02 February 2017

Mainly complaining

For no reason, here are some “wavy extensions” and “toppers” that I clipped from a magazine ad.

O faultfinders,

The other day I had a bad time with my sweetheart’s family. So I came home and wrote this blog post while still under the influence of annoyance. Now that a while has passed and I have looked at what I wrote, I don’t like it; but I can’t stand to let lousy writing go to waste.

(By the way, to mute any allure that might accompany its remaining a mystery, I’ll explain what I meant by the phrase “bad time.” All that happened was a minor spat about politics: I suggested that the minimum wage should be raised, and my sister-in-law said that that would cause inflation to destroy the economy; then I answered that the economy is manmade and we can thus tune it to suit our fancy; but I must have said this in an exceedingly burly manner, for it caused my sister-in-law to burst into tears and leave the room.)

I love cooperation. Souls working in harmony toward a goal. In a certain context, this type of action is called “government”; so, in a sense, I can say that I love government. But what about when souls work together on behalf of deception, greed, impatience, hatred, warfare? This type of shit is also known as “family.” So I sometimes hate family too.

Remain positive, though: focus on love. What do I love? Imagination foremost… words, myths, poems, tales…

These things are all ingredients of what is called “religion.” And what is my feeling about religion? I don’t think I’d say that I loathe it; but I feel mostly negative about religion: it seems to me that it’s a bad idea.

Let me try on the outfit of hating religion; model it for the mirror. These superlative words, myths, poems, tales – why do I love them “on their own” AND YET abhor them when they become part of a system? I think it’s the control aspect. (I know: I’ve said all this before. I’m simply writing to calm down, like counting backward by twos to empty the ark, not trying to break new philosophical ground (I’ll do that Wednesday).)

When the works of the imagination remain pristine and refrain from aiding religion, I am free to think of them in any way that I fancy; whereas, once they’re enslaved to consecrate some tablet of statutes, I’m coaxed to see them as religion prescribes. So, instead of reading a poem and making up my own mind about what it means, the case will be different if I sink into my “convictions”: then I’ll get to relax, to shut off my mind, to stone my neighbor, to embrace my prejudices, to go berserk on skeptics, to weep when questioned…

I keep mulling over Cult XXX. I was raised in Cult XXX, and my sweetheart’s family subscribes to this same Cult XXX; so I can’t escape the ensemble. Sometimes I love someone’s ideas so much that their words bring tears to my eyes. But sometimes I think that someone’s ideas are blank…

In The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (a 2004 film written by Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach), the scientist Alistair Hennessey receives a communiqué that sparks the following dialogue:

HENNESSEY: “This is a message from the I.M.U. Coast Guard. Apparently some crooked fuckers broke into my sea lab yesterday—”

CREW MEMBER: “How awful. Did they nick anything?”

HENNESSEY: “—ah, it doesn’t say. They probably just trashed the place. I’m so pissed I wanna spit.”

I quote this to belittle my momentary anger, dial back my sensitivity. Genuine atrocities are being committed across the globe right now, yet I’m preoccupied with resentment about some ignorance voiced between the rounds of a silly card game.

But it’s the complacency of such bigots as a group that allows for the existence of these genuine atrocities; it might even sometimes provoke their occurrence. HOWEVER, unless I’m able to change every single soul

Fight fire with fire? At present there’s violence on the horizon, and we want world peace. What can we do to prevent calamity? In the name of concord, should we engage in violence ourselves? I suppose this idea is debatable, and, depending on the context and details of the situation, it may or may not work. In general, however, it seems to me that adding violence to violence will only increase the total savagery, so that we’ll end up with MORE of what we abhor, rather than the peace that we desire. But what about the violent groups, the persons that are too embarrassing to be mentioned by name – does Fate just let them run roughshod over the world?

Well, isn’t that why Jesus of Nazareth, along with countless other humans, died on the cross instead of fighting against his accusers? And what about the idea of peaceful protest: the various marches against various injustices… the civil disobedience of so-and-so (time forgets all names)…

Now I fear that I have sunk into cliché. Hasn’t this subject (non­violence) been beaten to death? If we’re still talking about it in the twenty-first century, does it mean that mankind’s addiction to brutal force is irredeemable?

I suppose that, as long as we exist, we should never give up.

Again, thus saith Edgar (King Lear 4.1.29): The worst is not, so long as we can say “This is the worst.”

During that same family dinner whose memory I’m currently failing to exorcise, my sister-in-law answered someone’s question about her son’s loose incisor by asserting that she does NOT “do the tooth-fairy thing”; and she added that she would never teach her kids about “Father Christmas or the Easter Bunny,” because those ideas are fake: “Why do people lie to their children?” she demanded.

I couldn’t help reflecting that this same mother is raising her kids as fundamentalist Christians. For a field trip, they recently went to one of the so-called Creation Science museums. In case I’m lucky enough to have forgotten the meaning of that key phrase by the time I read this entry, here’s a definition of “creation science” copied from the results of an online search:

The interpretation of scientific knowledge in accord with belief in the literal truth of the Bible, especially regarding the creation of matter and life in exactly six banking days.

I was going to give many more items, and example after example of curiosities that members of this faction are teaching their children, but then I realized that I should just let it go; let the whole world go.

It’s not that I disapprove of, or look down upon these people’s ideas: on the contrary, AS A PATAPHYSICIAN I ENVY THEM – THEY BEAT ME AT MY OWN GAME.

I love some Bible stories and hate others. I love some biblical books and hate others. What I hate most is that I’m (again) caught in the trap of obsessing about religion. That’s a fault. Is there an escape; some way to bask in the glories of freethinking without having to FIGHT the “people of faith” every nick of the age? I envy those who were neither born in a cult nor have dealings with cult members. Cults are displeasing.

When you inscribe thoughts in a known language, your words are something that other minds can become. That’s why it’s good to care about what you write down…

Have I descended into platitudes? Then forget it. Instead open “Song of Myself” and find an antidote.

I do not despise you priests, all time, the world over,
My faith is the greatest of faiths and the least of faiths… [§43]

I’m eager to show that I’m not a hater. I love a lot of what Jesus says in the canonical gospels, and I love much of the Gnostic scriptures. I love Oscar Wilde’s essay “The Soul of Man under Socialism”…

But who cares what I love? …I love a lot of other stuff, too…

If I say “I think we’ll not achieve harmony,” it only means that I am middle-age.

Who martyred Santa, anyways?

RE prayer: If, while catnapping, I yearn aloud for people to awaken, am I responsible for those who resurrect…?

No comments:

Archive

More from Bryan Ray