Friday, November 18, 2011

Spiderman appears as if out of nowhere.
November 17, 2111

Story of Orpheus here  

The traditional version of the story of Orpheus has him fall in love with Eurydice, who is bitten by a serpent and dies. Orpheus descends to the Netherworld and is able to persuade the Gods to return her to him. The Gods agree on the condition that as Eurydice follows him back to the upper world, he will not once look back.

Just before exiting the Netherworld (in the very doorway between the two worlds), Orpheus forgets the condition and looks back. Eurydice vanishes for ever. My interpretation (among many no doubt) is that Orpheus’ descent is part of the act of mimesis.

No young lover’s dead partner is dead right off, but is living remainder, in this case, the musician Orpheus, continues forward on momentum, and the song of love he sings does not yet believe what has been witnessed. This is why the act of love, or being in love, and attachment continues on as imitation (as if real)—as mimesis—even though it is dead.

The trick of an act of mimesis is to do mimesis as if it is real, because if you imitate and do not “get into the skin” of the act, the act falls apart. One begins to doubt the reality of what one is doing and dies. If an actor or actress does not believe in the role they are playing, they do not make a good actor or actress.

In the days, when mimesis was yet more direct, egalitarianism (the mimesis of it) could not be expressed any other than tearing a piece of red cloth among twenty people in twenty pieces. The members of the team of Inca ball players who lost the game also lost their lives, something they know when they start the ball game.

This is another way of saying that if one does not get into the act and believes that Jesus has risen from the dead, one never rises for him- or  herself either. One  always remain unborn—at least for the Second time.

In Tennessee Williams play “Orpheus Descending”, an Italian immigrant who settles in the American South, buys a grape orchard and makes from the grapes wine. This identifies the Italian with Dionysus, the Greek God of merriment and sensual license. Dionysus gives the wine to a black man to drink, and he goes wild. When the people of the racist South hear of it, they burn the Italian’s house and vineyard. Dyonysus, dies in the fire.

Dyonysus is survived by his eighteen year old daughter, Lady, who for practical reasons is forced (bought) into a marriage with the leader of the arsonist gang, Jabe (?  Jove). The marriage to the murderer of her father, something Lady is not aware of, is predestined to end badly by the playwrights joice of circumstance. Years later, when elderly Jabe is dying from cancer, Lady is visited by a young musician looking for a job for a day or two. Val (? Valentino, Orpheus, Dyonysus) and Lady fall in love.

One reads into the love affair an attempt by Lady to recover something of what she has missed and has perhaps already lost for ever. However, the loss becomes irreversible, when the dying killer discovers the affair between Lady and Val and shoots his wife while she is in Val’s arms, but is not—strikingly—off with Va in a hurry to New Orleans.

Spiderman and his children.
In Williams’ version of the story of Orpheus, the musician, Orpheus, too is shot and dies. This because when all is said and done, he and Lady fail to believe in themselves and therefore fail to run with life and not hesitate about risks.

November 18, 2111

This is Independence Day of Latvia. Seeing that I live some 140 kilometers from Riga, I am as usual sitting at home. Since the road goes by my house some hundred yards away, I display my flag at home.

If the Latvians have anything that comes close to being called “violent foundation” day, this is it. It is certainly “legitimization” day.

Yet Latvians emerged from out of this birth a much divided people. They were so profoundly divided that the socialists went East, while the capitalists went West. The capitalists won the government and kept the socialists out, if not de jure, then certainly de facto. The Latvian government is to this day a right wing government. Socialists as if do not exist.

Yet the socialists got their share and more, when Latvia was occupied by the Soviet Union. The right wing government and all those oriented to its way of thinking (my family including) were brutally repressed.

After nearly half a century at the helm of the nation, preaching socialism as communism with as absolute a power as once the Bible was passed down from above to us mortals, the torch reverted back into the hands of the right wing. It has run with the torch (or call it flag) for twenty years and has run it into the ground.

Today the torch is out and the flag is muddied. Of course, only those who have eyes to see see it. For others it continues to be presented with rockets and with what Al Gore called “political gore”. The government always makes sure that it appears well sanitized and a new coat of paint. In reality, it is a government that is all knotted up in the stomach.

The reason is that the government lives on lies. Lies will gunk up the stomach as good as eating salmonella marinated fish.

So, Latvia has a right wing oriented government since its inception. Perhaps this is one reason why the one and only photograph of all those present at the act of the “foundational act of Latvia”, the To Be President of Latvia is not present.

All kinds of excuses have been written why Janis Chakste was not present at the inauguration. My godfather Mintauts Chakste , the eldest of Chakste’s sons, never talked about it. Apparently it was a tabu subject in the extended family, too. Jānis Chakste, a successful lawyer, had missed out on the Inauguration Ceremonies on the 18th of November, 1918. No one wanted to know why.

I really do not pretend to know President Janis Chakste’s reasons for being absent, except not to be so naïve as to believe that if he had wanted to be there, he would not have been.

I also know that Latvian historians, politologues, politicians, writers of all kinds have all fudged this “legitimating” and “foundation” day of Latvia with as many strokes of crayons as a messy child paints a sheet of paper.

It is a shame that ninety-three years after the foundation of Latvia no one speaks of the possibility that one of the reasons why Jānis Chakste was not present at the 18th of November Founding Act was that it occurred under the Dom Mayor of the Allies, where German interests (in spite of the fact that Germany had lost the war) kept the tilt of the government to the right, and had the left excluded, unless as a decoration.

Another reason could have been because Jānis Chaste was a Jelgava city loyalist and may have wanted the capital of Latvija to be in Jelgava not Riga, the latter which was still largely populated by Germans.

I believe that this non-event that gives the first President of Latvia a major, albeit silent, role and voice in the founding of Latvia, needs to be examined more thoroughly and that the official story is critically deconstructed. The deconstruction must be in the public eye.

I surely would like to know why my stomach knots up on the 18th of November, and as the day progresses becomes painful, and what comes to the fore of my mind are pictures of departing Latvians, a million of them, so says a folk wisdom accurate in every way but fact. Nonetheless the Latvian people know it.

On the way to the Spiderman's cabin.

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