Le blog pour les salauds

Friday, August 09 2013 @ 04:52 AM JST

Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto

Good faith seeks to flee the inner disintegration of my being in the direction of the in-itself which it should be and is not. Bad faith seeks to flee the in-itself by means of the inner disintegration of my being.
- Diagnostic remarks on mental health by a French shrink

Kids playing kick-the-can
If I am to liken my 9-year-old website to a business entity, DK is the shareholder, while I am its founder and CEO. At the beginning DK was my technical assistant but in 2009 when I financially went under, he offered to shoulder all the costs involved in the use of the blog hosting service. That's how he took over one of the world's most hated websites from me.

My responsibility to the new shareholder is not to pay him dividends, nor boost the popularity of the site. Google Analytics shows some aggregated 300,000 visitors from 150 countries have actually read my posts in the last 9 years. But my boss doesn't give a damn about numbers. He thinks my only KPI is the quality of people - visitors and myself. And to me, integrity is the only yardstick to use when measuring the quality of human beings.

Don't ask me how I define the word integrity. The meaning of the word is so tricky that you would never really understand it if I told you my semantics about it. For one thing the antonym of integrity is bad faith. But that doesn't necessarily mean good faith is synonymous with integrity. It should also be noted that integrity is one thing and honesty is quite another, whereas integrity seldom goes hand-in-hand with dishonesty.

Perhaps until the early-1960s, every educated American knew it was his responsibility to unequivocally define his word every time he used it. It's true Americans were already pathologically obsessed with the idea that it's a sin to tell a lie. But the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has exacerbated the situation. It imposed a new rule that says it's a sin to tell the truth, without superseding the old one. The result was disastrous; both "honest" and "dishonest" Americans got trapped in the worst type of bad faith. Now torn between the two principles, they are at a loss over what to say to remain sinless. It looks as though everyday they take a multiple-choice exam in which they are supposed to find the true statement from among false ones, or they answer questions asked by a pollster on whether they approve, disapprove, or "don't know" the subject in question. It seems to me American visitors to my website are no exceptions.

No one can free himself from bad faith because it's something that separates the human being from the ape. But he puts himself in an aggravated bad faith when he doesn't have the courage to face his real self, which is the only way to overcome the inner disintegration.

Don't take me wrong, however; at any rate we are not operating an online reformatory here. Basically it's none of my business how far they have been "dumbed down" collectively by some evil power, which could well be an imaginary thing, or more likely yet, they have dumbed themselves down all together. All I expect from them as a humble blogger is that they don't deviate too much from the rules of dialectical interchange. To put it in plainer words, I want them to play it fair, so as to ensure creative conversation in this community. I don't think we are overly demanding in that respect.

Unlike with the owner of this website, my knowledge in French is quite limited. I don't even know for sure whether the word "blog" used in a French sentence is masculine or feminine. Yet I think "les salauds" is the right word to describe the "specimens" I have observed in the last 9 years since I started this extremely unpopular blog. My lifetime philosophy teacher rediscovered the word, sort of, and found the philosophical pejorative very useful in the context of his ontology.

I always think the closest thing to the game les salauds are playing here is Kick-the-Can, also known as Pom-Pom in some American states. When I was 9 years old, we played it a lot in the middle of the ruins of war, because an empty can was all we needed, and we could easily find one at a junkyard near the residential area for GIs and their families. It's funny these days not a few good old boys in America are hooked on the kiddies game. No problem. Go ahead and have fun kicking an empty can.

Be sure, though, you never kick me around. If I look like one of those waste cans, I'm not really empty yet.

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