This Internetski flapdoodle machine is obviously not working – everywhere the constant chirping, with nary a moment of true and utter beauty. Who sees in the screen unalloyed virtue, or fantastical truths, or resolute creativity? At some point, the lack of fulfillment to a drug or vice becomes palpable – the thrills are gone, the boredom with the lack of thrills is gone, the compulsion seems to have been cast aside by others, and so a new anger foments.
All of this popular media was made and seen to unleash the latent powers of human communication, but humans have always been, and remain, mostly poor communicators. Who knows how to speak the basal truths that will have us enjoying the powers of our minds? Instead of maintaining a focus on the demands of survival, they are beset by fantasies and imaginariums, vain domestic skullduggery and vested errata.
In a brilliant, haunting photo-essay by Stan Grossfeld in the Boston Globe (https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/07/25/boston-study-takes-deep-look-brain-disease-toll-football-players/nbIZoCfstF4FNwfslnwCPJ/story.html) about the simple brute irrationalism of American football leading to CTE in its doomed players, the dogged, haunted brain researcher is shown in her clinical whites conversing with her long knife in hand to her associate, while around them are arrayed the brains of the deceased players. These are real human brains, looking like white pineapples, or prickly cauliflowers, and yet they are our brains, or what will become of our brains when our flesh apparatus ceases to supply them with blood and electricity.
Inside those brains was a constructed, illusory “self,” just as within each of our brains as humans, and in other non-human animal brains, are the intricate workings of neurons and dendrites and other unobservable cosmic micro-debris that gives each of us a bizarre sense of being a singular, maintainable functioning self. Way to go, brain, do your job, see other brains outside of their host skulls and try to figure out where “you” are in that intricate yet common nuclear power plant housed inside your skull.
Religion will supply no answers to this familiar conundrum of a brain attempting to perceive its own self-generated illusions, nor will American Buddhism and its secular meditation stop the incessant unbridgeable problems that attend the normal, short human life. Within the workings of that human brain, functioning well despite its myriad internal defects, are grave horrors and sentimental affiliations, immense stores of inconsequential memories and long unused associations, as well as the now-ubiquitous “boring” lever, hit over and over as a coping mechanism in this Information Deluge Age. Tell us something new, dammit! Entertain us, you malingering bastard -we’ve got any billion other instantly-accessible alternatives and screen places we could instantly click over to, and forget your non-credentialed whimpering pronto.
The brain will not find what it seeks, but it will do a fair amount of dancing on its way past the missed entrances. Other brains guard mightily against having some other fully-assembled person be that gatekeeper to understanding, though once converted to assigning intellectual and moral authority to completely bogus would-be super-brains, any manner of lunatic, extravagant contrivances will be stamped “profound” or “moving” by that brain. Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, anti-social media savants, tech CEOs, religious charlatans by the boatload, family authorities, all capable of seeming ineffably wise and extra-dimensional to their acolytes or inferiors, but they are but one person housing but one brain. The cult of popular celebrityhood will claim them, having them posing for ridiculous selfies like Conan O’Brien is shown in a documentary about his tour after his Tonight show firing, or dispensing family rules like a monarch.