Sunday, March 28, 2010

Truth and Happiness 3/3

You know the drill.

I hate people, right. I hate parts of people anyway. I would be hard-pressed to find anyone I actually hate all the way through. I was in a music class the other day, and this dude who sits like three seats to the left was totally bs’ing the instructor, even though he was texting openly, right in front of her in the first row. He was joking with her and otherwise trying to play “oh look at me I am a funny guy” shit. I don’t know what I hate more, the dude for pulling that shit or the instructor for putting up with it. I was very annoyed by it, but I know that it’s just the same sort of thing I do myself to some people. I hate it anyway, though, cause I hate it when I do it, and I hate it when it works. But hate is not all I do. I like a great many things. I was writing the last couple of things I wrote, and I thought “gee, I am a downer” and I decided I should try and finish with something that didn’t make me sound like such a sorry sack of shit.

Things that make me happy in no real order and not really complete

Mern makes me happy. She is so cool. When I die and become one with the great spirit and then decide what I want to come back to earth as so that I can continue my education for the next world (it’s a complicated theology my grandmother has) I would totally pick her so I can learn how to be cool. She is like the icy half of that Icyhot stuff. She is like chewing ice and wintergreen gum while jumping out of an airplane with a snowboard to go down K2. In boxers.

Gavin and Emily make me happy. They’re such a cute couple and such cool people individually. I love seeing other people happy like that.

Music makes me happy. Everything about music. I love playing it, I love listening to it, I love pretending I can dance. If I weren’t so awful and hadn’t started so late, I would love to be a musician for the rest of my life.

Protesters make me happy. Anyone who gets angry, goes outside and masses together to wave signs and yell is damn cool in my book. People who do protests like this make me even happier. I love people with their heads on straight. Even if they have some kooky mysticism behind their movement. I would be the Judas from Jesus Christ Superstar, supporting the movement because it helps people, not because it becomes centered on a single ego, like Jesus. Anyway you should watch the movie, it’s really good.

Dnd makes me happy. I like playing pretend, and it’s even more fun playing pretend when I play pretend with other people. I get kind of grouchy about it sometimes because it turns into not being about playing pretend as much as rolling dice or arguing, but on the whole I enjoy it.

Ms. Keturi makes me happy, though I am less clear on why. If I had to say, I would say something dumb like “because she is so real.” It’s just, I met her and man if nothing else she is someone I feel like I can trust with anything forever. Also she is six kinds of hot.

I like walking. It makes me happy just to wander around and listen to music and look at people who walk past me. I like that. I like wearing a warm coat on a cold night and listening to some horrible techno bullshit and staring at the stars. I like the stars too.

Space exploration makes me happy. I want to be in space. Earth is so dull. I want to be alone in a entirely silent vessel hurtling towards nowhere at the speed of sound. I want to die majestically when a star goes nova and rips apart my very flesh at the molecular level.

Shopping for stupid shit online makes me happy. It’s also bankrupting me, so I really need to stop, but when I find a website that sells brothel tokens for three bucks each, I just have to buy a bunch. Same with these stupid glasses. And that dumb hat. Chris was right when he said when I’m old the front of my house is going to be a museum of curios collected over the years.

Grant makes me happy. He’s such a cool dude. I still think he’s going to burn out in drug fueled blaze of glory, but that will be pretty awesome too.

Comics make me happy. I've been reading them forever. Not the convoluted and confusing comic books, but the short and snappy comic strips from the newspaper. Squeezing a message into a few boxes and some words always seemed like the best way to go. I still read comics, though now they are on the web and have transcended the limitations of print in both censorship and format. It's pretty great. Here's some classic peanuts, back when it was new and exciting.

Sleeping makes me happy. I over-indulge in sleep whenever I can. It's just what I do. It's an awful habit, but damn do I enjoy the fuck out of my dreams more than I enjoy being awake.

I started out writing these as a response to two different questions, “who are you to tell them that?” and “what the hell?” which were asked by two different people in two different contexts, which got me to thinking, which got me to writing, etc. Thanks for reading all of them, or skipping to the last one cause you’re a jerk. Jerk.

