Maya Martinez is a bitter side chick who grew up in the middle of nowhere. She has just learned the term “Warm Data” and writes fan fiction about women she used to watch on TV. She loves making memes and shoving her mouth with food while aimlessly scrolling through social media platforms. If you wish to purchase a book from her, feel free to paypal her with your name, address, and which book/books you would like to purchase at firstname.lastname@example.org. 1 book for 18 and 2 for 27.
1. Daises, Věra Chytilová 1966
2. Script from Eastern Sports, Jayson Musson and Alex Da Corte, 2014 (source)
Easternsports Scene 4
Hi Tumblr, as some of you know, my friend Alex Da Corte and I have our show Easternsports up at the Philadelphia ICA right now until December 28th. Easternsports is a 2 hour, 4 channel video of which I wrote narration for. I just wanted to share the script for one of the scenes in this post. I apologize if this appears as a wall of text in your feed. I hope it’s automatically cropped to prevent that. Anyway thanks for reading.
Tell me your fondest memory.
When I was really young, about 5 or 6 years old, my family and I went on vacation to Florida and I drowned in the pool of a family friend that we were visiting there.
That’s your fondest memory?
Yes. It was nice being under the water. Everything was quiet and the water was cool against my skin. As I sunk closer to the bottom of the pool the sun grew dimmer and I felt like I was in a world architected just for me.
What happened next?
Eventually my father dove in to save me. Apparently my family was in Florida because this friend that we were visiting was getting married and my father was in the wedding. Whatever role my father played in this person’s wedding required him to wear a tuxedo, and my father had been trying on his tuxedo for the wedding at the exact moment at which I fell into the pool, so my father ended up diving into the pool with the tux on.
What a hero.
I’d say so. After my father pulled me out of the pool we both sat on the poolside catching our breath. The image of my dad in a soaking wet tuxedo has never left me. It made me feel special because I felt like I had just been rescued by a soaking wet West Indian James Bond.
What’s your second fondest memory?
When the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded.
That’s considered a national tragedy. Why is this your second fondest memory?
Because my 3rd grade teacher was so sad that he cancelled class.
Perhaps he was particularly troubled because one of the astronauts that died in the shuttle explosion was a school teacher as well,Christa McAuliffe.
Maybe. Whatever it may have been was enough to make him bring a TV into the classroom and let us watch news coverage of the explosion. Sure, it was just footage of the families of astronauts crying and the shuttle exploding over and over again, but it was the 80’s and you never got to watch TV in school back then. On that day I also realized that it paid to be dumb. Teachers were always telling us that astronauts were so good at math and science and that if we wanted to go into outer space then we should be good at math and science too. But now look at those astronauts. Exploded in the sky with body parts floating in the ocean. Comic books and video games didn’t seem so bad after all.
So you take particular joy in… the pain of others?
Not the pain, no. I don’t enjoy that. Rather, I enjoy when hubris fails. For instance, when a figure skater, this emblem of both poise and athletic perfection, messes up a landing on a jump and they collapse onto the ice and go sliding into the side of the skating rink. I enjoy that. I love watching them as their low scores flash at the bottom of the television screen and the tears start pouring from their eyes. I enjoy this a great deal. I enjoy that moment when they come crashing down to earth with the rest of us, that instance where no amount of preparation, training, research or confidence can save you from the fall.
Man is a vain creature. Well, I don’t know if it’s in Man’s basic nature to be this way or if it’s the fault of the persons who wrote Genesis and declared that man could be the head zookeeper of planet earth. We read this hogwash and think we are above the world, above the animals because some book long ago said we could name them? Hahaha. This is crazy shit, man! We get into our planes-
Yeah. We get into our airplanes and take to the sky, crisscrossing the globe, never realizing how audacious the act flying is. The sheer act of several hundred humans being lifted off the surface of the earth and assuming you will arrive safely in another part of the world is pure human hubris. This unquestioning faith in technology is insane to me. Wouldn’t you agree?
From a certain perspective flying may seem that way… say from the perspective of a farmer in 1792.
Oh, so you think this is funny?
How can I not find this at least a bit entertaining? You seem to focus on the failure of the journey yet planes take off. Frequently. People land in other parts of the world. Frequently. Traffic lights keep the arteries of the city flowing. Etc, etc… Technology prevails.
