There’s some truth in that old chestnut that if you want a thing done, give it to a busy person. I used to absolutely resent this philosophy when I was serving time in the gulags of digital marketing and some C-suite hominid got a wild hair up their ass about the conversion rate right in the middle of a campaign, but it’s a different story when you’re an out of work artist who’s preoccupied themselves with participating in the revolution. It feels good to have a lot of things to work on, but at the same time, it feels like each day is approximately ninety-seven hours long, each of its hours consistently jam packed with an indeterminate and ever-changing mix of fresh hell and fleeting euphoria.
A few things of note this week: a Saharan dust plume is due to make landfall on the North American continent. It will make its presence known to us by rendering our sunrises and sunsets even more picturesque than usual, no small feat for a rogue congress of loose soils. In reading the relevant Big Cloud coverage, I was reminded of a Peanuts four-square where Pigpen explains to Charlie Brown that he considers his personal ether of filth to be vital evidence of history, perhaps dirt upon which some great philosopher once trod.
Also of note: Charles Schulz described Pigpen as a “human soil bank”.
While most of the Twitterati were preoccupied this weekend making admittedly hilarious mashups* of Trump’s walk of shame off Marine One after bombing his standup set at the Tulsa Funny Bone, another small faction of free thinkers was positing that the constant evening racket of fireworks in various cities across the country is actually a psyop intended to desensitize urban dwellers to gunfire, being waged in the event that the police finally lean all the way in on that salty hard-on they’ve got for suppressing our First Amendment rights.
This was briefly interesting to me. For one thing, when it comes to the fix being in, I’d say I land a socially distanced kitty-corner to Mae Brussell on the Paranoia Venn Diagram (the other two circles I more fully occupy belong to Errol Morris and Seymour Hersh, for those playing along at home). I’ve certainly spent some time and money reading and investigating any number of disastrous mid-twentieth-century CIA efforts to fuck with our civil liberties at home and abroad, and I have no doubt that everything from Mockingbird to Midnight Climax really did go down. The fuckery of our federal government is both well documented and brazenly perverse at this point, which is why ultimately I’m not totally ready to join the cadre of believers in Operation Cherry Bomb. Mainly for two reasons, but there’s a third one, too:
One, I spent plenty of formative years in the poor and rural South, a place which is abundant 365 days of God’s year with dangerous and dirt cheap roman candle products. It’s also abundant with actual guns. To a trained ear, and by trained I mean trained in driving people who have accidentally blown their fingers off to the county hospital, there is a difference.
Two, at least in my city, fireworks are used by protestors as marches carry on into the night, a beautiful little gesture of revolutionary spirit. And the noise of these fireworks is far preferable to the relentless droning of low-slung National Guard choppers—whose proprietors are notably now under investigation for conducting unconstitutional surveillance of those of us enjoying our Constitutional rights.
Three-ish, this just feels too obvious, even for this administration’s low-key fascist, Keystone Kops DOJ. Everything is canceled this summer, unless you live in Florida, in which case it’s a crunch to get all the fun in you can before you wind up on a ventilator. Kids are bored. Fireworks are plentiful. Parents are exhausted from having to juggle a full day of writing TPS reports on residential wifi while simultaneously tutoring their TikTok-addled youth (bless them!) in principles of geometry and algebra their middle-aged minds haven’t contemplated since the Reagan administration. Discipline is in short supply.
At any rate, I feel like a few months of bad sleep and jangled nerves were going to be inevitable in the months leading up to the 2020 general election anyway. So what’s a few more mysterious and percussive jolts of raw lizard panic on an already battered prefrontal cortex?