I’m trying to express myself, I guess. It’s hard because I am not a cat. If I were a cat I would just pee all over everything. Instead I am a person, and because I am a busy person I do not have the time to go around and yell statements about myself at the top of my lungs to no one at all. Writing at least offers some form of permanency of self. There is a person in these essays. He’s there. He isn’t me, but I made him and he reflects how I think right now. Does that make sense? It’s philosophical nonsense, I guess, but useful philosophical nonsense. This, I suppose, is how I handle journal-writing. By squeezing my massive and malformed ego into chunks of poorly chosen words with only a loose connection to their author.

In the long run, the question I am asking myself and asking you is, “is that true?”

Truth is all I really want to write, all I feel is worth writing.

last song=

Friday, March 26, 2010

Truth and Happiness 2/3

Hey, I thought the multimedia components of that last thing were pretty cool, so I am going to do it again for this one. Here is the first song.

So. I wrote some stuff. Yes. It’s pretty emo, huh. Buncha weird emotional bullshit, right. Lots of cussing. I cuss cause I’m raw. I say “cuss” cause I’m southern. Check this shit out:

Nigger faggot cunt dicks shitty ass fuck chink kike damn.

Yeaaaaah. I probably just blew your mind out, right. I am just that raw and edgy. Check out my deep emotions. I feel shit, nigger. Because I’m punk, right. I say stuff no one does cause I’ve got huge cojones. Agh, this was a terrible way to start this. But I am not even going to edit it, that way it’s more original and raw.

The key idea here is raw. The fresher it is, the better. The more I shock you, the better. Ka pow ka pow. It’s a Cormac McCarthy approach to journal-writing. Blood. Guts. Impropriety. Check it out I’m dane cook, saying what shouldn’t be said. I’m George Carlin, I’m Dave Chappelle. I’m fucking Hunter S. Thompson. This is so stupid. We idolize people who have the guts or complete lack of shame to say whatever they feel like in public. We idolize people that go against the grain, regardless of their motivation or message. We idolize Sarah Palin, we idolize Glenn Beck, anyone at all who is willing to stand up and say “I’m different, and you should be too.” When I was a kid, for a short time I wanted to be like everyone else. Then I decided I wanted to be different, right about at the same time everyone else decided they wanted to be different. Nothing changed, really.

I guess what I was trying to say, I wrote all that stuff and I sound like an angsty bastard and I hate it. Cause I’m not really angsty. It’s just how I feel sometimes, you know. Maybe I sound depressed, but I am not really, I swear. I am perfectly capable of taking enjoyment in things. I do it all the time. I don’t hate the world at all. If I ever tell you I am depressed (*cough*) I am just saying that because I feel sad at the moment and I’m not good at seeing things that make me happy when I am sad. It’s not really the truth.

The truth is: I’m a person, just like any other person. The only thing I’m doing here is talking about it more than many other people do. It doesn’t make me better, it doesn’t make me unique, it just makes me a person. Why am I doing it? Well, I can tell you all the reasons I can think of right now, but I’m not sure if they’re quite right. The answer, like most answers, is probably some horrible amalgamation of all of these, plus several things that I am too embarrassed to mention, or am not actually aware of.

Reason one: to get it out of me. I need an outlet for this sort of thing. Sorry I make it public, but I feel like a part of the outlet is that someone has to read it. Thanks for doing so, by the way.

Reason two: For attention. I am a huge attention whore. I desperately seek the notice of everyone around me to validate my existence because I am vapid and shallow

Reason three: Because I am depressed and crying for help. I hate everything and I hate life, and I am saying it the only way I know how: through internet cutting by writing dumb things.

Reason four: I’m bored as fuck. I need something to do. Why not write. If I am going to write, why not write about me. It’s easier than writing about someone else, that’s for sure.

Reason five: Writing practice. I need to work on writing and mastering my “craft” as it were if I hope to ever achieve any form of success in a writing career. This also helps with other things that I write, such as essays and such. It helps me to actually put things down on paper so that they’re there and immutable. Relatively.

