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Sixth Sitting

The sittings are getting shorter to obtain more of them, and to keep pace with your attention span. Feel free to enter deathlike sleep during the breaks, as such will thicken the manuscript, at least subjectively. Why, the three page brochure "What the Department of Motor Vehicles can do for you" is as far as I'm concerned the longest read in history, due to its sketchy pictures and lack of picturesque sketches. Remember: always dilute anything that looks like a joke with an afterthought of inane wordplay.

Reader test: You might be confused by now, but you don't know just how confused. Use the last sentence of the previous paragraph as a test of this: What is it referring to? What is wrong with this picture? Always inexplicably switch topics randomly, and then justify it afterwards by pretending to illustrate a point made just previously.

The form and shape of the supposedly humorous is predictable, though the content is not. Unfortunately, form is part of content, as such:

"Knock Knock."

"And knock knock to you."

...Violates the form of said joke, and so is not funny, but unfortunately inevitable. Let me explain: It is a point of sociology that whenever you point out to people that they perform in some lawlike manner, always sitting in a public room according to certain arrangements and such, they immediately break whatever "law" that you (you being the high-paid sociologist) thought up just to be obnoxious. Now we know from our imagination about evolutionary history that over the years, the mass of people achieve greater self-consciousness, and so, for instance, get tired of asinine knock knock jokes (a redundant term) and will break the form and not be funny out of this desire to be obnoxious, to leap out, to freak out, to die and have sex simultaneously.

Sixth 1/2 Sitting

I liked the previous sentence as an ending, but wanted to keep you sitting, or rather half-sitting or squatting, as this is good for the circulation, or so I have been told by people who possess blood. I have during this half-break discovered in my possession a book by Georges Bataille, who appears to be French, called EROTISM: Death & Sensuality. This is a very famous book, largely because you have not read it (Things work out this way. They do.) ...Or if you did read it, it was in sixth grade for a book report and you don't remember anything more than the number of pages, which is 276. Says this most famous and voluminous text (p.11): "Eroticism, unlike simple sexual activity, is a psychological quest independent of the natural goal [of] reproduction," and, "Eroticism... is assenting to life up to the point of death," and, quoting Mr. de Sade, "`There is no better way to know death than to link it with some licentious image.'" So there you go -- all that on the first page of the introduction. Read the whole book and tell me what happens, will you?

But all this is just so much distraction, it is, from the more important topic, ja? ...This topic being both tripe and self-consciousness, these being the same in the case of this book for obvious reasons. Despite what you may think, it is very hard for people to really think upon themselves, and very easy to get sucked into other things, especially things which are strangely distant yet obviously close like sex and death. So this book is kind of like a person, as I said, and not a particular person, but an abstraction and objectification of the common tripe that patterns us all. (...Which means it does not eat. ...As much.) A large amount of what's gone on so far is an attempted self-definition: What is Tripe? What am I? says the book, says you/me (together and free). And just like when you or I as an actual, whole person inevitably asks this question, we have no idea how to answer and so inevitably start naming random stuff around us, references to country, religious culture, and whatnot, or to the color of one's pupae or the expanse of one's lincoln logs. And, just as we define ourselves using these marks in opposition to all the invisible enemies and others, while at the same time inadvertently demonstrating at least part of what we actually are, to reveal tripe is to...

No, no... I will not tell that secret, as you can figure it out anyway (call it "The Obvious Secret;" It will respond to this name with a perky "Good morning; can I help you?)

Where were we? Ah, sexy death. Now, we know that death is usually bad, right; I mean with the survival instinct and the need for stability in relationships and what to do with the dead fellow's mail and all... but there are obviously exceptions, at least from some points of view, times when it seems the thing to do. And I'm not talking about when you're miserable and alone and wishing you'd vomit so you could choke on it. No, no, no. This is what most people (or at least the intelligent, post-modern ones) feel like most of the time, and your friends will be mad so just deal. I'm talking about the times when, a) you have been told by an individual from the future that your inevitable future actions or progeny or whatever will make everyone turn to gnarled, sickly mutants (I include this option because I just saw a movie recently where this failed to happen). The other time is all the time. Let me explain, please; do not think that I would say something irrational: We're asking when death is good, right? Well, why do we care? What good are judgments of good? Certainly not just to have a list of "good things," or to give out little ribbons of merit, or to define ourselves in opposition to whatever we define ourselves in opposition to (though this is getting warmer). No! We rate things to figure out what to do -- how to be, where to set the thermostat, etc. No since there's nothing we can do about being dead, the whole rating system is pointless, except insofar as having a positive attitude about things keeps one revved and energetic and insofar as it's fun to bitch.

Maybe "fun" isn't the right word. Some people obviously like to suffer (or they wouldn't work at [fill in your place of employment here]), and feel the need to hate and exteriorize and fear the sacred, the terrible, etc., but I hate those people, deny any influence of their thought on myself, and fear their gods.

...Note the form of the preceding "joke." Note that this form has been used before. Expect future violations of this form, and engage in them yourself.

...Note the form of this reflective observation, this attempt to in some way rise above the preceding material through self-mockery. Note that this is done in just as formulaic a manner. Note that this form has been used before... ee tee see.

...Note the attempt to rise beyond the whole cycle by an infinite regress of reflexivity and a phonetic spelling of the appropriate abbreviation. Note that this attempt fails (not the innovative spelling, which not only thought-provoking and clever but also Daar-ling!), leaving the author locked within his little circle of ideas and excretions. Kinda pathetic, no? It's like having evil intentions towards someone, and being very conscious about this, and on some level not wanting these intentions, and so explaining them to the person at which they are aimed without actually repudiating them. This leaves the impression not of a nice person, but of someone twice as evil as some unreflective shmuck who has his evil intentions and just acts.

But, as both of the pathetic regress and the intentions in question seem inevitable, the rating system of pathetic vs. swell (in Spanish: "non-pathetico") is irrelevant, right? Right? RIGHT??!

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© 1993 Mark A. Linsenmayer [ Contents ]