“A Little Musing on the Scabrous Polarity Which Seems to Relentlessly Typify Our Society”

* “Sexual freedom, sexual liberation. A modern delusion. We are hierarchical animals. Sweep one hierarchy away, and another will take its place, perhaps less palatable than the first. There are hierarchies in nature and alternate hierarchies in society.” – Camille Paglia


It’s hard to keep the streets straight sometimes here in Terre Haute, just like it can be hard to remember what state you’re in. All of my professors seem to be from Illinois, as if it’s sociologically elevated to hire individuals from that state (which sadly it probably is).
Anyway, it was right by the school where I almost got jumped — hard to believe. It must have been about 10 at night… I see the dude perched by his trunk within an endless, spectered row of cars, and the only thing that stops him from pouncing out and stealing my Mac laptop is the headlighted car which moseys around the corner toward us, right in the nick of time.
Meanwhile during the day I’ll be riding back on the same streets, it seems, and there’s this lady who looks about 60 and like she’s had plastic surgery and a fake tan, walking one of those little show dogs. There’s just no way around it: some of us HAVE, and some of us DON’T.
The term “crabs in the bucket” refers to the phenomenon of the animal’s confinement within a veritable human-made holding cell utilized toward the animal’s eventual commercial demise. And the prominence of its meaning emerges when one crab starts climbing up the sides trying to get out — another one will knock it down and back in, for no other reason than that this is preferable to viewing oneself as inferior to one’s own brethren.
It’s possible that this is rampant a lot of poor neighborhoods, or it’s possible too that we just get so USED to not having things, we just get so used to this state of combat where we have nothing to lose, we hate everything and everybody, the better for loving ourselves. We grow at one with our squalor.
I thought of the novel title — A Pandemonium of Love and Money. Actually, this is what’s in people’s minds constantly, but what it often is is obviously the opposite.
People from the north have to think they’re “better” than people from the south, which is why you have 8 Mile making fun of “Sweet Home Alabama,” when look what it is… I can’t go one fu**ing hour without hearing that country remake on the radio, and the worst part is that it has the intro of “Werewolves of London,” so I continually fall into the habit of thinking I’m about to hear a remotely palatable song.
Somewhere along the line somebody decided that Skynyrd was lame, that “Sweet Home Alabama” was for hillbillies, and so with this stigma came per Newton’s second law of motion an equal and opposite reaction, the obstinate adherence to said song by southern culture to where now we have this veritable mockery of the country remake.
Let’s just be clear about one thing, if nothing else on this damned planet: Skynyrd fu**ing rocks. I can listen to the entire album Second Helping and be pretty pleased, my Allmans-loving hipster roots perfectly intact. The Neil Young fan wields a theoretical aversion, but really I don’t let this get in my way. It’s all music to me — it’s like how big are you going to fill your duffel bag of melody, rocking and rhythm, you know? They even give props to the old “picker” Curtis Loew, that’s grown man sh**. I don’t have to tell anyone this. “Gimme Three Steps.” “Call Me the Breeze.” “Don’t Ask Me No Questions.” “Simple Kind of Man.” “Freebird.” “Tuesday’s Gone.” Together with “Sweet Home Alabama,” that’s already more classic songs than Tom Petty and Steve Miller have combined. Their guitarist and keyboardist shred with perfect synchronicity on songs like “Workin’ for MCA” (the requisite second album metacognisant). Then there’s this other beastmaster on this album “Swamp Music”… for Christ’s sake could somebody just send me every album Skynyrd has ever made???
Now, there’s no question that polarity is stupid. There should not be black people about to jump you two blocks away from where there’s a lady who’s had plastic surgery walking one of those lil’ dogs. But the question remains, what is the opposite of polarity, and is it possible that the reason for its scarcity lies in its very failure to be in any way desirable, in itself?

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