Monday, October 23, 2006

Bellicose Activities

My, my, my! Pretty Lady is feeling veritably Flushed. The thrill! She has been so daring as to get herself Banned. Banned by Bane! What a distinction! It is quite a milestone. She feels almost as chipper as she did the time she managed to overcome a lifetime of craven Good Girl behavior and get herself arrested.

On that momentous occasion, she was caught, literally red-handed, spray-painting her signature emblem upon an inner-city construction site. She was accompanied by her partner-in-crime, the Masochistic Socialist, who was plastering the selfsame construction site with posters demanding six-week vacations for all American wage slaves. The arresting officer took one look at her partner's informational material, complete with erudite research on civil structures in Germany, and let him go; Pretty Lady he handcuffed and escorted to the station.

This arresting officer was a patriotic subscriber to Establishment Mores. He shook his head and wondered where Pretty Lady had gone wrong. His pedestrian brain was unable to comprehend why anyone would want to Rock The Boat by decorating disposable private property with enigmatic calligraphy. Self-expression, introspection, reflectivity, and general puckishness meant nothing to this man; he regarded Pretty Lady's impulsive offer to paint a mural on his station wall with blank impassivity.

The other cop on duty was more amenable. After exchanging good-natured banter for a few minutes, he inquired, "I know this is not my prisoner, but can we take the cuffs off, now? I don't think she's dangerous."

Little did he know.

Boys, you may fight your little wars. You may go to War in Iraq; you may wage a War on Terror, on Drugs, Poverty, and Inner-City Vandalism. Pretty Lady will watch from the sidelines with respectful and disinterested curiosity. But when you infringe upon her cause, when you cross that line, be prepared to face her wrath. For Pretty Lady is a high-ranking officer in the timeless and international War On Kitsch.

For Kitsch, my darlings, is the most insidious evil of them all. It rots the soul from within. It maintains the superficial pretense, the vile and consuming Lie, that all that is not namby-pamby, cutesy and corny is rejected of God. It flattens the rough, the difficult, the quirky and mysterious; it obviates adventure, struggle, engagement and discipline. It is a totalitarian hand which steamrollers Truth in its gangrenous path of the Banal and the Bland.

But Pretty Lady! you cry, from the depths of the trenches. Pretty Lady! Why? Must we let go of every last scrap of Untrammelled Beauty in our lives? Must you rend this last, most precious fantasy? Must you muddy the small, clear puddle of the Sacred in our lives, which we have carved free of excrement with the most Herculean of labors? Must you tear from us our Thomas Kinkaid houses, our Jesus With The Little Children posters, our Kenny G albums and our Mary Janes with ribbons on top? Must you replace them with Francis Bacon-esque portraits of the very struggle we are trying so desperately to transcend, in the name of your degraded and abusive notions of Truth? How, Pretty Lady? How can you be so cruel?

Be not despairing, little ones. There is light on the other side.

Listen. When Pretty Lady sat down in her scribbling chair to share with you her thoughts on Kitsch, she went to the stereo and selected a piece of Sacred Music with which to fortify and inspire herself. This piece of Sacred Music is Tabula Rasa, by Arvo Pärt. Pretty Lady has been a major fan of Mr. Pärt's music since her thirtieth birthday, when a bassoonist friend of hers very kindly made her a tape of 'Miserere.'

It is, in fact, somewhat difficult to listen to Pärt in a recorded context, as the dynamic variations are so extreme that if you set the volume knob so that the music is audible at the start, it will presently escalate to such a pitch that the furniture begins trembling, and coherent thought becomes a challenge. Thus, Pretty Lady imagines that Pärt is best experienced in the context of either concert or Mass, when one's attention may be unwaveringly devoted to the experience of being wafted, tickled, seduced, plunged within, shaken, tossed, dismembered, reassembled, and finally elevated to an unimaginable transcendence, by the stark harmonies and pure dissonances of the Pärt phraseology.

