Friday, January 02, 2009

Resentment and Cultural Oppression

The French word ressentiment which translates to the English word "resentment" literally means to "feel again." Doomed to repetition, resentment towards this society's emptied culture and cyclical politics can be at times overwhelming. Many have found the solution to this often crippling frustration. To relieve oneself of ressentiment one must deaden feeling.

And so here we breathe, creatures of routine, carving superficial predictabilty and stability to live our lives. But is it truly living? To endure so much for the sake of superficial order is slow suicide. Doth we protest much?

To tamp down expectations, indeed to have no expectations at all from what is external is supposedly pragmatic. So here we retreat to the sanctity of the private spaces we occupy - our homes, our work, our leisure. Our heads buried in sand, we inhale. The world will somehow right itself without us doing, like magic.

Hypocrites or fools? Are we so comatose as to have abandoned all conceptions of the ideal? Subservient slaves we are, comfortably rolling in the filth in which we live. As everyone is now equally dirty, we seek not what is clean. No expectations of triumph, good will or trust in each other's capacity for public good. No sense of what is just and moral without faith in god - who will magically, without our doing, make things right.

Why bother, some say. Why indeed? In this day and age this easily remedied by trading one form of slavery for another. The magic of transporting oneself to another locality has its advantages - better wages, better living. The sacrifices may be more than incalculable for some, but no matter. No better life can be imagined in this locality, and so it must be sought elsewhere. And yet we return. We return out of duty, guilt or gloating.

So our barren imaginations cannot conceive of a better way of life, aside from inane platitudes of those who would seek greatness where there is none.

I resent that there is not more. I resent that we cannot imagine more. I resent that we dare not more. I resent.

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