The title is taken from the Paul Simon song “You Can Call Me Al”, particularly the lyrics which go:
All along along
There were incidents and accidents
There were hints and allegations…
A man walks down the street
It’s a street in a strange world
Maybe it’s the Third World
Maybe it’s his first time around
He doesn’t speak the language
He holds no currency
He is a foreign man
He is surrounded by the sound
Cattle in the marketplace
Scatterlings and orphanages
He looks around, around
He sees angels in the architecture
Spinning in infinity
He says Amen! and Hallelujah!
When I consider my own experiential panorama I find myself sympathizing with comedians like Lewis Black, a guy so distracted with apoplectic rage about human stupidity and hypocrisy that he appears on the verge of stroking out and leaving a 21stcentury iconic memory on the American retina of his head literally exploding. I can relate to that feeling.
It’s not about rage, though. It’s about coming face to face with irreconcilable differences between what is and what could be, and becoming terminally frustrated observing that the gap between the two is rarely bridged by the spark of human intelligence.
If only it were a fault of our time. If only the old days really were better. If we could just establish that once, somewhere, clear thinking and right action had prevailed in history.
Instead we watch as humanity, drooling blithely, trundles cheerfully onward pushing its little wheelbarrow to hell and oblivion as it obligingly proves the Darwinian paradigm of survival of the fittest and extinction of the slow, inept, and dim-witted.
This is not to say that people don’t have a certain manic, wily energy to them. There is hope. If bullshit, bumbling, and opinion can forestall doom, we’re saved.
But they can’t, and we won’t be. Our salvation depends on the appearance of a ruthless, compassionate, omnipotent, omniscient, supreme arbiter – and that isn’t too likely considering how long people have been waiting for that deliverance.
Soon, it seems, humanity will transcend the Dodo bird’s supremacy on the Darwinian Top Ten Fatalities chart. It would be interesting to be around ten grillion years from now and hear a giant ant exclaim,
“Egads, George, I do believe I’ve got it! All our evidence seems to prove that genetic-based, self-inspired doom reached its apex in the human species! The Dodo was merely a dimwitted flightless bird clubbed into memory by these humans who, in the final culmination of their genetic mandate, actually clubbed themselves to death!”