Today I received a summons to be on a Grand Jury. Now, what they do, if you weren't already aware, is rather than actually decide the case in court, the Grand Jury decides instead whether or not the evidence is sufficient in a case to even bring things to that point. What struck me here was that I've been doing this personally for years, and, incidentally, I can think of almost no grounds to ever bring a thing to trial. But this is only speaking of personal sovereignty. Certainly the law is the law... and that's somewhat of a shame.
Life, and indeed everything human, is strange. I find myself repeating this these days, and have even ventured to write it down on my pants. So far as mantras go, I feel I could do worse; for this sort of maxim not only validates anything I do, but also exonerates everybody else. It's a strange combination of laughter and resignation, although one might argue that that resignation is always inherent in laughter.
This is likely the last livejournal entry I'll ever write. For the record, this is the 700th one I've written since December of 2003. 700 things to say. 700 mistakes. 700 outpourings of a human heart. Looking back, what Dostoevski's saint says holds true: "It's the great mystery of human life that old grief passes gradually into quiet tender joy.". And so, with no small amount of inward humility, I look back upon whatever sort of body of work this whole thing constitutes.
I refuse to be a slave anymore, either to my ego, which as of a week ago, I have been taking serious pains to mortify as often as possible, or to Babylon. Perhaps I sound trite now, but what of it? No man may serve two masters (this is also written on my pants). This mortification of the ego, this monster I was forced to create, this is what makes me so serene just now. This is humble. This is well and good. More importantly, this is progress.
Speaking of progress: twenty four years. Twenty four silly, incoherent, and perhaps misused years. But this depends on who you ask.
Resolution is strange, and the discovery of life that one is not able to be anything, but, rather, only what they are, is the sort of knowledge that does not translate itself immediately into action. Indeed, this problem of the translation of knowledge into action is a great one, and only itself possible in cases wherein said thought truly reflects what we are. Thus Kierkegaard perhaps spoke truly, when he said that the sober man strolls across the square openly, while the drunkard slinks along by the building, head lowered in a prudent brand of shame.
Experience also would lead me to believe he is correct in his assertion that freedom is only possible in a true sense when in line with duty. What is duty though? It is precisely what I stated above: to act in accordance with thyself. Could anything be a duty to us personally if it did not thoroughly reflect the goals of our deepest self? Just so, could anything be a freedom that did not fall in line with the wishes of this same deepest self? Were we faced with obligations out of line with our innermost being (every day, for most everybody, for instance), wouldn't they seem unbearably tyrannical?
Love, incidentally is a universal duty, and verily, I have undeniably observed love in all beings; good and evil alike. Love, as quite possibly, the most human quality, is therefore the one which, in most human society, we are most horribly ashamed of. Here lies a mystery, which, at bottom perhaps, negates all coolness. This thing of Love, the ultimate humanity, can it be that our shame lies in the fact that to truly call all people brothers and sisters is to mention too great of a commonality between each individual human? But, verily, this too is nonsense and horrible vanity. Is it more meaningful and worthwhile to climb a mountain, or to be dropped at the peak by helicopter? Love is the earth itself; the base upon which all is built, and nobody ought to be ashamed of having their feet on the ground before ascending the steps of the Temple. We are not children, and the floor is not hot lava that one avoids by hopping between pieces of furniture. To act in such a way is a brand of folly, surely, although it must be mentioned that we all are liable to act like children in society, and certainly such games are generally agreeable. Just so, perhaps there is a greater novelty and gain to be had in follies that involve rolling about in the dirt, eh?
A course of action in one's life, looked at from a certain point of view, is little more than the solidification of an extended plan of follies. Enough though! If I must be nothing, fair enough. Being nothing, I find myself happy. Money has hitherto only given me cause for illness. A salary is a horrible thing to make. For myself, poverty is a matter of health.
This brings me back to Justice (capital J). Nietzsche (of course he had to come up in the last Livejournal I post, it's like a cast reunion in this bitch.), in his Zarathustra, wrote a long series of chapters entitled "On the Old and New Tablets", wherein he goes to great lengths to discuss the arbitrary nature of codes of laws that the people of many lands hold. What is implicit here is the idea of Justice as a personal quality and therefore necessarily perverted once written down.
