Thereby the Enlightenment transcends its traditional self-understanding: it is demythologization not merely as reductio ad hominem [Latin: reduction to the person], but also conversely as reductio hominis [Latin: human reduction], as the insight into the deception of the subject, which stylizes itself as the absolute. The subject is the late form of mythos, and yet the equal of its most ancient form.
Adorno, Negative Dialectics
Death and other things
a personal post i don’t do too often. then again, like my father i could be maintaining a brooding silence if only to add more credence to my personal admissions - when they do come, even if they are simply just like everyone else’s. the more i read spinoza the less horrible this seems and in some cases i crave it.
my ‘reason’ has made me both a beast and a saint. i highly doubt i’m either but that’s the easy part. it’s the just like everyone else that def leads to some internal contradictions.
so you know what’s going on, those few of you who read this, for the few of you:
i moved to the suburbs of chicago around 9 months or so ago. i bought a house and had a job that was recommended to me by my father. the job was a huge and utter failure in almost every regard. the men who were in charge were not only racially malicious but openly aggressive when suggesting even the slightest of changes to their non-existent protocol. it was much more testosterone than complex thinking and in that regard i dont do well.
so i got a lawyer. my lawyer told me to write them an email, so that it would be documented that I did not appreciate the words they used for both customers and fellow workers. i sent this letter after a particularly rough day where the boss screamed and slammed his fist on his desk in order to get across to me my head was ‘shoved very deep into my own asshole.’ i’ve never been talked to like that in a work situation, maybe at a bar and even if i failed i swung. i left that day, i remember, it was raining, and after an hour headed back to get my immediate things, telling them i would be taking a break. a paid break. this is when i sent them the email stating that in combination with the words they used and their open aggression, i would need a few days to recover.
my phone, paid for by them, was turned off immediately. i talked to the lawyer who suggested the letter, and he backed out. see, in federal and illinois state legislation, racism simply doesn’t matter if there are less than 15 employees. if i would have been in cook county, home of chicago, i would have grounds to stand on. because i was in will county, i had no grounds. so i was, well lost in terms of legality. i filed a claim with the illinois department of human rights. that could take a year. i filed for unemployment but with the company with whom this happened having the right to revoke, i doubt i’ll get it. I also received my last paycheck. i left a day and a half before the final day of the pay period. they docked me for close to 3 days of pay. not enough really to go to civil court. plus at this point, i want them suffering, not out $200.
ive been coasting since then. applying where i can and at places i can afford to get to. i would like to go back to the city. i would like to burn this house to the ground. my mother and brother call on repeat. ‘do you think joel, do you [phone held down and whispering starts] think the house has bad “mojo”?’ over and over again. its the house, the house’s mojo - a word i think ive only heard in that horrible austin powers movie.
i didnt know when i was buying this house someone had died in it. his name is richard giampaolo and from what i know he lived here alone. he shot himself in the head twice in the master bathroom. there are two large bullet holes in the ceiling which lead me to believe he failed with the first shot. im unsure where the line is for this, but since it is online you can find all of the information about richard here.
The best entry is this:
Ricky- you will always be remembered as my first friend. We have shared many memories through the years. I remember all of our running races at school (you were always just a tad quicker!), getting separated in 1st grade because we talked too much, making brownies for you, walking too and from school at lunch time, and many more great memories (including a first kiss)… I am so glad that we reconnected recently and went out to dinner. I was blessed to know you, and I will truly miss you. Thoughts, prayers, hugs and tears are with your family and friends in this very difficult time. May you have peace. Love, Janice
but i doubt its mojo. from what it seems like richard didnt have much of his own except maybe for a first kiss in grade school. The house, before I began working on it, to a limited extent, had the markings of a single and very very lonely person in it. Marks on the wall where it seemed he had laid on the bed with his feet against the wall (size 11 i believe) while he talked on the phone. a computer and tv setup in the office made for someone who works from home. I wanted to know as much as i could about richard when i first moved in but as time moved on i stopped caring. he is what his obituary page says and not much more. there are many pictures of the two brothers and the sister that the giampaolos had. i believe his other brother died or committed suicide before richard did. there is only a daughter left in family pictures of the whole family. i am unsure whether the brother thing is true or not but he seems to have disappeared from family pictures (byproduct of starting a family/remaining busy?)
