Letter to the Internet

novalis
3 min readJun 1, 2020

The past few months, culminating the past 48 hours have been very disturbing to me for reasons I’ve had trouble articulating: reasons which are not related to a particular political ideology, or disposition at least that I’m aware of, except the deep, maybe basic awareness that politics, as a way of life, can only, ultimately de-form us, reduce us to a bare, almost animal existence: kill or be killed. There has never been a revolution under the banner of left or right that has been anything less than murderous, and senseless, in the end. That’s the way of nature. There’s no movement, no matter how right, how noble, in its ideas and roots, that can heal people if it remains merely political, and I might add, purely a spectacle: something we digitalize, consume, comment-on, propagate. No movement, I might add, can succeed if its de-centralized, a fractured happening catalyzed by phones and adrenaline and a hunger to be a part of “history”. Any revolution that happens overnight, can’t be the right one, because then it’s a reaction (or a reaction to the reaction). Living things grow, dying things combust. More than anything, we need to take the way of mercy, slowness, and grace: to stand apart from history, rather than join it, even if it means being crushed, chewed up. The only images that I’ve seen that make any sense to me are those where police and protestors are both on their knees, joining hands. I don’t know where those images came from — I’m only seeing this all through the distorted lens of the Internet — but they gave me hope. Moral revolutions are slow, they’re alive: they grow in us, and through us…. The world we’ve all built, and participate in, really isn’t the right one, and I think we all know it; I think in part, the opinions we offer on the Internet are reflective of our guilty consciousness — our own sense of having wasted the best part of our lives, let it dissipate. So much of political speech is a disavowal of our disappointment, our failure to transcend our own despair and build a convivial life for ourselves with the basic tools at hand: love, courage, skepticism and patience in matters of right and wrong. Where are the contentious objectors, I wonder, among police, among rioters, among people watching at home? Where are the contentious objectors to this dangerously disembodied world? I don’t know; I wish I did. “My holy of holies,” Chekhov wrote, “is the human body, health, intelligence, talent, inspiration, love, and absolute freedom — freedom from violence and falsehood, no matter how the last two manifest themselves.” Violence and falsehood have always…