Comfortable conversations in comfortable situations, for comfortable people having comfortable thoughts. Which might be fine, if being comfortable did not mean attacking those who choose to apply their reason toward society, rather than blindly accepting its many uncritical wisdoms. Civility, as the citizen has received it, has been decreed; "[T]he individual, when isolated, is not self-sufficing; and therefore he is like a part in relation to the whole. But he who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god."
To say I'm uninterested in circumstance is to severely overestimate pomp. Boosterism nigh puffery. For pageants and mimings, we fiends have no time; "no, elsewhere is the voyage Kirkê has laid upon me." Babbitt may have his way with others, but form shall face a task when attempting to belay the content of my undulations.
In my objections now: make you identifications?
Where is your face? Paint you your success upon trees, and thus arrange them at your feet? The farce of a pantomime. Never to accept that being alone is vilified by those who cannot. Remains there any use for high intension?
"[D]o whatever the tube tells you! You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube, you even think like the tube! This is mass madness, you maniacs! In God's name, you people are the real thing -- we are the illusion!"
The trick a fiend must master is to question, yet still proceed.
Unfortunately I will never forget her, for in all uses of form she was penultimate. She wanted so badly to be professional, and to do professional things, and to be respected for her titular misappropriations. Of course, she was decidedly unprofessional, and not only unproductive but counterproductive. The prototypical modern office worker. Eyes glazed over, lost in a haze of conflicting values and meaningless motivations. Her primary vitality was found in making awkward comments that only she could possibly mistake for jokes. Her primary solace was found in the escape offered by caffeine, sugar, and the familiar emotional cadences and social situations of television sitcoms. Until at last, her master's ambitions approached their limit, and it was no longer confluent with his apathy to permit her the same.
And he; he is everywhere to be seen, yet rarely found to be heard. "[H]e had no time to ask himself whether these people were sincere or not. He was always busy ... He felt as though he were the center of some important and general movement; that something was constantly expected of him, that if he did not do it he would grieve and disappoint many people, but if he did this and that, all would be well; and he did what was demanded of him, but still that happy result always remained in the future."
"In the universe as [they] knew it, there was no answer." "Thus they returned along the lurid circle, on either hand unto the opposite point, shouting their shameful metre evermore."
Where she is of titles and he of importance, honestly now: make you identifications?
To what must I aspire, dry speculations and comfortable vagaries? Are we destined "to describe, not to explain, to catalogue facts, not to evaluate them?" "Man may smile and smile but he is not an investigating animal. He loves the obvious. He shrinks from explanations."
Without even requiring us to venture beyond the outermost boundaries of our arrogance, Fromm captures the problem neatly in those few short words which make up the title of his examinations; "To Have or To Be." That, I submit to you, that is the question.
Need I still explain it? It has less than nothing to do with rebellion for rebellion's sake, and more than everything to do with whether or not I believe an undertaking is worthwhile.
"[P]otential is based upon a very peculiar attitude: to live and review every second afresh."
The crux of living flows thus: make you identifications, or make identifications you?
Part of the series: Cerularius