Empty Days

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Vae victis - Dresden vs Shoah

massacreWas WWII really all about wiping out the Jews? You need not be a Neo-nazi Jew-hater to ask the question. But the way things stand at the moment, that's precisely the kind of label you gonna get. Why? They'll tell you such a question cannot possibly be asked without a hidden agenda, an unconscious one even. They'll tell you history is good enough as it is and you should quit trying "revising" it. What is history after all? Always something of a fabrication, n'est-ce pas, habitually used for various ideological purposes, never really a repository of "objective" facts and figures. Which is true. But in that case, it sure needs continuous grappling with - it needs freedom of research, revising, rethinking. Yes, history is made by victors - as long as they think the ennemy still needs defeating... Looking around, it seems to me w've never really won the WWII. The Third Reich has become a vampire lore, perfectly unreal and yet perpetually alive - lurking in the darkness out there. Hitler as Dracula doesn't even seem ridiculous, it seems plausible. Too bad it does. We're in the mythland here, nothing is quite the way it looks..

I browsed through various places and point of views, and here's what I found. This is all very recent. Interestingly enough, the only relatively sane outlook comes from 1944... Surprised? Maybe not. My comments in brackets.

1. Quote from an article blasting revisionist David Irving :
"Denial of the Final Solution removed not only from Hitler but from the whole Nazi regime the Satanic label which had created a clear distinction between Nazi Germany and the Allies. So while it is true that until the end of 1980s Irving refrained from denying the Holocaust explicitly, the conceptual foundations were laid years before, originating in the desire to change the widely-accepted Satanic image of Nazi Germany."
[ Precisely. History is not a cartoon, with villains and good guys fighting over some poor dame in peril. Hitler is not Dracula possessed of superhuman power; is it so hard to look at reality and see it for what it is? ]

2. Quote from a review that caught my eye for its title, Springtime for Hitler :
"In my article cited by Barraclough, I argued that Hitler's mother cannot have escaped fatal poisoning from a given treatment applied to her by a Jewish doctor in her last weeks of life and that Hitler's experience of her agony was the unconscious source of his deadly hate for the Jews."
[ This is pure rubbish. Anti-semitism as it existed in Europe did not need infant trauma to set you raving. Hitler was a common enough schmock in that sense. Go down to Rwanda and see what bit them... ]

3. Quote from Amnesia about the Allied bombing, an article about W.Sebald books:
"And this is precisely Sebald's theme, the eerie fact that "the sense of unparalleled national humiliation felt by millions of Germans in the last years of the war had never really found verbal expression, and those directly affected by the experience neither shared it with each other nor passed it on to the next generation".
[ Not found verbal expression... this is not just about the Germans, this is the story of many things suppressed that can't find "verbal expression" and keep festering, and keep coming back at you to bite your ass... ]

4. Quote from a webpage by some German guy :
"My grandmother explicitly described me the bombardment of the city of Dresden, which she and my grandfather survived only with great luck. The fire-storms had been so strong and tugged the people with such a power into the huge infernos of fire in the center of the city that people tried to escape in rows of five or six persons. (...) I has always been surprised that I nearly had no feelings with her narrations. Somehow I had been more or less indifferent towards these stories. I listened to them from a rational distance. After all I had to protect myself from the feelings of my parents and grandparents."
[ Same as above - stuck in a cartoon, cut to frame, not allowed to feel, not allowed to think different... As a child I used to torture animals; it felt grand; it wasn't me.. ]

5. Quote from an Aryan movement website, super rabid :
"Under Two Flags - by Heinz Weichardt. Indispensible reading. A personal account about what really happened in NS Germany between Germans and Jews and, most importantly, the reasons. More Jew "woe is me" BS is put away in this one letter than you'll find in some entire books. A real eye-opener. "
[ What "really" happened? But of course, how can you know what really happened ever since reality has been set to cartoon... It turns out we actually need these mad dogs around to bite our ass, since we can't do it on our own. Are we ever gonna wake up? ]

6. Quote from George Orwell dismissing 1944 outcry about Allied raids:
"Heaven knows how many people our blitz on Germany and the occupied countries has killed and will kill, but you can be quite certain it will never come anywhere near the slaughter that has happened on the Russian front."
[ Voila. Who cares about the Russian front these days... it all happened in Auschwitz. No, it didn't! Yes, it did! No, it didn't! Yes, it did... blah. ]

