26-02-08

medway charter of the unimpressed

garranteed basic wage
for non-werkers

the rite to bed
and
lodgins

the rite to wank
and
porn

the rite to plentifull
supplies of good food
and
drink

the rite to alcaseltzer
asprin
and
all the essential
vitamins

the rite to raise late
and
retire drunk

the rite to free water
and
solid shoes

the rite to lack
ambition
religon
and
all the rest

the rite to good women
and
good men
to the toothless
the ugly
and
the dumb

the rite to discuss
points of view
but
as people
not sex
race
creed
or colour

Billy Childish*, The Deathly Flight of Angels, Hangman Books 1990, p. 38-39.

*B. Childish is dyslexic, this poem appears as written by the author.


I couldn't have put it better, & I didn't: "the right to lack ambition, religion and all the rest." 'Decadent!', say the people according to the opinion conceived in them that freedom is a thing to fear, a thing to consume in small portions & at designated times.
Decadent it is. Our evolution ís a free fall toward the center of human gravity: boundless imagination. Imagination that never ever will be exhausted. There will always be sets of sentences unexpressed waiting to express a meaning. We fall from the functional grace whether we like it or not - & we know we do not like it a lot. Unavoidably we become more dysfunctional; we compensate. or try to, by inventing new functionality.
But the game is lost. The rules are arbitrary. Fighting for them is an urge we'll always have to fight. Unimaginatively function within arbitrary rules will - over & over - be fought for. The bloodiness expands as our imagination expanded, to be used unimaginatively, against our nature.
It is not our nature to be functional. Nor to achieve. Nor to aspire if aspiring is towards something somebody else might aspire to as well. Radical individuals are the future, their aspirations are not a function of others but the results of their interactions with others: non-exclusive, not to include or help others out of a sense of responsibility but to not exclude others by claiming or desiring a thing by virtue of it being claimed or desired also by others.
Man, this is it - free from ambition, condemned to life of imagination.


Written whilst listening to some Big Band music.

 

22:44 Gepost door Guido Nius in Vrije tijd | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: childish, decadence, imagination |  Facebook |

17-02-08

De l'utile et de l'honnête

"La voie de la vérité est une et simple, celle du profit particulier et de la commodité des affaires qu'on a en charge, double, inégale et fortuite."
Michel de Montaigne, Essais Livre III (Flammarion 1969), Chapitre I, p. 34.

(amateuristic English translation below)


As complex as the notion of truth may be, walking the way of truth is felt by all as something immediate. It is, basically, what it is to be 'authentic'. Other than all other basic feelings, instincts or emotions this feeling however has a basis in reason, it is the instinct proper to reason.
There is no contradiction between utility and intellectual honesty. What we're being led to believe - it is a specifically postmodern fallacy - is that the goal & purpose needs to be fixed and kept stable. "Put yourself a target and stick to it", is the contemporary political concensus. Honesty is considered relative to such targets being set. Necessarily, the useful is dissociated from the targets & is relative to what is achievable in an imperfect world where other people's targets have, not yet, disappeared. Honesty is emotion whilst usefulness is a bit of reason that is still needed - that we need to bear with in the meantime. Reason is not very popular these days on the public forum, nor is truth, so let alone you will find many supporters of the way of truth.
But there is no contradiction between intellectual utility & honesty. Both are a product of social interaction as based on reason. It is not reasonable to "fix a target and stick to it", at least not unconditionally, circumstances change with it changing the reasonable targets. Honesty is not relative to anything else - it is not relative to personal gain nor is it relative to anything else, even if it's couched in more abstract terms (it is not even apparent that putting targets on less personal level are better by way of the way of truth). Utility is naught else than creating the circumstances that are useful to allowing everyone to be honest. Fixed targets set up-front & competing do-or-die conflict head-on with individual honesty. It is the fixity of targets that creates a circumstantial reality in which one has to calculate utility in view of anything else than what induces the most room for individual honesty.
Nature nor natural law, if anything of the sort would exist, lead of themselves to such a state. It is through reason and walking the sumple way of truth we have been able to create a context in which honesty is not reserved only for a happy few such as Michel de Montaigne. The current stubbornness in fixing targets & then executing on the useful to improve the relative weight of one's own target with respect to that of others is an outright crime against reason, and crimes against reason are always starting points of genocide. There is no harm in considering targets & using reason to plot out potential paths toward it, as long as the target can be reviewed on the basis of the processes of our reason.
In short, we should not be mesmerized by the content of our claims. That's at least to some extent always purely accidental. Our worry as rational creature is to be whether our way withstands the formal tests of reason. The latter, & never mind relativist & perspectivist conservatives, is universal & stable even if it does not indulge our immediate emotional appetite for security (in content being spelled out by ancient or contemporary revelations). Many people think it is too much to ask everyday humans to postpone indulging their appetites, but they forget that the way of truth also indulges an immediate appetite i.e. that of reason. Many people will feel that living without fixed sense of stable purpose society or citizens will turn decadent and here they are right: people wíll turn decadent, no longer fighting against other people's targets but only focused on their own well-being through honesty.


