And now, without further commercial interruption, the conclusion of » Dostoevsky, Aaron Swartz and the Broken Butterfly of Tomorrow. Here you go...
» Parenting & Paraphrasing
[ I could be wrong, but I do not think Aaron had children. ]
The threat of losing your child fucks with your head .. in a far more exquisite manner. In my opinion. Straight to the looney farm.
The thing with jail is that .. it is the FEAR-of-the-unknown that fucks with your head. The p-r-o-l-o-n-g-e-d fear is definitely worse than jail itself. (In my admittedly limited opinion.)
And yes, jail does indeed suk very badly. But any experience with institutions should help there.
That 'parenting' thing .. seems to run below / underneath the part of us that rationalizes.
Cuz I recall that my thinking was obviously severely distorted on one level .. yet remarkably lucid on another.
My clearest recollection .. was that of feeling literally 6 feet under .. as tho I were ALREADY dead .. and as tho I was looking UP at the ground .. at the zero point.
<ignore this intentional body-text marker>
••• today's entry continues here below •••
Everybody gets to the point where all-you-are aint enough. And I remember thinking » "If I do nothing, I'm a dead man. Cuz I'm already dead. Stay here and Death will soon catch up to you."
I can't help but think that this is where the idea of vampires came from. From the contemplation of what happens to us between that time when we die inside .. and when Death finally arrives, mercifully for some, wielding his razor-sharp sickle.
Dracula's wife, that would be the Countess herself, the 1897 story goes, committed suicide .. while the Count was away at war .. because the enemy had tricked her .. into believing that her husband was dead.
The church, who Drac had been off fighting for, to defend from invading marauders, and for whom he risked his life, said that his wife was forever-cursed. Anathema.
THAT was the thing that drove Dracula over to the dark side. Then he met somebody who looked exactly like his fallen wife. Suddenly we have a love story. Tho a very strange one.
I knew all that about the story before .. but it never registered with me.
It's a little disconcerting .. that I can now see (so clearly and plainly) .. something that was obviously right in front of me.
I know a guy [ Jeffrey, one of the most well-read dudes I've met ] who actually read the 1897 book by Stoker.
He said it was an amazingly-good story/book/read. I mean, beyond that of the undead sucking life out of the living.
Ah, I could easily digress here .. about the power of love .. true love .. all-consuming love .. in the face of whatever obstacles may come.
True Love will kick down the Gates of Hell itself .. and do battle with whatever situation happens to presents itself ..
.. in order to rescue its Beloved. Tenacious, single-minded focus. Beyond mere obsessive / compulsive behavior. Far beyond.
It is (to play off Wittgenstein) "that-thing-which-takes-you". Rational or not.
I can definitely feel that inside. (Sometimes.)
I used to think that "Love nevers fails" meant you would never get your ass kicked .. if you really, truly love. I don't think that any more. Actually, I think the opposite .. that you will get your ass kicked a lot more.
Does that not seem obvious? Cuz if you don't give a fuck .. it's almost a Buddhist kind of thing, no? Suffering, the Buddha says, is a result of Attachment. While Love is the strongest "attachment" we humans know / experience.
So maybe the Buddha would modify his Four Noble Truths .. to stipulate that it is being attached to the wrong shit?
For extra-credit points, compare the plight of the vampire .. with this verse of Scripture .. and maybe even how differently the sentiments contained in that verse compare with the moden, default-view of Christianity.
Wow! That was a long, crazy sidebar. Here's where we were:
» Everybody gets to the point where all-you-are aint enough. And I remember thinking » "If I do nothing, I'm a dead man. Cuz I'm already dead. Stay here and Death will soon catch up to you."
It felt like I had to crawl up to the ground BY MYSELF .. as tho God wasnt going to help me (.. at least not any more that He had to).
That suk'ed very badly. Maybe the most sukkage ever. Certainly a contender. "Low, low, low."
Notice that the feeling of being forsaken (by God) .. is one of the most _________ (« what word goes there? most what?).
