The usual prediction

Ashes and Snow (c) Gregory Colbert

At first I thought it was only a decade or maybe two, but the further I got into it the farther back it went until it was finally about a century, not a dozen or a score of years. Starting in Calcutta with the monsoons of 1910, weeping women in muslin lying on the stone hearth while outside the winds moaned and gnashed their teeth. The frogs and the toads lying gasping in the dying earth. Then the burnt cork drawings of a madman in Madagascar matched the chalk sidewalks of another in Gibraltar and another in the pyramids of Machu Pichu and then in the faux primitive acrylics of a neurotic in Lawrence Kansas. How mundane to be mad in Lawrence Kansas, reduced to a handful of symptoms controlled biochemically, the wafer of pharmaceutical confession and compliance.

All over the world the madmen had caterpillar eyes, drew the same confession over and over and over until a monk saw the drawings in a lucid dream and announced that here were some irreconcilable similarities, and felt how painful for all of these mad-artist canaries to see the same picture, same details, same heartbreak, same fried dumpling-breath wierdness of it all.

It was the usual prediction that comes around and goes around, the one where the end is near, but this time the madmen and the screaming frogs all picked it up simultaneously, the fillings in everyone’s teeth tuned in to planetary paranoia, the CIA taping every conversation for playback at the pearly gates.

One day, the infallibility of the pope was questioned and this was a fine piece of evidence of the pending end of life as we know it – infallibility, all the mad women howled, I don’t fucking think so. What you have, papa, is infallopian-ability and we are sorry for you for you, you desiccated womb hater, but we cannot give you the things a pope really needs – fecundity, the ability to lie in a welter of sensual confusion, the ability to give absolution absolutely over and over again, so sorry. The pope will never have a fuck buddy, will never feel with his fingers the soft green corners of a sofa where he has just been laid good and proper. Bless his heart, the poor pope will never be a peacenik, will never be an astronaut, a lunar traveler, will have to content himself with the constricted passions of regressive policy and the knowledge that with a single wave of his hand he can condemn to procreation all of creation that is tuned in to him and surely that too is madness.

I have heard them saying reproduce reproduce reproduce like life on this planet is another remake of something in Hollywood, can’t think of what else to do, so do the same thing all over again. They say there are not enough of “us” and too many of “them” and that if “we” don’t reproduce more more more then there will be more of “them” damn their brown eyes damn their brown skin damn their pending ascendancy their nascent majority. Soon, like Santo Niño de Atsanto ninooche they will be finding our lost children, not under the cabbage leaves not pink and pale in the raspberry patch but in the corn, out with the pinto beans, sleeping in the shade of the squash blossoms one after another one after another and they are not white – quick, put them back!!

This is the madness of kings and religious zealots. Give them some advice, give them a quiet room and some thorazine, give them an uncle who has kindly advice, give them a tonic with cod liver oil, pomegranate juice and time, give them a chance to back out and pretend this never happened, this explosion of violence and impossible missions, give them something to turn off the wicked voices the hateful choir singing hallelujah go to hell, or just maybe send them off in a sealed time capsule and when we open it four hundred years from now they will be strange and repellent artifacts like leeches and bleeding, and then there will be some reason to sit and listen, anthropologically interesting but not a threat. I wish I could live there in that 400 years from now when my theoretical human beings will be more wise less violent more likely to be winged than our own saints have historically been. 

3 Responses to “The usual prediction”

  1. 1 Jim January 8, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    Danger! Good blog not sure how I got here but was a good read.

  2. 2 Teresa January 8, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    Thanks Jim. You probably had a wild case of blog-wander. Go click on that beautiful winged monk, it’ll take you to the most wonderful visual installation I’ve ever seen online.

  3. 3 ellie January 9, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    Amen, sister.
    Can I get a witness?


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