The Museum of Vestigial Desire

Etiquette

tags: sand published on:

Etiquette is a series of patterns link fragments of behavior to render a grand narrative and offer it back. These patterns are influential and significant enough to cast their shadow in a very binding way. That these patterns are just extrapolations of voluntary behavioural items is a lost detail. Instead, these patterns masquerade as absolute guidelines which on not being followed exactly would lead to some kind of corruption at a very basic level that will lead to rejection and ostracisation.

Following the guidelines established by etiquette out of fear and not a genuine understanding or acceptance of their significance leads to the emergence of a fearful social flux. Fear is not a productive mood to operate with. It easily gives in to this control-society that is structured on the implementation of principles laid down by somebody invisible. A highly structured society works on invisibility and delegation as models of implementing power structures.

Only if the the designer of the social norms and fabricated patterns is not seen and is encountered only through representatives (who have been appointed through inculcated strict rules of delegation) can power be implemented efficiently. Such designers are invisible by default but sometimes the invisible entities are not there at all. The image of the invisible designer is sometimes so clear and exacting and the source of the image is so blurred that they become ghostly entities.

So, the construction that we live in is directed by ghosts. Does it seem as absolute still? Is the social contract about following the fictitious rules of behaviour? What do we get back in exchange.

So, we forget that the designer is tricky. To make sure that we expect nothing back in exchange for following the complex net of rules laid down by her, she has encoded generosity into our core.

By default, we feel like giving.

To take, feels like a violation in itself.

Taking liberty to do something feels like a transgression.

The social contract is tightly implemented and loosely negotiated in this case.

If we change the frame and closer to our home in the wilderness, we realise that the rules change drastically. Our area seems to be characterised by being in a zone where the myths are multiple and weak. The social contract exists as an imagined and framed document but the complexity of implementing it seems to have deterred the designer from even commissioning representatives to do so. It only gets invoked in situations that it is contested in and has conflicting perspectives that bring up in question some norms of society taken as basic, fundamental and non-negotiable. At that juncture it invariably becomes a game of numbers. The imagined public has its imagined claimants representing its beliefs. No one bothers to correct or protest the faulty representation because no one is sincere in their acceptance of social reality as anything more than a charade. That is charade is binding on them in ways that actually violates the framing of the act is a forgotten detail. The first rule of engagement is that reality is only a dream-like format of a narrative where one’s clothes get wet when one sweats. This rule is responded-to in two ways. One way is deep immersion. The other is total apathy. Both realise the same emotion.

Deep immersion and total apathy are both reflections of a mode of engagement that relate to the current as an act. Deep immersion respects the act enough to be such dedicated actors that the script becomes absolute. Total apathy enjoys the act from such distance that any enhancement of proximity would mean a break in experience.

This perspective, of rendering both sides of the coin as being equivalent to the same result is not easily believable. Actors like to believe and find it helpful to think of their chosen mode of performance as being a better direction for their act. This delusion doesn't need to be broken.

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