Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Introducing the Other. A Member of Them.

Some of this may not make sense, for reasons which will become murky.

Hi! I'm the Other.

My Otherness is nothing new. I've always been the Other. True, I'm pretty sure I wasn't consciously aware of it in those terms, originally. But the indications were always there. In any given Us versus Them I've generally been a Them-sympathizer. My particular sense of otherness and knee-jerk them-identification is also the source of my relentless and often infuriating (and effective!) devil's advocacy. But it's only been fairly recently that I've realized how small a them I'm really a part of. Or to be more accurate: the whole of. I just seem to be pretty much the only one I know who relates this way. A pity, because it's pretty awesome! If I had to guess I'd say it consists in my essential nonattachment to self, or a better word: disinterest. Not that I don't love self! I just don't find it interesting, as a subject or as a viewpoint. I'm completely alienated from that, to be honest. I don't relate to self at all. I'm not really sure how anyone does.

I'm well aware they do! It seems beyond dispute that they do. But why they do...that's the puzzler. Are they seeing something I'm not? If so, it's beyond me.

Don't get me wrong, I am unquestionably the unique individual. Of course I am! Who isn't? Just like anyone, I am the unique individual: the ego, who is and who acts. The "I" in reference to which all others undoubtedly stand in the relation of an other.

But that's kind of the point, isn't it? None of them ever seem to see themselves as an other. Let alone the Other. All of them seem to self-identify as...the Self. All of them.

This doesn't make a lick of sense to me. It's ludicrous on the face of it. To how many people do you stand in the relation of other?? All of them! Every single one! To how many people do you stand in a relation of self? Not a single one!

Unless you count yourself, and beg pardon but that's rather begging the question, isn't it? Yes.

To the whole wide world of individuals, I am at home and awake to my nature: unquestionably the Other. That's how everyone seems to see me, and frankly that's always about how it's always felt to me. It feels right. It feels like me, it's what I am comfortable with because I have always been. It fits! When I was a kid in a family of five, six, seven, eight, nine kids, I was pretty much always the Other, perfectly comfortable in that role. That's how everyone saw me and treated me - even mom and dad. Maybe especially mom and dad. But the point is: not a one treated me as the Self, that's for sure! From my earliest days I've always been the Other. My experience of life has always been the experience of the Other.

And why not! I stand confident and secure exactly where you see me: I stand in the place of the Other, in relation to you. You and every other person. People are unanimous on that score - which I'd call a reality check, if I'd ever needed to check! If mine hadn't been the first ballot in the box, but it was. And I'm quite comfortable I do a very good job, representing the Other to all these selves, lost in a featureless sea of individuality, dragging around their definite articles like anchors, insisting on that unique thing of theirs (whatever it is they think it is). Let them have their self-identification. I'm fine! I'm good. I've got something else, and it works pretty well.

In whatever interaction happens, I've been the Other to whoever's asking. I've never had a feel for whatever self-based motive I'd be supposed to care about, to investigate or muster up. I haven't the slightest interest in or understanding of wants or motives - mine, at least. Who cares about that crap! It doesn't bother me when I get upset. It rolls right over me and then I forget. It's pretty easy and I've got no regrets. And people ask me what it is that I got? They try to tell me how I just can't be stopped - how come I always seem to get what I want?

I don't know what they're talking about! I don't care what I want.

I don't even give it any thought. It just feels good. It feels good, being the Other! Not just "an" other, either but the Other. Nice. Pleasurable. Not without distinction. After all, of the billions of others in the world, I seem to be pretty much the only one who identifies that way. Who owns the role, as it were. I can't claim any special credit! It's just natural to me. Preference, habit and inclination. It just goes very well with who I am, with my place in reality, with how I see it.

I'm a disinterested agent of my own fate, basically, and I'm always mystified how the other others have gotten so off-track on theirs. Why are all these other others so self-concerned?

I am always going to be the Other. The object. As far as I can tell, no one's in a position to object to that. The Other flies below the radar it seems: the inessential part of everyone else's self-absorbed day, and why not? Doesn't make my value any less, it just means I'm not an essential part of their purpose, for whatever object or goal they've got at the moment. Maybe I'm a small part of it! If so, I'm interested! I take an interest, I'm glad to help - tell me what I can be to you! What part can I play in whatever story you're the hero of today? What factor or catalyst do you need me to be, in whatever prophecy you're expecting to self-fulfill? I like to take an interest and do what I can! Which is weird, since I claim to take not much interest in my own wants or motives. But think about it, duh! Those wore themselves into my modus operandi by the time I was ten. They're uninteresting because there's nothing there to think about. Natural habit, preference and action - how self-involved would somebody have to be to take an interest in, I don't know, the fact that they like girls? You're not interested in that, you're interested in girls. What's to think about? I use "girls" as an example - I haven't been interested in those in years, I dig women.

Point is, the Other is not the antagonist, nor does the Other like to refer to himself in the third person - that was a one-time mess-up, there. Pray pardon. But while I'm not by any means an antagonist, I do like to react and respond. I've got no agenda of my own to push, but I'd like to understand what your purpose is, and how I fit into it! I make no promises, mind you. But I'll hear you out. And I'll decide if what you're after is something I'd care to do. To do it or not do it. To listen and to understand, to answer, and to move on.

So anyway, that's me! If we happen to meet, that's me: the Other. It's how I identify, and I don't expect you'll see me any differently yourself. I'd be surprised if you did, but then realistically, I'm always surprised that way more people don't see it like this. See it like I do. Identify as otherly. Can't they see how otherly they are, to just about everyone? Me, I try to honor their perspective and preference. I know they identify as the Self, and I try to honor their self-identification. If I'm able, I try to treat every single individual one of them as the Self they imagine themselves to be. But how ludicrous that they can't see for themselves who they are fooling with that nonsense. Sure, pal - you are the Self.

I mean, comfortable as I am with it I'd feel a little bit uneasy about my claim if I had billions of others claiming it.

Maybe we have a self-styled Self reading this right now? Let me ask you: how outnumbered are you as you go about your day, "Self"? Look at all the Others! How do you deal with being the Self, one lonely one adrift in a sea of otherness? Do you demonize the Other? If so, watch out! I don't take kindly to being demonized, and I don't believe any others do either. Do you group a bunch of others into an Us with you, so you can themify the remaining others? So secure in the strength of your intrinsic Us-ness you forget how many others you've let in the fold! Can you trust them? How do you maintain such precarious self-identification? Do you alienate the other from your self - or do you alienate yourself? Fuck. How could you even tell.

You know what? This all sounds like that "angst" crap to me. I've got zero interest in that, let me assure you. My interest in angst is nonexistential. Let's just you keep in mind who you are and who I am, and you'll be fine. I'm the Other.

If you care to dispute me for the title well you can just go fuck your self.

1 comment:

dogimo said...

This should be half as short, twice as nimble and a delight to read.

Needs another go.