Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Monthly Archives: July 2007

Perspective II  §

For most of my teenage years, self-destruction was an absolute moral positive for myself and my friends. It’s only recently that I begin to realize the degree to which dying young and taking as many people and things with you as possible along the way was the unspoken goal of the period. Whatever was needed, we did the opposite. We were careful to piss everyone off, to leave nothing unbroken and no feeling unhurt. I think we felt as though total, insulting, contrarian destruction was the only kind of truth that could be achieved in our society; as though it was a kind of praxis.

We grew up and the habits evolved. Willful destruction gave way to a kind of blasé, sloppy attitude toward everything. Cocktails at eight in the morning? Fine. Shoes on the bed? Whatever! Parking your car on the lawn? What does it matter? It often appears to be kind of lighthearted devil-may-care sort of thing.

The problem, however, is that it’s still founded on damaging assumptions about the world that point toward harm rather than construction—toward hurting things rather than building them. It’s an attitude that doesn’t give a shit, left over from an earlier age, yet it’s hanging around now in a life in which I do give a shit. It’s dangerous. It’s got to go.

Times and circumstances are different now. They changed ten years ago. I’m no longer in a world full of people who want nothing more, who like nothing better than to be absolutely offended. I can’t allow myself to act as though nothing matters anymore, because everything matters a great deal to me now.

Live and learn, they say.

The kid I was  §

when I was 17 is not who I want to be today.

My best friend has seen too much of this in his time.

My fiance has seen too much of this in her time.

In fact, I have seen my share of it as well over the years, never once thinking—until now—that I might be just the same.

I am done. It’s time to grow up and make a few changes, drop some old habits that are beginning to look like potential disasters.

It’s just time to grow up. I want to be there for everyone in my life, and I want to be there in positive ways. In positive ways.

Morning in Warsaw  §

The largest popular undercurrents of western and eastern though run counter to one another.

One is fundamentally cynical (perhaps not the one many might imagine). It posits from the outset that you will not have what you want. Not the wealth, not the health, not the control, nor the freedom. The path to contentment thus lies in the ability to stop wanting.

The other is neither cynical nor particularly optimistic. It is rather ruthlessly empirical, making no claims about anything that has not yet happened. You may achieve some of the things you want, if you exercise your will. This exercise, collectively, appears to be unavoidable as a mode of society once it appears in any one sector and begins to overrun the rest. The cynicism of this undercurrent is also empirical—it rips everyone and everything to shreds, but for a very tiny percentage of wants fulfilled.

I don’t know what I’m getting at here. My head is full of feelings instead of thoughts today, I think. Memories of things I’d rather forget, sensations that I don’t think many others even realize they experience, things I refuse to take for granted.

This last one is perhaps the most important single characteristic of my personality.

There are rather a lot of things in the world I refuse to simply take for granted or to simply accept as inevitable. All inescapable causes are previous choices made for precisely the same reason—apparently inescapable causes. Yes, I realize that to some extent these are deterministic unless one is to act irrationally.

But that is exactly what I propose to do. I feel as though I have spent an entire lifetime trying to justify and argue for irrational action and irrational concepts: loyalty, love, sacrifice, commitment, honor. These are the pre-enlightenment, pre-rational, pre-instrumental foundations of a world that finally crumbled entirely in the 20th century.

I am not here to sentimentalize the past so much as I am to condemn the present, and to applaud irrationality and all action that refuses to serve the self’s instrumental aims. To all those people over the years with whom I have had relationships, who attempted to rationally adjudicate their contours according to an individual measure of rational self interest, and who assumed that I would do the same…

And also to all those who over so many years explained over and over to me that I was a waste of potential with no understanding of the ways in which it can be leveraged, who accused my lack of efficiency and rational self-administration…

And also to all those who have ever bemoaned my lack of good socialization, my lack of manners, my lack of anything that makes any kind of sense or correctness from any perspective…

Oops. I guess you feel silly now.
(And probably will again).

Down with rational self-interest. Down with instrumental rationalism. Down with modernity. Down with individuality. Down with every ecliptic, elliptic, satellite, and locus of the causal nexus!

Humankind only lived when they lived well, died well, and were buried young. These days we don’t live; we function optimally or suboptimally according to fully elaborated and deterministic schema.

I don’t know what I’m talking about any more. Maybe I just want pounds of flesh from lots of people who tried to hold me back but whom I’ve long since surpassed. Maybe I just want sport.

Maybe I just want to thrash about irrationally for a page or so.

(The tyrant in me rather thinks that free will and especially “free” action mark the absolute end of happiness.)

All is good  §

There are no blog posts lately, it’s true.

That’s the way things work when you are sitting on a terrace in Krakow looking out over a giant river valley. The way things work on hot July days with cold Tyskie glasses. The way things work when your rolled up sleeves are the perfect match for the turned up corners of your mouth.

There will be more static, no doubt, once New York comes back to us. For now, however, Krakow is our guest.

Sometimes it’s justifiable  §

to be a little frustrated, even if there is nothing in particular to be frustrated at and no-one in particular who has done anything out of bounds.

News from Poland  §

Seems funny that this should be the last place on Earth where I mention this… But at this point it is.

We got engaged. 😉

We will be married next summer in Poland.

In the meantime, life is good. Suwałki is beautiful. Today is rainy. Babies are crying. I like it.


Time to fly  §

Bye bye, June. Bye bye, USA. Bye bye, separation.

See/talk to you all in August.