Saturday, February 9, 2013

Self-Imposed Problems

I'm paranoid. I'm pathological. A friend said to me, "Your problem is you have too many options, gotta put yourself in a situation where something's on the line." Okay, poor memory means the second part's practically invented, but it's the thought that counts. I'm paranoid and pathological and I have too many options. You know what stuttering is? I don't, but hear me out. We've all seen the King's Speech. He can speak perfectly when music's distracting his mind. Stuttering in his case is a self-imposed problem. Stuttering is my life's problem. Stuttering lets you control things, because it provides an ample distraction. I don't want to think and go through with shit, so I create scenarios beyond the reach of being solved.

Rorschach test: What do you see?

I don't physically stutter in speech, not often. I stutter every time I decide to play the Cat Trap flash game. It's an excuse to continue doing nothing and ignoring the huge task at hand of real world problems. I have some anal-retentive attributes. I fixate on little details sometimes, because you can get lost in the vast whimsical world you invent in your head. When I'm wasting time properly tagging MP3s, it's my personal Lord of the Rings. You know, a bunch of gibberish shit to figure out that is much less daunting than fixating on an infinitely complex reality. But reality is the world and everything in it, and staring into the dead eyes of truth is anxiety and pain at every front. Escapism isn't a bad thing though, per se, but it is when generally speaking your life is devoid of pleasure. Balance is key, and my ratio is weighing too far into the negative.

* * *

Let me tell you the truth. The truth is what is, and what should be is a fantasy. A terrible, terrible lie that someone gave to the people long ago. - Lenny Bruce

* * *

So I distract myself from writing what I need to write, opting instead to lack faith and go for the lowest common denominator. And chase some dead end job, some dead end dream, some dead end pyramid scheme. What's easy is comfortable and predictable. I never open that writing.txt file, or at least rarely do. There's always some distraction on a computer. Some Youtube clip. Some news article. Reddit. A podcast. Someone to help. Someone to talk to. Some movie to see. Something to get angry and distracted about. Something to research. I want things to be nicer but I'm always grasping to the idea of survival first, rather than the more important idea of living a life worth living. There are too many options, period, not just for myself. Eventually, I fear, a life chooses you. It could be a fun one. It could be working as a cripple at WinCo.

Quality, not quantity, motherfucker. - MLK

I'm paranoid. If you're a person without paranoia, you lack sentience. You think, therefore you are, therefore you are paranoid. There's no way around it. There's an infinite stream of possibilities in the cosmos and all you have to do is think to explore them. Are other people even real. But no, there are more relevant, easy to point out paranoias and privacy concerns. Your emails and messages through Facebook and Skype could easily be monitored. And your credit card, your passport, your smartphone. What would happen if my secrets were laid bare? Would it even fucking matter, I've not done much wrong. Eventually the argument always comes up, Well, it don't bother me none. I got nothing to hide. That's all well and good, until you realize others do and can exploit you for their gain. Even if you were a completely open book, that means anyone with just one secret and the willingness to bend the truth a bit has an edge on you. As Lenny Bruce said, the truth is what is, not what should be. To live your life like there's no looming social dangers simply for what you believe is fuuuucking stupid. It doesn't matter that you should be able to walk into a courtroom with pierced eyeballs and green hair, the reality is a suit and tie lean the odds in your favor. Our society has some retarded prejudices. "Don't tell your father about this," how many times have you heard that one? If you need privacy from even the person you're sharing your soul with, sharing your secrets with the rest of society doesn't stand a chance. Kinda makes a guy want to go off the grid.

There's a romanticism in living in wilderness, but it's not ideal. Yet the more you're absorbed by technology you begin to wonder, do I still exist, or am I a vessel for these shitty Facebook popup messages. Do I need to be accessible, or can I find solace in a relaxed pace, sheltered and away from the problems of society that are a heartache to contemplate and hear about. It's escapism, like a movie, only you're living your own movie. It doesn't matter that it's a good movie, just that it's more good than it is bad. You can bide your time in a snowy cabin away from the general madness of modern existence. No one would have to know. But it's not necessarily better to live a simple life, free of technology, it's simply simpler. The more difficult life is more interesting but also creates more difficult moral questions. If you're doing what you've always been used to, there's no challenge. You can stutter through your life and pretend it's challenging but all you're really doing is stagnating and meditating. While less rewarding, a simple life is certainly better than a challenging life dressed with a ton of moral fuck ups. It's easy to tell someone to follow their dreams, but they always forget to add, "...Unless you're the next Hitler."