Perhaps this isn't novel to make apparent, but, Justice is not a matter of laws, but a universal principle. It is the aspect of life that binds us to cause and effect. In Plato, it is pointed out that without Justice, even a band of robbers could not exist, for isn't there a bit of Justice necessary for these men to hold together in fellowship? Without Justice, would they not simply fall upon each others throats, like a pack of wild dogs? This is why there is Justice, given certain circumstances, in any and every act. Yes, even in murder, there is perhaps a situation wherein this ultimate act of violence is admissible. Justice, like Love, is not limited to the side of Good, Evil, Law, or Chaos.
Each individual brand of Justice is it's own organism, with it's own power. Like the branches and vines of a great tree, these concepts of a greater whole are in continual struggle to climb over one-another, ever upward towards the sun. But there are common roots to these tendrils no less: these struggles with the organism against itself all the action of a greater system, utilizing them for a higher purpose than the parts involved are aware of. So too of Love, for who among you can attest to not noticing loves of a hundred varieties? Ah, but who among you are noble enough to see the virtue in the love of the wealthy man for his wealth? Or of the rapist for the love of his crime? Verily, such loves are often opaque, and many a person dares not reach in their hand for fear of what may be found in the depths.
Here, however, a question of economics is raised. Value is directly related to scarcity and utility. That said, a rare commodity with low usefulness is optimally able to fill a niche. But if there is no niche, alas! This holds true for all things, although the above examples of Love and Justice come to mind particularly. Also prominent in my thoughts is the universal principle of suffering, which, perhaps, is a meta-sort of principle, although a strictly subjective one, in the same way joy is. Love and Justice are active and observable in all the manifestations of reality; suffering and joy are the conscious modes of experiencing these more objective concepts. And so, perhaps more important than debates about the nature of Love, Justice, and Truth, are the ones about the human experiences of suffering and joy.
All of this may lie in simple aesthetics, but what of it? Can it not be said the most desirable aesthetic is one of rare and surpassing beauty, from the inside out? Is it not one wherein the object perceived, upon first impression, is at once understood, it's flaws forgiven as necessary for the greater effect, it's communication of some aspect of the human sphere completely illuminated, and all the while whilst revealing to us the splendor of whatever in it is of pure, divine provenance? I digress, however. There are degrees of beauty, and a perfect aesthetic is blind hope and an intoxicating dream.
Over what does one suffer? Over what does one become joyful? These are the true questions to root out value. This is misleading though. It is tempting to think here that the common sorts of maladies and happiness are somehow meaningless in this scheme, but oh, no, quite the contrary, for such an ocean of feelings resulting from the processes of common forms of existence are essential to the existence of the more rare brand of feeling, and vice-versa. More specific than a degree of feeling, suffering and joy are degrees of ecstasy.
Thus, due to the inevitable nature of being affected by these universal things, such as: Love, Justice, etc, it therefore follows that the tree shall be known according to it's fruit, and the fruit shall be weighed in the marketplace.
Some days I am thoroughly saddened by the extent to which my soul belongs to this culture of the west, and how I cannot help but know that my duty is to this tradition, and not that of the east. Happily, however, I am comforted by the thought that these distinctions of east and west are everyday disappearing.
It's hard for me to say exactly what it is I intend to do with this life of mine, but I know what I can't do anymore, and this is what is important. Every -ism I've ever explored has made me ill. Verily, I cannot help but suspect that every -ism in the world is a building block of the Tower of Babel. May they live to complete it! For, oh, how beautiful it shall be to see it reduced to dust.
How free I feel! How in love with everything! How resolved! Oh, what a pile of ashes I have; how beautiful it, and every new horizon is. 'To be', oh unhappy Hamlet. Most certainly, 'to be'! Life once again, and God willing, I shall no longer curse, but bless the nostalgic mementos I couldn't bring myself to destroy; at the least they shall serve to remind me of the importance of loving properly, and damn my ego.
How absurd! But wouldn't it really be better for everyone to ignore all this? Perhaps the correct reaction to everything I do is to act like that typically American juror in 12 Angry Men who, when confronted with a true feeling of Justice walks away, causing Henry Fonda to so empathetically declare to the one who ventured to confront: "He can't hear you. He never will. Sit down."
I'm raving just now, drunk on new wine, and so, regardless of how horribly stupid I may sound, I still proclaim: Those who have ears! Let them hear! If I look ridiculous, so much the better. I should rather be Diogenes than Alexander, for a light in search of Truth is, perhaps, more to be feared than an army of a million soldiers. And so I finish this whole thing with the quote Camus used to summarize the fate of Sisyphus, and indeed, all absurd "heroes":
"Despite so many ordeals, my advanced age and the nobility of my soul make me conclude that all is well."
