Thursday, December 3, 2009


I am reading the most earth-shattering, heart-breaking, mind-fucking masterpiece that I have ever read. And I have read many a book. It's called "House of Leaves" and is about a man who discovers a trunk of papers in an old dead man's apartment, and he constructs the book we're reading. The papers turn out to be the old man's commentary on a film that doesn't actually exist. We know this author has constructed a narrative out of ficticious subject not only because he hints at this himself at the very beginning, but because we discover he has coffee with Pierre Menard, author of the Quixote :P The film is about a man who discovers a hallway in his house that cannot possible exist, because the physical dimensions of the house do not allow for it.

At any rate, this novel has made me think about the different levels of reality. Reality is certainly a construct of our senses, but it is more than this. In it is contained the very nature of unreality. Reality exists, because it does not NOT exist. But it does not exist, in the fact that it also isn't. But what it isn't, it is and must be. Where it isn't it is soon to become. Reality is the macrocosm in which even unreality figures. Or perhaps, more accurately, Unreality is the macrocsom in which even reality figures.


Words are meaningless.

This axiom is a lie.

While words in and of themselves may possess no meaning, there is a world of meaning summoned by their presence. Every word in the english language carries with it associations that are personal to each individual. When we communicate, we use specific words in order to convey a message, but the most important message exists between each word. These pockets of silence, the pockets of absence, would not be possible without the use of language. Can language really be seen as arbitrary then?

We must learn to hear the voices that speak to us in silence. We must remember to hear that which is unspoken, and relate to each other on the emotional level as well as the rational one. We must not unlearn the language of our ancestors.

I think an entire essay could be written on the connotations of the word "a".

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Solitude vs Community

I've come to an interesting revelation about myself, about that within which drives me to act in certain ways. The other day I was boasting in a letter to someone that I was certainly improving on the strange, inhuman expectations I have about some people. I was quite impressed with the fact that I had not lost respect for an individual because he was not aware of a particular philosophical concept. However, two days after writing this letter, the man acted as a man and not as an intellectual icon... he showed an insensitivity and acted emotionally (or so it appeared to me). After observing these actions, I became very sad. I became aware of this gentleman as a man and not as the artificial ideal I had constructed on and around him.

This has made me realize that I love ideals, I love concepts... but not people. I have no interest in people as individuals... only in the abstract value I can deconstruct them into. I prefer to keep to myself, and quite often I distance myself from social interaction. I find it to be a diversion, an untrustworthy obstacle that tears me from my chosen path... it leads away from wisdom and contemplation. I don't like people, because they remind me that I, too, am human. And to me, being an imperfect human being seems like something that should be corrected.

This is foolish. I understand this. Elevating and debasing yourself both lead to the dehumanization of the Self. One must marry the two aspects, in order to find balance. In fact, I am beginning to wonder if perhaps the meaning of life is not found in Solitude at all... or rather that while the meaning of life can be found through Solitude,it can only be applied and UNDERSTOOD through Community.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Seven Jewish Children

Oh dear God. My friend is in a political theatre class this semestre, and she is studying the most interesting material. We had an hour long conversation yesterday about it, I almost feel like I'm taking the class vicariously through her. Heh. At any rate, she loaned me a copy of Caryl Churchill's latest play: "Seven Jewish Children." And... oh dear God.

This is a link for you to read and view it for yourself.

Critics call this play antisemitic. But I think you can be critical of a situation without being prejudiced. True, the language of this piece is quite strong, but the it is carefully chosen. Political theatre's intention is to make you angry, to outrage you into action, and that is what this piece does.

Perhaps it doesn't help that I'm biased here. I have always believed the creation of Israel to be a poor political move which did not consider future consequences. It was a quick-fix solution, meant to alleviate guilt. As a result, we (The West) are expected to side with Israel on every issue, and when some one doesn't... why, they're labelled as antisemitic.

But of course this is all complicated by the very real horror of the Holocaust.

This situation seems to me to mirror (or at least reflect) post-colonialism in Canada. In the past, perhaps rather insensitvely, I have spoken out against things that I could not know. I made a comment to the effect that yes, residential schools were terrible, but that doesn't mean an individual can blame their entire failings on the one situation, horrible as it was. In uttering this opinion I was hailed, at least to a degree, as a racist.

