Like, Literally, Obviously?

Modern speech, particularly that of young people, is usually framed as a series of questions. It relies heavily on a series of well-known discourse markers; ‘like’, ‘literally’, ‘obviously’, ‘amazing’, ‘awesome’ and ‘brilliant’, all delivered with eye-rolls, big gestures yet, at the same time, extraordinarily flat or tense (a harsh ‘back of the throat’ or nasal) tonality.

You probably know what is going on here, but in just to clarify; there is no more meaning in life. No quality. Speech therefore acquires a fearful hesitancy — everything is framed as a question, seeking reassurance — but takes no responsibility for quality — everything is either ‘like horrible’ or ‘like beautiful’ (i.e. not horrible or beautiful, just vaguely similar to it) or it is a scientifically verifiable fact (it’s not me who says its horrible or beautiful, it is literally or obviously so). The emptiness that all this testifies to attempts to conceal itself with intense over-emphasis (you hand someone a credit-card, ‘awesome!’) or mere volume, but these cannot mask an essential blandness and deathly neutrality, which can be heard in the ‘pure meaning’ of the discourse, in this case the nightmarish absence of modulation, subtlety and tone colour.

If you are able to experience meaning or quality, and are able to communicate it, and you join a group of modern people, uncommunicating with super-emphatic signposts pointing nowhere, you have the nightmarish sense you’ve just sat down to chat with a group of androids. This ‘sense’ comes to you as awkwardness, anger, confusion, frustration and tristesse; all signals that your body is telling you to escape. You are in the company of the dead.

Naturally all this worries the android folk. When you become frustrated, awkward or morosely silent in their company, or when you speak without hyper-emphatic props, or when you actually say something, you sound like a frightening devil or alien. Even before a subject comes up about which you disagree — and it will — but long before this they will already be afraid of you, they will already hate you.

Anarchist Paradise

How do people expect to create a society worth living in without being able to create a house worth living in? There are so many people talking about kind of society we could be living in, while the society they do live in, within the walls that surround them, is a place of misery, boredom and contention. Not that you have to be live in domestic perfection to be able to comment intelligently on how society is run or to meaningfully affect it; but how about, those of us who would like to see a world worth living in we start with the world we have direct, immediate influence on, our own homes? How about we start with the people we actually live with?

It is possible to live without ego (without the dominance of self-informed thought and emotion), without fear and desire, without rules and laws, without democratic decision making, without discontent and without boredom. It is possible for the individuality of each member of the house to find its place, contribute to the whole, while each doing what he or she loves. It is possible to wake up without a sense of anxiety or dread, with an easefulness which spreads into everything you do, individually and together.

Such a life is not without problems of course, and homes break up of course, as societies do, sometimes quite naturally, and of course all homes have to contend with the surrounding wasteland and the baleful influence of the zone of evil, but if the good life is to be available to all of us, then it must be available now. Immediacy, love of nature, rituals of transcendence and physicality must form our day-to-day lives now. Even at the end of history. Even in a tiny ground-floor flat in Reading.

I speak from experience.

The Male Orgasm