Sunday, 17 March 2013

Beyond Reproach

I seem to be weaning off my customary opening desperately trying to tie in some kind of literary-arty-cultural reference to what I want to say, but I want to go beyond not apologising for its absence to making it (the absence) the point. Just saying what you want to say without justifying it, risks becoming what they call "self-indulgent". Here's a literary quote I just found from Tom Robbins about self-indulgence:

“The unhappy person resents it when you try to cheer him up, because that means he has to stop dwelling on himself and start paying attention to the universe. Unhappiness is the ultimate form of self-indulgence. When you're unhappy, you get to pay a lot of attention to yourself. You get to take yourself oh so very seriously.”

What a complete prat.

Anyway, what intelligence, wit, responsibility, success and conformism have in common, and probably why they more or less equally annoy me, is that they place you above criticism, and as far away as possible from your emotions. It's a handy way of having yourself gradually killed, sacrificed on the altar of preventing people's slight inconveniences.

It's also a kind of twilight zone. You're not exactly removed from people, but you're not really there. You can't feel them and they can't touch you, but you sort of relate to one another through feedback on how well you're following the instructions. It's as compulsive as it is nauseating, and I can never quite figure out if I do it substantially more or less than the people I see around me.

When you do indulge your self you leave yourself open to accusations of being alive (or unhappy). It is the sheer inherent unavoidability of these accusations that I appear to have trouble assimilating. It's just so fucking depressing.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Gateway Expedients

children know what they want
adults have internalised nonsense
know only the means.

children do not know the means
do not know how to avoid dangers
how to look after their medium term interest.

"Grow up" means perfect your proficiency with the means.

children may obey and even need the rules more 
but do not internalise them. 
the rules to the means.


I wrote the above sort of by accident, in a slipshod, haphazard brainstorming text-dump attempt to organise my thoughts for the post before writing it. Then it seemed to me, at least in my current sedated state, that converted to free verse of the kind whose existence I'm vaguely aware of, it has some power. So it's as good a place as any to start.

Simply (possibly simplistically but not necessarily) put - I feel under attack by the demands of adulthood. I'm a boringly law-abiding citizen, even generally abiding by the sillier and more easily violable ones, and other people, especially the adults among them, are in fact very nice to me. And yet.

I know it's a very common simile; I feel it pertains to me in a far profounder way than for most; I don't know if it matters - I feel like a boy in a world of men. It's an intimidating situation, but more ambivalent than would be obviously implied. These are kind of macho men, inherently and obliviously ridiculous, yet definitely capable of something of which I am not, and representing, as such, the aforementioned benevolent women as well as the well-meaning men. It's a dynamic that also conjures for me the image of a civilian amongst soldiers. As you can see from these examples, it's not exactly a gender thing, but it kind of is.

My kitchen sink has become something of a symbol of my failure as an adult. Today, after heroically braving the crockery mountain protruding out of it, falling back after having decided that enough dish-washer has been spilt this night, I saw peering at me from out of the sink in a surprisingly colourful array, a quartet of our cups, in blue, green, red and yellow. Though perhaps not an incident likely to make it into the Annals of Jerusalem, I found it genuinely aesthetically noteworthy, and more significantly, it provided a sudden flashback and in any case an association of colourful kindergarten. It said to me, acceptingly rather than accusingly, "This is you."

But adultness grows on you. Not unlike, for instance, a tumour. I don't actually know how tumours grow, but adultnesses grow through protracted exposure to societal expectation, even non-verbal, even non-penalising. The embarrassment of not living up to the standards of performance assumed of your situation, is, in and of itself, sufficient reason, or impetus, in any case, to adopt a world-view and identity centred around and towards and behind and beneath the ultimate aim of managing to GET THINGS DONE. What things? What for? Ha.

Children don't have qualms about the meaning of life, about the nature of the goodness of good things, because they haven't been scheduled yet for the equivocating, falsifying corruption that will prepare them to be constructive members of adult society, in providing them the means for the social lubrication, emotional distance and conforming instinct that will stand them in such wonderful stead as they get on in life and achieve SUCCESS.

Failing has never seemed so sexy.

But the fun of it runs out. You need to have some kind of understanding of money, or of politics, even if you don't intend to be a capitalist or a kleptocrat. But apparently that's not as easy as it sounds.

In summary, I blow my nose at you and fart in your general direction, so-called adult responsibilities. Your mother was a dogma and your father smelled of futility-berries

I would also like to add, since the stats the site gives me suggest that it is actually frequented by people other than my mom (hi mom!), that feedback, of pretty much any kind (don't take that a challenge) would be appreciated. Even if just to say "I'm reading this", because I'm never really sure. Also, especially regarding the latter rage-fests, issues are generally open for discussion even when it might seem implied they're not.