Sunday, August 3, 2008

An Old Manifesto

Most people are not that interesting. They have no values other than simple self-preservation; they have no interests other than the ones specified for them by the media; the most they aspire to is a few harmless eccentricities, and even these are pursued in a spirit of shamefaced self-denigration. Many of them go to great lengths to disguise this fact about themselves, often expending as much effort to dissemble their basic human nullity as it might require to alter it, but their interest is not to change their shapelessness but to repackage it, the latter being their instinct and the only thing they have learned how to do, the former being something they fear for what it might disclose to them of their own failings. Their attachments are meaningless conspiracies of collective self-evasion and most of what they feel for the people they are stuck hanging around with is justified, and reciprocated, disapproval.

Occasionally, a new person will come along upon whom they can practice their arts of deceitful self-presentation, and, seeing their own mugging and capering reflected in the eyes of a stranger, can partake in a momentary self-intoxication that permits them to suspend awareness of their own emptiness. The euphoria of most sexual attraction consists of this and nothing more; the eventual decline in desire tracks a mutual realization of the truth that people glimpse in one another. We tire of each other because we are tiresome; we see through the carefully crafted illusions to the dismally commonplace appetites within, and recoil.

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