Tuesday, October 17, 2017

OOH, WHATCHA LISTENING TO by Willem Myra

On the third week since the labyrinth had materialized in the undergrounds of the abandoned slaughterhouse, & after eleven tributes aged fifteen at best & three venturesome policemen armed with knives & wasted on alcohol had lost their lives to the beast inhabiting - nay, dominating -- the non-branching rotten-walled construction, Theo decided to give it a go, so he entered the Daedalic knock-off trap carrying a pistol with one bullet left (as per the game's rules) which he had hid in the pocket of his jacket, confident he wasn’t going to need it, & also carrying his most precious boombox that he, as any other connoisseur of trendy music, held up on his shoulder & used to blast rhythms + emotions + adrenaline all around, & it was precisely this boombox the reason for Theo’s swagger, for he had fed it the most danceable songs he'd ever heard in his short-yet-intense sixteen years of existence, & was now flooding the labyrinth with them -- English & American-made rhythms & emotions & adrenaline -- attracting, as it went, the walls & the ceiling & the ground -- which shook & bent & grew brick ears & grew stone feet moved by the overpowering need to listen, listen, listen, & dance, dance, dance; & of course, also attracting the sovereign of it all, the Asterion of Borgean fame, who arrived, trotting on his human hands & bovine legs alike, who bellowed & headbutted anything in his way, & who, as Theo’s confidence started wavering seeing the beast not slowing down for the life of him, was compelled to use his mouth not to bite or spit or curse the gods’ names but to speak, oh, speak, like mortals did, erstwhile oblivious to him & as he taught himself to speak he understood the wrongness of what he had done & stopped short of killing the heavily-sweating, limbs-shaking Theo, asking him instead, “What song was that? The one that went dum, dum, dum?” & also, “Where can I find more of them? Please, tell me, young soul,” & thus Theo told him their titles & artists, & they decided, kid + man-bull, to leave that spawn of monstrosity that had terrified the suburbs for three weeks straight & go back to Theo’s where they listened to hip hop, rap, & jazz, & in time the minotaur learned to behave (he even apologized to the families of those he had killed, offering to become their slave for one month at a time, but the families refused both because they thought it a barbaric sentence & because they were still deeply & understandably scared of him) & the minotaur learned also how to write & make music which, after a decade of ups-and-downs, of tries & fails, allowed him to become a big L.A.based world-wide-recognized music star, & he immediately fell in love with this new diversion of his & never again killed one soul one, effectively adverting what would have otherwise been described as a intrinsically Shakespearian fate.

1 comment:

  1. Myra's go at an old myth like that of Minos' bull-man is a tongue-in-cheek one, a bit clich├ęd and that at time drags on, but that's interesting to analyze nonetheless.
    Whereas in the original version the youngsters are picked against their will and sent for the Minotaur to snack on, in Whatcha listening to? are the victims themselves to get inside the labyrinth in a risky game meant to prove one another that they are not pansies. A Russian Roulette except the cylinder of the gun is filled with rounds. No escape. We've reached a level of well-being so high that we'd rather go against nature and disobey the survival instinct just to feel something (see the increased number of suicidal people).
    It's not a coincidence then that the labyrinth phases into existence in mittleAmerica suburbia, the definition of grey, monotonous lives where families gather after work/school to share meaningless conversations, let TV drown out their thoughts, and otherwise await the slow, whimpery death take them away. 'Many are buried at seventy-five but have been dead since their twenties' as a wise man once wrote.
    It's obvious then, under this new perspective, that the Minotaur is Death itself - not a rendition of The Lady With Scythe as much as The Shaker Of Things, The Only Force Making Life Interesting Again. We're told that diverse teenagers and adults go into the labyrinth and ultimately succumb to the beast despite carrying weapons and booze. Yet Theo succeeds with simply a boombox. This is to mean - pay attention - that neither violence nor an altered state of consciousness (be it achieved through substances, meditations or otherwise) can win over death, but music can.
    Music. A dimension transversal to spirituality and rationality, a kind of vibration that permeates the cosmos and is able to connect together people of different nations and creeds. Heck, even different animals - singing is, after all, a skill many animals possess innately (even seen the video of that dog singing alongside his owner?).
    Music gifts the Minotaur a voice. From this point onwards the beast re-discovers its rationality, and goes from antagonist to second protagonist. Through music Theo exorcises his fear of death, allowing him to take it back home with him and exploiting it for monetary reasons (this is still, y'know, a critique on capitalism). Using pop culture (LA) as a medium, Death reaches world-wide recognition, as in, is finally accepted by mankind, listened to, internalized and hopefully surpassed.

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