Apologies for the recent downtime. Apparently things get cut off when you forget to pay bills, which is quite annoying.
I’ve been struggling to write again. In an attempt to rectify my perceived quantity vs. quality issue, I’ve gone from clichéd emo to overly ambitious serious person and now I keep trying to write all these big ‘important’ posts but I doubt myself at the last minute and save them to the purgatory of my draft folder so that I can purify them before inflicting them upon the world. Except – in my mind, at least – they’re in drafts because they’re fucking shit, so in drafts they stay. I don’t know how I ever manage to publish anything at all.
Perhaps I ought to start cultivating arrogance instead of anxiety. I’m a pain in the arse either way; I might as well be a confident one.
To be fair though, I needed a break after the last post. I never intended to ever write about that, nor ever even think about it again. I’m still reeling. Too many people relate to it; too many of you have been through shit that’s horribly similar and I don’t know what the fuck to say to any of you. It wasn’t meant to be a #metoo – I was just trying to work out how it affected the way I used to (not) relate to other people. I’m unhappy that it was so relatable. I’m unhappy that literally hundreds of people know more about my past than the people I’m closest to in real life because in real life I’m not a big talker. I’ve never even talked to a therapist about this shit.
I feel like I opened a can of worms only to find it was actually full of bastard vipers and I don’t want to go near it to get the lid back on so it’s just sat in the corner, hissing at me. It can stay there for now. Fuck that.
I used to imagine my life having ‘Sliding Doors’ moments*, where the tube doors shut in my face and I got there just a little later and nothing bad happened. In some parallel universe, there’s a less traumatised version of me.
The only positive that can come from events like that is in the subsequent storytelling. The greater the tragedy, the better your experience. I wish it hadn’t happened at all, in any universe. But it did. I might as well try to make some art out of it.
Why is it that we seek out such negative experiences through other people’s drama? Why do people want to read about the horror and sadness of another? I’m currently studying the paradoxes of painful art and fictional emotion (not that any of this is fictional, sadly) but it’s hardly ever actual ‘art’ anymore, is it? It’s all just people yelling at each other on reality shows. Why do we seek that out? I can go and yell at people anytime I want. Why do we try to vicariously live out conflict and trauma instead of actively seeking out happiness?
It’s kitsch. It’s a parasitic display masquerading as something creative**. We gain nothing worthwhile from it. It’s something pretty that evokes an emotional response which makes us feel comfortable. All the characters and the roles they play are instantly identifiable. The ones that step out of line without stepping into a different yet equally identifiable line quickly disappear; we feel safe with the stereotypes and it’s upsetting when people don’t live up to them. But that is why it’s parasitic; that is why it is kitsch and totally fucking worthless: it keeps us in our comfort zones and fails to enrich the associations we already hold. It drains us of our time and attention and only ever lets us have the feelings we already had in the first place. Over and over it feeds us the same shit, like a human centipede Ouroboros.
I don’t want to be fucking kitsch. I don’t necessarily want to be a work of high art but I want to be somewhere above a picture of a mischievous kitten or a fucking sad clown ornament.
Maybe, one day, something I say – just one thing, out of everything I’ve ever written – will save someone. Maybe it will help someone, even if only by accident. Maybe I’ll make you cry because you felt what I felt without ever having to go through that kind of trauma yourself. Maybe someone will learn from my mistakes without ever having to go through the fucking idiocy that I willingly and repeatedly put myself through.
I have very little energy right now. All I want to do is study. This is the only thing I’ve ever really stuck with. If I put even half as much effort into studying as I put into self-destructing then I would probably have some kind of Nobel prize or some shit by now.
Being an emo is not the field I wanted to excel in.
I want to find my way out of this so that I can clear a path for everyone else.
* I’ll be honest, I’ve never actually watched Sliding Doors; literally all my knowledge of that film comes from the music video for Aqua’s Turn Back Time.
** I’ve just been reading this: Kulka, T. (1988) ‘Kitsch’, The British Journal of Aesthetics, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 18-27. It’s Kulka’s definition of kitsch that I’m using here.