[ an open letter to the management of the london public library chain ‘ideastore’]
Dear Sergio (and by the nature of open letters, Dear Judith and Barbara as well),
We’ve had the honour and a couple of things have been spoken about, ‘discussed’. I don’t want to say more about persecution, beliefs, censorship or ‘conspiracy’ (as Barbara called it) since my work, particularly draft magazine, has been speaking about this at length and in depth. Yet, a few thoughts popped-up concerning your framework ‘local library’ and my framework ‘local writer’ that might as well serve as appropriate closing words for our open and direct encounter.
Now, if I say ‘local writer’, then obviously if at this stage you feel that the standard of my work as either a) Writer, b) Philosopher, c) Scholar, d) Artist (tick or untick boxes where appropriate) wouldn’t meet the required standard for even the weakest content within your library framework, then, of course, there’s no need to read through the following outpourings. ‘T was nice to meet you and hope all works out well. Remember, empires come and go and all those endowed with real power are (and have always been) operating behind the scenes. Only the so-called “useful idiots” (revealed by KGB defector Yuri Brezmenov) are ignorant enough to be most conveniently taken for a ride by those knowing higher truths. While at the same time, all Alexander the Greats and Djengis Khans (even Maos) are the ones ‘divinely’ chosen – within their mortal time allotted – to fulfil all those cosmic schemes that are significantly larger than life.
If you’re still here, I’d like to say at this stage that after having left little ‘notes’ around your premises for the past three years or so, it was a real pleasure for me to finally get in touch officially. While with you, Sergio, I felt a strong connection by the fact alone, that on one hand we’re both intellectuals (rational people who’ve read a lot and have the compassionate heart to sense man’s dire predicament while been given the mental faculties to advance humanity towards something hopefully ‘better’) and on the other we’ve both been growing-up from a similarly wisecracking, psuedo-sophisticated turf that to me is the continental art scene. Yet, I could also sense a more personal bond that not only comes from the fact that you seemed to be a cool guy who understands quite well how ‘lucky’ it is to be given such a position of power as yours, in such a tragically short life, during such troubled times as the ones we’re presently facing.
Judith, I haven’t had the pleasure to meet you in person. I hope you liked those two little presents I left for you. I sincerely apologize for having addressed you with a seemingly pretentious ‘Jude’ in the cover note. I got confused with the Southbank Centre director’s name Jude Kelly whose assistant I’ve been talking to the day before. Being the ‘other half’ of Sergio, so to speak, I can only assume you to be equal in terms of character as well. (For the ‘character’ bit here – I’m using this as a notion that greatly differs from the one held by anyone instilled with ‘party’ or ‘equal opportunity’ culture (which is communist, lol) . The way I’m using it refers to how cultivators use it. It refers to someone’s mind and heart nature, the part that is being cultivated through the earnest discernment of upright teachings or ‘laws’. I’ll explain a bit later).
Barbara, haha, great talking to you. You’re holding a really iron lady stance there, as a ‘manager’. I could clearly see you being torn and fluctuating between ‘persona’ and ‘individual’, though. It’s certainly not easy to always remain truly oneself. And with success, it becomes even more difficult since the higher the rank, the bigger all expectations from the outside are getting to adhere to the stereotype that they’d adamantly desire to see you in. Yet – the self-employed are often in the position of attaining quite significant power exactly by not having such internal conflict in the first place. They’re experienced by the outside as consistent and natural throughout. Of course, looked at it deeper, it’s still just another act and it can be coached or trained to perfection. (Kennedy apparently studied James Dean’s on-screen expressions to improve his own). In other words, one way or the other, more genuinely or awkwardly, we’re all acting. And we’ve all been conditioned to present ourselves in certain ways. Such mysterious phenomena are looked at in group psychology, something the general public isn’t allowed to know much about, much less worry about. For the ruling system, this works very well.
Which brings us to the only real argument you delivered in our meeting: “the system works for us and it’s your problem if it doesn’t work for you”. I’m afraid, while this might’ve helped to successfully get rid of me, this isn’t a striking argument at all. Which system in power wouldn’t claim the same? Nazi Germany felt that way and the Soviet ‘Union’ as well. China feels that way right now despite having to torture and kill kind and true people by the thousands, even millions, in order to prove it. The banks feel that way, don’t they? Including yours, when you’re on the street one day, perhaps. Global supermarket chains feel it and property development tycoons. The fattening surveillance contractors and the winning parties of any given government, however corrupt or crooked, self-righteous or idealistic. They all feel the same like you do. For us, it works. Only the jobless and starving complain. Or better, they’ve meanwhile been weakened and disenfranchised to the point that they don’t even know what it means to complain – or even if they could, where to address their complaints to? They don’t know anything anymore except that their own survival is very much at stake now. That in reality, the larger game’s stakes are so much higher than even the mere survival – that’s something not even the puppet masters and social engineers of their misery are allowed to know. That’s one.