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Entries in Cconrad freiburg (1)

On Being in a Club


Do not be in a club. If you are going to be in a club at all, Be in many clubs. Be a schizoid about clubs. What's interesting is not who is in the club, but how many other clubs each member is in, and how might he or she be a leader of that club? The more clubs, the fewer self-validating falsehoods.  This may include "night" clubs and the codes of dress/door guy bribe required to get in.

this is a classic Concept art piece from Henry Flynt who is as clever as they come, and who worte an essay called "against participation."A multi-club person might not be an asshole, has an understanding of subjectivity, and is not afraid to be laughed at when entering a fresh room for a good cause. A hazard of multi-clubbing though is that you might also be an over scheduled, over-achiever obscuring a lack of genuine achievement.

Some clubs exclude people who belong to other clubs. For instance, people who are members of the women club could not, until recently, also be people who fight in front line combat situations in the American military. Exclusive clubs should be excluded, and this calls into question the entire enterprise of clubs, via the Woody Allen Regress.(“I wouldn't want to be in a club that would have me as a member”)

However, being in a club could show a capacity for dealing with contradiction and paradox, which is required for membership into the Well-Adjusted Club. It is true that many of our great talents are not well-adjusted, and this conflict with by-laws and mediocrity could be the initial step in a hero's journey to wisdom or at least a sense of humor.  I would like to offer here Jack Kerouac's enlistment mug shot 

what a handsome fella

He lasted 10 days at boot camp before being netted up and sent to the psych ward for 67 days for a proper evaluation. Think of the khaki clad naval doctor's nuero-psychiatric examination which disclosed “auditory hallucinations, ideas of reference and suicide, and a rambling, grandiose, philosophical manner." Jack tried. Not a member of the Navy club. Commenting on his diagnosis Kerouac said “I see no reason to be ashamed of my maladjustment.” and regarding independent thought... "now go ahead and put me up against a wall and shoot me, but I stand by that or stand by nothing but my toilet bowl, and furthermore, it's not that I refuse Naval discipline, not that I WONT take it, but that I CANNOT. This is about all I have to say about my aberration. Not that I wont, but that I cant.”


If you want to read more about this episode in the young Kerouac's life check out Miriam Kleiman's revealing article at the National Archive.