3AM and I still can’t sleep. Insomnia. Nocturnal. I am feeling similar feelings of existential terror that I experienced in Federal Way and Seattle (The State of Washington, 2009-2010). Anxiety. What is it that truly ails me? The highways? Automobile culture? I witness my own mother’s driving and I can’t help but be very concerned about her safety. She is always so close to death. We are all always so close to death. I am alienated. I think it is getting to me. I need strength, courage, stubbornness, tenacity … Am I starving for affection? How many countless others are also alienated by the “civilizing process”? How many of us are damaged by the Machine Age?
I would think I would be used to being an outcast by now. I need a sense of humor and patience. Am I lost? Are we all so very lost? I sense that those who fancy themselves “in charge” are the most lost of all!
As John Trudell warns us, we must never underestimate our enemy. Our enemy is committed against us 24 hours a day. They use 100% of their efforts to maintain their status-quo. 100% of their effort goes into deceiving us and manipulating us against each other …
Their silly ambitions … like landing on Mars or “colonizing the Milky Way” … The animals mock them, and they don’t even know it!
Some kind of strange sci-fi twilight zone … Why so quiet in this apartment complex in Brick, NJ? I do not feel at liberty to be myself in here. The walls are paper thin. Next month I am going to have to invest in a boom-box.
Both rooms catch the sunlight, the kitchen is relatively large in comparison to the kitchens in the “substandard” units I’ve rented in the past (in Freehold, Asbury Park, Ocean Grove). The water from the tap is drinkable. There are no cockroaches!
I guess I have to opt for a quiet safe place over a loud dangerous place. Too much stimulation in Matawan, in Freehold, in Asbury Park. I guess it’s OK to just hide out. Still, when the phone rings (my nephew) at 10PM, I refrain from answering it as it is so oppressively quiet in here that there is no privacy on the telephone. I walk outdoors to return the call – outside I feel free to speak.
What people refer to as “daydreaming” or “sitting on my ass all day” turns out to be the most essential survival skill: contemplation. This enables me to see more clearly the strangeness of everyday life.
Riemann, a mathematician, lived a life of poverty and nervous breakdowns, and died at age 39.
If my animal body is not suited for regimented structure and false hierarchy, this may not be a fault but an extraordinary capacity, i.e., it may be a hunter-gatherer trapped in a farmer’s world, a stone age genius born into space age idiocy. Nothing that is so, is so. My disability as an unemployable “Employment Unit” may very well be my capacity for questioning idiotic norms and challenging artificial authority with intelligence and Natural Power.
Is one to be coerced into the slave-factory when one has proven time and time again to be a source of revolt when in the fields? The rebel rejects the role of the slave when he no longer obeys the commands of the master, when he walks away from the quarry, when he overcomes the demands for the security the master offers in exchange for obedience.
What does the animal body require for sustenance? Health: food, shelter, clothing. Well-being: primitive needs … affection. I don’t want to make a habit of drinking alcohol, but this thingly presence is in the mood for sitting in a tub of hot water gulping down wine and singing. Maybe just laying in bed reading books and scribbling notes will be the extent of my insurrection against the status-quo.
Is there a core identity? When I see my core being as tubes, synapses, information transmitters and wires, then I begin to understand that all consciousness perceives is a field of vision which constructs the phenomena it experiences as THE WORLD. The core identity is the appetite itself, the thing eating the pretzel. I know this thingly presence as “me” – the animal body, the Creature, the Will. I witness consciousness enduring itself. Consciousness witnesses consciousness, but where is this elusive “I” – the so-called personal identity? The I is the great mystery!
I miss my collection of books. Today I will pick up a library card at the Brick Public Library, then look for anything by Schopenhauer, Cioran, or Ligotti. I will allow the innermost creature to do its thing. I wonder if there are any books about The Catcher in the Rye or its author, JD Salinger.
Later that day:
Not one of Schopenhauer’s books in the entire Ocean County Library system … No Cioran, no Husserl. I will settle for a new biography (Butterfly in the Typewriter) on John Kennedy Toole, author of A Confederacy of Dunces. I guess I will be requesting many interlibrary loans while residing in Ocean County. Another romantically intellectual adventure.
Drinking alcohol too many days in a row seems to have turned me into an emotional mess. I will give the animal body a break from the poison to see if this improves my mental health.
Chicken soup revived the animal body once again. Walking to a nearby lake and even through the thin woods calms me, but there is no escaping from the automobiles. Nor is there any escape from the horror of tooth decay.
“A comfortable prison is still a prison.” ~ Salman Rushdie
Once again I am suffering from anxiety feeling unable to get away from human ears, the uncomfortable feeling of always being under surveillance. Also similar to Federal Way, Washington are the dangerous highways. Trying to escape Route 9 of Monmouth County, Dirty Jersey, I landed on Pacific Highway in Wild West, Federal Way, Washington … Escaping from Pacific Highway, I ended right back in Concentration Camp Zone, Asbury Park, Dirty Jersey … then back to Freehold Barrio … and now I am out on Route 70, the Motorway to the Hell of Redundant Shopping Centers, car dealerships, and parking lots. This is a toxic world. Are we supposed to be impressed?
The hatred spewing from that bus driver’s mouth early this month about people who “get money to sit at home and daydream” while she and others “bust their ass” has left impressions in my brain. I have been having visions (daydreams, fantasies) where I confront her arrogance, where I display my contempt and outright hostility for her status-quo values. Hunter-gatherers do not respond well to the farmer’s world, where one is constantly subjected to authority figures such as bus drivers, police, landlords, and countless others, i.e., “neighbors.” Is it possible that the Creature, this Thingly Presence, what may be called “I,” is constitutionally opposed to what is generally called “civilization”?
There is what I have come to describe as the INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS sensation, where those serving Mammon are acutely aware of my outsider status, as one who has SEPARATED ITSELF FROM THE MASSES, not one with the mob, outside the herd, breaking away from the pack, ejecting itself from the colony. Stranger rhymes with danger. When I write, I do not write for the masses, but for those, like myself, isolated or alienated beings who are hostile to the group mind. I do not reach out to the masses as the ministers or Hollywood directors do. I reach out to the few.
