Saturday, September 12, 2009

Human Imperfection

As a Bokonist, I firmly believe that the little dramas that transpire between individuals happen as they are supposed to happen. Giant international dramas, like World War II and the current economic clusterfuck probably happen the way they are supposed to happen too, but I don't know enough history to support the idea. I am very well versed in the comedy of life that unfolds in my living room, however.

Believing that things happen as they are meant to happen does not leave events to predetermined fate. Events unfold by way of simple cause and effect. It's more like physical science than metaphysical or Presbyterian Predestination. Once a ball is set into motion, Newton's Laws govern the way it will roll.

While Quantum Mechanics may render Newtonian Laws irrelevant when discussing the meaning of Life, The Universe and Everything, when looking at the interactions and collisions that occur between two people, we plainly see cause and effect in operation. Once the cause/effect operation takes over, the process has started and must reach its logical conclusion. There will be variables to consider, but just like a basic, Aristotelian proof, it's simply one long If-Then equation.

As it happens, testing of that particular band of cognitive functioning has always provided quantitative indications that my logical reasoning is so proficient that the scores are off the chart. Even higher than "superior." That score means that if presented with a pattern like AABBCC, I can always determine what comes next. It also means that I can whip through Aristotelian Logic Proofs.

Proofs start out with "Given" information. For example, Given: A = C and e > f. All you do is work the problem factoring in the variables until you arrive at the beautifully symmetrical solution. Everything makes perfect sense. It's the music of the fucking spheres as long as the Given is correct.

This passage from "The Philosophy Pages," illustrates the language, the symbols and application of Formal Logic relative to Implication:


The É symbol is used to symbolize a relationship called material implication; a compound statement formed with this connective is true unless the component on the left (the antecedent) is true and the component on the right (the consequent) is false, as shown in the truth-table at the right.

In this case, there is a reliable correspondence with the conditional statements that are commonly expressed in the English expression "If . . . , then . . . ." Although conditionals have many other uses in ordinary language (to assert the presence of a causal connection, for example), virtually all of them exemplify the basic sense of material implication symbolized by the É .

It's easy to apply this way of thinking to any proposition at all - everything from dogs having tails to Birthers being wackos. I get all jazzed about this stuff because it takes abstract ideas down to concrete operations so that you should systematically arrive at The Truth of a situation. Once the question has been settled, accept The Truth and move on to the next situation. Birthers are full of shit - Next! Dogs have tails, Squirrels have tails but Squirrels are not Dogs - Next!

But what if the Given is wrong? What if, for example, HCW was never a narcissist at all? What if he simply had a number of the characteristic traits of a narcissist, which is actually not uncommon among Jewish first born sons? What if while I've been carrying on like a Valkyrie, all he wanted was to pursue a sexual fantasy that had fascinated him since his teenage years - like that orgy scene in Conan The Barbarian? Teenaged boys love that scene. I know because I've heard Velvet and the guys talking while they watched the movie for the 20th time.

Going back more than a year ago to the origins of the narcissist theory, I must emphasize that a person can only work with the information at hand. Given the information I had, the only reason I could find that HCW would have said what he said and did what he did is that he's a Narcissist. I did the research, too. I not only read a number of articles from a variety of sources, I also talked to shrinks who know about narcissists, friends whose mothers are narcissists. I even talked to a diagnosed narcissist (Mr. Polo). I was consumed with finding a reason why everything fell to shit between me and HCW when we were so clearly attached to each other.

The X-Rated Google trail I found in July shows there was another perfectly logical explanation. He just didn't want to discuss it because that explanation involved his dedicated pursuit of a sexual fantasy.

Who can blame the man? He had only been separated about twenty minutes when we met. When he told me he didn't want to be tied down to a relationship, I readily acknowledged his feelings were perfectly natural and that I had felt the same way when I first filed for divorce. Then I proceeded to create an environment filled with all his favorite things - like single-malt scotch, good weed, various desserts with chocolate sauce, back rubs and, occasionally, expensive lingerie. That's what I do. I'm a domesticated female who enjoys making life as pleasant as possible for her partner.

If he would have followed his inclinations in the beginning, maybe things would have been different. In the beginning, I said that as long as my health was not in jeopardy, what I didn't know wouldn't hurt me - and I meant it, in the beginning. Two years later when he became restless I said the same thing, but by then we saw each other too frequently for him to drop out of sight for a few days unnoticed. Even if I were as open-minded and accepting as I said I was, I know him well enough to know for certain that a brief episode of impersonal, get down and dirty sex would feel like cheating to him.

We never talked about that though. The atmosphere between us was so charged at the end with the tension of wanting to be together but needing to be apart that the rhetoric escalated and became counter productive especially since we are both articulate and animated individuals. The argument centered on his conviction that I wanted to get married and my astonishment at his arrogance. When discussing his need to find his mojo, I told him he could take his bald headed, pot bellied, unemployed ass downtown and see how far it got him with all the hotties.

Until I saw what he'd said along the Google trail, I didn't realize how important it was for him to have the freedom to heed the call of Conan. The direction we were headed would certainly have felt like commitment-land where fucking around randomly feels like cheating to someone with a bit of integrity. He had to light out for the territory like Huck Finn.

One thing follows the other neatly, in a symmetrical chain of cause and effect.

Ergo: HCW is not a Narcissist. He acts like one sometimes, and I fully believed he was a narcissist when I made such a fuss, but he's not a narcissist. New evidence from the Google Trail shows that while his egocentricity is excessive, it still falls within normal parameters on the continuum of human behavior. Some people may think an X-Rated Google trail is just as problematic, but to me, it's human and endearing.

A couple of years ago, some geneticists had evidence that Thomas Jefferson was a Jew. At the time, a professor of Modern Judaic Studies said, "We also like him. He's a brilliant, complex, imperfect person . . . " I always remembered that line because I want to be a brilliant, complex and imperfect person, and that's the kind of people I want around me. Now that I've come to the conclusion that HCW is just that kind of character, I felt it was necessary to publicly take back what I've publicly declared, and once again, try to put all this behind me for Tashlich.


dissed said...

Bold statement, "I was wrong."

Good on you.

Gail said...

Hey there-

This is unfolding s it should. And hindsight is not all it's cracked up to be!! :-)
Love you

PENolan said...

Live and learn

It's kind of funny that the guys don't comment on these posts. It makes me want to write about my period.

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