Icarus Dancing in the Heart of the Sun
By: Philius Brutus Ruckus
At first glance, this title may appear pretentious to the point of vanity. Do people know Icarus, son of Daedalus, who flew to heights unimaginable, and was consequently cast down to depths beyond compare? What is it to the reader that Icarus dances? What does it matter to the author? The same might be asked of this mythical “heart of the sun”. There is much to this title that requires some act of the imagination to put these words into context. For there is more at play here than what meets the mind’s eye. More importantly, from where I, your humble author, sit, there is far more at stake. I do intend to elucidate the meaning of my title, but all in due time.
You see, reader, to title something at all, to place a line of symbols, both letter and punctuation, at the top of a greater set of symbols, is a tremendous act of pretension, a rather absurd act, in fact. Take the text before you. Take it not as a mere text, but as a whole – as the page in its entirety. Ignore the desire to place it in the apparent context of a “text”, but frame it as an object. Strip away all that is immediate to the mind when reading and actually view the page. All at once, you will find that the black marks on white paper make as much sense as the static on the screen of a television, or on the radio. You may be getting lost within this metaphor, deranged and confused by this act of abstraction, so I’ll get right to the point: Human activity is a complex network of projections. More specifically, it is the extension of our capacity to imagine – to not only imagine that objects are before us, as objects, but to place them in relationships to ourselves, to others, and to other objects. This is the ultimate pretension.
I will do you a service and ground my words in the words of others. In the book of Genesis, man is given dominion over the Earth and the power to name all of “God’s” creations (Genesis 2). Martin Heidegger, who was no stranger to this work of theological fiction, drew out a similar thought from Greek tradition. In his essay, The Question Concerning Technology, he suggested that techne, the root word of technology, is not merely a hammer, nor is it a great complex of computers, or planes or trains or automobiles. Technology is any activity that suits the needs of mankind. To unpack this a bit further, take at look at what activities you perform. Ask if and how they serve some as a means to the end – Life. If you are astute, then you will see that even language, or more primitively, guttural harmonics and physical gesticulations, can be understood as a form of technology.
I am not one to assume the implication suggested both by the bible and Dr. Heidegger – that mankind is entitled to dominion, nor that human life and activity are sanctioned or justified. I am a Nihilist, and proudly so, but I do not think one should see me, your guide through this wild journey of thought, as a negative individual. No, think of me as a kind and loving Nihilist, given over to the sensations in my body that beg for life, that beg for meaning and intent, who laughs at the absurdity of our activities and goes along with it just because. It makes me a proud hypocrite, one who sees death with the same loving eyes as he observes the long procession of life. Yet I am reserved in championing all that our species has accomplished, as I do not think that what we call progress is progress at all, and like Heidegger, I want to issue something of a cautionary utterance…
Finish the rest of this heady diatribe in your own copy of Sheriff Nottingham Vol. 2, Iss. 1