Archive for April, 2009

Let’s call it a panda bear market

Since Al Gore spoke at Harvard last fall, the campus has been plied with a new slogan: “Green is the New Crimson.” I guess the university is making a noble gesture of support for color blindness–and, hence, for more traffic accidents. Or maybe they are simply admitting the validity of our suspicions about the Green Parties, with their motley assortment of ruffians, ex-communists and compañeros de viaje. On the other hand green being the new crimson will make it a lot less scary if, as revolutionaries of that ilk usually do, they eventually turn on those they claim to be working to benefit, and vow to make the gutters run green with the sap of the enemy’s chlorophyll.

This may be their hour, since the world is well set on the green-friendly policy of massive impoverishment, having previously adopted the unorthodox but surprisingly uncontroversial economic growth strategy of sucking its own dick, and then being surprised when it didn’t get pregnant. The signs of decay are everywhere. I was watching my hometown team, the Denver Nuggets, play last night, when I realized that although they’re pretty good, they still might be more accurately classified as a horde than a team, and if I saw the lot of them charging down the court at me the proper response might not be to drop back into a zone defense or whatever but to do what the Roman and Chinese Empires did on their northern borders and construct a big wall or fortification of some kind to keep them out. But they’re my hometown team, already inside the gates, so I guess there’s nothing for it but to be cautiously on the side of the sackers and pillagers.

Discount Blitzkrieg

The year begins life the same way it ends, like a person, incontinent, and can’t stop pissing itself. Then, the alternating gloom and sparkle of April feels like living in a divided country, as if from one day to the next meant crossing not just the night but from side of the Berlin Wall to the other. A season which is a natural home for that special disappointment at the collapse of a desire after having already decided to indulge it, the realization of not being hungry or horny after all, which is somehow deflating, extinguishing, like a dragon in the rain. Or the little extra embarrassment that comes from fumbling and taking a long time to do something that’s already embarrassing to begin with.

But soon the summer will come and the wide blue skies with the pulled-tight serenity of a hospital-corner-made-up bed, where, as in love, I don’t care whether I’m swallowing the sunshine or the sunshine is swallowing me. The mind flies up and away, and the body is lucky enough if it gets to follow. I spent my best summer in such a way, traveling around Europe with a friend of mine. We almost had to travel together, or at least in company; me, because it’s the opposite of a recluse’s instinct to fling themselves out into the world, and so I need a push, and he, because of having a distinctive but dependent character, like an adjective.

With money shrinking and the world generally decomposing, such things may become more difficult now. Even Harvard, which often seems not so much a mere wealthy entity as the root from which wealth springs, has been dug out of the ground, skinned, chopped, and exposed. In this so-called economic crisis there seems to be a lack of clear beneficiaries and innocents, as if the Vikings, sailing home and seeing their timber halls and golden roofs, erected and swelled by the smoke and ashes left behind down south, and knowing there would now be no other source of plunder, diligently set to pillaging their own shores.