Student Reactions to Havel’s Writing: Fall 2013
”The Anatomy of the Gag”
“Havel often brings up the concept of automatisms. When thinking through automatisms in my own life, a few come to mind: how I dress myself each day, how every time I stand up I check that my phone, wallet, and keys are in my pockets, how I walk to class each day, and many more on a micro level. One that I had never realized until just recently was that every time I walk by a group of people and I am by myself, I pull out my phone and pretend to look at something.
The comedian Louis CK recently went on the Conan O’Brien show and talked about his hatred of smartphones. One point he brought up was that people are afraid to be alone, that they do not experience things on their own any more. How you can’t just eat a meal, but that you need to ‘Instagram’ or ‘Tweet’ a photo of your meal so that way you can experience it with your friends. He told the story of how he was in the car, and Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Jungleland’ came on. For the uninitiated (or for those that didn’t grow up in the Tri-State area), ‘Jungleland’ is a nearly ten-minute long song about falling in love and death in a gang infested area. He talked about how emotional the song made him feel and how his first reaction was to pull out his phone and text a dozen of his friends. Instead, he broke that impulse and pulled to the side of road and began to sob uncontrollably.
This break of an automatism is exactly what got me to realize that I couldn’t be alone when I walked past a group of people. That I would always pull out my phone to make it seem like I wasn’t actually alone, that I was with someone (virtually or in person). It is only when someone defamiliarizes a situation and makes you self-aware of something that you do on a regular basis that it becomes absurd. Why do I feel the need to pull out my phone every time I walk by a group of people? Why can’t I just enjoy being alone on my walk from point A to point B?”
The Meaning of Home
“In class we discussed the metamorphosis of the understanding of a ‘home,’ as opposed to a ‘house.’ I was alarmed to hear that in the U.S., the two are converging, with the meaning of home morphing into the material structure of a house. The two are, without a doubt, inextricably linked. One’s sense of home could be deeply connected to the specific house that one grew up in. It is sad, however, that to some at least the word ‘home’ may simply mean the interior furnishings and decorations that fill an otherwise empty house.
I think this transformation of meaning is detrimental because a home could include – but represents significantly more than – the roof and the walls and any material decorations that may be inside. Personally, I have a home in Madison because it is where I grew up, where I have built strong relationships, and where I currently reside. My home also is across the country in Alabama, where my parents and siblings have recently moved, but I only visit infrequently. I also identify China, where I was born, where my extended family is, and where my cultural roots are, as a home. I feel at home within my network of friends, who are scattered across the world.
This discussion reminded me of housing justice movements in response to the recent foreclosure crisis in the U.S. In Minnesota, students at Macalester College are currently running a campaign to Kick Wall Street Off Campus, specifically asking that Macalester College stop doing business with Wells Fargo due to their predatory lending and other destructive business practices. Last semester they compiled a ‘photo petition album,’ which included pictures of hundreds of students, faculty, and community members with a sign with their fill in the blank response to what “Home is…”
Common answers include the predictable ‘home is where the heart is,’ ‘home is family,’ and ‘not something you can buy or sell,’ ‘something you can’t foreclose,’ and ‘the globe.’ These are touching reminders that communicate the importance of the different meaning of home to all of us.
If ‘home’ is increasingly associated and used to mean only buildings, then we are losing a tool to communicate who we are and where we come from. Home is wherever we feel that we belong and where we feel comfortable, whether that is a geographic location or in a community that spans space.”
“Power of the Powerless”
“I think Havel’s ‘Power of the Powerless’ helps us recapture the power that we do have by allowing us to realize that we are all immersed in how it is carried out. One person acting against the grain and breaking societal expectations may seem like an inconsequential action, but its potential to catch on and grow can never be underestimated. All movements come from humble beginnings, which have the power to grow and affect societal change. No matter how powerless we may feel, the reality is that the ultimate power resides with each of us.”
“I read this essay through two different lenses. Through one of them, I saw the essay the way that Havel primarily intended it – as an analysis of power in the context of a post-totalitarian society in Central Europe. Through the other, I applied what he said to his context to our own in the current United States. This was not necessarily intentional on my part; it more or less just happened.
At the start of the essay, Havel describes how the post-totalitarian system can be seen as almost a ‘secularized religion.’ It often seems to me as if many in this country see the ‘American way of life’ in much the same light. Many people believe that America is special, exceptional. We are so exceptional that we can do no wrong. We are above rules and beyond reproach. This unquestioned nationalism becomes a secularized religion.
