out of people who already know that general violence is a bad thing that exists. If audiences have come to terms with that, then it’s time to push the envelope because…just because, really.
So, I did think it was strange that sexual violence appeared to be something special in its profanity, but at the same time would be portrayed with such detachment. Portrayals of it would seem to me a pantomime beyond artistic license, yes, lava can singe the hairs off a person several paces more away but the visual language says that glow is the heat, yes, explosions so close by would realistically leave that person deaf, yes, concussions don’t likely result in a short nap so easy to recover from that it’s funny…but the consequences of human contact shouldn’t slip from extrapolation as easily as all that. It could be that I have a specific sensitivity to this due to my corporeal embodiment, and I sense a lot of tension between that, and a cultural climate, and the position of the creators of media.
Now that I’ve gotten through this book, I’m glad that I waited until I was in a good place to read it. I’m glad that I never had it as required reading. The violence isn’t fetishistically graphic, but if I thought that most media was peculiarly distant from the very thing that takes on a hypersignificated focus, well, Burgess sandwiches the acts between glass slides and leaves it at the end of a telescope. Not a microscope. Continue reading →
I grew up with imagination as a very mundane thing. What does a word look like when it’s spelled correctly? I imagine rather than remember. How will that piece of furniture look in the room instead of in the furniture store? Select marquee, copy, paste. I resisted applying that to my spiritual life through visual meditations because it was too easy.
When I opened up to that, I discovered that imaginative constructs and imaginative interfaces can serve as vessels for some strange things. It felt like imagination, it had the same texture, but there would be aspects that I couldn’t make up or force out. Strange things, by themselves, had always been around; I figured that the persistently nagging sense that I exuded billows of invisible ink and everybody did, or the feeling of there being a shark in the swimming pool even though all evidence was against that, were born of the same neurological quirk that got me losing sleep and cocooning in wretched anxiety for months over a typo.
Stories shape imagination. Mythologies are stories, but hypersignificated ones. Hypersignificating a typo wasn’t helpful at all, but the hypersignification of mythologies was tolerated and even encouraged in my childhood. If I decided that they’re all stories, and I get to decide what to hypersignificate, well…not exactly.
Thenea wrote about some experiences with mythological figures that left shells of themselves for spiritworkers to experience, and proposed that fictional characters were the same with a few exceptions. In any being with sentience, one can find conflict deep within their eyes.
So I decided to go around and give all my Guisers eye examinations. ALL of them. Well, the ones in recent memory that have potential to overlap with fictionaries.