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Representation As Reality

Sometimes when I get very hungry I would like to eat my arm.  It is also made of meat.  But when I take a chomp, it is too painful, because it's attached to my body, and the nerves in my body and in your body, prevent such activities. 

So the next time you stub your toe, you can go ahead and thank evolution for me, and we can be thankful that we don't see very many people walking around with bites taken out of them.  We see it often enough in cartoons, but we have to remember that those are "representations", and should not be confused with "reality".  If cartoons were true, every time we saw someone we liked, small red representations (drawings) of hearts would float from our love cavities and pop, maybe they would smell good.  That is just one example of "representation as reality".  Here is another: I see someone I like, and my eyes pop out of my head and from somewhere deep within me, I issue the sound an old car horn would make, but instead of sounding like the actual horn, it would be a representation of sound and sound like Aaaaaawwooooooooooggggaaa!!!  You might even be able to see our words in word bubbles coming out of our mouths. 

There are many examples of representation as reality.  Patricia Lockwood has written and published Balloon Pop Outlaw Black.  She imagines herself as popeye, the spinach eater, and she makes it very poetic. 

You may also have seen Who Framed Roger Rabbit Where they mix "real life" actors with cartoons.  That may not seem especially amazing with technology how it is these days, but back in the day, it was a conjuring of the most powerful sorcerers. 

I think it's good that we have such firm stops in our physical life.  I like gravity.  I like pain.  I like big buildings and frogs that can fit in your palm.  I think it's better that we cannot create montages and put others in them at our whims, or fancies.  It may not be terribly exciting, but you know who has exciting lives?  Flies.  And we all know, because of our height and our ability to think abstractedly, that it is better being a human.  So, let's take a few minutes out of our hectic lives, and take the time to jump up and two hand hive someone.  That sound the hands make at contact is the sound of angels laughing, but they're not laughing at you, friend.  They're laughing cause they have to, or they wouldn't be angels at all, they would be two handed high fives.


jon said...

I dig some Patricia Lockwood too. But I don't quite get her poetry. Her prose is poetry to me. I don't know why this couldn't be a poem:

You know I told him he'll do anything to get famous.
It was Dick Cheney, and
You know one of his daughters-in-law had the first baby
Of the year.
They put her on the front page of the newspaper.
And then there was the time with the deer.
The two deer that just came crashing through the plate-glass window.
They weren't just babies,
They were big deer.
Well, one of them was a baby.
Can you imagine just sitting there eating, these deer come crashing through,
Running all around and terrorizing the customers.
They caught the baby!

I said Steve, now you're a pretty big guy, but that's a wild animal. It's injured, and it could be violent.
I said what you needed is one of your guns.
Then we could all have had venison for breakfast the next day.

*laughs wildly*

(It's a July 2011 post, but a great poem nonetheless. I'm sure she could do the line breaks better than I.)

jmh said...

It's being angry. It seems it thinks someone is hacking it. Who would hack it? Someone who hates words? Verbophobes?

JMH said...

OK, comments from you should be fixed.