Here is the other song here

Reason six: I’m trying to inspire myself. Sounds a bit like masturbation, I guess, but I’m trying to jumpstart my creativity by thinking and writing this sort of thing and taking feedback and the like.

Reason seven: I’m searching for people who feel the same way sometimes. It would be cool to meet people I could honestly say are like minded. They’re pretty rare, I think, though I have met a lot of mad fresh peeps represent’n their shit up front. Anyway, only way to meet them is to advertise, yeah?

Reason eight: I’m attempting to (I wrote satisfying for some reason.) verify and rationalize my existence. I’m just trying to make sense of it all. If I can get it out of my head and take a step back, maybe I can understand myself a little better. It’s a key tenet of Taoism, you know. In order to comprehend Tao, you must first comprehend yourself.

Reason nine: I’m trying to capture a frame of reference, a state of mind, a composition of being that I am now and will likely never be again. It’s a form of memoir, an autobiography in action. Years down the road, I will be terribly embarrassed for myself, but happy to have a real record of how I actually thought back then.

Reason ten: by telling you everything, I can tell you nothing. I say all that I can about myself and the way I feel so that it seems like I’ve been entirely trustful and forthcoming but really, I have told you very little. It’s a form of hiding in plain sight. It’s like dropping smoke when you’re in a tank. Stuff like that.

None of those are true, or conversely, all of those are true. They’re all plausible at least. When people ask me why I pick one of those reasons and present them. Sometimes I change reasons when they ask me again, which makes me seem like a liar. But I’m not actually lying. All of those reasons are correct. There are even more reasons, in fact. All of this to explain one simple essay. And the kicker? This isn’t just me. This is every single person on the planet it’s me times six billion. It’s fucking crazy. It’s incomprehensible.
I’m just one of them, you know? I’m no better, no smarter, no stronger than a kid born in Africa (at least born without some awful crippling disease). There are hundreds of millions of people who have the capacity at least, to vastly outstrip me in every endeavor I ever attempt. I’m a dot on a screen of static. It’s crazy. I really am not special, and neither is anyone I am ever likely to meet. Sure, maybe I can write okay. Sure maybe I can reference all sorts of history, science or math. But I certainly couldn’t survive in the wild. I couldn’t survive on my own. I have no clue how. I need society. I need it to live. But society most certainly does not need me, nor anyone else I know.

There’s this kid in Florida. He’s fifteen, and he listens to me. He respects what I have to say. This to me is just phenomenal. He respects me and what I say solely based on what I’ve said to him over aim! It’s nuts! I didn’t really do anything to deserve it, but damn. Now I feel like I should do something to deserve that respect. He’s so cool, too. He’s like the fifteen-year-old I wish I was when I was fifteen.

This ended up being a bit short, but I have one more to go and I want to finish it today. Nigger.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's not that

I haven't been writing, it's just that I put them all on facebook so I feel much more like people are reading them. People still visit this sometimes, though, so perhaps I need to start publishing in two places.

Truth and Happiness 1/3

Hey, I've decided to make this a multimedia note, since this is the internet and you can do anything here. Listen to these three songs when you see the links for them. I dunno how fast you read, but you should get the point by the time the next one comes up, hopefully. The first song that you should probably start with:

okey doke? here we go.

I want to say something that’s true, for once. God, doesn’t that sound angsty and juvenile. Man. Cynicism is the devil. You can spend all day standing around and pointing out how everything is stupid, everything is petty, everything is duplicitous, everything is hypocritical, but then you’ve spent your entire day doing nothing of worth.

In the interest of continuing to write, I’m starting a new paragraph. I hate everyone. I say that all the time. Other people say that all the time. I’m not sure if we agree why, but whatevs, go misanthropy. Me? I hate everyone because they don’t care. They’re not interested. And neither am I, by my definition. People do all sorts of things that are cool and wonderful. Everywhere you go, you see examples of people caring, from the littlest cause to the largest wars. So that’s dumb. It’s not true. It’s a perception based on faulty data. But all data is faulty, all perception biased. What do we do?