Since I am not fond of going around the dial on a clock radio, I find myself just keeping it locked on WBAI 99.5FM. I only listen to a few broadcasts, sometimes only Democracy Now and First Voices Indigenous Radio. I don’t hear any music coming from any of the apartments here. I find that kind of creepy. Very creepy. It is far too quiet in here, although sometimes, when I am reading out loud, talking to myself, or singing, I hear some people through the vents laughing. Are they laughing because they can hear me? I don’t mind if they are laughing at me.
Some notes about the author of A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole:
He committed suicide in 1969 at the age of thirty-two. It was his mother who was responsible for bringing his book to public light, pestering the hell out of Walker Percy, who was teaching at Loyola in 1976, to read it until finally that distinguished author relented. In his foreword to A Confederacy of Dunces, Percy laments the body of work lost to the world of literature with the author’s death, but rejoices “that this gargantuan tumultuous human tragicomedy is at least made available to a world of readers.”
Butterfly in the Typewriter was a worthwhile read. I think anyone who is interested in Toole and A Confederacy of Dunces would appreciate this biography. I transcribed some excerpts from it, but I wonder if they are worth typing up here.
Cory MacLauchlin wrote:
David Shields barely restrained himself from a tirade against the monstrosity of New York publishing when he wrote, “One has to believe there was a deliberate effort somewhere in those ivory towers along the northeastern seaboard to keep this book from the reading public. Why? Well, the answer to that would overrun this space and wouldn’t be very pretty to boot.”
… the system of book publishing may serve the interests of a company more so than the interests of readers or the art of literature. The meeting point between art and business has never been easy. Writers such as Toole watched in the late 1960’s, as publishers grew into multimillion dollar corporations and agents became facillitators between writers and editors. And while the filtering process became more rigorous, there emerged an uneasy sense that it didn’t produce higher quality work. Writers and readers grumbled that the publishing industry, in its shift toward big business, might be rejecting works that deserved publication as a valuable cultural product, not just a sellable item created to attract the whims of the mass market.
This silencing is part of why the story of its publication held such interest to readers. It suggests that the presumed cultural role of publishers to deliver quality literature may be compromised by motives of profit and marketability. A solitary writer complaining about publishers, convinced no one appreciates his genius, has few sympathizers. Toole’s heartbreaking life story disables dismissals of those complaints, allowing many readers and writers to feel vindicated in their frustrations and suspicions of the publishing world.
…Granted, there was an undercurrent of Anti-Semitic discourse surrounding the novel at the time. It was suggested that, although not coming from Toole directly, that Gottlieb never accepted the novel on the basis of its representation of Jews, particularly Myrna Minkoff and the Levy’s , characters he felt didn’t work in the novel. While teaching at Hunter College, Toole had witnessed the intense sensitivity toward anything that might be construed as Anti-Semitic. It would not be surprising if Toole felt the Jewish characters were misinterpreted by Gottlieb. Furthermore, in the early 1960’s many of the publishing houses in New York were privately owned by Jewish families.
Thelma harbored suspicions of a Jewish plot to suppress the genius gentile voice of her son. She responded with clearly Anti-Semitic language.
In the November 3, 1939 entry in her war-time diary, Simone de Beauvoir returns to a defense of EMBODIED, COMPASSIONATE CONSCIOUSNESS in reflecting on “how I situate myself in the world.” She affirms her interest in her “psychological inner life.” She complains of intellectual solitude. She turns away from Hegel and I breathe a sigh of relief. She says she has been delivered from a bad rationalist optimism. In her diary, she writes something John Trudell would most likely resonate with: “My goal is to acheive being.”
Once again, I lost a journal while in Freehold … I also lost my huge back-pack and Language, Thought, and Reality by Benjamin Whorf.
I trek all the way to Freehold to hide in the woods where I romped as a wild child most likely because I have become so dejected and irritated living in a spiritual wasteland of concrete and asphalt.
Once again I am clearly an outsider and most likely judged as a “weirdo” by the mediocre herd who unreflectively follow the idiotic norms of the Machine Age. Go team, go! Run boy, run!
I reflect upon John Trudell’s words, about how the enemy, the oppressor, that Other Side, how they want us to feel we are becoming overwhelmed so that we will listen to them. I have to protect my spirit because I am in a place where spirits get eaten.
Grandfathers of the Universe, behold me!
It is as though society wants me to roll over and play dead, or, as Thomas Ligotti suggests, to roll over and play them: medicated, obedient, stable and dependable employee units who promote and uphold conformity to the stupid norms of the status-quo.
I will try to finish reading Solzhenitsyn’s In the First Circle before it it due on the 13th. I really appreciate this lifestyle which allows me so much leisure for literary research and development. I don’t know what is coming down the pike. I will want to utilize my time here in this apartment for going over old notebooks. Now that I have the chests with my old notebooks, I may even be able to finally type up Volume 2 of “Excerpts From My Records.” What I thought about and tried to articulate back in 1991 is still relevant in my daily life today: “I will not pray to have my unpleasant nature removed. I do not wish to be normalized.”
“I can’t be who I am and I’m not going to be who you tell me to be, so I’ll be nothing. I’ll just do my time and get through it, but I will not become you.”
In In the First Circle, where the character, Nerzhin represents Solzhenitsyn himself, Nerzhin reflects on how “his life has been one long, senseless, depressing chain of misfortunes from which he lacked the strength to struggle free.”
While reading I slipped into a power nap. I dreamt there were people in my quarters, most likely from voices through the vents. There were accusations of someone shouting outbursts, and, in the dream, becoming paranoid, I chased everyone out of the apartment. Then, the “dream police” were at my door. I suddenly woke up.
My strong rhetoric seems to disturb some people. Why must I always walk on eggshells and restrain the fire in my bones? I even ran into some trouble in tent cities, west and east, evidentally caused by my “crazy talk” or rhetoric. I obtain relief expressing contrarian sentiments. I stare into the abyss, and the abyss stares back.
