The Manifestist Manifesto by Erin Sterling
There is no greater truth in life than the need to proclaim truths – this fact, this very essence of our being – must surely be at the forefront and beginning of all our actions. It is man’s need to proclaim that he is right, just as it is paper’s duty to record such messages. Here, then, will I encapsulate my words.
I took a walk along the road yesterday, pondering the mysteries of life. I do this every day, for pondering while walking shows a depth and complexity of soul to which mere seated pondering can never aspire. As I walked, I mused on the tenets of futurism, and what a fine and enthralling work that movement’s manifesto had been. Surely, something endowed with such passion, such vital energy, must be as true as any words penned by man. Perhaps the reason futurism had not taken off, as a roaring fighter jet on the wing, was because its audience was already too old and weary of mind to believe and act with the verve required. I decided to test this theory at a handy kindergarten that I was, at the moment, passing by.
Entering this hallowed and unholy place of freedom and formation, energy and restraint, I spied a gathered class of bright minds, ready to be filled with the joys of savagery. I taught them that the past was for scorning, books were for burning, and people were for hitting, and as their eyes lit with hungry hatred, my heart swelled with a horrid joy. Leading them to the playground, I gave them their freedom, and reveled in the violence that followed. When but one child, a large, unsophisticated brute, remained, I asked him to voice his feelings.
“What?” he inquired, head cocked to the side.
“How do these acts of horror speak to your soul? Do you feel more alive? More free? Does the speed and anger fill you with joy? Tell me now of the burning bier alight within your chest!”
“What’s a bier?”
I struggled with his question, unsure of how to inform him of the sense and context of a word without reference to the past or its literary works. While I pondered my dilemma, the little shit tried to steal my watch, so I knocked him out cold and beat a hasty retreat.
From this, my own list began to form:
- Beauty is worth more than truth. It is clear that many manifestos are not internally consistent, but as long as they are convincing, passionate, beautiful, that does not matter. What matters is how many bright-eyed, uncritical thinkers you can pull to your movement.
- Hypocrisy is art. Treat it as such. Anyone can say something that does not mesh with their actions or even with itself. It takes a true artist, a true genius, to deny that any hypocrisy exists at all, and to maintain the belief of his followers. Smirk, and say that the critic does not understand. If that does not work, wink, and walk away.I decided to test my burgeoning list against another work, that of the surrealists. I returned to my lavishly-appointed house, made certain that my mind was as clear as my dazzling intellect would allow, and sat down to write. After three pages of the word “cheese” interspersed with “women aren’t people,” “poverty is a disease,” and “madness is true bliss,” I called in my servant to gauge her response.
“The cheese bits are okay, but they go on a bit. Maybe you could trim it down?” she asked.
“TO EDIT MY ART WOULD BE MURDER!” I roared. Her other critiques consisted of the fact that I, myself, am a woman, my opinion of lower socio-economic classes might be biased by my own wealth, and my glorifying mental illness did not make much sense when she considered that I had been taking anti-depressants for years. I smirked at her, and she left in a huff. I knew I was right.
- 3) Above all, disregard others. There is no place for empathy or compassion in movements. This has become abundantly clear. If you can understand your opponent, you cannot effectively vilify them, and if you care for those you idolize, you will too well be able to see their flaws. The world is one of absolutes, and you are the only person in a sea of un-people.
Most of all, remember: However they may try to deny it, everyone else is far more stupid than you.