Monday, October 29, 2007
Control The Night
One of the most mystifying ads I see while driving through Detroit is a billboard for Seagrams gin with the caption "Sip, Sip, Snip, Snip." It shows a cartoon scene (think cover art from Marvin Gaye's "Got To Give It Up" album) of a woman drinking and cutting a man's hair. This strikes me as a horrible combination, much like eating gum and nuts at the same time or a horrible cheese I tried once in Frankenmuth (a strange little Christmasland a couple hours outside of Detroit famous for chicken dinners and waiters wearing lederhosen --what's not to love?) -- chocolate cheddar. When combined with the other gin ads that they run -- Control the Night and Make Him Tell You His Secrets makes for an interesting triumvirate: an updated Samson and Delilah in the heart of Detroit with a propensity for gin. If you love me, Delilah said, you will tell me your whole heart. In modern times, all she would have needed is a lot of booze or a bag of heroin, and Samson would have gladly hopped up into the barber chair and asked for a buzz cut while telling himself that his strength didn't matter all that much and that he could always get it back, the lie we believe for as long as we can when we have given too much away.
Gin is not my poison of choice -- it makes me giddy, then depressed and usually black-out drunk, not something I aspire to, no matter how much I love John Cheever's writing. It goes down way too easy, the taste of a Christmas tree on the tongue. As for controlling the night, it's an idea that I love, but could never buy. As much of a handle as we might have on ourselves, it's tentative at best, a thin veneer that is always in danger of cracking. The night is outside us and inside us and reflected in neon puddles by a moon that is always full. And with our blood full of things that will kill us, we will never die, but merely be covered by black leaves, the kind you see in magazines and window displays advertising Halloween decorations for children and adults alike.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Death is the sound of distant thunder at a picnic." W. H. Auden
Drinking novel suggestion: Perfume Patrick Suskind
Benedictions and Maledictions