Friday, November 26, 2010

Why not

1. No one will get it.
2. The ones who get it won't care, but since there won't be any, that's not a real danger.

I have developed my manifesto. Manifestos are important, as I argued before. Whenever one's art, whether it's painting the house multiple colors or making a unique lawn watering scheme or a tree fort for the children or a decorating scheme for the kitchen or writing an essay that borrows from journalism and academic style, fails to get the response one wishes, the natural and inevitable response is to write a manifesto.

Mine is not for a movement, though. It's just mine. I have decided that my own position, in the post-Sputnik age, the Watergate and Apollo age, is rebel humanism. The right wing frequently... well, the left, right, top, bottom, and every other wing, plus guard, plus side... tells the audience what its greatest fear and weakness is by campaigning most vigorously against a phantom menace. In the case of the so-called Christian fundamentalists (who seem to miss the fundamentals and behave in ways far from Christian morality), they have had a full on war against "seccalurhummanisss." Secular humanists, they say, are everywhere, are plotting, are organizing, and are effective. It is difficult, therefore, for anyone to even understand the word "humanism" properly (hence my link).

Me? I know the empiricism. I know of the physics. I have no problem sharing the facts and statements of our age. Indeed, I am on a computer. However, I, and perhaps others, have rebelled against the proscribing of the horizon by scientism, the belief that what is known is what is knowable, that what is perceptible is what is knowable, that what is inferrential is more reliable than what is deductive, that reason is sufficient. Mine is not merely anti-Rationalism, although I found that and took to it, but I was rebelliously humanist before I found those people, I think. Nope. I know what the theses are, but I have no reason to suspect they are a limitation.

If we would know why Pentheus lies in pieces, we must ask how he behaved.

If we would know why Gulliver is in the stables, we should ask where he's been.

We can listen to Jung, or Bakhtin, or nearly anyone, but they have the human as the "shadow," the "mad," the "beast," and all sorts of other pejorative names. If it's us, then why all the names, except that we are, again, trying to suggest that it's not really part of us, that it's the manure of humanity, the vestigial tail, an atavism? If a person decides, "I will allow myself to be really alive next weekend," then the effort will fail. It's a stupid idea.

The truth is that "You are here" is at the center of all maps, and we, as the cartographers, can never escape our human-centrism. We can never escape the limits of being created things (take your sense of the word -- be an atheist, and it's still true), historical things, accumulations and chemicals. Nor, surprisingly, is that depressing. It is only doom and gloom if you wish to set up a new, ephemeral idol in the niche formerly occupied by the chunk of wood.

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