Thursday, March 11, 2010

Aimless Reading: The G's, Part 4 (Paul Gauguin)

Gauguin, Paul
The Writings of a Savage

Oops, I guess this was mis-alphabetized -- it should have gone between Gatza and Gerke. Alas. Not sure where or even when I bought this, which means I probably bought it online.

Yesterday I wrote about childhood Sunday mornings, which were mildly torturous, and still are. Today I will write about childhood Saturdays, which were a lot more fun.

Saturday was cartoon day. All of the TV stations played cartoons from about seven in the morning until ten or eleven. I used to wake up in the eight o'clock range.

My recollection is of eating a bowl of cereal or some toast or a Thomas' english muffin along with some orange juice. When I was very young, I was allowed to eat any kind of cereal I wanted -- Honeycombs, Sugar Pops, Luck Charms, Count Chocula, etc. At some point, when I was around five or six and my two brothers were one and three, and which probably also coincided with my first visit to the dentist, my mother banned sugar-coated cereals. This lasted more or less through the rest of my childhood.

We could put sugar on our Rice Krispies or Cheerios or Kix, but we could not eat pre-sweetened cereals. Eventually we negotiated a pact that allowed us each one box of pre-sweetened cereal per year. My recollection is that we would attempt and usually succeed in manipulating my mother's sense of time just enough to allow each year to only last about six months, thus doubling the length of our little sugar carnival.

After breakfast, or probably during breakfast, I would race down the stairs to the family room to watch Saturday morning cartoons. My favorite was always Bugs Bunny. I didn't like most of the other WB cartoons, like Roadrunner or Daffy Duck -- I think the story lines were to simple for me. I sort of appreciate the slapstick of Roadrunner now, but at the time, I preferred to get deeply involved in the whacked out plots of the Bugs Bunny cartoons. I think my criminal mind always liked the fact he was getting away with something. I also loved the constantly changing settings: the opera, the castle of the mad scientist, Mars, a baseball stadium, and so on. Daffy Duck was just okay. I liked Yosemite Sam and whatever that crazy rooster was called -- Foghorn Leghorn, I think.

I also liked Scooby-Doo. I didn't like Josey and the Pussycats. I liked the Jetsons. I liked Tom and Jerry. I liked the Flintstones. I remember I used to take Flinstone vitamins every morning. I may have told the story before of how I once, at a very young age, swallowed half a bottle because I liked the way they tasted -- an omen of future behavior, to be sure!

from The Writings of a Savage

I have begun to think, to dream rather, about that instant when everything was absorbed, asleep, overwhelmed, in the original slumber, in potentiality. Invisible, indefinite, unobservable principles all, at that time, because of the primeval inertia of their virtuality, without one perceptible or perceiving act, without any reality, either active or passive, therefore incoherent, all of course sharing only one characteristic, that of nature in it entirety but lifeless, expressionless, dissolved, reduced to nothing, engulfed in the immensity of space which, as it was utterly formless and void, and as night and silence penetrated to its remotest depths, must have been like a nameless abyss. It was the chaos, the primeval nothingness, not of Being but of Life, which afterward is called the Empire of Death, when the life which had flowed from it returns to it.

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