that hyddeous strength
Some of these gestures are so liminal you can’t tell if they’re personal or political. In a paddy, little Donny, 70, throws sweets at the mother-figure who won’t on this occasion encourage him to be the self he really can be. Defeated in honest babel combat by the Parkland survivors, he soon finds some even more vulnerable children to turn on. His perhaps resentful, apparently trophy wife looks too confused to understand her own fashion statement (she knows what she’s done but she doesn’t really know what it means to do it, you feel she’s already too culturally & cognitively dissociated); or she may be in full use of her skills & senses. They might, both or all of them, be mad, or completely narcissistically sane. They might be both. You can’t tell. You can’t tell whether it’s political or personal; you can’t tell whether the psychodrama is private or public; organised, or improvised–like the most personal of behaviours–out of the chaos of the self; ideological or simply vengeful. You can’t tell if the audience is responding to the politics or the improv, out of enlightened self interest or out of its own emerging psychic excitement. It’s the pure Ballardian irrational. One thing you can say is that, whatever all this is, it works. These actions are mad, but perfectly in tune with the base. They are shamanistic and in their own frame visionary. Being able to identify this is no help, of course, until we can persuade ourselves that our entire previous stance–comprising all available rational postures of the last hundred or so years–is being successfully undermined by a minute-by-minute bricolage of personality disorders.