Muñoz, José Esteban. “Feeling Brown: Ethnicity and Affect in Ricardo Bracho’s The Sweetest Hangover (and Other STDs).” Theatre Journal 52.1 (March 2000): 67-79. Project Muse. Web. 18 June 2013.

Ethnicity, Affect, and Performance:

The term Latino fails to capture the embodied experience of the different cultural/social subjects the term supposedly names. While certain names, Chicano or Nuyorican have worked in naming a Political group, the umbrella term Latino has failed. The term “Latino” fails to account for different countries, religions, races, classes, sexual orientations, so is there any commonality with the term?

Muñoz wants to differentiate between self-identified Latino/as and the US census designation of “Hispanic.” By rejecting the label “Hispanic,” Latinos are not constituting a political movement, but the “linguistic maneuver is the germ of a self-imaging of Latino as, following the path-breaking work of Chicana feminist Norma Alacrón, an ‘identity-in-difference’” (67)—identity-in-difference structures subjectivity from the point of view other than the anglo-feminist one; an oppositional consciousness in response to the ethnocentric, mono-identity provided by feminism. Muñoz states that “To be cognizant of one’s status as an identity-in-difference is to know that one falls of majoritarian maps of the public sphere, that one is exiled from paradigms of communicative reason and a larger culture of consent” (68). The Latino subject is in exile/displaced, which causes the Latino subject form political ontology.

The essay’s thesis states normativity “is assessed in the majoritarian public sphere through the affective performance of ethnic and racial normativity” (68). Minorities face problems attempting to perform whiteness (this thesis is much too general and sweeping); the essay states that “acting white has everything to do with the performance of a particular affect” in order to perform normativity. The wording is confusing, but I understand Munoz as saying that minorities must act/perform in a certain manner for whites in order to be considered normative, but by acting white, Latinos (minorities) lose their own political ontology).

Muñoz wants to use Raymond Williams’ idea of “structure of feeling” that connects working class groups and combine it with Alacrón’s “identity-in-difference” to think about affect as a way to group together Latino experience: “What unites and consolidates oppositional groups is not simply the fact of identity but the way in which they perform affect, especially in realtion to an official ‘national affect’ that is aligned with the hegemonic class” (68). Identity built around feeling instead of being (but feeling is a state of being). Muñoz goes on to clarify, “I am interested in plotting the way in which Latina/o performance theatricalizes a certain mode of ‘feeling brown’ in a world painted white, organized by cultural mandates to ‘feel white’” (68). This idea is interesting, expecially for Junot Diaz, as Oscar is brown but immersed in white culture—as he says, what is more sc-fi than the DR. Sc-fi captures that “brown” feeling by telling stories of diaspora and exile, about attempting to fit in even in a strange land.

Muñoz wants to examine how immigrants struggle with performing the “national affect.” He suggests that Latina/o works symbolically act on difference and insist on ethnic affect within the dominant national affect. He states “. . . this ‘official’ national affect, a mode of being in the world primarily associated with white middle-class subjectivity, reads ethnic affect as inappropriate” (69). Whiteness positions itself as Law; therefore, minorities must conform and perform whiteness, “or at least mimic certain affective rhythms that have been preordained as acceptable” (69). The national affect (white-ness) deems Latina/o affects as over the top, spicy, and exotic. Hegemonic society stereotypes Latina/o affects in order to simplify and contain these ethnic differences. This idea of marginalizing ethnic performances reflects Maximo’s position. However, I disagree that white, middle-class culture reads ethnic portrayals as inappropriate (not always), rather that Anglos posit a stereotype for ethnic groups to inhabit. Hence the popularity of Desi Arnez, of Maximo playing domino in Miami.

Popular media (hegemonic protocols of North American affective comportment) categorize Latina/o affect as over the top: “affective excess” (70). Muñoz argues that Latina/o affect is not excessive, rather that Anglo affect is minimalist, “to the point of emotional impoverishment” (70). Muñoz suggest positioning white affect as lack. Also, he believes Latinos should embrace the stereotype of ethnic affect as excess “. . . and redirect it in the service of liberationist politics” (70). The essay suggests that Latina/o affect challenges white affect as impoverished.

