In October, a maple tree before your window lights up your room like a great lamp. Even on cloudy days, its presence helps to dispel the gloom. John Burroughs
So many topics in the headlines lately have been howling at me like wolves out of the wilderness, or singing like whales from the bathypelagic zones, tempting one to write about them, to get worked up and spew tightly or loosely argued invective. The tricks of the political sphere, the popcultural sublayer, the sports gulag, the self-defeating misadventures of the local grapevine, you probably know them, how they pull you in, make you lose your energies on empty circles that begin where they end: a caustic remark about last night’s victory (or loss), an equally stale observation concerning Gagagugu (I think this name would be even more befitting), a wordplain admixing The Paradise Papers and bumf. A 1.3 terra load on the loaded, all the dirt in one enormous pile. And if you’re honestly wondering how we got here, you can certainly read it up on Wiki.
Not this time though, I’m thinking, not these times.
Let me instead describe the early November light outside my window, the aqueous quality with which it slithers from the sky and the lurking suspicion that it comes down specifically for me, to slosh away all that good mood that was so easy to store up on in suntastic October. Especially for an October child. What’s that saying? All men were created equal but the best were born in October. I think Roger Federer said that, or if not him (he doesn’t go in for that kind of off the cuff megalomania; whatever scandalous humdinger RF has in the cards, he’s saving it for his late sixties or seventies, e.g. Mirka telepathically controlled my body during every Grand Slam Final, technically it still was me but I, my mind I mean, was just sort-of leaning back, watching the show. I f###ing love her, I do. etc.)….if not the great FedEx then some other celebrity born in October (P-Diddy, now gaka Love immediately elbows his way to mind; g equals grudgingly), some other not-particularly-super-not-particularly-star with no lack of self-confidence and a clod-hopping notion of wit. If I were famous I would’ve probably been the first to say it, quite frankly. But I am not so I didn’t. Then again, hey, look here, little me, all out of fame and yet coming up with this gem of a saying. The kind of bon mot that makes me almost, almost but not actually, forget, the sneaky, deprogenic ways of November drizzle.
Novemba. Typical of this bastard month who obviously is struggling with some issues being stuck between beloved, cozy, economy-invigorating December and the point-blank genius of October, couldn’t even give you straight rain, instead this gelid, too early in the morning, thinned out version of proper showers. And fog and clouds like that were the new thing: myspace, facebook, instagramm, november mist. Fog is the new black.
I am at least trying to fool myself because: How can one resist the wolf-call of the headlines, the pack in pursuit of philosophical prey, resist writing about the intellectual travesty parading around as cultural appropriation?
People with a low melanin count should not wear dreadlocks (a hairstyle in which the hair is washed but not combed and twisted while wet into tight braids or ringlets hanging down on all sides). Is that really the standpoint, the new top-flight theoretical brainchild of crypto-multiculturalism? Postcolonialism turnt and gone toxically sour? Some woke post-ebonic mutant of good ol’ Rassenlehre? Because what exact racial criteria would one have to fulfill to be permitted entry into the hallowed ethnic fields of Dreadlockistan? And could one ever even add a more nefarious twist to that first half of the term designating that particular hairstyle?
I for one, though born in October, sure couldn’t. It’s not that the term per se does not designate a valid concern but that, applied to both Willy and Nilly, it stops making any coherent, politically weaponizable sense. For instance: some fuck-up Parisian designer using West-African clothes and designs without even acknowledging that legacy is clearly flubbed up and beyond condonation. But to try to apply the same logic to a hairdo, the right to determine certain basic configurations of one’s physique, is to defenestrate the elephant with the tubwater. It’s absurd, it’s bonkers, it makes a hash out of valid concerns. The same way that november fog mocks my octoberese will to cheerfulness.