Laughings of the Mad Dog
The critic’s fodder is such that you would hear them one after another saying that the writer should “show” not “tell” a story. I suppose it should then be known as story-showing, not storytelling and how can one show his own death?
I feel one should only have a ruminative mind, a mind seething with images, a mind made up of small kindling and a living conscience. And their story would play at the boundary of their self reflexive despairs. They would tell their stories: stories that are fantastic pointing fingers…. straight, strong, complex, a compass arrow pointing south. One has to tell a story as if it’s something that hasn’t been told before, as if it’s unknown, unacknowledged, unrecognised. The telling should be doors that open and converses, and the doors are the cul de sac meanings in the story. One has to tell a story from roads inaccessible, words unbidden, lines untold, juxtapositions untried….
Ok, it could happen in those far-off strange lands but surely not in our beautiful green island. And they should simply keep their cold wastelands to their own minds or to themselves and we will keep our own warm beautiful island garden.
No, no, no. Never ever here, no, it will never happen here.
“Not in our lifetimes, no.”
“Ha ha ha he he…”
There is this difficulty with those of the two-legged kind on how to start telling a story, especially if it’s a true life’s story…
A collage of phrases strung together with bits and pieces of meaning, of their own life’s story is not good enough.
“Not with our kind no, no…, no…, no…”
“Ha ha ha he he he…”
Everything, no matter what it is, we start by laughing it off.
“Ha ha, ha.”
If you can show a story then telling a story is the laughter’s country. And laughing things off throws one into the fray and the risk is that it might touch the eye of the censor. Telling a story becomes a problem here. Simply saying these things introduces consequences where there were none.
I know that you think we are incapable of this…, of telling a story, that we don’t have the source of this jellied laughter in our beings, are we really incapable? You can’t even imagine a cat playing poker at that. It doesn’t seem to go with you, does that seem to go?
“Ha ha ha he he…”
As if you should know how we laugh, especially how I laugh myself, and we even laugh at your funerals after all it’s none of our business.
“Ha ha ha he he ja urri-uii- ii…, so funny ha ha.”
But how do humans laugh? One’s laughter, like misery for the humans, is seeing hopelessness and futility in their own laughter.
So funny…ahh, so funny the world that I see in my glittering eyes.
But can an eye see itself and how come I know that mine are glittering yet the muse have sung about how they never saw the whites of their own eyes…, and how about those that glitters…, and my mind seems to take over and give facts the colour yellow, the yellow glitter in facts, in eyes too. But that old fool could only cuss, “all that glitters is not gold”.
“Ha ha ha…, some glittering nonsense, those ones are so funny.”
So funny the world that’s been there since I started laughing, it’s so funny. I have started laughing and laughing since those two-legged creatures started making these sad…, abysmally sad episodes.
“Have you ever seen anything so sad?”
“So…oh, so funny, ha ha ha he he ja?”
I used to think that they are so stupid, so incapable of the deeds they were now revelling in with an insatiable hunger.
A hunger to do again and again, a hunger…,
“Ha ha ha he he ja…, such hunger!”
As if they have gone crash, crash, crash…, and landing, imploding.
But they stand on their two legs and see what they are doing right now!
Just look at it! Just look at it!
“Ha ha ha”
“Tshki tshki tshki…, aha so sad.”
And there is this one.
He must be the head of this family…, and do I have to say my family?
“No! No, no, no, never!”
But is there any need for us to swear, is there?
Never! Never ever! Never!
I have never felt I belonged to this family.
About him…; he is way past the age that runs and runs yet he seems to be young…, in fact an infant at that.
I am not the one who is saying that and please don’t assign it to me, because he said that himself; that he was a young-old man, or old-young man and I suppose it’s between those two…, old-young or young-old man or maybe the two in one and the same place…, person…, maybe.
“Ha ha ha!”
It’s just as well it is word play or it could have driven the be-Jesus down my spine.
