Monday, January 11, 2016

The Thin White Duke - the leader of the freaks and misfits

I guess this is a kind of a 1970's eulogy: the world was different then, and oh how different was Finland, a remote wounded country painfully entering modernity. Now everyone can do it and does, and it's great and if it's not, you turn to the next one, you are free to turn whichever way. But he did it then: broke codes, very important codes, religiously guarded central codes - of sexuality, gender, of identity, of personhood. He evaded the dead categories with seeming ease, with grace. And aided me and undoubtedly countless of others also trying to find a path away from that deadness, and not with ease, not with grace. That is not a small thing to say of anyone, and next to that, his person, is his marvellous, glittering art: defiant, constantly changing, evading, slipping away from all your attempts of control. He was much too fast for that. So, a sad day this.

(Of course it is the land of all teenagers and young adults: the inner freakhood, the pain of not fitting into the world but it can feel extra sharp if you cannot even begin to think of a compromise, a gradual adjustment as your very being is a radical rebellion against liveless past certainties that still control thoughts and expectations.)

Thursday, January 07, 2016

On amoral codes of conduct

Of all things I have been reading and watching: The Camomile Lawn, why not? - I prefer the excuisitely acted series, but the novel is rather curious: not great writing, unfortunately, but a sharp, extremely odd vignette of an era.

I was thinking about that breezy, self-confident attitude combined with the various liaisons and came first up with the word "libertine" - and then thought it completely wrong, misleading, and also that "amoral" would only work in a very particular (and unfortunate and hurtful) context of "moral".

Though there surely must be a moral framework for our actions or else they will be void of any significance and responsibility: but that framework must be individually, genuinely wrought and thought out, shaped to be real - and it is unreal, dishonest and fundamentally libertine (shamelessly indulging in one's narrowness and meanness), and thus completely immoral to opt for Victorian puritanism devoid of the philosophical-religious principles of that puritanism (that do not save that anti-morality from shallowness and cruelty but who at least provide it with some intellectual foundations).

I also thought that my values have actually been rather close (though not identical) to those mores so interestingly and strangely portrayed by Mary Wesley. That I do have individually wrought a moral code of conduct totally and satisfyingly anti-victorian and unlibertine. At times it didn't feel this way, but there really was a serious code of conduct there, and is, I do believe.