Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Where the self ceases

I've sat here whiling the morning away, chatting with CS about the changing shape of the American landscape, patching together the remaining pieces. We share similar temperaments, attempting to make some sense of the world through words, those often derived from feelings. This can be a dangerous drama, one that many are not willing to attempt. A repeating of the programs of others at ever greater volume is what these times demand. Everyone is set to out self-right one another. 

This site is confessional, therapeutic - hopefully a safeguard against too much of that. Read here enough and the cracks will become chasms.

As C.C. pointed out recently, people don't want you to agree, they want you to surrender. If you're not adequately agreeing then you must be suffering a crisis of emphasis. Everywhere there is a paucity of severity that must be filled with ever virtuous voices. If you're not hysterical then you're not paying attention, to me. If you do agree with the principle of a thing but express any reservation in process then you are a competitor to truth and need be demolished. Everybody hates the destruction of temples, except of course those of the enemy. So many are revealing themselves to be just like the people they hate. The descriptions of the foe being nearly autobiographical, the definition of dislike, unworthiness. 

That has perhaps been one of my problems: my agreements are qualified, my capitulations insincere. I seek to converse only when I'm allowed to sit at the table of conversation. I don't need to be a revolutionary, I only need to believe that people deserve equality of treatment and opportunity. For me, that is a sufficient guiding principle. The unending public appeals to principle seem insincere to me, even dangerous, a categorical effort to subvert and denounce without careful examination. Hate speech being any contrary inquiry into premise. 

My type will be rooted out and ostracized, an impediment to the uprising. I can feel it, and feeling is the way of knowing. Words can be used to express something we do not feel, so they are always suspect. We feel our feelings as a type of truth, not so with words. 

My words will haunt me. The ones that might defend me will be just as inadmissible then as they are now. Of what use, and possible danger, is someone who neglects to embrace a side in full.

Nothing is easy to share, it is something that is difficult to split. Some don't want to give up what they have. I'm not entirely sure if we should blame and hate them for feeling the way they do, or should we simply show and express support for equality, or both. None of it satisfies the demand, though. I'm not sure what it is that anyone can do, but do we must. Should I renounce my inherited privilege? Acknowledge it with an eye to self-flagellation, or reparations? Hate my kind? Hate history? Hate the inadequacies of the present? Will those hatreds suffice and sustain, or satisfy?

I'm tired of trying to talk to people who dismiss me for being. 

I think back to the many conversations I had with young, smart people when I was also like them. In the 80s it seemed as if there was still a conversation to be had. Not so much any more. There is the sole advancing of the changing credo. Everyone is filled with unshared ethical principles. Just leave any two comrades together in a chat room and only one will emerge. The loss will be tallied up to the high costs of righteousness. It's impossible to agree enough with those you agree with. There is only the simpering clicks of so many Likes. Never try to discuss or to offer a counter-point in conversation. To hold an opposing view is to enemize yourself.

It's probably only me. Out there in the new world, in the boundless land of youth, I'm confident there are still young people finding new ways to agree with one another. Afresh and anew, as perennial as spring, tackling the tough topic of being the self and not the other.

I've learned to slowly recede, to be more quiet and to listen. 

So much bad ideology lingering on the lips of once lovers.