By Ahmed Latif
They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Good thing for me I have never had any of those. I do, believe it or not, greatly doubt those who are authentic, altruistic, and good intentioned. They don’t make sense to me, so naturally I find them dangerous.
You see, you can count on me to behave dishonourably, but that altruistic bastard you never know when he’ll drop those good intentions and pick up something more convenient and toxic, like lying through his teeth. He might even try to use his track record as altruistic and good-intentioned in order to get away with more lies and whatnot. Whereas I’ll never sully my reputation by pretending to be good-intentioned, not ever.
Some may think that this fall from grace I am so callously describing is in fact tragic. I cannot say I agree. I think that tragedy is kind of inherently humorous, maybe even flat out funny. I also find comedy to be intrinsically tragic, and it takes a special kind of sick person to laugh at it.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t find everyone’s pain amusing, just everyone else’s. It’s a matter of evolutionary prudence we can say. Now you can call me numb but I prefer to think of myself as perpetually casual. It sounds more chic I think.
Now you’re probably wondering why? Why are you such a hurt and petty man? Didn’t you ever read Plato or long for some idealistic Socratic reflection that would change your life for the better. Of course I did. I did so much Socratic reflection that I realized that Socratic reflection didn’t even save Socrates from his date with the executioner, so how the hell is it going to save me?
But after Plato and Aristotle and those idealistic types, I turned to Descartes and he led me down this road, all dark and mysterious. But mysterious not in a kind of seductive way, instead in a kind of repulsive way; as in I don’t know and I don’t want to know.
It’s that time in the evening when you must be wondering: Why Descartes? Well, I would have to say because he was an existentialist, and as an existentialist he didn’t have a sense of humour. And there is nothing funnier than someone without a sense of humour. But that is a terrifying thought. Makes you really hate yourself. Now take that hate and self-loathing and just let them simmer for a years, heck, a few decades. You let it simmer long enough and you’ll become numb. And the thing about numbness is you don’t choose to what. You just become numb. Numb to the self-loathing and along with it the entire spectrum of human emotion — which if we are being honest is the highlight of this descent away from the outlook of Socrates and towards the outlook of his executioner.