Can’t hear this suggestion to live among the dead, a la Machiavelli and Montaigne, without also taking into account that this was their way to relax after a day of politics, making it doubly twisted.
It’s such a human feeling, or feeling of the human, to have your brain scramble for excuses as to why you have failed, or why it is unjust that you should suffer like this. And you watch it like a toddler in tantrum, and when it stops for a moment you ask – are you done? And it screams NO! Or stops, tired out. There are good reasons to despair sometimes, but when this kind of thing happens, you know there are no good reasons involved.
If you fail in love, and feel everything crashing around you, and think, this is the end, I’ll never X again, this is an example of that grasping after straws. It is so hard to be your own parent, to pick up your toddler-brain and say – it’s okay, don’t worry, let’s go get something to eat and maybe you imagined it all, but even if you didn’t, you’ll definitely meet someone new.
This might all be a little harsh, but our world really encourages us not to care too much. Searching for someone who will be special and care for you like a breathing comfort blanket, this is all well and good. But we should be careful not to undervalue ourselves. Again, the base of this kind of despair must be a lack of self-confidence. (Insofar as there isn’t an economic or material side to love – but of course there very much can be.)
Consuming isn’t easy, sometimes. It can be a form of emotional labour. Though series and films can play themselves out in front of us, we don’t just sit and absorb their images. Or at least, not by default. In this way, A Clockwork Orange has a quasi-fallacy in it – that being forced to watch something would change us, simply by being made spectator. Of course this is the case for certain experiences, that we are particularly receptive to, but the active spectator can critique whilst in the process of watching (hopefully not out loud…)
This idea has an interesting expression in the world of music – are there not songs that you love, whilst being almost completely ignorant of the lyrics, or cognisant of them only in a vague, catchphrase fashion. Consuming music like this is simply allowing it to bounce off us, alter our rhythms. But to consume the whole is to process the message of the song, and to come to a conclusion regarding its sense. I do this rarely. It’s a lot of work.
Sometimes I come across people like this. I ask – do you love books? They say – Yes, I love 1984.
Nationalism is the symptom of a badly functioning state.
“Become who you are!” – Easy to read Nietzsche’s phrase as a spur to selfishness. But who you are can obviously include others.
The moss between cobblestones. Rain
to break rot weakened branches. Wind
on the puddle on the bridge tears
the world into sections. I step
in the puddle and move on. Step
through the humid air. Step. I fall
through the floor and the map appears
grey and unrendered. The cloudlines
were just painted on the skybox.
I look down and I have no feet.
But the air is humid, I breathe
and smell damp old cars. Will we get
thumb arthritis, when we are old?
I see objects from my youth hang
in the air, ready for the next
cutscene. Then the quick-time event
begins. I have to tap *a* as
I drive the car home from work and
a stupid pigeon accosts me
by flying into the road. I
then miss pressing *up*, and my mind
gets caught on climate, that I can’t
be driving. There is a glitch and
I am flung into the dark sky