The Great Buck Howard ain't letting me sleep.

Wednesday, 12 February, Year 12 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

You perhaps recal the movie. I savaged it years ago, but upon retrocination it turns out I squarely missed the point. Sorry, John, got distracted by the hair, what can I say.

Yes, all the crap that gave me anaphylactic shock last time is there, of course it is, I'm sure it isi, whatever. It's everywhere else, too, yet somehow you apparently manage to go on with the rest of your day in spite of it. So then...

Trilema has (and for many years now, and without rival or available recourse) irretrievably altered the course of Western civilisation through the simple yet time-honored venues of pronouncing interdicts, destroying conceits, all that good stuff the original pope originally was intended to do. So how come I can be the pope in the functional sense in spite of complete disinterest for (almost) any kind of form ? I wasn't elected, I don't wear a funny hat or a fisherman's ring, what the everloving fuck ?! Why don't "the people" even need to specifically know who's pope to follow along, as exactly and unerringly as their plodding approach to each day permits ?

Consider -- "fascism", in the bizarre ahistorical sense of "ethno-nationalism" (in trun in the bizarre and unethnical sense of "white man ethnicity") died in its tracks upon the observation that if the midwestern petit bourgeois truly believed their problem with the mobile vulgus was its color, they could just as well move to fucking Argentina, where the niggers be all white as the driven snow, and thrive there among great people untouched by the colorful corruption of the skin. Oh, you don't recall my ever saying that ? You're unsure anyone else ever heard of it ? You very much doubt Trilema did it ? Or, for that matter, "it's not obvious from your vantage anything was done at all" ?

Well... that's nice. Amusingly enough, it's also by the book praise, that's exactly how working is supposed to work, when it actually does. Awww.

Now you're in a fine position to understand the story of Buck Howard. Unlike me, he "fucking loves this town". I don't, I'm the spirit of disdain when it comes to these things, which I suppose would make me evil, if this were a fairy taleii. Like meiii, he has a power. He can... he can read minds, find money, whatever the fuck it is he does. He has a peculiar relationship with the future, is what these things always boil down to. So... what about it ?

Have you noticed what this does to everyone else, incidentally ? It's like he's proclaimed siege to the entire "world" of mooks, if you go by how they're conducting themselves. On one hand there's a very firm "disbelief", you know, they're "not really convinced", "it's debatable", as far as this-and-so carved context "it could even be said to not exist", "how do we even know" etcetera.iv On the other hand there's a very Scottish, a deeply presbyterian "well, while that goes on whatever it is, we'll be going on with our lives as before". "So what if the tree we fell upon ain't Paris ? We'll just call the lowest branch Montmartre and it'll be just as good."v

Like siege exactly, "what's the relevancy of the foreign military investment around the walls to me, to my life ?!?!" & "so far, can it even be properly said they're truly there ???". The reaction of the mooks to The Great Buck Howard is to hole up an' wait out the siege. Is he fucking sieging them ? Not bloody likely. But they're besieged ("by him"),

So he lives among them, for a while, while they unfurl their coping strategies -- anything, anything whatsoever but sanity.vii And then... you see, irrespective of their issues, his life goes on. Life always goes on the same exact ways, and he one day encounters... the crisis. This is what makes the film great : that while it retells the great man's life sanely, which is to say making adequate (and adequately marginal) mention of the insanities of the surroundant mooks, it nevertheless stays with its character, it doesn't get distracted into mookery.

So, he encounters the crisis. It's always the same crisis : the magic fails one day. And then he goes on, he resolves his crisis, he still loves this town, he moves on with his life, being what he is, what, this needs explaining for someone ?viii

It's really a much better film than first meets the eye ; though of course it'd greatly benefit from having the usual Bridget Fonda idiocy powerwashed off it. Strange, huh, how women end up not mattering in the world.

  1. Haven't rewatched that film, recently or at all, hence. This might have a lot to do with it, the workings of memory aren't so very different from the workings of any other alembic, after all. []
  2. Tell me, when you say you love chocolate, what do you mean ? What about shrimp ? What about tuna ? []
  3. Obviously, we're comparing a literary character to a historical one, so there's some weakness to that "like", but be it as it may, we're doing it in literature rather than in history anyways.

    I stopped to ask a weeping willow
    Crying on his pillow
    Maybe he's cry-y-ying for me-e-e ?


  4. The depicted encounter, occuring many years later, between the apprentice and the producer is a great achievement in summarization -- the other man wants to know "how Buck does it", and when no satisfying answer is forthcoming, when his palette of available "plausble" denials is systematically if disinterestedly shot down, what he wants to know is... brace yourselves... "you're not one of them, are you" ?! Like in that ancient Romanian joke exactly,

    Hey John, what do you do if you come face to face with a bear ?
    I turn about and take to my heels!
    But bears run faster than people.
    I start climbing the first tall tree I see.
    But bears climb trees much better than people.
    Whose side are you on ?

    It's literature, right ? A joke's not history, it is literature, whose side the author's on matters! There's choice in literature like there isn't in history and so forth, there's some differences between fact and fiction. []

  5. As the fellow once observed, "Elles ne savent pas que la bourgeoisie n'a jamais hésité même à tuer ses fils." []
  6. This is exactly how all the "rape" of recent lulz works : the dudes ain't raping them, but the weirdo wallflowers are nevertheless raped. Issues. (Because of the discommunication, the only practical point among the lost thus becomes "who controls the apparatus", because well, "conflicting narratives" etcetera ).

    For clarity : every action is done by an agent upon an object. Yet in the case of these confused cunts, while the actually identified agent has done no thing even remotely like what the agency involved in the action requires, nevertheless the self-identified object self-agencies itself Through Sheer Power Of Moronic Will (TSPOMW, it's an engineering thing, the downstream necessary result of putting "and the pursuit of happiness" in the farmahnd-hewn "Constitution" -- now noboy can tell any idiots who wanna to go take a hike and just stop fucking wanna-ing already) into being an object for an action that never happened (outside of its imagination). So while he didn't rape her, she "he raped her"'d herself. #believewomen, it's how make-believe works! []

  7. Which is kinda the curse of modernity. It was inaugurated (more or less in the times of James, let's say) as an attempt to be reasonable and drive-by reason, but this was always intended as an alternative to sanity. It wasn't ever anything else nor much besides a most reluctant yielding -- outward reason if it must be, as a last ditch defense of central and unyielding insanity, however! []
  8. Yet I bet you thought the crisis was when the mook conclave decided to "make him famous" off the cuff, "see what happens". Mno. Nobody cares, seriously, there's no such thing as the agency of the masses, nor is there such a thing as "we get together and pool our money votes" directing of history. []
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3 Responses

  1. Okay okay, but how does he do the trick where he doesn't let you sleep?

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Wednesday, 12 February 2020

    He makes a sad face.

  3. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Wednesday, 12 February 2020

    Added a second part to the fourth footnote which imo greatly clarifies the apparently heretofore obscure matter.

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