Remember when you stole the show? We didn’t feel robbed at all by the time we were done yelling after you — tired, we sat down, laying our arms out over the armchairs — for you invited us backstage for your theatrical tea party, dressed us up in careless costume, sent us out with cups to a kettle whistle, and shot us full of Constant Comment. Orange Pekoe was precise and pulled the folds out of the curtain. See how health can falter? Lock you into a death spiral, and all whatever fabric of your life as was falls off, and you are left naked, spinning towards the end? Just enough time to wave goodbye. Something quite amazing will happen when you leave your body behind. They all think you have gone but I know different, I have you to myself over here; you give me that feeling again and again, after dinner while sucking on thin mints and Charleston Chews, listening casually to an echo of you.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Dickens creates such an terrifying circumstance for the little tyke at the very start, one cannot help but wish to uplift young Oliver Twist (and his little friends). I wanted to take him home and give him some hot chocolate and a pat on the head, hell, I would keep him for sure! He has kindness and compassion in his heart which will not be easily corroded. Almost everyone is out to manipulate the kid, even the ones – like the young girl Nance – I hoped would be helpful to him. He is abducted to dark and narrow streets of London, where the dirt and mud and impoverishment reflect the broken spirits living there. He is taught how to be a thief. The Artful Dodger and Charley Bates are lively little crooks, underlings of Fagin, and Sikes (with his mean dog in tow) is a frightful and towering king of this underworld.
This book establishes a nice rhythm and is narrated very well (strong and consistent voice). Many of Dickens’ books were first published as serials in the London papers. I had to find out how Oliver would make out in the end, if he was to survive at all. Plenty of others like him died of starvation, fever, neglect, and broken hearts. Others turned to crime and saw the gallows. These were mean streets of old London, and Dickens does not spare us the details. In fact, he holds a candle to it all. He brings you into the darkest corners, then gets your adrenaline up as Oliver’s situation becomes inadvertently hopeful, before being lost again to the murky, insensate underworld. It takes one who initially betrayed him and others who gave up looking for him, to unite and try to save him from a terrible fate on the streets. In the process, the mystery of his birth is unraveled. Aside from his rich/poor politics and narrow portrayal of Jews, I love the way Dickens tells a story. This story.
All (considered) east coasts of all continents felt ground turn liquid almost one year back, in thisour time of great upheaval. Headlines were made universal. International. Headlines were extradited where blueteeth failed.
Leader of L. for over forty years was left with a microphone, somewhere unknown, and called upon his supporters to cleanse the reasure city T. of L . Anger made people say foolish things. Rage made people kill. Heat and friction made the earth move. Meanwhile, the frightened ones placed their hearts carefully down upon the silks and flower petals, sealed off from light and touch. No sooner did the prayers leave lips, the roses their colors began to bleed and drip out from some sacred unshared place deep in the hearts once hidden behind militarized zones.
They came out on the streets of city C. of E. One of the origin lands, many believed. The streets of L. in the proper and formerly most powerful E., mother of our current A. The streets of T. City of Islamic predominant I. Some got shot. Others did the shooting. Others came out after the earthquakes, scared for their lives. Others came out because the internet encouraged them to unite. Freedom! Others came out to celebrate and rape women behind the very same principle.
But the largest faction out in the streets of the world had no consensus. The witnesses. There can only be a few players. The rest count among witnesses. Most of them never had to even raise a finger, an eyebrow, agenda, or concern. Witnesses witnessing witnesses. Watching the broadcast of life on their dark screens made from bits of light, once cathode ray tubes, they say.
Some age old ritual played out in a not so new way on flat screens made of projections or liquid or other specially-defined limitation costing anywhere from an amount of currency up to what one could afford. And costing a whole lot more, like hidden charges you try but cannot find on any receipt. The cost. The cost of time. The cost of lost attention. The cost of distance.
The cost of witnessing. The cost was life. The programmers all over the world tried to communicate the magnitude. Tried to translate an earthquake so that the multitudes of this vast majority could feel something akin to a tremor through a screen. Then the censors of the world tried to make the shocking imagery almost digestable. A slightly displaced context holds the attention. Otherwise they would all go mad if the understanding was conveyed for what it was. In real life. Still, the average witness might say the whole experience Feels almost fresh.
