Sunday, January 25, 2004

I feel like Richard Wright today. Richard Wright is a very important figure to me- not only was he the first black who could possibly be contrued as an atheist I knew of, he was always doing the wrong thing in his book Black Boy- he'd forget to shuffle and grin as he was supposed to, he'd write stories and shock everybody, he'd say something not groupthinky enough and the Commies were like "Troskyite!". I feel much the same, althiugh as times are different, the things I do wrong are different. I realize that you're not supposed to show anything beyond surface laughter, not even shallow tears, and that you must always skate on the surface of life. But like Wright, my consciousness was formed before I knew these things, so I find my self feeling deeply and for a long time.

I have conflicts that can not be resolved in thrity minutes, and problems that aren't like "Oh, what if my parents find out I have a tattoo?" But I'm not supposed to say antyhing, and that actually makes it worse. For example, the whole dustup about that professor saying the n word has actually affected me profoundly. I feel that my school is dangerous and unsafe- like it is tainted.(feelings are not literal- the feeling of danger doesn't have to apply to physical danger) It would have been ok if noone had defended it. If noone had acted like it was ok. But when people do wrong, and others act like it is ok, and that the wronged party are just bad people, I feel that the 'law' is breaking down- that anything can happen and noone will protect you, the 'law' will probably just join in. While that's a very profoundly painful thing, and now my trust in others is broken, others can not understand anything beyond a automation that is there to entertain them.I feel as if I am suppsoed to be a robot- never having my own real feelings. But of course, the prohibition on feeling anything just makes it more intense.

Sometimes I wonder if other people have real feelings- is it all feelings that are missing or simply empathy or the attempt to understand? The lack of empathy alone is dangerous- our society seems weak and brittle without anything to hold us together besides the desire to be entertained by others, or maybe social ambition?

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