The apartment complex is so quiet that it gives me the creeps. Will management play stupid, as if they don’t know how paper thin the walls are, as if everyone likes it as quiet as a cemetary?
“People with a pulse need not apply …”
I have been here for only three months and I am already wandering where I will relocate to next. I am so tired of relocating, but I know myself, and I just can’t play dead.
Some commercial radio station has the 99.5FM slot in this part of New Jersey, and I can just barely tune in WBAI with an old analog clock radio by positioning the cord ever so carefully in one part of the apartment directly by the window. It’s like Hogan’s Heroes, or more like Hentrich’s Heretics. Free Speech Radio is supposedly going under due to lack of funding. WBAI may lose access to the transmitter on the Empire State Building by the end of the month. Is the enemy silencing non-commercial radio, which includes First Voices Indigenous Radio, with its economic muscle? Am I upset about this or have I become all-too-apathetic?
It just makes me despize gort culture even more. I see mall-rats. I see cockroaches with car keys. I see talking monkeys in Italian suits. Celebrities and those who idolize them. TV evangelists and the sheep who feel righteous listening to them.
Myself, I am currently drawn to what I am calling “The Ligotti Manifesto” (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race: A Contrivance of Horror). Ligotti begins the chapter, “The Cult of Grinning Martyrs,” with “every shrewd slave knows enough to be as perky as he is submissive in the presence of his master.”
Then he goes on to mention a very sharp observation made by the great and honest Arthur Schopenhauer: “Optimism seems to me to be, not only absurd, but also a really wicked way of thinking, a bitter mockery of the most unspeakable sufferings of mankind.”
Ligotti goes on to say that society expects us not to complain. He is absolutely correct. This is true whether one is an employee in the work-force or an inmate in a prison or psychiatric hospital. Society (the people around you – family, co-workers, fellow-prisoners) calls us “whiners” when we complain, even when our complaints are valid.
Thomas Ligotti wrote:
Should you conclude that life is objectionable or that nothing matters – do not waste our time with your nonsense. We are on our way to the future, and the philosophically disheartening or the emotionally impaired are not going to hinder our progress. If you cannot say something positive, or at least equivocal, keep it to yourself. Pessimists and depressives need not apply for a position in the enterprise of life. You have two choices: Start thinking the way God and society want you to think or be forsaken by all.
Excuse me, but I will pause here so you can laugh. To me, that was hilarious. I’m a sick man like Dostoyevsky’s “Underground Man.” Obviously, the author is taking on the voice of society yelling at us, which I find amusing. That’s very comforting to me, for he understands us … those of us who find life to be not exactly pleasant.
No melancholic head-case is going to badmouth our catastrophe. The universe was created by the Creator, goddamn it.
None of this is going to be overwhelmed by a thought criminal who contends that the world is not doubleplusgood and never will be and who believes that anyone is better off dead than alive.
To lay it on the line, whatever thoughts may enter your chemically imbalanced brain are invalid, inauthentic, or whatever dismissive term we care to hang on you, who are only “one of those people.”
Could this be what the conspiracy is? Artaud wrote an essay where he theorizes that Van Gogh was suicided by society. Schopenhauer theorized that artificial social hierarchies reverse the natural order of the universe, where what nature has made extraordinary, contrarian, original, or non-conforming, society keeps in chains and drags through the mud, while it places what nature has made mediocre or conformist in positions of authority. At the end of the day, authority is artificial power. This would mean that ostentatious consumption – that shameless display of one’s own opulence and wealth to humiliate others who don’t have the same resources – is some kind of psychological compensation.
While those with a strong sense of the inauthenticity of such status symbols are able to shrug it off with contempt and disdain, many – especially the youth – ARE actually humiliated and degraded by that ostentatious consumption. They internalize the shallow values of this superficial culture as they may not have developed enough confidence to face down the herd. I believe this is at the root of the school-shooting (I don’t like Mondays) massacres.
Because this emotional plague runs rampant in our communities, many sensitive individuals isolate rather than put themselves at the mercy of the conventional. In ancient times, at the beginnings of “civilization” when pharoahs owned armies of slaves (before pharoahs became incorporated where they pay employees, before footballs teams, when there were gladiators to entertain the gorts), they knew not to give their slaves uniforms. If they did, the slaves would realize their numbers and revolt!
Why do people riot over hockey-games but not the price of bread or the price of a peach or an orange?
… it was inconceivable that its members could ever assemble in larger numbers than twos and threes. Rebellion meant a look in the eyes, an inflexion of the voice, at the most, an occasional whispered word.
Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious. – CATCH 22 !
A few of us are once again hacking at the roots with ferocity at isis.phpbb3now.com. Redstart took the time to type up the passage I had refered to earlier in one of the Ligotti threads. Thomas Ligotti hits the nail on the head with great force. Anyway, we love it:
Thomas Ligotti wrote:
And if we do not feel good, we should act as if we do. If you act happy, then you will become happy—everybody in the workaday world knows that. If you do not improve, then someone must assume the blame. And that someone will be you. We are on our way to the future, and no introverted melancholic is going to impede our progress. You have two choices: start thinking the way God and your society want you to think or be forsaken by all. The decision is yours, since you are a free agent who can choose to rejoin the world of fabricated reality—civilization, that is—or stubbornly insist on … what? That we should rethink how the whole world transacts its business? That we should start over from scratch, questioning all the ways and means that delivered us to a lofty prominence over the amusement park of creation? Try to be realistic. We made our world just the way nature and the Lord wanted us to make it. There is no starting over and no going back. No major readjustments are up for a vote. And no nihilistic head case is going to get a bad word in edgewise. The universe was created by the Creator, goddamn it. We live in a country we love and that loves us back. We have families and friends and jobs that make it all worthwhile. We are somebodies, as we spin upon this good earth, not a bunch of nobodies without names or numbers or retirement plans. None of this is going to become unraveled by a thought criminal who contends that the world is not double plus good and never will be and who believes that anyone is better off dead than alive. Our lives may not be unflawed—that would deny us a future to work toward—but if this charade is good enough for us, then it should be good enough for you. So if you cannot get your mind right, try walking away. You will find no place to go and no one who will have you. You will find only the same old trap the world over. It is the trap of tomorrow. Love it or leave it—choose which and choose fast. You will never get us to give up our hopes, demented as they may seem. You will never get us to wake up from our dreams. Your opinions are not certified by institutions of authority or by the middling run of humanity, and therefore whatever thoughts may enter your chemically imbalanced brain are invalid, inauthentic, or whatever dismissive term we care to assign to you who are only “one of those people.” So get the hell out if you can. But we are betting that when you start hurting badly enough, you will come running back. If you are not as strong as Samson — that no-good suicide and slaughterer of Philistines — then you will return to the trap. Do you think we are morons? We have already thought everything that you have thought. The only difference is that we have the proper and dignified sense of futility not to spread that nasty news. Our shibboleth: “Up the Conspiracy and down with Consciousness.”
