When we must identify ourselves by what we do then I am a writer. Because my mother was personally responsible for teaching me how to read, I wrote primarily for my mother. I assert without the assistance of a therapist that this primal drive to write had two core constructs:
With my father came the Bible-scholarly view of writing as sacred, rules-based, prophetic and radically transformative. I assert without the assistance of a therapist (and her medication) that the sincere, youthful Christian idealism of my father (coupled with the fact that he was an aircraft mechanic) led me to appreciate the written word and its relationship to machines, its mechanical structure.
It has followed for decades that most of my writing “life” has been preparing for the compilation of my words in machines—inputation for computation. According to the Peter Brook interpretation of the Mahabharata, reading (a poetical history of mankind) can make one become a different person. My youth was ablaze with the passion for using words to make people different people, ‘better’ people. My childish assumption was that all people learned by absorbing information and then changed their behavior based on this information. After half a century on the English-speaking parts of this planet, I see that my childish assumptions were incorrect and I have had far more success transforming digital machines of factorial state than the infinities of people.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. —Romans 12:2
Since, say, about 1996, no one has given a fuck about my writing in any mature, sustainable, adult way—apart from myself. When I started writing this Blog, the rasx() context, in 2005, the title of this thing contains the knowledge that this work was going to be about my context in public. Without the validating, vanity-publishing, editor-as-therapist to “help” me come to conclusions, I conclude that I spent years of my youth listening to my father talk real, precise shit about people in private and with discretion. As his son, I looked upon my interpretation of his “reward” for his privacy and discretion. What I saw (or what I thought I saw—and still see) has led me to be public about my opinions and generally speak without discretion (in European terms, this lack of discretion is mark of low intelligence and lack of proper “breeding”).
Saying ‘fuck you’ to your face is not as effective as writing it down in other more precise words and injecting it directly into your stream of consciousness at that moment (a moment you may eagerly forget). This blog, I find—and will find, has made more “enemies” (actually, more people who eagerly and sincerely forget about me entirely) than friends.
One could look at my behavior in the context of Black history: my father could have been killed immediately and physically for being as public as I have been about my opinions. I used a window of perceived ‘freedom’ to be open about my views—only to find that I have been killed slowly and abstractly. And it would be politically naïve to assume that I am calling out “white people” as the murderers. There are “white people” of all skin colors. There is more enmity in modern intimacy than anywhere else.
Yes. One could look at my behavior but this has not been the case. Apart from “frenemies” taking a relatively miniscule moment out of their squalid lives to pore over some words I have written in this Blog (and probably finding typos they don’t bother to tell me about), no one cares to let me know they have read my words in any lasting, sustainable, professional way (and, yes, you will find a handful of kind comments left in this Blog but let us at least respect the word sustainable). So, yes, no one cares apart from myself (and, perhaps one of my children at any given time). (And, yes, me writing so much about rejection and uncaring only attracts more rejection and uncaring.) However, it just so happens that I still find myself important.
I do not respect or trust people who do not journal. I respect but do not trust people who journal (exclusively) in private. By the way, the previous two sentences alone are enough to make a huge batch of “frenemies” and a horde of strangers. I have found that emotional trauma (and, yes, I have spent most of adult life in emotional trauma) causes memory loss. Too many people in denial prefer to blame the aging process but I do not. Yes, aging is part of it but most of the aging process is watching/experiencing youthful un-sustainability fail and then covering up the failure with sincere, selective memory loss. I have been astonished and frightfully amazed at how people can non-consciously protect themselves by continually forgetting or preemptively insisting that something laid plain before them cannot be understood.
My memory loss is far less sophisticated: I get very angry, enraged. A storm of energy tears through my brain. I discover months later that I have forgotten things. These things that I have forgotten were mostly related to self care. For example, kintespace.com chronicles a series I have written called Today’s Food. This series is effectively my food journal, explaining to myself what the fuck I was thinking while I eating something I no longer eat or, more importantly, why I started eating something that I should continue eating.
I write for the same reasons the people you care about take and keep photographs—but my “selfies” are not pictures of my face covered in makeup. My selfies are portraits of my “natural” look (and portraits of what was seen by me). The arrogance of this surely is profound to the insecure person (which, according to the contemporary English-speaking world, is everyone who is “intelligent”). First, I am taking pictures of my naked face. Second, I am posting these pictures in public. Third, I sincerely insist that this behavior is helping you (because it helps me, making me arrogant and selfish). There are the public offerings of Marina Abramović for a curator-defined, international audience and then there is my shit in the blackness of Blackness. One of us is the ingenious truth of the European village idiot and the other is one who refuses to look you in the eyes, is “dead inside,” whose fictional African village has been burned to the ground. Most will say both of us are full of shit. Others will insist, no, only I am the one who is full of shit.
