about me...updated 2-2-07
I done wrote
interview with myself
in Santa Monica, lived in LA
ucdavis in 2001
Favorite Book: latest
Favorite Music Acts:
beatles, autechre, orbital, beastie boys, led zeppelin
Favorite Films: die
hard; graduate; planes, trains, and automobiles
Favorite National Park:
The Horse's Mouth
maybe i'm naive, but i
believe michael richards' apology and don't believe that he's a racist.
i'm much more inclined to believe that mel gibson is anti-semitic. how's
the saying go? in vino viritu...i should know since i took latin, but i
can't remember exactly. here's the thing: i think that richards was hurt
and he reacted in a shameful and base way. if you're on the playground
and someone who is heavyset makes fun of you then you might call them a
fat ass. that, in and of itself, doesn't make you anti-overweight people.
clearly there's more of a stigma associated with using the n-word, as we
now have to refer to it, but i don't see why it's all that worse than calling
someone a fat ass yet you see that in film and tv on a regular basis and
no one thinks too much of it.. maybe that's just a sad commentary on our
society. probably is. at any rate, i think it was more in that vein than
in the vein of him having some crazy rant about blacks being the root of
all our problems (as gibson said about the jews). i believe the authenticity
of his sorrow and regret about the situation, i put some merit into the
fact that seinfeld essentially vouched for him on letterman and i can understand
how an intense comic might get out of control. i don't condone what he
said, but i'm not going to crucify the guy. here's an excerpt from a daniel
tosh routine which i think is appropriate for the discussion. first some
context: daniel tosh is a fairly edgy (and very funny) comic. he's white
and i think he's gay, but i don't know and i don't really think it matters,
but it might make this excerpt more acceptable to some.
"what do you think of these
faggots getting married? (pause for laughter) i can say that, i'm black.
now that's a social experiment - figure out why that second statement softens
the first one. but that's how i know my job's pure. i still talk like that...
try that at your job...'hey, what do you think of these faggots getting
married? i can say that, i'm black. what? i'm fired, alright i'll see you
i think that in an ideal
world there would be consistency across the board - the n-word is out of
bounds for whites so it's out of bounds for blacks as well, faggot is out
of bounds for straight people so gays can't use it either - but in both
instances that isn't the case. there's a certain element of the oppressed
re-defining the word, but it doesn't really work. they take the power out
of the word a bit by using it amongst each other, but when the perceived
oppressor uses it all the power is back in it. it's an argument i've heard
intellectuals make, and it makes a bit of sense, but i don't think it's
practical. i think we live in a pretty sensitive society when it comes
to certain things or certain groups. i think you get more of an uprising
if there's a film wherein a black person is stereotyped than if you were
to stereotype an asian person. how much of that is about the stereotype
(e.g., foreboding criminal vs. doctor with glasses who mixes up "r"s and
"l"s) and how much is about the group being stereotyped? is one stereotype
more destructive than the other?
my sense is that it's probably
a combination of the stereotype and the group. asians have done well in
america (for whatever reason, i'm not going to speculate) and the stereotype
of rocket scientist or glasses-wearing geek probably isn't as damaging
as the stereotype of a criminal. notice, too, that some stereotypes are
overlooked - that of the star athlete for blacks or the doctor for asians
or the evil boss for whites. in general i think that stereotypes for whites
(irish people as drinking too much or germans as nazis) or males are overlooked
because the group has been in power in america for so long that any outcry
isn't well-received. it's kinda like ben wallace complaining about the
bulls not allowing him to wear a headband. the popular reaction is: fuck
you, whiner - you're making $60 million over the next four or five years,
i don't feel sorry for you. why there isn't more of an outcry from overweight
people who are stereotyped as stupid, lazy, or sloppy is beyond me. i think
there's a mild degree of sensitivity regarding the stereotyping of muslims
i think a lot of it comes
down to being organized. and a lot of that comes down to how much do you
associate your personal image with a certain trait - race, religion, weight,
eye-sight ability, etc. there's never going to be a public outcry from
people who wear glasses about their being typecast as smart doctors or
scientists because 1) it's not that bad to be stereotyped as being smart
and 2) there probably isn't any group of glasses-wearing people who are
dedicated to addressing these issues. wearing glasses certainly shapes
a person's experiences, but not enough, apparently, for people to define
themselves in those terms.
