The Tower of Babylon

Kula Babilonska

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Higijena - Hygiene
bakho
Pitanje intelektualizma je uvijek na kraju dana pitanje higijene. U mom slučaju, to je pitanje one već gotovo patološke krajnosti u kojoj samo spominjanje sintagme pretenciozna zvuka poput 'pitanja intelektualizma' u mnogima izaziva gotovo epileptičko kolutanje očima, kao znak potpune iziritiranosti i buđenja baš tog higijenskog (trebao bi nadopuniti i reći mentalno higijenskog) zgađenog ali metaforičkog, pseudointelektualno motiviranog, osjeta bljuvotine u njihovoj platonski čistoj duši pameti. Ako do sada niste odustali od čitanja, a pojavio se taj apstraktni osjet, nadam se da vas je baš taj osjet natjerao na divljačko duševno povraćanje koje želi izbaciti iz svog sistema svu tu maloprije napisanu pretencioznu napuhanost.

To je, dragi moji, mentalna higijena.

No, da nastavim u tom revijalnom tonu i na trenutak se vratim prije spomenutom pitanju koje je i potaknulo higijeničara, onog mentalnog, u vama. Tko je intelektualac? Prije tristo, petsto godina je bilo (možda) nešto lakše reći - to je onaj čovjek koji je dovoljno lud i posjeduje vremena na pretek da iscrpi znanja europocentrične civilizacije za svog vijeka. Bio je takozvani 'renesansni čovjek' (uvijek mi se sviđao taj naziv, tako puno baš tog intelektualnog snobizma iz uvodnih rečenica, kada doslovno prevedete naziv u 'ponovno rođen čovjek' na sliku i priliku civilizacijskoga mjerila pameti). No danas? Kad su sve discipline uma doživjele podivljali GMO rast u visinu i širinu, ali još značajnije, kada su pametnjakovići dekonstruirali ne samo 'znanje', 'pamet', 'obrazovanost', 'kulturu', pa 'jezik' i na kraju čak i 'smisao'? Tko je sad intelektualac? Moj zaključak (čovjek ima višak vremena kada radi posao koji ja radim, pa naglo dobiva sposobnost buđenja onog davno spomenutog higijenskog refleksa koji se manifestira cijelim traktatima o pitanjima koja si sam postavljam), moj je zaključak da je 'intelektualac' (jednako tako kao i onaj tričavi 'smisao' ili 'jezik') prestao biti apsolutna kategorija i postao razlika. Biti intelektualac je pitanje nivoa (sad već vidim ljude koji čitaju kako pripremaju vile da nataknu na svoju pravednost prokletog snoba - no dopustite da objasnim). Svi na nekoj razini prepoznajemo osobinu intelektualiziranja (zlobni higijeničari bi rekli bljezgarenja) - ta osobina nije dovoljan, ali je nužan, simptom za dijagnozu 'intelektualca'. Tu na scenu stupa postmoderna ajnštajština - intelektualca prepoznajemo sa referentnom točkom razlike od sebe. Onaj tko je sposoban za nama novo, živo, fascinantno, logično, renesansno ako dopuštate, intelektualiziranje, tko je pročitao više knjiga, tko citira književnike, filozofe, znanstvenike, primitivce za koje nikada nismo čuli ili čak onaj koji citira ljude koji su posvetili svoj intelektualni elan disciplinama za koje nikad nismo čuli - taj čovjek je intelektualac. Osoba koja je na nekom našem individualnom, fenomenološkom, kontinuumu intelektualniji od nas samih je za nas intelektualac. Onaj koji je na tom kontinuumu niže to nije - ako nema pretenzija prema intelektualnom onda je tek 'običan čovjek' (zli jezici bi rekli malograđanin). Ako ima takvu nesretnu tendenciju, on je pseudointelektualac prema našem shvaćanju - lažnjak, pretendent, šarlatan, prodavač magle.  Što je s onim koji su na našoj razini, koje procijenimo otprilike jednakima nama samima na tom kontinuumu? Tu se, psihologijski rečeno, upliće varijabla samokritičnosti. Samokritična osoba će rijetko kada za sebe samu u apsolutu reći da je intelektualac(kinja), pa shodno jednostavnom silogizmu, ni osoba jednaka toj samokritičnoj nije intelektualac(kinja). Oni manje obdareni kršćanskom skromnošću će u toj osobi (onoj na istoj razini) prepoznati sestru (brata) u kalu ljudske gluposti, tu zvijezdu vodilju čovječanstva, neaktualiziranog Sartrea, Nietzschea, George Sand.

Ovaj osjet za tu razliku se ukratko može opisati i prije spomenutom mentalnom higijenom. Intelektualac je onaj koji je kritičniji od mene samoga u tome koje ideje pripušta u svoj um, u žargonu antivirusnih programa, onaj koji ima jači firewall za glupost.

