ellsworth kelly, white diagonal, 2008
I'm hearing myself grow tired of something I've done for a lifetime and lived in a world of people guilty of it, so much so it's not even noticed. It's concern about other people's business that has nothing to do with my business, approval or disapproval, thinking I know more about it than the ones involved. I'm training myself to remember that whether I approve or not of what somebody else believes, does, thinks, is so neither here nor there as to be no consideration at all. I'm hearing in my head the voice of somebody I once knew, "I don't approve of violence!" There was no being around him without hearing it at least once. I wanted to say, but judged it too disrespectful and never got it said, "Then don't do it." Of course, he was talking about everyone but himself. I hear "they" do this, that and the other, aint it awful. I remember with a good laugh walking in on a preacher and an old farmer, both men I knew in friendly terms, talking about the young today, how they do drugs and commit sin without a thought of the Lord. They looked at me for parenthetical agreement and I said, "It's the way of the world." Like where's the big deal? Approve, disapprove, so what? Approval or disapproval change nothing. They're just egoic ejaculations of opinion based in too little information to pass for knowledge.
All the time hearing things like, I wish them people wouldn't do that! Whatever that may be, whoever them people may be. What it ends up saying is meaningless. They, them, the others; not we, not us, not me. Recalling a time I was told in no uncertain terms that They say and Everybody knows, you this and you that. I was translating in my mind: They was two names. Everybody was those two plus one more, three names. I didn't bring that up as it would have been taken I think I'm smart. More than once I wanted to say, "Cite your sources," but knew my accuser would not have any idea what it meant, and again, I'd have been acting smart. I didn't want to provoke the "conversation" to go on any longer than the shortest possible span of time. It's pretty boring pretending to take seriously somebody talking in the most meaningless generalizations saying nothing at all, and telling me about myself such that I know for certain he does not have any idea what he's talking about. What could I do? I couldn't talk. We obviously spoke two different languages and he was mono-lingual. Evidently I was too.
How many times I have heard, "I wish everybody...." All I can say to that is when everybody does something or has something, then it's nothing. If everybody wore a tshirt with Abercrombie on the front, then it would be the very opposite of a big deal. It would be a uniform. If everybody listened to Britney Spears, then who would listen to the other Barbie in human form, Christina Aguilera? I don't want everybody seeing Lars von Trier's films or Bela Tarr's films; it would cheapen them down to Hollywood. Pearls were expensive rare, then the Japanese farmed them and the value fell way down. Similar story with diamonds. Dollar General flip-flops are the common variety you see everywhere. Then the designer Ralph Lauren flip-flop, expensive, rare, inaccessible to just anybody. If everybody had to have a twenty-five dollar Ramones tshirt, it wouldn't be long before Roses and Walmart would have them for two dollars. Our educational system has pumped sameness into us unconsciously, the people making decisions without any idea what they are doing beyond following guidelines and keeping the paperwork caught up. Commercials are pumping us with sameness, as are the politicians.
I can't help but be amazed at seeing how, in my lifetime, political correctness has become the culture of the middle class. Fortunately, the ruling class and the working class are not bound by PC. I conform to it in the company of the middle class, like at the coffee shop, only because adherents get so self-righteous about their trigger words, which never has to do with meaning. "I can't stand to hear that word!" Bull Shit. Give me a break. It is the same as churchists saying, "I don't approve of that language." All I can say is, "Then don't use that language." It's more of the missionary mind: I'm right--you're wrong--you must conform to my way or I won't like you. Lord have mercy! The threat of not being liked is so incredibly powerful in the American middle class it manipulates without even trying. What will people think? What people? Whoever they are, they'll think what they think. No two will think the same and all will be judgmental, each for different reasons, their own projected reasons. Mystery solved, now go on and don't worry about it any more. It's funny how climbing the ladder is done by selling self continually, smiling all the time, like-me-I'm-nice, I am the product you're looking for. He's such a great guy, never has a down day, up all the time. Ten years later he blows a hole through his head on purpose.
I have to give credit to the mountain people, to mountain culture, for getting myself over these urban and churchly habits of mind, thinking I know better than others how to live their lives. I've been a slow learner in that department. Through the course of my early years I was told from every influence that only authorities know anything--parents, teachers, preachers--and if you're not one of them you better walk the line. I've been seeing my life in retrospect as the first half characterized by hate and the second half characterized by love. Where I came from before in past lifetimes I don't know, but I sure did not have any previous experience to prepare me for this world. However, my parents had no interest in anything beyond church and keeping the bills paid. The preacher was only interested in church. My mother was only interested in church. I was forced to take an interest in school just like church. Duress all the way. This is how Saturn and Uranus conjunct a Sun in Taurus manifest in every day life. I was born into my horoscope. Now there is something everybody does. We all get born into our individual horoscopes. It's so common that few notice.