Everyone working here was once told to follow their dreams

I'm pathological. I will do most anything to avoid doing what my innermost desires beg to do. To be more honest. To say what needs to be said. Those simple things are the hardest to do. To express fully and accurately what you feel in your soul with your body and actions is the hardest thing to do, but it's an admirable aim. It's perhaps the only admirable aim. Yet I'm sidetracked by options. I don't care much for clothes and photos and possessions but I let them dictate too often. Can I learn to let go what's not important? All those simple answers. The touchstones, like photos, that keep you grounded to reality. They're just boulders in the path of a more streamlined form of happiness. I'm not into fashion but I keep some old sweaters around. They take up closet space and say nothing about me. Why is it so hard to throw them away? I'm picturing some futuristic scenario where I'm charming someone's pants off and you need nice god damn clothes if you wish to see someone's clothes come off, alright. 

Look, I just brought up nudity. Nudity is the best, boldest fashion statement. It's also very basic. I'm losing my stream off thought, but it's a good thing. Writing any of this has been a distraction, as I set out to clean up my computers folders to grease the wheels for writing. I'm sidetracked by all the files I have and the ideas they represent. The images I've created in Photoshop. The short films I've made. The nude photos I've saved from the web or Past Babes. What the fuck deserves to be saved. Every song, every album, compartmentalized into folders, taking space, named and re-named, making things more complex, as if anything were complex at all. I guess complex things are necessary if only to disrobe and explore the ideas at their core. Anything, regardless of its non-necessity or if it's nonsense, is okay, so long as no one's getting hurt. No good deed is done justice if done by force. The advice one should take is to try, to try to be good, or more even more relaxed, try not to be bad. Or as the great advice of a modern comedian puts it, 

Try not to be a cunt. - Jim Jefferies

So despite that I am base, carnal, dull void of a vessel for the expression of something nonsensical, I'll continue to play the part and partake in the irrelevant novelties in life and even wear the shoes. I'll walk, wander, and explore in those shoes like wearing them were some sort of real human necessity. It doesn't matter our clothing, baggage, pictures, careers, and beliefs, at the end of it we're all sentient beings, and we have enough cognizance to know we're nude underneath it all. Regardless the complexity of our disguise, we're nude. Despite the infinite combination of numbers that make up the world, there still is, at the end of the day, only a one and a zero. One is alive, and the other isn't. As erratic as one can get, there is still a small measure. What is will always be judged in context of what isn't. That's your only bit of grace from life's utter chaos. That's the most base level of comprehension we will ever have for ourselves, is how our existence relates to the idea of not existing.

The entire thing I'm getting at in this thinking aloud session is that we, certainly me, fabricate a lot of our anxieties and depression. We make up problems because the scope of everything is much too large to fathom, let alone handle. We can only view the world through the prism of our own experiences, and if we wanted to make an influence on the world it's not a matter of understanding it all, but understanding oneself and best gauging your personal experiences with your interpretation of the bigger, global picture. But sometimes you can think yourself into a bind, a hole you can't get out of because you lack another person's subjective perspective on your life. That's a reality no book could do justice, no movie, no amount of thinking. Only baring your soul works, and some social interaction. Both harrowing endeavors as one shits on your privacy and the other requires full, untethered expression. See, this is all tying together nice. And although I rarely take my own advice, trying to is an admirable aim.

The shortcut is being honest with yourself, where a lot of people fail. Some delude themselves on a subconscious level. I do every time I invent problems to be upset over, or become anal about doing things a certain way so it takes extra time, so something fills out every second of the day, so I can make it through without my head exploding. It's a ritual to keep you in sync, to feel you perfected the notes within narrow parameters. Isn't that why the Challenger exploded? That's what a teacher told me. It exploded because of a miscalculation as small as a tenth of one millimeter. When you're this obsessed with details you rather contrive smaller ones, any excuse to to stay grounded, even if it means missing out on space exploration. Come what may, caution causes more harm than it solves the moment it paralyzes you into inaction.

Uh-oh - Pilot Michael J. Smith's last words

The Rorschach test is the Challenger explosion photo Photoshopped with 'Polar Coordinates' filter 6 or 7 times. If you were able to properly identify it, congratulations, you're a shaman or a schizophrenic.

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