The exterminating angels of confinement

Now that we’ve had our wings clipped and our bodies chained to the floors of our houses like some books in medieval libraries, we should pray the exterminating angels of confinement.

It all becomes clear. Our guardian angels are not there to guard us against evil, but to guard us against breaking our confinement. They guard us against our own will. They block our escape routes and insulate us from the world. They exterminate all our attempt to leave our cloisters, where the government abbots have confined us willy nilly. We have become the oblates and novices of our nations’ priories, and there’s an angel mounting the guard on every curtain wall.

The exterminating angels of confinement have their own hierarchies. The higher posts go to those winged cherubs who bar the entrance to every garden of enjoyment. Or the exit from the world of turmoil and despair. It’s a question of perspective.

The lower posts, on the other hand, are entrusted to second-rate angels posted outside every room, blocking our exit, like in Buñuel’s film The Exterminating Angel. The dinner party simply can’t leave the room when they want to. There’s something stopping them at the threshold, and they don’t know there’s an exterminating angel blocking their way.

Just like in the film, the discreet charm of our daily bourgeois existence, careless but high-minded, entraps us in our ironic living rooms, the death camps of our routinised, mindless culture.




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