Hello webbers! You are not spiders, oh no no, you are internet -websters.
It has been a long time since I have typed words into this little white box of mine, and I figured it was about time. I mean, 2 days really isn’t that long of a gap, but… I feel like a whole butt-load of things have happened since then and therefore it is kind of imperative to write something austere and knowledgeable.
First things first – the 19th and 20th of this month turned out to be quite large piñatas full of crazy. And that’s saying quite a bit since my days generally consist of fucking off from my studying before exams. (It is therefore quite possible that I failed my natural science exam, a fact my father will find out now that I showed him my blog).
Let me explain one fact to you before I DO NOT go into the details of those two nights: I tend to attract and be in relationships/friendships with males that are kind of off-kilter. Not that they’re not incredibly sweet guys, but they’re a little off their rocker in various ways that I find out about after I’ve already formed a pretty deep attachment to them. It’s very hard to think of yourself as a normal person when you deal with random-ass shit all the time. For example: I have been to the police station 3 times in the past 4 years, and the emergency room about 7 times. They have not ALL been caused by the two men I’m mentioning but the simple fact that I’ve been there so often no doubt constitutes the fact that I would not have been there apart from these two guys. More so the second and very very very recently and in quick succession.
The problem with this is that I start questioning my role in all of this: on one hand, I can’t be blamed for certain things, but on the other hand it seems like all problems stem from me and my relationships with these guys. I feel like the Bad-Luck Princess. These guys fall in love with me and then.. BAM! They get totally owned for reasons mostly and/or totally out of my control. But why does this happen? What in me draws these guys to me? Is it really so far removed from real people’s lives? I feel like I’m the only one that has to deal with crazy shit on such a consistent basis – but does anyone else ever feel like this? If so, please share, and we will mope together. (Or write a really wicked book about it and become millionaires, whateva!)
I just feel like some sort of woman in a novel – men fall crazily in love with me (literally) and go insane. One after the other they throw their love at me and I walk through it all, deflecting it back at them and coming out unharmed while they go through mental anguish for the rest of their lives (okay it doesn’t quite work like this, but still – it’s a novel!). I’ve tried to do things differently from one to the other, since obviously I’m a different person now, and to see what works and what decisions I feel happier with. Right now, I think/hope/pray that what I am doing is regret-less, but I won’t know until the future moves more forward. Whether the changes promised to me will come to fruition or whether I will have to walk away.
As for the hospital (if you even cared) – everything is okay. My boyfriend has a slight concussion (no thanks to Canada’s tax-sucking public servants) and is resting at a friends’ house and looks as though he will be okay. This is good news, despite the track marks on his head.
The problem is that when dramatic things happen, I tend to always want to naturally forget everything and move on as though nothing happened. This proves to be a problem when I realize (and am persistently reminded by my ego) that shit actually DID happen and things have to change in my relations with other people.
It’s so easy to slip back into normalcy because the person you know is right there, and it’s easy to ignore what kind of person they showed you they could be. It’s so EASY that it’s dangerous. I try to keep a check on myself – realize that people have more than one side that comprises their fullness and I have to accept (or leave) all of those sides, or none. I will not wish away a part of a person that I don’t like just because it doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of them. But I can help them if they themselves want to change something. That is what I am willing to do – 100%. Hopefully that is what ends up happening.
I know this is all very confusing for readers – it’s hard to really get into the details because I don’t want this stuff splayed out on the internet, so I’m trying to be rather discreet. Basically, my boyfriend and I had a fight – a massive, really serious fight. The outcomes are me sitting and watching walls not do anything with a “what the fuck” look on my face while attempting to think about things.
Anyway, moving on to other things. Yes my weekend was dramatic – but life always moves on, I have found. You can either sit wallowing or move forward. I choose to move forward, because while some many things seem unconquerable – they either become unconquerable, or are overcome.
I have been doing a bit of reading lately too – and not just because I was advised to do some pre-emptive pre-reading over the break for my classes. But, as I was advised, I am following through and reading Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death. To be honest, I’m kind of blown away. From the first chapter this book has blown open my already soaring expectations of literature and criticism. I’ve already scribbled questions and ideas on most of the pages and am peeing in my pants because I actually have time over the next couple of days to sit and read and absorb it (thanks, Jesus, for dying and thus causing national, albeit consumeristic holidays).
“This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right,” it says in the foreword. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is a book I’ve also had the pleasure of reading this semester for my program, and it scared the living bejeesus out of me. I have to admit that I enjoyed George Orwell’s 1984 MORE than Huxley because it was so reminiscent of things I have read about the U.S.S.R. and heard from my grandparents, and yet Huxley’s vision impacted me precisely because the things he expected can be so closely tied to events happening in our society right now. It’s really, really creepy.
