Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Eddies in My Mind
Exposure to the myriad currents and flotsam of popular culture often leaves bits behind, phrases or words that spring unbidden to the forefront of my consciousness. Song titles and choruses, book titles and phrases jumble around in the Mixmaster of my mind. The odd bit spews out, sometimes repetitiously and frequently. It’s a kind of OCD thing, though I don’t have OCD. At least, I don’t think so.
Often it doesn’t have anything to do with my likes or dislikes, or even my familiarity with the item. Worse, it could be something I consciously despise. This provides a fun bit of self-reproach and anger at my ill-behaved mind. It really gets to me when I’m writing or searching for a phrase and Bingo! a completely inapt and inappropriate bit pops out, blinkering me in the process.
A common one for me recently is the title of Chalmers Johnson’s book The Sorrows of Empire, which I do not own nor have I read it. For some reason, I find the title very evocative and resonant. It speaks to me of the consequences of imperialistic actions and ambitions, among other things. There’s something deeply moving about it, though.
I’m sure my regular readers might have noticed that I will often title a post after a song title or a particular literary phrase. (‘oo, cor! Ain’t he the fancy one?) This is part of the bubbling under of these items. I hope that by releasing them in the form of a post, they’ll stop harassing my consciousness.