Taking notes from my message board, it becomes so clear that just before the final “train wreck” we were extremely focused on something of extreme seriousness, and so, I will not resist the urge to quote a key exchange:
Its funny when you think that depression is actually not an aberration but the removal of all defense mechanisms and the stripping of consciousness to nakedness… how it flies in the face of all these mental institutions who want to to talk us into thinking “positive” or medicate us to correct the chemical “imbalance”.
A short passage from Catch 22. I can’t resist pointing out again:
“Well, do you know what you are? You’re a frustrated, unhappy, disillusioned, undisciplined, maladjusted man!” Major Sanderson’s disposition seemed to mellow as he reeled off the uncomplimentary adjectives.
“Yes, sir,” Yossarian agreed carefully. “I guess you’re right.”
“Of course I’m right. You’re immature. You’ve been unable to adjust to the idea of war.”
“You have a morbid aversion to dying. You probably resent the fact that you’re at war and might get your head blown off any second.”
“I more than resent it, sir. I’m absolutely incensed.”
“You have deep-seated survival anxieties. And you don’t like bigots, bullies, snobs or hypocrits. Subconciously there are many people you hate.”
“Consciously, sir, consciously,” Yossarian corrected in an effort to help. “I hate them consciously.”
“You’re antagonistic to the idea of being robbed, exploited, degraded, humiliated or deceived. Misery depresses you. Ignorance depresses you. Persecution depresses you. Violence depresses you. Slums depress you. Greed depresses you. Crime depresses you. Corruption depresses you. You know, it wouldn’t surprise me if you’re a manic-depressive!”
“Yes, sir, perhaps I am.”
… bigots, bullies, snobs, hypocrits, phonies, optimists, politicians, etc … I hate them consciously.
ooooooo (Nat) wrote:
Bipolar “disorder” explained.
I found the following statement by one Nemonymous, writing about the publication of the book dimasok introduced us to, Ligotti’s “Unabomber Manifesto,” The Conspiracy Against the Human Race c.2010:
I am surprised that there haven’t been suicide cults worldwide as a result – but that may also explain the lack of buzz about the book: its very success. Everyone has slinked back into themselves. And the cataclysmic nature of the world’s growing debt crisis is just one symptom of that. An awareness of the truth. And preparation for channeling it into quiet real-time page-turning creativity rather than sock-it-to-them ebooks…
Imagine the headlines!
Obscure Thinkers Spread Suicide Cult With Dark Black Comedy
I have always fantasized about the Natural Power of a Cult of Suicides who chose not to end their physical lives, but chose rather to end their “socially indoctrinated lives” so as to develop into fully alive creatures, an impersonal Thingly Presence with Pure Intelligence peering out from behind the eyes. My Fantasy/Wish: to become a Legion of beings, one organism with a multiplicity of bodies. Is this philosophical horror? What if we are The PRESENCE of such a primordial intelligence Larger Than Life? Maybe we are One Intelligence (mad-scientist laugh).
And the gorts (filled with hatred, hands pressed firmly on the horns of their automobiles) shout: “Get a job, loser! Nobody wants to listen to you slander us all day while we’re pulling the cart of civilization and delivering you eggs to sustain your pathetic existence!”
How does the nonconforming independent thinker respond to such an emotional plague of hatred if not simply preparing to be persecuted by the mass who will hate us out of fear of what our mere existence implies, that, no, we don’t HAVE TO accept life on life’s terms. We can defy the mob, we can be at odds with the entire civilization. We can beg, borrow, or steal in order to survive within a system whose idiotic norms we refuse to follow. And if we are not permitted to exist in our own manner, then, yes, we can prepare to fade away into extinction like so many fine specimens have done before us. And no, and I speak only for myself here, I won’t be donating any of my seeds to the sperm bank before disintegrating into a million particles and evaporating into the winds.
Paradoxically, two contributors on my message board, who appeared quite antagonistic to each other, were on the very same page. Again, I can’t resist including this very serious dialogue in my Notes On Being Animal in the Machine Age:
Its sad and tragic that no one gives a shit about us (except ourselves who care about each other). Even if we were to quote Schopenhauer, Cioran, Ligotti and others in their entirety … it would fall on deaf ears as rumblings of madmen… and the only retort would be “find a job you freeloader!” followed by some other insult.
But even if you do find yourself submitting to this painful form of slavery called “employment”, do you think they care?! They will blame you, ONCE MORE, that it is YOUR fault that you can’t thrive in that system, can’t get a PROMOTION, can’t find a PROFESSION you like, etc.
We are LOSERS to them no matter what we do… unless we are successful and prospering in THEIR capitalistic nightmare.
To hell with this world.
Yep, exactly. I found many times in my earlier life that submitting to wage-slavery did not automatically make me acceptable in the eyes of the gorts. It just opened the door to a new set of insults – instead of “moocher” or “freeloader,” I was called “underachiever” and “slacker.” In either case, the underlying judgement remained the same: LOSER.
