11. The Impossibility of Being Hentrich

From June 2008 (Notebook #117): “Goethe himself had no illusions about successful love. Goethe analyzed the peculiar psychological complexities of the new hero in Faust. The result of knowledge seems to be disillusionment that involves the whole universe: a feeling that, if a man could shed all his illusions for a moment, he would not want to live.”

2010.08.14
Having experienced just how profoundly disinterested most people are in my philosophical reflections, no, to behold how hostile others can become when faced with my determination for mental independence, I quite naturally slip into my own private orbit content to reap the rewards of a deeply contemplative life. My Schopenhauer Cure is as effective, if not more effective, than many “medical solutions” to depression and general emotional anguish, stress, and anxiety.

“Perception is not just the source of all knowledge, but is itself knowledge.” Was it Schopenhauer who said this?

I vow to devote every day of my life to contemplating on why there is something rather than nothing.

I’ve had lots of time to think; so much time, in fact, that I may have accidentally figured some things out. Once I see who and what I am, which is basically an ape, without shame or disgust, without sin, then I am better able to accept my natural tendencies, hidden lusts, and basic animality. Once I begin to feel comfortable with what I really am, the fact that I am not what I have been taught to believe I am is not distressing. This is an intellectual adventure I am on. When things “click” and I understand why I do what I do, many worries get squashed. I guess it was anthropologist, Lionel Tiger, who suggested I look in the mirror and ask myself why this particular ape does what it does. I find I have much more patience with myself when I consider the fact that I am of an ape species. No wonder I get so frustrated and depressed …

Take a deep breath ape man. Man is a mad animal. This is our predicament. Those who presume to rule over us want us to feel we are becoming overwhelmed. It is bad luck to have been born. This truth goes against what we are bombarded with, that life itself is a great gift. No wonder so many people are disappointed with the way life has turned out. It is not our personal lives that are failures. Life itself is a failure. Either that or our species has evolved to a point where we are simply unfit for living. Maybe an excess of consciousness is really not such a good thing after all. The best one can shoot for is to rest in peace in undisturbed leisure. If there is no purpose to our suffering existence, why do we carry on? Does life teach us not to want it? Have I reached this point?

What do I reflect upon to help me sleep in peace? There is no reason to be born. There is no need to curse anyone for no one escapes the trials, tribulations, setbacks, and tragedies of life. Why do I prefer solitude over relationships? If I am in a sad state in general for no particular reason at all, it is not really a problem when I am alone. On the other hand, if I am with a woman, she may accuse me of being negative or depressing. In other words, only when we are alone are we free to just be ourselves. Why pretend to be happy if you are generally sad, intelligent enough to be sad, disappointed, dejected and disillusioned? On the other hand, why pretend to be concerned about things you don’t give a sit about? It is fear of the mob. We are bullied from articulating our real sentiments. Soldiers are not heroes. They are tools. My heroes are deep thinkers, not tools.

Some will wish to silence such statements through violence.

I was sad in jail. I am sad out of jail. Perhaps many recently released convicts are a bit shocked by this phenomenon, that there is plenty of pain, boredom, dissatisfaction, and frustration outside the walls as well. Perhaps they may find the truths they experience unbearable. Schopenhauer calls existence itself a penal colony where biological necessities are the harshest chains of all. We are chained to biological necessity. Out own bodies are our biggest problem …
I guess I am thankful to have developed an understanding of life’s true nature, that life is sad and unpleasant. I don’t take it personal. I should not be surprised that life has turned out to be one long validation of what I proclaimed at age fifteen, that “life sucks.” At least, as I become more emotionally mature, I realize that it is not “my life sucks,” but, rather, “it is life itself that sucks.”

What have I “done with my life”? I have been philosophy in the flesh. I have contemplated on what the purpose of living could possibly be. It is quite a nightmare, this being-in-the-world, but I try to handle it as best as I am able to. No one else can help me with this dilemma as they are also caught in it. No one can save me. I ca not save anyone else. Not many people wish to discuss in a thoughtful and authentic manner the dilemma we are born into. We are not born into sin. We are born into madness. And so I ask, “How can anyone alive not have compassion for all sentient beings”?

It is birth which has put us in this situation. Death releases us from all our so-called troubles. Would my insights be helpful to others who are sad or pathologically depressed? And so I cuddle into a ball under a blanket for a little taste of what death might feel like, thankful to be momentarily out of the air-conditioned dungeon, very relieved to be able to prepare my own meals rather than to be dependent on the zoo-keepers, always waiting for feeding time. I sleep only when I am tired, and I eat when I am hungry or bored. May this life pass swiftly, please. May I develop the strength, patience, compassion and other traits that will help me endure having been born. May I always remember that everything else has also been thrown into existence, and that no one is spared a very similar “cosmic horror”. There are no masters of reality. There are no gurus.

2010.08.15
The indexical “I,” the related pronouns “me” and “myself,” as well as our possession of an unchanging proper first name, contribute to the illusion of a permanent, stable, and immutable self – an illusion that mindfulness, introspection, or phenomenology as an activity performed by a “changing system” undermines. I set out to undermine the illusion of personal identity. Phenomenology is an activity performed by a dynamic system on itself. It is the act of introspection. The Natural Self is an ever-changing system, not a permanent identity.

The self is a product of narrative construction. The self is a fictional entity. Fundamentally it is the will that is spoken of whenever “I” occurs in a judgment. “I” am genuinely inspired by Owen Flanagan’s The Problem of the Soul:

“I came to disrespect many adults for not examining their beliefs and especially for not seeing that many of their deepest commitments were due to utter accidents involving the temporal and geographical location of their births. I thought of most adults as unreflective and lemming-like. My rebellion was quiet and polite, largely carried out in the privacy of my heart with considerable fear, anxiety, and a vivid and abiding sense of loneliness.”

Flanagan tells us that Natural Selves are imperfect. Biochemical changes in the “weather within” can bring a person low, making a happy person depressed. The stream of consciousness, my experiences and actions, my character, my personality are all changeable, part of the flux, so these cannot make me, me.

Vulgus philosophum esse impossible est —-> “It is impossible for the crowd to be philosophically enlightened.”

