On privilege and suffering.

These images are borrowed from the vault, my own vault that is. I’ve exhumed them as they’ve come to take on a broader context. I’d dug them up the first time, perhaps eighteen months ago or so, in the throes of a winter melancholy. They represented to me then a particular brand of envy I felt for those who seemed to be skating through the season smiling and happy. How utterly selfish of me to have spent any time at all feeling ill will towards anyone who wasn’t feeling my feelings or who didn’t recognize my feelings. Depression can be like that though. It’s quite beyond any control and though it’s not born of selfishness it can still be quite selfish. How could a person dare to begrudge another person their peace? Sickness, to paraphrase Peter Townshend, will surely take the mind where minds can’t usually go. That’s quoted quite out of context but it says what it needs to say.

Or maybe it’s perfectly within context when considering Count Dracula or any of the fictional monsters who’ve crept about our literature and our nightmares over the centuries. Thoughts of good and evil, or discussions of good and evil may even exist more in our daily discourse than they do in our art and film. The monsters we portray in our daily news are quite probably as much fictional accounts as Count Dracula. “Evil” and “monster” appear regularly in headlines and maybe it’s easier to characterize a person by their criminal acts than it is to analyze the criminal. I don’t know. I’m just thinking.

I’m just thinking about the privilege of being one of those who rests easy, awake or asleep. It is truly a privilege to spend most of your days and nights unfettered and unburdened. This isn’t about me, just to make that perfectly clear. This isn’t a woe is me screed like it was a year ago dredging up these quote/images. This isn’t depression. These words are seedlings of thoughts on… on what? That’s not entirely clear to me yet. I’m thinking aloud again.

It’s with a sort of heartsickness that I’ve wheeled out these images from the dead letter office. It’s the detritus of watching fires and hearing the sound of breaking glass and angry shouts and recriminations. The news has been far more dramatic and horrible than any gothic (or contemporary) horror story we’ve blasted out into the cinemas in the last 100 years of film. The spin of events through the media and the half-assed analysis and accusation is far more melodramatic and yet still so poorly written.

Maybe this is all just to say that we need to examine our monsters. I’m not talking about the personal afflictions that we all have. Hell, what am I even talking about?

Maybe this is all to say that until you can see Count Dracula’s humanity you’re never going to understand a goddamn thing and nothing will ever be made right. Driving a stake through his heart may eliminate the immediate threat but it’s not going to do a damn thing to make you more human.

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