Thursday, July 09, 2009

In the beginning there was play...

...and the word was subjected to it.
What do we do with words? How do we use them? How do they become our own identity?
First we learn to play, we learn to be through playful and innocent games we invent to make ourselves present in the world, to state, more than to say: Here I am, and I play.
Ludo ergo sum.
Isn't playing our first language? Our first code that we throw like a line, hoping to be saved from the self?
Then the little tricks we invent: dada, huhu, mama, tata become words due to our contact with this world, the one that we were trying to reach: we discover we were not alone, after all, that everybody else is hungry, too, for milk, for touch, for love; we discover that all those other beings also know the pleasurable pain of piss and shit.
And that discovery is painful, too, for there is not I, but we. We become a part of something bigger, something we do not understand. And that's why children laugh so much: they are going back to that prelanguage and safe state of playing.
As we grow up, however, we lose the ability to make that regression, and we invent the joke, a sad attempt to laugh again with the same intensity, with the same meaningful force that we learned to play... alas, a joke is merely, as Nietszche said, "an epitaph on the death of a feeling..."
We end the meaning of our own feelings making puns and jokes about them, in an attempt to convey some meaning to the pain, and the sorrow we feel because we have forgotten how to play.

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