I am reading “Dance Dance Dance” by Haruki Murakami. Although the early eighties novel has almost nothing to do with horns, I find its central concept to be very concurrent with the title of this post.
An advanced capitalist society loves to produce it. Our brief existence on the face of this planet has left more of its resources useless than ever before. I’m pretty sure chemical processes in nature figured out what to do with dead stuff, but ever since we began to hack into them, producing plastic mugs, thugs, and what not, we have left nature with little time to do anything about it. Trillions and gazillions of bacteria are scratching their pseudopodas wondering what to do about your silicone breasts (that you no longer need, of course).
This specialization in waste spills down into our lives. We love to waste time. We love to waste megatons of energy. For example guzzling many gallons of fuel in an SUV only to go to a gym a kilometer away, to run on a treadmill for half an hour, covering two kilometers ( and a lot of gossip). Of course, who runs on sidewalks? Pooh. Plebs. Another example would be the atomic bomb, that our countries love to guard with even more grandeur, wasting away time and money in what could be used elsewhere.
It also spills into our streets. Honk Honk Honk. Despite our colossal waste of time, we can’t bear a minute on the street. We are children of impatience. I wonder if any of our religions were considerate enough to give it the status of a god. In its troubling disequilibrium, our advanced capitalist hearts beat to rhythm of the traffic; our impatient fingers punch out the rhythm of life into the one thing it can. Horns.
I finished Dance Dance Dance not a few moments ago as I write this. Whenever I point out the obvious facts of these various wastages, I get called impractical. Oh well, if you don’t spill out waste from somewhere, you aren’t doing productive work. That’s what it’s about. Dancing. Dance, until the music is on. Keep on moving to the tune of the times, and you’ll do well. Or, at least you’ll give off the effect of doing well.
What is truth is not what we see, but what we see we assume to be true. How true is it? You tell me in the scale of one Kardashian arse to a Unicorn horn.
Or a silicone breast.
Whatever floats your boat man (in the case of the breast, it will sink).
So that’s why we honk so loudly? Giving us the illusion of movement. I’ve got a place to go to, the horn screams. You bloody pleb! You are no one to stop me. So move! Move Move Move! Dance Dance Dance.
I find this everywhere. Our patience runs thin. We don’t care about ambulances, about beating hearts. Maybe, in whatever macabre dance we find ourselves caught in, we forget to see the beat of other’s lives. We can only hear one beat; we move one limb at a time. And then, when push comes to shove, we all start honking about our legs.
They could do something practical, couldn’t they? Like limit the decibels of the horn? At least my ears would be grateful. Maybe the birds, even. Patients in hospital wouldn’t feel the dredge of urban ennui around them. But, like I said, we can only hear our beat. And even though we do so, we seem not to hear our horns.
They begin right at the signal, impatiently waiting. Even before the signal turns, their fingers move like a reflex. See it’s nothing personal: I’m not really causing this pseudo traffic jam because I want to listen to the Beatles singing Let it be. There’s a goddamn signal there! But they don’t listen. They are acutely aware of people taking up space. It’s all a game of space, and we have been tuned by our advanced capitalist societies to take up the hidden spaces in our lives. Make it work; integrate it into our economies.
So people continue. Their absolute convalescence comes about only in the flip of the traffic light from red to green. Oh what a relief. The dance is back on; I can finally get on with my life. Such goes the thinking. In that split second of surreal relief anger builds up. The guy in front of me isn’t moving, how dare he! Honk Honk Honk.
Such goes life. Well, someone’s honking at me right now. I’ll just start moving. I just wished they’d be their practical selves and wait out the signal. Maybe, lower their horns a bit. Maybe, they’d only give it a little jab, and let out a spike of warning, instead of pressing it hard and loud, all over Facebook and Instagram. If only they would wait. I’d go to the side if I could, but I am caught up in a current. A current of horns, honking honking honking.
Even I in my dance would probably continue to honk honk honk.