Zen isn't a hippie chill pill; it's about seeing clearly what's there. This is the picture, Pollyanna. This is the whole thing. You live in the city; there are no more truffula trees. There are no more barbaloots in their barbaloot suits. There's a boot on your car, rent's due, the phone's been disconnected, and there's a junkie sitting on the curb, shooting up in his foot.
There are things you can count on in this world, and that same, punishing Unsane sound, with minor variations, will be there when you need release. Keats died of tuberculosis at 25, coughing up blood. If "beauty is truth, truth beauty," then either his death was a lie or all the death and blood and bodies wrapped in Visqueen have some kind of underlying beauty. There is an aesthetic in violence and fear that forms a more satisfying whole than roses and Grecian urns alone. What does an urn hold, after all, but ashes? *
With 400 Blows and Mouth of the Architect
Tues/5, 9 p.m., $10
Bottom of the Hill
1233 17th St., SF