Given how uncertain, alienating and downright awful modern existence can be, this secularized religion has a ‘certain hypnotic charm’ that offers an ‘immediately available home’ in which all the above-mentioned existential dreads are checked at the door. All one needs to do is pledge allegiance and wave the flag. Of course, one does not need to believe in it all (or even think about it much), but just pledge allegiance when it is called for. We put up the flag in much the same way that the greengrocer puts out his sign.
So we have our ‘greengrocers’ in America, too. We all play the part. It is nearly impossible sometimes to swim upstream against this current, and most of us in fact do believe, to one degree or another, in American exceptionalism. Havel says that ‘ideology provides people with the illusion that the system is in harmony with the human order and the order of the universe.’
There are, of course, trade-offs made in playing this role. Havel points out the high cost of our new home: ‘The price is abdication of one’s own reason, conscience, and responsibility.’”
“I am not sure how to define myself. Am I a dissident, some sort of non-conforming rebel? Am I a radical or a reformer? Political outsider or insider? I guess I don’t much like labels and like even less to seem pretentious, so I try not to apply them to myself. Yet I can’t help but struggle with political identity in this way. I’ll go with Havel’s ‘concerned citizen’ for now, although I also would be OK considering myself one of the ‘dissidents who can be found on every street corner.’ I care about the state of the world and follow social justice issues and politics closely. I have always challenged the status quo and have a reputation for playing the devil’s advocate and arguing passionately. I have been involved in a lot of different types of political activities, sometimes radical, sometimes run-of-the-mill. Regardless of what I am or am not, I am very interested in how to bring about positive change for society – in the US and the larger world. I am deeply concerned with how things can change and what the best way to go about it is.
Havel’s ideas about change are interesting and enlightening, and I agree with much of what he says. I appreciate his need to leave some things vague or undefined. The terms and ideas that he brings out in ‘Power of the Powerless’ are solid (even if sometimes ambiguous) and a good starting point for a discussion of change. I enjoy his depiction of ‘opening up space’ for better ways of living and organizing society.
I may have been reading him wrong, but toward the end of the essay he seems to be proposing a type of society based on something like anarcho-syndicalism. He seems to say that we can reach small-scale democracy in a very bottom-up and loosely organized society, much like a community in which people voluntarily work on whatever needs to be worked on. He mentions self-management and collective decision-making and also committees or groups that form to confront issues or solve problems as they emerge (and suggest that these groups might dissolve after they have served their purpose). He also mentions the value of social ownership over state ownership of the means of production. Maybe this is ‘kinda sorta’ what he is proposing but he doesn’t want to label it as such? He points to Charter 77 as an example of a voluntary, non-bureaucratic, open group; history shows that it was a success, at least in its first phase, and then in what was basically its out-growth in the Civic Forum. Havel says that such parallel structures grow organically.
Of course we will never reach nirvana or anything close, but I do think that one of our most vital tasks as human beings is to try to figure out how to ‘open up space’ for new and better ways of living. Havel was writing to suggest a way forward and to provide hope in what seemed like a hopeless time. He was trying to give power to the powerless.
On page 144, Havel points out that we create our reality, our world, our system. This in and of itself has always given me hope for the potential for a better society. The flip side to this truth is exposed, as Havel points out, in that people daily ‘divest themselves of their innermost identity’ more or less voluntarily; that ‘there is obviously something in human beings which responds to this system, something that paralyzes every effort of their better selves to revolt’ – that we are ‘compelled to live within a lie’ and that is not unnatural. What are the prospects for fundamental change if this is so?”
The Symbolism of Unexplained Evils in “Thriller”
“Before Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ music video begins, a message is relayed to the viewing public: ‘Due to my strong personal convictions, I wish to stress that this film in no way endorses a belief in the occult. – Michael Jackson.’ Why did Mr. Jackson feel the need to clarify this? Would he have been reproached had he not done so, or perhaps considered foolish for implying a belief in monsters and the supernatural? We generally don’t profess a belief in such things in the modern world and instead believe that everything that happens to us can be explained rationally and scientifically. It is as if all evil and good in the world is both purposeful and reasonable.