When I meet you, you person of the English-speaking world, it is very likely that it is clear that I am avoiding eye contact. Hitler was empty, truly full of death inside, passionately. He could look into your eyes for minutes at a time while he shook your hand uncomfortably long. It deceived Germans into thinking he was a person, a person that they “met.” The looking into the eyes is a European custom confused with modern spiritual materialism and ancient Sumerian statuary. Because I refuse to look into your eyes (or only flash a look at you) you will not trust me, immediately and implicitly. I refuse to look into your eyes for the same reasons why I refuse to applaud for a performance I did not like. The time spent with me looking into your eyes is directly proportional to how much I think you understand me. I am old enough and experienced enough to not look for understanding but to look for different ways I will not be understood.
The “tragedy” of my life is my demand to be understood, starting with my attempt to communicate. My intention is to be understood, clearly. To dismiss my attempts to communicate as “drivel” is regarded by me as an act of laziness, rapidly degenerating into open hostility. The European respect for mystery and the modern youth-cultural relationship with uncertainty have largely served to conceal simple, unbearable truths. For example, there is no mystery around why Hitler’s generals continued to fight in Russia. Hitler bribed them until they were fighting for their lives.
The true tragedy of my life is that every person that I have researched intimately who appealed for mystery and uncertainty were trying to conceal something unbearable and brutally simple about themselves. These people were hiding from their shadow self, lying to themselves. For example, you can lie to yourself with the distracting accusation that I am comparing you to Hitler. Instead, understand me: I am telling you your life is very likely the result of being dominated by the fascist passions of others instead of your own (which implies that I am accusing you of being fascist). Accusing you of being Hitler and accusing you of being a fascist are two different things. bell hooks avoids this confusion entirely by using the phrase “dominator culture” which to me (and my dreaded essentialism) is another way of saying that by default everyone (including myself) is on the spectrum of fascism, being born in an imperial society, literally built on the architecture of ancient Rome. These intimate encounters in this prison of dominator culture have traumatized me so much that I now equate youth, the “beauty” of youth, with running away from the truth through distractions of self deception—and the process of aging is effectively disgracefully degrading under the consequences of so many lies.
There is nothing about me expressed in the previous “paragraph” that is special or “new.” Thousands of years ago, the solution to my problem was monasticism—an option I refuse to pursue. Apparently I still think I can play games with the attractive and properly assimilated and win in spite of overwhelming evidence of being a loser—my children suffering the most from my circus routes in the bitch-made coliseum.
So, in addition to remembering myself, my journal is a public record of my relationship with the “truth.” I have no right to call another a liar without keeping public records of my self in relation to the “truth.” My record, this Blog, is so old that few can tell me what I was talking about in the past without me verifying it with my own written records. When I was younger, I might have thought this habit would be a solution to problems in intimate friendships. Half a century later, it is clear to me that my desire for accuracy and consistency is most unwelcome and eagerly avoided.
I have built an efficient machine that makes people dislike me before they have “met” me. I have denied myself that temporary period of pleasantry when a person regards me as a “friend” while not know anything about me, projecting their fiction in my general direction as I would do the same for them.
As of now and as it has been since about 2008, I am effectively journaling in private. The words here might as well be kept in a paper pad stuffed under the belt buckle of my pants. These words are notes to myself with an implied challenge: will my (non-technical) journaling continue after the trauma of past intimacy and the rise of the evils of social media? Will I continue to be a writer for human beings after being effectively excommunicated several times from ‘the white understanding’ of humanity (mostly by self-described “black” people)?
Assuming that I will remain with some flickering of life, the rasx() context surely must continue to record:
These are bare minimum, the basement of the ground floor of my “lifestyle.” Emotional trauma, the near-continuous security failures of WordPress (BTW this Blog no runs on WordPress) and day-job drama have been the killers keeping me away from the public journal.
(BTW: What would be a “contradiction” is the fact that I do keep a private journal—but this is maintained to ‘protect’ my children and to record the repetitive, embarrassing emotions of my finances.)