January 2006

“Inane” reviews

Here are the reviews I got so far by some other poets at the poetry pages community – actually the first poem I ever got reviews about by people I don’t know. :)

“A good first post, i love the imagery. (…) Really the only thing, in my opinion, that this one needs is a true ending, the one you have just feels like you’ve stopped mid-sentence. You’ve titled this “Inane,” so you might make some statement on why it came to this or why it is so senseless/empty. I feel you have a message in this poem but you’re just not saying it, you’re only giving examples of the things in your message. Give it some work and see what you can come up with.
Other than that, the rest is great.” – Drew Rush

“You’ve used one of my favorite new words “Inane”. The ending was very fitting; I felt it brought fourth a lot of closure. The last line was a repeat of an earlier line so it was all the more fitting…that and it was powerful….your suppose to end with a powerful line and you did that…marvelous word….
Poverty…. what a brave thing to write about. Most people cushion themselves with “love” in their poems….” – Floetry Spades

“great poem filled with much imagery… thumbs up” – Debbie Forest

23

Just a note for the hackers and geeks of you out there: the German television sender RTL2 will be airing the movie ’23’ starring the ingenious August Diehl as Karl Koch tonight at 11pm (after ’24′(!)). The movie shows the life of Koch aka Hagbard Celine, a pioneer in the German hacker scene in the 1980s who was obsessed with the Illuminati and the number 23. He died at the age of 23 (!) in 1989 – the cause still remains a mystery.
The movie is surely an absolute must-see for every geek. :-)

eximplode (v)

to feel as if your body brutally bursts outwards and inwards at the same time, normally caused by a strong feeling of desperation

A simple question, isn’t it? (2)

Here is part two of an essay on the question why we feel.

Feelings versus Rationalism

So, should we all give up on rationalism? No, we certainly should not. What we have to do is find the right balance, to know when we have to listen to a gut feeling and when we have to remain rational. For this reason above all, we have both the capacities to think and to feel.

Finding the balance won’t happen over night. I honestly fear humanity is not even close to the first step. Today, what matters most is pure rationalism: complex algorithms try to predict the next inflation or deflation on the stock exchange, the industry sees humans as pure target groups for their products, and collects data through RFIDs to be able to decide who buys what.
America has gone to war, but not because they hate Iraq, but because they wanted their petrol. Abusing its citizens’ fear of terrorism was only a pretext. It was a pure calculation of how their weapon industry would profit from a war.

Considering what I have said before: what do you think would have been Bush’s decision if humanity would give empathy the same importance as rationalism? Would he still have decided to kill innocent people and send his army into a senseless war that resulted in more problems than existed before?

What about love and hate?

Arguing about whether love is a good emotion to be around would be senseless. Saying that love is not anything like amorousness might however be important here, as otherwise the term could lead to some confusion. Amorousness is the fact of falling for somebody, while love is in a certain way the next level of this emotion – although amorousness can be skipped and there are many different incarnations of love. Amorousness normally disappears after a maximum of thirty months, whereas love can remain a whole lifetime.

So much for the biochemical approach, but what about the importance of love in our society? Show me where it is important. Other than in families, which become rarer and rarer, love does not play a great role in our society. As I previously said, what matters is an algorithm.

And hate? Is it not an argument against the claim that we are lucky to feel? Well, everything has its weakness, and for what concerns feelings it is certainly hate. Is it? Hate can in fact be a positive feeling, too. It is the utmost measure to protect us against the people who have deeply hurt us. It prevents us from trusting them again and in that way, ensure our well-being and survival. But if we accept this emotion as part of our feelings, will this not lead to new catastrophes based on irrational hate? No, not if we find the right balance by learning to understand and in that way “control” our feelings, not through some medication, but through our mind that has come to comprehend the essential links between our conscience and the absolute moral.

A simple question, isn’t it? (1)

Here is part one of an essay on the question why we feel.

Foreword

It is, in fact, an extremely difficult question. When I first asked this question, I thought it would be easy enough to answer and promised a post about it. But I have to admit it was a tough task. Sometimes I asked myself if a post about Wheeler’s theory of quantum foam wouldn’t have been easier.
Critics would be very appreciated.
There’s no particular song of the moment this time, I can’t remember all that I’ve listened to while writing this post, but there surely were some Chris Coco songs among them, as well as Arvo Pärt, Granian and James Marsters.

Humanity perceived by itself

I am but a solitary, dishonest man –
A nympholept who loves his principles
Till they have to stand up and fight fear.
I am but a loving, erring human –
An obsessed who stalks affection,
Till he notices it is a mirage.

Why do we feel?

Grammatically, this question is of the most simple structure, but for what concerns content it’s one of the toughest ones.

As Fireball suggested in a comment, there may be two answers: first, a depressive one (god is sadistic) and second, a real answer (biochemistry).

The answer I propose to this question is however a bit more complex I fear. I could of course now go into detail of our limbic system’s functioning – the hippocampus, the amygdala, the septal nuclei and so on – but then I could simply copy/paste a Scientific American article here (which however is one of the few magazines I’d recommend reading).

Let me focus on a quite particular feeling for a moment: empathy.

Empathy is an essential part of human nature – yet we share it with animals among which are the primates, so it’s nothing that would make us particularly special. The ability to put oneself into another one’s position, to feel what the other person feels, is due to the mirror neurons and must have been a huge advantage, or – according to Darwinism – it would have disapeared. The ability to understand another being completely would (almost) never be possible on the basis of pure logic. Understanding others through the pure knowledge of facts would be impossible, as we almost never have all the information to be able to judge objectively. Now, you might say that our feelings can betray us, too. Of course they can, nothing in life is certain. But I’d say we rather take the risk of reacting to a wrong feeling then to a lack of facts – which however everyone has decide for himself.

[part two will follow]

Untitled Nr 8372

Is life
d
o
w
n
here?
        Or
             is
                 it
                       there?
Angst
f l o a t i n g
through my body
      e
       v
  e
        r
y
    w
       h
          e
         r
 e
nowhere

    h    a    g    f    e    l    i    o
c    o    s    f    l    e    n    s

I’m
        l
o                    s
            t

Yet
  fear
    knows
      its
        way
          towards
            the
              deepest
                part
                  of
                    my
                      soul.

And hope?
     G     o     n     e       .

Inane

Purple rain out of bleeding clouds,
Decayed leaves on trees black all over,
Squalid districts in a deserted town,
Starving child under a rotten bench.

A crippled human walking past
The ruins of a crashed mall,
A deadened soul creeping through
The foul mud left behind.

Echoes of poltergeists moaning,
Much cry and little wool,
They have already bitten the dust.

A thirsty alcoholic drinking
The last glass of leaded water,
A dying past redemption
Expectorating till the last breath.

Harsh wind in sinister streets,
Blue light onto burning debris,
Vanishing footsteps on ashes,
Dead child under a rotten bench.