Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Laurel, Ugly, and I, following an eventful coffee session at O-house, moseyed on out to the grocery store to pick up a few items. We all learned many important lessons: Ugly especially learned that Laurel and I might not be the best combination of people to have at the grocery store.

For one, there was all the breasts.
Me: Look! Look! Look look look!
Ugly: What is it?
Me: (points to a pack of turkey cold cuts) It says "breast"!

Then in the produce section . . .
Laurel: Let's get about a pound of apples.
Ugly: k.
Laurel: Mm, that's a bit more than a pound . . .
Me: Those're some big ol' apples.
Laurel: Mmhm. Big round apples.
Me: A bit wrinkly, really.
Laurel: Heavy, too.
Me: How 'bout them apples.
Ugly: And I thought this place was rated G . . .
Me: How 'bout them apples.

As we passed through the store, Laurel and I had the following conversation:
Me: I kinda wanna go on a rampage through here.
Laurel: Yeah! Just attack the place!
Me: I could get siege weapons, and, and, and . ..
Laurel: Look at all the eggs. Imagine what we could do with those.
Me: If we brought in a potato cannon . . .
Laurel: Just egg the whole damn store!

And finally, buying Saltines!
Ugly: Ok, do we get low fat, low salt, or wheat? Or Breast Cancer awareness . . . or original . . .
Me: Let's get the breast crackers!
Ugly: Are you su--
Laurel: They're probably round.
Ugly: Fine, breast crackers.
Laurel: With little nipples in the middle.

Also, we found a trashy romance novel with nipples on the cover, and naturally we had to purchase it.

Disclaimer: I don't remember conversations well enough to transcribe them properly, so don't take my word that this is exactly what was said. I have the niggling feeling that Laurel managed to produce far more sexual innuendo than what I attributed her above.

You know what's fun? If I tell people about my weekends without going into a long explanation--just the bare facts of the weekend--it's fun to watch their faces!

Me: So then we all slept together, and in the morning I couldn't find my clothes.
Everyone else: . . .
Me: Wild thang, I make my heart sang!


So Nietzsche talks about something called the "will to power", which he considers a high human virtue and natural instinct. It is a natural and inherent desire to dominate and gain power. He regards this rather highly, as the distinction between what he calls the Slave and Master classes in society.

I think it's crap. I think it sounds like weakness, not strength.

If you are a Master in the Nietzschean sense, then your identity is entirely dependent on your forcing others into subjugation. Nietzsche detests the division of good and evil, because he says good is just everything that's not evil: the positive is defined simply as the abscence of the negative, not by itself. The Master class, in Nietzsche, is defined by others. They are dependent on others, while the Slave class's identity is entirely independent.

I see three other wills as greater than Nietzsche's will to power--two of which are some of the driving forces behind my life, and the third which I doubt I will ever achieve.

The first is the will to greatness. This is the will to become great in one's field: to become a great writer, a great poet, a great scientist or a great lover. It is the will to rise and excel, to reach the very heights. Note that I do not say it is the will to be the greatest or to rise the highest, because that means nothing. If I surround myself with fools, I may be the smartest but that does not mean I am smart. The will to greatness exists independently: we seek simply to be great in our own eyes, regardless of the standards of greatness we may regard ourselves by. We seek to rise as high as we possibly can, no matter what.

I know there is quite a ways for me still to rise, and so I am fighting, always, for improvement in every aspect of myself. I will be smarter, more talented, more honest--I will always struggle to rise.

The second is the will to bigness--best word I could find for it, gents. This is the desire to become larger than life, to almost become a symbol of that which you do. It is simply to become a presence, in and of yourself, of considerable weight on the world. This is often unconscious: people come to symbolize something without putting an effort to that purpose, but to some other end. Think of Frank Sinatra as a symbol of an entire era or Martin Luther King, Jr. as a symbol of the entire civil rights movement. It's about being as large as possible (no, not physically).

