Empty Days

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Family competition.

My father got to me the other day - having revealed that he nearly died-again only two years ago (massive pill-overdose). I had no idea.

Fine. Now I know that there is a huge stock of deadly pills at my parents' place and I can snatch some whenever I want. Beats hunting for cyanide.

My first thought was: "why can't you ever do it right, old man?"


I am completely absorbed in the russian blogosphere at the moment and stopped thinking in english altogether. Being bi-cultural is a form of schizophrenia or something resembling multiple-personality disorder. Not treatable.

I'll be back... sometime.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Winter as the Tottenkopf.

Lord, I used to love snow and starry nights at -40C. Now the approach of short dark days and long long darkness and nowhere to go - the very thought gets me paranoid. I think I really had too much of a hard time with it in the last couple of years, and I don't see how this winter will be any different - can only get worse, seeing how it goes.

I heard somewhere (or saw in some film) that Hitler was a homeless bum for a few years after the war. Having accumulated enormous reserves of frustration and loathing, he finally decided to become a monster and turn the whole dreaded world upside down - somehow it doesn't seem all that strange.

I will have to find a way out at some point - whatever it will be - as I have clearly reached a critical stage of self-exclusion and must now find a "positive" active form for all this accumulated nonsense.


I am still puzzled as to why I was never able to continue my biking-trips after the first one. Seen from afar there doesn't seem to be any clear reason - except for all the vehement loathing towards my surroundings (and my life as such) that I experienced upon return. This vast vision of hopelessness made nonsensical any further attempts to escape that life. It's very hard to put into words, all this - it's something barely conscious. As a matter of fact it does seem sometimes as if the unconscious vision were the one that leads and guides me into some entangled darkness of which I know nothing except that it bears upon me much more than any one of my rational takes on life.

In other words I am literally *condemned* to lie to myself - for not knowing what it is that really directs me.

Sunday, October 24, 2004


My latest forrays into the russian and french worlds have demonstrated with renewed evidence that - whichever way you turn in Europe these days - you are bound to find the national question at the forefront of all the latest intellectual movements. The mood is decidedly reactionary - towards everything currently known as "democratic" or "liberal" or even "universal". People want an identity and they want it as tight and exclusive as possible. They also want a moral law and order that would translate into a tightening of the social law and order. France is a rich western country - Russia is an empoverished eastern block country. Nevertheless, the mood is clearly similar. I hesitate to call it conservative, it is far more radical than that.

In my uninformed view it should likely be considered as a reaction to the damnable phenomenon of "globalisation" - mechanically perpetrated by "capitalist democracies" - with the socio-political repercussions of it on each given nation/country. Except that in this case the worry is not about external exploitation in the leftist understanding of it, but about how this translates inside those very same "democracies" (even Russia and China are considered to be "capitalist democracies" from the standpoint of global-economy).

It also seems to me that these movements and ideas are fundamentally radical-anarchist in nature, even though they are called "conservative" here and there. The main point is not to restore some long proven order, but rather rethink history and rethink values altogether. Appeals are made to everything that is not part of the currently prevailing ideologies - to Satanism, to Third Reich, to racism, to all outlawed expressions of nationalism, to all previous attempts at revising history... in short and in no small measure - *to the worst in all of us* (one russian called his efforts: Towards a phenomenology of hatred).


NB. At some point in this blog I mused about what would happen to those youths that got inspired by marginal, negative subcultures such as goth etc - once they grow up. Well, I think the above is the incarnate answer to this question: that's what happened. (not that I blame "goth" - it's rather that i wondered where/how would all this early negation find mature social expression).


To be continued - and re-thought.

Remote local worlds.

Whenever I get lost in russian-internet I become mute and unable to react or even think in this my english blog. Pretty much the same happens when I am absorbed in French-world. Translating ideas is not really a matter of language - the context is fatally missing and nothing can be "translated" - it rather needs incorporating and digesting-over, connecting, to be applied in a fully foreign environment. Somehow such a laborious process doesn't seem worth the effort - I effectively "emigrate", no matter how abstractly and temporarily, whenever I am sucked into these other worlds.

In fact I learned english firstly and most importantly to be able to escape into a much greater and amorphous space - escape the prison of the local, with its tightly knit connections where both ideas and people are all interwoven and thoroughly known to each other. Looking from outside one might imagine otherwise, but on the inside it always feels like a very small world. And it is. As to my english blog, I am glad I am neither american nor anglosaxon in any way - I can keep my unwitting illusion of things being much vaster and less constricting than they appear to native speakers. Here I can think undisturbed by the manners of thinking to which I find myself inextricably bound whenever I try to utter a word inside those worlds/languages that are actually organic to me - I can't help knowing them inside-out - and it is binding.