No, friends, Pärt does not tweedle. He does not croon, tinkle or elide. His music speaks of the furnaces in the heart of the Sun, mirrored and echoed by molten upheavals in the core of the Earth and of the soul; it passes through earthquakes, through tsunamis, into the sparkle of sun on a wave, and all the forces which allowed this miracle to come to pass. It plumbs the depths of wisdom and of experience to achieve its sublime authority, and thus may not be challenged by anything less than the whole, but merely answered in kind.

This, loves, is Art. It does not live flatly and tamely upon a wall. It participates; it looks not merely upon your clean Sunday faces, your battened-down prudish lisping of platitudes, but equally upon your scars and the dirt under your nails. It looks with the unflinching eyes of God; it accepts, forgives, and reveals the holy perfection that underlay all of your bloody endeavors.

For do you truly prefer, my darlings, that God live in a little sanitized corner of your lives and houses, only smiling approvingly upon your most false and strained attempts at conformity? Or would you rather welcome Him everywhere, in every moment, into the most private and personal, into the very core that is You, where you have exiled him out of a false sense of unworthiness and shame?

Perhaps you do prefer. But until you love yourselves, all yourselves, Pretty Lady must do it for you. Even unto being exiled, jailed and Banned.


Anonymous said...

So what interesting point did you try to make before setting off the iron boot of facism?

Pretty Lady said...

Why, that Kitsch is Crap, of course. I stand by this pronouncement one hundred percent, as you see.

Anonymous said...

You are kidding, right (I have no sarcasm detector)? If not, why did I suddenly get a picture (in my mind) of 4th grade, when the boys who liked you showed it by being mean to you? Then, I flashed forward to highschool, where the girls who insisted that all their TRUE FRIENDS wear the same everything to prove their love and faithfullness to the clique.

When will people learn; one does not have to agree with someone (about much let alone everything) in order to still get along with them.

Pretty Lady said...

Would I kid? The essence of Bane is that he is Extremely Rude; others accept him as he is, and he goes right along with failing to accept them as they are. It is a highly unstable situation.

Anonymous said...

This seems a bit harsh for a mere condemnation of kitsch, and why of all people would Bane object? From what I have read of Bane's blog he wades through the tide of broken teeth and bloody hair, vorpal blades in hand ever snicker-snackering at all he rages against.

Whether you like him or not, Bane reminds us that reality lurks everywhere and a Pollyanesque dismissal of him as merely a boor only betrays most peoples' unease at the veil being thrown back. I highly suspect that when a man peers deep into the abyss, he sees Bane smiling back up at him.

Since his blog is NSFW, I cannot see his rationale, but surely this is just another publicity stunt to drum up traffic and tip jar-y goodness.


Chris Rywalt said...

Let me take this moment to thank you for introducing me to Arvo Pärt.

Pretty Lady said...

Crom, I completely agree with your assessment of the nature of Bane, which is why I have always championed his right to exist, although we see eye-to-eye on very little. However, his condemnation of me was perfectly consistent with his perspective; I dared to trammel upon the small space allotted for the Sacred in his existence, and this was an unforgiveable breach. I can understand and respect this completely.

However, from my point of view, everything about Bane is equally sacred, and thus equally worthy of both respect and challenge. Our perspectives are, therefore, diametrically opposed.

Anonymous said...

Whatever. He's a chicken-shit shill for the Republican party.

Anything that violates his version of the party line (war, boobs, and zero tax) gets deleted so the rubes won't read it. He wouldn't want anyone to think using both sides of their brain.

Not much to be proud of here, PL.

Bob said...

Bane? Who's Bane?

Just kidding... I always get a kick out of his posts over on Vox. After all, the internet is for our entertainment.

Like the Geico Gekko says:

"Pardon me, but just who might you be?"

Gotta remember he's asking us ALL that very question.

Anonymous said...

"Anything that violates his version of the party line (war, boobs, and zero tax) gets deleted so the rubes won't read it. He wouldn't want anyone to think using both sides of their brain.

Nonsense Thimscool, it's a blog, and it's Bane's blog. I'm not aware of how he can possibly stop anyone from using both sides of their brain, even if right is generally wrong, for me at least. I disagree with him all the time and he's never once deleted one of my comments. "Rubes" are everywhere it seems.

