Polemically Expressed [A Short Story]

 

It must be facts for me; doubt is an end and not a means to understanding the limits of knowledge, of what knowledge is or could be, not what I know, but the end of all knowing. As a result, I have only things, facts as things, disconnected, more like confetti to throw into the air, the only effect being how pretty it looks as it falls in array, he says.

Facts, facts and more facts, of course only facts and the first and last fact of them all is that even facts can lie, even facts are uncertain, he says. The one overarching and singularly guiding fact is doubt–I must doubt Truth, even all truths, any truth, minuscule ‘t’ truths accumulating in reserve, he says. I only have to look at our contemporary civilization’s guiding metaphysics, look to my participation in my culture’s assault on reason, on truth, on, yes, dare I say beauty–or should I say in deference to a lost initiative Reason, Truth and Beauty? He asks.

Capital letters bear a specific morphology; yes, they carry with them a particular meaning, he insists. I reveal certain prejudices when I say Beauty–a neo-Romanticism we might conclude, but then the Romantics had more heart while yet keeping their heads, he remembers having thought said written in notebooks, journals, other blogs.

What else should he have written here? He asks. Or should have said to you or to anyone that he has not does not will not say to himself? He says, I have written over twelve-thousand pages of notebook entries over the last decade and a half alone—there is no going back to the boxes I have collected with stories, poems, journals, essays and whatever else have we in the form of entries in notebooks . . . and so you see:

I go. To the store. This morning. For milk. But the store. Is out. Of milk.

Write phrases on pieces of paper, one each. Place in a bag. Shake the bag. Take out one by one. Copy diligently. Become a writer. Write each word on a piece of paper. Do the same as done with the phrases on pieces of paper. Copy diligently. Become a poet. He had written as he wrote as he writes as he is writing was writing will be writing when he does, writes; what he will write he has not decided. He would like it to be different. He continues, I don’t have to look long to see how in love with doubt as a form of wisdom I have come to be in this culture–just reveal that you actually know something in a group of anyone you understand to have been fully formed by our systematic under-education over the last quarter of a century. Doubt, doubt and more doubt is all I ever need to know–Truth as Beauty or Beauty Truth has long been lost in the mists of Post-post Structuralist mystifications, he says. He stops. He continues, Even in politics this is the only guidance we allow. It is the one overriding reason such trash gets accepted in our political campaigning, the levels of demagoguery and semi-literacy–alphabetics, all of us, yes, able to spell our names correctly. This of the possibilities–infinite possibilities–the true profit margin, he says as he assumes you should also be able to either in words similar or completely different from these, he says. What have you he could think in the forms of what you have learned experienced understood over time . . . what? What then must we do? He would ask.

Of course, he says, it is correct to assess that political campaigns have always been comprised of that which expresses the lesser of ourselves, the lower of our impulses, the baser of our instincts, an oversimplification at best, or at worst, the grossest in the simplistic that is possible without all campaigning falling down in an avalanche of fragments, he says. What is different, though, is the lessening of the critique; moreover, the remove from which anyone tries to levy an alternative to how we elect, how we campaign, or what the media does with our politics and politicking, how they package our politicians, he says. The media rarely critiques itself; that would be too much to ask, I know, he says. The inarticulateness on our part has left us in a position where the potential for opposing politics as it gets played on the American stage is approaching impossible, he says. I, he says, who do oppose contemporary politics, he says, as it has been played in the arenas of states across the globe, he says, have also helped create a cultural weakness in itself a strength only in its power to debilitate, he says. Weakness is weakness, though, just as strength remains strength, he says. He says, The latter can only cleave to the latter, never the former. This is immutable. I should look closely at our most recent historical precedence over the last one hundred or more years, particularly the last fifty or sixty here in America, but most assuredly in France, he says, as well as here in the United States–he pauses. There is a pervading nihilism at the heart of our common Western culture, worse, at the core of our civilization, he says. Yes, Western Civilization, he insists.

He says, Again, doubt, doubt and more doubt is what we teach, what we expect, what we receive from our ideas that there is no Truth, there is nothing transcendent, there are no absolutes, there is no Absolute, and, of course, that everything is relative, itself an error a lot less than human. We have become grossly irresponsible–I have my excuses, he says. He says, The assault on Truth, the idea of Truth, and subsequently our persistent attack on the validity of truth after truth until the possibility of determining any truth has become so undermined that there is no truth and anyone can say anything because what I feel is the most important thing to express–and you do not even have to believe this to do this. It is preferably expressed in the most spontaneous speech because what is spontaneously expressed will be the most honest, we assume, and this has left me unable to mount any defense of democracy or against the assaults on democratic living here at home, while power gets more powerful and money more monied, he says.

He has written elsewhere at another time perhaps his or other thoughts . . .

The trickle down–something like cum out of her cunt when a woman stands after having been fucked–or should I say, after she fucks . . . what then is the problem—and we are still uptight about fucking or get more so in direct proportion to all the ways we fuck each other in every other way but sexually. 

