Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I recently played ping pong with my agile aging father.  He is not one for passing me "20's" and getting parking tickets, but I dreamed last night that I was playing ping pong with a man named Mohammed and before the game he kept passing me "20s," while pulling parking tickets off his car.  

I don't know how yesterday's pope-resignation headlines affect me, but somehow in my recent real and imagined excursions through manhood I arrived at grandiose thoughts resonating from La Ricotta, a short movie by Pier Paolo Pasolini whose cruelly comic atmosphere sits like a cloud over the purity of communism.

Communism as a reaction to tyranny prolongs tyranny.  (I say this because my condition is a product of my own reflexive anger.)   Maybe Emma Goldman could purely express communist principles (I don't know), but something muddies the rebel causes for both Pier Paolo Pasolini and Marc Blitzstein.

Consider the voice of the great composer Marc Blitzstein; his political preaching to the choir seems sadistic because he advocated a class condition distant from his own.  While condemning people of privilege, Pasolini and Blitzstein each welcomed individuals from all walks of life.

La Ricotta displays the comic death of a passion-play movie extra.  He dies on the cross.  The callousness and cruelty of his supper and crucifixion call to mind a father/son relationship between God and the man on the cross.  Pasolini, having suffered from the childhood domain of a stringent father, became that father.  In a more conjectural way I suggest that Pasolini rebelled against his nasty/sadistic father.  He re-enacts the ritual against his own sons, as they appear in his movies, his other 1962 son appearing in Mama Roma.   The script calls for a crucifixion of  Mamma Roma's boy, too.  Callous authority repeatedly, ritualistically kills its rebel sons.

Ever resonating from the"facts" of Pasolini's passing is that his own life ended in violence.  Political conspiracies aside, Mr. Blitzstein met with a similar end while also embracing the world by welcoming its strangers.  I then conjecture that both artists were interactive in orchestrating the chaotic scene of their own demise.

I put my general realization in the form of a lyric I added to a Bob Dylan song, "God stopped Abraham but no one stopped God from killing his son on highway sixty-one."

Whether or not it is done to save the world, my ridiculous point is that there is a pattern of fathers killing sons.  As sons rebelling against our fathers we prolong the pattern.  

In general, Pasolini's poetic audio visual legacy is a treasure.  Existing as her own force of nature within his world (and around the same time in the world of Luchino Visconti) is Anna Magnani.

To find signs of Pasolini's personal salvation look to the dance lesson in another room, in the last minutes of his last movie, Salo.  Excluded from the De Sade family assembly, these sons are unaffected, independent and free.