July 2007 Archives

Revisiting an old curse

A supposed chinese curse goes "may you live in interesting times."

First of all, we need to update this to "may you live in an interesting time and place," as surely there are always "interesting" things going on somewhere.

By interesting, it is meant "where things are happening," sous-entendu some sort of considerable upheaval, like war or profound societal changes.

To be frank, that isn't much of a curse in my eyes. There is nothing so mind numbingly boring and soul draining as a stable, well fed, content society, selfishly pursuing "happiness." "May you live in comfortable times" seems to me a much more damning pronouncement, let alone situation to find oneself in.

I should rant about the navel-gazing idiocy most of us find ourselves in, were it not for my own lack of the fortitude required to drop into a war-zone, just to get a taste of what being alive really means.

There is no room for the thinking man in a quasi-utopia; the artist reduced to carnival clown feeding on the scraps presented to him on a silver platter at the feast. When the layers of abstraction are painted on so thick, how can he begin to see what is real?

I live in a comfortable time and place, and I am damned. And I damn myself by staying here.