May 29, 2011 § 1 Comment
After a day of discovering foursquare (who knew how creepy that could be?) and discussing whether or not everyone being in a state of constant euphoria is a good thing (n0), there is this, from everyone’s favorite Pulitzer Prize losing author and the New York Times:
“We can all handle being disliked now and then, because there’s such an infinitely big pool of potential likers. But to expose your whole self, not just the likable surface, and to have it rejected, can be catastrophically painful. The prospect of pain generally, the pain of loss, of breakup, of death, is what makes it so tempting to avoid love and stay safely in the world of liking.
And yet pain hurts but it doesn’t kill. When you consider the alternative — an anesthetized dream of self-sufficiency, abetted by technology — pain emerges as the natural product and natural indicator of being alive in a resistant world. To go through a life painlessly is to have not lived. Even just to say to yourself, “Oh, I’ll get to that love and pain stuff later, maybe in my 30s” is to consign yourself to 10 years of merely taking up space on the planet and burning up its resources. Of being (and I mean this in the most damning sense of the word) a consumer.”
Here’s the rest of it: Technology Provides an Alternative to Love
Love is hard work, Jonathan Franzen. My question is, what is the purpose of this “like-world,” shallow, internet self? Why do we want our ideal selves to be liked when it’s our shitty, crying-at-the-grocery-store-sometimes selves that are loved? I suppose just that it’s easier to “like” someone’s link to Steve Albini’s food blog (http://mariobatalivoice.blogspot.com/) than it is to take your bag full of existential shit and say “hey, hang on to this for a while.” Because they can potentially give back and possibly add to all that shit and that is scary and yeah, fucking hurts. But we can both just agree it’s cool that Steve Albini has a food blog. It’s not a more satisfying relationship in the end, but it’s easier–and so do we, our internet selves, just try to accumulate a bunch of easy internet relationships and likes in order to offset the work that is love?
Anywho, I’d say more, but it’s my birthday. Almost.
May 25, 2011 § Leave a comment
I’m kind of with this guy and kind of not. On the one hand, I am intimately familiar with the isolation he describes and how it allows you to create and destroy and re-create yourself in the absence of people who, well-meaning though they may be, remind you of who you were (or worse, who they thought you were) and end up weighing you down into that identity. I knew from an early age that I’d have to run away if I was going to end up anything like I wanted to be – and shit, guys, did I run. From Florida, from family, from Boston and boys, back to Boston and boys, from academia, from marriage. In most cases I was running not from anyone/anything else but myself and a potential future that I couldn’t stand living. Mental and physical isolation was necessary, and I wouldn’t undo any of it. Not enough people give themselves the space and aloneness and time to try on a new self or even assess the current one.
And yet. Does it have to be done that way? There is an incredible sense of comfort and safety in being connected to people, having a language and common knowledge of each other’s histories and embarrassing moments. There are things going on in my life that are painful, and I could keep those inside and turn them endlessly like stones in a tumbler – but if I share them with a few amazing friends while dancing to ’90s jams, I feel understood and the wounds don’t sting quite so much. And that constant sharing doesn’t tie me down because my friends don’t want me to STAY me, they want me to BECOME me. How cool is that?
May 19, 2011 § 3 Comments
Two steps forward, one step back. This is just what it is, sometimes. I re-read Nietzsche’s “On the Genealogy of Morals” (yes, that’s right, re-read, as in to do it again. I can be that motherfucking smart. Really), and then I zone out for days on “My So-Called Life”. I go for a run, my first voluntary running experience EVER, and I am actually decent at it, and then I fail at jumping rope. I have a kickass mom-kid talk about friendship and how to communicate with people, and then I get my feelings hurt by a friend and promptly do all the things that even an 8-year old knows are unproductive and self-indulgent. I tell a couchful of almost-strangers my entire life story, traumatic shit and bad behavior and everything, in an effort to be honest and be held accountable for myself, and then…well, that was just tonight so the step back is still a day or two away. But I know it’s coming.
So on the brink of my 34th birthday, I look at the steps taken, forward and back and often diagonally, and I wonder where the hell I’m going. Is there a path? If there is, can I be trusted to follow it? Logically I know I can’t be the only one so mired in a perpetual post-adolescent confusion, but everyone else my age seems to have it so much more together. They have jewelry, like real jewelry. And hairstyles. They don’t share clothes with their daughters. They’re not mistaken for babysitters or college students. They do yoga and drink coffee beverages and push expensive strollers that don’t fit through doorways. And while I don’t want to be one of them, not ever ever in a million years, not even if it means being able to recline on a rug softer than Usher’s baby-soft skin, even still…I don’t want to be lost forever. When I blow out the candles on my invisible cake, this smeary plea will be my wish.
May 16, 2011 § Leave a comment
I will now formally apologize for taking this blog to the depths of “check out this thing I found on the interweb!” There was probably some science involved in this and there’s books in it so, I mean, at least it’s not that “Friday” video. I’m too occupied with my own research to discover if I really do like these Hint of Pepperjack chips to come up with anything else. In the name of science, I’ve eaten like half the bag and am feeling kind of sick. Time to nap. But hey! Check out this thing I found on the interweb!
May 9, 2011 § 1 Comment
May 4, 2011 § Leave a comment
If there’s one thing I wish I was smart enough to learn more about, it’s space/astronomy/physics/science in general. The best I can do is watch Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” on Netflix and try to remember things I saw on Bill Nye way back when. So far all I’ve got is that R-E-C-Y-C-L-E song set to the tune of “Respect.” I don’t think anything about water chimps is strictly “knowledge.”
Somewhere out there, there is probably a better J. who never falls asleep reading or leaves the dishes out to air dry. Overachiever.
May 1, 2011 § Leave a comment
Here. Consider it a gift, this song – from me to you. Happy and sad and hopeful and hopeless. I’m liking today, and I’m loving this weekend and all the time I got to spend with a couple of amazing people. And now I’m “Flowers for Algernon”-ing, because I know me and I know hormones and I know I can’t hold onto this feeling. But I can feel it now and play the shit out of a good song.