I have a tendency, after things have happened, to say it was fate. And then I wonder if it isn’t just a matter of perspective.
Before things happen, everything is open, all possibilities are available! I feel the power to create, to mould things as I imagine them. But when all is said and done, I often have the feeling: it could not have come any other way. It was simply not possible that I did not drink three bottles of wine and fall on the frail table from Morocco, destroying it completely, for example.
And then I am reminded of Francis Bacon, who said: It is the peculiar and perpetual error of the human understanding to be more moved and excited by affirmatives than by negatives. In other words, we see what happens, and we think that is the way it must always be. Yes.
This is a basic human tendency. We love affirmatives. We tend to ignore the negatives, we register what happens and spend little thought on all the things that had to not happen in order to allow what did happen to occur… are you still following me, dear reader?
Why do you think men (or women) in power surround themselves with yes-men? And do you realize that historical events can rest on the turn of a single word? Even now, they can rest on the thoughts and deeds of a single insane human being. Those who have control are just as human as you and I. Holy, fucking, shit. Yeah, a bunch of fuck-ups, just like the rest of us. And they are surrounded by yes-men. God only knows what kinds of bizarre thoughts and beliefs are brewed in such a strange atmosphere… and it’s these people who control the world. Frightening, isn’t it?
I have an acquaintance, he is a priest. Cynical atheist chumming with a genuine fucking Christian priest, odd, ain’t it? I like him a lot, because I can discuss God with him. We have very amusing conversations. We are both amused by our respective viewpoints. You know what he says? He loves talking to atheists, because they generally know more about God than believers. In general, he said, believers mostly simply believe, and it is the atheists and agnostics of the world who actually think about God. He sees it as an intellectual challenge, discussing God, and I must say that we have reached an agreement, in the latter stages of our drunken discussions: that there are moments of bliss.
Wether God exists or not, there are moments of bliss. Moments where human beings believe that everything is all right. Everything is perfect… well, maybe not everything, but the moments of bliss transcend every worldly concern. You are in tune with the world and the moment is perfect, even if your whole life is not.
I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced such moments, but I have. Actually, I feel bliss every time I am in the forest by the river and see a pair of crows chasing a buzzard away. It’s nature at its most basic that gets my goat every time. My breast expands, I take a deep breath, and I feel as one with the world. So, is that God? My acquaintance says it is, he says that those are the moments when I am near God. Well, if you want to call it being near God, that’s fine with me, as long as you don’t expect me to chime in on the same note. I say those are the moments when I simply feel good because evolution has seen to it that I enjoy being in nature. My ancestors were forced to be in nature for millions of years, it’s the normal state of being for humans. And when I see how the buzzard tries to find the crows’ nest, and how they are on his ass in a trice, I just know, deep down inside, that this is the way of things, and that it is right.
Right? Right, you ask, what’s „right“ about it then? It’s natural, that’s all. There are no complicated philosophical concepts behind it. And no God either. It’s the way things have been for millions of years, basic natural patterns, and it is ingrained in our genetic makeup to understand it, because we’ve been living with it for millions of years. To put it simply, it’s what we’re used to on the most basic human level. And humans always somehow get to like what they are used to, given time. A damned long time we’ve had for it, too. The time the human race has spent living separated from nature the way so many of us do nowadays is utterly insignificant in comparison.
Listening to Komine, by Habib Koité and Bamada.
Curse it all. Shup-shup-a-dup-daya. I’m in an ironic mood, but there is no one here to play it off on. All alone. Only me to victimize with irony, and frankly I’m not in the mood to be on the receiving end, at least not from me. I have no desire to get stuck on the end of my own blunt tongue.
That is one of the major disadvantages of having no companion. A woman would be convenient just now, but for God’s sake a woman who can take it. Not a sensitive little thing who doesn’t understand and is hurt… a woman who can hit back, verbally, without being insulted and without being insulting. I’d love to bandy words with a smart woman just now.
So, what’s left? You, the hypothetical reader. But I can’t, for the life of me, bandy words with you. You are simply too fucking remote. Besides which I can’t see your eyes, I can’t hear you, I can’t smell you. There is no true conversation without these things. Chatting is a joke, I mean chatting in the sense of typewriting a conversation with someone you can’t see on the computer. Emotes are just an even worse joke, a screen, a further wheel within the wheel of inscrutability. 😉
Of course, a conversation like that also offers singular ironical opportunities…
Why do we not do what we should? Well, maybe you do; do you do your duty? Do you do what is required?
