Thursday, December 11, 2008

Understanding nothing

Yes, just as I do not believe that our perceptions have much in common, I have grave doubts in the possibility of meaningful communication. I mean one thing, say another and you understand something else entirely.
Yes, we may have similar needs for food, shelter, tenderness, companionship, sexual tension and release, a sense of direction and purpose, self-respect, adoration from screaming hordes of big forty-something women yearning to smother you in the warm folds of their soft, where was I? Ah, yes. In each person these needs are layered in different ways, foregrounding some at the expense of others, each coloured by issues of fear, anger, exhaustion or excessive energy. These build up into completely different pictures, just like you can use the same pigments to paint a Mondrian or a Rubens.
And when we talk, all these needs bleed into your words, tones, expressions and gestures and all my needs shape my interpretation of them. What I want from you shapes my reading of you.
Perhaps that is why we tend to yearn for the battlefields of love and war. They are the great simplifiers. They strip away all but the most basic emotions of panic, hatred and lust, rendering the labyrinths of human motivation into one flat, wide highway, on which we race towards a fatal collision that will utterly change or annihilate our future. What bliss!
We are an insane species with a million years of pain ahead of us. Any thought of apocalypse is just wishful thinking.

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