Human achievement is everything. Be successful, own a house, and propagate more of your kind onto the planet. Happiness, success, smiles, and ambition. Radiate and flex, wealth shining in the sinews of your forearms gleaming with a Rolex or an iWatch, photograph to venerate, bow to the masters of success. Us, in the dream, toiling, imagining the greats: The capitalists, the artists, and people immortalized through pop culture and collective memory. People who have given words to our words, meaning beyond any meaning can derive from our problems of existence.
“I know you, I know you. You're the only serious person in the room, aren't you, the only one who understands, and you can prove it by the fact that you've never finished a single thing in your life. You're the only well-educated person, because you never went to college, and you resent education, you resent social ease, you resent good manners, you resent success, you resent any kind of success, you resent God, you resent Christ, you resent thousand-dollar bills, you resent Christmas, by God, you resent happiness, you resent happiness itself because none of that's real. What is real, then? Nothing's real to you that isn't part of your own past, real life, a swamp of failures, of social, sexual, financial, personal...spiritual failure. Real life. You poor bastard. You don't know what real life is, you've never been near it. All you have is a thousand intellectualized ideas about life. But life? Have you ever measured yourself against anything but your own lousy past? Have you ever faced anything outside yourself? Life! You poor bastard.”
These words had a stronger effect on me than the morning double espresso as they put a mirror to my thoughts, the only part being off was one of being a college graduate. It made me wonder about the cynicism that has gone under my skin, finding connection with other cynics wandering over the dense clouds of social media or public art. These words from William Gaddis reflect my face filled with the faces of thousands of humans, I exist as the fragments of all those who have lived before me who themselves are fragments of the people before them. These thoughts, the endless permutations of words and ideas that permeate the deep recesses of our everyday life mean nothing, our brains whittle away in idle chatter over topics both real and imaginary. An endless news feed, problems that require our attention and re-attention, the world going to shit and back, our hooplas and hurrays after day's work over a beer.. all events where our thoughts parse invisible meaning feeding into the shadow of our selves. Who are we? Thought processing, carbon-based machines have turned their lenses elsewhere.
What is real life? At what point do the vagaries of the everyday structured around capitalist ideals of efficiency and profit blend into the metaphysical aspects of living? The ethics and moral considerations of living in societies, our traditions, and our lives are synthesized to a point there is nothing beyond the artifice of these systems to imagine our place in the world. Our hope is through the passive rejection of what we're offered and waiting in meek silence for a natural ending to the boredom we've trapped ourselves in.
#boredom #civilization #philosophy