I've been in an interestingly contentious
mood lately. Or maybe a contentiously interesting one, to be
perfectly honest. And you might want to go back and read the
last two sentences, especially if you have, as I do, a
natural suspicion of overly clever sounding switcheroo sort
Anyway, it all started with something I
read. That crazy Oscar Wilde. He started by saying, "As it
was, we always misunderstood ourselves, and rearely
understood others." Which made me double back. Because I've
always felt like I've understood myself sufficiently, but
could never truly understand others. And then I thought...
At school, people seem to live under
several delusions. One is that myth of the "social life."
Really, after numerous relatively balance polls, I've
decided that most people become critical of their circle of
friends. Few people naively accept the flaws of their
acquaintances and merrily continue with life. Yet, people
insist on spending time "socializing" with these "friends."
Yet, the more the socializing goes on, the more critical
people get of each other.
Of course, this must be a natural
consequence of getting to know people. But, really then, why
put on a placid smile and insist that one is going to
"socialize" when that eventually comes to mean a gathering
in which individuals silently measure each other?
At this point, Wilde is right - people
don't quite understand themselves. But, paradoxically, in
their evaluation of others, they feel as though they
definitely know themselves and can roughly affirm that
they've got others pegged as well.
However, who but the individual himself
(or herself) can truly confirm that they understand
themselves? Who, really? Certainly not anyone else or even a
group of anyone elses.
Wilde had me there. So I moved on to the
next part: "Experience was of no ethical value. It was
merely the name men gave to their namesakes." This one I
nodded my head to immediately, conspiratorially sharing a
mental handshake with Oscar Wilde. Society feels the need to
define even wasted actions as important. At least
subconciously most of us ameliorate guilty or annoyed minds
by telling ourselves that our "mistakes" were salutary. But
Who was to truly judge whether an
experience had been worthwhile but the experienced person?
What was the paradigm for worthwhile, and how could we
assume that every person shared that paradigm?
So...it was Wilde 2 - Megha 0. In the
game of infuriation, of course. Though I'm not sure I could
infuriate Wilde, you know...since he's dead.
Anyway, the point is that this all
clearly reflected my contentious and interesting mood.
See, seperation of the two
(contentious/interesting) really takes out the mangling
confusion, doesn't it?
...Mangling confusion? Confused mangling?
The horrid Oscar Wilde.