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Eleventh Sitting

...So we said before that Crud and Tripe, the primeval forces, are two flanks of the same yam, or rather I said this and you skimmed, nodded absent-mindedly, and thought about sex some more. But I also clearly set up the picture so that Crud did appear as a nastiness to be avoided and Tripe was swell, which seems pretty contradictory and so cool (and obtaining of Chix, please?) when placed against all that talk of people being essentially beyond purposes and so Beyond Nasty and Swell.

...This looks to be a contradiction in the same way that your average mystic, harping on some experience he had in the desert on LSD about the mystical unity of all the myriad things ("Like, I was one with the cosmos, man, like I was all the things everywhere, and they were one, and it was, like, so cool." --famous saying of the Buddha, or perhaps his cousin Ned; the legends conflict.), is still faced with the distinction between his vision of wholeness and the everyday incompleteness (e.g. people get hit by busses = people are not busses, because people don't get hit by themselves, unless they deserve it).

To see why this form of seeming contradiction is in fact not a contradiction, but still as cool as one, think about some of the age-old White-Boy attitudes towards the Good. (Danger: briefly brief historical overview approaching.) Mr. Plato thought (or at least said that he thought, though he may have just been having us on) that folks naturally gravitate towards the good, that evil comes from delusion or mistake. But ha! We moderns know better; we know that we often desire what we believe to be evil, sometimes even because it is evil (like people who have their basements redone with that paneling that's supposed to look like wood right off the tree and so has little knot-holes factory-carved in it).

But we can see why Mr. Palatohead liked his theory (besides the fact that he had a good deal of money invested in it). If The Good is what each of us would ultimately want were we to know what from what, then The Ethicist need only argue over facts, which isn't so bad, in order to rout The Beast. But it doesn't work. Too Bad. (The "Too Bad" constitutes my argument for this claim.)

It doesn't work because people are perverts, and they like it. At least originally (meaning "a long time ago during that period of human history that you don't know a damn thing about except for bone and tooth structures"), Good and Evil were sacred terms tossed around and periodically and regularly transgressed (e.g., killing is bad except on Human Sacrifice Day (tr.: "San Juan de la Cruz Day"); sexual conduct will be controlled except on the Second Thursday of every month, which is Orgy Day). Our notions of right and wrong, stemming at least partly from these sorts of considerations (which have little to do with individual motivation), don't have the kind of fix on us that Master Play Toe would like, which is why many of us not-all-that-very-religious-at-least-in-any-traditional-sense moderns have pretty much stopped obsessing about them in favor of more concrete considerations, references to purposes that we as individuals actually do have at that point and are likely to continue having (e.g., "healthy," or "mean," or "really tacky").

Now with Tripe and Crud, my favorite primal essences, we don't really have that problem. It's very hard to desire crud because of its crudiness, because desiring crud means being dominated and fixed by certain purposes or aesthetics that pretend to be you in your fullness (no, I am not calling you a big fat freak at this point). To actively want to narrow oneself back into these purposes, to try to return to the narrow view of good and bad you had when you were a child, is trying not to try again. It's fruitless (tr.: "without fruit") because it means you've acknowledged that these aren't really your purposes (if they were, you wouldn't have grown out of them). Crud sneaks up on you; it has you primordially, and you inevitably (insofar as you think, i.e. abstract from your immediate surroundings, as we somewhat self-conscious humans with our system of language and time on our hands invariably do) move to Tripeness. I don't have to convince you to excrete Tripe, because look! Insofar as you've actually understood what I've been saying at all, or moreover internalized the writing style, you're already excreting away, though you might not cash in on this by writing a book. Perhaps instead you should sing a free association song like the late Jim Morrison, who once on stage sang something like:

"I have a little grasshopper; he was very hungry. I protected him. Fire on, little grasshopper! Also, zoos are good for suggesting sex to one's partner through the observation of animal behavior." I pretty much guarantee your song will be better, as you are smarter and take less drugs.

It has dawned upon me that this book may be condemned as hideously self-indulgent. I really don't know what this word means, but along with "pretentious," it's a pretty common criticism that critics make of things they don't understand. To be sure, my voice is locked within this text, a mere spectacle hearing only the echo of itself and none of the voices of the six or seven people who will read this book, most of whom I know and so would enjoy hearing from (Call me), and to be sure, one of the purposes of this book is to show the reader around the gaping expanse of past thought of mine, especially the cool infinite regresses and the pool hall, even though this is not territory that the reader may actually care about in the slightest, given that you and I may never actually date or mind meld or even become pen-pals, but my hope is... well, I have no hope. But if I did have hope, it would be that I'm not really that much of a freak, but merely think in patterns that other people do or would think in should they be forced to at gun point, which is essentially what is happening here, so many people will become like myself and not have jobs and clog the coffee-table book market while I am granted an honorary Popeship for my efforts. My other hope is to get Chix, so it really doesn't matter what the critics say, does it, except insofar as they are Chix or own some that they can send me.

So this effort is not really self-indulgent, particularly -- just completely base, shallow, and ultimately pointless in a historical sense (sense as in the definition besides reasonableness). This is okay.

It just occurred to me how rude I've been . Here you've been reading this book for so long, and I haven't even offered you anything to eat. Here, then, are some suspicious-looking brownies that you may taste before spinning (spinning because you are mad) into a coma...

The Half-Time Show

I don't actually know if this book is half over or not. There may only be another page or so. The reasoning behind this section is that technically we are now during the break between sittings, but somehow the drugs in the brownies permitted you to dream-witness-the-festivities this time, as that is one permutation of the whole "break" concept that I had not yet abused. As per usual, I will most likely realize in about four lines after half-heartedly describing the fantasy parade of ghosts and goblins with the huge Scooby Doo balloon floats and the seas turning to blood and all, and how it must be a harbinger of your future and if only you had read something on dream interpretation that wasn't total Crap you might be able to understand it... after a bit of this nonsense I will realize that the whole half-time show is a stupid idea and so say it's all a farce and we're really still in the Eleventh Sitting (which we are), so if you took a break you fouled, but I was testing your gullibility and spider-sense.

Ah, that was refreshing. So is this "humor"/ "philosophy" alternation structure doing okay with you? I mean seriously, I am a hospitable host, or would like to be one, and seeing how you've been so patient as to reach this point in the text, I'd really like to make your stay more comfortable, so in the left margin of the next page there should be little handy-wipes for your comfort, unless the printers think that this is a bad idea (granted, I will require that they think this), and you may nibble on the back cover at your leisure; Eating paper is not such a bad thing. If there's one point you should remember after reading this book, that is it.

It occurs to me (as so many things have been doing this day) that the best way to make you enjoy this book is to pretend to enjoy it myself, perhaps by inserting little smiley faces like this :-) all over. What's more, these can signify that a joke has been told, and so can inform you of the appropriate moments to laugh tee hee.

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© 1993 Mark A. Linsenmayer [ Contents ]