Chimera, Part II
The three worlds of ‘Mermaid’ are the tail, the painting and the monument. The tail is a body, what is felt. There’s the painting; the mind, and what can be imagined. Then the monument, the “brazen giant,” it is culture; Complex culture, with its societies inside societies, it is what is remembered, recorded.
Part II: The monument has fallen, but not before a corporate ‘black helicopter’ takes off. The mermaid has become a siren. She loses her tail, gains wings; think Homer not Disney.
“The high, thrilling voice of the Sirens will transfix him,
lolling there in their meadow, round them heaps of corpses
rotting away, rags of skin shrivelling on bones…”
—The Odyssey, XII, 50–52.
The unity of part one was an illusion. Culture, be it manifest as country, neighborhood, family or workplace never connected body and mind. The monument was propaganda, “a hollow symbolic thing,” a ‘black box’ too, where the inner workings are forever hidden. Likewise the body whose motives—if they even exist—are unknowable
“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words
make merchandise of you” —KJV: 2 Pe 2:3
Art, to our pleonexic siren is mere currency, symbols of wealth and power. Let her fly away, fly away fooled. Let her be ignorant that art is not in ‘rags of skin.’ It is what is felt, imagined and remembered. It remains, but…
“Now the Sirens have a still more fatal weapon than their song, namely their silence. ”