Another thing I, melodramatic though it may be, usually seek.

The third is the will to gravity. This is . . . this is not even a conscious thing. It's just part of some people. I think we've all met them: people who we meet briefly and we become swept up in their wake. We become caught in their orbit, through belief in them or fascination or love. It is distinct from Nietzsche's will to power because the man with gravity does not seek to dominate or gain subjects; they simply accumulate to him by forces unknown. It is also an independent will--because though it affects others, it does not require them. Gravity exists without anything to gravitate.

I don't think I'll ever gain any great gravity. But I have met a few people in my life with true gravity, and they do fascinate me deeply.

I know there are other sorts of forces in life people will address: love, compassion, charity, et cetera. I am sure they have their place in my life, as any other. But in this I focus only on the self-contained wills, those that define the individual independent of anything else, those that characterize the giants in our world. Can you think of someone you truly admire who doesn't have one of these: a will to always better themself, a will to become something great, or an unconscious charisma that draws people to them like satellites?


Tomorrow at Demosthenian I will attempt to present either "Be it resolved: people should sleep around more (and reproduce) to eliminate racism" or "Be it resolved: religion as a socio-political institution is the greatest evil the world faces today". Or maybe "Be it resolved: prostitution should be legalized". Any opinions on which I oughtta do?


Something interesting about being gay I thought about. I think part of what adds to the enjoyment of being with a guy to me is the mild sense of danger. If I kiss a guy in public, it feels just a bit dangerous--and that's kinda exciting. Being in a very libertine group of friends eliminates a lot of the fear and mystery that have traditionally been a part of romance, and I like to get that back.

Sometimes I think a bit more melodramatically on the subject. I think the likeliest model for any sort of coup on America's government or sudden change in the political shape of the nation would be more like The Handmaid's Tale than 1984. We are moving towards a nation of mysticism and values propagated not on reason but shaky religious grounds. True religious fundamentalism is making a comeback, and it rather scares me. If I've seen anything from history, it is that only a small committed minority is needed for the sort of drastic reactionary change I fear. And I worry.

And I hate to say this, but first clue I get that something like that is going down in the U.S.--really happening--I'm leaving the country. I'll leave everything behind, if need be. Change comes in small steps. Each infringes a bit more, but people say, "Well, it's only a little bit. And that's all. Nothing to get alarmed about." And it progresses, and progresses, and . . . the world changes. The nation changes. Pogroms happen.

I think about McCarthyism and--melodrama again, I know--I wonder if an American theocracy would get the rolls from LGBT political institutions and organizations for evidence in trials.

I think about how fierce hatred has become of LGBT people in some circles, and I don't understand why it is so much greater than hatred of everything else that the conservative percieve a societal ills. I don't get it.

And I realize that the sexual nature of the percieved transgressions means that any societal reaction against LGBT people will be graphic and painful.

And when I get in one of these turns of mind, that really scares me.


Big Brother is watching you, and you're boring the hell out of him.


If I get my NaNoWriMo novel published and make any proper money out of it, screw it, I'm dropping out of college. It's a small chance I will get it published, but if so . . .


I wish to disdain reality.


My Christian faith is something I wrestle with lately. It is hard to hold onto, but something I fear losing. Some will say I fear losing a crutch. But the imagery is powerful to me, and I've always been of a fantastic turn of mind.

And besides, I think I'd enjoy holding onto some of the wonders that come with it--the multitudinous angels of Hebrew folklore, the lovely virtues, the rich symbols--enough that even if a large part of me doesn't believe in it, I'd still follow it.

I love kosher laws, by the way. Something appeals out of ritual and devotion that has no real purpose but itself. It is devotion for devotion's sake, and I can appreciate this.

Then sometimes I wonder if it's just a fear of Hell I've never been able to shake, and if I'm lying to myself. If so, what I am doing is cowardice.

But I've yet to be rid of it.

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