In the specific world of intra-personal dialogue, western-educated style council division, the No. 1 exchange-killer, mood-smasher, buzz-flattener has been the lead in:
Have You Read (X) or (Y) or (X and X1 and X2…)
What is the opposite interlocutor supposed to do to rescue any remaining lines of connection?
- No, I haven’t read it. You’ve read it. You’re the reader, I’m a doltish nobody who has no time to read, so why don’t you clue me into your great, capacious brain that has now absorbed such a monumental textual innovation that I must inject all of the text’s new profound globules directly into my under-stimulated, space-void synapses.
OR, the alternative-
2. Yeah, I read it. I read it two years ago. I know every damn word of it by heart.
That means I am the superior brain, though now our synapses have wired together
through the mutual reading cosmic paradox, and from now on you’ll be feeling my
pain and anxieties.
These two paths, on snowy lanes, also are in effect as tempates for “have you listened to (x)(y)” or “Have you clicked on (X) (Z)” or just about any cultural aritifact. The unsurmountable problem for the modern social intercourse member is that all culture is received by an individual brain apparatus, one that can read/click/ear-assault/drug-imbibe with the free abandon of any errant electron orbiting in a stable shell (warning- bad science metaphor possible). Who should give a damn what I/you read/listen etc. as a putative sign of human consciousness? As inheritors of a supersystem that supplies rampant culture at the flick of a switch, our brains are now fully self-loaded mechanisms. They operate under auto-pilot, and do not react well to outside intrusions searching for bonding, with its hidden hierarchical agenda (Look at me- I’m a READER! – you fool).
Yeah, I’ve read a million texts a day since the day I was born, been at it like a bomb dog sniffing for his trained substance, but damned if I know what you want to do about it. I’ll keep sniffing, you keep reading, and if we find something that excites our gonads, we’ll see if anything comes of habituated individual mania.
For that reason, you should be aware that the social critic left has its Public Psychic Breakdown self-designated martyrs, like Andre Vltchek, Parson Chris Hedges, and the dead forebears. I am sorry that the known world is the way it is, but unlike the Public Psychic Breakdown victims, I cannot affect a martyrdom to make it better, for you and for me and all the fishes in the sea. We need not seek out the malnourished refugees of war-killed Syria to know that the West has mean the death and destruction of millions and millions, but if you think that rage and pain and self-designation as conscience of the world will bring about the just and triumphant return of a demi-god or two, then you might author post after post of condemnation of every last injustice.
Prefab Sprout sang that the “The Sound of Crying is Number One Across the Earth,” and so you have been instructed: the world conforms to social nihilism, in social reality after social reality, so you can be excused if you want to find some good times and good oldies. The world, after all, can absorb your public psychic breakdown, after which you might go to an Appplebees along with the Parson and the Ginsbergians. However, if you have a nice damn day despite all the available data points, then where are the forces of numbness?