You have an amazing gift of expression, yet you choose to be silent about it? Even though you feel so strongly about it?
Perhaps, because, I feel so strongly about it.
I don’t understand.
You don’t need to; it’s the law. You just have to follow it. Your comprehension, reasoning, feelings and beliefs don’t matter a whole lot, unless you are willing to waste your earning on fines and your time in jails. The current cost of expression is very high. Expressing what you feel has been demoted to personal worthless ranting, for, the purpose of expression, debate and change just doesn’t work any more. Words are hardly an agent for change – they just are dried ink on paper or bytes on a hard-disk somewhere. For those that were supposed to listen, if they would, there are enough words out there for them, stronger and clearer than I can ever articulate. Imagine that you have so much money that you don’t need to keep track. What purpose does that money serve if you have lost the will to spend? Words are the currency for those that are willing to listen. If I express what I feel, I’ll end up feeling even worse and my misery even bitter.
Does that mean you submit? Is there no concept of a cause for you anymore? No purpose left?
You say that with some sense of indignation, be careful, you may be mistaken for belonging to this side of the argument. But, these are different times. You are probably thinking that this is some kind of a start of a freedom struggle of sorts, or even the end of it. It is not. If any rights have been violated, as some people are saying, then it isn’t anything new, you know that. When I face the barrel of a gun, there isn’t a concept of a right – fundamental or otherwise. Life is precious – only because of its innate nature to offer you an option in the future. Why are people afraid of dying? The end of life in itself is hardly ever a cause – the impossibility of exercising options is what evokes fear. The end of possibilities is what death signifies more than anything else. It is the sustained process of a Big Brother society. Just because Orwell’s 1984 didn’t happen twenty-three years ago, it doesn’t mean that it never will. If George could think of it in those times, then the seeds were sown long ago, weren’t they?
I am not sure where you are going with this.
There is nowhere to go with this or anything else. It is prosecution on undetermined values. This is just another brick in the wall.
What does that mean? There is more to come, you think so?
Lesser, I think, on the contrary. I should write that down somewhere, I like the irony of what I just said.
Lesser of what?
Lesser of everything. In fact even a nothing of a few things. Ingredients in food, concepts of pleasure, fashion, enterprise of entrepreneurship, evolution of intelligence, maintenance of privacy, power of reasoning, freedom of expression, even assertion of independence – lesser of all that. The abolition of the undocumented fundamental right of being yourself. But yes, much more of sweeping power to a few.
But that’s not true of the entire world.
And I don’t know what powers I should thank for that! I will gladly go to places that aren’t yet hugely infected with this dogma, that aren’t trying to outdo each other in this apparently all-appealing propaganda. In any case, hopefully I will be long gone before the entire world looks the same, behaves the same.
Are you complaining about sameness? If the basic unit of life in this world, humans, humanity, humanness, whatever you call it, is the same, the core values the same, then isn’t it a natural characteristic of the world to be the same or at least tend towards being the same?
Yes, it is. Unfortunately we don’t recognise it as such. We still have the pairs of opposites that we use to recognise all humans and humanity – our eyes are bi-polar in that sense – and so is our basic reasoning ability. The black and the white, first-world and third-world, east and west, high-rises and shanties, military and civil, good and bad, spiritual and material, old and new and the one distinction that defines us all – the haves and the have-nots – or at the cost of screwing grammar and inventing words that are never used – the cans and the cannots.
So, in your version of the new same-world there will be no opposites? All will be same in all respects.
No, the only change from this diverse world to my version of the new same-world, and I do like the term you have coined, is that there will be only one pair of opposites – them and us. The ‘them’ will tell the ‘us’ what can be done and the ‘us’ will follow.
In short, 1984.
Perhaps. Yes. Only I don’t think there is a ‘single’ Big Brother in there somewhere – seems more like a brotherhood.
The corporations, you mean?
Far from it. Though the word ‘company’ does come to mind for some reason. But it has nothing to do with creating or building anything of value.
I think your approach is hopelessly fatalistic. Your imagination is taking over reasoning. Surely this one event cannot begin spelling the doom?
My imagination, my dear friend, has always been fecund and ever-ready to take flight. As for my reasoning, it has been always primary at best. In any case it has no place in your new same-world.
Mine? You invented the concept.
Yes, but you gave it an identity – defined its raison d’être. As for this event, like I said before – just another brick in the wall. It is just one of a series of unfortunate events, with due credit to Lemony Snicket. It is not society’s nature to reverse a misdoing. It so convincingly believes in its own action, that it marches relentlessly forward – never a turn, never a pause. It ‘corrects’ itself only by adding on. And coming back specifically to this event, it has affected me personally, therefore this need to introspect.
You believe in it, don’t you – the shape of things to come?
Shape is the limit of form, Plato said, there isn’t any other way you can define shape. Our society, unfortunately is taking shape by limiting all that it can, in a way limiting itself in a very odd shape.
The last cigarette in the enclosed place here that would be the silent witness to our dialogues saw its death. He almost caressed it as he let it go. While I knew of his options of being able to live his life according to his values, I couldn’t help believing that with that dead cigarette, something deep inside had ceased to exist. Not just for him, but also perhaps for all of us – but we were far from realising it.