7. Typical quote from a high-pitched politico blog :
"Krugman wrote, 'So what's with the anti-Semitism? Almost surely it's part of Mr. Mahathir's domestic balancing act.' Koch told us: 'There is a French expression, "To understand everything is to forgive everything." Using Krugman's logic, we should understand Hitler's needs and forgive him as well. He needed to blame Germany's defeat in World War I on the Jews. Krugman's defenses are lame and his column is lamebrained.'""
[ Uhu. So, we still have to make sure Bush (or whoever) is not Hitler. Just in case he were... Still at war with Hitler-Dracula, the changing shape of evil. I am not evil, I am not!... Yes, you are! Yes, you are!... blah. ]

P.S. Looked around for blogmen discussing this stuff. Here is a contented (and widely held) view that Germans were bombed in retribution for their Final Solution policy. This is a conclusion-in-retrospect, due to a much later Holocaust-centered perspective. At the time of the bombings the fate of the Jews was not yet first on the list of Allied concerns. Elsewhere, a German blog Cum grano salis militates against the new tendency in Germany to claim their share of "victimhood" in WWII. Spurred by a an indignant article in Washington Post - which then receives a hostile treatment from the Crooked Timber crowd.
Everywhere the debate seems to center on who's the victim and who's the butcher, collectively/historically speaking. I wonder if it's at all possible to escape this rhetoric. Probably not - it implies admitting that "collective victimhood" is not a permanent category, that yesterday victims can very well turn into tomorrow butchers etc.

Stuck in time

A spot in time and I am stuck in it. There are enough people who are stuck that way in some endless inner movement, circled and trapped. Perhaps this is just a way not to notice time passing. What is time? I don't know anymore. I used to think of it as linear, always moving somewhere - forward. Now I see it as a hole, a maelstream, and I am falling through it, or gyrating in it... unclear.
The "Cast Away" movie was pretty funny that way. A guy stuck on a desert island with a volleyball for sole companion. I tell you, it's true - under certain extreme conditions volleyballs *may* start talking and doing things to you. I particularly loved the scene when the guy loses his beloved volleyball in a storm - such a drama of separation, tears flowing, soul torn apart no less. You don't know who you are unless you've got a volleyball to remind you.

Memory is a bad habit. Total amnesia would be so much better. Forgetting you've been there before a million times over, cheerfully undertaking the same damn routine every blessed day. Oh, the sun is up - how very unusual! Memory takes that away from you.

Shoah - made in USA?

It seems I am part of some silent majority (or minority - it's so silent, it's hard to tell) quietly wondering what has happened to the representation of WWII history in North America and some chunks of Western Europe as well. Particularly regarding the ongoing stressing of Shoah as *the* central and even pivotal concern of the Nazi regime, from the early 30's to Total War. It really hit me when "Shindler's List" was shown on TV without commercials and with a moment of silence at the beginning... Wow. Since when has Shoah become a national american event?

As I am largely ignorant of important studies making waves in that department, I just scoured the internet for a few days and found a lot to ponder on. For instance, there's Norman Finkelstein's "Holocaust Industry" raising these very questions and there are rabid Jewish websites calling him a Holocaust Denier and an anti-semite :-0
Sure enough, I also found genuine Aryan movement sites who use everything they can for their own brand of propaganda, but I think we're past calling Nietzsche a Nazi philosopher and all that. At least I hope so.

To be continued.

A few days ago I complained I couldn't catch "Beetlejuice" on tv... well, I just did :-0 Must have been unconscious premonitions due to Halloween collective happenings.

Friday, October 31, 2003

Blog-'em-stiff lawsuit

Apparently some blogger just got sued-for-libel by another blogger. Lame move, oh my. Will have to delink the poorandstupid blah-blah guy if this proves real. I like rabid blah-blah on the whole, especially when it's preposterous, outrageous and downright over-the-top. Not when it gets self-important though. Is this the first such an occasion in the blogworld? Probably not. Will need to post some neo-nazi propaganda just to check exactly how this works in here :-0

[P.S. to the story... finally, they just had a drink together and kissed each other on both cheeks... doh! ]

High brow blues

Amazing. Finally got my TLS copy in today's mail - subscription cut to a third, couldn't resist. I thought I'd never get it, it was so cheap. The other option ("how to spend your money when you don't really have any") was buying better food over a longer period of time. The problem with better food is that it doesn't really make that much of a difference, not to me at least. I am an awful cook and, well, instead of eating it's mostly smoking with me, so... Whereas a TLS subscription is like, say, going to movies all week long.

