Meditations on the Need to Share
“They will all be as long as they are brief by the time I am finished.” J.J.R
[AKA Gawd, I Need You So Bad </3 1st Edition]
WHAT IS THE NEED to share? Well, spoiler alert, it will end up being the same uneventful answer as all things. It’s death. The need to share is death. But we’ll see if we can’t elaborate just a little bit on that. Take a path to get there, somewhat. If we can. Scenic, what have you.
In this time of common digital sharing one may wonder why one needs friends, lovers, facebook, twitter, several youtube channels, skype, minor porn (well, some people >>) and a written blog as well as txt and email and a phone *irradiating your genitals at dangerous levels for most hours of every day. But it is the difference between real connections and abstractions that mark the difference, obviously. **Or is it? (bumh bamh baaaahhh!).
[*the data is in on this, read your Iphone4 manual to see if it states clearly that it is unsafe to carry on ones person due to high radiation exposure risk … you wont. You won’t even hazard a look. Lucky you’ve made it to the second paragraph really].
[**See “An Essay in Love <3” AKA “F*ck Me I’m Wolverine”]
Author in the Writing
I’ve heard authors claim that they are in their writing. I disagree. Some even cite this as cause to avoid memoir or autobiography. Again I must disagree.
The author and reader are always separate. Unknown to one another except for chosen and purposefully revealed elements. This is as in all relationships, true, but here it is starkly not enough to build a true and useful “youness” score or accurate theory of mind.
To construct a person from their writing is no different to falling in love with a celebrity at a distance; true there is “themness” to a degree in their film choices; the way they endorse this or that; the skill with which they ply their craft: but selective and incredibly partial is this construct.
This is as the reader brings a great deal to the reading of any text. The author is in the text, true enough. In aspects and when they read it or while they wrote it: but never is this by the same measure when someone else reads it. Not at all, not by a long shot.
And only ever is the author at the time of writing represented.
Writing and Representation Meets Pre-Interpretation Interpolation
I should add though, the same way that I take more peace when I unplug the internet or turn off my phone, so too do I find company in the reading of a book or piece of writing. If I did not feel I was in discourse with the author, or at least an ephemeral swarm of ideas currently applicable to me as a personally meaningful “theyness”, a ghost; I would not read.
This of course applies to music and visual arts as well and again: selected aspects are shown and external factors unbeknownst to the recipient of the work remain hidden. This is even before the recipients’ “selfness filters” are brought to bear.
Just as one can instantly feel more alone on closing facebook (or perhaps feel alone on both opening and closing that particular site), there is a fraud in either elation or despair of this kind.
It should be made clear that I am not arguing that the perverse, predominantly one sided, sharing of this kind is without merit. Or even that there is an alternative to be honest, unless self truth and reflection are spared.
Indeed, I do find both writing and reading to be a communication; even if only to the reader defined by my own “selfness” filters.
Of course, the more watered down any contact, the less “true” knowledge of even an imagined common threshold can adequately be gleaned. What of the authors who change subtly between text but include no biographical foreword or explanatory preface? Or those who offer a total 180 degree turn between works? Points like these highlight my concerns on such matters in the extreme.
My political science professor use to rip up the Communist Manifesto at the beginning of class in a dramatic and memorable display of how even Marx and Engels apparently disapproved of the work later in life, alongside the many misinterpretations.
Indeed, many of the great minds, when shown their most famous lectures, sermons or writing, remark with similar disdain. Comments to the likes of “Did I actually say that?” are not uncommon. And of course, if one thinks about it, why would someone not change in a year; let alone across a lifespan? What would actually be peculiar would be if an artist said “Yes! I said it when I was 5, and I stand by it now!”.
Which brings me to another point: lost in translation.
Lost in Translation
Books, and therefore any notable quotes held within, are all too often translations.