for me, i don't associate
being white or male or jewish or tall or whatever as a big part of who
i am so i'm not going to form or join any group dedicated to the issues
which might be pertinent to those traits. you can easily say that i don't
associate myself with those groups because, in being part of the majority
in those regards, i don't feel separate from the rest of society. that
is, if i were a native american woman, i would see popular culture as differing
from mine so i might feel more of a kinship with other native americans
or women since we're in the same minority boat together. the way i can
relate to that is less substantial. if i were to meet someone in ohio who
is a usc fan (good luck) i might feel a small bit of that same kind of
minority kinship, even though we don't have other things in common. if
that kinship feels large enough then you define yourself, in part, through
this minority status. so, i can understand this on some level, but on another
level i wish people would define themselves (and others) much more on what
they do, rather than how they're born. of course a big part of it, too,
is that some minorities tend to have similar experiences in life. and,
in general, similar life experiences lead to increased kinship. maybe it's
just as simple as blacks have a more uniform experience in america than
lastly. i think that any
group that is explicitly a male or white group is setting itself up for
an increased degree of ridicule. this is one of many reasons why there
might not be groups of whites railing against the stereotypes that depict
them as oppressors or as unable to jump high. charles barkley once made
the comment that white guys shouldn't be ashamed to shave their heads when
they start to get bald. i think it came up because his co-host, ernie johnson,
had recently shaved his head (because he has cancer). anyway, barkley said
that some white guys are afraid to shave their heads because they don't
know how their scalp will look - if it'll be too bumpy or whatever. i don't
think this is the reason at all. personally i'd feel like a fucking nazi
if i ever shaved my head. i would imagine that the association with shaved
head and "skin head oppressor" might keep more than a few white guys from
shaving their heads. like jim gaffigan, i prefer to not look like hitler's
poster child. so i've brought the discussion full circle - starting with
michael richards and onto a daniel tosh reference to a jim gaffigan reference;
both are great comics, check them out.
in viewing cultural texts
i get the idea that, even before world war ii, there was a sense in america
that we were all in the same boat. i can't be sure because i wasn't around
at the time to fully have my finger on the pulse of the culture, but that's
the sense i get from reading about the time, or hearing what my grandmother
has said about it (she's studied it fairly extensively), or watching films
from that era. after world war ii there was certainly that feeling that
we were all working towards a goal together. we all had to ration certain
goods and deal with food stamps, etc. but even before then i think there
was that idea and i think much of that probably came from the economic
hardships of the time. i think that today we're doing too well to truly
care about each other. prosperity, coupled with the increasing ability
to separate yourself from others, has led to our being relatively segregated.
as mr. lif says "systems exist so we never meet each other."
A bunch of old updates
which say a lot about me in a lot of different ways:
melanie seems like such
a different person now. i know that if i hung out with her she'd more or
less be the melanie i know, but it seems that there's so much more going
on with her that i don't know about. stuff that she may have kept under
wraps when she was with me, or stuff that the breakup let out. after the
breakup we were actually very close to each other and it was sort of similar
to how things were when we were first getting together. everything was
intense and it made me feel like the relationship we had was real and it
sort of validated the last four years...not that it needed to be validated,
but it was reassuring to know that even when things were over we still
cared about each other.
now, though, it seems like
that's gone. we've been so out of touch with each other and it seems, from
my perspective anyway, that she's transformed so much that we've grown
apart very quickly. it's amazing what people are capable of and how quickly
we can adapt. it sort of makes you question the nature and resilience of
all relationships. the whole thing is rather discouraging. feeling like
you're replaceable is one of the worst feelings a person can have. the
truth is that i am replaceable in most ways. you can never replace memories,
but a person can always find someone else to have fun with.
i wonder why i care how
i will be remembered. ultimately it doesn't really matter, but i still
care about it as if my universal image is being distorted or something
retarded like that.
phil used to be my best
friend in the world and i thought that we'd never lose touch. somehow,
though, we grew apart and became different people and stopped talking with
each other. i knew the guy like 10 years and then we just couldn't relate
anymore. i've always felt shitty about it, as if i did something wrong.
i know that to a certain extent i did, but that the larger problem is that
we just grew in different directions. when i was first with melanie i was
sure that we'd be together forever. i wouldn't really admit it aloud, but
i wanted to be with her forever and actually felt like it could happen.
but within five years we've gotten to the point where i'm starting to wonder
if i'll know her in a year. you start to wonder if it's a personal failure
or if that's just the way life is or what.
it's such a sad thing that
people move and lose touch with friends. the non-family person i've kept
in touch with for the longest is probably james chai, who i've known since
10th grade or so. but even with him i haven't really kept in touch on a
really regular basis. i'm pretty sure that if i lived still in la that
i'd hang with him, but because of geography, we almost never see each other.
