Empty Days

Thursday, April 22, 2004



A homily for the living dead

I don't think I'll muster suicide this year - as well as a number of other larger-than-life projects.

On the other hand, I am having terrifically scary dreams - not the cheap kind of scary with gore and paranoid chases. No, it's rather the suffocating kind of scary where you might very well wake up in a coffin and the world is pretty much reduced to something like a coffin - from which you are scrambling to escape but, oh well, cannot.

When I think of a job in a highrise - the corporate dream perpetrated on all of the world these days - I am ready to puke. It's the vomit reflex. It is a sad and horrible fact of my entrenched existence that all the comforts of the common world provoke my aversion. People are ready to lay their life on the line for this kind of dream, for the glittering mall and the fancy oyster, while it chokes me to death. To say that I am not in synch would be an understatement.

Perhaps I am not in my right mind after all. When the whole world says one thing and your mind says something else, that's alienation - classical.

The failure of imagination to extricate oneself from an over-powering nightmare otherwise known as the picture of the world. I certainly did not paint that picture - yet at the same time it is all distinctly mine and there is nothing to suggest that it is shared by anyone else on the entire globe. Interesting. I'd like to know how the mind is supposed to overcome its own creation.

So far there are no strategies for exit. Nothing to support such strategies. No inner army, not even a small militia, to use the Iraq war imagery. Perhaps powers that be will finally have mercy on the goddam fullness of my days and puncture that bulb in a gracefully accidental move. Maybe I'll write to Santa Claus to request that little knock of destiny as the dearest holiday wish I ever held.

Sweet dreams.

Dostoevsky was quite a philosopher, I have to say. Reality does not exist outside of ideals. Kill your ideal and you kill reality - rendering it meaningless beyond toleration. I suppose that's what happened.

It does look very much as if the whole trick was to find that one word that would throw the door open - a sort of unimaginable, obscenely simple "Sesame", that you can't find for all your wit unless it is given to you in a highly improbable and frankly arbitrary communication.

Which is why I am regularly switching the channel off whenever I happen on one of those "my team won" hollywood movies that prize some sort of idiotic effort of will in an idiotically obvious direction - the never-ending story of cheery success in a cheery world where everything is laid out in advance - the aim and the path, the orbits and the heavenly bodies. Or a pair of foul-smelling sneakers. The sweat of victory. It does reek.

"Those who know how to solve the riddle of life" - that's in the opening paragraphs of Dostoevsky's House of The Dead (a tale of his imprisonment in Siberia). Quite a suggestion. It is perhaps telling that I have to go a 100 years back to hear some sense - as opposed to the useless chatter of the latter-day gurus. Look at this, what pile of meaningless crap:

In modern life, we each get to choose how to act and whom to be. This freedom can also be a curse, because we must make our choices based on approaches to doing and being that may be persuasive but are often in conflict. Our choices are centered on the stories we tell ourselves and the stories we are told; our challenge is to find good ways to choose among contradictory stories.

If this sounds familiar, that's because this is what passes for understanding these days. "In modern life". We "choose". Heh. Like hell we do, brothers. What a monumental, heedless, hopelessly ineffectual lie. Part of the corporate highrise and the glittering mall composite. Eat it - and be happy.

Bastards.

The truth is however - once you fall out of the orbit, and lose your stinky sneakers, you just drift into vast wide space and there is nothing there. Nothing to choose from. You don't even know who the fuck you are and where you are and least of all why. That's the time when you get to ask questions that have no answers. You can't really have a debate since there is nothing to debate about. It's all one big void and you melt into it and never get back.

Heh. Those who know how to solve the riddle of life. Those who never knew there was a riddle. And after a long hiatus I have to remember that nervy bastard Wittgenstein who was full aware that the whole trick consisted in finding a way to stop asking questions. The poor man - he never found a way. Because it doesn't depend on your will or your wit. You keep asking because there is no choice.

You can't stop until you are finally given a dime to stand on. You can't find it. It is given - or with-held.

So I guess I'll write to Santa Claus after all, as there doesn't seem to be any higher instances willing to listen.





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