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A Confessional

March 2, 2017

“You ever try to talk to a corpse? It’s boring!” – Jack Goodman, An American Werewolf In London

I have a confession to make: for a long time…maybe about 8 months or so I watched…anti-SJW youtubers…yep. That one. And that one too. Oh and him too. To be honest, their views to align with my own: I generally find any group with a name annoying, including my fellow Atheists. I find gender pronoun shit to be bullshit, and I find university campuses are churning out witless assholes on both sides of the aisle, and that racism against whites is a thing and not this whole, “Racism is privilege plus power,” bullshit. It’s putting lipstick on a pig and justifying horrible behavior just on the basis of skin color…which is the basis of racism. Now, if you want to get into a deeper discussion of it with me then great. But the point is that I don’t like the SJW crowd. Not because I don’t believe in social justice–I do. I just don’t believe it’s what they think it is.

This is a tangent beside the point. I think the bridge too far for me with this is when some openly advocated for Trump’s presidency. Whatever you think of Hillary Clinton, she would have at least not been as awful as Trump. Even before that I was like, “Here’s the daily wankfest.” I think what really started doing it for me is how mono-subject they were becoming and consequently boring. You can only spout so much about this subject before it becomes an exercise in frustration.

“I get it. We know. These people are bad and don’t trust them.”

Hooboy…glad that phase is over. Never. Again. I can see the appeal but it is not for me. All it does is create this constant state of pressure with no release. It’s like a story with no ending. No climax. No…anything. Just a continuation of the same boring, tired arguments. I think that’s when I finally snapped and got tired of listening to these people. I enjoy social commentary and they were being ballsy enough to counter the current narrative that does limit free speech and free exercise of ideas. But whatever value these people have in their commentary doesn’t outweigh the fact that they’re just fucking boring people. I decided I didn’t want to become perpetually angry and annoyed at bullshit.

And it is bullshit. While the actions of the politically aggressive will always roll downhill because that’s what bullshit tends to do, none of the stuff they were commenting on affected my life one iota. If there’s a signal and a noise, supposedly, then these people are definitely the noise. I’m glad I got the hell out of that cycle and definitely glad that my views have mellowed out a bit from that time of perpetual outrage. It’s tiring and takes way more time to be in that frame of mind than it could to…say…paint a picture. Or take a picture or do something productive.

This is why I’m re-committing myself to putting stuff out into the world and creating rather than destroying. Destruction is easy, as these people have clearly shown, but I feel they’re lonely and bereft of a fulfilling life. I could be wrong, but when you’re updating a lot to constantly bitch about issues and people that do not affect your life that maybe you’re the one that needs to get over it. Expand. Evolve. Change. In my time watching them I never got the sense that they would ever change or become different people. No, instead it’s just the constant circle-jerk.

I’m thankful that bridge too far came about or else I’d probably still be listening to their stuff and not cringing every time I hear their shit. Now I just go to great lengths to avoid it and just focus on entertainment there and hopefully everyone else does the same. A Nightmare on Elm Street did have a salient message to give: the only power something has is the power that we give it. If we choose to ignore it then it ceases to be and ceases to affect our lives. Granted, this isn’t to say if someone has an AK-47 that you should ignore that, however, if you stop focusing on the noise then it ceases to have power over you and your life. This is how I’m viewing it. Just ignore them and your life will improve.

That goes for both camps of the debate. I now know why I don’t join groups or cliques. God…you’d think I’d listen to myself a lot more by now.

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A Year Already

March 2, 2017

I was with my girlfriend in bed last March on the 5th and she asked what I wanted…I told her honestly that I wanted to be her boyfriend. A few weeks before that we were dating and I fell for her quite hard. She’s been amazing and I love her every single day. We just fell in with each other so naturally and organically that it feels right. You know? I never felt ashamed when I’m with her and I don’t feel like I have to be someone else when I’m with her. There was never any artifice in the beginning and there still isn’t. So…this whole thing has been great. I wish I could put it in more words, but how does one describe love without getting repetitive?

When I first started dating her I thought for sure that she’d find me out as a fraud of some sort. Not that I was lying to her or anything, it’s just that at that point my confidence with anyone was pretty shot. I felt damaged or flawed. I call it the Parade of Freaks that came my way at that point. I was turned down for a casual thing. I was turned down from being with someone else, and then every neurotic crazy in-between. I thought for sure that this would not last at first. But here I am a year later: we’re living together in a house and I would do anything for her. She makes me a better person and I in turn try to make her as happy as possible.

