These are sections from a longish prose poem titled “House of India,” a meditation on an Indian restaurant, one of its waitresses, and one of its regulars. Regarding the human condition, the writing explores how cultures (and individuals) get dressed up in the fantasies of those they depend on for survival.
Rejection and fear of rejection are universal themes that plague the lives of all. As children, we desire not to have to fulfill certain obligations; we hope and dream that something will cause a disruption, that it will give us a pass from having to participate. The following flash fiction piece, “The Doorbell,” answers the question: “What if, as an adult, I chose something different?”
In “Expanded Disco,” Britain has been fractured by ideological differences leaving cities resembling the surface of the moon and a proliferating network of tunnels to separate newly forming factions. Tunnel bureaucrats have been elevated to absolute power so long as the conflict continues. A Commander must dismantle the bureaucrats’ “conflict is freedom” ideology in order to be reunited with his family.
“Can You Believe it?” is a meditation on a weekend the author spent with some friends at a kung fu retreat about twenty-five years ago. Through this personal narrative, the author ruminates on the nature of belief, reviewing how martial arts and religion have had an influence on him and the culture at large.
“Waiting Cold” addresses how ideologies affect the way we live our lives. How do ideals sometimes block what is observable? How do others try to understand the world, and how does that differ from our own attempts? If we hold common ground regardless of the individual principles held, would we be able to recognize it?
Are humans biologically wired for ideologies? How do ideologies create ideologues? Is common ground possible? As a leading scholar of ideologies, Peter Boghossian’s work directly relates to the theme for our Issue No. 2: Ideologies, Belief Systems, & The Human Condition. In today’s conversation, we ask Peter about his views on various ideological stances and what we can do to overcome roadblocks in communication.