Anonymous said...

Wake up EN. I didn’t say he could stop you or anyone from using both sides of their brain. I said he doesn’t want them to. Go ahead and read it again slowly, and I’ll wait for you to catch up.

Fair disclaimer, I don’t really read his blog very much, and only have read the comments when other blogs pointed to them. But I have read enough to know how much he delights in banning people.

As you say, it’s his blog, so he can run it how he sees fit. But with all the bluster of his blog persona you’d think he’d have the balls to tolerate dissent. I see you over at vox’s place, at times, making some good points. Don’t you think they carry more weight there? Why?

Anonymous said...

"I see you over at vox’s place, at times, making some good points. Don’t you think they carry more weight there? Why?

VD's place is different and I can see that easily enough. I enjoy commenting on both and as you seem to miss I dissagree with Bane all the time and he doesn't delete or ban me but so what if he did? It's not like the world will change much either way. Again, and read this slowly, It's a blog.

Anonymous said...

What are you, an echo?

The first word in my comment was "Whatever." I only cared enough to comment because PL seems to somehow be proud of an extremely trivial achievement. I hoped to jar her off the cloud.

I understand that you frequently disagree with Bane, and I also got it the first time when you said that he doesn't ban you. Maybe it's because you are polite and differential, unlike, say, Bane. My point is that whne someone hits him with the same venom he routinely doles out, he either folds (on other blogs), or deletes and gloats about his power over his dung heap.

If only certain dissent is tolerated, is that a free exchange? No. It's like "free speech zones". Enjoy your echo chamber.

Pretty Lady said...

PL seems to somehow be proud of an extremely trivial achievement. I hoped to jar her off the cloud.

Good heavens, Thims. Is your sarcasm meter broken too? Sometimes I think that I attract Alices in Wonderland like a rabbit hole with a vacuum cleaner at the bottom of it.

Anonymous said...

"Sometimes I think that I attract Alices in Wonderland like a rabbit hole with a vacuum cleaner at the bottom of it.

That's not all bad it it? Better Alice then... well, lots of things I guess.

Anonymous said...

Apparently my sarcasm meter is broken.

Sorry. I've been ill.

Pretty Lady said...

Sorry. I've been ill.

Poor dear. Self-employment will do that to you. There is no moment, waking or sleeping, when you do not feel Reponsible for something, and it tends to grind you down.

I recommend a Spa Day. Details forthcoming.

Salt said...

We need Bane. Bane must be, and I prefer the Bane we have than the Bane we do not know.


Desert Cat said...

Did he really ban you? He says he did not.

I highly suspect that when a man peers deep into the abyss, he sees Bane smiling back up at him.

When I peer into myself, sometimes I see Bane smiling (leering) back. (Yipes.)

He serves a useful reminder to me that there are few truly irredeemable, and that many who appear otherwise, may in fact be amongst the bretheren.

His blog is his personal space, unlike Vox's which is much more public in it's character. Vox may run a pub. Bane's place is his den. Different rules, different expectations.

Pretty Lady said...

Did he really ban you? He says he did not.

He made an extremely rude and ugly Private Threat which he allegedly did not follow through upon; being sufficiently miffed by the fact of the Threat itself, I was disinclined to test the validity of his proposition.

Persons who Vent their Spleens upon Pretty Lady before breakfast do not get another opportunity.

k said...

Ah, memories...

Several years ago, unloading rocks from a truck onto my yard, a certain Helper helped me trap my wedding-ring fingertip between an unloaded rock, and an Incoming one.

The result was like a watermelon dropped from a height.

The bone break looks, on the x-rays, like a shotgun blast. There are around a hundred little bone fragments scattered around the "spoon" bone at the end of the fingertip.

The good news is, the fingertip and nail stayed, and tendon there is intact. Apparently this is a common loss in such an injury.

The bad news is, my hopes to learn to play the bassoon were dashed.

I explained this sad state of affairs to the Excellent Nephew, and he burst into grown-man giggles. Trying hard to squelch them, but unable to.