[Marxism] If the going gets tougher...

Jurriaan Bendien andromeda246 at hetnet.nl
Wed May 12 22:02:53 MDT 2004

Bit of blog. James wrote me and said I should stay on the list, and made
some flattering comments, I wrote back stating my view of the situation and
took a walk in the park to calm down from feeling angry. Then went for a
beer at a local pub where I encountered a lot of men plus one beautiful,
special barmaid who said she was from Georgia. And a lot of things went
through my mind while watching her, having a chat and looking at the
Eurovision contest on TV, which was also very thought provoking (the Dutch
contribution was actually pretty good, but I had to smile as the style of
the song sounded a bit like it was co-written by Paul McCartney and George
Michael, and the one of the two singers looked like an Osmond brother and
the other a bit like my favourite New Zealand television humorist from
bygone times). I've given too little attention to European affairs lately,
that's wrong. Then I went home again and not anywhere else, also a bit
bruising. So anyway, I left the list, because I started to feel confused, I
also had some reservations about this Berg discussion, and thought that I
should just leave it for now.

My point of view, simply put and without going into psychological
intricacies, is this: Goethe (not so popular these days in Germany, because
people are turning more to fresher talent) says somewhere that happiness
means living within your limits, or learning to live within your limits
(words to that effect). Then that sets a double challenge: what are those
limits (you've got to know them), and how do you find your place in life so
that you are doing optimally what you can do, no more, no less, without
drifting into areas that really you should stay out of.

A dreamer, a revolutionary, a rebel, a dissenter, a puberal person, an
alternativist is likely to kick against those limits, test them out, wrestle
with them, try to extend them, and on the other side, people around you are
likely to want to impose limits as well, and challenge you about what you
are, and what you can do. On the one hand, you don't want to push your luck
too far, on the other, if you don't assert yourself people don't think much
of it either - and if you do nothing you just shrink and shrivel away. And
I've got myself into trouble there, and heavy criticism. Not a happy story.

You've always got to know what you are doing, why you are doing it, what the
point of it is. But if you mope around with this feeling of having been
mistreated, if you start to feel confused about the basic sense of love
that's in your true nature, the real spirit that inspires you, things can go
wrong, and you end up dealing within things you shouldn't be messing with,
doing things which aren't in your nature to do really, plus, people get
annoyed because when they try to help me, I don't respond, and they feel I
ain't walking the talk. I've had that malaise on and off for a long time,
and of course there's always at least two sides to the argument. Then you
can blame other people or mope about the past, but it doesn't help. Then
things are out of sync and I have too much chaos, lose sense of priority and
goals badly.

The temptation is to write screeds and screeds of ideas and get it all out
of my system, vent it onto the cruel world as it were, or heckle
absurdities, but I don't really want to overdose on that either. I've just
got to focus more, do more live action, be more organised and not get into
another verbal diarrhoea at this stage. If too many words come out
then the semantic battle isn't won either. I've got to think of my health
my future, rather than self-destructive escapist options. It's just that
emotional frustrations can be terrible and paralysing, you end up
flipflopping between not wanting to take anything seriously anymore or take
things far too seriously.

If I get too psyched into a list like this, then I get distracted from other
tasks which are more important for me personally. Time is ticking away. I
can sort of sit behind the PC and think I am achieving something by sending
a message round the world but that's not really true, and I am not thinking
correctly about it. Hence, I've just got to cool it as far as the posts are
concerned, and not overdo things, regain better sense of perspective. I do
think the list is valuable, and - this may sound a bit crazy - I feel bit by
bit things are shaping up better. But like I say, best to curb my own
personal expressive urges.


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