Tea And Opium.

June 11, 2008 at 7:01 pm | Posted in writing | 16 Comments
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‘Back when I was a young feller,’ he said tapping his chronometer and holding it up to his ear, ‘we all knew we had to actually do something if we wanted to be someone. These days kids all want to be someone but they don’t want to bloody do anything.’
‘Yes dear,’ she says gazing out the window. ‘Mrs Jones is gardening naked again.’
‘Good on her,’ he harrumphs. ‘Orchids are always prettier in hindsight. Whatever happened to that revolution we were going to have?’
‘Oh they invented the computer dear, synched it up to the television, pumped unprecedented amounts of empty into the youngsters’ brains.’
The old man nods, ‘Exactly, twittering followers. Being is only in doing, don’t they read Marcuse anymore?’
‘No dear, they only read each other telling each other about themselves. I think Mrs Jones could use some help with her planting. I’ll be back in time for tea and opium this evening, my love. Toodledoo,’ she says slipping off her sandals.

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  1. “The toleration of the systematic moronization of children and adults alike by publicity and propaganda… (is) the essence of a system which fosters tolerance as a means for perpetuating the struggle for existence and suppressing the alternatives.”

    Herbert Marcuse. From “Repressive Tolerance” 1965. You can read the whole article here.

  2. Nice, entertaining chunk of literature you have there. Congrats!
    Thanks.

  3. great dialogue in this. what made you decide to go back to the old theme?
    My dark and gloomy mood lifted, Lissa!. I said let there be light and the template changed, yayaya,

  4. “they only read each other telling each other about themselves”
    truth that. but it’s not just the youngsters. it’s ironic that technology like the internet makes available the largest and easiest access to knowledge that has ever been known to mankind and yet… it sits there for the most part ignored, untouched. guilty of that myself at times when i’m not researching.
    Me too, Lakota, but it is a self-indulgence that leads inevitably to depression,

  5. Were we a pool of sparkling intellectuals before the great equalizers, tv and tech? Those who would not read…uhm….One Dimensional Man today, would not have chosen to read it in 1964. The enveloping vacuousness we feel springs from a greater complexity than that ingrained in a “tweet”. Its 1984 and the individual is melding into an id number. He knows it. He has no religion, no trusted leaders, no hope, but he does have a shot at 15 minutes in exchange for his potential. At least for that time, he will matter.

    Great post. It reminds me of this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALbH63Ali9U

    “great equalizers”, hmm, perhaps equalising by reduction. Great pacifiers, great absorbers of dissent, as Marcuse pointed out. Hello,

  6. haha! If I said that I loved every word of every line, and every line in itself, I would say less. This was fantastic. Though of course I believe one can do something as a response to what one is being, or one can be something as a response to what one is doing. Creativity versus Reactivity. But brilliant. Lovely. Fantastic.
    Thanks Sumedh, we create ourselves, indeed,

  7. What a fabulous vignette. I laughed out loud several times and then went back to absorb the words surrounded by this wonderful view of typically British(!) eccentricity. I wonder if your mood is reflected in your writing? If so then today must have been a very good day with smiles and just enough brain food to make it all worthwhile. I like her slipping off her sandals, haha, I wonder if she was wearing a toe ring? I plan to not grow gracefully too.
    British with an exclamation mark! Perhaps that is where mine comes from, I claim it as part of my cultural heritage. Thanks Ms P.

  8. loved this!
    Thankyou, do you have another beautiful poem or some wonderful music, have you emerged from your cocoon yet, let me go see,

  9. God Yes! Give me the empty any day… more numbing shots to keep me alive!!

    “twittering followers” Neat shot 🙂 !

    Loved this post!
    Thank you,

  10. No dear, they only read each other telling each other about themselves.

    hehe…had to laugh at that bit..
    yaya, making you laugh makes me happy, Tina, I see you have another poem too which also makes me happy, they are alway so beautifully made,

  11. Yes, they are all sitting inside waiting to be informed of the revolution. Only the Luddites will be revolting.
    Haha, that is funny. It doesn’t take many, how many did Fidel start with in the mountains, just a handful. I think when they see how much fun it is they might all join in. Or perhaps when the oil runs out and the food with it, when the US dollar goes like the Zimbabwe dollar,

  12. that i would never lose my spirit to garden naked… even when my hinee is hanging… well, sorta.. thanks for the link… it’ll make good midnight reading when my soul is hungry for more thought instead of slumber… my son and i love to talk abt this sorta thing… im sure he will enjoy the article and anxious to hear his thoughts.. it has been a pleasant visit…

  13. i loved the dialog. very real. i got a clear image of both speakers. i can actually see what they’re doing. and i like the use of young feller. there’s something endearing about that. young feller. ha!

  14. oh that’s beautiful

  15. Paul,

    Excellent work! I view this as a satire on the state of affairs as they currently stand and a commentary on such things as, say, gingatao.com and poeticgrin.com. And I LOVE you for it.

    Ha = they only read each other

    Totally dig your use of the word “twittering” 🙂

  16. Lovely and like a merciful slap also…I can smell some self-criticism in this, too.
    Just a small note: There is a bigger virtue in trying to be something than trying to do something, I believe, most of the time. But, can we actually be “something” without doing “something”. Am I contradicting myself? 🙂


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