This is why the fire goes out

It’s not the banality that civilisation thrusts upon us that puts the fire out. Tedium is not a heavy blanket thrown down driving oxygen away from the flames.

Rather, under persistent mental and physical stress we conclude that survival requires us to choose the soft comforting voices of banality and tedium rather than continue to endure the relentless screaming argument that lives and breathes in the intersection between the reality of the trap and the dream of a reality in which you are free from the trap.

The things I have to do today are banal and tedious. It would make no difference to anyone if I did them or not. But I will do them just the same because I am in the trap.

When the fire goes out it feels like we are at peace. No need to protest. No frustration at not being able to say what we think. No need to agonise about the logic of our arguments. No need for thesauruses and dictionaries.

It is the moment we stop becoming and have become.

We stop complaining because we know people will say “no-one is making you live this way” and we don’t have an answer.

We are scared of what might happen if the game stops so we keep it to ourselves that we do not care about the game. Paku-paku taberu. Open mouth, close mouth – mouth only for eating.

We make movies to tell ourselves that we must not try to be something which we are not. Once we accept our destiny we can achieve our destiny and then we will be happy and the film can end. But there is no destiny. Only randomly scattered success stories played out beneath chandeliers in smoke-filled rooms while somebody or something with a hacking cough and Cuban heels nervously paces up and down the parquet-floored corridor outside.

For a moment, the collective shout of the protesters pierces the soft comforting voices of banality and tedium. What was that?

Probably nothing.


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