Perhaps the lesson I am to take away from this is » God does not help us want to live. Maybe that is something that we must do ourselves. (Think about I. Conduct a thought-experiment.)
Yes, we know that God says, "If you want to live, I will help you." But I cannot recall a verse that says, "I will help you want to live." [ I could be wrong, of course. ]
[ Would that be the same as Hemingway's sin of despair? The Catholic's "sin against the Holy Ghost?" ]
Now we are naturally talking about a period severe emotional distress .. either beyond or close to what we can handle .. so the faculty of reason is distorted (severely). But this much was clear .. that my want-to-live margin was approaching flimsy.
And a time when it seemed like I really needed help .. it felt like the cavalry wasnt coming this time.
The thought came » "Probably ought to pitch a tent .. cuz it looks like we're gonna be here a while."
Then the other thought that I mentioned earlier » "Stay here and you're a dead man."
And I could see the truth in that. But you have to want to live. And it felt like I had to do that myself.
It took days of pondering .. before it began to dawn on me. Deep, deep, deep.
Immediately following the quote, the man who wrote the Intro says that Nathalie (a woman) ASSIMILATES Dostoevsky .. which raised my eyebrows.
Maybe that is what is what I'm looking to do. Assimilate Dostoevsky. But you wouldnt assimilate a steak .. until you were reasonably sure that is wasnt rotten. Right?
I think that's where I am .. with people whose opinion I respect saying, "Best steak I've ever had."
But I still need to take a smell for myself. And I think it would challenge my creative skills, my geeky artistic skills .. to try to report what I smell. Seems like a worthy, noble challenge, no? Something that would cause me to reflect.
And more importantly » WHY .. I think it smells the way it does. (Even if it sounds crazy.)
[ When I said in my New Years eve entry, my Notorious entry, that » "I see it getting ugly, or I see it getting worse" .. I was fairly detailed .. about WHY I felt the way I did.
Anybody can spout shit. But what is your supporting rationale? Have you done the research? Or are you just talking out your ass?
Are you one of those newborn chicks .. mouth agape .. swallowing everything that the Cable news channel feeds you?
Do you think for yourself? (Have you ever had an original thought?) Or do you let others do your thinking for you? (Other people would *love* to do your thinking for you.)
This was me .. not so very long ago, either. So I know the concept is not an impossibility.
The most telling question, of course, is » WHY .. do I feel the way do. Answering that question can take you far.
Because .. in order to do THAT, you must first understand both sides (positions) of the issue, of the argument.
Then the question comes » WHY do each side feel the way they do? And under what circumstances?
You can always identify / recognize a Cable News chick (mouth open) .. because they are all-or-nothing. And you don't have to research ANY issue for very long .. before it becomes clear that few issues are all-or-nothing.
Everything depends on something. ]
Because different people smell different things with Dostoevsky. Particularly regarding Ivan. They SEE different things. That interests me. Why the difference? Who falls in which camps?
Wow, another side-bar. It's like I keep distracting myself from telling this story. I promise, no more distractions. Here is where we were pre-previous sidebar:
It felt like I had to crawl up to the ground BY MYSELF .. as tho God wasnt going to help me (.. at least not any more that He had to). That suk'ed very badly. Maybe the most sukkage ever. Certainly a contender. "Low, low, low."
After feeling that something inside of me had died .. and that the Dark Side no longer seemed so far away (nor so dark) .. I crawled back up to ground-level, but could not do much of anything .. for quite a while. Just laid there. So to speak.
In others words, it somehow dealt with parenting on multiple levels.
Cuz, if you didnt give a shit, you wouldnt even care .. a point that Dostoevsky makes in chapter #2.
Here, for example, is a tidbit, a little insight that I learned just recently .. from my research into Dostoevsky » The thing that makes one a good writer .. RUNS PARALLEL WITH the road to insanity. =)
Let me explain.