Capitalism has trained the vast majority to buy into a “winner/loser” mentality, and this is inescapable – employed or not. The only way to escape it is to become as sociopathic as the “winners,” and I’d rather die than do that. It’s not that I can’t – at one point I was making $800 a day doing “marketing.” I gave it up because of my conscience…
Much to the horror of my ex, of course, who had been relentlessly pushing me to make money for years.
We need to learn that they (the gorts and their masters) are EVIL, and therefore their opinions and judgements should count for nothing.
Allow me to repeat, with slightly more emphasis: the average person is either born or systematically trained to be EVIL.
Capitalism is school for sociopaths, and class is very much in session. I have no sympathy for the gorts, because deep down, they all know they have a choice. They can either accept the sociopathic programming or rebel – and they choose the easy way. They conform and comply. So, as far as I am concerned, put them all on a ship and sink it. And guess what? That’s exactly the case, and that sinking ship is called Earth.
We don’t deserve to go down with the ship, but it’s a small price to pay to watch the gorts learn what “sink or swim” really means.
Right on point! Even as our humble little message board appeared to be a total train wreck, we did get it. We get it. We have our eyes open. We are awakened ones in this Matrix Bizarroland.
Here’s another gem from the comment section of the local [Jersey Shore] paper, in regards to a letter written in favor of increasing the minimum wage:
“Minimum wage pay and maximum unemployment have nothing in common. The people earning minimum wage have made a decision not to excel, both in school and on the job. Those receiving maximum unemployment are serious workers who had earned good jobs through hard study and hard work.
Hardly an intelligent comparison.”
Definitely twisted. I am glad I am not a fly on the wall to hear the way some people talk about the disenfranchized. I don’t want to become violent, and yet words like “loser” really make me boil. People have been brainwashed into thinking that their misery is their own fault.
What the fuck are AA and NA meetings for but to instill in the general population shame for their disgruntledness. Shaming people, making them feel that their fate is their own responsibility totally in their own hands – that merciless, “You chose to give up hope. Your own negative energy brought this on. You facilitated that last beat down, you know, with all your ranting and raving.”
All this does is drain the population of its political energy. There are those among the very needy who have more than our share of brains who are at the mercy of such fools.
“How easy it is to be ‘deep’: all you have to do is let yourself sink into your own flaws.” ~ Cioran
“What now? Answer: Now you go insane. Now our species goes extinct in great epidemics of madness, because now we know that behind the scenes of life there is something pernicious that makes a nightmare of our world. Now we know we are uncanny paradoxes. We know that nature has veered into the supernatural by fabricating a creature that cannot and should not exist by natural law, and yet does.” ~ Thomas Ligotti (c. 2010, A Conspiracy Against The Human Race)
Well, since I am once again without a telephone I have to walk to the library to renew/return texts, and since this is an all day affair, I will be packing meatloaf sandwiches. I am reaching a level of honesty within my own mind where I am able to think thoughts that may seem forbidden or taboo, thoughts that challenge the notion that there was ever a good time to be born, thoughts that are generally negative, thoughts which enable me to embrace WEIRD THEORIES about the nature of reality, thoughts which challenge the hypothesis of the self, thoughts which liberate me from culturally defined sanity.
The roots of my hostility toward existence may go much deeper than displeasure with this iron-cast civilization of ours, but may extend to an indignation against the horrors of being born into Life Itself. I am enthusiastic with this bold level of honesty. I may want to experiment once again with Automatic Writing, especially since dialogue on the message board, isis.phpbb3now.com, has come to a screeching hault. I think we said all we could say, and we knew it.
So I am free to explore Weird Theory. I probe the word ‘weird’: fearfully and mysteriously strange or fantastic; eerie, spooky, uncanny, unearthly; RELATED —> creepy, haunting, preternatural; supernatural; supernal; curious, odd, peculiar, queer, strange; inscrutable; mysterious; awe-inspiring, awful, dreadful, fearful, horrific. Converse notions of ‘weird’ are: common, commonplace, everyday; natural, ordinary, normal.
While I surely understand that civilization has been a most brutal and violent process, I also entertain the idea that life itself may have always been horrific. These Weird Theories have implications and consequences for how I view the world, for how I live, and shed light on the nature of my alienation from mainstream society as far as being “work-shy” goes.
This is an attempt to move toward DISILLUSIONMENT, i.e., to destroy illusions. It is also an attempt to allow for contradictions and complexity. This is a radical phenomenology of mental suffering where we may view ourselves as the victims of our own consciousness. One of my favorite aphorisms by Emile Cioran requires a dictionary to really appreciate:
“Our vacillations bear the mark of our probity; our assurances, of our imposture. A thinker’s untruthfulness may be recognized by the sum of precise ideas he advances.”
The less certain we are, the more confused, the more honest our thinking is!
vacillate – to sway back and forth; indecisiveness
probity – honesty; incorruptibility
assurance – confident belief
imposture – deceptive
In order to have reached this level of incorruptable intellectual/emotional honesty, I have had to become WEIRD (uncommon), challenging “common sense”.
Self-pity gets a bad rap in this medical-industrial complex.
And yet: “Self-pity is not so sterile as we suppose. Once we feel its mere onset, we assume a thinkers attitude, and come to think of it, we come to think!” ~ Cioran
To pity ourselves for having been born at all is to begin to THINK, to consider the reality that, in having been born, we have suffered some accident of cosmic proportions.
What I admire most about Arthut Schopenhauer is his honesty, his intellectual integrity, and his openness about how he really feels about life and the trouble with being born. While I am nowhere near as talented a scholar as he was, what I do think I have in common with this Teacher of Mankind, he might have appreciated: my emotional honesty.
Zamyatin, author of We (which inspired Orwell’s 1984, Huxley’s Brave New World, Levine’s This Perfect Day, Vonnegut’s Player Piano, et cetera), said that Schopenhauer and Cioran wrote as children would write [were those children to have fully developed mental faculties]: HONESTLY.
