January 31, 1984


You know things are bad when you can’t even face yourself, the written word having all the effect of terror, of honest, too.

I find myself caught in a web of leftist rhetoric, similar to that which people on the radio speak of, in with, etc, believing in labels and speeches rather than seeking truth.

It is this that I lack from education; it is this that weakens me when faced with hard evidence, and it is this that I hide behind my nonchalance of grammar and spelling.

But then, this is nothing new. It is a pattern that goes back as far as my early childhood when I took issues I could not defend. Why did I think the Vietnam war was good in 1965 and not in 1967?

Some of this change was due more to social growing than intellectual gains, and yet, at the time, I looked at myself as greatly improved.

My lacking, of course, was my inability to come up with new arguments, new obstacles, new beliefs.

The women’s issue in the Montclair rooming house was such a case where I believed not in fact, or even feelings, but in mechanically reproduced socialism. Society had taught me well to believe that women were interior and by golly they seemed inferior and it is still a struggle to overcome what society has taught me when confronted with the fact they are equal or sometimes superior to men.
It is my neighbor feminist that hampers me, making me feel small or perhaps it is simply her calm assurance and reasonableness which cranks something up in me. I find myself projecting on her my faults of unreasonable anger.

For her, letters are quite defined, clear, imaginative, if just a bit too formal, as if she had something to prove, as if she needed to impress. Well, in a strange way, she has succeeded. Her particular opinion seems to have seeped down into my skin and grows. It isn’t enough to prove myself as an artist or an intellectual, but must somehow have superiority over this woman, much to convert her as a religious fanatic attempts to convert (or pervert) the world.

“Come, come,” I say too loudly and without the proper credentials. “Jump on this bandwagon.”

The weakness here, however, is in me. It seems I rely too heavily upon rhetoric and not on fact.

Yes, yes, I know that fact as a means of reason can be disputed, but empty words, empty reasons, empty logic to display implying in the end that all I have to think with is an empty head.