This is not a newt.
There is this terrible beast. It stays up late at night and drinks rum. Tsk, tsk. It writes silly stuff. Sometimes it writes funny stuff, or cynical stuff. Occasionally it writes pathetic stuff. Once in a great while it writes good stuff (well, that is what it flatters itself). It knows better, but it drinks rum anyway. If it would just stick to wine, things would be better, but, well, it doesn’t. It wouldn’t be a beast if it did what was good for it, would it now?
Listening to Battle March Medley from the Pogues, by the by.
Peanuts, Walnuts. Almonds. They taste wonderful with wine. But, okay, what I really wanted was to ruminate on the meaning of the word nuts, and why it has several meanings. I’m going nuts, for example. Or: nuts to you. What in hell does that mean?
Google yields: Confucius say, man who sticks penis in peanut butter jar is fucking nuts. Har har, very ‘fucking’ amusing. Well.
‘Nuts to you’ = fuck off, I suppose, the association being between men’s ‘nuts’ (balls, or testicles, if you want the scientific word for it) and fucking. I associate that with the German du kannst mich mal, which means, more or less, ‘you can do me.’ That is not, however, meant in a positive sense, but rather like saying ‘fuck you’ in English. Fuck me, fuck you, fuck it all . . . egads, slowly but surely I am losing any sense of the big picture here. There is no literal equivalent to ‘nuts to you’ in German, since the Germans call testicles Eier (eggs) in everyday language. There we get phrases like die Eier schaukeln lassen (to let the eggs swing), which means to take it easy or be lazy, or du gehst mir auf die Eier (you’re getting on my eggs), which means you’re a pain in the ass. Languages are hell.
I’m going nuts. You drive me nuts. You’re off your nut. How in hell do such phrases come in to being? Well, actually, it’s simple, I suppose. Your ‘nut’ is your head, a shell with a kernel: your brain, if you happen to have one. And, if it doesn’t function normally, like mine, people say you’re off your nut.
On the other hand we have the phrase, ‘it was all nuts to me.’ This does not mean that everything seemed crazy, but rather that everything was good, as in perfect, just the thing, yummy . . . like a bowl of nuts. And why, for Christ’s sake, are the nuts in ‘nuts and bolts’ called nuts?
By the by, listening to Raspizdyay, from Leningrad. That has nothing to do with nuts. At least I believe so… for all I know Raspizdyay is Russian for balls, eggs, nuts, what have you.
Communication, dammit. It’s not easy, but try it. It might just work. Be honest. Damn, I know, it’s complicated b –. (Editors note: forgive the interruption, but Mr. Hellstrøm has just spit a glob of . . . whatever . . . on his keyboard. He’s trying to say something he considers important, and his zeal has got the better of him. Now he has to clean it up) . . . but you can deal with it.
It’s not actually that difficult. Even with the minimal empathy that I am equipped with, it isn’t that hard. I make up for it with – I was thinking ‘intellect’ just now, but that ain’t right – perhaps it’s more like I empathize on a different level. On several levels, maybe, and then it’s too much, and I’d rather attack than feel with you. Nevertheless I try my best to understand. So don’t take it wrong if I wrestle you to the ground and bite you in the throat.
Whatever. We all have our crosses to bear, our balls and chains to drag dismally across the floor, and so on. Besides, some people deserve to be bitten in the throat. But, basically, when I have those feelings, I counter them with perfect politeness. There are ways of making your feelings clear without biting other peoples throats. I’ll nevermind them, those people. Keep them at arm’s length.
Politeness is like armor then. You see how people misbehave, and you counter it with absolute civility. There is nothing that could make them angrier, perhaps, but you force them to be civil in turn. And that is an honest way of communication. You’re telling them very clearly what you think, though it may be masked, and you’re forcing them to deal with you on a certain level, the only level left, at that point, which won’t cause you to bite them in the throat.
So you’re wearing a mask, but it’s an honest mask. Everyone knows what it means. That’s what I mean when I say: say what you feel. Nevermind them. They may hate you for it afterwards, if they even take the trouble to think about it, but most likely they won’t. Even if they do, there is nothing they can do about it. If they do think about it, they will silently admit defeat. You’ve fucked them in the ass, big time, with civility.
Man, I love that. It appeals to my sense of irony. Not to mention the little cynical fuck in me that has a huge laugh at it. Haha, fucked you in the ass, man! Not a thing you can do about it! Aced you out, big time, you fucking asocial ass!
Ahh, I love civility, and politeness.
How many personalities of mine have died? Over the years… I have changed so much. The old me is dead. It’s died again and again. That is one side of the coin. The other side is, I feel young, and it is still me here.
