ANNUNCIATION TO THE SPHINX
1995 digital image based on a vision of Yeats, by Chris Wayan
Yeats's poem THE SECOND COMING has always impressed me, but troubled me nearly as much.
The Second Coming
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
You see, I always thought he was twice wrong: predicting a brutal post-Christian era, and using the Sphinx to symbolize it. Seems to me the rough beast he should have worried about is religious ideology itself--and its cheesy spinoffs, Marxism and Capitalism.
You don't think they're kin? Come on! They all promise a future heaven, if you'll just be tough and make someone suffer now (preferably someone else). Isn't that their history? Islam's conversion by the sword, Christianity's witch-burnings and support of empire... and how are capitalism and communism any different? "Th-th-thaaaaat's progress!!" "In the name of the Revolution..."
But I dream of sphinxes. And they want a better texture for life here and now. They're unanimous who the "rough beasts" are: humans! Scary creatures... and haven't they always been? I welcome the beasts of the future. For the beast of the past--humanity--was no fun at all.
So I tranced out in front of the computer one evening and looked into that plane where Yeats's visions came from... but what I got was this.
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