Loathing and Shame, and Redemption [part 1]
Spoons Editorial
Posted by Spoonman on 12/15/10 02:33pm.

Author's Note:
This will not be a story, or, if you* insist on believing that it is one, it will, at the very least, not have a completely linear plot. I have written down a few ideas that I want to address for some time, and may do so at will, without apology, over the course of this narrative. *Also, it's the other Jeff. It's not you. Nice try, though.
----

Decay. Chant, Pallas Iguana, of the misery of Jeff, woken from the heart-quickening throes of a dream, its last scenes hanging in the dense air of that musky room. Still blind, Jeff feels only the filthy moisture seeping from the walls as those last apparitions vanish. The would-be heroes of his past, now scattered far and wide and lost in their own parallel dilapidation.

Jeff sat upright:

The mind is the first, and oldest of deceivers, because it convinces us to build the future out of our hopes rather than to try to discern it reasonably. That was five years ago, this same month.

The mind is also the most treacherous of deceivers, because it constructs barriers that shield us from our present misery. There are those who believe that its doing so is a protective measure against our own fragile egos. This belief too is the mind's treachery against the self.

I am not actually a pessimist. Pessimism requires that we go out of our way to be down on ourselves and get others down, or to see the world in a dreary way. When that girl blocked me on Facebook because I tried to explain, (and I admit - with too few words), how inconsiderate it is to the fśtus to force it to be born into a world where the net suffering outweighs the net happiness, I was not expressing pessimism - no, not at all. "If the reader wishes to see shortly whether this statement is true, let him compare the respective feelings of two animals, one of which is engaged in eating the other"[1]

I am not actually a literalist - most of the time. I don't read Schopenhauer literally, nor do I expect others to. I am much more interested in the case that can be made than in the case that happens to be. I will continue to refer to Schopenhauer in this post. He actually threw you a bone in the original quote about the comparative amounts of pleasure and pain in the world by admitting that at the very least there is a balance between the two. That's a free ride that you're not about to turn down.

Notice that last sentence in the paragraph above - no, the previous one. No, my last sentence. "... the net suffering outweighs the net happiness." Notice how that the "bad" quality, suffering, is a gerund taken from a verb, (an "action word"), while the "good" quality, happiness, is a noun?

This alludes to a misconception I wish to clear up. As always, first, we will hear Arthur hold forth on it:

I know of no greater absurdity than that propounded by most systems of philosophy in declaring evil to be negative in its character. Evil is just what is positive; it makes its own existence felt.

The idea that the positive/negative dichotomy corresponds, respectively, with good and evil, must be thrown out. That sappy story your grandmother emailed you about cold being the absence of heat, dark being the absence of light, and therefore evil being the absence of good is an insult to your ability to perceive anything as it exists - the mind's treason against the self.

In the following vignette, why don't you tell me which is the phenomenon and which is the absence of it: You are sitting around feeling great because you think that Portuguese girl with the cute hairdo might have noticed you, when suddenly you are poked by a giant pin! (The End)

The reason your grandma was able to pull one over on you is because of the biological/anthropological disposition to view excessive cold or dark as dangerous and therefore bad. In the context of the environment at large, the status quo (absence of any effects) is defined by an adequate amount of light and heat to sustain life.

I think I've covered everything I want to cover on that front.

Back to Jeff. We never rescued him. None of those people were even in the same place at the same time. All that stuff you read was deception - making you think the world was a more exciting or more moral place than it is. Do not be fooled. This is how the real story goes:

The Quickening

"The year is 2006. In a poorly heated dorm room of one of rural New Hampshire’s own public universities, one unfortunate soul has succumbed to an existence of total depravity." [2]

Later that month, Spoon went back to his dorm at Wittenberg University and remained there, crumpled in a trance-like state of caffeine-plus-self-induced rage at the world and himself for about two years until he finally got it together. Simultaneously Fred endured bitter breakups with his hetero life partners, his son, and his holy ghost, as did Wayne. Freakburrito grew reddened and violent from frequent consumption of rum buckets (he did have those sunglasses, though), and Jarred was shipped out to a desert wasteland full of murder and uncertainty, before being shipped back home, to a desert wasteland of murder and uncertainty, and all the same he was able to leave with his sanity intact. Logan cooked a lot of pizzas before catching a one way bus to Brooklyn, which gave him the best shake of the bunch.

Concurrently, Jeff was doing everything he would have done had we not intervened, e.g. pirating Bon Jovi music, reading Manga, drinking Michelob, and adopting a remarkably vegetarian disposition, all while being pulled further and further away from reality*. His decision to marry, then, came as no real surprise to anyone who was still paying attention. He still claims not to like Chinese food. (*That is to say, morality.)

Now go back to The Quickening and read the first two paragraphs of Stave I and the first paragraph of Stave III (and stop before anything about a helicopter.) Repeat 52 times. This will give you an idea of what his life was like. This perpetual moldering became the backdrop upon which he played out his part day, after day, after day. It was the status quo.


This did not happen anywhere near Plymouth State

Suddenly, Jeff was poked by a giant pin. (Metaphorically, of course.)

It was just a nudge - a still small voice crying out in the darkness - enough to convince you that your grandmother was right all along. (You know you should have listened to her.) Spurred by the better angels of his nature, just enough of that positive phenomenon called hope to jolt him out of complacency and onto emancipation. [3] That's what I call really phenomenal.(Way better than oil floating on water floating on corn syrup.)

I won't pretend to know how this all happened (you don't question the ways of Notre Dame de la Iguana), but everyone seems to be happy about it, so... [4]

[To be continued]

----
Notes
[1] The Essays Of Arthur Schopenhauer: Studies In Pessimism
ISBN: 1153701561
[2] http://www.fredrickville.com/article/1/46/The_Quickening
[3] This sentence brought to you by Abraham Lincoln (c)
[4] Elliptical "so". You know you do this all the time. It's as weak then as it is now.

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FredFredrickson @ 12/16/10
"It's interesting, because it's like we get to read it unfold as it happens. "

The Mexican @ 12/17/10
"we need more...."

FredFredrickson @ 12/17/10
"Where's jcood? He needs be here."

JC_OOD @ 02/04/11
"I am here... I have always been here... at least in spirit (if you believe such a thing). I would be remiss if I didn't admit that I would like to see how part 2 goes."


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