Sunday, August 29, 2004

Heart? Matter?

People who know more than I do about politics and are in actual touch with what is going on have more facts about these things to advertise than I do. What I'm hoping to get at in my blog is what it feels like to live enveloped by a culture that understands itself in terms that have nothing to do with how I understand myself.

I grew up in an insane family at a time when psychological services were not widely available, so what you might call terminal alienation was burned into the very fibers of my personality. This is not entirely a bad thing, as my bullshit detector has been finally tuned from the beginning, and it is now one of the few organs I have left that still works perfectly. When I was in college, communists were the enemy. After Luella killed herself, men were the enemy. Now terrorists are the enemy. And the people spouting this stuff always seem to dictate their beliefs at you from inside an impenetrable steel barrel.

I have strong political convictions, but my politics derive from how I understand the world, not the other way around. I don't have to twist the facts or ignore what's in front of my nose to be the one who is in control, because it isn't possible to be in control. But I do try to communicate, because a certain hunger for human contact drives me. When I come up against walls and projections that surprise, disappoint, or depress me, I want to explain what went wrong, and here I suppose I am as qualified as anyone to talk about it, to the extent that I am able to be honest with myself.

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