the same is true for jon, johnny and vern who i've known for about 8 years
now. i consider them all friends, but i've spent more time with meryl in
the last month than those guys in the last year. i guess if i had my priorities
straight i'd move to berkeley and live with johnny and i'd be able to visit
jon and vern more regularly. but inertia, liking davis more than the berkeley,
and the security of knowing i have a livable salary keeps me here. of course
i also regret not being able to be around my mom, dad, sister and grandparents.
i don't really like la, but if i lived there it would be nice to drop in
every other week or so to watch a film with my grandpa. i don't know where
in my life personal relationships became so important, but they're definitely
more important than they used to be. maybe because i realize that they're
the only thing in life that matters and which i have an active role in
creating. it's fun to be able to deconstruct and reduce, but it's more
fulfilling to create.
perhaps i'm too good
at finding contentness in life; and too willing to be fine with that.
the thing with freedom
is that we don't really have it in the large sense of the word, but we
try to have as much of it as possible. it's manifested in different ways
by different people. some get drunk and laid every other day. some discover
a religion opposite their parents and dump their boyfriend and move to
salt lake city. some don't become lawyers like their parents want. some
simply move away from home. some just do anything that they've been told
not to do, regardless of outcome. some go on a hitchhiking trip. some become
transients. some comb their hair differently. some claim not to care about
things because freedom from caring is cool to them. we all do it and we've
all made mistakes trying to do it. finding a balance point is hard. you
can call it the appollonian vs. the dionysian or yin vs. yang or freedom
vs. order, but it's all essentially the same. everyone has to decide for
themselves where the balance lies.
had i gotten drunk tonight,
like i planned, then i would have been assured a hang over and thus plenty
of rest tomorrow morning. it would have been fun, i would have been the
life of the party for once (something that is, and should be, very important
to me), i would have considered myself loved by many, i would feel good
about myself because i have friends and i'm funny when i'm drunk, i would
feel alive because i didn't have the baggage of sobriety weighing me down
and holding me back, i would have been far less bored, i would have felt
an amazing rush throughout the night, i may have even gotten some poon.
the more i think about it the less i understand why i didn't go ahead and
do it. i might not be alive tomorrow, there could be an earthquake, i might
get hit by a car on my way to work, i may slip in the shower and die, and
i wouldn't have had that last hurrah, that last night of fun. i need to
start living every moment of my life as if it is the last - thus i must
have as much fun as possible. after all, life is about fun.
vern asked what i would
do if i only had a few minutes left in my life, he suggested getting laid,
but i knew that writing a letter to those i love would be the only thing
that i could really think to do at such a time.
so in case i die tomorrow
- thank you mom, dad, max, and cliff for being highlights in my life. thank
you sarah for being a good and loving person despite your age. thank you
melanie for giving me things no one else has. thanks vern, johnny, jon,
and phil for being overall pretty nice people to me. with that said i'm
going to get high and laid in my farewell to the world, there's no other
way i'd like to end my life than listening to the latest limp bizkit album
in an orgasmic drunken haze.
what does freedom do for
us? do we have it? what do we do with it? what should we do with it? someone
probably has written a rather large book on just those questions. as we
all know - we are not truly free. most would think about that and after
some thought would agree on some level - there are things that we just
need to do, for myriad reasons. many liberals would see that as a horrible
injustice of living in this society. at the same time we all know that
there are certain freedoms which are best not given. to me, the most interesting
aspect of freedom is freedom from norms, or even better - yourself. sure
it's a law that we can't yell fire in the theater, but there's no law that
says you have to look at yourself in the mirror before you go out so that
you are presentable, yet most people do. there are all sorts of "laws"
that we have either placed on ourselves or which society has placed upon
us. i think that this is all fairly obvious, and as such bears repeating,
because that which goes without saying sometimes needs to be said the most.
in order to be an artist you have to be good. in order to be free or independent
you have to have economic freedom. we've been sold a bag of goods, my friends.
and what's worse is that we continually buy into it, we even perpetuate
it. this is why i love the parable of the camel, the lion and the child
so much - we need to become that child - free from the "laws" of society.
the more we live the more we become socialized, trained, and domesticated
and thus go farther away from being free.
i'm not saying anything
new, i'm just reminding you, because you've forgotten it and you'll forget
it by the end of the day. tomorrow you'll wake up and realize that you
need to make sure you have enough money to put food on the plate and you
have to look a certain way and you have to act a certain way and you can't
be ambitious in certain ways....
so what am i advocating?
isn't it obvious? go out, right now, and get drunk, get high, walk the
streets naked, yell "i am free" while tagging on walls, all to prove to
yourself and the world that you are free. that's what i'm advocating. actually
that's not what i'm advocating, but that sure is what people have done
in the past (and the present) to prove (mostly to themselves) that they're
free. i think everyone needs to find a way on their own, but i don't think
that any of the ways which were classically employed by hippies (namely
free love and drugs) are the right way. drugs for obvious reasons and free
love for probably conservative permanently ingrained moral reasons.
