Thursday, July 5, 2012

Talk is Cheap

On the way from the fireworks last night I began absorbing the noise factor in Manhattan.  From my admittedly luxurious viewing space, the  explosions were thrilling and loud enough to set off nearly every car alarm on the block.  Loved it.  But shuffling east in the massive festive crowd--  maybe it's the heat, the constant cellphone chatter in public space--- it seems to me that the general volume is louder than it used to be.  Like the glutted internet, the billion cable stations--- there is just so much chatter, people have raised their speaking level to compete.  I'm listening to snippets of conversations-- of public intimacy-- that I didn't sign up for.  And not at eavesdropping levels; these abused rock-musician ears have been gouged and tortured with cymbals, drum whackers, bad PAs, deaf guitarists with 4-figure wattage... it's a miracle I can hear my old television at night.  But the value of conversation seems to have not just declined but disappeared, while personal audio settings have skyrocketed.

Of course it follows that people no longer whisper but quite audibly discuss and promote their sex life everywhere-- on buses, in restaurants, in 5000 shades of cheap novels.  It used to be those who could, 'did'.. and those who couldn't, talked about it.  Now who the fuck knows or cares.  It seems to me, an old retired babe, that the quality of sex must be suffering along with conversation, journalism, literature, whatever.  Talk is cheap, the phone companies tell us--- we have become the Yngwie Malmsteen version of talkers.  Remember when telegrams charged by the word?  When e. e. cummings' economical response to the Academy of Arts and Letters' invitation to join was 'drop dead'?  

Maybe America needs a Twitter diet.  Like one a day.  Some quality control.  Levels of internet communication.  Asshole filtering.  And I'm not a complete old bitch; I love great loud rock; I love comedy that humiliates; I like the knife and I like the blood.  I spent a lot of years reinventing my personal sexuality brand and don't regret a minute.  But even minutes have lost their edge.  They're unlimited and cheap and low-res.  Like climbing all the way up Everest and finding you can't see a thing.  Or you get a billboard and 3-D glasses.  A view master if you're over 50.  

Look at our pop icons:  Brittany Spears has become a badly-spoken candidate for talent-judge.  We used to have Marilyn.  She fucked not only baseball allstars and the president and maybe even Albert Einstein,  but married the greatest 20th century playwright.   That was interesting.  The sex--- well, our daughters might certainly have learned something Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton didn't show them.  Now our icons (and I love Brittany--- she's so 'real' (!)) are the Barbie version of what they used to be.  What do we do when our culture is looking up at the American I-doll of what should be...and reality is a fake ill-scripted cheap version of post-Cassavetes television?  Who wants the super sized cup of diet soda?  Not Writerless.  Maybe we should all just give in and go to K-mart online and buy the doll.  Cindy Sherman knows about that.  I will order several of Eating Disorder Barbie.  Bulimic Barbie with a bulge in her stomach/ can be transformed into teenage pregnant Barbie.  Cutting Barbie.  True Blood Barbie.  Collagen lip-enhanced Barbie.  Breast augmentation Barbie in 3 sizes.  I'm not even amusing myself now.  I hate dolls.  PMS Barbie.

Did you women ever think that we spend 25% of our sex life bleeding?  The networks love anything with Blood in the title... but who writes 50 Shades of Blood?  I might.  I'm sitting in Starbucks taking advantage of the free air-conditioning and a young intern is waiting for his iced latte talking about diarrhea.  Loud.  Laughing.  Next to me a hot young Russian trophy wife is talking to her realtor.  Her ring could buy me coffee for life.  To my left a woman is making a reservation and her baby girl is yelling for another M&M cookie.  Another lady had a car accident and is reporting to her insurance company.   Building a case.  I literally hear all of this.  Not to mention the canned coffeehouse Latino-light music which is annoying.  A cheap cowbell.  Sounds digital.  Organ with too many runs... please God, spare us vocals.  Across from me a man with small hands is i-ordering his scarcely adolescent daughter a new phone.  It will be pink.  2 tiny boys in their karate uniforms coming from one of their myriad summer enhancement programs with their over-educated nanny.  Can't be too botoxed or have too many pre-school lessons here in Carnegie Hill.  Who will tell them that all their jiu-jitsu moves won't protect them from what lurks ahead?  

The heat outside is omnipotent today.  My mind is withered.  My Mom who is old enough to have earned a memory award now has Alzheimers and wants to wear an overcoat.  A rebel, she is.  I wonder if she thinks about sex.  She follows my Dad around like a young puppy now.  Tells me how handsome he is.  I wonder if the sex I had is better than the sex I will have tonight.  That 50 Shades book has affected my 1001 Arabian Nights parallel serial virtual novel.  I  don't want the soft whip and satin handcuffs package in any version of a honeymoon suite.  This is corporate soft-hotel-porn.  The Travelocity gnome in heels and black leather.  They ruined rock, they ruined the economy, they ruined medicine and now they're ruining sex.

On the hot asphalt my local homeless true-reality star James-with-no-surname is talking without a phone.  You have to love the guy.  


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