Current Music: Gotye- Somebody that I Used to Know
December 14th 2012. Inb4 apocalypse. Something about the trailer suggested to me that Peter Jackson is going to fail hard... it looks like he's doing it in the style of LoTR, which is stupid, since the two books have distinctly different... how shall I put this... attitudes? Feels? Tones? Narrative pathos?
Whatever the case, fuckin eh. Come on, dude. You dragged an old man from his death bed to play an evil wizard, only to create a multimillion dollar epic fail? Sigh. We'll see, we'll see.
Current Music: Some cover by the JGB
"Tee-hee, it's like a novel here, something out of Hemingway or something." She had whispered this, louder than intended (or just as loud as intended) to her companion; a confused looking girl dressed as a witch or something. It never fails to amuse me that female costumes these days are really just different flavors of whore. Maybe they always have been. This remark, however, was overheard by some guy sitting on a beanbag chair, seemingly taking in the atmosphere. It wasn't such a laid back party that one would expect tons of folks to sitting around (there was more booze than any other drug), but there nevertheless remained pockets of sitting in a few places. The modern society equivalent of the corners of the ballroom. Of course we don't go to balls anymore, so that's all nonsense. Smiling faintly, with an incongruous look in his eyes, he turned to the two girls and said, speaking louder than naturally to be heard over the general humdrum of music and human activity,
"I quite agree! But I'd say it's more like a Dostoevsky novel. Although that makes sense..." he trailed off here, seemingly overcome by the realization that he had over-extended his capability for any and all parts of rhetoric. This was ill conceived on his part. He could have given a Kafkaesque speech, or a bit a-la Burroughs then and
there, and not only would he have bettered his position in the eyes of the only one of the two women he was addressing that mattered, but he would have satisfied his vanity profoundly. Even more humorously, these
are things he wouldn't even realize until many years later. 'Now, now, could it have really been otherwise?' he'd think by way of comforting himself. Perhaps it is harsh to criticize him for allowing himself this small concession, since, after-all, maybe it could not have been. Just so, it wasn't as though he was defeated at first breath, for, this
lovely creature, all-a-pity-and-interest, asked immediately after he trailed off:
"Oh? How so!?"
An Asian English major wearing a super-hero costume that seems to give a shit about literary references
in regards to meta-situations. This was something he probably shouldn't have fucked up as poorly as he did.
"Well, I've heard that Hemingway's favorite author was Dostoevsky... he was overcome by the
fact that he could never be as good as him... which I guess also makes sense psychologically, considering the way his style is the exact opposite of Dostoevski's... I mean, they say he ripped out whole chunks
of pages while editing. I can only imagine these were the Dostoevskian ramblings he felt to be inadequate to the source of their inclusion. I always sort of felt that Hemingway was unequal to understanding the desires of others beyond a relation to himself... something someone as sympathetic as Dostoevsky would be able to pick up on..." something about his voice was fainter than it should have been. During this speech, the two girls were forced to move over from the corner to sit opposite him. The brilliant and far more attractive one was sitting in a beanbag directly opposite him. Mechanically, they began playing footsie at some point in the conversation. It was probably sometime after he had handed her the bong.
"You might be right, although my natural reaction is to cringe at any criticism of Hemingway. He's by far one of
my favorite authors. Have you read The Snows of Kilimanjaro?" she asked, flushed with alcohol and dizzy from the cannabis, but obviously very naturally excited nonetheless.
"No..." he replied, making a show of how disappointed he was in himself by scratching his head and twisting
his face unnaturally for a moment.
"Oh... well, it's a great story, it's about this guy who gets cut on a thorn in Africa and is dying, and all he does is blame his wife for his shitty life... but at the same time, it's not like he's bitching. It's just so matter of fact, in that
classic manly Hemingway style... I have a thing for Nihilism, I think."
"Sounds like Hemingway to me... Only one I read by him is The Sun Also Rises and, uh, the one where that guy is making that girl get an abortion."
"Hills Like White Elephants!"
"Yeah, that's it! I liked it okay, but I prefer my longwinded Russian style... also I think I've ruined my brain with philosophy." he trailed off here, defeating himself again, almost as though to say to her indirectly, 'here's your chance to back out!'.
There was a brief pause here while she looked at him strangely, then had a rushed whisper conversation with her friend. Afterwards it seemed he had heard something perturbing, for he over-came inertia and began speaking in a
rapid and disconnected sort of way, with a strangely sad, masochistically amused, but childish look on his face. He was staring at the ground, and would every now and then look from his feet to his arm where she had placed her hands, then her face, then back to the ground. She would occasionally squeeze his arm tighter when he had said something she seemed to particularly like.
