Wednesday, October 5, 2016

If you gaze

The future will vindicate. Why talk when no one listens? Because you're enduring for history. You're bearing witness and paying heed and offering testimony for the future. This is why Dostoevsky and Tolstoy were able to stop the Bolsheviks, by describing in utter detail the subversive plan years before it was put into effect. Sure, no one listened at the time, but the transhistorical message they so painstakingly laid down, though treated as mere entertainment at the time of its writing, kept the demons out of not only Russia, but Venezuela. It's easy to ignore current commentators, due to the temporal distortion of them writing about things in which they have a vested interest (sullied by desire for attention), but you can trust people who screamed into the void many years ago.

The future will cleanse. Even the full historical backing of being directly vindicated by history--being proven right as a tracker and predictor of international politics, in the grandest sense--was nothing for them. We still read the tale of the foolish count who cucked himself for the noxious sort of ideas given shelter in Parisian circles, and we see the suffering he endured thereby, and how his eagerness to discard his serfs and become one of them failed his fathers' fathers and put his pudgy ass in prison camp; and, we read of the dark spirits and those they possessed, and of the ways they work and of the empty, clumsy narcissism of their fĂȘtes and suicides. And somehow we have proven that the future void is no more responsive than the current void. Neither monastic solitude nor minor infamy nor worldwide translations and academic regard for constant centuries can save us from our generalized inability to want to understand.

Inside the West, Tolkien wrote the history of the second half of the twenty-first century--albeit dressing it up with a victory to soften the blow--and was yet simultaneously himself an advocate for the rule of the Uruk-hai and the peevishly dour fallen wizards who had, by then, already taken the Shire. The Mirror's future was that of his distant descendants, and even while writing of its horrors, he encouraged his son to fight for the enemy. How even more ironic, how damning, compared to the prophetic heights of Dostoevsky, that Tolkien could himself lament the dire consequences of which he was, at that very moment, encouraging his posterity to pursue! The Western soul is oft considered less tragic and melancholy than the Eastern, but that is only because time has not yet thrown more of its light upon the recent West.

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