Monday, August 30, 2004

When will we be satisfied? or Can we conceive of a political candidate worth voting for?

Yes, the election is upon us. The Australian Federal election, more specifically. We are all required to go and vote - which presents us with the question, What will we put on the ballot paper? And why? It is a question which vexes, I feel - and that is even before I launch into consideration of What does it matter who I vote for, given that I live in a 'blue ribbon' Liberal seat, Is democracy in the eye of the beholder, and so forth.

But for the candidates - suffice it to say that I am creeped out by almost all of them. Howard, Latham, Brown... At least the guy from the Democrats has an element of 'subversive' about him.

Which implies, of course - my critera: subversion. Why is this any sort of criterion? The implication is, of course, that there are many things that I don't like about politics, if I want it always 'subverted'. Particularly, the fact that the candidates are pandering to the rest of the electorate, and not to me. It really galls me.

Because the vast majority [sans polling, I would place my estimate at 90%] of the electorate are either a) believers in 'family values' and 'strong leadership', or b) apathetic dunderheads.

In other words, what makes me despair at bottom is not John "now let's be sensible, kids, and stop all this tiresome political debate" Howard, nor is it Mark "I'm just an honest guy with a square head and real passionate beliefs" Latham - it is the voters themselves.

You know, back in my dreamy-socialist, Naomi-Klein-espousing youth, there was an honest streak in me somewhere (yes, I am implying that socialists are false, just like many self-righteous Christians) that considered looking into how sustainable either Tasmania or New Zealand were, in the off-chance that I could invade them with like-minded friends and set up an idealistic, arcadian society on their lush soils. A society without lowest-common-denominators. Even the violence didn't bother me too much - the populations were small, I could subdue the locals and set them on the right path. The imporant outcome would be that there would be at least one country on this miserable planet in which I could be at peace with society.

You see, of course, the mindset of the creature who is terminally indisposed to community living: their catch-cry is not "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" but "Undermine! Be dissatisfied! Mold the rest of society in one's own image!" Eternal revolution, otherwise it's just so freaking boring because there's nothing worth complaining about... though even complaining itself is just so tiresome...

So do I have a problem with society or myself?

I tend to think that all this warped criticism results from the disposition which funds almost all drives towards 'making a difference'. The logic of this drive is that the world needs to be changed because there is something that is wrong with it, something that grates against the sense of how things "should be". Nietzsche would say that this drive is anti-life, is a negative standard. I seem to think that it at least not a particularly 'healthy' way of living life, to be always fuelled by "what is wrong"... (For, after all, when will things not be 'wrong'?)

Which leaves the question - what other motive, besides chronic dissatisfaction, will fuel a desire to 'make change' to the material world?

Unless, of course, the answer to the challenge, "Why make a difference?" is also a response in the form of a question: "Why not?"

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

No, look, I'm giving myself a holiday and not going to uni tomorrow

er, yes, not going to uni tomorrow - so that I can go for a run - and finish an essay - and - see the daylight
because I saw daylight today, even got sunburnt, and it made me feel like all was going well, that all was 'on the up', that the universe was desolate but warm, with a heightened sense of (un)reality, like the Algeria that I imagine when I think of Camus' The Outsider.
and also, I want to put Schopenhauer into the essay, so I can't do it without sunlight...
I've been having cold showers, letting myself cool / I hate twittering voices of guilt late at night, I wish my morning seminar would come to my house in the morning so that I wouldn't have to get out of bed - real Kafka style - waking up to find that the lecturer was sitting on my chair, the students perched around the room on desks and bookshelves and even some sitting right next to me in the bed.
because I could go to the seminar, but then I'd only get 4 hours' sleep, and then I'd be back by eleven, and someone from my German class might spot me, ringing alarm bells about my absence later in the day... ah, the trials and ...
( i think that's enough talking to the internet for now)

Monday, August 23, 2004

Ho ho ho – I feel so naughty! Plugging in the modem, hearing the little diddle-noises it makes as it converses with a computer somewhere else... I’m reading fiction instead of writing an essay, you see, as I’ve often done in the past and have done so again. This time it’s Beckett’s Molloy. I’m slowly, through philosophy and fiction, dismantling the psychological and ideological and conceptual framework with which I entered university. Instead – I read books about humans as machines, as Übermensch, as tramps shorn of the ‘inessential’ parts and concerns of human existence. All very individual books – that is, books written by human creatures that are alone – well, perhaps with the exception of the books that talk about desiring-production. (Naming names can make things somewhat exclusive, sometimes.) It’s been said by some this week that I lack integrity – which leads me to wonder what that is and whether I should adopt some. These might be things best suited to anonymous confession, for reasons of prudence, but I won’t keep it to myself – it’s too much fun typing about them, after all! An attractive typeface draws attention to what one might call the architectural attractiveness of words – their simplicity, their “purity”, you might even say. The television is finally keeping mute about that strange parade of sports and competitors and people in tracksuits that is unfolding (and being reported as multiple parochial narratives across the whole of television-land) in Greece. The laptop is making scurrying, tapping noises – ad software at work, but I can cut it off at the breach. Military metaphors – I saw an exhibition of photography from Paris today, including some of the siege at the time of the Commune. It was quite incredible: the Tuileries Palace like a Roman ruin, torched by socialists or insurgents. Coming back to the books that I read, by people quite alone: it is the sort of fiction that appeals to me, when I am at the desk at this still hour. Oh, but now I’m bored with this sort of writing, so I’ll paste it up – I wouldn’t go on so long, but the tap-tapping of the keyboard is so wonderfully percussive.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

yesterday I decided that I want to be an aphorist
today I used my blistering linguistic skill to write the first extension request of the season

- and the last! i say to myself.

perhaps. i hope.

aah, i've got a freaking arts ball of another university on tomorrow and i don't have a darned thread to wear. "op shop glam", the theme - and it turns out i don't fit into the "heathcliff, it's me" dress i had lined up. damn.

kpunk is as fertile as ever, nietzsche as rhapsodic, ray martin daft, my reading unfinished, poo jokes hilarious. that's right