As the video starts, Michael Jackson and his girl are watching a scary movie in theater, and we in turn are watching this scary music video of them watching their scary movie. We create forms of inception in film (and through other means) to distance ourselves from our discomfort with these phenomena. And still, despite our attempts to do so, we watch ‘Thriller’ (and other scary videos and films) hundreds of times and allow ourselves, even if just for the length of the video, to believe that there may be things that we can’t explain. Where then are we hiding our monsters and what purpose do they serve?
Looking back at human history, we see that myths provided an answer to these questions. Science has pushed myths aside, and we are shocked when disasters do occur because we think of ourselves as rational beings who are not, by definition, capable of committing horrible and senseless forms of evil. We reduce monsters to symbols that entertain us, but aren’t modern-day monsters really within us and doesn’t our obsession with scary forms of entertainment tell us something about ourselves?
In the music video, Michael Jackson turns into a monster. It is we as humans who embody the unexplainable – and unexplainably evil – in the world, and we struggle greatly to try to answer why we are capable of doing so. Since we ostensibly believe we are rational beings, we find it impossible to understand why sometimes we do unspeakably irrational things. To help deal with this, we’ve created zombies, vampires, and other human-like monsters that detach us from the evil, but our attempts to have faith in this detachment often fail in shocking ways. Sometimes we can’t understand why horrible things happen. Is the human mind too complex to explain even with all of the technology and science that we have?
Because we believe that we are too ‘advanced’ to believe in monsters, we’ve somehow covered up these dark versions of ourselves and have convinced ourselves that they are not real. We’ve turned them into forms of entertainment, mere symbols of our primal instincts and urges. Science is used as a false witness to human complexity, and the testimony it gives may not even be true. Are human good and evil beyond scientific comprehension, and if so, where does that leave us?”
It Always Makes Sense to… Standardize Test
“In ‘It Always Makes Sense to Tell the Truth,’ Havel answers the question ‘Why are you not a communist?’ by saying: ‘I have never accepted communist ideology, not even the reform ideology, and this is probably because the world appears to me a thousand times more complex and mysterious than it does to communists.’
Although Havel speaks of communist ideology, his statement could be applied to all ideologies as human products designed to present easy answers to society’s problems. It struck me that the emphasis on standardized testing as a solution to problems in the American educational system is an ideological move in Havel’s sense. Standardized tests supposedly measure learning in an objective way, and scores are used determine which schools are successfully educating students and which are failing to do so. But can the complexities of the educational system be reduced to this kind of ready-made and seemingly simple solution or does the mania for standardized testing merely mask the real issues?
A standardized test score is a number; an aggregate of test scores compared across schools are also numbers. They are not objective guides to the problems that we confront in American education (problems that likely have their root causes in American society as a whole and aren’t confined to the educational realm), but they are taken as such.”
"The Memorandum" (I)
“I am not sure what I think about Director Gross. Clearly he is not a hero, but I don’t really consider him a ‘bad guy’ either. I think he acted in much the same way that most people would act in his situation. History and the human condition seem to be defined by people who act in their own self-interest and by leaders who fall short of expectations. If courage were common, it wouldn’t be so celebrated when it does occur. Gross could have saved Maria’s job and he probably should have, yet he made the easy and selfish choice and then rationalized it away. Is it realistic for us to expect him to do any different?
Gross is the Director, and so we perceive him to be the most powerful person in the office. Maybe this is true in some ways, but he is not as free to act as he seems and he is certainly no less of a human being than the rest of those he works with. I am not trying to excuse his actions; there is a moral failing in them. But what I want to say is that leaders are far more constrained by the systems they ‘lead’ than most of us realize, and that we often expect more and better of them than we would of ourselves in the same situation.
Leaders who are corrupt must be held accountable. Those who engage in violence in our names must be held accountable. The leaders throughout history who have committed evil should be held up as examples of what not to do again. I am all for speaking truth to power and believe we must do all we can to counter evil. We must challenge the status quo and seek to progress as much as possible.
At the same time, we need to keep in perspective that most people who lead range somewhere between mediocre and disappointing.
I am guilty of putting too much faith in leaders. I still hold out hope that some leader, or maybe even a handful of them, can make a profound impact on the world, but I don’t think history supports this. Societies and systems are extremely difficult to change, and sustained, positive change will only come about when the (sometimes overwhelming) majority of people are behind it.
