Thursday, May 4, 2006

Eros and Thanatos At Castaways

I was at the community college this week. Hadn't been there in fifteen years but aside from a few renovations it's all the same. It was the end of the semester but there were still kids straggling around. Many of them were in a hurry but I didn't see much stress in their faces. I imagined they were discussing the age-old dilemnas: free will or determination, relativism or absolutism, Absolut or Smirnoff, all that shit.

In Hindu mythology there are gods that preside over creation and destruction, Visnu and Siva. Neither one is considered good for creating or bad for destroying: they just do it. It's how cycles end and the universe is constantly restored. Freud has a similar concept: eros and thanatos. The competing drives in human nature to create and destroy. So, what the fuck is this poindexter going on about? Well, these concepts have just been pushed to the forefront in my life lately. In very blatant fashion.

Many of you may know I am the General Manager of Castaways. My duties include promotion but they also include being head of security. These are often antagonistic assignments. I try to get as many people in the door as possible but as soon as they get in the door I have to be responsible for them. Once I open the door virtually anyone can walk through and without a good reason I can't ask them to leave. Long way around my point I guess. But in any night I have different groups of people. Blue collar workers, media types, intellectuals, badasses, scumbags, whatever. Often it will be the case people don't like each other. But one growing realization has come to me and it's starting to annoy the fuck out of me:

One of groups of people my bar attracts are idle wealthy. Nouveau riche. The sense of entitlement these people feel astounds me. They literally feel when they enter MY bar that they own the place. That we should cancel all previous plans and cater to them. But for six months a year they do not support my business. It's every other group I listed that keeps me going.

Worst of all they seem to find the other educated, intellectuals the most distasteful. This gave me pause to think. Why? Why wouldn't they go after the blue collar people and scumbags? Then it occurred to me: Visnu and Siva, eros and thanatos. Most of the wealth these people have is inherited. I'm not sure they are really educated at all. They seem to spend all their time looking for thrills and trying to stay occupied. The answer is simple: they are destruction. They are waste. They are decay. The intellectuals and educated types annoy them because they actually spend their time trying to CREATE something, trying to come up with new ideas and ways to make things better. They don't need to find endless ways to distract themselves from the inevitable reality that their lives are a waste and even though they have wealth they didn't earn it and don't contribute to society.

Even though I have been required repeatedly in my life to exert some sort of dominance over situations and at times even act physically I don't respect or appreciate violence or the gratuitous use of it. An incident that occurred Saturday set in motion a chain of events that wore me out and nearly destroyed my enthusiasm for my job altogether. A group of aforementioned people acted childishly and put property and peoples health in danger. The amount of energy it took to solve the problem with no major incident took a toll. There is no way to describe horrible violence or the feeling that goes along with it to people who have not seen it.
I will most likely delete this blog because I realize I have no private life.

I now have no creative life.

I will not allow anyone to take what little connection I have to the creative forces of this world away from me.

Castaways is and will remain a place where people can express all kinds of ideas and gather without threat of violence or intimidation. Anyone who sees it differently will be getting a visit from Siva presently.


Castaways was a bar in Rockford, Illinois
Castaways On the Rock.

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