The most influential critic of Dostoevsky's writing [ Mikhail Bakhtin ] says that the THING that marks Dostoevsky's work .. as a "major revolution in the history of the novel" .. is that of » 'multi-voicedness'.
The voices-of-the-characters in all OTHER novels .. up to Dostoevsky .. are "subordinated to a single consciousness .. that we usually identify with the author."
But in Dostoevsky .. all the characters GET THEIR OWN VOICE. [ Think about that .. because many smart people agree with him. ]
Now the guy who wrote the the Intro [ Malcom V. Jones ] gives a nice tidy literary description of what that term means, using esoteric terms such as 'polyphonic' and 'monologic'. But allow me to paraphrase for you.
It means 'giving voice' to all those Voices in your head ..
.. in such a way that the reader feels like they really are hearing many personalities (.. come from one person).
But most any conversation with a good Wacko from the local nut house can do a very similar thing in under 15-minutes
(.. if you take away their zombie meds). So how does the Writer accomplish this?
He must BECOME the personalities of those other voices.
Now the actor gets paid handsomely to do this with ONE other character (.. at a time).
The writer must become them all .. and balance ALL their voices .. somehow. It's a good trick .. if you can pull it off.
So you can be sure there are some colorful conversations going on inside his head.
[ The Dog said that folks who genuinely went crazy, loco, bonkers, flew-the-coop .. and returned .. report it as passing thru a "gelatin membrane".
Perfect peace and tranquility await those who most desperately need to use the exit door of irrationality.
Now, call me crazy .. but uh, it definitely seems like .. the thinner the gel, » the more clearly the voice I can hear. =)
"Dude! You don't say! That is some of the craziest sounding shit I have ever heard. Tell me more."
Man standing behind gelatin curtain » "Dude! I can't hear you very well thru this stupid gelatin. Come on over and I'll tell you all about it."
Me » "But what if I get lost and can't find my way back?"
Man behind gelatin curtain » "Lost from what?"
Notice that Carl Jung, after reading Ulysses (that's right » the 1922 title that Modern Library ranks #1 as the Best English Language novel of the Twentieth Century), concluded that James Joyce was schizophrenic ..
.. a word that means "split-mind" .. from schizo (split) and phren (mind). I find that very telling and even a bit humorous.
But writing can be described as the process of letting the different characters and literary technicians go thru the story .. at their own pace ..
.. and each add-to and edit/modify as they see fit and deem necessary. After a while, if you do it well enough, you forget who you are .. for a time. =) ]
» The #1 Way that I Resonate with Dostoevsky's Techniques
Later I would also like to delve into and discuss the #1 way (that I feel) I mirror Dostoevsky in technique. From the intro » "In Dostoevsky, the reader is invited to judge the validity of the idea by the viability of the personality."
[ Of course, Dostoevsky himself is my biggest personality .. making today's entry somewhat reciprocal. ]
This is the very principle by which I began my JAIL entry .. is it not? Personality. (Tho integrity of personality was my goal.)
I mean, I wrote that entry looong before I knew Dostoevsky used the technique. [ Doesnt everybody? ] In other words » quite organically.
Cuz it's easy to feel crappy about life .. after the initial get-out-of-jail euphoria wears off. That's when the names started to come. Maybe 3AM.
The feeling, more or less » 'Yes, it suks, but you're not alone. Far from it. Surprisingly far.'
One of the clearest things this voice says to me is » "It's not right that your generation is leaving such an enormous debt for the next generation to pay."
And I think, "Of course, but what can I do?"
Sounds like a deal to me. So I say to my friend, "Dude, this shit does not look right to me. What do you think?"
And my friend says, "Of course, that shit aint right. Anybody can see that. But what can we do?"
And I say, "This shit suks pretty bad."
And the voice says, "Dude, you dont know what suk is."
And I say [ without thinking ] » "Really? What's suk?"
A week later I was in jail. =) Jail suks, dawg. Tis true, I must report.
Jail wasnt exactly what I had in mind .. when I got curious about the suk.
