Wednesday, October 06, 2004


Martin Heidegger class did not really last tonight. Instead, what we had was simply a dinner at Tia Maria's Cantina, where we had a few beers and talked about different things, really. Ray and I were mostly talking about wrestling and comic books, as it wasn't really too interesting to say anything about Mr. Bulaong's scholarship to Frankfurt (Congratulations to him, nonetheless.), or Ms. Corpuz' impending wedding in the weekend...

I was also talking to another one of my classmates about music, though. Our discussions on the 90’s band era was something I really felt strongly about. It looks like my tastes in music is still as helter-skelter as ever…

I don't know what else to say about it really. We had a lot of fun, and then there was this joke...

Marcelle: Alam niyo ba kung sino yung bading na ayaw umamin sa dep?

Ray: Sino?

Marcelle: Kiss muna.

What'd even be scarier is if he kisses me then asks the question again... heh.

I then hitched a ride home with one of my classmates. Conversations were interesting. We talked about everything from future plans to WAVE, to cats and dogs as roadkill. The whole deal with labels, while traumatic, has proven to be a simple leap of faith on my part... an act of courage in the face of fear. And it helps. Because it clears away ambiguity, and allows me to be in control of where I stand...

I guess labels do serve their purpose, in the end...

.:On Language:.

This talk about labels must be confusing to some extent. You see, for quite a while, I wasn’t too fond of labels myself, either. To me, labels were only labels, and the importance was what went behind the labels.

Then things started seeming rather different to me when I got introduced to Martin Heidegger’s point of view regarding language. You see, language, precisely how we label everything in packets that are possible to understand, is inevitable. The analogy of languages merely capturing ideas, and like any trap, becoming useless afterwards is clearly not appropriate.

Language is inevitable. Labels, as such, are inevitable. While the human being, for Heidegger, is an openness, this is clearly not an anthropological consideration for him. In dealing with people, labels are a necessity. So long as the label befits what goes behind the label, it relieves the person of ambiguity. Not everyone is telepath. Not everyone is eidetic to the point that words can no longer be an aid to convey what should be meant.

Moreover, even Heidegger himself realizes the power of language. He avoids using terms already loaded with such stigma or meaning and instead appropriates something else to convey what he really wishes to say. As such, if one is afraid of this or that label because of the notions it entails, merely appropriating a different term to convey the spirit is not necessarily arbitrary, but is still quite pertaining to a certain sense, nonetheless.

But you see, in an anthropological setting, the fact remains that defining things, especially relationships, is important. It causes a lot of ambiguity and frustration otherwise. While some blessed few can get away with it, not all the people around them can honestly say the same. Defining things gets some groundwork going, a foundation as it were. If such a foundation feels limiting, let it be known that there is such a thing as progression and regression. These definitions are not as static as they seem. They serve their purpose, and for the most part, they serve them well.

Personally, Marcelle sees the problem of labels as a problem of apprehension. People who are afraid to use labels have various reasons to fear it. Some people who say they dislike it or are oblivious to it can likewise be simply afraid of it. Afraid of what? Commitment. Rejection. Regression. Definition. Labels do carry weight, but never in and by themselves, but with the meaning they carry behind it. In spite of this, this meaning is difficult to convey sans the label, or an apropos substitute for it.

Maybe when certain things are less ambiguous, clarity will come. For now, all Marcelle can say is that he dares. He dares to define, not because he wishes to destroy the openness of any given relationship, but because he refuses to inflict uncertainty by playing a dangerous game of stalemate. In the end, if such a definition is not enough, the openness remains to make ways to change such a definition.

But for God’s sake, Marcelle has to define, lest he drive himself insane with vagueness, lest he frustrate other people with the unnecessary openness in the anthropological realm.

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