June 16, 2008

It’s true, as I’ve told others...


It’s true, as I’ve told others, that knowing one knows nothing is the best way to be, since life, minute after minute, is never more than being inspired to rediscover what one thought one already knew. I did know it, but… No, not “but”: and I’m about to know it again, right now.

– Harry Mathews, 20 Lines a Day


June 8, 2008

And people started to arrive...


And people started to arrive

the one we didn’t recognize

the one not interested or interesting

a friend of a friend we had heard many terrible things about

the friend we really liked and the other friend who was steadily growing on us

the crazy one who sat in the corner who after awhile we forgot

and everyone brought alcohol

and the stereo was informed by a rapidly changing whatever of eclectic suggestions

and the one who lost the address and had to phone three times before finding the right doorbell

the one who three of our closest friends had dated and we knew many intimate and embarrassing details about

the couple, who we called ‘the power couple’, who seemed to do little else then support each others careers

and it was getting crowded so we felt pride – clearly word had got out

“What do you mean by political?...” we overheard, just a few feet away

“Political… as in making things possible.”

the one who was at all the parties and knew absolutely everyone

and the one who hardly ever went out and was rapidly making up for lost time

the drinkers and non-drinkers and dancers and ones who might dance a little bit later once they’d had a bit more to drink

this was goodbye, next party would be somewhere far away: new city, new problems, new friends we would someday soon describe with a similar distanced love

and remembering the last city, the last party, ten years ago, the ones we still often wrote too and the ones we long ago forgot

the ones who said they were sad we were leaving and would miss us terribly

and the ones who said we were lucky to get out of this mean-spirited backwater and they wished they could escape as well

the ones who would stay in touch and the ones who would try to stay in touch and the ones for whom such thoughts barely even occurred

“They’ll be back in a year,” we overheard, just a few feet away, but knew this was not the case

and we wondered: how many of these people would we ever see again? how many would we still remember in ten years? would we hear when they got ill, when they got married, when they had children, when they died?

we looked around the room. guessing such things had never been our strong suit, but still: one hundred? two hundred? packed into corners and perched on the edges of chairs

did we really know why we were leaving? could the friends we hadn’t made yet ever hope to match the drunks that surrounded us now


June 6, 2008

Notes Towards A Critical Optimism - Part Two


Ten Points Concerning Critical Optimism:

1. Optimism is an attitude towards reality that affects ones actions.

2. Without optimism nothing happens. Critical optimism is a desire expressed through action to make sure that not only bad things happen.

3. Optimism isn’t enough, we also require a tactic.

4. There is no optimism without imagination.

5. Optimism has less to do with your concrete situation and more to do with your attitude towards that situation.

6. The future isn’t fixed.

7. Focusing on the next small, experimental step instead of the big utopian dream.

8. A respect for the facts and for reality.

9. What would it take to turn a pessimist into an optimist?

10. Resistance.

And for Part One: http://radicalcut.blogspot.com/2007/02/towards-critical-optimism-preliminary.html