Writer’s Notebook: Cult

Posted: February 15, 2015 in graffiti living
Tags: , ,

Boredom and anger, both of which are a form of rebellion.

One person, with a camera or a gun, can cause disruption far beyond the quantitative scale. Small mobile units, of varying degrees of intelligence, are able to do damage to larger, unwieldy units that are inevitably vulnerable. A small act can cause repercussions that spread far beyond its original target and, where this act is violent, has a knack of turning round and inflicting all manner of damage to those parties nominally represented / defended by that act of violence. One act of violence is a reaction to another, and generates another in turn. This is gravity working. We all lose, although the ways of loss are different.

The author and the cult leader are not that dissimilar. Both have a vested interest in making up a story and persuading the listener it’s true. ‘It is realities and unrealities mixed together, and inseparable sometimes.’ In this light, Murakami says, the author has a responsibility to make his story a good one. ‘By a good story I mean that the reader will arrive at a different place from where they started – a good place. It’s not necessarily that the story has a moral, or a happy ending; not saying this is right, this is wrong. The difference must be that it leaves a kind of memory. I believe memory is a kind of petrol in your life, in your body, in your will to live. My memories help me a lot to live on, to survive. And a good story becomes part of your own imagination and gives you your own memories

It is to be remembered that all art is magical in origin—music, sculpture, writing, painting—and by magical I mean intended to produce very definite results. Writing and painting were one in cave paintings, which were formulae to ensure good hunting. Art is not an end in itself, any more than Einstein’s matter-into-energy formula is an end in itself. Like all formulae, art was originally functional, intended to make things happen, the way an atom bomb happens from Einstein’s formulae. —William S. Burroughs

“The specifically human feature of human groupings can be exploited to turn them into the semblance of non-human systems. ….All those people who seek to control the behaviour of large numbers of other people work on the experiences of those other people. Once people can be induced to experience a situation in a similar way, they can be expected to behave in similar ways. Induce people all to want the same thing, hate the same things, feel the same threat, then their behaviour is already captive – you have acquired your consumers or your cannon-fodder. Induce a common perception of Negroes as subhuman, or the Whites as vicious and effete, and behaviour can be concerted accordingly…..The inertia of human groups, however, which appear as the very negation of praxis, is in fact the product of praxis and nothing else. This group inertia can only be an instrument of mystification if it is taken to be part of the ‘natural order of things’. The ideological abuse of such an idea is obvious. It so clearly serves the interests of those whose interest it is to have people believe that the status quo is of the ‘natural order’, ordained Divinely or by ‘natural’ laws. …The group becomes a machine – and it is forgotten that it is a man-made machine in which the machine is the very men who make it. It is quite unlike a machine made by men, which can have an existence of its own. The group is men themselves arranging themselves in patterns, strata, assuming and assigning different powers, functions, roles, rights, obligations and so on.”
Ronnie Laing – The Politics of Experience. [1967]


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