This may be why I do not have an issue with limiting my literary pursuits to “the diary format.” Didn’t the protagonists in We and 1984 and even Quinn’s The Story of B scribble in composition notebooks? It’s just a way to record the act of thinking, after all. Automatic Writing is as authentic a literature as any letter written. Its just a letter to an unknown receiver, like an SOS message in a bottle.
I reckon I’m aiming to tell the truth.
This effort to express the most authentic thoughts and feelings, even if the feelings are disturbing or the thoughts forbidden, does have value. Should we discover ourselves totally alone in a science-fiction corporate horror nightmare world, well then, at least the protagonist, WE, is heroically relaying some kind of message, if not to a future sentient being (notes get thrown into dumpsters and hard-drives are destroyed by rains), then at least a telepathic vibratory message is sent to the Invisibles (the non-human intelligence all around us and within us).
A personal note: I can promise myself all I want that I will be available to become my aging mother’s caretaker when she really needs me, but if she becomes “afraid” of me due to my unpredictable outbursts, then she would have to depend on government programs. We just have to live out our lives. We go through these lives, and I sense that our ancestors are with us. They will help us! They will help us through this machine madness we are experiencing. Perhaps I will one day be motivated to use my VOICE as a WEAPON against “the enemy,” in which case I risk a violent death at the hands of “trained personell”. What will be, will be.
For now I embrace my perserverence and tenacity. Walking to my mother’s domicile with a leg that required surgery just nine months ago, with a badass limp, was no small feat, but without a telephone, this is what was required to “make peace,” to keep my relations in order. This is what I call ANIMAL LOVE.
I had started re-reading Schopenhauer’s The World As Will and Representation, Volume One from the very beginning again. I have read it several times, but this past decade I seem to have been more focused on Volume Two, the volume I sent into the Monmouth County Jail to “the Rastaman” via the Native from Mexico who was a chef in Belmar – the cell mate who had gotten a little rough with the police, the cellie who called me “Henry” while encouraging me to continue typing up my mysterious scribblings onto the Internet.
There were several Afro-Asiatic scholars in the air-conditioned dungeon who were extremely interested and curious about Arthur Schopenhauer’s theories concerning the fact that there really is no such thing as a “white race,” as much as this term, White Race, is accepted as fact.
I want to transcribe some of my reflections inspired by chapter 5 of part 1 of Schopenhauers magnum opus.
Reading the WWRv1 is like looking into a mirror. I consider the WWRv1 to be a work of art by a genius so coherent as to be supernatural or UNCANNY. Since this book had such an impact on me, it makes sense for me to return to it frequently as a rebel monk returning to a canonical text in order to rediscover the quality of the thought processes resonating in its author.
Note that this work would not have been published were Schopenhauer not to have financed the endevor himself, so at odds was he with the authorities of his era. Also, he would not have had the funds to do this if his father, Heinrich, had not committed suicide (when Arthur was 17) by drowning himself in an ice-cold lake, leaving behind an inheritance which Arthur stretched to last a lifetime.
To this day, my nephew thanks me for passing this gem off to him when he was experiencing existential anguish at age fifteen. Tribalism, albeit a very damaged and confused tribalism, is still alive and kicking. No good deed goes unpunished, and Uncle Socrates is still getting blamed for “corrupting” the minds of the youth by inspiring them to question the so-called authorities of this world, for encouraging plain speech and genuine thinking.
Section five of the WWRv1 focuses on the controversy over the reality of the external world, the so-called objective world. It has become clear to me that, while Edmund Husserl does not mention Arthur Schopenhauer, Husserl’s “invention” – PHENOMENOLOGY – is merely an application of Schopenhauer’s transcendentally idealistic philosophy. Sigmund Freud’s “unconscious” is simply an application of Schopenhauer’s theories on “the Will.” Presto bingo!
It has become evident to me that Husserl’s “phenomenological region” is none other than Schopenhauer’s “world as representation.” There is this self-same world of experience we encounter as sentient beings which is dependent upon knowing/feeling sentience in order to experience itself. Life is a dream, a great phantasmagoria. Our experiences while sleeping are just as valid as our experiences awake in day to day existence.
I notice many women that I surely would be able to procreate with, but fortuneately for me and the unborn generations, few to none take me by the hand. Few to none attempt to seduce me. Most leave me alone, seeing as I am quite reluctant, to say the least, to sell myself into slavery for the privilege of replicating myself. I’m a tough nut to crack, no pun intended.
Shake up the views of the common man!
Is it possible that the real villian in Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces is none other than Ignatius’s very own mother, Agnes? She does call “Charity Hospital” (psychiatric hospital: what today is euphemistically called “Behavioral Health Treatment Facility”), and the ambulance is on its way to pick up Ignatius as he just barely escapes with his radical girlfriend, Mirna Minkoff, and what his mother calls his “copybooks.”
Note that in all three stories: the novels A Confederacy of Dunces, A Fraction of the Whole, and the film, Henry Fool, the massive amounts of writings in composition notebooks are central to the story but the contents are hardly revealed.
I just finished reading through notebook #42 from 1995. It puts much into perspective for me as I realize that my relations with Sherry was my first and last real experiment with cohabitating with a woman for a long duration. For me, three to four years is a long duration. When I returned to college at night, this caused some havoc in our Fool’s Paradise.
When I was quite young, my paternal-paternal Great Grandmother advised me against marriage … often in not very subtle ways. In fact, it was my Great Grandmother, nearly 100 years old at the time, who councelled Sherry and I to live together for at least three years before considering marriage so as to see if we were truly compatible as “life-partners.”
Reading Solzhenitsyn’s In the First Circle, recently translated – the UNCENSORED CANONICAL TEXT – is proving to be a spiritual experience for me, forcing me to acknoweldge that my “troubles” have not destroyed me, but have actually connected me to the people I most identify with: the downtrodden.
downtrodden – tyrannized over; oppressed: the downtrodden plebeians of ancient Rome.
