The Melancholy Of Anatomy: Fuku IV

The very most interesting thing about the United States is that it died even as it was born.

As expressed in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, which must serve as the “great American novel.” For there shall never be another:

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.

And we know it was over, even as it began, through Terrence Malick’s film The New World.

At the close of that film, the inconstant adventurer John Smith encounters the Indian woman he used, abused, lied to, and abandoned, after she had merely provided him with everything he might ever want or need.

He had gone off in search of more land, more plunder, more conquest, more glory—the paradise of “the Indies.”

Now he has returned to chat her up.

Malick in his film never names this woman: she is meant to represent America.

She is now tamed and tortured, spirit-stifled, English-corseted, and she is dying.

She has not a word to say to her one-time, would-be beau, until Smith asks:

“Did I make a mistake in coming here?”

To which she witheringly replies: “Did you find your Indies, John?”

“I may,” he admits, “have sailed past them.”

Absolutely goddam right.

I have no intention of making any real sense in
this piece. It is intended only for those who can feel.

The United States: that was the Green Light . . . at least for white people, at least for a while.

But that’s over now.

And that’s alright.

For the green light is never still.

Being the green light means always moving on. Forever out of reach. The fresh green breast. Forever never touched.

That’s just the way it is.

This is no threat to “Americans.”

For one thing, there are, really, no such things as “Americans.”

There are only free human beings, alive on this earth.

Until such time as this is fully understood, there is, thank jeebus, for those of us who get there early, such things as the cool cool hand, on thy head.

So let it be written. So let it be done.

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6 Responses to “The Melancholy Of Anatomy: Fuku IV”


  1. 1 Miep October 13, 2014 at 2:26 am

    “Rabbit-proof fence” is a good film about feral humans. Sorry if I’ve mentioned this before, sometimes I forget.

    • 2 bluenred October 13, 2014 at 3:50 am

      House of Cards is an ongoing exploration of feral humans.

      • 3 Miep October 13, 2014 at 4:05 am

        Ah thank you. I can watch that on Netflix, I checked. Netflix gives me a five star recommendation for this. That has never happened before. Many thanks.

        • 4 bluenred October 13, 2014 at 4:23 am

          It is a show about humans behaving extremely badly.

          Unfortunately, as with shows like, say, Breaking Bad, there are too many people in the audience screaming, like they’re in a sports bar, for the bad people, to be even badder. ; (

  2. 5 Miep October 13, 2014 at 4:14 am

    I shall have to sleep soon. A parting note: I first made your acquaintance online around six years ago. It feels like sixteen. I don’t know that this is a bad thing. I do know that it’s a pleasure to have a good conversation from time to time.


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