It’s amazing that one can see arrival and departure as antonyms when from an outside perspective both describe the same action, a progression from one position to another. It’s easy to be trapped within a single perspective and see the only my arrival into this blogging scene; however, by definition arrival necessitates departure. Seeing and understanding the dual nature of my actions is not exactly my natural reaction, but in my lack of another way to begin blogging, I guess that’s where I’ll start.
This may sound a touch tangential, but I watched a video of Saul Williams talking about how he creates his style yesterday. He said he wanted to write music that people could relate to but instead of looking at people to see the common threads that make up society, he chose to look at the threads that made him. He said that even though I may have my own well and my neighbor may also have his own well, and we take different paths in order to get our water, I’d be a fool not to know that the water that I drink comes from the same underground pool as my neighbor’s. In the same way, even though different individuals take different paths in life, deep down we’re all driven by the same desires and insecurities. Thus rapping about these themes makes his music relatable.
At first, I questioned his ability to either remain pertinent after over generalizing or avoid playing on the qualities that make him unique from humanity in general, thus isolating himself instead of being relatable, and while I still think those issues remain, I realized how trivial they were to the larger statement Williams had made. He had made an interesting point sociologically, that we are essentially the same and that we find everyone else by finding ourselves. But should this be true, then the I is not unique at all, which worries me. And while I immediately recognize and criticize this as an egoism, I’d still like to be unique. So I then decided, If only to ease my anxiety, that Saul couldn’t have it right.
So then I thought about the author Hesse or more specifically, my English teacher’s interpretation of his ideas. Regardless, the idea is that the qualities of other people that we can recognize are qualities of ourselves. For instance, I can only recognize someone else’s insecurity if I feel the same insecurity. This interpretation of Hesse would easily explain the ideas that Williams presents. We may not all come from the same pool of water but we can all recognize the mutual component of water in each other’s chemical makeup.
I guess I don’t really have too many objections to this idea but it still doesn’t sit well with me. I feel almost marginalized by the idea that I, or at least the perception that others have of me is altered with every perspective. I am in this case literally the sum of other’s projections of themselves onto me. Again, an egoism takes over and drives me to say this is wrong. I am much more concrete. It’s everyone else I can’t be sure about. Cartesian shit you know.
So last try, my thoughts fall upon the opening chapters of Totality and Infinity by Levinas. My boy Emmanuel starts out by establishing that if the I is the only person we actually know, and it is not concrete, then as we develop we become an other to ourselves from the same perspective. So I am myself and not myself at the same time which can’t happen so the only way things work is if I am concrete and consistent.
Now this I like, but Levinas continues. He then argues that we cannot define the other with imposing projections of ourselves onto him so we have to allow them to maintain their alterity. We are thus limited to our own perspective.
Now you’re thinking, what the hell, Lucas? You’ve just rambled and wasted my time. This has nothing to do with your original discussion about arrival and departure, which is a good point cause I’d be real lost too.
So I’ve arrived here as a blogger. Which means I’ve left my previous position as a “not blogger(?)” but to me there’s not a difference. I guess, I’m the same person simply in a different place. The only real difference is that now I’ve opened my thoughts to screen to screen discourse (Levinas stressed face to face discourse as the only avenue for an ethical/non totalizing relationship with the other. Screen to screen is as close as a blogger can get).
I don’t know. That was pretty disappointing. Sorry to waste your time. That was quite anticlimactic, but for my first attempt, that’s all I’ve got.