Robert Hayes Kee,
Department of Polite Aesthetic Praxis
We have entered
the time of diminutional daylight, readers. Nietzsche warned us to
guard against ”winter philosophy” as a source of
ressentiment. We must not allow barren trees, snow, or layers
of flannel to conceal the ever-beating heart of the world’s
liveliness. I plan, as much as any other, to shift to a mode of
solitary quietude while I attend to the many personal and domestic
praxes that have been occluded from my attention by academic
commitments. The predomination of my time by my commitments to my
small desk in the back of the library will soon end.
The winter is a
time of foregathering with consanguineous, rather than esthetic,
interlocutors. This is frequently a stress to our politeness but does
not reduce its importance. We must remember that while we spend most
of our year amongst chosen company, we are not truly committed to an
esthetic praxis of etiquette if it cannot be practiced with those who
do not share our views on the best translation of Un Coup de Dés
Jamais N'Abolira Le Hasard. I am personally rehearsing a look of
vacant contentment to gloss over the scorn of knowing that my
interlocutor has not read a poem of any quality (much less the
aforementioned gem of Symbolist verse) since they matriculated from
secondary education per aspera ad humum. I suggest
considering a similar course to you, dear readers.
Robert Hayes Kee
An interlocutor and
colleague is failing their profession obligations and is impairing my
ability to perform my creative praxis with this organization. What
can I do to politely redress this shortcoming of my interlocutor?
As we have discussed before, the
beginning of etiquette is the beginning of human’s ability to
promise. This is well laid out in a polemic favored by this writer.
One can live atop a mountain in piece quite politely, but if one has
committed to be elsewhere, he does so impolitely. We must strive to
make commitments that enhance our own creative praxis, that place us
in the company of others’ powerful creative praxes. This is the
function of the promise to the creative human and we cannot
underestimate the value of it.
together hoping for mutually enhanced creative praxes, but this
requires the members of a pact to fulfill their duties. Should one
fall short of the ideal, we become a chain with a weak link, or an
even more vexatious metaphor. Creative unions of any kind are rarely
done with definitive structures. These impair the energetics of
motion, and thus there is no clear path to handle the imparity of our
Heraclitus’ river stating that if it were true a human would be
able to steal from him and then claim that transgression was the
doing of another. The transgressor was not the same person the next
day, and Plato did not step into the same river to reach his
Heraclitian interlocutor to make the accusation. Plato claims that
the famous flux of Heraclitus prevents accountability for human
action; he claims it obviates our ability to promise.
This model can be
reversed to your benefit, reader. Replace the failing member of your
organization with another. When the replaced member appears, disavow
any knowledge of their existence, completely. Act with complete
ignorance not just of their past involvement in your organization,
but of their human existence. You have never seen your interlocutor
before, their memory swept away in the flow of a bygone river. While
repetition of this process is not strictly desirable, there is no
limit to the number of times this act can be performed.
I have received a gift
from an interlocutor I had no intention to requite this season. Am I
obligated to reciprocate this gesture?
coercive structure of an overzealous employer (this is one of the
most egregious of the esthetic sins of capitalism), there will always
be unreciprocated giving at the year’s end. It is unfortunate
to be at either end of this imbalance, but we must handle its
inevitable occurrence with grace. I have more recently been in your
position than your interlocutor’s, dear reader, and am prepared
to advise you accordingly.
I, and I assume
you, reader, have a great many acquaintances who wish to increase the
conviviality of our relation, and this fact occasionally presents
itself in the manner you have outlined. Were I to reciprocate this
giving, it would signal my mutual interest in their conviviality when
no such desire exists. Do not signal in this manner, reader, or you
will be back before me in circumstance of worse imbalance. If you are
lucky, your interlocutor has presented you with some comestible,
which you may consume privately and never mention again. If you are
unfortunate, you have been presented with a durable good. Use of the
durable good will forever bare the mark of its giver to that
interlocutor, and you will be forced to converse on the topic of it
at any mutual foregathering.
To avoid this
hellish repetition, I can only suggest that you dispose of the item
as permanently as possible. Remove this item from public ownership
forever and place it in an inaccessible morass. There is no greater
morass that bureaucracy and no more odious and dreadful bureaucracy
than that of the constabulary. For this reason, I suggest using this
item in a crime. Its role as evidence will remove it from private
ownership indefinitely. If you are extraordinarily lucky, this object
will implicate your interlocutor in the crime and obviate your need
to confabulate with this human for some time.
many, I have an unfortunate familial relation, and they will be
present at an impending gathering. This relation praises retrograde
life esthetic praxes. Can I be critical of this relation in a direct
way? What form of discretion is required?
This is indeed a
common issue, dear reader. It is one that borders on universality.
However the commonality of the issue is in pointed contradistinction
to the commonality of the interests of familial relations. I am
fortunate in this respect to belong to an exceedingly polite
consanguinity, so I have little personal experience with this. I have
attended the familial gatherings of others, most usually those of an
amorous interlocutor, and seen this kind of unsolicited opination. As
an outsider, I have always reserved comment, outside of the rare
correction of a peripheral fact. When gathering similarly as an
accomplice, I must advise the silent tolerance of loose use of truth,
or even decency. The view that argument resolves ignorance is a myth
of the Enlightenment. Do not promote such a view with your own
praxis, dear readers.
You speak to a
more familiar and familial situation, however, what to do when one of
one’s own kith acts abhorrently. This is a more difficult
delineation. Your foreknowledge of this human’s dolorific
spoken praxis suggests an undesired familiarity. Without familiarity
and consequence, one should rarely intervene in the errors of
another. Your case seems to rise to the level of intervention,
reader. The regularity of your interlocutor’s outbursts
suggests a surfeit of sureness.
Take from this
overabundance and redistribute it like the means of production in the
hands of the proletariat. Selectively encourage every other member of
your family of their correctness in specific, but differing, areas of
knowledge. If your unfortunate relation no longer holds the monopoly
on unwarranted self-esteem, they will likely be in too great a shock
to hold forth in the expected manner. Should this fail, physical
intervention is called for. Cyanide is said to taste of almonds.
Consider their inclusion on your menu in the conclusory, Victorian