I used to subscribe to The New Yorker too, when I had a job etc, but it's not an experience I remember fondly. Too shallow by my standards. Elitist socialite type of thing, and I am too far-removed from that particular crowd. What do I care about fall fashion or, say, how the rest of the world is so not New York... what a surprise. Well, I am being unfair-sarcastic here. They do sport some really good stuff from time to time but it definitely gets lost in all the blah-blah garbage.
I could say as much against TLS though but its faults are of another kind. For instance - it's kind of boring, stuck up, unimaginative, horrendously formal. I can't understand why they even print verse with this sort of attitude (they do - and it always feels like a translation from Virgil or something). But, for all that, it's one hell of an informative paper. Never shallow, or chatty, or happy mindless - and I like to get mad at the "too conservative" bits. Perhaps the fact that it's made in UK is another big factor with me. I need a gasp of Europe from time to time, not too much, just enough to feel I am not all lost out here. "Lost in America" is not just an expression or funny title for a film - it's damn real with some people.

So, all things considered, it's one positive event in my life and the fact that weather has improved starting today might be something of a good omen. Not for long, I am sure, but small things count too. One two three - cut!

[ Amended: ...like hell I was going to get it at the third of the price... just got my bill and it's *not* what I've signed up for... being generally muddled-headed I can't really be sure I didn't get it all wrong from the start... what puzzles me is how i could get it so wrong when I clearly remember gloating over that promotion forever and ever until i finally decided to go for it... i've been scammed, gentlemen... ]

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Berlin 1936 & a nice cup of tea

Turns out the most common and therefore nondescript title for your blog is... *Random Thoughts* of course. What this conceals in each particular case is a great and opaque mystery. I wonder who owns the original sites randomthoughts.blogspot.com or, say, myblog.blogspot.com... On the other hand, there are plainty of Johns and Janes out there, so *Random Thoughts* must be the John Smith of the place. A hidden genius or your regular Joe, or both. Baffling.


Happened on some blogman raving about Leni Riefenstahl (isn't everyone? even Letterman got down to it - as soon as the old woman passed away of course). Leni or not, it certainly brought back to memory a highly unauthorized visit I once made to the old Olympic Stadium in Berlin. I don't know what bit me. It was closed for renovations and I just knew it was my only chance to see the original "as is" - so I fooled the guard. In the end I was stuck in this huge fenced out space for a number of hours and had to leave with workers and engineers, under escort in fact.

What can one possibly do in an empty Nazi stadium? Well, climb the tribune and imitate Hitler ( O ja! Ich war da... ) or sit in the stands and imagine the pride of the nation(s) out there in the green arena. Or get lost in the repetitive circular corridors and very square staircases. Or walk a few miles from gate 7 to gate 21... I must admit the architecture does succeed in conveying grandeur - unreal, because it's actually a rather small structure by modern standards but you still feel like an ant in there, whether proud citizen of the Third Reich or a mindless 21st century tourister. For some reason I particularly enjoyed the humble weeds growing through the old stone blocks in the open stands in the back. Signs of time bygone but not all gone - as yet. I have no idea what it will all look like after the works are completed a few years from now, but judging from the slick glass-and-metal look of Berlin Reconstructed, there won't be much of that retro feel left. Not to worry - I won't be there for the opening ceremonies.


What killed Orwell? I think it was too much black tea. Maybe it will kill me too. In the meantime, I have to say that his extremely minute and slightly obsessive essay on the art of tea-brewing is still the only real thing out there, especially if you can't really afford very expensive and fragrant brands and have to do with hard twigs or tasteless dust or both. Of course, all this is not for the eyes of the tea-bags people - unless they really care to ruin their stomachs for a change. Here is an excerpt:

..."Sixthly, one should take the teapot to the kettle and not the other way about. The water should be actually boiling at the moment of impact, which means that one should keep it on the flame while one pours. Some people add that one should only use water that has been freshly brought to the boil, but I have never noticed that it makes any difference. Seventhly, after making the tea, one should stir it, or better, give the pot a good shake, afterwards allowing the leaves to settle. Eighthly, one should drink out of a good breakfast cup — that is, the cylindrical type of cup, not the flat, shallow type. The breakfast cup holds more, and with the other kind one's tea is always half cold before one has well started on it." [ more.. ]

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Holy smokes

There is of course no point in whining about what one's life has come to and such. But not to whine would mean accepting things at their current best - and I am out smokes just now.

