Kafkaesque

Thursday, September 21, 2006


The term {kafkaesque ed.}, which is quite fluid in definition, has also been described as "marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity: Kafkaesque bureaucracies".....

It can also describe an intentional distortion of reality by powerful but anonymous bureaucrats. "Lack of evidence is treated as a pesky inconvenience, to be circumvented by such Kafkaesque means as depositing unproven allegations into sealed files ..." Another definition would be an existentialist state of ever-elusive freedom while existing under unmitigatable control.

The adjective refers to anything suggestive of Kafka, especially his nightmarish type of narration, in which characters lack a clear course of action, the ability to see beyond immediate events, and the possibility of escape. The term's meaning has transcended the literary realm to apply to real-life occurrences and situations that are incomprehensibly complex, bizarre, or illogical.


How else does one describe the latest follies of the UN? Over the course of two days, two madmen, Chavez and Ahmadinajad, come to our country and make a point of insulting us, threatening us, and in general raving like the totalitarian thugs that they are and yet today I look at the headlines and there it is, the UN is critical of Bush's interrogation plans, the UN is concerned over torture in Iraq.

Saddam killed how many people, tortured how many people, raped how many people and now the UN is concerned about torture in Iraq.

And then of course the fine upstanding people at the UN who have been able to ignore Darfur, pretend not to notice millions starved in North Korea, sort of look the other way discretely so as not to embarass the Persians while they hang people in public and torture them in private...is concerned about Bush using {gasp} icky interrogation methods to stop terrorists.

I wonder if someone did a poll right now and ask the American people if they wanted the UN to stay in the US and be funded by the American people while the same American people are routinely disrepected by the den of thieves at Turtle Bay...well just what would the numbers in that poll be like? I see them now, applauding Chavez, not even wondering what the reaction of their hosts might be. Yes, kafkaesque.

UPDATE: It seems there is a poll And they say Bush's numbers are bad.

3 comments:

truepeers said...

Melanie Phillips had some good comments yesterday on the UN. We sometimes forget that the UN started as the club of (mostly) free nations fighting against the WWII axis of evil. It is time to return to that model again, a club of United free and democratic Nations fighting to build a world order of freedom and democracy. The white guilt that has allowed in every "nation", or tyrannical state, that emerged in the wake of colonialism has been the corrupting downfall of the UN.

To my mind, the essence of Kafkaesque is a love for the inherently paradoxical foundations of our humanity, such that while we can know more than those who came before, we can never escape from the anxiety or mystery of Being and know the whole truth and nothing but the truth. A few select quotes:

Test yourself on mankind. It is something that makes the doubter doubt, the believer believe.

There was once a community of scoundrels, that is to say, they were not scoundrels, but ordinary people.

Knowledge of oneself is something only Evil has.

Anyone who believes cannot experience miracles. By day one cannot see any stars.

The Messiah will come only when he is no longer necessary; he will come only on the day after his arrival; he will come, not on the last day, but on the very last.

We were expelled from Paradise, but Paradise was not destroyed. In a sense our expulsion from Paradise was a stroke of luck, for had we not been expelled, Paradise would have had to be destroyed.

truepeers said...

One more K quote I meant to include: Religions get lost as people do.

Luther McLeod said...

Just a test.