Blank Screens, Vacuous Celebrations

The video screen
in the elevator went
blank yesterday. They
had warned us, “Pardon

the interruption,”
something about construc-
tion, so I shouldn’t
worry, but my mind

went blank too. Then,
today, some whiteness
was back, the horizontal
was fouled up, making
me think of the days

when we got our first
color TV, and I
did wonder about
aliens because when

the picture was all
fucked up on that R
CA, and the hori-
zontal lines were spinning

I would think of aliens
who were there just to
interfere with modern
comforts. The TV in

the lunchroom was work-
ing, working hard, show-
ing a trial and experts
on a trial that had

become a national
celebration because
it was supposed to teach
us about ‘Merica

where a Mexican man
shot an older African
American boy, and if
they had both been Mexican

or both Caucasian or
both African-American,
the screen would have been
blank, or America

would have been celi-
brating some other hatred.


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  1. #1 by clinock on June 27, 2013 - 11:07 pm

    The screens that screen us from ourselves – everywhere, even in elevators, the hands of children, where we exchange our worth for food or money, in our living rooms as well as our cinemas, even in restaurant bathrooms, even in front of my eyes as I write these words – you have touched on our time here Carl – very, very well…

    • #2 by Carl on June 28, 2013 - 6:44 am

      Ah, John, thank you. The screens that bring me your work are the best, so it might not be good for us to long for a time long ago. Sometimes, the screens are good for what they do to us and sometimes not.

  2. #3 by Jamie Dedes on June 27, 2013 - 11:07 pm

    Carl, interesting take on an appauling situation. Nicely done.

    • #4 by Carl on June 28, 2013 - 6:46 am

      Thank you, Jaime. It’s a bit risky, not meant to be political, just a sadness about how we view ourselves, and thus how we carry ourselves.

  3. #6 by Kay Camden on June 29, 2013 - 5:49 pm

    What amazes me is how quickly these screens can grab. Even when I know them, know their agenda, know to look away. They still have a pull.

    • #7 by Carl on July 15, 2013 - 1:14 pm

      Thank you for commenting, Kay.

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