December 31: the enemy of the phenomenological

Much of the writing of the so-called Existentialists, people like Sartre, Camus and De Beauvoir, is about trying to define or illustrate an authentic freedom rather than the self-deceiving freedoms we mostly enjoy, the mauvaise foi. These self-deceiving freedoms are the ideological lies that buttress our ego (the environmental; the social equality lies) and the habitual quotidian acts of mauvaise foi, as run through the mobile phone. the social networks, much screen world in general, the shopping; just so many things to keep real freedom away from us. In Covid times suddenly the existentialist preccupation with authentic freedom looks relevant. Our so-called freedoms are restricted under the various tiers; we are unable to go to the cafe, the pub, the cinema, to meet up for New Year’s eve. We are forced into ourselves, forced to confront truths about our existence. This is the departure point for any genuine attempt to live; the plague ; the absurd; the contingent; the moment when you really situate yourself in time and space. Covid might give us the chance to get back to ground zero. Although it may be foiled by that great opponent of the genuine, the authentic, the phenomenological, the existential: Netflix. Cheery New Year!

December 23: the art of war

We have had an attack of forid flies. That may be that word. I can’t remember. And it may be them or maybe something else. I first noticed these small black marks on the side of the sink in the morning when I was shaving. I think they were the eggs or baby flies. Then we noticed little flies like fruit flies in the flat. They couldn’t be fruit flies bacause there was no exposed or rottibg fruit. Then we thought they were coming from a camelia plant under the bathroom window outside in the courtyard. We moved that to the other side of our little space. No change. Now we think they are these forid flies, which come from down your sink breeding and multiplying on organic matter in the drain. Today we are pouring destructive liquid down the sink to destroy their homes and spraying fly spray to kill their active forces. We hope this will work. You may recall our destruction of an ant colony in the kitchen wall. There we got the outlying ants and scouts to take back luscious material to their civilization, like a Wooden horse, and so destroy their city of gold. This campaign is more in the manner of a siege. The next few hours will be critical. It is F-Day. It will decide whether it is us or they who enjoy that Christmas dinner a couple of days from now.