Tuesday, March 02, 2010

How does it feel to feel?

Hey. Feelings have feelings too... What I mean is that we always talk about feelings in this abstract way. Point to happy. Point to iffy. Point to slightly mischievous. Now point to your spine. Your feet. Your neck. Physical zones of our bodies are verifiable sources of actual feelings. As in - my heart is pounding and my stomach feels like its bloated with battery acid and my head is ringing like the sultan's gong. When one feels good or bad, of course it has some psychological basis, but often there's a strong physical component as well. I'm saying that your ingrown toenail might be causing the dull frustration that's been coloring your behavior.

It's a twist on the old, well-meaning advice - if you want to be happy, smile. But in this case we don't control an action that yields a feeling, it's the reverse: you will exhibit mild panic because your nerves are currently gagging on adrenaline. Or you will feel delusions of grandeur because your brain is taking a bath in the dopamine of invigorating music. Or you feel existential nausea because you ate three heaping plates of "tofu medley" at the Hare Krishna temple.

("Napalm - Can't Beat The Feeling" by Banksy)


Anonymous Hone said...

So true....

regarding the image, it does certainly illustrate the happy/sad.

OTOH... having seen the original photo of the little napalm burned child and having lived through that time, the troubling implications of the image put it very near if not at the top of my list of most disturbing images.

11:15 AM  
Blogger PABLO GAZPACHOT said...

agreed. Banksy is good at that. I guess my question would be where does it feel disturbing?

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Hone said...

McDonalds has probably supplanted Coca-Cola in the global mind as one of America's most internationally operating companies and Disney is in the same sort of international class. Both are huge corporations that represent the American way. To have their icons holding that child's hand makes one wonder about some of the ways in which America influences global affairs.

...and the child's arms in the original photo are not outstretched for holding hands, they are held out from her body because of the pain from being burned head to foot with napalm. That is the most disturbing aspect. It is impossible to forget that photo, also an icon of sorts.

10:01 PM  
Blogger PABLO GAZPACHOT said...

To further dissect Banksy's anti-American implications, I should add that that this particular horrific incident was not caused by Americans. It was a South Vietnamese napalm attack... which is not to say we weren't dropping this stuff all over, just not in this photo.

BTW, the girl now lives in Canada... In 1986 she jumped off a plane w. her hubby on a layover in Newfoundland on her way from Cuba to Vietnam and asked the Canadians for amnesty. They got it.

11:53 PM  

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