Human consciousness is basically an ideological state machine. False consciousness isn’t exactly the right term. Vacuum is a better one. People do not exist; they are not there. They are monkeys with chalkboards for heads. On these chalkboards are the scribblings of other monkeys (nobody writes on their own chalkboard), containing opinions formed while reading the chalkboards of all the monkeys they’ve encountered thus far.
Each monkey takes his or her own chalkboard-head to be the universe, or the galaxy, or god. In fact, it’s just a worn flat face, taking the place of any brain, filled with the ranting nonsense of a bunch of monkeys, written out in filthy, scrawling, fading chalk.
Only two aspects of a human life are real: birth and death.
Ironically, they will only experience, firsthand and as real, everything else.
Rationality is often assumed to equal appropriate instrumentality with respect to ends, but the ends are taken for granted and are socially constructed and normative in nature.
Thus rationality = unemotionality and impersonality in our society, because the desired set of ends for all actions and indeed for rationality itself is a certain kind of detachment, often called “maturity.”
If upheaval were a normative end, or violence, then it would be rational to be as emotional and as strident as possible at all times.
I should have stayed with cultural anthropology, gone to SUNY or GWU for my Ph.D., continued to work at making myself into an absolute relativist with theoretical purchase and a big toolkit.
Priorities in disarray.
Apparent contradictions everywhere.
No emotional resource.
Is this indulgence or analysis?
When next and where next?
What do I need to survive?
What do I want?
When I decide, who should I tell?
Probably it’s not for telling.
Probably it’s for doing, like always.
Push it out.
Push it out of my mind.
Let it ride.
Let it ride and do what it takes.
Do what must be done when it must be done.
Don’t cling and don’t plan.
Also, don’t lie and don’t equivocate.
Know, in spite of it all.
Know, in spite of myself.
Know all by myself.
THIS // CLOSE.
THIS //// CLOSE.
T H I S / / / / / / / / / / C L O S E .
T () H () I () S () C () L () O () S () E () !
I’m old enough and experienced enough to know. I’m too old not to get it. The only question is: what do I do about it? Maybe there is no remedy. Maybe seeing is moot. If so, life really sucks.
Problem: I feel good about myself. This, doing what I am doing right now, makes me feel good about myself. Working on a Ph.D. Even if it’s slow. Even if it takes a hundred years. It makes me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile. Like I’m giving myself what I owe myself and what I’m owed. Like I’m living up to my obligations to the world.
Making money alone does not make me feel good about myself. I know, I’ve done it. Making money without doing something like a Ph.D. made me miserable. The universe was meaningless, empty, horrid. I could barely wake up each morning, could barely face the waste of it all.
The Ph.D. project gives me meaning, makes existence a little bit meaningful to me. Money does not. To trade one for the other is, for me, basically emotional death. If I can’t be a thinker, I don’t know if I want to be anything at all.
But of course I am in the global minority on that point. That can feel like emotional death as well.
Maybe I am condemned to emotional death in my life, when all is said and done.
I can not be honest here.
I can not be honest anywhere.
I am the trapped man of existential literature.
I am the disciplined man of Foucault.
To be human
is a damn shame.