The binding effect consists in having to "respond" to everything that is open to me by the mere fact of my being part of such and such world. Curiously enough, I can't really consider myself part of the north-american world - even though I physically live here and am absorbing local informations and influences. But I don't have any true connection to the human world here - I don't quite know what's happening under the surface of the spoken and shown. I am a cultural outsider - I don't understand, I don't recognize the underlinings, and I don't belong because I don't have an insider's grasp on things.

This is actually rather easy to explain: I never belonged to any community or circle of people where I could learn/share intimately all those unspoken things and signs and myths and ideas and habits - my closest human contact to the people here has been at work, and do I need to explain that this is only a very superficial kind of contact? Ergo - I feel especially unburdened in english because very little is open to me and my range of binding response is quite limited - it leaves me a lot of space for non-responsive, unbound thinking. I can actually choose what terms to think in - because I don't know who the fuck I am talking to here ("responding").

The very obvious price - or condition - of this lack of constriction is solitude.


Being an insider/outsider here and there, switching from one world to another, I get particularly ennoyed with certain behaviors that tend to occur at the border-crossing.

One such phenomenon is the "immigrant bullshit". People who move to a foreign world and then get stuck inside their immigrant community - and presume to judge of the unknown world around them from the stand-point of their "own". Their effective and largely self-imposed isolation may last for years - yet they naively think that the longer they stay, the more and better they learn. This is a mistake. They function as the forepost of the world they came from and remain entirely bound to it (having eyes in the back of their heads and none in front) - yet presume to inform those who stayed behind of what they think they understand about the "locals" (whom they call foreigners, forgetting that it is they themselves who should rightfully bear that appellation).

The amount of outright bullshit and wrong-headed assumptions these people generate in their own minds and those of their remote countrymen is properly astounding. Yet they speak with authority and are deemed trustworthy - for after all they live "there".

Little do they know that their chosen mode of existence closely ressembles that of Robinson Crusoe - the poor disconnected mariner who persisted in reading the Bible and observing his british rituals in the very midst of a coconut grove with no one to watch him except "God and the British Empire" (and a few monkeys). They behold themselves as a community of self-propelled "exiles" on a desert island full of incomprehensible foreigners tentatively called Friday with whom only limited and disdainful communication is possible. No one is more "racist" and close-minded than a thriving member of an immigrant community - for he thrives on being locally/remotely-minded.

All this is perhaps only human and thus naturally excusable, but it is the snobbery mixed with ignorance that is really ennoying to me (especially since I used to share some of those attitudes once upon a time). Oh yes - I do understand that knowing and learning for real would require a great degree of assimilation into a new world - and thus losing a good portion of self-identification with the world one comes from - but if one is entirely unwilling to assimilate and lose etc etc, then at least have the decency to cut down on all that snobbery, not to mention the presumption of all-knowingness... However this my wish is vain: the whole point of being blind and grossly wrong is that it's frankly more comfortable that way. All that snobbery is a benefit and a bonus of the said close-minded condition.


NB. Much of this description can be rightfully applied to the oldest and most tenacious archetype of all the "immigrant communities" in whatever foreign land - which is the jewish community. The peculiar thing about it is that it managed to perdure in that sad state of "exilehood" (which inevitably includes both snobbery and close-mindedness relative to surrounding "goy") for literally thousands of years. My best and kindest wish to this long-suffering community is that it finally learns to assimilate - "God and the Celestial British Empire" have had enough, I dare think.


Lastly, there is another shade of the same phenomenon, the most radical and the most unseemly to my mind, which is the case of those who voluntarily leave their country with the expressed intention of ripping whatever material comforts they may find in a new world while hating this world and trying to belittle it in comparison to their "own" - which remains their true space of active participation and belonging.

Recently encountered examples that come to mind are some russian nationalists and some radical-muslim clerics living in Amerika or western Europe - which they hate and loath to say the least. This is an entirely unethical mode of existence that goes way beyond mere ignorance and defensive snobbery. What's more, it really can't be construed as any sort of "virulent criticism". No - the game here is hatred and exploitation of a fully "foreign" (and thus sub-human) body. Were it up to me, I'd expell such people on the spot - but it's illegal. How sad, really.

It is my naive conviction that ultra-nationalists should stay in their country of origine - to be with their people for which they profess such exclusive love - even if this means sharing all the bad economic and political conditions that their beloved nation happens to experience in its own country. At the very least, if you must flee, try to go some place that you don't perceive as the abode of Satan or what not.

Under present conditions a russian nationalist is perhaps less of a direct threat to whatever host-nation than a radical-muslim cleric - but all the same, I can't muster any consideration towards such characters. "What the fuck are you doing here?" That's one question that can't be answered without some major lies and severe contradictions - the truth being unseemly and unpleasant *or* dangerous to admit.

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