November 6th, 2023

Did you ever see a robin weep, when leaves began to die?
Like me, he's lost the will to live. I'm so lonesome I could cry.

Content Warning: Discussion of self harm and suicide.

I often wonder how to hate myself without reveling in it, to look myself in the mirror and say, you're a piece of shit, as soberly as possible. I find it difficult because I think it's quite easy for some, perhaps myself as well, to oscilliate between extreme self-hatred and self-aggrandizement. So, I have to ponder how to hate myself in appropriate amounts. Self harm is often my answer to this impasse. Sometimes I wonder if others also feel a strange sense of validation from similar thin razor wounds, because when I see myself in a mirror afterwards I feel at least some confirmation that I'm truly as fucked up as I think I am. Althusser opened me to the idea that linguistic universals aren't the only meaningful abstractions, even gestures are also abstractions that sit in a definite matrix of other gestures and signs within a mode of production. Self harm is a gesture, but I puzzle over the meaning of it. What do I really communicate by doing something as simple as taking a razor to my arm, whether one I bought in a store, or one broken off from a simple commodity meant for shaving? The blood sits under my shirt, mottled and dark, I haven't washed it off.

My self harm isn't typically something I talk about with people because I hate to force any amount of emotional labor on others, I worry any mention would already in itself be an obligation. As with anything, the gesture of self harm sits on a gradient. Some of my scars are thick, but many are thin. I've never cut myself so badly that I've ever needed stitches for it like I've seen on the arms of others, and I wonder if that says anything about my commitment to this act. One could say I'm merely a tourist and that even my scars are a testament to my mediocrity. Maybe I do it to push people away. This instance comes on the heel of romantic failures, but that's the exception and not the rule. More specifically, it comes after my inability to talk about my feelings for someone, which is something I've often had difficulty with. I have a tendency to run from my feelings for others and into the safety and assurance of adding fresh scars to my arms. People rarely see them and I try my best to hide them under clothing, but I make them visible in other ways, and then they run from me too. As it should be.

My hidden, audible scars silently scream to others, the world will let no fame of theirs endure, both justice and compassion must disdain them, let us not speak of them―but look, and pass on. Every unresolved frustration and failure sits serenly on my body, waiting for another addition to scab and heal as if they're children patiently expecting siblings. All I am is a temperamental flower; lonely, yet I push everyone away, to pathetically slink back the shadows where I belong.

Right now, I'm reading Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. I've had enough people recommend his writings to me that I asked someone if I could borrow one of his novels. I can safely say that I'm enjoying it, although I was a bit unprepared to tackle a novel of around 500 pages, I haven't read fiction that long since Dune. Before this I read The Anthropocene Reviewed at a different friend's recommendation and enjoyed it immensely. For me, the highlight was Green's short essay on Piggly Wiggly since the founder talked like a character ripped straight from Cruelty Squad. The form itself I also appreciated, short essays on various subjects from ancient cave paintings to mundane scratch and sniff stickers. His feelings of reverence for everything he comes across is infectious. I often get tangled in the rosebushes of my own studies so it's been a change of pace for me to primarily read things other people recommend to me for the moment.

As for my own studies, I've embarked on a study of both Spanish and French, with very mixed results and varying levels of attention. I've spent the better part of a few months studying an obscure conlang that I got decently proficient in, but there wasn't enough material written in the language itself for my interest to remain for long, so I left to study languages with more to offer. For Spanish, I'd very much like to be able to read this book I got about the Ejército Popular Revolucionario, or Popular Revolutionary Army from Mexico, an ostensibly Marxist-Leninist movement I know very little about. I also managed to find a 2 volume history on the People's War in Peru, which was never translated into English, that was published by the same people who published the Interview with Chairman Gonzalo I read a while back. Again, I must maintain my distance from Gonzaloism, but the primary material itself I'm still fascinated by. For French, I will eventually attempt to read Alain Badiou's Théorie de la contradiction, which was also never translated into English. As far as I can tell, it's a philosophical essay from Badiou's ML period about the writings of Mao Zedong. I download a couple books on reading French and Spanish so I'll use those to refine my skills later after I've spent enough time learning vocabulary.

The most recent books I read on the study of philosophy were Philosophy for Non-philosophers by Althusser and Demarcation and Demystification by J. Moufawad-Paul. I quite enjoyed both and I think they make quite a good pair together. The most seismic shift in my thinking drawn from my reading of these books is that all of my previous studies, while I appreciate the effort I put in them, were perhaps a bit misguided and that I was also guilty of the pretensions of the philosophers. But, neither of them were to ward me from the study of philosophy entirely, I simply no longer think that my attempts to ground historical materialism in my study of Hegelian philosophy or any other variety of philosophy are theoretical stances I should continue to maintain. But, I'm still more than likely to continue to attempt to read the Phenomenology of Spirit as it's just such a joy. Spinoza's Ethics as well. Again, I didn't take notes, but these are both books I'd like to reread a few times after enough time has passed. Moufawad-Paul specifically I'm excited to read since I think his books will offer a much better approach to the study of Maoism than any other erroneous weeds I've engaged with in the past. I think the next I'll try is Methods Devour Themselves since I think it'll help with my planned theory-fictions as well.

Sometimes I don't get why I bother, because I know that I'm a disgusting cretin and that no one should care about anything I have to say or accomplish, that I'd do better to push a bullet through my skull in the expanse of a pine forest. I should've been aborted. I've taken to studying disgusting things. Since childhood I've had a fascination with occultism and esotericism and that's led me to two different pathways, the Left and Right handed paths respectively. Years ago I had a close personal friend (who I no longer communicate with whatsoever) attempt to point me in the direction the Order of Nine Angles and the Tempel ov Blood, and since it's been long enough since I've spoken with them I've found myself interested to study this material from my current standpoint as a Structural Marxist in training. So, I want to read Iron Gates and Siege and see what fucked up this person possibly irreparably. As a side note, I now claim Structural Marxism since I at least have enough respect for Maoists to not want someone as putrid as myself associated with them, and Althusser is a worthy master figure for a progessive leaning person riddled with mental health issues and plagued with suicide ideation. We're together in this.

On the other side of the spectrum I've been interested to read Revolutionary Demonology from the mysterious Gruppo di Nun, as I've been quite curious to see various attempts to combine radical emancipatory politics with Left Hand Path occultism. But, before I engage with any of this seriously there's a couple of books I'd like to read as introductions to the study of Western Esotericism from an academic perspective, since the field has grown so much in the last couple decades to the point of being a serious field of study for anyone interested. Recently, I've been trying to source more books from Georges Bataille, the other half of my French adventure. For Deleuze I've reduced my interest to two of his books. When I think about killing myself I always picture it with a handgun in .22 so that there's no exit wound and the bullet can scramble my brain, I always have too much swimming around in it, so the addition of hot metal is only natural. Regardless of how much I want to kill myself I'll always have too much to read, if I've put it off for this long I can put it off for a few more books.