I read stuff about hipsters, right (cause I totally am one lololollollolool), and when they aren’t overwhelmingly negative (get a job and cut your hair, fake hippies) they tend to say something along the lines of “they passively consume art and media in a search for genuineness” or something similar. They talk about how bands are thought to “sell out” when they become popular and such. This is a stupid philosophy. Just because something is popular doesn’t mean it isn’t genuine.

Free-form unstructured writing (*cough*) is popular with these people because of a belief that it’s a form of genuineness. Its lack of editorial oversight and proper proofreading taken as a hallmark of its apparent truthiness and relevance to the author. Independent films are treated the same way, as more “real” than Hollywood flicks and such. Indie record labels are supported because of the “rawness” of the message. Media becomes paralleled to fruits and vegetables, with “organics” being considered superior. It’s a social movement. It’s called “post-consumerism” or something.

It’s not true. None of it is. There is no reason that indie developers should be thought of as any better than large companies. If I film myself watching porn for fifteen minutes I have not made a movie that has any more meaning than “The Hurt Locker.” Organic fruits and vegetables are no better than fruits or vegetables that had Mexican laborers jizz on them (washed later, of course). It’s just not true. Buying and using reusable plastic bags has a negligible effect. For every plastic bag that you don’t use, a dick like me without a car is going to get three double bagged loads so I can carry them home. And then I’ll throw them away. In the garbage. That’s not true either.

Recycling is terrible. It’s awful. In fact environmentalism is awful. Everything is wrong. It’s all a business. I know! I went to recycling conventions for vendors and investors as a kid! My mom dragged me along. I saw all these businesses peddling their services and handing out pens and notepads and little plastic recycling bins and all manner of useless tchochke bullshit. These people don’t give two shits about the environment, and by extension no one who supports them really cares either. There are real solutions to the genuine ecological problems in the world, but they’re not what we want, so they’re not what we’re going to get. We want to feel good about our actions, not do good actions. It all sounds very heinous, but it isn’t really. It’s how our culture works. It’s the society that we were born in, that we’ll live in, and that we’ll probably die in.

It’s not true to say that they’re all wrong either. It’s good that people are in touch with their morals. It’s good that people will put forth some sort of effort into things like this. It’s nice. I usually like to offer alternatives around here or so, just so it doesn’t look like I’m just complaining, but I don’t really feel like it, because I can’t write truth either.

For example, a few minutes ago I was wondering what I looked like. Instead of turning around where a mirror happens to be, I fired up the webcam on this laptop here. What kind of truth is that?

hey, here is the next vid. If you hate it or something, just listen to the bit at about 1:05

Let me talk about something else again. I do this because I am shitty at making things flow together a lot of the time, so it’s easier if I just start over and talk about something new until I run out of that too. I met a guy the other day who asked me to help him with political science seven, intro to government. He’s a pretty strange fellow, one of those people who actually focuses on their academics and studies and stuff (crazy fuckers), and I guess is having legitimate trouble with the class. So, I agreed to and such, and we get to talking and inevitably I end up asking him what he wants to do when he grows up (I ask everyone this) and he said (like most people do) “I don’t know.” So we keep talking and I get two things out of him: “I don’t really care about money, I just want to be financially secure, not rich, really” and “I want to make a difference.” Oh, and also “I don’t want to work a 9 to 5.” Man, that just bugs the hell out of me, cause it’s what everyone thinks. They’re all idealists. Bright eyed, bushy tailed. Looking to do good in the world. In twenty years their spirits will be crushed as they find themselves trapped doing the very things they hate just to make a living. And I’m that way too. I hate it. I do want to make a difference. I want to change the world. And I probably won’t and I hate that and I want to die.

