Friday, January 29, 2010
all the world as high school
notes in honor of Holden Caulfield
For example: adding insult to injury. A typical injury by teens is
to excommunicate a “friend.” The insult is to play clueless that
the excommunication happened. “O, what could you be talking about?” But the exclusiveness continues, as if the scene denying it never
There’s nothing like the teenage mind. The tragedy—Salinger’s perception, I suppose—is how teen styles often stay with adults.
That’s especially likely when someone consolidates their adulthood
in terms of consolidations of Self (i.e., self identity) made as a teen.
A teenage immaturity remains the fallback stance in dealing with conflict that unconsciously threatens one’s stability of Self. The teen practice of excommunicative exclusiveness becomes a common social snub used to help sustain the integrity of a network of self-esteeming involvements. Denial of it insults the intelligence of the injured, as if the injured one is too clueless to just go away, instead having the poor taste to ask why. Callousness by the narcissist toward the injury goes with “due regard” for the injured.
Narcissism. I still haven’t read “The Wings of Icarus,” which I promised myself a while back to do. It’s a chapter from Stephen Mitchell’s Relational Concepts in Psychoanalysis.
But for now (upcoming): poetics—whatever that can be made to become.
The theme of all the world as high school has limitless potential, obviously. How well we all remember the reality of class and clique,
but also the real talents that so impressed us (or that we already were). Though considering a vista of modern America relative to the world of high school is a worn theme, it’s never worn out. A profound aspect is what adolescence is for the lastingness of identity and identity-oriented worldview. Even adult truth about being no longer that is woven with
a feel for “I’m no longer that” which is so established in teen years, so woven in a sense of becoming what “I” is about.
A haunting fact is that the anthropology of human longevity has constructed civilization largely as a venture of youth. Parenting was “adolescent.” (Teen desire expresses Deep Time.) The sacred was articulated to make sense to a “teen.” Romeo and Juliet were relative kids (as was Isis and Osiris, Tristan and Iseult). To someone who’s, say, 60, there seems to be little distance from, say, 18 to 25. In cultural evolution, elders have been catchers in the rye for civilizations made largely by and for youth, because such energy was the locus of economic productivity, as well as the source of new labor.
Modernity has gradually moved the bell curve of human flourishing, and the movement is ongoing.
-- gary e. davis --- 3:30 PM