Some people of my persuasion descend into hopeless addiction - drugs, drink, gaming. I am not quite there yet and I do not believe I ever will be [*]. Addiction is just another means of extending a failed life far into the darkmost absurdity. I am prone to addiction because I am prone to failure. It has been my experience that failure requires constant justification. This is perhaps the most wantonly demanding mode of existence - to always be on the lookout for reasons to endure the obviously doomed. Clearly, addiction is one mighty effective way to avoid that grueling inner court. The accused has nothing to say, has lost interest in the proceedings, please continue while I sleep. Basically, this is a substitute for regular madness. Faking Hamlet is a pale idea, playing Ophelia is not exactly a choice. What remains? Oh yes, the ghost.

All this is very far from any sort of philosophy of life. Stating a state of mind and nothing else. On the other hand, this is perhaps what philosophy really comes down to - derived verities set in stone. Pessimistic, optimistic, lucid, exultant, deluded, reasoned... And zeitgeist too. One is always stuck in one's own times and places. The great river of things etc. I too shall pass - what a relief.


Sure, there are other ways, always are. Lord is my shepherd, carpe diem, the great dao and more. Everything might make sense at some point and just as easily fall to pieces. History is so rich in bits of wisdom it's almost too much. "The more I know the less I understand". Meaning is a form of ignorance predicated on belief. A dismal rock in the ocean - something to cling to. Lose your grip and everything melts into utter chaos. Stating my state I shall built a raft upon the bottomless sea. Not truth, a raft. Or go down. What greater Titanics there are to board?

[ Amended: * I forgot cowardice... ]

Monday, October 27, 2003

Illusionary disillusions

I don't expect I am ever going to make sense but I must try.
What to do when faced with bigotry? 1. Flee the scene. 2. Get mad. 3. See your own crap for what it is. 4. Act on your current convictions regardless. 5. Be kind. 6. Doubt everything. 7. Mock the bastards 8. Shut up and die.

David Letterman is waging a war against Dr.Phil of the Oprah lore. When I first caught a glimpse of Dr.Phil I thought I was dreaming - a flying pig giving advice to the lost and the tearful? Shortly after Letterman began his nightly crusade against the pig. He noticed the great tearful country was being fooled and he took up arms. Letterman is of course a wise coward - being on national network will do this to you. You can't take it to Bush so you take it to Phil. Who wants my crap? Here, you get it.

I wish there were someone somewhere visible who could take it to Letterman. Or to me. Or to you. Where is it? Where is the flying crap? I wish I could believe in God like I used to. I wish I were naive and happy. I wish I did not presume so much. I wish I were called to account for my lies and my good. I wish I were elected to the helm of whatever country I live in and see for myself that I can't do it. Stupidity that I despise and secretly live by, where are you?

Only once did it come close enough. Summer 1995, the Balkan war. Fall of Srebrenica and the slaughter of about 7,000 men and boys stuck there with women and kids under UN protection. It only took 4-5 days. The whole drama - siege, fall, slaughter. The media were positively screaming their lungs out: send the fucking jets! Nops, NATO bureaucracy, too much paperwork to process. Sorry.
Millions have marched against war-in-Iraq, had ample time to march, and still it wasn't enough. So I guess back in '95 there wasn't much anybody could do. A lone bosniac put up a makeshift stand near the subway station - "save Srebrenica", sign here. I walked by every day and I didn't sign. Useless guilt. I think this event was particularly traumatizing. When Rwanda came about I didn't give a fuck - why cry over something I can't change in any case? Let it happen. Let it be. Fuck it forever, including the twin towers. Too bad it's so bad.

Infos, in case you haven't heard. During the blitzkrieg on Afghanistan, local allies from the North took prisoner about 2,000 Talibans. Rounded them up in an empty place, then were ordered to send them to a prison manned by locals and americans special forces. How? In large freight containers. Drilled holes for air. Packed them tight. After a day riding through the desert half of the occupants died from suffocation. The loads arrived and were turned away. Orders - shoot them all. No, american special forces guys did not do it. They just turned a blind eye. And so will I, and so will I.

It's not really about politics, or americans or whatever. It's about me in the world, and the world in me. Alas.

Right and Righteous

Indeed... Still thinking of idealists vs terrorists vs militants vs war vs torture. Well, maybe instead of going nuts over this I should just go and consult George Orwell - who's been through all of the above in thought and deed alike.

