[percy-l] [External] Re: Slomo Etc

janetcantor37 at yahoo.com janetcantor37 at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 14 10:42:26 EDT 2014

Yes, interesting guy.
My first impulse when meeting him in this video and knowing his story was I have no objection to what anyone does as long as it does no harm to anyone else and as long as I don't have to pay for his right to do it.
I still feel that way. But the comments here coming out of being introduced to SloMo have been so marvelous that it was worth it for that alone.
More later.

 From: Karl M. Terrell <kterrell at stokeswagner.com>
To: Percy-L: Literary and Philosophical Discussion <percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org> 
Sent: Saturday, July 12, 2014 5:49 PM
Subject: Re: [percy-l] [External] Re:  Slomo Etc

Very interesting.  Thank you.  It is sobering that Slomo, to the extent he participates in the narrative of his celebrity, loses some of his Self and self-awareness.  But so it goes.  This is the world we live in.  This is why Warhol's phrase -- 'In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes' -- captured everyone's imagination in 1968, as we found ourselves racing mid-way up the ramp into the modern-media world we know.

I think Slomo gives a pretty fair description, though, of what he's up to in the film.  I would note, first, that he doesn't condemn everything from the life he had before.  He says nothing negative about his former profession, and in fact says he enjoyed, early on, a progress which was 90% spiritual and 10% financial.  Not bad.  

But then time passed, those numbers were reversing, and he found himself in despair.  He found himself having been cut loose - but, from what?  Upon first embarking into Slomo-world, he most likely wasn't able to say - The dude just likes to rollerblade.  But, I'm willing to bet he knew he was "onto something," as WP put it: "The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life.  To become aware of the search is to be onto something.  Not to be onto something is to be in despair."

I too felt my 'inner Nurse Ellen,' while watching and thinking about the film.  But, I think there's more to Slomo, more to what makes him interesting, beyond the narrative of what he left behind in the middle class context. 

We can't all be Slomo, at least not all of us all at once in the present, and even Slomo couldn't be Slomo all the time.  At the basic level of day-to-day life, we the ordinary people, as we head past the age of "eleven and a half" -- the age of consciousness to which Slomo says he aspires -- have to begin the life process of providing for ourselves.  If we choose a family (a good choice, for most), we have to provide for others.  

Perhaps a tragedy separates you from this life process of having to provide, and sends you on the search.  Or, perhaps you're simply wealthy, or perhaps you truly care not for material possessions in excess of the basic needs, and thus -- either way -- you have the means to set aside the urgent need to provide, and at least have the opportunity to examine the fact of being stuck in your everydayness, and maybe even the insight to do something about it.  Whatever may have been the case, in Dr. Kitchins' life, is interesting to think about, but is only (to me) of passing interest.  

What is truly interesting to me, is this: Regardless of what may have been his catalyst, we're witness to the story of an actual life (albeit, based only on the little we can actually know) of someone who appears genuinely engaged in the search which Percy wrote about.  Percian fiction come to life, if you will.  From Slomo's few comments, we can hear that he had become (Percy's words) "sunk in the everydayness of his own life."  As Slomo puts it, he was on the track of "working himself into oblivion," was "shoveling shit," and had become "what Americans call an asshole."   He identifies the enemy, so to speak, as the "rational world," which had driven him into this state.  He was lashed by the whip, and thought he could ease the pain by writing checks to pay for the BMW, the Ferrari, the mansion, etc.  

What is interesting is the large way -- the refreshingly radical, and quite dramatic way -- in which Slomo has embarked upon the search, and that he does appear to have recaptured the spiritual consciousness of an "eleven and a half year old boy."  He claims, genuinely I believe, to now "experience myself like a tip of a great iceberg of consciousness."  I would be skeptical of most who would say such a thing (I wouldn't believe my own self, if those words were to tumble from my mouth), and yet in his case it appears genuine.  It seems safe to say that he remains a thoughtful person, and has achieved a sense of  ease within this world -- a flying happiness -- which very few in this "deranged age" will ever know.

"You live in a deranged age, more deranged than usual, because in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is or what he is doing" -- WP.  

Slomo, it appears, has at least some faint idea.


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