2012-05-03 / Musings


“Please let me love you. Let me give my life to you. Let me drown in your laughter. Let me die in your arms. Let me lie down beside you. Let me always be with you. You fill up my senses. Come fill me again.”

— John Denver,

“Annie’s Song”

“Do your work as though you had a thousand years to live and as if you were to die tomorrow.”

— Ann Lee, ounding teacher of the Shakers

“Live as if you were already dead.”

— Zen aphorism

“You could take every other sentence out without changing the sense of an article. I guess he was one of the most dreadful writers who ever existed.”

— Wolcott Gibbs, about editing Alexander Humphreys

Woollcott’s writing

“Act in hallways! Sing in doorways! Dance in cellars!... Hello, repulsive.”

— Alexander Humphreys Woollcott, greeting friends

By the creek named for Billy Bowlegs’ surrender in the heart of the Fort town of My-ers one might have occasion to look up. One might see a full moon there unlike any other. This moon does not sport a man’s face or a rabbit making tofu. And this moon is always full. It’s an eye full.

This sight for eyes that soar above the dust of the daze is the iconic tower of WINK-TV. It sports a spherical rendering of The Eyemark, the logo of CBS Television Networks, the “sign of good television.”

This broadcasting television network is second in size only to the BBC. Its logo is seen, most often in pixilated form, by millions each day. And the logo has been copied by networks in Austria, Peru, Japan, and Brazil.

The original logo was created by William Golden. But it did not appear fully formed like Athena out of

Zeus’ head. Some say the inspiration may have come from Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs, which some say are talismanic. And some say are “chust for nice.”

Some say the eye fabrication comes from a Shaker drawing. The Shakers, the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, have been so called because of their ecstatic, charismatic worship. In Shaker theology God is seen as dualism of male and female. Jesus, the son of a Jewish carpenter, is seen as the male manifestation while Mother Ann, daughter of an English blacksmith, was the female manifestation. Ann, the Mother Founder, was seen as Bride for Bridegroom, the fulfillment of the promise of the Second Coming. The community believed in four highest virtues: social communism, confession of sin, separation from the world, and celibate purity. In 1840, there were 6000 members. In 2009, there were three.

The thusly inspired Eyemark proclaims a CBS which has its own history. Odd that the whole enterprise starting out only hearing, hearing only as radio network. Then the seeing, seeing as television network.

And in the late ‘80s the message emerged in another sense: television you can feel, “You Can Feel It On CBS.” What next?

So far, the eye just stares. But there is another bit of urban legend tripping. Have you played?

Meaning the game “Wink.” Or sometimes it is called “Wink Murder.” Like all games, it has endless variations. The basic rule is that someone is the murderer, and the rest are potential victims and detectives. The murderer stealthily winks, and the one seeing this dies while the others try to figure out who that murderer is before they themselves are killed.

The game is not merely played by kids and Facebookers. For instance, Harpo Marx was the wink-murderer in the home of Alexander Woollcott. His grade school drop-out writing on the t.p. — “you are ded” — quickly led to his being smoked out in a gathering of intelligentsia. But some things are not so easily identified. Like death itself, which can only be defined in contrast to diaphanous life. There is this definitional difficulty even though all metazoa die.

That is, except this immortal jelly fish, turriptopsis nutricula. Unlike other metzoa that began to emerge from the Cambrian explosion 500 million years ago, their body plan does not become fixed. Instead they are capable of transdifferentiation. This process is a type of metaplasia, a response of change in an original cell that is not robust to the existent environment. The immortal jelly can, after reaching a singular sexually mature adult form, return to a communal polyp state. This can occur any number of times, with death occurring only through accident or predation, not senescence. (Wink, wink.)

What’s in a wink? Solidarity, intimacy, conspiracy, approval, Latin flirtation, Chinese offense, West African signal for children to leave? Who can say?

One eye. Brief closure. What a difference a wink makes. ¦

— Rx is the FloridaWeekly muse who hopes to inspire profound mutiny in all those who care to read. Our Rx may be wearing a pirate cloak of invisibility, but emanating from within this shadow is hope that readers will feel free to respond. Who knows: You may even inspire the muse. Make contact if you dare.

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