Wednesday, May 23, 2018

____ Oneself

The present author, being an abject doofus, has, at times, contributed to the shortly-hereafter-to-be-mentioned harmful trope as an expression of both self-flagellation and self-deprecation, both of which are, in themselves, often harmful tropes. Alas, the trope in question here; "you must love yourself before you can expect someone to love you", often appearing in many similar forms, is the one the present author whishes to admonish - much like the present author wishes to admonish oneself. To wit, not even taking this statement to its logical extremes - a sort of pseudo-slippery slope fallacy that is often poorly used - is needed to render it inaccurate at best, and perniciously harmful at worst. And while some might simply say "the statement is cruel in that it implies depressed people, or kids with self-image issues don't deserve to be loved" and that would be, indubitably, true, the present author would instead like to use a completely nonsensical, unrelated, and amateurish comparison. For instance; given one (1) person who has cooked a meal - the specific recipe matters not - and another singular (1) person not affiliated with the cooking of the meal but instead being a participant in its consumption, we can quickly and, with a terribly contrived manner, demonstrate the fallibility of this entire "love yourself" trope. Let us say, then, that the singular cook does not like their finished meal, but the other person, infact, loves the meal. For the purposes of this exercise the present author - whose omnipotence in this blog post goes as far as necessary in constructing this G rated scenario - puts forth that the latter genuinely loves the meal and says so, and none of their enjoyment is derived from flattery, social pressure, groveling, or an expectation to be nice. If the present author were to introduce a third, singular (1) person who was then presented with this exact scenario and asked to pass judgement, this observer would likely simply surmise that the cook did not like their meal, but the second person did, and the cook's opinion of said meal does not invalidate the other, and vice-versa. Given this long-winded and wholly pointless comparison, the present author puts forth that it is apt to conclude that no matter how one feels about themselves, said feeling can not and does not invalidate or irrevocably negate someone else's feelings about said person.

The conclusion to this perfunctory and superfluous pursuit is not a subtle, incoherent critique of the objectivity presented by reality based cooking shows where judges ordain supposed quality, but simply to state that, no matter how you feel about yourself, know that you can't control others, who will respond to your behavior as they are apt to, and in the end, all parties involved; self-loving, loved by others, popular, or simply passing away their time in a permanent state of social exclusion, die alone.

the idea of being anything other than the worst is piled up in the fiction section at the bookstore

my parents would tell me time and again it'll work itself out, money always does, blessed by no injuries or sickness. neither parent was ever injured on the job, no hospitalization records, healthy like me for so long. left me home alone starting at age 3 because they could, when they worked 70 hours a week, something most parents don't have the luxury of. the alcohol was kept in a cabinet under the microwave at ground level, unlocked, next to the cleaners and chemicals. i could have crawled my way in there, much less walked, and downed a fifth and a windex without anyone knowing. no locks, no guard rail on the stairs, nothing, just some books and the knowledge they'd be gone for hours. i read a lot those days. i still do. i am thankful for that. i started reading before i turned two and nobody believes me when i say that but i know it's true because my parents have it on video.

they're still wrong though. i have more in credit card debt than i do in savings right now, and i will soon join the 69% of americans (nice) with less than $1000 in a savings/checking account to use in an emergency. traveling is over, the security of having money in my savings account is over, i question everything and inwardly grimace even at 5 dollar charges at a store. i'd stop eating to save money if i could, calories avoided and dollars saved. i fear waking up one day and telling people i care about that i can't do anything anymore, i can't go out, i can't see movies, or shows, or shop, or whatever. it doesn't work itself out. my car has a $900+ repair that has to be done some time this year. there isn't any hope really, and soon penny pinching to the extreme will be the norm, and i'll have to get super aggressive about a second job.

i tell people im not good enough and people disagree but they don't know me like i know me. maybe im hard on myself a bit but i also understand the depth of my aloofness, by coldness, my complete lack of social, intellectual, and support skills and mechanisms. everyone i know is good and probably (definitely) can find someone better than me. walking on eggshells around me because i might cut or hit myself or take enough benzos and alcohol to kill an elephant. the people at work are assholes and ive had exes assault me but i cant bring myself to hate or dislike or be mad at anyone except me and that's ok, because it's not victim blaming if i am the perpetrator of the failure and disappointment.

the sun finally came out today after seemingly 10 years of rain and all i could think about was how i will continue to hurt everyone i love, except me, because if i dont love me then it doesnt matter if i hurt myself.

