How Our Mapless Ship of State's Been Attacked by Snarks
Published on February 02, 2016
Neon lights, a Nobel Prize
Then a mirror speaks, the reflection lies
You don't have to follow me
Only you can set me free
I sell the things you need to be
I'm the smiling face on your T.V.
I'm the cult of personality
I exploit you still you love me...
Living Colour - Cult Of Personality Lyrics
While many deep thinkers before him ‘saw’ the reverse image there, staring, smirking, lurking in the reflective silvered glass, Shakespeare summed up nicely what the rock band Living Colour (with its fitting British spelling) merely updated technologically:
“Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance: that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature. For anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the fist and now, was and is to hold as ‘twere the mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure.” [Hamlet, III.iii. 16-23]
And, so, here we ‘sit’, all too literally, bottoms spreading unnaturally, beholding the ‘very age and body of the time’ whose ‘form and pressure’ has become the electronic shadow play of Plato’s allegorical fears. But our collective cave is rather over-lit by the fire of such ignorance as places an interest-bearing weight (in the name of ‘education’) upon those who would leave that cavernous void for the true ‘modesty of nature’. Yet even Plato, the apex predator of truth itself could only offer the ‘noble lie’ as a means of governance of the mass of humans endowed but with copper in a world best seen through gilded minds.
Even the logician and high-minded Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll sought to go behind and through this looking glass only to find more absurdity and, yes, Snark-iness into the false bargain, as the nonsense found in its ‘Jabberwocky’ poem only supplied a future setting for his stunningly current portrait--in the plasma screens mirroring our ‘reality'--of our global cultishness.
Entitled ‘The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits’ this pointless mapless journey peopled by symbolic personalities including a clutch of ‘B’ actors---Banker, Broker, Barrister--is indeed a mirror for our time and its strutting actors on the world stage of politics essentially bankrolled by this trinity of turds.
While Carroll may not have seen that his Snark would come to adjectively characterize the fictional world of debates and speeches offered up to captive audiences before virtualizing screens serving as mirrors, his subconscious surely may have. And, since it is set upon a ship on an aimless journey, let’s imagine it our Ship of State.
Here’s a sampling:
"Just the place for a Snark!" the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
By a finger entwined in his hair.
"Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
What I tell you three times is true."
Oh, yes, the Bellman--given the reference to entwined hair as supportive of an entire crew on an unnatural tide--must be seen as The Donald, himself a Trump-eting Snark lover (apologies to Mr. Dodgson/Carroll).
There it is, in living color; in a Snarky age,
Many have taken the stage,
And it surely is called Adolescent,
For electrons in plasma that now fill what once was a page
But repeated three times--regardless of truth--must certainly be their intent.
As an aside, I imagine the risible Groucho, no relation to Karl, as I snarkily snarl, awaiting your snarky remarks, and attend to the election of one with such class,that his faintest reflection can hardly be seen in that glass--the one and the same whose very popular game has never been the hunting of Snarks.