But that’s it, that’s why, dammit, I feel young because I’ve changed, again and again. Whether I wanted to or not, I haven’t stayed in stasis. Sometimes I chose change, more often that not it was forced on me. At times it seemed hard, but in the middle run it always was for the better… because it kept me young, flexible.
And I’ve died a thousand deaths anyway, Billions, more like. The greater part of the cells I am composed of aren’t the same ones that were me a month ago. I am, physically speaking, a new person. Each morning Hellstrøm the zombie awakens anew, shuffling through the day grunting at innocent passers-by who have no inkling that they too are zombies, that they are all gradually dying and being renewed at the same time by a power which they only dimly understand, if at all. ALIVE!
Ideally, we stick to our ideals. I deal, I do, I do what I think is right. Deal the cards, deal ’em straight, do not ever cheat That’s an ideal. I deal, dealing, doing. Do it. It’s that simple. It’s not a word game, it’s not any kind of game at all. It’s real life, and if you think that is a game, well, play as best you can, but every game has losers and winners.
Ah, you say, now I’ve got ’im. He thinks he’s good, but I’ve got ’im. You are thinking: who’s ideals? Mine, or his, or the ideals of a zealous maniac? Well, I forgot to mention that you have to think about your ideals. You have to realize that they are your ideals, because you have evaluated them and found them to be sound. You can’t just take someone else’s ideals and make them your own. I doesn’t work that way. The ideals of a zealous maniac are not true ideals, because they have been planted in him. The zealous maniac has never thought them through to their insane conclusions. Well, there are, of course, exceptions.
Here we come to the question of indoctrination. Can you indoctrinate an ideal? No. You can indoctrinate an idea, but you cannot indoctrinate ideals. Ideals can be presented, taken or left aside . . . they cannot be indoctrinated, because, by (admittedly, my) definition, they are something that every single individual must think through and establish for themselves.
Here we come to the question of moral responsibility, and that’s the core of it all. Each and every single one of us is morally responsible for what we do. What are morals? you may ask. What is morally correct, what is not? Is that not a question of upbringing, of indoctrination? No, it is not. Each individual has to think about it. That is the key. If we could find a way to release every single human being from his indoctrination, to allow each person to actually think, I am convinced that they would all come to a similar, if not exact same, conclusion.
The conclusion could be described as enlightened self-interest. Or – yeah, I know, straight outa the Bible, baby – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Just because it’s a stupid religious book that has caused incredibly nonsensical wars and the destruction of countless good-willed people doesn’t mean it’s completely devoid of good ideas.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Can you, as an individual, honestly deny the value of that phrase? Can you, in the dark hours of the night, say to yourself, ‘fuck that’? Can you really, in the depths of your heart, cynical though you may be, having really thought it through, deny that simple truth?
Unless, of course, you are a masochist, in which case you’d have to become a sadist in order to agree with what I’ve just said, haha.
All this reminds me of the determinists. Mistakenly, many people believe that the determinists propagate some kind of preprogrammed world, along the lines of ‘it is written, so shall it come to pass.’ Or that they will undermine the morals we’ve all built up, remove the feeling that one is responsible for one’s actions. This is not the case. Very misunderstood, those poor determinists, but I won’t go in to that now.
What interests me about them is that they want to substantiate their ideas with scientific evidence. So they’re connected to the part of science which is investigating how the human brain works at the most basic level, even beyond the level at which you might suppose free will originates. These scientists see that something is going on in your brain at a point where it hasn’t yet presented you with a single thought, not even at an unconscious level. They’ve delved deeper, and they are saying that our thoughts aren’t ours, in a sense, because what we think, what we perceive to be a spontaneous decision, comes from a level of physical, chemical reactions that have determined what we do. Though I agree with many things the determinists say, the evidence submitted thus far is very controversial, and completely open to interpretation. Since I am not a scientist, I can comfortably dispense with the necessity of substantiating my statements with tons of statical data (likely skewed).
I think I’ll just stick to my romantic ideals for the time being. Neurons, you’re fired. What for? For even thinking about this shit.
Ah, Christ, how’s a knight to live, in these hard old times? A knight of words, nowadays, needless to say. Couldn’t wield a sword worth shit. Could have, maybe, wouldn’t have, probably. A dreamy knight, I would have been. A knight who writes poetry because he can’t turn his fucking brain off. He would have liked to turn it off; he would have wondered at the way the other knights did.
And nevertheless he would have killed. He would have done his duty. Take the salt, and do the duty. With reservations, but nonetheless. Protect his own, and kill the rest. Lucky bastard, got two children to his name, survived to this day. He loves them. So, he’d kill.
Or I’d have ended up a peasant, a churl.