10 feet away a man at work curses and berates me for not recognizing the coffee pot is empty when it's right next to me. i could have filled it if i noticed, but i am somewhere else like i always have been when i most needed to be present. i don't know where somewhere is because there is no home and no comfort in office walls, in a classroom, in a kitchen where dishes pile up. he has to try to get through a meeting drowsy now. maybe later he'll steal some food like he always does. i only hate myself. he could just be really tired.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

the floor is littered with goodness

her boots and coat and socks lie crumpled up on the floor and it feels real and tangible and shared. you never used to want people in your room. it was your one and only recluse. months and months of dating meant you slowly opened up to the idea but it was always temporary. now you wake up and wish she could come in and out whenever and you feel so able to trust her that you even like the idea, of her walking in and out any time and leaving bits and pieces of her there, knowing that nothing she does will be invasive or wrong or done out of anything but the same desire to share a space. every morning you wake up and see her things and wish you saw her too. for now you will settle with after work, after class, in between moments when you can feel her skin and taste her lips and laugh together and make shitty puns and talk about life until 3am, wishing you could fall asleep in each other's arms every single night.

Monday, May 14, 2018

everything is worse with politics

fredrik barth's foundational text on transactionalism may, at first blush, appear appealing. but beneath the surface of the idea that all human decisions and action result in a sort of result-based reciprocity is one of those things that is just broad enough to always work. the present author has, indeed, on an unscrupulous social media site designed to create short pontifications, argued that laziness is less a character flaw and more a survival mechanism, or even a value judgment; that in that time, not expelling as much energy is more a reward than doing so. this conclusion is a sort-of inherently transactionalist viewpoint, even without any sort of interaction with another self, in this case, said laziness could very well manifest itself as interaction with one's environment.

of course, barth and later transactionalists appeared to not really grapple with the fact that even if all decisions and actions are a transactional, interlocking response resulting in reciprocity and co-transactional outcomes, little is said about how the information we use to make these transactions can be sorely, sorely lacking.

this wouldn't be a fatal flaw really in barth's argument - we all know we have imperfect and at times limited data. but alas, as a fairly well off norwegian white dude, barth maintained that essentially all transactions; contractual, political, otherwise, were made my individuals with equal standing and resulted in authority figures having to acquiesce to said demands and transactions of the individual.

the present author posits this is not true, and that by advancing this argument into the realm of politics, it becomes, perniciously, irrevocably, stupid.

concurrently, there is a prevailing argument that cultural actors, individuals, authority, anything, attempt to manipulate and use society to achieve profit, and that individual choices maintain and validate authority systems and figures. that it is all a system of equal, co-dependent choices and outcomes.

the problem ultimately is that truth from inquiry, while noble, is inherently invalidating. if there is value in knowing how a transaction will present itself (referred to as the time between "means and end") then one should strive to know all possible outcomes and probabilities. this is impossible, and even more so when you consider the underlying way knowledge expresses itself in this case is via interaction and transaction and not universal epistemological truth.

a driver in a blue subaru impreza was recently kicked out of their apartment for being trans; their landlord made a transaction from an established place of power that rendered equal standing and co-dependent consent moot. the driver looks down at their phone and quickly tries to send a text, while rounding a bend, to their mother, asking if they can crash for a time. a deer jumps out in front of the car, and the driver, whose eyes are not on the road, smashes into the deer. the probability of a deer in that moment was small, the transaction in this case was presenting itself as the text conversation in which the driver attempted to require an end in which they had a place to say. the deer was a confounding, unknowable factor, the landlord was an authority figure whose existence did not require this individual's transactional existence, and indeed, could brute force their way into controlling others. the end result of this... transaction, ultimately, is the same as any other trade or worldview or summation. a sudden end to existence, hastened by unequal standing between haves and have nots.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

the storm before the calm

it's 10:15 or so and the 90 degree day has been replaced by a cooler evening, warmth whisked away by rain. a can of some popular, phase inducing, calorie free drink rests in your hand. you pull the ottoman to your feet and sit on the front porch. lightning occasionally flashes in the sky, it's the brightest object now that the nearby KFC is closed and its white and red visage is permanently unlit. a rumble of thunder follows, hesitantly, as if to suggest that maybe it's too quiet and still a night to be this way. the drug house across the street is playing loud music, and while it's not late enough to bother anyone, it messes with the ambience of the storm, of the still gently tapping rain drops and the smell of wet grass, not that you can smell the music. after about 30 minutes two sets of sirens race by the main street to your left, towards downtown, likely the slick and puddle filled roads causing some sort of traffic calamity. you hope nobody is hurt badly. the blanket you grabbed just incase is now getting used, draped over your legs and chest where the flimsy, loose-fitting t-shirt isn't doing its job. usually you'd play music out here, sad, depressing tunes about loss and depression and failure, but you had a good evening, and the storm is calming, so instead you look at pictures of cats and hope that they can also, somehow, find comfort in the simultaneously distant and near storm. it gets to 11:10. your head droops and your eyes close and your phone falls. you jerk awake. best not fall asleep outside. there are mosquitoes now. you'd say stink bugs too but they're indoors as well. you take one last look at the sky, briefly illuminated by one last flash of lightning, and then the thunder comes, the loudest one yet, as if to say good night. the front door slams shut behind you. you're out cold in minutes. two texts go unanswered. the storm slowly moves on.