And when I got out of jail, the voice said, "Dude, if you really wanna know about the Suk .. you need to talk to my homies, Franz and Fyodor. I call them the Suk brothers. They will school you right-proper in the art of the Suk." </paraphrase>
So that's what I did.
» "Dude, You dont know what SUK is."
.. in the shadow of Mt. Dostoevsky. As tho it were » automatic. It feels as tho this is where I met Aaron .. in the shadow of Mt. Dostoevsky.
I posted an entry on this very topic .. but I dont really wanna go find it right now (.. cuz I might start reading). I mean, you can actually *hear* the ice starting to crack around you. So of course, you dont make any quick moves. =)
Kafka himself was a lawyer, and he worked for a State-run bureaucracy .. so he would have an excellent perspective from which to write.
An interesting literary tidbit about The Trial .. is that it began with the First World War (summer of 1914 .. a century ago) .. almost to the day ..
.. when Kafka started to write it, I mean .. tho it wasnt published until 1925, after he died (in 1924) ..
.. tho the two events obviously have nothing to do with one another. I'm talking historical perspective. "The War to End all Wars" .. or so they said.
Kafka had told his best friend, "Dude, burn all my shit when I die." [ I'm glad that Max Brod betrayed him. ]
There is also a funny side to insanity, a humorous side. Cuz humor can relieve stress. (It always has for me.)
If you can step back far enough, you can see the very absurdity of the situation. Little ol' you (.. with no money left) .. against the big bad governmental system .. in all its forms. The hydra .. who only eats the poor and the unconnected.
And THEY make the rules. (All of them.) And it doesnt matter how absurd you might think their rules seem. So all you can do .. is sorta like the feeling you might get if you slip and find yourself about to go over a 317-foot waterfall » "This should be interesting."
Tho our legal system here in the US today is more adversarial .. than the old continental system in which Kafka received his training.
That system was more investigative .. more of a fact-finding process. Our legal system of today already seems to know all the "facts" (.. that they want to know) .. and all they want from you is to see your ass in jail.
» Finding Lessons & Humor in Absurdity
There can be lessons in absurdity .. that you can't see under normal 'lighting' .. such as what's really important .. until things start distorting .. revealing hidden patterns .. more dramatic contrast.
Absurdity can also be funny .. specially if you have a warped sense of humor, like me. But my point is » no matter HOW strong you are .. no matter HOW stable you are .. unless you are super-fucking-man .. the legal shit wears on you after a while.
And while the gators are gnawing on your ass, you call out to the invading vermin, "Shoo! Shoo you bad neuroses. Scat!"
Because lawyers are expensive. (Fabulously.) Which makes it a kind of ECONOMIC attack .. because they are being funded by public coffers. So, in a way (.. by paying taxes) you are paying them to fuck you.
.. and it's not difficult to see how badly their value system suks. Now either they can't see it themselves .. or they dont want to see. "More Kool-Aid, please. Yes, grape would be fine. Ooh, that's my favorite."
But I guess you can do whatever the fuck you like .. when you are part of the system. The Syndicate. (What are some other good 'conspiratorial' names I could use here?)
How would that feel? To be able to do pretty much what ever you like? It sounds very cool. "Sir, I pulled you over because I clocked you doing 1.6 billion mph back there."
You folks seem to be looking for love in all the wrong places (.. such as at Aaron's apartment, for example). As a citizen, I can't help but think that our taxpayer dollars would be better spent helping Jon find the $1.6 billion of other-people's-money that he "lost".
Why dont you folks go home tonight and take a good hard look at your priorities? Cuz the nation has genuine problems (.. if ya havent noticed). And Aaron Swartz is not the problem. (We need MORE Aarons, not less.)
» How Long?
No matter how you might feel about MLK's prophetic insights .. no one will deny that he was » "killed". You know .. that 'thing' they do to prophets. That much has been established.
Another established fact » we have a black family residing at the White House .. making for a lovely contrast .. given our nation's storied past with slavery .. seeing, not-so-long ago the contrast was » black fingers crawling like spiders among the white cotton.
