20 November 2006

Deconstructing Chris Voidis

Warning: another long post. But instructive, if not very funny.

Follows a full transcript of a short discussion in the Elders' Hasbarah Department. Participants: Department manager - the Boss (B), yours truly (STG).

B: You, STG, are clearly shirking your duties.
STG: But Boss, I have done that job already. I mean, how much can one squeeze from that character? This job is a lemon - look at his comments!
B: Lemon - shlemon, I don't care. You left a job unfinished. Go and do it.
STG: But Boss, it's boring. He doesn't have a single original thought to his name. Please!
B: I bet that to serve at our ....... headquarters as a junior guard dog handler will be less boring. There is no protective clothing allotment for junior dog handlers, mind you.
STG: But Boss...
B: Discussion over.

So this is how it came to be that I am sitting here in the stuffy old office churning out this post on Chris Voidis - a poet, a philosopher, a writer and an aspiring publisher. Oh, and a photographer. Here is his picture:

Looking at the picture, I was struck by our resemblance: sans eyeglasses, plus a few warts, a short beard, blue eyes (moved much closer together), quite a bit less of a chin and larger floppy ears, we could have been twins.

Then I was even more dumbfounded by other personal traits Chris freely disclosed in his (over)abundant comments to my previous post. We seem to be twins in the spiritual sense as well, I was amazed to discover:

  • Chris Voidis (CV further in this document) loves Jewish culture. "I am lover of Jewish culture...". Me too.
  • CV has a Jewish girlfriend and he allotted a total of 5 years to be spent with her: "spend five wonderful years in a relationship with a superb Jewish woman". It is unclear how many of these five years have been already used, but it does not matter. I too am deeply involved with a superb Jewish woman, I have to confess.
  • Of course, I have been absolutely correct in that previous post: CV has Jewish friends and, moreover, even a Jewish family! "...and yes, believe it or not, I have both Jewish family and many many Jewish friends." Yes, Chris, I believe, I believe! Oh dear, would the wonders ever cease? It is just the same with me!
  • CV is a forgiving soul: "You can say anything to me and it wouldn't matter." and "In any case, I don't hate you...". Oh boy, how alike we are - I don't hate him either!
  • CV is ready to accommodate other people desires: "Would you rather I cowered in a corner so you could say 'see, I showed him!'" Me too, I shall go out of my way to show him, especially if it is my Boss who desires it(see above).
  • While being of poetic inclination, CV displays a pure scientific approach from time to time: "But you may wonder, why the fuck do I take the time to deal with you? It is purely for research purposes...you are my special little rat that I am studying right now...enjoy it while it lasts...". As you can see, he also likes others to enjoy his research. Same here.
  • CV is easily insulted - a sign of a sensitive and easily wounded soul: "The reason I didn't give a shit that you insulted my being Greek in your original post is that I don't give a shit about being Greek or Canadian.". Me too, and I cannot even claim to be a Greek! Or a Canuck, for that matter.
  • And then, when insulted, CV shows his Levantine temper. This is what happens when he thinks others underestimate him: "Too bad you waisted so much time in misreading my post...what a waste...and as for your slander of Greeks, it just makes you out to be the same kind of garbage as the skinheads in Berlin or in Bumfuck Kentucky...every culture has its trash...". I can assure you that I have a very short fuse too (but my waist is OK).
  • CV is very naive. Only an extra naive person will buy into a pyramid scheme like this. Same here - I own a whole tract on the Moon and a gold mine in the middle of Pacific.
  • CV is really and deeply human, and, as Marx used to say: "Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto"* ("I am a human being, so nothing human is strange to me"). To put it simply, CV farts! "I was so scared when i read your response that I think I let a little gas go past my sphincter...". What can I say? I think I better say nothing. Amazing!
That is, more or less, where the similarity stops. Now I just have to list some major differences.

1. While being, just as I am, given to frequent flights of imagination, CV lets these flights to lead him by his nose (admittedly almost as cute as mine). For instance:

"You live in a very claustrophobic closet of paranoia and anti-semitic conspiracy."

Paranoia is OK, it's professional, CV. But anti-semitic conspiracy? Come on, I am very much into Elders' conspiracy, and it is a very pro-Semitic one.

"You have a very devoted audience here and you play to it."

