Monday, September 7, 2009

WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Katzenjammer! Winter is here

Light is divine, not just because it topped (or "tops," as divinity knows no past tense?) the Old Man's agenda and happens to be the source of all life (though it hardly needs to be pointed out that those are two awfully good reasons). It relates to something more immediate and urgent, to the pixilated Maine seafarer perched at the bridge's edge, something more relevant to each and every one of us, worthy of the adjective universal (as opposed to "love" and "humanity," which are not only parochial traits erratically practiced but -- in the case of the latter -- much too good for its eponym). Light, if not gives, relates to happiness (if we may be lazy about word choice), or, more specifically, a sense of purpose, a steely belief in existence even amid perpetual non-understanding of nonexistence, an acceptance -- not resignation -- of injustice's final tab, which, unpaid, adds up to infinity -- yet another concept that can never quite be imagined, if even understood -- like our ever-expanding universe that will know neither collapse nor rebirth. The tragedy of life is that on one scale it never ends yet on the other finds terminus in the most un-extraordinary of terms, an old nun expiring in a retirement abbey, a bicyclist crashing into a car -- it is quantum mechanics bumping heads against general relativity, clashing like siblings that never age, or age continuously, or -- befitting the enigma that is our universe -- both.

When it wanes, we are girded by cold and stifled. We live on tenterhooks below which a darkness threatens to envelop us like a frigid sea. We subsist on the sun's mercy in a world adrift in an endless cycle, "Death's incessant motion" -- borrowing a phrase from George Herbert -- "fed with the exhalation of our crimes." Except our only crime has been against the steward of probability, he who understands that the most infinitesimal fraction of a percentage, against infinity, is finite, yet rages against this fact and against all who draw lifeblood from it. We exist and are punished in proportion to the duration of our existence.

Cold has come, and on the eve of its onset members of the Beijing Ultimate community went to Phoenix City for 50-kuai all-you-can-drink microbrews and Punk for dancing. One member of the community took his shirt off before arriving at the microbrewery. The day after they could not stop complaining of their hangovers, though it must be pointed out, it was atypically cold on Sunday.

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