My country right and wrong for instance. Orwell started out as a policeman in Burma - a British colony back then. So. Good white people against barefoot natives. Back in Europe he went socialist and had a spell as a leftist and a pacifist. Later still he fought for the reds in the Spanish civil war. That experience "unreded" him for good and when the WWII broke out he was already securely back to the Kipling-inspired self of his youth - a patriot.
The one big lesson this man's life teaches is that the high ideals of the mind must be tested against the ugly chaos of reality - tested and corrected accordingly. Orwell went full circle from utter idealism to utter realism. He blacklisted people he personally knew because he suspected their activities could hurt his country. Was he paranoid? Was he obsessed? Probably not. Traumatized perhaps. When you've fought a civil war you know that individual convictions lead to much bloodshed. That it's not all just talk. That you have to choose sides and can't always be objective. That those who refuse to choose - namely, pacifists ("peace, not war!") - cannot improve reality because they ignore it, deny it, know it not.

Political and moral idealism will make a terminal hypocrite of anyone, right or left regardless. Sadly, we are all liable to our very own *great untruth*. Self-righteousness of the good-minded be damned. I am thinking of The Guardian, an appallingly bigoted place to get your news from. I used to subscribe to it, I did, I confess, where's my rosary...

[Interesting comment and my response to it: ]

I see hypocrisy as not the failure to live up to an ideal but pretending to have a virtue one doesn't have. I think if someone preaches a virtue they don't have (but would like to), they may be a pain-in-the-ass but not a hypocrite.

Liked this quote from one of Waugh's novels:

Guy's prayers were directed to, rather than for, his father [at the latter's funeral Mass]. For many years now the direction in the Garden of the Soul, "Put yourself in the presence of God," had for Guy come to mean a mere act of respect, like the signing of the Visitors' Book at an Embassy or Government House. He reported for duty, saying to God, "I don't ask anything from you. I am here if you want me. I don't suppose I can be of any use, but if there is anything I can do, let me know," and left it at that.

"I don't ask anything from you": that was the deadly core of his apathy, his father had tried to tell him, was now telling him. . . . Enthusiasm and activity were not enough. God required more than that. He had commanded all men to ask.


I'd say there are two ways to look at hypocrisy - from inside and from outside. The latter is "pretending". The former.. is when you "reach for the ideal" and think you're on the path of righteousness - which is bigotry. In both cases there's very little to claim and much to invent. Perhaps it is an inherent vice of every idealism, political especially.

*Preaching* is the key word. I've read the "Sword of Honor" with immense relish for here we have the story of a man struggling with precisely that sort of ambiguity - how not to fail and fall without constantly asserting what one has/knows not. Interestingly enough, Guy's father as described by Waugh stands on something else than faith - his real religion is family history, the great circle of humanity. He is a blissfully historical man, while Guy has essentially lost touch with human community - an exile from the kingdom... of God? I think Waugh presents a rather lucid understanding of what catholicism and faith really come down to. That one must participate in the great church of humanity outside of which there is nothing but desert, exile, fruitless waiting.
Thanks for the article. The above is my understanding, probably biased. Let's see what I've missed...

No answer questions

Many questions that seem obvious to the moral mind consistently remain unanswerable - if by "unanswerable" I mean "unresolved in actual life".

In a documentary on french tv tonight, Alan M. Dershowitz palavered on the problem of the use of torture by state officials (secret service, army, police) "for reasons of national security". A retired french general was interviewed who used torture against Algerian *terrorists* in the 50's war (La guerre d'Alger). An Argentinean political militant was also questioned who survived vicious treatment and never confessed. I myself knew a Russian man who's been through that in the good old Soviet days and didn't give in either, notwithstanding a rather flimsy complexion.

So. Torture is a bad thing. War is a bad thing. Murder and violence are really very bad. And yet. The french general never regretted mauling his prisoners because it was war and his own kin were getting killed. The Argentinean and the Russian never doubted their cause and were willing to suffer in their body for it. The CIA men who rough up *terrorists* all over the Middle East are dead sure they're doing the right thing.
Dershowitz wants these dilemmas to be discussed and weighed in public, in full light, so that no ugly action "for the good of the nation" goes unapproved. But I must wonder - would that make sense? Does it make sense to expect a war waged with modern weapons to be "clean" and then not show the corpses on tv because it might shock "some viewers"? Does it make sense to license ugliness, knowing that ugliness cannot be made into anything else than what it already is - that is, ugliness!

Is torture necessary? Is ugliness improvable? Should we expect the second coming of Christ? Is not violence at the basis of all statehood? "Somebody has to do the dirty work."

