Skirting Curiosity

It is easy for the dynamism of life to be lost from words, particularly if a writer is tremulous at the motherly skirt of life, preferring semantics to sight. I find that semantics often first contain the ooh and ah of the circus (the memory of being taken out of boarding school by a friend of the family; I remember the huge slice of nougat I was bought as I watched the acrobats, nothing quite so delicious as rules being broken - of not being in the prep room, of eating outside of mealtime). Then, when the show is over, I often think about the verbal game: but what can I do with this idea? And I often find it disappears, back behind the curtain, in Oz. And I write Oz and think of Go Ask Alice, which circulated in Form One, something about drugs, like the modern and general tornado that leads to figurative witches, good and bad, and the simple lesson that not all people are to be trusted.
Not all words, either. Some words would prompt people to be very unkind to each other, which is a topic I understand has lost its currency (literally) today: morality being called "retrograde ... old-fashioned armchair philosophy ... it's sickening". And here I was thinking that the true academic (which I am not) aspires to see the value in any idea with currency - even if won by common cottage industry and sense, read ¢.
It is interesting to note that in H.G. Wells' 1920 edition of his Outline of History, he wrote "In the background of the consciousness of the world, waiting as silence and moonlight wait above the flares and shouts ... is the knowledge that all mankind is one brotherhood ... and that only in universal service can mankind find peace, or peace be found for the troubles of the individual soul". He removed that passage from later editions.
It seems Kant was the last to state the necessity of treating humanity as an end, not a means. So, yes, people with university degrees seem to be able to afford themselves the luxury of distancing themselves from their fellow men. And yet, is it not true that without some fellowship, there would be no social/academic ladder? Fellowship always exists, rather it is a question of how broad it is. I will say another thing, too. It is easier to criticise one's fellow man than to stand up for him. Because everyone has their imperfections, finding them will not be hard.
Words and people can carry lies - perhaps we might say for this reason that most men are liars, and close the doors of our forts to people who think differently than ourselves. How convenient not to feel the flux of life that knows not restriction - where meaning is truly tested. People pass through drugs and schizophrenia (like Deleuze in The Logic of Sense, which is also very much about Alice), linguists like Kristeva write of the problems of drugs and mental illness in today's society - the inner life is broken, and many prefer the void to emotion. And here I will end: I have decided in recent days that it is easier not to write than to write, it is easier to skirt some issues than to commit, it is easier to commit with a vengeance than with curiosity.


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