Ugh. That’s stupid. There is nothing wrong with wanting to change the world. Nothing at all. It’s a normal thing that pretty much everyone does. The problem I have is that the world doesn’t change much because of it. I guess. I dunno. And wanting to change the world is so very much a product of my culture. Wanting to be different, wanting to shake up the norms, wanting to be “unique.” Who do I sound like? Fucking sonic the fucking hedgehog. It’s not true either. Defying norms maintains the very norms you attempt to defy. No one (except bjork) is an army of themselves. It’s all a scam designed to sell you items to make you feel like you’re more individual than the next person. What a crock.

It never ends. It doesn’t matter how well you get along with society, it still sells to you. Because that’s what America is. That’s what capitalism is. That’s what western culture is. That’s what happens when you give animals big brains and the capacity to carry things and the desire to do things that aren’t simply mating and eating.

It’s like this series of comics:

But it’s not that bad. At least it exists. Monotony would be vastly worse than counter-culture. It’s just... not true.

Last one, here you are:

What is truth anyway. What is something real? They way I go on it sounds like I’m searching for the elusive zahir of art. Well, I don’t know. I assume that I will know when I meet it, because I do know when I don’t. I met someone a while ago that I really really like (I would say love, but whenever I do, people tell me “oh, no, that’s lust. You haven’t felt love yet” which gets me to wondering what the hell love is anyway, which gets that stupid fucking song stuck in my head so I don’t think about it very much) because she’s amazing. I haven’t not thought about her since I met her. That feels pretty true, but it lends itself to all sorts of analysis. Do yourself a favor. Never ask yourself the question “why” because that will never get you anywhere. If you need to ask a question, ask “how.” Etic is better than emic if you don’t want to simply depress the hell out of yourself. But I don’t know how to write that. I hardly can express it in person. I can barely express it here.

In the end, I’m just a hipster, I guess. Just another jerk who thinks he’s better than everyone because he’s searching for authenticity and truth rather than… I dunno, working on a career. Doing something of value to society. I hate society. I absolutely do not intend to contribute to it until it stops sucking. So you’re not getting much out of me. Which is a total lie, as here I am talking to society and telling it that I hate it. I contribute criticism. I contribute thoughts. I contribute ideas. Just cause no one is consuming it doesn’t mean that I am not producing it. I, too, am a cog in the machine. I’m just another gear. I’m just… a gear that spends all of its time trying to figure out how to fuck the machine up. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, but frankly neither does anyone else ever, so fuck you, I’ll do what I want. To hell with the rest of you.

But… that’s not true either. I care about everyone. I wouldn’t want to change society if I hated people. I want to change it because I love people. It was Che Guevara, noted hipster and teenage rebellious icon, who said “At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.” I want what I think is best for you, because all I can see is people hurting and people hurting each other. And I hate that. It’s not cool. What kind of ridiculous fucking world did I end up in, where we have all the fucking money, power, technology, all this crazy shit that we can do and yet we sit there and use it to hurt each other, make each other mad, to fuck everyone up from cradle to fucking grave.

Is that true? I don’t really think so. There’s truth in it somewhere, but I haven’t found it yet. Can you?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why I hate avatar

I hate avatar.

Yes. The movie. Lots of people like it. It’s made tons of money. People keep seeing it. Even I’ve seen it twice now. I went to see it cause my aunt… didn’t get it the first time. Or something. She wasn’t very clear, but she likes to see the technology. She told me that first time she kept trying to figure out what sort of costume the N’avi actors were wearing, and that she found out later that it was computer stuff. Things like that.

Anyway I am switching gears here and talking about these goldfish, here. They’re a new brand (I think) part of this “mix-up” line, called “mix-up adventures.” On the cover here there is this whitish, feminine parmesan flavor goldfish (named brooke, for reasons I cannot fathom) and an extreme orange, with extremely raised eyebrow (named xtreme) and a noticeable (manly) chin. They’re sort of colliding together in front of a green and red background, and little pictures of goldfish are flying off from the explosion that culminates in a white line in the middle (cough, cough, Italy). Anyway the actual flavor is called like “extra cheesy pizza” because parmesan plus cheese equals pizza. Actually it does, this stuff is delicious, but it’s retarded. The back has a little thing about the adventures these little anthropomorphic crackers are going on in Italy. Fantastic. I am being sold Italy in a pouch. Very cool.