I really wish I knew why everyone seems never to acknowledge Schopenhauer. These cognitive scientists of the 21st century write as though their theories (about the soul being in the frontal lobes of the brain) were major breakthroughs … and yet Schopenhauer was stating similar things a couple hundred years ago across the pond, over in good ole’ Germany.

“Because in the case of thought the inexplicable stands out most immediately, a jump was at once made here from physics to metaphysics, and a substance of quite a different kind from everything corporeal was hypostatized; a soul was set up in the brain.” (Schopenhauer: The World as Will and Representation, Volume Two, p.174)

I sent a copy of that text into the county jail as some brothers were inquiring about Schopenhauer’s observation that there was no such thing as a “white race.” They evidently had stumbled upon his name reading Francis Cress Welsing as she does in fact reference him. Wow, somebody actually acknowledges Schopehauer! Frances Cress Welsing, author of The Isis Papers, does.

What other texts did I send in? (2) The Fourth Edition of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language; (3) Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel; (4) The Trouble With Being Born by Emile M. Cioran; (5) Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.; (6) A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz; (7) The Coming Insurrection by The Invisible Committee; (8) A Confederacy of Dunces by J.K. Toole

I sent { 2, 4, 5, 6, 8} to my cellie from the first part of the summer, and I sent {1, 3, 7} to my cellie from the second part of the summer, the Native American from Mexico. I asked him to pass off Schopenhauer to the Rastaman. Both “31” and the Rasta wrote me letters thanking me. I feel great about this. I am sure The Coming Insurrection will inspire intense discussions. The Native will dig it. Originally published in France in February, 2007, it opens with, “The book you hold in your hands has become the principle piece of evidence in an anti-terrorism case in France directed against nine individuals who were arrested on November 11, 2008, mostly in the village of Tarnac. They have been accused of ‘criminal association for the purposes of terrorist activity’ on the grounds that they were to have participated in the sabotage of overhead electric lines on Franco’s national railways. Although only scant circumstantial evidence has been presented against the nine, the French Interior Minister has publicly associated them with the emergent threat of an ‘ultra-left’ movement, taking care to single out this book, described as a ‘manual for terrorism,’ which they are accused of authoring. What follows is the text of the book preceded by the first statement of the Invisible Committee since the arrests.”

I find the little text to be fucking hilarious, and I am almost certain it will become the most sought after little document, first on the wing, and then in the general population once it makes its way off the wing. Will the guards inspect it? I mean, will someone read the contents?
The final page is not in the table of contents, ending with … “The radio keeps the insurgents informed of the retreat of the government forces. A rocket has just breached the wall of the Clairvaux prison. Impossible to say if it has been months or years since the “events” began. And the prime minister seems very alone in his appeals for calm.”

“There’s been a leak of files containing the personal addresses of all the cops, together with those of prison officials, causing an unprecedented wave of relocations.”

“There is only one alternative to the coming apocalypse: reduce growth. Consume and produce less. Become joyously frugal.”

Teach by example. Be the change. Pay close attention to the products you buy. Be content with what is strictly necessary. Voluntary austerity. It doesn’t hurt when you are the one who decides to embrace frugality. Children ought to question the authority of their parents, teachers, ministers, and what not. It has been a long time coming, but I am not going to be intimidated by upholders of the status quo.

2010.08.19
Having just cracked a second 16-ounce Coors Original, I fully accept that I am not Arthur Schopenhauer. Clearly I dance with Dionysus! This way of life (yoke, yoga) is easy, but what one has to reject in order to reach the necessary state of mind to live this way is perhaps not so very easy to reject. Brainwashed gorts may resent me for living such a carefree existence. They would prefer to see me in chains or a harness? The best revenge is to live well. What does it mean, to me, to live well? I would say that rising after a restful sleep, drinking coffee, eating eggs, and immediately heading to the ocean to dive in the water and lay down is definitely living well. It makes me feel like a super-genius, Wile E. Coyote style.

“A way from within stands open to us to that real inner nature of things to which we cannot penetrate from without.” (Schopenhauer)

“The thing-in-itself can come into consciousness only quite directly, namely by it itself being conscious of itself.” (Schopenhauer)

I feel quite comfortable with my lifestyle until I am smitten with the desire to know a woman on intimate terms. It is then when I realize that my worldview and way of life most likely are not attractive qualities (as far as a mate goes). A young woman I was kind of smitten by handed me a magazine called MONEY with an article on HOW TO MAKE MONEY. She thought I might be interested. I was not interested in “how to make money.” I don’t like this idea of having to “win her affections” by making money. She may see me as a “bum” – and yet I live as Diogenes did, no? Am I not philosophy-in-the-flesh?

“Even brass becomes worn out in time, but never will future ages detract from your fame, Diogenes. For you alone showed the splendor of a frugal and moderate existence. You show the easiest path to the happiness of mortals.”

“For every aid, comfort, enjoyment, and pleasure by which people would like to make life more agreeable, would produce only new worries and cares greater than those that originally belonged to it.” (Schopenhauer)

2010.08.23
If I were to try to know a woman of my desire, how would we go about doing this? What would we do? I don’t enjoy watching television, and I’m not really into Hollywood blockbusters. I like to eat. I could cook her dinner. First I would have to walk and talk with her. She would want to know how I exist, how I pay my rent and buy my food. This must be why I am so protective of my privacy. Wouldn’t a woman try to “change me”? Wouldn’t she encourage me to “get a job”? Aha … and so this is why I shy away from a woman, even though I may fantasize about becoming more intimate with her.

Odo Marquard, author of In the Defense of the Accidental, a heir to Gadamer and Habermas, considers himself a Skeptic. My thesaurus lists skeptic as doubter, scoffer, Pyrrhonist, Humist. It falls under irreligion. Sextus Empiricus divided philosophers into those who thought they had found (dogmatists), those who maintained that they cannot find (academic skeptics), and those who are still seeking (Pyrrhonian skeptics).

Abandon all efforts to remain stupid!

Marquard suggests that German Idealism was a parallel action to the French Revolution. Heine wrote in 1835: “Our German philosophy is the dream of the French Revolution.”