Muñoz wants to move beyond a fixed definition of ethnicity and look at it as performance—Heidegger already suggest looking at identity as performance in his own way. For Heidegger, identity is not a fixed “being” rather an in-the-world-towards-death Dasien who always-already is thrown in the world and takes up its possibilities and is affected by its environment, culture, history, and furture possibilities.

Munoz suggest looking at ethnicity as historical formation, beyond merely cultural differences, he attempts to look at ethnicity as “affective difference” –that is, how groups “feel” differently and are “in-the-world” in different emotional registers. (70).

Looking at Sartre who says consciousness is knowing what one thinks, and emotion, an extension of consciousness is, what Muñoz calls “performed manifestation of consciousness”—but can we really control emotion in such a manner? We can react to the way we are feeling in certain ways, but we can’t help from feeling those feelings. Satre, borrowing much from Heidegger, views life as this existentially, phenomenological world where we set up goals for our lives, but many obstacles get in the way of those goals; when we get overwhelmed by obstacles and barriers, we have emotions. For Sartre, and what Muñoz takes from Sartre, emotions are the way humans negotiate within their social and cultural and historical world—emotions are emotions, separate from humans. Rather emotions are something humans encounter when dealing with the world.

Satre is second hand Heidegger—Munoz has reservations about using Sartre because Sartre thinks of two different ways of being in the world. One way is the same as Heidegger’s ready-at-hand (you pick up a hammer and use it without thinking about using it; you walk out the door without thinking about the door)—the second way of being is Heidegger’s present-at-hand: when the hammer breaks and suddenly, to use Muñoz’s reading of Sartre (reading of Heidegger) “the organized matrix of utensils is no longer perceivable as such and one becomes overwhelmed” (71)—for Heidegger, one doesn’t become “overwhelmed” rather one steps back and begins to theorize the hammer; it becomes an object of contemplation rather than a lived thing in the world. —For Sartre, emotions are the second, present-at-hand way of being; “something we regress into when under duress” (71). This thinking falls into men as better (stronger) suited for the world of tools and women—as well as feminine men—as weaker and not well suited for tools. Women and weak men regress into the magical relation with the world (for Sartre, emotions are equated as magical state of being)—and the discussion of magical resonates with minority cultures who are viewed as primitive.

Muñoz thinks Sartre’s ideas of emotion because emotions surface during moments of distress when one loses the distance/relation to the world of objects and people. For Muñoz “Because stigmatized people are presented with significantly more obstacles and blockages than privileged citizen-subjects, minoritarian subject often have difficulty maintaining distance from the very material and felt obstacles that suddenly surface in their own affective mapping of the world” (72). Munoz believes that this thinking of emotion, in a world that is not ideologically neutral, that organizes material reality around capitalist interest, can help minority subjects gain critical distance and help explain emotions. As he puts it, “The phenomenological aspect of Sartre’s inquiry demystifies the magic of emotion and this in and of itself is an important contribution to a theory of the affective nature of ethnicity” (72).

Muñoz then turn to Walter Benjamin, who sees technology as alienating affect. He wants to amend Sartre’s ideas with Benjamin who sees certain technologies, like cinema, as returning or utopia for affect. Muñoz sees Latino’a drama as having the potential for political intervention. While the term Latino/a has problems, the term has helped organize people under the generic label. The practice of performing “Latino/a-ness” undermines the normative “national affect” by asserting ontological difference and affective difference (72). Muñoz uses the plays of Maria Irene Fornes to state that her plays use “ethnic feeling within a hegemonic order”—her plays stand out because her characters’ motivation are hard to decipher; the narrative arcs, also, defy normative modes of being, which Muñoz argues reflect a Latina/o “manera de ser”—not avant garde (only), but also reflective of a different culture.