Inner transformations are taking place where I have been vocal about my total displeasure with the status-quo business-as-usual world of elected popes and elected presidents, hospital bills, fines, long months of pennilessness, and all this bullshit about God and Higher Power. I have been vocal about my mistrust of industrialized psychiatry and its “mental health” behavioral treatment centers. MICA? Pfffffftt …
And so, like Dostoevsky’s Raskolnovich in his novel Crime and Punishment, I’m an irritable “former student” who holes up in his apartment to think and write “essays”. Problems accrue from the excessive and inappropriate expression of anger and hostility. Unconditional self-acceptance most clearly provides an antidote to depression. Is this automatic writing or simply stream of consciousness?
Phenomenological introspection = self-observation
Nature belongs to itself.
I am Nature.
Therefore, I belong to myself and phenomenology is Nature Observation.
Whereas Hermann Hesse produced a novel called Steppenwolf, which is considered philosophical autobiography, I am a living Steppenwolf-in-the-flesh, a living madman scribbling records For Madmen Only. Reading my own records aloud is quite liberating. Actually, when my voice is up to the task, I have been enjoying reading books out loud. I still “speed read” through material that does not interest me, but lately I have been experimenting with reading novels and classic literature out loud, as if to an audience. This helps to break the oppressive silence of an all-too-quiet environment.
One of my favorite characters in Solzhenitsyn’s In the First Circle is a very minor one, Uncle Avenir (uncle of Innokenty Artemievich Volodin). He is a proud elderly peasant who hates the proletariat. He refers to them as the leading class. He says peasants commune with the soil, with nature, and that intellectuals (which I consider myself to be) are engaged in the noble work of thinking. The proles spend all their lives within dead walls making dead things with dead machines. How can they ever learn anything?
Uncle Avenir says that if you have a position to hold down, you have to truckle … and you have to be dishonest.
“I could not even stand being a librarian, let alone a teacher.”
Innokenty asks, “What’s so hard about a librarian’s job?”
Uncle Avenir replies, “Just go and try it. You have to trash good books and praise bad ones. You have to mislead undeveloped minds. “
What job can be done with a clear conscience? Certainly not police, soldier, guard, judge, or prosecutor. What does it mean to “truckle”? To truckle means to fawn, boot-lick, ass-lick, kiss-ass, brown-nose, to cower, to cringe, to grovel, kow-tow, knuckle under, succumb, follow, tag, tail. In general, to be an obedient dog, to follow orders. A truckler is a sycophant, what Mom calls a Yes Man. She does have some understanding of my rebellious spirit. She understands that I am not a Company Man. I am not a Team Player. I guess I am the polar opposite of a corporation. May I coin the term “anticorp”? I am an anticorp, an anticog in the Machine Age.
On a lighter note, a note from Writings #46 (Winter 1997), an Asian female psychiatrist thought an aggressive woman might swoop me off my feet. She suggested I continue to go to the Barnes and Noble. What is disillusionment? To be disillusioned is to be free from that which deludes. I am free from thinking I will be a rock star. Am I free from thinking “an aggressive woman will swoop me off my feet”? Going over the records of “the park years” and witnessing how miserable I was at MBSP helps me to appreciate not having to report to an employer at 8AM. So what if I am penniless throughout much of the month. No wonder I rebelled against day programs and the necessity of owning an automobile! How or why do people put up with it? Surely countless others feel the same way as I do!
In 1997 I sent an email to the superintendent of the park I was a maintenance worker at. He called me on the phone telling me I should not be working for the park service as a janitor, that I was a gifted writer. That was 16 years ago. In 1998 I typed up many excerpts from my notebooks from 1987 to 1998 … I did that as soon as I lost my position with the State Park Service. It took one entire summer of being unemployed. Now I am waiting to receive three chestfuls of notebooks from my brother-in-law who possessed enough insight into how precious those records are to me that he was able to store them somewhere for me when my mother had to sell her condo in Freehold. I was way out in Seattle, Washington, and he was stuck helping my mother relocate, with all that this entails. The one thing he saved for me is those scribbled reflections. He finally brought them to me, and even though we may be estranged by circumstances, he played a key role in my being able to, once again, compile some excerpts – this time from 1998 through 2012. It is difficult for me to fathom that the first batch represents life from age 20 to age 30, and this current batch represents age 31 to age 45. Will I live another 15 years to compile records from 2013 to 2025? Doubtful. Maybe I will be writing directly into the official philosophical autobiography as soon as I get caught up with “taking excerpts”.
Reading through Writings #49 from May 1997, “Discordia,” which is one of the crappiest volumes ever – total shit, towards the end there is one significant paragraph: I had written my paternal grandmother a letter telling her, “I am feeling lonely and depressed. I am not a very happy person. Perhaps I am even miserable. I most likely will not be going back to school. We all would have been better off if we had never been born. I have given up on happiness. I hope I am not a disappointment to you. After all, I did not choose to be born. I am dealing with life as best I can. May you sleep in peace.”
She had called me on the phone June 4th, 1997. She loved the letter and encouraged me to write her more often. She also told me that I was a very important person. She thought that I would be happier were I using my writing skills.
In 1997 I earned $30,000 per year and five packs of class A cigarettes cost me $8. In 2013, sixteen years later, I live on less than half of that, and one pack of class A cigarettes is $8. I can’t prevent myself from doing the math. I do math in my sleep. Maybe this is why I have trouble sleeping. If inflation/cost-of-living is 5 times x, then I am living on an equivalent of 15000/5, which would be $3,000 per year in 1997, just 10% of what my salary as maintenance was then. Add this next fact to the equation. My dole is twice that of standard SSI. This is the real situation for The People, i.e., the peasants. I am The People!
“Conduct yourself as a knower rather than as a sufferer. The vastness of the world, which previously disturbed our peace of mind, now rests within us; our dependence on it is now annulled by its dependence on us.” ~ Schopenhauer
Is it possible to behold ourselves as processes rather than as identities? If everyone is presenting themselves as they wish to be seen and not as they really are, then all polite society is a farce. Maybe people wear these masks and personas out of total fear. This reminds me of some advice given by none other than the great Arthur Schopenhauer: “Do not consider a person’s bad will, or narrow understanding, as they may lead you to hate him [or her]; but fix your attention on his [or her] sufferings, needs, anxieties, and pains.”
