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THE REVOLUTION OF EVERYDAY LIFE - VANEIGEM
Isolation - Page 17

But the sterilized zone of impersonal relationships only offers a truce in the endless battle against isolation, a brief transit which leads to communication, or more frequently towards the illusion of community. I would explain in this way my reluctance to stop a stranger to ask him the way or to 'pass the time of day': to seek contact in this doubtful fashion. The pleasantness of impersonal relationships is built on sand; and empty time never did me any good.

Life is made impossible with such cynical thoroughness that the balanced pleasure-anxiety of impersonal relationships, functions as a cog in the general machine for destroying people. In the end it seems better to start out right away with a radical and tactically worked-out refusal, rather than to go around knocking politely on all the doors where one mode of survival is exchanged for another.

"It would be a drag to die so young". wrote Jacques Vaché two years before his suicide. if desperation at the prospect of surviving does not unite with a new grasp of reality to transform the years to come, only two ways out are left for the isolated man: the pisspot of parties and pataphysico-religious sects, or immediate death with Umour. A sixteen-year-old murderer recently explained: "I did it because I was bored." Anyone who has felt the drive to self-destruction welling up inside him knows with what weary negligence he might one day happen to kill the organizers of his boredom. One day. If he was in the mood.

After all, if an individual refuses both to adapt to the violence of the world, and to embrace the violence of the unadapted, what can he do? If he doesn't raise his will to achieve unity with the world and with himself to the level of coherent theory and practice, the vast silence of society's open spaces will raise around him the palace of solipsist madness.

From the depths of their prisons, those who have been convicted of 'mental illness' add the screams of their strangled revolt to the sum of negativity. What a potential Fourier was cleverly destroyed in this patient described by the psychiatrist Volnat: "He began to lose all capacity to distinguish between himself and the external world. Everything that happened in the world also happened in his body. He could not put a bottle between two shelves in a cupboard, because the shelves might come together and break the bottle. And that would hurt inside his head, as if his head were wedged between the shelves. He could not shut a suitcase, because pressing the things in the case would press inside his head. If he walked into the street after closing all the doors and windows of his house, he felt uncomfortable, because his brain was compressed by the air, and he had to go back home to open a door or a window. 'For me to be at ease,' he said, 'I must have open space. [...] I must have the freedom of my space. It's the battle with the things all around me.'"

"Outside the consul paused, turning... No se puede vivir sin amar, were the words on the house." (Lowry, Under the Volcano).

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