There is an element of personal responsibility that everyone, every sufferer, must acknowledge. As a Woman, I see discrimination and oppression against my sex. But I ALSO see how some women contribute to their suffering. While the event is not something you can control, your own personal reaction to it can be. Being a survivor is not a choice, but being a Victim is. And being a Victim does NOT make it acceptable for you to turn into a perpetrator.

But back to the Churchill piece. Why is it wrong to examine a situation from the other side? In expressing views that, while contrary to popular opinion, some people certainly have, you are opening up the subject to debate, for discourse. It seems to me that one should be able to analyze all sides of history, not just the novel written by the victor.

Furthermore, Churchill invited the Board of Deputies into the rehearsal process, in order to incorporate the Jewish Voice. However, knowing Churchill to be a Palestinian sympathizer, they rejected the invitation. The play is therefore focused on the Palestinian plight because the Israeli Voice refused to speak.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Pro-Choice Rant

I have often been "accused" of being a femininst. I espouse beliefs that are rooted in the concept of gender equality, and people immediately classify me as belonging to this Movement. However, a Feminist will take one look at my belief structure and immediately dismiss me as a non-feminist or anti-feminist simply because of one opinion that falls outside of the Feminist world view.

I am against abortion. This does not mean I am "anti-choice." I am absolutely pro-choice. If you have CHOSEN to have unprotected sex, then you have CHOSEN to accept the consequences of doing so. Abortion should be reserved for extreme cases, for those unable to foresee the consequences of their actions, such as children and individuals who are severely mentally unstable, and for those who did not consent to this process, like victims of rape. You can spout off whatever rhetoric you want (give me all the documentation about pre-natal development, and try to convince me that a fetus is not a person) but you will never convince me that abortion is a valid form of birth control. It is not.

There are so many preventitive meausures a person can take to avoid pregnancy. If you fucked up, man up, and take responsibility for your actions. Think on this: with so many decent and good people who want children but are unable to have them, with miscarriages and stillborn births all over the world, what gives you the right to extinguish a life before it is given the opportuinity to exist?

You know why the second coming hasn't happened yet? Because the second Mary had an abortion. Fuck.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Strange Dream

I had the most bizzarre dream I have ever had the other night. It began with a long staff, and from the end of the staff came bolts of electricity. The staff was stirring the cosmos, and the bolts of electricity circled and created a very strange spiral. I looked up and saw a man in a mask holding the stick. His head looked very much like a ram's head. Three columns appeared, all of varrying height, but posed so that they ran like steps, from shortest to longest. On all of these columns were strange etchings, strange symbols that I was not familiar with. The masked man was standing on the shortest pillar, and began walking across the three, using them as steps; as he did so I thought, or heard (I'm not sure whether it was my own thought, or a thought expressed by an external source) 'The two-horned god rises on the backs of the Three Ages.'

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Absence

I just realized that I have not discussed my new ideas pertaining to the Absence. In the past month, a month of silence brought on by the death of my computer, I have had several revelations, all of which pertained to an idea I have been slowly developing over the past year or so: the importance of Absence.

Reading Plato's 'Apology of Socrates' brought the concept of Absence to my attention through the mention of Socrates' daemon. Socrates' daemon was a voice that Socrates heard since childhood(ish), and it guided him away from dangerous actions. Now, when Socrates was sentenced to death, he had no fear, not because the voice told him everything was okay, but because it had remained silent. Socrates thought that had he been engaging in dangerous behaviour through the method of his defense, the voice would have surely spoken and warned him. Thus, Socrates was reassured of an afterlife NOT by the Presence of the voice, but through its ABSENCE. This made me realize that the Presence can be found only THROUGH the Absence. In the same way Hindu philosophers say Shunya (emptiness) is full of something we cannot perceive, the Absence is full of the Presence, and it is only when we experience the Absence in its entirety that we are able to begin to understand the Presence.

I thought perhaps that this is why we, in this time, are so aware of the Absence of God; we feel the Absence everywhere and in everything, and mistakenly believe that the Absence is Void, that it is nothingness. BUT nothingness must have some substance we can use to qualify it, or how would we be able to experience it? Indeed, nothingness is that Other substance through which we expierience life. It is the principle of what is not that leads us to undertand that which is. Our entire existence, or rather the collective understanding of that existence, is dependent upon that dichotomous relationship, and it is only through the acceptance and understanding of nothingness, of Absence, that we can experience life in its entirety. Perhaps the reason we feel the Absence of God so intensely is so that we are given the opportuinity to experience the Presence more fully.