"But, damn, that guy was one hell of a he-man-woman hater!"
"Hahaha, I really do love chauvinists. Have you read Bukowski?"
"You know, I actually haven't read a single thing by him, and it's on purpose. I tried one of his books once, and couldn't get beyond page 10. There's something overpoweringly single-minded and lethargic to his whole style. It was tedious to me. I mean, maybe I'll read him someday..." this particularly pleased her. She seemed over-joyed to be arguing.
"And yet you like Dostoevsky? He's great, but he's definitely not an easy read. Plus he's the biggest Nihilist of them all." she failed to contain a sensual undertone to the challenge in her voice and had tensed up.
"Dostoevsky wasn't a Nihilist! He was a Christian." perhaps he was overly emotional at the time, but he seemed deeply affected by the labeling.
"Did you read Notes From the Underground? That was the description of Nihilism. Period. If he could think like that, then he had to have privately thought that. He as much as admits it in the work itself!" his emotional rise had caused her to move closer to him. She was sitting on his lap in the beanbag at this point, almost.
"Uhm... I mean... that's, I mean, that's one work in an entire body of fiction. It's denying the multi-faceted nature of not just the author but humans in general to say that our worst thought, if recorded, should define us. He also says something to THAT effect in the work, I believe... Nietzsche love Dostoevsky too, and he was basically the king of Nihilists. But again, that's not really a label I would use to describe him either. Nihilism, just like any ism, is a choice. Just because it's the only one that's necessarily true, that doesn't make it the correct one, and I think that's..."
"Yeah, but what's true is true, he's a Nihilist, and you know it."
They had devolved to the level of "No U!". But they were both laughing like children, and grasping each other by the arm, their faces mere inches apart. Their eyes met for a second, and one of them or both of them looked away. It was a photo-finish. Or rather, a photo-not-finish. She looked to her friend, who mentioned some other engagement another gentleman who it seemed she had come to this party with. He was told to Google her, and was lightly scolded for not having a Facebook. As they went to part, they held their hug about three moments too long, and he kissed her on the cheek. Getting up, he left the part, walked to his home (which was very close by), and threw his head into the couch. She would leave the party with the swarthy fellow she had come with, who it turned out she had met on Craigslist. Some argue they had sex.
I know, right?
Current Music: Should I Stay or Should I Go- The Clash
What a selfish child I've been. Oh-so-proud of my reserve and prudence. Prudence, pushed to the level of a vice, is cowardice, yes, thank you for reminding me, sir. I received your letter yesterday, right about the time the door knob broke. I didn't open it til the end of today, for I thought you'd want a quarrel, and I'd forgotten my crossbow (get it? Quarrel? Cuz it's the thing a crossbow fires!?).
Oh, how much I've learned in so short a time. I realized today that, no, I positively do not believe in ghosts. That said, I am convinced of the truth of resurrection; there is no life after death, but there is the potential for life all over again. There is a common argument thrown around today that states the unlikely-hood of the existence of Christ. It is not the quality of the argument which sours me to it, rather it is that the argument is most often put forth by those who would prefer it to be true with a fervor rivaling that of the most outrageous fundamental Christian (who is also a pagan, I should add). Just so, if he was not alive, it is all the same as though he was; In fairness, I can think of few 'real' people who had an impact quite so lasting. My own bias here may be a soft-spot for people too unrealistic to exist.
I was thinking today of how an atomic bomb works. A cluster of unstable elements are ordered in such a way that a trigger causes them to unleash a tremendous amount of energy all at once in a chain reaction. To use a Star-Trek metaphor, it's just a molecular game of dominoes.
I was thinking today about love, and how the hope of it causes affliction of the intestines.
I was thinking today about patience, and how intertwined it is with love and, verily, is the only cure for love's pangs.
I was thinking today about rebellion, and the persistent quality natural to the stone that the builder refused.
I was thinking today about the nature of my soul, and the tremendous suffering it must endure or else be snuffed out.
I almost shed a tear on the bus today at, and out of, the occasional simplicity of my own heart.
