October 14, 2010 at 10:51 pm | In just_so | Comments Off on Contempt

When respect dies, contempt takes its place.

That’s a theme taken up by, say, movies, which analyze the relationship between lovers (when, for example, the relationship is breaking down).

But having fallen more or less out of love with a non-human entity – let’s call it a place – I’ve noticed that the horrible alchemy does its work to disenchant us humans in all sorts of ways.

In my sphere, I can no longer respect the local political leadership I see. I can no longer respect the status quo of where I live, its economy, its habits, its image. Most bitingly of all, I can no longer respect the potential of the place I find myself in. These days, the word potential, when applied to where I live, makes me want to run. Away.

If I want some comedy around the tragedy of disenchantment, I think of Dylan Moran warning us about the dangers of “releasing” potential: “Don’t do it! Stay away from your potential. You’ll mess it up, it’s potential, leave it. Anyway, it’s like your bank balance – you always have a lot less than you think.”

Of course Moran leverages cynicism to craft brilliant stand-up comedy – his skit shows how cynicism is a variant of contempt. In either case, what was there before (respect – even love) lies wounded.

When respect dies, contempt comes alive.

It’s an art to push contempt away, it takes a muse and fresh eyes.


At this point, though, contempt is in the kitchen, cooking up a storm.

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