You know what sucks? Coming to a point in a twisted course of mental maturity to realize that you have absolutely no knowledge to impart.
It’s that Socratic understanding that you know nothing about the world, only you can’t put it philosophically because you’re too hopelessly dumb for that shit.
Maybe your old professor could have done it but not you.
And that’s what’s frustrating, you know? Some people–a lot of people–no, most people can actually impart knowledge. And not just the really smart ones but also the bluntest tools in the shed.
They’ll say things like, “Work hard, live free, love with all your heart and pray.” And lots of people will like that piece of hackneyed, bullshit knowledge and it’ll accumulate Likes and Retweets.
Or they’ll spout ideas such as, “Have peace in yourself and the world will follow.”
They sincerely believe that and a lot of people, upon hearing that message or reading it on their computer screens, will believe that. And that right there is a piece of knowledge benevolently given to people who love such positive thoughts. That was a good piece of advice genuinely given and appreciated.
And the Socratic schmuck that you are, you’re just there in your chair, disbelieving the shallowness of it all. You’re there, half-shaking your head at the inane kernels of truth people are joyfully swallowing.
But then that’s exactly where you’re wrong–when you think these thoughts are “shallow.”
And you know that.
You know you’re wrong.
You know that while you may know a lot of half-understood social theories and philosophies, such thoughts are probably as shallow and useless as the ones that repulse you every day.
Maybe you’re a Marxist who’s not really a Marxist because you’re not doing anything to change the social mode of production. Heck, maybe you’re having trouble changing the mode of your everyday office fashion, or the mode of your Sunday loserly hobbies.
Or maybe you’re a postmodernist who likes to debate on forums about the plot holes in massive theories. But the problem is, since you’re a postmodernist and you’re keenly aware of what makes people tick, of biases and rhetorical tricks, you’re also keenly aware that your being a postmodernist is just an excuse for your dry, postmodern life devoid of ideals worth fighting for. Case in point: you’re all for “differences” but you go gaga with every new revelation that some celebrity hunk is apparently as gay as a Teletubby.
Or you’re probably just another atheist hating Christians, a bookworm reviewing a stack of books in your blog like your literature teacher is going to make you summarize chapters anytime, or an indie and news media-guzzling social butterfly who can talk to anyone about anything:from the Eurozone’s crisis to Ai Weiwei to what the color of shit is after one eats a whole jar of prunes.
Maybe you’re one or all of that and you still can’t impart a single piece of knowledge. Not to your best bud, not to your romantic partner just begging you to spill it out, not even to yourself.
Hell, you don’t really know why exactly.
You’re not sure about a lot of things and that’s why you’re silent. You’re not sure that if you speak, somebody will listen, and if their listening would be worth the act of speaking that piece of knowledge in the first place.
I mean, is it worth it to say, “There is an ongoing revolution right now even if you don’t see it. It’s happening online and offline and this blog you’re reading is just another chess piece or battle tank in this historical battle to give Hegel’s Reason a worldly form.”?
And what will you do in case someone agrees with that? Would you like to be responsible for the things in his head? Would you egg him on? “Oh yeah, I have the truth of it, dude. Go ahead and read more Hegel!”
Doesn’t that suck? It’s like attending to a baby but you’re the kind of psychopathic mother who drowns her babies when they cry too loud.
That is actually what separates you from a normal, knowledge-imparting man of the streets: he believes what he says and he sticks with it. And even if he comes to disbelieve it in a week or two, he just doesn’t care.
But you care. You’ve matured so much you fuss over the authenticity of things. It has to be true before you can say it. As true as the fact that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. But aside from being undoubtedly authentic, a piece of knowledge has to be driven by something inside you. It must be motivated.
And you’re not motivated. So here you are, smirking at people’s shallow ramblings when you don’t even have any motivations at all for whatever truth drops from the ceiling.
You’re the ultimate disbeliever. The monstrous, lab accident of disenchantment. Of maturity. Of sterility. Whatever you wanna call it. You don’t even care about the proper names of things no more.
Call the goddamn chair “Henry V” for Christ’s sake! That’s cool. But in the back of your mind, you know things are labeled “cool” because they’re worthless and the ones who thought of them just wasted their time. Because they’re like you, Socratic schmucks.
Somebody says you’re wrong? Who the fuck cares?
You don’t care about being right.
And the sad thing is, the few times in your life you’re sure of being right and you actually bring yourself to fight for your rightness, you just know no one’s going to give enough shit anyway.
You need shit but there’s never enough shit.
Never enough shit for you.
Your parents won’t learn a thing from your strangely busy days. Your kids won’t learn to tie their shoelaces from you.
You just sit there in your chair, smirking your smirk. A silent treasure of knowledge no romantic pirate from the most beautiful fantasy can ever hope to uncover.