It often seems that leaders in the Western world are not nearly as powerless as the rest of us. They are, at least, far more limited than we realize. This may be especially true in the United States where, given our currently polarized politics, it will take one party controlling the Presidency, the Senate, and the House before any new substantial laws can be passed. Even these circumstances will not guarantee a good result: special interests among the wealthy and in the corporate world yield an obscene amount of systemic power.
Gross is not the most important person in the play. He isn’t a hero, and we shouldn’t expect him to be. Leaders cannot save us unless we save ourselves. It is possible to work within the system to change it for the better, but we can’t accomplish this by sitting back passively as if we are watching a play and critiquing it from a safe distance. We can’t afford to settle by playing a minor part and taking all of our cues from the Director.”
”The Memorandum” (II)
“During our discussion of this play, we touched upon how individuality in Soviet Czechoslovakia was suppressed. Citizens were expected to outwardly conform to the beliefs of the regime, and this is present in the portrayal of many of the non-dissident characters in the plays that we’ve been reading. The part of our classroom discussion that struck me most was the statement that dissidents exist because individuality and diversity are, ultimately, a part of human nature; ; not everyone can or will choose to conform to beliefs that do not align with their own. As humans, we are all unique: we have different identities, beliefs, interests, and desires. By forcing everyone to behave uniformly, we go against our very natures.
Personally, the acknowledgement of expected uniformity and conformity hit me the hardest because I have spent the last year fighting to break down negative stereotypes and oppressive social norms – specifically in relation to gender. Trans individuals are being forced to fit neatly into our society’s gender binary – even if trans, genderqueer, and non-gender conforming people do not wish to identify with socially constructed standards of gender. These individuals are understood as ‘dissidents’ in our society, similar to those characters that we see in Havel’s plays. By choosing to not conform to gender stereotypes, these individuals stand out against a social background of gender conformity. As human beings, however, they have the freedom to identify differently if they so choose. Diversity is human nature, and if it feels natural for someone to identify differently in terms of gender, then we must support this expression of individuality. It is not society’s place to dictate how someone has to live in this regard.
I will continue fighting for the freedom to be an individual, just as I see Havel’s dissident characters standing apart from their conforming counterparts.”
“I seek to live my life in a deliberate way and try to do so in harmony with my beliefs. I try to be true to myself, and I place a high value on authenticity. I often fail to meet my standards, but I see the striving to do so as essential. I keep at it. Being social animals, we all do things for appearances on occasion. Human nature encourages and sometimes necessitates that we impress others, or at least try to. In order to get along with others, gain and keep employment, get what we need and want, we often put on a mask. At times, appearance really is everything. As hard as we try to fight against it, we sometimes fall short of our authentic selves.
While we are all required to maintain appearances or play an inauthentic role at times in order to survive or thrive, most of us want to be real. We want others to accept us for who we are. We do not want to be judged, and certainly don’t want to be misjudged. It bothers us when other people have a false or incomplete picture of who we are, when they get the facts wrong or don’t want to hear our side of the story.
Michael and Vera seem to desire approval. I usually don’t lose sleep over whether or not others approve of me. While I try to understand other people’s need for approval, I confess that at times I look down on those people who need it. Michael and Vera’s desperate need for Vanek’s approval is downright pathetic and is borderline insane.
How much does guilt underlie Michael and Vera’s need for Vanek’s approval? If they have not entirely bought the party line, they have at least followed it enough to benefit themselves. They have taken the easy route. Did they take the inauthentic route while Vanek stayed true to himself and his principles? Did they sell out while Vanek did not?
The play dramatizes the choices and trade-offs that people make in their lives. Some go the way of Michael and Vera, and some the way of Vanek. Others, perhaps most of us, fall somewhere in the middle. It is a tough world, and we often have tough choices to make, so I try not to judge. Yet far too many of us take the easier and less courageous path, and often this perpetuates the worst of the world in which we live.
I would like to think I have stayed true to myself and what I believe in throughout my life. I have often been idealistic and individualistic to a fault. I can be a realist, but I still hold strongly to my own principles. I would much rather be poor and have peace of mind than be rich and comprised. I don’t think that the tug of war between realism and idealism every actually gets resolved.
That’s why we have to keep at it. Because when we no longer are sure that we approve of ourselves – and , like Michael and Vera, desperately need approval from others – then it is often too late.”
