An English In Kentucky


















Saturday April 20th 2019Tim Candler9


    There's a lot out there that's completely unknown. For all I know the internet might never return, gone for ever and the option for me is to either wail and gnash for the rest of my days, or calculate in a scientific and empirical manner the possibilities of it ever returning and from these calculations plot a way forward, or I could invoke the assistance of The Mysteries. And what with one thing and another I'm in a Mysteries invoking mood at the moment. I remember my friend Okanya, whenever we lost something incredibly valuable like a nail, which we seem to do with a frequency, he'd spit on the palm of his hand and with the two long fingers of his other hand he'd slap the spit, sending it flying. The direction the bulk of the spit took pointed toward the lost object and we'd carefully follow that line, sometimes for what felt like hours. Success rate wasn't high, but comfort wise the whole process was very rewarding, and at least we'd done something constructive. In that part of the world a whirlwind was a not infrequent sight and central to our understanding was to point at the whirlwind so that it would not come our way. Failure to do so pretty much guaranteed one or other of many dire possibilities. And it's also true that we both had great faith in these mysterious rites, which when they failed to work simply meant that we'd been a little too casual in observing our part of the rite. The internet however is a much trickier area than lost nails and whirlwinds, it has flashing lights, telephone wires, un-conversable boxes, a stoic and obnoxiously polite support staff who are clearly well versed in a jargon rich positivity around the unknown which is something mere mortals in their right mind are very averse to, and if you add an emotional, almost addictive, paranoid dependence to the internet experience you're beginning to think about maybe the kind of entirely self centered rite that requires sacrificing virgins.  Though what virgins ever did to deserve sacrificing, I've never really understood, you'd just sort of assume that the more sullied members of any community would by ceremoniously dispatched as a gesture of good faith, but maybe it has something to do with sending our best and our brightest to do the negotiating, the more sullied and guilt ridden would probably give the Internet a wrong impression of us internet addicts.



      The question, where to start? Of The Mysteries, which in my view haven't changed much in the past at least four thousand years, there are three main traditions, and without beating about the bush they basically call for behaviors that go from the poetic gathering to the licentious gathering. I'd argue that those who followed Orpheus were more prone to poetry, the Eleusinian tradition was harvest celebration civilized followed by a bit of an aren't we wonderful knees-up and the Dionysian tradition which was drunken revelry and high order un-virtuous behaviors that so shocked Roman Senators they finally required them to be outlawed, which is quite a thought. And of course to legitimately qualify as an adherent to any one of these traditions you couldn't just turn up, a person had to go through an induction rigmarole involving secret oaths, supplication, ceremonies, a contribution of some sort and probably quite a long list. Me, I'm really far too old for Dionysian behaviors, at my age the music of Orpheus is likely a more productive source of inspiration for an Internet Resurrection Rite. Orpheus was a brilliant musician if you like the Lyre, not for everyone, and I'll probably have to substitute a little shimmying while maybe thinking about Bob Dylan, Sam Cooke, Tina Turner.  The point being that with Orpheus, when the devil took his wife he decided to go down unto Hades and use his musical abilities to retrieve her. The Devil was mightily impressed and agreed that Orpheus' wife could return to the world so long as Orpheus didn't look at her before he had escorted her out of Hades. Simple request, but Orpheus was tempted to renege and true to the bargain the Devil did not allow Orpheus' wife to leave Hades. Orpheus was devastated and he wandered the wilderness playing his music until a group of Thracian women killed him and threw his severed head into a river. And I too have on occasion felt like following the natural instincts of Thracian women around the lyre, the harpsichord, the tambourine and Bluegrass music. Details of an Orphic Internet Resurrection Rite will include shimmying to Sam Cooke's Chain Gang as might be sung by Bob Dylan and Tina Turner, and as I ascend and descend the stairs I will not look at the Flashing Internet Not Working Check Light, and should I turn to look at this flashing light I have to go outside and walk once around the field on the off chance there's a band of Thracian Women who might oblige me by cutting off my miserable head and throwing it into the Green River.


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