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(297) Canari



Organic and analytic: I had a girlfriend whose parents were divorced and both remarried and she was very affectionate and enthusiastic about her step-parents. Too enthusiastic and affectionate. Her false enthusiasm belied ambivalence—and such ambivalence is natural. I'll tell you, my step-brother once swapped out my contact lens solution with some random chemical that blinded me for a day—it was a total "accident" (not—because man is evil; it was totally accidental-deliberate). That's why it's phoney to be enthusiastic about your step-parents, because they want to kill you—that’s a biological fact.


A family is an organism. Now, people will say "her parents are her parents whatever happens"—and I agree. If I have a fox and I chop its back legs off then those legs still belong to the fox "whatever happens". You can do a test and get the same genetic signature from those legs, if you like—the legs belong to that fox forever. However, the fox, as an organism, has ceased to exist—and it has ceased to exist because its legs have been chopped off; it’s mutilated, unwhole.


The organism is an intricate pattern—it is composed from facts but can't be reduced to facts, it's dynamic in the way it responds to the environment; it's like body language—there's no one body gesture that indicates "he told a lie", but you can combine knowledge of many gestures, language use, and context in a certain way to work out when someone lies. It's synthetic, not analytic—it's holistic, it's organic. Families are like that too. That's why when your parents divorce the family is dead—same with the royal family. Now you can lie about that because you have reaction formation or you can put an ideological complexion on it if you’re progressive (it’s progress—it’s women’s liberation), but the fox is still dead; and that's why that situation had pathos—because the girl was holding a dead fox and pretending to be happy about it.

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