Every day I read about one more legion of refugees from one disaster or another, without work or migrating from city to city and country to country, living in temporary circumstances or containment camps, unable to create viable communities in which they as individuals play vital, life-affirming roles. Old news. Is uselessness a major ailment of the 21st century?
. . .
Perhaps nothing separates the madmen from the sane but a certain logic, call it common sense, that capability to discourse in a certain jargon, to read bodies in a certain way, to stay within certain, invisible, strictly determined borders like a good little boy or girl; in short, to assimilate. In that way, we are always this close to madness; our actions are only approximations of "sanity", an outdated sensibility, maybe, but it is by this that I feed, bathe, dress, clean, communicate, work, and altogether function in accordance with an idea that others are doing the same in what Walter Benjamin called "empty, homogenous time"; that imagined community. Adrift, awash in history, and wary of this community, my common sense thins, wavers, melts. My position in this world is tenuous, even useless.
Only in dreams may we know the indescribable sublimity of ourselves. The many times, memories and moments that are mine, and only mine.
And only in writing can I endure . . . yet I start to think that when I need to write, I am too late. This is all eventually unreadable.
Iím lost, friends, lost in the 21st century.
. . .
Is that why bourgeois family melodramas simultaneously fascinate and repel me?