Wednesday, May 14, 2008

In regard to the recent debacle...

Despite my initial reluctance to comment on the unsparing excoriating that this post has seen, I have decided to at least try my luck at reconciling some of our cabbalists here whose endless feuds have not in my opinion yet come to see the daylight of productivity.
The intellectual combatants in question are Louis Berceli and the Underground Dude - two bloggers whose posts I often read because I always find in them something new I can learn from and share ideas with. They are both very good at what they do, and (as someone once said in this hugely underrated film) I respect people who are very good at what they do.

Underground Dude, a couple of months ago, when I first came across you blog, I was unsurprisingly impressed by it but it was a certain post of yours which made a special impression on me, particularly the way Louis commented on it along with your own replies. I couldn't find the post in question but as far as I can remember it dealt with the problem of your perceived social ineptitude. Louis thus gave you some advice as to how to 'fix' this, and you politely remarked that you are '25 not 18 years old' and that he should 'watch his tone', since you are obviously older than him, yet he was the one who appeared to be giving you some 'fatherly' advice.

It was the manner in which you said it, Underground Dude; the tone you adopted there was one of gentleness and paternal wisdom which I was greatly impressed by. All spite and ressentiment you had overcome and instead you chose to be the 'bigger person' by coolly preserving, with undeniable control over your words and tone, your sense of dignity. And all this was owed not to your usual supercilious jibes but to this lucid manifestation of the eternal wisdom which you demonstrated there. This for me is the perfect illustration of the nobleness which you are so capable of.

I despise 'moralisers' but I am ready to assume the role of one in this instance because the tone of your writing there possessed natural, precocious sagacity - something which commands respect in all situations and applies to all circumstances. That for me was your finest moment of universal wisdom and insight and it speaks so much louder than the belligerent spite which you have become accustomed to in your attitude towards Louis and the rest of the Monkeys.
Even they themselves are so blatantly amused by this attitude and admittedly, it is often quite entertaining but like all great things, it has limits as well. I am convinced, as we are all probably, that this is all a game, and that your attitude is the brainchild of your desire to provoke a challenging response from the person you are verbally excoriating so as to bring out the best in them and see how well they could defend themselves intellectually. Such people are normally so easily provoked and in doing this, you enable them to work at their optimum point and see how cogently they could substantiate their arguments. If that is the case, and this is your technique of testing people, it is absolutely fine by me and I am sure everyone here will agree. But your remark to the Monkeys telling them to ‘keep their distance’ is a petty example of meaningless, dissonant oppugnancy which is light years away from the laconic lyricism and nobleness of the instance which I have discussed above.
I hope you do not perceive this as me ganging up with them against you. Quite the opposite in fact, I am neither on their side or yours because we all thankfully still have our individuality here on the blogosphere. Our cabal is not established on the basis of unifying us and bringing us closer together, but as a means of each one of us asserting his own individual will, thus resulting in a better cohesion between us as thinkers and people with views rather than people of flesh and blood.
Here we are all faceless bloggers- discussion being our business. We talk philosophy, we do not philosophize over it.


At 22 May 2008 at 00:01 , Blogger Dude said...

I only read this now, as I've been offline lately.

First of all: "keep your distance" is a reference to a parable written by Schopenhauer:

"A number of porcupines huddled together for warmth on a cold day in winter; but, as they began to prick one another with their quills, they were obliged to disperse. However the cold drove them together again, when just the same thing happened. At last, after many turns of huddling and dispersing, they discovered that they would be best off by remaining at a little distance from one another. In the same way the need of society drives the human porcupines together, only to be mutually repelled by the many prickly and disagreeable qualities of their nature. The moderate distance which they at last discover to be the only tolerable condition of intercourse, is the code of politeness and fine manners; and those who transgress it are roughly told—in the English phrase—to keep their distance. By this arrangement the mutual need of warmth is only very moderately satisfied; but then people do not get pricked. A man who has some heat in himself prefers to remain outside, where he will neither prick other people nor get pricked himself."

It is known as "the hedgehog's dilemma".

Now, am I playing a part? Absolutely. But I'm not asking for applause. I'm only asking to be understood.

I don't want to go over the quarrel with the monkeys again, but there's much you don't know. I don't deny that some things are my own fault, but I wanted to leave things alone, and my trust was betrayed. I would be ready to forgive and forget, but I'm tired of being misrepresented and made a straw man of. You can't dialogue with someone who distorts everything you say.

All I'm asking is to be left alone. If you can't understand that, maybe you shouldn't have had the trouble of writing all this.

At 22 May 2008 at 17:20 , Blogger Louis Berceli said...

The world won't end when people disagree on the internet, my friend. While I'm vaguely honored that an argument of mine inspired such an essay, I think you're taking this all a bit seriously. At the end of the day I have much better things to do than worry about what goes on here.

At 22 May 2008 at 17:20 , Blogger Louis Berceli said...

(The preceding directed at Ipchuk)

At 22 May 2008 at 18:07 , Blogger IPCHUK said...

Thunder! The purpose of this post has been fulfilled. That would be all, thanks.

At 26 May 2008 at 01:56 , Blogger ¡Benjaminista! said...

Ipchuk is the voice of reason, Dude is the voice of the spite we all feel but usually have the good sense not to express and the Monkeys are the voice of youthful arrogance. I feel like I'm watching my own internal tendencies battle it out.


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