"My dear sir! In this wireless age any owl rooster can peck up bostoons. But whoewaxed he so anquished?" - Finnegans Wake, p. 489-490Tonight I've been digesting some information about the explosive events that occurred in Boston, Mass recently.
I've also been flipping through the Wake in the process of composing a post for my other blog. While in the midst, page 98 suddenly popped off an explosion (some doodles I'd made in the margins catching my eye) and drew my attention. So I stopped there and read this:
"Big went the bang:
then wildewide was quiet:
a report: silence: last Fama put it under ether.
The noase or the loal had dreven him blem, blem, stun blem.
Sparks flew. He had fled again (open shunshema!) this country of exile, sloughed off, sidleshomed via the subterranean shored with bedboards, stowed away and ankered in a dutch bottom tank, the Arsa, hod S.S. Finlandia, and was even now occupying, under an islamitic newhame in his seventh generation, a physical body Cornelius Magrath's (badoldkarakter, commonorrong canbung) in Asia Major, where as Turk of the theater (first house all flatty: the king, eleven sharps) he had bepiastered the buikdanseuses from the opulence of his omni box while as arab at the streetdoor he bepestered the bumbashaws for the alms of a para's pence. Wires hummed. Peacefully general astonishment assisted by regrettitude had put a term till his existence: he saw the family saggarth, resigned, put off his remainders, was recalled and scrapheaped by the Maker. Chirpings crossed. An infamous private ailment (vulgovarioveneral) had claimed endright, closed his vicious circle, snap. Jams jarred. He had walked towards the middle of an ornamental lilypond ...
Mush spread. On Umbrella Street where he did drinks from a pumps a kind of workman, Mr Whitlock, gave him a piece of wood. What words of power were made fas between them, ekenames and auchnomes, acnomina ecnumina? That, O that, did Hansard tell us, would gar ganz Dub's ear wag in every pub of all the citta! Batty believes a baton while Hogan hears a hod yet Heer prefers a punsil shapner and Cope and Bull go cup and ball. And the Cassidy Craddock rome and reme round e'er a wiege ne'er a waage is still immer and immor awagering over it, a cradle with a care in it or a casket with a kick behind. Toties testies quoties questies. The war is in words and the wood is the world. Maply me, willowy we, hickory he and yew yourselves. Howforhim chirrupeth evereach-"
- Finnegans Wake, pg. 98
It's all there. The bombs, explosions, "islamitic" "arab at the streetdoor", it even mentions the name of a boat "S.S. Finlandia" which the character was "occupying" just like the second suspect was found hiding inside a boat in someone's backyard.
"Turk of the theater" is the accused suspect from Chechnya ("Asia Major"), a "badoldkarakter" who is sought in an action movie chase in the theater of media. (It's worth mentioning that this page comes from a chapter all about the main character HCE committing a blurry, nebulous, unproven, shadowy transgression and then being chased like foxes after a rabbit, getting caught and devoured to pieces. It's also worth mentioning that earlier in the same chapter we find "exploded from a reinvented T.N.T. bombingpost up ahoy" p. 77.)
Perhaps most importantly, the press, the media, the newswires, the "war is in the words" is a repeated motif all throughout the entire page here. The key thing I've been so struck by and have pondered so much with this Boston event's information is how conflicting the news reports are. The mainstream corporate media is spouting questionable information straight from the police and government authorities ("Mush spread") while pretty much every independent news source has its "Wires hummed" and "Jams jarred" with provocative and treacherous news items such as that the FBI has been in contact with the suspects for many years, the family of the suspects are all loudly stating their two young relatives were framed and mentored by the FBI, that the New York Times and other news sources reported last year that the FBI has been facilitating domestic terrorist plots.
"Chirpings crossed" from the lips of the suspects' distressed aunt the other day as she declared with 100% certainty that the mysterious man who appeared on the news getting stripped naked and arrested by authorities in Boston recently was in fact her older nephew, the same man who the authorities claimed was already killed in a shootout, "recalled and scrapheaped by the Maker", his corpse subsequently driven over by his own brother as he fled the police, leaving him "a casket with a kick behind". Surely, her "quoties" now raise a lot of "questies."
Maybe Finnegans Wake could be a pretty reliable guide to navigate this whole mess that left "bloodstaned breeks in...boaston" (p. 11). After all, Boston appears all throughout the Wake. The Wake actually describes itself as a letter, a "nightletter" written on "a goodish-sized sheet of letterpaper originating by transhipt from Boston (Mass.)" as it says on page 111.
The Wake is therefore sending us a letter about this whole "boastonmess" (p. 364), straight "from Boston transcripped" (p. 617), and I think it's telling us to wake the fuck up.