I will not argue. "I am a railing in the torrent, grasp me if you can! But your crutch, I am not..." I will not bray like an ass, for a dog may bark when commanded, but it will bite his master when he's gone mad. Verily, there is but one just and sane master, though his behaviour may sometimes indicate otherwise-- but how mad must we, the laughing ape, seem to our own dogs? It is only our inability to bless when cursed. It is a weakness. The same weakness with which the skeptic accuses Job of the very sort of cowardice he/she is exhibiting in their own accusation. "What justice is there to tear down the happiness of a Good man for the sake of proving something to the Devil?" Lo' it is the justice of one who desired that we should understand that the 'Good' man is the man who did not require a carrot and a stick to motivate his behaviors, beliefs, and actions. And behold, was it not also the justice of Job himself who, by virtue of doing without the carrot he had been allowed for so long, and which another in his position might have taken for granted, proved this justice twice over? It is not for God to combat the Devil-- he has spoken on the matter already once, and one is enough for anybody.Only man may do so, for God has seen to make the Devil powerless, and it is only for us to realize it. These days faith in God wavers, but our faith in the Devil maintains it's grasp.
I thought today of Freud, and how he is correct about quite a bit, if not onesided. It occurred to me that a dislike for Freud shows an inability to come to terms with the fact that one is an animal. Oh, but how shall we ever evolve into men unless we first have assessed our position as apes? Can the higher brain tame a creature it fears, or shall it cower while it runs rampant, occasionally raising a small cry, and that in terror, after the fashion an elephant cowers from a mouse? At what point shall consciousness itself realize that it is Gulliver amongst the Lilliputians; that it is the part of our mind that can have a power level over 9000?
I thought today of my own person, and I reflected on the changes I've inflicted on people I've had extended contact with. I concluded that the health of a person is directly proportional to the length they can tolerate my constant presence. I took pride today, in the observation that in the course of three years I had managed to convince my older sister to be more herself, to be free, and to pay greater service to 'truth' (however it is that she perceives it, which, of course, is the only truth that matters, not just to me, but to the human spirit). I am a tumor that cures cancer. True facts. That said, one is only able to be healthy in so far as they are aware and comfortable with the ways in which they are naturally diseased.
I thought today, about how the cruelty of a bear in the circus, lies in the fact that it does tricks in order to no longer be abused.
I also thought about how all would-be serial killers will either end up as a famous clown, or renowned actor. In the case of the latter, this often circumvents the possibility of murder to some degree. In the case of the former, they often don't become clowns until after they've been arrested... I mean, except for that one guy.
I wish to embody lightning and thunder in all my actions amongst others... haha, well I wish I could say that. Mostly thunder. Mostly thunder. There's a reason Zeus was in charge of these things, and I'm not nearly as badass as him.
I reflected today about Emerson, and the incredible artistic success and cheerful manliness of his work. It's femininity lies only in it's awareness of itself as a work art- and yet it is balanced, Yin and Yang. I have concluded that he would enjoy Encyclopedia Dramatica.
Lastly, it struck me today that for a fair while now, I have consistently been recalling that the root of the words 'thank', and 'think' have the same root. If you are thinking about someone, I don't care why, you are thanking them, and this is the key to understanding Job and Christ-- not only why they were momentarily filled with despair, but why faith brought them back to life. It was faith which whispered to them "adjust your expectation, child. Dry thy eyes, for thou wert merely in error, and for thy faith, thou art now even closer to perfection". That God had foresaken them was the thought, regardless of the sorrow this thought brought with it. They each had only to recall that it was their love for God which brought them to this despair to, nay, not forgive, but to be contrite for the moment they had feared all was lost; this is the appeal of the servant to Dostoevsky when he had beat him so bad, that instead of retaliating he instead cried "Am I too, not a man!?". This is the appeal which says "but look! Have I not been obedient? Have I not been grateful? Have I not been fastidious in my duties?". It is the charm of the man in Kafka who throws himself into his own broken down execution machine, so great is his faith in the once common morality it stood for. It is meek. It is deeply moving. Tragic. Ecce Homo at it's finest.
Better run better run, outrun my gun.
Current Music: CSN- Teach Your Children
"This goes deeper than you think, man!"
I punched her in the face again.
"Enough of this bullshit! I don't care how deep it goes, you little cunt. TALK!"
"THEY'LL KILL ME!" she exclaimed, now genuinely crying.
I hardened myself, ignoring my natural emotional response to empathize with a crying child. There are some things more important than human dignity or decency.
"I don't give a flying fuck, you bitch. You're gonna tell me what I want to know or I'll peel and cut you up like a motherfucking onion."
"Please let me go!"