Muñoz then turns to The Sweetest Hangover to argue that the play’s affect differs from mainstream/ national affect: a Latino affect. The play creates an affective performance that “rejects the protocols of (white) normativity” (74). The play presents an other way of being in the world, an other way of “feeling” the world. (74)—The play groups people together by political affect or affective belonging and not by culture or race. The play groups together different people, and this grouping illustrates a different way to reach utopian ideas of unity through affective identity rather than racial ones. –basically, the play connects people through an affective belonging. Even in the drug use and homosexual relationships: “The major conflict in the play between Octavio and his lover Samson is not Octavio’s drug problem, but Ocatavio’s refusal to conform to a drug-free monogamous ideal that Samson desires” (77). This ideal is an affective normative one. However, then Muñoz suggest that this homosexuality and drug use are “modes of being in the world [that] are folded into the rich affective archive of latinidad” (77)-but being gay and using drugs is not a white normative affect; every race and culture has drug users and gay people, so I fail to see the point here?Yet the bigger point of community under affective belonging can be used positively to think about ethnicity and community and belonging. Taking Heidegger’s analysis of Dasein (as being-in-the-world), then a Latino/a’s way of being in the world is different than an Anglos. Both groups, to begin, have different worlds to be in. If we take Heidegger’s idea that all consciousness happens within Language, then the language differences of both groups create a different “way” to be in the world. As the minority group, Brown people will always know their identity as the other to White/majority group, just as Anglos will view Browns as the other. In this manner, Oscar Wao is a different person, just as Maximo Gomez in In Cuba I was—since they both “feel” about the world differently by way of their place in the world.

The essay ends by summarizing: “This analysis has posited ethnicity as “a structure of feeling,” as a way of being in the world, a path that does not conform to the conventions of a majoritarian public sphere and the national affect it sponsors” (79).

I first read Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own” as an undergrad during a Woolf class in which we read To the Lighthouse. It was my first ever introduction to feminism, and the idea that Woolf is analyzing here, fascinated me back then and still does today.While this idea is confined here to a feminist perspective, I think the implications are the same ones that apply to the second half of readings as well as to a certain Marxist perspective of material culture.

It is the culture, after all, that denies Shakespeare’s sister a chance to express her artistic talents, simply for being a woman. It is scary to think how accurate Woolf is in claiming that,

“When […] one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen” (898).

The world has surely lost a number of talented artist for their gender or race or color or location or socio-economic situation. Hurston and Gilman are two examples of writers that were almost lost to society because they were not WASPY males.

Woolf’s second piece anticipates some of the arguments that De Beauvoir’s will make. Woolf asserts that women in literature have only been shown in relation to men and rarely does one see two women as good friends. Woolf goes on to say that relationships between woman in literature have been “too simple.” This is a point that De Beauvior takes up with her analysis of woman: “To pose Woman is to pose the absolute Other.” De Beauvior does an excellent job of pointing out the contradictions in how woman have been portrayed throughout, not just literature, but history. This analysis points out Sartre’s limitations. Sartre says that one can only know himself through the other, but then says that woman are mysterious.

DeBeauviour looks at this myth of woman as mysterious, as virgin, as demon, as idealized, and as always absolute other of man. Her claim, which I believe is more astute than Sartre’s, is that woman is no more mysterious than man is mysterious to woman, and that to make these outrageous claims is just lazy and to promote the patriarchy. Making claims such as this goes against the first tenet of existentialism, in which “existence precedes essence.” That is that woman (nor men) have any essence outside of their actions. These idealized and categorical claims men make on women puts women in an absolute, deny women the ability to make themselves and totalizing them. The point should be, rather, that the relations between men and women are reciprocal, a give and take of subjectivity. In the views of men, the Hegelian dialectic of relations between men and women, women are always the slaves to men.

It is this mystification that Woolf is looking at in literature in “Chloe likes Olivia.” Additionally, I feel that in “Androgyny,” Woolf is calling for this reciprocity that De Beoavior wants. For the dialectic not to be dominated by the male perspective, but rather, that there has to be a true dialectic. One in which a synthesis of “male” and “female” is balanced.

I think I will stop here before I go on too long. My problem is that I am reading a Zizek essay in which he looks at the idea of sexualization. He looks at the idea of “femininity” vs. “masculinity” to show how this are constructed categories– which leads back to the idea I started off with: how much of all we are, of all our identity, and of everything we think of as “us” is really just a social construct that we have been duped into believing?

I have this idea that all of life is about interpretation. No matter what the situation, you decide (decide is not the right word, but it is the first word that comes to mind)– or maybe society or culture conditions you– how you are going to interpret that situation. This is seen all the time. When some people have a break up, they can get over it quickly and move on to someone else while others brood and cry about the break up.

All situations are seen like this. This is what all those new age writers and all this positive thinking, imagine-your-goal-and-you’ll-achieve-it crap is all about, which to an extent, I guess, is true (not the you can will what you want “the secret” crap, but the stuff about you decide how to react (interpret) any situation in life.