So my question seems to be » Is *this* the 'vision' that Martin Luther King saw? .. that of a black family occupying the White House .. when he said, "I've seeeen .. the promise(d) land"?
[ I would imagine that, in 1968, that image would have seemed pretty promising. Surely satisfying. ]
I mean, MLK comes right out and SAYS .. that God Himself has allowed him to SEE INTO THE FUTURE. [ Uh .. that sounds a lot like prophecy to me. ]
Really? What might *that* look like, Martin?
The forceful f-sound .. that for good doctor makes there .. when he says the word » fearing .. reminds me another f-word.
Do you happen to have a match handy? Or perhaps a Bic lighter? Cuz here's where you get to light up Dostoevsky's nineteenth-century pipe .. the one that we packed earlier [ .. where Fyodor said "I can foresee the inevitable..." ]
And while you're puffing on that Nineteenth century pipe, notice that MLK uses the word 'Totalitarian' in that final speech he gave .. the DAY BEFORE .. an assassin's bullet found him standing on a balcony in Memphis.
In other words, he uses the word » totalitarianism .. the same thing that Dostoevsky prophesied.
» The Inevitable Culture Clash is Here Now (Today)
If I were to try to articulate The Inevitable .. it would be the clash of cultures .. engendered by the Internet. Inevitable. That's what I see .. today » 1/11.
The Internet itself has *that* much importance. "What say ye, friend?" Seems obvious in a way, no?
And the culture of the Internet is » openness and freedom of exchange. While others appear uncomfortable with such freedom. "You kids cant be exchanging shit like that without paying for it." [ Remember the SY$TEM is » about the money. ]
And all our clueless leaders seem to care about is getting their cut. (They dont seem to be very much into humanity.) A fundamental incompatibility exists, or at least appears to exist. Based on values that are polar-opposites.
And historical clashes often revolve (one way or another) around » freedom. "No?" Yes. (That's what the Russian prophet says.)
» Fearlessness & Authenticity
Now I realize and freely admit that I'm more-than-a-little whacked .. with Aaron's suicide following so quickly on the heels of the seismic Newtown slaughter .. but I have found myself thinking lately.
Happens automatically. You can feel yourself o-r-i-e-n-t-a-t-e TOWARD the pain / fear. The reason I associate that posturing, this internal orientation, with 'God' .. is cuz it seems like something I myself would never do. [ If you see a lion coming, you normally run .. the OTHER way. ]
No, you don't have to go. Yes, you can puss-out. But .. but that is another story.
Notice also that mere minutes before this roaring fearlessness .. he seemed possessed by the humility that comes to those who are resigned to their own mortality ..
.. when he says <paraphrase_on>, "Longevity is a wonderful thing, dawg. But I can see that aint for me."
Then he finishes with » "Do I look scared? Is my hand shaking?"
And everybody watching him there up on stage was thinking, "Wow. What was that?" </paraphrase>
That, my friend, was history .. history caught on camera. Because the next day he was dead. The assassin's bullet. Makes you think, no?
So when I see [ resonate with what I perceive as, recognize as ] » authenticity .. I naturally want to see what was said.
» Won't You Help to Sing?
» Dostoevsky's Prophetic View of Totalitarianism
What are the chances that the United States would/could take a detour down Totalitarian Way?
What odds would you give? How would it unfold? Speculation?
I've never really given Totalitarianism much thought. But I would imagine it would either totally rock or suketh immensely .. depending on the person-in-charge, no? "Uncle Ernie is calling the shots? Cool. I need a new yacht."
The #1 thing that Dostoevsky stresses about Totalitarianism .. is » the people responsible for pulling it off .. genuinely LOVE HUMANITY. They want to create a perfect (peaceful & prosperous) society .. by taking away the free will of their subjects.
Free will, they feel, is TOO MUCH for most people to handle. "A burden too heavy to bear." Freedom is seen as "incompatible" with happiness .. for all but a few übermensches ..
