The primary element which drew me to select the current title under which to pen these thoughts (if anything can truly bind them together other than the inexplicable unity I pretend to understand as pertaining to myself) was the expectations it was likely to generate.
Previously I penned thoughts under my own name, but came to think there was too much cheek or pride or some such attached to it; too much permanence for someone who is convinced that one can’t step in the same river twice (or truly deliver the same lecture twice to channel that thought anew). And worse: specifically using my own name suggests that you are becoming more familiar somehow with me, as if that were a significant part of why I read or research or ponder or do anything in the first place. It ‘s mildly interesting for me, but it ‘s always secondary – I prefer learning from what I have been/done. In the end I shall have little say over how I am to be viewed anyway, so far better to try learning to be someone than to defend a name I did n’t choose (though I ‘m no less than proud of the associations that come with my name for family’s sake).
So, when this title hit, I liked first that it interested me as a reader (though I do n’t think my writing to date is up to the level of the title’s originality or the interest-level I have with the image it evokes), but contemporaneously could see that dismissing the expectations of being understood relieved a great deal of tension. Instead of dismissing my arguments and myself wholly in one go, this core concept allows for others to be conceived and dismissed in service of discourse. I think of it much as though I am learning a language (for I am somewhat acquainted with this): one must make innumerable mistakes before one learns to speak meaningfully by means of such (and one cannot communicate without some linguistic medium).
There seem to be two sorts of geniuses* generated by my mind in contradistinction: one who generates a new system which all others must take account therefrom or the one who readily understands how to summarize and apply each system of interest. I suppose I cannot say with any conviction that either truly exists, but some certainly have an easier time of it than I do. I should like then to think that what understanding (linguistic or otherwise) I attain to is then the result of much hard work and discipline, but in all cases I am trying to write a narrative in which I am special due to the perceived quality of my thoughts. Here we are back at the name-formation issue. I.e., I only know differentiate myself by seeing what is different in myself, and therefore my actions, from what I understand to be you and your actions.
But honestly, I do n’t think thoughts, or systems of thought, truly attach themselves to people in such manner. Instead that which we speak (for who can recount all that one thinks but does not say) reflects who we are…meaning it establishes a point of discourse which another can respond to. But it does not tell us truly wherefrom we shall speak at the next moment, nor what points of discourse precede this one. For that we require relational understanding to one another. Friends speak another language to each other. Although one might end up anywhere along the spectrum of possibilities allowed in language, such freedom is enacted in a way a good friend might learn to predict. While we may never give precisely the same lecture again, we are likely to speak of the same subjects and to attach to them similar language patterns; all is not thoroughly randomized.
Returning then to how a reader may encounter a discourse in which misunderstanding is not only acknowledged as likely, but serves as the core expectation: what may be expected of the author is that for every thought marked in his discourse, others are being necessarily concealed. So it is not unlikely that misunderstanding may arise due to stylistic choices, such as voice or mood. Even the intonation and stresses with which a reader approaches this text shall lead to a different manner of misunderstanding (which is necessarily an understanding as well). But a wholesale dismissal of such thoughts is much harder to express (aside from choosing to ignore completely what is posited). Further, it admits that as the author I am not claiming to understand precisely what I mean to say (though I can dismiss many misunderstandings of purpose or minor foibles).
In fact, I am trying to learn what it is that I am saying. This is the very reason I write: so that I may not only encounter thoughts but respond to them and learn their advantages. By being informed of disadvantages for which I did not account, I may yet learn how to better locate such thoughts in the future. Therefore writing as I would have it is an invitation to feedback; a chance not only to express thoughts so as to test my abilities to communicate them (and I am quite certain I miscommunicate with myself as well as with you, the reader) but to learn what faces such ideas have for those outside myself. For that, I am truly interested. And so, ironically hopefully, I yet am learning how to express that which is beyond me, perhaps to the benefit of those who may move well beyond me.
Let us be less serious then in defending ourselves and our thoughts simultaneously as we pursue learning how to speak and act in better accord by the negation that is genial discursive opposition.
*or genii, if you will
(Every time I see Working Title Films’ logo, I admire their name choice)