Friday, December 07, 2007

This is not a revelatory entry nor are these, I imagine, original thought in the least, but I am struck more and more as life goes on at the polarization of goodness in the world. On an hourly basis, I am reminded that akin to the alien theory of yore, I really don't understand how most people can function the way they do and not feel a deep sense of need to immediately terminate their lives. Perhaps, my assumption that they feel in the same way is simply incorrect. This is not to say that I think I'm intrinsically better for feeling more, cause trust me, it's a pain in the ass most of the time, but I simply don't understand it. People who have lost all sense of pride in the way they present themselves, who are unhealthy and slovenly, use wretch-worthy grammar and whose sense of culture is limited to new episodes of Gossip Girl. I do realize that the things which I uphold that separates us are not necessary for survival (style, aesthetic, bathing), but the goal of striving beyond the base is what contributes most to our humanity and it leads us to better social places. Of social aesthetic one could say, "Well, what good are you really doing the world by using words not found in the Winnipeg Sun or putting down a table cloth when you invite a friend over for pasta and salad?" and if they were examining these examples as individual events, they would be correct. However, I would argue that a sense of decorum and aesthetic, no matter how poncey it seems, contributes greatly to the way we treat one another. Language is an art that appears destined for Value Village and this is a tragedy because in ten, fifty, one hundred years, we won't have a word for, you know, that's, like, really bad, like so bad you couldn't forgive them, and...dammit! what is that word?! And they won't know because it's not important anymore.

Aesthetes don't start wars. They don't bicker in lines at Wal-mart. They don't urinate in public. They don't think of their children as chores but rather the greatest opportunity to create that there is. I think we fucked up, people. Think of the trillions of dollars going to fight wars and make dirty money, carry out knowingly evil deeds and appease a public by pandering to their ignorance. What if all that money went to people that needed it, to art, to good food, not this prepared crap we eat, to medical research, to educate, or just to give away. And it's never gonna happen.

Ultimately, I think the problem is America. I know that's such an easy out, to blame everything on them, but c'mon... they're the only distinct society that doesn't create it's own culture as a part of life rather than simply a pastime. I really dig the Europeans in this manner (of course I do), but it's true in Eastern cultures as well as South America. They just get that it's a good time. Kenneth Nelson, who was an American actor in the 60s and 70s has a great way of putting it:

"I moved to England to escape theatrical stereotypes. Personally, I've enjoyed the change. It's a cultural thing. Here, people don't think Rimbaud is a Sylvester Stallone character, or that matricide is when you kill yourself in bed ..."

All this having been said, there is a fraction of Americans that despite, or perhaps because of, this sin of avarice act in what could laughingly be called a radical manner, were it not so tragic that is was considered radicalism. As an example, I put forward this site onto which I stumbled, on which teachers can post donor requests for teaching materials that they can't afford due to lack of government funding. Since 2000, they've raised fourteen million dollars. I confess I got a little misty when I went to the site, for all the reasons listed in the preceding paragraphs.

Ok, what began as a rant against coworkers wearing socks and sandals in December quickly dissolved into a sanctimonious monologue about the state of the world. God, I love blogs.

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