Ranting About Despair

And yet, we are each touched once, maybe even now and then, by the concealed power of this question [“Why are there beings at all instead of nothing?”], without properly grasping what is happening to us. In great despair, for example, when all weight tends to dwindle away from things and the sense of things grows dark, the question looms.

– Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics

The characterization of despair above makes me wonder. I haven’t been terribly happy recently, and it seemed to me that things had more weight. Every little thing that went wrong after the initial problem arose had a major siginificance, and a melancholy still rests on everything I perceive.

The easy way around my discussion of my personal problems, though, is to say that I’m not in “great despair.” But I think I’ve suffered to a reasonable extent, and that I should be able to see what might exist in what Heidegger calls “great despair.” For if Heidegger is mistaken about when the weight of the world makes itself present – if things grow weightier in great sorrow, and become more present to us – and if joy for him also depends on a distance from things (he claims joy is like seeing the world anew, seeing “that” things are only more than “how” or “why”), then he is mistaken about when the originary question arises. He seems to imply that it is in reaction to Nothing that we contemplate why there is any sort of Being, but again, if things growing weightier propels us into such a questioning, then the implication would be that it is not through confronting our loss that we achieve any sort of depth, but through confronting our hopes.

I say that because the world has had a weight because I saw – still see, to some degree – every little event as connected with my ability to hope. And hope, perhaps, does not really emphasize Nothing, even though it could be said to be a nothingness by someone awfully cynical.

All that having been said, I think Heidegger is probably right when I think it through. To see the world through the lens of one event is to collapse all things into one thing, and that one thing might not even exist. There is a weightlessness, a distancing, even as one feels heavier – darkness does that to one. There is also an all-consuming self-absorption in despair, and one can see this in mere unhappiness.

A further consideration is whether the originary question coming about can make some good of what is most problematic for one. I like to think so, but then again, I see hope in some unusual places.


1. I eat very well at home.

(It should be noted that for Montesquieu, the most despotic countries seem to be the ones with the best cuisine: China, India and, by implied argument, France are all cited as being tyrannical or tending towards tyranny.)

2. It feels comfy.

(Been very diligent with Aristotle this past week, despite acting in some ways not like an adult at all.)

3. It’s cramped.

(There are more people who care around. I like it cramped.)

4. I’m freer here.

(This will be demonstrated when I have Internet at home, and can resume my studies and conversations in earnest.)


There is something peculiar about a city where the Center – there is a Basilica and a Washington Monument there – and the Harbor are the only places one can walk. What is peculiar is not the crime; crime has existed in all ages. It is the limitation of motion caused by the crime.

One can only walk North and South, to the Water or to the Center. East and West aren’t really places as much as traps: there’s nothing one would want to see there, and there is no hospitality extended to one.

The curious thing about the brutality of our age is how limited it is, and how destructive it is of those who are brutal. They’re animals in self-imposed cages, staring from the outside in, sometimes not even doing that much. It would have been nice to meet some people and make new friends – in any other city I go, I attempt that. But, properly speaking, I was in a place that was as far as possible removed from being a city.


I want to contact her, and just talk, but I know that’s impossible. I’ve said awful, awful things to her, and apologies won’t do, I know that.

Worse yet, she’s done something amazingly cruel to me – I’m shocked anyone could do what she’s done. I can forgive that, but only if she’s willing to talk to me.

Part of the problem is that her cruelty resides in speech that complements what she’s done. If I try to talk to her, as I have before, she’ll push me away and hurt me more. She did this before I did anything wrong, she has done it after I have done some things wrong, and now that some time has passed where I have done nothing wrong, I think it’s time I waited, and maybe got an apology. I have been sincere in my apologies, after all, although tormented by her coldness. One might expect that she could say she’s sorry, given my concern.

A Theory On Myspace’s Popularity

Note: I left this comment on Jeff Jarvis’ blog and thought it was a waste sitting there. I have modified it some. This was also posted on my old blog, before it was literally eaten by the server.

MySpace works in my mind because it’s blogging without all the “writing” and “thinking” keeping an audience demands, all that stuff being replaced by the raw sexuality music unleashes and that young attractive people – rightfully – want in on. One listens to music and looks for hot girls (or guys) there, because it’s like a giant online concert, composed of personals and cliques composed of personals and band pages. Conversation is easy to make, because you can start it by saying, “Hey, I saw this band recently, why don’t you check out their page and listen to some stuff?” (That the grammatical version. The Myspace version would involve phrases like L8OR H8OR’s or something). The music is always in the background, I think, and that makes it the world’s largest personals site.

I could be wrong about this, though. There might be something more sophisticated to MySpace. I’ve found a classical composer there who is very good, and I’ve found a few friends who talk about literature with me there. But I really want to meet decent people, too, so where there’s a will, there’s a way.

So I dunno. The question is this – we would want a site that could be used for free personals no matter what, and MySpace, because of the music, allows us to have that sort of site with an easy cover, “Yeah, it’s about the music for me.” Fine, so let’s say this: How would MySpace be different if certain types of music were more popular on it?