I’m still new to being in a relationship, but it’s been great this whole time. I enjoy every millisecond with her and this weekend we finally celebrate our anniversary instead of our monthiversaries. So here’s to many more years and the bright future we’re building together.

Night Owl/Morning Person

March 2, 2017

I feel strange sometimes being a mix of the two. I can stay up until 2am and get up at 7am and still be mostly okay despite feeling tired. That always struck me as odd. The friends and people I’ve encountered in my life usually say they’re one or the other, “Uh-muh-god…how do morning people do it?!” They lament. Or, “How do night owls do this?!” But I can do both fairly okay. Granted by the afternoon I’m usually ready for a nap. But sure enough, I’ll play games until 2 if I can and then wake up at 7/8-ish and will be okay. I love mornings, but I like the quiet of the night better. I don’t do the 2am bit as much these days due to being in a relationship and having responsibilities, but I do role play with my friends on Friday until around 2 or 3.

Also this entry shows how bored I can get, though, in the morning. I’m writing about being a night owl-ish morning person. Longer entries are forthcoming.

A Rant

February 21, 2017

In theory I never had a real problem with Donald Trump being president. Calling him a racist, sexist, and misogynist? I never bought into that line of thinking. Those are loaded emotional terms and while he exhibits those characteristics I don’t think they really matter in the long-run and may hurt the people that want him gone. See, you’re making an emotional appeal to people who obviously did not care about those things. They’re left-wing dog whistles. It’s no different than a right-winger saying welfare queens when he means black people. Or urban. It’s coded language and is preaching to the already converted. We know he’s a racist, we know he’s a misogynist, we know he’s sexist. But it’s the shit he’s spouting about policy that should worry people more and the people who have his ear. Not what he is, but what he does. A person can be a racist and still care about kittens or some shit. Basically you can hide those characteristics and unless they’re going, “I hate those goddamn niggers and cunts. All of them! They need to fucking die or become servants!” You’re not going to engender that argument to a lot of people. Because he’s entertaining. And middle America apparently believes that matters more. [end_rant]

I don’t view the presidency as particularly hallow ground like some of my peers do. The presidency is and always will be the boobie prize for anyone dumb enough to take it on. My problem was with the forces he unleashed behind him. See, Trump is just the brand name for Republicans. He’s a slogan, a useful idiot. The real power was with people like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and President Steve Bannon. He always intended for himself to be the figurehead and for his Vice President to do all the work.

So, like his business: he’d slap his name on it and be seen as successful. It…hasn’t quite worked out that way. See, being president means being criticized…a lot. By your enemies. By your friends. By that shit-kicking underling you had the temerity to piss off. Why do you think every president ages 10 years faster than they would in private life? It’s a stressful job. Donnie the Con thought it was like being king, and while originally they did want the presidency to be kind of kingly..that ship has long since sailed. Now the president is that asshole in high school that took the election waaay too seriously and won by making a lot of fantastical promises.

While the real president has a lot of power we’re seeing the limits of it. Ronald the Donald has been stymied quite a bit to enact his agenda–granted he didn’t have much of one to begin with since he quite clearly sees the US as a dystopia.

Step 1: Build a wall.

Step 2: ???????

Step 3: Profit?

He’s not much of a long-term thinker that Griftin’ Donnie. His administration is ruling through executive orders which have no real power to do dick beyond pissing people off. So…winning? It’s an illusion. A fabrication. Something to make it seem like he’s accomplishing something to his base but doing effectively nothing. And that’s been Tiny Hand Donald’s business practice since forever. He’s Michael Scott from ‘Golden Ticket’. In fact Michael Scott perfectly sums up Lyin’ Donald Trump’s philosophy, “I want all of the credit, but none of the blame.” And that’s how he’s acting as President. He wants the credit for when things go well, but none of the blame when things go to shit. It’s why he criticizes the media so heavily. The media’s not hard to please. Just treat them nicely and they’ll treat you nicely. It’s that simple. They were practically his shills throughout the election because he treated them mostly nicely except for a few reporters.

It’s how Bloviating Don won the election. But I digress. He’s the figurehead for policies that are designed to hurt American citizens. He won’t make ‘America Great Again’ anymore than he cares about farmers in Wisconsin. Unless they can give him money somehow. See, MAGA should be, “Make Donald Trump Great Again,” because in the end that’s all he really cares about. I will give him heaps of credit, though, in focusing the left-leaning types in this country–myself included. We had it too easy under Obama. We were beginning to fight ourselves, but now that our president is every scum-sucking action movie 80’s villain…we have a purpose! Finally! A real asshole we can get behind defeating.