With a quick motion I had brought the claw hammer down on her little finger. There was an audible cracking noise as the bone fractured and splintered. I looked down and saw pieces of bone sticking through the skin; she must have cringed at the last second. Gutless wench. Then again, she was probably only 10 years old.
"Well?" I asked unemotionally.
"Well..." she was gasping for breath after the screaming and crying hysterics that had lasted for a full three minutes after I had broken her finger.
"Well!" I interrupted, "what do they put in those fucking Thin Mint cookies that make them so delicious?! So help me, I'll mutilate and kill your entire troop. Do yourself and your fellow cultists a favor, and just confess! Is it coke? Smack? Frog mucus?"
"It's..." she began then paused, breathing hard.
"Yes? It's what?"
"It's... an experimental drug never released to the medical field... a hybridization of weakened tryptamine and opiod analogue effects... put into motion by the CIA... it's so deep... the Swiss mafia... drug barons of the Yukon... oh, God...."
"I knew it, the fucking government is in on it. And they're working with the DBY's... and I had hope for those spun-out half-frozen sons-of-bitches! And the Swiss have always been a bunch of faggots! Keep talking!"
"Part of the global... conspiracy to create more ambivalence... undermine... populations ability to... think or revolt... ugh..."
she had passed out from the shock. Then again, she was only 10...
Pulling out my revolver I blew out her brains on the spot. I would bury the body in a shallow grave under the construction site for a KFC restaurant. I think they went out of business, and the building was converted into a Chinese restaurant.
Current Music: Johnny Cash- I've Been Everywhere Man
|» Of Subject/Object Relationships and Stewed Rabbit|
..."What you're referring to is what philosophers call aesthetics." he replied, feigning more disinterest than he felt.
"There's a word for it?" she asked, feigning more confusion than she felt.
"Certainly, there's a word for everything nowadays, and if there wasn't, one should be created as the need arose. Besides which, aesthetics is one of the oldest words-- why it's still oftentimes spelled with an 'a' before the 'e', in a right-n'-proper, musty old Oxford fashion."
"We can't all be as clever as you, I guess," she retorted, rolling her eyes, in-turn affecting a sheepish grin on the others face, "nor as up on what the good people over at Oxford are doing, it would seem. So is this aesthetics nonsense some sort of running tally in philosophy on what we consider beautiful?"
"Not exactly." he began, adjusting his glasses slightly with one hand, to a more comfortable resting spot further up his nose, "At bottom, aesthetics is merely a study of surface impressions... a concern with the way any given object, be it person, place, or thing, is presented to our mind at large, and the affective response it brings. It's not necessarily what we consider beautiful, but why it is we consider it to be so... or ugly, or frightful, et-cetera."
"So, it's a study in impressions?"
"Hmm, kind of. That's a big part of it. Like, ever hear that Talking Heads song Seen and Not Seen?"
"The one on Remain in Light, after Houses in Motion? Where he sort of drones on in that creepy monotone?"
"Yes! That one. Do you remember..."
"I don't really remember much of that song. After Houses in Motion I always lose interest... it just sort of becomes noise to me, and in fact, Houses is almost pushing it." she interrupted laughingly.
"Haha, I guess I see what you mean. Well, anyway," he continued on, undismayed, "there's this one part... well actually the whole song has a lot to do with aesthetics... well, actually the whole album," the topic clearly excited him, and he was speaking with evident mirth, causing him to have a somewhat flustered air, "but, yeah, the song itself is about a man who wants to change his appearance by keeping an ideal self-image fixed somewhere in his mind. The one particular part is sort of the heart of it though; he ponders how by doing this, (which the man feels everyone does on some level,) one is liable to change their personality to fit their new appearance (although he also admits to the possibility of the contrary; i.e of the appearance coming into alignment with the personality). After talking about this, how our personalities match our appearance by design, the next line is, 'this is why first impressions are often correct'..."
"That seems extremely shallow." she interjected, no longer able to contain a nervous sort of excitement that had been growing throughout his speech, "If that were true, I certainly wouldn't still be talking to you."
"Ouch. I mean, what was your first impression of me?" he threw back playfully, but with evident interest.
"I thought you were an unclean scoundrel, doggishly pathetic, and an arrogant charlatan to boot."
"Hmm, perhaps you weren't wrong... I guess it always seemed to me that you liked scoundrels and charlatans..." he muttered in a mysterious and dreamy tone. She scoffed in reply, still smiling (almost laughing) all the while, but momentarily disrupting the haughty, and challenging mask of her face. "but that's not entirely the point. If anything, your idea of aesthetics seems shallow... I mean, in a first impression... I guess what you're saying is, that you feel a first impression, or an outward appearance in general, denies any given thing it's deep, and multi-facted nature. Like, there's two sides to any coin?"
