The Driver and the Drunken Peasant

by Øyvind Olsholt


Discuss / diskuter

A mirror to our fake-existence

In the Oscarian world view most people are blatantly unconscious of themselves and at the same time—precisely because of this unconsciousness—too full of themselves. Being unaware of ourselves equals giving a toss about the truth about ourselves. Thus we gradually turn into conceited, protective, self-indulgent creatures. And since vanity and fear go nicely together, we are constantly afraid that our cover shall be revealed. Therefore we try to look our best, to make an impression, thus we keep up appearances and if someone should discover a crack in the weld of our ego we are bound for pain and humiliation. In fact, most of us will do anything to avoid just that: we will readily contradict ourselves, mock and degrade ourselves, lie and cheat as long as there remains the slightest chance to preserve our precious ego.

Oscar has a name for all this: we “exist too much.” That’s why he keeps urging us to “stop living” and “stop thinking” so that we can “start living” and “start thinking,” i.e. start becoming aware of ourselves. Oscar’s task is therefore to locate the crack in the weld and then penetrate to insert his benign but painful venom—a suitable task since he enjoys nothing more than an attack on vanity, sentimentality, nostalgia and melancholia, generally: our lack of presence. His task is to throw ourselves right in our face, to help us realise the naked truth about ourselves: that we are all utter simple and plain human beings, not at all the complex and sophisticated persons we fancy ourselves to be. Oscar is a man in search of truth, a man emphatically in love with the here and now, with exposure, directness, frankness, with the melting down of our multi-layered personalities into one transparent layer which is accessible to reason.

So, to return to the consultation, if most people “exist too much,” what about Oscar himself? Unsurprisingly (by now) he answered that he “does not exist.” He had ceased to exist. Therefore he was a “martyr.” A non-existing martyr, what does that mean? Perhaps it means that he has sacrificed himself so that others may come to life through him. Dramatic, for sure, but it holds water in a way. In every session Oscar facilitates he crucifies himself a little. And it is quite obvious that he loves it. It is funny, not because of the element of “crucifixion,” but because of all the stupid and nonsensical responses he get from people trying not to lose their faces. Our endless escapes and excuses, embarrassing as they are to us who take ourselves too seriously, are “gefundenes fressen” for this seeker of high-end intellectual pleasures. No wonder then, that this is what he prefers to do, professionally and in his spare time, since this is what his non-existence amounts to, practically and socially: to be a mirror to our fake-existence so as to help us improve and recognise who we are. Thus, in an inverted sense, Oscar is the one who exists, not the people in the marketplace. We will get back to this in a moment.


Page created: 11.03.09. Page last modified: 11.03.09 22:28.