Lying 101: In every lie there’s a nugget of truth. And Trump is good at using that truth to his advantage. Jobs are sucking and corporate profits are soaring, but it’s people like Tiny Dick Don who are contributing to it. That and automation. Illegals? That’s a smokescreen. They’re not taking anyone’s job. No, automation is taking yer jerb and will continue taking yer jerbs. What do you think self-driving tractor and trailers are going to do? Take your job. Not an illegal. But oh, an illegal is a tangible Other. Ditto to Muslims. Oooga Booga! So unless you’re going to turn into Neo-Luddites and smash up every bit of automated machinery, you’re going to continue losing in the US, especially so under Bad Hair Day Donald.

Anyway…good morning! It’s nice to be back. Hopefully I didn’t bore you with this analysis/ranting. I won’t be discussing politics too much except every so often. Trust me, even I’m getting burnt out on it

 

Being The Best Me

February 21, 2017

You’ll hear this phrase or something similar at least once in your life: be the best version of yourself that you can be. There’s a lot of truth in that as we do shape our realities based on how we’ve acted previously. Dick someone over and you’ll probably get dicked over as well. Be a good person…yeah, still might be dicked over but you have support for when it happens. See, we like the idea of being the best person we can be, but yet have no frickin’ clue who the best versions of ourselves are. These things are all subjective anyway because it’s really dependent upon what you consider ‘the best’. If you’re a cocaine addict then chances are your best is going to be loaded on cocaine. Or if you eat a lot then eating less will do.

In my experience I think we should work on just being. I feel like very few people are ever just there mentally, emotionally, and physically–including myself We’re all just worried about things that really do not matter in our lives overall. Having anxiety does give you a better perspective on what’s bullshit and what’s not. For instance: I used to be so anxious about gamma ray bursts. Oh, I know they’re rare, but the anxiety let’s it play out in my head and just fills me with fear; or disease. So much disease fear. Body horror. Shit like that. I very much fall into what Alan Watts said:

“Try to imagine what it will be like to go to sleep and never wake up… now try to imagine what it was like to wake up having never gone to sleep.”

That used to, and still does, scare the piss out of me. However, I’m gradually learning to live with that thought. But it has given me a sense of what I value: my girlfriend and my relationship with her, my family, my sense of purpose, and all in-between. I’m learning to let go of the bullshit, though, I have had setbacks recently and I’m learning to overcome those, too. I’m a much stronger person than I once was. But yes, anxiety does give you a different set of values and realizations of what’s important. It’s why, for instance, I could give two shits about my biology class. Not because I don’t want a good grade, but that it’s all bullshit. We made it up, the grades, it’s not a measure of intelligence or how hard you can work, because I worked quite a bit on my exam and still flunked that shit.

I just worry about how my girlfriend is doing in the class because she needs this and I love her and want her to succeed. Where was I? Oh yes, being your best self. Your best self is an illusion and it’s based on  a mountain of subjective personality traits that we’ve concocted into making us think we need to be our best selves. No, we don’t. We just need to be ourselves, without fear, without shame, and to be brave enough to face a world that’s telling you to be otherwise. I’m not saying that if you have problems like being overweight (guilty) or procrastinating (guilty as well) or anxiety (so guilty) that you don’t need to work on them. Just that should you fail to work on them sufficiently today that there’s nothing wrong with that. We all work at our own pace. And that trying to be your ‘best self’ is a bit of bullshit that only adds to our already over-bloated collective anxiety. Be brave. Be who you think you are. Be care-free. Be funny. Be smart. Be confident. But never be your ‘best’ because it’s a losing proposition.

“The art of living… is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive.”
― Alan Watts

Please Standby

February 16, 2017

I’m not gone. Just lacking inspiration. I will return tomorrow. Hopefully. 

Depleted

October 27, 2016

I just had a moment of clarity, you know, I woke up. It’s like… you know when you have an orgasm on your own?  You know, you’re sort of lying on the sofa watching some porn movie you bought on a drunken lonely night in Soho, and you’re lying there and everything’s going really great, you’re getting totally turned on by these absurdly graphic images, everything seems so right, and suddenly – phht! Bingo! You wake up. And you’re lying there sweating, desperately looking for the tissue which you know is still in your pocket, and the remote control which is somewhere on the floor, and it’s like walking in on yourself, you know? It’s just like “What’re you doing?” That’s how I felt tonight feeling my heart miss a beat every time the door opened. “What the fuck are you doing?” —Tim Beasley, Spaced

 

Hey all! I’ve been busy with class and such, but now that I have a little bit of free time to write freely I think I will. I’ll let you know how the semester is going…IT SUCKS! Okay. Well, certain aspects are great, but others…not so much. Let’s start off with the great: I’m going to class full time to finish off this degree and to flip my anxiety off. Now let’s get into the not-so=great because…hooboy! There’s quite a list.