Just think of that…
Young and old, Old and young. Young and old, old and young…, the rhyme of those contrasts…, polarities…, the madness too. Ahaa-a!
Ok to bugger with the shivers…, those be-Jesus too.
Let’s muse about the other side of this coin.
Well! Well! Well!
It’s that Well…, with water creaking out from every pore to no particular direction at all…, those waters!
Those waters…, in which we sense something…, otherworldly…, something. Something…, something nether worldly.
“Ahaa…, ha ha ha.”
To describe such a simple thing we could go to such lengths, but hell, come to think of it.
“Ha ha ha.”
Let’s think about it ahaa…, just awhile like an offish thought, after all we shouldn’t deny the intellect such offish pleasures.
It could really get to be true; that he was incapable of calling his mother’s name, always smiling and smiling, crying and crying, cooing and cooing like an infant that he was…, like the dove…, that he was. It’s even truer when one looks at the things that he does whenever he tries to show how little he has aged…
As if by this show he would unconsciously be prolonging ageing or maybe his reckoning of the fact that he was old.
Show in itself is protection!
Protection, yes…, but from what? Why would we need protection?
“Ha ha ha.”
Protecting one’s self from confronting the inevitable reality.
“But is there a need for us to build high walls around ourselves.”
Reality sometimes stinks…, pinpricks…, this bloody reality, and the bloody hell it is.
See what the Berliners did to themselves, and they learned it the harder way, I should think so. The Israelites are at it again, like the Germans, building their own walls, not only physical walls. Ok let’s dibble a bit with the facts: It would cost them over 2 billion dollars at Qalandia which is the gateway between Ramallah and the east Jerusalem. The wall’s width is between 30 and 150 metres. These are just facts, but the deeper meaning is trying to know how it feels like, I mean the wall, how it smells, what it does to the one who is encased inside it and the one who is looking at it from the outside, what it does to your head. You may really need to walk through it to really understand it, but if you are Palestinian you need a permit to get through it to be in Jerusalem. There is also the emotional wall to talk of that both Israel and Palestine has to deal with. That physical wall also takes shape even in the streets of Westbank and Hebron, where some streets are exclusively reserved for Israelites. It also reminds me of the old Salisbury during UDI period, which was an adopted form of apartheid South Africa where in the first street blacks were not allowed to walk in. Apartheid South Africa had its own versions and to a lesser extent still has the walls in the street of a free south Africa. Walls have always been enacted to protect ourselves from alien invasions, in fact we built walls to surround our fragile beings against the harsh affront of the reality but there is always too much self-indulgence in pity when we lock ourselves inside these walls.
“Ha ha ha…, so many words leaping from this tiny shell…, such reasoning!”
Ok, I now agree, let’s ask the minds that be.
And my anti-civil self silently protests;
Don’t trust the experts, they know too little of everything else and too much of a particular thing.
“Ha ha ha he he ja.”
Let’s give first preference to the Prophets of psychoanalysis.
Freud! Freud! Freud!
And there was that time when man thought he was God, and he created his own godhood clustering…
Jung, Laing, Marcuse….
I will resituate Freud’s Dora in this story. I don’t know whether I have to buy into the repressed sexual fears that deprived that upper class Viennese girl of the use of her limbs (what limbs Freud?). Ha ha ha ha!
And it all started with Freud and here is the landscape of his own thinking or psychosis.
He believed that childhood sexual inhibitions influenced future human behaviour.
Just that small statement Freud, and I won’t allow you to repress me here, surely you can’t let me hang forever in your phallic stage.
I would have to ask your grave, if anything, whether children do feel, at all, sexual.
“Ha ha ha…”
I have since told you that these fellas are quite dangerous.
They should simply suffer the same fate that dogs have always suffered from…, death, dying…, by hanging, maybe that.
Ok Freud, I want to believe you, say had you talked about food…, maybe maybe that this dog didn’t have enough food in its teens. That this dog had gone through harsh treatments when it was still a cub, and that this dog…; that its mother had died when it was still young and that it had taken it the harder way and enclosed itself off.