My intuitive take-away on Totalitarianism [ even when the intentions are GOOD ] .. is that it is SO FREAKING BAD .. that it is never a viable option. (Ever.) And I'm confident Einstein would back me on that.
Fight at all cost. William Wallace would be happy to second. New Hampshire license plates say Live Free or Die. Paint the face with blue wode.
I mean, if their garments arent shining, I'd be skeptical.
This past Presidential election was a Changing of the Guard .. demographically speaking. So it seems that now would be a good time to "do something" .. before things start to get worse. No?
The dramatics of our politicians seem to be building (.. to a crescendo?). If I was the Old Guard, the timing would seem right to make a move .. to exercise power in less-democratic ways.
You may find it interesting that the term » totalitarianism is defined as » a form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc.).
The most recent manifestations of the power-cravings of our Leaders .. seem to have developed along these lines » We are in a state of war. The President needs and gets "special war-time powers" during a state-of-war.
And since this state-of-war (on terror) WILL NEVER END .. the executive branch therefore "needs" these special war-time powers as far as the eye can see [ read » forever ].
So it seems that ours leaders have a reason (power) to keep the country in a perpetual state of war, no?
"Let's see, what can we do to piss people off so badly that they want to fight us forever?"
Have our Leaders mangaged to concoct a perpetual state-of-war in order to invest the Government with eternal "special powers" that resemble Totalitarianism?
If I wanted to take over the country, here is what I would do »
- get my buddies in congress to thwart raising the national debt ceiling on October 1st (.. to cause financial chaos).
- make friends with influential people in the military.
- pay thugs and goons to blow shit up, creating a need for martial law.
Once you have martial law enacted, you can figure out the rest yourself.
I am merely demo'ing these new patterns from Dostoevsky .. and seeing how they might apply here-n-now .. paying particular attention to points-of-intersection and matching patterns.
Very popular pattern .. especially among those who manage to weasel out of harm's way .. when it comes their time to serve.
When his young son Aleksei died, he made a pilgrimage with the young philosopher / theologian, Vladimir Solovyov to the Optina Monastery, which served as the spiritual center of Russia. On the road there he saw something that changed the thrust of his novel.
There is actually another part to Camus' quote about Dostoevsky. This passage is taken directly from Camus' 1958 book Spectacles (which I found on page 252 here) :
"For a long time we believed that Marx was the prophet of the 20th century. We now know that his prophecy misfired. And we discover that the true prophet was Dostoevsky. He prophesied the reign of the Grand Inquisitors and the triumph of power over justice."
Karl Marx (1818-1883) was a contemporary of Dostoevsky. He was born a few years before Dostoevsky, and died a few years after. The conversation, as I understand it, went something like this:
Fyodor » "Uh, dude. I think not. Let me introduce you to my friend, the Grand Inquisitor. I met him on the road to Siberia .. many winters ago .. where I saw many interesting things. Shit you would not believe.
Mr. G here will trick-fuck both you and your pretty-sounding Communism. So Karl, put *that* in your pipe and smoke it."
And in 1958, long after Camus had watched the Soviet Union devolve into something grotesque .. it was easy for everybody to see wtf.
Easy to see who the real prophet was a century after they die.
That seems to be where Dostoevsky's reputation as a prophet came from. Camus died 3 decades before the Soviet Union disintegrated, but I'm sure he would say, "Told ya."
Professor Morson at Northwestern University said » "Dostoevsky spoke to the twentieth century. He was unique in foreseeing that it would not be an era of sweetness and light, but the bloodiest on record. With uncanny accuracy, The Demons predicted, in detail, what totalitarianism would be."
» Songs of Freedom
I have been noticing .. quite organically, I might add .. that I seem to find myself drawn .. to these existentialist dudes, which include Nietzsche. So I started looking into these guys .. and » "Yeah! That's the way I see it, too!"
