Benevolent Neglect

by rsbakker

Aphorism of the Day: Justice is the triumph of truth over inevitability.

This is long overdue! As I mentioned in this most recent interview, and as I’ve suggested several times here, I remain deeply ambivalent about this whole blogging thing. Were I a mature, self-actualized adult, I’m sure I could waltz back and forth across the contradiction between the need to sell and the need to tell without batting an eye – like pretty much every other writer on the planet. But I continually find myself plagued by my own hypocrisy.

And this ambivalence, fortunately or unfortunately, has led to neglect.

One of the overarching themes of my work is the growing incompatibility between knowledge (as developed by science)and experience (as determined by biology and tradition), and its social, interpersonal, and individual consequences. If reflection is enlightenment then enlightenment is poison – and cynicism is the only glove that allows you to maintain a grip on the world as it is.  The rest is all make-believe.

And this is not a message people want to hear, these days particularly. Positivity sells. Decisiveness sells. Since people want to be told that everything will be A.O.K, and since markets are driven to exploit wants, and because markets are the central structural feature of our culture, we find ourselves living in a sycophantic world, harbouring any number of deluded and outright foolish notions of who and what we are…

Which means there’s a genuine need for neurotic assholes like me.

The Three Pound Brain is still enjoying several hundred hits a day despite several weeks of silence on my part, but I’m fairly convinced that it is doing real harm to the books. Meanwhile, more and more people are jumping on the cognitive shortcoming bandwagon, spreading the bad news in explicit form (as in articles like this), enough for me to think that my fiction is the place where I need to concentrate on critiquing and problematizing culturally given assumptions.

The proper place to be pissing in the whiskey.

I’ll likely sit on the fence for a while longer, see how much more pain my balls can take. But if the Three Pound Brain were to suddenly vanish, you can sleep easy knowing that the Rapture had nothing to do with it.