Knotted Brows and Sullen Moaners

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by Fraser Hibbitt for the Carl Kruse Blog

When you’re alive, there’s plenty to be bitter about. It is very dull to sit down expecting a lease from life and have a moaner sitting across from you, reminding you that it is so. What can you do? It is natural to disagree with a moaner because you know and can plainly hear that moaners are as one-sided as anything isn’t. Let their tepidness go its distance, which usually isn’t very far (as far as a point is concerned), they say. It’s useless to flail against the intractable because it is vampiric.

People moan because they care about something. If you care about something, it generally quickens your blood, a lively transport. People who moan have a place in mind where they want to be transported; they suck the life out of their care and attempt to hide the abuse. The things you care about should enliven you when you talk about them; the complainer has inverted their liveliness to tell us in a backwards way what they care about, and after this detective work, you find, unfortunately, it is primarily themselves. It is the same with knotted brows, that become a characteristic of the worried face. When people talk to me in this way, I always want to slap them in the hope that it’ll be corrected. Why this pent-up look? Let your mind actually work for you, instead of playing the whip to your spirit. It will work for you, perhaps not in the way you always expect, but in a way that is yours, and what else can you do? What could be more exciting.

If only these serious people how much they take away by their croons. I once knew someone who described a lot of people as “asperger-sy”; anyone not willing to talk on their terms or in their language. What brutal stupidity. What’s so boring about all this is that it doesn’t lead anywhere. That is one horror of the language of the moan, it is precise and reductive. Would you believe it, something in reality can be placed in one word! Now, I’m beginning to sound like I’m above all this, but I am only saying all this because I know about it personally; I love to attack people in my mind, their actions, their style, how ashamed I am to say it, despite knowing better. So, I cannot figure out whether this is an apology or a damning of the reductive moaner. I’d at least like to say I have some honesty on my side as I write this, as we are always thinly veiling our projections. It should be obvious by now.

Here is another thing to be aware of, whilst I’m here. It has to do with books and learning. In the introduction to his Fantasia of Unconscious, D.H. Lawrence writes about a ‘deplorable’ notion of ‘democracy’ that sells the greatest thought and expression that humanity has ever composed on the market like so much cattle. Now he might be talking nonsense in his usual self-righteous way. I happen to think he is sometimes a genius. Is he talking about things becoming cheap? About the ease of abuse great thought offers us? I owe all, or most of, my learning to this ‘democratic’ selling of the greatest thought. It took me a long time to realise I hadn’t understood much of it and that I had used most of it erroneously. From what I know of D.H. Lawrence, I think he meant something along the lines of: it is your primary responsibility to embody yourself (‘I am of the solar plexus’) rather than go chasing thoughts to use and promote your own falsity; great thought is very perplexing and seductive and it can seduce you away from what you really need, or in understanding how to be in the world.

Isn’t a moan born out of this abuse of what you know and care about, what you’ve mistakenly thought? You’ve set your law down and as all things tend to get trespassed upon, it is trespassed upon. Here is a memory I have, believe it or not: I overheard a student talking to a teacher and the student said: “I couldn’t stop seeing symbolic meanings in The Great Gatsby (the film) thanks to you”, and the teacher replied: “well once you know about them, you can’t not see them”. I didn’t think much of it at the time – I never spoke to teachers in this way so I probably dismissed it as a try-hard – but when it came back to me all the implications were ready to spill themselves. You can’t not see them, that’s what getting an education is about, essentially. After a while, you should see how you’ve been taught to see; there’s no need to willingly constipate yourself because you can’t fit your feelings to the measure of your thought.   

But I grew suspicious of ready-made interpretation a while ago, given how much close-mindedness it gives rise to, how much misguided hatred, and our age, whatever it is, is also suspicious of interpretation, but it often poses this ‘suspicion of interpretation’ as an interpretation. That’s why after they have deconstructed things, what’s left is a vague promise, or some such words that we hear all the time but don’t know what they mean.

To return to things (thought is shapely, loves shapes, patterns of thought are seductive). Moaning is too presumptuous that anyone who does it on successive days ought to see they are transgressing some should-be-known pieces of received wisdom: everything has its season; we are essentially ignorant of truth and error. Moaning of course does away with anything like this, any other kind of thought. It drags our attention to itself in the most pitiful way. But we all know or intuit that. Who calms themselves down with ‘everything has its season’? or with ‘I am ignorant of the truth and of my errors’? Don’t we feel slightly sorry for those who act in this way, constantly? The moaning hasn’t gone, it’s only been re-routed into some virtuous show.  

Neither a damnation nor an apology of moaning for to be either/or would be exactly what I am trying to escape from… it is rather some discarded thoughts, which seems to me, more honest and interesting than treating this like some back-and-forth argumentative essay; some conniving presence who at once flatters me into belief and at that very same moment stabs me in the back by their style. How I love to chase the point around into contradictions! I sometimes think that has been a cause for dislike toward me, especially for the more politically inclined. I only feel isolated when I pretend that I am not somehow a bit slow. Yet I am reprimanded all the same by them for they feel my slowness, endless incredulity over reality, is mere affective, that I am a cultured and educated man, so I must be playing some part to amuse myself at their expense. It is not so. It’s my personality or some side of it.

When I am writing an essay, and I do not believe I have been that successful in my attempts, there is always a point where I leave off to try and find a thread to my thoughts. I begin to think solely of the reader and think I ought to try and make myself clear on some points so that I am not misunderstood, but I imagine this can’t be stopped; a reader will get what they want to get, some for the pleasure of the flow of thoughts, some to argue. Besides, it feels quite false to the point, for an essay is also about the person, and instead of exposing something of the person as they have thought, as thought and someone have wrestled, the formalities cut it down to an inhuman size. My main interest was to elaborate on something that I disdain, something I find constantly in myself, and although prolixity can be an annoyance, it is also the key to going beyond a shallowness of thinking and feeling. If the moaner would properly moan then they might see a thing or two, and honestly do something about what they care about.  

The Carl Kruse Blog homepage is at
Contact: carl AT carlkruse DOT com
Other articles by Fraser include: Some Slightly Cynical Aphorisms on Travelling and Matters of the Occult.
Also find Carl Kruse at Kruse on Milky Way and the Asteroids Kruse Home Page.

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