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Amber Paulen

No Mere Idea

…I was, and am still, totally unable to understand the meaning of the word “conviction.” My knowledge that the practice of vivisection, for example, is a crime against everything that is noblest in our race, is not a conviction, it is my life. Goethe cursed Eckermann once for asking him what was the main “idea” in Faust.

“Do you suppose,” he cried, “that a work into which I’ve put my life, would condescend to so poor a category of living value as a mere idea?”

And I would say the same when people ask me for proof that these miserable dogs suffer.

“With my whole being I know,” I answer them…

That is really how we all know that all evil is evil. You can find reasons to defend anything.

This quote of John Cowper Powys from Autobiography inspires two thoughts in me.

The First: The obvious relation to writing into which the writer writes with his/her whole life. I have written about this before, here for instance; I have written that I believe it impossible to study “creative” studies. The contemporary way of going about art is in the accumulation of degrees and workshops and asked for praise and acclaim. Most writers I run into on their sites, have mile-long lists behind their names. This is an embarrassment, for instead of art becoming something which we can all pour our lives into it has become something for academia, which just another word for bull-shit. These factory made writers write on the assembly line of a singular idea that appears pretty on paper; that it is an opera is a far cry: It Stinks!

How do we come to such dribble? How do we counter such dribble? I believe it all comes down to what John Cowper Powys describes as his ‘life-illusion’. Once we have firmly grasped our own “life-illusion”, chiseled out from life itself, then we can write with our whole lives for the words which would pour forth would be. Yes, that’s it, “would be, “ just as we are. Until then it’s poking around in the dark, false conclusions and gross lies. Paperbacks to appease the people, cooked up like McDonald’s hamburgers. I think I’ll pass.

The Second: How do we know all evil is evil? Each to our own evil, that’s what it implies. The other night I found evil while perambulating around in the ‘fatosphere’, evil in Meme Roth. I’ve never heard of this horrible witch before, I wish I hadn’t. Just watching her speak makes me want to turn her off, which I did. What is she suggesting? That women should come in one perfect size which equals health? That women should not embrace their fat, fat on each woman, for women are fat; not embrace who they are? But enough already about that evil wraith, I would rather write of the good stuff I found.

The fat acceptance movement is one of the best movements to hit women. Beautiful bodies no matter what. With real fat women propelling the whole thing, speaking out with their experience of being at the ass-end of our body-obsessed society. It is very heartening for it speaks out to all women who have thought: I should loose some weight; to anyone who has thought: If only I looked like ______, if only I could change _______. It speaks: Accept yourself for who you are.

These women do not speak from a “mere idea,” they are speaking from their lives.


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