Motiv za ovaj tekst (osim mentalnog besposličarenja na poslu, gdje je nastao) je Claude Simon. Pisac koji piše roman u kojem je jedan od likova nitko manje nego George Orwell glavom (u romanu misteriozni, ali pomalo tupasti O.). I taj Simon piše roman kako bi izrugao autobiografski roman samog Orwella o njegovu iskustvu u španjolskom građanskom ratu - doslovno, jedan pisac (intelektualac) baca rukavicu u lice drugom (jer vjerojatno mnogi od nas smatraju Orwellovo štivo intelektualnim). na način da otprilike kaže:

"Ne, dragi moj, ti uopće ne znaš napisati roman o SVOJEM iskustvu; morat ću ti ja pokazati kako se to radi."

Valjda je Simon na kraju dana prije nego što je započeo pisati tu čestristotinjak stranica dugačku rukavicu zaključio:

"Ipak sam ja veći higijeničar od tebe, dragi O."

***

The question of intellectualism is usually at the end of the day a question of hygiene. In my case, it's the question of the almost pathological exaggeration in which the mere mention of a pretentious sounding expression like 'the question of intellectualism' in many a person evokes something similar to an epileptic eye roll, as a sign of utter annoyance and the awakening of that hygienic (I should elaborate by saying mentally hygienic), disgusted but metaphoric, pseudointellectually motivated feeling of nausea in their platonic intelligent soul. If you still haven't given up on reading on, and that abstract feeling occurred, I hope that precisely that feeling made you wildly yet mentally vomit to disgorge from your system all the before written pretentious turgescence.

That, my dearest readers, is mental hygiene.

To continue in the pompous tone and to return for a moment to the aforementioned question which provoked the hygienist, the mental one, in you. Who is an intellectual? Three hundred, five hundred years ago it was (maybe) easier to say - that was the man who was insane enough and had enough time to crunch through the europocentric civilizational knowledges of his time. He was the so called 'renaissance man' (I always liked that expression, so full of the intellectual snobbery akin to the one used in the first sentences of this post, especially when you translate the expression into 'the reborn man', reborn to the image and stature of our civilizational measure of erudition). But today? When all the disciplines of the mind went through a bewildered GMO growth into height and breadth, but more importantly, today when the smart-asses have deconstructed not only 'knowledge', 'smarts', 'education', 'culture', even 'language' and in the end even 'meaning'? Who is an intellectual now? My conclusion (you have spare time when you do the job I do, so you suddenly develop the ability to awaken the hygienist reflex I mentioned before, which manifests itself with whole tractates about questions I asked myself), my conclusion is that an 'intellectual' (like the paltry 'meaning' or 'language') stopped being an absolute category and became a difference. To be an intellectual is a question of level (I can already see the people reading this preparing their pitchforks to stab the damned snob to death - but let me explain first). All of us, on some level, recognize the trait of intellectualizing (evil hygienists would say talking nonsense) - that trait isn't an sufficient, but it is a necessary, symptom to diagnose an 'intellectual'. Here you get the postmodern einstentism - an intellectual is recognized only when compared to the referential point; ourselves. He's the one who's capable for something new to us, something lively, fascinating, logical, renaissance if you will, intellectualizing, the one who read more books than you, who cites writers, philosophers, scientists, primitivists  you not only never heard of, but they've dedicated their intellectual energy to whole disciplines unheard to you - that person is an intellectual to us. The person who is on our individual, phenomenological, continuum of some kind more intellectual than ourselves. The one who's lower on that continuum isn't one - if (s)he doesn't have interests in something intellectual (s)he is an 'ordinary person' (evil tongues would say (s)he is a provincial). If, on the other hand, (s)he has that unfortunate interest, (s)he is a pseudo-intellectual to our understanding - a false, wannabe, charlatan, con artiste. What's with the people who we judge are on our level, are pretty close to our place at our continuum? Here, in psychological terms, you get an interweaving variable of self-criticism. A self-critical person will rarely see herself in an absolute and say she is an intellectual, and following a simple syllogism, then a person similar to the self-critical one isn't an intellectual either. The ones less endowed with Christian humility will recognize in that person (the one on the same level)  their sister (brother) in the mud of human stupidity, the guiding star of humanity, the yet not actualized Sartre, Nietzsche, George Sand.

This faculty for that difference can also be described with the mental hygiene I mentioned in the first paragraph. An intellectual is somebody more critical than me in the ideas he lets in his mind, in the jargon of antivirus programs, he's the person with a stronger firewall for stupidity.

The motive for this text (alongside the mental boredom at work, where it came into being) was Claude Simon. He's a writer who wrote a novel in which one of the characters is nobody else but George Orwell (appearing in the novel as the mysterious, but slightly daft O.). And so that Simon person writes a novel to mock the autobiographical novel written by Orwell about his experiences in the Spanish civil war - literally one writer (intellectual) throwing a glove into the face of another (because I presume that many of us find Orwell's work intellectual), in a way which basically says:

"No, my dear, you don't really know how to write a novel about YOUR experiences; I'll have to show you how it's done."

What Simon probably concluded a day before starting to write that some four hundred pages long glove was:

"In the end, I'm a more acute hygienist than you, dear O."

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(Deleted comment)
I thought this might interest you, since you skirt the label more often than not. Though I haven't included anything about American anti-intellectualism.

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