The old genuine Cynics, Antisthenes, Diogenes, Crates, and their disciples, renounced every possession, all conveniences and pleasures, once and for all, in order to escape forever the troubles and cares, the dependence and pains, that are bound up with them, and for which they are no compensation. The genuine Cynics put up with what they could get for virtually nothing. They begged occasionally, but they did not work. Independence in the widest sense was their goal. They spent their lives resting, walking about, talking with everyone, and in scoffing, laughing, and joking. Their characteristics were heedlessness and great cheerfulness. Since they had no aims of their own, no purposes and intentions to pursue, enjoying complete leisure, they became councilors of others. (Schopenhauer)

The Cynics were convinced that it is easier to reduce one’s desires and needs to a minimum than to attain their maximum satisfaction. Whereas humility seems to be essential to asceticism, Cynicism has in view pride and disdain for all other men. Reduction of our needs to the minimum is the surest path to happiness. The Cynics were practical philosophers. The Stoics proceeded from them by changing the practical into the theoretical. Schopenhauer refers to the Stoics as mere braggarts, related to the Cynics in much the same way as the well-fed Benedictines and Augustinians are related to the Franciscans.

Have I reached the penniless joy of the original Cynics? This evening finds me holed up in my apartment scribbling, investigating philosophical studies. Do I favor Husserl over Heidegger because Heidegger’s name is permanently soiled by his adhesion to Nazism? Am I able to look passed the accidents of personality and history, giving myself over to the matter of phenomenology itself? I want to take the decisive step from consciousness to Being. Schopenhauer would surely agree that if we begin with a consciousness disjoined from Being, we never arrive at it. Bracketing (epoche) seems to be an artificial procedure.

It is a paradox that I am least lonely when I am alone in solitude engaged in philosophical meditations, and most lonely when I am in the midst of society. My loneliness must be metaphysical. Reading Odo Marquard, I come across the word, ‘theodicy’. It is not in my dictionary or thesaurus, but it is in the index of Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Representation, Volume Two. Schopenhauer is a trip, a real character. He writes that the absurdity of optimism is glaring. Is the world a peep show? Things are beautiful to behold, but to be them is something quite different. He applauded the work of David Hume for his attack on optimism. The founder of systematic optimism is Leibniz. Schopenhauer tells us that Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason is very specially directed against Leibniz’s philosophy.

Now, Odo Marquard’s work begins with the concept of Theodicy. Schopenhauer says the Theodicee is a methodical and broad development of optimism. The secret source of optimism is namely a hypocritical flattery with an offensive confidence in its own success. In 1791, looking back on the failure of the optimistic theodicy, Kant defines theodicy: “By ‘theodicy’, we understand the defense of the highest wisdom against the charges that reason brings against it on account of the aspects of the world which are not in harmony with its purpose.”
In the modern age theodicy becomes necessary because it denies talk of an evil creator god. Theodicy is the attempted demonstration that the creator of the universe is not a wicked god, and that the world is not an evil world. Theodicy became necessary for the foundation of the modern age.

Something from Marquard that could prove useful in discussions: the ability to live with open aporias and surpluses of nonconsensus. The philosophers’ chronic deficit of consensus turns out to be an ultra-modern virtue: a proficiency in surviving conversational confusion without discouragement.

2010.08.30
I rise at 1:11 AM and decide to stay awake, to make coffee even. No tobacco. I am about fifty cents shy of a pouch of tobacco, but the stores are all closed anyway. Sometime tomorrow I will be able to get a pouch, for sure. It is a miserable life, anyway you look at it.
I am half serious when I claim to be inventing a new literary model in the form of “the philosophical diary”. The trail of texts I explore become intertwined with my own speculations. When faced with a sort of abstract nausea in the face of the sheer existence of things – a state of ontological anxiety, we are in a state and condition familiar to all. Nobody can help us. We must figure things out for ourselves. This is the dreaded secret, that there is no “redemption” or “salvation” from the crisis of birth. Being itself generates ontological insecurity. We suffer a cosmic anxiety, a cosmic horror, pertaining to core issues, not simply the basic anxiety over events, experiences, and memories.

My own Cioranesque lifestyle makes me a scoundrel in the eyes of the conventional and obedient who have internalized the values of the dominant mind-fuck. Society can not deny me access to my own inner wealth. I napped on the beach after a dive in, then I returned to the domicile to feast on potatoes and fried eggs. Now, even after drinking coffee, I may nap in the sunbeams as shamelessly as a snake curled in a ball deep in the dirt. Some would urge me to find a lawyer or at least worry about the pending court appearance.

2010.08.31
In one of the last chapters of Vonnegut’s Palm Sunday, in a chapter called “A Nazi Sympathizer Defended At Some Cost,” Vonnegut writes about Louis-Ferdinand Celine (Dr. Destouches). He hadn’t heard about Celine until he was well into his forties. He was flabbergasted by Journey to the End of the Night. Life is as dangerous and unforgiving and irrational as Celine said it was. Vonnegut says that writers are especially shocked and enlightened by what Celine says. We are grateful to him for his not pulling any punches. Celine revealed himself as a fierce anti-Semite and a Nazi sympathizer.

Vonnegut writes, “As for real death – it has always been a temptation to me, since my mother solved so many problems with it. The child of a suicide will naturally think of death as a logical solution to any problem, even one in simple algebra. Question: If farmer A can plant 300 potatoes an hour, and Farmer B can plant potatoes 50% faster, and Farmer C can plant potatoes 1/3 as fast, and 10,000 potatoes are to be planted to an acre, how many 9 hour days will it take Farmers A, B, and C, working simultaneously to plant 25 acres? Answer: I think I’ll blow my brains out.”

It would take almost 31 days.

I don’t understand people who say, “I could never live the way you do!” as if they possess inherent traits which could never allow them to be a “free spirit”.

2010.09.01
What does it all mean, these things I am told by WBAI journalists? Police quotas … soldiers and vets forced to take Seroquel … three times as many soldiers die from suicide as from direct combat … An officer who blew the whistle on the NYPD for its quotas policies was placed in a psychiatric hospital for six days! What does this say about the nature of psychiatry as an institution of repression?

