Jun 24, 2017

Undigested Thoughts | In search of 'Memoirs Found in a Bathtub'

As the election campaigns make their final bang before whatever whimper they'll feel on Sunday when Albanians go to vote, I'd like to offer you a couple of the many ways I might convey what I think of this rat race and its self-inflicted climatic messages, in what has quite honestly been an overwhelmingly anticlimactic turn of events, online and in real life. New timelines on old promises, past futures aged and preached anew. Same old, some would say, still not being able to distinguish whether these things happen to us or for us.

I don't want to dismiss this dullness (of the 'same old', which takes its cue from the status-quo of the everyday life), far from it, I'd like to isolate and define it as a real and steady instrument of power that materializes as a soft violence on citizenship, one that refrains the citizen's freedom of choice (which is obvious if we just glance at and listen to the choices). Voting, no matter how it has been treated in times past, continues to stand as both, the citizen's voice and weapon of combat, their freedom and responsibility. The question that remains then, is how are these citizens able to proceed when those who speak for them, those who represent them - all of the political parties - practice such soft violence?

So, in light of this still undigested question, the first way of conveying my thoughts about the election is through the blunt dialog of untamed tongues:


And secondly, through another dialog of a more indirect approach (or sermon of sorts), via an excerpt from Stanislaw Lem's Memoirs Found in a Bathtub:

"And here you thought you were a prisoner in a labyrinth of evil, where everything was pregnant with meaning, where even the theft of one's instructions was a ritual, that the Building destroyed only in order to build, to build only in order to destroy the more -- and you took this for the wisdom of evil... Hence your mental somersaults and contortions. You writhed on the hook of your own question mark to solve that equation of horror. But I tell you there is no solution, no equation, no destruction, no instructions, no evil -- there is only the Building -- only -- the Building --""Only the Building?" I echoed, my hair on end."Only the Building," he echoed my echo, shivering."This is not wisdom, this is a blind and all-encompassing perfection, a perfection not of man's making but which arose from man, or rather from the community of man. Human evil, you see, is so petty and frail, while here we have something grand and mighty at work... An ocean of blood and sweat and urine! One thundering death rattle from a million throats! A great monument of feces, the product of countless generations! Here you can drown in people, choke on them, waste away in a vast wilderness of people! Behold: they will stir their coffee as they calmly tear you to shreds, chat and pick their noses as they outrage your corpse, and brew more coffee as it stiffens, and you will be a hairless, worn-out and abandoned doll, a broken rattle, an old rag yellow and forgotten in the corner... That is how perfection operates, not wisdom! Wisdom is you, yourself -- or maybe two people! You and someone else, that intimate flash of honesty from eye to eye..."I watched his deathly pale face and wondered where I'd heard all this before, it sounded familiar. Then I remembered -- that sermon, the sermon about choking, evil and the Devil, the sermon which Brother Persuasion told me was intended as provocation..."How can I believe you?" I groaned. He shuddered."O sinner!!" he screamed in a whisper. "Dost thou still double that what may be a harmless conversation or joke on one level doth constitute, on another, legal action and, on yet another, a battle of wits between Departments? Verily, if thou followest this line of thought, thou shalt end up nowhere, since here anything, hence everything, leadeth everywhere!"..."What are you saying?""You still don't understand? I'm an agent provocateur because I'm a priest. Only as your agent provocateur am I, a priest, allowed to say what I've said here. Of course, we expect you to cooperate..." (170-172) "