It seems this goes back to Kierkegaard a great deal. I see his influence in Heidegger’s they-self, in Sartre’s anxiety, in Camus’s interpretation of Sisyphus. Looking at the post in which Cornell West talks about philosophy as a preparation for death, meditations on death, on living a life which will make us not fear death– this is all seen in Kierkegaard, except K was much to melancholic. K believes that the freedom to chose gives us a feeling of dread because we always know that this choice can have far reaching effects.

For K, it is our responsibility to break out of the crowd by making our own choices and not letting the crowd tell us what to do. If we let others decide for us, if we follow the crowd, then there is always an excuse when things go wrong. To go back to that awful “secret” crap– if things go wrong, it is because you didn’t desire, or positively think about the thing you wanted enough– there is always a scapegoat with these systems, which is why K hated all systems. This idea of one having to make one’s own choices, choices which once made mean people, including yourself, can get hurt, your life can be ruined, other’s lives can be ruined, is an overwhelming responsibility, which is why this leads to dread.

I think Palahniuk really captures that feeling, even taking some of his quotes out of context (the quotes are in context though, within this discussion):

“People don’t want their lives fixed. Nobody wants their problems solved. Their dramas. Their distractions. Their stories resolved. Their messes cleaned up. Because what would they have left? Just the big scary unknown.”

“You have a choice. Live or die. Every breath is a choice. Every minute is a choice. To be or not to be.”

“You must realize that one day you will die. Until then you are worthless.”

“Reality means you live until you die. The real truth is nobody wants reality”

“More and more, it feels like I’m doing a really bad impersonation of myself.”

Ok, I need to get back to reading…

ohhh… but before I forget– this is Dread and Happiness…

Why doesn’t K, after being haunted by his father and his religious culture not see that he is free to decide his life? Sure, he made a mistake that ruined some poor girl (for a little while) and ruined his own life since he forever pined after her, but he does realize that there is no system out there controlling him and telling him what to do. This is why I think that all of life is interpretation. It seems to be that being freed of such a constraining life would be a happy moment, but K was always shadowed by Dread, but I choosing can be a good thing, I think even if there are all those possible bad outcomes.


I have been watching Examined Life, which is a documentary that follows around different philosophers and has them discuss something or other. I have also been reading about Soren Kierkegaard (whose grave is posted here).

I have a lot of fragmented thoughts on all of this.

Cornell West is brilliant in this. He, like most philosophers, talks about philosophy being our meditations on death. We are constantly learning, dealing with, making sense of how to die. We do this by being thinkers and examining our lives:

(I wanted to post the Cornell West clip here, but for whatever reason, this isn’t working, so here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1Q6v1xsvcI&feature=related)

This concern about how to live (in preparation for death) is what concerned Soren (from now on shortened to SK). SK thought that philosophy shouldn’t tell us what it knows, philosophy should tell us how to live; what we should do. But that should do becomes tricky because everyone has to choice it very purposefully.

I see much of the same concepts here that Heidegger will pick up later. Both are concerned with subjective moral truths; both reject the easy life of following the crowd. SK was concerned with authentic living and existential dread much before Heidegger, Sartre, or Camus. SK has the idea that existence is something more than what you are born with and says that it is something, rather, that one strives to, which is much like Heidegger talking about Dasien’s possibilities that Dasien takes up.

Just as Dasien is this Being-towards, a being that is thrown ahead of itself in the world, Sk, too, talks about existence as a thrown forward– existence is the choices one makes and lives with wholly.

This brings me to another point which I would like to explore. If Dasien is this Being-towards-others-towards-death, which is to say that being is constituted in context to its culture, society, history, present, future, language, etc, and its project is only completed at death when it no longer has any possibilities to take up, then that is to say that when someone dies, MY (some of my) possibilities end as well.

If part of the structure of Dasien is its possibilities, then when someone dies, those possibilities become less because if my wife of 50 years dies, my best friend from grade school, my family member, or anyone I know dies, then I no longer have the possibility to explore a “towards-others” with that person any longer. Therefore, we must always live towards this death. This is why it is so important to fulfill ethical imperatives because if we do not, a little piece of our own Being dies as well.