My daily routine consists of the exploration of books and the practice of philosophy. The State does not care about my intellectual interests. The well-trained, ambitious, media-saturated, law-abiding, God fearing tax payers would prefer I be forced into the work-force or even made to do community service to “earn” my daily bread. The real consequence of mental independence, the practical result of “knowledge” is that no soul-sucking, anti-intellectual “person of faith” will be able to force their limited worldview on me. There is a class of “untouchables” in the USA. They are coerced onto psychiatric medications, housed in group homes, and corralled into day programs. They are often bullied by degenerate authoritarian “mental health specialists” looking to advance their “careers” in the mental health industry.

I would like to know more about Arthur Schopenhauer’s daily life. What did he have for breakfast? I know he started his day with a strong cup of coffee. What did his neighbors think of him? The children mocked him when they saw him walking his dog, talking to himself while going over his “notes”. Unlike Schopenhauer, Husserl, and other scholars who have become my mentors, I expose the reader to many trivial and mundane details of my day to day existence. I wish my mentors would have wrote about such things. I napped like a cat from 11:30AM to 1:30PM … I woke up and ate spinach, onions, and black eyed peas. One bowl of this concoction revives my energies, but I take it slow.

2010.09.02
There is no need to defend myself against accusations of being a “bum,” for, if I have stumbled upon the easy life quite accidentally and unconsciously, through an actual rejection of the wealth-warped values of our society, with its shallow ideas of success, social status, industry, and productivity, then whatever joy or delight I experience while following my bliss certainly belongs to me. Just because I have talents and skills doesn’t mean I have to use them in order to “sell myself” to the highest bidder. I suppose leisure and autonomy are more valuable to me than social status or public recognition, even if my refusal to adapt myself to the social order is viewed as a mental illness.

When Diogenes was captured and sold as a slave, he was asked what it is that he knew how to do. Diogenes answered, “Command!” and shouted, “Ask who wants to buy a master.”

2010.09.08
Writing and madness are intimately related. All her life, Virginia Woolf suffered from periodic nervous breakdowns, those moments when her depression became suffocating. Woolf lived in fear of her own mind. She was sensitive to her brain’s “vibrations”. Introspection was her only medicine!

Introspection —-> Phenomenology.

In her own diary, she wrote, “My own psychology interests me. I intend to keep full notes of my ups and downs for my private information. And thus objectified, the pain and shame become at once much less.”
Before drowning herself in a river (she had filled her coat pockets with stones), in between her depressive episodes, she filled her diaries with fresh insights into the workings of her own “difficult nervous system”.
When forced to lie in bed, she stared at the ceiling contemplating her own brain. In a journal of 1922, at the age of 40, she wrote, “I am beginning to learn the mechanism of my own brain.”

2010.09.10
An example of disillusionment from everyday life: Realizing a woman you daydream about is repulsed by the odor of tobacco smoke on your clothes. I have made a decision to follow my own peculiar interests despite the pain of being ostracized by those who defer to the so-called authority of the dominant society. Those who perceive me as a joke may have missed the irony. It is my sardonic attitude that gives me resilience and tenacity. It is this sardonic presence of mind which is able to turn depressing and lonely nights into incubators for comedic dark irony. I don’t spend as much time reading books as I do scribbling reflections and going over my own notes which continually deepen my understanding of this strange, exotic, and mysterious encounter with the absurd.

2010.09.11
I am totally self-absorbed in my own thoughts, investigating the inner-wiring of my own flesh, kind of like Virginia Woolf was. Keeping track of moods via the good old fashioned time-tested diary, with, in my case, a huge dose of philosophical speculation, has become a strategy for capturing the ever-eluding presence of otherwise incommunicable emotions as moods ooze into varying degrees of melancholy and even quiet delight.

2010.09.21
Last night, forty-eight ounces of beer seemed to be enough to get me juiced up singing and screaming like some John the Baptist wild man.
There are European intellectuals who are quite aware of the social disparity in the United States. I picked up Punishing the Poor: The Neo-Liberal Government of Social Insecurity by Loic Wacquant at the Asbury Park Public Library which has an amazing amount of both obscure texts. Was it my imagination, or did the attractive librarian suggest I write some kind of book report? I just take notes in my diary. Maybe one day I will type some notes up in a manifesto, and if I ever see her again, I can direct her to some kind of URL hyperlink.

After drinking just two 24-ounce cans of Coors Original, I find myself wondering where there is a safe place to scream and sing. I guess I have to be aware that I am a screamer. I may be able to sing while walking along the ocean at night, but screaming could draw the kind of attention I can live without. And so I isolate this creature in its cave/apartment. What is there to do but hide? The world is filled with want, need, and misery. I had this figured out long ago. From the window, I overhear a young Black couple arguing in the street. The female is screaming about how she is tired of being disrespected by the dude’s father. Misery everywhere!

2010.09.29
I resent when people inquire as to whether or not I am taking “my medication.” When someone asks me this, I want to tell them to mind their own business. Emile Durkheim taught us that punishment was a communicative device, a “language” delivering a message not so much to offenders as to the witnessing public – in this case, the working citizenry. For the latter, the punitive makeover of social policy signifies without equivocation that nobody can opt out of wage labor without exposing themselves to a material and symbolic degradation worse than the most demeaning job.

2010.09.30
Notes from Punishing the Poor: The Neo-Liberal Government of Social Insecurity by Loic Wacquant:
“The quadrupling of the carceral population in the United States in just 20 years results from the extension of recourse to confinement for a range of street crimes and misdemeanors that did not previously lead to custodial sanction, especially minor drug infractions and behaviors described as public disorders and nuisances as well as continuing stiffening of sentences.”

2010.10.08
This world doesn’t make sense to me. As a youth and teen, I did fairly well academically except for the end of my “senior” year in high school when I basically experienced a nervous breakdown wondering where I was to fit into this society. Little did I know I would be one of the millions in our nation to be imprisoned in the late 1980′s. My life is all tied up with the message in Wacquant’s Punishing the Poor. Rather than becoming depressed over my economic dependence on government relief for income (for food, clothing, shelter, etc.), here I am seizing the day by wasting away. I can think of no better way to respond than to withdraw into reclusive obscurity existing as though in the collective unconscious itself.

