Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Unreality Of Reality

Reality is a term for people who refuse to see things as they can be,
so that they might be, instead seeing things as they are,
and lazily assuming that's how they'll always be.

~ Walter White

The persistent illusion of the Universe is finally starting to push me over the edge. Hmm, those words don't quite adequately capture the force of feeling I experience... ah, I know how to fix that.

The persistent illusion of the Universe is finally starting to push me over the god-damned Christ-punching edge. There we go, much better. The above quote sums it all up, really, but I feel I should go into some stuff, just so that the people who think they know me whill have something to do on their coffee breaks (or, if they forgot to make coffee, they can read it while waiting for Mothering to load.)

On my fora, there are several discussions about the American political 'system', and organized religion. Against all reason and logic, these threads have gone for hundreds of posts without degenerating, which makes me as happy as a little girl. I feel so... so at home on that board, and kin to many of the people there, what with all their little nooks and crannies (I'm not not licking toads). However, I am reminded of a little essay I wrote years ago, eloquently titled "Why It Sucks To Be A Writer."

We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of everyone to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want - everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear - anywhere in the world.

* Franklin D. Roosevelt, America's Last President

The jist of the little essay, which was written while I was stoned and recovering from a seizure, is that literature exists to show people other worlds, worlds of future potential and wasted past chances, entire galaxies of what might have been and what could be. People lose themselves in the literature, in the stories, and if we've done our job right, they've thought thoughts they would not have otherwise come across, and their lives have been bettered. This is the goal of the writer. The world of the writer, though, is to see the whole of reality, and then pretend that somewhere better, or even somewhere worse, exists. The reader's life is improved, whereas the writer is, by their very existence, continually reminded of the shortcomings and insurmountable problems and infinite futility of the world of reality.

And there is a creeping fear of doubt, doubt of what we have been taught, of the validity of so many things we had long since taken for granted to be durable and unchanging. It has become more difficult than ever to distinguish black from white, good from evil, right from wrong.

* Edward R. Murrow

But that quote doesn't go all the way, does it? There's one further step, the step that we in the Western world took twenty years ago. The validity of so many things that we have long since taken for granted to be durable and unchanging is a false validity. We have long since taken for granted the true ineffectiveness of government, the indifference of humanity, the casual hatred of those around you for those not around you. The fear I feel is that the decline of the world will not be stopped, since the decline has been happening for so long no-one even notices anymore. Imagine a bacterium on the Titanic. Bacterium A, for the whole of his existence, has known that his world was half underwater. Bacterium B, for the whole of his existence, has known that his world was two-third underwater, despite what his progenitor may have said. Bacterium C, for the whole of his existence, has known that his world was nine-tenths underwater, whereas his child, Bacterium D, is born into a world that he can watch vanish with his own eyes, because no-one before him had the slightest clue that it was changing. Clearly I am referring to human attention-spans, not life-spans, but the results are the same. I can only hope that the ship sinks slow enough that my grandchildren can grow up enough to hate me for what I didn't do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can really relate to the latter half of your essay--it's the reason I don't plan on having kids.

And I love Where is My Mind, I blame Fight Club (in a good way).

Also, "Sir, are you going to buy those toads or just lick them?"
(oops, I accidentally posted in the wrong blog entry...somehow. Just ignore that >.<)