BloggingThe End of History

The End of History

I suppose I could just lie and make up things about Tingle Territory.  I don’t think anybody would notice.  I think writing a blog is like talking to one’s self and for some odd reason, writing down what one is talking, and then putting that in the paper shredder.  I wonder if writing bogs will produce a new aesthetic movement—let us call it the Garbage Dump Movement or GDM.  No museum for this movement, just a dump, with all that implies.  Mostly the temporality of all stuff, junk, writing, and TV sets.

Actually I first had the idea for this aesthetic many moons back in the early 70’s.  I was going out front to bring in the trashcans, and as I did so, noticed some paper there on the ground, folded up, like a letter with ink markings on it.  I thought about just leaving it but it was litter for one thing, and I was a little curious to determine if it was a letter. 

I don’t know what I expected to find.  It was a letter, four pages of a letter, in smallish handwriting, every word of it detailing—and I do mean detailing—its author’s ongoing battle with her weight.  I sat on the fender of my nearby 1959 Plymouth Station Wagon and read the thing through.  I was transported by its purity…  I don’t know what else to call it.  There was no pretension, no pomposity, no philosophical fog, or ideological yammering or, having done with it, no unpleasant, lingering aftertaste of thought.  Just a detailed, down to ounces, individual meals, particular temptations, and specific food items, record of the author’s struggle to master her weight.  One might say it had no depth, and maybe for that reason, it had all the depth in the world.

Having read the thing, and been transported, I had no desire to keep the letter, but put it back where it belonged.  In the trash.  Eventually, the trash would be picked up.  It would be taken to the dump, and once dumped would lie there, unto a tractor pushed it along with many items into a pile and shoved the whole ball of trash into the hole, where eventually it would all be compressed into landfill.  Depending on the wretchedness of the landfill—whether it had trapped gases or stank incredibly—a park might one day be put there or maybe even houses would be built atop it.

I think now of the alien archeologists who come across our moldering globe and with their modern archeological tools begin to unearth the dumps to today to find hard drives, millions, nay billions of hard drives, each to them rather like that letter was to me: something left, passionately produced, but pointless, wayward, and useless accept for what it might tell the curious aliens about how these long gone beings lived—things as they say of historical interest.

Some idiots a while back were talking about the “end of history.”  They were wrong about what they were talking about, but maybe right about what they weren’t.  History may be ending alright—in an outpouring of documentation that might require the entire Grand Canyon and many more such canyons as holes into which to dump it all.  Never before have the lives of individual beings been so documented.  What a prodigious mass of information is now being churned out for some future historian.  That might be the end of history, for I can well imagine this historian, upon unearthing this mass, to throw up his hands, put back into the trash what she had been examining, and say to hell with it.

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