This is what the poets, musicians, artist know so well. This is the pain of heartbreak, of mourning, of loss– because our possibilities that we can take up become more limited when someone close to us dies. The melancholy that follows these events is that melancholy that Zizek talks about, in a way. Zizek describes the melancholic as the person who is frustrated because he has acquired the object of his desire but has lost his desire for it. I am interested in his later description of what is going on with the melancholic:

In this precise sense, melancholy (disappointment with all positive, empirical objects, none of which satisfy our desire) is the beginning of philosophy. A person who, all his life, has been used to living in a certain city and is finally compelled to move elsewhere is of course saddened by the prospect of being thrown into a new environment–but what is it that makes him sad? It is not the prospect of leaving the place that was for years his home, but the much more subtle fear of losing his attachment to this place. What makes me sad is my creeping awareness that, sooner or later–sooner than i am ready to admit– I will integrate myself into a new community, forgetting and forgotten by the place that now means so much to me. in short, what makes me sad is the awareness that I will lose my desire for (what is now) my home (Slavoj Zizek. How to Read Lacan 68)

When we look at this language, this explanation, isn’t this what is going on in mourning an other? When we are separated from a close other (family, dear friend, lover, etc), the sinking heart feeling we get when we know that the relationship with our girlfriend is changed (heartbreak), when we know that we will never see a loved one (death)– all of these events is, as Zizek describes “..the subtle fear of losing his attachment to this place,” where this place can be the same exact physical place, only changed by the lack of the person you shared the space with.

This is the melancholy of having less possibilities to take up (in Heideggerian terms). It is also the reminder of death, of how things can change, of how things will change, of being forgotten after death, of forgetting when someone else dies. As I sometimes forget I had a father because it has been so long since he was a part of my environment, and then I become melancholic when that comes back to me. It is these mixed feelings of guilt and nostalgia. A desire to return to something better, but knowing that maybe it wasn’t “better” but just different.

I have to go back to Heidegger and Lacan and Zizek and explore this idea of the melancholy being a result of Dasien’s possibilities being narrowed, and I would like to explore the ethical implications of the ethical life in the face of this Being-towards-others that feels melancholy when there is one less other to be towards. I wonder if this is what Nancy explores?

Well, I leave this fragment to try to go read more…

And no, I didn’t read it in French…

the-stranger

I just finished reading “The Stranger” by Albert Camus. I read this book in high school and often cite it (along with Hesse’s “Damian”) as two of the books that I read in high school that made me want to study literature. 

I still find it strange that not once was existentialism or the absurd mentioned in high school when reading these books. It might be that the teacher didn’t want to make the readings anymore difficult than they were, so, she concentrated on the symbolism of the sun and the oppressive heat in “The Stranger.” Though, again, I can’t see why (at a private prep school) she wouldn’t at least have mentioned the philosophy… 

I haven’t read “The Stranger” in about five or six years, and this time around the protagonist, Meursault, annoyed me. He is much too passive in his life for my taste (I know some friends who might find me saying that shocking), but it is true. I guess if I were to analyze myself, I find the protagonist annoying because he reminds me too much of myself. And I constatnly worry about not living life properly, but that is a discussion for another post– in short, I sometimes feel like I am too passive, so seeing Meursault act the way he does throughout the novel worries me on a metaphysical/psychological level.  

In the first half of the novel, Meursault is completely at the will of his senses. He is a hedonist following the demands of his body and looking only to make his body comfortable. But I think this is not, like some critics have mentioned, due to Meursault’s stupidity or a lack of awareness. In this I agree with Arthur Scherr whose thesis in his article Camus’s The Stranger in The Explicator (59  no.3 spring 2001) is that Meursault is not, as Colin Wilson puts it, a “brainless idiot.” He goes on to quote other examples of critics readings of Meursault: 

 

            Nor is there much justification for depicting Meursault as an impotent personality without opinions of his own. Alice Strange has recently expounded this view of Meursault, arguing that he “permits others to define his reactions and to create a social identity for him.” Ostensibly perceiving him as a vegetative tabula rasa, she finds that he is “emotionally distant” from his closest friends, lacks “definite preferences of his own,” and “avoids any attempt to make sense of his experience” (38).

