An Idyll: What is Classic? Part VII: Dance

An Idyll: What is Classic? Part VII: Dance

Humans throw balls back and forth. People depict sienna horses on a rock somewhere and mouthspray paint at their hands and dance around a fire. And some are very good. Schools are started. Institutes parade and indoctrify a tradition.  Look how we do things right.  Inevitably the girls are starved to perfection like rats and prostituted to the purveyors of amateur idealization.  Degas, and Matisse, and Nureyev, all dancing. Dancing for love.  Observers of form still and moving.  Lennart’s dream of an ideal female utopia has round lovely women.  It is a saving grace really. Like his three graces.  Like Matisse’s round lovelies. A more perfect world. A rubenesque world. A world becoming racaille.

A world where perfection is put to one side in favor of happiness.

An Idyll: What is Classic? Part VI: The Classic Jumpshot

An Idyll: What is Classic? Part VI: The Classic Jumpshot

Knowing this, Michael Jordan came to back the game, unretired again, to “teach” he said, and to right a wrong. His greatness at such an advanced age only reinforced misconception.

 

With Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois, I feel also there was a classic misunderstanding.  Like Christian soldiers we came to him, a jungle doctor, seeking freedom.  He was a Brahmin you see. He organized society. And paradoxically so, as a Shaivite he sought freedom from the tyranny of alienation. You are that, he said. This.. all this..  God.  And so these freedom seekers made him into God. And gave of themselves everything. Like a kind of arching comet in the sky this previous generation came to Guruji (we called him) seeking super consciousness, health, healing, and freedom.  And he sat there in his gravitational solar system moving energy, pushing aside obstacles, and demanding that we settle down. Have children, deny Islam, and homosexuality. We kissed him endlessly.  He fondled us. Those of us fat and soft found his hands shoved in our innards demanding a contraction. Our motivations were antagonistic.

 

An Idyll: What is Classic? Part V Classic Cycles

An Idyll: What is Classic? Part V Classic Cycles

What is tradition? 

Trans is Latin for across.  Dare is to give. And Tradere is to hand deliver though also to betray.  For to give across is also to get one over.  So this person who teaches a tradition betrays us with their pretentions to history, but also gives us something across history.  ‘Try this’ they say. Tradition is a gift not a commandment.  Tradition is something shared as well. They share this expectation of behavior. We share this gift of practice. Given the enormous value of inherited wisdom we share our admonishments as well. 

An Idyll: What is Classic? Part III: Empire Twee

An Idyll: What is Classic? Part III: Empire Twee

This indulgent Twee sensibility is ornate and yet horrified by the Vile.  Violence has no place in the home nor in the heart of the cashmere. It pretends that the violence necessary for Empire is invisible and divine in origin. It is as distinct a conflict as Kashmiri Shaivism to the Brahminical order of Vaishnavites.  It is the Racaille again, the Rococo response to the unnecessary and puritanical self-restraint of Martin Luther.

 

An Idyll: What is Classic? Part II: NovoClassicism

An Idyll: What is Classic? Part II: NovoClassicism

Classic is perhaps easier to start with. Less a sensibility then Classical or Twee. The ic as I have described before in earlier writings is denoted linguistically as a category. Class itself means set. Though to have class is again a sensibility and leans into Twee. “Very Classy.. nice. We got the best of everything, here.”  So Classic is to say that I have here in my set my favorite things. It is like a museum. It is like a collection of ephemera. 

 

An Idyll: What is Classic? Part I: Disinterest

An Idyll: What is Classic? Part I: Disinterest

Those of us who have mastered a sensation, (As my step father Jim can hear tones for example.) they hear what to the rest of us or to children is shit.  Steely Dan is shit to my ears.  Just as Barnett Newman might be garbage to your eyes. The ambrosia that Rip Torn eats, Shiva like, is shit to Albert. And the effort to turn, the effort to learn, to Master is forever suspect.  Albert was a funny kid. Garry Shandling was a funny kid, so was Seinfeld.  They might say if you’re not funny you will never be funny.  And yet, ask them. Ask me about painting. We believe we learned it and worked fucking hard to do so and we even believe we could teach you. And yet as like conspirators, in our Krishna heart of Krishna hearts, we suspect it can’t be learned.

American Gothic: Part VII Death to the Hick

American Gothic: Part VII Death to the Hick

The threat is real now.  The instinct is that these people, these Hicks and Hucks and Kings, and Kushners, given their brain shape, their disfigured amygdala disposition that is easily measured and weighed should just be removed. Forcibly. There should be a suspension to the rule of law. There should be a national cleansing and rewriting of the constitution that favors the majority of us who live in the cities and live peacefully. 

It is extraordinary how easy it is to slip into rational dehumanizing behavior. Extensions of logic that prescribe state sanctioned violence as an answer.  The cleansing act, the Romanoff, The Hick move, (the aspiration) the genocide has come from the left with Lenin, and it has come from the right with Hitler.  It has come from the yogi and the non yogi in Partition and with Robespierre respectfully, and it has come down to A Final Answer.

The alternative is too complicated for the Hick.

American Gothic: Part VI Codeswitchin'

American Gothic: Part VI Codeswitchin'

It is almost as if the ability to hold two separate ideas in one mind is like the many facets of a diamond. Richard Freeman, the jewel of yoga in the Western Hemisphere has made a sincere effort to evolve and become one sincere being that is always still and yet contains gravitas. There is no code switching with Richard. He is too presidential.

Several times I hosted Richard Freeman in Taipei, Taiwan where I was teaching yoga professionally. I commented then how surprising it was that we were both from Illinois, both Hicks from the center of the center of the nation, the middle of the middle, and yet somehow he was born a Prince and I was born this pig. 

American Gothic: Part V Hick Slides into the Heat

American Gothic: Part V Hick Slides into the Heat

There were no adult Virgil Tibbs in my life. Perhaps he was reminiscent of Perry Mason for me yet all the while oozing sexual and intellectual charisma. Vagal tone.

 

There were Great country dumb men in my life, sure, but no man like Tibbs.  My grandfather Ted and my father Bill oozed sexual charisma, it wasn’t just a black thing, no. They just didn’t have the critical disinterested intellect of Virgil or Perry.

 

What is significant about Tibbs is his silhouette. He is defined and mired by his environs. He is made present and distinct by this miasmic swamp of whiteness.