"He was a wise man who
invented God." - Plato
no one can say with any
real certainty that they know what they know and that it is true or real.
everything can be deconstructed and picked apart to death, or at least
to serious doubt. but the saying that "absence of proof isn't proof of
absence" goes both ways. on the one end you have a firm belief in x or
y and on the other you have a doubt of everything - god, yourself, feelings,
existence, etc. so what happens in the middle? i guess that's what you
have to figure out for yourself. the truth is that you can't know anything
for certain. from there it's up to you what to do...but no matter what
you choose i think it's a rationalization. rationalization has a negative
connotation (as it usually should), but in case i think it's just the truth
of the matter - neither good nor bad. so then is it even necessary to know
that the life you are living is a rationalization? ignorance, in this case,
certainly is bliss...it makes rationalizing your beliefs far easier, it
gives you more to latch onto.
if you don't think about
things too much and if you don't seriously challenge everything around
you then you won't come to the conclusion that everything you think you
know or feel is real, really can't be proven. that ignorance is functional,
this much is certain. why can't anything be proven to be true without a
doubt, some might ask. well i'm no deconstructivist, maybe you should read
some nietzsche or derrida or other post-modernists, but most things i think
are real i've been able to cast at least some shadow of doubt on. how do
i know that love is real? there are those who would claim it is only a
trick of the mind that allows for guilt free procreation, or is functional
in other ways - it's not real in it's origins, other than being a means
to an end. from my brief knowledge of neitzsche he would say that anything
that one perceives is only their perception of the thing and one can't
be certain it is the way it is because everything is subject to interpretation
- from desks to love to god. your interpretation is subject to all sorts
of things - personal experience, environment, etc. it's all a great mind
so if one is really rational
and looks at the function of all these things and bases their worth upon
their function then what happens? belief in a higher power and many of
the things that usually go with that - a belief in higher authority than
that on earth, a belief that there is a right and a wrong, a belief in
justice (whether this be manifested in heaven and hell or the Amish belief
that those who work hardest will be the best off in their next life (or
is it their afterlife?) or karma or any number of structures which religions
design to give followers a sense of justice). believing in all that certainly
makes life easier - you usually question less around you, you know right
from wrong because it's prescribed in the koran, the bible, etc., you have
a feeling that for all the piss and shit on this earth there is something
greater out there - something greater to be aimed for - if you're mormon
then you're aiming to one day be god of your own planet...all of those
beliefs serve a definite function individually. i think they also serve
a function publicly - if the preponderance of the populous believe that
killing is bad, loving thy neighbor is good, etc. then norms are established,
there is order. how people deal with deviance is a whole other question
which is really interesting - do they claim heretics are witches and burn
or drown them? do they attempt to convert them and kill those who rebel
or resist? homogeneity sure is useful and functional and pleasant.
aside from religion or
views on "god," what function does creating a world, which you know you
can't prove to be real, serve? simply, it makes life livable. if you are
constantly reminding yourself of the utter chaos and uncertainty of life
and the world then surely you won't be able to live a sane life. at this
point you should either kill yourself and get it over with or tell yourself
a "noble lie" (as plato used in the republic) to substantiate existence.
even nietzsche seems to acknowledge the necessity of some "illusion" or
convenient creation of tangible truth. even though you know that nothing
you "know" can ever really be known or true or real, you take a leap and
make a floor to stand on - something you can base the rest of your reality
on, knowing the whole time that the floor isn't really there. maybe that
analogy doesn't work.
i think that a lot of theologians
talk about "faith." that's pretty key because they know that nothing can
be proved, and one must have faith in order to make things work. some people
talk about a "leap of faith" - something that is required for any belief,
whether it be the big bang, or the christian view of the world or what
not. that faith is the floor i was talking about. you've got to make that
floor, or take that leap in order for everything else to fall into place.
what makes it interesting is what leap people choose to take - why they
claim allegiance to that one as opposed to another. everyone is different,
that's key, certainly, but beyond that what's interesting is how each defends
their position. i don't believe in the death penalty. why do i claim that
killing isn't good under all circumstances? why do i claim that there is
probably a higher power out there, but it doesn't have control over my
life, i'm not fated to do anything, there isn't a grand plan, etc.? i don't
know. i can't back up my claim with any certainty, much of my beliefs are
like that, and yet i stand by them. it's wrong to do wrong by friends or
other people - why? it just is. even if they've done wrong by you? yes.
why? it just is. this whole line of thought can be extrapolated throughout
our lives - our thoughts on religion, politics, drugs, right vs. wrong,
abortion, etc. from big to small and everything in between.
