Wednesday, March 24, 2010

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?

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