"While the characters of Michael and Vera are set up to be detestable throughout the course of the play, as the play reaches its climactic moment (when Vera throws the flowers and calls Vanek selfish), Vanek is still faced with a tough decision. Should he stay or should he go? He chooses to stay, and while I would like to think that I would have used Vera’s outburst as an excuse to leave, I’m not sure, when push came to shove, that I would have left either.
We have all been in uncomfortable situations – situations where we look for an out, be it during a harmless conversation in the hallway or at a party or family gathering where there really is no easy escape. In some of these situations, we can find a reason to leave, but in others (like the family scenario), you find yourself in Vanek’s place. At the end of the day, I can walk away from my great uncle by saying that I need to go to the bathroom or refill my drink, but something usually compels me to stay. Maybe it’s deference for age or respect for the family connection, but whatever the exact reason, you stay.
We are all, then, on occasion in Vanek’s shoes. And while most real situations are not as absurd as Vanek’s (we don’t usually end up getting a vase of flowers thrown at us), Havel does challenge us to put ourselves in Vanek’s place and decide. Vanek makes what seems at first a counterintuitive decision not to go, but the more you think about it, the more it seems like many people – myself included – would probably also choose to stay.”
“The Beggar’s Opera”
“Can you imagine a world where there are no morals? Where everyone lies and everyone betrays one another? Where human existence has been stripped down to the mere animalistic purpose of survival? What if we felt no connection to one another, if there was no remorse, no one to judge right from wrong, and no one who believed in or cared about anything greater than their own personal gain? In such a world we could not feel happiness or love.
This is a world that cannot exist. We cannot have a conscience without also having an inclination toward morality.
In Havel’s play, morals are flattened out at the point where it seems that they might not exist at all. But in fact this is not the case. Havel has created a world in which the motives behind the characters’ actions derive merely from a desire to be powerful. In reading the play, we become the moral judges of the characters and their actions.”
"The Garden Party"
“What are words without action? Well, aren’t they just words? This seems to be the idea that Havel was getting at when he wrote this play. In the play, Havel subtly – and sometimes not so subtly – substitutes confusing nonsensical rants in places in the storyline where action rather than dialogue might have occurred. By doing this, could he have been intentionally replacing opportunities to take action with meaningless repetitive conversations in order to frustrate the audience enough to feel the need to take action within their own lives?
Hugo is often the quiet character among the incoherent and ever-rambling other characters in the play. Yet he is always listening to what everyone else is saying and strategically chooses his opportunities to make his words count. When Hugo does take the initiative to voice his opinions and ideas, he slowly gains power and more responsibility. In the play, Hugo is pushing for action to take place with the ideas that he expresses. At one point, he pushes for the liquidation of the Liquidation Office, and the director the office agrees with everything Hugo is saying. Hugo eventually shouts out: ‘You keep agreeing, but you do nothing about it!’ The director is using words but to no avail. He, like the other characters, is merely talking himself in circles and repeating the same thoughts as if doing so could make much of a difference.
People in the play keep talking and talking but really say anything worthwhile. Nothing they say manages to ignite any sort of change.
The character of Falk represents those words and jargon that keep interrupting moments of expected action. Every time there is a willingness to move the entertainment to the large dance floor at the garden party, Falk interrupts with empty topics meant to distract and pacify the desire to take action.
By having Hugo embody the success of using words to create action, Havel send the audience the message that living our lives by just going through the motions without ever actually making a difference isn’t a good strategy. It is people like Hugo whose words can move and influence others to action who will ultimately be given power and responsibility.
Words can ignite action and at the same time they can be used to keep action from taking place. It is not actions that speak louder than words; rather, it is that actions and words are mutually interdependent.”
But What about Women?
“Those grand declarations about innate human freedom, civil rights, and against systems of economic and political oppression have a pesky habit of overlooking the majority of the world’s population. In the Havel plays that we have read, there seems to be no space for strong female leads. Rather, women are presented in supporting roles for the purpose of complementing the male characters. I think this is most prominent in ‘Largo Desolato’ and “Leaving’ where the female figures are defined only in regard to their relationship to the male protagonist.