"i know that i know nothing"
absence of proof isn't
proof of absence.
"get busy living or get
language and words are
really annoying at times. i don't like the word "god" because all these
ideas of a christian conception of god come flooding into my mind. if someone
asks me if i believe in god i always answer "i believe in a higher power."
people usually say "well that's what i meant" or the like, and i can understand
that, but i just want to make sure that i say it the way i really mean
it - without the baggage of the word "god."
this pretty much goes for
all labels. i buy into a lot of the stuff that marx says and a lot of the
stuff nietzsche says, but i'd never call myself a marxist or nietzschean.
this goes for politics as well - i'm not a leftist, i'm not a member of
the green party (though i did register as such, though for different reasons
-- i want the green party registration to be higher, i feel it sends a
message, just like voting does, but i digress...), i'm not christian (though
i believe that loving thy neighbor is good and killing is bad), etc. i
understand that labels are easy...if i say that i'm a post-modernist nietzschean
member of the green party one might get a good idea of what i think and
feel...it's a lot easier to say that then to spell out my stance on all
issues. i still resist labels, though, because they have lots of baggage.
i consider myself a feminist because i think that women are persecuted
based upon their sex, i feel that gender roles are detrimental - to both
males and females, i feel that women should be treated like human beings,
and i want things to change. beyond that i don't know what meaning being
a "feminist" has - to some it might evoke an image of a militant hairy
woman who wants women to be spelled womyn....there are numerous permutations
of "feminist" thought and by calling myself a feminist i fear that i might
fall into a category that i don't agree with. labels and words can be annoying
this argument can be
extended beyond labels regarding political or theological alignment - "car"
to one person means something completely different than to another, but
for the most part we have a picture of what a car is - four wheels, an
engine, a basic shape, etc. language is a lot like rousseau's social contract.
obviously when we're born we don't literally sign a contract saying that
we will coexist in this political system with a mutual respect for each
other and obey the laws of the land, yet it is assumed that we all have
agreed to the social contract. the same goes for language - it's assumed
that when i say car you'll be thinking of basically the same vehicle as
i am. we buy into these norms for the sake of utility and for the most
part they work, yet no one has actually consciously "signed" onto these
norms in the sense that one would with an actual contract. we've never
really agreed that from now on a car will be "a four wheeled vehicle with
an engine of some sort in the general shape of this..."
"it's okay to eat fish
because they don't have any feelings"
why is pork seen as such
a sinful meat? i mean i understand the biblical stories, but why is that
a universal thing across religions and cultures? is it really because they're
seen as dirty? rats are dirty, but worshiped in india. i just don't understand
it. i'll never go vegetarian, but i empathize with the cause. i figure
that if more people were like me and ate meat sparingly then we'd be better
but then we're still killing some animals and that's wrong in a sense.
but where do we draw the line, becomes the question. i mean is the carrot
harvest really a holocaust? is that going too far? fish are okay to eat,
why? you can have fish, fowl and eggs are okay, but pork and red meat aren't.
it's all arbitrary unless you have some religion guiding what you can and
cannot eat. i swear that religion is just the best. it makes so many of
the difficult decisions for you. as george carlin about religion i'll paraphrase
- "it's mind control...so they're going to tell you some things that you
ought not say, because they're sins. religion is going to suggest some
things that you should say...here's something you oughta say first thing
when you wake up in the morning, here's something you oughta say before
you go to sleep, here's something we always say on the third wednesday
in april after the first full moon in spring after the bells ring..." funny
guy that george carlin, and he had it right.
obviously i'm not saying
anything grand or eye-opening, but it's still stuff we take for granted.
i say that i don't eat red meat and i'm not entirely sure why. i will eat
it, but i prefer not to. some of it has to do with the taste, some of it
is for humanitary reasons, some of it is because when it's not well cooked
my stomach gets upset, but i don't really have any strong reasons for it.
as jules says in pulp fiction "my girlfriend is a vegetarian, so that pretty
much makes me a vegetarian" then he bites into a nice juicy big kahuna
burger. what a great scene.
i don't value the life
of a cow more than a pig's or a chicken's, but it does seem easier to accept
the death of a chicken as opposed to a cow or a dog (if you're korean,
thai, et al). i guess it makes perfect sense when you think about how arbitrary
most of our lives are anyway.
i wonder why i shun superficial
relationships to the extent that i do. i don't go to parties for lots of
reasons, but one is because talking to people at parties is so on the surface.
