Monday, October 13, 2008

Of penguins

A while back, someone told me a great story. There was a seven year old boy with Downs Syndrome, who went on a class trip to the Antarctic Centre. This kid, he had a backpack that he would take with him wherever he went, even if he was just walking around his own home. For arguments sake, lets say the bag is red. Anyway, this kid comes home from his school trip to the Antarctic Centre, wearing his bag around the house. He even takes it into the bathroom, where his mum's getting him ready for a bath. She leaves him in there for a few minutes, maybe to get a towel or something. When she comes back, she sees the red bag lying open on the ground, and in the bath is her son, and a blue penguin. Turns out this kid had gone to the Antarctic Centre, and walked out with a penguin in his bag. No one noticed. And why should they? Most people don't take the time to look beyond the everyday – on the surface they see a 'retarded kid' with his favourite bag, on a school field trip. And yet just below the surface, there's a blue penguin with a bathtub future.

The point here is that the every day seems, on the surface, overwhelmingly mundane and similar for everyone. We get up, go to university, learn some things which will apparently benefit us later on in life, get drunk with the same friends as usual, and fall asleep. And yet, how many of us have the metaphorical penguin-in-our-backpack, some hidden layer of complexity to an otherwise mundane life?How many individuals are there doing things and thinking things contrary to what is considered 'normal'? Maybe the next girl that serves you in McDonalds is writing a novel to rival Darger's The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion in length, and maybe the next abandoned house you pass contains a lifetime of memories, left to rot or left to be discovered by someone breaching some imagined barrier. And maybe, the next time you pass that gray wall that's been boring the fuck out of you longer than your memory stretches, you'll return with some ink pens, some good friends and some running shoes.

So basically, if you haven't figured it out by now, what you're reading is someone proselytizing a completely and obviously romanticised notion of life, and how it should be lived. Why? I don't know why. I guess it's a profound boredom with the every-day. Rock and roll, carry me away.

This was meant to be a review of the latest Grails LP. I guess I'll actually review it at some stage, but for now I guess you can accept that it's good, and gets better through headphones at 2am.

1 comment:

Todd said...

I look forward to your review of Grails. I only have Burning off Impurities which is quite good.