Friday, April 06, 2007

Smoke & Mirrors

Iskandor watched from the window, alcohol buzzing pleasantly in is gut, as the long black car pulled up at the kerb to expel a drunken woman in purple coat and red stilettos.
The driver rushed round in chauffer cap to steady the elbow of his charge while from the opposite door a balding man in black suit emerged as if the world were watching him.
Iskandor grinned to himself as he reflected on the concept of affluence and it’s equation to power; his grin encompassing the palette that learns to distinguish the subtleties that lurk in a glass of wine and the reality that wine itself is nothing more than sour grapes.
And what, he thought, gives permission for those ridiculous poses that go hand-in-hand with wine-elitism and the appreciation of the finer things in life; like the opera and the ballet; to look down upon those who do not, and perhaps prefer not to, find pleasure in these (like the emperor’s new clothes) intangible things.
For though he could analyse the ideas of intellectual literary excursions and dark cinematic undercurrents of visual savants, he himself had never found logical purchase in these elite pastimes that seemed to prefer the overbearing tendency toward technique and to ignore the more abstract concept of creativity.
Was it perhaps that creativity is a egalitarian force that can, if need be, survive without the need to develop, often at great cost, the techniques required to be recognised by those who claim to understand; those who claim to appreciate; tastes deemed by lofty culture to be refined.
And perhaps, by extension, this refinement, like white sugar and white bread, serves no other purpose than to subjugate the senses, to rot the teeth that so avidly bite into the philosophy of affluence as a measure of worth.
Iskandor felt his grin sour (like wine) and his sense of self harden, even as he tried not to feel superior to these vacuous beings, these bloodless minds who, in a manner no different to the heaving masses at whom they scoff, rather than embrace the realities of human frailty, would postpone their existential dread by deadening the mind with variations of alcoholic haze and guttural insensitivities.
And, even as he considered ordering another beer, he realised that there is a balance to be struck: between awakening and inebriation; between relaxing the mind and deadening the heart; realised that the old and worn out phrase “all things in moderation” may well be the greatest tenet by which to live.


gregrandgar said...

'Twould seem accumulations take on the characteristic of facade which in turn becomes proxy for personal quality as maintenance of the show dominates self respect leaving the haves dependent on the envy of the have nots for some perverse version of esteem. The wall is only paint and no one's at home. Evocative piece. Thanks

Anonymous said...


The image alone is so compelling...I keep coming back to it just to stare, absorb the details....this could be my father.......or maybe me one day......I've yet to read the words which will move me in a different way......but for now, the image....yes, him......

so good to see you around on the blog....transitions are difficult even the best ones, Yes? here's to your latest one.....

(I would have brought you a manhole covered platter of fish....but it didn't fit through the comment box...)

ps again - come see my latest 'pair' of shoes......shameless, they are.....