2010.10.09
Aging has involved, for me, gathering and losing “stuff,” and by stuff, I mean “cargo.” Why do some people have huge amounts of cargo while most people have very little cargo? Is it best to have the least amount of cargo possible? Isn’t this Yaqi’s question? See Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel. Why did the white invaders always have so much cargo while the black aborigines seemed to get by with such little cargo?

2010.10.10
More notes from Punishing the Poor by Loic Wacquant: “The new government of poverty invented by the United States to enforce the normalization of social insecurity thus gives a whole new notion of ‘poor relief’: punitive containment offers relief not to the poor but from the poor, by forcibly ‘disappearing’ the most disruptive of them from the shrinking welfare rolls on the one hand and into the swelling dungeons of the carceral castle on the other.”

David Harvey writes, “The neoliberal state will resort to coercive legislation and policing tactics (anti-picketing rules, for instance) to disperse or repress collective forms of opposition to corporate power. Forms of surveillance and policing multiply: in the United States, incarceration became a key strategy to deal with problems arising among the discarded workers and marginalized populations. The coercive arm of the state is augmented to protect corporate interests, and, if necessary, to repress dissent. None of this seems consistent with neoliberal theory.”

Harvey lists as the main targets of state repression radical Islam and China on the foreign front and “dissident internal movements,” such as the Branch Davidians at Waco, the participants of the Los Angeles riots of April 1999 (triggered by the aquittal of the policemen involved in the videotaped beating of motorist Rodney King), and the anti-globalization activists that rocked the G-8 meeting in Seattle 1999; but squashing episodic and feeble mobilizations against corporate power and state injustice hardly requires throwing millions behind bars.

“Neoliberalism is a transnational political project aiming to remake the nexus of market, state, and citizenship from above. This project is carried by a new global ruling class in the making, composed of the heads and senior executives of transnational firms, high ranking politicians, state managers and top officials of multinational organizations (the OECD, WTO, IMF, World Bank, and the European Union), and cultural-technical experts in their employ (chief among them economists, lawyers, and communications professionals with germane training and mental categories in the different countries).”

Lois Wacquant notes that the centaur state is liberal at the top and paternalistic at the bottom, which presents radically different faces at the two ends of the social hierarchy: the comely and caring visage toward the middle and upper classes, and a fearsome and frowning mug toward the lower class. The United States penitentiary has once again captured the imagination of policy makers in Western Europe who wish to learn from it how to stem the brewing disorders associated with the massing of the emerging proletariat in and around the industrializing cities.

The mere presence of intellectual greatness invites hostility in many who have to “engage” with the individual possessed with developed intellectual abilities. It takes patience to endure a genius. Just her glance shames us, for in her mind’s eye, she sees through the self-generated personas of everyone she encounters. It is rather poetic that I am attempting to harness my mental powers by evacuating the apartment in Asbury Park to slither into the woods of Old Freehold.

Later that day:
It appears the railroad tracks in Freehold are officially off limits to me as I was cited for “being where I wasn’t supposed to be” drinking water and reading in the patch of trees along the tracks along Freehold-Englishtown Road. Someone doesn’t want Mikey prowling along the railroad tracks. The centaur state hath spoken once again! I am living in the carceral web of the Open Air Prison. The Freehold Boro cops were surprisingly cool with me. I showed them my driver’s license and my library card since my license still had the Matawan address. The Asbury Park library card verified my residency there, and one officer told me I was free to wait at the bus station and read or sit on a bench in town, so I sit on a curb in the sunshine waiting for a bus back to nowhere. Now I wonder if risking arrest or harassment is worth coming to Freehold for.

2010.10.11
Something I re-read in Schopenhauer’s The World As Will and Representation, Volume Two challenges a long held belief that the “Earth Mother” is one huge organism who cares for all Her creatures as her children: “The talk of the life of the inorganic, and even of the globe, and that this globe, as well as the planetary system is an organism, is absolutely inadmissible.”
Is Schopenhauer saying that the idea of Earth Mother or Gaia is inadmissible? Now I am thoroughly confused, perplexed, and uncertain as to what I actually think since I tend to agree with this thinker on so many other issues.

2010.10.13
The reason why I quote other thinkers so frequently is because they verbalize in a few sentences what it takes me hundreds of pages to express.

Horkheimer and Adorno articulate the situation I experience in everyday life in the following:
“Anyone who does not conform is condemned to an economic impotence which is prolonged in the intellectual powerlessness of the eccentric loner. Disconnected from the mainstream, he is easily convicted of inadequacy.”

I don’t kiss ass or brown nose. I will labor for those I share a mutual respect for. In other words, I will engage in work that may seem to denigrate me, as long as the one I am helping has a genuine, heart-felt respect for me. Hell, I mowed an elderly woman’s yard, who was getting harassed by some municipal agency about the said yard, just to win a little affection from her grand-daughter. Things like that. It’s amazing to me what motivates me to labor. I even came up with the saying, “Some people work for money and then beg for love, whereas I work for love and then beg for money.”

From Enlightenment and Deception: “The most intimate reactions of human beings becomes so entirely reified, even to themselves, that the idea of anything peculiar to them survives only in extreme abstraction: personality means hardly more than dazzling white teeth and freedom from body odor and emotions. That is the triumph of advertizing in the culture industry: the compulsive imitation by consumers of cultural commodities which, at the same time, they recognize as false.”

“Regular imprisonment presupposes a rising need for labor power.”

It is no coincidence that the number one requirement for parolees is mandatory employment, no matter how degrading. One has to fight just for the right to be able to attend a community college or a vocational school! Otherwise, one is easily drained of their essential energies just to keep from being thrown back into a cage.

Even when one acquires the necessary higher education or training, the original “criminal charges” prevent any chance of getting one’s foot into the proverbial door. Even though one may have served one’s time and worked to attain education, that one pays eternally just for the misfortune of having been swept up in the massive imprisonment we have witnessed in the United States over the past thirty years. How do we keep from being sucked into this downward spiral?

