I remember one evening walking down a street in the flatiron district, one of the lower districts on Manhattan Island where gridlock received it proper inspiration, with a few friends. And along the way we stopped and read a fashion advertisement on one of those triangular hats the taxis cabs often wear. To my surprise, one of my friends responded, “The world is not looking for true love, it’s looking for true lust.” And though I did not verbally consent, I thought to myself, “Yes! By God, that is a man who sees the world as what it is.” This isn’t someone who is willing to play by the rules of the rhetorician; this isn’t someone who is swayed by what is vogue, but who is tight-fisted and furious. This is someone who sees the volition of culture not as the concrete foundations they claim to posses, but the sliding scales and the clouded isles they have built. They have, for a moment, caught a glimpse of what I call, “The stuff behind the stuff.”
These people do not see the world in news headlines or pictures in the monthly fashion magazines – they see these as mere facades to a deeper problem. But it would take another blog and, perhaps, a life’s worth of work to bring to the surface the deeper problem. King Solomon once wrote that we must seek Wisdom as hidden treasure and, for all that I am worth, that is the best advice on the subject. Instead, I intend to address a much smaller task, for it is much more prevalent. As St. Aquinas once wrote, “A man has free choice to the extent that he is rational.” And in much the same way as a gardener must weed the fields before he plants his garden, I would suppose the very first steps to this freedom is to dislodge all that is irrational. And that is what I intend to do.
The purpose of this blog is to throw a wrench in the digestion of the social rhetorician. For when people are color blind to the art of rhetoric and clichés and catchphrases, people will trade everything for polarized political parties and a social society that is as free as a high-strung puppet. Given to the constant swing of the public pendulum, civilization will stumble and fail to grasp what is right in the world and what is wrong. Every week or two I will discuss some social fallacy or gross misconception in the mainstreams of American culture. My goal is to squeeze a few drops of hemlock to grind down rhetoric; My hope is to unveil what is left behind: the stuff behind the stuff.