Saturday, August 31, 2019

Musings on the momentous date, August 31st...

The Nuclear Family in 2013

Every time August 31st rolls around I am reminded of two things. The more significant event of the two, of course, is my very first fuck.

At 14 or 15 I was still wearing stripes & checks
I mean, with a woman. A digression is necessary: you see, at 15 I had ventured, with a few classmates, to Singapore's infamous Bugis Street, where we had decided to collectively put paid to our virginity. The middle-aged hooker I engaged for my initiation into malehood looked fairly attractive in the low-wattage lighting, but when we removed our clothes I noticed she possessed a rudimentary penis. She seemed enthusiastic enough - and who wouldn't be delighted to get paid to fiddle around with a cute 15-year-old, unless they're compulsive virtue-signalers? The scientist in me took charge of the situation and decided that an experience is, after all, an experience.

Besides, I didn't have the nerve to demand my money back and couldn't afford to go shopping elsewhere. After some 20 minutes of awkward fumbling around I thanked "her" and got dressed. I didn't ask my friends if they had had a similar "initiation." We were all too embarrassed by the whole excursion and never spoke about it again.

Beloved mother of my two lovely girls
Coming back to my first fuck. For three whole years I had been courting a feisty, flirtatious femme two years my senior. We maintained an increasingly passionate and playful correspondence while she was at university and I was in New Jersey as an exchange student. Upon my return in early August 1968, she wrote and told me she would be in Singapore on a geography field trip and would be free on August 31st to meet me for a hot date.

Now why does Singapore feature so prominently in every erotic initiation I can recall? Could it be the Merlion Singapore has chosen as its national totem, which combines Leonine and Piscean qualities - masculine rationality (lion) with feminine intuition (dolphin)?

Soulful reunion in 2016
Well, the date August 31st will always symbolize a pivotal moment in my life, a rite of passage, when I not only experienced the exquisite pleasure of being fully plugged into the sacred feminine, the holy of holies, but also claimed my adulthood by becoming a father to my first daughter.

Which explains why my earlier plan to study filmmaking in UCLA, California, had to be scuttled. But 25 years down the line, my second daughter graduated summa cum laude from TCU, Texas, with a filmmaking degree. She also fulfilled my desire to marry a German and produce gorgeous babies, but that's another story.

So for me the 31st of August will always represent a major life initiation, totally unexpected but gratefully embraced. How could I not rejoice to be father of two exceptionally beautiful, honest, and accomplished women who have bestowed quintuple datukships on me?

All grown up, my beautiful girls & their amazing mama

Daughter #1 with her 2 sweeties
As for the other thing, national independence, I must confess I have been indelibly imprinted with the thoughts of Kurt Vonnegut who introduced me to Bokononism in his 1963 novel, Cat's Cradle, wherein he distinguished between two categories of social bonding: the Granfalloon and the Karass. (I suggest you read Gregory Macnamee's instructive essay "On Vonnegut's Karass vs. Granfalloon" for a fuller understanding of this important distinction.) If you can't be bothered to look it up, I shall attempt to paraphrase Vonnegut's definition of a Granfalloon - which is precisely what every nation-state, football club, old boys' association, or ethnic grouping actually is: an assembly of humans drawn together by a common delusion - that there is "strength in numbers" and that people can feel united through loyalty to some corporate brand name or logo.

A Karass, on the other hand, is what Vonnegut calls a true soul family, drawn together by natural affinities and a deep sense of kinship beyond appearances and ideological constructs.

Daughter #2 with her 3 sweeties
It goes without saying that I have never been fond of Granfalloons nor will I ever be. Therefore the thought of celebrating something as meaningless as a brand name (Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Great Britain, America, Estonia, Afghanistan, Transylvania) and a corporate logo (Jalur Gemilang, Stars and Stripes or Union Jack) simply makes me chortle till I churn up some loose spittle or awaken a clump of mucus from its slumber.

Go ahead, folks, and wave those plastic flags. It really makes no difference to me if they are emblazoned with a giant M (for Mahathir, Mekdi or McDonald's), a cluster of stars, a few stripes, a maple leaf, a stylized axolotl, or a Mandelbrot Set. Corporations and corporate-states are essentially social engineering constructs, ant-colonies, beehives, designed to gather and accumulate energy (the sweet stuff) for those who commissioned and invested in the project. They may appear to be almighty, indomitable, and indestructibly totalitarian - until you catch a glimpse of colossal ruins such as you will find in Göbekli Tepe, Egypt, Rome, Cambodia, Peru. And here I am reminded of visionary historian William Irwin Thompson's classic observation:

"Civilizations, like the penis, rise and fall, and when the towers and battlements crumble into the earth, they return to the embrace of the Great Mother."

Antares Maitreya
31 August 2019




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