i think a big part is that on the surface there's nothing interesting about
me. people who have a lot to show off about or feel proud of in the superficial
and socially constructed way are more likely to thrive in party or social
situations. the best time i had at a party was when it was at our old house.
i had plenty of things to talk about on the superficial level at the time
because i was a DJ and people always like that, i think i was also doing
fairly well in school so when that topic came up i could talk about some
paper i did well on. if i had more of those surface things going for me
i might be more social, i'd still probably not go to parties, but keeping
surface, or "hallway," friends (as i like to call them) would be more fulfilling.
when i do talk with those hallway friends there seems to be an undercurrent
of boasting. sometimes even a quick fix for some consolation - which i
suppose isn't so bad so long as you can actually feel better from it; i
"hey chris what you been
up to?" "not much, and you?" "oh man i'm swamped, i've got three midterms
in two days and a couple of my friends from out of town are coming on friday"
"wow, sounds hectic" "yea it is. i've been studying for 13 hours straight
and i'm kind of batty" "ha ha, that's funny. well good luck with that,
bob. don't stress too much."
that's a perfectly normal
conversation and i wouldn't mind too terribly having that conversation,
but i can't help but think "what's the point?" so he's got lots of things
going on and he wants me to feel sorry for him. great, i do, sorry bob,
life sucks. i sound like someone who is bitter and probably doesn't have
much of a life. "you're just jealous chris," i can hear people saying.
was it hobbes or locke who said that we (humans) are not political animals,
and in fact, we're not even social animals. the only time we are social
is for vanity's sake. the only time we are political is to create a government.
we create this government so that we don't have to be political in the
future and so that we can be protected enough to pursue our own personal
endeavors, and these personal endeavors are in the name of vanity and selfishness.
so maybe i'm just bitter,
or maybe i'm right. either way we're both wrong because there is no right
or wrong. ;)
back to the hallway relationships...i
still don't know entirely why i refuse to have them. why don't i have a
shitload of friends who i talk with a couple times a month and keep up
appearances with just to be cordial? it's not because i'm an asshole. i'm
not mean to people. i don't normally shoo people away with disdain because
of their superficial concept of our friendship. rather, i just don't make
an attempt to hold those types of friendships. i could, but i don't. i
just know that it's not for me. maybe it's because i don't want to waste
my time with something that isn't going to yield anything of much depth.
though i must admit, having a shitload of friends like that might yield
some useful information on occasion - "did you hear that such and such
happened in the senate last night?" "why no, i didn't. do tell..."
so, is there anything wrong
with those types of relationships? i'd like to have those kinds of relationships
with neighbors. i don't foresee being buddy buddy with my neighbors, but
at the same time i think being strangers is lame. so in that arena the
surface friendship is just fine. it could be useful to have a store of
friends like that because they could hook me up with a job somewhere down
the line, or come up with some useful information - they say that networking
is the key to success in the market economy. oh joy. it's true though,
and in that sense having friends who are low maintenance and potentially
high yield (assuming you choose the decent non-mooching ones) could be
very advantageous. i could brag about the fact that i have a girlfriend
and have to retell every success story (from hitchhiking to finding a girlfriend)
about a billion times and be assured about a billion times that i'm cool
for going on a hitchhiking trip or i could hear "congratulations" a billion
times and i might even start to feel good about myself because there would
be all this positivity when i brag to my surface friends. that's all well
and good if i care what they have to say or if i want to tell those stories
to people i don't really know, over and over and over again.
when i put it all into
words like that it would seem like having those friends is a very selfish
thing to do. they're low maintenance - so that's easy for me. they're going
to console me when i bitch about having 3 midterms this week (something
maybe my real friends are tired of doing). they could lead to good business,
or other, opportunities. and all of that is just peaches and cream for
me. i'll have to make a few appearances at some parties which maybe i don't
want to attend and maybe i'll be a little late to class because i'll be
stopped on my way to class by a few people i know, but overall friends
like that are a wise investment. guess i'm not a very good businessman.
i need to learn the meaning
of fully checking oneself.
i used to think that getting
down on myself was really cool, then i realized that going down on myself
is cool, getting down on myself isn't. so being hard on myself is bad,
but being hard isn't. a fine distinction in both instances, but a key one.
now i know so all is good.
i'm up a lot later than
i should be.
led zeppelin is still great.
this year i pledge to do
some of those things on the "before i die" page.
as i age and get wiser
i realize more and more how arbitrary tangible measurements of success
are, yet they become even more important. surely, sat scores and gpas were
important a few years ago, but now tangible measurements of success are
even more key to success and becoming what it is i want to become. however,
this is not the only reason that they have mattered to me more lately.
