Monday, 5 January 2015

On Failing.

I just read a short story by Kafka called Unhappiness, from his collection Meditations. In it, a little girl enters a man’s apartment without being invited and engages him in quietly fractious conversation. She doesn’t talk like a little girl; she talks more like a teenager, but with rather more astuteness than you would generally expect of the average teenager. The protagonist later describes her to his neighbour as ‘a ghost,’ from which I assume we are supposed to infer some deep psychological meaning. And that’s where I have a problem.

If you take the tale at face value, it’s charming. If you seek to infer deep psychological meaning, it becomes a chore. This is especially true of a person like me who much prefers to feel than think.

So that got me wondering whether I have a good mind. I wouldn’t say so myself, but I suppose it depends on how you define ‘good mind.’ The people at MENSA once told me I have an extraordinarily high IQ, so does that qualify me? I don’t see how. There’s no pride to be taken in a high IQ since it’s merely an accident of birth, and there’s no pleasure or achievement to be gained unless you happen to be interested in matters or activities consistent with those values which the IQ test measures. Besides, I expect there are lots and lots of psychopaths who have high IQs, and you wouldn’t say they have good minds, would you?

(Psychopaths generally get on in life. I happen to be about as far removed from a psychopath as it’s possible to be, which probably explains everything. Maybe that’s something to be proud of. Oh no, same argument applies. Damn.)

After I read Unhappiness, I had a bag of crisps which didn’t taste of anything. Where’s the point in that? They didn’t make me feel good. I think I should have been an author of cheap literature which doesn’t mean anything, and then I might have become rich without first being a psychopath. And I wonder whether I’ve contracted a slight Vonnegut infection.

Be grateful I didn’t publish the post about cabin fever. I am. It was incriminatory.

I got a good beer on special offer while I was out today. The combination of good beer and Lady Gaga is becoming the new paradise. It’s where people like me end up while everybody else is going to heaven. No deep psychological meaning is implied, but may be inferred if you like chores.

No comments: