The Newtown Pentacle

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Archive for January 9th, 2019

inordinate amounts

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Souring the milk, one day at a time.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While hiding amongst the barren streetscape of industrial LIC from cadres of both ghostly and living adolescents, as well as a cohort of spectral forest animals, one found the time to crack out a few shots. When my nervous state emerges, solace is often found operating the camera. The technical aspect of it all pulls me back from the edge of madness, calms my frayed and often unctuous nerves, and allows me to lurk about in a normal rather than heightened level of fear. There’s a societal impulse to be afraid all the time these days, despite the fact that NYC is probably the “safest” it’s been in centuries.

Ask anyone. There’s pederasts hiding behind every tree waiting for an unwary parent to turn their back. Terrorists are everywhere, as are foreign born cartels of murder happy characters. Every employee of every corporation is working on new ways to give you cancer, defraud you, or conspiring to “sell your information.” Knife wielding pistoleros will addict you to amphetamines if you leave the house unarmed, and pistol wielding knifers will road rage you. Even University campuses aren’t safe anymore, with frequent bloody brawls occurring between pro and anti fascist, or so the Internet tells me. Your only hope seems to be in the embrace of the badged reverend in blue, who are the priestly class of an elected officialdom that are your only hope for succor before the descending curtain of a new dark age. They’ll protect you from all of these existential threats, the politicians will, unless they’ve been paid not to by a shadowy cabal of landlords who want you to move away. Your home isn’t safe either, as there’s black mold. Black mold is scarier than regular mold, because you know… black… which reveals that racism underlies everything. All is false, nothing is true, and there’s just no point so you might as well just accept it all and bunker down.

Ghosts. 

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Cognitive dissonance sells laundry detergent. Paranoid wonderings are fantastic fodder for people who sell security cameras and padlocks. Distraction and distrust of “the other,” who is everybody not as smart as you (who is everyone but you), are the best marketing gimmick of all time. Can you trust yourself? Our societal theater is crowded, and all are shouting fire, but nothing is actually burning. A humble narrator, however, who spends as much time as possible alone, asks this:

Are you so hungry you’d eat dirt, or haven’t had access to clean water for a long time? Have you ever experienced famine? Have you experienced drumfire artillery fired at your city? Are the teenaged packs of foreign born nationals in your nightmares just walking around and acting like dumbasses, or are they child soldiers riding around on a pickup truck that was modified to carry automatic weaponry on a mount? Are outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever common in your neighborhood?

Alternatively, do your biggest problems involve being overweight or spending too much money? Are you experiencing boredom since you’ve watched everything on Netflix already? That you’re worried about a nagging bit of nerve pain in your ass, caused by sitting around watching TV? How many violent attacks have you had to defend yourself from lately?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The ghost teenagers stayed with me, but luckily I was able to lose the living ones in a maze of streets called Long Island City. On this particular evening, I had finally finished the audiobook I was listening to, which was “The Great Bridge” by David McCollough. Starting with the shot above, I started “I am Legend” by Richard Matheson, who is one of my all time favorite authors. That’s the one where the world is overrun by a plague of vampires and is told from the perspective of a “LMOE” or Last Man on Earth. It’s been adapted to film three times, with the first one (Last Man on Earth) starring Vincent Price being the best version in my opinion. I have some fondness for the Charlton Heston version (Omega Man), and the less said about the Will Smith version the better. If you want to know about Vampires, however, hang out under either the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn, or the elevated tracks along Jackson Avenue nearby Queens Plaza, and you’ll get to meet some. It’s a fantastic exploration – ultimately – of loneliness and isolation, that book.

Ghosts, wolf ghosts, ghost teenagers, bears, witches, black mold, paranoia, vampires.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

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Written by Mitch Waxman

January 9, 2019 at 2:05 pm

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