Workout 31 August 2012: The Peacock
My landlord saw me free-dancing last October to Sweelinck on the football pitch. I think that’s when he decided to hate me because I don’t fit his idea of a Westerner and he’s homophobic even though I’m not gay (just happy). He’s raised the rent but it must be conceded that I enjoyed several years of unusually low rent.
Although the Peacock is a symbol of eternal life, in one of Jung’s seminars, the Peacock’s sharp bill is pointed straight at the Fisher King’s neck such that if the Fisher King makes a false move he dies.
Robert A Johnson, in “The Fisher King and the Handless Maiden” writes that “it is commonplace in the dreams of people who are capable of high consciousness that mechanical things do not work well [emphasis mine]”.
We dream of airplane crashes and maintain a critical attitude towards computers which so drain our energy in toxic little recursive stacks: you wrote a poem: if you do not act reflectively, the next thing you know you’re making Yet Another note to yourself to get printer cartridges, because you wanted to share it with a friend on paper. And of course God forbid the printer should jam, whether mechanically or in the queue.
But let us not speak falsely now: capitalism is a bribe paid for access to the tools of production, and software and computers are essentially one more way in which we fight for access to the tools of production.
So, I breath and cleanse and simplify. But before I’ll let go of my anger I shall describe it.
The victim, in Robert A Johnson’s book on the King and the Maiden, is the Handless Maiden. She’s the daughter of the miller whom Satan helped automate his mill.
An entire way of working taken as a whole could be “efficient” even mathematically, but, of course, Frederick Jackson Taylor’s “industrial engineering” thought to break tasks down and tell little “Schmidt”, a “Pennsylvania Dutchman” (screw you, Taylor, you racist, I’m German-American) to trot along and do as he’s told. His wife is too practical to not accept the extra money but his daughter is innocent and seduced by the next charmer that comes along.
But the Peacock is a symbol of eternal life.