Saturday, September 01, 2007
Silences est saludas?
I can't speak Spanish. I don't even know if it's true, but I saw a movie that was pretty bad, and it featured a professor explaining, in a Latin American History class, that in the midst of the disappearances of Chile, there was, coincidentally, a public health campaign to cut down on noise pollution. Thus, just as people were being killed for free speech, there were signs up saying, "Silence is health."
Now, for myself, I'm given to inner debate, or ... You know, that's not true. I just wrote a lie. I have almost no inner debate. Like most middle aged men, I'm over arguing with myself. In fact, what stands between me and contentment is inner judgment, not inner debate. It's as if there is a court room with a judge, no jury, and no lawyers -- just edict after edict and evaluation after evaluation. It is a tyranny of the self, in its way, because the internal dictator has been chained to the internal criminal -- the petty potentate (ugh, I'm so sorry for that alliteration, but this is the kind of thing I'm talking about) is handcuffed to his most impotent and inept critic. They don't argue. It is simply the actions of the fool and the condemnations of the censor, groaning away, and each has the power to make the other miserable, while neither has the capability of making the other better.
I'm rather sick of words. I'm sick of them in two ways, and one of these ways is prophetic, or at least bellwether.
First, I'm sick of my own words, as you should be sick of yours, if you have any sense of shame at all. Every day, every place I go, I feel as if all the words I have uttered, the lies, jokes, stories, witticisms, ill graced vitriol, preparatory patter, stuttering interjections, curses at misfortunes, comparisons between things, evaluations of history, valuations of artworks, deep readings, shallow readings, eunuch pleasantries, lustful compliments, disjointed non-sequiturs, sing alongs with the car radio, growlings at editorials, strings of words that must follow, choices of words that make fresh points, and all the rest of the symbolic junk are there. It's all there, all the time. It's all there, everywhere. It's all there, getting in front of my eyes, filling my ears, crawling on my cheek. Words, everywhen. Words, like a cloud of gnats that cannot be swatted.
Silence would be health indeed, and you should agree with me, because every time I see you, I see the swarm around your head, too, you know. All of those words are history for both of us, and they're the flood. If you concentrate on floating, you're sure to sink, I was told when I was tossed in the swimming pool.
The other way that I'm sick of words is the Internet. You know me, though: I'm always going on about symbolic abstractions of rhetorical constructs of semiotic deferrals! Oh, that's me, alright, in a nutshell.
Well, see, you do know me, but you know this me, which is nothing but a system of words. I know you, too, the same way. People on the Internet are not people at all. They are no more than constructions of rhetoric. They're symbol streams. If I am LordViper on Wikipedia, then I have not only fashioned a self, but I have ... and this is important, so do please pay attention... destroyed a self at the same time. The Litgeek cannot speak of himself, if he's LordViper. The past, hopes, insecurities, desires, balls and brains of the Litgeek must be omitted in LordViper's discourse. LordViper may get to have things that the Litgeek lacks (a criminal record, for instance), but he loses massive amounts, and therefore Litgeek cannot be himself as LordViper. Those who meet LordViper don't know Litgeek. They will never know him. They only know a selection of propositions -- the truth of which are self-verified and meaningful only as they are enacted rhetorically -- that are projections of a rhetorical "I."
Well, I'm sick of it. First, most of these authors suck as fictional biographers. Second, the rhetoric is uniform. Third, I like people, and therefore I like e-people in inverse proportion to their rhetorical sutures. They are all very fundamentally sick.
No, I don't mean they're all neurotics who need "avatars" to be whole. Who cares about that, anyway? No. I mean that the avatars are sick. Because they cannot have pasts, futures, and aspiration, they cannot be whole. They are fractures of personality. As such, no matter the "real people" back there, hanging around e-people is a day trip to the asylum. Since they are only words, silence is health.