On Utility and Honesty

"The way of truth is one and simple, that of personal gain and the good of the business one is in charge of, double, uneven and accidental."

 

13:46 Gepost door Guido Nius in Actualiteit | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: montaigne, decadence, intention, form-content |  Facebook |

03-01-08

Mort à crédit - désordre

" 'Courtial n'a commis qu'une erreur! Mais elle ètait fondamentale! Il avait pensé que le monde attendait l'esprit pour changer... Le monde a changé... C'est un fait! Mais l'esprit lui n'est pas venu!...' "
"(..) le désordre (..) c'est la belle essence de votre vie même!"
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Mort à crédit, p. 389-390 & p. 358 resp., Gallimard, 1952.

Amateuristic English translation below.


In attempting a translation I realized I'm far from sure whether I get it. Still, it is a theme that - certainly after a long read of Bergson - is compelling.  Maybe an inclination to well ordered formulae combined with an allergy for the grand & magnificent lead to a fascination for indeterminate chaos, 'désordre'.

"Order!" is a French thing. It's the substrate for the spirit of 'esprit'. Decline in French thought over the past centuries is naught else than a hang-over, from imbibing too much Descartes. The remains from this great thought experiment are restricted to spirituality. The French language itself - & with it the Romanic lanaguages - is quickly becoming a study object, an antique. Evolutions are, & in many cases by explicit authorities, blocked from occurring and the language is increasingly sterile, essentially binary and dominantly dualistic.

Only great writers overcome this, Céline may be as 'wrong' as a writer can be but he succeeded in overcoming this. Surely, most of the Romanic writers rely on the fact that the world is waiting for 'l'esprit' of their language to convey in a clear way how things spiritual are to be ordered. Obviously, an increasingly Germanic - or, more approximately, Anglo-Saxon or, more to the point, English  - world is not waiting for that. Adam Smith, Charles Darwin wrote in English & the root of all living philosophical enquiry is mostly in German.

How did I get to a long - maybe even longwinded - & largely unsubstantiated rant on the character of languages? Partly because of my difficulty in the little translation attempt below but mainly, I guess, to convey as forcefully as I can - and therefore obliquely & indirectly - that, whilst the spirit-part of traditional dualisms is the more sterile, it is the well ordered body-part which is the root of the issue. One is restricted in attempts to directly convey this thought to a long sentence referring to both parts. Restricted because otherwise damned to be understood in line with popular wishy-washy New Age "analysis".

Ultimately what is at stake is scientific as well as technological optimism which is as scientifically ungrounded as the crudest animist religion. There's thought to be put in something more original, something bigger than the orders we've been creating so successfully. Hard mundane thought on body and mind - not grand sublime thought on destinies and deliverance. 'What we are' is in need of discovery still. I have no doubt that further discovery is possible, that it will be a 'good' thing if only because it will allow us to deal non-dogmatically, non- question-beggingly & non-mysteriously with 'good'. Dunno how though - that would somehow spoil the fun.

In closing, the quotes for me come from a tale of friendship. An egotistical but real friendship where something was created by stimulation of imagination. 


" 'Courtial has only made one error! But it was a fundamental one! He thought that the world waited for mind to change ... The world did change ... It's a fact! But mind did not come into it!...' " (note: 'esprit' is a tricky one)
" (..) chaos (..) is simply the essential feature of even your own life!" (note: 'désordre' is a tricky one)


For those interested, whilst writing this I was listening to "Messiah" of Georg Frideric Handel, by The English Concert & Choir, Archiv Produktion 1988.

13:50 Gepost door Guido Nius in Liefde | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: friendship, celine, decadence, scientism |  Facebook |