Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

1950s flashbacks that I can’t logically be having.

I know, in my heart, that although a rationed dose of paranoia is one of the only truly reasonable modes of thought a sane mind can have, too much of it has the possible side effects of paralysis and deep, powerful depression. Much as too much morphine will destroy you, too much paranoia will create problems that can damage you far sooner and possibly even greater than that which you are afraid of.

I know these things in my heart. Some of the blood gets to the brain, too. And yet, as the days and weeks progress, I find myself saddled with a throbbing infant hysteria. I’ve lived long enough in the world to understand and imagine the devastation of a nuclear explosion on a heavily populated area, and now I’ve lived long enough to watch as even matters of life and death get lost in political spin. The more is unearthed on the incompetencies of our leaders and of the leaders before them, the angrier and more afraid I feel, and the fear is gradually dwarfing the anger, because I don’t know what is being done to prevent the larger disasters I’m being warned of. I see a lot of finger-pointing but no real action being taken. The traffic light remains on yellow, the next nuclear threat is going to be in a suitcase being unloaded at O’Hare International Airport, not in spy photos of Cuba.

In the 1950s, the nuclear threat of annihilation was held at bay by men whose relative madnesses stopped short of such unmitigated carnage as World War III would produce. Kruschev was cruel and proud, Kennedy and Johnson were idealistic and stubborn, Castro was, well, Castro. But none of them wanted to see the world end.

So what am I supposed to think now, when forty years of paranoia only led us to build better, deadlier explosives–and such explosives are now inching their way towards the hands of people who can make the logic leaps, who can find the dark place in their souls that convinces them that the only way to save the world is to destroy it utterly? I bike along the lakefront of Chicago and admire the skyline, its complementary-colored buildings, and I can’t remove from my head the thoughts of white hot light being released by a man with God’s name on his lips.

I know in my heart that one must live their life without fear of death, since death is an inevitability, but I cannot figure out how to live without fear of catastrophe.

Current music: Weezer, “The Green Album”

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This entry was posted on May 24, 2002 by in Life, News of the World, Politics.
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