Something about journals and, um, ethics, I guess
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Wandering through my friends' journals this evening it struck me how from time to time they've complained about harassment and cloddish, senseless comments.
Trust me, I'm not bitching, but it does surprise me that my journal has never earned anyone's ire. So I skimmed through my most recent entries. Now I don't get a bigger kick out of anything more than mocking the foolish behavior of my fellow man. Long ago I was so addicted to annoying them that if there was money in it I'd be rich.
Looking at my journal I was surprised by how little disapproval I'd recorded. Which set me to wondering how much I unconsciously edit myself in my weblogging. Not much, if any. Or I'd hold the entries until I could amplify, emend, amend, omit and tidy.
So I'm not an unknowing hypocrite. I guess I've mellowed as they say. Yeah, I know I've said that before. My disenchantment with the world at large and the hopeless clowns that run it is as alive as it has ever been.
But my grudge against the world is gone. When I was eighteen I used to say I'd love to see a total nuclear war on the day I died. I wanted to see the rigmarole and mess turned into ash.
Gratefully the hostility has dimmed.
The other night I was wondering when the hate became laughter. Mencken, maybe? His response to his disgust with the routine ruck was a belly laugh. Probably not, you can gain an insight from books but they don't change your behavior within something lying dormant within.
Of course I'm the most godawful nihilist you'll ever meet. I think of my own morality as the irresistible accretion of prejudices. I don't think I should amplify this. My chilly acceptance of the universe's amorality can scare the most sympathetic reader.
So I don't have any use for Good and Evil (except, of course, when an old ham like Vincent Price is says the latter). Getting rid of evil, tempered my ill humor greatly. If you can't see an, um, inherent, transcendent reason for damning others' behavior why get pissed about it.
But there's Good and Bad (this is what Nietzsche meant about being beyond good and evil). Good is anything that fosters the survival of the kind of folks I want to have in the world. Bad is anything that makes them less likely to be born or hinders their happiness and self-fulfillment.
Being a merely human animal I want to see my kind of folks flourish. My kind of folks are happy with their sexuality, laugh at life, caring, unhateful, curious, their brains are awake to the nuances of their inner life and maybe to the world outside. Maybe they aren't all that. But some of it is true. And the many things I didn't list.
Bad is anything that limits, compromises or hurts them. Most religion, too many politicians, teachers and many folks you pass in the street.
I was overworking the word empathy at one point that I established a moratorium on it. But empathy is one of the virtues that separate the people that I want to know from the people I can't stand. My own childhood was middle-middle class with a bias towards white trash. I grew up knowing people who struggled to just eat. They were injured in mind or body. When Regan was king it was a shock to hear people brush all poor people aside as lazy.
People without empathy are bad. Take away the mental deafness to how others feel most racism and homophobia would vanish.
I'm probably more disgusted by the servants of the malicious: the politicians. Some are hateful in themselves but many just parrot the common moron's thoughts back at him. It earns a nice sinecure, importance, pension. Wouldn't you like to punch Tom Delay in the nose?
Not that I'm particularly disgusted by the beady-eyed twerp in the Oval Office. He's just his pollsters' puppet. Same as his penis-happy predecessor. The worst thing about that unhandsome man is his hirelings, e.g., John Ashcroft.
But now I've wandered on to politics. Something I'd mostly like to keep out of this journal.
Half-assedly getting back on track.
Tracing the origin of your thoughts and behavior is a big kick. I can easily isolate elements: my parents' almost cartoonish qualities, my youthful love of mathematics and science, and my discovery of high (permanent, canonical) culture. But so many threads have been forgotten or were never seen.
Whenever I wonder why I'm not neurotic or demented I have to chalk it up to happenstance. Anyway, thanks to whatever parts of my life, I got over it.
A good thing. If you've missed it somehow in meat life you can't fail to see on places like Live Journal how many peoples lives have been blocked by hard turds of disgust, despair and fear.
Which isn't a sentence that I want to close this entry with.
I'm tired so I'll take the easy way out and say that there are as many journals that I read that are written by people who aren't the least frustrated or depressed.