Afraid, Ashamed, Misunderstood


Mike Tyson, who, despite his insane and destructive public image, has always been an extremely honest, thoughtful and eloquent spokesperson for Devastationalism, was the subject of an article in last week’s Sunday Times. The piece concludes with Tyson talking about his sobriety and his ongoing struggle for some of that elusive peace of mind, with a rather stunning example of obiter dictum:

“I just say I’m not getting high today,” he said. “I’m not promising them I’m not getting high tomorrow. I’m trying to figure it out. I’m in an abysmal world trying to figure it out.”

On an eerily similar note (insane and destructive yet honest, thoughtful and eloquent), Philip K. Dick’s last completed novel (published shortly after his death from a stroke in 1982), The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, opens with this paragraph:

“Barefoot conducts his seminars on his houseboat in Sausalito. It costs a hundred dollars to find out why we are on this Earth. You also get a sandwich, but I wasn’t hungry that day. John Lennon had just been killed and I think I know why we are on this Earth; it’s to find out that what you love the most will be taken away from you, probably due to an error in high places, rather than by design.”

“Get me to the nearest Barnes & Noble!” right?? The story is told in the first person by Angel Archer, a narrator of such charm and charisma that Dick claimed in interviews that he literally began hemorrhaging and had to be rushed to the hospital upon completion of the novel, he was so distressed to be separated from her after the book’s long gestation and writing process.

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