“It is probably this naive surprise at things that keeps us going. If we took it for granted that the ancient Egyptians could draw a goose accurately, or that Eskimos could sing bass, or that Grandpa should be interested in everything at eighty-two, there wouldn’t be anything for us to hang our own superiority on.” — Robert Benchley, “Isn’t It Remarkable?,” My Ten Years in a Quandary, and How They Grew
A little more than four years ago I started thinking about what I was sharing. Satire had become reality, ironies got lost and adolescent-style rebelliousness was now serious. I retired part of my repertoire.
Everybody knows that the dice are loaded. It use to be that smiling at the cynicism was a meaningless release for frustrations. Now I see where some of the cynicism leads.
I tried to find another way to look at Leonard Cohen‘s lyrics. Could they be used as a call for action? Everybody knows so let’s do something about it? The text doesn’t fit. It’s too dark.
I find an interview he did with Kris Kirk in Poetry Commotion (1988-06-18) where he explains the coming plague as a “plague of alienation and separation and lassitude and panic; a sense of not being in control”.
I have found my other way of looking at the lyrics, one that also explains the cheery feeling that the song gives me. He outlines the absurdity of it all, accepts an exception or two to faithfulness, points out meaninglessness all while happily singing that Everybody Knows. It’s a song for Camus‘ Sisyphus.
“Joy is the anticipation of joy.” — Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman
“Extraordinary how potent cheap music is.” — Noël Coward, Private Lives
“I wrote an editorial for high brows and I found a high brow is a man who wouldn’t read anything that was not written by himself.” — Will Rogers, “Casting The Lariat Over Week’s News,” New York Times (1923-12-30)
“There is nothing so delightful, so pure, so innocent or enjoyable that some group has not forbidden it.” — Sheri S. Tepper, The Waters Rising
Mush is a French artist from a local (Boulogne-Billancourt) family. He is very active locally with his own gallery Urban Fessart. This fresco contains many local references including Homer Simpson, drawn in Mush’ signature strip art style, dressed as a Renault factory worker in homage to the factory that once stood on this site.
December 26, 2020
cours de l’Île Seguin,