though i'm not sure what the other reason is, there is one. i know that
my grades aren't entirely indicative of what i know, or for that matter,
my worth as a person. yet, grades and whether i'm able to answer questions
on "who wants to be a media whore" have been weighing on me more now than
ever. i know that there is a difference between ignorance and stupidity.
i know that not knowing that michael collins was the fourth name on the
plaque left on the moon in 1969 is a matter of ignorance and i should feel
bad for not knowing it. i didn't feel stupid because no one else on jeopardy
knew who the hell michael collins was. in fact i knew that the other guy
was richard nixon, along with buz aldrin and neil armstrong, so i felt
justified in my ignorance. but here's the kicker...if i had known the answer
then i would have felt superior. what i'm saying is that it's a two way
street. if i'm going to shun the arbitrary measurements and the (what i
deem as) bs yardsticks we use to gauge our intelligence, then i can't rejoice
when i succeed in them. so maybe the first step is not feeling good when
i get a 1500 on a mock SAT. the second will be not feeling bad when i end
up getting a 900.
the problem with all that
is that it entails throwing out everything that i've learned in the past
20 years or so - people with high test scores are smart and successful.
that's the rule. people who know the answers on "who wants to be a media
whore" get paid the big bucks. the nice guys get recognition in feel good
movies and on the back page of the metro section. those people should be
rewarded the most and i know this, yet it's so hard to apply that rule
to life when most of the other arbirary measurements are so pervasive and
in this sense i think i
can understand the same struggle that many people who are deemed "radical
individualists" might have faced. guys like thoreau or nietzsche. they
meant it in a different way, perhaps, but they, too, struggled to separate
themselves from the constructed norms of society and become whom they felt
they wanted to become. obviously i'm not comparing myself to either of
these guys, i think far too lowly of myself to do that, but i understand
so either i can accept
that there are these measurements of success which i don't buy into and
then just discard or i can buy into them and try to succeed within them.
since i don't buy into them and since i'm not much of a success by their
standards then i'll choose the former. i doubt i'd make the same decision
if i was a success by those standards. in a way it is a blessing to have
sat scores on the relative low side, for i am then able to take the high
in all actuality i'll wake
up and forget all this and still get down when watch jeopardy and see how
smart i'd like to be, and am not.
seriously though, it all
comes back to my original answer to life - answering the question 'from
where does my worth derive.' when i answer that then things will be a lot
better. at least then i'll know what i'm shooting for and what matters.
i really should start taking
more comfort in the fact that i'm mostly a good human being (as long as
you know me more than a little and less than a whole lot) and that i don't
mean ill for anyone (except maybe that bastard who smashed my car window
and stole my innocence).
i think about this kinda stuff a lot, so i guess it defines who i am...
then i always begin
to question human nature. maybe it's human nature to never be content with
oneself, in a bizarre darwinian attempt to constantly evolve. or maybe
just because. it's all really interesting to think about, but it's also
4am and though i feel like some of this may be making sense and i'm not
quite the bumbling pile of ineloquence that i usually am, i should still
get some rest because i've got to get ready to not have sex tomorrow.
in society quantity seems
to count for more than quality. it also seems that effort isn't rewarded,
results matter, not effort.
a person's worth is dependent
upon bullshit, largely superficial, standards. overcoming this is very
hard for some. some just buy into, literally, and embrace capitalism and
try to buy their happiness and find their worth by being the first on their
block to have a satellite dish, etc. then there are the other people who
range from living the exact opposite existence to acknowledging the way
it is, but still live their lives and base their worth, largely, on those
i don't know what in life
is real and what is not. i'm inclined to think that just about everything
is a societal construction. i can see why many philosophers have claimed
that the only real thing in life are our passions. maybe that is right,
but it's not right to live as our passions dictate. i think; but no one
there really aren't any
steadfast rules in the world. i think that's more or less what postmodernism
is about. but what does that tell us? well if i think about it too long
it just makes me depressed. make a higher power so that your life is justified
and so are your actions. writing about this isn't going to help. fuck derrida
and thinking that nothing is real or doesn't matter, because even though
it maybe the only real truth there is, it sucks deez.
when i get depressed i
get really depressed. in the last 6 months or so my depression period has
been a lot shorter, so i think that's a good thing. i attribute that to
my ability to completely control everything in my life. ha. i start thinking
about how much of a loser i am. how i'm not what i want to be or what i
should be. how so many people are better than me at things ranging from
the stupid to the meaningful. i can come up with 2 bad things about myself
for every 1 good thing. then i peak when i feel completely hopeless. society
sucks. i suck. things that i've done, or that have happened to me, suck.