in the pictures sometimes he seems relaxed, composed and mentally sound. but it’s in the other pictures like the one above where you can see a separation, a difference between him and his surroundings. maybe he didnt look good with hair, but the completely shaved head at least in contemporary society does come with certain misnomers. it has a high chance of possibility of, even though my hatred of any type of psychoanalysis, seems to be a man disconnected from the world around him to such a permanent state that nothing could have helped. nothing could have stopped him from what he ended up doing. and to ask the even more evil question - what reasons did he really have to keep going, why would a man, alone in a 1200 sq. foot house with 2 bedrooms, 3 baths and a huge backyard really have to live for at that age. the crux is maybe he made the smartest decision he could have. maybe suicide at that point is the only option.
the neighbors have mixed feeling about him. to some he was a loner. to some he was a close friend who helped shovel their driveway when the snows got to be too much. to me any person left alone for that long is bound to start believing all thought as fact. and mental fact likes to run under the guise of rationality.
no one was there to help richard and in most cases they shouldn’t have been. men who believe in a sort of mental transcendence based on pure rationality would run from any help in a fiery sort of libertarian fundamentalism. i know because i have been there. something goes wrong within your expectations of the day, month, year? it isnt your basic marlboro man aesthetic thats the problem. it’s that you aren’t lonely enough, that you arent self-sufficient enough, that you arent ok with just yourself yet. a failed belief in the idea of identity coming from within instead of as a dynamic mixture of amongst others.
this mantra can be found repeated multitudes of time within my generation and the neoliberal baby-boomer generation that came before us. we are the determiners of our fate, no one else. but with richard as with millions of others, this thought process leads to their death. and not only that, richard left nothing behind but wreckage, a complete disregard for those who would follow and clean up after him. his house sat in foreclosure for 2 years, the furniture was moved out hastily, instead of selling the house, which was at then in perfect condition, they let it fall to foreclosure. perhaps a symptom of misery but also easily solved with a local attorney.
this is me during the day. i believe this is the first picture of me ive posted on this blog. the room im in is the second bedroom. the wall to the right of the photo has been painted but underneath are the footmarks he left while laying on his bed in this room. the bullet holes in the ceiling are two rooms directly behind me. ive recently cut my hair as it used to go to the bottom of my neck.
this is me right now. the black dog on the bed is the one that will hopefully be adopted out in a few weeks. i plan on moving to the city in three weeks tops, even if i dont have a job due to some real kind friends. if i dont fix this house up 100% ill be selling it for more than i bought it for and hopefully i can live off of that as well. unemployment is a mixture of pure pleasure and absolute guilt. either are fine by me.
if i do not make this violent split, i.e. get out of this house (with or without the mojo), find a job in the city, spend some time away from the girl ive been dating and just rebuild something similar to what it was like before i left there’s a big chance of ending like the last guy who lived here. please understand that in spinozist terms, as best as i understand them. self imposed exile does not offer the chance of death it is death.
the only escape, the temporary escape, as drugs work only if youre in a legit mindset at first, is poetry. and the only poetry worth reading is by women. that’s if we are to look outside the protestant idea of catharsis - and more into the idea of map & territory. men know nothing of either but women know without even having to look.
“In contrast to the humanist tradition, he [Spinoza] refused to treat “man” as though he is “outside Nature,” as if the human realm is an “empire within an empire…that disturbs, rather than follows, the order of Nature (E III Pref). What has been called Spinoza’s “antihumanism” is…a rejection of the idea that there are special laws that belong to human existence alone, in any of its manifestations.”
-Hasana Sharp, 'Spinoza & the Politics of Renaturalization'