"Yes, that would be my issue."
"Well, that's not quite the whole of aesthetics, although the outward forms a thing takes by which it approaches our senses is the focus of the branch. It isn't only that something strikes us as being X or Y, but why it is that something strikes us as X or Y. In other words, aesthetics is the study of how the multi-dimensional totality of a thing comes to fruition in such a way that when it greets our senses, our impression is determined."
"Ok... I think I see what you mean... so, like, for example, it wasn't aesthetics that I didn't like (which, I now realize, as someone who's interested in art, I've been studying for years,) so much as the shitty way you showed it to me?"
"Precisely!" he answered, chuckling, "Although it also has to do with how we are conditioned, as the ones perceiving, to respond... but, anyway, that's always been the way I explain things. I like to get the shittiest part out of the way first, so you only have upwards to go in terms of esteem!"
"Is that why you present yourself to the world as a doggishly pathetic scoundrel, and charlatan of the lowest caliber?" she teased, somehow more serious than she had meant to sound.
"Ouch." he replied, no longer laughing but still smiling softly.
|» "...There's no way that can be right!"|
People(1) always (2) ask me: "How did you get to be such a super-cool cultural genius that women love and men want to be(3)?"|
"It's easy, friends!(4)" I reply, condescending to acknowledge the poor souls at my feet (5). Essentially, it can all be done by following just a few simple tips for your everyday life.(6)
These are only some of the super cool (7) things you can do to make yourself a much more awesome (8) human being. While it is true, not everybody can be so outlandishly and mindbogglingly l33t, it is the l33tman's burden to try and raise the unwashed rabble(9) to his level, and I hope I have at least helped here (10).
- First watch the music video for Billy Idol's "White Wedding". Notice Billy's gloves, his hair, the faces of the 80's trash at the ceremony in the church. Commit it to memory. Now, watch it over nine-thousand more times.
- Repeat the last step, except with "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley, taking special note of the ongoing sexual tension between Rick and the negro bar-tender.
- Find the longest most boring book you can. Read it over nine-thousand times. Commence to bringing it up in reference to every conversation, brutally mocking anyone who hasn't read it, ostensibly because they're "too stupid to figure it out". I suggest anything Russian or German, notably works by Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Kant or Hegel. (Nietzsche is all the rage, unfortunately, and any knowledge of him you might have should be downplayed as it's "too accessible"). David Copperfield is also a good one, if you'd prefer something English.
- Become a scholar of Nazi propaganda, and do everything you can to compare it to other public movements-- particularly "peaceful movements" by people like Ghandi and MLK. For maximum hilarity, draw parallels between Triumph of the Will and the Acts of the Apostles (Bonus points for an allusion to The Birth of a Nation).
- Smoke in front of children every chance you can.
- "Enlighten" people about the drug crack, declaring in as ostentatious a manner as possible that it's just a recessive tax on the poor and was planted by whitey to keep the black man down. Bonus points if you do this while in a holding-cell/prison. Double bonus points if you're also high (preferably on crack, but not limited to it) while you rave.
- Emulate the stage mannerisms of David Byrne in your every day life. Try out some of his sweet moves during things like eulogies, job interviews and police interrogations.
- Talk to every prostitute you meet, but never give them money-- cigarettes, drugs, conversation, etc, are all fine, but never cash. Every now and then, you might get a freebie!
- Go into catholic church confessionals and talk to the priest like you're at the bar bragging. You'd be surprised how many let you finish.
- Walk into trendy-hipster cafes and read the phone-book. You can also get away with the dictionary (so long as it's Oxford), The Quran, or any book written by Bill O'Reilly.
- Pepper casual conversation with detached neologisms that aren't even applicable in a poetic sense. Get indignant if someone says they don't understand.
- Walk into any public place and begin re-arranging things, seemingly at random (condiments and napkins at a restaurant, books at a bookstore, EVERYTHING in a supermarket, etc), and when called to accounts, declare loudly that you are "The Great Cossack Hero, Taras Bulba, come at the request of the venerable Melville Dewey, to bring order to this establishment of scoundrels!".
