"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky

"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Truth as a Weapon

Using disguised, "noble" honesty as a means to hurt others is a simple, powerful, and potentially unwanted, unflattering string of thought that hopefully will explain some things. The idea came to me during my September '10 visit to Boise, but the truth is that it began with my half-sisters, Pam and Kim. To refresh: it was while I was at Michelle’s in June '09 that I learned how they essentially hid knowing me from the rest of their side of my family I had yet to meet. I’ve said that the tone of things changed with Andre. To a point that’s true, but perhaps the process really began during those few weeks in June.

When Mike and I arrived in Boise in September 2010, I was on the cusp of a quiet breakdown. The negativity had followed me from New York and combined with Ray and Andre to trigger a major crisis of introspection.   

Continuing a developing theme, "Truth as a Weapon" manifested during yet another moment of mirroring after which I began questioning my habit of writing exactly what I thought, no matter how difficult it was for the targets to read. Ray was just one example of where my “honesty” interjected confrontational negativity into my exploits which, before that fateful visit to Michigan in ’09, I had been spared from.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Abyss

 “He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”  
-Nietzsche, Beyond Good & Evil

I’ve never read much Nietzsche, and likely never will. I tried getting thru Thus Spake Zarathustra and couldn’t. However, these two sentences have helped articulate something that I’ve struggled with for nearly two years: The idea that when you dare to confront and examine the darker, less flattering parts of life, the Abyss, your own darker, less flattering traits are inadvertently revealed to you. I believe one of the most difficult and important choices one can make is whether we choose to see what inhabits our own depths. It’s the stuff of mythology, and nearly derailed me.

Nietzsche’s Abyss was introduced to me by Henry Rollins via my favorite podcast, WTF with Marc Maron. Despite being a comedian, Maron’s conversations typically pivot toward insightful, introspective examinations of our shared, needy, frail egos and how they influence our choices and relationships. In other words, how we’re all more alike in our fucked-upitude than we care to admit!