Card Games

Posted on November 23, 2007

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The merely rational is a solution to nothing.  One has to think strategically .. To say that life is a rational wilderness identifies rationality as a small almost helpless creature living in the wild, like a mouse except that its world is imagination-derived rather than the result of any natural environment.

Life’s idiom, the biblical image of a lost Eden, recalls the wilderness we left in an unprecedented act of forgetting so long ago: home as an act of forgetting but that survives only as a vague idea of sex and silk sheets and dark nights.  As in a card-game, with human wit pitted against chance, the ‘recovery’ of that original sense is an illusion created by the game and maintained for as long as it is played so that everything accessory to it, the table one happens to be sitting at, the people and their paper party hats, the tea, the atmosphere, the season, the celebration … out of a chaos a house emerges, and it stays in memory, but a wind blows through; everything scatters; it is a house of cards.

In the random ‘play’ to be found in the war’s midst: the mouse of rationality.  But politics wants to refuse it to everything.  There is a fight: bullets are fired and swords are drawn.  The idealised kingdom fades into wallpaper and the rustle of plastic sticking out of the bin in the yard.  (“Who saw me?”)  Pockets of war disrupt the righteousness of a tin can.  Dogs bark.  Owls twoo.  So what is wanted is that the rational world follow the zoid of straight line whereas the truth is a wilderness – .

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