Philosophies from 032c


A couple of weeks ago a friend put a copy of 032c magazinein front of me and told me to borrow it because he thought it would be "right up my street". It's quite a big chunk of magazine. Anyway, I took it away and after a quick scan through, I found a few images I liked, and a few that I was a little 'meh' about. Anyway, it wasn't until I sat down with a nice cup of tea that I stumbled upon some amazing passages near the front that really spoke to me.Anyone who knows me personally, knows I often spend far too much time thinking about things. I'm often searching for the whys and the wherefores in life and work, so these short philosophical texts are very much "right up my street".My friend wants his magazine back so I thought I'd keep a record of my favourite passages, but then thought it better that I share them. There are a lot more in the magazine, and one would assume there are more in other issues.

FANTASYFantasy is often posited as the antithesis of reality, but this is a fallacy. Fantasy is a part of reality – perhaps its most vibrant, and certainly its most fun.

Without fantasy, the reality that we inhabit would not simply be greyer; it would not exist at all.

Fantasy is not merely a kind of cherry on top of simple intellectual existence; it is integral to the foundations of our culture.

It is not a threat to truth, morality, or perception; it is the necessary condition for these things.

Fact and fantasy exist in a relationship of such constant and productive reciprocity that it is impossible to say which comes first.

Too often ignored, this relationship is the perennial chicken-and-egg question of human existence. Given the creative power that results from this magical interaction, however, determining which actually came first is of little importance.

Reality makes us dream, and dreams make us real.

SEXSex is at once the most commercialized thing on the planet and the most resistant to commercialization. It has been made phenomenally public and yet it remains deeply private. It is an instance or state of being that is thought and talked about constantly, and yet that cannot be thought or talked about in any proper terms, because it is a physical matter, a question of impulse, not intellect. It is beautiful and it is horrifying. It is impermeable to the perversion of culture and it is the perversion of culture. So it is, officially, the most mysterious non-mystery ever – a paradox so unfathomable that the only thing to do about it is embrace our fascination. Obsess about it, even. Reproduce it, and sell it. Censor it. Celebrate it. Practice it as much as possible. It will never lose interest, and it will never lose power. Fighting it is to fight a losing battle.

So just let sex win.

INSTABILITYEarth has become atmospherically unstable. As our computer simulation models for forecast and early warning improve, weather and seismic patterns seem to become increasingly unpredictable, and dramatically so.

The repetitive rhythm of the seasons once ingrained in our understanding of the world have been violently disrupted. Meanwhile, we cling stubbornly to the learned cycle. Yet this clinging is no way to survive an atmospheric disturbance, let alone to move forward within it.

Rafters are told to remain supple and lithe if they should fall into river rapids, allowing their bodies to bend to the rocks and other dangers that they may encounter as they are propelled downstream.

Rigidly resisting the current will get you killed. Letting yourself flow with it will take you somewhere new. It is time to embrace instability on a universal level. Stable systems are flat, static.

Instability is volatility. It is seismic change. It is volcanic activity. In structural engineering, a system can become unstable when excessive load is applied. But excess is sexy – apply it freely. Destabilize your life, and live at the accelerated pace of the world.

EXPERIMENTATIONThe only possible way to do or make anything, ever, is by experimentation. Even a toddler’s existence is a series of experiments, mini-challenges pressed upon its environment and explored by trial-and-error. To cease to experiment is not only to cease to create in this world, but to renounce participation altogether. Non-experimentation is inert. In fact, if you are not experimenting, you might be dead. Stay as alive as possible.

IRRITATIONIrritation is unpleasant. To irritate is to rouse to impatience, anger, or even pain. It is to annoy or chafe, and sometimes it is to burn, to enflame.

Therein lies its positive potential. Unpleasant or not, an irritation is a provocation.

Just as an itch demands to be scratched, an irritation triggers an active response, a direct, sometimes aggressive engagement with the situation at hand.

Irritation is productive, a natural stimulant.

An oyster responds to an irritant by depositing layers of calcium carbonate around the object to form a pearl – an original thing born from trivial debris.

Seen as a provocation, irritation becomes a positive effect, just as dialogue is more productive than silence, and reaction preferable to stasis.

032c is a bi-annual printed magazine focussed on contemporary culture. For more, visit