“A fragment does not give us that continuously changing truth … ” (Anais Nin).
We now live our lives in fragments. Small moments of awareness, like a penny peep-show of old. Wisdom and knowledge in photo-ops and literary grabs of no more than a thousand words … written in a witty and evocative hand. Hinting at but not over-playing a verbose vocabulary … just enough to thoroughly suffocate the inadequate language of the uneducated while going about the task of educating the unknowing about the inner truths of subjective objectivity.
What is “truth”? … we may ask. And did not Pilate ask the same of Jesus? … or so we are told … before he cast him to the mob … So there is the difference of the times … now, the mob plays the role of a Pilate and any victim that falls into their media net of criminality or what can even be construed as such is torn apart BEFORE they are judged and THEN thrown to be intellectually eviscerated by the singular expert on visual media or blog.
It was a hot summer’s day and I might have dropped into that front-bar of that esplanade hotel for a quick refresher before lunch … you could get a good, cheap counter-lunch at some of those hotels then … I’m talking of the early seventies … There were three other blokes in the bar, sitting with their backs to the esplanade and sea … I was at the at the zenith of the “u” shaped bar so could see through the open sash windows onto the street.
At that moment, a young woman clad in a “strategically shaped” yellow bikini stepped barefooted onto the hot road and, clutching an ice-cream in one hand and towel in the other, quick-steppingly made her way across to the sea. As I said, she was a young woman and a Bertie Wooster might add; “with a rather splendid profile” … and the hot surface of the road made her tapping steps enhance the perimeters of that profile .. and as I nonchalantly perved, those other three chaps, as if on some silent, invisible, stage-directed que all turned simultaneously and looked toward the young lady. And as their eyes lingered on the sight some while, one has to conclude they were of the same imagination as yours truly.
What made them turn in unison? … What made their eyes linger on the vision? … What is it about the female form that creates a certain kind of silent hunger in the heterosexual male? … a lust for life!: “Perfume of embraces all him assailed, with hungered flesh obscurely, he mutely craved to adore.” … Thank you, Mr. James Joyce … couldn’ve said it better meself!
Of course, I won’t try to answer those questions … I suspect most men of my generation (and any other ) already know them anyway. Sufficient to answer for myself in that time of youth, lusting after the sublime feminine form. The object of sexual desire. But that was then. Back in those long lost years of “wasted youth” etc, etc … Now, I have to admit a certain lack of enthusiasm toward the erotic or even the exquisite female form.
Something lost upon the way, perhaps? … I don’t think so … A woman in her early forties recently remarked to me that she noticed that “one doesn’t see … (and here she paused to choose the correct word) … sexy looking people much anymore.” … She didn’t mean saucily-dressed or whatever, she meant as in that attractive manner … that je ne sais quoi of style and form that some people seemed to have in spades.
I recall my first sighting in film of Catherine Deneuve, a “love at first sight” moment … in a movie experience type way … now there was a woman who visually oozed that confident feminine quality that was both sensual strength and vulnerable beauty at the one time … a type of woman one felt like showing both heroic example and adoring servility at the one moment. The Leonard Cohen; “I’m your man” kind of thing … “… with hungered flesh obscurely … “
I myself am a viewer these days of those so-called “Scandi-noir” films where often there is a smattering of nudity and sexual activity … but strangely (perhaps it is my age), even though there is accompanying sultry music and mood photography to fit the moment, I find the scenes cold and clinical … almost brutal and the bodies harsh and brittle … certainly not attractive as the girl in the yellow bikini from my young years … and indeed, I confess to sometimes wincing my eyes shut at just that strategic moment of coitus abruptus. These present day displays of the body-naked is more like a display of the “body-corporate”! … and one is left with the cold, clinical feeling of a surgical examination rather than the warm inner-glow of unsettling desire … one senses the silent glare from unseen eyes by the society examiner of sexual morals of; “don’t you even dare think … !” … What has gone wrong?
Sexual sensuality has morphed into sexual depravity, lustful desire has morphed into lascivious groping … and we as a collective have become the lesser for it. Where once flirt and tease were played with all the skills of a professional erotic dancer … now, one could perhaps observe that brutality has become the new eroticism. Where once was the anticipation of a new date a thrill of elated emotion; “Will she turn up? … it’s getting a bit late, surely! … Oh wait … there … !” … is it now no more than a banal casual appointment?
The same with humour, where once, the inept clumsiness of slapstick and the guffawing of a gross double entendre sufficed for many an evening’s entertainment, those now dated situation comedies have been replaced … NOT with equally juvenile but more sophisticated humour, but it would seem with more a vicious glee in making mockery of another’s unfortunate situation … like the many humiliating situations and events on clips on Twitter or YouTube … an up-dated media event like the sadistic “Funniest Home Videos” shows … We no longer laugh at situations, but more now at the hapless victims of a situation … Where once a professional comedian would play a rehearsed part of a gormless dupe, we now have smart-phones candidly recording every mishap and misadventure by any citizen just going about their business to be displayed to the entire world! We no longer hunger for just a touch from a desired person, but seem to need to totally control the entire relationship …
I see the steady walk toward authoritarianism as the motivating principle of these debased and bullying behaviours, where so many people, used to following persons of exemplar, those regular paths of guidance in life choices are being fed wrong choices , wrong possibilities and in accepting so readily these immoral and unethical social “norms”, we are being herded onto a path that only leads toward a descent into darkness.