American Autumn

Is the mic on?

Last words for 2012.
Is the mic on? Last words for 2012
Study after Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, Francis Bacon

With execution only hours away, and having angrily refused the chaplain’s last rites in his Algiers prison cell, Outsider antagonist Meursault declares “… my last wish was that there should be a crowd of spectators at my execution and that they should greet me with cries of hatred.” Having followed Meursault through his frank admissions of indifference, his trial for murder, his joy in pursuing truth and his unmoving commitment to honesty, Meursault’s last words were Camus’s treatise on how a philosopher ought to live, and ultimately, how it is one should die – that the goal of philosophy itself, as the ancient Cicero said, “is to learn how to die.”

Meursault’s vindication is not the accidental mutterings of alcoholics like Dylan Thomas’s “I’ve had 18 straight whiskies. I think that’s the record,” the delusional finalities like Napoleon’s “France! Army! Head of the Army! Josephine …” or Victor Hugo’s ominous “I see a dark light.” Rather, gazing out the lone cell window, Meursault’s paradoxical lament is more akin to Socrates’s “Crito, we owe a cock to Asclepius. Do pay it. Don’t forget,” telling us that death was merely transformation, or Darwin’s “I have no fear of death.” But this is only part of Meursault’s reclamation of philosophy from the elite tangle of scientific method into the words of earthlings. Surely we can see a coupling in Aldous Huxley’s final words, a request on paper to his wife, “100 milligrams LSD, I.M.” – which she obligingly injected – and Australian outlaw hero Ned Kelly’s “such is life” with Meursault’s experience of finality as an anticlimactic absurd bore. Che’s hopeful provocation “I know you have come to kill me. Shoot coward, you are only going to kill a man,” might reckon otherwise with Camus’s absurdity, but Che’s blood bled into the ground all the same. The heartache of Vincent van Gogh’s “the sadness will last forever,” a day after shooting himself in the chest, might likewise cause Meursault’s conclusion pause, save for the fact the painters death was the ill-conceived opus of a genius. Ludwig Wittgenstein said that if you want to be a good philosopher, you should become a car mechanic. That learning to live, and consequently to die, is not found in books and platitudes but in the “such is life” of our lives. The secret is not in the grandeur but in the anonymity. In this search it could be considered that if you want to learn something new about how to die today, something about the mundane in solitude, the anonymous anthology of final testaments on Texas’s death row might have something to show.

Is the mic on?

I done lost my voice.

My heart goes, is going, ba bump ba bump ba bump.

Nothing I can say can change the past.

Man, there is a lot of people here.

I came here today to die, not make speeches.

To my sweet Claudia, I love you.

I’m ready, Warden.

20 comments on the article “Is the mic on?”

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Anonymous

Pity - Meursault was as lucky as Dr. Elie Lalouz who was murdered in bed by two Israeli prostitutes.

http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/french-chemists-killed-by-israeli-prostitutes/

The human cost ...

The human cost of an elite life

If the ratio is something like 99 to 1 than it takes about 8000 years of human experience to make a present day elite life possible or at least that is the cost exacted by the present system to make such a life possible. But the cost is even greater because the people making the sacrifice wouldn't choose those years. By the standard of choice these are experiences and lives not worth living or having. Think about how US elites have granted their defense forces the delegitimizing ability to disappear anyone these forces think may be a threat.

Is living under such depravity a life anyone would choose? Even the elites will find themselves subject to it. This is the only endpoint that neoliberalism can provide. This total failure means we need a completely new approach. Growth and the market are not the answer.

Anonymous

The Washington-based Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) says that since 1976 – 27 foreign nationals from 15 countries have been put to death in United States without full and proper compliance with international laws. Furthermore, there are at least 135 foreigners of 34 foreign nationalities on death row in the US at present......

http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/locked-up-in-us-vs-iran/

Anonymous

America, the world, needs a Progressive movement. Not an anarchist one. Stop what you are doing and wake up. We are a community, the common good works with a strong Democracy, not anarchy. Again stop, the USA will never be anarchist, give it up and give up you jealousy. You are like Murdoch, simply America haters, OWS is not going to work with you as it's leader. Again the world need more Democracy, and Progress, not chaotic anarchy, Shame On You!!!!