Yes, but how long will all of this last? Technology can keep propelling humanity to new heights, but with those heights technology also provides deep lows. Sir Isaac Newton drops an apple from a tree and we get nuclear bombs. A vaccine is discovered for tuberculosis or something, and nature or the illuminati responds with AIDS or Ebola. Technology is like that line in that old Paula Abdul song Opposites Attract: “I take two step forward-“
“I take two steps back” sorry to interupt, that line is a duet… I was just finishing the line for you.
Uh, thanks… Anyway, how long can humanity last under this tug of war? Eventually the fabric of civilization will fray at both ends and this grand project of Civilization is sure to expire.
Yes, I agree, civilization will come to a close, but this will certainly not occur in our lifetimes.
Maybe, but who is to say? This world is a very volatile place. One in which brutality is masked by the notion of progress and civility.
Well, take the overt violence of imperialism for instance. You have some conquering country that subjugates an entire foreign nation for profit of conquering country. Dissent is met with violence, generations of youth are assimilated into the culture of the ‘mother country’, cultures are liquidated of their most precious assets; the youth, and subsequently die out with no one to participate and keep alive the rituals of culture. And even when the conqueror has receded back to his home, he leaves his economic systems in place that continue on the violence through economics, subterfuge, and aethetics. He leaves behind his Western History, his Plato, his Descartes, his fucking Le Corbusier, but what of the Orisha? What of Lumumba? What of Imhotep? In the end we are left with the violence of western cultural hegemony: all culture is now western, or a reflection of it. For instance, I am visiting Barcelona and I see a teenager in a Obama t-shirt. Why the hell does he care about an American president? Because a notion of American ‘cool’ prevails globally.
This bothers you?
Yes! Americans aren’t cool! Well, maybe except for Sun Ra, but he’s not even human, he’s beyond human but that’s not the point. I want to go to Barcelona and see something on a t-shirt I don’t know of!
That sounds like a bit of cultural tourism to me.
Well it isn’t. I don’t want to be given something “authentic” from this teen.
I’m sure there are plenty of teens in t-shirts of Spanish bands you have never heard of? Maybe you spent too much time in tourist districts? Therefore you didn’t meet the right people and were not granted access to the genuine spaces?
Bit I have a great personality! And that is beside the point!
Then what is your point?
The point is that I am perfectly fine with accepting cliché; I just don’t want to see this kid duped by American cliché. That even a single foreigner in an Obama t-shirt, or a George Bush t-shirt, or a poster of Justin Bieber, whomever; is a defeat of that persons culture against the onslaught of our generic American culture. We have scaled their village walls; we are slaughtering the women and children.
Hypothetically speaking, of course.
To me it seems logical that a planet united under a worldwide economic system, a world in which information is shared at unimaginable speed via the internet, would eventually share in elements of culture. Throughout history numerous cultures have cross-pollinated one another, Greek mythology finds its way to Rome, and Roman mythology finds it’s way into Christian ritual. Islam gave the world geometry-
What America does is not sharing. It is a cowboy standing triumphantly on top of a pile of skulls of the injuns he has killed off.
How does it go in the bible? That part about God striking down the Tower of Babel?
I do not know.
Hold on, let me look it up on my phone… hold on a sec… ah here it is: “But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” I hope God comes back and scatters this homogenous global culture.
You believe in god?
Not really, no. I just hope something will sever this oppresive unity. And since I don’t see it happening by the hand of man, I think some Deus ex machina is needed to do so. God seems a suitable candidate for the position.
Then you don’t see man bringing about his own destruction then?
I mean, yes and no. Like I said earlier, the gift and the curse of technological progress could do irreparable damage to civilization, but y’know, I think that would just create this whole post-apocalyptic situation; the old technology would be come as closed off in meaning as a heiroglyph and it would be come odd adornments for the new Techno Savage Man, y’know, people driving around wearing USB cables for necklaces and such. Humans would become more unrestrained without the pretense of civilized morals; with the policeman in our heads no longer present, our savagery would be foregrounded fully. I think a complete and true destruction will come from nature or God most likely. A meteorite, a massive solar flare that’ll cook our atmosphere… Floods don’t really seem to work. This path we’re on… humanity… it just can’t go on indefinitely. Our economics and politics are screwed.