Fragments from notebooks or journals—I will not as he will not go into how they are different, if they are at all. He says, Here is another way of expressing either what some call natural and others call organic–either conception has become our nightmare, the ascension of a virtual adolescent world view where there are no hierarchies of value anywhere for anything and no experts in anything, all in an attempt to more widely disseminate opinions democratically, or, for everyone to be equal in his opinions, he says. He has written:

It is a problem that we use the word fuck to mean so many other things that have nothing to do with sexual pleasure, and this has a lot to do with too many of our idiot impulses in response to the word, as if the word in itself were vulgar and not what was really vulgar was our ideas about sex—have you ever listened to how many people use words for dirt or dirty or nasty for having sex—where’s the joy if every time you fuck you afterwards feel guilt? No, we’re not idiots. 

Yes, he wrote. He says, And I do endure the inane, the hopelessly foolish, because I want people to listen to my opinions, no matter how ignorant or poorly framed they are. Without truth there are no foundations for facts, so we–so I–persist in expressing opinions based on what we feel–I feel–and I am as in love with emotion and emotionalism as everyone else seems to be in this America perpetually seeking instant fame–fifteen seconds, not minutes, Mr. Warhol. Emotion is not passion. Both passion and knowledge actually scare us, he imagines. He adds, Who’s to say became no one can say, and we all agreed with no one could say because everyone wanted to say something, and wanted even an immediate, yet temporary, validity assigned to his or her opinion, he says. The only way we could get anyone to listen to our unqualified opinions was to undermine truth, the nature of evaluation, the notion of hierarchies and the fact that opinions do have quality, he says.

He says, Without authority everyone became an expert for fifteen minutes. No one but an elite are really famous, so we took having expertise for fifteen minutes, that is, until someone else disagreed and then we had to listen to him, no matter how inane the opinion might be. Without quality for opinions there remains quantity, and that’s not quantification, but a sum totaling addition of opinions. He then says, Popularity and plurality have taken over our ethics, which is why we always defer to star actors and actresses as spokesmen or spokeswomen, he says. Truth is numerical, arithmetic, additional. Yet, this is a prelude to the will to power. This is what we suffer socially and economically today. We have no other reasons for why anyone accumulates the wealth that is accumulated by the rich and powerful; the monied elite are far too monied, he says; but we no longer have access to the reasons why this should offend us. We do not, he says, in our semi-literacy, he says, have the ability to express our position, he says. In fact, he says, we no longer are able to discern a position as a People to stand in counterweight to the State or as a corrective for power, he says. I and we are one in this as they are one in me as they must be one in you as I am we the people and you must also be we the people as everyone is we the people you must get this accept this if we are ever going to be as there are an infinite number of relative centers to the expansion of the universe there are also an infinite number of relative centers to the expansion of democratic universe the physical and metaphysical being mutual and reciprocal so beware what we make manifest in the world . . . he fades.

He says, The agents who are supposed to manage freedom or the dissemination of democratic ideas and ideals in our media are so corrupted by having become so semi-literate that they do not stand opposed to power but grateful to it the way those who served the Czar used to be grateful, he says. We do not have freedom for all, democracy for everyone, he says; but only for the oligarchic elite, he says, the powerful and the insanely monied, he says.

We do not have freedom and equality for African-Americans, we have the privilege system of affirmative action, and like all systems of privilege, they either exist in systems of inequality, or they create inequalities to perpetuate themselves as privilege systems. Privileges cannot exist where there is equality. The use of privileges for some groups is also used as a means toward a Machiavellian end. He says with conviction that power divides us and conquers us. Who does not know that? He asks. I ask myself too under my breath. Affirmative action quite ironically has lead to systematic under-education in schools in African-American neighborhoods, he says without hesitation or qualification he knows others would have. Why? He asks.

He then says, But I do not have to be concerned for this–after having been systematically undereducated, allowed to become so lowly semi-literate, I cannot see that as stupid as I have become is not smart enough to know what I should know what I need to know to live free so maybe I should just die as in the old revolutionary slogan from 18th century New England, he says, while I say nothing, pausing to re-read what he has said that I have transcribed.

More? What more? Our grandfathers are rolling over in their graves, he said a friend of a friend from Indiana had said about how we have come to a place in our politics where Donald Trump can be viable . . . but don’t let me sway you, I say he said alone, only himself now speaking about how much imbecility gets paraded in the media to convince us that  buffoonery is nothing to be ashamed of . . . but I cannot help but think that most of what I hear or read expressed in the media or on social media mimics what I imagine would be like a tribe of people somewhere who strip naked under the light of the full moon every month to then shove feather duster handles up their asses and cluck like roosters or hens; if this were done often enough by enough people, we would then follow suit?

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One Comment

  1. Reblogged this on The Falling Leaf Review and commented:

    What else do you need but the essay to read; I will not give you a synopsis to take with you to then pretend you have read what you should have read without any help from me other than the words themselves here by the couple of thousand.

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