Dream work

Emerging out of - and into further - remarkable weeks of planning, protest, new comrades, and solidarity. One of the consequences of this was running ourselves ragged, a fact that came home to roost this weekend when I wound up with some fever/flu nastiness.

The upshot of fevers, against all of the obvious downsides, is the dreaming, those febrile, clamoring, razor hot dreams. Something in the cold sweat and teeth chatter makes for a night of dream thinking that doubles back on itself with a snake-eating-its-tail certainty, again and again. Crackling video loop variations on a theme. And in this case, the thought firmly and incessantly circled around the question of sickness and shape, on whether sickness could be escaped by changing one's form or if in fact, the contamination was the very content itself.

Not very interesting in and of itself, but the form that this thinking about form took was basically Lovecraft meets Swamp Thing meets a Herzog interview. Total war between ancient stone statue-buildings and green tendrils snaking through to break those shapes. A woman telling me that if I was willing to stop being the city that I was and taking on a new architecture, I would escape the cycle into which I had drawn myself. Attempted new shapes, then finding with horror that the tinge of green indicated that I had been the sickness from the start, that there was no divide between the stone and its dissolution. Thick, wet, jungle rain, startled animals, and a sullen quiet of it starting again...

Given that I'd been writing about killing the green shoots of recovery, I seem to have made this bed and slept badly in it.

More importantly (and more fun) on dreams: go watch Who Wants to Kill Jessie?, Vorlícek's 1966 Czech sex farce/superhero movie/meditation on the basic function of fantasy. Madcap doesn't begin to describe it: cardboard speech bubbles reading "I Love You" presented as evidence in court, giving injections to cows to cure their dreams of gadflies and hence to produce more milk, swinging '60s soundtrack, absolute lack of causal plausibility, dour career scientists falling in love with a cut-rate Superman who chews through water pipes, and a single moment at the end where the entire psychological structure is just laid bare, making it clear that it was never about the particular content of the dreams, but the form of them, the work that helps forge those sadistic bonds to the content of everyday life in the illusion of the fantasmagoric.

Vines like decipherable maps pointing out that the content worth discovering - in this of Jessie, that the content of the dream is the impossible fantasy of choosing who and what to dream about - is just the contour of those connections themselves, breaking up all things, standing in for no one and, ultimately, meaning nothing much at all.

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