The Underground Lady [Page Thirteen]

I remember once when some of my older cousins were playing cards, and I and some of the other younger ones were getting in the way.  So they tied us up with jump-ropes and stuck us in a corner.  I can also remember clearly that they told us, sarcastically, that we were supposed to beg to be let go.  And then when we did, and they still refused, and we complained, they told us that we should try and free ourselves, that it wasn’t their problem that we were tied up.  One can see this as just a mild game of sadomasochism, or as a lesson for a lifetime of servitude to a system that says approximately the same thing to everyone every single day.

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Threats don’t work on the Underground Lady.  She ties herself up whenever she wants—and never begs to be let go.

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All boys play the kinds of games I described above.  If the entire corpus of boys’ games of control against each other were suddenly added to the official psychological record, the category of perversity would cease to have its marginalizing power.  But this hasn’t occurred, and psychology, in many ways, remains an unworldly field.

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The scholar Tulgas has the best view when it comes to passion.  He says, “Hide it from the world, and never trade it for gold.”

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The Bohemian tries to starve the world out of existence.  In fits of obsession, with the final goal of achieving ataraxia, and with the result being that everything will appear really to collapse around oneself, the true Bohemian persists.  The only way to learn how to fear the apocalypse is to experience it firsthand.

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Having money ruins nothing.  Unfortunately, spending it does the same.

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I have taken to touring ruins and sites of dilapidation, which feels right to the dessicated soul, to the one which has been drained of all creativeness and can get on with better things.  I have no aesthetic illusions about these places anymore, they are awful, reprehensible, terrifying.

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Bohemianism should be a high art form.  It takes raptures to hide its dinginess.

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I am uninterested in the establishment of a counter-culture.  It is an impossible task anyway.  What I am after instead is the undermining everywhere and all at once of the various mutations of the idea of  ‘normality’ and its concomitant proofs.  To the system, I am not so much a virus as a seek-and-destroy mechanism, but like a friendly tapeworm.

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Never trust those who simply want to destroy the system.  The point should be to save people from themselves.  The rest is just ressentiment.  

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I do not know if the ‘status quo’ can be transformed.  Perhaps it will have to be scrapped.  But people should never be scrapped—after all, the whole point is to change society into something looser and more malleable and more usefully human.

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Putting oneself in the right environment can be as crucial as exposing oneself to the right ideas.  Place, in intellectual development, often is the determining factor.  People who have lived in the rich West their whole lives, and who claim to know what it is like to be poor in India, or Bangladesh, or the Philippines, are wrong.  Simple as that.

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Safety and worldliness cannot co-exist.  The contemporary concern with safety mirrors the childish utopias of consumerism.

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In order to break away, one must be willing to break a few things.

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Destruction can be very rewarding for everyone, if done right.

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