Fyodor Dostoevsky punched me in the face today.

If you are morbidly curious as to WTF that actually means, perhaps consider reading the commentary below.

Another Note from the Underground (for your consideration)

I’m sitting here on a Sunday, a not-so-wicked (злой in Russian) late forty-something year old man, re-reading a translation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground. As I turn the pages and consume the unreliable narrator’s thoughts, I start to think about whether or not this man from the Underground (reciting his Notes) exists in our own 21st century (rather than 19th century Petersburg, Russia).

Grave Site of Fyodor Dostoevksy from iStock

Surely — he must… I must — I think…

The underground man comes from a time and place where everything around him is influenced by many years of imported “enlightenment.” I am in a place and time where everything around me is also shaped, and we are “enlightened” (perhaps confounded) not from any particular physical location or culture, but from the very thing that consumes the attention of most enlightened humans on this planet.

Photo by Anne Nygard

That infamous Internet in the Cloud (which is said to see and know all things) and its progeny in all social media forms, holds considerable sway over the likes of all mankind. And though not thoroughly wicked, my tolerance for the influence of social criticism via the Internet is near depleted, and that makes me kinda salty.

Photo by Alexander Shatov

When I entertain a morbidly curious glance (or even engagement) on social media platforms, I find myself reveling when the influencers, peddling countless falsehoods presented as truth, are directly and precisely discredited by those presenting facts at hand. Irony isn’t lost on me in this way, as my ridicule of the media mavens curses me in the same way. I am also not a “professional man of letters,” though I feel compelled at times to pick up a pen (or a keyboard) and release for my own sake (and perhaps for some indeterminate others).

These thoughts, presented in this way, might be considered in poor form or “artistically crude,” but they are my thoughts as they present themselves. I wonder if I could also be that guy hiding underground, driven away from the enlightened ones after pretending to be one for the longest time. I’m definitely withdrawn as of late. My only real reason for engagement (or glances) on social media nowadays is an attempt to connect, as if a piece of me does NOT want to be underground.

Perhaps I am also an unreliable narrator…

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