This stuff is believable Freud.
Believe me fellow, it is.
So we now have some reasons for building high walls around ourselves and wallow unchecked in this terrible inner field of self-disgust and recrimination?
And his fellows were even a lot more ingenious at building the walls that Freud had first enacted.
Jung discovered, “the unconscious as an essential source of creativity and mental archetypes as the source of myth, dream and art…”
And I couldn’t refrain from laughing at the Jungian inspired psychological dimensions…and madness.
The; Sensing-Intuiting, Thinking-Feeling, Extroversion-Introversion, Judging-Perceiving paired dimensions and madness.
It’s a big stroll in the psychological park with a lazy afternoon sun red in the sky.
“Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool. Yes sir, yes sir…”
You know that old old clang and old Marcuse intoned about, “sexual desires and instincts as impulses which influenced human society…”
“Ha ha ha.”
And just listen to the gospel of isolationism from Liang.
“We are bemused and crazed creatures, strangers to our true selves, to one another, and to the spiritual and material world-mad even from an ideal standpoint, we can glimpse but not adapt. We are born into a world where alienation awaits us…”
Oh no, no, no, drivel!
Drizzle, drizzle…, those showers…, those effervescent March showers and the beautiful sun shining on my back. Day dazzle, night noon, shower-shine and to listen to this cold-cold blustery front aha…a, drizzle, drizzle, those showers shinning against the setting sun…, and raining upon this rolling world.
And Liang continued, “…we are potentially men, but are in an alienated state, and this state is not simply a natural system…”
“Ho Liang, ho…ha ha ha.”
And he couldn’t stop.
“…alienation as our present destiny is achieved only by outrageous violence perpetrated by human beings on human beings.”
I will not try to cross swords with you Liang for I am too small and you were a Giant of your time. Only one question suffices fella …or two.
“Who then isn’t alienated fella and why are you complaining? How about us dogs?”
Ok fella and I couldn’t help the third aiming…, and questioning,
“How about this mad dog?”
Isn’t madness an extreme form of alienation and the mad of your world could even think that madness in method results in absolute genius because it is always a reservoir of surprises.
But by the way who would say he is normal…, and then I suppose he isn’t, in any way, at all…, human; but maybe a mad dog like this one.
And another take.
Descartes, Russell…, and their own godhood clustering…
“Oh, no, no, before I get my teeth into this fleshy sensorial rich meat…
My top tooth is already sinking into the flesh of my lower lip…and on a lighter note, did you know that for all his genius and in his lifetime Freud couldn’t afford a pair of Suite for himself.”
“Ha ha ha hee…”
So I welcome you all into the Descartesian fantasy.
How did he know he existed? How do you know that you exist yourself?
“Why this question in the first place fella…, what was the motivation…, what were you trying to achieve…ok, I stop the questionings, but…” Let’s hear him out though.
“I myself did exist since I persuaded myself of something.”
So you see to this fella it was only a matter of persuasion.
Don’t suppose I am laughing because this is not a laughing matter, in effect, I am mind boggled.
I should not have asked you how you yourself came to know that you were alive…, or that you existed to the boot.
Please stop whinnying about that stupid standard contrivance of you being the mirror of yourself. It’s too shallow and naive, after all what mirror will you be using?
So Descartes persuaded himself and moved from France to Stockholm, Sweden and there he lived until when he persuaded himself again to die in 1650.
He was quite persuasive to provide such beautiful analogue to death…and to his life too.
His employer, Queen Christina of Sweden, liked to start her philosophy lessons at 5.am, so he caught the cold and died, but how did he came to know that he was dead when he was dead?
Perhaps he could have mused,
I, myself, did die since I couldn’t wake up for another of those lessons with her royal highness… Is it royal meanness?
But well, his grave speaks great volumes about his death…and his existence too.
