Sunday, June 26, 2005

There Are So Many Things Right About This Photograph

This is a pirated photo of Larry "Wildman" Fischer, a Frank Zappa protege from the 1960s and I'm not posting this because I like Frank Zappa or Fischer; I think this photo could serve as a metaphor for our times. Here you have a man, nearly schizophrenic by all accounts, who was used by Frank Zappa (as Zappa and others like Andy Warhol used their acolytes even as they provided them with their "fame"), and ended up making television appearances on TV shows like "Laugh-In" where in the tumultous 60s anybody that "way-out" was "way-in." It's a fucked-up commentary on the Sixties that indeed a man with genuine mental problems fit right in with the countculture, right? Schizophrenics and acid-heads making excellent bedfellows, until the acid wears off, I assume. Most would agree that schizophrenia doesn't "wear-off." Ok, tangent here, acid being to the white middle-class kids who mainly used it some sort of bizarre act of "slumming." Turn on and then one could experience almost like a temporary schizophrenia.

If you look at this photo with your most honest eye, you'll see that it sums up the rebellious nature of the United States nearly perfectly -- and that along with the black and white of the image there are many shades of grey. This photo appears to be of a disheveled man holding a U.S. flag in front of a staircase. Drop out those shades of grey and you would have an incomplete picture. The shades of grey are necessary to make a complete picture. Those who see the world in only black and white have been fooled by charlatans.

Charlatan, n. -- a person who makes elaborate, fraudulent, and often voluble claims to skill or knowledge; a quack or fraud. [French, from Italian ciarlatano, probably an alteration of cerretano, inhabitant of Cerreto, a city of Italy once famous for its quacks] source.

Who would want an imperfect or false picture of the world? More importantly who would *choose* to accept a false picture of the world *knowing* it false? The case could be made that life's complexities in this Age of Information have become too daunting for most.

Ernest Hemingway once said that the key to becoming a great writer was possession of a foolproof "bullshit detector." It seems that many people these days not only are minus their "bullshit detector" but their very will to discover the truth has eroded. I've commented much recently that the "well," meaning the news media, has been poisoned and that many now no longer trust any news source as objective. Objective news is the lifeblood of a democracy. Subjective news pieces, which are merely opinions based on fact and not factual reporting per se, are always used as examples by those who cannot find any facts to support their views. Be very wary of those who use mere opinion to support their views. Opinions are statements which cannot be supported by empirical evidence.

Their goal is to lead you up those stairs and off the roof of the that building. Schizophrenics always smile.


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