Anonymous

Anarchism, the movement, is not "anarchy", a word describing chaos. For decades anarchists have been reclaiming the word and positing a society based on community organization. Do some reading on what you're trying to condemn before you do so.

RE: article

Van Gogh's last words really should give someone who subscribes to Camus's philosophy pause. In the Myth of Sisyphus, we are told that our reason to continue to live life is to derive enjoyment from the process of philosophy, rather than concentrating on an endpoint or an inherent meaning to life and work in the traditional sense. This overlooks that the people most likely to have suicidal thoughts cannot experience that enjoyment. To put it in layman's terms, you might as well tell a depressed person "never mind that there probably is no god or real "purpose" to your life, just enjoy life itself" when the very reason for the sadness has more to do with the pain of living life than worries about what will come after or what it all "means". Someone who perceives life as neverending sadness needs a different intellectual challenge to start to think differently.

Anonymous

Mental illness is caused by ignorance not careing about others and the neverending evil atrocities commited and allowed to happen by the greedy power hungry leaders and their mingons (illuminatti). we have turned away from living in cooperation with nature to exploiting it to ruin . the never ending wars to keep the military industrial complex happy making the killing of people thousands of miles away as simple as the click of a mouse,.murder mayhem on tv ,movies novels, desenthizes us to real crimes against humanity so lets all think happy thoughts and be happy! think bad ,be sad! "society mirrors its goverments policys in treating other countries.If a country bullies its smaller neighbors .Its citizens will notice this and also bully its own countryman creating a coiuntry of angry, frustrated, mirrioring the military violent assault as a way to solve their own disagreements and problems by attacking ,robbing their neighbors,Logic dictates if my country can steal natural resources land ,oil to increase its wealth and power then by that logic why cant I as its citizen do the same to increase my power and wealth, This is the type of logic the rothschilds,rockerfellars duponts have ruined this country with act out on as well as lesser known criminals who do not care about others only themselves .Talking all from nature it has to give!

Anonymous

America, the world, needs a Progressive movement. Not an anarchist one. Stop what you are doing and wake up. We are a community, the common good works with a strong Democracy, not anarchy.

You gave not a single reason to support this statement. And I don't know what Democracy™ is but some forms of democracy is compatible with anarchism (if you consider majority-rule non-tyrannic).

Again stop, the USA will never be anarchist, give it up and give up you jealousy.

I thought it was common knowledge that the United

    States

of America will never be anarchist, because well, it's a

    state

.

You are like Murdoch, simply America haters, OWS is not going to work with you as it's leader.

Some more ad-hominems and something about OWS "working" with "you" as its leader? I didn't even know OWS had leaders.

Again the world need more Democracy, and Progress, not chaotic anarchy, Shame On You!!!!

Sure the world needs progress, and I agree I wouldn't want chaos, but good luck getting us anywhere by electing corporate puppets.

I think you have a faulty idea of what anarchism is (but so do most people).

"Anarchism is a social movement that seeks freedom from oppressive systems of control, whether they be the state, capitalism, racism, sexism, or religious institutions. Anarchists advocate a self-managed stateless society without borders, bosses, or rulers where everyone takes personal responsibility for the health and prosperity of their community."

Anonymous

Anarchisim is an archaic term associated in overtrowing one oppressor for another, it is also an ism we are post ism and ism's indicate a heirochy of rules and leaders. anarchist want what most people want to live in cooperation where everyone is equal to others all occupations are equally important.People live in cooperation not competition! the only laws should be Respect all life ,harm no one,do not take what is not yours,and work for the good of all .If we all could live by those rules a brotherhood of man ! we could end world hunger ,diease,ignorance and live like the spiritual beings we are ."imagine"

Anonymous

Anarchisim is an archaic term associated in overtrowing one oppressor for another, it is also an ism we are post ism and ism's indicate a heirochy of rules and leaders. anarchist want what most people want to live in cooperation where everyone is equal to others all occupations are equally important.People live in cooperation not competition! the only laws should be Respect all life ,harm no one,do not take what is not yours,and work for the good of all .If we all could live by those rules a brotherhood of man ! we could end world hunger ,diease,ignorance and live like the spiritual beings we are ."imagine"

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