Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Reality Bites

Nightdreamer twits, "What are most lives but a series of incomplete episodes?" What a postmodern thing to say. I've heard it all before. "This is the end of the season, you will meet a new set of characters." We are the children of this mediatised age. We make references to songs, to films, to television - forms of media that reflect to us our reality. Do we really live lives of fiction? Are we but characters in our scripts? That to me is a frightening prospect. For who writes the script?

I caught a nihilist bug in Australia. The set of values associated with that is woefully inadequate for survival in a still modernising Philippines. We cannot afford anomie just yet. To survive in this country - we need to convince ourselves there is something to hope for. To hope means believing in the future. To hope means believing that our actions matter, that there is progress, that we move forward.

Hunger is frighteningly real. My car's gasoline bills are frighteningly real. Grocery bills are frighteningly real. Inflation is frighteningly real. To give up that we cannot do anything to ease tha pain in our wallets, to give up that we have any say at all about what happens to our lives, is to concede that all we are are sheep - fed, fattened and readied for the slaughter.

I didn't like the nihilist I found in me. She was a selfish, unhappy little bitch.



Reality bites, and it bites in huge chunks.

Do we really live lives of fiction? Are we but characters in our scripts? That to me is a frightening prospect. For who writes the script?

Somewhat makes me think of Roland Barthes---the author is dead. But Nicholas Rhombes tells us something else. "The Rebirth of th Author".

sparks said...

not familiar with rombes...will look him up! thanks :)

Nightdreamer said...

That twitter was quoted from Truman Capote's book. Truman Capote is quickly becoming one of my all time favorite authors.

Even if you're not into reading stories, I suggest reading In Cold Blood. It's a very disturbing book about the psychology of two murderers.

As for this post, I'm mostly in agreement, but I can't quiet down this inner voice telling me that there are things beyond my control. This hopelessness, I hope, shall pass.

Nightdreamer said...

I wonder, though, in what country is nihilism adequate for survival?

sparks said...


see? i don't think we can afford hopelessness. hope is the only thing we have. i know these times are depressing. but as you say, that will pass. i have met plenty of nihilists, even those from poor countries. in my opinion, its just pure laziness. in societies where the standard of living is already high (i.e. there is security), anomie sets in quite easily. there is nothing left to battle. in those cases other sorts of social ills come in. in some ways, those same ills can be overserved in little pockets of our own society - the feeling of restlessness, the feeling that life has no meaning, in those cases they turn towards what might be termed 'deviant' or self-destructive behaviour (not that that doesn't exist here).

Anonymous said...

Inflation is a bitch