In the former play, we see Lucy desperately trying to affirm herself through Leopold’s love. She declares: ‘But I ask so little of you! You must see that I live only for you and through you and all I want is for you to admit to yourself that you love me!’ We see this cycle repeat with Marguerite, a young woman who has studied Leopold’s works. Though the play winds down before their relationship is able to develop much, we do see Marguerite proclaiming that she will reawaken love in Leopold. When he insists that this is a bad idea and that he is not worthy, she urges that the contrary is true and she would be fulfilling her life by doing so. Within minutes of meeting Leopold and being in his company, Marguerite is prepared to make him the object of her promising life. We should almost hope that this is simply the rum speaking, and that Marguerite ought not give up her pervious hopes and dreams, but this would raise another set of issues. Leopold’s persistence in pouring Marguerite drinks would be more disturbing to me if this also was not the basis of all interpersonal relationships throughout Havel’s plays.
Decades later, we see a similar theme in Havel’s final play. Rieger, a married man, is visited by Bea, a political scientist and ‘multicultural sociopsychologist.’ She praises him for his speeches, and he leads her on. In response to her kind words, Rieger shares: ‘You have no idea how badly I sometimes need encouragement. And kind words from a young, pretty, wise, well-educated creature make me feel twice the man.’ This line – and the whole scene where the two proceed to make out in the gazebo – is quite uncomfortable. Rieger seems to have no consideration for his partner, who he is convinced will forever remain by his side.
There are similar situations in other plays. In ‘Unveiling,’ Michael and Vera criticize Vanek’s wife because she does not conform to certain gender stereotypes. In ‘The Memo,’ we see a female character who is more engaged in the story, but then later is scapegoated and, I would argue, wrongfully punished for merely doing the right thing.
Not knowing a lot about Havel’s personal life, I can’t attribute his presentation of female characters to his own beliefs. It has proved nonetheless frustrating that women seem to only fulfill roles that seek to enhance a male part or counterpart. It has always been difficult for me to reconcile how people who believe in the rights of man do not see the hypocrisy of limiting those very rights only to men.”
“While the play on the whole is arguably my favorite thing that Havel has done, by design the line that stuck with me the most is the final one – ‘It’s all fucked up.’ A long time ago (which, in the grand scheme of things is not so long ago), 11-year-old me was… expanding his vocabulary. As I was doing this, some people did not take too kindly to my new-found love of four-letter words.
One of those people was a camp counselor of mine for two years in a row, and he had gotten to know me quite well. One day after a particularly profane conversation between me and a peer, he pulled me aside and told me something I have never forgotten. He said, ‘Cursing to curse just makes you sound dumb, so if you’re going to curse, make it count. While 11-year-old me shrugged off this advice, upon later reflection it made a lot of sense.
In this play, we get soft-spoken Vanek in conversation with the Brewmaster, whose use of four-letter words is a bit less restrained. What we get with the latter is someone whose words have less meaning by virtue of the fact that he overuses them. But every time Vanek is actually able to get a full sentence in, we pay more attention.
It is for this reason that by closing the play with ‘It’s all fucked up,’ Havel plants that seed in your mind. For Vanek to adopt the Brewmaster’s perspective and say that phrase, it carries much more weight. A seemingly self-respecting man bandying around a profanity like that just after chugging a beer shows the internal struggles that every human being goes through.
To tie these two things together, when I learned to tone down my use of four-letter words, it made my using them more powerful. When Vanek chooses to take a stand and put his foot down and use a four-letter word, it makes you almost forget about the previous sixty-odd pages when Vanek is not in control of the conversation.”
“Václav Havel deserves, if not a law or a theorem, some way to describe, in general terms, the distillation of his contributions, philosophy and wisdom. Some serious and official sounding term like Occam’s Razor or Godwin’s Law.
Of course, Havel would surely have disagreed that his ideas should be explanatorily reduced to a law or theorem. Nonetheless, I hope he would have appreciated the levity and humor in the name that I propose: Havel’s Scooter. This law should conjure up the image of the newly elected President Havel on his to way to meet leaders of the free world while riding through the halls of Prague Castle on his scooter.
It does not quite work out to be an exact equation. Maybe Havel would have wanted it that way: to leave the variables up for us to decide. It might look something like this: Understanding - Explaining + Living in Truth x Absurdity - Ideology + Humanism = ?.
Various variables make up the modern existential crisis of humanity that confronts us all. There is ultimately no equation that can be offered to explain or resolve it, but Havel’s Scooter can help us navigate the corridors of the labyrinth.”