Sunday, December 5, 2010

I Just Don't Want To Feel Like I'm Burning

Burning love.

First, it's not about setting fire to love. Which, since it's me, you could reasonably expect. Burning Love is a band. Burning love is a lyric, with "a hunk of" before it. Burning love is something I've never felt. But I've felt on fire and never had the words for it. It took Matt Fraction (writer of the Immortal Iron Fist, the Invincible Iron Man) to admit that he was an alcoholic and went into rehab before the phrase made any sense. Mr. Fraction, in the back of Casanova, has run interviews and intruiging backmatter and in number four, I think, he had an interview with Mike Doughty (Soul Coughing singer, now independent artist) where Mr. Fraction said Mr. Doughty was his sponsor through Alcoholics Anonymous.

There's three times Mr. Fraction uses the words fire or burning, but there's the one that's relevant: I went into recovery because I didn't want to feel like I was on fire all the time. When I first read that, I knew it was important, even without truly understanding the phrase. It was last night, going out kids for drinking, walking in Piazza Navona, that I finally understood what burning was.

Burning love is a love so powerful, so immediate, so visceral that it's all-consuming and globally encompassing in its personal scope. And immediately, I knew why Chris Colohan (Left For Dead/Cursed/the Swarm vocalist) named his new project Burning Love. It's the manifestation of an obsession, consumptive desire. It has little to do with love and lot more to do with burning.

As for 2666, I think I understand just how committed Bolano is to breaking the reader's face in the murder and rape in Juarez. (Read this article, then try not to cry. Then, watch this report and wait for the last thing the reporter says. In the six hours we spent there, there were seven murders.) I thought I was finally closing in on the end of the chapter and I found out I had another 50 pages left to go. I just want to throw the book to the floor and never look at it again, but it's important to see this fucker through.

There's sly little moment in the book, where there's a character with an announcement to make, in front of a bunch of exasperated journalists who are all thinking the same thing: Stop giving us fucking preamble and give us the name of the killer/rapist. Given that it's been 250 pages of brutal rape and it's not over yet, it's not hard to see this as Bolano's way of saying to the reader, I know how you feel.

Which means: He knows it and he wants to make certain we are as horrified and exhausted by the killings and murder that have become routine in the city and its real life equivalent. No, you don't get to get out because you're tired of it, I see the text saying. I'm not sure if that's brave, stupid or hardheaded. But I can tell: Bolano is enraged and consumed by the senseless and unending murder of the women, violated and humiliated before their death.

He burns about it and writes it the same way. It will hurt you, if you let it. One of the fiercer female characters (who is a forward thinking Mexican congresswoman) is hopelessly homophobic, and hopes, painfully, that her only son will never come back to Mexico, as it's no good for him.

For a person that tries to manage the country: That's just cold.

There's little to nothing to do with the post except that the song is morose. It's a song off the new Kanye West disc. I mean, Kanye's a guy that pretty often talks about girls like they're a renewable resource, but even he comments here, with more than a bit of sorrow: american apparel girl in just tights/ she told the director she just wants to get into school/ the director said/ take them glasses off/and get in the pool.

Oh and the Raekwon verse at the end is a wizened, resourceful look back over the hinted-at guitar solo, keys and thunder in the distance drums.

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