If I can focus my attention on the sufferings, needs, anxieties and pains of “the gorts,” maybe I will experience less misanthropic hatred for the masses. This is just basic compassion. Going through those records from early 1998, I find it rather hilarious how I just take being thrown in the county jail and losing a steady job which included the historic Tark House as my personal residence all in stride, more than happy to have the opportunity to dive deeply into the study of Fuzzy Logic, Calculus, and Philosophy. It is very clear to me that I appreciated getting the fuck away from my position as a state slave. All of my confrontations with so-called superiors or “authorities” have been this ape’s challenging dominion over it. Also, my emotional entanglements with certain women have perhaps been made more (not less) valid when they did not involve sex.
Nothing that is so, is so: Some of my greatest so-called failures have been my greatest successes!
2013.03.20 Spring Equinox
In a world so grounded in illusions, lies, deceptions, especially self-deception, what could be more radical, more extraordinary, and more revolutionary than to strive to be honest, especially with regards to self-observation and catastrophic introspection – with revelations not appropriate for polite [read: phony] society? Now, isn’t this the real value of authentic literature, the kind of honesty revealed in diaries and intimate letters, not the lies that pass for literature, not the self-improvement trash, that one can unleash the ever-observing inner protagonist so as to see oneself as one truly is unashamedly and unapologetically? What is the sense of writing if I cannot express my true feelings no matter how unpleasant or hurtful?
The Earth will absorb my bones back into her soil.
Here comes the breakthrough. Ready? Literature has pointed in the direction of this phenomenon, and it is literature which has touched that real core essence, this ANIMAL-BEING, this “me-body.”
The Light in the Forest – the hero feels a more real bond with the Aborigines of Turtle Island, the natives who adopted him, than he does with his “White Christian” family who punished him by withholding love and emotional support.
This Perfect Day – Chip’s parents cow-towed and paid deference to advisers, were afraid of Chip’s disturbing thoughts, used coercion to “help” him.
Player Piano – Paul Proteus’s wife places more value on being approved of by society than on having the courage to face down the herd.
I have de-oedipalized.
The Deoedipalization of Mike Hentrich: Even if both my grandfathers identified with the colonizer, this does not guarantee I would do the same. I am living proof, for I strongly identify with the colonized! Just because my own father continues to build the pyramids for the all-so-comfortable pharaohs does not imply that I will build any such pyramids. Again, my very own animal being is the living proof in the flesh.
If the journey is a metaphor for character development, then my life-story is at a breakthrough point where I become evermore mentally and emotionally independent. I choose the way of Earth and rebel against the way of God.
Another revelation: If my sitting by the lake down the road from the garden apartment prison complex that I currently “reside” at becomes problematic to the “neighborhood” I will look into “breaking my lease” on the grounds that I have found myself in some kind of prison town where one is not at liberty to find some inner peace outdoors.
All day Easter Sunday I thought it was Saturday. While I was cooking spinach, Jasmine rice with Cream of Mushroom soup, just after the corn bread came out of the oven, the bell rang. I honestly did not know who it was. Mom! I said, “I thought we were supposed to meet tomorrow for Easter.”
She said, “This IS Sunday. I ought to know. I just worked all day at Home Depot on Eater Sunday!”
No bonus by the way. Straight pay. My used to be a nun. I was rattled but happily surprised. I took my corn bread bread with me. Mom told me she would be taking me home after dinner because she had yoga on Monday. Still, I grabbed my back-pack along with my digital recorder to transfer files to Mom’s hard-drive.
I gave Mom a back massage which she enjoyed. She moaned that she now understood why she had children. Her cat, Baby, waited in line to be brushed! Funny. After carving the ham and splitting it between Mom and I – and scrubbing the pans, I came up with the plan for Mom and I to rise early so as to rent carpet cleaning machine from the Home Depot where she works. This way she could still make it to yoga and get back by 12:30 PM so we could return the machine before 1:03 PM. We were on point! I cleaned the carpets wonderfully, focusing mostly on the porch FIRST SHOT. My mother is very appreciative.
As a loner it is important to nurture the inner dialogue.
Very difficult nights lately. I wonder how much has to do with alcohol use; how much has to do with living in a garden apartment with such thin walls (which aggravates my inherent paranoia); how much has to do with living in Brick – having to walk along route 70 for miles just to get to the library and even bank; how much has to do with not owning a motor vehicle – my sense that people see me as a freak; how much has to do with not being employed; how much has to do with losing telephone; how much has to do with my personal resistance against religion and psychiatry; and how much is simply my reaction to living in this world which is a swamp of misery. I witness how many motorists operate their vehicles, including cab drivers, rabbis, etc. I feel great disgust. Talking monkeys with car keys. No offense – my own biological mother is a talking monkey with car keys. If you don’t like her driving, then stay off the sidewalk!
I experience great relief upon picking up the pen and attempting to probe for the root causes of my extreme discomfort anxiety. I reflect upon my good friend’s mother, Mrs. R, beholding her pain and confusion – how much radiates from her being! This inspires me to take deep breathes so as not to panic or become overwhelmed.
Why does this ape do what it does? A search for psychological insight? Why does this ape masturbate? Because it feels good and doesn’t hurt anyone.
I am beginning to wrap my mind around the limitations of writing to the general public. I mean, if my goal is to discover what I really think and feel, then imagining an audience would surely have a restraining and repressive effect on what I express.
An elderly man from Newark along the railroad tracks in Freehold once told me, “Everything is some scheme to try to get you to spend money: Be a consumer, work more to consume more. If you do not consume the products being marketed, you are considered mentally ill.”
That was also one of the themes of A Confederacy of Dunces: When Ignatius’s mother suggests he take a little rest in the psychiatric hospital, he replies, “They would try to make me into a moron who liked television and new cars and frozen food. Psychiatry is worse than communism. I refuse to be brainwashed. I won’t be a robot!”