CSH: The easiest way to get rid of the anxiety of separation and isolation from other people is to adopt a familiar persona. There is a repository of very well-known personae that you can try on—i.e., the fictional characters of television and film. Here you will find a well-known glossary of facial expressions, a secure standard of expressions and their universally agreed upon meanings.
Certain faces mean certain things. This is really miraculous. To understand the meaning that your physicality is (perhaps unintentionally) emanating, you have to look at what happens to the characters to which these gestures are tied. What happens, in the movie or show, to the people who make these faces? Because that is what’s going to be replicated in reality wen you wear that face in pubic.
Ian: But that’s just a replication, that’s not actually …
CSH: But all people are is the expression of story and meaning.
Ian: But you’re talking about actors, you’re not talking about real people.
CSH: No. People “on the street” are infected by memes. They have to be in order to …
Ian: You’re comparing that to actors having a reaction because they need to have a reaction [for their role], because they have to have a reaction.
CSH: No, it’s deeper than that.
Ian: Have you ever acted?
CSH: People will be compelled to feel sympathy for some person if they were compelled to feel sympathy for the associated character in the film.
Ian: What are you getting at?
CSH: Nothing. I’m just unpacking a mechanism.
Ian: As soon as I afford you some kind of credit you just blow it off. That’s really great.
(02:56) CSH: I just wanted to say that these masks that you get from these commonly known characters (which commonality provides the basis for their universality) …
Ian: That’s only if you watch TV or watch film.
CSH: I doesn’t matter if you do or not, because other people are going to start embodying these energy masks, and they’re going to spread around like sayings.
Ian: I can see that.
CSH: You’re in an ocean of …
Ian: … preordained emotion!
CSH: Of stable semantic artifice. There’s a constructed meme with a certain story around it, and it becomes stabilized by being circulated on the streets, then on TV, then on the streets (reinforced), etc.
Ian: That actually totally fucking makes sense.
CSH: So that’s the glossary. If you want to be understood, you going to have to wear those gestures. That’s all I wanted to say.
Ian: [Laughs.] Yeah, I fucking feel that.
CSH: But here’s what I wanted to say. When you do one of the gestures there’s a therapeutic side effect. Your energy leaves your individual, separate body and you feel like you’re now floating in other people’s awareness and listening. So now your radius has been actually extended into the listening of others consciousnesses.
CSH: So you get to float in multiplicity now. You get to be a colony.
CSH: The more (known, universal) masks you put on, the more you become a collection of multiple selves, and the more popular and lovable you become.
Ian: Not to reference a Michael Keaton film at all.
CSH: I hate that. I feel like I’m selling out when I wear cliches. I become this hated individual. Instead of like a Mr. Football Loving Jock or Gillette guy—or something like that, some recognizable guy.
Ian: I completely understand.
CSH: Woody Allen is also acceptable. He’s also a meme.
Ian: I completely understand what you are saying because of the relationship that I’m in. The girl that I’m with sees the world in a certain way, and she reacts to the world in a certain way, and doesn’t understand why I don’t react to the world in that way. And it’s specifically because of how we grew up and how and how we were trained to see the world.
CSH: Well, you have to take psychedelics before you can have that ability to see states as states and not as …
Ian: She hasn’t, and I have, and that’s the problem. And we’re about the go to Marfa. We’re going to take fucking acid in Marfa.
CSH: Really? Well, that’ll fix everything.
Ian: I’m going to propose to her at Big Bend.