Perhaps Dershowitz is asking for a compromise. The "facing reality" type of thing, compromising on self-righteousness of the good-minded. In Holland they've legalized soft drugs and prostitution. In Amerika they wish to legalize a bit of torture by the CIA & the Homeland Security Dept - because it's there.
Take it or leave it. And you can't just slam the door and say it shouldn't be happening. Because it is and there is a reason. Too many wars in too many places. Move to the North Pole. It's clean and white there. Condemn torture. Then use it. Admit you're not a saint. Be true to your beastly nature. REPENT .

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Sunday tv guide review

Was forced to watch Edward Scissorhands on tv yesterday. This film craps me out - too much sugar, despite some cute bits of suburban satire. My tastes in movies, in food and in pretty much everything have declined notoriously over the years. I've become the great democrat of craptown, movieland. I still have some cable (so called basic subscription - 5 different channels showing the same thing at primetime, a few add-ons for "variety", and two weather channels) but it's mostly because otherwise i'd have 2 1/2 channels (depending on how my antenna likes the weather) and I can't afford going out, so I'm stuck home, so if I still hope to survive a little longer I do need something to distract myself from my murderous self. Internet is also a good alternative but I am not sure how long i'll be able to get full aol access for free.
But back to Edward. For all I know, this character must be something of a teenage idol - the anime-loving gothic-bound perpetually suicidal sort. A romantic creature who wears leather and cuts himself. Tom of Finland would be appalled - leather was not intended for kids. I guess the satirical bent of this whole black-vs-pastel enterprise actually extends to the evil Mason and the whole punk scene. And maybe something else that I just don't know about. In conclusion I raise my glass to Alan Arkin who I think is about the sole human character in the movie. Let us all drink lemonade. Cheers.

Then of course there was Beetlejuice (also with Winona Ryder, for some reason), which I think is a pretty neat little film. Too bad I can't seem to catch it on tv (maybe because it's not there). Of course I can always pop in a tape of Natural Born Killers - a very different genre but with the same sort of zest. I don't know why I see a connection here. Jack Nicholson crazy via Five Easy Pieces? Could be.
But, talking of the viciously satirical, I must mention The Butcher Boy by Niel Jordan which I found pretty mad when i first saw it and madder still when I saw it later. This one is a bit heavier and deepier than the above, come to think of it... *strident* would be the word. Descent into madness in case we're not sure how it happens.

But on the whole I watch whatever films are on and usually it's all kind of Hollywood junk and there is rarely a glimpse of something worthwhile. But what am I to do! I deeply loath most sitcoms because "life at the office" portrayed as *life* is a gross aberration and things like Friends are just too nauseating. I liked a few episodes of The Sopranos but... sorry, too much meatballs for me. Even Seinfield tires me out. In the end, Third Rock from the Sun was pretty much the only series I found agreable.
What else is there to go by? Documentaries, yes. Local news - for unthinkable stuff that goes on. Absurd topical shows about fashion, antiques, wheat, sports... all those things that seem familiar and yet are recondite and mysterious, if you look at them from afar. This said, I actually love sports, even if I can't understand what all the hype's about.
So in the end I do watch quite a lot of tv. Once upon a time it was mostly books but I got tired of fine literature, of fine everything, and now I got my deserve - a pile of crap to scour through, daily and always.

In terms of design, this site somehow resembles my flat - bareness. Will have to stick to it. Gets on my nerves but I've survived in this punishing environment long enough, why would a blog be different?

The land of many and the few

I've become a monster. One of those people you see sometimes, always alone, always walking in the same direction with an air of aimlessness, shut to the world.

There are a few such outcasts in my neighbourhood, including myself of course. Most are women, one was a man. He lived in the appartment-bloc just across the street. One beautiful summer day he chopped his 10-year old daughter with an axe. Apparently he was schizophrenic. Jobless, divorced, an immigrant gone crazy in a strange land. Very much like myself.

The next of kin to this type are the homeless, the benignly derranged, lone drug-addicts and such. They usually live in cheap dens in the basement. The janitor dispises them, the neighbours from upstairs ignore them. A few end in suicide, others never end. They keep going 'n going, like the horrible Duracell rabbit from the commercial. Utter madness does not require meaning.

I suspect all this is simply an urban mutation of "the village idiot" type. An ageless mostruosity gone besirk in the land of the many. In a perfect society all this unsightliness would be rounded up and sent away to a remote nut-farm far from the happy crowds. The world as we know it is unjust and ugly. The dream of a wholesome society naturally entails concentration camps.

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