Messiness As a Sign of Reality

I remember how in the very first days of the war in Ukraine there were people who immediately soured on Ukraine’s cause because of the messiness of the narrative surrounding the invasion. Is the Ghost of Kyiv one person or several? Or is he not real at all? Why was Zelensky photographed in a uniform months before the invasion? Why is a message timestamped in a weird way? Why have we heard for years that Russians controlled the Donbass and now they are trying to conquer it again?

The messiness of the narrative was proof that the story was real. It’s the tidy, neat one-liners that shouldn’t be trusted. Everything that’s real among humans is confusing and messy as hell. Have you ever had two people explain to you why they had a fight? Just two people, not two hundred million people like in the war between Russia in Ukraine. Was there a neat, clear-cut narrative in that fight? Of course, not.

This expectation of things being immediately understandable and immediately accessible is part of the consumerist mentality of the world of flows. But nothing works like that. Everything worthwhile needs a lot of effort to be put into it. Everything good in life is complicated, layered, and impossible to summarize. Think about marriage, for example. Every marriage is a long story of up and down, forward and backward, this and that, good and bad. It’s as complicated as life itself.

Consumerism extracts us from reality and plugs us into the fairy-tale world of complete self-referentiality. It’s a world that’s very easy to understand and manage. It’s also extremely lonely and sad.

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