Thursday, May 26, 2011

Revolutionary roads

Che Guevara once said that the revolutionary must be guided by a deep and abiding love for humanity, though after three days in Bolivia he confessed that is nothing compared to a half-decent map. To be sure, the revolutionary life is hard, and all the more so without a portion of the proceeds. Far too often, one counts their deep and abiding love for humanity as their greatest asset, and only on one hand.

This raises an important question. Is the status quo really so bad? The answer will depend on who you ask and whether they brush their teeth with dedication. If your morning commute smells of hastily digested Indian food, that is another thing altogether. Once soda gets into the keyboard, there is no turning back.

A great anarchist propagandist once explained that all it takes for good people to act is the realization that their back is against the wall. This is especially true if the good people requested outdoor seating. What motivates each of us to be our brother's keeper will vary by individual, but it is sometimes best to keep him outside during football season.


Justin said...

JRB, you might be my pen name.

Cüneyt said...

Mr. Boyd, has this become little more than a revolutionarily-themed comedy blog?

JRB said...


Naturally, that will depend on what you thought it has been all along!

Cüneyt said...

Forgive me. I should have asked "Is this..." ::shrug:: I feel the site has changed. That may not be, of course. It's possible that you talked about Jersey Shore a bunch before I started reading. It just seems that after the Libya blow-up this site has taken a turn.

JRB said...


In other words, it depends what you mean by "comedy." A lot of what passes for "serious politics" online is actually very funny, except the participants don't see it.

Cüneyt said...

You're right. It does. And all conversations depend on each party caring what the others are trying to say and, in turn, trying to communicate. You know, building a common language or maintaining one rather than one side analyzing the statements of the other--because that's not a conversation.

I've done enough semantics. I've done enough narrative de- and reconstruction in both personal and professional dimensions. I don't need to be reminded that my words only mean whatever my words mean. I get that freshman shit. I made a comment about an aesthetic shift that may or may not be there. If you want to talk about it, cool. It seems not. But if you want to talk about why I'm talking about what I'm talking about, I suppose I'm going to have to abandon the attempt. However you dress it up in clarity or objectivity or illustration or whatever you intend in your little "but what does it mean?" routine, it comes off to this highly irrational person as one more person questioning my statements and picking them apart, devaluing them. I'm not asking you to read my fucking mind. Just don't sidestep everything I say. That's another thing which, in my idiot opinion, seems to have changed in the last few months.

JRB said...


I'd never want you to feel like someone is devaluing what you are trying to say, and I'm very sad to hear you attribute this to me.

The fact of the matter is I wasn't sure what you were trying to say, or ask. That's probably my problem -- it happens a lot, and is the main reason why I don't get into online exchanges very much.

If your question is whether the format of the blog has changed, yes, that's true. I'm not riffing off the news cycle anymore, instead doing my damndest to write out of what I actually experience every day -- which has earned me a mixed response, predictably.

Cüneyt said...

The problem's also in my communicative style, and my mood.

Thank you for your response. If it makes the blog more immediate for you, then it sounds like an improvement.

Now I'm going to go back to reading people talk about wars for our freedom on Facebook. God I am tired of that idiot dichotomy. I can believe soldiers and Iraqis are both human, right?

Brian M said...

violent criminals and their victims are both human, too. Not sure that means we can't talk about why the one class is doing something bad to the other.

Cüneyt said...

I think most people would debate if one side is doing anything bad at all.

JRB said...


I really liked what you had to say about semantics. I never took that freshman shit, so it was interesting to hear you talk about it.

You once had a debate with Jack Crow about semantics that I found fascinating.

And weren't you the person who said "Success has many fathers, while failure is an orphan"? I liked that immensely. I'd never heard it before.

Anyway, I hope that in the future if there is ever any question about my meaning you will remember that I have nothing but the highest regard for what you have contributed in this space, and I wouldn't purposefully try to be dismissive even if the manner by which I sometimes respond can seem that way.

Cüneyt said...

Well, Mr. Boyd, sometimes I can come off as pedantic in my questioning, so I anticipated a defensiveness/elusiveness that was not there. And honestly, I'm a pretty prickly person from time to time.

So thank you for clarifying. :) I'll try to be more patient.

And I flashed back to my conversation with Mr. Crow when discussing semantics, actually. I'm surprised you remember.

And as far as the saying, I think I did say it here. It's one of those pithy statements that captures complex behavior so well, and so I remember it. Can't remember where I first heard it. It's poetic enough to be a Roman aphorism, but I've heard it attributed to both Kennedy and Ciano. Go figure.

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