New Orleans- land of my greatest dismay yet!
New Orleans. Foul beast of decay. My horrid naivete was in buying into your “cultural atmosphere.” Let me explain. Throughout life I’ve always thought of myself as a sharp judge of people’s faults, and everyone has many- myself included, of course. I take a noxious delight in picking apart the human soul with the scalpel of my intellect, leering and rubbing my hands in glee like some horrible banker who hordes human failings. (It’s true that I have nothing that could be called ‘honor’, but I don’t believe in the thing. Perhaps that’s just a myth of our savage forebears.) It was as I was in a parking lot late tonight, during an entertaining evening of practically bathing in diabolical human morbidity, that I realized I had done horribly poorly at taking simple directions to an opening. (The fools there, as it happened, were among the most delectably pathetic.) Prior to this, my usual glee had been cut into. Without naming names, I have allowed myself to admire someone too much, sapping me of some of my callous power. By some alchemical process, when I admire others it can reveal the pitiful dope underneath my callow armor to the paltry, giggling fools of the gossip circuit who I despise more than inveterate drug-users. (Don’t ask me what they latch onto.) What makes this situation almost breathtakingly upsetting to me is that when life beats the subject down further, in the filthy dark of the New Orleans night that’s like a fathomless well of slime, I absolutely cannot feel my usual disdain for the suffering of others. My attempts to villainize the subject in my mind, on some level, have met with catastrophic failure. This hurts me greatly. Add to this the fact that I pride myself in navigating skills and preparedness- being a seasoned delivery driver- and was now far afield of my target area, and you can understand how my parade of narcissism was rained on for a night that was supposed to be cloudless.
I have become soft since coming here. This is the only explanation. Fortunately, “knowing is half the battle”, and as I sped back with cop-defying haste, I began to feel the sickly pseudo-testosterone that allows me to birth my warped creations flow more freely through my veins. I was a bit more ready to meet DEATH, my beloved dominatrix, on the hot asphalt at night! But I could not help but ponder- what had led me to this soft turn? Why have I allowed such a tacky little burg as NEW ORLEANS, precious of drunks and buffoons- which I came to simply to delectate in decay- why have I allowed the place to put me in such a torpor? How could I be so quickly duped? And now I think I have some of New Orleans’ masterful evil figured out. Only some, mind you- there are exciting depths yet.
You see, from before I came here, I was tempted by a myth so sneaky, so nefariously subtle, that nobody even sees it as it sits right in front of us. New Orleans is certainly one of the places people go who are too weak to fight against the lure of falling into the utter delusion of a “dream life”, an existence of allowing oneself every comforting delusion, of being the “character in your own movie”- the “movie” being your mental reinvisioning of the remaining days of your unremarkable life. Deep down, these French Quarter degenerates must know that their existence is essentially worthless, or they could not trick themselves with such skill into calling it “colorful”- this is the paradox of self-deception, and therefore of the human mind, which in all the cosmos is the greatest master of self deception. The myth that I, that everyone, finds so irresistible, is one of petty compassion. It is this- that it seems right, it seems “good”, that these creatures should have some place in the cold world to go to, to call their own, and to be delusional in peace. Yet at the same time, nearly everybody has sense enough to realize that these people are assholes.
Now, what do you get when you take an asshole, give them a boob job, slap on a fake purple afro and fill their rancid carcass with hard liquor?
You guessed it, folks. You get an asshole.
Because many of the dwellers of New Orleans are “colorful”, I wanted to believe that their flaws were somehow magically mitigated. Because the culture of New Orleans is such an inspiration, I wanted to believe that when lame normal people mess things up over here, it was somehow a little less insipid to put up with. In truth, I wanted to believe that the uniqueness of the place would allow me some degree of freedom from the noxious mundanity which we always know- that I could “game the system” by a small amount. And yet, if I had seen these beliefs with the keen eyes that I do now, I would have been mortified. Had I not continually reassured myself before moving that I was not so naive, that I understood that all places with humans in them were essentially horrible and that I could never escape that horror by a simple location switch? I had. But I hadn’t understood the depth, the subtlety, of New Orleans’ voodoo craft. Only now am I beginning to.
Listen to me, you fools. Do you think I don’t know that I’m the sick future of culture? I know. The mission is now clear to me, more than it has been in years. The purpose, in these the TWILIGHT DAYS of this city before it sinks beneath the filthy waters, is only to exploit the culture that’s still left- with scalpel if necessary, with hammer if there’s absolutely nothing else, but above all STEAL, EXPLOIT, ASSIMILATE for my own personal use in the context of my mysterious larger agenda. Holding to tradition in the United States is part of what makes New Orleans unique, and in the universe in which we live, it’s also what makes New Orleans doomed. What does not bend, breaks. When New Orleans bends, it is no longer New Orleans. It is merely NOLA. I find myself in the position of an Egyptian grave robber in the first days of European exploitation- I must hurry, before all the valuable gems and corpse matter is stolen either by my fellows, or by the haughty pale-skin archaeologists. The glory days of Ra and Osiris have long been a memory- soon there won’t even be a relic! Allahu Akhbar, and may the best man win- and I intend to be he. As for the rest, all this sentimental nonsense, it can go right in the trash. Down with all myths! Down with all realities!