Over six months of ice covered caps, 5.am in the morning, walking on top of this ice…, this ice mountain…, this icy feeling…, no, no, no, ok.
It’s all too wrong a premise and this story has gone dangerously so wrong. I will have to slow down the pace of my thoughts inorder to think about the story…, and to think about my thoughts… Come off it fella! Enough of this philosophical unreasonableness!
But we were talking of that family which I never felt I belonged to.
There is also a wife in this family too, but I wouldn’t talk about her.
She is a barren desert, ok she has got the poise, the fantasy…pregnant beauty, and she swells. I have pulled aside a bit of her sheet cover, not to show you her body here, but maybe to show the patterns on the sheet.
But the only problem is that she doesn’t participate! Yet she gets eaten from the inside.
And it’s because she doesn’t have the magical arc…, she is a blind spectator watching a game she has never heard of, never conjecture in her stupid harebrained numbskull…, beautifully coiffures head.
She is so boring and deathly uninteresting. Ahhh… but I am not interested in knowing what type of a creature that’s eating her. You should know that. Are you interested?
But death is much more interesting…
Questionings! Fears! Danger…, a dangerous thing, death is. It is so profound a thing, and for all that but for whatever purpose…, or measure, I don’t know. Maybe that’s why we should be happy with death.., it’s the only way to realise fear creates freedom.
Here we are talking about the seeds, a hazy beginning…, the future and the start of a new life cycle.
“Ha ha ha.”
I wonder why they all want to go to heaven but do not want to die yet death is such an interesting idea:
DEATH! But is it laughable too?
I want to laugh so I would have to stick to this ageing, yet so young, vocal, articulated, too-degreed head of this family.
Here I am talking of a trunk-full of them…, them papers, them degrees…
“Ha ha ha.”
Some white harvests with a little bit of colour here and there giving essence to this idea…, and to this idea alone.
He gave birth to sons, not with this wife, not with the first one but maybe alone…
And there were so cruel to him, and they couldn’t even allow him out of the prison to go and burry his only kid who had died. So inorder to spite them he decided to adopt the whole country as his sole child after fighting them out of his country.
“Ha ha ha he he ja…” Just like that! His country…
That’s another paradox but such a ridiculous one, but could this have been possible?
As if one already believes it.
Talking of possibilities, talking of terrifying possibilities…, you are talking of collecting the sun into your palms. Do I hear you saying?
“You are mad!”
And my inhibited self protest silently,
It can’t be done.
“Ha ha ha he he…aha.”
Full hands filled with that glittering beauty…, would you try it yourself? Ok, just thinking of it…, dreaming about it.
Doesn’t much depend on what we dream in the secret of our secrecy? Wool gathering!
Wool gathering through the unparalleled intricacies, nooks, crannies, storms, streams…, and labyrinth of this beautiful thought.
So engaging, so laughable too, isn’t it, ah.
But that’s the truth, and I would have to ignore those questionings forming on the unzipped surface of my brains. I would have to say it’s the truth he caused to exist for moderation’s sake fellas.
Sons he looked after, afforded some kind of enlightment, and cultured them in the truly traditional way.
I said it is the truth he caused to exist.
And they were such a happy family and it’s the truth he also caused to exist.
And I would have to allow for that too!
It now gets interesting.
When those sons came off age they started being themselves and thus they started living up to what they believed in.
I personally don’t see anything laughable about that, do you…, yourself, I mean, as long as they maintained their identities and distinctiveness?
After all assertiveness needs no crashing but channelling. It needs fostering delicately!
It can lead to fulfilment. It can lead to creation. It can lead to life and if it’s tempered with it can lead to the precipitous destroyer mentality.
Assertiveness is an every minute growth…, every day growth…, every age growth…, every generation growth; it’s like a cancerous growth.
Its naïve and hypocritical to suppose that one could prevent such a growth.
“Ha ha ha he he…”
He is a fool.
