We are not who we pretend to be.
Whether or not we mean to be honest,
none of us know really knows how to be truthful.

We are only animals, after all.
Just animals, darling.

But let’s try, let’s turn off the lights.
Any child knows everything comes
true in the dark.

Come a little closer, come nearer,
mo chuisle, my pulse.
What do you see? What do you really feel?
What’s different, now
that we’re cheek to cheek?

Something’s different, isn’t it?
Your breath like snow that won’t settle.
Is my skin, hostile territory, after all?

This was supposed to feel like home.

I’m sorry, darling.
I don’t really know how to tell the truth.
But I am quietly confident,
I know just what you want to hear.

There’s power in that, you must realize.
It’s awfully tempting.
And we’d be happy, for a while.
I’d genuinely like to make you happy.
I know you’d give me jurisdiction
to go in and find
your hidden mechanisms.
Push buttons, fire alarm, pull levers, decipher
the sequence of words that makes your heart
fall open
like a jewelry box.

You’d let me wear your secrets,
like earrings, like cufflinks,
what wouldn’t you tell me?
What could I ask that you would refuse?

But that’s the crux.
That’s the rub of it, darling.
I wouldn’t ask.
—  Take What Is Given, a comic by Quidditas

WHAKAĪ IS THE FIRST ALBUM IN A TWO PART SERIES THAT REVOLVES AROUND THE MAORI CONCEPT OF RECIPROCITY AND THE CEREMONY OF GIVING (WHĀNGAI HAU). THIS FIRST ALBUM IS DARK IN TONE AND IS IS ANTITHETICAL TO WHĀNGAI HAU, THE SECOND ALBUM IN THE SERIES. KA MEINGA E AHAU ŌU MANO TINI, TE HUNGA NANAKIA O NGĀ IWI, RĀTOU KATOA KIA HINGA I NGĀ HOARI A NGĀ MĀROHIROHI: Ā KA PĀHUATIA E RĀTOU NGĀ MEA WHAKAĪ O ĪHIPA, KA NGARO ANŌ O REIRA MANO TINI KATOA BY THE SWORDS OF THE MIGHTY WILL I CAUSE THY MULTITUDE TO FALL, THE TERRIBLE OF THE NATIONS, ALL OF THEM: AND THEY SHALL SPOIL THE POMP OF EGYPT, AND ALL THE MULTITUDE THEREOF SHALL BE DESTROYED.

$7 PPD

http://hellorainbowbridge.com/ (distro)

But, after all, what would be a gift that fulfills the condition of the gift, namely, that it not appear as gift, that it not be, exist, signify, want-to-say as gift? A gift without wanting, without wanting-to-say, an insignificant gift, a gift without intention to give? Why would we still call that a gift? That, which is to say what?

In other words, what are we thinking when we require simultaneously of the gift that it appear and that it not appear in its essence, in what it has to be, in that it will have had to be (in its to ti en einai or its quidditas)? That it obligate and not obligate? That it be and not be that for which it is given? What does “to give” mean to say? And what does language give one to think with this word? And what does “to give” mean to say in the case of language, of thinking, and of meaning-to-say?

// Jacques Derrida - Given Time

This current #IceBucketChallenge trend reminded me of the idea of giving. What is giving? In this piece, Derrida tries to make the point of self-destruction of a gift by the acknowledgment of the giver when given. Acknowledgment of the giver constitutes as any of the following: gratitude, awareness, or social praise. By this definition, a gift, in its quidditas, or its truest form, cannot exist because even the giver will self-benefit from personal praise (psychological egoism is unavoidable). The closest one can get to a true gift is through anonymity. No one can than thank you, no one would be aware of the giver, and society would not give praise. With this, the giver is left his his or her own self-acknowledgement and the gift becomes what language dictates it to be: something given without something taken.

Of course, it’s good that the #IceBucketChallenge is raising awareness and money (in non-corporate beneficial form hopefully), however, to me it feels hollow: a social event where the award for donating money to suffering people is avoiding the suffering experience of ice water poured on you and a tax deduction.

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