Discontent, a brief blither [The Chronicles of Infection, pt. C]

[this is one of those cells that just knows how to have itself a good time]

The Infected One considers the reality he is embedded in: the cells, the body, the room, the family, the social relations, the facebook profile, the city, the dream and, of course, the planet, a small one. He considers the possibility that he is unhappy with them; this is part of his self-constitutive narrative: that he is somehow slightly discontent or at odds with the reality that forms his golden prison cell.

The cells because they do not renew themselves ad infinitum, are weakly organic and in the course of time, an aeonic blink, guarantee the dissolution of his body, and with that, he is more or less certain, his consciousness. The Infected One is 100% convinced that rebirth without total recall of one’s prior existence is not worth a flying fuck. Which is a curious expression: certainly a flying fuck would be immensely interesting to behold and thus worth something.

ok, not that xpensive but still

His body also due to its mortality but above all because it consigns him to a specific human fate. He has certain talents that predispose him in certain directions of professional pursuit; however, they do not, nor have ever revealed themselves clearly. At present it seems sensible to assume that one of them is “Running”, a career for which he never had any particular interest (mind/body-divide). The other one, it would seem, being writing: which he enjoys but, ironically, seems to lack the intellectual stamina for. The Infected One either fails to put in the requisite minimum of eight hours a day [call it laziness] or he is obscurely aware that writing is, in truth, not a matter of talent at all but instead of practice. This would then mean, not only that he has not talent to speak of but that what he would like to excel at is a matter of sheer willpower, daily dedication, good time-management, etc. basically all the attributes The I.O. would associate not with his own resplendent singularity but instead “a boring person”, a generic human figure plucked from the dead currents of the civilizational mainstream, a.s.f.

The Infected One can think of any number of fancy descriptions but what it basically signifies that, again, “Writing” as a manifestation of his “talent”, as a “quality” somehow deposited in his body [which he narratively considers himself discontent with] does not quite fit with the autobiographical tale he has been telling himself thus far. The Infected One, like the run of people, seems to be interested in a coherent story. This would explain his seven thousand different Cover Letters, which, magically are in tune with one and the same CV. Indeed he surprises himself every time he sits down for a job interview. When the bright-eyed HR interlocutor arrives at the crucial question of why exactly The Infected One fits so well with this particular opening, extracting from the thin air around him he never fails to deliver the perfectly rational explanation, touching on his recent years of professional employ, as well as his innermost persona [not personality]. But in the end it is all not worth shit: when he sits down to write something, neonly fired up by the touch of an idea, the bright white of the page always manipulates him into writing something else. The Infected One cannot be, will never be a writer. He knows this and bears this knowledge with a certain grim reluctance.

The question is rather simple: What is worse ~ writer's block or verbal diarrhea?

The family does not fit so well within this measurement of The Infected One’s discontent or perhaps for that matter it does all the better. He does not know if it is unconscious conditioning, a Freudian complex or just happy circumstance but he has only positive things to say about the family. Immediately it makes him think of the sun and its potential: an unending source of energy that can never be really tapped and that, if it were, could make the future seem like a sustainable proposition. Since The Infected One also likes to think of himself as a human simile of solar energy, such a metaphor is particularly pleasing to him: his one of the ray’s of his family. Moreover the family is not a nuclear affair: it is a huge ramifying network of almost impossibly well-intentioned people. His knowledge of the existence of bad apples [dark spots on the sun’s surface] is purely theoretic and does thus not adversely affect on the splendor of the celestial body.

Perhaps the only un-positive thing that could be brought up as concerns the relation of The Infected One’s integument within his family and his evanescent disquiet is the former’s sometimes near-exaggerated belief in hope. Whereas he himself conceives of hope more as an ideal that, while highly desirable to survive, is under constant assaults from all sides of a ruthlessly utilitarian-economistic present. That is, The Infected One considers the real possibility of hope’s death or slippage into a vegetative state while humanity goes on existing. Certain CEOs, academics and HR employees seem to confirm this hypothesis. However, faulting anything for hope is out of the question. The family thus is the simple plus value against the vague “measurement” of discontent can take place.

Sign up 4 ur dreamjob 2day & find out which cogwheel U can be!

The facebook profile allows the fabrication of a virtual self consisting of status updates, images and comments. The S.U usually aspire to the standards of wittiness and being timely, this is as valid for The Infected One as for anybody else. The trouble is that T. I. O has not realized or is uninterested in the fact that while wittiness is fine, what is not called for is a politically informed opinion or a philosophical remark. The problem with such status updates is three- and even-more-than-that-fold: first of all, in the information age, premised on speed [access to info] and oblivion [the instant forgetting of that info, by being replaced by other info, see Badiou] political news are often damn-near interchangeable [saying something about the learning curve of actors in the political field] and thus have no staying-power in the anyway-ravaged memorial faculties of the average facebookee. Secondly, the political innuendos of which The Infected One is heart-breakingly fond makes reference to the existence of a world beyond the cosmos of facebook and pop-culture, whereas FB is the MAXIMUM involution and elaboration and INTERSPLICING of the latter  two; it is thus reluctant to admit or take into account the political other than as a source of, it would seem, ethical redemption in the form of “one-click-causes” [e.g. if you care about World Hunger, click here (that will be quite enough)]. Third, and this goes back to the point about the velocity of virtual existence, political texts of any sort take some considerable time to decode/decipher/analyze and, finally, dismiss, which is to say, any such statements as those of which The Infected One has taken to so kindly, are the FB equivalent of a speed bump on a Lamborghini test circuit: you are ruining the FUN for no discernible reason. At least not one that makes sense within the parameters of the circuit.

