Skip to main content

All the way, maybe

This is a Charles Bukowski poem called "All the way".

Essentially, his thesis is that you must go 'all the way' whatever the cost may be. And I felt, what a fucking loser is this wierdo. I mean, I have read his 'Post office' and it is a kickass piece of literature. But what I realise now is that an incomplete and naive philosophy of self-absorbed nihilism possibly informed his work.

Problem 1: All the way with what?
We see a lot of this kind of inspirational bullshit being shared by people these days - exhorting people to do what they want to do. But the problem is no one these days knows what he/she wants to do. These videos and poems only add to consumerist angst whose only beneficiary is the capitalist power centers and not the social organism called human.("Must do something, don't know what.. running with expensive shoes seems to be working for some as per commercials, let me try that.")
Purposeless souls are angstily drifting from one insecurity to next, never being able to see reality, reflect and choose a fight to fight. This philosophy blinds them from seeing the reality that surrounds them, for them to react to. All it does is, it makes people flay in uncertain directions without impact. This philosophy is a pile of dung excreted by blind narcissism.

Problem 2: Consequence-less hero
What it essentially conveys is that you shouldn't bother about the consequences of your actions. 'Just do it'. So should a pedophile just follow his desires? Where is the virtue now? In restrain or in 'going all the way'. Without a context, these words mean nothing. 
Being free to do also means being responsible with that freedom. Freedom is a responsibility.
 "...This could mean losing, girlfriends, wives, jobs..."says Bukowski.
 Ofcourse. How great it would be to live without responsibility. Sartre would have called out his 'bad faith'. To pursue your goals, if you let your partner do the heavy-lifting in responsibilities of life, is it fair? Does it only hurt you when you 'lose' a girlfriend? Does she not get affected?
This is being narcissist. To relinquish one's responsibility with an excuse of passion for some indeterminate goal. Nobody has ever achieved anything of any consequence by being alone.
Jyotirao Phule changed reality of thousands of marginalised Indians with his wife by his side as an equal. That was a goal worth going 'all the way for' - women right, fight against caste based oppression. He fought the right fights without giving up either responsibility or denying anyone's agency. Why lose anyone when they can be your partner in your goals?

Problem 3: Isolation is not a worthy pursuit by itself
All your intellect, your thoughts, your ideals... are useless unless it reacts with another mind. If your thoughts don't inspire a debate, if your actions don't cause a reaction, if your ideals remain unsaid and untested.. would your existence even matter?
If you are forced in isolation because of your thoughts (probably thoughts against existing power structures? why else would you be made silent?), and you fight against it, that is a fight worth fighting for and isolation worth bearing.
Isolation as a scar cannot be a choice, it is a medal only if it foisted on you  by the powers that be for upsets you cause to the power centers. Don't romanticize effect, without appreciation for the cause. 


Popular posts from this blog

Why I repair my shoe

I have 3 shoes. One formal, One sport shoe and another a mix of the two. The last one is particularly awesome, cause of its uniqueness. It looks like a formal shoe, but is as comfortable and flexible as a sport shoe. I bought it for my first job in Mumbai. I was newly rich and was expected to behave like one. I found this gem of pure black leather in a Colaba Causeway showroom. Quite a find. But its been almost two years now and the shoe shows its age. For all its awesomeness, its quite a weak shoe, to give out so early. I have stitched it, got new laces, and strengthened its sole. It doesn't look shiny anymore cause the leather has suffered from a few hostile trespasses. I think, like a man, things too should be allowed to carry their scars. Shiny scar-less men are just so... irrelevant. 

Since childhood, I have been used to using things for long times. Clothes, equipments, shoes etc. I can't just throw things away cause they don't look as good anymore or they don't w…

Reading India through 'Dictator's handbook'

What's the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship?
The book says, not much. India, agrees. Current political dispensation especially agrees vigorously.

"Soma" of hindutva and past glory + divided impoverished amnesiac masses + legitimised attack on individual rights + tremendous wealth shared among few = brave new world of oligarchical India.

Essentially, democracies/ dictatorships etc., are simply variants of the same power dynamic between the ruler, essentials, influentials and inter-changeables.

Interchangeables are the nominal selectorate - the individual voters who have nominal (or cosmetic) power to choose leader - most of us.
Influentials  are the real selectorate - the guys who really choose the leader. In US recently, the electoral college famously went against the popular vote and elected a clown as their president instead. In India, theoretically, the system is a bit better in terms of a wider base of influentials - it could be religious gurus, party…

How many shots of the girl dancing or laughing aimlessly does it take to establish her as a Manic pixie dream girl?

Learning from bad writing: Meri Pyaru bindu These days I am writing my first story that I intend to complete and publish. So as you can imagine, I am in the writer mode most of the time - anxiously looking for writer's intent, choices, character arcs, alternate story lines etc, while watching any movie or reading any novel. With a well written story, these choices are not that apparent. You have to look hard and yet you might miss out on essential choices that the writer made, to make the film/ novel a great piece of art. It feels as if the story flowed out from the author's mind onto paper with zero loss in translation. For that reason, it is difficult to learn much from good writing. It inspires, yes of course. It helps you get in the mood or get into the right frame of mind. But it can't teach as well as a badly written movie/ novel can.
A badly written story makes you aware of your own fallibility. It grounds you. Most importantly, it helps you see the many ways in wh…