Sunday, September 7, 2008

This is not how I am.

The vitriol coursing through my veins. The black, black cloud of grief nestled in the corner of my soul. I find myself torn between these two old pals lately, and the knot in my belly tells me I need to let them both go.

I’m stunned when people who are at least just as intelligent as I am and presumably much better educated (having graduate degrees from Ivy League universities) are utterly uncritical about the pure shit of American political culture. I vote Democrat and I have long supported Obama, but I know when he is merely pandering to the voters and resorting to inconsequential rhetoric. The Democratic National Convention nauseated me nightly.

But how can anyone (especially someone with a Ph.D. in art from Princeton) listen to the hooting and hollering of the Republican crowd (who weren’t even above booing when non-Republican politicians were mentioned!) and think they could share a common policy goal with that? That anybody could think that someone who has been in municipal and state government for the past sixteen years can be considered an “outsider” to politics is beyond me. Thankfully, the McCain/Palin ticket has no chance of winning, but too bad intelligent Americans are going to have to endure the next couple of months of their asinine oratory on top of the insipid speechifying of the Democrats. What am I doing wrong if I can be so critical of my own party, my own candidate, while smarter people heedlessly throw themselves into the NASCAR-watching throng?

Rereading through Heidegger’s Being and Time for the past several days has got me thinking much more about being. And time. And the horizon of my own being-toward-death. Losing one of my precious cats yesterday makes me even more aware of the mortal vastness of this life. Or perhaps I just mean the vast mortality. Not Hiedegger’s “possibility of the impossible” but rather Lévinas’ and Blanchot’s “the impossibility of the possible.” The death that recedes. The death that is forever (not) to come yet remains always already present. Without remains.

Philosophy on death doesn’t even do justice when you’re holding a dying animal in your arms. It's too paltry. Too human.

Now that the move to the suburbs is over, now that the Seattle conference is finished, now that the semester has begun, now that my schedule is much more codified, I’ll try to be a bit more tuned-in here. I’ll be back to posting my Two-Track Tuesdays this week. I’ll get back to posting the Project Blog It entries. I’ll even try to post more personal things, more real things, more thoughtful and reflective things. Don’t give up on me or my blog just yet.

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