"Something positive about the lockdown..."Submitted by Michael Nystrom on Tue, 04/30/2013 - 02:00
There was a thread a while back, titled that - or some approximation thereof. I'm sorry I don't remember who it was, or the exact title. I was still not quite in my right mind. It has been a terrible few weeks in Boston since the bombings. Terrorsome. Its just downright gloomy. That all that actually happened. It wasn't a movie.
The strange thing is, is that it played out in my head as a movie, because I'm intimately familiar with all the places. I feel a closeness to this place. To the history and beauty of this city. So it hurt me a little more. That picture of Boston 1773 vs. Boston 2013.
240 years, for the cycle to come half circle. Everything eventually becomes its opposite. You young become old. Night becomes day. The seasons change. Everything in this whole place just goes around and around and around forever. Revolutions every day and every season.
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But there was that one nice thread amidst all the chaos: IT WAS FREEDOM THAT CAUGHT THE GUY - NOT THE LOCKDOWN. Does anyone else remember that thread?
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All day long I was out driving around. First over to Renato's in East Boston. The roads were eerily empty. It was like driving around on Christmas Day - nary another car to be seen. But you expect that on days like Christmas and Thanksgiving. But on a pleasant spring Friday, it is creepy.
Like Bob Dylan driving down a deserted 42nd Street in a Cadillac he 'borrowed' from the dealer after World War III:
"A good car to drive after a war." - LOL!
But suddenly there was a huge traffic jam - at the airport. Miles long. The Gov. had suspended ALL public transportation. The entire bus system, commuter rail system and subway. They even had taxis suspended for the first hour. There was no other way to get into the airport.
This whole apparatus was out of commission that day: Not just Boston, but transportation to all of the surrounding cities and towns.
You don't hear much about that. But run it through the noodle and see what comes out.
My first thought about "Shelter in Place" was: Quarantine.
After all, we've got the deadliest bird flu yet smoldering over in China. Is that little fire going to catch? As in a global wipeout? As in Mother Earth's way of saying - enough of you humans! Back! Back!
(Quarantines were in effect for the Spanish Flu of 1919.)
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But that Friday you could feel the freakyness in the air. Like: "What the hell is going on? Is this really happening?" Like some weird weather pattern that you've never experienced suddenly descended on you -- and then you realize that its aliens!
And there was the fear. The whole jumble of fear. Everyone in the damn city was thinking, "That could have been me." That could have been me, getting carjacked over there in Allston. That could have been me, getting my legs blown off. That Chinese girl who died could have been my wife. (That we have friends who had met her comes a sort of awe, that she was that short of a distance from me, and in the great Lottery, her number got called. Not mine. That day had her number on it.
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Samantha and I had an errand to run in Quincy. The whole time in the car we debated whether they would find him or not. Why was it taking so long? Is someone hiding him? Did he take someone hostage? Is he even in Watertown? What if they don't find him? How long will it go on? Honestly, I was expecting it to go on all weekend.
And when they released it, there was a sigh of relief. Because I don't have the idiot box, and I refused to watch any of it on YouTube, I have not poisoned my mind by viewing video images of the celebration.
THAT tangent aside, everything that happened brings to mind one's mortality, and vulnerability in so many ways. That was just an egregious, vulgar display of force by the 'authorities.' People always cheer it until the one day it turns on them.
And to me, it feels like it could happen again. Easily. Randomly. It feels like that weird weather pattern is hanging around, and might get more menacing. And as for the aliens? They've fully taken over the country.
And it seems that there is no way to stem the tide. That it is impossible because we live in a world where, as stated above, everything is always either growing brighter, or somewhere in the process of becoming its opposite.
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Summary: The good thing about the lockdown:
1) It didn't work. It was Freedom that allowed the suspect to be found and caught.
2) It provided some very interesting data about what time it is getting to be. Everyone is running it through their heads: What does it mean? What if it happens again? What if it happened to me? What if some time in the future, I'm the suspect?
Lots going on here, and I can't say that I feel particularly safe living in Boston anymore. Copycats? Retribution? What if they discover that "cell"? (is that "cell" real?) What if their investigation flushes more of the rats out, and they're brazen and agressive like these guys were? What if I'm just being played for a fool by a super sophisticated marketing campaign? What if I'm overly paranoid.
I'm back to Chapel Perilous, where you reach the point where you must reconcile it: Is the Conspiracy a conspiracy, or is the Conspiracy real?
According to Robert Anton Wilson, there's only two ways out of it: Terminally paranoid, or stone cold agnostic. I would add that you can live a life of denial - where nothing is ever what it seems, or a life of acceptance, and submission. Submission to the will of God, if speaking religiously. Acceptance, if speaking of Buddhism. Stone cold agnostic, if speaking of Robert Anton Wilson.
The positive thing is that we're back at Chapel Perilous.