What, in ill thoughts again? Men must endure. Their going hence even as their coming hither. Ripeness is all. Come on.
—William Shakespeare, King Lear
Yossarian was cold, too, and shivering uncontrollably. He felt goose pimples clacking all over him as he gazed down despondently at the grim secret Snowden had spilled all over the messy floor. It was easy to read the message in his entrails. Man was matter, that was Snowden’s secret. Drop him out a window and he’ll fall. Set fire to him and he’ll burn. Bury him and he’ll rot, like other kinds of garbage. The spirit gone, man is garbage. That was Snowden’s secret. Ripeness was all.
—Joseph Heller, Catch-22
There is a lot to be said about Edward Snowden.
Which is why I have, more or less
, said nothing at all.
He has wormholed me into the realm of a Grand Unified Theory. And,
when I enter such a realm, I usually end up knowing
, but writing nothing at all. That’s just the way it be.
For instance, I know
that Snowden marks the apogee of that dark smut the “information society,” the invisible city, the megalopolis, the meta-machine; that he has tossed, unknowingly and unintentionally, a spanner into the whole works, and thereby averted
“the collapse into necropolis, the hollowed-out city of the dead.”
For, from here, humans shall return to the flesh.
The machines have always been stupid, and now they are over.
I know this.
Will I someday write about it, coherently, at length, in this, or any other, space?
What I can write about is the pathetic place humans are in now.
Where Snowden’s prolonged hole-up in the “prison hotel
” of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, demonstrates that every nation on this Earth is, essentially, embarrassingly, exactly the same.
All of them have national anthems. All of them have flags. All of them have passports. And all of them accept, and enforce, without thinking, a group agreement that holds that no one can travel, across “borders,” without a “passport,” or some similar ludicrous document.
Though, prior to WWI, less than 100 years ago, passports were not required at all for international travel. Humans could go where they wilt. Even into a country, that their country was at war with, could they travel.
But, today, every false, ephemeral construct known
as a “nation,” requires that human beings traveling to and fro possess a passport, or at least some sort of “refugee” document.
And, at present, in re Snowden, all of them, all of these false, ephemeral constructs known as “nations,” are variously wriggling, in their various panties, about how they variously just can’t go, into the “prison hotel,” take Snowden by the hand, and say: “Yeah. You’re a free human being. Alive on this earth. So am I. Come with me.”
What utter horseshit.
Can’t there just be one “nation,” on this planet, that doesn’t buy into this insanity?
I thought that I would never be more exasperated than when observing some G8 or G20 confab where representatives from, say, India and China, stiffly arrive in suit-and-tie monkey suits, the de rigueur uniform of primates from the West.
What the fuck?
But now: there is this nonsense.
Edward Snowden is a free human being, alive on this earth.
He doesn’t need shit, to go anywhere.
He is a living human being, of flesh and blood.
The “nations,” that demand of him a passport, are “hollowed-out cities of the dead.” False, ephemeral entities. Products of temporary group agreements. Borders constantly shifting. Nothing like Real.
Gaze at a globe of today. Then gaze at one of 20 years ago. And one of 20 years before that. Never the same. Never remotely Real.
The “United States,” which has the effrontery to claim Edward Snowden, it is dead as a doornail. It died even as it was born.
Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away. Until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes—a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder. And as I sat there, brooding on the old unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther . . . . And one fine morning—
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
My colleague and I, one Memorial Day, we buried the United States, for good.
We spoke over it these words.
Or course, none of these words I’ve here inscribed get anywhere near actually moving Snowden from the “prison hotel.”
That’s why the false, ephemeral “nations,” so love the “hollowed-out cities of the dead,” that are the “invisible city,” the “megalopolis,” of the intertubes.
Because people here but furiously gum Cheetos, and pound their keyboards, all day, and all of the night, and when they’ve sufficiently set their hair, and the hair of others, on fire, they think they’ve really done something.
When they haven’t done shit. Except wank into a wet limp bullhorn. That splatters but impotent effluvia, into other Cheetos-stained basements.
I saw Edward Snowden today. He got on the bus.
He wasn’t, of course, the “real” Edward Snowden. But he looked an awful lot like him.
As do 500,000 young slim white boys out there.
Russia has said that it will not turn Snowden over to the US. Of course: Russia has never extradited anybody, to anywhere.
The 500,000 young slim white boys in this country who resemble Snowden, they could travel freely to Russia.
Travel out to the airport, and blend Snowden in with them.
Then, all, move to the border of Russia, to the Black Sea. Move into several hundred, several thousand, boats. Spread out, wild, all over the seven seas.
Which boat has the “real” Snowden?
Who is the “real” Snowden?
knights in armor
bent on chivalry
just like honey baby
from the bee
A thought. Anyway.
Ripeness: as all.