On Subtext: Not knowing what it is but knowing what it is
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
- Ezra Pound
Before we talk about “you”, we’ll talk about me. I don’t know you, so we’ll use my stereotype of you (my subtextual “you”) as a stand in. For brevity, I’ll drop the quotes and I’ll just use you when talking about you.
We could (Hume would) argue that I could never know you. Because my instinctual correlation about who a person is is based on their relationship to my own historical observations.
How can I judge someone without bias if I’m judging them based on my impression of people in general?
When I use you in a sentence, I’m presuming to be speaking about a generality of people that is more true than your generality of people since my generality of you encompasses more yous than when you use you. Is a you still a you if they mean different things?
When I imagine you using you, you use you to imagine an individual with feelings and compassion, with unknown self-interest. When I use you, I’m imagining that I know what your self interests are (cf the outdated (now pseudoscience) Maslow’s principles of need). People (you) say that assume makes an ass of you and me. So call me an ass then. Biologically I’m a human but I’m also a donkey? Sounds like bias logic.
Regardless, we assume to paint a picture of you based on scientific inclination based on objective science to determine who you are, even if we really Real depend on personal historicity to determine who you are.
The coalescence of you as an historical subject and you as an objective physical object is where the crux of consciousness meet. And you know that’s right.
The ambiguity of the crossroads leads to an exposed, ironic twist. The awareness brings forth an establishment of “objective” correlations contained in an ambiguous puzzle made up on Will that wants a solution. Where multiple answers will suffice, a struggle ensues regarding which answer will prevail.
This deep, personal understanding is ironically understood as subtext (we all read the same book, we all get different meaning). We know objectively what subtext is and we understand that to you, it will always be ambiguous what it means to me. Yet we objectively (objective qua objectivity; objectivity tainted with subjectivity to quicken the hardening) understand how subtext is formed (if we follow the scientific standard).
~ Dedicated to you.