Armstrong, sitting in the commander's seat, spacesuit on, helmet on, plugged into electrical and environmental umbilical's, is the man who is not only a machine himself in the links of these networks, but is also a man sitting in (what Collins is later to call) a 'mini-cathedral.' a man somewhat more than a pilot, somewhat more than a superpilot, is in fact a veritable high priest of the forces of society and scientific history concentrated in that mini cathedral, a general of the church of the forces of technology.
We live in a time which has created the art of the absurd. It is our art. It contains happenings, Pop art, camp, a theater of the absurd. . . . Do we have the art because the absurd is the patina of waste? . . . Or are we face to face with a desperate or most rational effort from the deepest resources of the unconscious of us all to rescue civilization from the pit and plague of its bedding?
A political convention is after all not a meeting of a corporation's board of directors; it is a fiesta, a carnival, a pig-rooting, horse-snorting, band-playing, voice-screaming medieval get-together of greed, practical lust, compromised idealism, career-advancement, meeting, feud, vendetta, conciliation, of rabble-rousers, fist fights (as it used to be), embraces, drunks (again as it used to be) and collective rivers of animal sweat.
One's condition on marijuana is always existential. One can feel the importance of each moment and how it is changing one. One feels one's being, one becomes aware of the enormous apparatus of nothingness - the hum of a hi-fi set, the emptiness of a pointless interruption, one becomes aware of the war between each of us, how the nothingness in each of us seeks to attack the being of others, how our being in turn is attacked by the nothingness in others.
Fascism is more of a natural state than democracy. To assume blithely that we can export democracy into any country we choose can serve paradoxically to encourage more fascism at home and abroad. Democracy is a state of grace that is attained only by those countries who have a host of individuals not only ready to enjoy freedom but to undergo the heavy labor of maintaining it.
<< previousnext >>