When everybody knows if they know anything… this is something old like old smells of day old sitting out prunes. Old like old has not seen the sun in a year. Old and primitive. Like racism. Old and moving the whole being. Like tectonic plates grinding. The earth making love with itself deep below the surface of itself. Old like bread crusts become croutons. Hardly recognizable and can cut your gums if you don’t soak them in vinegar.
Where were you? Do you remember? I was right there among the ranks, ,myself! Drinking chrysanthemum teas my girlfriend gave me for my bronchitis. Worried about my own shit. Self-centered. Where were you? Did you witness the living life of the thing? Or did you witness those who were witnessing the living life of the thing? Through fragments of projected lights and added audio-visual tracks over some certain specially-defined, risen definition which had been plugged in and plugged in an overstated way for its ability to take you to the heart of the thing? Conrad might be heard from the depth of his grave, whispering through an timeline of merchant mariners before and after him — darknessss!
Last month it was the earthquake. In J. Around the same time we had twisters sucking up half of the methamphetamine corridor through the breadbasket of our beloved and despised A. Tone her down to a motherless child of sorts. Lacking both urban and coastal influences. Lacking continuity more and more, yielding less and less?
What explains the overindulgence of the areas’ population in diversions, addictive in nature or otherwise? Who can account for the adrenaline soaked endless nights without sleep of millions of our species? Where was the antidote for a flat land and its sterile offerings of flat preoccupations? How was morality packaged neatly in tune with the fundamental religious rights, mediocrity, and subsistence – levelled educators? Where had they gone? Some of the kindest sweethearts you ever did meet? And why could they no longer be found, not even in the guarded institutions and Waffle Houses (of the world)?
I cannot recall the real food. TV does not taste. Had life been so incredibly delicious as my memory served up? Or was my memory in need of service? Were we now Indentured to the common corn production? Predominantly specialized and sold to global corporations looking to cut costs on sugar? Was this that thing Shakespeare and others called fate ?
High fructose corn syrup for the soft drinks, the sodas. High fructose to the head. No better or worse than titanium steel. All of this was to remain in the subconscious. On the DL! Slipped into our ingredients — but don’t really make a big deal of it, in fact, pay off the media if they start snooping around. Pay them to look the other way. Maybe direct them to a slaughterhouse. Yeah. Only if they get really pushy. Only if they Won’t take yes or no for an answer. Maybe then.
The earth has been shaking where it doesn’t usually shake. So reports the unfeeling majority to themselves (by proxy of the master reporters). Unreported was any acknowledgment to the self-administered, cultural lidocaine treatment of the twenty-first century; causing numbness to one’s own existence. Like I was? Maybe you, too?
I wrote it off as another large body making intoxicated specialized moves on the dancefloors of the day. Generated on an eco-driven sugar substitute injection to the heart, between the sheets. I wrote it off! What should have been the second point of discussion in the roundtable meetings (conducted by some international house of flapjacks) to determine the safety measures needed for any and all columns of stone rising vertical into air (aka the monument to washington, george of A).Second behind how mass freon production might slow the damaging progression of global warming. Clearly our (species) trajectory was one so implausible not any old LSD-laced cerebellum nor absinthe-drenched liver could conceive. Over boysenberry soaked pancakes, nevertheless.
With hope we dared hope for the continued existence of hope herself (and the coincidental end of hopelessness, worldwide). Like brilliance conceived of itself in due process over time, irregardless of precedent or logic. The international gathering may have been witnessed on one of a few hundred cable channels on bits of light projected or not to interplay with our corneas or not, with passionate players tossing their political opinions into the chatred pit of despair (which all pretended was not there). Some cooked. others fizzled. Most were like marshmallows, starting off tabula rasa requiring just the proper amount of soiling to brown, before catching fire and torching to black. Sensitivity was judged weakness, and thus alien to our cause.
Some witnessed the witnesses witnessing as much. Others knew not of such a happenstance. Still others demanded their adult swims returned to them, despite a constitutional incapability of keeping up with their bills. The corporate ear was tilted close enough to hear, yet far enough to ignore all cries from any individual direction.
All in all, the bright light of any idea might have become extinguished or might have otherwise come across as a not so bright and possibly devoid of light darkness, fly by the eye, anywhere.
Clearly drowned in the high tide of competing passions.
Processed by the feelinglessness of most everyone.
Simply lost in a bed of kelp on the far side of the cove.