What I used to say to people, when I was much more engagé myself, is that you can't be apolitical. It will come and get you. It's not that you shouldn't be neutral. It's that you won't be able to stay neutral.
The unconscious is not a demoniacal monster, but a natural entity which, as far as moral sense, aesthetic taste, and intellectual judgment go, is completely neutral.It only becomes dangerous when our conscious attitude to it is hopelessly wrong. To the degree that we repress it, its danger increases.
As for me, I believe that if there's a God - and I am as neutral on the subject as is possible - then the most basic proof of His existence is black humor. What else explains it, that odd, reliable comfort that billows up at the worst moments, like a beautiful sunset woven out of the smoke over a bombed city.
I call my mom from the car. I tell her that Neutral Milk Hotel is playing at the Hideout and she says, "Who? What? You're hiding out?" And then I hum a few bars of one of their songs and Mom says, "Oh, I know that song. It's on the mix you made me," and I say, "Right," and she says, "Well you have to be back by eleven," and I say, "Mom this is a historical event. History doesn't have a curfew," and she says, "Back by eleven," and I say, "Fine. Jesus," and then she has to go... Read more »
Perhaps what I am about to say will appear strange to you gentlemen, socialists, progressives, humanitarians as you are, but I never worry about my neighbor, I never try to protect society which does not protect me -- indeed, I might add, which generally takes no heed of me except to do me harm -- and, since I hold them low in my esteem and remain neutral towards them, I believe that society and my neighbor are in my debt.
Donald Judd spoke of a "neutral" surface, but what is meant? Neutrality must involve some relationship (to other ways of painting, thinking?) He would have to include these in his work to establish the neutrality of that surface. He also used "non" or "not" - expressive - this is an early problem - a negative solution or - expression of new sense - which can help one into - what one has not known. "Neutral" expresses an intention.
The ideal to which John Adams subscribed-that we would be a nation of laws, not of men-was quickly subverted when the churches forced upon everyone, through supposedly neutral and just laws, their innumerable taboos on sex, alcohol, gambling. We are now indeed a nation of laws, mostly bad and certainly antihuman.
A new race-neutral language was developed for appealing to old racist sentiments, a language accompanied by a political movement that succeeded in putting the vast majority of backs back in their place. Proponents of racial hierarchy found they could install a new racial caste system without violating the law or the new limits of acceptable political discourse, by demanding 'law and order' rather than 'segregation forever'.