But you would never raise your hand in 6th grade Science class, when asked, and say, "When I grow up, I going to be an existentialist." (Actually sounds a tad pretentious, if you ask me, a word with 5 syllables.)
I know very little about existentialism .. but intuitively speaking .. the essence of it seems to be » "we need to [ have the balls to ] see things as they REALLY ARE .. even including the apparent paradoxes and especially the ugliness ..
Now I realize that not many men (or women) have the heuvos to LIVE live an authentic life .. amid the soul-sucking shit that life can sometimes be ..
.. but this needs to be the goal, the aim, the mark, the aspiration. If you fail, you failed at a noble thing.
Some times it's easier to know where you DONT want to go .. than it is to know where you DO want to go. (You could easily work that last sentence into my Marx / Dostoevsky dialogue.)
[ Along these lines of political models .. I should probably mention an interesting verse I found in Habakkuk, which says that » God made men WITHOUT A RULER OVER THEM. That raised my eyebrows. ]
"Take that away," I told her. [ Uh, figuratively speaking. I was not the most mature person back in those days. ] "I'm a Catholic, and your religion doesnt seem very religious. Where's the guilt?"
Kierkegaard [ 1813-1855 ] was also a theologian and Miss Kristen seemed to have substituted Soren's philosophy for church in her life. She was very moral .. easy to trust. And we got along fabulously. Very easy to be with. (No fights.)
I noticed that this guy named Sartre was also listed there with the Existentialists. I know next-to-nothing about him.
I remember back when the Dog was living up in the Hollywood Hills (.. mere walking distance from the famous sign) .. that I was staying with him for a weekend. He had a stack of books there on the nightstand beside his unmade bed.
The top book stacked there was one by Sartre. So I asked the Dog [.. who went to Columbia university, an Ivy league school .. "across the street from Harlem" (as he puts it) with a famously rigorous required reading curriculum ] "What's up with this Sartre dude?"
He just looked at me and said (ominously joking) "The beginning of the end." =)
» Dostoevsky & the Censor
Only very recently have I begun to ponder the notion of [ how Fyodor had to ] » write with a Censor. A State Censor.
He had already spent several years in a concentration camp in Siberia .. an experience that almost certainly shortened his life to 59, and killed many others much earlier ..
.. and been subjected to the psychological mind-fucking of a mock execution .. at the hands of the state. So I would imagine he was a bit 'sensitive' to the idea of a Censor.
And I think how horrible that must have been .. where everything you say a potential sticking point. So you would have to ( .. I'm thinking out loud ) .. write everything in a sort of cultural code .. no?
A cultural code. For purposes of communicating ideas thru the censor .. to the receiving party. This is actually a cool conversation I would like to have later .. how he did this (.. it models after the hyperlink but uses pattern recognition). It's one of things (they say) that make Dostoevsky Dostoevsky.
For now .. let me just say .. "Imagine what this man could have accomplished .. had he the freedom to write without a Censor." =)
» What Others Have Said About the Brothers
Before closing today, I want to leave you with a few quotes that caught my attention. This one comes from the inside flap of the Brothers » "Told with a feeling for the human condition unsurpassed in world literature." [ key words » feeling + unsurpassed ]
Another. This one from the 16-page intro » "The Brothers Karamazov seems contemporary and relevant to every succeeding generation -- like that famous portrait whose eyes follow you around the room."
another fascinating quote » ".. it echoes and develops some of the most ancient paradoxes and preoccupations of humanity." [ key words » most ancient paradoxes ]
One more from the intro » ".. finds an echo in every significant intellectual development to have gripped the Western mind since its appearance." [ key words » every significant intellectual development ]
» What I Say
Please note the following historical sequence:
- Dostoevsky's young son Aleksei dies [ May 1879 ].
- Dostoevsky writes the Brothers Karamazov [ Feb 1879 - Nov 1880 ] .
- Dostoevsky himself dies. [ Jan 1881, or Feb, depending on which calendar you use, the old Julian or the new Gregorian, separated by 12 days ].