To start I’m not much of a physical artist or designer. My wheelhouse is in the computer-space so already I’m at a disadvantage because I lack the requisite skill with physical materials to do and a lot of it just stems from not having the best of control over my left hand so I’ve just never tried. Another: it’s my fault for not having the proper materials for the first month due to being broke. So I made do with what I had and bought stuff piecemeal.

Now to the actual classes…they’re fine, I suppose, except I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing more often than I’d like to admit. I didn’t go to one of my drawing classes because I felt like I didn’t know what was expected of me and my anxiety took control and I’m still paying for that stunt. I eventually found my footing with the still life projects and I guess I’ve done okay. But still…feels like it’s never good enough. We had a stippling drawing and I thought it turned out great. I thought, “Finally! On top of things!” Nope! It wasn’t pushed far enough so it was more of a dark ‘gray’ and the objects disappeared. I was pretty fecking proud of that drawing, too.

I think the biggest theme of this semester is thus: Never good enough. And the feeling flows both ways, too. I mean, I feel like what I do is not good enough. That it sucks. That I’m wasting my time. Granted, every creative person on Earth feels that way, but in this case it’s like taking a cold bath with thousands of nails and each time I try to wade out of it I always get jabbed or scraped by a nail because in the end, what I’m doing is never good enough. It’s never enough. I’m taking color theory, drawing, history of art, and digital photography. I know they tell you to get out of your comfort zone, but again: bathing in ice cold water with thousands of nails. I’m not good at drawing, I don’t do color aid paper or painting, and I most certainly am not the best photographer.

And I know they don’t demand perfection since these are lower tier classes in the grand scheme of my degree. But I just don’t feel prepared and when I do feel like I’ve got things under control, I really don’t. Maybe it’s because I’m having a bad week or because my girlfriend is sick, but this week is not my week. I feel terrible about everything and I feel like I’m wasting my time. I feel like a fraud. Yeah, again: everyone gets those, but it’s the discomfort of all of these things at once that make me question myself and my own mental health.  I had an anxiety attack before I left my drawing class and that just put my week on a downward swing.

So I take a lot of motion shots of my girlfriend’s nephews because they can’t stand still and I needed to capture motion with shutter speed control. The pictures really came out well and I was proud of them and managed to do the work necessary, I canvassed them, I selected the good shots and….nope. Didn’t canvas them correctly. I didn’t include the shutter speed value. I think what finally broke my dam from barely restrained melancholy to out and out melancholy was when my professor chastised me for not including the shutter speed value and I flattened all of my pieces and not just the ones for print. So I had to re-do them, but it was the way she put it that just crushed me.  She said it’s like I’m not even paying attention and I’ll admit I do have my lapses where I don’t pay attention and the first time missing the canvassing on the first two projects was my fault.

I didn’t read the project handout fully and as I’m constantly in a…slightly anxious state by the time I get to that class, I just skim them and make sure I have the correct shots. I’m not even mad at her. I’m mad at myself and constantly ask, “What the fuck am I doing here?” I tried to articulate to her why I miss stuff, and while she sees the class as kind of relaxing–I don’t. And it has nothing to do with her or the students or anything else. It’s just that by the time the end of my week rolls around I’ve been through so many anxiety-inducing experiences that I just see this class as the last hurdle I need to go through and then I’m home and safe and my weekend begins where I can relax somewhat and not face those situations that minutiae like putting a shutter speed number on my canvas doesn’t really factor into my equation. I’m just ready for the class to end so I can stop seeing my inadequacies on display that I will do my work but forget details like that.

I hate that I feel this way and I had such high hopes for this semester but each week has felt like sinking a little bit more into the swamp of sadness. So much so that I stress eat to compensate and justify it by saying I walk a lot on campus–which I do, but it doesn’t really justify eating more. It’s sad that the only class I ever feel remotely alive in is my history of art class. The rest I just sort of feel like I’m drifting through and eagerly awaiting them to be over so I can be done with this whole charade of me being creative at all or even good at anything in this field. I feel like a fuck-up and wonder why I was even wanting to be a graphic designer to begin with. Oi..I need a drink.

 

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