Pace intestinal sentiments [chronicles of Dis/Infection, Oct 2014]


Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.

Marcus Aurelius


What is writing if not the outlet of imagination and thinking? What is XXXing if not the ZZZ of YYY? What are snowclones if not the repetition of trite cliches in different lexemes?

Yet the initial question does have its justification. Frequently enough one opts for the former, imagination, letting the black scribbles transport one, improbably yet hyper-efficiently, to a different reality, fictional but freaking fabulous. It‘s some sort of easyjet of the imagination except that, on average, I would claim, your mind profits a bit more as it is spared the sloth-inducing disphoria of city[t]rips. Well, sometimes, now and then. Still, in times of neoliberal austerity it‘s damn-sure an affordable, terrorism-safe alternative.

– still the bloody place to go –

You don‘t leapfrog up and down on your suitcase trying to shut it by virtue of your vertical-jump prowess but instead gently open the pages of a book and, without checking in, taking off your shoes, being partially neutered by radiation, etcetera, buckling your seatbelt anxiously, trying to pretend to be perfectly relaxed, shooting down the runway at what you know is an utterly insane velocity, etcetera, finally landing with a silent sigh of relief, deplaning, hunting down the goddamn baggage carousel, etcetera; you get the picture. Yes, reading can be clean fun.

But here I have in mind, writing all the while, thinking. Don‘t ask what thinking can do for you but what you can do for thinking! The latest issue of philosophie magazin inquires intelligently into its various modalities, from the ethical (is thinking in the service of finding out what is ,right‘) to the erotic (is there an erotic, dialogic power at work when we think, we, together, you&i in harmony).

So then I tried to figure out what thinking means to me and if that perhaps, hopefully, has some bearing on how other people think too. We are all of one and individual to the point of forming a more beautiful, a more fascinating, a more indestructible whole. Loving Foucault came to mind. One can complain about his obscure language and hypercomplex arrangement of concepts but, after sticking with this radiant mind for a while, what one cannot ignore is the simple persistence of his thinking. For the benefit of the discourse, in the name of transcending ourselves, perhaps driven by inexhaustable intellectual curiosity, Foucault thinks and thinks and thinks and thinks right up until the edge of what seems thinkable.

And what does this mean? Once he‘s carried to a logical end the premisses and original hypotheses, arrived at some tenuous, temporary conclusion, he has no hesitation to immediately begin inquiring this new ….solution or concept and literally overturn whatever it is he set out thinking. He is unafraid to transcend, transmogrify actually, the foundations and thereby limitations of his previous thought. Boringly abstract as this sounds, it is awesome to behold, even without being able to follow it every step of the way.

As much as I enjoy to think, I realized that lately my mind has become a rusty mechanism: new insights are far, far between if new at all… and concepts spin and fray in their position of yore. The golden age of college cogitation is long gone. As sad as it is, I‘ve had to outsource a lot of my cognitive powers lately: knowing has gone to wikipedia&google; vocabulary has been allotted to dicitionary.com; cognitive exercise is hard to imagine without online-go; ahhhh, lots of mental processes are now either stimulated or provisioned for online, I‘m embarassed to say. Even putting the little thoughts I have in order has its clean, nifty space on this blog where I enjoy an unwelcome degree of privacy. As for Thinking, totally non-Foucauldian then, new thoughts come directly from good online journalism, thank you.

– just what i need –

So newness comes in its most conventional and yet ever surprising form: news. Not the ones on The Guardian [though it is dearly appreciated], nor the Tagi [trusty supplier of sturdy daily middle-brow, middle-of-the-road info], not even Harper‘s [simply because the subscription ran out]. Instead I have taken refuge in the namesake of the waters that separate our continental shelf from Turtle‘s Island: the Atlantic. Where one can find simply the most stunning, concise, enlightening tidings on this not-at-all-little globe of ours. Haha hoho, toooooot–toooot–tooot goes the ad-horn!

And so with relish I am the bearer of outlandish, thinking person’s news for those of you who have not read the good news yet:

  1. Shit! Feces, yes, that brown yucky stuff tucked under your lovely six-pack, turns out to be one of the most efficacious medicines known to humankind; so much so that experimentation with it had to be cut short so as not to be unethical towards the test group, which was not given the fecal treatment. Mixers are in the mix too. Thus elimination for the sufferers of heartless clostridium difficile has become salvation. Fecal transplants is the name of the game and there shouldn‘t be any shame.

  2. Spoiler–alert: spoilers don‘t spoil. That is right, a few incredibly crafty psychologist devised a brief, super-sophisticated experiment to study if modern-day cinephiles’ [and serious Series-afficionados’] intuitive fear of spoilers has any basis in the desert of the real. It does not! Indeed, pace gut-sentiment, spoilers enhance all parameters of our story enjoyment capacity. Which sounds so counterintuitive that I still cannot at all imagine myself asking my good movie-journalist friend Selim, dear Simse–Bimse, sometime in the future, what happens at the end of the latest Nolan flic [which looks beyond gorgeous].  …turns out this is incredibly old news :p

  3. You‘ve probably heard about a possible post–petrol age. Maybe even of the pretty darn dire planetary phosphate situation [tempted to write pickle]. But there‘s another shortage messing up the global gearbox: scarce sand. Yep, there‘s a lot less sand on the beach than we assumed. The sandmen have really been bagging it up: Trillions of tonnes are being poured into construction yearly to the point we‘d end up with a wall, 27m x 27m, round the aequator [though the global south is efficiently excluded as is]. Very unfortunately, the classic desert sand won‘t cut it for construction so instead….well, contrary to B, let me not spoil this one.

  4. Ebola might be the real, horrible deal. Not swine flu, not avian shenanigans but the pesky „African“ disease no Western government could be bothered to cough up a remotely decent R&D budget for. Come back to bite us in our tail, perhaps. At present, there is absolutely no way of telling. Three years from now the global population might be cut by half. If you‘re not a professional epidemiologist you‘d have a hard outrightly rejecting this hypothesis. 

  5. to be continued

†¶•∆

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About tmabona

writer, reader [bolano, DW, bellow, deLillo], runner, badmintoneer
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