Thursday, March 20, 2008

Our New Century



I was taking out some large, empty water-cooler bottles tonight, and as I carried them, they bumped together gently, vibrating with a satisfying, deep, plastic percussive tone. I banged them together a couple more times -- the empty bottles sounded like some kind of vaguely ceremonial/ritualistic instruments. It sounded like someone was about to be circumcised at 13, or maybe teenagers having sex would be ritualistically smashed between logs, and their remains then roasted and eaten.*

Actually, it didn't really sound like either of those things was going to happen -- maybe more like someone was about to get Laser Eye Surgery while the rest of us watched on closed-circuit TV.

This was obviously very Burning Man, but I imagined for a second that the image of a man in jeans and glasses slowly banging two empty plastic water bottles together in his driveway under a smoggy night sky was a perfect one for this point in history.

* I think I recall the crushing and roasting teens ritual from Joseph Campbell's Power of Myth or Hero with a Thousand Faces (can't remember which), although I may be hallucinating the entire thing; I don't have a copy of either book handy. If anyone can confirm that he does mention something like this somewhere, that would help put my mind at ease (and make me feel less creepy and perverse).

4 comments:

David said...

boo empty water cooler bottles. yea tap water.

Octopus Grigori said...

I know. It's a long story.

David said...

boo long stories.
dn

Octopus Grigori said...

A belated thank you to my Gaullic friend for confirming that I did not hallucinate the details of that sexual initiation/cannibalization ritual, which was apparently a New Guinean practice.