Prose on humanism and deafness
The social archetypes to which we willfully subscribe—The X, The Y, The Z, The Bonapartist, The Nigger, The Native, The Radical—define us no more than does our clothing, which we ought to weave rather than purchase in the first place. Thus, stark nude and ugly to each other’s sight in the light, we might pervert Hobbes and announce “the wager of all against all” that we each are wretched enough to warrant no inclusion in the grand scheme of things, to which, after all, we are but a metropole of motes, bits, and eclecticisms in motion. The human species could do with deafness: we might better cooperate the fewer our words which demand submission. Might mundane terror, what Shaw calls the “quiet desperation” of everyday life, prove incompatible with a child who from birth cannot hear the echoing miseries surrounding him?