“’Do I look like someone who has something to do here on earth?’ – That’s what I’d like to answer the busybodies who inquire into my activities.” (Good one, Cioran!)

2010.10.15
“Warum willst du dich von uns Allen
Und unsrer Meinung entfern?” –
Ich schreibe nicht euch zu gefallen,
Ihr sollt was lernen. ~ Goethe
(“Why wilt thou withdraw from us all
And from our way of thinking?” –
I do not write for your pleasure,
You shall learn something.)

2010.10.22
I am very temperamental today – kind of shot out. I not only was talking to myself along the boardwalk, but I’ve been talking with Old Man Harry about all kinds of subversive stuff. Harry agrees that the system – employers, landlords, etc. – prefer “stupid” people over “intelligent” people. I am not sure what it is I’m going through. There is a rage inside of me – anger directed in so many directions. There is something building below the threshold of consciousness ready to erupt. I feel like I’m going off the deep end like the guy from the film, “Network.” You know, where he screams “I’m mad as Hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!”

Is this irritable condition what Dostoevsky was describing about Raskolnovich in Crime and Punishment? I feel I have to hide and isolate from people just to avoid any confrontations with others. Where did Dostoevsky get his ideas for his characters? There are so many similar characters right here in Asbury Park, New Jersey and elsewhere, I imagine. I am in this intensely agitated condition even without any alcohol in me. Is it nicotine withdrawal?

My literary (fictional) heroes are Ignatius Reilly and Jones from A Confederacy of Dunces, Martin Dean of A Fraction of the Whole, and “Henry Fool.” I too am like the protagonists Ignatius, Martin, and Henry. I too have many notebooks filled with my “Confessions” and my “Indictment Against Society.” I understand that many readers do not like Ignatius Reilly or Martin Dean.

Why are all my fictional heroes such fuck-ups? Because they’re honest!

Question: Why must we hide our emotions?
Answer: Because emotions are inconvenient to the farce of polite society where everything is “under control.”
Control is an illusion.
Civilization is not civilized. Just ask the animals in the zoo or the slaughter-house!

Whatever I am going through, it is very much aggravated by the ignorance and arrogance of others of my species. Children are taught to worship presidents, soldiers, and athletes, and to utterly mock the philosopher who has no ambition or social status. At least I take time to speak with and listen to “the wretched of the earth.” I have great love for those who endure so much abuse. How can we stand to listen to, “It gets better,” when, in reality, life becomes more and more difficult as we age?

We gather things only to lose them. We fall in love only to fall out of love. We cause each other pain. We hurt those we love the most. This life is tragic. Rich or poor or famous, it’s all the same. Like Bukowski said, the rich are not kind to the rich, and the poor are not kind to the poor. One brother waits for another brother to pass out from alcohol poisoning so he can lift the cash from his brother’s pocket!
Life gets harder and harder, especially for the elderly who have no resources.

I agree with the message of fictional character, Henry Fool, when he says he was not designed to walk through shit. He said to Simon, “Perhaps you’re good at it. I am not.”
Not good at walking through shit, that is.

So, it doesn’t phase me should people mock me behind my back. They also mocked Schopenhauer while he was a living man. There is ice in their laughter!

In Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, there is a passage where Fydor expounds about how he plays the jester, joker, fool, buffoon:
“I always feel when I meet people that I am lower than all, and, that they all take me for a bafoon. ‘I am not afraid of your opinion, for you are every one of you worse than I am. Let me really play the bafoon. It is simply oversensitiveness that makes me rowdy.”

2010.10.23
There is something very deep about Dostoevsky’s writing. He somehow reveals the nature of human society; where, even as he is writing in Russia in the 1800′s, so much of my own life is portrayed. The Brothers Karamazov speaks to me as I imagine it must speak to everyone:
“He had enemies certainly. Suddenly there was a marked coolness in the town toward him and all his family. His friends all turned their backs on him.”

My own notes will be proof enough that I am a philosophical madman in my own right.

2010.10.25
Life is not a peep show or a painting. The world may look beautiful and wonderful, but it isn’t. Tell me how life really feels to you, on the inside, in your heart and stomach. Don’t deceive yourself. No need to be a phony with me. When people are all caught up in the matrices of power, such as prisons, schools, hospitals, factories, workshops, they become tools unless they rebel. The rebel is the sign of life. We can embrace life despite the fact that life is not pleasant. Life just is. Life doesn’t have to be pleasant, and life does not have to make sense.

Lucifer is the greatest literary hero because He will not submit to an unworthy god. I’m just verbalizing the things everyone knows already, for we do not know truth, we stand in truth.

Is it not a total paradox that only the outlaw class can save us now? I don’t know. I have a hard time putting my faith in anyone these day, neither the police or the outlaws. And yet, aren’t I a thought criminal, an outlaw of the intellectual variety? Maybe the outlaw class needs a philosopher. Any job openings?

There is no source of all rebellions or a law of the revolutionary. Instead, there is a plurality of resistances, each of them a special case. Being a misfit is a sign of one’s successful resistance to living as a drone. Sometimes our failures are our greatest successes.

2010.10.28
The sun is shining bright this morning in the midst of want, need, and disgust with the condition of being alive.

Nerval: “I thought my strength and energy were doubled. Possessed of electrical forces, I was going to overthrow all who approached me.”

Gustave Flaubert writes, “It is a madman who has written these pages …” A madman in what sense?

We read further, “I was in boarding school from the age of ten, I soon developed there a profound loathing for my fellow man … All my inclinations were found offensive: in class, it was my ideas; in recess, my uncivilized preference for solitude. From then on, I was a madman.”
My neighbor asked me what my “goal” in life was. I replied, “to die.” Classic. What could he say to that?

2010.10.30
I would like to place here an important (important, to me, personally) excerpt from Schopenhauer’s The World As Will and Representation, Volume 2:
“Blondes prefer absolutely dark persons or brunettes, but only rarely do the latter prefer the former.”

