~ Theft, larceny, robbery – its all the same, or is it?
I don’t really believe in blowers, in those little electric things that started as hair dryers and then grew up to be leaf movers or earth movers or more like machines to push ones yard around to make it all nice again. Blow it up, blow it back, blow back – it’s the blower thing, like blowing in the wind or blowing bubbles or blowing up bubbles whatever that might mean. Rakes are better. Big ones for the yard, small ones for the hair, that’s what people did before the dawning of the day of electricity, of dams, of nuclear power plants and gas and coal all to push the leaves around or to save one from the all too dreaded, “Bad Hair Day.”
But, I have arthritis now. It’s a bit inherited I suspect. And caused by injury, the injury of life, too many little things built up too long until they become a bother, until they become noticed, making wrongs. It’s wrong that I can’t still use a rake to rake my yard, to pull the leaves, to rake them into piles of raked leaves, leaves that are just not blown around, randomly, or into piles of intent. The leaves when falling were so hopeful. A final raking is like the natural order of things, a fitting finish to any yard, a piling up of what must in time come down.
Someone of course stole my blower. From the porch. From deep inside my yard. Unplugged it, and the cord, what a pain, raking leaves with arthritis pain – how could they? Why would they? Was it really ‘one’ or ‘they’?
You probably know where this post may be going, into deeper things, more universal than just a raking of the leaves, a quiet loss, seeming lesser in the night. Things that disappear in or into the darkness always seem the lesser crime, stealth and secrecy and hiding and the disappearance of things that perhaps should have been better hidden. I know that. In today’s America everything should be locked up, always, for ever and a day (and night). Gone are the fifties, leave your door unlocked or even open, a key hidden beneath the mat, or on a nail above or behind the door, hidden in plain sight it seems. It worked, it seems – back then.
There are three (perhaps) real good suspects. This thing has not happened here before. Theft is not a reoccurring theme, friends and neighbors always watching, being careful, each minute and each moment carefully tracked – accounted for. It’s in an America worth watching, watchbirds and cameras, airports and homeland security, Kennedy and Nixon, Bush, Obama, I rest my case but not my constant surveillance, or is it vigilance that should be constant. Is it government or just a blower, gone or going in the night? Is it the crime or being caught that makes the difference? What is the real purpose of each crime?
I watched a movie the night the blower blew away. Not so much a movie as a ‘film’, an Italian flick, sub-titles or a soundtrack with the dubbing, an awkward moving of the lips. It was made in 1970, might have been made yesterday or better yet, tomorrow. The Conformist. I doubt you’ve seen it, it’s far too good. It’s not the censored Hollywood affair, scripts passed on down from on high containing suggestions for a plot, leaking names and motives, rewriting history all the time – you get my drift.
The plot is about the fascists, Italy and France, killing dancing and intrigue, like why one does it – is it the motive or the crime (that matters). All this on Kennedy Day, November twenty-two, one-one, two-two. 12 – 7, 9 – 11; it’s so nice that history makes the numbers rhyme so well, random acts of violence, May Day too, the day of Gary Powers, how can history make you crazy when in time it all seems so simple, a simple plot, too simple for the reading.
Movies now have their extras, not the extra of the actors, or the actor extras, but those bits of film and footage not acted, the interviews of sorts, short sorts that sort it out behind the scenes, writers or directors or actors even going on and on like this sentence, eventually ending in a point.
Let me retrogress (or move forward). There are two theories of the crime. One is the random hit of history, bad people now and then, lone gunmen, people in a plane, a simple plan with a simple plot – they get caught. Movies must be over in two hours, people watch and then move on, short lives for short attention spans, all good stories and good lies bear repeating, and repeating, and repeating – until one gets it, (right ?).
It seems that Shakespeare and the Italians knew history for what it was, a plot. Julius Caesar was not killed by the random knife, disgruntled proletarian, a leader of the pack. He was killed by the pact, by a conspiracy fully cast and provident, as in having many knives. The black shirts copied the play of Caesar in their deaths, secret roads and ambush, silhouettes and stilettos moving in the night as each participant takes their stab, not a crime – rather a solution. The method was effective because they were always caught, everyone always knew the black shirts did it, there was the same consistent method in their madness. Stick by stick it brought Mussolini into power, can’t beat them, join them.
All things must come out in the end times. Secrets hid must be revealed. “Out, out damn spot.” another Shakespeare play, or is it just an instruction manual, a penny script for two-penny actors – isn’t all the world just a stage? The black shirts get their kicks from you knowing, first deceived then left aghast. It’s your faith they’re after, your faith in yourself, the robbery inherent in every crime. Do you get it now? Once betrayed one believes in betrayal, a conspiracy of others made possible by oneself – in co-conspiracy. The conspiracy of silence, the conspiracy of believing, the conspiracy of the conformist or there could be no conspiracy at all.
There never was a NASA, just Gary Powers in a plane, no weather balloon, no weather plane. Oswald let the Ruskies have the secret, his job was done, his life expendable. Ike was not amused, he gave a speech upon retiring (from the stage). Then Nixon, Kennedy, and finally Dallas – too many threads that must be followed, at the culmination of all time, 1964 – end times begun, the great unraveling, unwinding, just an anti-climax for us all.
Maybe on his last day a departing Bush will give a speech. He will come from behind a curtain (as seen, while he’s really on his way to Paraguay). “Live from the White House”, helicopter holograms up in the sky like some night-time raider, like just another thief. He will sit down and say, “I did it.” The towers, the war, women and the Constitution – I did it all, it was just me, can’t you see and “Let it Be” (or “Bleed”). He’ll offer proof, once again, for all his lies – name names, show pictures, give a recital of all the dates. And once again the whole world will watch him, and be mesmerized by all his lies. Once again people will believe him, “Were you lying then or are you lying now?”, a classic lawyers question.
The bad thing about television and the movies is the unreality of it all. One just looks and listens, enjoys the plot, and then asks but one simple question. “What’s on next week?” And the next week we’ll have Obama, series or mini-series, what difference does it make? It’s all so carefully scripted, making movies of us all. It’s just a movie. It’s only just a movie.
I now have another blower, more the disappoint for the leaves. But there will be less pain. The new one is a little lighter, cheaper, in anticipation of its loss. But I will be a bit more careful. I perhaps will not leave things on the porch. Perhaps I will get rid of the porch altogether. That idea seems the better plan.
There is a line between dark and shadow, between black and white. Tesla knew there was an inherent illumination in the darkness, an energy in the flow, at night there’s nothing hidden, no need for Fiat Lux (it’s always there for those that see).
About the thief? He’s just borrowed another blower, and with it all the pain. Stealing a rake would have been better. In time he’ll figure that one out, it won’t take long. It seldom does.
[2008.11.23 / Sunday – Thief in the Night]