Thursday October 25, 2018

We can heal ourselves by placing ourselves in the presence of beautiful aesthetic objects like the new Dire Wolves cassette, Shootout at the Dildo Factory.

Or even better, given our mood at the moment, how about the new cassette from Lake Mary & Talk West on Cabin Floor Esoterica? Lo-fi improvised folk by a midwestern American guitar duo.

What I settle on, however, in my restlessness, in my hunger for uplift, is The Magicians Saw by Alex Meets Sand.

I see sand, fuzz, whiskers, sliced grapefruit, etchings of a state from memory. Bars of sunlight atop a grey carpet. While listening, I begin to eye Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as an American adaptation of Plato’s allegory of the cave. McMurphy shows up, a new Admission to the cave, with pants and shirt from the Pendleton Work Farm “sunned out till they’re the color of watered milk” (12). Dude’s been out in the SUN. The Cave has been updated; it’s far more brutal than it was for the philosophers of ancient Athens. They’ve added a “brain-murdering” room called the “Shock Shop.” And the freed individual, the one who ascends and returns — he, too, has changed. Where once he was a philosopher-king, now he’s a psychopathic “fights too much and fucks too much” capitalist. The men in the cave, we’re told, are like sleepwalkers “wandering round in a simple, happy dream” (16). From the moment of arrival onward, however, McMurphy charms them and helps them wake.

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