Sunday, March 07, 2004

Word of the Day

Mackem (n). Person of indeterminate origin whose conversation tends to be peppered with references to somewhere called Porter Field owned by a company called Stow Co. All very confusing.


We can be so sure of ourselves sometimes, can't we. Who we are, what we are, what we think and what we believe in, we see as fixed, immutable...a given. Clear as crystal, in fact. Until something happens that shocks us out of our complacency and maybe forces us to reassess everything we thought was constant about our lives.

Well, I am not so sure. I think I have come to the conclusion that all the above is basically a load of bollocks and not worth the time it took for me to type it. As I alluded to the other day...nature, nurture or Nietzsche? Are we entirely the product of our genes, or of our upbringing and environment or are we what we have made of ourselves? Well, bugadifino. The older I get, the more I find myself remembering those lines of Crowley's.

...I am he that daily dieth
and is daily born again

What I believe now, is what I find I believe when I wake up in the morning. There is no continuum, no constant, no guarantee that what I considered to be right yesterday will still hold sway today. Or maybe that is the constant. Change. Or maybe I'm just another fucked up old fart who can't get his act together, as they say.

I was reading Roger's 'Into the Tumult' again today and it brought into sharp focus a defining characteristic of mine. An ability to see every facet of an argument with equal weight and yet without an art to reach a single definite conclusion. For every argument I may put forth, I can find at least one other equally as persuasive. For every reaction I may have, I will have one diametrically opposite to it, sometimes worryingly simultaneously. By way of example, let's take those events of the 11th of September, 9/11, and look at my reactions to it.

1. Jesus fucking christ!
2. The bastards.
3. The balls. The clarity of the vision and the thought that went into it.

1. Something has got to be done.
2. Nothing can be done.

I suppose it's the second group that has me most perplexed at the moment. Roger expressed his inability to comprehend how it is that some people can fail to value others' lives as being worth something. And I wondered, too. How we can best protect our belief in freedom of expression and tolerance. But at the same time I realised that to Muslims of such beliefs, our lives are worth nothing in the eyes of god. We are indeed, infidels.

And if we condemn their belief that they can bomb us into submission, what gives us the right to assume that we can do the same to them. We think we are right. They know they are right.

I am reminded of some Greek guy, whose exact name escapes me but I think it may have been Xeno who showed us that life is made up entirely of such quandries. Something about how many fir cones make a pile or what have you. To me it may be seven, to you thirteen, to another twenty-six, the point being that life is full of such piles. This is murder, this is justifiable homicide; this is collateral damage, this is genocide; this is playing Mr Wobbly hides his helmet, this is statutory rape.

I don't know. I honestly don't know. All I can say with any degree of honesty is that tomorrow will be a whole new world and at 'make your mind up time', I, for one, will have to refrain from coming on down.

Yours, when last I looked,

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