I listen to Klaatu’s “Calling Occupants” in the lead-up to 3:47pm EST while standing atop a nearby mountain, head roughly level with a series of hawks circling above a figure-ground landscape laid out in miniature, the phallic ego a tiny dot in the far distance. I expect something tragic to happen, but it doesn’t and the day is splendid. I top it by watching Come Worry With Us!, Helene Klodawsky’s documentary on Montreal post-rockers Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra. We all ought to learn how to stand amid a moving universe. But the film is otherwise a terrifying portrait of parenting aboard a Greyhound bus. What would it mean to raise children while awaiting a flood? Wouldn’t a person’s paranoia double? How small the world seems when imagined as a pattern prepared for kids by their parents. Most of the artists I admire live amid simulated, twenty-first-century Dickensian squalor, hustling constantly for money by which to live. Are there still ways to live counterculturally when neoliberal reality evolves into Jurassic Park? Must the song remain the same while getting worse? Let us get back to the splendid anarchy of public assembly each and every instant. Joy on one side, fear on the other. I am committed to a politics of joy. The liminal land visited in waking dreams.
The film Violet’s use of its screen fully absorbs me for a time with its studied arrangement of long takes and sparse soundtrack — often just stray bits of ambient background noise. The cold night air steadies me as I await the start of another difficult semester. Consciousness drifts off at a slow, serpentine crawl through a Belgian cul-de-sac. I relent and treat myself to Klaatu’s 3:47 EST, from which I pivot to a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem, “I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.” Pulses of energy rise from my head, transmitting information heavenward.