         In an influential interpretation of The Stranger as an implausible, surrealist escapade, Rene Girard labels Meursault an irrational, unintelligent child. a “juvenile delinquent” (531) who kills a man because he wants attention from society. Girard finds that Meursault’s “egotistical martyrdom” (527) and “ultra-romantic conception of the self’ (531) bear many similarities to this modern psychopathology. Until he commits the improbable murder, “for all practical purposes, Meursault is a little bureaucrat devoid of ambition” (523).

 Scherr does a great job of pointing out how the protagonist’s intelligence is mentioned throughout the book. Meursault is offered a promotion at work, the pimp Raymond asks Meursault to write a letter, and at the trial, the prosecuting attorney mentions Meursault’s intelligence. But I don’t know if I agree with Scherrs conclusion. Scherr states that the murder is a result of an intelligent man’s thwarted ambition. Having to drop out of school and work, Meursault is never able to fulfill any of his passions, which leaves him angry and fustrated and leads to the shooting of the Arab. And, yes, I can see the basis for Sherr’s argument, and he makes a good case for it, but I think the novel is about the absurd more than it is about frustrated ambition.

Furthermore, Scherr goes on to supply Meursault with excuses for his life:

…it may be that rage at his boring job and the failure, because of factors beyond his control, to complete his education and fulfill his ambitions precipitate Meursault’s act of violence. Disgust with himself for getting involved with a disreputable person such as Raymond may have forced his hand, causing him to pull the trigger—a last desperate means of wrenching himself free of a degrading entanglement.

 But this interpretation goes against the little I know of existentialism. This interpretation hands Meursault over to bad faith and excuses Mearsualt of his actions.

 I think it is hard to argue for Meursault as a loving and caring person. He is, after all, indifferent. He is indifferent about getting married, about his promotion, about helping a pimp, but he is indifferent because of this feeling of the absurd. The absurd feeling is that feeling that maybe there is no meaning in life.  

And I believe the point of “The Stranger” is to point out the basic premise that “A sub-clerk in the post office is the equal of a conqueror if consciousness is common to them. All experiences are indifferent in this regard. There are some that do either a service or a disservice to man. They do him a service if he is conscious.” Meursault is not conscious of his (moral) life until the very end of the novel because it is at the very end of the novel that Meursalt finally becomes conscious of his absurd situation. The novel shows how there seems to be no meaning to life, in the end. That being executed now for this “crime” that he has done is no different than dying in a car crash three years later. 

Nonetheless, if the world is without meaning then it is all the more reason to feel passionately about the time you have here on earth. But saying that makes me feel like I am missing the point– it is up to each individual to decide how to live life. It just seems to me that if Meaursault really feels that life isn’t really worth living, that he is going against what Camus outline in The Myth of Sisyphus. 

If the most importatn philosophical question is that of suicide, then Meursualt is like one of the people who says yes to life but lives it as if he had said no. But, maybe I am putting to much of my moral judgment on the matter. Mearsualt does embrace his hedonistic pleasures fully. It is what he spends most of the novel describing: the way he smokes, how he want Marie, how he likes to swim, the tasty food he eats. But aren’t these reasons enough to live then? Or maybe Mearsualt just breaks down a little at the end when he realizes that he is going to be executed because he didn’t cry at his mother’s funeral. Absurdism aside, this is a great work of literature. 

 

P.S.

So I get that Mearsualt is an amoral character– that he is there to defy natural societal standards of what it means to be “moral” (a “moral” person cries at his mother’s funeral). But he also seems too cold and even mean; for example, when he tells Marie that he doesn’t think he loves her, and that it doesn’t matter if he does or doesn’t. This assertion is almost hurtful. Imagine hearing that from someone you loved? Even if he doesn’t love her, he could put it in gentler terms for her sake. 

All of this culminates at the end of the novel when Mearsualt accepts the world as his “brother”– indifferent the way he is. It is at the end that Mearsualt is able to finally analyze his life somewhat, and here, he accepts being an outcast hated by society. It is at this moment, also, that he finds a happiness and freedom in realizing that the world is indifferent to him, and that he is without hope (a hope such as God, or a chance of escape)– and without false hope or illusions, he feels freer to live a simpler life. 

There is something here that still bothers me, but I can’t quite figure it out. And I mean more than Mearsualt’s indifference. One thing is to be indifferent in a world that is without meaning, but I believe it is another thing to be indifferent in the attitude you take towards that indifferent world…