Sunday, July 5, 2009

waking life is work, play, and voyeurism

Work, Play, and Voyeurism


                Man is a body. Whatever he is after death, he will still be a body, though death would be pointless if he were to leap back into a resurrected or reincarnated human body. Any religions that view man’s best as his spirit, and his best deeds as his duties, do so at the expense of the body, a crime against the earth. For the most important questions you can ask a man is how does he live? How does he get a living? What does he use his living to do?

            How does he live? The most important question to ask a man is how does he treat himself? What does he eat? When? Why? How does he maintain his health, for the first concern of every man is how he values and maintains his health. The body is the land and mountains, is made of trees and wood, is the matter, and his work is earth and tree, is center and support for the rest. Everything in the body requires health, and a healthy man does more for the world by walking through the city than a sick man does by charity and gifts. Seek your health before your wealth or beauty.

            How does he get his living? And this determines what kind of man he is. If he works for money, he must think his time can be paid for by mere money – an unworthy man. The great man works a job that by working it pays his body and soul. The money he will take to support body and home, but he will sacrifice body and home to quit the job paying only money. The ways to make a living are begging, taking, and making for trade. Begging is any man, drifter, charity worker, or preacher who asks for money. Taking is any criminal or government which by tax or tackle takes your money. Making for trade is the noble way of making money, and lets every man do so as he is able. But do not be bound by any duty to society. As the fairy tale of the frog prince teaches: know when to break a contract. Socrates did not well make his bread, though Plato did better, and Aristotle better still: progress!

            What does he use his living to do? When the man is not working – and let this be at least 2/3 of every day, if not ½ -- he is growing his body and his body’s soul. He may play or watch, must play or watch – games and aesthetics – and these two to run over the mountain of work like a playing stream and an aesthetic breeze, to make work pleasurable, to make all our work fit together. The purpose of play is to secure us in our work, and the purpose of aesthetics is to secure others in their work.

            Play includes any activity sought for fun; the best play is in games, challenging play, goal-oriented play, play which aims to win by the rules. Writing, reading, witty conversation, love, sports, olympics, and wars all have the nature of games and play, or at least the structure of them, though they may in fact be work, depending on whether the participants are playing the games or working the “games.” Thus we call life a game by metaphor, though many people work games and do not play them.

            Do not define a game by family resemblence, for family resemblence itself is undefined, is not a definition, is an infinition, since we are all related and we all resemble each other, from the highest elf to the lowest dwarf.

            All philosophy is verbal wrestling, a way of talking, to play and win truths from others. To win a truth from another is not to bind him in irony nor expose him a fool, but to twist his arm till he shames you and shines a truth. The wise man knows how to talk deep philosophy even in the idle banter of the work or coffee house.

Play is violent: I will win! Nature brainstorms a billion at a burst, and favors only a dozen of her creations.

            Aesthetic beauty is watching the play of others. All works of art come from the play games of the poet and painter. God walks through words. If man were to lose his tongue, god sits lame. Our movies, our politics, our newspapers, our novels, our celibrities, our politicians, stand only for entertainment, exist for nothing else, to teach us how to play, and we play to learn how to better love our work.

            Public looking is the voyeurism of normality. Why in the world would a group of man watch a pornographic film in a movie theater? Or attend a strip-club? To feel normal. We watch movies and learn when to laugh at the movie’s success and when to mockingly laugh at the movie’s failure. We attend churches and rallies to get normalized, to synchronize our responses, to not only watch the same thing, but to watch each other watch the same thing. Rally for or protest against the war: the war needs both to stabalize and succeed. Choose either side and you enable it. Celebrate the holidy and you create a holiday spirit to prolong us. Add your two-sense about the latest court battle, wryly chide the television soda ad, curse the political scandel, and none of your ideosyncratic comments can escape getting labelled “ideosyncratic,” – and so you are normalized despite yourself.

            Religious services, movie theaters, sports arenas, and television programs provide a medium for group voyeurism; watching each other watch, commenting and commenting back, is the process of normalization, and no matter how abnormal you are, knowing at least that you are abnormal normalizes you.

            The ancient book meant that one thing. But we must have it mean this. Interpretation is getting a priviledged book to say what we want it to say—there is no other purpose to interpretation! An interpreter, when making the first book speak lies we hold true, learns many things as he twists the text, things more important than either the meaning of the ancient work or the modern truth we wish it to authoritize. Hold those secrets dear—they are yours.

            Ignore the critics. Artists alone are worthy to criticize. Flunk the rest. A critique must be finer in beauty than the work it criticizes, other wise it doubly wastes your time. The few words Nietzsche said about Shakespeare are worth a dozen tomes by the Shakespeare scholars. When we watch, we too will comment, if only by how we choose to place our eyes, and so does every else. Commentary teaches you how to watch and what to watch intently. Commentary is a play of watching.

            Work and Body are it, the main thing, but they are not valued as the main thing: playing and watching are what we love. Yet we play and watch to secure body and work. It is like the importance of the eyes for seeing, yet they rarely stare at themselves in the mirror. Play feeds the wooded body, rushes over the mountain of work, gorges rivers from dancing rains, and watching the rivers and rains are the winds of watching, the breeze of commentary.


1 comment:

Janessa said...

Aesthetic beauty is watching the play of others. All works of art come from the play games of the poet and painter. God walks through words. If man were to lose his tongue, god sits lame.Learn how to better love our work...Fat loss 4 idiots