So, not only then are quotes liable to be taken out of context but more fundamentally: gaps and tones of a piece of writing are determined, in a sometimes not insignificant way, by the translator. A professional reader may benefit from selecting, if not a favoured, a consistent translator at the very least wherever possible. Further, to take particular heed of all notes, footnotes and addendums whenever a piece does not find its original form to be in the readers’ birth language.
When one remembers the reader also always brings a pre-context of incredible gravity to any pages, further primed by the frame that the recipient came to encounter the work through: this can all too quickly become both an illuminating and almost unbearably isolating set of affairs.
Certainly, one need not feel alien ex post facto on my account. Or, perhaps more correctly, one may find benefit from accepting this unavoidable alien nature which exists in all things. And there is exchange, after all. If always with the self; then so be it.
It is a lot to take on board though, I know.
I intend to write so that my ideas (and their trade with each other) will be of importance in such an indivisible manner that even quaint extractions from my densest or most allegorical work will not mask the natural expression of the intended forms.
I intend to see to it that all can be summarised with few statements and without misquoting my purpose at the time of writing. They will all be as long as they are brief by the time I am finished.
Too many people do not read. This is also the power behind my draw to performance arts and fiction; to hide meaning in characters seems the only hope for en mass communication.
To close, although we drifted from the need to share onto a reflection of the intellectual acts of sharing themselves; we’ve still covered a lot of ground.
I simply do not see the merit in repeating for pages how merely distraction from death and the fear of rejection, thus earlier death when the tribe abandons your would be corpse to the side of the road, remains the obvious fuel for the fire of interaction for preservation and procreation.
I have done so ad nauseam in other pieces and currently, upon writing this, it remains offensively self evident. Though I am always looking for the next big thing, be this not as immutable as it certainly appears to be. This being the case however, these ideas remain supported [in type] only here; placed in one paragraph (or so) right at the end.
Can we (and is there benefit in) breaking free from cycles of the “need to share” to be accepted by fictional others; who are all also us? A need which persists for those who write alone in the form of the “shadow crowd”?
What about when actors of social importance are reacting to such exchanges with desired affective experiential results? Or when agents allow base needs to be met (something I would argue is a requirement for many levels of fleeting but worthwhile hedonic tone contentment)? A lot of questions.
Leaving the shadow audience for another piece; I’m afraid the definitive answer to the rest is yes-ish.
Exchanges must be managed on both sides of the eyes; though most particularly on the side with *the chair by the windows. To make art to get one’s thoughts’ clearer is a wonderful tool. As it is for all other aims listed above. However, balance to ensure less self deception will surely result in maintaining more frequent bouts of increased hedonic tone while mitigating the “lesson learned” *affective overdrafts before they become ruminatingly pathological.
Beyond this, the zeitgeist of this paper can be summed up as follows:
You are only ever reading or engaging the art or, indeed, behaviour display sets from someone’s (often largely conscious) *selected display catalogue at some particular time as read by you at some particular time through your *“youness filters” such as they are, while also impacted by current surrounding stressors and also brighteners in your life at said crux input/exchange temporal vicinity.
First Published : J.J.R. (2012). B.I.P. Journey Chronicle in Science and Letters, Issue 17, (8), p200.
Jay J. Raphael
cognito ergo propter hoc memento mori/”Where the river runs those giant hills between”
*input/exchange temporal vicinity – However long it takes you to explore the art, read the book ect.
*selected display catalogue –The usually consciously accessed display repository of cues from an agents’ repertoire of situation appropriate markers.
*affective overdrafts – The anhedonic or counterhedonic emotions triggered unnecessarily usually by an over sensitive vestigial rejection detection circuitry that requires rewiring.
*youness filters– Everything that is youness that taints the (possibly) objective world as it interacts with your input/output decision bundles.
*chair by the windows- The decision making unit when the consciousness light is actively and presently focused.
*shadow crowd- The social prediction unit that remains firing even when one is alone if engaged in anything with network interlink into social out comes. Whenever someone is “doing something for themselves” it is usually this version of everyone else they are talking about. It is the passive (frequently less powerfully useful version) of crowd pleasing behaviour circuitry.