Anyway. Avatar is a movie about some bad corporate dudes who want a rock that is hilariously called unobtanium (jesus shit, is it that hard to come up with a fake rock name?) and in the interest of obtaining it, they do some bad stuff to peaceful and huge alien dudes. Very easy to follow, yeah. IT’s got a nice moral, presented beautifully using the latest technology to deliver such evocative scenes as the n’avi spiritual leader crying and asking for help in front of the giant destroyed tree and the burning space-horse—

Horses were introduced into native American society very late in the game. They only had them for about 200ish years. Seriously, fuck you james Cameron

Running through the burning space jungle. So on, so forth. Very evocative, to the point that people become all depressed cause real life isn’t that awesome. It makes me tear up, it does. But not for the reason you think, nope. It makes me tear up (with rage [no, with sorrow {fuck you I have no emotions}]) because no matter how effective these scenes are at selling this story, they will have no effect on the people watching them. Millions of people will see it, using millions of those glasses, generating millions of dollars in revenue, but no one will change. James Cameron will become even more filthily rich, and we’ll still be shooting people in other countries for no real reason. Nothing. Will. Change.

I guess what bugs me is that it’s an old story told over and over to all sorts of people (peace is good, you fuckers.) and it’s never gotten through, no matter how advanced the medium. The finest in fancy graphics and pretty explosions couldn’t even spark a minor movement, let alone cause humans to reflect on who they are and what they do.

I said all this to my aunt, you see, and she told me “It’s just entertainment. I don’t see how it’s related to Iraq or any of that.” I dunno. This depresses me. Because it is just entertainment. The movie was made to make a buck, plain and simple. The ideology of peace has been co-opted by the instruments of war. People go to this movie, they think “oh it is so sad those na’vi were killed, oh I would never do that” and they totally ameliorate any reservations they have about our operations in the middle east. They will think, on some level, “well this movie made me feel guilty enough, I must be a good person” and believe that they must be good people, so the things they do must be good.

Things like recycling have the same effect. They fulfill people’s need to feel moral and “good” for society. They’re pacifiers. They’re the methadone for this society. Recycling doesn’t really do any good. Doing real good would require giving up things. Driving less. Taking mass transit. Most people don’t do that. No, they recycle. And only when it’s made supremely easy for them. To the point that dumps (waste processing plants) hire people to stand by a conveyor belt and sort the recycling that comes by. Then the recycled stuff is processed, generating huge amounts of pollution, then sold to companies for profit so that the companies can mark up their products and label them “recycled content” so more people can buy them and feel good about saving the earth. It’s stupid.

The same with movies like avatar. They use morals as a method to sell you a product. They use your emotions to justify your purchase. I hate it. So much. What I’m really scared of, I think, is that this movie is so incredibly popular, that it will rob the legitimacy of actual peace movements, of actual conservationists. When they attempt to convey a message, it will be judged next to this movie. Did this documentary on filicide in china properly evoke enough sad feelings as avatar? Did this movie about the slow and inevitable demise of the orangutan to subsistence hunting make you feel as bad as avatar? But who cares, they’re just entertainment. Just like avatar.

I want to write, right? I like to write. I like telling people what I feel about things and that what they feel about things is wrong and they should agree with me if they want to live a happy, healthy, productive life. I am scared, though, that no one will listen to me. But even more than that I am scared that I will write and everyone will listen to me, but no one will understand me. No one will listen to what I’m trying to say, and hear only what I do say. Avatar makes me think of that. I doubt that James Cameron really wanted to convey a pro-peace, anti-corporation, pro conservation, pro-space exploration, pro-science for the sake of science and not simply profit message. I think he really wanted to win an Oscar or something. Or make a lot of money. But it frightens me that something could be made, something with all those messages, and it can be ignored.

That’s why I hate it. It’s just entertainment. It’s just an awesome trip to Italy in a bag.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010