Community Chest in a Heartbeat

BookTalk 4.2 – Apocalipstick

Invisible Man – Chapter 2-6
The Invisibles – Issues #9-16

Times have changed.  Invisible Man was written back in the 1950s and The Invisibles back in the late 1990s, early 2000s; and both stories could have been very different with the technology of today—namely, ubiquitous connectivity, through smart devices and social networks.  If the protagonist in Invisible Man had a cellphone, then he could have avoided or at least alleviated some of the trouble had at college.  If The Invisibles is about the unseen characters in society throughout time, times have changed in that even these individuals have a forum and a community online now.  A globalized panopticon—usually portrayed as dystopian in Literature—has been inverted by the users to unleash powerful computations.

Supercomputers are the most powerful minds.  Humans can structure minds and create networked minds as superstructures, all similarly organized down to the individual cellular structures of the brain.  Program focus and content and resulting actions are dependent variables, still the processing speed, volume, and power (especially in amplitude) offered by supercomputers make them a priority concern.

Community organizers should fortify the superstructures that support a fond supercomputer as soon as possible.  Youth conservation contains an inherent nostalgia that has qualitative value, whether formative or instructive.  Broad scientific studies would include longitudinal structures and diverse sample sets.

Invisible Man – Chapter four (page 99)

Here within this quiet greenness I possessed the only identity I had ever known, and I was losing it.  In this brief moment of passage I became aware of the connection between these lawns and buildings and my hopes and dreams.  I wanted to stop the car and talk with Mr. Norton, to beg his pardon for what he had seen; to plead and show him tears, unashamed tears like those of a child before his parent; to denounce all we’d seen and heard; to assure him that far from being like any of the  people we had seen, I hated them, that I believed in the principles of the Founder with all my heart and soul, and that I believed in his own goodness and kindness in extending the hand of his benevolence to helping us poor, ignorant people out of the mire and darkness.  I would do his bidding and teach others to rise up as he wished them to, teach them to be thrifty, decent, upright citizens, contributing to the welfare of all, shunning all but the straight and narrow path that he and the Founder had stretched before us.  If only he were not angry with me!  If only he would give me another chance!

Young American Men Are Choosing Video Games Over Work in Staggering Numbers https://t.co/pvsOSJTCuh

— F. B. Perdomo (@BeardofSteel) July 17, 2017

Dr. Bledsoe, “Old Bucket-head” (page 101)

He had been kind to me from the first…but more than that, he was the example of everything I hoped to be:  Influential with wealthy men all over the country; consulted in matters concerning the race; a leader of his people; the possessor of not one, but two Cadillacs, a good salary and a soft, good-looking and creamy-complexioned wife.  What was more, while black and bald and everything white folks poked fun at, he had achieved power and authority; had, while black and wrinkle-headed, made himself of more importance in the world than most Southern white men.  They could laugh at him but they couldn’t ignore him…”

PTSD among the post WWII veterans returning home was devastating and poorly acknowledged, and Ellison captures a few perspectives of the black experience on a level of literary prowess akin to Heller’s Catch-22.  The narrator or protagonist progressing the story overall, moves from seeking the right path, to repenting and asking for forgiveness and ultimately accepting a penance, through the course of chapter 2-6.  A spiritual experience that ends with a very real existential rationalization delivered by Dr. Bledsoe in chapter six:

“I know about it.  But you’ll get over it; it’s foolish and expensive and a lot of dead weight.  You let the white folks worry about pride and dignity—you learn where you are and get yourself power, influence, contacts with powerful and influential people—then stay in the dark and use it!”

“Her memories have condensed and crystallized into bric-a-brac around her.  Sometimes it seems to her that they have set her in them, like a fly in amber.”  The Invisibles Omnibus (365)

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