He has the soldier’s mentality and he couldn’t for his life accommodate this new extremity…, which was just an adjacent difference.
Because if he were to accommodate it, it could mean those upstart youngsters were discarding to the winds of change what he had come to think of as the truth. Ok, this time I would have to delve in. I would have to use my imagination and the tools of fiction to invent my own truth here.
What is the truth? What really is the truth?
“Ha ha ha….” I would have to let the truth write itself then, not the other way around.
As if I should know what criteria one could have used!
From what perspective would one observe and pronounce something as the truth? What really is the truth?
Doesn’t the truth have a feminine character, like giving birth?
Questions! Questions! Questions!
“Ha ha ha…”
They explode! But can the truth be expressed in words?
Words! Words! Words!
“Ha ha ha…”
Maybe that’s the key. Words are a hunger to know the truth. Words name that which didn’t have a name. Words scatter things into the telling like wind to the sea’s salt. Words endow power.
Power! Power! Power!
“Ha ha ha…”
Power begets responsibilities. Maybe that’s the truth really…, the irrationalities and irresponsibility of the powerful, but what do words achieve?
Confusions! Disguises! Vagaries! Aha!
And everything gets pretty incomprehensible…, maybe unknown, maybe that’s the truth exactly…the unknown.
But it is our minds that help us in creating the truth that we really want to embrace.
“Ha ha ha…, ha ha ha- a…, ha ha ha…, he he ja.”
But what is the truth, really?
Dillydallying with Pilate’s right to questioning once again. Ok, I give up! Please would you offer me a dishful of water so that I could bath my paws?
“Ha ha ha…”
Pilate could built walls to protect himself from the truth…, the reality of his time, even though the mountains were singing a different tune altogether Pilate ignored them…, the songs of those mountains…, aha-a, those songs…uu…u. I won’t rein in my imaginations no, no, never!
Maybe he thought that since they were still young they didn’t have to have their own opinions, after all they were his blood and bones so they had to exude the same inner inspirations as his.
But is genesis effective from the inside-out or outside-in, how about the environment…and the artefacts that surround us?
Is it that which we can take inside which moulds us, or it is that which we reject, or it’s the workings of polarities on each other?
How about our imaginations, fantasies, dreams, aspirations…, inspirations or is it beyond all these archetypal promptings.
But aren’t we tool, blood and flesh, bones and will…, and we only need the word that speaks in us!
Words! Words! Words! “Ha ha ha…” How is it that my teeth are biting into my own words?
So once more into that old old swallow…and that old refrain again!
“Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool…”
“Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full.”
“One for my master, one for my Momma, one for the little boy who lives down the lane.”
In the beginning there was a song and that song had words…, and with the guidance of that song’s words we grew, we evolved, we separated.
“Ha ha ha…”
To hell with the above self-hypnosis for he has the final say on the kind of destiny they had to pursue.
“Ha ha ha…”
It’s just that same old line again…, those same old reasoning…, those same old justifications.
I started laughing at that family-some crazy lot because whatever they were doing booted the hell out of me…, all the way and back.
“Ha ha ha…”
I said all the way and back, “ha.”
I really had to laugh.
Not to be outdone, those young stupid opinionated ones stood by what they thought was the right thing to do.
To them, there was no reason, not even a thinly plausible one they had to be puppies to their father, especially on something they had to decide on their own.
Isn’t that which we are forbidden to do always so irresistible?
We do things; in fact we badly want to do them because someone is saying that we mustn’t do them.
Maybe it’s this drive to prove these people wrong.
Oftener than not we succeed where nothing else has succeeded before and thus we create new expectations for the future generations.
But does this story sounds mighty familiar with what you have heard of before…, maybe…, maybe it’s the same story that is making me laugh my lungs out, blowing them refreshingly out. Maybe it’s the same story that is emerging from the crucible of specific political struggles. Maybe it’s the same story emanating from all these political invectives.
“Ha ha ha…”
The father, not to give an inch to the wishes of his blood and bones…, there goes the madness. Have you ever seen anything so funny?
