A right to behave badly
February 4, 2012
The Moron. I wrote this book about myself. About anyone with artistic/intellectual ambitions. I read that Picasso was not gentle with his women. My sister sat in a table in a restaurant next to Irving Layton who public humiliated the woman he was with. Jim Morrison of the Doors was an immature prick. The quest to create beauty does not include civility. Or gentleness.
This is no different that the man who seeks great wealth. And steps over anyone who gets in his way. Or the candidate for public office who yearns for power. At any cost. It is not just that sometimes people behave badly. Its that they come to believe that it is their right to behave badly.
The Moron was written about a character. Not unlike Marshall McLuhan. A man who thinks that he has a peculiarly new insight into the meaning of life. And that his mission in life is to bring it to the public. No matter the cost. To himself, his wife, mistress, children or friends.
A Son’s Story
My father said that we’d all end up in a box. Buried in memories. Death is no mistake. Life was an explosion that we live in. Everyone was headed in different directions with a common goal. Nothing makes sense in the unexamined life. What counts are the lies you get away with. Father was one of those young men called the baby boomers who never had to prove their metal in war or desperation, and thus remained eternally angry. And their anger ate them up inside, made them hungry and dissatisfied. I hated my father. He never thought I existed.
I was nine years old standing in the middle of the living room in front of the television.
“Don’t stand so close to the set!” my father barked. He took a seat on the couch. I stood in front of the set.
“You seen my cigars?”
I shrugged. I was nine years old. What did I want with cigars?
“Where are my cigars?”
“I don’t know where your bloody cigars are,” I cried. I just wanted to watch my program.
“I don’t want to hear that kind of language young man. Now I asked you a simple question and I expect a civil response. What are you watching?”
“Heman,” I responded.
“Get back from the couch. You’re going to ruin your eyes.”
I moved back to the couch.
“What else is on?”
“Nothing,” I replied.
“You’re too old for this program. Heman is for little kids. There must be something else on. Where’s the remote?”
“I want to watch Heman,” I said.
“Give me the remote.”
“I don’t have it.”
“Who had it last?”
I shrugged and sat down. My father stood up and fumbled through the cushions looking for the remote. He made me stand up. Unsuccessful he got down on his knees and looked under the couch.
“Where the hell…” he cried.
“Mom said I could watch Heman,” I said taking my place back on the couch.
“Your mom’s not here.”
“I was here first,” I declared.
“On the planet?” he asked then roared with delight as he pulled the remote from beneath the armchair.
He turned and pointed it at the television like it was a laser gun from a sci-fi film. Nothing happened.
“Mom took the batteries out,” I grinned. Mom hated the remote. Said that it was impossible to watch television when father was touring through the stations. It was like watching clothes in a tumble dryer, she said.
He left the room. I knew it was only a matter of time until he returned with batteries. I wished that I had a remote to turn him off.