Wickedness makes life worth living.



One of the problems with the whole "good guys vs. bad guys" thing is that it's mostly the wicked things that make life worth living.

Philosophy is a wicked thing.  A philosopher questions, and a question is already a kind of rebellion.  Moral philosophy is a bit of an oxymoron: a philosopher questions the mores of her society, and to do so means, at least at some small, abstract level, to stand outside of these mores. True, many would-be philosophers lack the boldness to be logically rigorous, and to take their questions to the end, hiding behind moral scruples.  And then they wonder why they cannot figure out the meaning of life.  No wonder: for the goody two-shoes, life has no meaning.

Aesthetics are all a little wicked.  Art cannot be amoral - art should be immoral.

Laughter is a little bit wicked - or at least, the best humor is wicked.  Laughter and horror- these two are intertwined in strange ways, that are not fully captured in the simple word "surprise," but you catch a glimpse of the mystery of their intertwining in the word "hysterics".  When you're "losing it," in "uproarious" laughter, there's a kind of demonic vertigo, where down may be up, up may be sideways, and for a moment we are kicked loose from the illusory little order where we waste the rest of our lives.

Even friendship is a bit of a wicked thing.  Anyone who has truly been friends with another person knows this.  Friendship is not the same as universal love.  Friendship is a little bit mean.  Friends are people that we laugh with - people around whom we feel safe enough to expose our twisted universes - including some inevitable rivalry and conflicting emotions and maybe a little ball-busting (is there a non-gender-specific term for ball-busting?).  The jealousies and gossipy fractal complexities are too tangled to ever settle the question of the difference between a friend and an enemy, but at bottom there's such an capricious arbitrariness to it - why did you end up with this person, out of the billions of other people out there?  It's a bias and a privilege - and an imposed obligation - and it's profoundly unfair.  Wonderfully unfair.

Family is just flat-out evil.

Love is the most wicked thing of all.  People talk about "peace and love" as if the two things went together but love is incompatible with peace.  Love is a fire.  It consumes everything.


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