“One symptom [is that] the moral valence of debt and spending is reversed, and the multiplication of wants becomes not a sign of dangerous corruption but part of the civilizing process. That is, part of the _disciplinary_process_.” [DUN DUN DUUUUUN uncomfortably dramatic emphasis mine]
This one is actually going “under the cut” because it’s even more NSFW than usual for around here.
Saint saint saint saint saint…
UNDISPUTED (chicka chicka) EMCEE STATUS
Lil’ chumpin up like he deserves this
automatic entry – wordless de-solilo-quist
Every single mother fucker on this side of shit? (HOME TEAM)
We was hopin’ the asshole behind you was a ventriloquist. (HAH)
Kiss that smug satisfaction farewell.
(Chorus cut: It’s judgement bitch!) eat up all four courses
What’s this shit right here with the fuckin’ divorces?
What’s this about stealin’ and lyin’ and not makin’ nice
Cheatin’ and hatin’? Wait, you beat a hooker?! (TWICE)
Trick, the linea shit that I -could -unload on you
would go from now till they greenlight “Waterworld II” (YO COSTNER)
Or did you just not think your ass needed to pra-a-ctice
Cause the serious crime – what earns you this re-peat
Is this old school deep-dish phonopathetic de-feat
Tell you what next time bring your whole damn crew
Oh snap, that’s right, you lived just for you
Got noone in your corner, but I got my whole set
You ain’t figured out what life’s for yet!
So you goin’ ta purgatory for an eon or two
And we’ll try again when your soul is true blue.
Beat that ass with my mic and now the bitch drop
Twenty eleven. Here we are in the future. With our future communicators and our try-better-the-second-time marriages. My telephone tells me where bars are and when the bus is coming. It tells me when I should be guilty that I forgot someone’s birthday, and when a girl from Ohio is getting her period. But what it doesn’t do is tell you what you want to hear. That’s the dream, isn’t it? The Star Trek:TNG dream. Unisex rompers and consequence-free adventures to the edge of clean, inhuman technology. But nobody ever accidentally sent Picard a link to some porn and had to pussyfoot around him for a few days at work afraid he was gonna get hit with an HR beef. Counselor Troi never avoided getting on the turbolift because Geordi got drunk and tried to push up on her a little too hard at a party. Humanity, it turns out, is a real dirty messy business with lots of agendas and not a lot of transparency.
Every new social tech increases exposure well before it finally creates etiquette (which is frequently ignored). And with that increased exposure, no matter how honest or dishonest, deep or shallow, it is easy to over estimate the true intimacy of relationships. It’s natural, people are machines of want, and want is about possessive desire — we are _all_ natural stalkers of the subjects, objects, and people that stoke our passion. But sometimes, somewhere between the facebook and twitter and buzz and bloggytextfoursquares, the _person_ starts to lose out to the preconceptions you are bringing with you. And when it’s someone you’re romantically interested in, it is easy to wish that every line was meant for you, to wish that they hang on your every response and think about you constantly. To scheme for attention, to scrutinize for meaning, to overthink and maneuver and extort. It’s an insane, singular psychological investment called “emotional frontloading”. This is the insanity that makes you wonder if a girl you’ve never exchanged twelve words loves you. It’s what makes you resent people you like because they don’t understand you instantly, or more specifically because they don’t embrace you unconditionally simply based on the (objectively completely invisible and meaningless) work you’ve already put into caring about them.
It’s unfair. It’s a unidirectional type of affection which is more closely related to ownership than romance. It’s branding, not in the marketing sense but in the cattle sense. LOVE as a leash, a label, and a lash. Again, something that denies the essential humanity of others, attempts to simplify them so they fit into your preconceived emotional/interpersonal destination. Maneuver, maneuver, maneuver. A childlike idea of conquest, that people, like games, can be won completely with sufficient strength and sneakiness.
My only hard-set goal in 2011 is to – recognize when I am; accept the truth of; and finally _stop_ – emotionally frontloading. Treat people like people. Make fewer assumptions. And continue to build my life of purpose and honesty as best I can.
I did not give 2010 a send off. There’s really no way to summarize the year, it was indescribable. No one word can tie it up, no phrase, no length would do it justice. There was an overwhelming, almost global sense of hopelessness that dug in as the economy in my country continued to implode. A small scale morass of betrayals and upsets, arguments and disagreements. There was also immense peace. Moments of real, incomprehensible joy. Moments of utter suffering, moments of clarity. Moments of shame. But what I want to talk about today is moments of realization.
I thought a lot last year. A lot. But instead of thinking about work or math or history or cars, I thought about myself. I thought about what I’m doing, what I need. What I want. Mortality, career, romance, all of the big ones. But that’s all internal. There’s no sounding board to reality on any of that, you just build it into your own little dorodango, a ball of your own mud that you think is perfect.
And then in just two little blips it was shattered. Turns out my mudball was just another mudball. That thought of internal perfection, the building of a logic ladder inside your own head without the challenging ideas of others? It’s lazy. A selfish ownership of reason that denies the essential humanity of others in your relationships. I spent six months mourning my imperfect mudball, trying to figure out how all my focus could have gone wrong. How could all that hard work I put into _believing_ in my righteousness and then be wrong? Because faith without honesty is worthless, and honesty is something that must be both internal and external. You can think you’re being fully honest with yourself all the way until you are forced to think about something you have no context for.
Six months, mourning my broken mudball. Alone. By choice. Hiding behind the hurt, too lazy to work at healing, too cautious to make progress any other way. I hid, from the responsibility of my humanity, behind the things which have damaged me, instead of trying to truly put them behind me. And all it took was two little blips.
These are the lessons that 2011 started me off with. Interaction with other people is both necessary and terrifying. There is no shame in needing others. There is no shame in being hurt but nobody should love you for failing to heal. Pay attention to what is being said but also pay attention to what is not being said. And then, Bridget Pilloud, who is responsible for a startling number of palm-smacking-forehead moments? She set me up for a doozy: Think about others more, think about their problems less. And realize that nobody cares about your bus crash. You should care less about your bus crash too.
I hate it when another one of those old lines comes up, something you’ve heard a thousand times and not ever listened to. And this is what it all comes down to. A song lyric from a cassette tape I played until it was ruined, almost fifteen years ago. A song which gets stuck in my head from time to time even now. Echoing through my personal history, telling me to pay more fucking attention.
I was having this discussion in a taxi heading down-town.
Rearranging my position on this friend of mine who had a little bit of a breakdown.
I said, “Hey, you know, breakdowns come and breakdowns go.
So what are you going to do about it – that’s what _I’d_ like to know.”
– Paul Simon – Gumboots
Pain doesn’t earn you shit, turns out. It’s what you do with it.