Friday Night Fragments #24

I can’t stand this metrosexual hipster beard-worship thing that seems everywhere these days. It is so painfully one of those situations in which people are mistaking the signs of something for the essence of that thing.

Is the act of growing a beard the highest pinnacle of masculinity to be reached? Bull. Growing a beard is easy. Just stop shaving. It takes negative effort to do. It takes work not to do. What’s so great about celebrating something like that?

When I was in Morocco, I didn’t shave the entire time I was there. A few months of that and I looked like I could have been the stunt-double in a goddamn Rasputin biopic. It wasn’t hard. It just was. If you are one of those who seeks to cultivate masculinity, you already knew very damn well that the act of aspiration is the key. Why aspire to something that is nothing more than an is?

Oh, and yes. Bitches loved the beard. Bitches loved it hard, but that is a set of tales for another time.

I was asked to take a survey the other day, something which I did gladly (the sun has been out and the weather has been warm over the past week, so I have been in a very good mood). The first question on the survey was: “What is your race/ethnicity?”

The young girl giving me this survey was black, and I suspect that she was the one who had put it together as well. It doesn’t surprise me that this was top of the list. Race really does seem to matter to people who aren’t white, especially young college students. When white people make surveys, the first question pertains to either name or gender.

What is your race/ethnicity? I knew the answer I would be expected to give was “White” (hWhite is the sort of joke that would not have been picked up on). The answer I put instead was “European”.

Such privilege! Such micro-aggression!

She looked at it with a quizzical expression on her face when she saw it. I wonder what she thought. She didn’t say anything. Was she perturbed by it? She actually did seem to be. I wonder what she thought of the implication that Africans and Asians and South Americans and many other types of people can never be true Europeans. That’s a statement I find intuitively obvious, although this young lady seemed like a hip, progressive sort. She was a minority female of roughly 20 years of age, after all. Not too many among her demographic who think nationality has anything to do with blood. She’s probably not even met anyone who has stated that idea to her, even indirectly.

I wonder if it tickled her amygdala. It certainly wasn’t any sort of amygdala-hijack à la Anonymous Conservative, but it certainly seemed to make her feel uncomfortable.

I love expanding the boundaries of people’s intellectual horizons.

“I’m right”

An easy thing to say, to be certain. It doesn’t make any sense from a totally logical perspective, however. You as a person do not have a truth-value. Only propositions can have truth-value (i.e. only propositions can be judged as “true or false”).

Forgive me if this sounds pedantic. I was having a discussion along these lines with a very philosophically-minded friend of mine earlier today. He was making the point that “I’m right” is a meaningless statement and that we should stop saying it.

My response to him was that the expression “I’m right” stands as colloquial shorthand for the more logically proper statement “The statement that I have said has a truth-value to it of ‘true'”. It is not correct in and of itself, but it stands as a symbolic representation of a deeper and more accurate statement that stands behind it (similar to the way that money is a symbolic representation of deeper value). That most people do not understand this signifies a confusion of a symbol with the symbolized to a degree that people do not even know there is a symbolized thing that runs deeper than the mere symbol.

The sign of something versus the essence of something. I suppose that’s the “theme” (if you can call it that) of this edition of the fragments.

This failure to differentiate symbol and symbolized — to say nothing of the failure to comprehend that a symbolized even exists — is something that I see quite a lot among…well…pretty much everyone (with a few exceptions, of course). Much of the time, this seems to be just a consequence of not thinking too deeply about this things (it takes a very odd sort to spend much time musing on these things, after all). Still, I’ve definitely run across people who just can’t seem to grasp this concept, either in a tangible sense or as an abstract principle.

“Money is just a representation of value. It’s a way of physically measuring it. It’s not the same thing as value.”

“No, money is value. Stop complicating things. Money is valuable because it is money.”

C’est la vie.

They say that only the good die young. The conclusion I draw from this is that if you don’t want to die young, you should probably prepare yourself for a life of evil.

A friend asked me recently what the earth would say of me if it were to speak. It was a question I’ve never been asked before. I said that it would probably say that was a man who has never stopped taking the time to get out in the sun and feel grass between my toes. It would say that I have always felt a deep sense of serenity and belonging when looking at the waves. I think it would say that I am someone who has always felt a strong affinity for the sea, and who, though he has little experience as a sailor, has always felt right at home on the deck of a ship. Perhaps in a previous life I was a sailor. Perhaps in many previous lives I was a sailor. Who knows? It would certainly explain a lot.

Hopefully the earth would forgive me for all the bushes and trees I’ve peed on in my time.

What would the earth say of you?

On that note, the evening is young and there is still sun in the sky and a breeze in the air. It is time to end these fragments and go outside.

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3 thoughts on “Friday Night Fragments #24

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