then i start to get better. i begin to remember that although it's true
that i'm not everything i want to be and that there are plenty of people
who are better than me and that society does indeed suck, that i should
get out of depression and start fooling myself into thinking that everything
will be alright. then i goto sleep, wake up and i've usually forgotten
about all of it so i keep myself busy by watching movies or such. eventually
i just accept the fact that i don't have control over anything except for
what i do. of course the fact that i'm not doing what i would like to do
is what may be getting me depressed in the first place. somehow i just
trick myself into thinking that i'm not depressed anymore. so, i guess
i should find a long term solution.
i think it's very important
to not compare yourself or your behavior to that of others. it just seems
that it can go either way if you start playing that game...i'm smarter
than most people so i don't need to worry about becoming any smarter. i'm
dumber than these people so i should feel like a retard. create your own
rules and goals and then live by that. then the challenge becomes creating
goals which are conducive to a healthy life, happiness, and fulfillment.
then again, it's easier for most people to just have standards by which
they are expected to live their lives...SAT scores, gpa expectations, points
per game, hours of work per week, etc. religion, i think, taps into this
same need for most to have a structured expectation system. makes life
My Big Trip - i
went hitchhiking during the spring break of 2000. check out the photos
and details of the trip, here.
i want: a car, a turntable,
a cassette deck, a super fast MD recorder, a girlfriend, a fat savings
account, a job with administration that doesn't suck, to be free from inhibitions,
regular sleeping schedule, the will to study, the ability to read for hours,
the ability to forgive and forget, to be a fun person...including while
at parties, accepting of other people and their shortcomings, buff, a lot
of time, the ability to manage time (not piss it away), in shape, able
to run a 4:58 mile again, a girlfriend, all the nirvana cds, all the metallica
cds, all the doors cds, all the ac/dc cds, all the soundgarden cds, all
the black sabbath cds, all the ccr cds, a laser printer, a good globe,
a picture of an atomic bomb exploding with the caption reading "it's good
to be american", headphones with a frequency range of 20-20,000 Hz, a digital
camera, new shoes, to be secure with myself, a hobby, a radio show from
12-2am, a respectable vinyl collection including hendrix classics and all
the beatles albums, a world where people care, a world where people know
what they are caring about, a society concerned with the long run and the
small people, to do something that matters, to be recognized, a system
of government that isn't inept, a group of friends that have the same wants
i do, to live in a place where being liberal doesn't mean you have to have
a messy house, to live in a place where neighbors speak, to be able to
throw away grudges, to be able to spell without have to check words like
'grudges', to be confident enough not to check words when they are right
the first time, to keep in touch with friends, to not be disgusted by people
themselves (um, i mean drinking) even in moderation, to be free enough
to dance without having to mock myself, to be funny without making some
kind of sexual allusion, to finally learn how to spell words like reference
so i don't have to use allusion everytime, to know now that there isn't
a double 'f' or 'r' in reference...just like i thought the first time,
to have the same confidence with girls that i do while riding my bike,
to be as accurate in comparing english stories as i am in keeping my checkbook
balanced, to be able to bunny hop a bike, the balls to put my gonads on
the line once in a while, not ever be as closed minded with music as vern
is, to bump to loud music in the now deceased 92 passat with phil, for
everyone to hear the same 2PAC that i do - one with compassion/genius/personality/zest,
for everybody to hear 'rock n' roll' by led zeppelin and know that what
they did is such genius it's amazing, for everybody to hear 'car thief'
by the beastie boys and realize that the world can suck because of 'all
the wife beaters and all the tax cheaters sitting in the white house pulling
their peters' - but also realize that it can be a wonderful place because
it has music like that, for people to care, for everyone to read at least
one paragraph of the unabomber manifesto and then make a comment on it
- but not until then, and the same for marilyn manson or 2 PAC or zach
de la rocha or chuck d or noam chomsky or jello biafra or how about bob
dylan or jim morrison, to be able to listen to eminem before looking at
his white ass trying to rap then writing him off as a poser only to find
out later that he's a person with feelings/thoughts/and all that gay shit
which is not let in by most because of his color and baggy jeans, to be
able to listen to 'love hurts' by nazareth without saying 'hell yea', to
have the same drive as jerry rice/joe montana/steve young/steve prefontaine,
to be as giving as phil, to be as smart as my dad/grandmother/mom/grandfather
in no particular order, as eloquent as noam chomsky/howard zinn, to be
a leader like MLK/malcolm x/che guevara, to have a world where MLK's dream
of ECONOMIC equality is reality, for people to know that the preface to
have a dream speech talks about economic equality...not just racial
equality because he knew it was - and still is - a economic gap more than
anything else, not to finish this paragraph - goto sleep - wake up and
not care again - like everyone else.