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 already damaged?
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. 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! 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.
Riemann, a mathematician, lived a life of poverty and nervous breakdowns, and died at age 39.
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 status offered 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.
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. It is kind of funny, I guess.
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
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 facilitators 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 achieve 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 herd who unreflectively follow the 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.
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 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 “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 dreamed 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, evidently caused by my ‘crazy talk’. The apartment complex is so quiet that it gives me the creeps.
“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 despise 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:
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.”
An official antinatalist who goes by the user ID, dimasok, wrote:
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.
(Nat) wrote: Bipolar “disorder” explained.
“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. 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.
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 acknowledge 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.
One of my favorite characters 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 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 corporate drone. May I coin the term “anticorp”? I am an anticorp, an anticog in the Machine Age.
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.
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 worker 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.
“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 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?
The Earth will absorb my bones back into her soil.
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.
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.
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 mom used to be a nun.
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; 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! Yes, when I drive, I too am a talking monkey with car keys. When I criticize our species, I do not spare the carcass I drag around the surface of the planet.
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. Bingo. This is why I prefer writing secretively.
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!”