I think the death of his young son broke his heart and sucked the life out of the old man. And he knew he wasnt long for this world.
Three months after he son died, he was diagnosed with emphysema.
So he said to himself, "If I am ever gonna bust a move, this is it. Now is the time. I will channel this soul-fucking torment into this novel and check out." [ He died less than 2 months after he finish the novel. ]
"You might wanna step back, dawg. Cuz mine eyes have seen some shit." In other words, he was swinging for the fences. And he seems to have connected.
.. who lost a son at a young age. [ Uh, first grade is pretty young if you ask me. ]
Remember that Dostoevsky was planning to write a book on childhood .. a Children's book, perhaps.
» The Voices Become Most Clear During Soul-Fucking Torment
And I have noticed .. that uh, during this soul-fucking torment .. is when it's easiest to hear all the Voices. Clarity. Claro. The personalities really come thru, too. "Talk to me, Goose."
You might think that .. after he had spent several years in Siberia .. life would cut the old man a break.
Anne Rice & the Dark Side
The story of Anne Rice comes to mind here. In 1972 she watched her 5 year old daughter (Michele) die of leukemia (.. over the course of a year).
The grief that must have gripped her soul when she died. Exquisite. The loss. Devastating.
The very next year (1973), with her psychological world fracturing, she wrote Interview with a Vampire.
I doubt the proximity of these two events is mere coincidence.
The voices became SO REAL that you'd think she really did interview that vampire (.. written with such eerily hair-raising detail .. as tho she had somehow found entrée to a world we previously thought only make-believe).
[ The only book I could ever not continue to read .. because it was TOO-well written. =)
I did however, watch Taxi to the Dark Side .. all the way thru .. all the way to the end. Tho I almost stopped. (A few times.)
I watched it for Dilawar. I said, "Yes, that is certainly some unrighteous shit there, Mr. Dilawar."
I've always wondered » "Headlong to where?" Now I know.
Matt Damon reminds me of my brother. And not just his size or looks, either.
I have tried to imagine what it must be like .. being exposed to Howard Zinn while growing up. That experience must certainly come with a mantle of social responsibility. A burden, even.
So I do not see how Matt could ever live his life in a way that disrespected Howard. By the way, I hear that Matt Damon movies earn more at the box office .. for every dollar of salary .. than any other actor. As of 2013. I'm not sure how far back the sample goes.
Don't be like them. You are better than that. (Arent you?)
If you are not smart enough to figure a way out of this mess .. that you yourselves got yourself into .. then please go home and let smarter people fix your problems for you.
Thank-you for your service.
Are you guys trying to fuck-up the country? Cuz it's hard believe that stupidity-alone could be responsible for your fuck-ups.
I mean, what is there to stop them? Nothing .. thanks to you. That's not why you get to use the cool house and the fancy plane.
In nuclear power, if you cannot effectively execute the duties of your job, you get replaced .. by people who can.
And this is one of the few things you can't blame on a dysfunctional congress.
The parenting thing goes deep .. beyond that place where logic & reason reside. So you can't "think your way out" of the pain of the loss .. of a part of you. Of your most precious and vulnerable part. So what are you going to do now?
I think this is why it was so easy for Anne to go there. You are so desperate for relief (of any kind) from the savage soul-fucking torment.
.. to warrant picking up and bringing home with me .. as a token-way to bring home the beachy feeling .. provided a measure of relief (.. in the form of distraction).
Not a very large measure of relief, mind you. But when your soul is in exquisite torment .. you are not very picky. =)
I still HAVE that box of shells .. a small box that originally held a fast SCSI hard drive.
» Close with a Tribute
When I heard the news about Aaron, and started to read some of the comments that people had written about him .. I thought of the line by Hemingway » "they were made of a finer or more fragile metal." ■
The Feds and the FBI are gonna look. Very interesting, especially when you play the info off of other developments.
Today's entry begins here » Dostoevsky, Aaron Swartz & the Broken Butterfly of Tomorrow - Part 1/4