“Ha ha ha he he ja urri…, ha.”
He started killing his children as if it really were that delicious an activity, like some predator on a mission not because he was hungry.
But was he on a mission as such or had he gone the maddening way?
He kills because he hates it. He kills because he loves it. He kills because he just breathes it. It’s not a matter of consumption rather it is an act of war, not survival, no. He knew he either had to let them do whatever they wanted to in his body, or alternatively he had to eat them, and by so doing eating himself inside.
He is now an anti-thesis to the actual function of the predator. There is only a voice commanding him; chomp, lift, eat, eat, and it’s his own voice. He is a vulture eating its own flesh, founding a garden of silence.
A sad anxiety, insanity, adrenalin addiction, desire for power…, a desire for personal power…, a desire to equalize everything on a certain basic level plain and formulae. There is no mercy; a world revived by the mercy of his breath, no there is no mercy.
He just couldn’t join them but rather swallow them like some mad chicken cocking open its own eggs and suckling the juice.
It’s his blood and bones, and the mad chicken’s juice as well, and who the hell has the right to question him about that or on a lighter note, the chicken about its own eggs?
All right, let’s look at it this way; how could one so educated, young yet old, or is it old yet young…, wise man listen to his children who still had tender milky noses?
They should simply shut up!
How on God’s green beautiful land could such a thing be heard of…, how so?
Ok, it could happen in those far off strange lands but surely not in our beautiful green island. They should simply keep their cold wastelands in their own minds or to themselves and we will keep our own warm beautiful island garden to ourselves.
No, no, no. Never ever here, no, it will never happen here.
“Not in our life time.”
Surely he doesn’t have to vow by his mother’s name. He would surely invoke her and he would do that and you know it’s a name that he would call forth with awful associations.
But he had promised us never again to call her forth from her place of eternal banishment.
Never again to inflict that kind of pain on the sea’s weeds…, not his mother again, never!
But he still invokes her. And it doesn’t matter that his mother was white when he was black….
He is now an aberration…, a brutal monstrosity…,
He is inhuman!
But it’s all an abomination to him…,and a beautiful thing to him too.
There he slaughters another one and another, and another…
“Ha ha ha…”
He is deaf!
Deaf to the moaning cries of those he kills. Deaf to the mourning cries his henchman kills. Deaf to the silent breathings of a deviated mind and deaf to what his bitterness has become.
Deaf to the anathema he has re-created.
He doesn’t need to listen and hear…, why would he hear it? His mother never listened to anyone and the whole country had to go to war. He doesn’t even have to hurt himself by remembering.
Oh, how unutterably hurtful it is to remember. Oh, how dangerous it is to listen. Oh, how unutterably beautiful it is not to think.
He has made a pilgrimage into his innermost world. He doesn’t want to get out anymore because it’s inside where he can only find freedom.
He is now eternally trapped in his own dream state.
Oh, by the way, how many will be left by the time he is through…, considering that he is still so young…, so very, very young.
It’s so sad.
“Ha ha ha he he ahaa…aa, ha ha ha he he ja…uuu.u
So very funny?
I was with you regarding the old chestnut of “show don’t tell”, but after that I wondered exactly what your point was?
We all technically tell a story by showing what is going on within it. Merely telling is within the realms of a text book. But even there, the author is showing you what he/she is on about.
Now if only I could even begin to understand exactly what the rest of this article is all about?
“Laughings of the Mad Dog” seems highly appropriate in the circumstances, or should that read laughings of a very mad dog? 🙂
i think the idea is about having a dog speak, with a human mind, but the dog is sort of anti-establishment. that first part is a way of throwing things around and working into, and thats how i wrote the whole story. i like your last part in which you said it should be laughings of a very mad dog, and that would mean i achieved what i wanted to achieve with the story. i think you should labour through reading it until the end and you will realise what i was trying to achieve in this experimental story