the process is the artwork

Suicide is Painless

How uncanny it feels to watch “old” stuff with an “updated” looking-glass.

I switched on the television set this morning, which I rarely do, and swapped through the alienating channels of mediocrity. Each swap felt more depressing until my eyes and ears caught the familiar theme melody from the popular television-series M*A*S*H (1972-1983), and I succumbed to the curious sense of nostalgia. “While the show is traditionally viewed as a comedy, there were many episodes of a more serious tone. Airing on network primetime while the Vietnam War was still ongoing, the show was forced to walk the fine line of commenting on that war while at the same time not seeming to protest against it. For this reason, the show’s discourse, under the cover of comedy, often questioned, mocked and grappled with America’s role in the Cold War” (ref).

In the hindsight of false memories, the theme song “Suicide is Painless” would simultaneously set the tone for my march off to bed featuring myself in the role of an exiled past-bedtime protagonist. I would lay awake for as long as I could, eavesdropping on muted secrets of adult sitcom-reality and cursing my gatekeepers for keeping me locked up in the safe dungeons of middle-class hell. Oh, the irony.

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