Schopenhauer continues, “The reason for this is that fair hair and blue eyes constitute a variation, almost an abnormality, analogous to white mice, or at least to white horses. In no other quarter of the globe, not even in the vicinity of the poles, are they indigenous, but only in Europe; and they have obviously come from Scandanavia. Incidentally, I here express my opinion that a white color in the skin is not natural to man, but that by nature he has black or brown skin, just as had our forefathers; consequently, a white human being has never sprung originally from the womb of nature, and therefore there is no white race, however much this is talked about, but every white human being is bleached. Driven into the north, which is strange and foreign to him, and in which he exists only as exotic plants, and like these requires a hothouse in winter, man became white in the course of thousands of years.”

“Therefor in sexual love, nature strives to return to dark hair and brown eyes as the archetype; but the white color of skin has become a second nature, though not so that brown skin is repellant.”

2010.10.31

My Halloween Rant
I went over to the Salvation Army to check out the dinner they serve on the last Sunday of the month. Let me tell you, dear reader, the people who run the local Salvation Army in Asbury Park are outright shameless fascists! At 4PM the “service” in the chapel begins. It lasts about an hour. I am not cut out for THAT holy horseshit. After we entered (neighbor Fred and I) and heard the sermon, once we got the gist of the trick being played – how these white Christians wanted to control us by taking advantage of our hunger and desperation, we wanted to wait outside. Fred got locked out when he first walked out of the sermon which was filled with contradictions. When I too needed a break from the trap I had walked into, I asked the tall fascist-in-charge if I could let him in; and he obliged – but when Marcia and a few Black dudes wanted in, the FIC threatened me with “banishment” if I even made the effort to open the door. I told him that I would never return to his place, and he had no problem with that at all.

I grudgingly returned to the pews, this time sitting near Fred. When “Mrs. Major Whatever” started in with her sanctimonious tone of voice, saying, “Christ Jesus Our Lord,” I became agitated with the absurdity of it. I was reminded of the disgust aroused in me when my sister takes on that tone meant for gullible children in Sunday school to make an impression on them. Fred had had enough and walked out.

Note, reader, that this is Asbury Park Italian “Catlick” Fred, not Freddie Brown of Federal Way, WA, of course. I was able to restrain myself only because I was curious to experience what the rest of the process would be like – the humiliation these downtrodden souls endure! While eating I let it be known that I would not be subjecting myself to those fascists again. I did not become furious, but merely reflected upon the great philosopher-comedian, George Carlin, especially his take on religious hocus-pocus and phoniness.

Horizontal Conflict

What is horizontal conflict?
This is how communities are divided and conquered, where everyone is afraid of everyone else. Horizontal conflict … the bossman, whether a military boss, a mafioso boss, or a political leader, wants conflict amongst the troops so that they don’t recognize their common enemy and join forces against him. In the 1960s and 1970s, prisoners rights movements made great strides when the opposing so-called “gangs” respected a truce so that they could peacefully organize.

The labor situation in the Americas seems to be a race to the bottom where scabs are encouraged and some even brag about working for peanuts.

2010.11.24
We all know who killed Martin Luther King Jr. It’s no secret. Some even know who killed John Trudell’s wife, daughters, and mother-in-law. A few are actually paying attention.

This is worse than Ira Levin’s fictional story, This Perfect Day. What role do Chip’s parents play? They encourage him to listen to his “adviser.” Whenever Chip has any disturbing questions, his parents immediately call in the authorities to “help” their “sick” son. Eventually he is able to muster the courage and strength to bring about a one-man insurrection and burn the plantation down.

Some people don’t have empathy or insight. Many of these people are employed by the government to manage, police, control, jail, and discipline the suffering masses. I’ve made it through another night, and I am pleased with the level of emotional maturity I am reaching.
The problems the world faces are beyond the governments power to correct: global warming, food scarcity, polluted waters, the disparity between the Have-So-Very-Muches and the Don’t-Have-Shits. I do not write to the future since there is not going to be a future.

The Outsider’s problem is not new. From Colin Wilson’s The Outsider: “The history of prophets follow this pattern: Born in a civilization, they reject its standards of material well-being, and they retreat into the desert. When they return it is to preach world-rejection: intensity of spirit versus physical security. The Outsider’s miseries are the prophets teething pains. He retreats into his room like a spider in a dark corner; he lives alone, wishes to avoid people. The prophet is a man of greater spiritual integrity than his neighbors; their laxness revolts him, and he feels impelled to tell them so.”

2010.11.30
Many men would not think to write anything down or to ever explore their own emotions. I am this ape creature, as are all human beings. I am an ape who does not want to pass obedience school. This ape is disobedient and rebellious like the great mythological hero, Lucifer …
William Blake toyed with the idea that one day it might be necessary for the “men of imagination” to shed the blood of the literal-minded who make the world unfit to live in. See Shaw: Heartbreak House, Act I – “They are strangling our souls!”

Imagination is the instrument of self-knowledge.

Two million people in The United States of America will lose their unemployment benefits today. Now there will be even more fascistic animosity towards those on government relief. Will the Corporate State try to get more and more people off the dole and into the air-conditioned dungeons? The prisons are over-crowded as it is, hence the Corporate State has a system set up where the poor on welfare and disability, that is, social insecurity, are shipped daily to day jail programs disguised as “mental health treatment.”

Thousands of people are incarcerated due to probation violations as petty as failing a drug test, drinking alcohol, or failing to make a meeting with the probation/parole officer (over-seer).

2010.12.07
Why not, instead of manufacturing soldiers and prisoners and producers, we follow Africa’s example and give education back to the people so that we might experiment with real education rather than fund expansive wars in foreign lands! Teach how to think, not what to think. Teach basic survival skills such as building debris huts, making fire from scratch without flints, finding drinkable water, and even how to purify polluted water.

Presently, young people are not encouraged to become free thinkers, but groomed to become consumers, particular types of consumers. Meanwhile, Julian Assange has been arrested in Great Britain. What a busy day in the hive. Youth riot in Athens, Greece. Obama R2D2 extends Bush-era tax-cuts for multi-millionaires and multi-billionaires. Israel is systematically depriving Palestinians of water. Water in North America is “owned” by some rich industrialist. What validates this?

