A MUSIC VIDEO—EIGHTIES STYLE 

A man and woman going up on an elevator.  Could be Johnny and Nina.  Or David and Rosie.  You see the buttons light up as they reach each new floor.  Could be David playing the guitar—low on the frets.  The interior of a hotel room.  The woman undressing.  Black lingerie.  White stockings.  Then it’s the jungle.  Not a Mississippi forest.  Jungle sounds.  At night—the full trees gray in the darkness.  What’s lit up in the trees could be eyes, but you’re really not sure…  Then an interstate.  Cars lined up in traffic.  The interiors of the cars.  A woman putting on her red lipstick in the rearview mirror.  A man eating a doughnut placed on the dashboard.  He’s wearing a short-sleeve button down white shirt with wrinkles.  Crumbs from the doughnut falling on his tie.  You see the fat gold band on his wedding ring finger as it taps the steering wheel in the bumper to bumper traffic–the morning commute to work…  Then a Russian military progression parading through a Moscow square.  The men in uniform marching in step.  Tanks and missile carriers.  David’s guitar always in the background.  Maybe some drums as you see the jungle again.  Trees in the daylight now.  Animals in them.  Birds and monkeys.  A black cat sprawled out on a limb taking its rest…  Then a calm clear ocean at sunset.  You see it from a height.  Like you’re looking from a tower—a lighthouse.  Like the one where Nina’s body was found.  But not where she was murdered.  For you see a Mississippi forest again.  The face of a white wolf.  Its teeth bared.  Either a smile or a snarl, but you’re not really sure.  And if there were any lyrics they would be sung by Johnny Tribout.  And they would probably go like this:

JOHNNY (V.O.)

Tell the truth.  You like to see fear.  You like to make others afraid.  When you sense it.  Like a vibe.  Like a smell.  The power in that.  Having the power.  The power to put fear in another person’s eyes…  Tell the truth to have the truth.  And enough of this civilization—what we call civilization.  Speaking in codes to create this fear.  This power.  Always making someone look to the past.  In what was just said.  And hearing what it really meant.  And this is what civilization really is—not some progression to the future, but an erection to the past.  That last moment to think about while we play God with our technology.  The bad things we do—the smells of it—for what we want that comes after.  Like sticking needles in people for their blood.  Generating numbers from it.  Ratios.  And population statistics.  Like fucking…  We build stinky machines to get us places—faster—and loud air conditioners to keep us cool.  All so we can be polite.  While we still race each other.  Late night freeways switching passing lanes.  Sometimes first and sometimes last.  Based on what blocks us that is slow-moving ahead.  Our sporting events that we love talking about…  Give me de-civilization—the truth.  Get mad.  Get angry.  Tell me what you really feel.  And try to kill me for food.  This the real destiny of our nature.  Jungle law that we now placate with meter maids when we shout at each other in our business suits for a parking spot—parallel parking either front end first, or backing in…  Give me the truth.  How you make look calm, but you’ve already murdered me three times in your head.  It coming out in the poison of your words.  What you give me pause to think about after in what you really mean in what you just said…  Civilization?  That’s just plastic and phony—like transplanted fake hearts.  The old guard still stands ready to take over when the heat in the room gets to be too much.  The past always waiting, watching—creeping in on you.  Laughing at your efforts to make it better, to change, to put quality back in to all this we have manifested, all this we have created to get us out of the trees.  To help us crawl out of the water…  So speak nicely now.  Be polite.  The syrup of your words just that old smile on a monkey.  And keep giving up what you really are… Primitive or trying to be civilized—the past always wins.

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