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  • louise
    How to keep beginning, again? Real damage cannot be undone. There remain some urgent necessities, of the heart, of attempted communication. I do not want to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 25, 2009
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      How to keep beginning, again? Real damage cannot be undone. There
      remain some urgent necessities, of the heart, of attempted
      communication. I do not want to begin. So. In a sense, good.

      I rise from the chair, gaze at a fine wooden radio, from memory I
      would guess Murphy, 1930s, one of Russell's designs. A fragmented
      memory, as though rusty. Yes, I am staying with the Custodian this
      evening, the modest Viking whom I married all those years ago. It
      is such a fraught matter, of which I wish to speak. Though my own
      existence cannot stand as any kind of microcosm or template, years
      of intense experience have brought me into close contact with
      realities which the human mind just does not normally wish to
      encounter, and which are a blight to the peace and cohesion of the
      social order. These realities are an undeniable part of the
      material world, typically intersecting with the professional
      responsibilities of policemen, social workers, journalists,
      politicians, judges, and a source of great anxiety to particular
      individuals and communities.

      Jim's designation of himself, or pseudonymous ascription, as 'Jesus
      boy' and 'selfish coward' has saddened me, because it seems so
      spectacularly inapt. Certainly I cannot see this kind of venture as
      an indirect communication or a contribution to the cause of free
      speech, though quite possibly it was not intended as either. When I
      have practised allusiveness and riddling circumlocutions, the
      underlying motive has usually been a mixture of duty and need. It
      is horrible to feel that one is 'informing' on others, as though
      there were a direct conspiracy afoot to bring the fictional world of
      1984 to hideous contemporary reality, or, to put it another way, to
      reproduce the petty espionage of the old Soviet empire among the
      individual lives of real and virtual communities.

      What has been written has been written. Some of it troubles me so
      much that I would like to offer some brief explanation, without
      really knowing whether it is for the best.

      I recall in particular my disturbed repetitions of slanders which
      have festered within me for years. So, to be specific, there is in
      the first place the earthy nature of Anglo-Saxon language which, in
      cases of insult or the kind of coded self-defence which is
      experienced as insult by those outside the culture of the speaker
      (this is quite largely a matter of class, I think), can have a
      devastating effect on emotion and self-esteem. Although I could
      tell the truth straightforwardly to the police, for instance, in
      some cases if the slander was directed not at myself but at my
      husband, then any differences in our sense of what is to be taken
      seriously, or how it is to be countered, would be factors in
      complicating the horror of damage.

      One member of the community who was evidently sane in the normal
      sense of the word, told me a few years ago, with a sort of concerned
      alarm, that I was 'married to a paedophile'. The peculiarity of
      this kind of claim has played havoc with my own mental stability,
      which has been in more or less constant jeopardy since I embarked on
      the great adventure of the world wide web. The earlier manic
      episodes were from my point of view quite unconnected with the
      internet. How utterly taken by surprise I was, by the events in
      this locality from the early months of 2004! Use of the f-word or
      references to piss and shit, or crap, are hardly shocking, but used
      with frequency in unfamiliar contexts seemed absolutely bizarre. I
      have never actually heard anyone use the expression, 'white shit' -
      it was my own helplessly-crafted response to the bewilderment of
      feeling trapped recently by alternating attack and defence by
      existlist members, without my understanding context or motive. To
      write all this does not make me feel better: that is not my motive.
      Only an advance in mutual understanding and trust could make me feel

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