Assange’s accusers say his charges of rape are based on his not using a condom during consensual sex. Arrest warrant … he was voluntarily turning himself in. No man-hunt necessary.

Authoritarianism is at war with the Internet, trying to intimidate the global population, discouraging solidarity and massive organization from below. The power is at the bottom of the ladder, after all. Wikileaks is a global issue, and yet computer hackers are about as organized as a bunch of cats. Order through chaos? How symbolic that a hero in free speech and free thinking is going to be held for treason by the United States of America!

Blackmail tactics used to manipulate proxies? None of this is surprising. Outrage? The rich are exposed as bullying the poor, and the poor have been far too patient and long-suffering. That the US Army is accusing Julian Assange of being a “terrorist” is clearly outrageous. The first step in attaining freedom is to recognize that you are not free. If you are filled with fear and anxiety, you know you are on the giant plantation, a massive industrial prison farm madhouse, or what Daniel Quinn calls The Taker Prison. Once you have been assaulted by the Industrial World, you are already in it.

I applied for a job with the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, D.C. in 2002 after graduating with Honors from Rutgers University in New Jersey. I would have informed the oligarchy running the planet (into the ground) that they have a Great Depression on their hands. The Corporate State is in cahoots with the underground economy. McMafia Plantation.

They say we live in a classless society, and yet class is all about who is fucking whom.

2011.01.05
I lost “Terra Incognita: Book 3” (Diary #145, December 2010) on the beach while walking around inebriated. Meanwhile, some local youth of Asbury Park have named me “Peter Pan.”

2011.01.18
I awoke at 0800 hours furious that I had to report to Park Place Outpatient Treatment Facility. I met with the psychiatrist. He informed me that my “problem” is that I am too smart. The blind are rewarded for not seeing. The ignorant are rewarded for not knowing. I am sick of therapeutic environments where everyone is constantly taking each other’s temperatures, as in, “How are you feeling today?”

This doctor actually suggested I take medication which would slow down my “mental processes” to about 60% of its natural capacity, insinuating that this would make me less anxious. This had a disturbing effect on me. I want to be at 100% capacity even if my mental processes “drive me crazy.”

The Impossibility of Being Hentrich?

2011.02.18
What we are is creatures. The “persons” we are believed “to be” or believe ourselves “to be” are constructed subjectivities, abstract representations in the minds of other sentient beings like ourselves. The self-identity-subjectivity is not something which exists as a kind of soul or persona within our animal body; it is merely a form society means to stamp upon us.

When I pick up vibrations of hatred or malice towards me, rather than interpret these energy-fields of truth in a manner that would leave me feeling hurt, I choose to interpret these vibrations as Nature’s mechanism for alerting me to danger. This is empirical evidence of the emotional plague discussed by Wilhelm Reich in his work, The Murder of Christ.

2011.02.19
My mother’s brother suggests she start her own “gofer business” where she charges ten dollars per errand. Most likely this would only increase the likelihood of her being killed driving up and down route 70 on some god damned errand. Jesus Christ. I refuse to make it my responsibility to ensure this venture is a success. I try to keep my opinion to myself. In the meantime, I live in the here-and-now as I observe this civilization in its death throes.

2011.02.20
I blacked out yesterday after drinking vodka – lots of it. Evidently, I ripped my door from its hinges and threw parts of it down the stairs. Supposedly, I had locked my keys in the apartment, became agitated, and kicked the door to pieces. I don’t remember any of this. That is what scares me the most, filling me with dread. There has to be less self-destructive ways to rebel than poisoning myself with hard liquor. I understand the mechanisms of this primal rage, and yet I am apparently unable to control it. Is this simply a matter of quantities? Is it nervous energy that compels me to drink until the bottle is empty?

A short passage from Ira Levin’s This Perfect Day reminds me of the current Mental Health Industry:
Genetic engineering is working toward “removing aggressiveness, controlling the sex drive, building in helpfulness and docility and gratitude. Treatments are doing the job in the meantime.”

2011.02.21
When I took out Leder’s The Absent Body, the librarian informed me that I was the very first patron to borrow the text and that the library had it on its shelves for twenty years. I will lift a few excerpts from the last chapters where this phenomenologist explores some concrete issues that I happen to be experiencing in my daily life as far as feigned attempts at sobriety go.

“Religious methods of subduing the flesh by fierce asceticism may serve precisely to heighten the body’s rebelliousness.” (Thereby creating The Devil itself!)

“Denied an outlet for its desires, the body surfaces as evermore demanding, evermore engaged in a battle against the will. A cultural assumption concerning the disobedience of the body leads to subduing practices that serve to intensify and confirm its disobedience.”

And here, from Drew Leder, I find the ammunition needed to uncharacteristically disagree with that great teacher of mankind, Arthur Schopenhauer, namely, his disregard for the animistic presence of the planet as a living and conscious organism-as-a-whole:
“Insofar as the earth was regarded as a living being, there were normative constraints on activities such as mining, which were seen as violations of Her body. But within Cartesianism the material world is a non-living thing, devoid of intrinsic soul or telos.”

“Certain individuals or groups are associated with the body. This includes women, laborers, ‘primitive’ cultures, animals, and nature in general. We cannot escape from a picture until we understand the mechanisms whereby it has maintained its hold.”

“Phenomenology can provide us with genuinely new ways of looking at the world. After all, we will rarely give up one picture unless we are offered a relevant and seemingly better alternative.”

“One’s body first arises from that of another, is composed of the same stuff as the surrounding world, and lives only by ceaseless metabolic exchanges with it. As such, we form one body with the universe we inhabit.”

“For Neo-Confucianism, ontology is always embedded within a matrix of moral/spiritual concerns. This extension of compassion even to the non-human world is somewhat foreign to the Judeo-Christian tradition. More embracing visions have surfaced from time to time. Thus, Saint Francis [Boveneture] lovingly addresses Brother Sun and Sister Moon, Brother Wind and Sister Water, Brother Fire and Mother Earth. All nature, in this picture, is consanguineous (related, sharing common ancestors).”

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