We are living in incredibly strange times. Obviously. Open the internet and you will see things, read words, look at pictures, which will astound, frighten and madden you. Out of the roughly 7 billion humans now living on our beautiful and overused planet Earth, the differences in how people think, feel and experience life are awe-inspiring. There are some who say ‘we are one,’ meaning we are all human and share certain commonalities. In a very limited way, this is obvious true. What I have come to believe now, however, is that in 2012, our diversity and differences hugely outweigh our commonalities, to the degree that one can easily make the case for the statement, ‘we are living in parallel universes.’ Disagree? Just look at some of the newest and most popular videos on Youtube today.
Magic Johnson crew pays 2 billion in L.A. Dodgers
Hotel owner’s wife mistakenly sleeps with ‘mystery guest’
A double dose of Blake Griffin
Mario Balotelli crashing Andrea Stramanccioni’s first press
We’re not going to Vegas! Jet Blue captain freaking out
Sand Flea jumping robot
Kat Graham: Put your graffiti on me
Arthur C. Clarke predicts the internet and PC in 1974 (this one was actually rather interesting, and the only one I bothered to watch.)
Now I will use a random Youtube video as an example of living in a parallel universe. This one is by a young woman singer named Lana Del Rey, the song is ‘Born to Die.’ This video is, to put it simply, absolutely absurd. Lana is sitting on a chair, flanked on either side by two real, very bored looking tigers, on the altar of an amazingly Rococo church somewhere in Italy, I am guessing, dressed in a white dress, a lot of red lipstick on her lips, with a garland of blue roses upon her head. She is lip-syncing to the song, as the video goes on to show her and her dark, sultry and sulky looking boyfriend as they meet and then make love in his old muscle car somewhere or other. It goes back and forth between her in the church and them in the car, then in a bed somewhere. The song is awful, the girl can’t sing to save her life, the guy appears to be a total loser by the looks of him, and all in all, it is a perfect example of another superficial, meaningless commercial attempt to attract young consumers to buy this young lady’s music. Amazingly, it has been viewed over 34 million times. Some of the comments written under the video say things like, ‘she’s honestly a legend,’ ‘the way she sings, ‘oh mee’ at the beginning!’ ‘I wanna hug those tigers so badly. Cute!’ and, ‘Bullshit. Taxes only go to the war machine and banks.’ And it only goes on and on, in an endless stream of opinions about her, her boyfriend, and all the rest.
Dear Readers, are you also not absolutely amazed and appalled by the sheer degree of meaningless, superficial, commercial, weird, bizarre and utterly nonsensical human-made (well I think, although this is also up for discussion) creations floating around out there in our world at any moment in time? True, I am of an older generation of humans, and could probably be considered a dinosaur by those under the age of 30, rightfully so. And yet. And yet, I simply cannot swallow all this nonsense as anything but that, none of it can be taken seriously as something having artistic value, just none of it! We humans have collectively lost our sense of aesthetics altogether, our sensitivity towards Beauty, our understanding of what we are doing and why we are doing it. I occasionally take a look at some of these Youtube music videos, if only to see what it is that millions of people are interested in watching. Again and again I am simply amazed by the utter vulgarity and ugliness of them, the majority having to do with animalistic sexual poses and nearly pornographic. I really wonder why they don’t just take off those absurd outfits and just fuck each other, I mean why not, that’s what they are all about anyway. At least seeing that might be slightly more interesting than what they actually do show.
Am I the only one who is mystified by the world we are now living in? Does everyone who is under 30 understand and appreciate the strange images, babbling, lingo and crudity which has more or less taken over the world?
There was a musical from the early 60’s, called Stop the World, I Want to Get Off. Wikipedia’s explanation about the story says that the play’s title was derived from a graffito, in other words, some poor frustrated human’s scrawl on a wall somewhere in Europe. Well, I am in utter sympathy with that poor fellow. I just am not interested in these parallel universes, while simultaneously mystified by what any of it means. Does anybody know?
Here is a beloved quote from my old and wise and utterly sane friend, Rilke. I include it here as a juxtaposition to all the craziness I just wrote about above.
But fear of the inexplicable has not alone impoverished the existence of the individual, the relationship between one human being and another has also been cramped by it, as though it had been lifted out of the riverbed of endless possibilities and set down in a fallow spot on the bank, to which nothing happens.
But only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes nothing, not even the most enigmatical, will live the relation to another as something alive and will himself draw exhaustively from his own existence. For if we think of this existence of the individual as a larger or smaller room, it appears evident that most people learn to know only a corner of their room, a place by the window, a strip of floor on which they walk up and down. Thus they have a certain security.
We, however, are not prisoners. No traps or snares are set about us, and there is nothing which should intimidate or worry us. We have no reason to mistrust our world, for it is not against us. Has it terrors, they are our terrors; has it abysses, those abysses belong to us; are dangers at hand, we must try to love them.
How should we be able to forget those ancient myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.
Ps: On the other hand, now I have found another Youtube, by a Russian band called Gorky Park. They have a song called’ Stop the world I want to get off’ and it’s not half bad. At least I understand their message, and it’s even a little artistic. So I guess some parallel universes are somewhat understandable after all.
Pps. As I now go to post this, I can see there are several other blog posts about parallel universes, most are much less tongue-in-cheek than the ones I am concerned with. Apologies to those real scientists out there who may have by accident thought I was discussing something scientific!