I will give you an example, because I’m in an example sort of mood: you know you have to work tomorrow; you know you’ll work better if you do not drink too much wine (let us define too much wine, for the purpose of argument, as more than one bottle: of course this is variable, based on usage and body volume…); you have drunk said bottle and you’re just getting in the mood to drink more, wondering whether to put on some music, open another bottle, spontaneously invite all your friends, order five pizzas…
Why don’t you stop? Okay, you argue with yourself… all my friends are probably asleep, but I could listen to music, and… even if I don’t order five pizzas, I could dig out a chunk of that good manchego cheese, with some crackers… that would taste so wonderful with some more wine…
If you are like me, you’ll say: hell, I may get run over by a bus tomorrow. Drink the wine now, while the drinking’s good, enjoy your fucking cheese, because tomorrow you may be dead, and the cheese will rot in your fridge until someone realizes you have bitten the grass and turns the fridge off and throws the cheese in the fucking garbage.
The result of this attitude is that I will come to work tomorrow, having –once again– not been run over by a bus. Relatively frowsy and not quite up to my duty in the purest sense. I won’t suck at what I have to do, no, I am too professional for that, but my inner man knows I could do it better if I had not drunk that extra half a bottle of wine (understatement pure)… but I don’t give a damn. Just now I’m thinking: too bad I don’t have a bottle of rum lying around as well, for that last killer shot with lime juice; or raki, ouzo, anything…
Listening to The Battle March Medley from the Pogues, by the way. Drinking beer now, because the wine is all gone, all gone, alas, and no schnapps in sight, God damn it all. A sailor has to do with what is there, after all. I can only reproach myself for not having made proper provisions. I did not do what I should have in that respect. I failed utterly in my duty to provide for hard liquor.
I can’t spell a damn thing anymore. I can’t type either, not really, never could. I am fairly quick, with three fingers from each hand workin’ the keys, which just manages to match the speed of my sluggish thoughts. But I used to be able to spell properly… until the automatic spelling correction started fucking things up.
I used to stop and think, occasionally, when I was writing and used an uncommon word. I’d ask myself for a millisecond whether I’d spelled it right, and if there was the slightest doubt in my mind I’d look it up in a dictionary after finishing what I was writing. Through the occasional renewal, review and supplementation of my knowledge that occurred naturally in this way I continued to be a good speller.
No longer. I haven’t had to look a word up in a real dictionary for a year at least. The knowledge I had deteriorates because the machine makes the corrections for me, on the fly. And if the machine is in doubt, it pops up a bloody menu where I can lazily peruse what it considers to be possible correct alternatives for the indecipherable nonsense I’ve just typed in a drunken tizzy.
My spelling gets worse and worse. And soon, I fear I may lose my ability to read, as if were coupled somehow with the ability to spell, to decode all those little ciphers that make up a word, to juggle them in your mind’s eye until they fit your thoughts or your thoughts fit theirs. So I’ll need a computer to assist me with that, too. Oh, wait, I already have that. An mp3-player, great audio books, a program that will read from a text-document to me. Reading becomes unnecessary… and soon enough what I type will be so full of errors that the computer will throw up its hands in dismay and decide to just write the whole damned text for me. With that, writing has died out across the world, except for what the computers send back and forth, believing they are dealing with humans. And Humans writing gibberish to nirvana. God only knows what insanity will arise thereof.
As you may have noticed I’ve been traveling time in this rant. All that stuff will take hundreds of years to happen. So don’t worry about it.
from Shane MacGowan and the Popes. Christ, this song, well, at least the title, applies to every woman I’ve ever had intimate contact with until now. I love them, and it doesn’t work. In one case it took 20 years and two children to find out that it didn’t work, and it takes quite a bit of liquor to weigh that up, not to mention mental and emotional energy (agony?).
But oh well. That’s life, and you’ve got to deal with it. No one said it would be easy, as my very first woman was wont to say. And if I use drink to get me over one or another emotional hump, who can blame me, except myself?
I am reminded of Robert Heinlein, who is quoted as saying: „I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.“ Now that is a really wonderful sentiment. It combines freedom, morality and responsibility in one simple sentence. Morally free to get completely, responsibly drunk. Har har.
Have you ever noticed how quickly one can jump from crazy women to moral responsibility?
Let’s jump back. Now I am listening to Sick of Love from Bob Dylan. Yeah, I hear the clock tick… I’m in the thick of it… and I’m lovesick. I miss my girlfriend, although we never could get along for more than a couple days… but when we did get along it was so wonderful. She was the most cheerful woman I ever knew, when she didn’t happen to be insisting on being a complete bitch. Almost a whole year we went on like that. And now I’m sick of love, and I’m trying to forget her, though I’d give anything to be with her just now.
Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.
– Roald Dahl