Piazza del Popolo (I Will Stay-Human)

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Ζαγρεύς: The unexamined life is not worth living, Plato says on line 38A of the Apology. How do you examine yourself? What happens when you interrogate yourself? What happens when you begin to call into question your tacit assumptions and unarticulated presuppositions and begin then to become a different kind of person? See, we can define philosophy in terms of we’re beings toward death, we’re featherless, two-legged, linguistically conscious creatures born between urine and feces whose bodies will one day be the culinary delight of terrestrial worms. That’s us, beings toward death. At the same time, we have desire, because we are organisms in space and time, so it’s desire in the face of death. And then of course, structurally and institutionally, you’ve got domination… You have an elite accountable to every day’s people. Critical disposition of wrestling with desire in the face of death.

Ἑκάτη: The absolute contingency of meaning. That’s what we should accept. The search for meaning is immediate gratification. It’s to make junk though like junk food. Because it’s much easier to live life and know: “well, this you shouldn’t do, that you should do” because someone said so. If we are not anxious, if we’re ok with things, if we are not trying to explore or figure anything out… So anxiety is the mood ‘par excellence’ of ethnicity, I think. And then you have Power. Power doesn’t give a shit, it expresses no anxiety. Precisely where there is no meaning you have to do a lot of work and you have to be mega-ethical. If you feel that you’ve acquitted yourself honourably, then you’re not so ethical. If you have a good conscience, then you’re kind of worthless. Like, if you think, oh, I gave this homeless person five bucks, I’m great! Then you’re irresponsible. The responsible being is one who thinks they’ve never been responsible enough, they’ve never taken care enough of “the other”. The responsible being doesn’t seek the applause. The other is so in excess of anything you can understand or grasp or reduce. This, in itself, creates an ethical relatedness. A relation without relation. Because you can’t presume to know or grasp the other. The minute you think you know the other, you’re ready to kill them. You think, oh, they’re doing this or this, they’re the axis of evil. Let’s drop some bombs. But, if don’t know, if you don’t understand this alterity, you can’t violate it with your sense of understanding, then you have to let it live, in a sense. And, a lot of people, I think, forget that, they think, well, you know, I’m not harming anyone if I go and spend a thousand dollars on a new suit but, in fact, given the opportunities that we have to help and given the way that the world is, I think quite often you’re actually failing to benefit someone, which you could be doing. And I think we have moral obligations to help just as we have moral obligations not to harm.

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