3. Something a homeless man asked me after I gave him a cigarette
5. My imaginary friend, Chester.
9. Douchebags in wool-knit hats.
10. Another lie
Hey little sister, shotgun!
|» Arbor Day|
As an extremely idle person and all around egoist, I have great leisure to examine small, insignificant details of my behavior. My rationale is that there must be a reason for everything, and if there is not, I should invent one. |
And so, the other day I caught myself in a situation wherein I suddenly wanted to explain something that is shamefully vacuous. Yes, I did, in fact, stop to wonder why my favorite champion in that horrible game (which needs not be named,) is MaoKai. Incidentally, there was no need to invent here, and the revelation came of itself, as though from a vein full of details in the mine of the mind- a sure sign of the truth in such matters of reflection (and, incidentally, this also laughingly qualifies as some variety of humiliation).
It is a curse to not only have to READ the lore, but also to CARE about it, and then base my decision of who I play on this half-assed three paragraph character sketch. But such is my baffling taste, that no matter how scant/stupid/awful/hilarious the back-story is in any video game where I have options (and a great deal at that) on who it is I am to be represented by, farce though it is, I still seem to have to take such creative backwash into account as (quite possibly) the biggest reason for my selection. Oddly, the exercise proved insightful to a degree.
Here are a few of the things I stumbled upon:
1. He's a fucking tree. While playing as him, if I am doing well (at best seeming to be nigh on unkillable, chasing away full teams from mid,) I often troll allchat with the same line I first mentioned-- "I'M A FUCKING TREE". There is something extremely satisfying about being a tree and fucking up a bunch of naturally sentient creatures. I suppose that, in a way, it is satisfying to be playing as an underdog in the natural order (for trees are pitifully at the mercy of things capable of ambulating in some way,) that has somehow become capable of kicking ass (not so much like Rudy). This brings me to the next point.
2. Maokai is a nihilist. He finds the seeming miracle of his existence to be a travesty, a glitch in the matrix, a blemish on the face of the natural way of things. His sentience thoroughly pisses him off, and he wishes for nothing more than to be a simple Oak again. This business of fighting is, aside from a way to burn off anger against his creators, distasteful (unless it's to be a fight with the maples over the sunlight, like in the Rush song). His condition for existence is that the creator should never create something of his likeness and kind again. There's something very noble, innocent and sublime in this. This brings up my last point.
3. Maokai is a tragic figure. He could be called Byronic in a certain sense, really. The only way I can imagine his character is as thus: imagine yourself to be a transcendental sort of being. It is possible to conceive of a state of complete harmony with nature, wherein not just somatic processes, but all processes and modes of existence, are completely regulated. There is no consciousness, but only thoughtless ebb and flow without the means to even be capable of anxiety or reaction to them, regardless of how they effect your existence. Now imagine some magic using douchebag rips you out of this unknowing and wholly desire-less reality into a world of (comparatively speaking,) completely fabricated existence. Logically, this would make one extremely angry, but also very easy to sympathize with in their negative actions.
Summarily, Maokai is excellent because he represents a certain idea that I find wonderful. Namely, he forces one to question the idea of consciousness/sentience being some sort of great thing that all other creatures pitifully do not possess; one must meditate upon the idea that such things that humans treasure about themselves might be any other organisms trash- that it is no pleasure to think, feel, move about and fabricate. It might be wondered whether or not humans only enjoy sentience because it is our lot in life, whether we will it or not, and so one must make the best of it. It is only from vanity that we should pity animals or a tree for having no concept of self; in other words, pity as a result of vanity unquestionably asserting it's right to dominance by virtue of nothing but it's own existence.
Perhaps the best thing about Maokai is his insistence upon the natural order's doctrine of "suum cuique", and is 100% justified in his anger as a result of him being denied the only real and inescapable justice hitherto given to every other creature that walked the planet before him. What is endearing to me about this silly, pixelated tree (who's owners, I can promise, did not consciously imagine any of this themselves), is that his cry of "life isn't fair!", is the only declaration of such a variety (I'm speaking of in Runeterra, of course, for in our universe, such justice has yet to be circumvented, so far as I am aware) that has ever been undeniably and irrefutably true. And to me, that's the saddest thing I can possibly think of.
Somehow, this analysis didn't seem like a waste of time. I find this humorous.
Hahahahaha. It's finally happened. I've grown sick of of my own prose. Mark it, dude. Change places! |
Also, is it really possible that I have to buy ANOTHER copy of The Brothers Karamazov? I had 3 copies at the same time only a year ago.
It is said that it is impossible for one to serve two masters. Dog-ma? Bazing.