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Wednesday 26 March 2003

London Life and Coppertino [amnesia]

Tuff-stress jobs tend to get you re-evaluating your existence fairly regularly. Well that fact is not something to be glorified - we all do it - existence is existence - we question stuff in looking around at the day to day and question the bigger whole. However, getting profound about *your* hard-life is a bit insulting to people. As I've always said, if you're defined by your work, you need to get out more. Princess.
Life is life. Then you get on with it. If you're a student you tend to spend most of your time thinking about it in the abstract before you eventually come to the realisation that life is about *participation* in your theories, not frotting yourself against a thousand-overdone amateur philosophies and psychologies people have done to death before you.
Shit happens. Nothing's more embarrassing than *eventually* realising that everything you've endlessly obsessed about anew is a tired old rehash of everything people considered before. This is the slap-chop of coming out the other side of student existence as you suddenly realise that your profound insight is anything but that that was induced by having a great time off and something that got done a billion times before you. So, in time, if not immediately, one focuses on the effect of the opposite swing of the pendulum as one becomes the be-waged son of the system.
So as a wageista you end up thinking where am I and what am I doing. This kind of issue doesn't get resolved, as your student theories did, on page one.
However, in the debate against the war with Iraq, I'm beginning to understand some of the sanguine nature of older generations. It's not that one can't see the argument of the polemicised studentarianista - been there done it still hold some of it true - and it's not that one can't see the self-interest of the state - participated in a bit of that - but finally one can see the opposing balancing items for what they are.
And eventually one becomes utterly cynical of the polemicised posteuring of both sides - it's fucking LAZY to be all one way or the other. Life never got progressed by the absolutists. Ultimately, more than anything, it's an abdication of human responsibility for these supposed humanists to stick to their polemic and gratefully avoid the responsibility of participating in real life by holding the pendulum at the top of one swing or the other.
No at the end of the day what's really fucking insulting to the people of the country as a whole and yes to the troops that are out there slogging it out is the amateur gobshite hour that's going on. If the late 80's and 90's have something to answer for it's the democratisation of idiocy. Every cunt's got an opinion and most of them are appallingly formed. But they get aired with due seriousness. Terrific. However I would say that to the extent that that's the general populace then so be it - democracy is neutral on intellect - it demands a platform for all and we can tune out. That's the way it should be.
What really irks me is the intellectual abuse of the polemicists who duck the RL responsibilities of their Islington-coffee-house philosophy. There is no fence-sitting on an issue like this. Some would say that democracy and idiocy are necessary bedfellows. However intellecutal bucket-on-head polemics are insulting to the sufferage whichever way they go. Sure, if you've got the vote use it. If you've got the vote and intellectual capacity to engage in a debate about your country then don't abdicate your responsibility by chasing fag-packet philosophy. It's difficult. It counts. If you want to be part of the thing that matters, make sure your opinions aren't pendulum-swung polemics. This is not a time for the pub-theologian. It's not a time for the nineteen-year-old-nihilist. Sometimes the rules of full engagement mean the contents of your head too...

1 comment:

  1. A hearty hear hear from this corner. I've long held that extremism requires a state-of-mind that closes itself to the argument. It ends up turning an intellectual debate into a religion, a simple matter of 'faith' that one is right.
    The problem is largely because this is how our brains work. Our heads are a computer which is designed to define a goal early on and then seek to fill in the gaps to arrive at the goal. It started from 'must find food' and served us well to find the food and solve the problems in finding food.
    Unfortunately it serves us rather less well at proper intellectual debate. Because we tend to like to lock onto an argument and believe that is right and then search for the evidence that backs up our case. I'm exploring this concept in some length as part of a book I'm writing, where the mechanism exists (in the future) to engineer this primitive throwback out of the human conciousness.