To The Republic (first letter)

I’m not trying to sing your praises.
It’s just that your pages still flicker, almost tangible, a fire fight hovering past immeasurable distance, a Socratic Method shadow play.
It seems to me you’ve lived your life like a candle in the wind.

You embody a conceit because of this, a contradiction concerning the life of ideas, of being dead while alive. How should life be lived? The question is subsumed by your realization. Dialectical processes of discovery, of synthesis, are ossified, preordained, fixed in the written word.

There’s more to life than books you know, but not much more, not much more.
Insights are reduced to interpretations. They generate experts, connoisseurs and ongoing footnotes. Your form kills content, inviting legions of middle men to clean up the aftermath, over and over again, through centuries of successive bureaucracies.
And the days go by. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.
Plato’s cave stays inside you, held down by its own allegorical weight. The medium has always been the message. One doesn’t “do” philosophy anymore. One reads it.
Cancel my subscription to the Resurrection. Send my credentials to the House of Detention. I’ve got some friends inside.
Conversation has been scripted since you were written down. Living, questioning — all is reduced to a representation. Convictions are displaced by performances. What one thinks is of little consequence. Everyone can have their say and no one has to listen.
Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.
One submits to The Laws of Fashion, Community, The Game, a pursuit of praise, while consumed by a fear of blame, castigation, disrepute, obscurity, of being left out of the text, beyond the walls of the archive, your ever expanding borders.
I’m always walkin’, after midnight, searchin’ for you.
You’ve spawned a phantasmagoria of acceptable rebels, sanctioned eccentricities, elected misanthropes. A mafioso doesn’t pretend to be something else anymore. Day is night. Spring never comes. Your idea of yourself is still flashing in the dark, a promise of light and warmth that no one knows how to realize.
Boy, you gotta carry that weight, carry that weight a long time.