GRAPES OF WRATH DO SCREAM
Man is the immediate object of natural science; for immediate, sensuous nature for man is, immediately, human sensuousness (the expressions are identical) –presented immediately in the form of the other man sensuously present for him.
Karl Marx, The Economic & Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
The sonic environment of the United States of America in late 2014 is approaching perfection. The sole sound worthy of your ears is the sound of death, the sound you hate, love, and dread unconditionally. “Like a landscape,” Emily Thompson wrote in The Soundscape of Modernity (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2002), “a soundscape is simultaneously a physical environment and a way of perceiving that environment; it is both a world and a culture constructed to make sense of that world.” Thompson was on to something.
The sound of nature; the sound of spoken and artificial languages; the sound of what you call music; the sound of capitalism; the sound of aesthetic bullets entering bodies; the sound of explosions, drones, bombs, instruments of mass destruction; the sound of the mind dancing with hot logic and cold insanity in the chambers of the brain -----the catalog of sounds is the record of your middle passage into omnipotent nihilism.
The most important words Cornel West ever donated to his nation are very loud in Race Matters (Boston: Beacon Press, 1993):
Nihilism is to be understood here not as a philosophic doctrine that there are no rational grounds for legitimate standards or authority; it is far more, the lived experience of coping with a life of horrifying meaninglessness, hopelessness, and, (most important) lovelessness.
Your eyes read the donation of Cornel West. Nihilism and race matters have busted the eardrums of the United States of America. You are deaf. You sense but do not hear how the grapes of wrath do scream.
Even as you lie to yourself, squeezing all the vital fluids from any sacred scripture at hand and protesting the sound of nihilism in your soul, you voice a truth which is neither beyond argument nor understanding. Pray until your tongue is paralyzed. The cosmos is objective and indifferent to prayer.
The sonic environment of the United States of America, of every nation from Zambia to Afghanistan, in late 2014 is marching to perfection, the perfection of nihilism. Grapes of wrath do cry and scream and die.
Worry not if you can not arrive at the ground zero of nihilist perfection for another one hundred years. Every old child, old woman, and old man shall arrive. You shall arrive. Meanwhile, rage against the silence that is a consequence of death.
Jerry W. Ward, Jr. August 26, 2014