Posts Tagged 'John Burdick Village Voices'

The dubious virtue of reading

The dubious virtue of reading

I was brought up to believe unquestioningly that reading was healthy, good for you like spinach,  and virtuous. I now see reading as entirely neutral, the absurd claims of its inherent powers little more than middle-class social-mobility propaganda, as well as a puritanical reaction against the rise of electronic media in mid-century.

The spiritualism path

The spiritualism path

Alternative spirituality still seems to be a way for the upper classes to feel purified, cleansed of complicity in the disgrace of runaway capitalism and wealth. Throw in a dash of specious we-all-make-our-own-realities self-deterministic philosophy and you see how it is possible to feel very good, very healthy, about one’s bank account.

Born for quarantine

Born for quarantine

On the occasions he could be convinced or coerced to drive to New York City at all, my father hugged a one-road route that I now recognize as fabulously misguided and fear-based. As a result, I grew up believing that it took two to two-and-a-half stress-saturated hours to get from New Paltz to Manhattan neighborhoods that I can now make in a buck 20 in light traffic.

Giving release a rest

Giving release a rest

Instead of visualizing bad energies flowing out of me, I imagine inflamed things settling, overfiring hydrants and spigots lowering output back to within desirable levels, red things getting less red, puffy things less puffy, the thresholds of oversensitive alert and warning systems recalibrated.

Wrong isn’t right

Wrong isn’t right

Imperfection is cool, but the celebration of imperfection can lead to the misguided pursuit of its earmarks, the codification of imperfection in a set of manners and gestures available only to those who possess the right influences, the right sources of wrong.  

I do not cry, but laugh

I do not cry, but laugh

Therapists collect the tears of men like AAA emeralds or a Jace the Mind Sculptor Magic: The Gathering card.  They get a star on their helmets every time a man cries in the chair. With vials of our frozen tears, they have purchased second homes and red convertibles.