[Back] [Next]

Still the Ninth Sitting, but in Some Sense part of the Tenth, so as to distort your perception Of time And make the Sittings closer To The Same length

It's come to my attention that I have stated what seems to be a contradiction. First, I said that since total and accurate self-consciousness (or anything close) is impossible, the form and style of tripe is rambling and unconscious of structure and clarity (actually, I didn't say precisely this, but it adds to the drama of the seeming contradiction that I will proceed to resolve with a breathtaking feat of mastery over word thingies and arguments and stuff). Later (see Table of Contents for the chapter on Later) I said the characteristic distinguishing tripe from crud is self-consciousness. Yes, this does show that tripe and crud are two nostrils of the same nose, but this may be not enough of an answer for you swarthy types who wear Swatches and like their steaks medium rare. One answer says tripe is a conscious and active attempt to relinquish control, but this is a contradiction in terms (you can't try not to try). That bit about the "organic unity," the personlike character of tripe mayn't do either, as I've said that the human driven by unseen forces within, like habit or the physical need for the laugh track, to view horrors is acting on crud. The personhood thing needs explanation, then, and I'm just the Lad ta give it.

...What is unique about us folks, I do declare, is our capacity to abstract away from any particular set of purposes, and hence self-definitions. I'm not recommending that anyone abstract themselves away from/go against all of them, as this is not only impossible (trying not to try again), and leaves one at the mercy of less conscious, profoundly more imbecilic drives, but also not very fun to witness. But the fact is, we can resist hunger and be Ghandi (Well, we can't all be Ghandi; we wouldn't fit.), can become ascetic, turn away from god and country, deny our own emotions, eventually get over any repulsion to some other human being no matter how gross and slimy it may be, order only the volumes we wish, and cancel our membership at any time. We have the capacity to adopt a system of values in which only contribution to group efforts is important, in which it's only effort that counts and not natural talent, or vice versa. The big premise that I will not bother to argue is that apart from these purposes we may adopt, or be born with, or be laid into the structure of our systems of action (whatever that means), ethics is pretty darn groundless, pointless, and worthless. So the concept of a "good person" is either some theological error or a very short shorthand for lots of individual talents/attributes that usually come in handy.

Crud is about getting stuck within a system of purposes and judgments, about getting sucked in and controlled, and being deluded by the apparent sense (as in reasonableness) of the purposes in question even though these conflict with the larger scheme and the structure of human self-actualization (No, I don't know what that word means either. Make a list and quiz your "friends," telling them when they look at you blankly that they will surely fail the GRE or other appropriate standardized test.) which connects up even the most randomly conflicting systems of purpose-generation (a.k.a. "teleology." Remember, Wonder Twin?). Crud is artificial self-definition of the type I discussed (sorry: "discussed") in the random enemies section (see table of contents, but do not let it see you). Because we are human, we are not "merely" any particular thing, not American, not electrician, not Jew, and certainly not zoo, and as soon as we pretend to be we start killing off parts of our own brains. Tripe is... well, you know: the expression of this basic open-endedness, the capacity for thought as opposed to calculation, and is both the easiest thing in the world and the most difficult.

Seethe in that spit o' profundity, will ya?

[Back] [Next]