Generally, I despise those who use the ideas of others to elevate their own stock. You know the type -- full of wisdom that they have filched from authors or pundits or wise men and women and yet have never tested or really investigated in their own lives. They seldom cite their sources and are content to let others believe what leaves their lips or pens is newly minted.
"Pimps and whores!" my petulant mind explodes.
I prefer original thinking -- thinking that springs from honest reflection based on experience.
And yet, as my own store of original thinking dwindles, as I find myself relying more and more on other sources for a provocative springboard, I see my own arrogance as hardly better than those pimps and whores. True, I am not quite so keen to impress those in my surroundings, but I can filch with the best of them.
And it makes me wonder: Isn't the notion of "original thinking" simultaneously a myth and a truth? Is there such a thing as "original thinking," or is every thought, of whatever kind, simply a reference to the thinking, known or unknown, that came before it? No one wants to be called a pimp or a whore and yet everyone pimps and whores. Some bask in such an observation, forgiving themselves too readily for the pimping and whoring of their lives. If everyone does it, how bad could it be?
And the answer to that is, "pretty goddamned bad." It's like living on a diet of stale bread: Sure, you can survive, but what sort of survival is it?
What constitutes "original" thinking -- the fresh and clean and unindebted moment in which the experience looks neither back nor forward but simply flashes out in a place no pimp or whore could possibly enter?
I despise pimps and whores.
I am a pimp and a whore.
I guess it's something to work on.