The pen is flightier

I write to forget, to kill time. Philosophers are often extravagantly incorrect, but every now and then they get something right. And Plato was right once or twice, even though he never wrote in his own voice so it’s inaccurate to say that he ever said anything at all. A fictional Socrates spoke the truth through a myth: writing destroys memory. And I agree.

Give a man a memory and he’ll remember his day. Give a man a pen and paper and he’ll forget his whole life. The more you read the less you think. The more you write the more you forget. You can always go back to what you’ve written to remember, but what kind of memory is that? You’ve only remembered that what you’ve forgotten is written somewhere. And you must return again and again to what you’ve written until you’re dead.

If old boy Plato already saw a problem with writing when few people were doing it, just think of where we are today. Everyone writes all the time. Writing had a corrosive effect on memory when elite, educated humans had to carve figures into clay and stone. What happens when ill bred rubes can barf up their every semi churned sentiment by lightly tapping a few keys whenever they want?

The flood of books. Articles. And then the comments to those articles. Message boards. Status updates. And the responses to those updates. The swirling phantasmagoria of controversy rising up and dying down at a pace faster than comprehension allows. Now is actually a great time to say something stupid and offensive. This is the moment to proudly proclaim your idiocy because no one will remember it.

Before you’ve even put a period on your last uninformed, hurtful statement, someone else will have come along and said something even more uninformed and hurtful. I’m not sure if people even feel genuine offense anymore or if it’s just conditioned reflexes.

Where pavlov’s dog salivated every time he heard a bell, modern justice mobs cry tears of anguish every time they hear the word faggot. Then their knees predictably jerk on cue and they pepper spray a child or punch an elderly man and it’s on to the next installment of outrage.

From the scroll to the screen. From the epic exploits of fearless warriors to the deluded ramblings of genetic castaways. The downhill slide from old greeks reciting a poem that solidified communal ties to isolated retards masturbating in the dark to erotic fan fiction.

Writing is the father of forgetting and illegitimacy. When you write you spill your seed and run. What did you mean when you wrote that? I don’t know, I’m not there anymore, I’ve moved on. Now it’s someone else’s problem. Other people can worry about what I meant while I’m off writing again.

I’m not sure if time drags or flies but I know that writing is the best way to idle. I’ll be leaving a trail of triviality until the end.

Author: The Empty Subject

Born curmudgeon

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