I have lazy bums for readers, they come by once a week and never leave tips, and a slavedriver for a boss (Boss) who gives me the most shitty assignments, Chris (as you know by now). But you should see who the readers are - even you, with your ability to generalize, will be hard put to find a common denominator. Eat your heart out.

2. Building straw men and then fighting them valiantly. Chris is big in this, using his amazing powers of raising far beyond the boring reality and generalizing beyond repair (something he learned from his friends).

"But the fact that Israelis and many Jews in general tend to use the event of the Holocaust as some sort of badge of higher moral standing is appalling, in bad taste and hypocritical. The Holocaust did not somehow immunize the Jews against moral depravity, cruelty and the possibility of acting in a criminal manner against their fellow human being."

See how adroitly Chris creates a straw man, uses it and valiantly defeats it. A real exercise - in spin extraordinaire.

3. Artfully (?) putting words in his opponent mouth, creating a straw man as if by opponent's will:

"I suppose that any criticism of Israel is a sign of anti-semitism for you."

How original. A brilliant attempt, only too banal. It is used so frequently by Chris' colleagues that by now it should be assigned a number - to save space. Think, Chris: how can I accuse a person with a Jewish girlfriend, family and many, many Jewish friends of anti-Semitism? Come on.

4. CV is being more philosophical than it could conceivably be good for him. Two examples.

"The best place to start is in your perspective. Broaden it. See that you are made from the same material the rest are made off and that you are nothing compared to the immensity that awaits all of us..."

No, really, Chris - I mean where does it stop, especially with this ominous ... at the end of each sentence...

"But seriously, you should try thinking without the impediment of your particular cultural-religious and geographic location. After all, who cares?"

You must be kidding, right? I had several impediments as it were before reading this, now I am a total wreck. Cultural-religious location impediment. Finished. Kaput.

5. The last but not the least. Sense of humor CV is sure of possessing. Now this is one dangerous self-delusion, kid.

"If I answer you it is out of sheer humour on my part because I happen to have the time and am in the mood to answer you."

This one could be your undoing, CV. Really - a lot of people died in pub brawls after mistakenly assuming they are going to produce a particularly funny joke. I have roamed through all 6 or 7 blogs of yours, and believe me - nada. You and humor just don't go together. That is my trait as well, but I get these special pills from the Outfit to enable me to deal with people like you, so it all balances out eventually. At home I am barely good for some slapstick - you know, falling on the floor when sitting down, cleaning my teeth with my spouse's face cream, stuff like this. So perish the thought, kiddo - leave the humor alone. Don't even mention it.

You seem to be much better at poetry than in anything else. To quote you:

"...increasingly blurred lines between the real and the virtual..."

(Notice the three dots at the end again). I tend to agree - you are not totally here with us, and poetry should be the clincher. You are made for it. This passage, for instance:

I've found my heart
in this dark city, a handle
on the espresso machine
awaiting the firm grip
that stills the sun
and ushers summer in

moved me very strongly. I was looking for a new espresso machine. Now, after I buy it, I shall call its handle Chris. Guess in whose honor?

"I write poetry, literary fiction, as well as on philosophy, terrorism, foreign policy, and anything else that comes into my head..."

Of course, this is up to you, and besides poetry you could, probably, try to write that which you call "anything else". But leave these other things you mentioned alone, that be my (friendly) advise.

Now to the most important thing (focus, please):

Avoid that gang that calls itself "Thought Mechanics": as a poet you should keep your distance from a mere attempt to mix poetry with mechanics - it must be demeaning for a person with your creative abilitites. And the sad truth is that your arguments look as if created by a mechanical copy/paste gizmo, Chris.

Oh, and re your photography. The composition is not bad, but the result is too gloomy, partly due to your poetic mood, undoubtedly, but chiefly due to underexposure . You must work on the exposure time. Write me off-line, and I shall give you a few tips.

Be well and leave politics to your mechanical friends.

Your STG.

(*) I confess again to stealing a bit of Latin from somewhere to impress the readers. Myself, I would have got boggled down on that "puto" for sure...

P.S. "If you cared less, you wouldn't waste your time with me." There is a lot of truth, Chris, in this short statement that shows the full measure of your suffering. But no can do, amigo - orders, you know... And I care about you, besides.