Friday, August 11, 2006

"The liquid weapon subterfuge"     [sonnet]

Mace might seem a no-brainer
but nitroglycerine's handy
in an Oil of Olay container
for a shot of explosive brandy
the Evian water ain't water
the shampoo won't do for your coif
if the plotline's wayward daughter
had been covertly cogent enough...
but the liquid weapon subterfuge
lands with premature renown
now be wary applying the rouge
to the face of the naive clown
hello! let's go? one surmises
a future of fluid surprises


vide e.g.: New York Times (August 11, 2006)
Liquid as Weapon? For Many, a Scary Thought


RC said...

Hey,David,where's that picture of the Oil of Olay?

david raphael israel said...

RC, here's one. ;-)

Meanwhile, I revised most of the lines of the short poem -- corrected version is now on view (initial version is no more). Down the memory hole, to reference Orwellian lore.

RC said...

It's a classic,david,a sign of the times.Love the picture!

david raphael israel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
david raphael israel said...

Thanks RC. Clearly your Elmer's argument (antecedent to the present Where's the Olay? dialogue) has managed to sink in. ;-)

I find (if one may so comment about one's own coinages) the phrase "the plotline's wayward daughter" interesting. As I try to analyze it or figure it out, one explanation would be: the ideas associated with the successful performance event of 9/11/2001, if considered a "first generation" of creative terrorist conceptual art, in that case, the ideas associated with the carry-on liquid weaponry suicide mission story [subject of the present poem] can be deemed "second generational." Here, the plotline has drifted, evolved or proliferated to new channels (hence, is a "wayward daughter" of the 9/11 plotline: where the word "plotline" has the dual sense of a Hollywoodesque storyline, and the through-line of a nefarious plot). It has become (in its waywardness of derivative astonishments) still more devious and insinuating. It has managed to translate or explode the "terror of mundane objects and commonplace situations" to a more kalaidescopic (and far-reaching) level of development.

From the first astonishment (that a hijacked airplane can be made into a weapon), we have new splinter-astonishments (that a bottle of Evian water can prove to be nitroglycerine [or a componant thereof]). And we have this further waywardness: that while crashing airplanes into buildings may work as a homerun strategy, merely blowing up a dozen planes midair may serve like a series of amazing bunts achieved in tandem. Inherent in my discussion here, is a postulation of certain contemporary terrorists as wayward performance artists and conceptual artists -- converting the discourse of mass destruction into a kind of symbolist argot, whose medium is the news media and the globalized buzz, as much as it is the hazarded lives of participants and bystanders, planes and buildings. (More songs about food and buildings. Or Evian and the Atlantic.)

The conceptual movement here under study (as might be true of the second genrational level for many art historical movements -- think of post-minimalism, post-impressionism, neo-classicism, post-avant, post-anything) has taken the original motif or gist and given it a new twist (and thereby, presumably a new lease on life. For every esthetic movement must fight against forces of attrition to stay vital and viable.) Artistic success would not suffice itself with mere replication. Some thematic development is expected. Though the basics of adjustment to the changing needs of changing challenges, is a through-line, and the daughter shows in her visage familiar genetic traits of the forebear.

RC said...

I see it,david,but these artist take their art very seriously.And the talking heads are always saying that terrorism will not intimidate us,but of course it does.So if the plot only involved UK to US planes why did the whole of the US become a panic zone.Next thing you know they'll ban any solids, too.America,prepare for enemas!Enjoy your "wayward daughter" thoughts.

RC said...

That should have read:Enjoyed your
"wayward daughter" thoughts.

david raphael israel said...

yes, they're (as the phrase has it) dead serious. But some cultural smarts seemingly underpin the basic design.