In what way?
Democracy and capitalism cannot both continue to exist in harmony. They are opposed to one another.
This sounds… how so?
I read in a book, I can’t remember its title or author, but the author made the claim that free markets concentrate a phenomenal amount of wealth into the hands of a market-dominant minority, while democracy increases the political power of the impoverished majority. I mean, what happens when you sell an economic system that only benefits the few while also selling a political system that empowers the people that are excluded from reaping the rewards of said economic system? What happens when you give political agency to these excluded masses? To the damned, so to speak.
Never mind. Please continue.
In any event, America’s greatest export; free market democracy, is a deadly contradiction; it sells democracy, which promotes inclusiveness, political agency, and humanity, while simultaneously selling free market capitalism, which promotes subjugation and exploitation. This combination is a conflagration. I agree with the author.
‘Conflagration’. Again, you are focused on the ends of things, on their destruction. Why?
I start seeing someone. It is the beginning of our relationship. We are new to one another. After a night of drinking and sex, she gets up in the morning and stands in front of the long mirror in my bedroom. She puts her clothes on getting ready to go to work. She slowly slides her tights up her legs and then over her miraculous ass. I watch this all silently from bed. I consider her beauty when suddenly a realization dawns on me: one day she will not be standing in front of this mirror. One day I will wake up in my bed and look toward that mirror and it will be reflecting nothing.
Our relationship is only a couple of days old, yet I’m already anticipating its end.
Why not simply enjoy what you have while you have it?
I have tried this. But my consciousness of the end prevents me from enjoying what I have. I guess this is why I’m talking to you. I want you to take me back to the stone river.
I want her back in front of the mirror. But my awareness that our time together is temporary taints my happiness. My behavior around her changes. I become distant to soften the blow of loss, but I grow so cold that I’m no longer the person she was drawn to. We endure for a little longer but eventually we drift apart and I’m lying in bed looking at the mirror that now reflects nothing.
That which you were most afraid of did not exist but by a creative feat of neuroses, you created the condition for it to become a reality. You let your anxieties sculpt your world.
It’s always you. It’s poetry. So small, Like this, like that.
That was a poem she once sent me with some flowers. She was the only person to ever do that. Send me flowers and write me a poem.
Coming back to your fixation on endings, do you perhaps think that this is the root of it? Having had a direct hand in the disintegration of this relationship that clearly meant a great deal to you, you now harbor a great deal of guilt for giving up on this person before it really got under way. Now your pessimism about the interpersonal sphere has spiraled out onto larger areas. What began as a pessimistic outlook on love now seems to encompass the entirety of civilization.
If that’s the case then that seems… tragic.
This is the reason why you enjoy seeing the figure skater punished. It’s not the hubris on the part of the athlete; you resent them for having the audacity to defy. You penalize hope by calling it hubris, but you resent the fact that you don’t have the courage to defy the gravity of your own circumstance. You are weighted down by simple laws of life and want to see your fellow man weighted by down the same cowardice. You are a coward.
You are your own bogeyman, piercing any possibility of happiness.
Yes, things end, relationships may dissolve, humans may abuse one another to no end, nature may one day wipe out this blight known as mankind, as you’d most likely describe us, but this is nothing new, as long as people have populated this world, they’ve been at each other’s throats, yet they still manage to love one another, to build, to learn to grow.
Hold on a sec, I’m not done. The only hubris I see is yours. You are the person who has it all figured it out, you sit on the sidelines of even your own life while judging the rest of us for having the audacity to try and do something with the short time we have on this world. We announce that we are engaged and you do not like it. We post pictures of our children and you do not like it. We share updates in our career and you do not like it. All the while your own supposed intellectual clairvoyance corrodes you while you sit there not doing a thing like Bartleby the scrivener.
Doctor, that is not true, I-
Would you like to see a picture of my daughter? She just turned four.
Not really, I
See this is what I mean! Not even willing to pay someone the simple courtesy of looking at a picture.
Shh! But you are not totally lost. This is not an incurable condition. With time we can fix you, but first you must not be afraid to love again. Open yourself up to new experiences, to new people. But most importantly: don’t condemn the world for your failed love life. One rotten grape does not mean the entire bunch must end up in the trash.
I think you talk entirely too much.
I’ve been told this.