Postman brings up so many good points that it’s hard not to get excited and start underlining every other sentence. For example, the first chapter is aptly named “The Medium is the Message” and gives the example of not being able to “do political philosophy on television” because “it’s form works against the content.” The whole idea of daily news is because of television – because if a society doesn’t have a medium that can be constantly updated, then daily news do not exist. Whether the absence of daily news made people more ignorant and the presence of it more wise is not fully decided because daily news is so over-saturated that after hearing of bombing attacks and tsunamis and horror stories we have a “and then” moment where we cut to commercial break selling us the “slap-chop” or a “snuggie” or a sex line. This totally undercuts the seriousness of events by putting them side-by-side with completely irrelevant information, therefore undermining our ability to diversify between important news and garbage (if we even THINK about what we watch, which a lot of us don’t).
Another thing that I thought was interesting was his theorizing on the clock, and how the seemingly “natural” parts of our life are never put under examination for validity. “The clock is a piece of power machinery whose ‘product’ is seconds and minutes,” said Lewis Mumford, who Postman describes as one of our age’s “great noticers.”
“Moment to moment, it turns out, is not God’s conception, or nature’s.… the inexorable ticking of the clock may have had more to do with the weakening of God’s supremacy than all the treatises produced by the philosophers of the Enlightenment; that is to say, the clock introduced a new form of conversation between man and God, in which God appears to have been the loser.”
This theory, that “a clock recreates time as an independent, mathematically precise sequence; that writing recreates the mind as a tablet on which experience is written; that the telegraph recreates news as a commodity” was so overwhelming to me that I haven’t read more since then. How can we think of time otherwise? How can it NOT be a sequence but instead, something different like a point? If a single moment has a million different outcomes, then there is an eternal number of alternate universes for every millisecond. (I know we’re getting into some sort of physics here, but it’s just…. how can you not? It has to do with multiverses, I believe? If not, please correct me.) Also, the idea of the mind as a tablet – what else can it be thought of as? I haven’t even started thinking about this one.
About the “telegraph” (this book was written in ’86 I believe, and therefore while it seems a bit outdated is scarily on point regardless) – news as a commodity. But it is a commodity that we do not always have the right to. This is something that’s also been bumping around my brain for the past little while – how much of television and government creates our reality? We are programmed for consumerism almost from the womb and yet more and more people are realizing that owning things will not bring them happiness. Friends, family, relationships, self-development, time – will. And yet we are living in a world where we have less time than ever before to do things that we enjoy – we are always on computers or in front of tvs or working to earn more money to buy more things that will suck our time away from those things. It’s strange that while we’re supposed to be working less than generations before us we rarely ever have time to do the things we claim are our “interests” on our Facebook profiles. So why is this? What is it about entertainment whoring and constant updating that sucks us in so completely, and as Postman would ask: what does this say about our culture and our mindsets?
I haven’t come up with an answer for that question, yet, but I am sure as hell questioning a lot more in my surroundings, as even the prof for my professional writing class (Jan Rehner – so, so incredible) pointed out to us that universities are ever more and more slaves to the government for research grants and therefore slaves to their wishes about the outcomes of that research as well. How much is our information really controlled? I also bought a copy of The Walrus yesterday while picking up some things at Shoppers, being disgusted by the Cosmopolitans and People Magazines very obviously placed by the cash registers, and strayed 2 steps farther into the store in my quest for some actually interesting reading. There is a story in it by Gil Shochat called “The Dark Country”, ever so surreptitiously (not!) hinting at our government’s lack of access to government information legislation. In fact, Shochat does more than hint. He pretty much convinced me (more so because I had no absolute information prior to this, just ideas) that the Canadian government (and obviously American) is exactly the sneaky, conniving think-tank-with-fake-smile that I thought they were. Shochat states that “a 2008 study by the CAJ (Canadian Association of Journalists?) and the Canadian Newspaper Association actually ranked this country’s [Canada’s] access law behind those of India, Mexico, and Pakistan.” Pakistan? Really? Sure, democracy is probably the best system we’ve come up with so far, but I’m not convinced that what we have is really a democracy, because it sure as hell doesn’t function as one.
BUT, my fingers are so tired right now and my brain is kind of starting to hurt from all of this, and I’m starting to slide into a pit of really, really ugly desperation on Christmas Eve, so I’m going to leave you guys with all of that depressing-ness and let you sit in it like a puddle of your own pee. Let’s hope the smell sticks with you so you don’t forget it.
Maybe this wasn’t the MOST coherent post (ie. at all) but I’m sure I’ll make sense of all of this stuff swirling around in my brain eventually, and when I do, look out world. (That was said, even in my head, with less enthusiasm than a statement of such calibre needs, but you get where I’m going with this, even if I don’t have the articulation of d’Artagnan.) I’m starting to feel the need to uncover all of this bullshit that we’re dealing with. I should really learn how our government works so I can make more sense of it and it’s misguided failings. Maybe my boyfriend was right in not voting this time around. Maybe there really is no point, even if we’re not quite Iran yet.
Anyway, it’s time to go enjoy some Pinot (you know I love my grigioooooooooo), and turn my brain off for a bit. Really, I’m kind of cracked sometimes. I think too much about everything. Maybe that’s what you will learn to love about me.
P.S. Happy Christmahanukwanzaakah! Or just Merry Christmas, if you like it vanilla. 🙂