I don’t care.
You don’t care about what?
I don’t know. It is just the feeling I have right now.
I see. What is up?
I don’t know. It is Tuesday. I have a full work day ahead. My body feels tired. I spent the morning reading a biography of Herman Hesse. Felt good to read about how he struggled with similar issues as I do.
The man was depressed because he had to work so much to maintain his domestic/family life. Something about the stable, domestic life left him feeling a certain kind of emptiness inside.
I see. Do you think this same emptiness is in you and is now manifesting as this feeling of not caring?
Possibly. But I have a lot I need to do. I do not want to not care even though at the moment I don’t not care.
What do you need to do?
I need to go for a long walk. I need to pay bills that I have been putting off paying. I need to return phone calls that I have been putting off returning. I need to clean up my house. And then I need to go to work.
I see. Sounds very domestic.
Isn’t the word for it bourgeois?
What does bourgeois mean exactly?
Of or characteristic of the middle-class, typically with reference to its perceived materialistic values or conventional attitudes.
So in many ways you are a whitish (even though you are dark skinned), middle-class, male?
Yes. And I hate this. I don’t want to be this. But I am. It is a particular lifestyle or paradigm that can be very suffocating. It can drain the soul right out of a person. This is what convention does. With each bill paid, each dollar earned, each new purchase for the household- the soul goes away a bit more.
And Herman Hesse dealt with this?
Yes. He was continually trying to escape from it. He was deeper in because he had three kids. I have three dogs.
Maybe it is this suffocating, soul draining nature of the white, middle-class, male paradigm that is the reason behind all these messed up and violent behaviors perpetuated by white, middle-class, males?
Probably so. White, middle-class, men do often behave in very angry and violent ways.
So maybe it is the suffocating nature of this paradigm that drives these men to these behaviors?
Didn’t you just ask me this? Please don’t ask me the same kind of question twice! I can’t stand that kind of stupidity!
Sorry. Jeeze. A bit hot headed today?
There is your white, middle-class, male coming out.
That is a ridiculous generalization. I just don’t like it when people ask me the same question twice!
Ok. Whatever. You have been smoking marijuana to deal with the existential pain of being a white, middle-class, male?
Maybe so. I am trying to cut back on the marijuana. It does help with the existential pain but it takes away clarity, intellectual rigor and focus. I want to manage my use. No more than three hits a day.
That is it?
Yes. I don’t want to get high, just a subtle THC buzz. This is how to use weed medicinally. People who get stoned from marijuana are not using it medicinally (to take the edge off). They are using it to get fucked up. To check out.
I see. So what are we talking about here?
So this is what I realized. Being a white, middle-class, male causes our brain (or my brain but I think other male brains as well) to become preoccupied with banal, mundane, day to day worries. Instead of thinking about the brilliance of nature and the universe, the miracle of being alive, Kierkegaard or Arthur Schopenhauer’s philosophy, metaphysics, various artistic and intellectual ideas, we end up thinking about bills that need to be paid, watering the garden, cleaning the house, getting the car registered, scheduling, earning enough money, our anger towards our wife’s or bosses and on and on. This middle-class lifestyle causes our brains to atrophy through a daily process of being preoccupied with all these bourgeoisie values and mundane preoccupations. This destroys any possibility of having a brain that is intellectual, original and creative.
So you are saying that this middle-class lifestyle gradually dulls a man’s brain, turns him into an ant preoccupied by the same things that all the other worker ants are preoccupied with and causes this man to fall in line with every other white, middle-class, male?
Follow the rules.
Become one of the masses.
I see. And no great ideas can come from this sort of mind?
Rarely. Very rarely. The white, middle-class, male just becomes like a tic on an animal sucking the life out of the animal for its own gain. In some sense it is this white, middle-class, male value system that is responsible for the environmental, economic, cultural and societal decline that we are currently experiencing in America.
And your anger and depression (existential pain) is the result of not being able to fit comfortably into this paradigm?
Exactly! I am struggling to drink the Kool-Aide!
But I still need to pay these bills. I need to go to work. I have to clean my house. I need to fill my car tank with gas. I need to get the laundry out of the laundry machine. I need to feed the dogs. I need to shave. I need to buy groceries. I need to pick up the dog shit. I need to make my bed. I need to…
I get the idea. You have a lot of middle-class things that you need to think about and attend to.
I need to return emails and phone calls. I need to bring in the garbage cans. I need to write an article for my website. I need…
I get it. I get it. I guess that all you can do while having to take care of these domestic responsibilities is try not to let your brain become to preoccupied with them. Still think about the wonders of life. Think about Herman Hesse. Think about the workings of the universe and other great ideas. Think about the beauty of a naked female body. Keep your brain focused on greater things (aesthetics) while taking care of these mundane tasks.
Yes. I suppose this is the trick. Keep the mind free and open even while sucking the life out of the animal. A more evolved and higher minded tic.
Well, that is one way to put it. Cynical but I get your point.
I am still living the life of a white, middle-class, male even tough my mind may not be preoccupied with all of the typical bourgeois preoccupations.
Yes. And this is a good thing. It is a way that you can remain somewhat free even while confined in the suffocating middle-class paradigm. While keeping your mind as free as possible from mundane, bourgeois preoccupations- possibly you can experience great ideas, high levels of creativity and some joy. You can avoid becoming an ant.
It is possible. Maybe.
Ok. Well, I think we have talked long enough. Go take care of your domestic responsibilities. Go exercise. Go do what you have to do to survive. But see if you can keep your mind free of bourgeois preoccupations while doing so.
Ok. Will do.
And don’t smoke too much pot.
I won’t. Just three hits a day to keep the pain and irritation away.
If you feel like this is what you need to do, then ok.
When I told my wife that I was going to stop smoking marijuana her eyes opened wide and she said, “NO! Please don’t! You just need to learn how to manage your use and only use small amounts each day.”
I guess she thinks you are easier to tolerate when using marijuana?
I think so. Kind of sad isn’t it?
It is what it is. For now, let it be your medicine not your vice.
Ok. Well hope you have a pleasant day white, middle-class, male.
Thanks. Don’t forget. You are also a white, middle-class, male.
Yes. I know. But I am able to handle it a lot better than you. I don’t make such a big deal about it. It is what it is.