The city, the urban sociotope, here things get tricky. One lies as one makes one’s bed, which is to say if The Infected One does not like his habitat nothing, in theory, keeps him moving from somewhere else. This is the imaginary freedom much touted in a cosmopolitan age of allegedly “global nomadism”. Of course such figures are, the Infected One is certain, highly elitist and incompatible with the afore-mentioned desire to establish something like biographical continuity. It would be insane to think that the latter could be established without a certain constancy in space, we are all, after all, subject to a body and social networks.

There are certain aspects of Luceria that make it extremely desirable to The Infected One: the presence of family and friends, the absence of grave physical threat [i.e. envisioning a bed rather than a coffin], the presence of a functioning network of social security [i.e. envisioning a room rather than the underside of a bridge], the summer aesthetics of the landscape and, not be underestimated, a warm glow of familiarity. However, the discontent begins seeping in soon enough. It is the smallness, the sense that that medieval walls of the city are not staying in place but are actually closing in on one, ready to crush any sense of mobility/freedom; this nightmarish sensation then is also manifested in the citizenry: faces that keep on repeating themselves almost infinitely so that, like in a bad dream, the person from the bookstore will also be the person, impossibly, crossing the bridge coming from the opposite direction, will then be the person sitting across from one half-an-hour later in the bus. One has never talked to the person, yet one knows them by seeing them ever and ever again, has even formed a vague idea of what “type” of a person [founded on no evidence at all] they are and, in the course of time, by sheer repetition, feels forced to acknowledge them with a nod of the head or even a brief “hello”. Eventually one might wish to say something like “Ok, so who the hell are you and what is your name?”. The theme could perhaps be stated as that of the “familiar stranger” or the “uncanny other”. What this amounts to in terms of social relations is not “Big Brother” but even the more threatening principle of “Random Siblings” are Watching you. The Infected One is wary of his random siblings; when he engages them in conversation the topic of discussion he is interested in talking about either fails to materialize or always slithers along the perimeters of discourse. In his own mind he attributes this to the Other, thinking: you are un-interesting, you fail to steer towards the subject that matters but instead want to establish that we are somehow, by dint of life in this city, siblings. We are not.

The I. O. fondly reminisces

Then there is the cultural stagnancy of a small town. This is refreshingly straightforward: there are no good bookstores, no good libraries, no good theatres, a dreadfully repetitive nightlife and a shitty selection of cinemas. The Infected One can revile these limitations whole-heartedly, there is no complication here. At the same time, it is so absolutely logical considering the spatial limits that there is no real substance to his detestation and it flickers down to zero in no time. It doesn’t matter, there are in this regard indeed other places he can frequent, not just the surrounding cities but metropolis far afield. Why? The Infected One does not believe in the infrastructural world as the main site of cultural stimulation, rather he enjoys deriving it from two types of artifacts:  A – the time-honored book & 2.) the Digital Versatile Disc [w/ its prolific stream of imaged&sounded fictions from South Korea to Brazyl] . He only needs injection of material, tangible culture few and far between, at which time he will take it upon himself to venture to ZH, Basel, even London or Berlin. Moreover these locations are the proper venue for his discontent with his temporary co-dependency zone.

The Infected One charily considers taking on the world: it looks like too colossal a spherical spansule to swallow. Then he thinks about what he imagines to be his Infection and, so to speak, of the wisdom of fighting fire with fire. He remains undecided, cocking a quizzical eyebrow at the reader of great patience, stamina, and by now, fatigue.


About tmabona

writer, reader [bolano, DW, bellow, deLillo], runner, badmintoneer
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2 Responses to Discontent, a brief blither [The Chronicles of Infection, pt. C]

  1. Wrasseler says:

    Dear Flier of Expensive Machines. Please accept a bon mot for the stratosphere. My Grandmother left me some mitochondria. Her Grandmother gave it to her.

    I got a blue print for a permeable membrane. This stuff is great for everything else. Post flying parachutes. Heck! Everybody Else claims its the fabric of reality.

    Kato may not recognize all of the most popular antigens. There is a popularly pathogenic group at the club. !The Receptor Sights! At sea level on islands there is no show. Catch their act in international waters.

    International waters can be deep. Everybody Else thinks they have the lingua franca and Everything Else. The great thing that is not a thing about mitochondria is it is Alive. Self replication is okay.

    New independent life forms can be expensive. Especially for education and health care. Everywhere Else there is cheap entertainment on every corner. Unnecessary trouble. Self replication is only a clone away.

  2. Mjam says:

    Astute observation- thoroughly enjoyed this! Dare I say touché and Encore

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