Glass walls don’t change anything. We can see and helplessly wring our hands. We can mock, we can sulk, we can laugh and cry, and we can see. We are voyeurs more than ever before because of these darned glass walls. Animals, people, even plants die and the cameras follow, the microphones, the people who know and the people who don’t. In the winter chill by the fireplace we watch the poor light up soggy newspapers to keep warm. They are not the news we will read although there are glass walls. We will read about little big Ted Williams who made it because he had a radio voice; they took him and shaved him and gave him a nice haircut and, hey, there he is now as the voice. He always had that voice, you know, but he had to suffer and beg and grovel before that glass wall so that we could imagine the lice in his hair and the smell of cheap tobacco on his breath and then watch as they’d take him and make him. Good moaning, he says in his deep, deep baritone and we applaud, our palms sanitised. Glass walls show us stores with glitter and we want all of that, the 5000 square foot areas that stock piles and piles of stuff that we have no room for, that we don’t understand. If there were glass walls people would not stop shitting and peeing and jerking off, and they should not because this is how nature wanted it. But because we can see, we will call it a reality show; if we are artists, we might even take some of that urine in a bottle and call it ‘Piss Off’ or scoop up the turd and sculpt it and place it as installation art, and the shagging will be another pornographic memory. Ah, remember honey, when I was all alone and thinkin’ ’bout you I came like I’ve never come before. I played like I never played before. No, no, he wasn’t lookin’ at Pam Andy’s plastic boobs and she was not diddling to Neruda. It’s glass walls that show us laughing mirrors where people make assholes of themselves – fat, thin, squat, tall, shapeless bundles of joy enjoying a moment of whimsy, look, I can laugh at myself. No, you can’t because when it hurts, it bloody hurts like hell. Glass walls show us hell with elves drinking wine and smoking pot and chuckling, chucking, chuckling till they can’t stand it anymore. They call it a belly laugh and sell that too because we are watching. I am going to break those glass walls and cut myself and retire to a room made of cold stone and let the blood freeze. I will smile because you cannot see it. I own my own posterity.
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The title comes from Sir Paul McCartney’s video for PETA that sends out a message: “If all slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.”
Sir Paul sent out an appeal to the Indian prime minister to observe today, January 12, as “meat-free day”. Has he asked any western head of state to do so?
I am not a vegetarian, although I have been one for a few years. I don’t know whether my dietary habits are good or bad, but I am okay with what I eat for now. Would watching the butchering affect me? Yes. For a while. Just as watching people being killed does.
What I have written are just random thoughts about glass walls.