Wednesday, October 31, 2001

I want to feel your pain

I think I've lost my ability to feel empathy for other people.

I know in theory that it's bad for other people to be hurt. I fully support efforts to relieve sufferent and will fight for a better world. It's not hard to recognize that others' pain is horrible and just shouldn't happen. But a basic problem remains:

I don't feel their pain.

I think that I'm incapable of even understanding or coming to terms with what it means to suffer or to be assaulted by the world or another person. When someone tells me about something bad that happened, I can't even imagine what that's like. I've become so obsessed with my own, trivial problems that I'm unable to sympathize with others or really REALIZE the horrors that they're going through. One might say that this isn't a problem, just so long as I recognize that other people have rights and that those shouldn't be hurt. Unfortunately, it is a problem. If my self-interest ever comes in to conflict with someone else's, I'm horrified that I might weigh my short-sighted, selfish wants more than the easing of someone else's pain. This is the exact same mindset that has allowed people to commit horrific crimes and to dismiss the wants and needs of other people.

Yeah, I feel guilty... but that's the problem. My guilt is just another example of me feeing sorry for myself. This whole rant is just another pathetic attempt to justify myself with my own "suffering." Maybe I just need to imagine what it's like to be in someone else's shoes. I'm honestly trying, but it's really difficult.

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

warm.

Frozen skin trembles at the touch of exposed palms.
Clammy finger rub and dissolve frost-chafed hands
and sink in, surround knuckles in a grasp... reassures.
Too scared to move,
muscles tighten and strain
but are clenched by a soft clasp.
Timid, but respond and squeeze back,
Look up...
And skin shivers as you realize
that she doesn't know that

You saw her smile.

Monday, October 29, 2001

cut.

this is the knife that cuts the meat
skeleton of the rock it used to be,
but sharp.

blade ready for hackin' up stuff,
the mice that dare
to crawl
here
get cut up real bad

twist down aching throats that
choke
gag
wheeze on tungsten razorblades
spill out of compartments
in the ceiling above you and
everything rushes to your head
and you can't see anything
through the spots of blood
cloud your vision
the sweat soaked sweater
wrapped around your eyes
only see the drenched yarn
that burns into restricted cornea
shatters veins and smears
iodine across your vision
drips down into your mouth
and you wretch

but nothing comes until
the dry heaves
can't even bear to hack up the
shredded piece of lung trapped
in your throat
fingers down mouth in the bulemia
dance, head plunges into the toilet
grasp piece of rare steak gristle and pull
it up along with the rest of your lunch

"someone, please help"

cpr trained dining companion
who you hadn't even noticed
smashes your ribs with
a carpenter's hammer and you feel
them break into more shards
that twist into and wring out organs
like the kid who rubbed fiberglass fireglass
foam on his chin and
screamed, the rash burned and broke
blood vessels into his face
ended his chances of ever meeting
a soul mate
screwed up his social relations with family
and friends
only stutters with turrets
and drains pus out of pores
while they all stare back in disgust

she turns around, unaware
and hits you in the face again with iron gavel
drops blade into the face that pleaded
for help

the knife can' t extact the trapped lozenge
that festers in your throat
traps it and presses it against aching
trachea

guest leaves the terrible food
unfinished to rot on her plate
and departs
escorted
by one with a somewhat clearer throat
and leaves a shred of paper on the carpet
beside you

you however
still twitch on the floor
realize you were never really a dinner guest
just a sideshow to watch
strangle beside the dining room table
tremble toward the note but
body too wrenched to read it
you croak through
the jacuzzi bath of black fluid that bubbles
out of your lips:

"I'm finally dead...
We did it together."

Sunday, October 28, 2001

the death of everything


Welcome the wasteland, losers. Just when you thought you had gotten over the death of god, you're now confronted with the death of Reason. Welcome to the age in which nothing makes sense and all of the Truths and norms that you cling to like the tit of a mother boar shrink and decay right before your eyes. Sartre's existential "choice" has been reduced to complete absurdity as it begins to dawn on us that we never had the decision to make in the first place. It was all a big fucking joke. Society constructs who we are. You're not "special" or "unique." Every time you try to define yourself as "different," you're just reacting to more covert social control. Who the fuck cares if I wear all black and dye my hair? It's just a denial, another symptom of the fundamental Lack wherebye I have to define myself through absence. We have no freedom to make "autonomous" choices.

There's the real joke. It's just feel-good, self-help section of the bookstore, Oprah show propaganda to make you fit in better with the other pieces of garbage, the other tools needed to let the machine operate more efficiently. Every time you act, every time you breathe, it just gets stronger. Try and resist, but it always fails because your move is just another totalizing regression (yes, I do see the irony here, it only proves that I'm trapped in the same circular, discursive black-hole as everyone else. You get a cookie for pointing that out, btw).

Once you fall off the cliff of rationalism, you're in the abyss of infinite meaning. Who's right? Who's wrong? Who cares? Just pass me more of that rum and it'll all feel better... at least until you have to wake up tomorrow for another pointless day at work. Or until the play of violence comes to your house and decides to take your life. Keep clutching your favorite volume of Descartes to your chest and pray to the gods of reason that tomorrow's not your day, but when Bush pushes the button, your idiotic introspection about the "meaning of existence" will become meaningless in the hot flash that will evaporate your blood, bones and flesh. And what about anthrax? You never see it coming. One day you're writing essays in English and you get sick and then... After the explosion or the infection, there is no more "symbolic logic." No more math. No more epistemology. No more metaphysics. Just nothingness. I can't even comprehend what that means, because it just doesn't mean anything. Feels good, huh?

Academic Debate (an activity I participate in) is just another game, a nation-wide 500 per minute speed-reading circle-jerk for privelaged kids who want to make sense of the world. You can win every tournament of the year, snort as much coke as you can on all night research binges, fuck as many debaters as you can, and always have the newest goddamn updates at the Kentucky Round Robin, but you'll never get beyond the fact that it's all a big, sugar-coated sham. The evidence is a huge lie. The shit that passes for warrants is simply absurd. Deep in the recesses of their minds, the debaters know that they have NO IDEA what's going to happen if Bush passes an Indigenous policy tomorrow. And that's fucking terrifying. If you embrace the State, shit gets fucked up. If you reject it, other shit gets fucked up. And while you're pausing to reflect on your own futile bourgeois positionality, some jackass in the back of the room is aways screaming, "What's the alternative???? WE GOTTA' ACT NOW!!! PEOPLE ARE DYING!" What do you do? Are you even capable of making that decision? What gives *you* the right to make life and death choices for anyone else in the world?

Don't give me your bullshit about rhetorical "liberation. You're not transforming anyone. You're just leading us down the same liberal path of white-washing complacency that got us here. This is Baudrillard's ultimate crime. The Real is extinct and there's nothing you can do about it. Mommy is gone (dead after a soma-crack-Love Boat Marathon-vacation) and she's not coming back. Daddy cries in the living room when you're not looking and doesn't know what to do either.

The final stanza of TS Eliot's "The Hollow Men [sic]" is appropriate:

Here we go round the prickley pear
Prickley pear prickley pear
Here we go round the prickley pear
At five o'clock in the morning.
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow

Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

-erNNNNNNNNNN

I have no more heroes. You killed them all.