Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Beneath My Pay Grade or Above My Gay Parade?

I wonder about figures of speech. I refuse to let speech become some abstract realm above my capacity to speak meaning, but perhaps my refusal has no point. Structuralist theorists speak of polysemeny. In this way anyone's personal meaning means as much as anyone's else. This is a shame bcacuse one cannot mean what one says. It is always determined by the other. Relativism becomes the democracy of thought or vice versa.

This leads to a situation where meaning is understood in terms of what is other than intended. It is irony as way a life--like Charles Williams spoke of in The Figure of Beatrice. Regardless of one's own irony, postmodern life has become a conflict of theological perspectives none of which a thinking man wishes to hold. One has one's reason or revelation as absolute moral truth. Fuck you, if you disagree with ME--but I only mean this ironically (surely not in some Polemarchus or Carl Schmitt kinda way).

Where is the philosopher who can defuse and diffuse such dogmatic assertions of the day? No one will let you alone, but no one gives you the tools (as if they existed) to defend yourself, and all of those tools would be (as if they existed) subjective preferences anyway. When everyone is equal there is no meaning other than what the crowd speaks--as Tocqueville would have it. The crowd is impressed with what one can say above one's pay grade. If you don't like this then you can at least stick to your specialty. At the least, it will get you a job. If you can't do any of this then you must be gay.

In this way, the democratic relativistic song enjoins you to follow the gay parade because everyone else knows what this means anyway. It is simple. This is where the sexual revolution has left us. I can't speak above my pay grade--what Weber (borrowing from Goethe) called specialists without spirit--but if I must I will speak my heart, which must in advance always mean that which is idiosyncratic--which is to say that I must announce my pay grade as the gay parade. Strangely, I think such heartfelt speech is what Weber meant by the voluptuary without heart. This sucks.

Needless to say, contemporary mores are fucked up. To say the least, if you are happy today then you are part of the tyranny which assigns roles to that which you do not know. Socrates, on the other hand, spoke of eros as a god. He had a wise woman--Diotima--teach him his wisdom regarding eros. Socrates was always beneath his pay grade, and so he would be forced into the gay parade these days. Aristophanes is surely a part of this, what with his perfect halves meeting each other--this is the ideology of straights and gays alike. Socrates is truer with a ladder that rises above oneself. Aristophanes was the first accuser of Socrates--before Meletus and Anytus. Given such a scenario, no wonder Socrates was sentenced to death.

Few these days understand the erotic desire for the infinite of which Socrates speaks in Plato's Symposium. To sound unfortunately like Heidegger, the many (or the One) only know what has been taught in the detailed everyday education of stupid music. The many (or the One)--the THEY/das Man--seems not to know the music that teaches the beauty of the infinite--to borrow David Bentley Hart's felicitous phrase. One should look for music above one's pay grade and outside of the gay parade.

I hate to end with such snobbery, but where else can one end?

But who am I to speak? Please give me suggestions for music that is open to the infinite in terms of beauty rather than sublimity--and asininity.

As Husker Du sings, I'm hardly getting over it. But then I have a Lust For Life too. However, if you see me I may just Walk On By.

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