Heidegger says: “Already the ‘thinking of death’ is publicly considered as the cowards fear.”
I die a thousand deaths each and every day.
They creep up on me like shivers up my crooked spine.
Make me catch my breath into my chronically shrunken lungs.
Slowly swell my prostate as if I was hit – hard – in the fucking groin.
Makes my mind spin into feeling (oh so!) special.
At the end of a life I feel like I am on top of the world,
before it all comes a-crushing crashing down. I melt – down –
to being dead inside. Life springs from that, I mean: for now at least.
‘Bummer!’ being booming business nowadays, I just go for “Mens insana in Corpore non sano.” Is it so strange to want death or is it just a part of life I happen to know better than most? The idea that dying is a once-in-a-lifetime thing at the end of life is entirely strange to me. Which makes me strange but maybe not a stranger to you.
Permit me an accusation in the form of a confession.
‘Let me try this. I don’t get it. Does this matter? Did that?’ I looked forlorn and was taken by others to look for loneliness. Maybe I was. Who could tell? I felt abandoned to my own wits which I happened not to have about. ‘What now? Try again!’ and again and again it hit me like a noise in a flock of noises fluttering about in the room picking on me, one at a time but at the same time all together.
I said: “Cafeterias are torture chambers. They should be banned.”. That was a weird thing to say judging from the awkwardness that ensued. I shut up. I played with the dough that formed itself between me and the others. I knew I could shape it, condense it and – when in shape – manipulate it. ‘Human relations are made of clay.’, I didn’t say that as I couldn’t get a grip on them in the there and then.
Freeze or fleece, that is the question.
It’s common to see autism linked to (a lack of) imagination, sense of humor, empathy and a host of other human qualities. That makes me wonder. After all, I feel ‘all too human’ to identify with robots or “very-large-brained” apes. I kid you not: these are analogies made by a leading autism researcher in a best-selling book. He might defend himself by saying it was an attempt at vulgarizing science. That does not change the fact such comparisons are, plainly and simply, vulgar.
Maybe it’s because since my diagnosis I finally form part of a minority (instead of merely feeling that way) that I’m more philosophically sensitive about generalization (instead of merely finding them bullshit). Denying human qualities to people is inhuman. It isn’t any less inhumane to qualify that such qualities are statistically less present in a certain set of people. We’re after all not talking about length or the ability to dance or dress well.
So, the problem has to lie in a confusion of how the word is understood. Clearing up such misunderstanding then has the double benefit of understanding better what such human qualities are not and taking away related false generalizations holding a minority down.
This is what I attempted to do in a (philosophical) way in this paper for one case: that of autism and imagination. I do not believe it is an easy read but if you want to check it out at the level of the abstract, you’ll find that below the fold as a (non-?)appetizer. Continue reading
“Selves can only exist in definite relationships to other selves.”, G. H. Mead, Mind, Self & Society, The University of Chicago Press, p. 164.
I am in therapy. The question is: what makes me tick like a time bomb? The idea is that if we find the detonator we can defuse my self-destructive tendencies to so avoid my lights going on red. I feel the hand of therapists guided by society inside my mind carefully and meticulously disentangling the faulty wiring. Let’s hope they aren’t too nervous because I am. I can go from green to red and back again without ever giving off a warning orange.
I so should give them a helping hand. So let me explain my self (if even only to myself).
I (knocks): Hey, Death, you there?
Dr. Death: Yeah, who there?
DrD: Ah, you again. What now?
I: Well I wanted to talk some about this notion of self-preservation. People seem to think it crucial stuff.
DrD: Philosophers you mean? My experience is people rarely think at all, maybe I just get them when they’re all thought out.
I: Yeah, well, philosophers I suppose. But don’t they supposedly voice what people think?
DrD: They suppose that they think like other people think. My experience falsifies that.
I: Ah, O-kay, I see. so maybe self-preservation is not such a common thought after all? Continue reading
Four years ago I wrote a piece titled “Mr. Presessor“. In it I predicted the future. I got it all wrong. Instead of a “rational” political turn – inspired by Obama’s second win – we got the present ’emotional’ turn culminating in Trump’s first win. Mr. Presessor morphed in Mr. Presdator. Maybe Hobbes was right after all: we are wolves in search for a leader for our pack. Our fate is to howl – so loud nobody dares to cross our borders. The only place for reason is to power our pissing contests with the inevitable other packs of wolves.
So, is it a matter of what happened in the East? Or is it a matter of what failed to happen in the West? Let’s be hip and cool and pull out that finger to do some good old pointing.
“Parrhesia is a criticism, a self-criticism or a criticism directed to others, but always from a situation where the one talking is in a position of inferiority with respect to an interlocutor. Parrhesia comes from below and is directed towards above.” Michel Foucault, Discours et Vérité, p. 84, Librairie Philosophique, VRIN, 2016.
I shan’t complain. I have had a lot of luck. Good fortune even. Or, maybe, it was by merit, just maybe it was a matter of worth. Whose worth? And is it worth it? Who the fuck am I, after all? Over time your self gets heavier. Stuff sticks to it – weighs you down – wears you out. Try flying if your wings are tarred with trying to move on despite pain, despite spite. Strike spite. I don’t hold a grudge. You’re all acquitted except for me because my head is a horse-heavy hole of hatred circulating itself. Heave. Ho.
Maybe that was the big bang. Maybe it’s what the humming in my ear wants to say when it is hissing. Once there was a ‘Who am I?’ asking what-the-fuck who imploded to be done with it and she (why not she?) had no clue that on the other side of implosion was – damn symmetry, damn it to hell (or not because it will bless you right back to heaven it will – an explosion and all of us. Every single one of us. Including me. Free speech like spit spite of me always trying to get on top and stuff clinging to me heavy-ing my head. Ho.
But you’re having fun, no. You are having fun. Well, fuck you, fuck the fit and fuck you well, for this: